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Most of additional budget spending for people-centric schemes: FM Sitharaman

The government expenses have increased of late and are likely to increase further due to the coronavirus pandemic and the eventual economic slowdown.

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Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, Sep 19 : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman on Friday said that the majority of the additional resources in the first batch of the Supplementary Demands for Grants would be spent on people-centric schemes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In her reply to the debate on the Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2020-21 and the Demands for Excess Grants for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha, she said it is probably for the first time that the government has sought such a huge amount in the first batch of the Supplementary Demands for Grants.

Late on Friday evening, the Lok Sabha approved the supplementary demands for additional spending of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, including a cash outgo of Rs 1.66 lakh crore.

The Centre has sought Rs 40,000 crore for providing grants for the creation of capital assets under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and for the transfer of funds to the National Employment Guarantee Fund.

It has sought an additional expenditure of Rs 30,956.98 crore for providing Grants-in-Aid General for Direct Benefit Transfer to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’s women bank account holders.

Further, to meet the expenditure towards recapitalisation of the Public Sector Banks through the issue of government securities, it has sought an approval for the expenditure of Rs 20,000 crore.

Approval for expenditure of Rs 4,000 crore has been sought for meeting an additional expenditure towards Grants-in-Aid General to National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC) for the Guarantee Emergency Credit Line (GECL) facility to eligible MSME borrowers.

The first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for financial year 2020-21, among other things, included a sum of Rs 46,602.43 crore required for providing additional allocations under the Post-Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant (Rs 44,340 crore) and Grants-in-Aid General for States Disaster Response Fund (Rs 2,262.43 crore) as per the accepted recommendations for the 15th Finance Commission.

The government expenses have increased of late and are likely to increase further due to the coronavirus pandemic and the eventual economic slowdown.

Business

Gold declines by Rs 95 on weak global trend

In the international market, gold was trading lower at USD 1,918 per ounce, while silver was quoting flat at USD 24.89 per ounce.

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Gold Wealth Price

New Delhi, Oct 22 : Gold prices fell Rs 95 to Rs 51,405 per 10 gram in the national capital on Thursday amid a weak global trend and rupee appreciation, according to HDFC Securities.

The precious metal had closed at Rs 51,500 per 10 gram in the previous trade.

Silver prices also declined Rs 504 to Rs 63,425 per kilogram from Rs 63,929 per kilogram in the previous trade.

“Spot gold prices for 24 carat in Delhi declined by Rs 95 on weak global prices and rupee appreciation,” HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.

The rupee appreciated by 4 paise to close at 73.54 against the US dollar on Thursday.

In the international market, gold was trading lower at USD 1,918 per ounce, while silver was quoting flat at USD 24.89 per ounce.

Navneet Damani, VP Commodities Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services said, “Gold dipped after inching higher in the previous session amidst to and fro comments on the COVID-19 relief bill and some recovery witnessed in dollar.

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Economy not circus lion that responds to ringmaster’s stick: Chidambaram

Chidambaram said the economy was largely determined by the market, by the laws of demand and supply, and by the purchasing power and the sentiments of the people, which are missing currently

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P Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday criticised the Centre for its claims on reviving the economy. He said the economy was largely determined by the market, by the laws of demand and supply, and by the purchasing power and the sentiments of the people, which are missing currently.

“Unless the government puts money in the hands of the bottom half of the families and puts food on the plates of the poor, the economy will not revive smartly,” he added.

The Congress leader said if the government doubted about what he say, then “just listen to the voices of the voters of Bihar on their existential crisis — no work or not enough work, no income or little income, and their thoughts are on surviving, not on spending.

He also said that RBI Governor, SEBI Chairman and the DEA Secretary should tell the FM, in unison, that the vast majority of the people do not have the money or the inclination to buy goods and services.

“Is it not intriguing that the RBI Governor, the SEBI Chairman and the DEA Secretary should speak on the same day on the same subject? All three have tried to ‘talk up’ the economy. I wish the economy was a circus lion that would respond to the stick of the ringmaster!” Chidambaram mocked.

The former Finance Minister was criticising the statements made by the RBI Governor and the Economic Affairs Secretary.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that India is at the doorstep of a revival process from the ongoing pandemic.

Speaking at an event, he said that it is very important that the financial entities have adequate capital to support the growth. He noted that many of them have already raised capital while others are planning to do the same.

He said that after the pandemic is contained, the government will have to spell out a fiscal roadmap for the country.

Secretary, Economic Affairs, Tarun Bajaj on Wednesday said the Centre is open for further measures to boost the economy.

Participating at a CII event, he said that the government has received suggestions from various ministries and sectors on the needed measures.

Bajaj also said that while preparing the next Union Budget, the government would be looking at expenditure for this year and the requirements of various ministries.

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Elon Musk’s Tesla launches ‘Full Self Driving’ beta to select drivers

The customers in Tesla’s Early Access Programme will receive software updates, which will give drivers access to Autopilot’s ‘partially’ automated driver assistance system on city streets.

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elon musk

San Francisco: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed the company has started rolling out its next-gen Full Self Driving (FSD) set of features to a limited number of expert and careful drivers.

The customers in Tesla’s Early Access Programme will receive software updates, which will give drivers access to Autopilot’s ‘partially’ automated driver assistance system on city streets.

The Early Access program serves as a testing platform to help fix software bugs.

More Tesla owners would get the update as the time passes, with the goal of a “wide release” by the end of the year.

“Regarding the Full Self-Driving beta release, the Autopilot team, again, is just a really all-star team. I spent a lot of time with the Autopilot team. And there’s a lot of really talented people in that team who have worked incredibly hard to make the — to get the beta release out,” Musk said during the company’s Q3 earnings call on Wednesday.

Musk has been talking about ‘Full Self Driving’ a lot in the past couple of years, calling it an investment in the future that will become far more valuable once fully autonomous cars get regulatory approval.

Earlier, he explained that with feature-complete FSD, the car will be able to drive without human intervention but it would still be supervised.

Tesla also rolled out the 2019.40.2 version of its software to some electric vehicle owners and this update includes features like Adjacent Lane Speed Adjustments and Stop Sign Detection that are required for FSD.

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