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The country’s economy stagnant, no investment coming in: Cong

It will take time for this message to reach people, for the false claims made by the government to be understood in totality.

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New Delhi, Apr 15 : The Congress today sought to deflate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of 7 per cent GDP growth, saying the country’s economy is stagnant with no investments coming in.

Quoting official figures, Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said bank credit growth is lowest in 60 years and power plants are functioning at 60 per cent capacity – lowest in last 15 years, which shows that the Indian economy is not taking off and the government needs to take this challenge seriously.

“The prime minister may claim that GDP is growing at 7 per cent, but indicators show a stagnant economy. The rise in growth is not visible and resultantly investments coming into the country are stagnant.

“The condition of the economy is a matter of serious concern and the government must look into the challenges faced by the economy,” he said.

Ramesh said if there are no investments, the employment opportunities are not there. This, he said, is the biggest challenge before this government.

He, however, lamented that the prime minister and finance minister have no reply to offer on this, both outside and inside Parliament.

“Everything is not well and things are deteriorating and there is no improvement in the Indian economy,” he said.

Taking a dig at Modi, Ramesh said if the offtake is not there, the economy will take off. He also recalled how prime minister talked of “not cashless, but less-cash” while talking of promoting digital transactions.

“If offtake is not there, there will be no takeoff. There is no offtake of power and bank credit when the PM talks of takeoff,” he said.

The Congress leader said employment opportunities in the country stands at a new low, with only 4.4 lakh new jobs being generated in the organised sector during the first two years of the Modi government.

This, in comparison, is far less than 21 lakh jobs generated during the first two years of UPA-2 government, he said, adding “We created five times more jobs”.

Citing the RBI data for 2016-17, he said it shows that bank credit has grown at 5 per cent, the slowest rate in the last 60 years.

Similarly, he said, the Power Ministry data shows that in 2016-17 there is lowest plant load factor in 15 years and said they are on an average generating power at 60 per cent of their installed capacity.

“These two data shows that prime minister’s words that Indian economy is taking off is absolutely wrong,” he said.

“No point of the Prime Minister and Finance Minister taking refuge in figures of GDP of 7-7.5 per cent which is meaningless and frankly the world does not believe in India’s GDP numbers,” he said.

Ramesh said the Congress party will take this message to the people across the country that all is not well with the country’s economy under the present government despite the tall claims made by the prime minister and the finance minister.

Asked why this message is not going across to people as had been shown in repeated Congress defeats, the Congress spokesperson said it takes time for the public to realise that there is no pension, no food, no employment under MGNREGA.

He cited the example of Rajasthan where 30 per cent of those entitled for wheat rations are not getting wheat as aadhar card had been made mandatory there.

“It will take time for this message to reach people, for the false claims made by the government to be understood in totality.

“People are already beginning to feel that there is already no improvement and there is an atmosphere of enormous fear is prevailing in the country. People are not speaking as freely now as they were speaking 4-5 years ago,” he said.

Business

Petrol, diesel touch all time highs as oil companies hike rates

Apart from Karnataka politics, crude oil prices which have lately been around the $80 per barrel-mark are expected to impact investor sentiments.

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Petrol

Mumbai, May 20 : Persistently high global crude oil prices, along with the rupee’s movement against the US dollar and the ongoing quarterly results season are expected to drive the trajectory of the key Indian equity indices in the coming week.

However, analysts predict a negative reaction from investors on the formation of a non-BJP government in Karnataka and any further outflow of foreign funds.

“Markets will closely track the floor test results in Karnataka,” Devendra Nevgi, Founder and Principal Partner, Delta Global Partners, told IANS.

“Globally USD, US interest rates and crude oil prices need to be monitored due to their influence on the local markets.”

Apart from Karnataka politics, crude oil prices which have lately been around the $80 per barrel-mark are expected to impact investor sentiments.

As per the latest estimates of the Finance Ministry, the rise in oil prices may inflate India’s import bill by around $25 billion to $50 billion. The surge has already pushed the cost of petrol in the national capital to Rs 75.32 per litre.

Besides, the rupee’s price movement against the US dollar will also be crucial for the market, especially in the backdrop of a continuous outflow of foreign funds.

“Rupee continues to weaken against the US dollar as outflows continue across the emerging markets. However, high oil prices and political risk premium in a pre-election year is ensuring that the rupee remains as an underperformer in the EM basket,” Anindya Banerjee, Deputy Vice President for Currency and Interest Rates with Kotak Securities, told IANS.

“Developments in Karnataka are not going to have any lasting adverse impact on the rupee bit come Monday, but there is a risk of a knee-jerk sell-off in the INR against the USD.”

On a weekly basis, the Indian rupee weakened by 68 paise to close at 68.01 against the US dollar from its previous close of 67.33 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 1,496.79 crore during the trade week ended May 18.

According to the National Securities Depository (NSDl), foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) divested equities worth Rs 799.88 crore, or $117.63 million.

In addition to the rupee’s movement, companies like Bata India, Bharat Forge, Bosch, Cipla, Dr Reddys lab, Future Consumer, IndianOil, State Bank of India, Jet Airways and Tata Motors are expected to announce their fourth quarter (Q4) earning results in the coming week.

“We are also expecting to see a mixed bag of result for Q4 going forward. With Q4 results below estimates, there are concerns of downgrade in FY19 estimates,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Technical charts showed the National Stock Exchange’s (NSE) Nifty50 in a downtrend.

“Technically, with the Nifty ending lower for the fourth consecutive session and closing below the short term trend reversal levels of 10,630 points, the underlying uptrend has reversed,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research for HDFC Securities.

“The coming week could see further downsides towards 10,514 points and lower. On the upside bounces, 10,692 points-level can offer resistance.”

The political stand-off in Karnataka, consistent rise in global crude oil prices and outflow of foreign funds, pulled the key Indian equity indices deep into the red in the week just-ended.

Consequently, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE declined by 687.49 points or 1.93 per cent to 34,848.30 points.

Similarly, the wider NSE Nifty50 edged-lower. It ended at 10,596.40 points — down 210.1 points or 1.94 per cent — from its previous close.

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Business

Vodafone brings exciting offers for IPL fan

All it takes is – to download the MyVodafoneApp and participate in the Vodafone Unofficial Sponsor of Fans contest by answering a few simple questions,

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New Delhi, May 19 : Telecom major Vodafone has come up with bagful of offers for the Vodafone customers in Delhi and NCR this IPL season.

With the playoff matches around the corner, the company has floated Unofficial Sponsor of Fans contest for Vodafone pre-paid and post paid customers.

All it takes is – to download the MyVodafoneApp and participate in the Vodafone Unofficial Sponsor of Fans contest by answering a few simple questions, a Vodafone release said.

There are 80 match tickets which can be won by Delhi & NCR Vodafone customers.

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Business

Karnataka’s political crisis, oil prices plunge equities

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SENSEX-

Mumbai, May 18: The uncertain political environment in Karnataka along with high global crude oil prices pulled the key Indian equity indices deep in the red on Friday.

According to market observers, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in capital goods, auto and metal counters.

At 3.30 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) provisionally closed at 10,596.40 points, down 86.30 points or 0.81 per cent from the previous close of 10,682.70 points.

Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE ended in the red. It had opened at 35,143.59 points, closed at 34,848.30 points (3.30 p.m.) — down 300.82 points or 0.86 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 35,149.12 points.

In the intra-day trade, barometer S&P BSE Sensex touched a high of 35,163.11 and a low of 34,821.62 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,856 declines against 765 advances.

The major gainers on the BSE were Hindustan Unilever, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, ITC and Yes Bank, while Sun Pharma, Wipro, Tata Steel, Larsen and Toubro, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank were the major losers.

On the NSE, the top gainers were Bajaj Finance, Tech Mahindra and Bajaj Finserv. The major losers were Cipla, Wipro and Indiabulls Housing Finance.

IANS

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