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Jairam Ramesh Jairam Ramesh

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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

RBI to come up with guidelines for dividend distribution by NBFCs

RBI has decided to carry out consultation with stakeholders before finalising the revised regulatory framework.

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Reserve Bank of India RBI

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to come out with guidelines for dividend distribution by NBFCs.

Unlike banks, currently there are no guidelines in place with regard to distribution of dividend by NBFCs.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday announced that keeping in view the increasing significance of NBFCs in the financial system and their interlinkages with different segments, it has been decided to formulate guidelines on dividend distribution by NBFCs.

Different categories of NBFCs would be allowed to declare dividend as per a matrix of parameters, subject to a set of generic conditions.

A draft circular in this regard will be issued shortly for public comments.

He further said that the contribution of NBFCs as a supplemental channel of credit intermediation alongside banks is well recognised.

Regulatory regime governing the NBFC sector is built on the principle of proportionality such that adequate operational flexibility is available to the sector through calibrated regulatory measures.

However, there are rapid developments in the last few years, which have led to significant increase in size and interconnectedness of the NBFC sector.

“There is, therefore, a need to review the regulatory framework in line with the changing risk profile of NBFCs. It is felt that a scale-based regulatory approach linked to the systemic risk contribution of NBFCs could be the way forward,” said the RBI’s statement on developmental and regulatory policies.

RBI has decided to carry out consultation with stakeholders before finalising the revised regulatory framework.

A discussion paper in this regard will be issued before January 15, 2021 for public comments.

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RBI allows settlement files of payment systems on all days of year

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Shaktikanta Das

Mumbai: The RBI has proposed to allow settlement files of payment systems viz., AePS, IMPS, NETC, NFS, RuPay, UPI to be posted to the apex bank on all days of the year.

The measure will reduce build-up of settlement and default risks and enable better management of funds by member banks.

It will also enhance overall efficiency of the payments ecosystem.

Presently, the facility of posting settlement files of payment systems, operated by authorised payment system operators, to the Reserve Bank is available only on RTGS working days.

With round the clock availability of eKuber (core banking system of RBI) and RTGS (to be operationalised soon), it is proposed to allow settlement files of payment systems on all days of the year, the RBI said in a statement.

Instructions in this regard will be issued by the pax bank shortly.

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ICICI Bank sets up presence in Nepal

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ICICI Bank

Mumbai, Dec 3: Lending major ICICI Bank on Thursday launched its operations in Nepal, via a representative office, to become the first Indian private sector bank to set up its presence in the country.

The bank opened a representative office in Kathmandu which will closely work with the domestic banks in Nepal to facilitate investment, trade, payments and treasury business between the two countries.

According to the bank, the current foray has expanded its global footprint to 15 countries including India.

“India and Nepal have significant trade and investment links between them. We believe that ICICI Bank’s on-ground presence through the new representative office coupled with its strong business partnerships with banks in Nepal, will help us further our participation in the economic flows between the two countries,” said Sriram H. Iyer, Head – International Banking Group, ICICI Bank.

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