ECONOMY

Monthly Archives: JANUARY 2018


BUDGET DHAMAKA
Modi Govt declares MSP will be as per Swaminathan panel recommendation
31.01.18 - PT Economic Desk
Modi Govt declares MSP will be as per Swaminathan panel recommendation




NEW DELHI, February 1: IN A CLEAR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of the crisis being faced by India's farmers, the Narendra Modi government finally capitulated and declared it will implement a key proviso of the MS Swaminathan Commission on Farmers of ensuring a Minimum Support Price for crops equivalent to cost plus 50 per cent profit.

"The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops shall increase to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced in his Budget Speech.
 
In another significant announcement that will interest Punjab's government, particularly the farm sector, Arun Jaitley also said the Centre will aid the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab to curb air pollution by subsidising the removal of crop residue.

The issue has assumed acute proportions due to the pollution caused by crop residue burning in these states.
 
Jaitley focused on the farm sector in the very first part of his Budget Speech and reiterated that the Modi government's focus "is on productive and gainful on-farm and non-farm employment for farmers and landless families."

He conceded that agricultural produce "has improved remarkably in the last year because of the hard work and tireless efforts of farmers in the country."
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"The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops shall increase to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced in his Budget Speech.
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The Narendra Modi government has been at the receiving end for its claims of economic growth when juxtaposed with its farm sector crisis. While India is a 2.5 trillion economy and the government claims it is expected to become the 5th largest economy very soon, the recent Economic Survey released earlier this week has detailed the stagnation in farm incomes and an adverse effect on farm sector on account of climate change.

Jaitley also reiterated the government’s clarion call to double farmers’ income by 2022, a promise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that has come in for much debate in the backdrop of deepening farm crisis, continued suicides by farmers, including in Punjab, and the government's unwillingness to come up with a route map to achieve this goal.

Jaitlety also announced an allocation of Rs 22000 crore for infrastructure in agriculture, the launch of Operation Green to ensure agriculture growth and said agriculture exports have been liberalised in the country.

BJP’s alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal will have further reason to feel elated as Jaitley acknowledged that the food processing sector was growing at 8% per annum. SAD’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal is the Union minister for Food Processing, to whose ears Jaitley’s words must have been music as he announced doubling of allocation for the food processing industry.
 
He said the government will set up a fund of Rs 2,000 crore for developing agricultural markets and announced allocation of Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation green,’ which will promote processing facilities, professional management among other things. 
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Centre to give aid to Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to curb air pollution by subsidising the removal/treatment of crop residue.
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The govt will set up state of the art facilities in 42 mega food parks, Jaitley said, adding that the Agriculture Ministry will reorient its schemes, and focus on promoting cluster-based approach to be adopted for agricultural production. 

The government will now move forward from Ease of doing business and focus on ‘ease of living’ for the common people, says Jaitley.

Jaitley reiterated that India will grow at 7.2-7.5% in the second half of the 2017-18, but also pointed to a "premium of honesty” in the country, claiming that the Modi government is allocating resources in a more transparent manner. 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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RANKS 62ND OUT OF 74 COUNTRIES
India behind Pakistan, China in inclusive development index: WEF report
23.01.18 - TEAM PT
India behind Pakistan, China in inclusive development index: WEF report



Hours before PM Narendra Modi showcases India before the global investors’ community at Davos, Switzerland, the nation was ranked at 62nd place among the emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index, a World Economic Forum (WEF) report said. India ranks much below China’s 26th position and even Pakistan’s 47th.
 
India had been ranked 60th among 79 developing economies last year. Norway remains the world’s most inclusive advanced economy, while Lithuania again tops the list of emerging economies, the WEF said.
 
The IDI is essentially based on the notion that most people base economic progress by changes in their standard of living rather than published GDP growth. The index namely has three pillars of growth for global economies: growth and development; inclusion, intergenerational equity and sustainability. The report says that the IDI is ‘designed as an alternative to GDP that reflects more closely the criteria through which people evaluate their respective countries’ economies’.
 
According to the report, India ranks second last among the G20 economies ahead of only South Africa and trailing behind Russia (19), China (26) and Brazil (37). Even in the inclusive emerging and developing economies, India couldn’t make it to the top 10, with China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka making a mark. Other South Asian economies such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines also ranked far better than India.

 
The report, however, says that India is an ‘advancing economy’ as compared to China and Bangladesh which are ‘slowly advancing’ and Sri Lanka which is ‘slowly receding’.
 
The index, which measures progress of 103 economies on three individual pillars has been divided into two parts. The first part covers 29 advanced economies and the second 74 emerging economies.

The index has also classified the countries into five sub-categories in terms of the five-year trend of their overall Inclusive Development Growth score — receding, slowly receding, stable, slowly advancing and advancing. Despite its low overall score, India is among the 10 emerging economies with "advancing” trend.
 
According to the report, the incidence of poverty has declined in India over the past five years, despite 6 out of 10 Indian still living on less than $3.20 (Rs 204) a day.

The report also notes that both labor productivity and GDP per capita have had strong growth rates over the past five years, while employment growth has slowed. Healthy life expectancy also increased by approximately three years to 59.6.

Although global economies like India still rely on GDP as a measure of growth, this method leaves out many qualitative aspects such as social inequality and living standards. This is one of the reasons why WEF developed the new metric that factors in social inclusion to measure development of economies in a more wholesome manner.




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APPLE USERS HAVE TO WAIT
WhatsApp Business launched in India for Android users
23.01.18 - TEAM PT
WhatsApp Business launched in India for Android users



Just days after its initial rollout, the WhatsApp Business app has now debuted in India. The standalone app offers a simple tool for small businesses to let them communicate with their clients and customers in an easy way. Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced the plans to kick off its WhatsApp for Business initiative back in September last year and launched a pilot by partnering with companies such as BookMyShow, Netflix, and MakeMyTrip. The new app, for small businesses, arrived first in a handful of markets, including Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US, on Friday. Interestingly, the app was initially tested in India and Brazil ahead of its public release.

The WhatsApp Business app is now available for free download via Google Play in India. It is compatible with devices running Android 4.0.3 and above. A version with similar features is also expected to be available for iOS devices in the coming future.
 
"WhatsApp Business", asks for a separate phone number from the one users have for their individual WhatsApp account. 

"People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil," the Facebook-owned app had said in an earlier statement. 

"WhatsApp Business will make it easier for people to connect with them, and vice versa, in a fast and simple way," the company added.
 
Targeted at small businesses, the WhatsApp Business app allows companies to connect with their customers and be a part of the messaging platform that has over 1.3 billion users worldwide. Unlike the original WhatsApp app, the business-centric offering allows businesses to create their own profiles with information such as business description, email, or store addresses, and website. It also provides smart messaging tools to let businesses use quick replies and give fast answers to frequently asked questions. The app also has options to send greetings messages to new customers and set away messages when the companies are busy. Further, there are metrics such as the number of messages read and WhatsApp Web support to let companies send and receive messages directly through a desktop.
 
 
"People will know that they're talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it's been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number," WhatsApp said. 

People can continue using WhatsApp as usual as there's no need to download anything new. 

"People will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam," the company added. 
 
According to WhatsApp, 84 per cent of SMBs in India think that app helps them communicate with customers, which explains why the company is focusing on this segment.  WhatsApp also plans to add bigger enterprises to its services and these might be monetised in the future.
 
 
As per the official data provided in February last year, WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India. The instant messaging platform is making things difficult for its rival by introducing compelling features such as Delete for Everyone, YouTube integration, and Notification Channel support for Android Oreo devices. Moreover, it is exploring new avenues and is apparently even set to integrate a UPI payments feature in the near future.




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