GN Bureau | October 13, 2015
Growth in retail inflation accelerated to 4.4 per cent in September following three months of deceleration. Consumer Price index inflation was 3.7 per cent in August. Industrial production, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production, grew a robust 6.4 per cent in August compared to 4.2 per cent in July. This is the highest growth in the IIP since October 2012.
The manufacturing sector grew 6.9 per cent in August compared to 4.6 per cent in July. While this is at variance with the private sector PMI data, which showed lower growth in August than in July, the growth of the electricity sector, which is one indicator of manufacturing activity, suggests that manufacturing is picking up.
The electricity sector grew by 5.6 per cent in August, the third consecutive month of accelerated growth. July saw the sector grow at only 3.5 per cent. The mining & quarrying sector also saw its growth pick up, to 3.8 per cent in August from 0.9 per cent in July.
By usage, the capital goods sector more than doubled its rate of growth, registering 21.8 per cent in August compared to 10.6 per cent in July. The consumer durables sector grew at 17 per cent in August, up from 10.3 per cent in July.
The pick-up in manufacturing combined with the consumer durables data suggests that, as confirmation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s repeated assertions, consumer demand is rising again. Food inflation in the CPI grew 4.3 per cent in September compared to 2.9 per cent in August. At the same time, the clothing & footwear category saw growth of 6 per cent in September compared to 0.4 per cent in August. These two sectors also serve as limited indicators of consumer demand.
Trucks passing through Delhi to pay green tax from November 1
The Supreme Court on Monday directed that toll operators at nine entry points in the Capital start collecting an environment compensation charge of Rs 700 from 2-axle commercial vehicles and Rs 1,300 from 3-axle and above vehicles from November 1.
In its detailed order, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu asked the Delhi government to notify the charge, which is expected to make entry into the city costlier for vehicles that do so only to avoid paying higher toll on national highways, adding to air pollution levels. The court also directed the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan to set up large billboards at exit points pointing to alternative highways that could be used to avoid entering New Delhi.
‘Modi Express’ bus launched in UK
Indian community groups in the UK have launched a ‘Modi Express’ bus for a month-long tour around iconic landmarks here to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the country next month. The bus, which was launched on Sunday, made its first stop at Ealing Road, Wembley also known as ‘Little India’, followed by Trafalgar Square to celebrate Diwali. Mayuri Parmar of the ‘UK Welcomes Modi’ organising committee said, “We have had ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ in India, now we will have ‘Bus Pe Charcha’ in the UK.” Over 400 community organisations have registered as ’welcome partners’ of an Olympics style reception planned for Modi at Wembley Stadium on November 13.
SC dismisses Sanjiv Bhatt's plea for SIT probe
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the plea by sacked Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt seeking an SIT probe into allegations that he had hacked into the email account of the then additional advocate general of Gujarat, Tushar Mehta, and tampered with it. Mehta is at present the additional solicitor general mainly representing the central government in the Supreme Court. An apex court bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra while rejecting Bhatt's plea asked the trial court to complete the hearing as expeditiously as possible.
Air force commanders' conference begins
Top commanders of the Indian Air Force on Tuesday met here to brainstorm on various matters including drafting of women as fighter pilots, serviceability issues plaguing the force, and induction of fighter aircraft like LCA Tejas and Rafale.
The three-day Air Force Commanders' Conference, inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, will see a number of crucial issues facing the Air Force being discussed in detail. Representatives from state-run aircraft manufacturer HAL, Bharat Dynamics Limited and Ordnance Factory Board will also take part in the conference.
Rushdie backs authors, 12 more return Sahitya Akademi awards
Booker Prize winning author Salman Rushdie on Monday joined the growing chorus of protests by writers and poets against spread of "communal poison" and "rising intolerance" in the country even as 12 more authors decided to return their Sahitya Akademi awards. "I support Nayantara Sahgal and the many other writers protesting to the Sahitya Akademi. Alarming times for free expression in India," he tweeted. 88-year-old Sahgal, niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, was among the first to lodge her protest against the Akademi's silence over repeated attacks on writers and rationalists who were raising their voice of dissent.
Gujarat govt for another round of talks with Patels
The Gujarat government on Tuesday said it was ready for another round of talks with members of the Patel community, who are seeking reservation under the OBC quota, ahead of their scheduled rally in the city on August 25. The seven-member committee, appointed by Gujarat government on the issue, had yesterday held a meeting with the Patel community members. "We held talks with the office-bearers of Sardar Patel Group (one of the groups seeking OBC quota for Patels) yesterday and we will again meet them on the issue," state Health Minister Nitin Patel, who heads the committee, told reporters here today. "They (Patel leaders) told us that there are several issues that they need to discuss with the government. We will invite them again. They have assured us that they will come and hold negotiations with us," Patel added.
DBT scheme saves Rs 14,672 crore on LPG subsidy in a year
A total of Rs 14,672 crore is saved in LPG subsidy in a year as a result of direct benefit transfer, the government said on Monday. An Oil Ministry statement said as on April 1, 2015, there were 18.19 crore registered LPG consumers and 14.85 crore active consumers implying a gap of 3.34 crore consumers which are duplicate/fake/inactive accounts. The duplicate/fake connections were blocked under the direct benefit transfer scheme, called PAHAL.