Morning briefing: IMF wants India to take up next phase of reforms for faster inclusive growth

GN Bureau | October 10, 2015


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With India's growth rate projected to drop slightly from 7.5 per cent to 7.3 per cent in 2015, the IMF today recommended the country to launch next phase of economic reforms and improve its business climate for achieving faster and more inclusive growth. "In India, while several policy actions have been taken recently, further steps in relaxing longstanding supply bottlenecks, especially in the energy, mining, and power sectors, as well as labour and product market reforms, and improving the business climate are crucial to achieving faster and more inclusive growth," the IMF said in its Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook Update released in Peru. In India, the IMF said the growth recovery has continued, supported by a pickup in domestic demand, on the back of strengthening industrial production and fixed investment. Lower global oil prices have also boosted economic activity in India and underpinned a further improvement in the current account and fiscal position and a sharp decline in inflation, it said.

Govt gazette notifications go paperless, to save Rs 40cr and 90 tonnes of paper
Gazette notification has become completely paperless. Gazette notification is an important legal requirement to validate, authenticate and to make effective various kinds of laws, Acts, rules, orders and government decisions. Following an order issued by the Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu, the physical printing of these notifications has stopped from October 1. With this the government estimates to save 90 tonnes of paper (worth Rs 40 crore) annually which is used to print 3.5 crore pages of gazette notifications every year. Citizens can download and print all gazette notifications free of charge. As per the IT Act, downloaded and printed gazette copies are sufficient for all official and legal purposes.

Mild earthquake hits Delhi, no damage reported
A medium-intensity earthquake measuring 3.0 magnitude on the Richter scale hit the national capital early today.According to the National Centre for Seismology, the epicentre of the earthquake was located in Delhi-NCR and the depth of the tremor was 5 km. The tremor was felt at 1.40 AM across Delhi and its adjoining areas. However, there were no reports of loss of lives and damage to property.

Cong invites Ghulam Ali to perform in Maharashtra
After Shiv Sena scuttled his planned concert here, Congress in Maharashtra today invited the Pakistani Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali to perform in the state. "MPCC has decided to invite Ghulam Ali to perform in the state. His fans are disappointed that his concert was cancelled," a party spokesperson said.

J&K house passes resolution for unity
Jammu and Kashmir assembly on Friday passed a resolution against religious extremism, urging leadership in the country to create environment of peace and harmony so that all sections of society become real stakeholders of the idea of India.

Supreme Court nod to green cess on trucks passing through Delhi
The Supreme Court on Frday agreed to impose an environment cess on trucks passing through the capital to reach other parts of the country faster, bolstering efforts to curb rising levels ofair pollution in the city. The cess payable will be Rs 700 for two-axle commercial vehicles and Rs 1,300 on four-axle vehicles. Trucks carrying foodstuff, oil, vegetables and fruits for the city will be exempted from the levy, as will passenger vans and buses entering New Delhi from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India HL Dattu and Justices Arun Misra and Adarsh Goel agreed to let the Delhi government and the Union government to impose the cess on an experimental basis for four months. The extra levy would be collected at municipal corporation entry points.

Boost to India's space and missile tech hunt
India's application to enter the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has been accepted and well received at the plenary meeting of the coveted club that ended in Norway on Friday. India had applied for membership to the 34-member group last June.  India's space and missile programmes will mainly gain from MTCR membership since it will get access to world-class technology. MTCR will also allow it to export its own technology including missile to friendly countries.

Inter-bank disputes of PSBs to be heard by ministry's panel
he finance ministry has asked state-run banks not to fight among themselves. It has asked them not to file cases against each other and resolve their outstanding issues amicably, failing which they should direct their disputes to the ministry which will seek the law ministry's opinion if required. Now, a dispute resolution group within the ministry which will hold meetings as and when required to resolve any issues.

Five-judge constitution bench to hear Aadhaar case
The Supreme court on Friday formed a five-judge constitution bench to hear the government's plea seeking a modification to the apex court’s interim order restricting the use of Aadhaar. The hearings by the bench are scheduled to begin from October 14. The bench comprises Chief Justice of India (CJI) H.L Dattu, and justices M.Y Eqbal, C. Nagappan, Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, who will now hear various pleas related to Aadhaar clubbed together.

Karnataka may go for farm loan interest waiver
The Congress-led Karnataka government is likely to announce a waiver of interest on some farm loans, a one-time settlement of bank loans for farmers facing notice from banks and a relaxation in compensation criteria for the kin of farmers who committed suicide. The announcement is to mark the visit of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is touring distressed farmlands in Karnataka on Friday and Saturday.

Pakistan summons Indian diplomat over Samjhauta Express cancellation
Pakistan on Friday summoned India's Acting Deputy High Commissioner and expressed concern over the cancellation of operation of Samjhauta Express due to farmer protest on the Indian side, leaving over 200 passengers from both countries stranded. India, meanwhile, rejecting charges that it had "stopped" Samjhauta Express, India on Friday said it was cancelled due to local agitation and Indian authorities had informed their Pakistani counterparts about it in advance.

Apply for Voter ID card through mobile app in Tamil Nadu
Ahead of Tamil Nadu's Assembly polls, an electoral assistance system tapping mobile and online facility for accessing voter details, was launched in Chennai. Through the new facility - EASY - a voter can get his or her voter card or make changes through mobile phone, by telephone or by online portal service. TN chief electoral officer Sandeep Saxena said "we have introduced for the first time in the country these type of facilities, through which duplication of voter details can be avoided and one can get the voter identity card in 15 days."

Government holds talks with IIM directors over contentious bill
Seeking to allay concerns about the contentious IIM bill, government on Friday engaged in lengthy deliberations with the institute directors who have raised fears about the legislation undermining their autonomy. officials said that the meeting was called to understand the views of the directors on the contentious clauses and suggestions. The meeting was chaired by Higher Education Secretary V S Oberoi. The Bill seeks to give the IIMs degree-granting powers and convert them into institutes of national importance.

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