Evening digest: Indian middle class wealth up 150% since 2000

GN Bureau | October 13, 2015


#middle class   #wealth   #spectrum   #Uber   #taxi   #Turkish women   #Shiv Sena   #Uddhav Thackeray   #Ajay Devgan   #Bihar   #China imports drop  

Growth in wealth creation by the middle class in India is higher than its pace globally, but lags far behind the scorching pace of growth in middle class wealth in China. In India, middle-class wealth has grown 150% since 2000, while globally it has doubled, according to the Global Wealth Report 2015 by Credit Suisse AG. China experienced a staggering rise of 330%. Global middle-class wealth is estimated at $80.7 trillion compared with $44.4 trillion in 2000. “During the same period, middle class wealth in Asia Pacific has expanded by 70% to $27.2 trillion, by 102% in Africa and by 109% in Latin America. In India it has grown by 150%, while China has experienced a significant increase of 330%,” said the report. The report defines the middle-class in terms of a wealth band instead of an income range. It uses the US as the benchmark country where a middle-class adult is defined as having wealth between $50,000 and $500,000 valued at mid-2015 prices, while using the International Monetary Fund series of purchasing power parity (PPP) values to derive equivalent middle-class wealth bounds in local purchasing power terms for other countries. Going by this definition, only 3% of India’s adult population falls in the middle-class wealth category.

Govt issues spectrum trading guidelines
The government on Tuesday issued spectrum trading guidelines that allow telecom operators to procure radiowaves for mobile services from other companies to meet their requirements and improve service quality. Earlier, telecom operators had the only option to procure airwaves through an auction conducted by the department of telecom as per its own schedule. “The government has now decided to allow trading of access spectrum as per guidelines,” an official paper said. It is seen as an exit route for loss-making telcos and offers relief to those with a large subscriber base which need more spectrum. As per the guidelines, a telecom operator can sell the right to use spectrum to another operator either in part or full holding at the level of telecom circle. “All access spectrum bands earmarked for access services by the licensor (DoT) will be treated as tradable spectrum bands,” the guidelines said. Unlike spectrum sharing, the guidelines have restricted trading to presently allocated frequencies in 800 Mhz (being used for CDMA mobile services), 900 Mhz (2G and 3G), 1800 Mhz (2G and 4G), 2100 Mhz (3G), 2300 Mhz (4G) and 2500 Mhz (4G). However, only spectrum purchased through auction except 800 Mhz purchase in 2013 auction, or for which market rate has been paid to the government can be used for trading.

Uber challenges new taxi scheme in Delhi
The Delhi high court on Tuesday issued notice to the Delhi government on a challenge by Uber India against the City Taxi Scheme, 2015. The Uber plea challenges the validity of the City Taxi Scheme, 2015, introduced to enforce ban orders against radio cabs. Claiming that the Delhi government had exceeded its authority, Uber said, “Under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1993, it is clear that the Central government alone is authorised to frame rules applicable to All India Tourist Permit (AITP) vehicles.“The power to prescribe rules/regulations for AITP vehicles is exclusively vested with the Central government and state governments cannot have a role in it,” said counsel for Uber, Rajeev Nayyar.The City Taxi Scheme, 2015, introduced on 26 August by the Delhi government, holds that all AITP vehicles in Delhi must ply on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Indian, Turkish women tend to stay silent on unequal treatment

Women in Turkey and India face some of the greatest workplace inequities among the G20 nations but are least likely to speak out, according to a survey released on Tuesday. Nearly half of women overall in the G20 do not believe they have the same access to jobs or career advancements as men, according to the poll of more than 9,500 women by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. Only four in every 10 women were confident they earned the same as a man doing the same job. But in a surprise finding, the survey conducted by pollster Ipsos MORI revealed that only one in five Turkish women, and one in four Indian women, perceived a lack of equal career opportunities as a major issue in the workplace, the poll found. This runs contrary to World Economic Forum (WEF) data showing that Turkey ranks only ahead of India and Saudi Arabia in the G20 in terms of the gender pay gap and the percentage of women in the workforce, in skilled jobs and in leadership roles. Despite the statistics, only a third of the Turkish women polled believed men had better access to jobs.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray 'felicitates' Sudheendra Kulkarni attackers
Despite criticism, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday felicitated the six party workers who smeared Sudheendra Kulkarni's face with black ink. He met the six men at his residence 'Matoshree' in Dadar today. “They have done a job for the country. We have got lot of praises from all over the country...somebody who talks about patriotism is labelled in a different manner, it is very sad for the country,” said Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande.

Violence at Ajay Devgan's poll meeting in Bihar
Many were injured as police resorted to lathicharge to quell a stone-pelting crowd at Bollywood actor star Ajay Devgan's rally in Biharsharif. Superintendent of Police Vivekanand Kumar said, a big crowd had gathered at the ground which became unmanageable with no sign of the actor who finally came around 1 PM instead of the scheduled 10:30 am.  As the crowd vented ire by throwing chairs and stones on policemen, police resorted to lathicharge and at least a dozen people, including some policemen, were injured in the ensuing melee, he said. The actor, who was supposed to address the meeting for BJP candidate Sunil Kumar, finally waved at the crowd from the helicopter and did not land, the SP said. Earlier, unruly scenes were witnessed at the programme of Ajay Devgn at Lakhisarai and Khagaria as well.

No change in recruitment rules without seeking public view
To encourage people's participation in policy making, all ministries were today asked by the government not to frame or amend recruitment rules without seeking public comments.  "It has been decided that before referring any proposal for framing or amendment in the recruitment rules of any post in ministries or departments and their subordinate and attached office, the proposed amendments or revision in the recruitment rules would be put up on the website of respective ministries or departments for 30 days for inviting comments from the stakeholders," a Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) order said.  Thereafter, taking into account the comments so received, the proposal would be sent to DoPT, UPSC and Ministry of Law for finalisation, it said.

Over 15,000 qualify in civil services prelims exam
Over 15,000 people have qualified in this year's civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on Monday by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). As against a record number of 9,45,908 candidates who have applied for the exam, about 4.63 lakh had sat in the test on August 23. All the qualified candidates are advised to fill up the Detailed Application Form online for civil services (main) examination, to be held from December 18, 2015, a statement issued by the UPSC said.

House of IPS officer, who took on SP govt in UP, searched
Amidst high drama was on Tuesday the house of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Amitabh Thakur was searched by vigilance department sleuths in a disproportionate assets case against the IG-rank officer. "The vigilance team is conducting raid at my residence as Director Vigilance Bhanu Pratap Singh is working as a SP man. I am being harassed as I have lodged FIR against (Samajwadi Party supremo) Mulayam Singy Yadav," Thakur told reporters outside his Gomti Nagar house. Track Amitabh Thakur's properties: UP government Thakur has last week given a complaint at Vibhuti Khand police station, seeking registration of FIR against the Vigilance Director and others for alleged misrepresentation of facts in their inquiry report against him. The Vigilance Department had lodged an FIR against Thakur last month charging him with possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. He was suspended in July after he lodged a police complaint against Mulayam, accusing him of threatening him over phone and attached to the Director General of Police (DGP) headquarters.

China imports drop for 11th month as export slump moderates
China’s imports extended the longest losing streak in six years, underscoring the headwinds to global growth from a re-balancing in the world’s second-largest economy. Imports plunged 17.7% in yuan terms in September from a year earlier, widening from a 14.3% decrease in August and posting an 11th straight decline. Exports fell 1.1% in September in yuan terms, the customs administration said on Tuesday, compared with a 6.1% drop in August. The trade surplus was 376.2 billion yuan ($59.4 billion). The import slide reflects this year’s plunge in commodity prices and tepid domestic demand as China shifts away from low- end manufacturing and debt-fueled investment. On the export side, a moderation in declines offers the first indication that the People’s Bank of China’s surprise devaluation of the yuan in August is giving a boost to competitiveness.

Essar Oil, MRPL, IOC pay $700 million to Iran towards oil dues
Essar Oil, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals and other Indian refiners on Tuesday paid the second instalment of $700 million to Iran to clear part of their outstanding oil dues. This is the second payment by Indian refiners this year ahead of easing of international sanctions against the Persian Gulf country. Essar Oil paid $338 million while MRPL remitted $299 million, sources privy to the development said. IOC paid another $60 million while Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) paid $3 million. The payments on Tuesday come on top of $700 million the four refiners had cleared on 30 September. After Tuesday’s payment, they have cleared more than one-fifth of the $6.5 billion outstanding they owed to Iran.

Sensex ends 58 points lower, IT stocks weigh
Shrugging off strong macroeconomic data, the benchmark BSE Sensex fell for the second straight session today and settled nearly 58 points down at 26.846.53 as IT stocks continued slide on caution ahead of TCS results.

A weak trend in global markets after a data showed slump in Chinese imports, fuelling worries about the health of Asia's largest economy also weighed on the sentiments. Software stocks remained under pressure for the second straight day after Infosys on Monday slashed its dollar revenue guidance, clouding the outlook for the overall sector.

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