Morning briefing: India's GDP growth accelerates to 7.4% in Q2

GN Staff | November 30, 2015


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Higher manufacturing output pushed India's GDP growth to 7.4 per cent in the September quarter as compared to 7 per cent between April and June 2015. Analysts said GDP growth in Q2 was in line with estimates; a Reuters poll had estimated GDP to expand by 7.3 per cent in Q2."I think the second quarter figures give us a sense of satisfaction... We expect growth this year to be better than last year and even better the next year," finance minister Arun Jaitley said.Manufacturing sector grew by 9.3 per cent in the September quarter as compared to 7.9 per cent in the same quarter last year. According to India Ratings & Research, manufacturing growth was highest in 12 quarters.The services sector, which contributes nearly 60 per cent to the economy, however grew at 8.8 per cent year-on-year as against 10.4 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year. Agricultural output, which rose 2.2 per cent versus 2.1 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year, was a surprise element. The agricultural sector was expected to be a drag on growth on account of a second consecutive drought in many parts of the country.

IMF approves China's yuan as elite reserve currency
The International Monetary Fund welcomed China's yuan into its elite reserve currency basket on Monday, recognising the ascendance of the Asian power in the global economy. The yuan, also known as the renminbi, will join the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound in 2016 in the basket of currencies the IMF uses as an international reserve asset. The decision by the IMF executive board solidifies China's ambition to see the government-controlled yuan achieve global status as one of the world's top currencies alongside the United States, Europe and Japan. The yuan's entry into the basket takes effect on October 1, 2016.China, the world's second-largest economy, asked in 2014 for the yuan to be added to the Fund's Special Drawing Rights basket.But, while already meeting the SDR criteria for being widely used, as recently as August the Fund considered the currency too tightly controlled to qualify.However, IMF staff experts in early November said that Beijing had taken the steps necessary for the yuan to be called "freely usable", opening the way for Monday's decision.

President gives nod for Maharashtra Act allowing women in night shifts

Maharashtra government's amended Factories Act, 1948, allowing women to work in factories in night shifts has received the presidential approval. "The president has approved the amendment to the Act," an official said, adding that a Central notification in this regard has been issued. The managements will have to ensure security of women working in the night shift, the amendment provides.

Nearly 38,000 complaints on app during 'Swachh Delhi'
Nearly 38,000 complaints have been received by the three municipal corporations via the 'Swachch Delhi' mobile app since its launch 10 days ago, with the civic bodies claiming over 75 per cent of those grievances were redressed. The 'Swachch Delhi Abhiyan', a sanitation-cum-cleanliness drive that sought to rid the city of garbage and construction material waste was launched on November 22 and concluded on Monday. The campaign had brought Centre, the AAP government and the BJP-led corporations on one platform. The three municipal bodies -- North, South and East Corporations -- in the city, received about 37,963 complaints related to garbage lying on roads, streets, residential colonies and other public places through the app. Daily garbage collection which is normally 3,200 metric tonne has risen to over 35,00 metric tonne per day and malba (debris) collection also increased by over 15 per cent.

Madhesi leaders submit 11-point demand to Nepal PM
Nepal's Indian-origin Madhesi leaders on Monday submitted their 11-point demand to the government during their first meeting with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to end the political logjam, but no breakthrough emerged from the tripartite talks attended by Opposition Nepali Congress. After the talks, the government and the Madhesis said there was no agreement but the talks were headed in positive direction and they have agreed to meet again on Wednesday.The Madhesi leaders submitted their 11-point demand to the government and both sides held discussion in this regard. Their demands included re-demarcation of the provinces, fixing of electoral constituencies on the basis of population and proportional representation. During the meeting both the government and the Madhesi parties "urged each other to shun violence and seek solution to the problem through peaceful means of dialogue." Madhesi leaders also said that despite an assurance by the government those killed during the agitation have not received the Rs 1 million compensation announced by it. This was the first meeting between Oli and representatives of agitating Madhesi parties.

Petrol price cut by 58 paise/litre, diesel by 25 paise/litre
The price of petrol was on Monday cut by 58 paise per litre while that of diesel was lowered by 25 paise on global cues, reversing the trend of increasing rates.Petrol will cost Rs 60.48 per litre from the midnight of November 30 and December 1 in Delhi as against Rs 61.06 a litre currently whereas diesel will cost Rs 46.55 compared with the Rs 46.80 now, said Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country's biggest fuel retailer.The price cut more than reverses the hike of 36 paise a litre in petrol rates effected on November 16 - the first increase in five months. Similarly, in the case of diesel, it reverses the three rounds of hikes since October, with the last being 87 paise a litre on November 16.Prior to the November 16 hike, petrol price had been slashed on four occasions - by Rs 2.43 on August 1, Rs 1.27 on August 16, Rs 2 on September 1 and 50 paise on November 1. Diesel rates were not changed on November 1, but hiked by 95 paise on October 16 and 50 paise on October 1. Diesel rates were last cut by 50 paise on September 1.

Term of Parliament joint panel on land bill extended

The Lok Sabha on Monday gave another extension to a joint committee looking into the land bill as Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the government will consider the panel's report before taking a final view on the proposed legislation. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the date for the submission of the report by the committee has been extended from November 27 to December 23, the last day of the ongoing winter session.

TN floods: HC seeks status report from Collector
The Madras High court bench on Monday sought a status report today from Tuticorin Collector on the relief measures taken by him for flood affected people in the district. Hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Puthiya Tamizhagam Party leader K.Krishnaswamy, Justices V Ramasubramanian and N Kirubakaran directed the Collector to file a report.The Petitioner sought appointment of an independent committee to supervise relief and rehabilitation operations by government officials, including the Collector, as stagnant water had not been drained even after 13 days, people were not given proper relief and there was threat of contamination and infection. Many were affected by fever.He also prayed for providing shelter, water, food and restoration of power in the affected areas, prevent spread of endemic diseases and withdrawal of FIR filed against 2,500 person for going on agitations, seeking proper relief.He said flood waters ought to have drained through the Upparu,but it had been encroached by commercial and industrial houses,leading to floodwaters flowing into the city.The officials had not taken steps to drain water on a war footing. Besides the buckle channel which normally drains the water into the sea,also was silted. Carcasses of animals were floating about and snakes had entered homes in many areas. Power and water supply had not been restored in many places.

'Outlook' magazine admits to quoting Rajnath "erroneously"
Outlook" magazine on Monday night admitted to have "erroneously" attributed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh Hindu leader remark which created a storm in Lok Sabha. In a Lok Sabha debate on Monday, CPI-M MP Mohammad Salim referred to a story publish by it in its November 16 issue. "In this story, a remark made by late Ashok Singhal of Vishwa Hindu Parishad was erronously attributed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Outlook deeply regrets the lack of diligence in verifying the source of the statement. "It was not our intention to denigrate the Home Minister or Parliament. Outlook sincerely regrets the embarrassment caused to Mr Rajnath Singh and Mr Mohammad Salim. The online version of the said article has been corrected to put the facts on record," the statement of the weekly said.

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