Retrospective taxation and the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill – Explained, pointwise

Introduction The government has recently introduced the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in Parliament. The bill seeks to nullify the contentious retrospective tax law by amending the Income Tax (IT) Act of 1961 and the Finance Act of 2012.  By the 2012 amendment, the government permitted itself to tax entities retrospectively in 2012, the government has so far made 17… Continue reading Retrospective taxation and the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill – Explained, pointwise

What India’s labour force survey actually says about employment

Sources: Livemint, The Indian Express and The Hindu Relevance: This article explains the recent PLFS survey and associated issues Synopsis: The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) has indirectly revealed deeply entrenched problems related to the quality of jobs being generated in the country Introduction The third annual round of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data… Continue reading What India’s labour force survey actually says about employment

Periodic Labour Force Survey and Unemployment in India- Explained, pointwise

Introduction The unemployment rate in India is always a reason to worry. Just before the Covid crisis at the end of the 2019-20 financial year, India had around 403.5 million employed people. But, during the second wave alone, India lost around 23 million jobs across formal and informal sectors as states and Union territories imposed… Continue reading Periodic Labour Force Survey and Unemployment in India- Explained, pointwise

Food security in India and its challenges- Explained, pointwise

Introduction With a reduction in COVID-19 infections as the second wave weakens in India, it is important to focus on the pandemic’s disruptive impact on the food security and livelihoods of the poor and marginalized. There was a ‘dramatic worsening’ of world hunger in 2020, much of it likely related to the fallout of COVID-19.… Continue reading Food security in India and its challenges- Explained, pointwise

India’s renewable energy plan of 175 GW by FY22-end faces multiple risks

Source: The Business Standard Relevance: There are certain problems associated with the renewable energy sector which is hurting India’s renewable energy targets. Synopsis:  India is now chasing its target of 450 GW of renewable power by 2030. However, several issues, including delays in the signing of power sales agreement (PSAs) stand in the way of realising… Continue reading India’s renewable energy plan of 175 GW by FY22-end faces multiple risks

How effective is the Ease of doing business index? – Explained, pointwise

Introduction India improved its global rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (EoDB) 79 positions from 142nd in 2014 to 63rd in 2020. But despite this, India’s gross domestic product growth (GDP) rate fell more than 4 percent points between 2016 and 2019.  Similarly, private investment as a share of GDP also… Continue reading How effective is the Ease of doing business index? – Explained, pointwise

Hope fades for PSBs

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Resolving problems faced by PSBs Synopsis: Govt cannot keep infusing capital constantly. Hence privatization of PSB’s will be the ideal route. Background: Public sector banks (PSBs) are reported to have written off about Rs 8 trillion worth of loans over the last seven years. It is more than twice the Rs… Continue reading Hope fades for PSBs

For Cairns dispute, international arbitration is not the way forward  

Source: Indian Express Relevance: Various dimensions of the Cairn issue Synopsis: The recent move by Cairn to seize India’s sovereign assets has many grey areas of law that need due consideration. Background: Britain’s Cairn Energy Plc has secured an order from a French court authorizing the freezing of 20 Indian government properties in Paris valued at… Continue reading For Cairns dispute, international arbitration is not the way forward  

India improves score in ease of cross-border trade

Source – Live Mint Synopsis – India has improved its ease of cross border trade ranking, the overall score is higher than many OECD nations and the average of the EU. Introduction  India has made significant progress in the ease of cross-border trade as per the latest UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade… Continue reading India improves score in ease of cross-border trade

Calculating the benefits of lockdowns

Source: The Hindu Relevance – Lockdowns due to Covid pandemic incurred a huge cost on the economy. This article highlights the same. Synopsis: The article questions the practicability or even desirability of protecting lives with the aid of lockdowns. Background Data show that as of now 26.2% of the world population has received at least… Continue reading Calculating the benefits of lockdowns

Bank Nationalisation: 52 years and ticking

Source: Business Standard Relevance – The government has cleared its intention to privatize the public banks. This article highlights some aspects of bank nationalization. Synopsis: Nationalization has served its purpose. It’s time to move forward with the retention of majority ownership of the government in a few banks to serve people. History of Bank Nationalization… Continue reading Bank Nationalisation: 52 years and ticking

India’s new Industrial policy is a replay of socialist era follies

Source: Live Mint Relevance – An analysis of govt’s Industrial policies. Synopsis: It took decades for India to shift from its inward-looking and uncompetitive manufacturers. Now the government is again giving importance to inward-looking and uncompetitive companies to produce for the domestic market. Background: One of this government’s first promises was to revive the manufacturing… Continue reading India’s new Industrial policy is a replay of socialist era follies

Can state immunity be invoked in Cairn Energy case?

Source: Indian Express Relevance: This article highlights options before India in the Cairn energy case. Synopsis: State immunity can be invoked to resist the seizure of sovereign assets, but not commercial properties. Besides, fighting the case will consume an enormous amount of resources and attract bad press. Background A French court recently authorized Cairn Energy… Continue reading Can state immunity be invoked in Cairn Energy case?

Curbs on foreign card firms

Source: Indian Express Relevance – Data localization is being taken seriously in India. Aspirants must have knowledge of all aspects linked to it. Synopsis: Recently, the Reserve Bank of India has barred three foreign card payment network companies  (Mastercard, American Express, and Diners Club) from taking new customers on board over the issue of storing… Continue reading Curbs on foreign card firms

Fuel price surge: What India can learn from Biden and Sunak’s tax policies

Source: Business Standard Relevance – The article highlights the options that government can use instead of increasing oil prices. Synopsis: Government should tax the rich to find alternate avenues to raise public resources. When the times change, the policy has to adapt Background Even when the second OPEC-driven oil shock sent international oil prices past… Continue reading Fuel price surge: What India can learn from Biden and Sunak’s tax policies

RBI action on Mastercard again shows why it is urgent to have an omnibus data protection law

Source: TOI Synopsis: Mastercard Asia has been ordered by RBI to refrain from taking on new customers as it failed to fulfil its obligations under the local data storage rules. Also Read: Mastercard can’t issue new cards from July 22: RBI Issues involved Impact on the payments market: India’s retail payments landscape has transitioned to contactless… Continue reading RBI action on Mastercard again shows why it is urgent to have an omnibus data protection law

Potential Economic Consequences of Pandemic

Source: Livemint Relevance: This article highlights the possible long-term economic consequences of COVID-19 for India. Introduction: A recent exercise at the National Council of Applied Economic Research shows a few possible scenarios. It reveals the permanent effects of the pandemic shock that will persist for a very long time. Possible Long-term consequences: Firstly, after the V-shaped… Continue reading Potential Economic Consequences of Pandemic

Power users may soon get to choose supplier

Source: Live Mint Relevance: Electricity amendment bill 2021 will improve energy efficiency and consumer protection. Synopsis: Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is a landmark bill to reform power distribution. The Landmark Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is expected to be introduced in the monsoon session of the parliament. Provisions of the Landmark Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 Aims… Continue reading Power users may soon get to choose supplier

Subsidy scheme for shipping firms approved

Source: The Hindu and PIB Relevance: The article highlights one of the challenges with Indian shipping industry and the new government scheme to tackle it. Synopsis: Cabinet has recently approved a scheme for the promotion of merchant ships in India by providing subsidy support to Indian shipping companies in global tenders floated by Ministries and CPSEs.… Continue reading Subsidy scheme for shipping firms approved

Cairn Energy dispute and Government disputes with private entities – Explained, pointwise

Introduction Britain’s Cairn Energy Plc has secured an order from a French court authorizing the freezing of 20 Indian government properties in Paris valued at over 20 million euros. This is the first court order secured against India to enforce a $1.2-billion arbitration award that Cairn Energy had won against the Indian government in the… Continue reading Cairn Energy dispute and Government disputes with private entities – Explained, pointwise

IBC process needs a re-look – Explained, pointwise

Introduction Many experts are questioning the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and its effectiveness. Recently, The IBC process for the sale of Videocon to the Vedanta group resulted in a haircut of a whopping 95.85 percent. This means the banks will recover only 4.15 percent of their total admitted claims of Rs 64,838 crore. The… Continue reading IBC process needs a re-look – Explained, pointwise

Let’s not politicise the Central Vista project

Source: The Indian Express Relevance: Central Vista project is an important topic under Infrastructure. Synopsis: People are also questioning the purpose and benefits of the Central Vista Project. But The questions are short-sighted. About the Central Vista Redevelopment Project: The initiative to build a new Parliament building was taken by the then Lok Sabha in 2012.… Continue reading Let’s not politicise the Central Vista project

Share info with Govt, ban on ‘specific’ flash sales: Move to tighten e-commerce norms

Context: Tightening of norms for e-commerce companies   News: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution is planning major changes to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020. A range of amendments has been proposed. Comments sought from relevant stakeholders by July 6.  Background  In December 2018, the Industry Department had published changes to its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for e-commerce. These changes were introduced to… Continue reading Share info with Govt, ban on ‘specific’ flash sales: Move to tighten e-commerce norms

Indian economy will be hit hard by rising heat: Global report

News:McKinsey Global Institute has released a report titled “Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts”. Facts: About the report: The report analyses the physical risks and socio-economic impacts of climate change across the world in the next three decades under a business-as-usual scenario. Key takeaways from the report: Countries and regions with lower… Continue reading Indian economy will be hit hard by rising heat: Global report

Effects of global slowdown more pronounced in India: IMF chief

News:The International Monetary Fund(IMF) President has said that the world economy is experiencing a synchronized slowdown and emerging economies such as India and Brazil are the most affected by the slowdown. Facts: The IMF chief said that she expects slower growth in nearly 90% of the world this year. She said that trade tensions had… Continue reading Effects of global slowdown more pronounced in India: IMF chief

Exchange rate driven by capital flows, says RBI

According to Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor,India’s foreign exchange reserves are borrowed reserves and not built out of export surplus.This means that exchange rate dynamics in India is driven by capital flows rather than current account balances. Current account includes export and import of goods and services while Capital account includes inflow and outflow… Continue reading Exchange rate driven by capital flows, says RBI

Want to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024, says PM

The fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Prime Minister has sought the cooperation of states in helping India achieve the target of $5 trillion economy suggesting that each state should aim to increase their own economy by 2-2.5% and focus… Continue reading Want to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024, says PM

‘Corruption no longer among top 3 hurdles to doing business in India’

‘Corruption no longer among top 3 hurdles to doing business in India’ News: The latest edition of the U.K. India Business Council’s Ease of Doing Business Report was released recently. Important Facts: Findings of the report: The perception among U.K. businesses that corruption is a major barrier in doing business in India has halved compared… Continue reading ‘Corruption no longer among top 3 hurdles to doing business in India’

Govt-RBI call truce after a marathon board meeting

Govt-RBI call truce after a marathon board meeting News: The government and Reserve Bank of India have found a middle ground on the contentious issues between the two in the board meeting held recently. Important Facts: The Reserve Bank and the government have agreed to refer to an expert committee the following issues: The appropriate… Continue reading Govt-RBI call truce after a marathon board meeting

Full disclosure: on the credit rating industry

Full disclosure: on the credit rating industry News: SEBI has tightened disclosure norms for credit rating agencies after they failed to warn investors in time about the deteriorating credit profile of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS). Important Facts: SEBI Guidelines: The credit rating agencies will have to inform investors about the liquidity situation… Continue reading Full disclosure: on the credit rating industry

Is crop insurance scheme losing steam?

Is crop insurance scheme losing steam? News: According to a reply to an RTI application, more than 84 lakh farmers (around 15% of the total farmers) insured in the first year of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna in 2016-17, withdrew themselves from the scheme in 2017-18 Important Facts: About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna… Continue reading Is crop insurance scheme losing steam?

After IL&FS, SEBI tightens norms for raters

After IL&FS, SEBI tightens norms for raters News: SEBI has tightened disclosure norms for credit rating agencies after they failed to warn investors in time about the deteriorating credit profile of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS). Important Facts: SEBI Guidelines: The credit rating agencies (CRAs) will now have to take into account various… Continue reading After IL&FS, SEBI tightens norms for raters

New index to check ease of doing agri-business

New index to check ease of doing agri-business News: The ministry of agriculture is planning to come out with its own index to rank states on ‘ease of doing agri-business’. Important Facts: Background: This proposal comes barely two years after NITI Aayog launched the first index to rank states on the basis of marketing and… Continue reading New index to check ease of doing agri-business

Opinion | A much-needed revamp for rating agencies

Opinion | A much-needed revamp for rating agencies Article: The article discusses the issues with credit rating agencies in the backdrop of the recent IL&FS crisis Important Analysis Credit ratings and Credit Rating agencies Credit ratings provide retail and institutional investors with information that assists them in determining whether issuers of bonds and other debt… Continue reading Opinion | A much-needed revamp for rating agencies

Centre to sell its entire stake in Dredging Corporation

Centre to sell its entire stake in Dredging Corporation News: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved divestment of its entire 73.44 percent stake in Dredging Corporation of India to a consortium of four ports. Important Facts: 2. The consortium of four ports are namely Vishakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradeep Port Trust, Jawahar Lal… Continue reading Centre to sell its entire stake in Dredging Corporation

6 airports get Centre’s nod for privatisation; AAI to hold a minor stake

6 airports get Centre’s nod for privatisation; AAI to hold a minor stake News: The government has decided for operation,management and development of six airports through a public-private partnership (PPP) model of six airports. Important Facts: The chosen airports are of  Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati. This comes 12 years after Delhi and… Continue reading 6 airports get Centre’s nod for privatisation; AAI to hold a minor stake

Political economics: credit stimulus for MSMEs

Political economics: credit stimulus for MSMEs News: The Prime Minister has launched a support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector to give a boost to the sector and help generate employment. Important Facts: Background: MSMEs, which account for 30% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP), were hit hard by… Continue reading Political economics: credit stimulus for MSMEs

Modi announces incentives for MSMEs, including 59-minute sanction for loans up to ₹1 crore

Modi announces incentives for MSMEs, including 59-minute sanction for loans up to ₹1 crore News: The Prime Minister has launched a support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector to give a boost to the sector and help generate employment. Important Facts: As part of this programme, the Prime Minister… Continue reading Modi announces incentives for MSMEs, including 59-minute sanction for loans up to ₹1 crore

Tussle for power: what’s the RBI-government stand-off?

Tussle for power: what’s the RBI-government stand-off? News: The article discusses about the simmering tensions between the Reserve Bank of India and the Centre which found spectacular release recently through a public speech by Deputy Governor Viral Acharya. Important Facts: A certain amount of creative tension is systemically in-built between Reserve Bank of India and… Continue reading Tussle for power: what’s the RBI-government stand-off?

India jumps to 77th rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index

India jumps to 77th rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index News: India has ranked 77th in the annual list, as against 100 last year in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2018. Important Facts: 2. India has jumped 23 ranks from 2017 becoming the top ranked country in South Asia for… Continue reading India jumps to 77th rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index

How Centre’s ‘board game’ fuelled the feud with RBI

How Centre’s ‘board game’ fuelled the feud with RBI News: The simmering tensions between the Reserve Bank of India and the Centre found spectacular release recently through a public speech by Deputy Governor Viral Acharya. Important Facts: A certain amount of creative tension is systemically in-built between Reserve Bank of India and Centre given their… Continue reading How Centre’s ‘board game’ fuelled the feud with RBI

ICF rolls out Train 18, the NextGen Shatabdi

ICF rolls out Train 18, the NextGen Shatabdi News: India’s first engine-less semi-high speed train named “Train 18” was rolled out recently by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) here and will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel. Important News: 2. Features: This is the first long-distance train without separate locomotive (engine) and thus… Continue reading ICF rolls out Train 18, the NextGen Shatabdi