Slowing economy needs stimulus package from new Govt India Inc

first_imgNew Delhi: Apex industry chamber Ficci Monday made a strong case for fiscal stimulus to pump-prime the slowing economy amid global headwinds and weakening domestic demand in the next budget as the Narendra Modi government is all set to begin its second innings. India’s GDP growth slowed to five-quarter low of 6.6 per cent during October-December 2018-19. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will be releasing the quarterly GDP estimate for the quarter January-March (Q4FY19), 2019 and provisional annual estimates for 2018-19 on May 31. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsIn its pre-budget memorandum to the finance ministry, Ficci said the Indian economy — which was amongst the fastest growing economies in the world over the last few years — now faces the risk of slow growth amidst a weakening global economic environment and slowdown in domestic demand. India was able to wade through the global headwinds in earlier years as the growth was supported by growing domestic demand. Low inflation due to subdued food and oil prices had also contributed towards higher consumption growth. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chief”However, the recent signs of slowdown in the economy stem not only from slow growth in investments and subdued exports but also from weakening growth in consumption demand. “This is a matter of serious concern and if not addressed urgently, the repercussions would be long-term,” it said. Amidst the rising uncertainties and economic challenges on both domestic and global front, there is an urgent need to re-energise the engines of growth and pump-prime the economy, the chamber said. “The upcoming Union Budget 2019-20 is an opportunity for the government to boost consumption and investments through appropriate fiscal stimulus and policies,” it added. The government had presented an Interim Budget for 2019-20 in February. A full Budget is likely to be presented in July. To spur growth, Ficci has sought reduction in corporate tax and abolition of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT). “The Union Budget should be leveraged to boost business sentiments and encourage greater investments. Corporate tax rate for all companies should be brought down to 25 per cent, as had been proposed earlier,” it said. In the 2015-16 budget, the government had announced that the corporate tax rate would be gradually lowered to 25 per cent from 30 per cent over the next four years and exemptions available to companies would be phased out. In the subsequent years, the tax rate was reduced to 25 per cent for companies with a turnover of up to Rs 250 crore. A delegation of the industry chamber had met Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and submitted the memorandum as part of the pre-budget discussion. On interest rate, Ficci said while the Reserve Bank has reduced the key lending rate in past two bi-monthly monetary policy reviews, “the real repo rate has remained high for a long time and there is a scope of further reduction in the repo rate”. The RBI Governor-headed Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is scheduled to announce its next set of bi-monthly monetary policy on June 6. Ficci has also recommended that the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 and Customs Law need to be amended for allowing the utilisation of MEIS and SEIS scrips towards the payment of GST on imports.last_img read more

Read More →

Deadly Dubai bus accident Omani driver sentenced to seven years jail

first_imgDubai: The Omani bus driver, who rammed the vehicle into a height barrier in Dubai that killed 17 people, including 12 Indians, has been sentenced to seven years in jail followed by deportation and ordered to pay USD 925,000 as blood money, according to media reports. Twelve Indians were among the 17 people killed in the horrific bus accident on June 7 when the bus, coming from Oman, wrongly entered a road not designated for buses and crashed into a height barrier that cut the left side of the bus and killed passengers sitting on that side. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingThe other deceased include two Pakistanis, one Omani and one Filipina. According to The Gulf News, the Dubai Traffic Court has ordered that the 53-year-old bus driver be deported after his jail term is over and in addition he should pay USD 13,000 (dirham 50,000) fine. He will also have to pay USD 925,00 (dirham 3.4 million) in blood money for the families of the victims and his licence was also suspended for one year, the report said. After the court pronounced its judgement, families of the crash victims said that the “justice is served,” the Khaleej Times reported. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangMany families are glad that the judgement came so fast. “We think the judgement is fair, and we expected it. We are happy that it came so fast. We predicted it would take a few more months. Now, we can start the procedural work,” one of the relatives said. “The family is back home in Thalasherry, Kerala. We’re still unclear on what to do next, but I think the logical next step is to be appointing a lawyer to help us get the amount. They are in extreme financial distress, and this amount would really help,” he was quoted as saying by the report. On June 6, the Muscat-to-Dubai Mwasalat bus service struck an overhead height barrier at 94 km/h at the turn off from Mohammad Bin Zayed Road leading onto Rashidiya Road, where it was due to make a scheduled stop at Rashidiya Metro. According to the Traffic Prosecution, the speed limit on that road is 40 km/h. The driver took a wrong left turn not designated for buses which led to the height restriction, instead of going right, the authorities said.last_img read more

Read More →