Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

Slowdown is real but not sure of causes: PM’s panel

The newly constituted Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) has acknowledged slowdown in economy, but it could not arrive at a consensus as to what caused the same. The Bibek Debroy-headed panel in its first meeting here on Wednesday identified 10 key areas to focus its recommendations.

Daily use items in 28% slab may turn cheaper

Some of the daily-use items falling in the 28 per cent GST slab could become cheaper. The government is considering a proposal to classify similar items under one tax rate and lower tax incidence on them.

Some of the key items that currently fall in the highest 28 per cent GST are chewing gum, white chocolate, mustard sauce, custard powder, shampoo and hair cream. The GST Council may decide to fit such items in the lower tax bracket of 12 and 18 per cent at its meeting on Friday.

Sell all A-I stake, allow foreign carriers to bid, says CAPA India

The government should sell its entire stake in Air India as any level of equity retention would raise concerns about the prospect of government interference af­ter privatisation, said a report on Wednesday.

Foreign airlines, the aviation think-tank CAPA India said, should be allowed to bid for the stake in the loss-making national carrier. In a brief report, it said cleaning up A-I’s balance sheet would be the most important step.

Now World Bank cuts India growth forecast

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) may slow from 8.6 per cent in 2015 to 7 per cent in 2017 because of disruptions by demonetisation and the GST, the World Bank has forecast and warned that subdued private investment due to internal bottlenecks could put downside pressures on the country’s potential growth.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday also lowered India’s growth projection to 6.7 per cent in 2017, 0.5 percentage points less than its previous two forecasts and slower than China’s 6.8 per cent.

VVIP choppers deal: CBI court issues warrants against European middlemen

A special CBI court today issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against three European middlemen in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal case, and served summons on the other accused including former IAF chief S P Tyagi.

The CBI said the NBWs and the summonses were issued against the accused on the basis of its charge sheet filed in September this year.

The middlemen are Carlo F Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke.

Petrol pump dealers call off Friday's strike

Petrol pump dealers today called off their proposed day-long strike on Friday after state-owned oil firms warned them of strict action, including cancelling their contracts.

Various associations of petrol pump dealers had called the 24-hour strike against new Marketing Discipline Guidelines which impose stringent penalties for short-selling, operating automated pumps in manual mode without authorisation, non- provision of clean toilet and not paying minimum wages to employees.

IGL launches pre-paid smart cards for CNG, cooking gas

Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the sole supplier of CNG and piped natural gas in the national capital region, today launched pre-paid smart cards to provide consumers a digital option for making payments.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at the launch that the new cards are part of Digital India Campaign envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to move towards a less-cash society.

The government, he said, is making efforts to use technology to provide time saving and easily accessible customer service to consumers.

Weak banks and corporates leave India vulnerable: IMF

The IMF today said a combination of weak banks and corporates leaves India vulnerable to a tightening in the global financial conditions, as it pressed for more steps to ensure good capitalisation in public sector banks.