News Feed 13 July ‘2016

Modi Government not Repairing but Replacing Economy with Better Structure: Crisil

  • According to Crisil’s (a rating agency) report, The Indian government’s policy focus hasn’t been based on populism, or on boosting cyclical growth through fiscal and monetary stimuli, but rather on repairing the system and initiating structural reforms wherever possible.
  • The monetary policy, too, has focused on ushering in a low and stable inflation regime. India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is likely to grow at 7.9 per cent in 2016-17 compared with 7.6 per cent in fiscal 2015-16, provided the monsoon is normal and the global situation does not deteriorate from here, Crisil said.
  • The report — Choosing trend over cycle — that evaluates the quality of growth generated by the Modi-led government, focuses on improving quality of economic growth, and the potentially disruptive impact of digitalisation.
  • Structurally positive steps have been taken such as to mend the electricity and banking sectors, but these remain work in progress,” the rating agency said.
  • The government has also managed to pass two key Bills — the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill, 2016, which strives to create an enabling environment for expeditious resolution of bankruptcies with least pain to stakeholders, and the Aadhaar Bill to distribute subsidies, rural wages and pensions through an electronic platform.
  • The government has also been quick to board the technology bandwagon with its “Digital India” programme, which aims to speed up financial inclusion and deliver government services electronically by increasing internet connectivity and improving online infrastructure, the report stated.

Tribunal Rejects Beijing’s Claims on South China Sea

  • A tribunal ruled that China has no legal basis for its vast claims in the South China Sea and had aggravated the seething regional dispute with its extensive construction of artificial islands that destroyed coral reefs and infringed on the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
  • China immediately rejected the arbitration findings. While the ruling cannot reverse China’s actions, it still constitutes a rebuke, carrying with it the force of the international community’s opinion.
  • China and the Philippines are among the six governments that have overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea, waters through which an estimated $5 trillion in global trade passes through each year.
  • The Philippines, under a U.N. treaty governing the seas, asked in 2013 for arbitration. The five-member panel from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, unanimously concluded that China had violated its obligations to refrain from aggravating the dispute while the settlement process was under way.


Raj Babbar’s New Lead Role as U.P. Cong. Chief

  • Ahead of the crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next year, the Congress has appointed actor and senior party leader Raj Babbar, as State party president, replacing Nirmal Khatri, who will now be chairman of the screening committee.
  • The party failed to announce a Chief Ministerial candidate, saying a name would emerge during the campaign.
  • Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also the party in charge for the State, has announced that a campaign committee as well as a coordination committee would be announced shortly.
  • Raj Babbar belongs to the Sonar community listed as an Other Backward Caste in UP – is said to be a key factor in his selection today as the Congress focuses on winning back its original constituency of Muslims, Brahmins and a slice of non-Dalit Other Backward Castes.
  • Uttar Pradesh election is a high-stakes contest with parties looking at the result as a key indicator of how they could fare in the 2019 national elections.

Najma Heptullah Quits, Naqvi gets a Promotion

  • Union Cabinet went through a reshuffle with Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah tendering her resignation, and her deputy, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi being given independent charge of that Ministry. G.M. Siddheshwara, Davangere MP and Minister of State for Heavy Industries, also quit.
  • The resignations have been accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee. Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo has been assigned Mr. Siddheshwara’s portfolio, after being divested of his former charge.
  • According to a top government source said she had fallen within the “75 age rule” or Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s preference for a Cabinet below that age.
  • The resignations has come a week after PM Modi carried out a major expansion and reshuffle of his Cabinet on July 5. The exercise saw induction of 19 new faces in the ministry and changes in key portfolios of several ministers.

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