Monsoon to revive over central India
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has indicated that the current spell of weak monsoon rains over Central India may be broken.
- A favorable low pressure system is developing over the Bay of Bengal and poised to bring showers over the region in the next two weeks, the latest weather outlook from the department said.
- Last week, the country as a whole recorded got 16% less monsoon rains than the average historical rainfall for the second week of August.
- The weak rains, characterized as a ‘break’ monsoon condition, are a typical feature of the monsoon months.
- While there could be as many as two breaks in a season, those that last beyond a week have the capacity to trigger a drought.
HC asks U.P. for details on child deaths
The Allahabad High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to explain and present before it the findings of its probe into the death of children at the B.R.D. Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur.
- The government has dismissed allegations that 30 children died due to disruption of oxygen supply in the hospital on August 10 and 11.
- Hearing a bunch of five PIL petitions seeking high-level, independent probes into the deaths, a Division Bench of Chief Justice D. B. Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma directed the government to file a counter-affidavit.
- In a connected development, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court also directed the State government and the Director General of Medical Education, U.P., to file a counter-affidavit within six weeks on a PIL petition filed by Lucknow-based social activist Nutan Thakur.
GST grounds four IndiGo planes
Low-cost airline IndiGo said on Friday that four of its Airbus A320 planes are grounded as these are stuck at the customs authority over implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
- This has added to the woes of the airline which has already seen grounding of eight A320 neo planes due to engine issues affecting around 60 flights across its domestic network till the end of September this year.
Cause for caution, not gloom
The much debated Economic Survey II presents a mixed picture of the Indian economy. It highlights some obvious strengths but “optimism about the medium-term is moderated by a gathering anxiety about near term deflationary impulses”.
How valid is this?
- This year’s Economic Survey is innovative in more ways than one. This is the first time that a second volume is being presented containing a “backward looking review” and “historical data tables”, and it subsumes the mid-term economic analysis usually presented in December.
- Some key chapters included in this volume on agriculture, industry, infrastructure should normally have come in Volume I itself.
- These were displaced by the dominance of more preferred themes like Universal Basic Income, and “India on the Move”.
- Over the years both the presentation and the format of the Economic Survey have under gone fundamental changes.
- For most of us, the Economic Survey was a document presented on the eve of the Annual Financial Statement.
- It was, by and large, an analytical underpinning and precursor of the Budget. There was a meaningful connection between the Economic Survey and the Budget proposals.
FM asks states to cut VAT on petro products
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has written to all Chief Ministers urging them to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products used in the manufacture of goods as the current system was leading to cascading of taxes on such goods under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
- Currently, crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel are out of GST purview.
- All other petroleum products fall under the new indirect tax.