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India: Economy is bouncing back at an unexpected pace, says govt

Several macroeconomic indicators over the last few days indicate that the Indian economy is getting back on track at a faster-than-expected pace, information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said.

Higher tax collection in October, with goods and services tax (GST) collections crossing ₹1 trillion mark for the first time this fiscal year, exponential growth in digital payments via unified payments interface (UPI), rise in power demand, increasing foreign direct investment and railway freight loading, are some of the indicators, signalling a recovery in economic growth, Javadekar said at a virtual briefing.

“There is a sustainable development of demand in oilfields, inputs purchased for manufacturing is rising, steel and other sectors are witnessing export growth and demand, rail freight increased in October by 15% despite stoppage of railways in certain places, Q2 (July-September) showed growth in profits of listed companies. Thus, it is very clear that the economy is coming back on track despite the pandemic,” he added.

Meanwhile, the finance ministry in its monthly economic report said that India is poised to recover at a fast pace and reach pre-covid levels by the end of the year, barring the incidence of a second wave that may be triggered by people not adhering to social distancing.

“The continuous improvement in forward-looking RBI indices of consumption and business sentiment for the next year augurs hope of a strong economic rebound,” it said in its report for October.

Speaking about cabinet decisions, the minister said that the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved ₹1,810 crore investment proposal of 210 MW Luhri Stage-I hydropower project on river Satluj. The project will be commissioned within 62 months and will cut 610,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the environment annually.

The hydroelectric project will generate 758.20 million units of electricity annually.

“This project is being implemented by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL) on Build-Own-Operate-Maintain (BOOM) basis with active support from the government of India and state government.

The MoU of this project was signed with the government of Himachal Pradesh during Rising Himachal, Global Investor Meet, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7 November 2019.

The government of India is also supporting this project by providing grants of ₹66.19 crore for enabling infrastructure, which has helped in reducing in power tariff,” an official statement said.

The power generated from the project will provide grid stability and will improve the power-supply position. The project will offer direct and indirect employment opportunities to around 2,000 people.

“Further, Himachal Pradesh will benefit with free power worth around ₹1,140 crore from Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project, during the project life cycle of 40 years. The project affected families will be provided with 100 units of free electricity per month for 10 years,” the statement said.

The cabinet also approved the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on cooperation in the field of healthcare and medicine.

It also approved the signing of the MoU between India and the UK on cooperation in the field of telecommunications.
Source: Live Mint

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