In the worst-ever terror strike in J&K, suicide bomber rams CRPF convoy at Lethpora in Pulwama district, killing more than 40 security personnel

News Snippets

  • Gully Boy opens to rave reviews and good collections on Valentine's Day
  • Suicide bomber in J&K terror strike identified as Adil Ahmed Dar, a local Class XI dropout who joined Jaish a year ago
  • Referring to the terror strike in J&K, PM Modi says that the sacrifice of the security personnel will not go in vain
  • Opposition parties to meet in 2 weeks to review draft common minimum programme (CMP)
  • Arvind Kejriwal says Congress has all but refused to ally with AAP
  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal says SC order on Delhi a blow to democracy
  • SC bench divided on who will control services in Delhi, refers the issue to a larger bench
  • CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra appointed as Election Commissioner
  • Setback to Kejriwal: Supreme Court decides that Anti-Corruption Bureau will stay under the Centre and also gives it the power to set up Inquiry Commissions, two key issues that led to a stand-off between the L-G and the Delhi CM
  • CJI orders inquiry into the issue of tampering with orders on the court's website
  • Anil Ambani admits in court that the deal to sell R-Com's assets to Jio has failed
  • Cable switchover deadline extended to March 31
  • Rahul says Modi committed treason in the Rafale deal and can be jailed for it
  • Fire at Hotel Arpit Palace in Delhi kills 17
  • SC hold ex-interim director of CBI, M Nageshwar Rao gulity of contempt and punishes him by making him sit in the corner of the courtroom till the court rose for the day
gdp
GDP: Brakes on Economic Recovery?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The signs of economic recovery in the first quarter of FY 2018-19 are showing some signs of reversal, although that may be due to temporary factors like rising oil prices and the weakening rupee. GDP grew at 7.1% in the second quarter (July-September) this year, compared to a robust 8.2% in April-June. Agriculture, manufacturing and mining faltered to bring down the figure. The gross value added (GVA) in agriculture, forestry and fishery grew at only 3.8%, down 1.5% from the last quarter. This was mainly because kharif-season foodgrain output grew at a mere 0.6% compared to 1.7% in the last quarter. This situation is not going to improve in a hurry as there has been below-normal rain this monsoon resulting in lower rabi sowing (shortfall is estimated between 8 to 10% till November). That is going to deepen the distress in the farm sector and weaken the demand for goods in the hinterland causing a cascading effect on all sectors. Manufacturing, on the other hand, nearly halved from the last quarter posting an expansion of just 7.4%, down 6.1% from the 13.5% posted in April-June.

The only bright spot is the rock-solid gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) that measures gross net investment in the economy. It grew at 12.5%, up from the 10% registered in the first quarter, and was 32.3% of the GDP. There has also been a revival in the non-food bank credit. These are encouraging signs for the economy as demand for investment is obviously generated by hopes for future demand for consumption. But the government must put a leash on its spending on non-essentials. The figures for fiscal deficit show that it has ballooned to gobble up the entire budget estimates for the full year in the first seven months. Despite assurances by the finance minister, there is no way the government can keep it down to 3.3% of the GDP. General elections next year, along with uncertainties in global trade, means economic management has to be at its best if the economy is to revive.

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