Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.
Industrial Output Grows 4.9 Per Cent In April
India’s industrial output rose to 4.9 per cent in April, data released by the Central Statistics Office on Tuesday shows. In March, the industrial output growth was at a five-month low of 4.4 per cent. It averaged 7.6 percent till February. In a Reuters poll, economists had estimated growth in output at 5.2 per cent, compared with a 4.6 per cent year-over-year increase in March. The manufacturing sector, which constitutes more than 77 per cent of the index of industrial production, grew 5.2 per cent, up from a 4.7 per cent rise in March. The Mining sector rose 5.1 per cent and electricity contributed 2.1 per cent. Infrastructure and construction goods’ output grew 7.5 per cent. Driven by higher growth in manufacturing, the farm sector and construction, the Indian economy grew 7.7 per cent year-on-year in January-March.
Four BSF Personnel Dead In Pakistani Firing
Four jawans of the Border Security Force (BSF) have died in Pakistani firing in Chambliyal sector of Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district. Five other BSF jawans were injured in the firing. One of the four killed was an assistant commandant. The ceasefire violation by Pakistan comes just weeks after Director General Military Operations of both countries agreed to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in "letter and spirit". Pakistan started firing at around 10.30 pm on Tuesday and continued till 4.30 am on Wednesday, a local police official said. While the BSF troops fired in retaliation when Pakistan violated ceasefire, India is expected to come up with an appropriate response to Pakistan’s violation. On 3 June, two BSF personnel, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed in Pakistani firing.
More Homebuyers To Be Eligible For Interest Subsidy Under PMAY
The government on Tuesday eased carpet area restrictions under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), making more home-buyers eligible for interest subsidy. Under this scheme, only buyers purchasing homes having a maximum carpet area of 150 square meter and 120 square meter (in two categories) were eligible for interest subsidy. Now, this has been increased to 200 square meter and 160 square meter respectively. The move will help clear the existing unsold housing stock in many markets, kick-start construction demand and boost economic activity in the sector. This relaxation is the second increase in carpet area in less than a year. The government, in November last year, had cleared the increase in carpet area limit to 150 square meter from 110 square meter for households earning between Rs 12 lakh to Rs 18 lakh a year and to 120 square meter from 90 square meter for households earning between Rs 6 lakh to Rs 12 lakh a year.
India’s CPI Inflation Rises To 4.87 Per Cent In May
The annual consumer inflation rose to a four-month high of 4.87 per cent in May, staying above the Reserve Bank’s medium-term target of 4 per cent for the seventh month in a row. Consumer price inflation stood at 4.58 percent in April. The annual retail inflation in April 2017 stood at 2.99 per cent. This development comes a week after the RBI hiked benchmark interest rates for the first time in four years to fend off inflationary pressures. During its meeting in June, the six-member monetary policy committee raised the repo rate to 6.25 per cent. Now, the RBI expects inflation to stay between 4.8 and 4.9 per cent in the first half of the current financial year.
Rahul Gandhi Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ In RSS Defamation Case
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to a defamation charge by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in a Bhiwandi court in Thane. The court framed charges against Rahul Gandhi in a criminal defamation case filed by RSS worker Rajesh Kunte under Sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code. The case was filed after Rahul Gandhi allegedly blamed the RSS for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination at an election rally in 2014. The judge also accepted Rahul’s lawyer Kushal Mor’s plea for a summons trial instead of a summary one and set 10 August as the next date of hearing. Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had moved Supreme Court seeking quashing of the case. The apex court had said that he should not have resorted to “collective denunciation” of an organisation and would have to face trial if he did not express regret for his remark.
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In his two budgets, Badal has certainly shown the way. His moves aren’t popular but they are right. Badal is inducing bitter medicine. If the treatment is allowed to be taken to conclusion, Punjab can hope to bring back its acche din.
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