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Industrial growth slips to 4-month low of 4.5 per cent in Sept

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New Delhi: Industrial production grew at the slowest pace in four months at 4.5 per cent in September mainly due to poor performance of mining sector and lower offtake of capital goods. The industrial production measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was 4.1 per cent in September 2017.

Sequentially, the factory output growth for August was revised slightly upward to 4.6 per cent from provisional figure of 4.3 per cent, according to Central Statistics Office (CSO) data released Monday. The IIP was recorded at 6.9 per cent and 6.5 per cent in June and July this year, respectively. The previous low was recorded at 3.8 per cent in May this year.

The mining sector output growth decelerated to 0.2 per cent in September against 7.6 per cent in the year-ago month. Similarly, capital goods output growth slowed to 5.8 per cent in the month under review from 8.7 per cent a year ago. However, the data showed that the manufacturing sector recorded a growth of 4.6 per cent in September, up from 3.8 per cent a year ago.

 

The electricity generation too improved to 8.2 per cent in the month from 3.4 per cent in September 2017.

For April-September 2018, the IIP growth came in at 5.1 per cent. The factory output rise was 2.6 per cent in same period of the last fiscal. As per use-based classification, the growth rates in September 2018 over September 2017 are 2.6 per cent in primary goods, 1.4 per cent in intermediate goods and 9.5 per cent in infrastructure/construction goods. The consumer durables and consumer non-durables have recorded growth of 5.2 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively.

In terms of industries, 17 out of 23 industry groups in manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during September 2018 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

The industry group ‘manufacture of furniture’ has shown the highest positive growth of 32.8 per cent followed by 20.9 per cent in ‘manufacture of wearing apparel’ and 20.6 per cent in ‘manufacture of wood and products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials’. On the other hand, the industry group ‘printing and reproduction of recorded media’ have shown the highest negative growth of (-) 12.9 per cent followed by (-) 10.7 per cent in ‘other manufacturing’ and (-) 7.3 per cent in ‘manufacture of tobacco products’.

Retail inflation too fell to a one-year low of 3.31 per cent in October on the back of cheaper kitchen staples, fruits and protein-rich items. The inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 3.7 per cent in September 2018 and 3.58 per cent in October 2017. The retail inflation number is the lowest since September 2017 when it touched 3.28 per cent.

The rate of price rise in the food basket contracted by 0.86 per cent in October compared to 0.51 per cent rise in September, according to the Central Statistics Office data. Vegetable prices declined by 8.06 per cent in October against a 4.15 per cent contraction in September. Inflation also slowed to 0.35 per cent in the fruit basket against 1.12 per cent recorded a month ago.


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Business

RBI needs to ensure stability: Shaktikanta Das

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New Delhi: The head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said he would take the steps necessary to maintain financial stability in the country and help create favourable conditions for growth.

India’s economy has grown because of measures such as the nationwide goods and services tax and the insolvency and bankruptcy code that prevents wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets, Shaktikanta Das said in his address to an investor roundtable.

The country’s growth story is backed by its strong domestic fundamentals, he said, citing lower inflation.

 

Annual retail inflation rate dropped to an 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December, strengthening the views of some economists that the central bank could ease monetary policy next month.

India’s top business groups on Thursday urged the central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by at least half a percentage point and lower the cash reserve ratio it imposes on banks.

The country also needs to watch out for any sudden turbulence in the gloal financial market, Das said.

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Centre removes two PNB executive directors for lapses in Rs 13,500-cr fraud

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Chennai:The Central government has removed two Punjab National Bank (PNB) Executive Directors — Sanjiv Sharan and K.Veera Brahmaji Rao — for the lapses in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud allegedly perpetrated by absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The PNB has intimated the action to the stock exchanges.

“We welcome the Central government’s action to dismiss the two Executive Directors. The scam of such proportions could not have happened without the knowledge of the top management,” C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), told IANS.

 

“Perhaps for the first time, the Centra has removed the Executive Directors of a nationalised bank under the Nationalised Banks (Management and Miscellaneous Provision) Scheme, 1970. All these days it was said the top management of government-owned banks — Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors — are governed only by the contract of appointment.

“It is also good that the central government has followed the due process of giving the two PNB Executive Directors opportunity to put forth their views before dismissing them,” Venkatachalam added.

According to the Central government’s notification, on July 3, 2018, Sharan and Rao were issued a show cause notice as to why they could not be removed from office for having failed to exercise proper control over the functioning of PNB, thus enabling the fraud through the misuse of SWIFT at the bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.

After considering Sharan and Rao’s replies and the comments of the bank’s Board, the Centre removed them from office as it found it was expedient in the interests of PNB.

According to the notification, the dismissal of Rao is subject to the outcome of a plea in the Delhi High Court.

“We are happy to see some action being taken. Whether it is only the two Executive Directors and other officials are also involved in the scam has to be probed in full,” Venkatachalam said.

According to him, in the past, low-level officers would have been the scapegoats for such massive scams.

“With the action taken on the top management, people will be satisfied that public sector bank officials are answerable for their lapses,” Venkatachalam added.

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In this new world, data is the new wealth: Ambani

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Mumbai: Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps against ‘data colonisation’, specially by global corporations, stating that Indian data must be owned by Indians.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against political colonisation, Ambani said India now needs a new movement against data colonisation.

“Gandhiji led India’s movement against political colonisation. Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation,” he said Gandhinagar at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.

 

Stressing that, in this new world, data is the new wealth, Ambani said, “India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporate, especially global corporations.”

He further said, “For India to succeed in this data driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India. In other words, give Indian wealth back to every Indian.”

Stating that the “entire world has come to recognise” Modi “as a man of action”, Ambani said, “Honorable Prime Minister, am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your digital India mission.”

Later in the day, countering Ambani’s call, Governor – Commonwealth of Kentucky, Matthew Griswold, asked Modi “to think in the opposite” in order to realise the tremendous opportunity that lies in Indo-US partnership.

“Honorable prime minister you have been asked from this stage to think about limiting the amount of competition, limiting the exchange of ideas, information and goods. I would encourage you to think in the opposite,” he said.

While stating that it is important to put the people of India first, Griswold said, “It is also important to put their opportunity and our opportunity as citizens of the world to trade with one another and exchange ideas because iron sharpens iron.”

The greatest possibility comes from the exchange of these idea, he added.

“If we can cut the regulations, cut the bureaucracy, cut the red tape, the opportunity is enormous between our nations,” he added that India is now the 10th largest trading partner for the US and “climbing quickly”.

“The opportunity before us between India and the United States is incredible, but responsibility falls on each of one us, those of us in elected positions, those of you in the industry, those of you who represent various constituencies, we have much work to do…we must do this, ” Griswold said.

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