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The CEO’s Reading List: GDP slump, Fiscal gap and FASTag breather

Aarati Krishnan | Updated on November 30, 2019 Published on November 30, 2019

It was a big, but not so cheery week for the economy. If you missed out on the big events, here’s a curated list of BL’s top stories on the economy and policy that you need to catch up on.

GDP slump

Real GDP growth for the latest July-September 2019 quarter came in at 4.5 per cent. This was in line with market expectations of 4.3-4.7 per cent. But it was nominal GDP growth at 6.1 per cent that was the shocker.

Also read | GDP growth slumps to 6-year low of 4.5% during July-September

Food inflation returns

It is not just about onions in India. Food prices are creeping up around the world, putting central bankers in a quandary about rate cuts.

Also read | Food prices continue to rise, economists express concern

Too flexible

The new Industrial Relations Code Bill relaxes many labour laws that were the bane of employers. But is it employee unfriendly? It is, argues this Oped.

Also read | The pursuit of too much labour flexibility

Going faceless

After the IT department, the Customs Department is now looking to launch faceless assessment of import/export cargo where the cargo will be assessed by a virtual group, that need not be located in the place where the Bill of Entry is filed.

Also read| Customs Department set to roll out faceless assessment of cargo

Fiscal gap

Moody’s thinks the Centre’s fiscal deficit will be at 3.7 per cent for FY20, with the States adding up to another 3 per cent.

Also read | Moody’s expects Centre’s fiscal deficit to rise to 3.7%

FASTag breather

The deadline for getting mandatory FASTags for your vehicles has been extended from December 1 to December 15, 2019

Also read | Mandatory FASTag roll out extended to December 15

Unemployment rate

The NSO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey had mild good news to impart, finding that the urban unemployment rate had dropped to 9.3 per cent in Jan-Mar 2019, from 9.9 percent in Apr-June 2018. But the comparable numbers for last year were missing.

Also read | India’s urban unemployment rate drops to 9.3% in Jan-March 2019

WTO setback

The WTO’s dispute resolution body is set to shut shop on the lack of the minimum number of judges. What does this mean?

Also read | Is this the end of multilateralism?

Biting the bullet?

With the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance gaining power in Maharashtra after much drama, the fate of the bullet train project hangs in balance. 

Also read | Will Modi’s bullet train project be halted?

Published on November 30, 2019

 

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