1 . NCAER pegs India’s 2018-19 economic growth at 7.5 per cent
- The Indian economy is projected to grow at 6.7 per cent in the current financial year and 7.5 per cent in 2018-19, economic think-tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in a report has said.
- The figures are in line with the growth projections in this year’s Economic Survey, which said India is likely to clock 7-7.5 per cent growth in 2018-19, up from 6.75 per cent in the current fiscal.
Highlights of the report
- In 2017-18, the real agriculture Gross Value Added (GVA) is envisaged to grow at 1.0 per cent, real industry GVA at 5.2 per cent, and real services GVA at 8.0 per cent.
- The wholesale price index (WPI) inflation is projected at 6.4 per cent for 2017-18.
- The growth rates in exports and imports, in dollar terms, are estimated at 12.8 per cent and 24.8 per cent, respectively.
- Current account balance and central fiscal deficit, as percentages of GDP, are projected at -2.0 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively, for 2017-18.
- In the agriculture sector, the output of kharif foodgrains is expected to be 139.8-141.2 million tonnes.
- The output of rabi foodgrains is also expected to remain close to last year’s output of 137 million tonnes.
2 . Bihar is national topper in FY17 growth, with 10.3 pc
- Bihar clocked a growth rate of 10.3 per cent in 2016-2017 as against 7.5 per cent in the corresponding fiscal a year ago, riding largely on the back of the services sector, according to the latest Economic Survey tabled in the state Assembly .
- Bihar’s growth rate is higher than that of the national average of 7.0 per cent.
- The state has consistently been revenue surplus, which increased from Rs 5,101 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 10,819 crore in 2016-17.
- The surplus, projected to be Rs 14,556 crore during 2017-18, is considered to be the result of better financial management.
3 . More than 4 lakh olive ridleys nest at Rushikulya this year
With more than 4 lakh mother olive ridley turtles nesting , the endangered species has created an all-time record of mass nesting at the Rushikulya rookery coast in the Ganjam district of Odisha this year.
Interestingly, mass nesting of olive ridley turtles has not yet started on the coasts along the Gahirmatha beach and the mouth of the Debi river, two other major nesting sites in Odisha. Gahirmatha beach is the largest mass nesting site for olive ridley turtles along the Indian coastline, followed by the rookery at the mouth of the Rushikulya river.
In 2016, for some unexplained reason, there was no mass nesting at this coast.
Reasons behind increased nesting
This year, sea waves and winds have widened a portion of the beach near the Rushikulya rookery. A sandbar near the Podampeta village eroded entirely, and its sand was deposited on the coast, widening a stretch of the beach and increasing its height. This is the region where a large number of nestings took place this year.
4 . ICAI indirectly opposed setting of super regulator NFRA
The Institute of Charted Accountants of India (ICAI) has said that it supports efforts to strengthen its existing disciplinary and oversight mechanism through amendments to the CA Act. However, ICAI has indirectly opposed the setting up of a super regulator National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) to regulate the CA profession.
This comes in the backdrop of allegations about the role of Chartered Accountants (CAs) in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam and Government’s pointing fingers at auditors and regulators for failing to detect such frauds.
ICAI supports every effort of strengthening the existing mechanism. But the model of oversight mechanism on the pattern of overseas regulations like Sarbanes Oxley Act 2002 (or SOX) has been found to be ineffective in so far in back-drop of banking sector mortgage scams in the U.S. [in] 2008-2009.
The CA regulator said till the time disciplinary inquiry was concluded in the PNB matter and the role of all those who acted in fiduciary responsibility was established, it would not be prudent to draw any conclusion against the profession. The ICAI remained committed to ensure accelerated inquiry and conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings in the PNB matter.
Sarbanes Oxley Act 2002 (or SOX)
The SOX is a U.S. federal legislation that had brought in new or expanded norms for American public accounting firms, public company boards as well as management.
5 . Power plants face coal shortage
The power sector seems to be facing coal shortage again as 46 coal-fired power plants reported stocks of less than a week .
According to the daily coal stock report of 113 power plants monitored by Central Electricity Authority (CEA), six plants have coal stocks for zero day and eight plants have stocks of just one day to generate electricity as on February 22, 2018.
No significant improvement inspite of measures
Industry sources said coal supplies have not improved since the monsoon season last year when some of the coal-fired power plants had faced acute shortage.
Power, coal and railway ministries had taken a series of measures to improve coal supplies to power plants after power prices crossed Rs. 11 per unit at energy exchanges in September last.