Current Affairs Updates : Business & Economy : August 2009

August 13,2009: Govt thinking over raising retirement age to 62 years
August 13, 2009: Group of Minsiters (GOM) to Monitor drought
August 13, 2009: India’s Engineering exports down by 21% in June
August 13, 2009: India signs free trade pact with ASEAN
August 13, 2009: Inflation falls to 3-decade low of -1.74% on August 1, 2009
August 14, 2009: IMF approves $4.78 billion for India out of $250 billion SDR allocations committed in G20

August 13,2009: Govt thinking over raising retirement age to 62 years
The government is actively considering raising the retirement age of all central government employees, including those in the armed forces, from the present 60 to 62 years.
Some Points:
  1. In 1998, the NDA government had raised the retirement age from 58 to 60, a move that benefitted 90,000 government servants and 50,000 defence personnel.
  2. Why ? The logic was: the retirement of 140,000 employees would have cost Rs 5,200 crore (Rs 52 billion) whereas paying salaries cost only Rs 1,493 crore (Rs 14.93 billion).

August 13, 2009: Group of Minsiters (GOM) to Monitor drought
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a crisis management group of Ministers (GoM) for monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis looking at the severe drought and growing prices of essential commodities. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would head the crisis management group. The GoM comprises Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
What will be the task of this group?

  1. To minimise the damaging impact of drought on food prices
  2. To improve the condition of farmers affected by the adverse monsoon situation.
  3. To devise ways to contain the damages done by the failure of the Kharif season.
    As of August 12, 2009, 161 districts across the country have been declared drought-hit.

August 13, 2009: India’s Engineering exports down by 21% in June
India’s engineering exports plunged by about 21 per cent to $3.33 billion in June 2009 compared to the same month last year. The exports stood at $4.21 billion in June in 2008.

August 13, 2009: India signs free trade pact with ASEAN
India and the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations signed on August 13, 2009 a free trade pact that will break duty barriers in the $ 1.7 billion consumer market in the region.This will eliminate duties on 4,000 items by 2016, covering 80 per cent of India’s imports from the South-east Asian nations.The first phase of implementation is supposed to be over by January 1, 2010. 489 items have been kept out of the pact, keeping in view the concerns of vulnerable domestic industries and agricultural producers. The main areas of differences revolved around sensitive agricultural Products, mainly in the plantation sector.Bilateral trade between ASEAN and India was of about $40 billion in 2007-08.

August 13, 2009: Inflation falls to 3-decade low of -1.74% on August 1, 2009
For the week ended August 1, Inflation in India dipped to -1.74 per cent. This is lowest in 3 decades.

August 14, 2009: IMF approves $4.78 billion for India out of $250 billion SDR allocations committed in G20
Board of Governors have approved a general allocation of special drawing rights equivalent to $250 billion to provide liquidity to global economic system by supplementing its member countries’ foreign exchange reserves. Based on its quota, India would receive about $4.78 billion.

This was in line with the commitment made by G20 leaders at their April summit to boost global liquidity. With this a Fourth Amendment to the IMF

Articles of Agreement providing for a special one-time allocation of SDRs has now entered into force.

The above updates is a summary of news published in Business Standard, Times of India and Indian Express of August 13, 14, 15 2009

Advertisement

Comments