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Economic Survey: Indian economy on V-shaped recovery path post unlock

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Nirmala_Sitharaman_Finance Minister
Nirmala_Sitharaman_Finance Minister

The Economic Survey 2020-21, tabled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Friday, said that India’s economy has seen a V-shaped recovery after being unlocked gradually since June 2020.

“Despite the hard-hitting economic shock created by the global pandemic, India is witnessing a V-shaped recovery with a stable macroeconomic situation aided by a stable currency, comfortable current account, burgeoning forex reserves and encouraging signs in the manufacturing sector output,” the survey noted. The survey said the V-shaped economic recovery is due to mega vaccination drive, robust recovery in the services sector, and robust growth in consumption and investment.

Likening India’s economic recovery to the Indian cricket team’s recent victory against Australia, Chief Economic Advisor K. Subramanian said: “It mirrors V-shape performance that the Indian cricket team delivered in Australia well after being short out for 36 in an hour, they went on to win the series. The resilience of the Indian economy is mirroring the resilience of Indian cricket team as well,” he said.

The survey also forecasts that India’s real GDP will record a growth of 11% in 2021-22, the highest since Independence.

It stated that with the economy brought to a standstill for two complete months, the inevitable effect was a 23.9 per cent contraction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as compared to the previous year’s quarter. This contraction was consistent with the stringency of the lockdown.

However, “while there was a 23.9 per cent contraction in GDP in quarter 1 (Q1), the recovery has been a V-shaped one as seen in the 7.5 per cent decline in Q2 and the recovery across all key economic indicators,” said the survey.

To capture the lagged impact of stringency on economic indicators, the survey used a three-month moving average of stringency index, which shows that the month-on-month change in the three-month moving average of the stringency index has a positive relationship with the growth in each of the economic indicators. “Thus, the initial stringent lockdown has supported a V-shaped recovery across all the economic indicators,” it noted.

According to the survey, the evidence from the experience of Spanish flu establishes that cities that intervened with lockdowns earlier and more aggressively experience stronger recovery in economic front in the long run and learning from this experience, India implemented an early and stringent lockdown from late March to May to curb the pace of the spread of Covid-19.

“Given the enormous uncertainty that policymakers faced when making the lockdown decisions, such precise expectations during the lockdown is indeed extremely far-fetched. Therefore, the evidence that has been documented indeed shows convincingly that the stringent lockdown saved lives and supported a V-shaped recovery across all the economic indicators,” it noted.

The survey also forecasted that India’s real GDP will record a growth of 11 per cent in 2021-22 and nominal GDP by 15.4 per cent—the highest since Independence.

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Delhi court grants bail to man accused of Rs 111.92 crore tax fraud

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By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): A Delhi Court on Saturday granted bail to a person allegedly accused of wrongfully availing and passing Input Tax Credit (ITC) on purchase and sale of goods by issuing fake invoices without actual delivery of goods and causing loss to the government to the tune of Rs 111.92 crores.
Sanjay Khanagwal, Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala House Courts in New Delhi granted bail to Mohinder Kumar on a personal bond of Rs 5 lacs with one surety of like amount.
Advocates Vijay Aggarwal. Mudit Jain and Nagesh Behl appearing for the accused argued that Rs 57.39 crores which have been averred as the amount availed as a fraudulent ITC and the amount of Rs 54.53 crores which have been shown as passed on amount of ITC, the accused cannot be said to be liable for the entire amount as the difference is merely Rs 3 crores and out of which accused has already deposited a sum of Rs 1.14 crores.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal also argued that in the case of fake billing, there is no loss to the exchequer as the government is not entitled to anything if both arises as to where is the loss to the government. He said that as the offence is punishable with imprisonment for five years then the arrest cannot take place so casually. He also challenged the arrest memo stating that there can be no arrest memo unless and until the liability has been determined.
Advocate Aggarwal further argued that in accordance with the provision of section 132 of GST Act 2017, the liability of the accused is less than Rs 5 crores therefore, in terms of section 132(5) of the CGST Act, the offence is bailable and accused has been wrongly arrested in this case. He also argued that bail cannot be withheld as a punishment and bail is the rule and jail is the exception.
Meanwhile, advocate Harpreet Singh appearing for the department contended that the accused is a proprietor in two firms namely VMW Enterprises and Shree Bahadur Steel Company, and upon the physical verification of these two firms both firms were found as non-existent. “Moreover, accused was found operating these two firms only to avail and pass on the ineligible fraudulent input tax credit,” said Singh.
According to the GST department, accused Mohinder Kumar allegedly received fraudulent GST ITC of Rs 111 crore in his two firms- VMW Enterprises and Shree Bahadur Steel Company – from several bogus firms and passed on this credit to several other firms without actual supply of goods. Kumar was placed under arrest on February 13, 2021. (ANI)

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Bus conductor who planted 3 lakh saplings in 30 years wins praise

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 6 (ANI): A bus conductor in Tamil Nadu, who has planted over 3 lakh saplings in the last 30 years using his own money, is garnering appreciation on social media.
Marimuthu Yoganathan is a bus conductor in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation by profession.
A known eco activist, Yoganathan has been awarded “Eco Warrior” award by Vice-President of India, ‘Unsung Hero’ award by wildlife film-maker Mike Pandey and film actor John Abraham in “Timberland” function held in Delhi.
Recently, a Twitter user with the handle name of @JainMaggii shared a picture of the bus conductor holding a sapling and wrote, “Marimuthu Yoganathan, a bus conductor who has planted over 3 lakh saplings in the last 30 years using his own money. Meet the ‘real environmentalist’!”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also replied to the tweet dated March 5, 2021 and said, “Inspiration on my birthday. Thank you for sharing.”

The tweet also drew the reactions of several people who praised Yoganathan for his efforts.
“Noble work by Shri Yoganathan….Clapping hands sign.
It doesn’t have any impact whether he has planted with his own money or not. He has planted 3 lakh trees. That is enough….. we are getting how much of oxygen from those….just imagine…Once again salute you, sir…,” wrote a twitter user.
Another Twitter user said, “Great work! Thank you for sharing! Hero, who is saving our lives and this planet! inspiration these are! Hero what made him so dedicated, please highlight his stories. Would love to know more about him.”
“Mind-boggling. Almost 100 trees per day without fail! #Legend,” wrote another while calling Yoganathan a legend.
Yoganathan visited around 3,743 universities, colleges, schools and industries and took classes to raise environmental awareness.
He has been conferred with the tiltle ‘Sutru Suzal Seyal Veerar’ by the Tamil Nadu Government.
He was also conferred the Eco Warrior Award by the Indian government.
“My request to have the award sent to me by post was declined. I was concerned about the train fare, the days taken for my leave, and accommodation costs in New Delhi. But, I’m glad I received the award in person from none other than the Vice President of the country,” said Yoganathan on receiving the honour. (ANI)

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Delhi Police crime branch seizes heroin worth Rs 60 lakhs, two held

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Delhi’s Crime Branch on Saturday seized 570 grams of heroin worth Rs 60 lakhs among other items from two individuals.
One person was held in Delhi’s Uttam Nagar and the other near Delhi’s Majnu ka Tila.
“With the arrest of two drug suppliers namely Sonu and Dinesh, the team of Narcotics Cell, Crime Branch Delhi has busted two supply chains of the contraband Heroin clandestinely active in the area of Uttam Nagar and Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi and seized 570 grams of heroin from their possession. The price of these drugs in the international market is worth Rs 60 lakhs,” read the press statement by the crime branch.
“In this regard, two cases under section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 have been registered at a police station in Delhi,” read the statement.
According to the statement, accused Sonu studied till class 2 only and started selling illicit liquor and gradually started selling heroin for quick money. He has been previously involved in 8 cases.
Accused Dinesh was trapped in a bad company and started committing crimes and got involved in two cases of robbery and theft. In due course of time, he started consuming heroin and started selling heroin to feed his addiction. He has been also previously involved in 3 cases.
The Crime Branch has seized heroin of 300 grams and 270 grams from both the accused in two separate raids. Two mobile phones have been seized as well.
Further investigation is going on to identify the entire chain of drug trafficking in both these cases. (ANI)

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Andhra Pradesh police nabs seven for stealing motorcycles, using them to transport Cannabis

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Krishna (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh police on Saturday arrested seven persons who were allegedly involved in stealing motorcycles and using them for illegal transport of Cannabis.
Gudivada police caught them at Gudlavalleru while carrying out a vehicle-checking.
“We came to know that some people are stealing motorcycles, using them they bought Ganja and were selling it in and around Gudivada town. This has been happening for few weeks,” Gudivada DSP Satyanandam told media.
“Following, we started checking vehicles near Gudlavalleru Engineering College. Police found 7 persons in a suspicious condition. We recovered 6 kilograms of Ganja from their possession after we checked them,” he added.
During interrogation, police came to know that the arrested had stolen four motorcycles from Gudlavalleru, Pamarru, Kalidindi and Uyyuru villages each.
“We have recovered those motorcycles. All these seven are resident of Gudivada Town. Further investigation and legal formalities are underway,” the DSP further added. (ANI)

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Delhi Police works for safer society through Community Police Initiatives

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Delhi Police works for building a safer society through Community Police Initiative which is an effort to form a partnership between police and ordinary citizens in dealing with crime.
According to Devesh Chandra Srivastava Joint Commissioner of Police, Licensing, to build a safer society, a partnership between police and ordinary citizens is essential and efforts in this direction are sometimes described as community policing.
“It is a strategy aimed at achieving effective and efficient crime control, reducing fear of crime, and improving police services through a proactive reliance on community resources that seek to change the crime causing conditions. The Central goal of community policing is for police to build relationships with the community, including through local agencies to reduce social disorder,” the Joint Commissioner of Police said.
Delhi police is running a number of schemes that focus especially on community policing such as Sashakti, Police Mitra, Nigehban, eyes and ear scheme, Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, Nirbheek, Pehchaan, Traffic Sentinel Scheme, Nazuk, Yuva: Engaging Youth in Skill Development etc. which are separate from the more centralized units that respond to emergencies. Various initiatives that were taken in previous years were continued vigorously in 2020.
Sashakti–Self Defence Training– A large number of women are working outside the home. Self-defense training programmes have inculcated a sense of confidence among them to resist any inappropriate act against them and report such acts to police at once without hesitation.
Under the Sashakti Scheme, 69953 girls/women have imparted self-defence training in 481 programmes during the year 2020. Delhi Police has entered the “Limca Book of Records” by training over 13 lakh women so far in 7,313 programmes organized under this scheme since 2002.
Prahari scheme–Prahari, a force multiplier for policing is an initiative of Delhi Police for involving various stakeholders like guards and chowkidars in the prevention of crime. It aims at promoting a feeling of ownership and camaraderie in the community to promote better police-public relations.
Police Mitra–This scheme is aimed at involving civil society in crime prevention and maintenance of law and order. The objective is to achieve effective policing with the active involvement of local citizens. Police Mitra assist local police in picket duties, traffic management, collection of intelligence and law and order arrangements etc.
Nigehban–under this scheme Delhi Police has surveyed all important locations of the city and draw a list of sensitive areas which require CCTV monitoring. Individuals, RWAs, and MWAs have been motivated to install CCTV cameras at identified spots by pooling their resources. This project is a shining example of proactive community policing.
Eyes and Ear Scheme–In this scheme, various sections of the public like rehriwalas, chowkidars, patriwalas, security guards, parking attendants, three-wheelers/taxi drivers, bus drivers/conductors, porters, shopkeepers, property agents, second-hand car dealers, landlords, members of RWA/MWA, cybercafe owners, guest house owners and other alert citizens are involved in providing information regarding suspicious activities of individuals and crimes.
Nirbheek–While a number of platforms are available with the general public to seek help from the police in cases of sexual harassment, an urgent need was felt to create a specialized forum for the girl child victims in school/college-going age group to effectively report such crimes.
Delhi police officials pay regular visits to ‘co-educational as well as only for girls schools and conduct interactive sessions with girl students. The aim of these sessions is to build up a rapport with them, talk about various initiatives of Delhi Police to instill a sense of confidence in them, and to sensitize them about basic precautions to be taken against sexual abuse. (ANI)

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Jailed activist Akhil Gogoi to contest Assam elections from Sibsagar

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Guwahati (Assam) [India], March 6 (ANI): Jailed activist Akhil Gogoi will contest the upcoming Assam assembly elections from the Sibsagar constituency as a candidate of his newly-floated Raijor Dal.
The party on Saturday announced 17 candidates for the first two phases of Assam assembly elections.
Gogoi, a peasant leader, is in jail since December 2019 in connection with a National Investigation Agency (NIA) case for his role in the anti-CAA protests in Assam. He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Raijor Dal was launched as a political outfit in October last year in Guwahati. Assam will go to the polls in three phases beginning March 27.
The BJP had scripted history in Assam in the last assembly polls and won an absolute majority with its allies, defeating Congress which had been in power in the state for 15 years.
BJP had bagged 60 seats, AGP 14, and BPF 12 seats in the last assembly polls. (ANI)

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