Early signs of India economic recovery wane as coronavirus cases surge

News Network
August 11, 2020

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India’s economic activity monitors are beginning to flatline just months after showing signs of returning to life.

Latest data from Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google showed mobility suffered in recent weeks after notching up an increase since May, when Asia’s third-largest economy began exiting a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Elsewhere, high-frequency indicators from purchasing mangers’ surveys to fuel sales show growth plateauing in July. And that’s not all.

Bank credit shrank 0.8% in the two weeks to July 17 from a fortnight ago, tax collection moderated last month, while a measure of inter-state movement of goods traffic by road and rail was little changed. Data from private research firm, Centre for Monitoring India Economy Pvt., shows unemployment rising slightly after some improvement in June and July.

The drop in activity may be directly linked to India’s efforts to fight the virus outbreak. The nation, which is adding more than 50,000 cases daily, is seeing some of its most-industrialised states reimposing lockdowns to stop the spread of Covid-19.

India’s exit from the lockdown is not calibrated, said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, an economist with the State Bank of India. “We have been resorting to unplanned lockdowns that might be acting as a constraint on sustenance of economic activity.”

The economy is already headed for its worst slump in more than four decades, with the International Monetary Fund estimating the nation’s gross domestic product will shrink 4.5% this year.

More Indicators

The Nomura India Business Resumption Index, which tracks the pace of economic activity, showed a slight improvement in the week ended Aug. 9, but economists led by Sonal Varma said the data point to an uneven recovery and largely reflect pent-up demand.

“However, a second wave of Covid-19 cases, combined with a ‘rolling wave’ in traditionally safer states (in the south and the east), increase risks of protracted quasi-lockdown measures and tempering of sequential improvement in activity once the post-lockdown momentum ebbs,” wrote Varma and Aurodeep Nandi.

India, which hogged TomTom NV’s 2019 Traffic Index for congestion, saw fewer jams in July as people cut down on venturing out, showed an analysis by Rini Sen and Sanjay Mathur, economists at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. Recovery is still a long way off as consumption indicators continue to slump, they said.

“We are worried that the economic recovery will remain unstable with rising infection rates,” said Kunal Kundu, an economist with Societe Generale GSC Pvt. “Contraction would likely be deeper. This would prolong the uncertainty especially around jobs and salary cuts.”

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Agencies
September 13,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 13: Two weeks after his discharge, Home Minister Amit Shah has been re-admitted to All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after complaining breathing issue on Saturday, multiple sources told media persons.

However, the hospital did not come on record to confirm this.

The sources told that Shah was admitted around 11 p.m. on Saturday night. As per the sources, he is being kept in CN tower, a facility reserved for VVIPs. Shah is getting treatment under Dr Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS. His condition is said to be stable now.

Shah has been suffering from post-COVID ailments for a month now. He was previously admitted to AIIMS on August 18 after he suffered post-COVID ailments days after his recovery from COVID-19 disease which he contracted in early August.

He had tested positive for COVID-19 on August 2 and received treatment at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram.

He was discharged after testing negative on August 14 only to re-admitted in AIIMS days after to treat his post-COVID syndromes on August 18. He had complained of breathing issues then.

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Agencies
September 15,2020

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Pilibhit, Sept 15: The Superintendent of Police (SP) Pilibhit, Jai Prakash Yadav, has recommended suspension of the arms licence of BJP district vice-president, Amit Balmiki, following a report filed by Pilibhit police stattion SHO Shrikant Dwivedi.

The SP has written to the District Magistrate Pulkit Khare to suspend the arms licence issued to Balmiki.

The controversy began when Balmiki reportedly attempted to take unauthorised possession of a residential plot.

The SHO said that in the 12-year-old dispute with one Dimple Gaur, over a 200 square metre plot in Dalchand locality, a Pilibhit civil court had ruled in favour of Gaur on February 19 this year.

On August 31, when she began construction on the plot, located next to her residence, Balmiki arrived with 26 henchmen and obstructed work.

After police booked both sides under sections 107/116(3) of CrPC, the Gaurs obtained bail against personal bonds, but Balmiki and his henchmen neither appeared before court nor sought bail, said the SHO.

SP Yadav said based on Dwivedi's report, he recommended the suspension of Balmiki's pistol licence.

Balmiki could not be contacted for his comment.

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News Network
September 11,2020

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Bengaluru, Sept 11: The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) on Friday predicted fairly widespread heavy rains and scattered to widespread light to moderate rains over several parts of Karnataka for Saturday.

"Fairly widespread to widespread moderate to heavy rains with isolated very heavy to extremely heavy rains likely over Coastal and Malnad regions. Scattered to widespread light to moderate rains with isolated heavy rains likely over North Interior Karnataka region and scattered to widespread light to moderate rains likely over South Interior Karnataka region," the KSNDMC said.

It predicted widespread light to moderate rains likely over Kolar, Bengaluru Urban, Bangalore Rural, Chitradurga, and Ramanagara districts, and isolated to scattered light to moderate rains likely over the remaining South Interior Karnataka districts.

"Scattered to widespread light to moderate rains with isolated places heavy rains likely over Kalburgi, Belagavi & Raichur districts. Isolated to scattered light to moderate rains likely over remaining districts of the region," the KSNDMC said for North Interior Karnataka.

"Fairly widespread to widespread light to moderate rains with isolated heavy to very heavy rains likely over Shivamogga, Kodagu, Hassan & Chikkamagaluru districts. Widespread moderate rains with isolated to heavy to extremely heavy rains likely over Udupi, Dakshina Kannada & Uttara Kannada districts," it said for Malnad and Coastal Karnataka.

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