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Domestic consumption to lift GVA growth to 7.7%’

personal spending:Higher consumption demand is projected to offset a significant reduction in government spending in coming months.— FILE PHOTO

  • India’s gross value added (GVA) growth rate is set to improve to 7.7 per cent this year, from the 7.2 per cent seen in FY16, due to higher domestic consumption demand, while consumer price inflation could accelerate to an average of 5.1 per cent from 4.9 per cent a year earlier, according to Moody’s Investors Service and ICRA.
  • The ratings agencies also predict a significant reduction in government spending in the coming months since the first four months of this financial year have already seen 74 per cent of the whole year’s budget target being exhausted.
  • “From ICRA’s perspective, we expect India’s growth-inflation dynamics to display mixed trends during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017,” Aditi Nayar, Senior Economist with ICRA told reporters.

AAI facilities to get Rs.17,500 cr. lift

HOMING IN:A significant chunk will be spent on upgrading air navigation services at airports.— FILE PHOTO

  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) will invest Rs.17,500 crore as capital expenditure towards airport infrastructure development till 2019-20, its chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said.
  • “A significant chunk will go towards air navigation services (ANS). We have already recruited 800 employees in 2015-16 in the ANS division and will hire more going ahead,” Mr. Mohapatra said, in his first press briefing after taking charge as AAI Chairman in July.
  • AAI will seek the Finance Ministry’s nod this month to invite global tenders for handing over operations and management of the Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports’ terminal buildings to private players, he said. AAI is hopeful of inviting the tenders by November.

National wastewater reuse policy sought

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  • India needs a national wastewater reuse policy to help address the “perennial concern” of urban water stress by mandating targets and laying out legislative, regulatory and financial measures to hit those targets, PwC said in a report.
  • The report, “Closing the water loop: Reuse of treated wastewater in urban India” released by the global consulting firm on Tuesday, underscores the need for a comprehensive national policy.
  • The suggestion for such a policy comes against the backdrop of the PwC report highlighting “water stress to be a perennial concern’’ in most Indian cities.

Centre aims for Rs.50,000 cr. investments at tourism meet

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  • The government is looking to woo foreign and domestic investments to fund 700 tourism-related projects requiring over Rs.50,000 crore during the three-day Incredible India summit set to kick off on Wednesday.
  • “The list of 700 projects has been prepared by the States,” said Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi. “If all these fructify, the total investment will be more than Rs.50,000 crore.”
  • The summit, organised in association with CII, is the first such tourism investors’ summit to be held in India. It will be inaugurated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Cabinet to decide on rail, general budgets merger

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  • The Union Cabinet will take a call on advancing the Union Budget date in its meeting on Wednesday and consider the merger of the general and the rail budgets.
  • The tentative new date for the presentation of the Budget will also be discussed, although the final decision on it will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
  • Advancing the Budget presentation date will in turn require the Budget Session to be called a few weeks earlier for which Parliament is generally convened around the third week of February.The Union Budget is presented each year on the last working day of February by the Finance Minister to Parliament.

Coastal corridor: ADB approves $631 mn. loan

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  • The total cost of the project is $846 million and work on it is expected to be over by 2031. The remaining $215 million would be funded by the Andhra Pradesh government.
  • ADB’s loans and grants comprise a $500 million two-tranche facility to build key infrastructure and a $125 million two-tranche loan to help in industrial policies and business promotion.
  • “By combining state-of-the-art industrial clusters, efficient transport, and reliable water and power supplies with a skilled workforce and good business policies, we expect the Visakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor to become a favoured investment destination.

Tax offices to display CBI numbers to check graft

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  • In a bid to check corruption in the income tax department, all tax offices will now prominently display numbers where the CBI can be reached in case anyone asks for a bribe.
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has ordered all tax offices to install a display board asking people to contact CBI in case of any demand for bribe.
  •  “All the Chief Commissioners of Income Tax / Principal Director General of Income Tax are requested to ensure that such a display board is placed along with details of the concerned Anti-corruption Branch of the CBI in each of the offices under their jurisdiction within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of this communication.”

EESL bond sale nets Rs.500 crore

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  • Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) raised Rs.500 crore through its privately placed maiden bond issue that was fully subscribed on Tuesday.
  • The subscription of the bonds, issued at a coupon rate of 8.07 per cent per annum, showcased the faith of investors in the energy efficiency business.
  • “The access to Indian bond markets will be a key milestone for EESL to channelise more investments in the energy efficiency market,” the statement said. “For FY 2016-17, the capex requirement of EESL is Rs.3,500 crore. Aiding this requirement, these corporate bonds will be the first of many tranches.”