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Terror, Corona and climate change key to PM’s US visit

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a four-day visit to the US to deliberate upon gamut of issues in the changing global order and recent developments in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister will not only meet US President and Vice President but Australian Prime Minister, Japanese PM and many other leaders as well besides addressing UNGA.

Developments in Afghanistan and security issues in the Pacific Ocean region are a big cause of concern not only for India but countries like the US, Japan and Australia. So, the Prime Minister will be meeting leaders from these countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his statement, “I will be visiting the US from September 22 to 25, 2021 at the invitation of President Joe Biden of the United States of America.”

Experts on the matters of External Affairs say that the PM’s visit is happening after a long time due to outbreak of global COVID-19 pandemic and the most important thing is that there is a regime change in the US. The PM said, “During my visit, I will review the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with President Joe Biden and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. I am also looking forward to meeting Vice President Kamala Harris to explore opportunities for cooperation between our two nations particularly in the area of science and technology.”

Besides bilateral meeting with the US leadership, India will be interacting with Quad leaders in the US. The Summit will provide an opportunity to take stock of the outcomes of the Virtual Summit in March this year and help identifying priorities for future engagements based on shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region. “I will participate in the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit along with President Biden, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan,” the PM asserted.

A few other bilateral meetings are also planned with Japan and Australia besides the US where issues concerning bother the countries will be taken ahead. “I will also meet Prime Minister Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Suga of Japan to take stock of the strong bilateral relations with their respective countries and continue our useful exchanges on regional and global issues.”

The PMs visit will conclude with an Address at the United Nations General Assembly focusing on the pressing global challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other important issues. This will also be an occasion to strengthen the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with USA, consolidate relations with strategic partners of India – Japan and Australia – and to take forward collaboration on important global issues.

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World Banks says agriculture and labour reforms will boost medium-term growth in India

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United Nations: The World Bank has marked India as the second-fastest growing major economy in the world which is expected to grow by 8.3 per cent in the present financial year. The World Bank’s Regional Economic Update suggests that after the “deadly second wave” of COVID-19 in India “the pace of vaccination, which is increasing, will determine economic prospects this year and beyond.”

“The trajectory of the pandemic will cloud the outlook in the near term until herd immunity is achieved,” the report cautioned. India’ gross domestic product (GDP) which shrank by 7.3 per cent (that is, a minus 7.3 per cent) under the onslaught of the pandemic last fiscal year is expected to record 8.3 per cent growth this fiscal year, which will moderate to 7.5 per cent next year and 6.5 per cent in 2023-24. These Updates were issued ahead of the World Bank’s annual meeting next week,

The COVID-19 pandemic contracted not only India’s economy but also the global economy in fiscal year 2020-21 despite well-crafted fiscal and monetary policy support in India. However, growth recovered in India in the second half of the last fiscal year driven primarily by investment and supported by unlocking’ of the economy and targeted fiscal, monetary and regulatory measures. Manufacturing and construction growth recovered steadily.

Although significantly more lives were lost during the second wave of the epidemic this year in India, compared to the first wave in 2020, “economic disruption was limited since restrictions were localised,” with the GDP growing by 20.1 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year compared to the first quarter of 2020-21. It attributed the spurt to “a significant base effect” (that is, coming off a very big fall in the compared quarter), “strong export growth and limited damage to domestic demand.”

The Bank’s Update said that successful implementation of agriculture and labour reforms would boost medium-term growth while cautioning that weakened household and firm balance sheets may constrain it.

The Production-Linked Incentives (PLIs) scheme to boost manufacturing, and a planned increase in public investment, should support domestic demand. The extent of recovery during the current fiscal year “will depend on how quickly household incomes recover and activity in the informal sector and smaller firms normalises,” the report says.

Among the risks included, worsening of financial sector stress, higher-than-expected inflation constraining monetary-policy support, and a slowdown in vaccination. The Indian government has taken steps to strengthen social safety nets and ease structural supply constraints through agricultural and labour reforms deal with the inequality. It said that the government continued investing in health programmes “have started to address the weaknesses in health infrastructure and social safety nets (especially in the urban areas and the informal sector) exposed by the pandemic.

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Government clarifies that Air India employees to be retained for a year

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New Delhi: After the sale of Air India to Tata Sons, the future of its employees was a big concern. As per the deal, all the existing employees of Air India will have to be retained for one year after the privatisation.

The government of India on October 8, 2021 has made it clear by setting a precedent for all public sector undertakings (PSU). Tatas have won the bid to acquire the debt-ridden national career Air India offering Rs 18,000 crore for acquiring 100 per cent shareholding. Tatas beat SpiceJet promoter to bag the deal.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), said that Tatas’ bid of Rs 18,000 crore comprises taking over of Rs 15,300 crore of debt and paying the rest in cash. Both bidders had quoted above the reserve price. Pandey said that transaction was planned to be closed by December. A group of ministers comprising Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has cleared the winning bid for Air India on October 4.

This marks the return of Air India to the Tatas. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (JRD) Tata founded the airline in 1932. It was called Tata Airlines then. In 1946, the aviation division of Tata Sons was listed as Air India and in 1948, Air India International was launched with flights to Europe. The international service was among the first public-private partnerships in India, with the government holding 49 per cent, the Tatas keeping 25 per cent and the public owning the rest.

In 1953, Air India was nationalised. The government is selling 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

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Air India goes to Tata Sons, Ratan Tata tweets, Welcome Back!

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New Delhi: Finally, Air India has gone to Tata Group which emerged the highest bidder. This was a much-awaited deal for the Government of India which wanted to sell this national career from a very long time. Welcome back, Air India, tweets Ratan Tata on Tata Sons winning the bid for Air India.
An SPV of Tata Sons – the holding company of conglomerate – has emerged as successful bidder, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) — the government department responsible for privatisation, said.

The international service was among the first public-private partnerships in India, with the government holding 49 per cent, the Tatas keeping 25 per cent and the public owning the rest. In 1953, Air India was nationalised. The government is selling 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

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