FM to G-20: Need policies to create jobs, support investment

Credible action for both short- and medium-term policies to create jobs and employment needs to be a cornerstone of the G20 Framework

Washington: As global economy moves ahead on the path of recovery, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has asked G-20 countries to push for policies that creates jobs and step up efforts to support investment in real sector, reports PTI.

In an intervention made at the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors, being held on the sidelines of the Spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, he said credible action for both short- and medium-term policies to create jobs and employment needs to be a cornerstone of the G20 Framework.

Mr Mukherjee said there is general concern over the global employment scenario, especially the falling labour participation rate and growing youth unemployment.

"Leaders had consequently tasked us to mainstream jobs and employment issues into the framework exercise. Persistent high unemployment tends to have significant long-lasting detrimental impacts on the economy, holding back economic recovery further, adding to social tensions and adversely affecting productivity and growth in the medium to long-term," he said.

The Finance Minister said the world has been pre-occupied with dealing with the problems in the financial sector, which was need of the hour.

"However, keeping in view the emergent situation, some members have been stressing the need to step up efforts to support investment in the real sector, and especially in infrastructure, at a global level to help revive global growth and support demand and job creation," he argued.

"This route to reviving global growth has not received the attention that it merits. To the extent that much of this investment, including in infrastructure, will occur in developing countries, it would also help rebalance global demand, as also, redirect savings," he said.

Some developed countries also need to increase investment and upgrade their infrastructure, he added.

"While construction works would stimulate local growth and job creation, the large demand for capital goods created for modern infrastructure would also stimulate private investment and job creation globally," he said.

G-20 countries, he said, will need to develop a framework to assess the progress made on G20 commitments.

"Since the time between the Cannes and Los Cabos Summits is quite short, this would be an important component of our Action Plan. It is also critical for our own credibility in the eyes of the world," he said.

The Framework Working Group has indicated that assessment in some areas is complicated by the lack of a common framework to assess progress, he said.

Mr Mukherjee said BRICS might have a big impact in the decision making process of the world today and it could no longer be ignored.

"I would not say that they are having a big impact in the decision making process of the world today, but surely they have a place and they can't be ignored," the Finance Minister said responding to a question at the Peter G Peterson Institute for International Economics.

"If you look at the characters of BRICS, it represents Asia, Europe, South Africa and Latin America. Its total contribution in the world output today is substantial. As per the latest world outlook by IMF and the forecast, two countries which are being mentioned they also from the group," Mr Mukherjee said.

Responding to questions, he said the established financial institutions are not moving fast enough to address the issues of the current world. "Established institutions which are 60 years old, the Bretton Wood Institutions, they should move little faster". They are moving in the right direction, but not at the expected speed, he added.

Mr Mukherjee said that emerging markets now account for half of the world economy. "Roughly 15 years ago emerging and developing economies accounted for 35.5% of the total world output. They now account for almost 50% of the total world output. Such a big shift in less than two decades has rarely been witnessed in the world."

"Indeed, we are witnessing an emerging new world order, where there is a higher degree of interdependence among nations and, hopefully, there is also a more dynamic and equitable arrangement for global prosperity," he said.

Just as the rise of Europe and North America and, subsequently, Japan was a great human achievement, so is it going to be with the rise of Asia, the Finance Minister said.

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No witch hunting in name of fighting corruption: PM

A civil servant who does not take decisions might always be safe, but at the end of the day he or she would have contributed nothing to our society and to our country, Dr Singh said

New Delhi: Fighting the charge of policy paralysis in Government, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked civil servants to show "boldness" in decision making, assuring them there will be "no witch hunting" in the name of fighting corruption, reports PTI.

Addressing them on the Civil Services Day, Dr Singh asked the bureaucrats to fight the tendency of not taking decisions because of the fear that things might go wrong and they might be penalised for that.

"It should be our endeavour that there is no witch hunting in the name of fighting corruption. It is our government's commitment to put in place a system and create an environment in which our civil servants are encouraged to be decisive, and no one is harassed for bonafide mistakes of errors of judgement," the Prime Minister said.

Dr Singh, however, also noted there is a growing perception, right or wrong, that the moral fibre of civil servants and public servants in general is not as as strong as it used to some decades back and that the civil servants are now more likely to succumb to extraneous pressures in their work. "These perceptions might be exaggerated but I do think that there is a grain of truth in them," he said.

While maintaining that the decisions that civil servants take must be fair and objective in nature, he made it clear that the government stands committed to protecting honest and well meaning civil servants who might have made genuine errors in their work.

"...We cannot have a bureaucracy which is hundred percent risk averse. In fact we should encourage boldness in decision making, provided that the decisions are well considered and as per the law of the land. A civil servant who does not take decisions might always be safe, but at the end of the day he or she would have contributed nothing to our society and to our country," the Prime Minister said.

Dr Singh also chose the occasion to stress that the Centre has made "substantial progress" in the last one year towards strengthening the legislative framework and revamping the country's administrative practices to enable it to fight the menace of corruption in public life better.

Maintaining there is a need to be honest in admitting our failures and our deficiencies, the Prime Minister said that the decisions that the civil servants take must be fair and objective in nature, based on sound evidence and deep analysis and designed to serve the best interests of the country.

"Their judgement and advice should not be affected by the nature and colour of the political leadership. If this does not happen, the impartiality and fairness of the decision making processes in public administration would get compromised and the quality of our output would be sub-optimal...this is a vigil that the civil servants must maintain constantly," he said.

Noting that there is a growing perception in the public that the attributes of objectivity in work have been diluted, Singh said he leaves it to the civil servants to ponder to what extent this perception is true and what they can collectively do to remove it from the public mind.

Congratulating the award winning civil servants on the occasion, he also said that several civil servants in the country have been shining examples of probity and integrity, working selflessly for the public good.

The Prime Minister also urged the bureaucrats to redouble their efforts to keep pace with the new technology and to new ways of doing things, saying it is generally felt that the civil services have somewhat lagged behind in.

Dr Singh chose the occasion to impress upon the bureaucrats the necessity of inclusive growth, saying the country's growth would not have much meaning if "we fail in building a truly inclusive society and country".

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Another scary weekend selloff but crucial support level holds!

The market is not very exciting at the moment but this sideways narrow range movement might just be the lull before the storm. One should stay alert in the weeks ahead and not be lulled into sleep lest you want to miss a big opportunity

S&P Nifty close: 5290.85

 
Market Trend

Short Term: Sideways            Medium Term: Sideways        Long Term: Down


The Nifty opened flat and recovered to make a high of 5,342 points before a selloff on the weekend saw the Nifty (futures) hit a low of 5,000 points. Short-covering coupled with some speculative buying at lower levels saw the Nifty recover some of its losses to close only 42 points lower. However, it closed 83 points (1.60%) higher over last week albeit on lower volumes. A fresh trendline is drawn (in blue) which shows that it provides resistance around the current week’s close.

The sectoral indices which outperformed were BSE Auto (+5.88%), BSE Metal (+3.33%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (+2.98%) while the gross underperformers were BSE Oil & Gas (-0.47%), BSE Power (-0.29%) and BSE Capital Goods (-0.27%).  The weekly histogram MACD remained below the median line (though it has flattened) which is a warning sign for the bulls this may be their last chance to try to pull thing back in the near future. The volumes during the recovery have been lower implying that it is corrective in nature and all in not well for the bulls even though they continue to cling on.

Here are some key levels to watch out for this week
  • As long as the S&P Nifty stays above 5,272 points (pivot) the bulls would breathe a bit easy even though the intermediate trend is sideways.
  • Support levels in declines are pegged at 5,202 and 5,113 points.
  •  Resistance levels on the upside are pegged at 5,361 and 5,431 points.

Some Observations
1.    The Nifty closed on the resistance line (in blue), hence drawn afresh which depicts that resistance is pegged around 5,290 points.
2.    Weekly averages have become positively phased and the price has managed to claw back above them, keeping the bulls hopes alive though whisker thin.
3.    Unless and until the 5,372-5,385 points range is taken out in close the bears would hold the egde and a break of the recent low of 5,171 points (in close) would set the cats amongst the pigeons.

Strategy
The tug-of war is continuing for the past few weeks with neither the bulls nor the bears making any headway. Last week was the 8th week (Fib) from the top of 5,629 points and we have to see whether a small recovery during the first day or two of the week takes place, though in all probability it will be short-lived. Expect a small top on the 23rd-24th followed by a decline during the weekend. In short the market is not very exciting at this moment but this sideways narrow range movement might just be the lull before the storm. Therefore one should stay alert in the weeks ahead and not be lulled into sleep lest you want to miss a big opportunity.

(Vidur Pendharkar works as a consultant technical analyst & chief strategist at www.trend4casting.com)

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