Economy
Higher food prices stoke June retail inflation
Rise in food and fuel prices propelled India's retail inflation to 5.40 percent in June from 5.01 percent in May, official data showed on Monday.
 
The data furnished by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the retail, or the consumer price indexed (CPI) inflation, in the corresponding month of 2014 stood at 6.77 percent.
 
According to the CSO data, the CPI-urban for June inched higher to 4.55 percent from 4.41 percent in May. The June CPI-rural, meanwhile, jumped to 6.07 percent from 5.52 percent in May. 
 
The main cause for the rise in June inflation was attributed to costlier food items. 
 
The "Food and beverages" sub-indice in the CPI has the highest weightage in the CPI of about 45.86 percent. 
 
The "Food and beverages" sub-indice in the CPI rose to 5.48 percent from 4.80 percent in May. 
 
However, June 2015's food inflation was lower in comparison to the corresponding month of 2014, when it stood at 7.21 percent.
 
The food inflation in the urban areas touched 5.24 percent from 4.48 percent in May. The food inflation burden for the rural households in June rose to 5.61 percent from 4.74 percent in May.
 
The food inflation in rural and urban areas during the corresponding month of 2014 stood at 8.05 percent and 5.62 percent, respectively.

User

Australian business looking at India as 'new China'
The Australian eagerness to open such a vast market as India to its service and manufacturing sectors is reflected through the statements made by its federal ministers
 
Those Australians who are worried over the slowing Chinese economy may have some reasons to smile as Canberra is already working desperately to stitch up a Free Trade Agreement with the world's second-most populous country - India.
 
If everything goes according to the Australians' plan there is every reason to believe that India would become one of the largest trading partners of Australia. She has the potential to become what is being called in some circles as Australia's "new China" - the largest trading partner at this stage.
 
The Australian eagerness to open such a vast market as India to its service and manufacturing sectors is reflected through the statements made by its federal ministers.
 
"We are working through the night ... putting pressure on them (India) to help us to get to the point where we can have a similar, very positive agreement," Treasurer Joe Hockey told a conference held in Canberra recently. Joe Hockey's statement came after the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was signed mid-June.
 
Canberra intends to finalise a similar FTA with New Delhi by the end of this year.
 
A number of commentators are writing on how Australian and Indian geopolitical and economic interests are converging and how they can harness the synergies to the benefit of both the parties. If the signals being emitted from South Bock are being interpreted correctly, India is also showing some enthusiasm to conclude the negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) this year.
 
While the Liberal think tank could have 2016 elections in their sight, the Narendra Modi-led Indian government seems to be on an overdrive to propel what is often lauded as a tiger economy into accelerated growth.
 
Even though the Indo-Australian FTA negotiations commenced some seven years ago, it's the leadership of Narendra Modi and Tony Abbott which has added, as if, rocket fuel to the process. The clearly noticeable acceleration came after the Australian PM visited New Delhi and his Indian counterpart came Down Under in November last year.
 
At this stage, the two-way trade between the Indian Ocean rim countries is pegged at around A$15 billion which is just ten per cent of the value of Australia's trade with its largest trading partner China (2013-14 figures).
 
The sense of optimism among the Australian stakeholders for India is definitely palpable. Australian corporate honchos, especially those linked with services sector, are particularly buoyed by the thought of massive revenue the Indian market can churn. 
 
"Services represent around 70 per cent of Australia's economy, yet just 15 per cent of our exports. This is an export we are determined to grow and there are strong prospects with India across a wide range of services, given it is one of the world's most rapidly growing services markets on account of a rising middle class," Australia’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb said in a statement recently.
 
A similar sentiment is being nursed by India's famed IT services sector which has been asking for barriers to be removed.
 
Robb has endeavoured to allay such fears and in fact painted a picture which is very different from the one being shown by the naysayers.
 
"All of this suggests that India's services sector stands to benefit enormously from trade and investment liberalisation."
 
Besides IT service providers, Indian businesses such pharmaceutical, farm and fruit producers, etc also stand to gain from the trade agreement between the two countries. Australians have identified areas like engineering, health services, educating, contracting, construction, architecture, design and the agriculture sector.
 
It is believed around two thousand goods and services have been identified by both the sides to be included in the CECA.
 
"The free trade agreement has also made progress with the two sides agreeing on 1,800 line items... And it is just a small part of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement," India's High Commissioner Navdeep Suri told Indian community members in Melbourne recently.
 
It is also believed that, once CECA is signed, more investment would flow into Australia from India and vice versa. Indian foreign investment into Australia is worth almost $11 billion, with A$6.6 billion of Australian investment in India.
 
"There could be no better illustration of India's potential to be at the centre of a new 'Services Silk Road' to drive growth in the world's most economically dynamic region," Robb said earlier this year.
 
It remains to be seen whether India would get an equal share in the revenue earned from the proposed 'Silk Road' or finish up just as full fare paying commuters.

User

670 million in rural areas live on Rs33 per day
More than 70 million rural households face some form of exclusion, either from assets or socio-economic benefits, according to data released by the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) survey last week
 
 Seventy-five percent of rural households in India have a monthly income of less than Rs.5,000 ($79), 51 percent of households make a living from manual labour, 28 percent (over 50 million) of households do not have mobile phones or any form of communication.
 
More than 70 million rural households face some form of exclusion, either from assets or socio-economic benefits, according to data released by the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) survey last week. As many as 833 million Indians, or 69% of the population, live in rural areas.
 
The SECC report comes at a time when global credit rating agencies such as Moody’s have warned that slow growth in rural India may cripple the overall economy. Rating agencies have laid stress on speeding rural reforms. 
 
Rural Poor and Sources of Income
 
More than half of rural households depend on manual labour for livelihood, and 75 percent of the rural population, or 133.5 million families, earn less than Rs.5,000 per month.
 
“A preliminary analysis reveals a grim picture of rural areas with three in four rural households earning less than Rs.5,000 per month and almost 90 percent of households have incomes of less than Rs.10,000 per month,” Himanshu (he uses only one name), an agricultural economist with Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University wrote in Mint, citing the findings of the Arjun Sengupta committee (2007), which identified 77 percent of India’s population as poor.
 
“Overlooked by the media, these numbers are very close to the estimates of poor and vulnerable derived from other estimates based on the consumption surveys of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Rs.5,000 per month per household with an average household size of five would also mean an income of Rs.33 per person per day in the rural areas,” wrote Himanshu.
 
Although it is not meant to be a comparison of poverty estimates, the SECC data reveals that about 670 million Indians in rural areas alone live on Rs.33 per day (75 percent of rural households is around 134,373,569 households; five members per household gives us a total of 671,867,845 people).
 
Poor housing quality
 
A little less than half of the houses in rural India are kuccha (not solid).
 
Having a pucca (permanent) house is an indicator of a higher standard of living. 
 
Poverty and a low standard of living are reflected in asset ownership.  While 71 percent of village households have mobile phones, refrigerators and motor vehicles are not very common in rural households.
 
Education Levels
 
IndiaSpend recently reported how rural India has more illiterate people than the population of Indonesia. With 74 percent of families living on less than Rs.5,000 a month, this will not change immediately, which in turn will keep economic standards depressed.
 
Projects such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) and Swachh Bharat Mission are the major schemes for rural development in India.
 
Rural India continues to be trapped in a vicious circle of poverty.  A clue to the first step to break out of that cycle comes from what is called the graduation model, a global experiment that could become an anti-poverty guide for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)