13 October 2020
A) FM proposes new measures to boost demand.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has unveiled new proposals to stimulate demand in the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Addressing a press conference, Sitharaman said that she has broadly classified the proposals into two compartments: consumer spending and capital expenditure. She said the consumer spending proposals include a Leave Travel Concession (LTC) cash vouchers scheme and a special festival advance scheme. The LTC cash vouchers scheme is mainly targeted at employees in the government and other organized sectors. She said the two sets of measures, aided by the participation of state governments and the private sector, can create “additional demand” of ₹1 lakh crore in the economy.
B) LTC cash vouchers and Special Festival Advance Scheme
Explaining the rationale behind the scheme, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government and many organized sector employees have their jobs and salaries protected and some initial indications suggest savings have also increased. In the nutshell, the LTC cash voucher scheme is basically about incentivizing organized sector employees to open up their purse strings and spend their savings. Well, one can avail tax benefits on the LTC component, provided he spend 3 times his LTC on goods and services that attract at least 12% GST – and do it via digital payments, no cash. In other words, if a person’s LTC is ₹40,000, he will get tax benefits on LTC even if he have not traveled or do not wish to travel, if he spend ₹1,20,000 on goods that attract GST of 12% or more. If he don’t avail this option, and if he haven’t availed LTC travel either, then, of course, he had to pay the usual tax on the ₹40,000 as per his tax slab. As regards the leave encashment component of LTC, he will have to spend an equivalent amount towards the purchase of goods that attract minimum 12% GST. While the scheme is being made available to central government employees, the Centre expects state governments to implement it as well. It has also encouraged private sector employers to offer it to their employees.
C) 34 Bollywood producers move Delhi High Court to restrain TV channels.
4 Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading producers have moved the Delhi High Court seeking to restrain Republic TV, Times Now, and other social media platforms from publishing irresponsible and defamatory remarks against Bollywood as a whole. The suit has been filed because these channels were using highly derogatory words and expressions for Bollywood such as dirt, filth, scum, and druggies. The producers who moved the High Court include Dharma Productions, Aamir Khan Productions, Ad-Labs Films, Ajay Devgn Films, Yashraj Films, Salman Khan Films, Ashutosh Gowariker Productions, Red Chillies Entertainment, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, Reliance Big Entertainment, Rohit Shetty Pictures, Vinod Chopra Films, and Kabir Khan Films. The statement said that the producers and associations are merely seeking perpetual and mandatory injunction against the Defendants from carrying on reportage and publication of material that violates applicable laws.
D) Industrial production declined by 8% in August.
The Industrial production has declined by 8% in August, mainly due to lower output of manufacturing, mining and power generation sectors. According to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data, manufacturing sector production registered a decline of 8.6%, while the output of mining and power segments fell 9.8% and 1.8%, respectively. The IIP had contracted by 1.4% in August 2019. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said that it may not be appropriate to compare the IIP in the post-pandemic months with the IIP for months preceding the novel coronavirus pandemic. With the gradual relaxation of restrictions, there has been a relative improvement in the economic activities by varying degrees as well as in data reporting.
A) Economics Nobel goes to two Americans for their work on auction theory.
2 American economists have won the Nobel Prize for improving the theory of how auctions work and inventing new and better auction formats that are now woven into many parts of the economy. The discoveries of Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson have benefited sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world. Noting that the auction formats developed by the winners have been used to sell radio frequencies, fishing quotas, and airport landing slots. Both economists are based at Stanford University in California.
B) Anthony Fauci says Trump campaign ad twisted his words on pandemic response.
On 11 October, top scientist of U.S. government, Mr. Anthony Fauci has said that an advertisement which was aired by Donald Trump’s reelection campaign was edited in such a way as to make it look like he was endorsing the President’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He said that in his nearly 5 decades of public service, he have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. Dr. Fauci is the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. He further said that the 30-second campaign ad cites Trump’s personal experience with the virus. President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America, it says before including a brief clip in which Fauci appears to praise the president’s response to the pandemic. He can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more. In his statement on 10 October, Dr. Fauci said that the comments attributed to him without his permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement he had made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials. Donald Trump defended the clip and his handling of pandemic, and rebutted the doctor’s criticism.