The countdown has begun for the biggest business and economic event of the year, the release of India’s annual budget at the end of February, and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has a tough job on his hands. With general elections a year away, he must please voters, boost growth and control deficits.
In the last five years, the finance minister has always relaxed income tax slabs — by either increasing the basic exemption limit or widening the tax slabs. As far as markets go, the 2009 budget day was the worst for stocks as the index fell around 950 points during trade. However, the focus has always been on the government’s fiscal deficit targets, which have hovered around the 5 percent mark in recent years.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Diversified equity mutual funds underperformed the broader market by a wide margin in January, as exposure to financials and to mid- and small-cap stocks hit returns, according to data compiled by fund tracker Lipper.
Funds overall returned 0.45 percent during a month in which the BSE Sensex rose 2.4 percent, up for a third consecutive month on the back of continued strong foreign net inflows and government reform measures such as allowing diesel prices to rise.
NEW DELHI, Feb 4 (Reuters) – India’s diversified stock
mutual funds underperformed the broader market by a wide margin
in January, as exposure to financials and to mid- and small-cap
stocks hit returns, according to data compiled by fund tracker
Funds overall returned 0.45 percent during a month in which
India’s 30-share BSE index rose 2.4 percent, up for a
third consecutive month on the back of continued strong foreign
net inflows and government reform measures such as allowing
diesel prices to rise.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday cut the repo rate as well as the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 25 basis points, or 0.25 percent. Here’s a quick explanation of what that means. It will be obvious to some readers, but many people haven’t studied economics and are unfamiliar with the terms.
The repo rate, which now stands at 7.75 percent, is the rate at which the central bank lends money to Indian banks. As the repo rate goes down, it gets cheaper for banks to borrow money. That makes it easier for people to borrow money at cheaper rates too. As more people borrow money, which ought to be the result of action like this, they’ll spend more money. That’s good for the Indian economy.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)
The railway budget in India is usually presented in parliament a few days before the main budget in February. In a rare move, the railways minister on Wednesday announced an across-the-board increase in passenger fares starting Jan. 21, the first such step in nine years.
The 23-year-old woman whose gang rape sparked protests and a national debate about violence against women in India died of her injuries on Saturday, prompting a security lockdown in New Delhi and an acknowledgement from the prime minister that social change is needed.
Bracing for a new wave of protests, authorities deployed thousands of policemen, closed 10 metro stations and banned vehicles from some main roads in the heart of New Delhi, where demonstrators have converged since the attack to demand improved women’s rights. Hundreds of people staged peaceful protests at two locations on Saturday morning.
India is angry. India is protesting. Rallies continue in New Delhi after the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl on Dec. 16. The rapes continue too. On Wednesday night, three men reportedly raped a 42-year-old woman and dumped her in South Delhi. There are more cases being reported every day.
“My father has called me 15 times since yesterday,” a colleague told me today as New Delhi recovers from the shock of a woman being assaulted, gang-raped and thrown off a bus on Sunday night.
There were more comments from women on my Facebook feed: “It is a scary thought to go out for dinner at 9:15 pm”; “Men on Delhi streets can literally rape you with words … met one giggling a** just now. Felt like picking a stone and hitting it right where it all starts from …”
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)
If you are a journalist in India or have been around people who work in the field, you might have heard these comments:
Whenever anything happens in India, anything at all, you will find someone on Twitter muttering with suspicion about how it was a political conspiracy. What for? Votes, power, money, the usual. Nobody seems to be able to accept the idea that people sometimes just goof up, that cluelessness trumps deceit and a desire to irk other people.
It’s not like there is no evidence for this simple, if inelegant explanation. Look at the cabinet reshuffle this past October, when Minister of State Lalchand Kataria’s induction in the defence ministry was put on hold after confusion over names in the final list.