News Wrap


As per data, released by the National Statiostic Office in India, while GDP dechined by 7.5%, private consumption in real terms fell by 11.32%, which means that the share of consumption in GDP was lower compared to a year ago. The ratio of private consumption to GDP falling, suggests that the incomes of the working people must have fallen even more, during 2020-21. The period of the pandemic when GDP has fallen has also seen a fall in the share of the working people, and a corresponding rise in the share of surplus in the GDP. The Union government of India has cut back heavily on all current government expenditure in 2020-21. As much as 58 of the rise in GDP are stimulated by Gross Fixed Capital Formation alone, which is normally around 30%. The recovery in GFCF is caused by projects that were already being undertaken but had been stalled, when the lock down was imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi These are now being completed, in a hurry before any new lockdowns are announced, owing to fresh spikes in cases. Fresh investments depend on the growth of GDP, and ultimately on the growth of private and government consumption. The globalised finance capital frowns upon fiscal deficits. The fiscal deficits limit announced in the budget of 2020-21, as a whole has already been exceeded by the end of October 2020. Efforts for stimulating the economy will require an increase in the fiscal deficit well beyond what the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act Permits.

Liberty Jurisprudence
Thwaha Faisal, aged 23 and Allan Shuaib aged 20, are students of Kannaur University. They were arrested from Kozhokode on 01 November 2019, for alleged links with the proscribed CPI Maoists. Kerala's Left Democratic Front had referred the case to the National Investigation Agency that slapped provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, on the two youngsters, who languished in prison for more than 10 months, before being granted bail in September 2020. In considering an appeal filed by the Union government of India, the division bench of the Kerala High Court found fault with the NIA special judge's decision to grant bail, even after the accused argued that there was no evidence against their alleged links with Maoists. On 04 January 2021, Kerala High Court cancelled the bail of Faisal, in which the division bench of Justices A Hariprasad and K Haripal observed that "Undivided rights should subserve the National interest", The High Court, however, did not cancel the bail of the first accused, considering mitigating circumstances like his young age and health issues, for which he is under treatment.

China's New Defence Law
China's New National Defence Law, effective from 01 January 2021, weakens the role of the state council, China's Cabinet headed by Primier Le Kequiang, in formulating military policy, handing descion making powers to the Central Military commission (CMC) the overall high command of the two million strong people's Liberation Army (PLA), headed by China's president Xi Jinping. Amendments were passed on 26 December 2020 by National People's Congress.

Vol. 53, No. 31, Jan 31 - Feb 6, 2021