News Wrap


The Economic SURVEY tabled in India's parliament, Lok Sabha, on 29 January 2021, states that the jobs lost to the pandemic, may not be retrieved soon. The document observes that the lockdown disrupted local, regional and global supply chains, and hit economic activity, and the demand for consumption. The survey warns against falling into the trap of low wage growth, and favours stimulating the economy through public investment packages. It suggests that the government has a target of providing skill training to about eight lac people, including migrant workers, under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 3.

Union Budget 2021-22
India's Union Budget for 2021-22, presented to Lok Sabha by India's finance minister, seeks to give the Covid-19 beaten economy a big push, proposing an expenditure of Rs 34.83 lac crore, to be financed heavily, through borrowings from the market and disinvestment. As a result of the large government expenditure, the fiscal deficit in the coming financial year (2021-22) is likely to be 6.8% of the GDP. The gross borrowing from the market for next financial year, would be about Rs 12 lac crore. The government has provided substantial increase in health infrastructure, and the budget outlay for Health and Wellbeing is Rs 2.23 crore in budget estimate for 2021-22, as against budget estimate of Rs 94,452, an increase of 137%. A record sum of Rs 1.10 lac crore is announced for the Railways, out of which Rs 1.07 crore is for capital expenditure. The National transporter is expected to monetise the dedicated freight corridors, after commissioning. The total outlay for Defence has been increased to Rs 4,78,195 crore, from Rs 4,71,378 crore last year. An increase of nearly 7.34% in the Defence budget, will enable India's armed forces to undertake the critical purchases, to meet any threat on India's borders. The finance minister announced Rs 99,311.52 crore for 2021-22, in comparison to Rs 93,224.31 crore of 2020-21. The Education sector, aims setting up of a Higher Education Commission of India, 100 new Sainik Schools, and a Central university in Leh. The government has proposed an outlay of Rs 2,23,846 crore, for health and well being. The increase of 137% from the previous year, with Rs 35,000 crore earmarked Covid-19 vaccine in fiscal 2021-22.

Military Coup In Myanmar
Military staged a coup in Myanmar on 01 February 2021, and detained senior politicians including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. An announcement read on military owned "Myawaddy TV", stated the military would take control of Myanmar for one year. It said the seizure was necessary, because the government had not acted on the Military's claims of fraud in November 2020 elections in which ruling party succeeded in capturing the majority of parliamentary seats.

Vol. 53, No. 34, Feb 21 - 27, 2021