Union Budget 2020 India: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman may not go overboard in setting growth target for FY21 in her second budget speech. The Finance minister perhaps would set the target for nominal GDP growth to 9.5-10 per cent as she now doesn’t have the time for ‘picking optimistic target’ experiments, IANS reported citing sources as saying. On the other hand, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), has asked the Finance Minister to avoid having over-ambitious tax revenue and fiscal deficit targets, according to the report.
Coal Import: Union minister Pralhad Joshi today informed that the Centre will stop the “substitutable import” of coal in the next three to four years and can go for auction of 100 fully explored blocks. The government recently brought an ordinance to amend laws to open up coal mining to firms other than those in the steel and power sectors, removing restrictions on end-use of the fuel. Terming the promulgation of the ordinance as “one of the major reforms”, the coal minister said that “whatever the substitutable shortfall is there…we want to achieve it in the coming three-four years. That maybe around 2023-24. We want to stop the substitutable import of the coal”.
RBI: The issue of interim dividend may be raised for discussion in the next Reserve Bank board meeting as the government struggles to meet its ambitious fiscal deficit target of 3.3 percent amid revenue shortfall, sources said. Government finances have come under pressure due to moderation in revenue collection and a slew of measures taken to lift growth from over six-year-low of 4.5 percent in the second quarter of the current fiscal.
Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 19 promised free bus rides for students and deployment of “mohalla marshals” for women’s security as he released a “guarantee card” listing 10 promises that AAP will deliver on if it is elected to rule Delhi again. The card, ‘10 guarantees of Kejriwal’, also promised to continue the scheme for free electricity up to 200 units, free health facilities and to plant two crore saplings in the national capital over the next five years.
Tennis: Thirteen-year-old Rushil Khosla, the tennis prodigy, will receive the Prime Minister Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar at Rashtrapati Bhawan on January 22, 2020. Rushil is the only Indian player in Asian Tennis Federation’s top 10 list and has maintained his number 1 rank in the under-14 years (boys) category for the past year.
India & Sri Lanka: India has decided to provide a $50 million security assistance to Sri Lanka as National Security Advisor Ajit Doval called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and discussed a range of bilateral issues, including strengthening cooperation in defence, intelligence sharing, and maritime security.
India Malaysian Trade: India’s commerce minister will not meet with his Malaysian counterpart in Davos next week because of his tight schedule, an Indian commerce ministry official said on Sunday. India has repeatedly objected to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaking out against a new citizenship law which critics say discriminate against Muslims.
UK: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have signed up to a formal exit deal from the royal family, which will see them forsake their His and Her Royal Highness (HRH) titles and will no longer receive UK taxpayers’ funding for their duties. The deal, which comes into effect by spring in a few weeks’ time, means the couple will no longer be representing the Queen in an official capacity.