Special Current Affair for IBPS Exams : Economy & Energy Part - 3
Core Sector Growth Slumped by 2.5 Percent in February 2013
The production of eight core sector industries decreased by 2.5 percent in the month of February 2013, for the first time in 2012-13 financial year. This happened because of a decrease in the output of natural gas. The biggest decline happened in the natural gas sector with more than 20 percent in February.
This was followed by coal (-8 percent), electricity generation (-4.1 percent) and crude oil (-4 percent). The overall output growth of the core sector industries was witnessed at 7.7 percent in February 2012. Negative performance in February 2013 diminished cumulative growth in 11 months of 2012-13 FY ending February to 2.6 percent in comparison to 5.2 percent during same period in 2011-12 FY. Eight core industries include electricity, cement, crude oil, finished steel, petroleum refinery products, fertiliser, coal and electricity.
These industries have weight of 37.9 percent in Index of Industrial Production (IIP). During February 2013, fertiliser output decreased by 4 percent in comparison to 4.1 percent growth in February 2012. Cement output increased by 3.9 percent in comparison to 9.8 percent in February 2012. Petroleum refinery output increased by 4.3 percent in comparison to 6 percent in February 2012. Steel production increased by 0.5 percent in comparison to 8.7 percent in February 2012. In January 2013, these core industries increased by 3.1 percent.
Indian Railways Carried 1009.73 Million Tonnes of Freight during Fiscal 2012-13
Indian Railways carried 1009.73 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during the financial year 2012-13 as per the data released by Ministry of Railways. The freight carried shows an increase of 39.95 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 969.78 million tonnes actually carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 4.12 per cent. During the month of March 2013, the revenue earning freight traffic carried by Indian Railways was 98.20 million tonnes. There is an increase of 4.35 million tonnes over the actual freight traffic of 93.85 million tonnes carried by the Indian Railways during the same period last year, showing an increase of 4.64 per cent.
Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India Increased by About 3 Percent
Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) showed a growth of 2.8 percent in March 2013 over March 2012. The growth rate in Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism in Rupee terms in March 2013 over March 2012 was 21percent. The following are the important highlights regarding FTAs and FEEs from tourism during the month of March, 2013.
Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs):
• FTAs during the Month of March 2013 were 6.40 lakh as compared to FTAs of 6.23 lakh during the month of March 2012 and 5.36 lakh in March 2011.
• There has been a growth of 2.8 percent in March 2013 over March 2012 as compared to a growth of 16.3 percent registered in March 2012 over March 2011.
• FTAs during the period January-March 2013 were 20.27 lakh with a growth of 2.3 percent, as compared to the FTAs of 19.81 lakh with a growth of 10.9percent during January-March 2012 over the corresponding period of 2011.
Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism in rupee terms and US dollar terms
FEEs during the month of March 2013 were Rs. 9,491 crore as compared to 7843 crore rupees in March 2012 and 5522 crore rupees in March 2011.
The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in March 2013 over March 2012 was 21.0 percent as compared to 42.0 percent in March 2012 over March 2011.
FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during January-March 2013 were 30075 crore rupees with a growth of 20.5 percent, as compared to the FEE of 24968 crore rupees with a growth of 31.7 percent during January-March 2012 over the corresponding period of 2011.
FEEs in US dollar terms during the month of March 2013 were 1.75 billion US dollars as compared to FEEs of 1.56 billion US dollars during the month of March 2012 and 1.23 billion US dollars in March 2011.
The growth rate in FEEs in US dollar terms in March 2013 over March 2012 was 11.9 percent as compared to the growth of 27.1 percent in March 2012 over March 2011.
FEE from tourism in terms of US dollar during January-March 2013 were 5.55 billion US dollar with a growth of 11.6 percent, as compared to 4.97 billion US dollar with a growth of 18.9 percent during January-March 2012 over the corresponding period of 2011.
Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) on the basis of data received from major ports and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism on the basis of data received from Reserve Bank of India.
Union Government achieved FY13 Revised Tax Collection Target
Union government in the Month of March 2013 announced that it has met its revised tax collection target for 2012-13. With this there is also possibility that the tax collection may even exceed the estimates because of better-than-expected indirect tax collections. Combining (direct and indirect tax collections) the government met the revised estimates. From the revenue side a bit for fiscal consolidation was done. However the final numbers for direct taxes will be known only after 20 April 2013. For the year 2012-13, the Union government had revised its direct tax collections target to 5.65 lakh crore Rupees from budget estimates of 5.70 lakh crore Rupees. The target for indirect taxes was revised to 4.69 lakh crore rupees from budget estimates of 5.05 lakh crore Rupees.
It is also important here to note that the fiscal deficit target for 2012-13 of 5.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP) has also been achieved. For 2013-14, budget estimates for direct taxes and indirect taxes are 6.68 lakh crore Rupees and 5.65 lakh crore Rupees, respectively.The number of tax returns filed in 2012-13 was estimated around 2.15 crore compared to 1.64 crore a year ago. On 31March 2013 as many as 7.5 lakh tax returns were filed. The government was trying its best to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as early as possible.
What is Direct tax?
Direct tax is a tax paid directly to the government by the persons on whom it is imposed. Direct taxes mainly comprise of corporate tax and income tax. It is imposed upon an individual person (juristic or natural) or on property, as distinct from a tax imposed upon a transaction.
What is Indirect tax?
An indirect tax can be referred to taxes such as sales tax, a specific tax, value added tax (VAT), or goods and services tax (GST). It is a tax collected by an intermediary (such as a retail store) from the person who bears the ultimate economic burden of the tax (such as the consumer).
CCEA approved Special Infrastructure Scheme in LWE affected States
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA) on 2 April 2013 approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for continuation of the Scheme for Special Infrastructure (SIS) in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states during the 12th Plan period. The proposal includes an added objective of upgradation and critical gap filling of training infrastructure, residential infrastructure, weaponry, vehicles and any other related items pertaining to Special Forces of LWE affected states. The total cost would be 373 crore rupees comprising 280 crore rupees as central government share and 93 crore rupees as state government share on a 75 (central): 25 (state) funding pattern.The scheme will enhance the security in the region which would provide an enabling environment for development. The scheme was being implemented from the year 2008-09 with the broad objective to adequately provide for critical infrastructure requirements that are critical to the policing and security needs in the field, but are not adequately or otherwise provided for in any other scheme. During the 11th Plan period 100 percent funding was provided by the Central Government to the 9 LWE affected states for implementing various projects under the scheme. The total funds were released under the scheme by the central government to the 9 LWE affected states during the 11th Plan period is 445.82 crore rupees.
Government permitted Railways to use its Land for Metro Networks
The Union Cabinet of India on 18 April 2013 gave its approval to the proposal of the Indian Railways for permitting use of its land for crossing metro networks under ground, on the surface as well as elevated/over ground. The Indian Railways will also allow opening of Kendriya Vidyalayas on its land in order to provide adequate educational facilities to children of railway staff/officials placed in remote areas, and where educational institutions are not adequate. Exchange of railway land with central/state governments, department/local bodies for setting up public utilities shall also be entered into by the Indian Railways, wherever considered mutually beneficial.