• Philippines' Duterte defends COVID-19 strategy as cases surge
    MANILA, July 27 (Reuters): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended his tough approach to fighting the coronavirus on Monday amid a surge in cases, touting its effectiveness in an annual address that critics said revealed little about plans to resuscitate a battered economy. While Duterte urged Congress to approve a 140 billion pesos ($2.85 billion) stimulus package, he devoted much of his speech to attacking opponents, reviving the death penalty and defending a bloody war
  • Garment workers to graduates: Bangladeshi women aim to shake up textile sector
    DHAKA, July 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Five years ago, Sadeka Begum was working 12-hour shifts in a garment factory as the main earner for her family in Bangladesh. Today the 23-year-old is one of the first graduates of a special university programme that aims to inspire female workers to become leaders and boost women's rights across industries. Begum now interns for the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) and hopes to use her economics degree to launch
  • Banking sector woes impacting growth: CEA
    NEW DELHI, JULY 22 (IANS): India's banking sector woes have impacted investments and growth, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Krishnamurthy V Subramanian said on Wednesday. Speaking at the Ficci's 17th Annual Capital Market Conference 'CAPAM2020', he said the sector faced two problems of "scale and quality". The CEA elaborated that these problems are major factors for slow growth. According to Subramanian, NPAs and risk aversion have impacted investment,
  • Market geared up to aid India achieve $5tn economy mark: SEBI Chairman
    MUMBAI, JULY 22 (IANS): India's equity market is geared up to aid the country achieve the $5 trillion economy mark, SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi said on Wednesday. Speaking at the Ficci's 17th Annual Capital Market Conference 'CAPAM2020', Tyagi said the equity market systems are well geared up to take on the current challenges. The theme of the conference is 'Atmanirbhar Bharat: Role of Capital Market'. He acknowledged that the country is passing through a
  • Covid Impact: IndiGo to axe 10% of its workforce
    NEW DELHI, JULY 20 (IANS): The Covid-19-induced economic turbulence has led airline major IndiGo to decide to lay off 10 per cent of its workforce.   According to Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, IndiGo, the company, after carefully assessing and reviewing all possible scenarios, will require to bid "a painful adieu" to 10 per cent of its around 27,000-strong workforce.   "It is for the first time in the history of IndiGo that we have undertaken such a painful m
  • India's debt-to-GDP ratio may rise to 87.6%: SBI Ecowrap
    NEW DELHI, JULY 20 (IANS): The economic turbulence due to Covid-19 is expected to push India's debt-to-GDP ratio higher, according to a SBI Ecowrap report on Monday. Together with the declining GDP growth, debt-to-GDP ratio has been adversely affected in all countries.   "India's debt-to-GDP ratio has increased gradually from Rs 58.8 lakh crore (67.4 per cent of GDP) in FY12 to Rs 146.9 lakh crore (72.2 per cent of GDP) in FY20," it said. Higher borrowing t
  • Two committees to revive economy of Mon dist constituted 
    Mon, July 16 (MExN): Mon district task force led by Thavaseelan K, DC Mon has notified that two committees to revive the economy of Mon district, ‘the committees in creation of livelihood opportunities’ would look into creating job opportunities for returnees and enhancing the local economy of Mon district. The committee on improving self reliance of Mon district for commodities would look into creating sufficient buffer stock of essential commodities and reducing depe
  • FICCI survey predicts 4.5% contraction in India's FY21 GDP
    NEW DELHI, JULY 12 (IANS): With economic activities coming to a halt amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, the Indian economy is expected to record a negative 4.5 per cent growth rate in the current financial year, according to the FICCI's Economic Outlook Survey.   The minimum and maximum growth estimate stood at (-) 6.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively, for FY21, it said. The quarterly median forecasts indicated 14.2 per cent contraction in the gross dome
  • 77% companies face revenue drop amid Covid pandemic: Report
    NEW DELHI, JULY 12 (IANS): Around 77 per cent business organisations have witnessed a drop in their revenue as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to a recent global survey.   As per a joint survey by 720 Transform of Dubai, Prophecy FZLLC-Middle East and India-based Insights3D, around 7 per cent firms in India and the Middle East have registered an upward revenue growth, while about 16 per cent of the companies remained unaffected. Around 282 executives,
  • Mastercard commits Rs 250 cr to support SMEs in India
    NEW DELHI, JULY 9 (IANS): Mastercard on Thursday committed Rs 250 crore to help Indian small and business enterprises recover in view of the severe impact of the pandemic.   "Their dependence on the cash economy and supply chain disruptions have made India's small and medium businesses amongst the hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic," Mastercard said in a statement.   As part of this commitment, the company will roll out multiple initiatives to he
  • Down but not out: Berlusconi could hold key to Italian government's future
    ROME, July 9 (Reuters): He is 83 and has lost most of his former support, but Italy's four-times prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is manoeuvring to put his centre-right Forza Italia party back into government and could make his move as early as September, sources say.   Berlusconi aims to exploit divisions in the ruling coalition over whether Italy should seek a loan from the euro zone's bailout fund which could provide cheap money for its coronavirus-battered health
  • Investments for building long-term presence in India remain intact: Coca-Cola
    NEW DELHI, JULY 8 (IANS): Beverage major Coca-Cola's long-term investment plans in India remain intact despite coronavirus-induced economic turbulence, a key company executive said.   Accordingly, the beverage major is expected to complete the earlier announced $5 billion investment this year for creation of retail infrastructure, bottling plants and introduction of new products, amongst others.   Since its re-entry into India in 1993 till 2011, Coca-Cola had
  • As Lebanon crisis spirals, families barter for food on Facebook
    BEIRUT, July 7 (Reuters): One Lebanese woman asked for sugar, milk and soap in exchange for a child's dress. Another wanted canned goods in return for gym equipment.   A 65-year-old seamstress now exchanges her sewing services for food, because her clients can no longer afford to pay her.   Bartering on Facebook has become the last resort for some people in Lebanon, where a financial meltdown has sent prices skyrocketing this year.   "It&#
  • Gold prices hit all-time high
    NEW DELHI, JULY 1 (IANS): Gold hit an all-time high on Wednesday with futures trading at Rs 48,871 per 10 gm as the demand for the safe haven asset continued to soar with the Covid-19 global shocks and economic uncertainty hammering down business sentiments.   "Gold surged to its highest in nearly 8 years on Tuesday as mounting fears of a resurgence of new coronavirus cases kept safe haven demand for gold alive, setting the precious metal on path for its biggest quarter
  • PM Johnson demands Britain "Build, build, build" to beat COVID-19 slump
    LONDON, June 30 (Reuters): Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to shake Britain's economy out of its coronavirus-induced crisis on Tuesday, by fast-tracking infrastructure investment and slashing property planning rules.   As Britain emerges from lockdown, Johnson is looking to move past criticism of his government's handling of the pandemic with a plan to repair the economic damage and reshape the country.   "We cannot continue simply to be prisone
  • PM outlines economic reforms, says several sectors 'unlocked'
    NEW DELHI, JUNE 28 (IANS): As the economy goes through a tough time amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday outlined steps taken recently for economic liberalisation under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package whereby the government opened up coal mining and space exploration for private players.   Addressing the nation through the 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast, the Prime Minister said that as the first phase of 'unlock' is underway, s
  • U.S. and EU must face down China together, Pompeo says
    BRUSSELS, June 25 (Reuters): The United States and European Union need a shared understanding of China to resist it, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday, calling Beijing a threat and accusing it of stealing European know-how to develop its economy.   Pompeo said he had accepted a proposal by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to create a formal U.S.-EU dialogue on China and would travel to Europe soon to host the first session.   "The
  • India's economy projected to contract by 4.5% in FY21: IMF
    NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON, JUNE 24 (IANS): Covid-19 battered India's economy is projected to contract by 4.5 per cent this fiscal, said the International Monetary Fund.   In the World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast report, the IMF said that India's economy is expected to contract on the back of a longer lockdown and a slower recovery than anticipated in April.   Accordingly, the country's economy will contract in FY21 from an expansion of 4.2 per cent in F
  • Rs 79,000 cr loans approved to revive economy post-lockdown
    NEW DELHI, JUNE 23 (IANS): The government on Tuesday released a report card on schemes launched during the Covid-19 period to revive the economy and economic activities.   Interventions by the government for MSMEs have been gaining traction and it's evident from the exponential rise in bank loan sanctions under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), according to a statement by the Finance Ministry.   Under the ECLGS, which is backed by a governmen
  • Fitch revises outlook on 9 Indian banks to negative
    NEW DELHI, JUNE 22 (IANS): After downgrading India's outlook to negative from stable, Fitch Ratings on Monday revised the outlook on nine Indian banks to negative.   The outlook on the Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) was revised to negative from stable due to the banks' high dependence on the Centre to re-capitalise them.   Accordingly, the IDR outlook of the Export-Import Bank of India, the State Bank of India, the Bank of Baroda, the Bank of Barod