20 August | The Mint report

20 August | The Mint report
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First Published: Thu, Aug 20 2009. 09 41 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Aug 20 2009. 09 41 PM IST
New Delhi: The government may have wanted to roll out the goods and services tax (GST) in April next year, but opposition to the tax is growing. BJP-ruled states are opposed to GST, which they say is regressive and unpopular. And even members of the UPA government have reservations. The DMK, which rules Tamil Nadu, now says that the group of finance ministers meeting on Saturday to discuss GST, cannot take a decision on behalf of all states.
GST is meant to economically integrate India’s states by replacing various state level taxes with a uniform tax system across the country.
Vaccinations for the swine flu virus are in short supply around the world, and some experts are looking for a way to use them more efficiently. Scientists in the US have developed a model of influenza transmission that can help choose the best strategy for vaccinating a population against the H1N1 virus. Writing in the magazine ‘Science’, they suggest the highest priority groups should be school-age children and their parents. But some are already questioning if a vaccination model suited to the US, can apply in a country like India.
A new report suggests poverty in India is worse than previously thought. It estimates some 42% of the rural population was living below the poverty line in 2004-05 as opposed to the older estimate of 28% for the same period. The findings are part of a report by a group of experts appointed by the Planning Commission. If the government accepts the report there could be implications for public policy.
The new figures have come about after experts redefined assumptions about poverty by including factors such as health and education.
Inflation continues to fall. The wholesale price index fell 1.53% in the week ending 8 August. Though the fall was greater than what analysts expected, it is lower than last week’s fall of 1.74%.
Air India plans to replace several of its flights to West Asia that offer business class seats with all economy flights. It’s part of the airline’s strategy to run more no-frills flights so it can reduce costs and increase revenue. Mounting losses got Air India into trouble earlier this year, and the airline has promised to overhaul its operations and restructure its debt of over Rs15,000 crore.
Adani Power’s IPO may have raised expectations, but its shares opened shakily on Thursday. The company’s shares opened at Rs100, and then swung between losses and gains before finally closing at Rs100.10. Analysts say Adani has very little existing capacity, and that there was always a risk involved with the expansion plans.
The Sensex shot up 203 points on Thurday to end trade at 15,012, while the Nifty went up 59 points to close at 4,453.
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First Published: Thu, Aug 20 2009. 09 41 PM IST