Mint Lite | RBI MPC, India covid tally, pay gap in Indian cos, puppets & others4 min read . Updated: 28 Sep 2020, 09:04 PM IST
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The Reserve Bank of India has rescheduled its interest-rate meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, after authorities failed to appoint external members to the Monetary Policy Committee, adding a new layer of uncertainty to an economy facing its worst contraction in history. The terms of three external people on the six-member MPC ended last month, and they are yet to be replaced by the government. The rules require at least four members to be present at the meeting. The RBI will announce a new date soon, the central bank said in a statement without giving reasons for the delay. For the rest of the news here’s Mint Lite.
Case load crosses 6 million
Health minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday launched a “vaccine portal" within the Indian Council of Medical Research website for all information related to the development of a potential covid-19 vaccine. On Monday, novel coronavirus infections crossed 6 million in India, still nowhere near the number required for herd immunity in country of 1.3 billion people. As the season of festivals from Navrathri to Diwali to Christmas begins, there is greater worry about a surge in infections as people gather to celebrate and worship. Typically, the festival season brings a big increase in consumer spending, and the more sombre atmosphere this year will further dampen an economy that contracted by almost a quarter in the three months to June, the worst figure on record. The Gujarat government has said it will not hold an event to mark Navratri from 17 October. Harsh Vardhan also launched a National Clinical Registry to collect “quality real-time clinical data" of coronavirus patients.
‘I paid more tax than Trump’
Just hours after the New York Times reported that US President Donald Trump paid no income tax for 10 out of 15 years since 2000 and before he became president, the Biden campaign began selling stickers about it. “I Paid More Income Taxes Than Donald Trump," read the stickers, which are selling for $5. Throughout the 2020 campaign, Trump has been quick to mock Biden, Democrats and liberals with merchandise designed to generate small-dollar donations like straws and t-shirts. The NYT expose came a day before the first presidential debate on Tuesday in Cleveland. But if either of them stumbles at the debate, there’s one silver lining—more than 944,000 Americans have already voted through mail-in and early voting. The surge in early votes will change the contours of the poll, reducing the potential impact of an “October surprise" or last-minute piece of news that upends the race.
Widening pay gap in India Inc
The highest paid employees, or key managers, of Hero Motocorp, Shree Cements, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, JSW Steel, Hindalco and Infosys earned over 500 times the median salary of their permanent staff in 2019-20, according to an analysis of corporate filings of 42 NIFTY 50 companies by two Delhi-based economists. Hero CEO-MD Pawan Munjal earned ₹84.6 crore in the period, 752 times more the median remuneration at the company. Median remuneration at Hero during the financial year ended 31 March 2020 was ₹11.3 lakh. The lowest pay ratio is at Maruti Suzuki, at 1:39. Economists Reetika Khera and Meghna Yadav used company fili-ngs to SEBI, which mandates that “publicly traded companies disclose the remuneration to their top management vis-à-vis other employees".
Green targets to cost China $15 trillion
The 75th UN General Assembly has been unusual for more than just covid-19 preventive measures—four of the world’s six largest economies proposed dates for when they would end carbon emissions. China’s President Xi Jinping committed to the country reaching carbon neutrality by 2060. That brings the third-biggest economy by GDP into consensus with the second largest (EU), fourth (Japan), and fifth largest (California). Every new country that joins this carbon-neutral group puts pressure on others to align policies with global goals, points out Bloomberg, adding that two of the biggest economies remain outside the consensus: India, at No. 6, and the US, which is largest by size and historical contribution to warming. The scale of China’s undertaking will be immense, since it accounted for 28% of the global greenhouse gas total in 2019. Investments to meet the 2060 target could total $15 trillion over 30 years.
Puppets hit the runway
The fashion industry has been exploring unique ways to keep the show going in a pandemic, with many international weeks turning to virtual showrooms and runways to showcase collections. The recently concluded Milan Fashion Show, which was a mix of online presentations and live ones, pushed the envelope a little further: Moschino presented its Spring-Summer 2021 show on a miniature set populated entirely by marionettes. All of the Italian label’s latest creations, known for its kitschy luxury looks, were shrunk to fit the puppets, which walked the runway in front of the lookalikes of famous figures. The Week also featured a show aimed at raising awareness of the lack of diversity in the industry. Five Black designers, part of the Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion group, had a “We are Made in Italy" digital event, with their spring/summer 2021 collections and it was filmed in Milan’s grand Palazzo Clerici.
Curated by Shalini Umachandran and Pooja Singh. Have something to share with us? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to @shalinimb