Nirmala Sitharaman appointed as the next Finance Minister under Narendra Modi Govt 2.0. India GDP growth slows to five-year low at 5.8%. Unemployment rate at 45-year high. Union Budget to be presented on July 5. Fiat Chrysler proposes merger plan with Renault. Lenskart in talks with SoftBank to raise $350m, set to join the unicorn club. Oyo enters strategic partnership with China’s CTrip. US removes India from its currency monitoring watchlist. US President Donald Trump terminates preferential trade status for India under GSP. US begins collecting higher tariffs on Chinese goods arriving by sea. Yield on the benchmark 10yr government bond dips to a near 18-month low. Global markets shrink after Donald Trump’s Mexico tariff threat.
Moving on to the top Business news of the week.
Nirmala Sitharaman appointed as the next Finance Minister under Narendra Modi Govt 2.0. India GDP growth slows to five-year low at 5.8%. Unemployment rate at 45-year high. Union Budget to be presented on July 5.
Former Defence Minister in the Modi administration, Nirmala Sitharaman has been appointed as the Finance Minister under the re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet.
Sitharaman had also served as the Commerce and Industry Minister before she took up the Defence portfolio. Sitharaman will also hold the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
What You Need to Know: Arun Jaitley, who held the Finance and Corporate Affairs portfolios in the previous NDA government, had earlier this week opted out of formal responsibilities owing to health conditions.
A Rocky Road Ahead: As she takes charge, the immediate challenge before Sitharaman is to revitalize the slowing down economic growth rate and shape the full-year budget for FY20 amid concerns of slowing down revenue collection and surging welfare spending needs.
Here are some other challenges the new Finance Minister is likely to be tackling during her tenure.
Who’s Who: The Narendra Modi government on Friday announced the allocation of the Cabinet portfolios. Here’s a look at who got what.
Strike One: India’s GDP rate slowed to five-year low of 5.8% in Q4 FY2018-19, due to poor performance in agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
The Central Statistics Office also revealed that GDP growth during FY2018-19 stood at 6.8% vs 7.2% in the previous fiscal.
This slump in growth raises the question whether the RBI will provide a monetary stimulus to the slowing economy in its monetary policy review on 6 June, ahead of the budget to be presented on 5 July.
Strike Two: Unemployment rate in India rose to 6.1% during FY2018-19. As per data released by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, 7.8% of all employable urban youth in India are jobless, while the percentage for the rural was 5.3%.
In Other News..: Union Budget will be presented by the newly-appointed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5. The Economic Survey will be released on July 4.
The Interim Budget for the year 2019-20 was presented by then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on February 1, 2019.
A Champion for Sputtering Causes: The allotment of the Ministry of Micro and Small Enterprises in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new Council of ministers to Nitin Jairam Gadkari, in addition to the road transport and shipping portfolio, is not surprising. Read this article to understand why giving Gadkari the MSME ministry may be a most inspired decision by the re-elected Modi government.
Lenskart in talks with SoftBank to raise $350m, set to join the unicorn club. Oyo enters strategic partnership with China’s CTrip.