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Economics Harbour: Updates (June 1, 2015)!!

1. Core Sector Output decreases by 0.4 per cent in April, 2015. The infrastructure sector comprises of coal, crude oil, oil refining, natural gas, steel, cement, electricity and fertilizers. The total accounts for 38 per cent of India’s Industrial Output. 

2. Government reduced the import tariff value of gold to US$ 385 per 10 grams. Gold is the second largest import item for India after petroleum. Higher gold import bill adversely affects the country’s current account deficit.

3. Service tax increases to 14 per cent. The new structure would be implemented from June 2, 2015. The tax will be levied on all service, barring a few negative list. Higher tax might will tend to make railways, airlines, banking, insurance, advertising, architecture, construction, credit cards, event management and tour operator services costlier.

4. Government cuts allocations to social sectors to the states to promote co-operative federalism and give more fiscal freedom to states.

5. Government has contained the fiscal deficit at 3.99 per cent of GDP in 2014-15 against the revised estimate of 4.1 per cent. The reason has been devoted to prudent policies and commitment to fiscal consolidation. Lower the fiscal deficit, lower will be the government’s expenditure on the interest payments and hence more funds can be devoted to the social welfare as well as infrastructure programmes.