Latest News Today – Vaccination Push Has Brightened Near-Term Prospects Of

Aggressive vaccination push has brightened near term economic prospects, RBI has said

The near-term prospects for the Indian economy have brightened with the tapering of the second wave as well as aggressive vaccination push, is what the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has observed in its monthly bulletin for July 2021, while commenting on the overall state of the economy.

At the same time though, it has noted that a substantial increase in aggregate demand has not happened, even though various high frequency indicators have shown a recovery.

On the other hand, the central bank’s bulletin said that agricultural conditions are favourable with monsoon’s revival, however the second wave has adversely impacted the revival of manufacturing and services sectors.

“A pick-up in inflation is driven largely by adverse supply shocks and sector-specific demand-supply mismatches caused by the pandemic,” the bulletin said.

These factors should ease over the year as supply side measures take effect, it noted.

Monetary policy transmission in the country is the second key area under focus in RBI’s bulletin, where it has said that transmission of policy repo rate changes to deposit and lending rates of scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) has improved substantially since the introduction of external benchmark linked lending rate (EBLR) regime in October 2019.

“Data collected from banks suggest that the share of outstanding loans linked to external benchmark in total floating rate loans has increased from as low as 2.4 per cent during September 2019 to 28.5 per cent by the end of 2020-21,” it said.

The third main focus of RBI bulletin is on the pharmaceutical exports, where it has observed that the Indian pharmaceutical industry is currently heavily dependent on its imports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), especially from China, despite having domestic research and development (R&D) potential through various channels such as joint ventures and domestic capacity improvements.

It has suggested that timely diversification of imports of raw materials and a long-term approach towards R&D is required for elevating the sector’s global position.

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Latest News Today – Corporates Call For Ramping Up Investment In Health

A survey by industry body FICCI says that business houses seek greater investment in healthcare

The corporate sector has underlined the importance of ramping up investments in healthcare infrastructure in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and rural areas, which the Government should prioritise in order to brace up to any subsequent future wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Also the Government must take all steps to scale up vaccination drive in the country, several business houses have opined.

These are some of the findings of a survey conducted by industry body FICCI on nationwide businesses to assess the impact of the state-level lockdowns on them. Many companies have listed five priority areas which need immediate focus of the Government.

Apart from strengthening health infrastructure in small towns and villages, the respondents have sought that maintaining a sufficient pool of essential medicines for pandemic management and continuing with the newly created temporary facilities, as well as strengthening testing infrastructure and setting up a national facility for vaccine manufacturing, should form the core of the Government’s preparatory work.

According to the feedback received in the survey, the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector has faced the maximum brunt and there is an immediate need for relief to this sector. This view was expressed by nearly 65 per cent of the surveyed companies.

Among other measures listed by companies for relief, ease of compliances, moratorium for loan and interest payments and incentives for boosting demand, were the most significant.

The survey further showed that 58 per cent of the companies saw a ‘high impact’ on their businesses due to the state level lockdowns. Another 38 per cent reported ‘moderate impact’ on their operations due to the state level lockdowns.

With different parts of the country under varying sets of restrictions and consumer sentiment impacted due to the ferocity of the second wave, an evident dip in demand was witnessed by companies. Around 58 per cent of the surveyed companies reported ‘weak demand’ as the biggest challenge they are facing under the current environment.

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Latest News Today – Chief Economic Adviser To NDTV

K Subramanian has said that Covid pandemic has impacted employment in India

Chief Economic Adviser K Subramanian on Wednesday said that the economic fortune of the country is linked directly with the ongoing pandemic and it has impacted employment, like it has affected all the countries across the world.

Speaking to NDTV, Mr Subramanian said that unemployment has gone up in India as the coronavirus pandemic has had repercussions on employment prospects.

At the same time though, India had taken steps to push key activities like construction and manufacturing during the third and fourth quarters of 2020-21 when the first wave had eased, the chief economic adviser said.

Fear of the pandemic had reduced last year when the number of positive cases had come down significantly and similarly it should happen this year too as greater vaccination will help open the economy, he observed.

Mr Subramanian added that just like number of infections have declined in the past few days, the economy should start looking upwards once key economic activities resume.

Last year too, he said, when the situation had eased, the economy had recovered, so there is no reason why it shouldn’t happen this year also, the chief economic adviser reasoned.

When asked about demand for jobs under MGNREGA, considering the fact that several migrant workers have headed back to their native places in many parts of the country, Mr Subramanian said that though demand for it in May this year was not as high compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, allocation for the programme can certainly go up.

Speaking at length on the Government’s vaccination programme amid the raging coronavirus second wave, Mr Subramanian underlined the need for accelerating the pace of vaccination and said that if “we are able to vaccinate on a 24×7 basis, then we can vaccinate one crore people a day”.

This, he said, should be the target, as the benefits of vaccination are higher than the cost of vaccination. “The sooner we vaccinate, the better it is, especially in rural areas,” Mr Subramanian noted.

Referring to the status of infection in the country, the chief economic adviser said that according to an ICMR survey, 40 per cent of population may have developed anti-bodies.

Mr Subramanian informed that though Rs 35,000 crore have been provided in the Union Budget for vaccination, the Finance Minister has said that additional funds will be given for additional doses.

He urged on greater usage of double dose vaccines as “both the doses had greater impact”

At the same time, he said that “if we have a single dose vaccine, then it would be a game changer”.

On being asked about the actual cost which may be incurred on vaccinating all adults in India, the chief economic adviser did not reveal an actual figure but said that it would depend on how the vaccination programme will pan out.

As both public as well as private sectors along with the states have to participate in the vaccination programme, therefore the actual figure related to actual cost is not known as of now, Mr Subramanian informed.

On being specifically asked about the cost if only Centre’s participation in the vaccination programme is taken into account, Mr Subramanian said, “the benefits are far higher than the cost.”

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Dr Reddy’s mulls seeking trial waiver for Sputnik Light | | Sidnaz Blog

HYDERABAD: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is mulling approaching drug regulatory authorities to seek waiver for separate clinical trials of Sputnik Light, the single-dose version of Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V recently approved in Russia.
Russian Direct Investment Fund’s (RDIF) Indian partner is also exploring the possibility of seeking a waiver of the requirement for each local Sputnik V manufacturer to conduct separate clinical trials and seek regulatory approvals as part of the process of speeding up the deployment of locally made doses, a top Dr Reddy’s Laboratories official said on Monday.
Hetero Group, which has been roped in for manufacturing over 100 million doses, has already got regulatory approval for conducting Phase III clinical trials of the locally made Sputnik V on around 300 volunteers to test if it is at par with the imported vaccine.
“…we are working with the Indian regulator to understand what is the optimal way to do this. This being a technology transfer, not a redevelopment, there is a possibility to be able to avoid it (separate trial)…it is not clear as of now so we will…work with the regulator to bring some guidance on how to do this,” said Dr Sauri Gudlavalleti, head of R&D and IPDO, Dr Reddy’s.
On Sputnik Light, he said: “We are collecting all the data and evidence that formed the basis for Sputnik Light to be approved in Russia. Once we have the data and are in a position to submit it, which I expect will happen in the next few weeks,… we will submit that and seek feedback from the regulator…we will have to work with the regulator to see if the evidence is adequate to waive the trial…,” he said.

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