Monday November 18, 2019

India achieves five polio free years

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New Delhi: This last Wednesday India completed five years of being Polio free. Polio in the 90s was the biggest disease in India affecting as many as 50000 children a year.

The last reported case in India was Howrah District in West Bengal on January 13 five years ago. While, the last case in Delhi was in June 2009.

India has achieved a remarkable result as in 2009, the country had half of the share of polio cases existing in the world.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the country polio-free after it completed the mandatory period of three years without a single case being reported.

India’s neighbors like Pakistan, Afghanistan and other sub-continent countries are still fighting the battles against this disease which is why India cannot be complacent on the basis of this remarkable achievement.

The only case came close was last year when a two-year-old girl in Delhi was diagnosed with rare P2 stain virus. But doctors said there were one in million possibilities that this virus could turn into a complete polio case. Still India along with oral vaccine introduced injectable inactivated polio vaccine(IPV). The IPV vaccine makes it impossible to contract vaccine derived polio-like what happened with 2-year-old Delhi girl.

This is an example that with a set strategy and focus, any goal can be achieved. With the same intensity, India can get the favorable results in other public health sector.

India has a huge population and a breaking of any epidemic always has much bigger impact than what it can have in other nations. A large portion of this population does not even have the access to the basic medical facilities and living conditions. It means they are more likely to catch a disease and then they do not have the resources to counter that.

Take Dengue for example. Every season it affects thousands of people in the capital only and somehow there has been no way to stop this. It happens every year and then all our system does is the damage control.

If the approach followed in the eradication of polio, is used to counter other diseases as well, it will be a lot beneficial to the society.

Indian government deserves credit for the work done in making the country polio-free but more is expected in the public health sector.

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India Still Projected To Be The Fastest Growing Economy Among G-20 Nations

India is still projected to be the fastest growing economy in FY20 among the G-20 nations, says Finanace Minister

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Economy, Nirmala Sitharaman
FM Nirmala Sitharaman stated that India is still projected to be the fasteat growing economy. Wikimedia Commons

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said in the Lok Sabha that growth has decelerated, but there is no slump and India is still projected to be the fastest growing economy in FY20 among the G-20 nations.

She said the government has been taking several measures to address moderate levels of fixed investment rate in the economy, plateauing of private consumption rate and a modest export performance, with a view to increasing the GDP growth.

In a written reply, Sitharaman said India’s economic growth decelerated but its economy is still the fastest growing among G-20 nations and that the goal of $5 trillion economy will be achieved by 2025.

In a written reply to a question from N.K. Premachandran, MP from Kerala, that despite some recent deceleration in growth, India’s economy was still projected by the World Economic Outlook to grow at the fastest rate among G-20 countries in 2019-20.

“During the last five years, the government has implemented major reforms to build the investment climate in the country for becoming a $5 trillion-dollar economy,” the minister said.

The World Economic Outlook (WEO) of October 2019 projects a significant slowdown in world output and trade in 2019. Yet India, despite some recent deceleration of GDP growth, is still projected by WEO to grow at the fastest rate in 2019-20 among G-20 countries, she said.

On a question whether the government has analysed the impact of implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on economic slowdown, Sitharaman said the GST reform stands out as the most important measure for improving ease of doing business in the country.

“Further, in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 Report, India’s ranking improved by 14 positions to 63 in 2019 from 77 in 2018 after GST was implemented in 2017,” Sitharaman said.

Indian Economy
Despite the deceleration in economy due to declining GDP , India is still projected by WEO to grow at the fastest rate in 2019-20 among G-20 countries. Pixabay

On the impact of implementation of foreign trade agreements and economic slowdown, she said the government publishes an economic survey of the country on an annual basis analysing various aspects of the economy, including trade agreements and state of the economy. “The government has also been engaging with various stakeholders to understand their concerns and taking appropriate measures for the economy,” she said.

Sitharaman said while taking reform measures, the administration has kept inflation low, fiscal spending disciplined and current account deficit manageable to ensure macroeconomic stability for a healthy investment climate in the country.

India’s economic growth slowed down to 5% in the Q1 and is expected to have declined further in the second quarter for which official data is expected later this month.

In her statement Sitharaman further said the 15% corporate tax rate for new domestic manufacturing companies announced in September was “amongst the lowest in the world”.

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For other domestic companies not availing of any tax breaks, the rate was cut from 30% to 22%.

She also pointed out the recent move to reduce corporate tax rate from 30 percent to 22 per cent complemented by a cut in the repo rate by 135 basis points during 2019 by the Reserve Bank of India and mandating of banks to link their lending rates with external benchmarks for reducing the cost of capital for investors. (IANS)