In this week's wrapup, we talk about the economic survey, the budget, silver futures, power industry and the microfinancing trap.
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Looking back at the economic survey
The economic survey this year had many interesting chapters. It spoke of the exotic relationship between economic growth, inequality and poverty. It also spoke about the dilemma around public debt. Should the Indian government borrow and spend right now in a bid to kickstart growth? Or should they be more conservative? It also talks about innovation, health care reforms, the pandemic and a few other things. So if you're looking for just one article which summarizes the economic survey, read our story here.
The Budget Explained.
The budget was the big item this week and the government made a whole host of new announcements. They promised to spend a lot of money on healthcare. They said they have plans to create a Development Finance Institution. They talked about plan to reduce fiscal slippage by monetizing government assets. Introduced an Agriculture infrastructure cess. Introduced bad banks and a lot more. So, if you were short on time and could not follow the entire budget, this piece is the most simplified version that you will find on all things budget. So you can read more about it here.
What's Happening with Silver?
Silver prices are on the ascendency. Okay, not technically Silver. But Silver futures are on the rise. The prices jumped 9% on Monday and they were poised to rally even further on Tuesday. But then things happened and the surge fizzled out a bit. But there’s something funky going on with the precious metal and if you want to get to the bottom of this, read more about it here.
Bring Back the Power
The power industry is complicated. First, we have the Gencos — The power generators. The good folks that tap into nature’s abundance and whip up electricity. Second, we have transmission companies — Institutions responsible for transferring the electricity from power stations to states far and wide. Finally, we have the distributors, the Discoms — people responsible for bringing electricity to your home. But there's a problem, Discoms are rarely able to monetise all the electricity that comes their way. And the government wants to fix this once and for all. How will they do this, you ask? Read the story here to find out.
The Microfinancing Trap
Microfinancing almost always has a social angle to it. They target the unbanked and the underprivileged by offering them small loans at reasonable interest rates. But with default rates across India soaring on the mainly unsecured loans, the virus is undoing the business models of dozens of MFIs as funds dry up. So will this upend the industry altogether? You can read the entire story here.
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That's it from us this week. We will see you on Monday :)