1. Government announces special economic package worth ₹20 lakh crore
- Government has announced special economic package worth ₹20 lakh crore and named it as Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
- The announced package is nearly equal to 10% of India's GDP (approximately ₹231.85 lakh crore).
- ₹1.70-lakh crore worth stimulus announced on March 26 and RBI's measure to introduce ₹3.74-lakh-crore liquidity are also included in this package.
- The details of special economic package will be announced by Finance Minister today.
- COVID-19 lockdown may be extended after 17 May. This will be fourth lockdown. It will be as per recommendations of state government.
2. Jubilant Generics Ltd and Gilead Sciences, Inc enter licensing agreement
- Jubilant Life Science’s subsidiary, Jubilant Generics Ltd and Gilead Sciences, Inc have entered licensing agreement for Remdesivir.
- The Remdesivir is a drug, which is being studied by Gilead Sciences. It is expected to tread COVID-19.
- The agreement will give Jubilant Generics Ltd right for registering, manufacturing and selling Remdesivir in India and other countries.
- Earlier, USFDA has given Ramdesivir an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for treatment of COVID-19.
- Jubilant Life Sciences is a pharmaceutical company based in India. Gilead Sciences is an American company in pharmaceutical sector.
3. Industrial production declined by 16.7%
- In March, industrial production has declined by 16.7%.
- The 16.7% decline is a record decline among the industrial production data series with different base years.
- The different base year series are 1980-81, 1993-94, 2004-05 and 2011-12.
- During first half (H1) of FY 20, Industries contributed 28.3% in Gross Value Added (GVA).
- Data for Q4 of FY20 (January- March) is not released till now. It may be released by May end.
- Due to very less number of transactions in market, headline retail inflation data for the month of April has not been released by Government.
- Government has only released price change data for fruits, vegetables, pulses and sugar. So, it is not possible to measure overall inflation within Indian economy.
- The growth in manufacturing sector reached negative. It reached to (-) 20.6 %.
- The growth in all sectors of economy declined, except mining.
- Government releases Index of Industrial Production's quick estimates on 12th day of each month. If 12th day is holiday, government releases estimates on previous working day.
- The quick estimates are produced on the basis of data from different agencies, which get data from producing factories.
- But, the data collection from producing factories was negatively affected due to COVID-19 lockdown.
4. Central government forms Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF)
- Central government has formed Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF) under APEDA.
- The aim of forming REPF under Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Promotion Development Authority (APEDA) is to support rice exports.
- The share of basmati and non-basmati rice is largest in agricultural commodities exported by India.
- India comes at second in the list of rice producers all over the world. It is also the largest exporter of rice.
- Representatives of rice industry, rice exporters and APEDA officials will be included in REPF.
- It will also have representatives from Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and directors of agriculture from states, which are major producers of rice.
- It was formed in 1986.
- It took place of Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
- Its head office is in Delhi. It has five regional offices.
- It comprises of one chairman and 39 members.
- It is a statutory body. It comes under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- Rice is mainly grown in tropical and subtropical regions. It requires alluvial clayey soil. It is a Kharif crop.
5. Atal Pension Yojana completes five years
- Atal Pension Yojana has completed five years since its launch on May 9, 2015.
- Government has decided that people who have subscribed to APY should be allowed to change the amount they want as pension in any month of a year. Earlier, they could do so in April month of a fiscal year.
- PFRDA Chairman, Supratim Bandyopadhyay, has also told that APY is currently having 2.23 crore customers.
- In 2019-20, 69 lakh new subscribers were added to APY and APY's corpus have grown to ₹11,000 crore. PFRDA may also start e-APY facility in 2020.
6. US government's monthly deficit reaches record levels
- In April, US government's monthly deficit has reached record level of more than 737 billion dollars.
- The reasons for record increase in deficit are decrease in revenue collection and increase in government spending.
- Government spending has increased due to government's efforts against corona virus pandemic.
- The deficit of 737.9 billion dollars is three times more than the earlier record of 235 billion dollars in February.
- As per estimates of Congressional Budget Office, government's deficit for whole year may reach to 3.7 trillion dollars.