The News Editorial Analysis 18 October 2021

The News Editorial Analysis 18 October 2021

China’s economic growth weakens amid construction slowdown.

China’s economic growth is sinking under pressure from a construction slowdown and power shortages, prompting warnings about a possible shock to its trading partners and global financial markets.

 The world’s second-largest economy grew by a weaker-than-expected 4.9% over a year ago in the three months ending in September, down from the previous quarter’s 7.9%, government data showed Monday. Factory output, retail sales and investment in construction and other fixed assets all weakened. Manufacturing has been hampered by official curbs on energy use and shortages of processor chips and other components due to the coronavirus pandemic. Construction, an industry that supports millions of jobs, is slowing as regulators force developers to cut reliance on debt that Chinese leaders worry is dangerously high. “Ripple effects to the rest of the world could be significant” due to weaker Chinese demand for raw materials, said Mo Ji of Fidelity International in a report. “Even developed markets, including the U.S., would not be immune to a significant tightening in global financial conditions as a result of a negative China growth shock accompanied by financial stress.” Compared with the previous quarter, the way other major economies are measured, output barely grew in the July-September period, expanding by just 0.2%. That was down from 1.2% in the April-June period and one of the past decade’s weakest quarters. Today’s top headlines Sign up for the Afternoon Update and get the day’s biggest stories in your inbox. SIGN UP This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The slowdown adds to pressure on Beijing to prop up activity by easing borrowing controls and spending more on building public works. But forecasters said even if that happens, activity will weaken before policy changes take effect. “Growth will slow further,” Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics said in a report. Chinese leaders are trying to steer the economy to more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption instead of exports and investment and to reduce financial risk. Construction and housing sales, an important source of demand for steel, copper and other industrial imports, have slowed since regulators ordered developers to reduce their debt levels. One of the biggest, Evergrande Group, is struggling to avoid defaulting on $310 billion owed to banks and bondholders. That has fueled fears about other developers, though economists say the threat to global financial markets is small. $2 for 2 months Subscribe for unlimited access to our website, app, eEdition and more CLAIM OFFER Factories in some provinces were ordered to shut down in mid-September to avoid exceeding official goals for energy use and energy intensity, or the amount used per unit of output. Some warned deliveries of goods might be delayed, raising the possibility of shortages of smartphones and other consumer products ahead of the Christmas shopping season. Factory output barely grew in September, expanding by only 0.05% compared with August. That was down from the 7.3% growth for the first nine months of the year. Private sector forecasters have cut their growth outlook this year for China, though they still expect about 8%, which would be among the world’s strongest.

The ruling Communist Party’s official target is “more than 6%,” which leaves Beijing room to keep its controls in place. The near-term outlook “remains difficult,” said Rajiv Biswas of IHS Market in a report. Real estate also is suffering from “fears of contagion to some other property developers.” This year’s economic figures have been exaggerated due to comparison with 2020, when factories and stores were closed to fight the coronavirus. Output grew by a record 18.3% in the first quarter of 2021, but forecasters said the rebound already was leveling off. In September, growth in retail spending weakened to 4.4% over a year earlier, down from 16.4% in the first nine months. Investment in real estate, factories, housing and other fixed assets rose 0.17% in September, down from 7.3% for the first nine months.

The latest figures indicate “the property sector fallout will be a significant drag on growth in the coming quarters,” said Fidelity’s Mo. “Even significant policy easing now, which is still unlikely in our view, will take time to propagate into the real economy.” Auto sales in the global industry’s biggest market fell 16.5% in September from a year earlier, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The group said production was disrupted by shortages of processor chips.

No Plans to Go for Early Polls, Telangana CM KCR Says Elections to be Held as per Schedule in 2023.

Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday ruled out an early election in Telangana for the state assembly, putting to rest all speculations around polls ahead of schedule by opposition parties.

The KCR-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had gone for early polls by dissolving the assembly in September 2018 itself with political pundits calling it a masterstroke. KCR’s early poll decision paid off with TRS sweeping 88 of the total 119 constituencies in 2018 polls, decimating the then main opposition Congress.
On Sunday, KCR informed party MLAs, MLCs and MPs at a joint meeting of TRS Parliamentary and state legislature members held at Telangana Bhavan here that the TRS government was left with over two years of term with elections due in December 2023 and there was lot of work to be completed, before seeking a fresh mandate from the people of Telangana.
The chief minister told party leaders that TRS would first complete all the work during its remaining term.

 “The party cadre, especially the elected representatives, should work with more vigour to win more assembly and Lok Sabha seats in the next elections,” he said.
KCR directed the leaders and party cadre to make the proposed ‘Telangana Vijaya Garjana’ public meeting at Warangal on November 15 a success that would shut the mouth of detractors and send a strong message that TRS was the lifeline of Telangana and that there was no alternative to it.
A large fleet of buses and other vehicles will be deployed to facilitate transportation of the people to the ‘Vijaya Garjana’ meeting. An effort would be made to mobilise 10 lakh people, sources said.
KCR also appointed party working president and minister K T Rama Rao as the in-charge for the ‘Vijaya Garjana’ public meeting being organised to mark two decades of TRS formation. The meeting also decided to conduct preparatory meetings of all the assembly constituencies with at least 20 constituencies being covered every day.

Fertilizer crisis shouldn’t be wasted: Let farmers think beyond DAP and MOP.

The government should also use the current supply crisis to wean away farmers from applying too much high-analysis fertilizers.

The next couple of weeks will be closely watched for cases of paddy stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana that have mercifully been lower in number so far. But they will also matter for the availability of fertilizers to farmers across India. As reported by this newspaper, stocks of all nutrients, particularly di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and muriate of potash (MOP), are at precariously low levels. Viral videos of farmers even looting fertilizer bags from trucks, including in the Union Agriculture Minister’s constituency, mirror the desperation. Plantings of wheat, mustard, chana, masoor, potato, onion and other rabi crops are about to commence, if they haven’t already. Soil moisture conditions are also most conducive, thanks to the surplus rains since September. Shortages of fertilizer — more so DAP, required right at the time of sowing — can be a dampener in such a situation. And with state elections ahead in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand, they can prove politically costly too.

The Narendra Modi government will have its work cut out in the coming days managing supplies and, possibly, farmer anger. It should have raised the subsidy on non-urea fertilizers in time for the industry to plan imports. Given spiraling global prices — of fertilizers as well as inputs such as phosphoric acid, ammonia and sulphur — imports were viable only if companies could pass these on to farmers here. The government acted when they did; retail prices went up from Rs 24,000 to Rs 34,000 per tonne for some complex fertilizers. On October 12, it approved a substantial hike in the subsidy on DAP and three popular complexes. This decision ideally should have come much earlier to enable building of sufficient opening stocks for the rabi season. But now that imports can happen, the government must ensure that the material is moved quickly from the ports to the consumption centres. Once farmers are assured of enough stock in transit, the panic buying will stop and they may not mind even delaying sowing by a week.

The government should also use the current supply crisis to wean away farmers from applying too much high-analysis fertilizers. Urea and DAP contain 46 per cent nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), respectively, while MOP has 60 per cent potassium (K). Why not replace them with NPK complexes such as 12:32:16 and 10:26:26, or single super phosphate having 16 per cent P and 11 per cent sulphur? Farmers need to know that India imports much of its fertilizer raw materials. These can be used for products delivering the same nutrients in just the required quantities, including in water-soluble form or even foliar application like IFFCO’s Nano Urea. This crisis shouldn’t be wasted: Bring urea under nutrient-based subsidy and let farmers think beyond DAP and MOP.

Indian Army raises new aviation brigade for LAC operations

The Indian Army’s new aviation brigade comprises three units — Advanced Light Helicopters Rudra, Cheetah and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Heron Mk1. Asianet Newsable’s Anish Kumar reports from Tezpur.

The News Editorial Analysis 18 October 2021

As part of efforts to enhance its strike capability, the Indian Army has raised an independent aviation brigade at Missamari in Assam’s Tezpur to provide logistic support to the soldiers deployed along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh. 

The distance between Tezpur and Bum La under the eastern army command is around 150km.  

This year in March, the Indian Army’s new aviation brigade was raised comprising three units — Advanced Light Helicopters Rudra, Cheetah and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Heron Mk1, people familiar with the development said.

Talking to media persons, Corps of Army Aviation’s Lt Col Amit Dadhwal shared the details about the Army aviation’s journey so far.

Lt Col Dadhwal said that the Corps of Army Aviation evolved from simple-fixed wing aircraft with basic avionics to state-of-the-art equipment that we have in the rotary platforms today in the form of Cheetah, Advanced Light Helicopters, ALH-Weaponised System Integrated and Light Combat Helicopters.

Lt Col Dadhwal further said, “These Rotary Wing platforms provide us and our leaders and commanders a plethora of capabilities so that we can achieve success in all kinds of operations.”

In the eastern sector right from Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh, India shares a total of 1,346 km-long the Line of Actual Control with China.

Recently, Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane and Indian Air Force Chief ACM VR Chaudhari had expressed concerns over the presence of Chinese troops and fighter jets along the LAC in the Ladakh region. 

However, they had also maintained that their forces are ready to handle any misadventure.

Now, the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh’s multiple locations has entered into 18 months. However, the disengagement of men and machines have taken place at some friction points but the de-escalation process is yet to happen. 

So far, 13 rounds of top commanders-level meetings have taken place. The last round which was held on October 10, culminated inconclusively. The Chinese side alleged that New Delhi presented unrealistic proposals to the border resolution while India hit back, saying that it provided constructive suggestions to which China did not agree and also not given any forward-looking proposal.

‘Indian Space Association to represent the entire sector will help in development’.

The Indian Space Association, which was formally launched last week, counts among its members government bodies such as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and private telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel’s One Web, Tata Group’s Nelco, L&T, MapMyIndia, and others.

The Indian Space Association, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11, should not be seen from the lens of an association just for exploring space-based communication, P J Nath, managing director and chief executive officer of Tata Group-owned Nelco said.

“If you look at all the founding members, we are heavily invested in space technology. We are satellite service provider, One Web is a satellite operator and so on. The objective of this space association is that it is an industry body which will represent the entire sector. It is not only satellite operators and satellite service providers. It could be manufacturers, R&D (research and development) players, launch vehicles coming in,” .

The Indian Space Association, which was formally launched last week, counts among its members government bodies such as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and private telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel’s One Web, Tata Group’s Nelco, L&T, MapMyIndia, and others.

The need for such an association was needed because there was no unified body as a whole, Nath said, adding that an industry body would help in the overall development of the sector.

“We can carry the voice of the industry body to the government, to the regulator. When you go as as individual company, a lot of times you have your own personal agenda and so many others. You do not get taken that seriously by the government,” Nath said.

Companies such as Bharti Airtel, One Web, and Nelco, which are among the founding members of the organisation and are also either in the business-to-consumer or business-to-business communications domain, can also make use of the association to further explore and ensure internet connectivity reaches remote areas.“The good thing about satellite is that the quality of service is the same, whether you give it in Delhi, Mumbai or Arunachal or deep-sea. On a like-to-like basis, fibre has no comparison with satellite internet. Once the neo-satellites come, we will have to see about the price-points, the kind of service and offering for consumers,” Nath said.

Hyderabad: New traffic restrictions at Charminar Funday-Sunday.

In view of ‘Ek Shaam Charminar Ke Naam’ at the historic monument on every Sunday, the Hyderabad police has imposed certain traffic restrictions in its surroundings from 3 pm to 10 pm.

In view of ‘Ek Shaam Charminar Ke Naam’ at the historic monument on every Sunday, the Hyderabad police has imposed certain traffic restrictions in its surroundings from 3 pm to 10 pm. To ensure smooth flow of traffic, the city traffic police made certain arrangements to divert the vehicular traffic and also vehicle parking during the funday time in the evening. Citizens were requested to avoid Charminar route and take alternate routes to avoid inconvenience on Sundays.:


The Sunday-Funday event at Charminar with theme, Ek Sham Charminar Ke Naam, turned out to be a hit with thousands of Hyderabadis thronging the historic structure on the day. For the first time in many years, Charminar, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, has been converted into a centre of art and cultural activities. To enjoy the multitude of programmes organised by the State government, people in large numbers flocked to the venue. Starting from 4pm, people started pouring in to enjoy their first Sunday-Funday event at the historic structure with many taking selfies and group pictures to post on their social media accounts. The event started off with a performance by police band followed by an orchestra performance, fireworks and folk dances. For the first time, a laser show was organised at Charminar. Face painters, caricature artists, magicians were all brought in to entertain kids, besides interactive activities like pot making and much more were being held. ‘Deccani Mazahiya Mushaira’ was the major attraction among the Hyderabadis, where they enjoyed the Shayaris. Many tourists also had a gala time. Saplings were also distributed by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority at the venue.

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