Fatality is Far Lower in the Second Wave of COVID19 in India

Every single death from COVID19 is unfortunate but every media outlet is creating panic by showing the dead bodies but none tells that the numbers of death per lakh tested positive is far less in the second wave than the first wave.

In the first wave, Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 1.43 per cent but in the second wave it is only 0.57 per cent. That means more than 99.4 per cent of infected individuals are recovering over time in this wave. This clearly indicates that Indian health system has learned a lot in the last one year. And this is a good news that every citizen must know to defuse the panic behaviour which on rise. Media outlets rather all the time creating panic should also focus on this side of the pandemic.

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कई बार
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मेरी ही चिन्ता में
जैसे बहुत जरूरी हूँ मैं दुनिया के लिए!

The Wholesale Inflation to Scare Indian Economy

The Wholesale Price Index inflation popularly known as WPI inflation in the Indian economy grew by 7.39 per cent in the month of March 2021. During the same month of March 2020, the WPI inflation in the economy stood at 0.42 per cent. In the months of January and February 2021, the WPI inflation stood at 2.51 per cent and 4.17 per cent respectively. This clearly indicates that the wholesale inflation in the economy is elevating. It is the highest WPI inflation in the last eight and half years since October 2012 when the WPI inflation stood at 7.4 per cent. The food inflation stood at 5.28 per cent.

Daily COVID19 Infections Doubles in 10 Days to 200000 Cases

On 14th April 2021, India recorded almost 2,00,000 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours. Actually a total of 1,99,584 new cases have been recorded. It took only 10 days in doubling the total numbers of cases from one lakh to two lakh. However, of the total daily new COVID19 cases, more than 61.5 percent infections are recorded only in five states namely in decreasing order Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. Similarly of the nationwide total tally, more than 50 percent of COVID19 infections in India have been recorded only in five states namely in decreasing order Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. This clearly tells the gravity of the situation in these states. The situation in Maharashtra is going out of control. There is a need for an immediate response to the prevailing condition from the central government irrespective of the negative views of the government. All this is happening despite the fact that India has already administered more than 114 million doses of vaccines to its citizens and ranks third in the world in the numbers of vaccine doses administered along with increasing cover of the lockdown (night curfew and weekly lockdown) across the nation.

Vaccination is the Only Way Out of the Coronavirus Pandemic

With every passing day, the total numbers of the new coronavirus infections a day are increasing and hitting new peaks. In the last 24 hours, around 1.7 lakh new cases have been recorded across India which is almost double of the peak of the first wave. In every single state, the numbers of reported new infections are increasing and many states like Delhi, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh etc. are recording the highest ever new COVID19 infections.

फ्रैक्चर, प्लॉस्टर और चुनाव

फ्रैक्चर, प्लॉस्टर और चुनाव Election
अभी मैं उहापोह की स्थिति में पेंडुलम की तरह डोल ही रहा था कि चच्चा हाँफते हुए कहीं चले जा रहे थे। देखकर लगा कि चिढ़े हुए हैं। जैसे उन्होंने कोई भदइला आम जेठ के महीने में खा लिए हों और जहर की तरह दाँत से ज्यादा मन एकदम ही खट्टा हो गया हो। जब मैंने उनकी गाड़ी को अपने स्टेशन पर रुकते नहीं देखा तो मैंने चच्चा को जोर से हॉर्न देते हुए बोला,

‘अरे चच्चा! कहाँ रफ्फू-चक्कर हुए फिर रहे हैं। पैर की चकरघिरन्नी को थोड़ी देर के लिए मेरे स्टॉप पर रोकिए तो सही! क्या पता कोई सवारी ही मिल जाए?’

चच्चा पहले तो गच्चा खा गए कि बोला किसने लेकिन जैसे ही उनकी याददाश्त वापस लौटी तो खखार कर बोले, ‘तुम हो बच्चा! मैं समझा कि कोई और बोल रहा है?’

Increasing Price of Petroleum Products and Indian Economy

Considering the shock caused by the nationwide lockdown, very high fiscal deficit of the union and state governments and increasing coronavirus infections caused by the second wave, India at this stage cannot afford to derail the economic recovery process just because of high inflation induced by very high petroleum prices in the economy. So it's high time for the central as well as the state governments to not only put aside the greed of collecting high revenues from the petroleum products and reduce the prices of petroleum products without wasting any time through coordinated efforts but also develop a mechanism that can ensure that prices of petrol products remain stable in a given band adjusting the custom duty and VAT in a proportionate way. For this the central government in consultation with the state governments can either set up a commission to come up with a workable formula or migrate to the Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime with a new GST slab for the petroleum products. At present the prices of the petroleum products can be brought down by reducing the excise duty and VAT simultaneously but this should be a temporary practice till a permanent mechanism is in place. Else, over time this greed of the governments would prove more counter-productive than increasing the tax revenues.

पेट्रोलियम पदार्थों व सोना की कीमतों की तुलना

मनुष्य स्वभाविक रूप से पदार्थों, घटनाओं व व्यक्तियों की तुलना करता है। यह प्रवृत्ति मनुष्य के स्वभाव में अन्तर्निहित होता है। सामान्यतः तुलना आधार उक्त पदार्थ की उपयोगिता व महत्ता के आधार होता है। कई बार ये तुलना असंगत पदार्थों, घटनाओं व व्यक्तियों के बीच किए जाने की प्रवृत्ति भी देखी जाती है जो अक्सर बेतुका व बेमानी ही होता है जो कुछ निहित स्वार्थों (राजनैतिक, सामाजिक, आर्थिक या सांस्कृतिक) के पूर्ति हेतु किया जाता है। हालाँकि कई बार असंगत तुलना भी कुछ परिणामों तक पहुँचने में उपयोगी होता है। लेकिन एक तथ्य यह भी है सोना व पेट्रोलियम पदार्थों की कीमतों में एक सीधा संबन्ध होता है।

The Second Wave of COVID19: Hospitality and Education Sectors to Suffer the Most

The second wave of the coronavirus infections is going to hit every sector of the economy. If the daily numbers of infections remain very high for a longer period, it will derail the business confidence to some extent and slow down the recovery cycle in the economy. A part of the economic recovery and the improving sentiments and the confidence in the economy is expected to reverse due to the increasing COVID19 infections and falling mobility in the economy. But it must be noted that Indian economy, like all other economies, has adjusted to the new but harsh realities relating to the Coronavirus pandemic. Due to this, the recovery process is not going to halt and is expected to continue but at a slower rate than expected. However, the hospitality and education sectors along with the allied sectors will have to bear the brunt of the second wave of the COVID19 infections the most.

Cash Strapped States, Fiscal Deficit and Infrastructure Expansion

From the previous years' Union Budgets, it is clear that there has been a healthy increase in the budgeted capital expenditure of the central government. Coupled with the planned borrowings by the central government in the first half of the current fiscal year and corporate investments, the budgeted capital expenditure by the central government will provide the required support to the struggling economy in the form of asset creation as well as employment opportunities. This will help in providing the required infrastructure support needed for India's goal of double digit growth and $5 trillion economy but this alone wouldn’t be enough.

The central government’s effort to erect infrastructure across the country needs to be aligned and supported by the state governments. Without their aligned expenditure and political support, the ambitious plan of the central will slow. But a look at the financial conditions of the states doesn’t suggest the same and it is quite visible from the budgets of the states. With the constrained financial capabilities, states wouldn’t be able to spend on the infrastructure projects in the same way and scale as the central government plans. Even their ability to borrow from the market is very limited under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act 2003.