Inclusive Growth Current Affairs - 2020

Global Energy Transition Index: India ranks 74th

On May 13, 2020, the World Economic Forum released Global Energy Transition Index (GET Index). India has moved up to 74th rank showing improvements in key parameters such as energy security, growth and environmental sustainability.

About the index

The World Economic Forum has ranked 115 countries based on GET Index in its report “WEF Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2020 report”. The index has been framed based on the current performance of the energy systems of the countries, environmental sustainability, energy security and also based on indicators such as readiness for transition to sustainable, secure, affordable and inclusive energy systems.

According to the report, 75% of the countries have improved their environmental sustainability.

Highlights: World

Sweden has topped the ranking for the third consecutive year. It was followed by Switzerland and Finland. Only France (on the 8th position) and UK (on the 7th position) were the only G20 countries under top 10.

According to the ranking, India and China were the emerging centres of demand in the world.

The United States stood at 32nd rank, Canada at 28th, Brazil at 47th and Australia at 36th rank. For the first time, the US ranked outside top 25%.

Highlights: India

The report says that India has made significant improvements by expanding its energy programme. This has been achieved by making bulk procurement of LED bulbs and smart meters and also by launching programmes for labelling of appliances.

Also, India is one of the few counties that has made consistent progress since 2015 according to the report. The report also says that only 11 countries have made significant progress since 2015.

Budget 2020-21 presented by Finance Minister: The Themes, GST Reforms

The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman presented the Budget 2020-21 on February 1, 2020. The budget focused on enhancing purchasing power of citizens and boosting their incomes. It has also given importance to technology and innovation to increase employment of the youths.

The Budget 2020 has been framed on two main pillars namely Fundamental Structural Reforms and Inclusive Growth.

Structural Reforms

The structural reforms include recapitalization of banks through IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code). The debt of the country has been reduced from 52.2% of GDP in 2014 to 48.7% of GDP in 2019.

GST Reforms
  • Under GST, an average household saves 4% of its savings.
  • In the year 2019-20, 60 lakh new tax payers were added, 40 crores of returns filed, 800 crore invoices uploaded and 105 e-way bills have been generated. GST helped to reducing the turnaround time for trucks by 20%.
  • The Inspector Raj system has been vanished. Under this, the state and national permits including road tax, fitness certificate pollution certificate for trucks were removed.

Inclusive Growth

The Growth Rate was 4% in 1950s, 6% in 1980s and reached an average of 7.4% in 2016. The inflation for the period 2014-19 stood at 4.5%. Around 271 million people were brought out of poverty in 2006-16.

The Budget was presented on three themes.

Themes of the budget

The themes were

  • Aspirational India-Better standards for all sections of the society in terms of Health, Education and better jobs
  • Economic Development-Entails reforms across the economy by creating more space for the private sector
  • Caring Society.

Under Aspiration India the budget covered

  • Agriculture, Irrigation, Rural Development
  • Education
  • Water and Sanitation

Under Economic Development, the manufacturing sector, industries and skill development were focused. Under the Caring Society section, tourism, connectivity, vulnerable and old population were focused.