Economic News in India

3 February 2020 - India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Seetharaman, proposed new tax slabs of 15% and 25% in the 2020-21 budget. These new slabs would be beneficial for those who are not availing specific deductions or exemptions. According to the new brackets, an individual with an annual income of INR 13 lakhs would pay INR1.43 lakhs as income tax, while they would have paid INR 1.48 lakh under the old regime, saving INR 5,200.

Those earning INR 14 lakh annually would save approximately INR 10,400 on income tax while those earning INR 15 lakhs would save up to INR 15,600. Under the proposed tax regime, those earning an annual income of below INR 2.5 lakh would be exempt from tax. Those earning between INR 2.5 lakh to INR 5 lakh will be taxed at 5%. People earning between INR 5 lakh and INR 7.5 lakh will be taxed at 10%. Those earning INR 7.5 lakh to INR 10 lakh would come under the 15% tax bracket and those earning between  INR 12.5 lakh to INR 15 lakh would be taxed under the 25% bracket. Those earning over INR 15 lakh annually will be taxed at 30%.  Learn more about work and law in India

29 January 2020 - The Indian government is expected to increase expenditure on infrastructure and cut personal taxes in the 2020-21 budget. This is expected to increase consumer demand and investment to combat the economic slowdown being faced by the country. The growth of the Indian economy dropped to 4.5% in the July-September quarter of 2019. This has worsened job prospects for those who newly entered the job market. Increasing the expenditure on roads, railways and rural welfare along with fiscal stimulus for the budget could help boost growth. Earlier in January, the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for Indian growth to 4.8%. It also reduced its forecast Indian growth rate to 5.8%. Take our Cost of Living survey

22 January 2020 According to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), 76% of workers in India are vulnerable in employment. It is the country with the second-highest level of workers in vulnerable employment; Saudi Arabia claims the first spot. The report emphasizes the need for India to provide fair wages and social protection to improve their standing. India spends 2.68% of its GDP on social protection coverage, which is lower than its regional peers. Furthermore, the report states that the most vulnerable employees - those who are self-employed or work in the informal sector - are excluded from social protection. This, along with the lack of fair wages, has had a detrimental effect on the social mobility of the country’s population. To combat this, the report suggests payment of fair wages, provision of social protection and reducing the gender wage gap to improve their standing. Learn more about the Gender Wage Gap

13 January 2020The rate of consumer inflation in India increased to 7.35% in December 2019, much higher than the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4%. This rate of consumer inflation is the highest since July 2014. It has been attributed to the rising cost of food. Food inflation rose from 10.01% in November 2019 to 14.12% in December 2019. While the prices of fruits and vegetables are expected to fall thanks to their short cultivation cycles, it is expected that the prices of other foods, such as pulses, will continue to remain high for longer.  How much does food cost in your locality?

8 January 2020 - The central government of India has increased the amount of wages that need to be considered for the calculation of compensation to be given to employees under the Employees Compensation Act 1923. The Act, which provides compensation to workers who die or suffer injuries in the workplace, has increased the wages to be considered from INR 8,000 to INR 15,000. According to the Act, an employer is liable to pay their employee if they suffer any injury that causes death or partial or complete disability. However, the employer is not liable to pay the employee if the injury does not cause total or partial disability for more than three days, if the accident happened while the employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if the employee willfully ignored safety protocol. Learn more about Health and Safety Laws

17 December 2019 - According to the Code on Wages, 2019, an employee must receive their due payment from their employer two days after the end of their job. This includes their full salary and any allowances they are entitled to. This is applicable irrespective of whether the employee was dismissed by their employer or whether they chose to leave themselves.  The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the predecessor to the Code of Wages, 2019, did not specify the time by which all employees had to receive their payment. Due to this reason, companies had their own timelines. Furthermore, the Act also only specified the timeline for employees whose earning wages did not exceed Rs. 24,000. The Code on Wages, 2019 will include a wider class of employees and will have strict penalties for those who do not comply with the two-day time period. Although the Code has been passed by the Parliament, it is yet to receive a date for implementation.  Learn more about India’s work and wages laws.

10 December 2019 - India has witnessed an increase in the retail price of essential goods since January 2019. The prices of onions have increased four times over the past year. The prices of pulses, potatoes, rice and wheat have also increased significantly. This rise in cost has been attributed to poor weather conditions and a mismatch in demand and supply of the goods. The government has a list of 22 essential goods whose prices they monitor. The prices of 20 of those goods has increased significantly since the start of 2019. The Consumer Supplies and Consumer Affairs ministers at the state as well as central level have been asked to review the prices of these goods with dealers on a regular basis to help regulate prices. How much do these essential goods cost in your area?