The Supreme Court ruling holding the decisions of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to be recommendatory, rather than binding on the Centre and the states, and that these nodes of federal power can legislate on subjects falling within their domain, brings welcome clarity on the tax. It does not undermine GST or undo the intent and purpose of the Constitution’s 101st Amendment that brought in GST. It strengthens India’s federal structure. The only damage the ruling does is to the boast that GST means one nation, one tax — in any case, GST already has seven percentage rates: 0, 3 (on gold), 5, 12, 18, 28 and 28 plus sin-good-cess.
By replacing the reverse repo rate with the Standing Deposit Facility rate, the RBI has managed to raise the base lending rate in the economy, while seeming to hold policy rates static
Even before COVID-19, the unemployment rate touched a peak in 2017-18 at 6.1%. The urban unemployment rate was 7.8% and the rural unemployment rate was 5.3%. While the unemployment rate declined to 5.8% in 2018-19 and 4.8% in 2019-20, urban unemployment declined marginally to 7.7% and 6.9%, respectively. It was stubbornly around 7-8% during 2021 and later. If we consider the current weekly status quarterly unemployment statistics for urban areas, it was 9.4% in January-March 2021 and rose to 12.6% in April-June 2021.