India’s unemployment rate rises to 8.30% in December, highest in 16 months: Report

January 01, 2023 08:25 pm | Updated 08:25 pm IST

Image used for representation purpose only.

Image used for representation purpose only.

India’s unemployment rate rose to 8.30% in December, the highest in 16 months, from 8% in the previous month, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed on January 1.

The urban unemployment rate rose to 10.09% in December from 8.96% in the previous month, while the rural unemployment rate slipped to 7.44% from 7.55%, the data showed.

Mahesh Vyas, managing director of the CMIE, said the rise in the unemployment rate was “not as bad as it may seem”, as it came on top of a healthy increase in the labour participation rate, which shot up to 40.48% in December, the highest in 12 months.

“Most importantly, the employment rate has increased in December to 37.1%, which again is the highest since January 2022,” he said.

The unemployment rate had declined to 7.2% in the July-September quarter compared to 7.6% in the previous quarter, according to separate quarterly data compiled by the state-run National Statistical Office and released in November.

In December, the unemployment rate rose to 37.4% in Haryana, followed by 28.5% in Rajasthan and 20.8% in Delhi, CMIE data showed.

Two killed, 17 injured in fire after blast in Nashik chemical firm

Two people were killed and 17 others injured in a fire which broke out after a blast in a boiler at a chemical company in Nashik, officials said. The blast was so strong that it was heard in nearby villages.

“Out of the three people trapped, one was rescued and two were yet to be rescued,” Chief Minister Eknath Shinde told reporters at a programme in Aurangabad district. “The Air Force Station at Deolali [in Nashik district] will make a helicopter available for the rescue operation,” he added. He also said that 11 injured people have been admitted to Suyash Hospital in Nashik.

The incident took place at around 11.30 a.m. in the unit located at Mundhegaon along the Nashik-Mumbai highway in Igatpuri taluk when some workers were in the premises.

Fire brigade, police and disaster response force teams rushed to the spot.

“A blast led to the fire. A woman died in the incident. Fourteen people have been injured and admitted to hospitals. The condition of four of the injured people is serious,” divisional revenue commissioner Radhakrishna Game told reporters.

Meanwhile, a senior official later said that the fire following a blast at the chemical factory did not appear to have been caused by a boiler.

Dhaval Antapurkar, Director at the Directorate of Steam Boilers, a Maharashtra government body, said in a statement, “The three boilers out of the five at the Jindal Poly Films in Igatpuri were of waste heat recovery or running on thermic fluid. It does not use any inflammable material to prepare steam.”

“The remaining two boilers are of small industrial boilers type, which means there is a minimum chance of it causing fire inside the plant,” he added. Deputy director of the department will reach the spot and a review will be conducted to know the exact cause of the fire, the statement further said.

GST revenues rise 15% in December 2022: Finance Ministry

India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues rose to nearly ₹1.5 lakh crore in December 2022, 15% higher than a year ago and 2.5% over November’s collections that had marked a three-month low.

This is the tenth month in a row that GST collections have crossed the ₹1.4 lakh crore mark, with revenues from import of goods rising 8% and revenues from domestic transactions (including import of services) up 18% from the revenues yielded by these sources during December 2021.

The gross GST revenue collected during December 2022, which reflect transactions undertaken in November, is ₹1,49,507 crore, of which Central GST (CGST) is ₹26,711 crore, State GST (SGST) is ₹33,357 crore, Integrated GST (IGST) is ₹78,434 crore (including ₹40,263 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is ₹11,005 crore (including ₹850 crore collected on import of goods), the Finance Ministry said.

On a sequential basis, while there was a 2.5% rise in revenues from November to December 2022, the number of e-way bills generated went up 3.95% to 7.9 crore in December.

While revenues from domestic transactions rose 18% overall, a dozen States recorded higher growth in tax collections and 13 States reported slower growth rates. Goa, Odisha and Manipur reported a contraction in revenues of 22%, 6% and 5%, respectively, even as Chhattisgarh’s revenues were flat year-on-year.

Bihar reported the highest growth in revenues at 36%, followed by Nagaland (30%), the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir (28%), Arunachal Pradesh (27%), with Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh seeing GST inflows rise by 26% each. Tamil Nadu’s revenues rose 25%, followed closely by Rajasthan and West Bengal (24%), Madhya Pradesh (22%) and Maharashtra (20%).

Among the Union Territories, Ladakh reported a sharp 68% spike in revenues, followed by Dadra Nagar Haveli (37%), Chandigarh (33%) and Puducherry (30%). However, Daman and Diu reported a whopping 86% drop in GST collections, with Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands also recording contractions of 36% and 19%, respectively.

Netanyahu says Israel not bound by ‘despicable’ U.N. vote

Israel condemned and the Palestinians welcomed a United Nations General Assembly vote asking the International Court of Justice to provide an opinion on legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The Friday vote presents a challenge for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who this week took office at the head of a government which has set settlement expansion as a priority and which includes parties who want to annex West Bank land on which they are built.

“The Jewish people are not occupiers in their own land nor occupiers in our eternal capital Jerusalem and no U.N. resolution can distort that historical truth,” Netanyahu said in a video message, adding that Israel was not bound by the “despicable decision”.

Along with Gaza and East Jerusalem, the Palestinians seek the occupied West Bank for a state. Most countries consider Israel’s settlements there illegal, a view Israel disputes citing historical and Biblical ties to the land.

The U.N. General Assembly asked the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s “occupation, settlement and annexation ... including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem”.

Members of Netanyahu’s new government have pledged to bolster settlements with development plans, budgets and authorisation of dozens of outposts built without permits.

In brief

The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its judgement on January 2, 2023 on a batch of pleas challenging the government’s 2016 decision to demonetise currency notes of ₹1,000 and ₹500 denominations. According to Monday’s cause list of the top court, there will be two separate judgements in the matter, which will be pronounced by Justices B.R. Gavai and B.V. Nagarathna. It is not clear whether the two judgements will be concurring or dissenting.

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