India needs to leverage performance of farm sector to push growth: Subbarao


Former Reserve Bank Governor on Tuesday said the government needs to build on “some silver linings” in the farm sector, driven by the prospect of a favourable monsoon, to speed up the economic recovery.

“The rural economy is doing slightly better than the urban economy which is still grappling with COVID-19. Rural economy, which accounts for 65 per cent of the population and 25 per cent of GDP, is actually proven to be a buffer because of expanded MGNREGA spending…,” he said at a webinar organised by economic think tank NCAER.

Subbarao further said that spendings under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) and procurement of agri produce by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) have put money in the hands of farmers.

Besides, he said, favourable monsoon augurs very well for the agriculture sector.

“In all these very grim scenarios, there are some silver linings and we have to see how we leverage them as we near-total recovery of the economy,” he said.

Echoing a similar view Raghuram Rajan, Subbarao’s successor at the RBI, said one positive factor for the

Jio adds 4.7 million users, Vodafone Idea loses 6.4 million, says Trai


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday said India lost 2.84 million mobile phone users in March, ostensibly owing to the nationwide lockdown that rendered several people jobless and forced them to ditch their handsets to scrape through the financial crisis.

The country saw an addition of 4.15 million mobile phone subscribers in February. While added 4.68 million users, lost 6.35 million users in March. had lost 3.5 million users in February. lost 1.26 million subscribers in March as against an increase of 922,946 in February.

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State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) gained 95,073 users in the reporting month as compared to 439,318 in February.

The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased from 1,180.84 million at the end of February to 1,177.97 million at the end of March, thereby showing a monthly decline rate of 0.24 per cent.

Urban telephone subscription decreased from 661.23 million at the end of February to 656.46 million at the end of March. However, the rural subscription increased from 519.62

Canada, US Prepare To Extend Border Closure Into August: Source


Canada and the United States are preparing to extend the closure of their border to non-essential travel because of the coronavirus pandemic until August 21, a source familiar with the talks said Tuesday.

The world’s longest frontier has been closed to everything but goods trade since March 21.

The current shutdown runs out on July 21 and is expected to be extended for a month, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The leaders of several Canadian provinces have spoken out against reopening the border as the United States sees an explosion of virus cases in some states.

A few hours after speaking with President Donald Trump on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a decision would be made in the next few days.

“We recognize that the situation continues to be complex in the United States in regards to COVID-19,” Trudeau told reporters.

“Every month, we have been able to extend the border closures to all but essential goods and services and those discussions are ongoing,” he added.

A recent poll showed that more than 80 percent of Canadians want the border to stay closed for now.

Half of Americans are in favor of reopening it,

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