The GST Meet
After a gap of eight months, the GST Council is all set for its 43rd meeting via video conferencing on May 28.
Primarily the council would be focusing on the issue of affordability of COVID-19 treatment. Apart from that, the council is likely to deliberate the relief measures to help the businesses to cope with the current situation.
Reducing GST on COVID-19 medicines and vaccines and compensation shortfall is going to be the prime agenda of this meeting. The non-BJP states like West Bengal have been demanding the exemption of GST on COVID-19 vaccines and other medicines to make them affordable.
It is likely to be the dominating point on the table though the Finance Minister has already expressed a different opinion on the same.
Crypto's Loss is the Gain for Gold
Bitcoin prices have crashed >50% in a month from the highs of $64,778. The prices were hovering around $30,000 as of May 19.
The selling pressure intensified in Bitcoin after the China Banking Association warned member banks from trading into the digital currencies. Even the cryptic u-turn of Tesla head Elon Musk has raised a question mark over the credibility of cryptocurrencies.
Intense pressure on Bitcoin prices is seemingly benefiting gold as the precious metal is at a four-month high. Gold was trading at Rs 49,890/10 grams as of May 19.
Gold prices have also received support as the dollar index has weakened to a five-month low. Apart from that, rising global inflation is a major factor working in favour of gold as it is considered as the natural hedge against inflation.
The union cabinet led by PM Narendra Modi has increased the fertilizer subsidy outlay for a year by Rs 14,775 crore. This move will provide protection to farmers against the global price hikes.
The government has decided to increase the subsidy on Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) by 140% from Rs 500 to Rs 1,200 per bag. With the increased subsidy, the farmers will be able to continue buying DAP at the old price of Rs 1,200/bag.
The decision has come in the wake of elevated commodities prices. Phosphoric acid, ammonia, etc., are the key ingredients used in DAP. Due to the volatile commodity markets, their prices have gone up by 60-70% in the international market. As a result, DAP is trading at Rs 2400/bag in the international market.
With recent intervention by the government, farmers in India would be able to continue buying DAP for half the price in comparison. It will reduce the burden on farmers and keep food inflation in check.