India announces economic stimulus to boost demand by US$10bil; big growth in mobile subscriber base

NEW DELHI, Oct 13 (Reuters): India has announced steps to stimulate consumer demand, including advance payment of a part of the wages of federal government employees during the festival season and more capital spending as it tries to bolster the pandemic-hit economy.

The government will allow its employees to spend tax-exempt travel allowances on goods and services, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister told a news briefing.

She said the government will also shore up investment by spending extra 250 billion rupees (US$3.41 billion) on roads, ports and defence projects, and offering 120 billion rupees in interest-free 50-year loans to state governments for spending on infrastructure before March 31,2021.

“All these measures are likely to create an additional demand of 730 billion rupees (US$9.96 billion),” Sitharaman said, adding the proposals would stimulate demand in a “fiscally prudent way.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which imposed a tough lockdown to stem the

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After Mismanaging Their Companies With Stock Buybacks And Lucrative CEO Pay Packages, Airlines Demand Another $25 Billion From Taxpayers

In March, the coronavirus—the name used at the time—wreaked financial havoc on the airline industry. Health experts and government officials strongly advised people to avoid nonessential travel due to the risks of catching or spreading the disease. Fear over the fast-moving virus among passengers on cruise ships terrified potential air travelers. Cognizant of the dangers associated with being confined in tight quarters with people who may have the virus (plus a required quarantine period), air travel came to a halt. It was the worst economic conditions for the airline sector since Sept. 11. 

Gary Kelly, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, announced at that time that he would voluntarily take a 10% pay cut, in response to the dramatic drop in air travel. “The velocity and the severity of the decline is breathtaking,” Kelly said. He somberly added,

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India announces economic stimulus to boost demand by $10 billion

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India on Monday announced steps to stimulate consumer demand, including advance payment of a part of the wages of federal government employees during the festival season and more capital spending as it tries to bolster the pandemic-hit economy.

FILE PHOTO: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at her office before leaving for parliament to present the federal budget in New Delhi, India, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/File photo

The government will allow its employees to spend tax-exempt travel allowances on goods and services, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister told a news briefing.

She said the government will also shore up investment by spending extra 250 billion rupees ($3.41 billion)on roads, ports and defence projects, and offering 120 billion rupees in interest-free 50-year loans to state governments for spending on infrastructure before March 31,2021.

“All these measures are likely to create an additional

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India finance minister announces steps to boost consumer demand

NEW DELHI, Oct 12 (Reuters)India’s finance minister on Monday announced steps to stimulate consumer demand including advance payment of a part of the wages of federal government employees for spending during the festival season, part of efforts to bolster the pandemic-hit economy.

The government will also allow its employees to spend travel allowances that are an income-tax-exempt part of their salaries on goods and services, Nirmala Sitharaman told a news briefing.

“This is expected to create a consumer demand of about 280 billion rupees ($3.83 billion),” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which imposed a tough lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus in March, is pushing ahead with a full opening to try to boost the economy ahead of the usually high-spending festival season.

($1 = 73.1541 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Catherine Evans)

(([email protected]; +91 11 4954 8029;

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Covid set to boost demand for travel insurance in India

MUMBAI: India’s nascent, yet growing, travel insurance market is set to get a major pandemic push.

Thousands of Indian students, executives and tourists who have deferred their foreign trips due to Covid-19 will likely have to buy compulsory travel insurance policies when countries open their borders for unrestricted travel, said sector experts. Insurance companies are anticipating a massive surge in demand for such products.

Insurance cover for travellers so far had not been compulsory in most countries — those where it was mandatory included the US, Russia, Qatar, Cuba and the Central European countries. But now many countries with high ceilings on social security are making that mandatory for foreign nationals planning extended visits. Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries are reportedly mulling on making this compulsory.

“Up till now, apart from Schengen countries and the US, travel insurance was not mandatory for foreign travels,” said Tarun Mathur, a cofounder

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India announces economic stimulus to boost demand by $10 bln

By Aftab Ahmed and Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI, Oct 12 (Reuters)India on Monday announced steps to stimulate consumer demand, including advance payment of a part of the wages of federal government employees during the festival season and more capital spending as it tries to bolster the pandemic-hit economy.

The government will allow its employees to spend tax-exempt travel allowances on goods and services, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister told a news briefing.

She said the government will also shore up investment by spending extra 250 billion rupees ($3.41 billion)on roads, ports and defence projects, and offering 120 billion rupees in interest-free 50-year loans to state governments for spending on infrastructure before March 31,2021.

“All these measures are likely to create an additional demand of 730 billion rupees ($9.96 billion),” Sitharaman said, adding the proposals would stimulate demand in a “fiscally prudent way.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government,

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RPT-UPDATE 2-India’s September fuel demand posts first monthly gain since June

(Repeats story from Oct. 9 with no change to text)

Oct 12 (Reuters) – India’s fuel demand in September rose for the first time since June as easing coronavirus restrictions supported economic activity and travel, but consumption remained weaker than a year earlier, government data showed on Friday.

Consumption of refined fuels, a proxy for oil demand, rose 7.2% in September from the prior month to 15.47 million tonnes, the first monthly increase since June when demand rose to 16.09 million tonnes.

However, demand fell 4.4% from the same period a year earlier, posting its seventh consecutive year-on-year slide, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas showed.

India’s daily number of coronavirus infections has slowed since hitting a single-day high of 97,894 new cases on Sept. 17, a sign that infections were peaking for now.

The country’s factory activity also

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India’s September fuel demand posts first monthly gain since June

(Reuters) – India’s fuel demand in September rose for the first time since June as easing coronavirus restrictions supported economic activity and travel, but consumption remained weaker than a year earlier, government data showed on Friday.

A worker holds a nozzle to pump petrol into a vehicle at a fuel station in Mumbai, India, May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/Files

Consumption of refined fuels, a proxy for oil demand, rose 7.2% in September from the prior month to 15.47 million tonnes, the first monthly increase since June when demand rose to 16.09 million tonnes.

However, demand fell 4.4% from the same period a year earlier, posting its seventh consecutive year-on-year slide, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas showed.

India’s Sept fuel sales rise for the first time since June

India’s daily number of coronavirus infections has slowed since hitting a

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Demand for cruises on small ships jumps in wake of COVID pandemic



a small boat in a large body of water


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Is a cruise on a smaller ship the safest way to go in the era of COVID-19?

A growing number of cruise fans apparently think so, judging from the high number of bookings that are coming in for 2021 sailings at cruise lines that specialize in small ships.

In session after session this week at Seatrade Cruise Virtual, an online version of the cruise industry’s annual meetup, small-ship cruise line executives said bookings for the coming year were booming, thanks to a newfound interest in smaller vessels.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter

“They’re huge guys. They really are,” Susan Shultz-Gelino, vice president for trade relations at small-ship specialist American

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Business Travel Demand Won’t Bounce Back In 2021, And Maybe Not For Years. That Will Be Devastating For Airlines.

Even if a vaccine for Covid-19 becomes widely available – and widely used – around the globe, and if the very onerous government restrictions on international travel largely disappear, airlines still will continue to struggle with extraordinarily weak demand for business travel through the end of 2021, and likely beyond.

And that could be devastating for already cash-depleted airlines that are guaranteed this year to report losses that, even for an industry with a long history of red ink, will be record-shattering.

The economic importance of business travel for all conventional airlines and even for most

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