Free Press Bulletin: Top 5 news updates of January 31, 2022; watch video

Here are the top 5 news updates of January 31, 2022:

1. Economic Survey 2022: FM Sitharaman projects 8-8.5% GDP in fiscal 2022-23

India’s economic growth is expected to remain in the range of 8 to 8.5 per cent in 2022-23 as against a projected growth of 9.2 per cent in the current financial year and a sharp contraction witnessed in 2020-21, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22 tabled in the Parliament today. “With the vaccination programme having covered the bulk of the population, economic momentum building back and the likely long-term benefits of supply-side reforms in the pipeline, the Indian economy is in a good position to witness GDP growth of 8.0-8.5 per cent in 2022-23,” said the annual survey report released ahead of the Union Budget. However, the report presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted the challenges arising out of the new COVID-19 variants and uncertainties in the global economy.

2. Elections keep happening but budget session very important, must make it fruitful: PM Modi

Elections keep happening but Parliament’s Budget session is very important as it draws a blueprint for the entire year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today and urged all MPs to make it fruitful by holding discussions with an “open mind”. Addressing the media ahead of the start of the session, Modi said it is true that because of frequent elections, sessions and discussions get affected but elections have their own place and will keep happening, and hoped that there are discussions that are free, thoughtful, full of human sensitivities, and with good intent. He said there are many opportunities for India in today’s global situation and asserted that the country’s economic progress, vaccination program against COVID-19, and India-made vaccines have built trust for it across the globe.

3. President Ram Nath Kovind lauds “collective achievements” in India’s growth story

President Ram Nath Kovind today listed the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, record procurement of farm produce and steps taken to improve internal security as “collective achievements” in the long journey to achieve ambitious goals for the country. Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, the President highlighted initiatives of the government in election-going states such as the inauguration of a memorial to warriors of Goa’s liberation, the bringing back of two ‘swaroops’ of Guru Granth Sahib from strife-torn Afghanistan to India and steps taken to empower farmers.

4. EC extends ban on roadshows, padyatras, vehicle rallies till Feb 11

The Election Commission today extended the ban on roadshows, padyatras, vehicle rallies and processions till February 11, but enhanced the number of people allowed in door-to-door campaigning from the present 10 to 20 and permitted a maximum of 1,000 people for physical public meetings. This was stated after Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey held another comprehensive review of the present COVID-19 situation in the poll-bound states of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The Commission has decided that no roadshows, padyatras, and cycle/bike/vehicle rallies and processions shall be allowed till February 11, 2022, a statement said.

5. Sensex surges 813 pts, Nifty above 17,300

The BSE Sensex surged 813 points to reclaim the 58,000-level while the Nifty breached the 17,300-mark today on account of intense buying across sectors after the Economic Survey 2021-22 projected healthy growth for the economy in the near term. A positive opening in European markets and a firm trend in Asian equities also supported the domestic bourses, traders said. The 30-share BSE Sensex opened with significant gains and kept its momentum throughout the session. It finally closed at 58,014.17, clocking a gain of 813.94 points or 1.42 per cent. Likewise, the NSE Nifty rallied 237.90 points or 1.39 per cent to end at 17,339.85.

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