Just as we thought that the pandemic was slowly receding in India with very low daily cases and festive season behind us now, a fresh threat looms on the horizon. The Omicron variant is being seen as a concern worldwide now. India was gearing up to open international commercial flights from December 15, 2021 and the same has been put under review now. The economic forecasts remain stable for now. After many months, we finally see developmenta in the proposed data protection law.

Steady Forecast by IMF – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently released its country focus news relating to India titled ‘India’s Economy to Rebound as Pandemic Prompts Reforms’. The article mentioned that India’s economy is poised for a rebound after enduring a second wave of COVID-19 infections this year that further constrained activity and took a heavy toll on its people. “What happens in India has a big impact, both in the region and in the world,” Luis Breuer, IMF’s senior resident representative to India, said in a recent IMF podcast. “You’re talking about a large slice of humanity and the global economy.” India’s broad range of fiscal, monetary and health responses to the crisis supported its recovery and, along with economic reforms, are helping to mitigate a longer-lasting adverse impact of the crisis, according to the latest annual review by IMF staff. Though policy steps helped mitigate the pandemic, it’s still likely to result in greater poverty and inequality. And the path of recovery will follow the path of the virus. New infections have fallen significantly and vaccination rates have risen to surpass a billion doses, although another resurgence is not impossible even if it seems unlikely today. “There’s a lot of uncertainty about COVID,” Breuer said. “We cannot rule out future waves.”

Moody’sMoody’s Investor Service recently said that it expects India’s economic growth would rebound strongly with GDP expanding 9.3 per cent in the current fiscal and 7.9 per cent in 2023. It stated that the recent spike in India’s vaccination rate, lower interest rates and higher public spending drive the positive outlook for the country’s corporate sector. The ratings agency highlighted that credit fundamentals were favourable for Indian companies on the back of a sustained economic recovery. It added that earnings of rated companies’ would rise due to stronger customer demand and high commodity prices. “India’s steady progress on inoculation against the coronavirus will support a sustained recovery in economic activity. Consumer demand, spending and manufacturing activity are recovering following the easing of pandemic restrictions. These trends, including high commodity prices, will propel significant growth in rated companies’ EBITDA over the next 12-18 months,” Moody’s Analyst Sweta Patodia said. Moody’s said that India’s rising vaccination rate, stabilizing consumer confidence, low-interest rates and higher public spending underpin positive credit fundamentals for non-financial companies.

Personal Data Protection Bill – The Joint Parliamentary Committee held a meeting regarding the Personal Data Protection Bill recently. It adopted the draft report of the Joint Committee on The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 by a majority in the meeting and it will be tabled in the upcoming Parliament session. The last meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committee was held on November 12 where adoption regarding the draft report of the Bill was considered. The Joint Committee was constituted with the purpose to examine the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019. The Bill was introduced in the lower house of Parliament on December 11, 2019. The Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 proposes for protection of the privacy of individuals relating to their personal data, specify the flow and usage of personal data, establish trust between persons and entities processing personal data, protect the right of the person whose personal data is been processed, to create a framework for organisational and technical measures in the processing of data, laying down norms for social media intermediary, cross border transfer, accountability of entities processing personal data, remedies for unauthorised and harmful processing, and to establish a Data Protection Authority of India.

Posted by Sourish Mohan Mitra

Sourish Mohan Mitra is an India-qualified lawyer from Symbiosis Law School, Pune and currently working as an in-house counsel with a global research firm in Delhi, India; views expressed are personal; he can be reached at sourish24x7@gmail.com; Twitter: @sourish247

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