YK MYK TODAY’S WEATHER MAX 25 C MIN 10 C REDRAWING OF PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES IS NOT ENOUGH OPINION Sky will be clear. RANCHI MONDAY, 28 DEC, 2020 PG-12, YEAR—10, ISSUE—233 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) MS DHONI PICKED AS CAPTAIN OF ICC'S T20I TEAM OF THE DECADE NEW DELHI: Former India skipper MS Dhoni was named the captain of Men's ICC T20I Team of the Decade. The team also includes current India captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. Team: Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni (captain, wk), Kieron Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga. NO MORE CASTE STICKERS ON VEHICLES IN UP LUCKNOW: Displaying caste identities on wind screens and number plates of four and twowheelers in Uttar Pradesh will now invite punitive action. In recent years, it has become fashionable to write caste names like Yadav, Jat, Gurjar, Brahmin, Pandit, Kshatriya, Lodhi and Maurya on windscreens or number plates of vehicles in the state. This is essentially done to assert caste identity depending on the party power. An order said that all such vehicles are to be seized. SPOTLIGHT & ISSUES CMYK 08 SPOTLIGHT www.sanmarglive.com Morning India ISSUES MONDAY, RANCHI, DECEMBER 28, 2020 DR NIRANJAN HIRANANDANI N HOME IS WHERE THE UNION IS S he was 14 when she joined the union after her father, who opposed the Khalistan movement was killed in 1991. When 43-year-old Harinder Bindu, President of the BKU (Ugrahan) Woman's Wing looks back at all these years, there is no regret. Stationed at the Tikri border right now, where the protests are more somber than the Singhu border, Bindu unlike smiles, "I have not had a home for years now. My son, who I get to see once a month stays with my mother. That's the life of a full-time worker." As we negotiate our way near the different stages in Bindu's car, with her behind the steering wheel, she says she does not really miss the 'ordinary' life of a 43-yearold woman with a kid. "There is a certain rush that comes from being able to educate and encourage women to demand their rights." Boasting of a membership of more than 40,000 women, Bindu says that the union is convinced that no change can take place unless women participate pro-actively in the process. "Precisely why we go from village to village and organise them. This includes women of farm labourers too."Instrumental in pushing the government to award Rs 96 crore as compensation to the victims of farmers who committed suicide, Bindu says: "It is important that women trust us completely and are comfortable discussing every issues. We have been working with rape victims and demanding rights for Dalits." Talk to her about criticism for some quarters on children being brought to protest sites in the biting cold, and she asserts that in order to make masses involved with any movement, it is important that every segment be involved. SHE WAS 14 WHEN SHE JOINED THE UNION AFTER HER FATHER, WHO OPPOSED THE KHALISTAN MOVEMENT WAS KILLED IN 1991. WHEN 43-YEAR-OLD HARINDER BINDU, PRESIDENT OF THE BKU (UGRAHAN) WOMAN'S WING LOOKS BACK AT ALL THESE YEARS, THERE IS NO REGRET. "It also helps reflect the true narrative. After all, we are fighting for the rights of the coming generation. To achieve that, everyone has to be involved -- precisely why you see even the aged participating actively. The young must understand that one needs to struggle in order to achieve." Smiling that the 'Maoist' label by the government and a certain section of the media would not really make them change their stance, Bindu's, whose organisation raised posters of jailed activists including Varavara Rao and Umar Khalid during the International Human Rights Day says: "Writers, activists, poets and artists have been instrumental in making us aware of ramifications of different policy decisions. Just because they criticise certain government decisions, doesn't necessarily make them terrorists." Adding that the movement has already managed to 'win' -- on the level of thought, she says, "You know, people never lose, even if the battle is lost. This is a very long fight, and we have been able to successfully convince people that the fight is not just against the political establishment but also corporates. Also, this battle is too long and goes beyond the current agitation. The key is not to give up, not get disappointed." o one ever thought of the scale and magnitude of disruption that was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the aftermath, the resurgence would be equally trying especially in a country like ours with a complex economic framework. However, we need to applaud the government for paving the way for an impressive recovery, with a judicious mix of spending and structural reforms. The outcome of the efforts visible in the Q2 numbers which showed a single-digit economic contraction of 7.5 per cent as compared to 23.9 per cent in Q1. The figure beats the global average, where according to an analysis, 49 economies declined at an average of 12.4 per cent. The jubilations and optimism mirrored in the financial markets, business houses, and the government. If the current optimism and rally gets carried unabated then as per the official and unofficial forecasts, India's economy is likely to return to the pre-Covid levels by the end of the current fiscal year which is a much shorter timeframe than expected. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) prediction of a positive growth in the H2 FY21 is substantiated by the fact that in the recently published Q2 data, the manufacturing PMI is above 50 for the fourth straight month which is only 11 percentage points lower than pre-Covid-19 levels. It is worth noting that unemployment levels are currently on a decline; the 6.7 per cent the unemployment rate for September was lower than the pre-Covid-19 level of 7.6 per cent in February. Like always the world has taken notice of the positives and showed faith in India's story once again as visible in the growth numbers of segments such as foreign direct investment (FDI), foreign policy investment, and corporate bond market inflows. It all points to strong investor faith in India's economic resilience. Besides, upwards revisions by rating agencies in India's GDP forecast are all repeating the same story that we have kicked in the rebound phase. THE RIPPLE EFFECT The unleashing of structural reforms and the stimulus packages announced by the government did take effect in various sectors as the fiscal response has been calibrated to reap maximum benefit. The one that stands out is the extension of the 100 percent credit guarantee scheme to 27 stressed sectors. Besides, fiscal stimulus and tax rebates for growth-critical sectors, such as housing, would have spillover effects, thus indirectly boosting demand-led growth. Reforms and timely fiscal interventions in other critical sectors are already showing positive results: the Gross Value Added (GVA) for three sectors-- agriculture, manufacturing, and utilities-- has been positive in Q2, as compared to just one, the agriculture sector, in Q1 this year. Similarly, the expansion of production linked incentive (PLI) schemes --that give incentives to firms-worth?1.46 lakh crore for 10 new sectors will give a boost to the manufacturing sector, and result in long-term benefits for the economy. DECODING RECOVERY PATH OF THE INDIAN ECONOMY The liberalization of the notoriously rigid formal labour market would expedite India's upward movement in the ease of doing business rankings, and attract further investments., India has moved up 79 positions in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business' rankings since 2014. FEARS OF FISCAL DEFICIT THE The stimulus packages and therefore, additional non-budgeted spending --along with falling tax revenue,-- by the government to wean off the COVID crisis has led to pushing India's budget gap wider to 8 percent of GDP in the current financial year, more than double the targeted 3.5percent. The expanded support package-to rescue companies and save jobs amid the pandemic--given by the government amounts to 15 per cent of the economy, adding to the global stimulus that has touched $12trillion. The fear that the fiscal deficit will loom large on the government in the future to manage fiscal prudence is not unfounded. However, the finance minister has assured time and again that fiscal deficit fears won't derail government spending as government spending is important to bring the economy on track. The forthcoming union budget will focus on public spending on Infrastructure to ensure sustainable economic revival. There is a dire need to reinstitute Infrastructure Development Bank for long term funding of infrastructure projects. ROAD AHEAD Globally countries that have committed to stimulus spending as high as 20 per cent of their GDP is now resorting to additional taxation, helping fuel a recovery in the economy. In India, the government is finding other routes to keep fuelling the economic engine as the FM said that the government will push PSUs to accelerate spending as the government can't afford to curb spending at this juncture of economic crisis. AUTHORITIES TO THE RESCUE A multipronged policy response -the efforts and intelligent balancing act done-- by the apex bank in India, the RBI, during the Covid crisis is praised by the government and the people of India, equally. The reduction of key interest rates along with the restructuring of outstanding loans, moratorium of given to the borrowers and extension of onTap TLTRO to 26 stressed sectors under the Emergency Credit Linked Guarantee Scheme(ECLGS 2.0) are some of the strategies that has helped the businesses tide over the crisis. The way RBI is trying to resolve the shadow banking crisis that has plagued the country since 2018 has found many takers including the government. The government on the other hand is rooting the idea of privatising a couple of state-run banks that have received cabinet approvals. CONCLUSION The year 2020 may not have belonged to India, but the future certainly belongs to this nation for its resilience, faith, and sheer optimism. (The author is the national president of the industry body, ASSOCHAM and NAREDCO. The views expressed are personal.) THE GOVERNMENT IS SEEKING GROWTH-INDUCING BIG IDEAS AND INPUTS DERIVED FROM INTROSPECTION BY INDUSTRY, WHICH WOULD BE USED FOR CREATING A 'BUDGET AS NEVER BEFORE Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance minister 2020 TO END WITH FLYING COLOURS M arkets saw a sharp plunge when trading began for the week on Monday on account of the new Covid-19 virus strain found in UK. BSESENSEX and NIFTY lost about 4.5 per cent on an intraday basis but recovered a fourth on that day itself. The story of the week is the fact that all losses of Monday were just about recovered in the next three days. This shows the market resilience and the bulls resolve to just not let go. They have the market in full control. BSESENSEX gained 12.85 points or 0.03 per cent to close at 46,973.54 points while NIFTY lost 11.30 points or 0.08 per cent to close at 13,749.25 points. The low of the day on Monday was 44,923.08 points while it was 13,131.45 points for NIFTY. The broader markets saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 lose 0.12 per cent, 0.14 per cent and 0.20 per cent respectively. BSEMIDCAP was down 0.70 per cent while BSESMALLCAP lost 0.53 per cent. The Indian Rupee gained 2 paisa or 0.03 per cent to close at Rs 73.54 to the US dollar. Dow Jones gained 20.82 points or 0.07 per cent to close at 30,199.87 points. The high for the year remains at 30,344 points and on a year-to-date basis, Dow is up 5.82 per cent. Indian markets have fared quite well during the calendar year 2020. BSESENSEX gained 5,719.80 points or 13.86 per cent compared to the year end 2019 figure while NIFTY gained 1,580.80 points or 12.99 per cent. BSEMIDCAP is up 2,708.87 points or 18.10 per cent while BSESMALLCAP is up 3,976.16 points or 29.02 per cent. Clearly the small and midcap sectors have outperformed the benchmark indices. If one were to take the gains from the year lows made in March 2020, the gains in BSESENSEX and NIFTY are in excess of 80 per cent while in the MARKET WATCH case of small and midcap they would be closer to doubling. The week saw the primary market issue of Antony Waste Handling Cell Limited opening and closing for subscription. The issue was in a price band of Rs 313-315 and consisted of a fresh issue of Rs 85 crore and an offer for sale of 68,24,933 equity shares. The issue was subscribed 15.04 times with the QIB portion subscribed 9.67 times, HNI portion 18.69 times and Retail portion 16.55 times. There was a total of 9.55 lac application forms. Shares of Mrs Bectors Food Specialities Limited listed on Thursday the 24th of December and were a roaring success. The company had tapped the capital markets with a fresh issue of Rs 40.5 crore and an offer for sale of Rs 500 crore at a price of Rs 288. Shares listed at Rs 500 and closed at Rs 595.55, a gain of Rs 307.55 or 106.79 per cent. Delivery percentage on non-anchor basis was 88.27 per cent. There was hardly any institutional activity reported on the exchanges in the concerned scrip, indicating that the gains were more of being speculative in nature. Anil Agarwal, the promoter of Vedanta Limited, bought 18.15 crore shares of the company through multiple block deals at an average price of Rs 160 on the exchanges on Friday. This is in sharp contrast to the man offering to buyback his shares at Rs 87.25 a few months back. When LIC had offered to sell shares in the buyback at Rs 320 a piece, many people had raised eyebrows. Further ISEC, the broking arm of ICICI had through a report informed investors that they had a sell rating on the stock and the target price of the same was around Rs 130. The Vedanta group is likely to be the success- ful bidder for the assets of Videocon and is also in the running for the acquisition of BPCL. So much for a group who says they did not have money to buyback shares of Vedanta beyond Rs 125-130. Incidentally Vedanta shares gained Rs 15.30 or 10.38 per cent to close at Rs 162.65. The week ahead sees December futures expiring on the last trading day of the calendar year, 31st December. The current series has seen gains of 762.25 points or 5.87 per cent so far. With four days to go and having seen the market resilience with the sharp fall last Monday, one should expect the bulls to press the pedal. Expect a flareup leading into Thursday which would also be the day when NAV of mutual funds are calculated. On the Covid-19 front, the world saw 8,07,20,289 patients, 17,64,698 deaths and 5,69,11,409 patients who have recovered. In India, we saw 1,01,88,392 patients, 1,47,659 deaths and 97,61,538 patients who have recovered. Compared to the previous week, the world saw 40,77,222 new patients, 72,468 deaths and 31,45,700 patients who recovered. In India we saw 1,56,733 new patients, 2,146 deaths and 1,81,136 patients who recovered. FII's who normally take a break in the last fortnight of December have been active till the end of last week. They have bought on a net basis Rs 41,325 crore in December so far while Domestic institutions have sold Rs 33,051 crore in December. What will be the approach in the last four days is anybody's guess but looking at the relentless way that they have been investing with over $20 billion invested in 2020, I believe they won't stop for the next four days. The week ahead sees expiry in four days. Expect markets to be super volatile with an upward bias. The bulls would go all out to press home the advantage while bears will try to salvage some pride. Use rallies to book profits and as mentioned last week, try to improve the stocks fundamentally in the portfolio. Expect to end 2020 with flying colours. CMYK PAGE 8 CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,01,72,777 TOTAL DEATH: 147,415 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 80,306,622 TOTAL DEATH: 1,759,690 WORLD Morning India Rs. 5 AT A GLANCE JACK MA EPISODE HAS MADE GLOBAL INVESTORS JITTERY ABOUT CHINA Don Dawood’s aide arrested after 22 years on the run MI NEWS SERVICE JAMSHEDPUR: A close aide of dreaded underworld don Dawood Ibrahim was caught by a team of Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Gujarat from an arms-checking point on Mango-Pardih Road under Mango thana area with the co-operation of the Mango police. Though the arrest of Dawood's aide identified as Abdul Majid Kutti, was made late on Friday evening, the police were tight-lipped about the breakthrough and let the media know it at about 3 pm after the dreaded criminal was carried to Ahmedabad only. Kutti (58) who is originally a resident of Kerala was wanted by the ATS of Gujarat since 1998 as he was accused of supplying a huge number of pistols, ammunition and explosives to the mem- bers of Dawood's gang during that period. The fugitive was residing with his family at a rented duplex in Sahara City, a residential colony in Mango, under a pseudonym of Kamal for the past one-and-half years. OC, Mango thana, Vinay Kumar confirmed the arrest of Dawood's aide Abdul Majid Kutti from Mango on Friday late evening. "As a team of Gujarat ATS had the information about Kutti's whereabouts in Mango, the team in cooperation with the Mango police had laid a trap in the guise of arms checking. Kutti was walking down the Mango-Pardih Road and eventually caught at the checking point near the Mango thana at about 8 pm on Friday. The arrested person was wanted by the Gujarat police for the past over two decades," said THOUGH THE ARREST OF DAWOOD'S AIDE IDENTIFIED AS ABDUL MAJID KUTTI, WAS MADE LATE ON FRIDAY EVENING, THE POLICE WERE TIGHT-LIPPED ABOUT THE BREAKTHROUGH AND LET THE MEDIA KNOW IT AT ABOUT 3 PM AFTER THE DREADED CRIMINAL WAS CARRIED TO AHMEDABAD ONLY. Kumar while talking to Morning India. The OC said Kutti was kept in the Mango thana throughout the Friday night till Saturday night when the Gujarat ATS took away him on transit remand to Ahmedabad. A police official posted at Mango thana pointed out that the arrest of Kutti had been kept secret and they did not disclose the breakthrough to the media in view of security reasons. He said they disclosed the PM IN ‘MANN KI BAAT’ RAHANE SCORES A TON, HELPS INDIA TAKE CONTROL OF 2ND TEST ‘Zero effect, zero defect’, ensure world class products NEW DELHI: After being 'vocal for local' to make India 'Aatmanirbhar' (self-reliant), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday gave a clarion call to adopt "zero effect, zero defect" policy while manufacturing Made-in-India products and ensure that these produces are "world class". Speaking on his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', the Prime Minister said "the people of India have taken many steps forward and are getting vocal for local. Our manufacturers are also thinking about making top quality products. This will boost the efforts towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat". The Prime Minister said that while focusing on Madein-India products the manufacturers should not compromise with the quality of materials produced by them. "This is the right time to work with 'zero effect, zero defect' policy." Speaking on the last 'Mann Ki Baat' episode of this year, Modi said this is the opportune moment to work with the ethos of 'zero effect, zero defect'. "I urge manufacturers and industry leaders of the country that the people have taken a firm and bold step forward and vocal for local is reverberating in each and every household." "In such a scenario, it is time to ensure that our products meet global standards. Whatever is the global best, we should make it in India and prove it. For that, our entrepreneur friends have to come forward. Start-ups too have to come forth," Modi said. He also suggested to focus on items used by us in our daily lives and ensure that these items should be manufactured in India and support vocal for local call to make the country 'Aatmanirbhar'. "We make new resolutions every new year. On this new year's eve, we should take a resolution to use only Madein-India products," said the Prime Minister. Modi also remembered Guru Gobind Singh and his family's supreme sacrifices. MORE ON PG 7 matter on Sunday afternoon only after the Gujarat ATS' arrival at Ahmedabad. The family members of Kutti were not aware of his arrest till Saturday evening. "We do not know why the police arrested Kutti. We came to know about it on Saturday evening only," said a woman, probably Kutti's wife, from inside the ground floor of the duplex while replying to the queries of the newsmen. Significantly, the neighbours of Kutti had good opinions about him. "Though we did not know much about the man, he appeared to be a decent person. He would speak amicably with the people ever since he was there in the past one-and-half year on rent," said a neighbour requesting anonymity. MELBOURNE: India skipper Ajinkya Rahane played a captain's knock to score his 12th Test century and help India take control of the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India ended the second day's play, comfortably placed at 277/5, and 82 runs ahead of the hosts Aussies who were bowled out for 195 in the first innings on Saturday. Rahane was unbeaten on 104 while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was with him at the crease on 40, the two having added an unbeaten 104 for the sixth wicket. The India stand-in skipper shared half-century partnerships with Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant to rescue India after they were reduced to 64 for three in the first session. India lost two wickets in each of the first two sessions but did not allow any breakthrough to Australia in the final session. India were 189 for five at the end of the second session, having lost the wickets of Vihari and Pant while adding 99 in that session. Vihari fell for 21 to leave India at 116 for four. He had added 52 for the fourth wicket with SPORTS PAGE Rahane. Centre extends validity of DLs, RCs till March 31 NEW DELHI: Don't panic if you could not renew your vehicle documents like Driving Licences (DLs) and Registration Certificates (RCs) which expired since February 1 this year, as the central government in a fresh notification on Sunday allowed the validity of such mandatory papers till March 31 next year. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) on Sunday made the announcement to extend the validity of vehicle documents till March 31 next year to prevent spread of Covid-19. The ministry has issued a directive to states and Union Territory administrations in this regard. MoRTH had earlier issued advisories dated March 30, June 9 and August 24 this year regarding extension of validity of documents related to Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. Earlier, it was advised that the validity of Fitness, Permit (all types), Licence, Registration or any other concerned documents may be treated to be valid till December 31, 2020. As per the fresh advisory, "taking into consideration the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is further advised that the validity of all of the above referred documents may be treated to be valid till March 31, 2021. This covers all documents whose validity has expired since February 1, 2020 or would expire by March 31, 2021." It adds, "Enforcement authorities are advised to treat such documents valid till 31st of March 2021. This will help out citizens in availing transport-related services, while maintaining social distancing." Road construction in Maoistaffected areas ‘abysymally slow’ NEW DELHI: The Indian government's initiative to carry out development works in Left Wing Extremism-affected states face hurdles as road construction in these areas is "abysymally slow". The government has sanctioned construction of 9,338 km of roads but of these only 1,796 km length of roads are complete, a parliamentary panel has said. It has been observed that there is delay in construction of roads in the most sensitive LWE areas like Telangana and Chhattisgarh and this is slowing down the inclusion and development processes of these regions and negatively affecting the capability of Central Armed Police Forces and state police in tackling THE GOV HAS SANCTIONED CONSTRUCTION OF 9,338 KM OF ROADS BUT OF THESE ONLY 1,796 KM LENGTH OF ROADS ARE COMPLETE, A PARLIAMENTARY PANEL HAS SAID. the menace. The government is carrying out development works in LWE areas under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) and Special Infrastructure Scheme. It is being executed and monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs. This state of affairs was disclosed in a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by Congress Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, on the Demands for Grants of Ministry of Home Affairs placed in Parliament on December 21. The committee noted that of 9,338 km sanctioned roads under Road Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas (RCPLWE), only 1,796 km length of roads have been completed. The panel has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs for the reasons regarding "abysymally slow progress" in completion of these roads especially with respect to Telangana where 147 km has been completed out of 705 km and Chhattisgarh where 319 km has been completed out of 2,479 km. The government had said that it believes that through a holistic approach focussing on development and security-related interventions, the LWE problem can be successfully tackled. It has also stated that the extremists do not want root causes like underdevelopment to be addressed in a meaningful manner since they resort to targeting school buildings, roads, railways, bridges, health infrastructure, communication facilities etc in a major way. They wish to keep the population in their areas of influence marginalised to perpetuate their outdated and failed ideology. GOLD TO CONTINUE GLITTERING IN NEW YEAR YELLOW METAL LIKELY TO TOUCH RS 63,000 PER 10 GRAMS MUMBAI: Gold, always considered a safe haven for investment in uncertain times, is likely to glitter more and even soar to Rs 63,000 per 10 grams next year amid expectations of fresh stimulus measures and weaker American dollar. In 2020, the economic and social uncertainties triggered by the coronavirus pandemic turned the spotlight on gold as a safe haven. The price of the yellow metal reached an all-time high of Rs 56,191 per 10 grams at MCX and USD 2,075 an ounce in the international market in August. A sharp turn in global monetary policies that led to a low interest rate scenario and unprecedented liquidity, which began in mid-2019, gave a boost to gold price in all major currencies, making the yellow metal attractive for investors. "The year began (with gold) at Rs 39,100 (per 10 grams) and USD 1,517 (an ounce). The knee jerk reaction to the pandemic was short-lived as the domestic price hit a low of Rs 38,400 from where it steadily rose all the way to Rs 56,191. The stimulus provided subsequently triggered a sharp rise in investment buying in the domestic market," Commtrendz Risk Management Services CEO Gnanasekar Thiagarajan told PTI. He said the outlook for gold remains strong despite coronavirus vaccine prospects and economic revival post COVID-19, mainly due to fresh stimulus expectations. "The dollar could weaken on the back of more stimulus and that could help gold prices rise once again. Also, inflationary expectations due to the massive stimulus can be seen as a positive factor that could attract investment buying once again in 2021," he said. The political risk in the US due to a weak majority in the Senate could make things difficult for the incoming Joe Biden-led administration to push reforms and that could aid in the bullion's upward movement, Thiagarajan said. "The physical demand (for gold) from India and China will take centre stage in 2021, which has been weak for the past few years and could see a strong revival. We expect prices to test Rs 60,000 or USD 2,200 at least in 2021, provided the rupee remains stable too," he opined. HDFC securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said the yellow metal is likely to remain bullish next year with targets of USD 2,150 and USD 2,390 in COMEX gold and Rs 57,000 and Rs 63,000 at MCX on concerns over global economic recovery. "The slower pace of revival of economic activities and labour market growth along with higher amounts of stimulus measures will continue to remain driving factors for gold prices," he added. In 2020, he said that gold prices in India got an additional support from rupee depreciation A SHARP TURN IN GLOBAL MONETARY POLICIES THAT LED TO A LOW INTEREST RATE SCENARIO AND UNPRECEDENTED LIQUIDITY, WHICH BEGAN IN MID-2019, GAVE A BOOST TO GOLD PRICE IN ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES, MAKING THE YELLOW METAL ATTRACTIVE FOR INVESTORS. against the dollar during the year as spot rupee was down by around three per cent year-todate. Further, the sharp decline in US equity indices in the first half of the year and the fall in real yields drove investors out of dollars which boosted buying in gold, he added. World Gold Council Managing Director (India) Somasundaram P R said high prices and logistical issues due to lockdowns affected consumer demand in all consuming markets. Demand was down 49 per cent in India till September quarter making it one of the lowest in WGC's data series, he said. "Despite some recovery in the October-December quarter on account of a combination of softening prices, easing of lockdown and rise in social occasions like weddings, demand for gold in 2020 will likely be below 2019, which itself was the second lowest year (in terms of demand) in two decades," he said. However, he said that given gold's socio-economic role, several factors are very supportive of a sharp resurgence in gold demand in the next few quarters.