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80 per cent of all Brits have less than £500 in their account as Lloyds boss warns hordes of people are slipping into debt

80 per cent of all Brits have less than £500 in their account as Lloyds boss warns hordes of people are slipping into debt

The number of customers with persistent debt problems has jumped by almost a third as the cost-of-living crisis bites further, the boss of Lloyds said this morning.

Charlie Nunn, who took over at the finance giant, said customers are “concerned” about the economy but said he believes many are talking “too negatively” about the financial outlook.

It comes after inflation surged to 9.1 per cent in May and is predicted to rise by as much as 11 per cent this year amid jumps in the cost of energy, food and raw materials.

Mr Nunn told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that Lloyds research shows three-quarters of its customers are worried about recent price hikes and the impact this is having on savings.

“Around 80 per cent of individuals and UK customers and families have less than £500 worth of savings in their current account and their savings account.”

“They might have money elsewhere but what we can see is less than £500.”

“Customers are concerned, and they should be,” he said. “We have seen some areas where there’s real points of challenge.”

It said the proportion of people with persistent debt lifted by 30 per cent since the end of 2021 as the financial backdrop continues to worsen.

The bank said last month it would hand a £1,000 bonus to the vast majority of its staff to help them cope with the rising cost of living.

Lloyds also confirmed that around 20 per cent of customers were cutting back on discretionary spending in order to keep more funds to use on essential items.

Nevertheless, the group also said credit card spending on travel is up 300 per cent and suggested there was still positivity in some areas of the economy.

Mr Nunn suggested there could be a danger that the country could talk itself into a worse financial situation.

“We are concerned that I think we collectively are talking ourselves into the risk of too negative an outlook,” he said.

“There are pockets of strength in the economy,” he added.

“There are significant parts of the consumers in the UK who have strength and really want to spend and create that demand and we can continue to see opportunities to invest in growth.”


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Bank of England will sign off steeper rate hike if inflation persists, chief economist warns

Bank of England will sign off steeper rate hike if inflation persists, chief economist warns

Speaking at the London and Qatar centre for global banking and finance conference at Kings College, Huw Pill, chief economist at the Bank, said its latest forward guidance reflects “my willingness to adopt a faster pace of tightening than implemented thus far in this tightening cycle” (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The Bank of England will ramp up the pace of its tightening cycle if inflation continues to motor ahead, its chief wonk said today.

Speaking at the London and Qatar centre for global banking and finance conference at Kings College, Huw Pill, chief economist at the Bank, said its latest forward guidance reflects “my willingness to adopt a faster pace of tightening than implemented thus far in this tightening cycle”.

In its latest policy statement, members of the monetary policy committee (MPC) said they will “act forcefully in response” to “more persistent inflationary pressures”.

So far, Threadneedle Street has stuck to nudging interest rates in smaller increments, hiking them at each of its last five meetings, taking them to a 13-year high of 1.25 per cent.

Analysts have been pricing in a greater chance of the Bank signing off a steeper 50 basis point rise in their coming meetings.

Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs thinks the MPC will vote in favour of two successive 50 basis point rises and another two 25 basis point moves this year, taking borrowing costs to 2.5 per cent by the end of the year.

That ratcheting up in expectations has been driven by the Bank having to move faster to tame what is forecast to be a more than 11 per cent inflation October. That peak would be more than five times the Bank’s two per cent target. 

Pill backed a smaller rate rise at the last Bank meeting. Six other members of the MPC, including governor Andrew Bailey, also backed a 25 basis point move. Three wanted a steeper increase.

A rapid acceleration in the US Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle has also raised expectations for a quicker move by the Bank. 

Fed chair Jerome Powell hiked rates 75 basis points at their last meeting, something they have not done since 1994. They are expected to do so again later this month.

Pill warned a softening in the UK economy caused by price rises will eventually feed through to hardship for households.

The Bank is bracing for “a squeeze on UK household real incomes, which constrains domestic spending and demand, and threatens to open up a margin of economic slack and eventually higher unemployment in the UK,” he said.

Goldman also thinks Britain is more likely than the US and eurozone to tip into recession.


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EU offers Nigeria $1.3bn to help diversify economy

EU offers Nigeria $1.3bn to help diversify economy

.Nigerian economy

By Yinka Kolawole, with agency report

The European Union (EU) and its development finance institutions have said they will provide Nigeria with 1.29 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to help the country diversify its economy away from oil.

According to Reuters, a document from EU showed that the funding will be provided until 2027 under the EU’s “Green Deal” initiative and will, among other things, focus on enhancing access to renewable energy and boosting the development of the agricultural sector.

Nigeria has been trying to broaden its economy and exports outside the oil sector, which accounts for about seven percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 90 percent of its foreign exchange (forex) earnings.

“In parallel, the European Investment Bank (EIB) sovereign lending will support the agri-food sector access to markets by financing rural roads, as well as climate adaptation and mitigation efforts,” the EU said.

About 57 projects, including nature-based measures to reduce climate change vulnerability, combating deforestation and desertification, and a waste-to-energy initiative in Cross River State will receive funding, the EU stated.


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POLITICAL BLOW: Is it all over for Boris Johnson? UK PM loses two key ministers

POLITICAL BLOW: Is it all over for Boris Johnson? UK PM loses two key ministers

  • Two resignations deal grave blow
  • Others show their support
  • Some Conservative legislators want Johnson to resign

Finance minister Sunak and health minister Javid sent resignation letters to the prime minister within minutes of each other.

The resignations came as Johnson was apologising for what he said was a mistake for not realising that a former minister in charge of pastoral care was unsuitable for a job in government after complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him, the latest embarrassment to have engulfed Johnson’s government.

So far, they are the only two ministers in the prime minister’s top Cabinet team to resign, with other senior figures expressing support for Johnson. Foreign minister Liz Truss, considered a leading contender to replace him if he is forced out, said she was “100% behind the PM”.

The resignations come after months of scandals and missteps, with Johnson so far weathering criticism over a damning report into parties at his Downing Street residence and office that broke strict Covid-19 lockdowns, several policy U-turns and an ill-fated defence of another legislator who broke lobbying rules. Read full story

He has also come under fire for not doing enough to tackle a cost-of-living crisis, when many Britons are struggling to keep up with soaring inflation leading to rising fuel and food prices, and economists saying the country is heading for a sharp slowdown or possibly a recession.

Both Sunak and Javid had formerly publicly supported Johnson, but in their letters they said enough was enough.

Sunak, who had reportedly clashed with the prime minister in private about spending, said: “For me to step down as Chancellor [of the Exchequer] while the world is suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other serious challenges is a decision that I have not taken lightly.”

“The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously,” he added. “I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

Javid said many legislators and the public had lost confidence in Johnson’s ability to govern in the national interest.

“I regret to say, however, that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too,” his letter said.

The pound fell on the resignation of Sunak but economists said Johnson’s removal could bring needed stability and offer a boost to sterling and the markets. Read full story

Late apology

The resignations came just minutes after Johnson went on television to apologise for appointing legislator Christopher Pincher to a role involved in offering pastoral care in the Conservative Party, his latest public expression of contrition for his mistakes.

Pincher’s resignation last Thursday triggered days of a changing narrative from Downing Street over what the prime minister knew of the deputy chief whip’s behaviour and when he knew it.

Earlier on Tuesday after a former top official accused Johnson’s office of lying, the prime minister’s spokesperson was forced into a quick about-turn to say the British leader had been briefed in “some form” about the case but had forgotten about that last week.

For many in the governing party, another allegation of lying and the explanation of a loss of memory only heightened their frustration with the Johnson administration, which some legislators say is paralysed by having to deal with scandals.

Some Conservative legislators are trying to renew attempts to unseat him, just a month after the prime minister survived a confidence vote, while others earlier appealed to his Cabinet ministers to move against Johnson.

“He’s finished,” said one previously loyal Conservative legislators on condition of anonymity. “He shouldn’t prolong the agony. It’s disrespectful to his colleagues, his party and his country.”

Another previously loyal legislators agreed: “It is all over. I would be amazed if he lasts until the summer now.”

But some party veterans said Johnson, who according to his closest aides relishes a fight, could stay on, and hope to yet again reset his administration.

Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said those who had backed Johnson were complicit in how he had performed his job.

“After all the sleaze, the scandals and the failure, it’s clear that this government is now collapsing,” he said.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Alistair Smout and Andrew MacAskill.)


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Britain’s health and finance ministers resign, plunging Boris Johnson’s government into crisis

Britain’s health and finance ministers resign, plunging Boris Johnson’s government into crisis

From left, Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrive at No. 9 Downing Street for a media briefing on May 7, 2021. Javid and Sunak, two of Britain’s most senior Cabinet ministers, have quit, a move that could spell the end of Johnson's leadership after months of scandals.Toby Melville/The Associated Press

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was clinging to power on Tuesday after two of his most senior Cabinet ministers quit, saying they had lost confidence in Mr. Johnson’s leadership amid shifting explanations about his handling of a sexual misconduct scandal.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned within minutes of each other, costing Mr. Johnson the support of the men responsible for tackling two of the biggest issues facing Britain – the cost-of-living crisis and surging COVID-19 infections.

Both cited Mr. Johnson’s credibility after a day in which the Prime Minister was forced to backtrack on earlier statements about the scandal that has rattled his government for the past six days.

The debacle is only the latest to hit Mr. Johnson, who last month narrowly survived a vote of no confidence triggered by similarly shifting stories about lockdown-breaking parties in government offices.

In his letter of resignation, Mr. Javid said the confidence vote showed a large number of Conservative Party lawmakers had lost trust in Mr. Johnson.

“It was a moment for humility, grip and a new direction,” Mr. Javid said. “I regret to say, however, that it is clear this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too.”

A few minutes later, Mr. Sunak echoed those sentiments.

“The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously,” Mr. Sunak said. “I realize that this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

Both Mr. Sunak and Mr. Javid are seen as possible contenders to replace Mr. Johnson if he is forced out.

While the resignations heaped pressure on the Prime Minister, Mr. Johnson has in the past proven to be an adept politician, fighting off criticism to prolong his career.

Mr. Johnson quickly named two loyalists to the positions: Steve Barclay got Mr. Javid’s old job, while Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi replaces Mr. Sunak as Treasury chief, Downing Street said.

At the same time, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss swiftly threw her support behind Mr. Johnson. Other Cabinet members, including Culture Secretary Nadine Dories, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel, were also in his corner.

But Scott Lucas, an emeritus professor at the University of Birmingham and a long-time political observer, said it would be difficult for Mr. Johnson to ultimately survive the departure of two such senior members of his Cabinet.

“He’s not going to go without a fight,” Mr. Lucas said. “I just don’t know how many people are left to fight alongside him.”

The latest scandal began on Thursday, when Chris Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip amid complaints that he groped two men at a private club. That triggered a series of reports about past allegations levelled against Mr. Pincher and questions about why Mr. Johnson promoted him to a senior job enforcing party discipline.

Mr. Pincher denies the allegations.

Mr. Johnson’s office initially said he wasn’t aware of the previous accusations when he promoted Mr. Pincher in February. By Monday, a spokesman said Mr. Johnson knew of allegations that were “either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint.”

That account didn’t sit well with Simon McDonald, the most senior civil servant at the British Foreign Office from 2015 to 2020. In a highly unusual move, Mr. McDonald went public with claims that the Prime Minister’s office wasn’t telling the truth.

Mr. McDonald said in a letter to the parliamentary commissioner for standards that he received complaints about Mr. Pincher’s behaviour in the summer of 2019, shortly after Mr. Pincher became a Foreign Office minister. An investigation upheld the complaint, and Mr. Pincher apologized for his actions, Mr. McDonald said.

“Mr. Johnson was briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation,” Mr. McDonald wrote.

Hours after Mr. McDonald’s comments were published, Mr. Johnson’s office changed its story again, saying the Prime Minister had forgotten that Mr. Pincher was the subject of an official complaint.

Then minutes before Mr. Javid and Mr. Sunak announced their resignations, Mr. Johnson told reporters that Mr. Pincher should have been fired from the government after a previous 2019 incident.

Asked if it was an error to appoint Mr. Pincher to the government, Mr. Johnson said, “I think it was a mistake, and I apologize for it. In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do.”

The shifting explanation from Mr. Johnson fuelled discontent within the Cabinet after ministers were forced to publicly deliver the Prime Minister’s denials, only to have the explanation shift the next day.

Mr. Johnson’s authority had already been shaken by last month’s confidence vote. Although he survived, 41 per cent of Conservatives voted to remove him from office. But until Tuesday, his Cabinet had largely stayed put and loyal.

Concerns about Mr. Johnson’s leadership were fuelled by his responses to months of allegations about lockdown-breaking parties in government offices that ultimately resulted in 126 fines, including one levied against Mr. Johnson.

Two weeks later, Conservative candidates were badly beaten in two special elections to fill vacant seats in Parliament, adding to the discontent within Mr. Johnson’s party and suggesting the ongoing accusations were finding a toehold with the public.

When Mr. Pincher resigned last week as deputy chief whip he told Mr. Johnson that he “drank far too much” the previous night and had “embarrassed myself and other people.”

Mr. Johnson initially refused to suspend Mr. Pincher from the Conservative Party, but he relented after a formal complaint about the groping allegations was filed with parliamentary authorities.

Critics suggested Mr. Johnson was slow to react because he didn’t want Mr. Pincher forced to resign his Parliament seat, setting up the Conservatives for another potential special election defeat.

Even before the Pincher scandal, suggestions were swirling that Mr. Johnson may soon face another no-confidence vote.

The existing rules require 12 months between such votes, but several Conservative lawmakers have suggested they support changing the rules in an upcoming vote on the issue.

Senior Conservative lawmaker Roger Gale, a long-standing critic of Mr. Johnson, said he would support a change of the rules.

“Mr. Johnson has for three days now been sending ministers – in one case a Cabinet minister – out to defend the indefensible, effectively to lie on his behalf. That cannot be allowed to continue,” Mr. Gale told the BBC. “This Prime Minister has trashed the reputation of a proud and honourable party for honesty and decency, and that is not acceptable.

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News24.com | WATCH | Top ministers including Sunak turn on UK’s scandal-tainted PM

News24.com | WATCH | Top ministers including Sunak turn on UK’s scandal-tainted PM

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had two high two high-profile departures from his government.
  • Rishi Sunak quit as chancellor of the exchequer and Sajid Javid resigned as health secretary.
  • Their resignations were announced minutes after the prime minister apologised for appointing a senior Conservative, who quit last week after he was accused of drunkenly groping two men.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered two high-profile departures from his government Tuesday, including his finance minister, in the first stirrings of a cabinet uprising after a slew of scandals.

Rishi Sunak quit as chancellor of the exchequer and Sajid Javid resigned as health secretary with both saying they could no longer tolerate the culture of scandal that has stalked Johnson for months.

Their resignations were announced minutes after the prime minister apologised for appointing a senior Conservative, who quit last week after he was accused of drunkenly groping two men.

Days of shifting explanations followed the resignation of deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, with Downing Street initially denying Johnson knew of prior allegations against Pincher when appointing him in February.

But by Tuesday, that defence had collapsed after a former top civil servant said Johnson, as foreign minister, was told in 2019 about another incident involving his ally.

"I think it was a mistake and I apologise for it," the prime minister told reporters, after opposition MPs and some Tories accused him of lying over what he knew when he appointed Pincher.

"In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do."

The Pincher affair appears to have been the final straw for Sunak and Javid, coming after Johnson only narrowly survived a vote of no confidence among Conservative MPs a month ago.

In particular, the departure of the finance minister in the middle of policy differences over a cost-of-living crisis sweeping Britain is dismal news for Johnson.

In a caustic resignation letter, Sunak said "the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously".

He wrote to Johnson:

I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.

'Integrity' 

Javid, who preceded Sunak at the Treasury before quitting over a prior bust-up with Johnson, wrote that the British public "expect integrity from their government".

The prime minister's survival in last month's no-confidence vote gave him the opportunity to show "humility, grip and new direction", Javid said.

I regret to say, however, that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership -- and you have therefore lost my confidence too.

Johnson has been embroiled in various scandals, including the so-called "Partygate" affair, which saw him receive a police fine for breaking his own coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Downing Street.

The 58-year-old premier still faces a parliamentary probe into whether he lied to MPs over the lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street.

Pincher's departure from the whips' office - charged with enforcing party discipline and standards - marks the latest allegation of sexual misconduct by Tories in recent months.

Conservative MP Neil Parish resigned in April after watching pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons.

That prompted a by-election in his previously safe seat, which the party went on to lose in a historic victory for the opposition Liberal Democrats.

Labour, the main opposition party, defeated the Conservatives in another by-election in northern England on the same day, prompted by the conviction of its Tory MP for sexual assault.

The controversies have come with Britain battling the worsening cost-of-living crisis and a summer of strikes by various unions over wages and working conditions.

Meanwhile, the country continues to struggle to adapt to Brexit and is risking a possible trade war with the European Union by unilaterally overhauling the special deal it agreed with the bloc for Northern Ireland.

"We've got a problem on trade, (a) problem on Northern Ireland, a problem with labour shortages, the pound's significantly devalued, business investment is down," former Labour prime minister Tony Blair told the BBC last week.

"I think it is incoherent and it's also not thought-through and the reason for that is the government's in survival mode - they're not thinking about what's the right long-term plan for Britain's future."

We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.


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UK PM names Nadhim Zahawi as new finance minister

UK PM names Nadhim Zahawi as new finance minister

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson late Tuesday named his Iraqi-born education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, as finance minister after the shock resignation of Rishi Sunak.

Downing Street said Queen Elizabeth II had approved the appointment of Zahawi, who came to Britain as a child with his Kurdish family not speaking any English, before forging a lucrative business career.

The 55-year-old co-founded the prominent polling company YouGov and was active in local Conservative politics in London, before becoming an MP in 2010.

He won widespread praise for overseeing Britain's pandemic vaccines rollout.

But like Sunak, his private wealth has drawn adverse attention, including when he claimed parliamentary expenses for heating his horse stables in 2013.

Zahawi refused to comment to reporters as he left a meeting in 10 Downing Street, including on whether he will uphold Sunak's pleas for fiscal discipline against Johnson's free-spending instincts.

The prime minister named another loyalist, Michelle Donelan, to take Zahawi's place at the education ministry.

(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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UK Finance Minister, Health Secretary resign citing PM Johnson’s leadership

UK Finance Minister, Health Secretary resign citing PM Johnson’s leadership

World

Reuters | LONDON | Updated on: Jul 05, 2022

British Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned on Tuesday, plunging Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government into crisis.

Javid said he had lost confidence in Johnson's ability to govern in the national interest after a series of scandals, saying he could "no longer continue in good conscience".

He said that many lawmakers and the public had lost confidence in Johnson's ability to govern in the national interest.

"I regret to say, however, that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership - and you have therefore lost my confidence too," Javid said in a letter to Johnson.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak also resigned on Tuesday.

Published on July 05, 2022

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Big Blow to Boris Johnson Govt in UK as Ministers Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid Quit Amid Series of Scandals

Big Blow to Boris Johnson Govt in UK as Ministers Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid Quit Amid Series of Scandals

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak (left) resigned after Health Secretary Sajid Javid declared that he is stepping down.  (Reuters)

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak (left) resigned after Health Secretary Sajid Javid declared that he is stepping down. (Reuters)

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced his resignation, moments after Health Secretary Sajid Javid declared that he is stepping down. Sajid Javid stated that several lawmakers and the public have lost confidence in Boris Johnson's ability to govern

In a huge setback to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his two key cabinet ministers resigned on Tuesday. Finance minister Rishi Sunak announced his resignation, moments after Health Secretary Sajid Javid declared that he is stepping down.

This comes as Johnson tried to apologise for the scandal involving a sexual misconduct allegation against one of his MP-minister, Chris Pincher.

Sharing his resignation letter to the PM on Twitter, Sajid Javid said he could “no longer continue in good conscience.”

I have spoken to the Prime Minister to tender my resignation as Secretary of State for Health & Social Care.

It has been an enormous privilege to serve in this role, but I regret that I can no longer continue in good conscience. pic.twitter.com/d5RBFGPqXp

— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) July 5, 2022

He stated in the letter, “It is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership — and you have therefore lost my confidence too”. He also said that several lawmakers and the public have lost confidence in Johnson’s ability to govern in the national interest.

Sunak, who had reportedly clashed with Johnson in private about spending, shared his statement on Twitter. “For me to step down as Chancellor while the world is suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other serious challenges is a decision that I have not taken lightly.”

“However, the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.

I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.

My letter to the Prime Minister below. pic.twitter.com/vZ1APB1ik1

— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) July 5, 2022

The resignations from the two key ministers came as Johnson was apologising for what he said was a mistake by not realising that former whip Chris Pincher was unsuitable for a job in government after complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him.

“In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do. I apologise to everyone who’s been badly affected by it,” Johnson told broadcasters.

Johnson, who has come under huge pressure amid the scandal, had won a vote of no-confidence last month, during which 148 of his own Conservative MPs voted against him.

(With agency inputs)

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New infrastructure finance secretariat to boost capacity, financing

New infrastructure finance secretariat to boost capacity, financing

The new framework is expected to be out by the end of this calendar year

Topics

Finance Ministry | Arun Jaitley

Ajay Seth

The IFS will continue to be part of the DEA with Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth heading it

During his first Union Budget in July 2014, former finance minister Arun Jaitley announced the setting up of an institution called 3P India, with an allocation of Rs 500 crore. The intention was to mainstream public-private partnerships (PPPs) in India. The plan was to bring together the capacities of the government and private sector to push PPP projects.

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Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

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First Published: Wed, July 06 2022. 06:05 IST


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