Job Board + IMF Talks + Electric Vehicles + NATO
Hello, hope you are having a great Sunday. This week we reflect on the talks that have started between Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund and what steps are the government taking to boost the demand for Electric Vehicles.
Top Jobs of the Week
Engagement Lead (Climate Risks), Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)
Location- New Delhi. To apply, click here
Team Lead, Strategic Communication, Centre for Effective Governance of Indian States
Location- New Delhi. To apply, click here
Sri Lanka starts talks with IMF
Sri Lanka kickstarted the official talks with the International Monetary Fund on 18th April 2022 to revive the staggering economy.
Sri Lanka is witnessing an economic crisis that has further triggered political unrest in the country. People are out on the streets demanding the President's resignation. Given this, the President and his new cabinet ministers are seeking support from their neighbouring countries and the international organisations.
The talks with IMF-
Sri Lanka’s requirements- Sri Lanka has requested the IMF for an urgent Rapid Financing Instrument loan for curbing the balance of payment crisis. The Government hopes that the program will help increase its reserves and attract bridge financing (a short-term financing option used to cover costs or fund a project before income or financing is expected) to pay for essential imports of fuel, food and medicines.
Requirements to get the loan- The government of Sri Lanka must present a sustainable debt program which is a door for accessing the aid from the lender of last resort. Sustainable debt allows a country that owes money to others to meet its current and future debt obligations without asking for relief or rescheduling.
International Monetary Fund’s Response- On 19th April 2022 IMF’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva discussed lending options and policy plans with the Sri Lankan delegation. As per IMF, the discussions for a loan program are at an early stage. In addition, viewing Sri Lanka’s condition, the deal would require adequate assurances that the island country’s debts can be put on a sustainable path.
(Sources: Print, Reuters, First Post, Bloomberg Quint)
The Future of Electric Vehicles
NITI Aayog released a draft of the Battery-Swapping Policy on 21st April 2022. This comes in light of the series of recent incidents of electric vehicles (EVs) catching fire that has left the consumers and the stakeholders worried.
Electric vehicles in India and growing prominence-
Over the years, India has seen rapid growth in sales of Electric Vehicles and in 2021, the sales tripled to 14,800 units and for February 2022, the sales grew from 296 per cent to 2,352 units, according to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations report.
Current Policies & Schemes:
The existing policies like Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and EV (FAME I & FAME-II), Production Linked Incentive schemes, Vehicle scrappage policy and the reduction of Goods & Services Tax make it far more efficient and accessible for the people to purchase the electric vehicles. However, certain challenges have come to light regarding EVs.
The lack of proper infrastructure for the functioning of EVs is a major problem and in total there are 1640 EV charging stations in India. In the months of March and April 2022, the incidents of electric vehicles abruptly bursting into flames brought to light the safety issues of the batteries that power them.
How is the government trying to combat this?
In 2019, the FAME II scheme was adopted and in the budget of 2022, 86% of the funding has been set aside for consumer incentives for EV purchases and 10% is allocated to fund charging infrastructure. Under this scheme, as many as 491 charging stations have been installed as of 1st March 2022.
In the year 2021, the central ministry announced a goal to transition from Internal Combustion Engine vehicles to 100% plug-in EVs by 2030. So to achieve this goal among others, the finance minister announced the battery swapping policy during the budget 2022 announcement, the draft of which came out on 21st April 2022.
The provisions like reduction of taxes for both the batteries and the electric vehicle equipment will help in reducing the prices of the vehicles and will increase the demand. Given the recent incidents of EVs catching fire, the draft highlights a strict process of testing the electrical interface to avoid unwanted temperature rises.
(Sources: Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Business Today, Mint)
Is joining NATO imperative for these 2 nations?
In the light of the recent invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland are reconsidering their neutral stand toward NATO. Tap to find out what Diva Vali analysed.
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