07272016Wed
Last update: Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10am

South Asia

World - South Asia

India's Jaitley meets state ministers to rescue stalled tax reform NEW DELHI: Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met his state counterparts on Tuesday to forge a political consensus on a much-awaited sales tax reform that is held up in parliament, but made little progress in breaking the impasse.The proposed tax reform, the biggest since India's independence from Britain in 1947, seeks to replace a slew of federal taxes and levies in 29 states, transforming the nation of near 1.3 billion people into a customs union.Analysts say the goods services tax (GST) could boost India's economic growth by up to 2 percentage points.While there is a broad political support for the measure, differences persist on the details, in particular pitching the tax at the right level to offset possible revenue losses.Indian states are also not ready to share taxation powers with the federal government on transactions up to a certain level.Tuesday's meeting failed to iron out those differences."I am sure that ...

World - South Asia

India's Jaitley to meet state ministers to push tax reform NEW DELHI: Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will meet state ministers on Tuesday to put pressure on the opposition Congress party to back a long-delayed sales tax reform whose chances have again been thrown into doubt by a parliamentary standoff.The proposed tax reform, the biggest since India's independence from Britain in 1947, seeks to replace a slew of federal taxes and levies in its 29 states, transforming the nation of 1.3 billion people into a ...

World - South Asia

Top Chinese military leader gets life sentence for corruption BEIJING: Former top Chinese military leader Guo Boxiong was sentenced Monday to life in prison for accepting bribes, the official Xinhua news agency said -- the latest high-profile conviction in President Xi Jinping's crackdown on corruption.For a decade, Guo was one of the two vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission, second only to the Chinese president in the top body of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). He retired in 2012 and was expelled from ...

World - South Asia

China says sensitive issues could damage ties with US military BEIJING: Failure to properly handle sensitive issues between the US and China could "very likely disturb and undermine" their military-to-military relations, a top Chinese official told US National Security Advisor Susan Rice Monday. Rice is the highest-level US official to visit the capital since an international tribunal this month rejected China's vast territorial claims in the South China Sea -- infuriating Beijing and fuelling tensions with Washington. Her trip is intended to prepare for a ...

World - South Asia

Afghan civilian casualties soar to record high, UN says KABUL: Civilian casualties in Afghanistan soared to a record high in the first half of 2016, the UN said Monday, with children in particular paying a heavy price for growing insecurity as the conflict escalates.The UN report, which comes days after the deadliest attack in Kabul since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001, cited increasing ground combat around heavily populated areas as the leading cause of casualties. Between January and June, 1,601 civilians ...

World - South Asia

Nepal's Oli resigns as prime minister KATHMANDU: Nepal's K.P. Sharma Oli resigned as prime minister on Sunday, minutes before facing a no-confidence motion in parliament he was certain to lose, plunging the impoverished nation into fresh turmoil.His political rivals, former Maoist rebels, called for the vote against Oli after they deserted his fragile ruling coalition, accusing him of reneging on past deals and following deadly unrest over a divisive new constitution."I have decided to open the road to elect a new ...

World - South Asia

China builds massive seaplane: state media BEIJING: China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft, state media has said, the latest effort in the country's program to wean itself off dependence on foreign aviation firms. The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) unveiled the first of the new planes, dubbed the AG600, Saturday in the southern port city of Zhuhai, the official Xinhua news agency reported.The aircraft, which has a maximum range of 4,500 km (2,800 miles), is ...