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Modi seeks to replace central planning with 'Team India' NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a brainstorming session on Sunday on replacing Soviet-style central planning with a 'Team India' concept that would give federal states a greater role in developing Asia's third-largest economy.Although he won a huge election mandate in May, the writ of Modi's government is weak as the majority of India's 29 states are controlled by his opponents. That has led him to seek their help in implementing his growth and jobs agenda."It is impossible for the nation to develop unless states develop," Modi told a meeting with chief ministers in New Delhi. "The process of policy planning also has to change from 'top to bottom' to 'bottom to top'."As chief minister of Gujarat, Modi objected to meddling by the Planning Commission in his state's affairs. One ally has described the body as a "parking lot" for political cronies and unwanted bureaucrats.Yet, three months after ...

India arrests accused in suspected plot to kill Bangladesh PM GUWAHATI: Indian police have arrested a key suspect behind a blast in the state of West Bengal who is also believed to have been involved in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and stage a coup there.Shahnor Alom, who was arrested in a village in the northeastern state of Assam on Friday night, is an operative of a banned Bangladeshi group active in eastern India, a senior intelligence officer said on ...
Thai assembly approves plan on $10.6bn rail project with China BANGKOK: Thailand's National Legislative Assembly has approved an initial agreement on a joint rail project with China, as part of a long term scheme to develop the country's transportation infrastructure.Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong told reporters the project was expected to cost at least 350 billion baht ($10.64 billion) and "will certainly benefit Thailand as it will link transport networks with neighbouring countries".Under the memorandum of understanding, the project will be done on ...
Nepal arrests seven over rape of Indian girl at festival: police KATHMANDU: Nepal police have arrested seven men for allegedly gang-raping a teenage Indian girl visiting the Himalayan nation for a religious festival involving animal sacrifices, an official said Thursday.The 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped after arriving in a remote village near the Indian border for the two-day festival during which 2.5 million worshippers sacrificed some 200,000 animals in a Hindu ritual.The woman was dragged Monday night into a deserted building near the grounds of a ...
School bus crash kills five children in India LUCKNOW: Five children were killed on Thursday when a school bus collided with a moving train at an unmanned railway crossing in northern India, local authorities said.Another 13 people, including the driver, have been taken to hospital for treatment after the crash in Uttar Pradesh state."It was quite foggy in the morning when the incident took place," district information officer Jitendra Pratap Singh told AFP."Five children have been killed and 13 others, including the driver, ...
Bangladesh court convicts British reporter of contempt DHAKA: A Bangladesh court on Tuesday ruled that an award-winning British journalist was guilty of contempt for questioning the official death toll of three million in the country's 1971 independence war.The judges said a 2011 blog post by David Bergman had "hurt the feelings of the nation" and ordered him to pay a fine of 5,000 taka ($65) or go to prison for seven days.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
China's Xi strikes conciliatory note, broadens diplomatic focus BEIJING: China's President Xi Jinping ratcheted down Beijing's heated rhetoric and called on the government to expand its foreign policy agenda through cooperation and diplomacy.China should "promote peaceful resolution of differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, and oppose the wilful use of threat of force," Xi said in a major policy address this weekend, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency late on Saturday."We have advocated the building of ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln