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Indian parliament kicks off debate on key tax reform NEW DELHI: India's parliament began debating a sales tax on Friday that seeks to transform the country into a common market, but experts said compromises made to enlist the support of states risked diluting the impact of the biggest tax reform in decades.The proposed goods and service tax (GST) would harmonise a mosaic of state and central levies into a national sales tax which business and policy makers hope would boost manufacturing and reduce corruption."GST is going to lead to a win-win situation as far as the centre and the states are concerned; it's going to up India's GDP and it is going to up India's revenues," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told lawmakers.The government hopes the lower house of parliament will vote on the bill as early as Monday, after which the upper house would have to pass it.Then more than one half of India's 29 states must ratify it ...

India's SMEs still to be convinced by business-friendly PM NEW DELHI: While Narendra Modi may be the toast of India's titans of industry, bosses of the army of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are beginning to grow impatient for change a year into his premiership.With the economy now outpacing even China, Modi has won big-name plaudits for transforming the climate with a series of reforms and pledges that have burnished his business-friendly credentials.In a paean to Modi for the latest edition of Time magazine, ...
Australia fears worst for drug traffickers in Indonesia SYDNEY: Australia has made a last-ditch appeal for Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare the lives of two drug traffickers facing execution, but Foreign Minister Julie Bishop admitted she was fearing the worst.Indonesia has advised consular officials to head Saturday to Nusakambangan, the high-security prison island where its executions are carried out and where nine foreign drug convicts have been taken.They include two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, ringleaders of the "Bali Nine" heroin ...
Sri Lanka's ex-president faces anti-graft probe COLOMBO: Former president Mahinda Rajapakse has been summoned to appear before Sri Lanka's anti-graft body later this week over bribery allegations, parliament was told Monday.Rajapakse loyalists said the 69-year-old had been ordered to present himself on Thursday before the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.Although the commission told AFP that it would not comment on individual cases, supporters of the former president asked the Speaker of parliament -- who is Rajapakse's eldest brother ...
India's Pachauri asks court for permission to travel NEW DELHI: Rajendra Pachauri, who stood down as head of the UN climate panel in February facing investigation for alleged sexual harassment, asked an Indian court Friday for permission to travel to Greece for a water conference.The 74-year-old was barred from leaving the country pending a police investigation after a researcher at his New Delhi research institute accused him of sexual harassment -- an allegation he denies."He has moved the court because he wants the ...
India signals won't intervene for now in foreign tax row WASHINGTON: Foreign investors should not look to the Indian government for now to provide relief from a ruling requiring them to pay taxes on years of previously untaxed capital gains, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.U.S. and European investor groups are upset with the Minimum Alternate Taxation (MAT) measure, which would apply levies for past years at a higher rate than they had been subject to in the past. Tax experts say the ...
Iran lawmakers demand 'fact sheet' on nuclear deal TEHRAN: A majority of Iranian lawmakers on Sunday demanded the country's negotiators publish a "fact sheet" on a newly agreed framework nuclear accord, while denouncing details laid out in an American version."In a letter, members of parliament asked for the publishing of an Iranian fact sheet, and so far 212 have signed it," Javad Karimi Ghodusi, a member of the 290-seat assembly, was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.On April 2, Iran ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln