06262016Sun
Last update: Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10pm

South Asia

World - South Asia

India PM Modi heads to Uzbekistan to woo China's Xi NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping this week on the sidelines of a summit in Uzbekistan, the Indian foreign ministry said Wednesday, seeking China's backing for India's entry into a nuclear trade group.India wants to become a member of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to get better access to low-cost, clean nuclear energy -- important for its economic growth.While several countries including the United States and France have publicly backed India's quest to join the NSG, China, which has not yet supported the bid, is seen as the biggest obstacle. A senior foreign ministry official confirmed Modi would meet Xi at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent, which starts Thursday.The SCO is a six-nation group comprising China, Russia and Central Asian countries focused on regional energy and security issues.The timing could be critical, as the NSG on Thursday begins ...

World - South Asia

Singapore to include Chinese yuan investments in foreign reserves SINGAPORE: Singapore's central bank said Wednesday it will make its financial investments in the yuan part of its official foreign reserves from June, reflecting the Chinese currency's increasing international acceptance.The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said its decision "recognises the steady and calibrated liberalisation of China's financial markets, and the growing acceptance of (yuan) assets in the global portfolio of institutional investors".MAS has been making financial investments in the yuan, or renminbi, since 2012, under ...

World - South Asia

Lightning kills at least 93 as monsoon sweeps India NEW DELHI: At least 93 people have been struck by lightning and killed in India over the past two days, disaster management officials said Wednesday, as annual monsoon rains swept the country.Lightning strikes are relatively common in India during the June-October monsoon, which hit the southern coast earlier this month, but this week's toll is particularly high.Most deaths occurred in the eastern state of Bihar, where an overnight storm killed at least 56 people and ...

World - South Asia

Hardline Maldives minister quits ahead of reshuffle MALÉ: The Maldives home minister quit the government hours before Wednesday's cabinet reshuffle after coming under pressure over the jailing of President Abdulla Yameen's opponents in the politically troubled nation.Umar Naseer, who was in charge of police and was effectively Yameen's deputy, submitted his resignation to the president's office on Tuesday night."I thank HEP (his excellency president) Yameen and others for all their support," Naseer said, announcing his resignation on Twitter.Observers say Naseer had recently ...

World - South Asia

China to further open up airports, telecoms, oil & gas to private investment: cabinet BEIJING: China will further open up sectors such as telecommunications, airports and oil and gas exploration to private firms, China's cabinet said on Wednesday, in an effort to halt a record slide in private investment growth.Chinese policies to encourage private investment had been beset by problems, the cabinet said in a statement following a meeting led by Premier Li Keqiang, following a nationwide investigation of challenges faced by private firms.China would introduce measures to improve ...

World - South Asia

India's finance minister has 'full confidence' in top aide NEW DELHI: Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday rebutted an attack by a party colleague on his chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian. "The government has full confidence in chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian," Jaitley told a news conference in answer to a reporter's question, adding that his advice had been of "great value".Earlier, maverick right-winger Subramanian Swamy had demanded the sacking of Jaitley's top aide. It was Swamy who had led a campaign demanding ...

World - South Asia

India cabinet approves fiscal incentives for textile sector: official NEW DELHI: The Indian cabinet on Wednesday approved fiscal incentives for the textiles sector aimed at boosting exports and creating more jobs, a senior government official said.The government will subsidise employers' social welfare contributions for employees in the textile sector, Rashmi Verma, textile secretary told reporters after a cabinet meeting.Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...