India-East Africa conclave: Mapping new pathways for shared prosperity

Against the backdrop of the unfolding resurgence of India and East Africa, the fastest growing region in a rising African continent, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has called for pitching the burgeoning economic partnership onto a higher orbit.
India’s Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia underscored the striking convergence between the two regions and spoke about an “alignment between the India Growth Story and Africa’s own vision of resurgence, as crystallised in African Agenda 2063.”
Mrs Teaotia is leading a high-profile delegation of top Indian industrialists, investors and senior officials, to the CII-EXIM Bank Regional Conclave on India and East Africa in Kamala.
Setting an upbeat note about the future of India’s economic relations with Uganda and East Africa, Mr Museveni exhorted Indian investors to take advantage of the improving investment environment in the country. “The potential is very big. Purchasing power in Africa is going up. Africa is the business centre of the future. You are right now in the right place at the right time,” Mr Museveni told delegates at the CII-Exim Bank Regional Conclave on “India and East Africa: Partners in Development.”
Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman, CII Africa Committee, and CMD, Kirloskar Brothers Limited, dwelled on focus areas of the India-East Africa partnership, which includes infrastructure, banking & finance, manufacturing, agriculture and food processing and knowledge sectors like IT & telecom, health care, education & skill development.
As India gears up to intensify trade and investment with the dynamic East African region, promoting Brand India in the region will be crucial. Brand India is synonymous with Trust, Quality and Innovation, said Mr Kirloskar.

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Why India-EU summit matters: Mapping next steps

Unfazed by Brexit, India and the European Union are set to map the next steps in their mutually enriching and empowering partnership at their 14th summit in New Delhi. The 14th summit is taking place against a mutating geopolitical and geo-economic landscape, marked by uneven global economic growth and the rise of radicalism and alt-right forces in Europe and elsewhere.
In his interaction with EU leaders, including Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to raise the bar for India-EU partnership in both economic and strategic spheres.
Besides upscaling economic and strategic partnership, the 14th summit could be a milestone in entrenching the EU’s role as a key partner in India’s ongoing nation-building projects. In days to come, one can see enhanced support of the EU for flagship schemes of national resurgence like Smart City, Skill India, Clean Ganga, Digital India and Start-up India. In particular, the EU is set to emerge as one of preferred partners in India’s quest for urban renaissance.
Moving beyond specific deliverables, the 14th summit should culminate in a big picture view of steering this strategic partnership between the vibrant multi-cultural, multi-ethnic societies of India and the European Union. With the liberal global order under attack by alt-right politics and divisive forces, India and the EU can blend their strengths to champion a new narrative for open societies and inclusive globalisation.

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Jaitley-Sinha slugfest: BJP big guns duel over state of Indian economy

Has the Indian economy slowed down? If so, should Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization be demonized? These are all-important questions that have sparked a war of words between two of BJP’s bigwigs.

The verbal duelling between India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and ex-Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha shows no signs of abating, with Mr. Sinha hitting back at Mr. Jaitley over his “job applicant at 80” jibe. “If I was a job applicant, he (Jaitley) would not be there in the first place,” Mr Sinha said.

What set off the political slugfest is a hard-hitting column by the former two-time Finance Minister and BJP veteran Mr. Sinha, criticizing the economic policies of the Modi government, and launching a personal attack on Mr. Jaitley’s poor handling of the economy. “I would be failing in my national duty if I did not speak up even now against the mess the Finance Minister has made of the economy,” he wrote. “The Prime Minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His Finance Minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters.”

Responding to the article, Mr. Jaitley, speaking at the launch of India at 70, Modi at 3.5 – Capturing India’s transformation under Narendra Modi, by Bibek Debroy and Ashok Malik, took a swipe at Mr. Sinha saying, “Probably, a more appropriate title for your book would have been ‘India at 70, Modi at 3.5 and a job applicant at 80’.” Without taking names he further said he did not “have the luxury as yet of being a former Finance Minister; nor do I have the luxury of being a former Finance Minister who’s turned a columnist.” Mr. Jaitley also took a swipe at Mr. Sinha for “acting in tandem” with Congress veteran and ex-Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

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GST is Goods and Services Tax, but in reality it is Good and Simple Tax:PM Modi

In a historic move that could prove to be a game-changer for India’s economic fortunes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined that GST will enhance the ease of doing business and help create a New India. The path-breaking tax reform was launched just after midnight by the PM Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee.
Addressing the nation at the Central Hall of Parliament ahead of the GST launch at midnight, PM Modi said GST will not only ease the process of doing business but will also improve the way of doing business.It will play an important role in achieving the goal of New India, scope of GST is unlimited to financial system, India will now move in a new direction, after the introduction of GST things will become easier for them.

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Budget Session: President focuses on financial inclusion, empowerment of poor

India’s President Pranab Mukherjee kicked off the Budget session with his speech to a joint session of both houses of the parliament, in which he underscored the BJP-led NDA government’s vision of inclusive economy and governance by highlighting a slew of schemes directed at empowering the poor, the underprivileged and women. Mr Mukherjee described the move to merge the Railway and Union Budgets this year as “historic.”

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