India’s economic growth outpaces China’s in 2nd quarter

he Indian economy grew at 7.3 percent in 2014-15 compared to 6.9 per cent in 2013-14, making it the second straight quarter during which it grew at a faster rate than that of China.
According to reports released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on May 29, the economy surged primarily due to the improvements in the performance of service as well as the manufacturing sector. Although the GDP growth saw a marginal surge during 2014-15, it was lower than the earlier estimated figure of 7.4 percent. The fourth quarter (January-March 2015) recorded the highest percentage growth at 7.5 percent, better than 6.6 percent recorded in the previous quarter.
The manufacturing sector showed better improvement in 2014-15, as it grew at 7.1 percent against 5.3 percent recorded in the year 2013-14. The output of electricity, gas, water supply and other utilities increased by 7.9 percent against 4.8 percent in the previous year.

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Budget 2015 reactions: Clear Vision, Making India story shine

The maiden budget presented India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 28 has elicited a largely positive response from leading politicians, industrialists and global investors. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Budget 2015 as “a Budget with a clear vision.” “It is a Budget that is progressive, positive, practical, pragmatic & prudent,” he said. Mr Jaitely said that it’s time for India to fly. Can India fly? Here are a spectrum of reactions on India’s Budget 2015:
Rajnath Singh, Home Minister: “It will play an important role in the formation of modern India and it will help eliminate poverty and unemployment.”
Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress: “It is just a vision document, a Budget in interest of corporates and industrialists.”

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Modi dreams big for India, promises $20 trillion economy

Buoyed by renewed global confidence in the India story, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised the bar by declaring a new ambitious target of scaling up the Indian economy 10-fold to $20 trillion. To make sure that his claim was not seen as grandiose showmanship, the Indian prime minister unveiled a raft of reforms, including reforming country’s the labyrinthine tax system to attract foreign investment and streamlining the governance system to make it faster and more effective.

Underlining the importance of fast-tracking institutional reforms, Mr Modi declared at a business conclave, organised by The Economic Times, that he was preparing the ground to turn India into a $20-trillion economy from $2 trillion. “In 20 years of liberalisation, we have not changed a command-and-control mindset. We think it is okay for government to meddle in the working of firms. This must change,” he said in New Delhi in a speech that was generously interspersed with the word reform and its improvisations.

However, in a carefully-worded formulation, the prime minister made it clear that his government would not cut subsidies that will adversely impact the poor. “I believe that subsidies are needed for them (poor). What we need is a well-targeted system of subsidy delivery. We need to cut subsidy leakages,” he told the country’s industry titans in New Delhi January 16.

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Breakthrough Diplomacy@India: What to expect in 2015

Diplomacy is the art of the possible. If successful and effective diplomacy is about reigniting the spark in old relationships, winning new friends, breaking new grounds, and shaping the outcomes in the international arena to promote the country’s enlightened national interests and development, then the seven-month old Narendra Modi government scores high as it builds on the successes of 2014 and looks ahead to 2015 with “new vision and new vigour.” Breakthrough Diplomacy, as India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj writes in a prologue to the eponymous e-book published by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, is about melding ‘Diplomacy for Development’ as the overarching themes in India’s global engagements.
“2014 has truly been a Year of Breakthrough Diplomacy. India’s star is today shining ever brighter on the global firmament,” writes Swaraj.
Talking of breakthrough diplomacy, it’s time to unscramble the jargon and introduce some balance in diplomatic discourse and the unfolding possibilities in the coming months. For one thing, breakthroughs don’t happen every day or every year in diplomacy; the India-US nuclear deal was a breakthrough, but getting Obama to be the chief guest at the 2015 Republic Day celebrations is a diplomatic triumph, but not a breakthrough. To claim routine diplomatic successes as breakthroughs, therefore, would be misleading, and lowering the bar. For another thing, diplomatic breakthroughs presuppose a perceptible and substantive rise in a country’s comprehensive national power, economic and military strength as well as soft power.

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