Narendra Modi set to visit Nepal during August
Narendra Modi will embark on a visit of Nepal on August 3 for an official trip that is supposed to last a couple of days. This will be the first time in 18 years that an Indian prime minister is making such a visit to Nepal. In fact, the invitation to Modi has come from Sushil Koirala, the prime minister of Nepal. Koirala had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Modi and at that time had extended an invitation to his Indian counterpart. Incidentally, Sushma Swaraj is also expected to visit Nepal in order to prepare the ground for Modi’s visit. This is also a first for Swaraj after becoming the external affairs minister.
Immediately after becoming the PM, Modi had given the highest importance to the neighbouring nations and as part of the same, he had invited all the heads of state from these countries. The results of such efforts are there for everyone to see especially with Pakistan. Both the countries have initiated procedures to normalise relations, which had been disrupted by the events of 2008 Mumbai attacks. Now, Nepal too is looking to improve its relations with India and that, perhaps, is a sign of good things to come for all concerned.
BJP govt cannot express bring back black money, says Dubey
At the time when it was the main opponent in the parliament, BJP had made UPA’s life rather uncomfortable with its questions and overall stance on black money. However, now when it is in the hot seat it has expressed that it will not be able to bring the black money back to India. Nishikant Dubey, a party MP from Godda, Jharkhand, has stated that it may be well nigh impossible to accomplish the task in question in a lifetime. The MP, who is also a member of the Treasury benches, has reasoned that the people with black money in India have formed trusts to store the money and the common people in the European nation are now the employees of such trusts.
He has said that as per the laws in Switzerland, the trustees cannot be named and if the names are not divulged, then it would be impossible to trace the amount that has been illegally stashed at the Swiss banks. One feels that with the present conditions in India, if all the black money can be recovered then it would be a significant boost for the economy as a whole. As M Thambidurai of AIADMK has said, if the money can be brought back, then the country shall not need any foreign investment for a significant period.
John Kerry set to arrive for India visit on July 30
John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, is slated to come to India for a visit that will last for 3 days on July 30. During this period, he will be meeting a number of leaders to talk about important bilateral, global and regional issues that are important to both the US as well as India. He will also co-chair the 5th edition of the India-US Strategic Dialogue. This will be the first time that Kerry shall visit India after Narendra Modi became the prime minister of the country.
It will be the responsibility of Sushma Swaraj, the union external affairs minister to host Kerry in the first couple of days of his visit and then co-chair the strategic dialogue. The importance of this meeting lies in the fact that it will act as the preparation for a meeting between Barack Obama and Narendra Modi during September when the Indian PM has been invited by the US president. It is expected that areas such as security, science and technology, trade and investment, and energy and environment are going to be among the topics that will be touched upon by Swaraj and Kerry during their meetings.
India delivers stern message to UN
In what could be interpreted as its hardest message ever to the United Nations, India is expected to inform the chief of the UN peacekeeping forces, who is presently on a visit, that the UNMOGIP (United Nations Military Observer Group on India and Pakistan) is no longer a useful entity. The chief in question, UN undersecretary general Herve Ladsous, is presently visiting India, Nepal and Bangladesh, which are regarded as among the major contributors to the peacekeeping forces of UN.
He is expected at the Indian capital on July 25 and will be meeting officers of the external affairs ministry, home affairs and defence. In India, both army and police contribute soldiers to the peacekeeping forces. India, which has for long wanted the UNMOGIP to cease its operations along the LOC, will now be repeating its stance in a forceful manner. The exact reasons for this stance are yet to be known, but one feels the fact that it is the second highest contributor after Bangladesh in the region will provide India some advantage when it makes the aforementioned claim. It only remains to be seen how this will affect the relationship between India and UN.
Insurance sector set to benefit from government policies
The Indian government has recently taken a decision to allow 49% FDI in the insurance sector up from the previous limit of 26% and this is expected to bring in 3.5 billion dollars into India. The insurance companies have been very appreciative of the proposal but what has put off the international investors is the emphasis on Indians in the management stakes. The fact that there is not much clear idea regarding limits on voting rights means it is another area of problem.
The chairman of IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) has stated that it is a positive decision to up the cap in FDI in the insurance sector and it could add to the reach of the companies. According to him, the industry is in serious need of financial influx and it does not really matter where it comes from. One of the positive aftereffects of this decision is that in the future this will enable companies to be enlisted on the stock exchanges. This will also help the shareholders have a better idea of management policies of the concerned company.