London based Financial Times reported that Qatar has paid $1 billion to two terrorist groups that have bases in Iraq and Syria to release its royal family members. The deal according to the newspaper took place in April when 26 members of a Qatari falconry party in southern Iraq were made hostages. The ransom payment to was made to two blacklisted entities in the Middle East – an al-Qaeda affiliate and Iranian security officials. The big money paid to the Iranians and the al Qaeda militants has irked Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries who always had suspicion about the way in which Qatar played its politics, having connection with various militant groups. Ranso
A short-term rift in the Arab world has surprised Middle East politics as Saudi Arabia and five other Muslim countries cut ties with Qatar over its reported tie with Arab world’s undeclared rival – Iran and extremist groups. Joint communique by Saudi Arabia, Egypt UAE and Bahrain accused Qatar supporting Islamists and Iran. Yemen and Maldives joined the Saudi effort later. The Arab state’s action comes two weeks after the US President Donald Trump’s visit to the region that hinted a strengthening relationship between the US and the Arab world; sidelining Iran. US President also urged gulf to drive out extreme forces while buying the Saudi argument that Ira
Indicating the rising dominance of various terrorist groups in the entire Afghanistan, capital Kabul has got one of the biggest bomb explosion in recent years, hitting the diplomatic areas. Around 80 persons are reported dead so far and several hundreds injured in the explosion that took place at Zanbaq square, in Kabul's 10th district, which is a highly secure area near to many government offices and foreign embassies. The bomb explosion took place 8.25 in the morning. Various embassies situated around the site are assessing the damage level. Surprisingly, the attackers carried explosives in a truck implying huge quantity and thus raising questions about the security establishme
Can BRICS bring back rhythm in its usual attack against West dominated world economic order, especially after considerable conflict at the political level between the two stake holders – India and China? This year’s theme may be the retreat of the West from globalization. BRICS intellectuals especially in Beijing believe that there is concerted effort from Western countries to exit from globalization as it considerably helped countries like China to emerge as powerful economies. So far, all the BRICS declarations were full of the demand for reconstructing the West dominated governance structure of IMF and World Bank. Demand for local currency trade settlements and str
BRICS’ s Goa edition is expected to reflect the drift between India and China on the latter’s selective protectionism to Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism. The group may feel severe pressure to restrict its usual engagement of fighting the West. Indications are that Chinese involvement in supporting Pakistan’s stand on Uri attack may reflect in the meeting as well. Already, indicating strong polarization in foreign policy, India invited the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries to the meeting. Invitation to the Bimstec is quite symbolic. This means that India is ready to limit its cooperation w
World’s macroeconomic observer – the International Monetary Fund cautioned that international debt has scaled up to a historical high level. Debt of the global economy has reached $152 trillion which is nearly two times the GDP of the world economy. The debt report was published under the IMF’s October 2016 edition of the ‘Fiscal Monitor’ that evaluates government finances and expenditure. IMF has a strong research division that makes extensive study about individual economies and the world economy as a whole. The Fund’s surveillance function is one of the most sophisticated activity by the seventy-year-old entity. Nearly two third of the debt
Government has approved the duty structure for Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)- a preferential trade agreement between six developing countries of Asia including China and Korea. As a preferential trade arrangement, the APTA gives a low level of trade liberalization. Tariff concession will not be substantial as in the case of usual free trade arrangements. Similarly, the number of tradeable goods under the agreement will also be limited. The APTA has six members at present – India, China, Bangladesh, Lao PDR, South Korea and Sri Lanka. Mongolia is trying to join the trade bloc. APTA is an initiative by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for
Chinese President XI Jinping urged the BRICS safeguard free trade from the emerging trend of protectionism. He also called the group to continue its effort reform the governance of major world institutions. Xi was speaking at the meeting of the BRICS heads of states meeting at Hangzhou where the G20 leaders makes their first meeting in China. The Chinese President has already emerged as the iconic leader among leaders from the largest economies of the world with China showing symptoms of firm voice in world political and economic arena in recent years. The BRICS leaders usually assembles before the G20 meeting. This time also, Xi has demanded the group to raise their voice for r
New comer in international institutional finance- the New Development Bank supported by BRICS bank targets to issue green bonds worth $3 bn to finance infrastructure projects. The bank is equally sponsored by five BRICS countries and is headquartered in Shanghai. Green bonds are issued to mobilize funds for financing environment friendly projects. The bonds will be issued from July and is for five years. projects including clean energy, and infrastructure are expected to be supported from funds mobilized through the bonds. Interestingly, the bonds will be yuan denominated which implies domestic fund raising or implicit internationalization of the Chinese currency. Large sized C
Saudi Arabia has unveiled a revolutionary plan to make the oil kingdom free from oil dependence in just four years. The most orthodox country in the Middle East has brought out the new plan called Saudi Vision 2030 which needs tremendous adjustment from the present pattern. The plan is the work of Mohammed bin Salman, 30-year-old son of King Salman. The deputy crown prince who has taken control of economic and oil strategy of the Kingdom. The crown prince has launched the plan for transition by accepting that Saudi Arabia is ‘addicted to oil.’ Revealing the urgency and perhaps making the targets unrealistic, he declared that the wish is to live without oil by 202
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