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Economy and Business

A frequently asked but futile question is: Where are oil prices headed? The question is futile because no one knows the answer.

 

Just look at the myriad irrelevant controversies that the ostensibly popular Narendra Modi-led BJP has allowed itself to be dragged into over the last few months. First it was Teachers’ Day in September, then “love jihad” and non-Hindus as “haramzadas” in October, then Sanskrit requirement in November, and now Good Governance Day in December. Good god, what can we expect in January?

 

What’s not to love about OPEC? There has rarely been a better model of an international body banding together with a mission to stabilise a stubbornly unstable market. As steward of 75 per cent of the planet’s crude oil reserves, OPEC can give the US Federal Reserve, the United Nations and Al Gore a run for their money in its power to simultaneously influence the world’s economy, its politics and its climate.

 

A few months ago at the WTO, India, along with a couple of other countries, had blocked the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) because of its concern over the possibility of being challenged at the WTO over its minimum support prices, which the government equated with food security.

 

China’s dominance over India in overseas oil has been on clear display, but there is reason to believe that the competitive landscape may be changing.

 

Given India’s long record of fiscal imbalances, few governments at the Centre have had the good fortune of starting off with economic tail winds behind them. The UPA, during the first half of its 10-year stint at the helm, was lucky enough, having taken over in 2004.

 

Quite unpredictable international oil prices can be. Over the past few months, the price of oil has fallen by more than 30 percent and is hovering around the $ 55 to $ 60 mark for a barrel.

 

Two critical data sets released before Tuesday’s monetary policy review dealt with the second-quarter GDP and October’s CPI inflation. The former, at 5.3 per cent, wouldn’t have come as a surprise to the RBI, since it expects GDP growth to be 5.5 per cent in the current fiscal.

 

Two schools of thought tend to dominate today's economic debates. According to free-market economists, governments should cut taxes, reduce regulations, reform labour laws, and then get out of the way to let consumers consume and producers create jobs.

 
  The boom under the UPA has ended; to achieve respectable growth, the NDA government will have to do something in terms of reforms and the Prime Minister will have to go beyond simply designing excellent websites and think out of the box.
 


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spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
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Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that military dictatorship always halted progress in the country. The Prime Minister, who was in Karachi on a day-long visit, was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the Pakistan International Bulk Terminal at Port Qasim.
 
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Ruskin Bond’s first novel ‘Room on the Roof’ describes in vivid detail how life in the hills around Dehradun used to be. Bond, who is based in Landour, Mussoorie, since 1963, captured the imagination of countless readers as he painted a picture of an era gone by.
 
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India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
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Braid-chopping incidents have added to the already piled up anxieties of Kashmiris. Once again they are out on the streets, to give vent to their anger. A few persons, believed to be braid-choppers were caught hold by irate mobs at various places. They were beaten to pulp.
 
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The upcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has captured world attention. French newspaper Le Monde on Sunday published a front page article headlined "China, the rise of the great power" in Chinese characters and carried eight pages on the topic, the epitome of Western reporting on the 19th CPC
 
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When Saudi women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif was taken to a women’s prison in Saudi Arabia, the prisoners inside crowded around her in shock.
 
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By refusing to certify the Iran nuclear deal, which curbed its nuclear programme in return for lifting global sanctions, U.S. President Donald Trump has put the two-year-old pact on dangerous footing.
 
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It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
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Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
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Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
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Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
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As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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