Veteran communist elected Nepal PM
- Veteran communist leader K.P. Sharma Oli was elected as the Nepal’s first PM under the new constitution.
- The Terai protesters lashed out at Mr. Oli for his alleged “anti-Terai” bias and promised to intensify the struggle in the Terai region to secure their rights.
- Mr. Oli, meanwhile, received a congratulatory phone call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India received emissaries in the past week from the new Nepal PM, who tried to convince that once in power he would be willing to address New Delhi’s concerns about the blockade.
- The new Prime Minister has taken over and the immediate issue on his agenda is to ensure clear supply lines for the essential goods like kerosene. Already a dialogue committee has been created between the government and the Madhesi parties, which addresses India’s official concerns
Fiscal balance turns surplus after 8 years
- For the first time in 8 years, India’s fiscal balance turned from deficit to surplus in the month of August, the latest data from the Controller-General of Accounts (CGA) show. The fiscal deficit, the excess of the Centre’s expenditure over its revenues, was (-) Rs. 15,808 crore in August.
- A sharp surge in the Centre’s revenue receipts as well as a steep decline in its total expenditures made the fiscal surplus possible.
- During the first five months of the current financial year from April to August, cumulatively its fiscal deficit was Rs. 3.69 lakh crore, which is lower than the Rs. 3.97 lakh crore in the corresponding period last year.
- The healthy 22.8 per cent growth in gross tax revenues so far this year along with the 12 per cent reduction in the subsidy outgo have contributed to the improvement in the Centre’s fiscal position.
Nobel Prize in Economics goes to Angus Deaton
- The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2015 was awarded to Angus Deaton of Princeton University, NJ, USA, for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare. By linking detailed individual choices and aggregate outcomes, his research has helped transform the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and development economics.
- The work for which Mr. Deaton is now being honoured revolves around three central questions: How do consumers distribute their spending among different goods?; How much of society’s income is spent and how much is saved? and How do we best measure and analyze welfare and poverty?
Exercises in Kunming and Bay of Bengal
- India’s attempt to keep China engaged in a military-cooperation cycle while it bolters defence ties with the United States and Japan is becoming strikinglyillustrated this week when it begins counter-terror drills in Kunming, as well as the Malabar-2015 naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal.
- The joint Hand-in-Hand counterterrorism exercises between India and China started on Monday, following the arrival in Kunming of 175 personnel from the Naga Regiment of the Eastern Command. An equal number of Chinese personnel from the Chengdu based 14 corps are participating in the manouevres
- The aim is to develop joint operating capability, share useful experience in counter-terrorism operations and to promote friendly exchanges between the armies of India and China.
- While these exercises will continue till October 22, the much larger Malabar-2015 naval drills, with the U.S. and Japan will commence later this week in the Bay of Bengal.
- In view of the growing tensions with Japan, the Chinese are focusing their attention on the format of this exercise to gauge whether the joint Indo-US exercises are morphing into a trilateral framework with Tokyo as a permanent participant. If that happens, it will re-open the question whether Indian foreign policy is now shifting gears towards an active support for the U.S. led “Asia- Pivot”.