India Money, Political and General News Correspondent, New Delhi
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Jun 21, 2011

Crisis-hit India government defers parliament reopening

NEW DELHI, June 21 (Reuters) – India’s parliament will
reopen two weeks later than usual, giving the embattled
government more time to reach an agreement with civil society
over drafting tough anti-graft legislation and head off any more
national protests.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s popularity is at its lowest
since he first came to power in 2004. Policymaking has been
paralysed by a series of high-profile corruption scandals and
Asia’s third-largest economy is slowing down on high inflation
and interest rates.

Jun 19, 2011

Pakistan looms large as India, China armies resume talks

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India resumes defense contacts with China frozen for a year when an Indian military delegation visits on Sunday, though few expect any breakthrough with Beijing pursuing its “all-weather friendship” with arch-rival Pakistan.

But analysts say the visit, which ends a suspension of such contacts following a visa row last year, is a step forward in keeping a balance in ties between the emerging rivals for global influence and resources.

Jun 14, 2011

In India’s grain bowl, farms face threat from MNREGS

CHANDIGARH, India (Reuters) – Sitting at the edge of fields in the heart of India’s grain bowl, Gurdayal Singh Malik shakes his head in resignation about the lack of workers needed for his 60-acre farm, blaming the government’s flagship welfare program, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), for the shortage.

Ever since the start of the program, which guarantees 100 days of work a year for rural households, the flow of migrant labour to Punjab and Haryana states has dropped to a trickle, forcing farmers such as Malik to hike farm wages massively — and still he cannot find enough workers.

Jun 14, 2011

In India’s grain bowl, farms face threat from job programme

CHANDIGARH, India, June 14 (Reuters) – Sitting at the edge
of fields in the heart of India’s grain bowl, Gurdayal Singh
Malik shakes his head in resignation about the lack of workers
needed for his 60-acre farm, blaming the government’s flagship
welfare program for the shortage.

Ever since the start of the program, which guarantees 100
days of work a year for rural households, the flow of migrant
labour to northern Punjab and Haryana states has dropped to a
trickle, forcing farmers such as Malik to hike farm wages
massively — and still he cannot find enough workers.

Jun 10, 2011

India “neutral” over Carstens for IMF top job

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Mexico’s central bank chief Agustin Carstens on Friday said India had not committed to support his candidacy as head of the IMF, as officials in the Asian nation said they would make their choice later in June.

Carstens was in New Delhi to drum up support for his candidacy, with India and other emerging economies China, Brazil, South Africa and Russia calling for an end to Europe’s grip on the top job at the international lender.

Jun 1, 2011

Key risks to watch in India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – After state elections in May in which the ruling Congress party and its allies performed well, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will start work on reshuffling his cabinet and raising fuel prices before the next parliamentary session in July.

There is little sign, however, that major reforms such as freeing diesel prices or allowing foreign investment in the retail sector will be pushed forward, given high inflation and the government’s continued lack of political authority due to wide-ranging corruption scandals.

Jun 1, 2011

Key political risks to watch in India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – After state elections in May in which the ruling Congress party and its allies performed well, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will start work on reshuffling his cabinet and raising fuel prices before the next parliamentary session in July.

There is little sign, however, that major reforms such as freeing diesel prices or allowing foreign investment in the retail sector will be pushed forward, given high inflation and the government’s continued lack of political authority due to wide-ranging corruption scandals.

May 20, 2011

Kanimozhi in custody in 2G scam case

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A court on Friday jailed Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha MP and the daughter of DMK chief Karunanidhi, pending trial on charges she handled a $47 million bribe in the 2G spectrum scam.

But her party’s recent election defeat will likely mean it stays in the central coalition.

May 20, 2011

Indian coalition lawmaker in custody over graft case

NEW DELHI, May 20 (Reuters) – An Indian court sent the
daughter of a key government ally on Friday to jail pending
trial on charges she handled a $47 million bribe in the
country’s biggest corruption case.

But her party’s recent election defeat will likely mean it
stays in the federal coalition.

May 16, 2011

India inflation eases but rate rise seen in June

NEW DELHI, May 16 (Reuters) – Indian inflation dipped in
April, but upward revisions to past readings and the prospect of
higher energy prices will keep pressure on the central bank to
raise interest rates in June and maintain its hawkish stance.

The easing was mostly due to slower rises in prices of some
manufactured goods, but analysts said such prices could quicken
again because of Sunday’s petrol price hike by oil firms and a
widely expected increase in state-set diesel prices.

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      "I cover Indian politics and economics from New Delhi."
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