493

Finance Ministry Says Govt Committed To Growth Revival, Fiscal Consolidation

New Delhi: The government is committed to growth revival by increasing public investment while maintaining fiscal deficit target of 3.2 per cent for the current fiscal, according to a finance ministry study.

The fiscal policy of the government and hence the budget 2017-18 has been guided by the twin macro-economic need of reviving growth momentum while being committed to fiscal consolidation, said the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) quarterly statement at the end of first quarter of 2017-18 prepared by the finance ministry.

During the first quarter (April-June) of 2017-18, the growth rate of GDP was subdued at 5.7 percent as against 7.9 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2016-17.

454

Indian Exports To China Grows By Over 53 Per Cent In Oct

New Delhi: India's exports to China have recorded a sharp increase of over 53 per cent year-on-year to reach $1.24 billion in October, according to data released by the customs.

On the other hand, the trade deficit for October stood at $3.86 billion.Despite the strains in the bilateral ties, India-China trade increased by 13.56 per cent year-on-year to reach $6.33 billion in October.

Significantly, India's exports to China increased by 53.04 per cent year-on-year to reach $1.24 billion though the trade deficit continued to grow. The Indian exports to China around the same time last year was $0.81 billion, data showed.

453

CII Pitches For Govt Diluting Stake In PSBs To 33% In Next 3 Yrs

New Delhi: The government should reduce its stake in public sector banks (PSBs) to 33 per cent in the next three years as it plans to recapitalise banks to strengthen NPA-hit lenders, according to industry body CII.

"...Over the next 2-3 years, the Government could consider bringing down its stake in most PSBs to 33 per cent. It could retain a larger share in the State Bank of India in order to meet priority needs. The off-loading of stake may be in the form of preference shares instead of equity shares to maintain the majority voting rights with the Government with nil transference to the investors.

"On a more immediate basis the government may consider going for public issue to dilute its stake to 52 per cent with the 33 per cent being a target over the next 3 years," the industry body said in a statement.

317

NATO Worried Over Russian Missile System Breaking Cold War Pact

New Delhi: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has expressed its concern over a Russian missile system that could carry nuclear warheads, and which it says could violate a landmark Cold War arms treaty.

The US-led military alliance said in a statement that "allies have identified a Russian missile system that raises serious concerns.''

It urged Russia "to address these concerns in a substantial and transparent way, and actively engage in a technical dialogue with the United States.''

307

GMR Emerges As Top Contender For New Terminal At Struggling Philippines Airport

New Delhi: India based GMR Group-Megawide consortium has emerged as a preferred bidder for the Clark International Airport project in the Philippines. The consortium will develop a new Terminal building of Clark Airport through a hybrid PPP model and is expected to receive the Notice of Award within one week..

Located 100 kms north of Manila, the new Terminal building will have a capacity of 8 million passengers per annum. This will be the second airport project for GMR  in Philippines after the Mactan Cebu airport, the second largest airport in that country, handling over 10 million passengers annually. The Mactan Cebu project is expected to be commissioned in June 2018.