India for deepening economic ties with Singapore

Singapore: India plans to deepen its economic ties with Singapore as part of its ‘Look East policy’, with bilateral trade expected to touch SGD30 billion this year, reports PTI.

Bilateral trade between India and Singapore is expected to touch SGD 30 billion this year, recovering strongly from the recession hit 2009, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, Dr TCA Raghavan said here on Tuesday.

Bilateral trade between the two countries dipped to SGD 22 billion last year due to the global recession but was SGD 28 billion in 2008, having surged from SGD 12 billion in 2005 following the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

“Singapore is a very important partner of India,” he told a Singapore press conference for ‘The India Show 2011’ to be held January 14-16, 2011 in the city.

“We have seen a very good recovery from 2008 and a good financial investment climate,’ said Dr Raghavan.

Meanwhile, India’s commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma would be leading a high level ministerial and CEOs delegation to Singapore for ‘The India Show’.

Some 80 Indian corporations will be exhibiting at the show which would also have a symposium aimed at further nurturing the good relationship between India and Singapore.

Dr Raghavan said the show is part of the Indian government’s ‘Look East Policy,’ and would acquaint business visitors with the latest in Indian products and technology, help them understand the trends and offer opportunities in various sectors of the Indian economy as well as have the corporate worlds of the two countries discuss business co-operations.

The 14th January ‘India Symposium’—themed ‘Indovations: Ideas for the World’, would highlight the innovation in the Indian manufacturing, services and infrastructure sectors.

The Indian businesses participating in the show would be seeking to establish partnership and strategic links with Singapore's small and medium enterprises as well as major corporations in the infrastructure sector, especially seeking out water-technology and urban development expertise, he said.

Though the show would focus on Singapore companies, a number of regional businesses have registered to participate in the show, the largest ever of its kind in Southeast Asia.

ANTRIX, the Indian space research organization, would also be participating in the show.

ANTRIX physicists would join counterparts from the National University of Singapore in a day-long conference focusing and exploring the potential of development in the science fields between the two countries.

ANTRIX would be launching Singapore’s first commercial satellite in about a month, said Dr Raghavan.

The highlights of the show would include Tata Technologies’ ‘Nano’ car and Indian wines as the Indian business put in aggressive efforts to promote ‘Brand India’.

Indian wine producers have some 700 Indian restaurants in Singapore, to exploit the city’s market, he pointed out.

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Adarsh scam: Who will bell the cat?

Various state departments are already passing the buck over the investigations into the illegal housing society with the ACB and the CBI pointing the finger to the state government

It is a case of adarsh (ideal) confusion. The Adarsh society scam that rocked the nation led to the resignation of Maharashtra’s chief minister (and appointment of a new one) and placed the already uncomfortable United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in a more embarrassing position. But despite all the uproar in the media and outrage in the public, a first information report (FIR) is yet to be filed. Yes, you read it right.

The divisional bench hearing on the Adarsh society scam, which was held yesterday, stretched the matter to another date in January. The day ended with Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the state government promising to inform the court about whose responsibility it is to file an FIR—in case the CBI has not filed one already. While the reluctance can be understood on their part, considering the big names involved, it is unbelievable that the CBI cannot remember whether it has filed an FIR or not.

In the criminal writ complaint itself, the petitioner Simpreet Singh had mentioned that if confusion prevails over who is to investigate the issue, it will enable the culprits to take refuge in the loopholes. He had filed the petition in November and had urged the CBI to takeover the case since the matter is of national magnitude and  the army is involved,  and because the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will be under pressure by the big-wigs who hold important portfolios in the state government. He mentioned in his petition that though initially, he had tried to file a complaint with the state anti-corruption bureau, the bureau refused to register an FIR, despite the provisions of Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which obliges the police to register FIR at once.

The bureau, however, reasoned that it cannot do so because the CBI was already investigating the matter. However, the CBI stated that it was only doing a preliminary probe, and the matter should ideally be taken up by the state authorities.

The issue remains unresolved, with none of the agencies looking keen on taking on the responsibility. If the confusion over jurisprudence continues, the culprits will have a carefree time while concerned citizens continue to sweat.

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EGoM to consider raising diesel and LPG prices

New Delhi: The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to meet next week to consider raising prices of diesel and domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), reports PTI.

“We are hopeful of an EGoM meeting soon ... hopefully it may happen next week,” oil secretary S Sundareshan told reporters here.

He said that there was a need to raise diesel and LPG prices but refused to say on the quantum of hike the EGoM may consider.

The EGoM was earlier scheduled to meet on 22nd December but was postponed on the unavailability of a couple of members.

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