Wednesday January 23, 2019
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India and UAE to raise $75 billion infrastructure fund; UAE to ally with India against terrorism

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Photo: India Today

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Abu Dhabi: In order to tap into the huge potential of the infrastructure sector in India, India and UAE have decided to set up an infrastructure fund and raise up to $75 billion.

Photo Credit: NDTV
Photo Credit: NDTV

The fund would be used to invest in India’s expansion projects in infrastructure sector especially in railways, ports, roads, airports, industrial corridors and parks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had offered $1 trillion investment opportunity and had strongly urged the UAE’s businessmen to invest in India.

Modi had addressed a round-table conference of businessmen at Masdar and had appealed to them to invest saying, India now has a decisive government and several sectors like defense, railways, insurance etc. have been opened for foreign investments.

India and UAE have decided to promote strategic partnership in energy sector and also assist involvement of Indian companies in infrastructure projects in UAE. India has also decided to partner with UAE in developing petroleum reserves and to promote and expand trade in respective regions.

India would assist UAE to create an industrial base by letting UAE tap into its expertise in small and medium enterprises.

On the educational and scientific front, both the countries have decided to have collaboration between their educational institutions and further encourage scientific collaboration in areas such as renewable energy, desert ecology, healthcare etc.

In a significant move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed AI Nahyan agreed to join hands against terrorism, radicalism and organized crime. With this, UAE has decided to align with India in its fight against terrorism, moving away from its traditional ally- Pakistan.

The joint statement released said: “oppose terrorism in all forms and manifestations … calling on all states to reject and abandon the use of terrorism against other countries, dismantle terrorism infrastructures where they exist, and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.” The statement then asked all countries “to fully respect and sincerely implement their commitments to resolve disputes bilaterally and peacefully, without resorting to violence and terrorism.

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As The Election Nears, India’s Opposition Promises Several Economic Steps

Modi said at the Delhi convention that the opposition was working on a "desperate alliance," while the BJP would give a "strong government."

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Rahul Gandhi, Election
Rahul Gandhi, president of India's main opposition Congress Party, speaks at a rally ahead of October's 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

India’s main opposition Congress Party will simplify the goods and services tax (GST) and make “rational economic decisions” to attract foreign investment if voted back to power in a general election due by May, leader Rahul Gandhi said Saturday.

Launched in 2017, the GST was initially hailed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest economic reform as it replaced more than a dozen federal and state levies and unified Asia’s third-largest economy.

But its chaotic implementation and complexities — months after a shock ban by Modi on high-value bank currency aimed at unearthing untaxed wealth — badly hurt small businesses and led to millions of job losses in the cash-driven economy, presenting the biggest challenge to Modi’s re-election chances.

India,India, elections, BJP
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents in New Delhi, India. VOA

 

Gandhi, scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, said during a visit to Dubai that foreign investment was at a multiyear low in India because of the “ill-advised and badly thought out economic moves” such as the currency ban and a “poorly designed GST.”

Quick growth promised

“We will take some rational economic decisions,” he told a press conference, which was broadcast live on Twitter. “We will restructure the GST and we will embrace investments from the Middle East and other parts of the world. We are the party of [India’s economic] liberalization; we are the party that gave the fastest economic growth in the first decade of the century, and will do that again.”

He said his main priority would be to create jobs, simplify the GST, rebuild confidence in institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India — whose governor resigned recently after a fight over autonomy with the government, and the Supreme Court.

Modi, election
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, is garlanded by BJP leaders on the first day of the two-day Bharatiya Janata Party national convention in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

 

Four Supreme Court judges held a rare press conference early last year, saying that “unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country.”

Modi told a BJP convention in New Delhi on Saturday that for Congress “every institution was wrong and only they were right.”

The Congress press conference was organized by the Indian Overseas Congress, which is present in about 35 countries, as Gandhi tries to reach out to rich Indians living abroad for funds and social media support for the party that has dominated the country’s politics for decades before being nearly decimated in the last general election in 2014 by Modi.

But back home, Gandhi received a jolt when bitter rivals, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), announced an election tie-up without Congress in Uttar Pradesh state, which sends the highest number of lawmakers to the lower house of parliament.

Narendra Modi, India, election
Elaborate preparations for PM’s election rally. VOA

“The BSP and SP have made a political decision,” Gandhi said. “It’s on us on how to strengthen the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity. Whether we do or their alliance does, the BJP is not winning there.”

Also Read:China, India Keen on Joint Ventures For e-vehicles

Modi said at the Delhi convention that the opposition was working on a “desperate alliance,” while the BJP would give a “strong government.”

The Hindu nationalist BJP lost power in three key states recently, forcing the government to announce a flurry of measures to woo small businesses and the less well-off since then. (VOA)