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Indian delegation to St. Petersburg to be led by Nirmala Sitharaman

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New Delhi: Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will lead an Indian delegation for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2015, to be held at St. Petersburg between June 18-20, a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) statement said.

She will address the Russia-India Business Roundtable, where Alexey Ulyukaev, Minister for Economic Development of the Russian Federation, will also be a speaker.

The CII will send a CEOs delegation representing leading Indian businesses at SPIEF and at the India-Russia Business Roundtable.

The business delegation will be led by CII president Sumit Mazumder. The members will also participate in the B20 Turkey Regional Consultation Forum.

India has invested a cumulative $8 billion in Russia, primarily in energy sector, while Russia has brought in $4 billion into India.

“Russian capabilities in infrastructure are well respected, and we would like Russian companies to participate in the Indian tender system for public-private partnerships,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.

“However, we need to address issues of information gaps through the India-Russia Business Roundtable,” he added. (IANS)

 

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Madhya Pradesh Waives off $5.3Bn in Farm Debt

The western state of Maharashtra and northern state of Uttar Pradesh, both ruled by the BJP, announced similar loan waivers last year.

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India, farmers, farm
Farmers march towards the parliament house during a rally to protest soaring farm operating costs and plunging prices of their produce, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The new leader of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is to waive up to $5.3 billion of farm loans, becoming the latest area to offer relief ahead of a national election next year as farmers reel from losses caused by falling crop prices.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party lost the central state to Congress last week dealing Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014 and boosting the opposition ahead of the vote next year.

Congress leader Kamal Nath, who became chief minister of the state on Monday, decided to write off farmers’ loans up to 200,000 rupees, according to a notification.

farmers, Bank
Police try to stop farmers during a protest demanding a better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

Protests on the rise

Farmers’ protests have been rising in past months due to the fall in crop prices and a rise in the cost of diesel and fertilizer.

Nearly 3.4 million farmers will benefit from the loan waiver, which is likely to cost between 350 billion rupees ($4.9 billion) to 380 billion rupees ($5.3 billion), Rajesh Rajora, the state’s principal secretary for agriculture, told Reuters.

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal Accuses Modi Government of Betraying Farmers

The western state of Maharashtra and northern state of Uttar Pradesh, both ruled by the BJP, announced similar loan waivers last year. (VOA)

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