In Friday's South Asia papers

04 April 2008 05:30  [Source: ICIS news]


Front Page

Terrorists' new hub – Chatrooms
Enforcement agencies are now spending more time patrolling the worldwide web as terrorists and drug syndicates have increasingly taken to using encrypted chatrooms and e-payment gateways to transfer key documents and carry out transactions.

'Medical tourism booming in India'
For Indian doctors, western shores could be greener. But for an increasing number of foreign patients, Indian hospitals are fast becoming their first choice. Over 1.5 lakh medical tourists travelled to India in 2002 alone, bringing in earnings of $300m.


Bharti, Idea, Vodafone get notice for cartelisation
In a setback to the three telecom majors — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular, anti-monopoly watchdog Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) on Thursday issued a notice of enquiry against them for allegedly forming a cartel to distort competition.

Profit margins for farmers growing foodgrains declining
The cereals and pulses on your dining table are steadily costing more, but is the farmer making more profits out of growing them? The answer, experts say, is no. The grim truth is that profit margins for farmers growing foodgrains are declining in many parts of the country.


Front Page

RBI lets Mutual Funds invest $7bn abroad
Asset management companies will now be allowed to invest $7bn abroad, with the Reserve Bank of India relaxing norms relating to overseas investment by mutual funds. The move is in line with the central bank’s stated policy of encouraging flow of money outside the country.

Subprime fallout: RBI wants lenders to play counsellor
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is taking proactive measures to prevent a US-type subprime crisis in India. Even as banks push for credit cards and personal loans, the central bank has asked lenders to set up ‘credit counselling centres’ that will warn borrowers if they are raising loans beyond their means.


Front Page

Food Adviser denies famine but concedes "Hidden Hunger"
Food Adviser AMM Shawkat Ali on Thursday said hidden hunger is on the rise across the country following the abnormal price hike of rice and other essential commodities.

NGOs for rationing instead of dearness allowance
Non-government organisations (NGOs) at a pre-budget meeting in Dhaka on Thursday suggested the government to introduce rationing of essential items instead of announcing dearness allowance for the government officials and employees.


Indian, BD businessmen for common market in SAARC countries
SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries should look for a greater inter-state cooperation and create a common market here like the one of the European states to develop a stronger regional economy, business leaders of both Bangladesh and India told a meeting here Thursday.

IMF okays $217.7m in emergency aid for BD
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Wednesday approved $217.7m in emergency assistance to Bangladesh to assist the government's efforts to deal with the impact of severe damage caused by cyclone Sidr that hit the country on November 15 last year.


Front Page

Parties ready for May 10 poll in East
As the deadline for nominations for the Eastern provincial council election ended at noon yesterday, Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake officially announced the election would be held on Saturday, May 10.

Government to probe UTHR allegations
The Defence Ministry has been requested to investigate allegations raised by the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR-J) which recently named military and police personnel as alleged perpetrators in the ACF massacre.


SriLankan smiles amidst losses
"SriLankan Airlines has recorded a 50% loss on its total assets and a 45% loss in its financial assets under the Emirates Management within the last two years alone," Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said yesterday.

Fitch: military priority, inflation key to downgrade Lanka
Fitch Ratings yesterday downgraded Sri Lanka’s ranking to B+ from BB- due to the "vulnerability" of key macroeconomic fundamentals and the overriding effect from military gains.


Front Page

Judges’ scrutiny by parliament panel after reinstatement
A draft constitutional package envisages subjecting all judges of the superior judiciary to scrutiny by a parliamentary committee after reinstatement of the judges sent home upon proclamation of the emergency on November 3.

Musharraf to visit China next week
President Pervez Musharraf will pay a six-day state visit to China next week, but the composition of delegation accompanying him has not been announced mainly because of the refusal by some ministers belonging to the PML-N to be in the entourage.


Rice exports set to fall 15%: Reap
Pakistan may export 15 per cent less rice this year after an ongoing power crisis affected milling, a senior official in the world’s fifth biggest rice exporting nation said Thursday.

Wall Street Journal calls Pakistan a cash magnet
Wall Street Journal has called Pakistan a cash magnet. The paper, in an article posted on Wednesday, says the Pakistani stock market continues to be a profitable index to invest in. Those missing the boat on profits do it at their own discretion.


Front Page

China, Pakistan vow to boost military cooperation
Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie on Thursday called for further deepening exchanges and cooperation between defence departments and armed forces of China and Pakistan.

Italy converts $100m debt into development funding
Finance and Economic Affairs Division Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday chaired the Joint Management Committee meeting at the Economic Affairs Division for conversion of $100m Italian debt into development projects funding.


ECC reconstituted
Cabinet Division, on Thursday issued a notification for the reconstitution of the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC). According to a notification, ECC of the cabinet has been reconstituted with the approval of the prime minister.

Pakistan lacks widespread social assistance plan: World Bank
Pakistan does not have a widespread social assistance program that targets the poorest of the poor, said a World Bank report. According to a report on World Food Prices, most Pakistani families consume the same kind of wheat, making it difficult to target poor people and any subsidy on wheat will thus be an untargeted subsidy.

By: Staff Reporter
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