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Drought Hits India

According to BBC, half of India's districts have been affected by a drought resulting from a nearly 30% reduction in monsoon rain this season.  This may result in a 10% decline in rice production, though the government says it will not need to import food.  Just some quick, preliminary notes below.

Market Soars On Congress Victory

John Authers, investment editor for the Financial Time, wrote:

"True surprises for markets are rare. Monday’s rise of 17 per cent in India’s benchmark Sensex stock index was an exception. It is plain that the market is very happy that the ruling Congress party won a smashing victory in parliamentary elections, which should now give it much greater freedom of political manoeuvre."

Sri Lanka Lowers Interest Rates Ahead of IMF Bailout

Article Date: 
22 Apr 2009

Sri Lanka’s central bank reduced interest rates for the fourth time in as many months to bolster an economy growing at the weakest pace since 2001.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka cut the repurchase rate to 9 percent from 10.25 percent and lowered the so-called penal rate to 13 percent from 14.75 percent, according to a statement on the bank’s Web site today. The Colombo-based central bank left its reverse repurchase rate unchanged at 11.75 percent.

Article Author: 
Kartik Goyal
Article Source: 

The real Modi story

Article Date: 
21 Jan 2009

The sobering reality is that Gujarat had the lead in 1995 which it lost after the post-Godhra violence, and is trying to regain its erstwhile pre-eminent position. The fundamentals to attract investments—industrial peace, great infrastructure and ancillary industries—preceded Modi’s tenure. The Narmada dams were already under construction, workers polished diamonds in Palanpur, petrochemicals and cars were made in Vadodara, milk flowed from Anand, yarn churned out in Hazira and a refinery was being built in Jamnagar, much before Modi took office.

Article Author: 
Salil Tripathi
Article Source: 
Live Mint

Toronto Action Alert: Southern Ontario Immigration Raids and Detention Reviews

Economic downturn, recession, new depression. Call it what you will, but in times of economic crisis, non-status workers are more vulnerable than ever.  No One Is Illegal-Toronto is having an emergency demo at the Heritage Detention Centre to protest the detention of hundreds of people following workplace raids across Southern Ontario over the past two days. This might be only the beginning of a coordinated attack on refugees and migrants among Canada's working poor.

Sri Lanka's economic troubles mostly home brewed: economists

Article Date: 
22 Mar 2009

"This is a home brewed macro economic crisis," Razeen Sally from the London School of Economics, said in Colombo.

"It is not a result of global forces for the most part..."

Sri Lanka has gone to the IMF several times either for bailouts or for comprehensive reforms to put the island on a higher growth path, some of which were abandoned in mid-program.

"There is always a ritual dance at work with these aid conditionality packages. The lending organizations are in the business of shoving money out of the door," observes Sally.

Article Source: 
Lanka Business Online

Vast Rural India Sparkles As an Expanding Market

Article Date: 
20 Mar 2009

In the past four years, the Indian government has invested heavily in programs aimed at boosting rural income, which grew at 4 percent annually, according to government reports. Government prices for rice and wheat have jumped nearly 65 percent over that period; about $38 billion has been pumped into rural development programs and more than $9 billion into building rural roads.

Article Author: 
Rama Lakshmi
Article Source: 
Washington Post
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