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  • In photos: 70 years of Indian finance ministers presenting the budget

    Later today (Feb. 01), India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley will present the union budget to parliament. In November 1947, independent India’s first finance minister, RK Shanmukham Chetty, broadcast the first budget on the radio after presenting it to parliament. He went on to represent the country at the landmark Bretton Woods conference a year later, before becoming finance minister in 1950. (Manoj Kumar/Photo Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting)Pranab Mukherjee first served as finance minister in the 1980s under prime minister Indira Gandhi. (EPA/Rajat Gupta)Jaitley has been India’s finance minister since 2014, when the Narendra Modi government came to power.

    | Quartz | Maria Thomas | 29 min read

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    Arun Jaitley budget speech LIVE: FM speaking in Parliament

    FM Arun Jaitley with his finance ministry colleagues outside the North Block of the Central Secretariat before presenting his budget speech in Parliament, in new Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/MintFinance minister Arun Jaitley is presenting in Parliament the Union Budget 2018, the Narendra Modi government’s last full budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He has the unenvious task of balancing fiscal prudence with populism to repair the rural economy and bolster growth in the Indian economy. Jaitley’s budget speech is expected to focus on agriculture, rural economy and unveil measures to drive private investment in the Indian economy, all the while maintaining the fiscal deficit target. We have reversed this: FM■ Jaitley: Four year ago, we pledged to the people of India to give a honest, clean govt■ Finance minister Arun Jaitley has started speaking in Parliament.

    Mint - Economy & Politics | 6 min read
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    Getting serious about the defence budget

    India’s defence budget for the year 2017-18 was 1.63% of GDP—the lowest in the past 50-odd years in terms of percentage of GDP. India has had the unique distinction of being the largest importer of defence equipment in the world for the past few years. Yet, India’s defence budget for the year 2017-18 was 1.63% of GDP—the lowest in the past 50-odd years in terms of percentage of GDP. That means that only 3.6% of the defence budget is available for the modernization of all three Armed Forces for an entire year. The investment thus made in defence manufacturing will benefit not only the Armed Forces, but the nation as a whole.

    Mint - Opinion | V. Mahajan | 24 min read
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    Investors Continue Embracing Emerging Markets ETFs

    Investors remain committed to emerging markets exchange traded funds. Inflows to ETFs, such as the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: IEMG) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), confirm as much. Emerging markets are enjoying improved fundamentals thanks to corporate earnings improving as economic growth rebounds and strengthening currencies against the U.S. dollar on the back of improved economic outlooks. China is usually the largest country in diversified emerging markets ETFs, such EEM, IEMG and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO). Due to massive inflows this year, IEMG is now the second-largest emerging markets ETF behind VWO.

    ETF Trends | Joe Smith | 6 min read
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    India’s GDP growth in 2016-17 unchanged at 7.1%: Govt

    The Economic Survey 2017-18 has predicted that the Indian economy will grow by 7-7.5% in 2018-19. Photo: MintNew Delhi: India’s annual economic growth in the fiscal year that ended in March 2017 was unchanged at 7.1%, a government statement showed on Wednesday. The Indian economy grew at its slowest in three years in April-June 2017 at 5.7% before recovering to 6.3% in the September quarter. The Economic Survey 2017-18 has predicted that the Indian economy will grow by 7-7.5% in 2018-19.

    Mint - Economy & Politics | Krishna Das | 2 min read
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    India boosts maritime reach with Seychelles pact to build naval facilities

    The agreement signed in the Seychelles' capital of Victoria last weekend provides for India to develop the airstrip and jetty on the Assumption islands, near another shipping route. But nothing had been leased to India and the new facilities would help Seychelles better control its exclusive economic zone of 1.3 million square kilometres, Faure added. India and Seychelles are maritime neighbours with a stake in each other’s security, said Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmaniam Jaishankar, who signed the agreement in his last official action before retiring this week. India has tried to be more careful, avoiding giving hard loans and casting its assistance as a joint endeavour. But military officials called the Seychelles pact a big step in extending the reach of India's navy, which is expected to rotate its ships and aircraft through the islands.

    Channel News Asia - Latest News | 11 min read