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Bihar, Yes Bihar, Lauded For Fiscal Management!

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Bihar, Yes Bihar, Lauded For Fiscal Management!

Bihar, Yes Bihar, Lauded For Fiscal Management!

Patna: If Bihar, India’s basket case, gets it right, then there is stopping India in its march to properity. And according to a recent study, Bihar, unlike the public impression created in the media, gets it right. A huge amount of credit for that must go to the former Chief Minister, Nishit Kumar, who stepped down following the BJP win in the general elections. Bihar has topped low income states in fiscal management, clocking highest growth rate of over 66 percent and about 284 percent in terms of states’ own tax and non-tax revenues, says an Assocham study.

Bihar’s own tax and non-tax revenues surged respectively from over Rs.12,600 crore to over Rs.20,900 crore and from about Rs.890 crore to over Rs.3,400 crore during 2011-12 and 2013-14.

With a median value of 13.13 per cent of nominal gross state domestic product (GDP) between 2006 and 2012, Bihar has emerged as a leader among traditionally backward states, the study titled “States’ Finances Convergence-2,” says.

“Bihar has effectively invested in rural roads, irrigation, agricultural growth, education and public health to give such boost to its economy at the grassroots level,” said R.L. Khetan, co- chairman, Assocham Bihar Council. With and D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of Assocham, he released the chamber’s study at a press conference here Thursday.

“The wide introduction of value added tax (VAT) at state-level has significantly raised low income states’ revenue from their own taxes despite many glitches at an early stage and they are now converging towards growth rate of high income states,” the study says.

Bihar’s annual trend growth rate of per-capita income (PCI) has also taken a great leap forward from 1.1 percent during 1980-93 and 1.7 percent during 1993-2004, achieving a 7.2 percent trend growth during 2004-13.

It tells a great story of a determined state government taking a state forward even after it does not have mineral-rich south of the earlier united Bihar, highlighted the study by the Assocham Economic Research Bureau (AERB).

Bihar’s GSDP growth in 2012-13 was revised 5 point upward to 14.48 percent, claiming structural shift away from agriculture to construction and services.

Besides, the state also claimed poverty reduction from 53.8 percent in 2009-10 to 2011-12 to 33.7 per cent, which is still above national average.

The emerging picture of growth of states shows that while the high-income states in the country continue to grow, the low-income states are also catching up with them, the study says.

“This augurs well for immediate future as India’s growth story pumped up by young middle class aspirations and political leadership that has to respond to it in democratic set up, enters a further phase of take off.”

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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