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India attracted USD 22 billion of FDI flows in first half of 2018: UN report

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United Nations | India attracted USD 22 billion of FDI flows in the first half of 2018, according to a UN report which states that the global foreign direct investment dropped by 41 percent in the same period due to tax reforms carried out by the Trump administration.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said on Monday in its ‘Investment Trends Monitor’ report that in South Asia, India attracted USD 22 billion of FDI (foreign direct investment) flows, contributing to the subregion’s 13 per cent rise in FDI in the first half of the year. The report, however, said that with the USD 22 billion FDI, India just about managed to make it to the top 10 host economies receiving the most FDI during the period.

China was the largest recipient of FDI, attracting an estimated USD 70 billion in inflows in the first half of the year, followed by the UK with USD 65.5 billion, the US with USD 46.5 billion, The Netherlands at USD 44.8 billion, Australia with USD 36.1 billion, Singapore got USD 34.7 billion and Brazil received USD 25.5 billion, it said.

Global foreign direct investment fell by 41 per cent in the first half of 2018, to an estimated USD 470 billion from USD 794 billion in the same period of 2017, mainly due to large repatriations by the US parent companies of accumulated foreign earnings from their affiliates aboard following tax reforms, the report said. Overall, the global financial picture is “gloomy”, said James Zhan, UNCTAD’s Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise.

The decline in global FDI is mainly owing to recent tax reforms implemented by US President Donald Trump’s administration that led to big firms in the US to bring home earnings from abroad principally from Western European countries. Other factors have contributed to this year’s “huge difference in repatriation” of overseas profits by US multinationals, Zhan said.

These include uncertainty about the detail and impact of tax reform and the potential impact of unresolved international trade disputes; such as the tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by the US and China, Zhan added.

In contrast to the overall decline in foreign investment, the report highlights a 42 percent increase in so-called “greenfield” projects to USD 454 billion.

These initiatives can involve building operations in a foreign country from scratch and they are seen an indicator of future trends, Zhan said, adding that investment in this sector had been at “relatively low levels” in the same period last year.

The report noted that while the fall in foreign direct investment had happened mainly in richer nations, including Ireland (down USD 81 billion) and Switzerland (down USD 77 billion), developing economies saw FDI flows declining “only slightly” in the first half of the year by four percent to USD 310 billion compared with 2017. This includes developing Asia – down four percent – to USD 220 billion – in the same period, driven mostly by a 16 percent decline in investment in East Asia.

Latin America and the Caribbean saw a six percent drop in investment, amid uncertainty over upcoming elections that were offset by higher commodity prices, the report said.

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Tremendous efforts made to catch absconding former minister: Bihar DGP

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Manju Verma

Patna | Under fire from the Supreme Court over its inability to arrest absconding former minister Manju Verma, the Bihar Police on Friday asserted that it was making tremendous efforts to nab the suspended Janata Dal (United) leader.

The Supreme Court on Monday rapped the state police for failing to arrest Verma in connection with an Arms Act case, which cropped up in course of the CBI probe into the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal. It directed Director General of Police K S Dwivedi to appear before it in person on November 27 if she was not nabbed by then.

In reply to a query, the DGP said Friday attempts were being made to secure her arrest. “We are making tremendous efforts.” Dwivedi said no time-frame could be given for the arrest of any person wanted in a criminal case. “Though we appreciate the concern expressed by the Supreme Court, we hope to trace her very soon.”

The officer said some objection was raised from Verma’s side before a court in Begusarai district when they tried to initiate proceedings for attaching her property. “We are working to get that resolved,” he added. The former minister had last week moved an application before the Begusarai court, through her lawyer, pleading that she not be treated as an absconder as she was not evading arrest, but trying to seek relief as per law.

Verma had stepped down as the minister for social welfare in August, following reports that her husband, Chandrashekhar Verma, had close links with Brajesh Thakur , the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal.

During a raid by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at her in-laws’ residence in Begusarai, a huge quantity of ammunition was recovered, following which the agency lodged an FIR against the couple. The former ministers’ pleas for anticipatory bail have been rejected by the lower court as well as the Patna High Court. Her husband surrendered before a Begusarai court last month after several weeks of dodging the police.

An embarrassed JD(U), headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said Thursday it had suspended her from the primary membership of the party. Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Hindustani Awam Morcha have accused the ruling party of shielding the absconding two-time MLA.

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Sabarimala row : Police have asked me to return to Pune: Trupti Desai

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Kochi | Amid over a 12-hour stand-off with devotees and others, including BJP workers, at the airport here vowing not to let her proceed to the Sabarimala shrine, activist Trupti Desai said police have asked her to return to Pune. The development comes even as the doors to the Lord Ayyappa temple opened for the “Mandala Makkaravillakku” puja.

The activist, who reached here around 4.40 am along with six young women en route to the hill temple, has been unable to come out of the airport, with the protesters saying her group would not be allowed to proceed to the Sabarimala temple. Desai said police officers held a meeting with her. “Police have requested me to return to Pune,” she told reporters. Desai said she will announce her decision by 6.30 pm.

Protesting local BJP leaders at the airport said the devotees, including women, would not let Desai and her colleagues to come out of the airport and proceed to Sabarimala temple. They alleged that Desai and her team came here to violate the centuries-old custom of the temple that prevented entry of women and girls in the age group of 10 and 50. Talking to the media over the phone, Desai earlier said she would not go back without darshan at the Lord Ayyappa temple.

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#Watch: “Swamiye Ayyappa” chants echo outside Cochin airport as Trupti Desai waits inside

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The protestors who are conducting a sit-in protest outside the airport warned Trupti Desai that she can only enter the temple “over their bodies”. 

 

Cochin| The crowd of protesters outside the Cochin airport is swelling since the morning to oppose the activist Trupti Desai from entering Sabarimala. The protestors who are conducting a sit-in protest outside the airport warned Desai that she can only enter the temple “over their bodies”.

On the other hand, Trupti Desai vowed to not go back without the Darshan of Lord Ayyappa at the Sabarimala Temple. However, several Hindu organizations have indicated at statewide protests if she tries to enter the hill shrine.

Currently, Desai along with a group of women activists accompanying her is waiting at the Cochin airport. The stalment has continued since morning. The Kerala police tried to take her out safely through cargo area but it failed as the protesters caught a wind of the move.

Watch: Devotees chant “Swamiye Ayyappa” outside Cochin airport during the protest.

 

Watch: Activist Trupti Desai waits at the Cochin airport

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