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President Ram Nath Kovind arrives in Australia for talks

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Ramnath Kovind

Melbourne | President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Australia on Wednesday on a three-day visit, becoming the first-ever Indian head of state to visit the country.

Kovind, who landed in Sydney from Vietnam along with his wife Savita Kovind on their second leg of two nation visit, will hold talks with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and discuss bilateral issues. He received a warm welcome on his arrival at Sydney, Kovind’s official Twitter handle said in a tweet. Kovind is the first-ever President of India to pay a state visit to Australia, it said in another tweet.

During his three-day visit, he will attend the unveiling ceremony of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Sydney’s Parramatta suburb on Thursday to mark his 150th birth anniversary. He will also address the Indian diaspora and business community.

In Melbourne on Friday, he will meet Victoria’s governor Linda Dessau and leader of the opposition Bill Shorten. Kovind is also expected to oversee the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Austrade and Invest India, apart from a mining research agreement and two university collaborations, according media reports.

On Tuesday, India’s High Commissioner to Australia Ajay Gondane told Australian Financial Review newspaper that the President’s visit shows that the relationship between two countries was on an upward trajectory and it was likely to give it a positive momentum.

“Every relationship needs a boost from time to time,” he said, adding that it was important for Australia to realise while China was a dragon, India was no longer an elephant and more like a deer. “We are running and soon we will be galloping. India’s economy has been expanding at a rate of 6 to 7 per cent and even 8 per cent. With this expansion of the Indian economy, we hope that Australians will now catch on and be a willing partner,” Gondane said.

The relationship was progressing and the two sides have held bilateral military exercises and the multilateral co-operation would increase over time,” he said. “The exchanges between the two countries have been at a very high level,” the envoy said.

On export and investment targets, Gondane said it was achievable and that he expected Australia to achieve its India export and investment growth targets, set out in the recently launched Indian economic strategy report before 2035.

“It is achievable. By 2025, you will see a lot of Australian investments. Trade will increase. Once it is realised in Australia that you can invest in India and take a lot of profit, that will accelerate,” Gondane said.

Gondane also hoped that investments by Indian companies in Australia will expand, stating that projects like the Adani Carmichael mine would be a test case. “The company has invested so much of its money in the project. Let’s hope this comes to fruition so that it sends a very good signal,” he said.

Recently, Australia announced that it was formally referring India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over its sugar subsidies.

Australian trade minister Simon Birmingham said Australia would engage in formal discussions with India and other WTO members regarding this issue at the upcoming WTO Committee of Agriculture meeting later this month.

“Despite our concerns on sugar subsidies, our relationship with India is far stronger than this one particular issue and I’m confident that Australia and India will build on their already vibrant economic and strategic relationship well into the future,” Birmingham said.

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Hasmukh Adhia rumoured to be the next RBI governor: sources

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Hasmukh Adhia

New Delhi | After the resignation of Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel on Monday, former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia is rumoured to be the next RBI governor, as per unconfirmed sources.

Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), served as a secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister.  A close of aide of  PM Narendra Modi and Arun Jailtley retired on November 30 this year.

Adhia also served as the Union Revenue Secretary and Union Financial Services Secretary, in the Union Government which makes his case stronger for the post of the RBI governor.

Earlier Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

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Breaking: Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India

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Vijay Mallya

London | In what could be termed as end of the party for the king of good time, Liqour baron Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India as the London court gives its nod for the same

London’s Westminster Magistrates Court orders the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India. The Court has further referred the matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India to the Secretary of State. The Central beaurue of Investigation has welcomed the decision of the London’s court. Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot announcing the order stated that he found prima facie a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Speaking on the extradition CBI said,”We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process.”

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Urjit Patel resigns from RBI governor’s post

Anil Rajpurohit

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Urjit Patel

New Delhi | Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel earlier appeared before a parliamentary panel to brief on demonetisation and NPA situation in the public sector banks, among other issues. The RBI Governor appeared before the panel days after the central bank’s face-off with the finance ministry over issues ranging from appropriate size of reserves to be maintained by RBI to easing of lending norms for small and medium enterprises.

Business Editor of HW Business and Finance Akhilesh Bhargav states it is not only the failure of the finance ministry but the board of the Reserve Bank of India.

Urjit Patel who was appointed as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) succeded Raghuram Rajan on 4 September 2016.

 

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