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February 2013

Chidambaram’s budget focuses on economic revival

New Delhi, Feb 28: Amid high expectations of reversing the sharp slowdown in growth, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented India's 82nd budget in the Lok Sabha Thursday, saying that challenges remained but there was no need for gloom. The finance minister began his speech by seeking the support of all stakeholders in helping navigate the Indian economy through the current crisis. He said getting back to high growth rates of over 8-9 percent seen some years ago was the main challenge. "We have done it before. We…

Budget 2013: Nirbhaya Fund for women’s safety

New Delhi, Feb 28: The government Thursday announced the setting up of a special Nirbhaya fund for women's safety with a corpus of Rs.1,000 crore (Rs.10 billion). "Recent incidents have cast a shadow on women's safety. It is our collective responsibility to ensure dignity and safety of women. They deserve our support," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said while presenting the budget for 2013-14. "I announce the setting up of the Nirbhaya Fund of Rs.1,000 crore. I request the ministry of women and child…

‘Hagel committed to India-US strategic partnership’

Washington, Feb 28: As Chuck Hagel took over as Barack Obama's new defence secretary amid a controversy over his comments on India's role in Afghanistan, Pentagon - the US defence department headquarters - said that Hagel will work to strengthen ties to India. Hagel's strong commitment to fostering a close defence relationship was reported Wednesday by Washington Free Beacon, the rightwing online newspaper that had disclosed a video-recording of a speech Hagel made in 2011 about Indian aid to Afghanistan. "Secretary…

NPF leading in Nagaland

Kohima, Feb 28: The Nagaland Peoples' Front (NPF) was Thursday ahead in the counting of ballots for the 60-member Nagaland assembly, officials said. The NPF had bagged one seat and was ahead in 17 seats till 10.30 a.m. The Congress was in the lead in seven seats, officials said. Counting had started at 8 a.m. While the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was leading in two seats, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) were leading in one seat each, the sources added. The state's ruling NPF-led…

‘Education a priority area’

New Delhi, Feb 28: Calling education an area of priority, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday announced an increase of 17 percent in the budget allocated to this sector, to Rs.65,867 crore (over Rs.650 billion). "My idea is to provide opportunities for youth to acquire education, skills, decent jobs and live with their families in a safe environment," the finance minister said. The flagship midday meal scheme at government schools got an allocation of Rs.13,215 crore (over Rs.130 billion). He added that…
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