Wednesday Evening News Brief, August 2

Wednesday evening brief Aug 2 2017
Good evening!
Here’s everything that transpired during the course of the day…
The RBI cut repo rate by 25 basis points amid record-low inflation. The Reserve Bank of India announced that the benchmark repo rate – the level at which it lends to commercial banks – would be cut by 25 basis points to 6 per cent, a near seven-year low. The interest rate last sat at 6 per cent in September 2010. The central bank also said it will endeavour to keep retail inflation close to 4 per cent on a “durable basis” which may rise in the near term on account of pay commission payouts and price adjustments post GST rollout.
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India can construct hydroelectric facilities under Indus Treaty, World Bank said. The World Bank’s comments came as officials from India and Pakistan concluded the secretary-level talks over the IWT. Pakistan opposes the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir. The IWT was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.
China asked India to pull back troops from Doklam with ‘no strings attached’. Providing the details of the July 28 meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and State Councillor Yang Jiechi for the first time, Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the two officials exchanged views on BRICS cooperation, bilateral relations and relevant major problems. India’s position on the issue was made clear by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj last month, saying both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place, favouring a peaceful resolution of the border standoff.
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The Income Tax raids on a Karnataka minister had its echo in Parliament. Income Tax searches were conducted today at the residences of Karnataka Power Minister DK Shivakumar and in a private resort outside Bengaluru where 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs have been housed, stoking a major political row that rocked Parliament and triggered cries of foul play by the Congress. Protesting Congress members disrupted the proceedings even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley insisted that the searches had no connection with the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.
China said it will take ‘a decision in due course’ about UN ban on Masood Azhar. India moved for the UN ban against Azhar in March last year accusing him of masterminding the Pathankot terrorist attack. China has been blocking India’s move stating that there is no consensus in the UNSC 1267 which enforces a global ban on terror groups and their leaders with affiliations to al-Qaida and the Islamic State. JeM has already been in the banned list. Early this year, China had put a six-month technical hold on the application which is expected to come up for review shortly.
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