India raised the price of kerosene a political hot potato and therefore unchanged for the last eight years and decontrolled prices of petrol and diesel on Friday, signalling arguably the biggest reform step taken by the UPA government in its second term. The across-the-board increase in all state-controlled oil prices and a promise to largely withdraw the governments role from the sector, are expected to pose a tough political challenge to Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs Cabinet.
Jaswant Singhs re-entry into the BJP after nearly a year in exile was as choreographed as his exit had appeared hasty and ill conceived. In a ceremony attended by his long-time colleague LK Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari and the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj,
In a significant reform of unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips), the finance ministry will seek to harmonise the character of these popular investment schemes with that of designated long-term savings schemes like provident funds which are eligible for tax exemption at the time of withdrawal.
World leaders from the UKs David Cameron to Naoto Kan of Japan are betting they can deliver fiscal austerity without derailing economic prosperity. History suggests they may be right. Governments have proven they can spur expansion by focusing their belt-tightening on spending cuts rather than tax increases, according to studies by Harvard University professor Alberto Alesina and Goldman Sachs Group Inc economists Kevin Daly and Ben Broadbent.