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The government officials said that India will not support WTO protocol rules unless concerns about its food subsidies are met. The deadline to support the protocol ends on July 31. One government official said, “"We have no problem with this trade facilitation (protocol), but unless they agree with us we will not allow it to happen”. Through its standing, India is trying to protect a $ 12 billion annual programme to feed its poor.

India’s foreign secretary Sujatha Singh will meet Pakistan’s foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in Islamabad next month. This will be the first meeting of the foreign secretaries after 2012. MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “It is almost two months since the Prime Ministers agreed that the foreign secretaries will keep in touch and explore how to move forward”.

The Union cabinet cleared the proposal to raise foreign direct investment in the insurance sector from current 26% to 49%. The FDI is to be raised through FIPB route. The management of the insurance companies would continue to be in the hands of Indian promoters. The cabinet has already approved the amendments to the pending insurance laws (Amendment) Bill.

The government, after informing Parliament that the previous government had pushed for extension to a judge that faced corruption charges, demanded a clarification from the former PM on the controversial issue. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said, “The whole account of the affair, first brought out by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, showed how the government was functioning during the UPA regime. It was trying to compromise on each and every issue”.

India is set to help Nepal through a deal that will develop its huge hydro-electric power potential. Foreign Secretary, Sushma Swaraj, will head to Kathmandu on Friday to initiate a talk to kick start energy power projects that are stalled since 1996. A former Nepali water resource minister said, “The draft impinges on the sovereign right of Nepal to allow investors other than India in the development of hydropower and renewable energy”.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the text book content would be modified to keep the crime rate in check. He said, “There is also a need to create awareness and to bring perceptional change among people so as to enhance commitment towards life values and check vulgarity”. Replying to a question on steps being taken by government to check the crime rate, he said, “One of the proposals is to change the content of text books so that children can be informed about human values and life values”.

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Last Updated on July 24, 2014, 5:18 pm