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India the World’s fifth largest economy in 2018

India looks set to leapfrog Britain and France next year to become the world’s fifth-largest economy in dollar terms, a report said. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) consultancy’s 2018 World Economic League Table painted an upbeat view of the global economy, boosted by cheap energy and technology prices.
India’s ascent is part of a trend that will see Asian economies increasingly dominate the top 10 largest economies over the next 15 years.
Despite temporary setbacks, India’s economy has still caught up with that of France and the UK and in 2018 will have overtaken them both to become the world’s fifth largest economy in dollar terms,” said Douglas McWilliams, Cebr deputy chairman.
McWilliams said India’s growth had been slowed by restrictions on high-value banknotes and a new sales tax, a view shared by economists polled by Reuters.China is likely to overtake the United States as the world’s No.1 economy in 2032, Cebr said.
The report said, The USA will retain its global crown a year longer than Cebr anticipated in the last report, because the impact of President Trump on trade has been less severe than expected.

Sobchak submits bid for Russian presidential race


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Russia’s Central Election Commission has unanimously rejected top opposition figure Alexei Navalny’s bid to run against President Vladimir Putin next year. The commission voted 12 to zero in barring Navalny from the presidential election, citing a controversial embezzlement conviction for which he received a five year suspended sentence.
The decision prompted the 41-year-old protest leader–who maintains that the court case against him was fabricated for political reasons to call for a boycott of the election.
Sobchak file Papers CEC for candidature of Prez election.
Sobchak, the 36-year-old chief editor of the Russian edition of the international fashion magazine L’Officiel, first announced her intention to run for the presidency in mid-October.
TV host Ksenia Sobchak files paperwork at the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) to run for Russia’s president at the 2018 election.
Sobchak’s nomination as a candidate is backed by the Civil Initiative party headed by former Russian Economy Minister Andrey Nechayev. This means that she will have to collect and present 100,000 signatures from supporters to join the race, instead of the 300,000 required for independent contenders and no signatures at all for those who represent one of the four Russian parliamentary parties.

FM Chrystia Freeland:Venezuelan charge d’affaires persona non grata,”

Canada on Monday ordered Venezuela’s ambassador and charge d’affaires to leave, escalating a row two days after its top diplomat at the Canadian embassy in Venezuela was kicked out by President Nicolas Maduro’s regime.
“In response to this move by the Maduro regime, I am announcing that the Venezuelan ambassador to Canada… is no longer welcome in Canada.
“I am also declaring the Venezuelan charge d’affaires persona non grata,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.
She noted that Wilmer Omar Barrientos Fernandez — Venezuela’s ambassador — “had already been withdrawn by the Venezuelan government to protest Canadian sanctions against Venezuelan officials implicated in corruption and gross human rights abuses.”
The tit-for-tat response follows Venezuela’s announcement on Saturday that Craig Kowalik — Canada’s charge d’affaires in the embassy in Caracas — and Brazilian ambassador Ruy Pereira were no longer welcome.
Kowalik was accused of “nagging [and] constant rude and offensive interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs,” according to Delcy Rodriguez — a Venezuelan official who heads a powerful body of Maduro loyalists known as the Constituent Assembly.
Pereira was described as the representative of an illegitimate government in Brazil — a stance Caracas has taken since conservative Brazilian President Michel Temer replaced impeached leftist president Dilma Rousseff.
Venezuela has riposted fiercely against growing international condemnation of Maduro’s tightening hold on power this year.
Canada, the United States, Europe, and most Latin American nations have denounced what they call the trampling of democracy and human rights in the once-rich South American nation, which is now on the brink of default.
On Friday, Canada imposed fresh sanctions on Maduro and members of his regime for alleged rights violations and corruption.
Freeland said Venezuela’s expulsion of Kowalik “is typical of the Maduro regime, which has consistently undermined all efforts to restore democracy and to help the Venezuelan people.”
“Canadians will not stand by as the government of Venezuela robs its people of their fundamental democratic and human rights, and denies them access to basic humanitarian assistance,” she said.

Govt directs NGOs to open account in designated banks

Union Home Ministry has directed all NGOs, business entities and individuals who receive funds from abroad to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks, within a month for higher level of transparency.
According to the ministry order, the directive to the NGOs, companies and individuals to open foreign contribution accounts in banks, which are integrated with the central government’s Public Financial Management System (PFMS), came for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance.
The order, issued on December 21, said the NGOs are directed to comply with the order within one month. The government also told them not to do anything detrimental to national interests.
The central government has already decided that all banks where the FCRA registered persons and organisations have opened their foreign contribution accounts will be integrated with the PFMS for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance.
FCRA Department has been trying to get all banks with FCRA accounts to become PFMS-compliant. PFMS stands for Public Financial Management System. This allows the FCRA Department to directly monitor transactions in FCRA bank accounts (see tweet by @fcra2010 on 15-Dec-15).
However, many banks have not migrated to PFMS as planned. Therefore, FCRA Department has decided to play hardball.
It has now published a list of 32 banks which are PFMS-compliant:
1. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
2. Allahabad Bank,
3. Allahabad UP Gramin Bank
4. Andhra Bank
5. Axis Bank
6. Bank of Baroda
7. Bank of Maharashtra
8. Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd.
9. Canara Bank
10. Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd.
11. Central Bank of India
12. City Union Bank
13. Corporation Bank
14. Cosmos Co-Operative Bank
15. DCB Bank Ltd.
16. Dena Bank
17. HDFC Bank
18. ICICI Bank
19. IDBI Bank
20. IndusInd bank linited
21. Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd.
22. Karur Vysya bank
23. Manipur state Co-op Bank
24. Oriental Bank of commerce
25. Punjab National Bank
26. South Indian Bank
27. State Bank of india
28. Syndicate Bank
29. Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd.
30. UCO Bank
31. Vijaya Bank
32. Yes Bank
All FCRA-holders / prior-permission holders must now keep their FCRA bank accounts with one of these. They have been given time till 21-Jan-18 to migrate to these. They should then file form FC-6 with details of the new bank account.

North India engulf with cold

The cold wave has tightened its grip over North India with mercury plummeting several degrees below normal at many places. Most parts of Himachal Pradesh continued to reel under intense cold despite dry and sunny weather in the day.
The local Meteorological office said, in tribal areas Keylong was the coldest with minimum temperature settling at minus 7.3 degrees followed by Kalpa in Kinnaur with minus 1.4 degrees. Shimla and Una recorded minimum temperatures of 4.5 degrees Celsius each. However, the maximum temperature rose marginally at some places with Una in Shivalik foothills being the hottest at 24.2 degrees Celsius. The Met office has predicted dry weather in the region till 1st of January.
In Jammu and Kashmir, surface transport has been badly affected in the Srinagar city due to dense fog. MeT office said, the night will become more chilly during the next 48 hours in Srinagar due to dry weather.
Cold weather conditions also prevailed in Punjab as Amritsar and Adampur remained the coldest places with minimum temperatures of 3.5 degrees Celsius each. Chandigarh recorded a low of 7.2 degrees Celsius. In Haryana, Narnaul was the coldest place recording a low of 5.2 degrees Celsius.
In Uttar Pradesh, dense to very dense fog occurred at few places with Muzaffarnagar recording the lowest temperature of 4 degrees Celsius yesterday. The day temperatures also dropped in Moradabad, Bareilly and the Gorakhpur divisions. The MeT office has forecast very dense fog at a few places in the state today.
In Delhi, a thick blanket of haze enveloped the city yesterday with the maximum temperature settling at 22.8 degrees Celsius, one degree above the season’s average. The minimum temperature settled at 7 degrees Celsius, one degree below the season’s average. Due to poor visibility, around 17 trains were cancelled, 26 were delayed and six others were rescheduled.

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