Supporters of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raise their party's symbol and portraits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (top) during a campaign rally ahead of state assembly elections in New Delhi January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Test for reform zeal of Modi in make-or-break budget

NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stomach for free-market economics faces a major test on Saturday, in a budget India's top economic advisor has warned could wreck the leader's promises of "good days" if there's no roadmap to reform.  Article 

Cook says Apple Watch will replace car keys - Telegraph 1:19am IST

- Apple Watch will replace your car keys and its battery will last the whole day, Apple Inc's Chief Executive Tim Cook told the Telegraph in an interview.

A man pedals his rickshaw past Sahara India Complex building in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Life At Sahara

All work and no pay, some Sahara staff say

Some staff at conglomerate Sahara say they haven't been paid for several months, as the company tries to raise $1.6 billion to bail its boss Subrata Roy out of jail. Reuters interviewed 11 employees independently contacted in separate units in Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow this week, and found workers frustrated over a lack of information about the group's future.  Full Article 

A woman tries on a gold necklace inside a jewellery showroom at a market in Mumbai January 15, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade
Awaiting Import Duty Cut

Few buy gold on hopes of a fall in prices

India's demand for gold was muted this week as buyers in the world's top consumer of the metal held off purchases ahead of an expected cut in import duty and a likely drop in local prices. But dealers hope to step up purchases, if the import duty is lowered from a record 10 percent in Saturday's federal budget, to meet demand from the upcoming wedding season and Akshay Tritiya.  Full Article 

A passenger looks out from the window of a stationed train at a railway station in Jammu February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

India goes back to the future with rail push

India is taking a train ride back to the future. The govt will spend $137 billion over five years sprucing up the ramshackle rail network. The country’s British rulers reaped massive productivity gains by building out the railways 150 years ago. Modernizing the dilapidated network could produce even better returns for PM Modi.  Full Article | Related Story 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) listens to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the Global Business Summit in New Delhi January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

What will Jaitley pull out of his budget hat?

A budget that lacks boldness in reform will be a harbinger of timidity for the next four years, while a budget that is serious about free market reforms could begin the process of transforming India into an economic superpower, writes William Wilson.  Read | Full Coverage 

A convoy of Ukrainian armed forces including armoured personnel carriers, military vehicles and cannons prepare to move as they pull back from the Debaltseve region, in Blagodatne, eastern Ukraine, February 27, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Deaths shake Ukraine truce

Ukraine on Friday reported the first deaths in three days in east Ukraine and President Petro Poroshenko said Russia would pose a "military threat" even if a ceasefire holds.  Full Article 

A computer keyboard with letters stacked forming the word 'password'  is seen in this illustration picture taken in Warsaw, December 12, 2013.  REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/'Files
China

Draft counterterror law strikes fear in tech firms

China is weighing a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys and install security "backdoors", a potential escalation of what some firms view as the increasingly onerous terms of doing business in the world's second largest economy.  Full Article | Related Story 

Nurses prepare influenza vaccine injections during a flu shot clinic at Dorchester House, a health care clinic, in Boston, Massachusetts January 12, 2013. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files

Watch out for nasty global flu surprises: WHO

The world remains highly vulnerable to a possible severe flu pandemic and governments should increase surveillance, vigilance and preparedness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.  Read 

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha": Rooted in reality

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha": rooted in reality

This is one of those films that you have to pay close attention to if you want to enjoy it to the full. There is so much to like here – the attention to detail, the quirky characters; and you are likely to miss it if your attention wavers to your phone or your popcorn.  Full Article 

Latest Headlines

Land Ordinance

Shilpa Jamkhandikar

Tax reforms on Bollywood wishlist

Bollywood is hoping that the Narendra Modi government will heed its long-standing demands for cuts on import duties and reforming the “archaic” entertainment tax at this year’s budget. Representatives of the world’s largest film industry by output say they are burdened by an excessive tax regime, which is “the single biggest factor for a number of ills plaguing the industry.”  Full Article 

OPINION

A worker stacks sacks of vegetables onto a handcart at a wholesale vegetable market in Delhi February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

India benefits from reform and a bit of luck

While about $20 billion of foreign cash has flowed into Indian shares in the past year, much of that has been as investors dedicated to emerging markets chose India as one of the best of a risky lot. Global funds, which are nearly triple the size of emerging market funds, are still underweight India, implying room for a re-weighting. India’s moment, not without dangers, may be arriving.  Full Article 

Expert Zone

Paul Donovan

A global lesson from Europe

“The euro area is in crisis” is not the most thrilling way to open an article. The region is seemingly always in crisis, resembling an opera by Wagner – very, very long, with lots of wailing and melodrama, generally conducted in German. The perpetual round of emergency summits and last-minute deals is something investors have had to get used to.  Full Article 

David Wise

How much does it cost to watch a suspected militant? Lots.

Surveillance is a double-edged tool. Catching terrorists is vital to protect the country. But we also want to live in a society where liberty and security are balanced, and the government does not follow people around without good reason. From that perspective, the high cost and difficulty of maintaining a continuous surveillance on a suspect may not be entirely bad in a democracy.  Opinion 

Third-generation reforms needed to galvanize economy

Third-generation reforms needed to galvanize economy

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has indicated that the upcoming budget on Feb.28 will bring India’s tax system in line with international practices to facilitate and encourage investments. There are several factors that will make budgeting a little easier this year, and a bullish stock market will absorb disinvestment by the govt.  Full Article 

A look at India’s last five annual budgets

A look at India’s last five annual budgets

The countdown has begun for the biggest business and economic event of the year – the release of India’s annual budget on February 28. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is under pressure to unveil reforms that will put the country’s economy on a path of 7-8 percent growth over the next two years. Here’s a look at budgets between 2010 and 2014 - the hits, the misses, and how they affected the public.  Read 

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