Cong takes swipe at Modi over FDI policy

Ahead of a government meeting to review its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy today, the Congress took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked him not to relegate the opportunity to "photo-ops" and to take measures to boost oversea inflows.
Congress's communications department in-charge Randeep Surjewala said his party-led UPA government had taken several measure to liberalise the economy and boost investment, but Modi and the BJP had "virulently opposed" FDI in retail in 2012.

NHAI advance payments speed up HAM projects

Noting that advance payments by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to private developers in hybrid-annuity road projects will give fillip to construction, rating agency India Ratings (Ind-Ra) has said nearly 60 per cent of the projects awarded till December 2016 on the innovative model have achieved financial closure.

Soil health card scheme in shambles

The central government’s flagship soil health card scheme seems to have been derailed by shoddy implementation as some states have hired private agencies, which have employed not properly qualified people (for example 10th pass youth) for testing the condition of the soil, a Niti Aayog study has found.
The glaring lapse was pointed out by the central government to states at a recent meeting of agriculture ministers of 13 states, sources said.

RBI to keep repo rate unchanged

The monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will keep the repo rate unchanged on Wednesday. It would wait to see the actual progress of the monsoon and the adjustment during the transition to the goods and services tax (GST) rollout.
However, the tone of the policy statement is expected to be far less hawkish than the April
2017 statement, given that some inflation risks have receded.

Budget: Flagship programme allocation could go up by 30%

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s push for focus on the agriculture and social sector is likely to make its mark on the Union budget 2017-18 with allocation seen to increase by at least 30 per cent in 11 flagship programmes. The allocation in programmes like the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (rural) may increase to nearly Rs 1,50,000 crore in the coming budget from about Rs 1,15,000 crore, sources said. (See table)