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    Chidambaram seeks to appease farmers, win votes

    Delivering a budget for the masses instead of India's classes, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, proposed waiving loans held by small farmers (600 billion rupees) and pledged higher spending on health and education to spread the benefits of an economic boom beyond the cities to rural voters.

    India has a population of 1.1 billion and 60 percent or more live and work in rural areas.Due to risks from turbulence on global financial markets and rising oil, metals, wheat and rice prices worldwide, Chidambaram said while he was confident India's economy would grow by 8.8 percent in the fiscal year ending on March 31 a fall from a scorching 9.6 percent in 2006/07, its fastest pace in 18 years.

    While he vowed to keep rising inflation under check, Chidambaram increased defence spending by 10 percent in 2008/09. He also increased urban infrastructure spending to 68.7 billion rupees and Rural infrastructure spending will be 140 billion rupees further, Government spending on national highways will be 130 billion rupees.

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    Lalu Prasad Yadav unveils a shining Railway Budget 2008-09

    Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Railway Minister of the reigning UPA government has done it again – with a Rs Rs 25,000 crore ($2.5 billion) cash surplus – he's made a success story of the Indian Railways . He's proved that low cost airlines are not a major threat to India's Railways.

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    Dezan Shira & Associates to open fourth India office in Kolkata

    Dezan Shira & Associates have announced their fourth India office is to open next month in Kolkata, following existing offices handling foreign direct investment into India in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. The firm, which advises multinational clients in legal and tax FDI matters in China, India and Vietnam, now has sixteen regional offices in Asia.

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    Kolkata Twinned With Guangzhou, China

    Kolkata is twinned with Guangzhou, in China’s Pearl River Delta, and direct flights between the two cities have just resumed. Read more here.

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    India-China Developing Trade Routes

    The popular powerpoint presentation given by Chris Devonshire-Ellis recently explaining the developing trade routes between China and India can be accessed here.