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Economy

MALAYSIA

Issue Date: Feb 15, 1998
Malaysia, the country that hopes to be the home of latest multimedia technology, is currently advising its people to "return to the soil". Threatened by a looming economic crisis, Malaysia plans to lease out land for commercial vegetable farming, paddy cultivation and also revive its 300 abandoned fish ponds. "Green" is suddenly "in" again and the people are being encouraged to farm foods and "eat" their way out of the nation's economic problems.

Caught in a crossfire

Author(s): Andrew Nette
Issue Date: Jan 31, 1998
the World Bank's (wb's) keenness to promote an electricity generation project in Laos has come in for flak by non-governmental organisations. The project, slated to sell power to Thailand, is feared to spell doom for Laos' economy.

MORE POWER

Issue Date: Jan 15, 1998
The first private sector thermal power plant was commissioned recently in Colombo with the help of the government which added an additional 22.5 MW of power to Sri Lanka's national grid. Such efforts of the government is expected to reduce the country's over-dependence on hydro-power. Following the last year severe drought, the government has been urging the private sector to set up thermal power plants in the country. According to a Central Bank report, the energy sector in Sri Lanka experienced a major crisis during 1996.

Inequalities galore

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1997
IF a report recently published in the us is to be believed, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer over the last year in the us. Family incomes rose overall, with the wealthiest families gaining the most while the poor saw their incomes actually decline by nearly two per cent.

Shedding the load

Issue Date: May 31, 1997
the Union government recently tabled a discussion paper for reducing subsidies. The proposals seek to make considerable savings by making substantial cuts in the cost of goods such as electricity and higher education. The white paper based on a detailed study by the National Institute of Public Finance Policy says that 75 per cent of subsidies were unmerited. In a bid to make the proposals acceptable, the paper made a distinction between 'merit' and 'non-merit' goods and proposed cuts in subsidies for the latter category.

ACCORDS SIGNED

Issue Date: Apr 30, 1997
Recently, Bangladesh signed four agreements with Vietnam. The accords were on the formation of a joint commission for economic, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation between the two nations. The two nations also agreed to extend cooperation in the field of agriculture, as both of them have economies that are primarily agriculture-oriented. The talks were attended by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wajed and the Vietnamese Premier Vo Van Kiet.

Budget blues

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1997
PRIME Minister H D Deve Gowda's talent for undermining the need to protect the environment and people's rights is well-known. The finance minister (FM), P Chidambaram, is one of the same ilk, say critics after his budget speech in Parliament on February 28. Even officials at the ministry of environment and forests (MEF) feel that what the FM has sanctioned for the ministry is just not enough.

UNITED NATIONS

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1997
Supply of clean fresh water, already threatened by soaring pollution levels, is depleting at such a rate in some regions that within 30 years two-thirds of humanity will suffer "moderate to severe water stress". This gloomy prediction has been made by a forthcoming UN report titled Comprehensive Assessment of the Freshwater Resources of the World. It is part of a series of UN studies reviewing the progress made by the Commission on Sustainable Development since the 1992 Earth Summit. Scarcity of clean water not

Eco-friendly economy

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1997
THE recently concluded International Conference on Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development, at the University of Roorkee in Uttar Pradesh, furs recommended developing the nation's economy in an eco-friendly manner. According to K G Ranga Raju, a professor at the university, risk assessment and disaster management should find a place in the overall planning of water resource projects.

Afforestation

Author(s): Anil Agarwal
Issue Date: Mar 15, 1997
In its search for a strategy for afforestation, a laudable goal in itself, the Madhya Pradesh (mp) government has once again put its foot in its mouth and buckled down unduly to commercial lobbies. Its decision to relax the land ceiling laws to permit timber companies to take up plantations on private lands, provides a totally unnecessary and wrong concession to these companies.
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