Dr Sharma off to India

KATHMANDU: Dr Shankar P Sharma, former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC) left for India today to present a paper entitled ‘Peace and Nation Building in Nepal’ at an international conference organised by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development in Chandigarh, India beginning from November 4 to 11, says a press statement. The conference is being participated in by diplomats, academicians and politicians from all over the world. The theme of the conference among others, include, ‘threats to peace and development, the economic dimensions of peace and development in an interdependent world, US-India-China relations, impact on peace and development in Asia and problems and prospects of peace and development in the SAARC region. — HNS

Worries over inflation

NEW DELHI: India’s finance minister said on Friday some sectors of the country’s booming economy were showing signs of “overheating” after inflation hit a more than four-month peak. The wholesale price index, the most closely watched price barometer in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, showed inflation rose to an 18-week high of 5.41 per cent for the week ended October 21, up a sixth of a per centage point from the previous week. The price rise was driven largely by rises in prices of primary goods such as pulses, wheat, vegetables and fruit, according to official data released here. —AFP

Boost for P’ppines

MANILA: President Gloria Arroyo on Friday welcomed the announcement by Moody’s Investors Service that it had raised its outlook on the Philippines to stable from negative, saying it was a vote of confidence in her economic reforms. “The upgrade is a major vote of confidence in the economic reforms I have undertaken since taking office,” Arroyo said in a statement. Moody’s, widely seen as the most pessimistic among the major global credit rating agencies, upgraded its negative outlook for the Philippines nine months after rivals Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings changed their rating calls. —AFP

US-Malaysian FTA

KUALA LUMPUR: A top US trade negotiator said Friday that resolving disagreements on Malaysia’s sensitive areas in free trade talks “will not be an insurmountable task.” Barbara Weisel, who led the third round of negotiations with Malaysian officials this week, said “the discussions have provided the momentum” to achieve “significant progress” at the next round of talks in Washington. This means the free trade agreement can be concluded early next year as envisaged, she said.—AFP