By Arul Louis
United Nations, Jan 15 (IANS) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is coming to the US on Wednesday for his "US-Iran diplomatic efforts," according to sources here.
He plans to first stop in New York and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said a meeting between them was likely.
"My understanding is that the meeting -- if it happens -- the meeting was requested by the Pakistan mission and the Secretary General is always happy to meet visiting foreign ministers," Dujarric said on Tuesday.
Guterres, who was in Portugal for the Lisbon Green Capital initiative and other meetings, is travelling back to New York and the visit will depend on him and Qureshi synchronising their schedules.
A neighbour of Iran, Pakistan is trying to insert itself Teheran-Washington confrontation and take on a mediating role.
Qureshi had met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Tehran on Sunday and Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud on Monday.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said in September after a meeting with US President Donald Trump that he had been asked to mediate to bring down the tension.
However, there was no confirmation of the request by the US.
Tensions between Washington and Teheran neared a flashpoint this month after Iranian Major General Qassim Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed in a US missile strike in Iraq and Iran retaliated with rocket attacks on bases in Iraq where US troops are stationed.
However, both sides drew back from the brink and have indicated that there would be no further escalation for the time being.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)
Mumbai, Aug 6 (IANS) Headline inflation is expected to remain at elevated level in Q2FY21, but is likely to ease during the second half of the current fiscal aided by a favourable base effect, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Thursday.
The Governor said the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was of the view that supply chain disruptions on account of the COVID-19 pandemic persists, with implications for both food and non-food prices.
"A more favourable food inflation outlook may emerge as the bumper rabi harvest eases prices of cereals, especially if open market sales and public distribution offtake are expanded on the back of significantly higher procurement. Nonetheless, upside risks to food prices remain," Das said while delivering the decision of the MPC on monetary policy.
"The abatement of price pressure in key vegetables is delayed and remains contingent upon normalisation of supplies. Protein-based food items could also emerge as a pressure point."
Consequent to the high retail inflation, the MPC decided to retain the RBI's key short-term lending rates, but maintained its growth oriented accomodative stance.
Accordingly, the repo rate, or short-term lending rate for commercial banks, was retained at 4 per cent.
Like wise, the reverse repo rate stands unchanged at 3.35 per cent.
The MPC voted to maintain accommodative stance, thus opening up possibilities for more future rate cuts.
It was expected that the MPC might hold rates as recent data showed that retail inflation has been at an elevated level during June.
The retail or consumer price index (CPI) stood at 6.09 per cent in June.
The urban CPI stood at 5.91 per cent and rural at 6.20 per cent.
As per the data, retail inflation level has reached the upper limit of the medium-term CPI inflation target of 4 per cent.
The target is set within a band of +/- 2 per cent.
Besides, Das in his address pointed out that higher domestic taxes on petroleum products have resulted in elevated domestic pump prices and will impart broad-based cost push pressures going forward.
"Taking into consideration all these factors, the MPC expects headline inflation to remain elevated in Q2:2020-21, but likely to ease in H2:2020-21, aided by favourable base effects," Das said.
"Given the uncertainty surrounding the inflation outlook and extremely weak state of the economy in the midst of an unprecedented shock from the ongoing pandemic, the MPC decided to keep the policy rate on hold, while remaining watchful for a durable reduction in inflation to use available space to support the revival of the economy."