Indian media: Drop in inflation "boost" for PM Modi

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Indian food marketImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Falling prices of vegetables have contributed to the drop in inflation, report say

Papers see a drop in India's inflation rate as a "good sign" for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic revival plan.

India's main gauge of inflation, the Wholesale Price Index, fell to a near five-year low of 3.7% in August from 5.19% in July.

Most analysts have attributed the drop in inflation to falling vegetable and fuel prices.

The data "should bring cheer to the government that rode to a landslide election victory promising to bring down prices of essentials as part of its poll pledge to usher in `Aachen din' (Good days)," says a report in the Hindustan Times.

The NDTV website sees the drop as "a big boost" for Mr Modi's government.

But analysts feel that the fall in inflation may not lead to lower interest rates.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) chief, Raghuram Rajan, is not likely to cut interest rates because there are fears that fuel prices may rise again due to the escalating violence in the Middle East, experts say.

The RBI is due to announce its monetary policy on 30 September.

Toilet saves marriage

Moving on to foreign affairs, India and Vietnam have signed seven agreements and called for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, a move that could "irk China", The Economic Times reports.

The two countries on Monday signed a key deal to give Indian firms exploration rights off the Vietnamese coast. The Indian delegation, led by President Pranab Mukherjee, also signed an air services agreement with Vietnam.

A joint communique issued after Mr Mukherjee met his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang said that freedom of navigation in the South China Sea should not be "impeded" and that "the parties concerned" must exercise restraint, the report says.

The communique said India and Vietnam have agreed to work for the adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea for all parties.

China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan all have territorial claims in the region.

And finally, government officials in Ranchi in the eastern state of Jharkhand have decided to save a local man's marriage by building a toilet in his house, the Hindustan Times reports.

Mahavir Oraon asked the authorities for help after his wife threatened to leave him unless he got a toilet built in their home, which he could not afford, the report says.

"We have taken his request seriously", the report quotes an official as saying, adding at the same time that they hailed his wife's "courage" for taking a stand.

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