Vinod Mehta, editor of India's Outlook magazine, dies at 73

Updated 08 March 2015

Vinod Mehta, editor of India's Outlook magazine, dies at 73

NEW DELHI: Vinod Mehta, founding editor of India's Outlook magazine and a fearless and irreverent commentator on Indian politics, died Sunday. He was 73.
Mehta died of multiple organ failure at New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences, said hospital spokesman Amit Gupta.
In a career spanning four decades, Mehta launched several newspapers and magazines.
But he was best known for his trenchant editorial columns on politics and the shenanigans of Indian politicians.
Mehta was born in the city of Rawalpindi in 1942. He spent his childhood in Lucknow.
In 2011, he published his best-selling memoirs, "Lucknow Boy," followed a couple of years later by "Editor Unplugged."
Mehta was the founding editor of newspapers such as the Sunday Observer, the Indian Post, The Independent and the Delhi edition of The Pioneer.
In 1995, he founded Outlook, a weekly news and views magazine.
He was a popular commentator on television chat shows, well known for his fiercely independent views.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "Frank & direct in his opinions, Vinod Mehta will be remembered as a fine journalist & writer. Condolences to his family on his demise."


Indonesia’s Indrawati to stay on as finance minister

Updated 39 min 3 sec ago

Indonesia’s Indrawati to stay on as finance minister

  • Widodo has since Monday tapped more than a dozen candidates for ministerial posts
  • Indrawati, a former managing director of the World Bank, has been finance minister in Southeast Asia’s largest economy since 2016

JAKARTA: Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Tuesday she had been asked by President Joko Widodo to stay on in her post as his new cabinet takes shape for a second five-year term in office.

Widodo has since Monday tapped more than a dozen candidates for ministerial posts, including his presidential election rival Prabowo Subianto, who looks set to be defense minister.

The candidates — all wearing white shirts — have come to the presidential palace to be interviewed by Widodo, with most declining to confirm the positions offered ahead of an official announcement expected on Wednesday.

After meeting Widodo, Indrawati said she had agreed to stay on as finance minister and to ensure policies supported the president’s priorities such as improving human resources, creating jobs and executing government budgets well.

“Indonesia I think is facing a very dynamic and uncertain global economy and an economic slowdown that is pressuring the whole world,” Indrawati said.

“Therefore, a continued policy is needed in order to be able to guard our economy from the challenge of this global slowdown,” she said, noting she also discussed ways to narrow Indonesia’s current account and trade deficits.

Indrawati, a former managing director of the World Bank, has been finance minister in Southeast Asia’s largest economy since 2016, spearheading tax reform efforts, seeking to capitalize on a tax amnesty program in 2016-2017. She is now one of the longest serving finance ministers in Indonesia, having also held the post in the previous administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“Sri Mulyani is seen as a key architect behind the fiscal discipline in recent years and many wish for her continued leadership in driving deeper fiscal reforms,” Bank of America wrote in a note.

The make-up of the cabinet is being closely watched to see how many technocrats — who are more likely to fall in with Widodo’s plans for boosting growth and investment — were included.

Other ministerial candidates who came to the palace on Tuesday included Basuki Hadimuljono, who is credited with driving infrastructure projects as public works minister in Widodo’s first term, and Siti Nurbaya Bakar, environment minister in the first term.

On Monday, Nadiem Makarim, the chief executive of tech startup Gojek and media tycoon Erick Thohir, a former chairman of Italian soccer club Inter Milan, were among those confirming they had been asked to join the cabinet.

Speaking to media ahead of his inauguration on Sunday, Widodo said around 16 ministers in the new cabinet would come from political parties out of an anticipated 34 posts.