Joined: 05 October 2007
Lately, the Indian government's borrowing has become a headache for the country's central bank. Soon, the debt may be a bigger pain for New Delhi itself. It's the Reserve Bank of India's job to ensure the $2.5 billion worth of bonds the government issues weekly, to fund its ambitious spending plans, doesn't overwhelm credit markets pushing interest rates higher, crowding out private investment, and nipping India's nascent economic recovery in the bud. It does this by buying already outstanding bonds from investors some $7.5 billion worth since April to free up capital for banks and others to invest in the newer bonds. But it won't be long before India's central bankers shift their focus to fighting inflation, and ease up on this buying. That'll put Delhi in a fix, pushing interest rates higher, raising the cost of servicing the debt, and pressuring the government to cut spending or risk widening an already-yawning fiscal deficit. The latter could unsettle ratings agencies and cost India its investment-grade rating status. It's a situation made worse by the government's already rosy assumptions about tax receipts. Since the government's tax collections are likely to be lower than it expects, it will either have to borrow even more, or spend less. Which means it's not going to be easy for the government to fund its deficit when RBI turns to focus on inflation, says Ramya Suryanarayanan. Cutting expenditure is politically unpalatable for a government that rode to power on a social spending platform. Borrowing more means finding willing buyers and paying even higher yields. Even with the RBI on its side, the borrowing's already become more expensive. The 10-year government bond is yielding 7.23%, around 200 basis points higher than at the start of the year, and a recent auction failed as investors sought even higher returns.Kotak Institutional Securities forecasts the 10-year bond yield to rise to 7.50% by March, and 9% a year later. The weather could make matters worse on both ends, with a drought pushing the government to borrow more than the $92 billion already slated for the current fiscal year, and as food prices climb simultaneously raising pressure on the RBI to start tightening sooner rather than later. Already investors in the government bond market are jittery trading volumes there have plunged. Surely, they won't be alone in their nervousness for long.
Joined: 05 October 2007
Big fish must not escape punishment: PM
Asking CBI and state anti- corruption officials to aggressively pursue high level corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the perception that big fish escape punishment must change and they should act swiftly and without fear. Opening a conference of CBI and state anti-corruption bureaux here, he said there was no single remedy for fighting corruption which has to be combated at many levels, one of which was making existing systems less discretionary.
HCL Tech joins hands with New Zealand-based firm
Software exporter HCL Technologies today said it has partnered New Zealand-based Optimation for providing innovative and flexible software solutions. The company has signed a partnership agreement with IT firm Optimation to offer software solutions to the New Zealand Government and enterprise customers, HCL Technologies said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
India to unveil its foreign trade policy tomorrow
India will on Thursday unveil its foreign trade policy that is expected to eliminate or refund taxes and offer cheaper bank credit to recession-battered exporters, besides encouraging them to look beyond. The policy will outline the government's priorities over the next five years for resurrecting the sector that contracted by over 31% in the April-June quarter.
OilMin may file defamation suit against RNRL
The Petroleum Ministry is mulling filing a defamation suit against an Anil Ambani Group firm for persisting with false claims pertaining to government revenues from Reliance Industries KG-D6 fields. The ministry is contemplating seeking law ministry view on slapping the suit on RNRL over a claim that government share from KG-D6 initially will be just Rs 500 crore, while RIL will earn a super-normal profit of Rs 49,500 crore.
Raje defies Rajnath, holds meeting of party MLAs
Defying BJP President Rajnath Singh's warning not to indulge in a show of strength, senior party leader Vasundhara Raje chaired the meeting of the BJP's legislature party as Leader of Opposition. Singh warned her against doing so but Raje called a meeting of the party MLAs to discuss issues to be taken up in the assembly session
Interpol issues Red Corner notice against Hafiz Saeed
Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) on Tuesday against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who has been chargesheeted for masterminding the 26/11 Mumbai attack carnage. The notice will make it difficult for Pakistan to let the dreaded chief of JuD roam freely.
StanChart, RBS talks fail over valuation
Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, or RBS, has indefinitely suspended the sale of its assets in India after the first round of negotiations with Standard Chartered Bank Plc broke down. Negotiations have been suspended as we could not arrive at a valuation for the assets in India, acceptable to both buyer and seller. The sale has been suspended indefinitely
Promising that more financial sector reforms are under way, the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, tsaid that the Government would soon permit repo in corporate bonds, move ahead to set up an autonomous Debt Management Office, and also come up with a bankruptcy code once a new company law was enacted by Parliament. As part of the measures to develop the corporate bond market, the Government-RBI Committee on Financial Sector Assessment CFSA had recommended that corporate bonds be made repoable allow repurchase in a phased manner, rationalise stamp duty, abolish TDS on corporate bonds, and also have timely, efficient bankruptcy procedures.
No change in India's WTO stand, says Commerce Sec
India, which is hosting the WTO ministerial meeting here next month, today said it would not compromise on food and livelihood security of the developing countries while negotiating the Doha trade deal. Food and livelihood security of the poor is critical to the developing countries and cannot be compromised under any circumstances Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said, adding that the New Delhi informal trade ministers' meeting was not meant for hard core negotiations but to build a broad based consensus.
Centre seeks to ring fence NTPC's D6 gas claim
The Government has decided to spell out its position in the two disputes involving the Krishna-Godavar Basin D6 block gas supplies NTPC-Reliance Industries Ltd RIL and RIL-Reliance Natural Resources Ltd RNR. The Core Committee of Ministers final decision taken, while protecting NTPC's interests, would also make a distinction between the public sector power utility's claim on the gas and the Ambani brothers' private dispute.
Anand Mahindra logging in balanced approach
We are not in any celebratory mood right now and would rather keep our eye on a turnaround. Any premature celebration is the worst way to jeopardise a turnaround, says Mr Anand Mahindra, when asked if the Mahindra group through Tech Mahindra is still basking in the glory of the Satyam Computer Services takeover. The Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra told that everything it had experienced so far post-acquisition had only reinforced the point that the group had made the right decision.
Black money: India to begin talks with Switzerland
In the midst of a row over tainted money stashed in banks in Switzerland, the government today said it will begin talks with that country in December for amending the relevant treaty and it was not interested in a roving inquiry. We are pursuing with the Swiss authorities and after our persuasion they have agreed to discuss and begin the negotiations on the amendment of the avoidance of double taxation agreement in respect of the exchange of information.
Foreign airlines' FDI bid fails to take off
Security concerns have forced the government to put on hold a proposal allowing foreign airlines to invest in domestic carriers. A proposal by the civil aviation ministry to permit foreign airlines to pick up a 25% stake in domestic carriers is currently under the consideration of a committee of secretaries CoS Because of the turmoil in the aviation sector, an early decision on allowing foreign carriers to invest in domestic airlines is not expected. There are various pros and cons of the decision and they have to be taken into account before taking a call.
India's power backup bill Rs 130,000cr a year
It's not just suffering the blackouts. The cumulative cost of nationwide power outages is a staggering Rs 1,00,000 crore. That's the amount Indians spend on power back-up equipment like gensets, batteries and inverters, according to a study by Universal Consulting done for power company Wartsila India. Here's the message for policy makers: That money if collected from harassed power consumers is enough to put up power plants to generate 25,000 MW of electricity almost 20% of the present generation level.Be sides, the country also spends Rs 30,000 crore every year to operate inefficient power back-ups using gensets which belch smoke and inverters that emit acid fumes. According to the study, because of the inefficient power back-up systems, the equipment release an additional 1.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide additionally every year.
Maruti Suzuki aims over 10% jump in domestic mkt
The country's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India, is expecting its sales to grow by over 10 per cent during the current fiscal on the back of last year's low-base and is planning to upgrade all its models to Bharat Stage-IV emission norms compliant by March 2010. I think, we should reach 8 lakh units sales in this fiscal and that is our target. This will be a growth of over 10 per cent compared with last fiscal, Maruti Suzuki India MSI Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi told
IT product firms new attraction for VCs
At a time when start-ups saw a 70% decline in investments by venture capital firms in the first half of 2009, IT information technology product companies were sitting pretty. Investments in this segment increased 50% over the previous year though the number of deals fell.
Tata to build higher capacity Nano engines
Tata Motors is developing higher capacity engines for its Nano car, to target domestic as well as foreign markets. European, African and some Asian countries have expressed great interest in Nano, said company chairman Ratan Tata at the company's annual general meeting here.
Full Plan panel meet to tackle energy policy
The September 1 meeting of the full Planning Commission, to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, would take stock of the problems plaguing the country's energy sector. The first meeting of the newly-constituted panel assumes significance in the backdrop of power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's recent concession that the sector's growth target for the 11th Plan period may have to be scaled down due to poor performance. Among the issues to be discussed in detail at the meeting are fast-tracking power production to bridge the demand-supply gap; checking opposition of state electricity boards against captive power generation; rationalising power prices; and hastening the implementation of the Integrated Energy Policy IEP.
Arun Shourie luckier, asked to clarify
Chastened by criticism of the summary expulsion of Jaswant Singh, the BJP asked Arun Shourie to clarify his outburst against the party and its leadership; he called chief Rajnath Singh Alice in Blunderland. If Rajnath Singh was offended, he did not show it. He took the view that Jaswant Singh's was an ideology problem, not a discipline issue, as with Shourie.
Pak must let FBI question Saeed or help bring him to Mumbai: India in new 26/11 dossier
India has asked Pakistan to either let the FBI interrogate the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and probe the 26/11 leads in Pakistan or help New Delhi execute the non-bailable warrant against Saeed in case Islamabad is unwilling or unable to investigate the Mumbai attack. Existing evidence against Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief, in the sixth dossier which was handed over by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik, New Delhi has asked Islamabad to help arrest him and produce before the trial court in Mumbai. The dossier says it was Saeed who named Ajmal Amir Kasab, the gunman captured in Mumbai later, as Abu Mujahid.
Joined: 05 October 2007
Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft is seen as it is unveiled at the Indian Space Research Organization Satellite Centre in Bangalore.
India's national space agency says all communication links with the country's only satellite orbiting the moon have snapped and they are unable to send commands to the spacecraft. The Indian Space Research Organization says radio contacts with Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft were abruptly lost early. Space agency said that the organization's monitoring unit near the southern city of Bangalore is no longer receiving data from the spacecraft nor is the satellite accepting commands. The launch of Chandrayaan-1 in October 2008 put India in an elite club of countries with moon missions.
The crisis comes at an urgent time for India. Economic growth slid to around 6% this year from 9% in recent years, and since June a drought has hit nearly half of the nation. Looking ahead, many wonder who if not the BJP will hold a microscope to the nation's new $210 billion budget, a 16% increase from a year earlier. The Indian National Congress party, led by the Gandhi family, has proposed big spending increases on job creation and social-welfare programs, such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Typically, said S. Chandrasekharan, the BJP would certainly raise questions about how the money is being disbursed, and whether it's reaching the right people. Some analysts question whether the BJP can maintain a united stand on other issues, such as national security and ties with rival Pakistan. The public is still angry over numerous security lapses that led to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed at least 170. The lapses sparked criticism of the Congress party-led government before the parliamentary elections. The BJP has opposed talks with Pakistan until its neighbor brings those allegedly involved in the attacks to justice, compared with the Congress party's position of opening talks if Pakistan shows sufficient progress in its own investigation. Many of the BJP tensions stem from the party's poor showing in the parliamentary elections. The BJP, which was founded in 1980, won only 116 parliamentary seats compared with 206 for its main rival, the Congress party, which easily formed a new government. What followed was a search for scapegoats. The BJP's more conservative members blamed the lack of ideological discipline and clear vision for the party; moderates complained the party excluded non-Hindus. The ideological flashpoint for the BJP has been the political party's relationship to its parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a religious and cultural organization with conservative stands on social issues. The recent expulsion of one of the party's leaders, Jaswant Singh, showed the continued sway of ideological hard-liners within the BJP. Mr. Singh, a 71-year-old parliamentarian from West Bengal who has headed key Indian ministries, wrote a book about Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan's founder, that irked many in the party because he questioned India's demonization of the Muslim leader. Mr. Singh learned of his dismissal from the party by telephone at the Shimla meeting, where he held forth at a tearful news conference about his decades of loyalty to the party.
India's light combat aircraft to phase out Russian jets
India will begin deploying its first locally made supersonic combat aircraft next year and gradually phase out its ageing fleet of Russian fighters. Five Light Combat Aircraft LCA costing about $31 million each have already been manufactured by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited HAL and undergoing trials, while eight more will be ready by mid-2010.
Global energy majors flock to roadshows on oil blocks auction
More than two dozen global energy majors, including Exxon Mobil and Conoco Philips of the US, UK's BP Plc and BG Group and French giant Total, lined up at roadshows in Houston and Calgary to promote India's largest ever auction of oil and gas exploration blocks under NELP. Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Jitin Prasada, who led the roadshows in the US and Canada, said the roadshows for 70 blocks offered in NELP-VIII and 10 coal bed methane blocks received overwhelming response from investors.
Food, Water, Energy Shortages Threaten India Security
India's future is threatened by shortages of food, water and energy and these should be addressed on a priority basis, the Prime Minister's security adviser said. These are part of a broad national security plan, and defense is only one aspect of it, Shekhar Dutt, India's deputy national security adviser, said in New Delhi yesterday. We think water is going to be a very severe determinant of prosperity and well-being.
Satyam was India Inc's biggest fraud, it won't be the last
If it is a fraud to conceal fraud, consider this a sincere effort to shed some light. With 697 cases of fraud filed under the Companies Act and 70 complaints logged in with Indian Penal Code, corporate India is under a cloud. The slowdown has only turned the canter to a trot, with more and more cases of fraud being reported as companies tighten their purse strings and resort to cutting costs.
Govt to invite bids for three mega road projects by yr-end
The government will invite bids by this year-end for three mega projects worth around Rs 14,500 crore in the road sector, Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath said. We will invite bids for three mega projects by the end of this year, we are looking at mega projects in which each project for building 500 km of road will be worth $1 billion,Nath told on the sidelines of the SIAM annual convention here.
Jaswant moves SC challenging Gujarat govt ban on his book
Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party BJP leader Jaswant Singh moved the Supreme Court of India challenging the Gujarat government's ban on his book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah Singh, along with a representative of Rupa and Co, publisher of the book Jinnah India, Partition, Independence, filed a petition in the apex court against the ban imposed by the Narendra Modi government on August 19, two days after the book's launch.
After SRK episode, Salman cancels his US trip
Learning lessons from Shah Rukh Khan episode, Bollywood star Salman Khan has cancelled his upcoming trip to New York to promote his latest movie Wanted, besides participating in the auction of his personal paintings to raise funds for his charity. Organisers and promoters associated with the event cited Shah Rukh Khan's episode at Newark Airport early this month, where he was questioned by immigration officials and taken for a second screening, as a major reason for Salman to cancel his New York trip scheduled in early September. The event was scheduled for September 3 in New York.
Kasab trial: Key 26/11 witness reported missing
A key witness in the 26/11 attacks case who had deposed against accused Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed at the trial failed to appear before the court on Friday with the prosecution saying that he was missing. The witness, Nurudin Shaikh, told the court that the accused Faheem and Sabauddin had met him in Nepal and in his presence they discussed about the maps of some locations in Mumbai, which were later targeted by militants during the November 26 attacks last year.
RCom partners China Telecom for terrestial cable link
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications today said it has partnered China Telecom for launching the first direct terrestrial cable link between India and China.
The cross-border cable would provide telecommunications connectivity between India, China, Hong Kong and Far East Asia and has been laid between Siliguri (India) and Yadong (China) via Nathula Pass, RComs said in a statement.
Source: Press Trust of India
India Inc raises USD 2 billion in July
Overseas borrowings by India Inc increased marginally to USD 2 billion in July against USD 1.9 billion during the previous month. The total overseas loans raised by over 40 companies through external commercial borrowings ECB and foreign currency convertible bond FCCB moved up from USD 1.94 billion in June to USD 2 billion in July, according to the ECB data, released by the RBI.
Alstom plans metro rail coach facility in Sri City
French transportation major Alstom is planning to set up a metro rail coach factory near Chennai. Alstom is looking to put up the facility at the upcoming industrial township, Sri City, some 40 km north of Chennai, within the borders of Andhra Pradesh.
Ambani dispute hurts markets, says Pranab
The ongoing spat between the Ambani brothers over the pricing of natural gas will negatively impact domestic capital markets and the larger interests of industry and government, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said. Speaking at an Idea Exchange programme organised Mukherjee said the controversy between Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd RIL and the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group ADAG has also been unfortunate for the larger interests of the economy.
USE in talks with BoA, Goldman, StanChart
United Stock Exchange of India Ltd USE is in talks with Bank of America BoA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered Bank Plc. StanChart to sell stakes in the bourse, said its managing director and chief executive officer T.S. Narayanasami. We are informally in talks with them, Narayanasami said. We hope to finalize our shareholding pattern by 10 September.
Global auto cos bet on small car market here
Global car makers such as Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan and Ford are rushing with new launches in the compact car segment to increase their presence in India, which is widely considered to be the world's fastest-growing automobile market. The compact car segment the category above the entry-level hatchback which accounts for more than three-fourths of India's total car sales, is the fastest-growing segment at 20-25% annually.
Govt to ban Chinese telecom products near borders?
In view of intelligence reports on threat to national security from terrorist attacks, the government is likely to restrict deployment of Chinese equipment by private service providers in border states and states facing Naxalite problems. The Department of Telecommunications DoT has called a meeting of Chief Executive Officers of telecom service providers with Telecom Secretary, Siddharth Behura.
KM Birla exits entertainment business
Kumar Mangalam Birla has pulled the plug on Applause Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, a movie and television software production company he promoted in April 2003. The closure of Applause Entertainment, personally funded by Birla, highlights the perils of the entertainment business
UPA's 100-day agenda lagging
With other economic ministries lagging behind on the UPA government's 100-day agenda, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Mumbai to announce the commissioning of ONGC's Rs 5,260 crore mega projects and a new Rs 6,325 crore project on Saturday has been cancelled. The government's 100 days end on August 29.
Their lordships agree: Assets public
Under pressure from within and outside the judiciary to declare their assets and wealth, judges of the Supreme Court today took a historic step by agreeing to make these details public via declarations on the court's website.This comes two days after Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan said that in the absence of a law to make public the disclosure of assets, a consensus had to be developed among judges in this regard.
Khanduri, Raje keep crisis pot boiling in BJP
The crisis-ridden BJP faced more problems on Wednesday, with former Uttarakhand chief minister B C Khanduri questioning his removal from the post and Vasundhara Raje, party leader in the Rajasthan assembly who has been refusing to quit her post, holding a fresh meeting of her supporters. In a letter reportedly sent to the BJP president before the chintan baithak introspection meeting last week, but which became public knowledge only on Wednesday, Khanduri is understood to have questioned the reason for his ouster despite the fact that he enjoyed the support of over two dozen of the party's 35 MLAs in the Uttarakhand assembly.
Delhi arrest casts light on Lashkar training operations
Late in the evening of May 30, 2006, Indian soldiers raided a Lashkar-e-Taiba safe-house on the outskirts of Tral in southern Kashmir. Hours later, after a fierce gun battle, two men in the house were killed. The Jammu and Kashmir police soon identified one of the two as local resident Asif Jamil. The other, dark skinned, his features distinct from those of ethnic Kashmiris, was at first assumed to be a Pakistan national.
India disappointed over Pak claim of Indian evidence on Saeed
India today expressed disappointment over Pakistan's continued claim that it was not being given evidence about involvement of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed in Mumbai terror attacks and said the material given to Islamabad was more than enough to arrest him. I was disappointed when I heard him Pakistan's Interior Minister Rahman Malik say that evidence was still not being presented to Pakistan and what is worse when he said we Islamabad are not responsible if something happens in the future, Home Minister P Chidambaram told here.
Joined: 05 October 2007
Officials say a helicopter carrying a powerful Indian politician has disappeared in bad weather as it flew over a forested region infested with Maoist rebels. K. Roshaiah, finance minister of southern Andhra Pradesh state, says air force helicopters have rushed to the area to search for the aircraft carrying Y.S.R. Reddy, the 60-year-old chief minister of the state. He spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon about six hours into the search, saying authorities had few clues. Our helicopters are still searching, says Ramakant Reddy. Mr. Roshaiah says the helicopter took off from Hyderabad, the state capital, and lost contact with air traffic controllers about 45 minutes into the flight.
India is digging in against legally binding caps on carbon emissions, ahead of December's climate change talks with the U.S. and Europe in Copenhagen. The Indian government released a report that showed the country's per capita greenhouse-gas emissions the cause behind global warming will be lower over the next two decades than the global per capita emissions in 2005. These levels will also be lower than those of Western countries for about the same period. The findings aim to rebut concerns that India's quest to become a global economic power will transform it into a leading emitter of greenhouse-gasses. Still largely agrarian and poor, India has bristled at suggestions from industrialized countries, that it should do more to cap emissions even if it means curbing growth.
Still, the release of study also demonstrated India's eagerness to justify its pro-growth stance before it heads into global climate change talks. Indian officials have said the government remains focused on eliminating poverty through aggressive economic growth and industrialization. Jairam Ramesh, India's minister for environment and forests, has led India's fight against legally-binding caps. He's also opposed such caps for other developing countries. There is lot of commonality and cooperation when it comes to Copenhagen, Mr. Ramesh told at the release of the study. We want a fair and equitable agreement in Copenhagen. In December, countries meeting in Copenhagen will try to forge a pact on carbon emission reduction targets beyond 2012, when the existing international agreement expires. Mr. Ramesh said India won't be an obstacle to any accord. The Indian government has pledged that it won't allow per capita emissions to surpass the average per capita emissions of developed countries. By 2031, India's per capita emission of greenhouse gasses would stay under 4 tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent, four of the five studies in the report showed. That level is under the global per capita emissions of 4.22 tons in 2005, according to the report, which was compiled by five different research agencies, including the Energy and Resources Institute, a research group based in New Delhi.
Two army helicopters were circling the scene where the aircraft was found, but had not yet been able to find a place to land, said Air Commodore Sagar Bharti. The helicopter carrying Andhra Pradesh state Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy, 60, lost contact with air traffic controllers Wednesday morning as heavy rains pelted the region. A massive search was quickly launched, focusing on a densely forested area infested with Maoist rebels about 170 miles 275 kilometers south of the capital, Hyderabad. The helicopter was eventually found in that area. It's not clear if there are any survivors, Mr. Bharti said, adding he could not say if the helicopter had crashed or if it had tried to land on the hilltop. The privately owned helicopter took off from Hyderabad, the state capital, and lost contact with air traffic controllers about 45 minutes into the flight Mr. Reddy, who was on an inspection tour of various rural social welfare programs, was accompanied by a bodyguard, two officials and a photographer. The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states, including Andhra Pradesh, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor. While the militants have a great deal of power in parts of rural India, they have little day-to-day control outside of isolated forests and villages. More than 6,500 people have been killed in the violence.
Andhra Pradesh State Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is seen during a meeting in Hyderabad.
The helicopter carrying Andhra Pradesh state Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy lost contact with air traffic controllers Wednesday morning as heavy rains pelted the region, setting off a frantic 24-hour search operation involving the army, air force and police in an area infested with Maoist rebels. Commandoes and police finally reached the site of the crash after hacking through the jungles and found the bodies of all five people who had been on the aircraft, including 60-year-old Reddy. We are in deep mourning. We have a deep sense of grief, shock and loss at the passing away of the chief minister, and a tall leader of the Congress Party, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said. Rescue teams crossing dense jungle and hilly terrain on foot reached the crash site on a hill five miles eight kilometers from the nearest village and about 170 miles (275 kilometers) south of the state capital, Hyderabad. It is not possible to say why it crashed, Mr. Chidambaram said.The privately owned helicopter took off from Hyderabad and lost contact with air traffic controllers about 45 minutes into the flight. Mr. Reddy, who was surveying drought conditions in some of the remote parts of the state, was accompanied by a bodyguard, an aide and two pilots. Mr. Reddy, who belongs to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ruling Congress Party, won a second term in office in May elections. A devout Christian in Hindu-majority India, Mr. Reddy worked his way into the Congress leadership over the past three decades by taking up the cause of poor farmers and landless laborers. This is a huge loss for the Congress Party, said Jayanti Natarajan.
Joined: 05 October 2007
The health care is all a sham, Ms. Jahan says angrily. I was refused treatment on grounds of huge expense. I won't ever go to be humiliated again. Ms. Jahan's health-care issues represent the problems that come with trying to provide insurance to India's poor. Access to quality care remains a distant dream for many in this country of 1.1 billion. Last year, the Indian government launched the National Health Insurance Program on promised health coverage of $700 per person for families earning less than $100 a year. Holders of health cards have to register in their home states to access benefits, thereby precluding a large population of migrant laborers. Those who can get past the complex state-identification and qualification process often can't cope with hospital bureaucracies. One of the biggest problems: Getting the impoverished weavers to pay $1 for the card that provides free access to health care for one year. Many weavers feel the investment in the card is a waste of valuable household income. Other plans aimed at farmers, construction workers and other low-income groups have been dogged by problems. In India, the hand-loom industry is the second-largest segment in the economy, after agriculture. The Handloom Weavers Health Insurance Program was backed by a private insurance company, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd., a joint venture of India's ICICI. An initial payment of $1 entitles a family of four to coverage totaling 15,000 rupees, or about $300 but no more than $150 of that can be for any one family member. Beneficiaries receive coverage at designated hospitals and clinics, or are reimbursed for treatment at centers not on the list after upfront payments that can be difficult for weavers to afford. According to insurance-company officials, the program has been implemented in 26 states across India, and covers 1.9 million weaver families. In the Lalahar Memorial Prem Private Hospital, here in Panipat, nearly 70 weavers line up each day for health services under the plan.M any weavers work six days a week in factories, under poor conditions and with few benefits. Others, like Ms. Jahan, work from home, making clothing, rugs and other woven items for a variety of companies.
Ms. Jahan started working at the age of eight. Today, she says she works 12 hours, seven days a week, to earn about $15 a month. That isn't enough to support her seven kids, and the insurance card can only cover four family members.
Ms. Jahan's stomach surgery was $200, but she was told she could only use $150 from the card because of the spending cap for each family member. The remaining $50 had to be paid from her own pocket. She continues to work with the untreated stomach tumor.
The ICICI doesn't deny treatment to any individual, but "the weavers think it is an ATM card and want to get it cashed to the maximum limit," said ICICI manager Milan Maheshwari, based in New Delhi. "The government has fixed a cap, so that the benefits … can be extended to the entire family."
One of the program's goals was to cut out government intermediaries. In a past program, the Indian government was running a health package for the weavers that involved complicated payment procedures that deterred many participants, according to B.K. Sinha, development commissioner of hand-looms at the Ministry of Textiles in New Delhi.
The new program has won support among those who have been able to get long-neglected medical problems addressed. Working 12 hours a day on the loom from her dimly lit house, Janmati, who uses one name, suffered from blurred vision before she had eye surgery for $80 through the health card. Initially the hospital authorities hesitated, but finally agreed, says Janmati. Thanks to the card, I got my vision back. But broad participation hasn't panned out. The government acknowledged that only 40% of weavers are covered under the health program. Insufficient funds 1.2 billion rupees ($25 million) preclude covering more, even if the weavers are willing. Nevertheless, We intend to cover every handloom weaver in the country in the next two years, Mr. Sinha says. On a simmering afternoon in Panipat, outside India's capital of New Delhi, a group of irate weavers surrounded an insurance agent to complain about the health-insurance scheme. Mohammad Ali, 25, said he was denied treatment at one of the private hospitals in Panipat and ended up paying from his own pocket. Another man, Mohammad Irshad, grumbled that he couldn't get his wife covered under the same card because he couldn't provide proper identification for her. Getting the insurance card is tedious, he says.
Joined: 05 October 2007
India's hinterland today shows more promise than ever before. And similar to the role played in cities, the outsourcing industry can be a catalyst for this new stage of India's growth. Decades of steady albeit slow development of the physical infrastructure has created a wide canvas of opportunity. Look at the statistics: Highways today run 65,569 kilometers compared to 33,700 kilometers in 1990; telecom penetration is closing on 500 million subscribers versus 18.6 million in 1990; and 507,451 villages have electricity today. With the growing availability of competent talent over a long time, we have excelled in supporting the business and technology requirements of the world. Perhaps we are the only country in the world which turns out 3.5 million graduates and post graduates annually in engineering, accountancy, science and the liberal arts. Literacy grew from 18% in 1947 to 65% in 2001, but a crucial underlying demographic fact is that 80% of the 15-24 year old population is literate! Numbers reflect a story not only from a talent perspective, but also in our social infrastructure that is being built. The Growth 1.0 economy thus posted an average growth rate of more than 7% in the decade since 1997, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points. India achieved 9.6% GDP growth in 2006, 9.0% in 2007, and 6.6% in 2008, significantly expanding even through late 2008 while the financial crisis raged globally. These numbers stand testimony to the development of physical and social infrastructure, and continue unabated. Economic development grows once infrastructure growth picks up speed. And going forward that's precisely where the IT and BPO industry can play the role of a fulcrum, with our increasingly younger population as the lever. We need to embrace the growth taking place in the so-called Tier 3 and 4 towns. Tier 3 would be centers that have the capacity to provide a workforce and a potential resource pool to a BPO. Such centers will have college education, electricity, infrastructure available locally. The customer's product potential or demand may also be high, although in all likelihood it is yet to be tapped. Aurangabad, Lucknow, Goa, Mangalore and Mysore would be examples of Tier 3 towns that have yet to establish footprints as BPO centers but have substantial locally educated population and related infrastructure.Tier 4 would be towns like Nanded, Davangere, Belgaum, again substantial locally educated population who migrate to larger urban centers for jobs. The resource pool is not as large as Tier 3 but can be effectively harnessed to the 100-seater concept, which refers to the size of low-cost yet economically sound rural BPO. If India lived in her villages at independence, 62 years on a vast young population lives in these sorts of towns. The steady deregulation of the economy starting 1991, and growing globalization, has created a vast Indian hinterland today. What is seeding this hotbed for many opportunities Strategy to attract investment and infrastructure: Governments across our states are competing to attract investments and ensure they get the best companies, providing them with tax concessions, subsidies and other benefits. For example, Rajasthan cornered planned investments worth 690.52 billion rupees ($14.17 billion) from India Inc. in 2008-09 for modernizing its infrastructure? Karnataka has announced government grants for rural BPOs in the form of capital investment subsidy up to 2 million rupees per 100 seater, financial support of 10,000 rupees and 5,000 rupees per employee respectively for manpower training, and as subsidy for rentals and internet connectivity.
Joined: 05 October 2007
RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao. His comments on inflation are seen as a warning of a coming tightening of monetary policy.
Inflation has come upon us sooner than we had expected, Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said. The debate about exit policies all around the world is a debate in India, too. But the contours of the debate are different, because we may have to decide on this sooner than most other countries. India's strong fundamentals, which helped to drive its rapid growth before the global financial crisis, remain intact and will accelerate any future upturn, Mr. Subbarao said. His remarks are the RBI's most specific warning to date about a possible rise in interest rates. Late last month, the central bank signaled growing discomfort with rising prices, saying that a loose monetary policy could engender inflation, which could constrain economic growth in the medium term. Mr. Subbarao also reiterated that India's surge in government borrowing for its economic stimulus, which amounted to 3.8% of gross domestic product, was necessary but that it could boost inflationary pressures. The RBI chief was in Europe to attend a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 emerging and industrialized economies in London, and meetings at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel. He said the mood among world central bankers is more upbeat than before, but they are cautious about early signs of a global recovery, which may be very gradual. G-20 finance officials agreed over the weekend to develop cooperative and coordinated exit strategies but said the scale, timing and sequencing of action would vary across countries. The RBI has cut its benchmark lending rate by 4.25 percentage points since October and reduced the ratio of deposits that banks must set aside by four percentage points.
Meteorologists in India recorded the driest June in 83 years. Monsoon rains came shortly thereafter, but were followed by a dry spell, with devastating effects. The rains, which normally continue at least until the middle of September, resumed in the third week of August, too late to redeem most crops. Uttar Pradesh officials say they expect the state's area of cultivated sugar cane to shrink 16% for the year ending in March 2010. Amid the lean harvest, India is slated to import about five million tons of sugar by March, with demand driving up prices of sugar in India as well as prices of foreign sugar futures. Sugar cane isn't the only crop affected. The lack of rain has hit a host of staples, dramatically shrinking yields for rice, oilseeds and legumes, such as peas and beans. Among the places hardest hit is Uttar Pradesh, a state about the size of the United Kingdom with three times its population. The state alone contributes about a third of the rice in federal emergency grain reserves. Uttar Pradesh is also the country's second-largest sugar producer. The government recently declared a drought in 58 of its 71 districts the worst in decades. The drought's effect has been amplified by the state's antiquated agricultural sector. Rain is usually the only means of sustaining summer-sown crops, largely because an irrigation network is often dry due to poor maintenance. Uttar Pradesh also suffers from frequent power cuts, limiting the possibility of pumping groundwater to fields. India's government has repeatedly outlined ambitious plans to revamp the irrigation network in its budgets, but little gets done at the state level. New Delhi recently tried to slow surging prices for some commodities by limiting the amount of legumes traders can store, and easing import restrictions on sugar. Despite these efforts, global sugar prices are climbing with increasing Indian demand. While the prices of rice and wheat haven't surged because the federal government has ample stocks of both prices of sugar and legumes have risen between 30% and 40% in the past six months. surging commodity prices could weigh on consumer demand, just as the Indian economy is showing signs of recovery. After hovering below 6% growth for months as consumer spending slowed, India's economy grew by 6.1% in the April-June quarter. This year, in Sitapur district, outside the state capital of Lucknow, swathes of farmland have been left unsown because of the drought. Some hard-hit farmers here have become day laborers to support their families. As in past years, mounting debt has driven many farmers to despair. A late spate of rain in mid-August has been too little, too late, for most farmers. Sugar needs about two years to grow, so farmers don't usually switch from sugar cane to other crops midseason.
India is hiring: job outlook best among 35 nations
India has again emerged as the most bullish country in terms of hiring plans, with 25 per cent of the employers intending to recruit people in the next three months. Wholesale and retail trade along with finance, insurance and real estate sectors are among the most optimistic when it comes to hiring intentions.
Mahindra Satyam to allot 1, 02,566 shares
IT firm Mahindra Satyam, said its board has approved the allotment of 1, 02,566 equity shares under the company's stock option plans. The board of directors of the company has allotted 1,02,566 equity shares under stock option plans, Mahindra Satyam earlier known as Satyam Computer Services said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. Earlier on 13 July, the company's board had allotted 45,222 equity shares under stock option plans of the company.
Pranab orders Krishna, Tharoor to vacate 5-star suites
Stung by a media report that sought to debunk its claims of austerity, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee ordered external affairs minister SM Krishna and his junior Shashi Tharoor to vacate their five-star suites. For over three months now, both the ministers have been staying in five-star hotels as their official accommodation is undergoing renovation.
CBI seeks 2 weeks to explore options against Quattrocchi
The CBI sought two weeks' time before a Delhi court for exploring the options available to it in the Bofors payoff case after the withdrawal of Red Corner notice against Italian Businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi. Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra submitted a status report in a court of Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Yaduvanshi and said the CBI needed two weeks' time to examine the options for proceeding against Quattrocchi.
Joined: 05 October 2007
For the past 18 years, political debate in this Indian megalopolis revolved over a critical issue: whether to remove burlap sacks covering a small statue of a two-millennia-old poet. The statue's unveiling last month was hailed across India as evidence that this giant nation is finally healing its lethal ethnic rivalries. Yet, the ceremony was also marred by violent protests and a wave of arrests. India's high-technology hub, Bangalore, serves as the capital of the Karnataka state, carved along ethnic lines in 1956 to provide a homeland for the speakers of the Kannada language. Crucially, the statue of discord honors a poet who wrote in a different language, Tamil spoken across the border in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. It is an insult, said Jagdish Gowda, a Kannada rights activist who drank a bottle of rat poison last month in a failed suicide bid to protest the monument's opening. Our voices get no respect while everyone is always listening to the Tamils.
statue of Thiruvalluvar unveiled in Bangalore, India, Aug. 9, 2009.
Continuing strife over the monument illustrates the lingering power of these ancient hatredseven in a boomtown like Bangalore, the showcase of India's recent leap into modernity. Passions about the statue are running at such fever pitch because the two neighbors each with a population bigger than England's have been embroiled for decades in a confrontation over issues that range from water-sharing to contested borders to their respective tongues' pedigrees. India's languages the basis for drawing many state boundaries are often mutually unintelligible. These divisions are reinforced by the fact that the 28 Indian states enjoy broader powers in several key areas, most notably law enforcement and justice frequently leaving the central government unable to intervene in disputes. These are differences between neighbors, not nations,says celebrated Indian writer U.R. Anantamurthy. But there is a danger of linguistic-based states beginning to assert themselves as nation-states
Indian police guard Thiruvalluvar's statue in Bangalore in August. While its unveiling marks progress in ethnic relations, the statue, inset, remains a flashpoint.
Indeed, some of these quarrels seem reminiscent of the Balkans. The northeastern state of Nagaland is fighting neighboring Assam over a chunk of land where 100 people were killed by the dueling state police forces in 1985. An entire mineral-rich district of Karnataka is claimed by Maharashtra, one of over a dozen such territorial disputes. And the newest Indian state, Jharkhand, hived off from Bihar in 2000, is still feuding over who gets to inherit the former Bihar cricket team. These conflicts come on top of the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, the country's only Muslim-majority state. There are also pro-independence movements of varying strength in places like Tamil Nadu and Assam. Religious clashes erupted in recent years from Gujarat in the west to Orissa in the east. The Karnataka-Tamil Nadu spat, however, is among the most protracted and intractable to poison relations between India's states. Over the years, it involved frontier blockades, deadly riots, the kidnapping of Karnataka's top movie star and complicated diplomacy. Just a few weeks ago, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh singled out Karnataka for the worrisome spread of communal incidents here.The controversial statue of mystical poet Thiruvalluvar was first proposed decades ago by a community organization representing Bangalore's large Tamil minority, about one-third of the city's six million people. Thiruvalluvar is not confined to a particular race, country or creed. He's a universal poet with a universal message explained the group's president, Meenakshi Sundaram, who calculated that the poet's 1,330-verse oeuvre, Thirukkural, is the world's third most translated book, after the Bible and the Quran. But a few months before the statue was supposed to be first unveiled in 1991, the Tamil Tigers, a terrorist organization that seeks an independent ethnic Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka, assassinated Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Separately, a Supreme Court decision over how to divide the waters of the Cauvery River between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka set off anti-Tamil pogroms in Bangalore. As anti-Tamil sentiment surged here, attorney and former parliamentarian Pramila Nesargi backed by a coterie of local intellectuals and the top Kannada movie star, Rajkumar asked the courts to block the statue's unveiling. Just before the scheduled ceremony, the judges issued an injunction and Thiruvalluvar, already mounted on a concrete pedestal, was ordered enshrouded in burlap pending legal proceedings.In a n ew twist in 2000, a forest-dwelling Tamil gangster, Veerappan, kidnapped Rajkumar and demanded the statue's inauguration in exchange for the movie star's release. The actor was eventually freed but not before mobs organized by his fan clubs went on a rampage against ethnic Tamils in Bangalore. The burlap shroud remained. The relationship between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu plunged to new lows last year, after Tamil Nadu's chief minister laid a foundation stone for a drinking water project at the scenic Hogenakkal waterfalls near the interstate border. His Karnataka counterpart responded by visiting the area to declare that it belongs to his state, halting the works. Then, a few months ago, came the unexpected dtente, as Karnataka's chief minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, visited Chennai for medical treatment and used the occasion to call on Tamil Nadu's octogenarian leader. Working in secrecy, the two hatched a compromise that preserved each state's dignity: the Thiruvalluvar statue, they decided, could be unveiled in Bangalore as long as a reciprocal statue of Kannada poet Sarvajna is erected in Chennai. These confidence-building measures, the two chief ministers agreed, would lead to fresh talks on other outstanding issues, such as water and borders. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have, by this one act, sent a great message across the nation, Mr. Yeddyurappa crowed. Tamil Nadu's chief minister, M. Karunanidhi, acclaimed an everlasting remedy for the anguish which persisted in my heart for 18 long years. One man moved to tears by this unexpected breakthrough was Mani Nagappa, the 83-year-old Chennai sculptor who crafted Bangalore's Thiruvalluvar monument. I never thought it would be unveiled in my lifetime, he said. The reciprocal solution placated many Kannada activists, including the powerful network of Rajkumar fan clubs. But several militant organizations in Bangalore including one to which Mr. Gowda, the rat-poison drinker, belongs tried to disrupt last month's opening ceremony, attacking public buses and storefronts, even though Karnataka police placed hundreds of activists under preventive arrest. Tensions have yet to abate. Since the August unveiling, the Bangalore square where a bronze Thiruvalluvar sits cross-legged has remained off-limits to visitors. It's cordoned off by police barricades and guarded at all times by several dozen officers who say they're expecting the worst. t's a war field, says Ms. Nesargi, the attorney behind the 1991 lawsuit to block the unveiling. Any time something happens in Tamil Nadu against a Karnataka man, people here will take vengeance on the statue. They will sacrifice anything
Some of the Golden Quotes of Thiruvalluvar
'A' leads alphabets; the Ancient Lord
By the continuance of rain, the world is preserved in existence; it is therefore worthy to be called ambrosia
|26||The great person will do things rare to do;|
The small cannot do rare things
|100||To say unpleasant things, when we have nice ones,|
is like eating unripe fruit, ignoring sweet ripe fruits
|102||A help rendered in hour of need|
Though small, is greater than the world
|202||Since the evil begets evil,|
Evil is more dreaded than fire
|391||Learn thoroughly whatever is to be learnt;|
Then, let the conduct be worthy of his learning
|392||Art of using alphabets and science of using numerals|
Are the two eyes of living human beings
|396||The deeper you dig, greater the spring;|
The more you learn, greater the knowledge
|400||Learning is the true imperishable wealth;|
Other things are not wealth
|411||Listening is the best of all wealths;|
It is considered to be the foremost.
|475||The axle of a cart loaded only with light peacock feathers can also break, if it is greatly overloaded|
|537||There is nothing too difficult to be accomplished|
When done carefully with unflinching endeavour
|595||The lotus flower rises to the level of water|
Greatness of men rise with mental strength
|596||Let the thoughts be always great and progressive.|
It will not be a loss, even if the success eludes
|656||Even if your mother is seen starving|
Avoid the actions condemned by wise men
|655||Avoid an act which you may repent later;|
If done by mistake, better not to repeat it
|666||Whatever is thought to be done will be achieved as planned, if the planners possess firmness in execution|
|786||Friendship is not just a smile on the face;|
It is what is felt deep within a smiling heart
|787||True friends guard you from evil, make you walk in right path and share your sorrow in difficult times|
|941||Excessive or deficient food or activity causes|
Disorders in mobility, breathing and digestion
|1031||Though the world goes round with many activities, it is dependent on agriculture. Hence, though laborious, farming is the foremost activity|
|1032||Agriculturists are the linchpin of the mankind|
since they support all others who cannot till the soil
|394||The learned teacher makes you enjoy learning;|
On leaving, makes you to keep thinking of his teaching
|467||Think and then undertake the work;|
To think after commencement will bring disgrace
|616||Determined efforts result in prosperity;|
Idleness will bring nothing.
Discussion_Indian serials & Indian values
Author: Bonheur Replies: 58 Views: 6321
|Bonheur||58||6321||14 January 2008 at 4:41pm by Aahaana|
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