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Current Affairs--June 1 to 18, 2011


June 1 , 2011 to June 18 2011

West Bengal coffers empty – State Finance Minister
In his first formal interaction with the Press, the new West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said here on Tuesday that the previous government had left behind empty coffers, unpaid bills of Rs.3,500 crore and a per capita debt of Rs.21,697 which is the highest in the country.
Addressing a press conference at the State Secretariat, he said that to tide over the crisis the government will have to resort to Rs.3,000 crore market borrowings and a drawal of another Rs.500 crore from small savings.
Quoting Reserve Bank of India data, he said West Bengal's revenue deficit position in 2010-11 stood at a negative balance of Rs.16,441 crore when neighbouring Bihar was in the surplus.
“These are authentic figures and there is no scope of denying them,” he said.

Bank credit up 22.5%, deposits rise 16.9%

Credit offtake from banks grew by 22.5 per cent to over Rs 40 lakh crore during the one-year period ended May 20, 2011, indicating an upswing in industrial activity.
According to the latest RBI data, credit offtake during the period stood at Rs 40.73 lakh crore, as against Rs 33.26 lakh crore in the same period of the previous year.
Meanwhile, deposits went up to over Rs 54.68 lakh crore from Rs 46.76 lakh crore as on May 21, 2010. This is a rise of over 16.9 per cent on an annual basis.
In the annual monetary policy 2011-12 announced last month, the RBI had said that credit is likely to rise at a faster pace because of the economy's growth momentum.
"Sustained growth momentum could... continue to exert pressure on interest rates through high demand for credit," it had said.
During 2010-11, bank credit increased by 21.5 per cent, while deposits grew by only 15.5 per cent. In the monetary policy for 2010-11, the RBI had estimated credit growth at 20 per cent, while deposit growth was pegged at 17 per cent.
Mrs. Angele Merkel given Nehru Award.

What do Angela Merkel, Mother Teresa, Robert Mugabe, Josip Broz Tito, Hosni Mubarak and Martin Luther King have in common? Not much, but they do share the honor of being recipients of the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
Ms. Merkel, the German Chancellor, is the latest in a long and diverse line of winners that also includes the likes of Nelson Mandela, Indira Gandhi, Yasser Arafat and Aung San Suu Kyi.
A jury headed by India’s vice president Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari decided to give the award for 2009 to Ms. Merkel for her “personal devotion and enormous efforts for sustainable and equitable development, for good governance and understanding and for the creation of a world better positioned to handle the emerging challenges of the 21st century,” 
India, Germany differ on UNSC expansion

German Chancellor Angela Merkel ended her day-long interaction with the Indian leadership with divergence of views evident on political issues, especially on the pace of expansion of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the bombing of Libya.
Of the dozen issues discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Dr. Merkel, India assured Germany a transparent selection process for a multi-billion dollar tender for fighter aircraft and a stable investment policy.
This was in response to the German pitch for the Eurofighter Typhoon and higher foreign investment limit in sectors such as insurance. India also promised to look into intellectual property issues of concern to German companies, including one instance of a messy court case.
Both Germany and India, part of the G-4 grouping along with Japan and Brazil, are pushing for their inclusion in an expanded UNSC, but their divergent views came to the fore.
China in the forefront in building power projects in PoK

Amid a cold war between the federal government of Pakistan (GOP) and the government of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) over the issue of building hydel power projects, China is taking a lead role in their construction in the region.
This increasing presence of Chinese companies in PoK comes amid the protest lodged by New Delhi against the “direct involvement” of China in rebuilding the Karakoram highway in Gilgit-Baltistan, the part of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State and annexed by Pakistan. The highway was severely damaged in the floods last year and the work to rebuild it is going on at fast pace.
With a huge potential to generate power mainly from two rivers — Jhelum and Neelum — flowing from Jammu and Kashmir, the GOP has paved the way for the Chinese companies for taking up work for large-scale power generation. Though there has been stiff resistance from PoK government to GOP's “unilateral” decision , but it has not hampered the work by the Chinese.

Prakash Chandra is new CBDT chief
Prakash Chandra, (1973 batch Indian Revenue Service) on May 31, 2011 took over as Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). He replaces Sudhir Chandra, also a 1973 batch IRS officer.
Earlier, Mr. Prakash Chandra was Director General of Income Tax (International Taxation) in Delhi and was also Director General of I-T (Investigation) in Rajasthan. 
Pension in stocks: Risk hedged @50%

Pension regulator, PFRDA, today(1st June 2011) said that it would like to maintain the 50 per cent limit on investment in equities for the new pension fund (NPS), regardless of the recommendation of the Bajpai committee.
"We think that at the current stage of pension market in the country, investing more than 50 per cent in equities is not going to be fair to investors in terms of the risk that has to be taken, and therefore, we tend to retain the cap at 50 per cent," Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Chairman, Yogesh Agarwal, told reporters on the sidelines of the 26th Skoch Summit here.
The Bajpai Committee, headed by former Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman, G N Bajpai, has been entrusted with the task of analysing the fee structure and suggesting changes to the National Pension System (NPS).
Initially, the Government launched the New Pension System for Central Government employees for those joining service from January 1, 2004, but it was extended to all citizens from May 1, 2009
Currently, 7 pension fund managers are managing assets of about Rs 9,000-crore. Of this, about Rs 100-crore is contributed by pension schemes for persons other than Government employees.
These fund managers include LIC Pension Fund Ltd, SBI Pension Funds Ltd, UTI Retirement Solutions, IDFC Pension Fund Management, ICICI Prudential Pension Funds Management, Kotak Mahindra Pension Fund and Reliance Capital Pension Fund.
Even though the NPS is considered an immensely beneficial financial product for unorganised sector employees, especially those who don't manage a steady source of income after retirement, it has received a lukewarm response till now.

Briefly Business

NEW DELHI: Sunil Mitra has been appointed as the finance secretary with effect from 1st June 2011., replacing Sushama Nath, who superannuated on May 31. Mitra, a 1975-batch IAS officer from the West Bengal cadre, retains the charge of revenue Secretary as well, according to an official statement. Sumit Bose has been appointed as the new expenditure secretary.
Toyota recalls 106K Prius cars globally
Tokyo: Toyota has recalled 106,000 first-generation Prius hybrid cars globally on June1, 2011 for faulty steering caused by a nut that may come loose.
Godrej to buy 51% in African hair care firm
Mumbai: 1st Junw 2011--After clinching seven acquisitions last year,( FMCG major Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) has acquired 51 per cent stake in Darling Group Holdings that operates in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, for an undisclosed sum.

Briefly World

Street battles in Yemen, 41 dead
SANAA: Republican Guard shelling and pre-dawn street battles between government forces and rival tribal fighters killed at least 41 people in the capital on June 1, 2011. Witnesses said Presidential Guard units shelled headquarters of an army brigade who was about to join forces with the movement to oust Saleh.
North Korea rejects South talks offer
SEOUL: North Korea on June 1, 2011 said South Korea begged for talks between the two countries’ leaders and offered “envelopes of cash,’’ but that it rejected the proposal. South Korea quickly expressed regret over the North Korean statement, calling it a “unilateral claim that distorted sincerity.’’
McCain in Myanmar to assess reform
YANGON: US Sen John McCain began a brief trip to Myanmar June1, 2011. He is here to assess the situation after a new civilian government promising reform took over from a junta several months ago.


JUNE3, 2011

'India may top China, Japan in banking'

India is expected to rank third in terms of domestic banking by 2035, overtaking China and Japan, a PricewaterhouseCoopers report has said.
The report also said China could leapfrog the United States to become the world's largest banking economy by 2023, the China Daily reports.
It also predicted that global banking assets could quadruple to around 300 trillion dollars by 2050, with the GDP of the E7 level pegging with the G7 nations of the United States, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Canada within the next two decades.
"The E7 doesn't need the G7 for capital, decision making or consumers, so the established economies will have to make a strong case to convince new economy policy makers of the benefits of inviting foreign competition in," PwC's chief economist John Hawksworth said.
The report also said E7 growth hinged on state investments in infrastructure, opening markets to fresh competition, reducing bureaucracy and budget deficits and increasing rural education.
RBI asks private, foreign banks to set up vigilance systems

The Reserve Bank of India on jJUNE 2, 2011 asked private and foreign lenders to put in place a system of internal vigilance machinery and appoint a Chief of Internal Vigilance (CIV) by August to check frauds and malpractices. The directive aims at bringing in private and foreign banks in line with the practices followed by state-owned banks to check frauds.
“In an endeavour to align the vigilance function in private sector and foreign banks to that of the public sector banks the existing vigilance functions of a few private sector and foreign banks were mapped with the existing guidelines in the matter and it was observed that the practices vary widely among the banks,” RBI said in a notification.
“It has therefore been decided to lay down detailed guidelines for private sector and foreign banks on similar lines so that all issues arising out of lapses in the functioning of the private sector and foreign banks especially relating to corruption, malpractices, frauds etc can be addressed uniformly by the banks for timely and appropriate action,” it said.
Mayawati announces new Land Acquisition Policy

Having had to face a series of farmers' protests and flak from Opposition parties over acquisition of land for development and expressway projects in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Mayawati on Thursday announced that all future land transactions would be clinched directly between the farmers and the private developers by adopting a “consensual approach”.
“The role of the government now would be that of a facilitator only, limited to issuing a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894,” the Chief Minister said announcing the new Land Acquisition Policy of the State. This is the second such policy to be announced by the Mayawati regime in the past nine months; the earlier policy was declared on September 3, 2010.
India to test 5,000-km Agni by year-end (2011)

After inducting the 3,500-km range Agni III missile capable of reaching targets deep in Asia, India is getting ready to test-fire the 5,000-km Agni V missile by the end of this year. The Agni V, which has been under development for the past three years, will be test-fired after Defence Minister A K Antony instructed the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) to expedite the development project.
DRDO Chief VK Saraswat said serial production of Agni III has commenced for the armed forces. “Agni-III is an inducted missile. Its development is complete and it is under production,” he said at an awards function of the research organisation.
Saraswat also said that the Agni V, which has been developed by adding a third stage to the Agni III, would be ready for testing in the coming months. “Agni-V missile would be ready for test by the end of this year, probably in December,” he said.
Bhajan Lal passes away

Veteran politician, non-Jat leader, a former Haryana Chief Minister and sitting Hisar Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) MP Bhajan Lal (80) died on Fjune 3, 2011 in Hisar following a massive heart attack.
Government to nationalise cable TV network in Tamil Nadu State
The government will nationalise private cable television network operations and revive Arasu Cable TV Corporation in public interest, said Governor Surjit Singh Barnala in his customary address to the Assembly on Fjune 3, 2011.
The Arasu Cable TV Corporation formed by the previous government had become defunct and there was an overwhelming demand from the public for its immediate revival for providing cable services at reasonable rates. “This government will revive its activities in public interest and nationalise private cable TV operations in the State without affecting the interest of the last mile local cable operators.”
Saint-Gobain plans Rs.1,200-cr investment

Saint-Gobain Glass India Ltd (SGGI), a 100 per cent subsidiary of France-headquartered float glass manufacturer, Saint-Gobain, has decided to invest nearly Rs.1,200 crore in various projects over two years. The company is setting up a unit with a capacity of three lakh tonnes annually in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, with an investment of nearly Rs.1,000 crore in a phased manner. It would be investing Rs.800 crore in the first phase this year. (2011)


SBI to launch Operations in Jeddah

State Bank of India (SBI) is set to commence operations in Saudi Arabia in the next four to six weeks, a senior bank official has said.
Hemant G Contractor, managing director and group executive (international banking) said he has reviewed the set up with the team and they all set to go.
Contractor was in Saudi Arabia with a team of top officials to discuss and facilitate all preparatory aspects prior to the launch of the branch in Jeddah.
"We will start soon after completion of few regulatory requirements. This is expected in the next few weeks. So we will commence operations by next month," he was quoted by Arab News as saying.
IRDA may allow banks to sell products of two insurers

A committee set up by the insurance regulator has recommended that banks should be allowed to tie-up with two insurers.
“We are in the process of examining the recommendation,” IRDA chairman, J Harinarayan said on the sidelines of the launch of Integrated Grievance Management System (IGMS) — an online grievance portal.
Under the current bancassurance model, a bank can sell insurance products of only one company. Banks have off-late been accused by insurance companies of negotiating for better commissions as there is no competition once they tie up.
The recommendation, if accepted, will allow a bank to sell products of two insurance companies. Insurance companies have long been demanding that they should be allowed to have multiple tie-ups with banks.
Restrictions on export of organic items lifted

Aiming to promote organic farming, the government has partially relaxed restrictions on exports of sugar, pulses and edible oils, produced without using chemical fertiliser and pesticides.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has allowed exports of organic cooking oil, sugar and pulses upto 10,000 tonnes each per annum.
"Prohibition on export of edible oils is up to September 30, 2011. But, the same will not apply to export of organic edible oils...with a ceiling of 10,000 tonnes per annum," the DGFT said in a notification.
The requirement of obtaining Release Order (RO) from the Chief Director (Sugar) would not apply to export of 10,000 tonnes of organic sugar per annum, it added.
The DGFT added that the exemption on export of 10,000 tonnes of pulses and lentils would be given every year.
US Drone ‘kills’ 26/11 brain Ilyas Kashmiri

Top al-Qaeda militant Ilyas Kashmiri, a key planner behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, was killed in a targeted US drone strike in Pakistan’s northwest late last evening, Pakistani media and local residents said.
But Pakistani and American officials cautioned that they had not been able to confirm his death. In New Delhi, U K Bansal, Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry, said, “We are aware of media reports... But we are trying to verify it.”
Kashmiri was earlier reported killed in a drone strike in September 2009, but he emerged to give an interview to the slain Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad.
A spokesman for Kashmiri’s Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami outfit, however, confirmed the killing and promised revenge.
“Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami 313 Brigade confirms the martyrdom of our leader Ilyas Kashmiri in a US drone strike on June 3, 2011 at 11.15 pm,” HuJI spokesman Hanzala said in a hand-written fax message sent to Pakistani media groups. “We will take revenge (for the killing of) our leader from the US.
Top 7 cos added over Rs 21K cr in m-cap

The combined market capitalisation (m-cap) of seven of the country's top-10 firms increased by Rs 21,345.28 crore last week, with state-owned companies SBI and NTPC emerging as the best performers.
The market cap of the country's biggest lender SBI rose by Rs 4,971.97 crore to Rs 1,46,860.49 crore, while that of power producer NTPC shot-up by Rs 4,576.23 crore to Rs 1,43,800.82 crore.
Another major highlight was FMCG major ITC, whose market valuation surged by Rs 3,443.46 crore to Rs 1,49,770.93 crore.
State-owned coal behemoth Coal India Ltd (CIL) added Rs 2,242.3 crore to its m-cap which reached Rs 2,47,474.98 crore.
IT bellwethers - TCS and Infosys Technologies - together added Rs 3,756.86 crore. TCS m-cap stood at Rs 2,25,694.52 crore, while that of Infosys reached Rs 1,61,534.29 crore.
Telecom giant Bharti airtel also saw its valuation advancing by Rs 2,354.46 crore to Rs 1,43,717.
'Online shopping biz to reach Rs 1,500 cr'

With better penetration of internet and broadband service, online shopping market is expected to reach Rs 1,500 crore over the next two years, an expert said.
"Online shopping industry is growing exponentially...The industry is expected to double at Rs 1,500 crore from the present around Rs 700 crore by 2014," President Rahul Shetty said.
Online shopping is the process whereby consumers directly buy goods or services from a seller in real-time, without an intermediary service, over the internet.
"We expect rural India will contribute more than 50 per cent of revenue in the next two years. Presently, the Tier-I and Tier-II cities contribute major chunk of revenue to the industry," he said.
RBI asks banks to contain bad loans

Expressing concern over rising non-performing assets (NPAs), the Reserve Bank today asked lenders to take “corrective” steps to contain bad loans.
“NPA is increasing. It is a matter of concern. Banks must initiate corrective measures so that NPA must be contained,” RBI deputy governor KC Chakrabarty said on the sidelines of an event organised by International Management Institute here.
He advised banks to “improve” their risk management and absorption capacities.
“Banks must improve their risk management capacity. They must improve risk absorption capacity,” he said.
NPAs of banks as on March 2011 were estimated at about 3 per cent of their total loans.
SBI, the country’s largest bank, posted dismal financial results for the fourth quarter of 2010-11. Its net profit was dipped 99 per cent largely because of a sharp increase in provisioning against the non-performing assets (NPAs).

June 6, 2011
France bans words 'Twitter', 'Facebook' on TV, radio

The French government has said it will ban the use of the words "Facebook" and "Twitter" on television or radio programs.
President Nicolas Sarkozy's colleagues have agreed to uphold a 1992 decree, which stipulates that commercial enterprises should not be promoted on news programs, the Daily Mail reports.
Broadcasting anchors would be forbidden to refer to the popular social networking site and the microblogging phenomenon, unless it is relevant to a news item.
Christine Kelly, spokesperson for France’s regulator of broadcasting Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), believes that the government is correct to uphold this law.
“Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition?” Kelly said.

Bad loans to cross Rs. 1 lakh crore mark

Bad loans, or non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks are set to cross the Rs one-lakh crore mark in the current fiscal as the weakened asset quality of the banking sector is likely to spill over to the year 2011-12. After the 25 per cent rise in gross NPAs of bank to Rs 77,048 crore in 2009-10, bad loans of banks shot up by another 20.97 per cent in 2010-11, impacting the earnings of many banks and showing an overall rise of 77.75 per cent in the last three years.
Of this, State Bank of India alone accounts for over one-fourth of the NPAs as the largest bank reported bad debts of Rs 25,326 crore in 2010-11.
“The current fiscal will be slightly better for banks as most banks including SBI had made higher provisioning to clean up their balance sheets. The impact of this measure will be witnessed in the coming quarters. If they tighten up the recovery process, whatever they had provided will add to the profits,” said the former chief of a nationalised bank.
Expect summons from I-T dept for non-PAN transactions

Individuals who enter into Rs 25 lakh-plus transactions but do not quote their permanent account numbers (PAN) could henceforth be issued summons and even penalised by the income tax department. The move is being taken after failed attempts to track such individuals due to non-availability of PAN.
Revenue officials in the finance ministry told The Indian Express that the Central Information Branch (CIB) — the information collecting wing of the I-T department — will be empowered to issue notices to such individuals. It will also have powers to attach the property of those not responding to the summons.
According to department officials, non-PAN data sourced by the CIB from Annual Information Returns (AIR) transactions of filers, including banks, indicates that individuals spending big moneys “are obviously the ones with unaccounted income”.
Coaching SA is a massive honour, says Kirsten

Set to be appointed as South African cricket team’s coach on Monday, Gary Kirsten said it would be a masssive honour after representing the national team with distinction for a decade. “I would love to coach the South African team — it’s my people. It will be a natural progression,” Kirsten said. “I’d consider it a massive honour,” the former left-handed, who guided India to a World Cup triumph in the sub-continent two months ago, added.
‘Namaste Telangana' launched

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao has said that there was a compelling reason for the emergence of ‘Namaste Telangana', new Telugu daily, as news relating to Telangana was blacked out by contemporary newspapers.
Speaking after the launch of the daily here on June 6, 2011, Mr. Rao said there were no people-oriented newspapers in the State. Among the newspapers which met this need, there was no content about Telangana. He alleged that media managements from coastal districts were not allowing the history of Telangana to be focussed in journalism.
Steve Jobs returns to stage on iCloud

Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs strode back into the spotlight on Monday to unveil the iCloud, a music-streaming service that the company hopes will power its next stage of growth and popularise web-based consumer services.
A still thin-looking Jobs walked out to a standing ovation from the more than 5,000 Apple faithful at its Worldwide Developers’ Conference in downtown San Francisco’s Moscone Center, making opening comments for just a few minutes before ceding the stage to marketing chief Phil Schiller.
Forced to sell stake to Maxis: ex-Aircel owner

Stepping up its ongoing investigation into the 2G spectrum allocation scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation on June 6, 2011 recorded a statement by former Aircel owner C. Sivasankaran that could pave the way for filing a new First Information Report (FIR).
Highly placed sources in the CBI indicated that a meeting of CBI officials and Mr. Sivasankaran was held at an “undisclosed location'' in the capital but that later he came to the CBI headquarters where certain clarifications were sought and his statement was recorded.
The sources said the agency officials recorded the statement of Mr. Sivasankaran which pertained to the period when Dayanidhi Maran held the Telecom portfolio. The CBI registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) in January, on the directions of the Supreme Court, to look into the 2001-2007 period and ascertain if there were any violations of telecom policy; if ulterior motives were involved in grant of licences during that period; and if any criminality was involved.

Andhra Pradesh – Raja Narsimha is Deputy C.M.

Fifty three-year-old C. Damodar Rajanarasimha, a Dalit leader from Medak district, was formally appointed as Deputy Chief Minister of the State on Friday evening, marking completion of an exercise by the Congress leadership to fill several top level vacancies
A notification said that the Governor, in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Article 164 (1) of the Constitution, on the advice of the Chief Minister, had appointed Mr. Rajanarasimha as Deputy Chief Minister with effect from June 10, 2011.
Indian government disappointed –Acquittal of Tahawwur Hussain Rana

The Union government has expressed “disappointment” at the acquittal of Tahawwur Hussain Rana by a U.S. court on the count of conspiracy to provide material support for the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.
“We are disappointed that Rana was acquitted on the count of conspiracy to provide material support for the Mumbai attacks. However, it must be remembered that Rana was tried in a U.S. court in accordance with the U.S. law. Criminal trials in the U.S. are jury trials, and there are special rules governing such trials,” U.K. Bansal, Secretary (Internal Security), Ministry of Home Affairs, said in a statement here on June 10, 2011.
Tata Motors gets largest single order from SVL

Tata Motors has received its largest order ever of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) from a single fleet owner. The order from Siddhivinayak Logistics (SVL) is to supply 1,111 M&HCV trucks, to be delivered during the year.
Based in Surat, SVL is one of the largest fleet owners, owning a fleet of over 2,000 commercial vehicles and operating across segments like steel, cement, tractors, chemicals and machinery. It is a pioneer in new segments like commercial vehicle chassis carriers.
SVL plans to start transporting farm fresh fruits and vegetables through refrigerated containers on the Tata Prima.
Tata Motors has a 70 per cent share in the M&HCV trucks market .
73,000 villages to have banking facility'

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said 73,000 villages in the country would have banking facility by next year.
"By March 31, 2012, banking facility will be available in 73,000 villages across the country going by the current pace of work," Mukherjee said after inaugurating a Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch at Talai under Raghunathganj police station area in Murshidabad district.
Mukherjee said the government wants to enable every citizen of the country to avail banking facility in future.
He said Talai was among the 117 villages of the country to have been chosen by the PNB to mark its 117th year, where branches were being set up and local development projects undertaken.
Mukherjee also inaugurated an agri-training centre in the village and hoped it would help farmers acquire modern farming skills for better yield.
Soon a Bill to protect home buyers from developers
New Delhi: The Real Estate Regulation Bill 2011, which seeks to protect home-buyers from fly-by-night developers, is under process of consultation by various ministries. “We have sent the Bill to Law Ministry for approval and subsequently we will send it to other ministries,” Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Joint Secretary S K Singh said.
Govt notifies Collection of Statistics Act 2008
New Delhi: The government today notified the rules of the Collection of Statistics Act 2008, and repealed the Act of 1953. "We hope other ministries and state governments will make provisions of this Act to improve data collection," country's Chief Statistician T C A Anant said.

Venky's want £25 m for Jones transfer to Man U

Venky’s, the Indian owners of UK Premier League club Blackburn have said that they want 25 million pounds from Manchester United for defender Phil Jones.
According to The Telegraph, Venky’s, who completed their Blackburn takeover last November, believe Jones is worth 25 million pounds because of the confirmed interest of United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
United, who have agreed a 15 million pound transfer fee with Aston Villa for Ashley Young, believed they had secured England Under-21 international Jones to a five-year deal after triggering his escape clause on Tuesday by offering in excess of £16 million for the player.
Jones has passed a medical and agreed personal terms with United, but the transfer has yet to be rubber-stamped because of the confusion at Ewood Park, which has led owners Venky’s to believe that the 16 million pound trigger clause enabled clubs to only speak to Jones before making a more sizeable offer.
Govt may extend DEPB scheme for 3 more months
New Delhi: The government is likely to extend the tax benefit scheme for exporters - DEPB -for three months till September. The DEPB scheme was due to end on June 30, but exporters are lobbying hard with the Commerce Ministry which is pursuing their case with the Finance Ministry.
US-India partnership talks to be held on June 27-28
Washington: The 2nd round of Economic and Financial Partnership talks between India and the US will be held later this month, with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner leading their country’s delegations.
Government to act against RIL fornot adhering to gas plan

With the Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) already probing the sudden decline in gas output from the KG-D6 fields operated by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry is getting ready to take tough action against the Mukesh Ambani-owned company for not adhering to the Field Development Plan (FDP).

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences Ashwani Kumar on Saturday expressed confidence that the United Nations Commission on the Law of the Sea would soon accept its claim of almost doubling its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which could give it access to a larger wealth of oil, natural gas and other off-shore resources.
India last year submitted to the Commission its claim to extend its coastal EEZ from 200 nautical miles to 350 nautical miles.
“We are among a few countries which have been able to give sedimentary and scientific evidence to lay claim over an extended continental shelf around it,” Mr. Kumar said on the sidelines of an event at the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) here.
“We presented our claim before the U.N. commission on the Law of the Sea last year, along with the scientific data collected over a decade, and are confident that it will be approved soon,” he added.
TCI to invest Rs. 300 crore to develop logistics parks

Transport Corporation of India (TCI) will be investing up to Rs. 300 crore to develop 20 integrated logistics parks, and commercial and residential properties in the next 3 to 4 years, PTI reports in Mumbai .

Credit card transactions up 28.9 pct in April

Transactions worth Rs 7,055.40 crore were carried out in the country through credit cards in April, 2011, registering growth of 28.9 per cent as compared to the same month last year.
Credit card transactions during April, 2010 were at Rs 5,473.58 crore, according to RBI data.
The number of credit cards in circulation have, however, declined by over 7.8 per cent to almost 1.78 crore as on April 30, 2011, from 1.93 crore in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, debit card transactions in April were up by 47.7 per cent to Rs 3,705.54 crore, as against Rs 2,508.32 crore in the corresponding month last year.
There were over 23.02 crore debit cards in use in the country as on April 30, 2011, up 24.6 per cent over the figure of almost 18.48 crore in the year-ago period.
The latest jump in transaction through credit and debit card signals a continuation of the growth observed in the last fiscal, according to experts.
In 2010-11, transactions through credit cards in the country went up by 22.15 per cent to touch Rs 75,515.68 crore in value terms.
Besides, debit card transactions had gone up by 46.46 per cent in the last fiscal to Rs 38,691.88 crore.
Trade gap may widen to $150 bn in FY'12

India may be heading towards a large trade deficit of USD 125-150 billion in the current fiscal, mainly due to the consumption-led demand, as per the initial estimates.
The trend of the first two months of the financial year 2011-12 shows that the negative balance of trade is averaging USD 12 billion a month.
"If you average it to USD 12 billion, you are straight away looking at USD 125-150 billion," according to Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar.
In April-May, the trade gap was USD 23.9 billion.
In 2009-10, the monthly trade deficit ranged between USD 7.5 billion and USD 11 billion with the annual aggregate of USD 108.2 billion.
While in April this fiscal the deficit was USD 8.9 billion, the big surge came last month with USD 15 billion, which was the highest in the last few years.
Khullar said that thanks to easing of crude oil prices in the last few months, the bill for oil imports has grown about 12.9 per cent to USD 20.3 billion during April-May.

Farm mechanisation needed to increase food productivity: CII

Industry body CII today asked the government to form a joint working group with private sector to suggest a roadmap for mechanisation of farms to boost agriculture productivity.
"The policy framework should encourage farmers to move towards greater use of farm equipment which will lead to higher agricultural productivity and thus higher farm incomes and crop yields," the chamber said in a statement here.
It suggested that it is time to shift the policy focus from 'Rupees per Kilogram' to 'Rupees per Acre'.
Proposing an 8-point plan to increase agricultural productivity, CII has recommended that a National Mission on Farm Mechanisation should undertake work on urgent basis.
Availability of farm implements and machinery would hinge on maintaining a stock of such equipment at state agro corporations or agri universities for deployment on farms.
India-China joint business meet
beijing: A joint seminar at Yangzhou in China’s Jiangsu province today invited Chinese companies to invest in India. The seminar was jointly organised by Indian Consulate in Shanghai along with Municipal Government of Yangzhou and Confederation of Indian Industry.
102 mn rice tons from current rains: Basu

Buoyed by initial progress of monsoon, the government expects to achieve a record rice production of 102 million tonnes in the 2011-12 crop year, a top official of the Agriculture Ministry said today. "This year, the starting of monsoon rains have been damn good. If this kind of rains continue, I am confident that the country's rice production will touch 102 million tonnes," Agriculture Secretary P K Basu said in a interview to PTI.
India to play maximum Tests against till 2020

India, the top-ranked side in the world, would clash with Australia in 20 Tests, from December this year till 2020.
India are scheduled to visit Australia later this year for a four-Test series, starting with Boxing day Test on December 26 in Melbourne.
India are also set to play 18 Tests against England and 12 matches each against South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka during this period, as per the Future Tours Programme
chalked out by the International Cricket Council. Overall, the country would play 95 Tests, beginning from the three-match home rubber against the West Indies this October-November through April, 2020.
In the same period, India would cross swords with arch-rivals Pakistan in only three Tests, all scheduled at home in March-April 2012, while taking on Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in one two-match rubber each, both away from home. The time frame also includes the conduct of the World Test Play-Off Championship in England in May-June 2013.
India would also be playing 170 bilateral or triangular one-day internationals during this phase besides 31 bilateral T20 internationals, as per the ICC FTP.
There would be more ODIs and T20Is featuring India within this period that includes the organisation of two ICC World Cups - in February-March, 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and in June-July, 2019 in England - and 3 World T20 championships - September-October, 2012 in Sri Lanka, April 2014 in Bangladesh and March-April, 2016 in India.
Maxx Mobile to invest Rs.320 crore to set up manufacturing plant

Maxx Mobile has decided to set up a mobile handset manufacturing plant at Haridwar. At this plant, it will also have a unit to make lithium ion batteries. The company has earmarked an investment of Rs.320 crore on these new projects, Maxx Mobile Communications Managing Director Ajjay Agarwal told PTI in New Delhi.

Rising interest rates to hurt bank profitability: RBI

The Reserve Bank today cautioned rising interest rate and high cost of funds could hurt the profitability of the banking sector.
“Going ahead, with hardening interest rates and the imminent increase in cost of funds, the credit growth is expected to slow down, which could adversely affect the profitability,” RBI said in Financial Stability Report released today.
The hike in savings account interest rate, amortisations of pension liabilities and potentially enhanced provisioning requirements for NPAs may also impact profitability, it said.
The report noted that banks’ profitability improved, buoyed by increased net interest income though non-interest income remained stagnant.
An increase in net interest income (NII) facilitated growth of around 20 per cent in aggregate net profit of the banking system, even with an almost stagnant non-interest income and increase in risk provisions, it said.
Interest income increased by 18.6 per cent over 7.5 per cent last year and interest expense increased by 10.1 per cent as against 4.0 per cent last year, it said.
There was improvement of 34.9 per cent in the NII of the banks during 2010-11 despite little change in non-interest income, increase of 49 per cent in risk provisions and 24 per cent increase in operating expenses.
The growth in interest income by 18.6 per cent was, however, not in tandem with the growth in loans and advances which grew by 22.6 per cent during 2010-11, it said.
However, it said, the public sector banks registered a lower growth in profits ¿ mainly due to reduction in trading profits, increase in provisions towards staff expenses (including those for pension liabilities) and towards impaired assets.
Interest earned in SB Account is exempted from Tax Deduction at source
No, the interest earned on savings account is exempted from TDS under Section 194 A of Income Tax Act. However, interest income from fixed deposit is liable for TDS if the interest income is more than Rs 10,000 in a year. In your case, since the interest earned on fixed deposits is Rs 20,000 every year, the bank will deduct TDS unless you have submitted form 15G or 15H. As per IT rules, if the fixed deposit holder is a resident individual, for an interest payment of up to Rs 10 lakh, TDS will be deducted at the rate of 10% along with an education cess of 3% (3% on 10), which takes the total deduction to 10.3%.

New Global Head for Wipro BPO

Wipro Technologies has announced on June 13, 2011 the appointment of Manish Dugar as Senior Vice- President and Global Head of Wipro BPO. Jatin Dalal was named new Chief Financial Officer for the IT business.

IMF to rescue Greece with a 2nd multi-billion euro bailout

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will rescue debt-laden Greece from bankruptcy with a second multi-billion euro financial aid package, a year after it received a 110 billion euro (USD 159 billion) bailout.
The Finance ministers of the euro zone nations reached a basic understanding on a new rescue package for their EU partner at a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday afternoon, but shelved a decision on the level of assistance and other key details for their next meeting in Luxembourg in a week's time. They gave a few details of their discussions, but media reports quoting EU diplomats suggested that they are preparing for a bailout package ranging between 90 billion euros to 120 billion euros to prevent the country from defaulting on its debts and dragging the entire euro zone into another sovereign debt crisis.
The meeting was overshadowed by June 13, 2011 downgrading of Greece by Standard & Poor as the least credit-worthy nation. The rating agency cut Greece three notches from B to CCC, dumping it to the lowest level behind countries such as Pakistan, Ecuador and Jamaica.
The downgrading sent the borrowing costs for Greece's 10-year bonds to more than 17 per cent, making it impossible for the government to raise funds from the capital markets.
At the centre of the finance ministers' discussions was a German proposal for a "soft rescheduling" of Greece's outstanding debts with the involvement of private creditors in order to give the country more time to pay back its debts. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has proposed that banks, investment funds and insurances should be allowed to exchange their Greek government bonds, which are maturing, for new bonds having a maturity of seven years.
UK House panel favours aid to India

Britain should continue its 280 million pounds per annum aid to India for the next four years, a top Parliamentary panel has said, but sought fundamental changes in the policy in 2015.
"The test of whether the UK should continue to give aid to India is whether that aid makes a distinct, value-added contribution to poverty reduction which would not otherwise happen," said Malcolm Bruce, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on international development.
The panel said that the aid should directed more at improving sanitation, challenging social exclusion and tackling under-nutrition.
The panel noted that more than 400 million people still live on less than USD 1.25 a day in India and British funds can still make a difference.
There has been debate in Britain about whether it should maintain aid to booming India when the government is forced to cut spending at home.

he Indian government currently invests "significant funds" in social programmes for the poor, but Bruce warned that "the poverty there is on such an extreme scale that it will take many years for India to achieve internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals."

India poised to join Shanghai grouping

The six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which could play an important role in stabilising Afghanistan after the drawdown of foreign troops, opened its doors for India's membership at its 10th anniversary summit being celebrated in the heart of the Great Steppes on Wednesday.
Besides Afghanistan, India feels an expanded SCO could encourage Pakistan to weed out terror outfits based on its soil as well as promote connectivity that in turn could boost economic activity.
These points were made by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna during his intervention at the SCO summit that was attended by nine heads of state, including the Presidents of Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan.

Public can email ideas on black money

The Centre has created an email id,, for the public to send their ideas on tackling the issue of black money. “General public can send in their responses and inputs to tackle with the issue,” the officer said.

Dhoni adopts Mysore zoo tiger

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has adopted nine-year-old tiger Agasthya at the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (Mysore zoo) for one year from June 15, 2011, executive director of the zoo K.B. Markandaiah said.
A communication to this effect was made by the former cricketer, Javagal Srinath, on behalf of Mr. Dhoni from Bangalore to the zoo authorities.
Agasthya was zoo-bred, Mr. Markandaiah said adding Mr. Dhoni had given a cheque for Rs. 1 lakh for the adoption.
With this, all the eight tigers in the zoo have been adopted. The list includes Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and cricketer Zaheer Khan.
Iran assures Russia of nuclear compliance

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has assured Russia that Tehran has no plans to build nuclear weapons and is willing to resume six-party talks.
“Iran's President stated unambiguously that his country has no intention to acquire nuclear weapons,” said Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Astana, Kazakhstan, where the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held its 10th anniversary summit on June 15, 2011.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev discussed Iran's nuclear programme at a trilateral meeting with Mr. Ahmadinejad and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev before holding a one-to-one meeting with the Iranian leader on the sidelines of the SCO summit.
PSL gets GAIL order

PSL, a leader in manufacturing and coating of pipes, has been awarded an order for supply of line pipe and three-layer polyethylene coating for GAIL's Kochi-Koottanad-Bangalore-Mangalore Pipe Line (KKBMPL) project. PSL will be supplying 24-inch diameter pipe out of its Chennai and Visakhapatnam pipe mills. The total value of the order is around Rs.753 crore and the total length of pipe to be supplied is an estimated 735 km.
IndiGo to begin global operation from Sept 1

Budget carrier IndiGo will commence international operations from September 1 with the launch of its Delhi-Dubai daily flights.
Nokia, Apple settle patent suits
New York: Nokia Corp on Tuesday said it has agreed to settle all patent litigations with iPhone-maker Apple Inc, a move that will bolster the Finnish’s firm profitability in the second quarter.
US Rep Michele Bachmann, an outspoken Republican with close ties to the conservative tea party movement, announced on June 15, 2011 that she is running for president.
The first female contender to enter the 2012 race, Bachmann announced her bid during the Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire. The third-term Minnesota congresswoman has been leaning heavily toward a run over the past few months. Bachmann drew one of loudest applause Monday night from a Republican debate audience when she predicted Obama would not win re-election. He is “a one-term president,’’ she declared.
Chandraswami told to pay Rs.9 crore

The Supreme Court on June 15, 2011 asked self-styled godman Chandraswami to pay by the second week of July Rs.9 crore in penalty imposed by the Enforcement Directorate in several cases of FERA violations.
RBI's rate hike to check inflation: Finance Minister

The government said the Reserve Bank's move to hike policy rates was on expected lines and would help in checking inflation, which has crossed 9 per cent mark.
"This (rate hike) was on the expected lines as the core inflation hardened (in May) ... RBI has sought to maintain an interest rate environment that moderates inflation and check inflationary expectations," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Headline inflation, as measured by the wholesale price index (WPI), was 9.7 per cent in March, 8.7 per cent in April and 9.1 per cent in the following month.
RBI said given the recent pattern, inflation numbers for April and May are likely to be revised upward.
In the mid-quarter monetary policy review today, the central bank raised its short-term lending rate, or repo rate, by 25 basis points to 7.5 per cent.
(NOTE AS ON TODAY i.e. 8th August 2011 repo rate is 8% p.a. And reverse repo rate is 7.00% p.a.)

Scam: RIL apologises to Chidambaram

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) today tendered a “profuse apology” to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram for remarks made by an employee, K R Raja, to corporate lobbyist Niira Radia which suggested that Chidambaram was a beneficiary in the 2G spectrum scam.
On the basis of media reports, the BJP had demanded Chidambaram’s resignation, alleging he was a beneficiary in the scam.
Responding to a legal notice by Chidambaram, RIL group president V Balasubramanian wrote to the Home Minister’s lawyer, apologising for the remarks made by Raja in a private telephonic conversation with Radia. The letter termed the remarks as “unjustified, unwarranted and derogatory in nature”.
The letter also said that Raja had been severely reprimanded for his “irresponsible and baseless statement”.
Raja sent a separate apology to Chidambaram, saying he had made the remarks, which were without any basis or justification, “in the heat of the moment without realising the implications and without any expectation of the remarks being recorded or coming in public domain”.

‘Oldest light bulb’ still shining in US after 110 years!
A light bulb in a northern California town has been shining almost continuously for 110 years and has been declared the oldest known working light bulb by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Since 1901, the 60-watt bulb has been in use in a fire station, in Livermore, northern California. It has been shining continuously with only a few exceptions - a brief period in 1903, a week in 1937, and some power outages between then and 1976. The scientists have been clueless on how it has continued to glow for so long.
“Nobody knows how it''s possible. It is a 60 watt bulb and it''s only turned on for about four watts but nobody knows why it keeps burning,” the Sun quoted Lynn Owens, the chairman of the town''s lightbulb centennial committee, as saying.
What links Tata to Singhania? Singur!

What is common between Tatas and JK Organisation, besides the two being business giants?
Both had to move out of West Bengal for different reasons. While Tata Motors had to shift its Rs 1-lakh car project in 2008, JK Organisation had move all its businesses from the state way back in 1969.
The story of JK Organisation is mentioned in "Sir Padampat Singhania: Man of All Seasons", a biography of the industrialist by his sons Gaur Hari and Govind Hari Singhania.
"The elections in West Bengal affected JK Organisation adversely. In 1969, the first CPI (M)-led government was formed in Kolkata. Trouble soon started brewing at the extremely profitable JK Aluminium factory in Asansol," the book, published by Niyogi, says.

Capital One to buy ING's US online bank

Capital One Financial Corp plans to buy ING Groep NV's U.S. online bank for $9 billion in cash and stock, leapfrogging up the ranks of the largest U.S. banks, the companies said on Thursday afternoon.
The McLean, Virginia-based bank, best known for its credit card unit, will pay $6.2 billion in cash and $2.8 billion in stock.
* Capital One to pay $6.2 bln cash, $2.8 bln stock
* Cash to help ING repay Dutch government for bailout
* Capital One to raise $2 bln in capital
* Deal would make Cap One seventh-largest bank by assets
* ING to get a 9.9 percent stake in Capital One
That will help ING, a Dutch banking and insurance conglomerate in the middle of a breakup, repay the remainder of the money it owes to the Dutch government for a 2008 bailout. The company also will receive a 9.9 percent stake in Capital One as part of the deal and will have the right to name a director to the U.S. bank's board.
World agri output to be low: OECD-FAO

Global agricultural production is expected to be low at 1.7 per cent annually during 2011-20 as compared to 2.6 per cent in the previous decade, due to lower growth in oilseeds and cereals, an agri survey today said.
According to a joint agriculture outlook released by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UN body Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), farm production, however will increase in the short term.
"Global agricultural production is projected to grow at 1.7 per cent annually, on an average, compared to 2.6 per cent in the previous decade," the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2011-2020 said.
Slower growth is expected for most crops, especially oilseeds and coarse grains, which face higher production costs and reduced productivity growth. Growth in livestock production will stay close to the recent trends, it added.
India eyes record road expansion

India will award a record 7,300 kms of road building contracts this year worth about $12 billion, as a huge privatisation drive makes developers more willing to take on projects and foreign funds eager to invest, a top official at the National Highways Authority of India said on Friday.
* Investments in road sector to rise 40 percent in FY12: official
* India to meet target of building 20 kms a day by 2014: official
* Reforms, maturing sector attracting investors: official
The new contracts will help India meet its target of building 20 kms of roads per day as part of a massive overhaul of its infrastructure sector, boosting the country's economic growth, said J.N. Singh, member (finance) at the NHAI.
Compared to the last 4-5 years, the sector has substantially matured, Singh told Reuters in an interview.
Australia unveils new migration model

Looking to tap the best of minds and skilled workforce from India and other countries, Australia today announced a new migration programme based on 'expression of interest' model and revisions in skilled migration point system.
While the new model will filter applicants fulfilling the country's requirement, it will also reduce processing time and facilitate fast movement of skilled workers down south.
A cap on the number of migrants will be put in each occupation under the programme, kicking off on July 1, 2012.
"The target groups are engineering, medical profession, nursing, scientist etc," said assistant secretary of Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Peter Speldewinde here.
The expression of interest (EOI) will be an online process for skilled migration to Australia. Prospective applicants will provide basic biographical and other information such as occupation, details of work experience and level of English language ability on the online form.

Centre frames new rules for MPLADS(Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme)

After enhancing the annual allocation for the MPLAD scheme for each MP from Rs 2 to Rs 5 crore, the government has now expanded the scheme to give MPs a larger choice of projects that they can take up under the MPLAD fund. The scheme now allows MPs to fund projects up to Rs 10 lakh outside their own state or Union territory from where they have been elected. Currently, they are allowed to spend on education and culture related projects outside their state or UT.
Under the new guidelines, the district authorities can release 75 per cent of the estimated cost of the sanctioned work against the current cap of 50 per cent as first instalment to speed up work. In case of all MPLAD works upto Rs 2 lakh being undertaken by the government agencies, the mount can be released as advance in a single instalment. For works, where either the user agency or the implementing agency is private, the district authorities are authorised to release funds upto 60 per cent of the sanctioned amount as the first instalment.
Ban Ki-moon gets second term

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on June 17, 2011 received the crucial support of the powerful Security Council for a second five-year term, ahead of the voting by the 192-member General Assembly scheduled for next week. In a closed door session, the 15-member Council voted by acclamation for his second term

Passport seva kendra in Madurai and Triunelveli

Passport Seva Kendras in Madurai and Tirunelveli would be commissioned next month, (July 2011) said Jose K. Mathew, Regional Passport Officer-Madurai.

Chinese city (Xuzhou) woos Indian IT-BPO sector

After Shanghai and Shenzhen, it is the Northern Chinese city of Xuzhou that is wooing the Indian information technology and BPO industry to set up shop in the Xuzhou High-speed International Business Outsourcing District especially created for the IT-BPO sector.
“India is known for its IT and BPO industry globally …we want Indian IT and software majors to come to Xuzhou and take advantage of the infrastructure that we have created, besides financial aid that the government is offering for setting up establishments,” Vice-President of Xuzhou High-speed International Business Outsourcing District Liu Shuang told this correspondent.
Xuzhou that falls in the Jiangsu province and is in the middle between Beijing and Shanghai is known as a major transportation hub due to expressways and high-speed railway links.
“Xuzhou is the key stop of the high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Shanghai and country's East to West. Xuzhou as a transportation hub is of great advantage to every industry,” she added.

Japan's Mazda Motor and South Korea's Hyundai Motor plan to recall a total of 1,04,154 cars in China, China's top quality watchdog said.
Mazda is recalling 94,874 Mazda 3 sedans, including 80,541 models made at its three-party joint venture with Ford Motor and Chongqing Changan Automobile to fix faulty windshield wipers, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said on its website late on Thursday.
Hyundai, meanwhile, is recalling 9,280 Moinca sedans made at its China venture during August to October last year to fix potential engine problems, it said.


MAY 24 TO 31, 2011

After 16 months, Assembly back at Fort St. George (Chennai)

The inaugural day of the 14TH Legislative Assembly on May 23rd the return of the State legislature to Fort St. George after a gap of 16 months.
The last time the legislature met at the historic Assembly Chamber was on January 11, 2010, after which the Assembly met at the new Secretariat-Assembly complex on Omandurar Government Estate.
The sittings of the legislature had taken place at the Fort for 75 years in three broad spells (1921-1937, 1946-1952 and 1957-2010).
When Rajaji became Premier of the Madras Presidency in 1937, the legislature met for five months at the Senate House, Chepauk, from July 1937 to December 1937.
The period between January 1938 and October 1939 saw the legislature having its meetings at Banqueting Hall (Rajaji Hall), Government Estate.
The legislature went back to Fort St. George in May 1946 and held its sittings till March 1952. Between May 1952 and December 1956, the Children's Theatre, later known as Kalaivanar Arangam, housed the Assembly.
Fort St. George again became the venue of the legislature from April 1957 till January 2010.
In April 1959, the Assembly met at Aranmoore Palace, Udhagamandalam, for 10 days.
The Legislative Council too had its sittings at the same place for five days in May 1959.

RBI moots holding company model for financial sector

The Reserve bank of India (RBI) on May 23, 2011 suggested that the financial holding company (FHC) model would be pursued as a preferred model for the financial sector which could be extended to all large financial groups, irrespective of whether they contain a bank or not.
“Therefore, there can be banking FHCs controlling a bank and non-banking FHCs which do not contain a bank in the group. There should be a separate regulatory framework for financial holding companies,” the RBI said.
Invites comments on panel report
The RBI has released the report of the working group on Introduction of Financial Holding Company Structure in India, which was headed by Shyamala Gopinath, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
The RBI is also inviting comments on the report, which would be e-mailed or forwarded by end-June to the Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Banking Operations and Development, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, Mumbai.
A separate new Act for regulation of financial holding companies would be enacted and the amendments would also be simultaneously made to other statutes/Acts governing public sector banks, Companies Act and others, wherever necessary. Alternatively, in order to avoid separate legislation for amending all individual Acts, the provisions of the new Act for FHCs should have the effect of amending all the relevant provisions of individual Acts and have over-riding powers over other Acts in case of any conflict.
Now, credit default swaps in India

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 24, 2011 came out with a credit default swap (CDS) guidelines that would allow corporate entities including insurers, FIIs and mutual funds (MFs) to hedge risk against default in corporate bonds to which they subscribe.
The guidelines, which were finalised by the RBI after receiving views from stakeholders, will come into effect from October 24, it said in a notification.
CDS is a risk management product which helps entities guard against possibility of defaults in repayment of corporate bonds.
As per guidelines, foreign institutional investors (FIIs), banks, insurers, NBFCs, listed companies, housing finance companies, provident funds and primary dealers can buy credit protection under the scheme.
It further said that banks, primary dealers and NBFCs with sound financial and good track record will be allowed to act as market makers or facilitators (for buying and selling of such swaps)

The bonds for the purpose of CDS would include unlisted and unrated debt instruments, including those issued by the infrastructure companies engaged in sector like road, port and telecommunication, power among others.
"CDS ... would increase investors' interest in corporate bonds and would be beneficial to the development of the corporate bond market in India," the RBI said.
Elaborating on the guidelines, the RBI said that beside banks, the NBFCs and primary dealers with a net owned fund of Rs 500 crore will be permitted to act as market makers.
The guidelines further said that entities will only be allowed to buy CDS contracts to hedge credit risk and not for speculation.


Stalin elected leader of DMK legislature party

Former Deputy Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) treasurer M.K. Stalin was on mAY 25, 2011 elected leader of the DMK legislature party. Mr. Stalin represents the Kolathur constituency in the Assembly.
Former Law Minister Durai Murugan (Katpadi) was elected the deputy leader and R. Chakrapani (Oddanchatram) the party whip.
Their election took place at a meeting chaired by DMK president M. Karunanidhi at the Anna Arivalayam.
Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founder Vijayakant is the leader of his legislature party. As the party has 29 MLAs (accounting for over 10 per cent of the total number of seats) and its strength is greater than that of the DMK, Mr. Vijayakant is likely to be recognised as the Leader of Opposition.
Other office-bearers of the party are: Panruti S. Ramachandran (Alandur) – deputy leader and V.C. Chandirakumar (Erode East) – whip.
Coal India Limited

Coal India Ltd (CIL), which finalised its accounts on May 25, 2011, breached the Rs.10,000-crore mark in profit reporting a net profit of Rs.10,867.35 crore for 2010-11 against Rs.9,622 crore in the year before, recording a rise of 12.92 per cent.

India and China lead global recovery: United Nations

Emerging economies of India, China and Brazil are leading the global economic recovery, according to a UN report released on May 25, 2011..
"The rebound has been led by the large emerging economies in Asia and Latin America, particularly China, India and Brazil," the report said.
The mid-year issue of the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP), said that "weaknesses in major developed economies continue to drag the global recovery and pose risks for world economic stability in the coming years".
The report said that many developing countries have been able to use the policy buffers (in the form of ample fiscal space and vast foreign-exchange reserves) they had generated in the years before the crisis to adopt aggressive stimulus packages.
The report said that while developing countries continue to drive the global recovery, their output growth is also expected to moderate to 6.0 per cent on average during 2011-2012, down from 7.1 per cent in 2010.

ATM glitches to cost banks Rs.100 per day

The Reserve Bank of India On May 27, 2011 directed banks to reimburse customers for amounts wrongfully debited from their accounts in failed ATM transactions within seven days of an account holder's complaint or else pay a Rs 100 per day compensation.
"The time limit for resolution of customer complaints by the issuing banks shall stand reduced from 12 working days to seven working days from the date of receipt of customer complaint," the RBI said in a notification.
Failure to re-credit the amount within seven working days will require the issuing bank to pay a compensation of Rs 100 per day, it said.
Earlier, banks were required to reimburse customers for amounts wrongfully debited from their accounts in failed ATM transactions within 12 days.
The RBI further said that all customers are entitled to receive such compensation for delays only if a claim is lodged with the issuing bank within 30 days of the date of transaction.

Myanmar president on visit to ally China
BEIJING: Myanmar’s president is in Beijing for a state visit and talks with the leaders of one of his isolated government’s closest allies. Thein Sein arrived Thursday afternoon on his first state visit since being appointed president in February,2011.
China confirms visit by Kim Jong-il
BEIJING: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il met China’s president on a state visit to increase cooperation on economic development, China’s state broadcaster CCTV and Xinhua News Agency confirmed on 26th May 2011.

Siemens gets RBI nod for NBFC foray
Mumbai: In order to provide financial services to its Indian customers, the global electronics major Siemens on Thursday said it has been granted a non-banking lender licence by the Reserve Bank of India.
CIL eyes Indonesian mine for $1 bn
Mumbai: Coal India is eyeing 40 per cent stake in Indonesia's Golden Energy Mines for as much as $1 billion. The rare move to grab such a large chunk of an Indonesian miner would be the biggest acquisition deal in the country this year.

Moradabad goes for solar energy
LUCKNOW: Moradabad is all set to become the state’s first solar city. The project, supported by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, will have the city utilising solar energy for supplying power for streetlights, water pumping sources, lighting in parks and supply of office lighting.

India's onion exports fell by over 31%

India's onion export dropped by over 31 per cent in 2010-11 at 12.89 million tonnes as compared to the previous year due to damage to the crop and ban on shipment in the later part following soaring of domestic prices of the kitchen staple.
India had exported 18.73 million tonnes of onion in 2009-10 financial year.
The sources attributed the dip in 2010-11 to damage to the crop due to unseasonal rains in main producing regions of Maharashtra and Gujarat in October-November last year.
It was also due to government imposing ban on its export since last week of December, 2010 in view of soaring prices of the bulb.
Indian-origin man pleads guilty in insider trading case in the US

An Indian-origin hedge fund manager in the US has pleaded guilty to his involvement in insider trading schemes and could face up to 20 years in prison. Samir Barai, 39, a portfolio manager at two different New York hedge funds, pleaded guilty before Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice, Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York said. Barai, arrested on February 8 this year and charged in a criminal complaint, is to be sentenced on August 29, 2011. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.


Mubarak fined for telecom shutdown

An Egyptian court on mAY 28, 2011 fined ousted President Hosni Mubarak 200 million Egyptian pounds, former PM Ahmed Nazif 40 million pounds, and former interior minister Habib el-Adly 300 million pounds for cutting off mobile and internet services during January protests, a source said. It was the first court ruling against Mubarak since he was ousted. The court ruled that they were guilty of causing damages to the national economy

Chennai Super Kings crowned again (IPL 4)

Chennai Super Kings defended its IPL title, overpowering Royal Challengers Bangalore in 28TH mAY 2011 final in front of an adoring home crowd at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here.
After scoring 205 for five in 20 overs thanks to a marvellous partnership of 159 between M. Vijay (95, 52b, 4x4, 6x6) and Michael Hussey (63) – an IPL record for the first wicket – Chennai restricted Bangalore to 147 for eight.
Bangalore's chase was impaired by off-spinner R. Ashwin. Much depended on Chris Gayle, who had had an incredible IPL-4, but the left-hander from West Indies couldn't fire in the final. Ashwin, who took the new ball, had Gayle caught behind for a ‘duck' in the first over.

Intel set to cash in on RBI’s financial inclusion plan

Global chip maker Intel sees big opportunity in RBI’s financial inclusion programme and is all set to launch its Universal Handheld Device (UHD) for banking operations by the end of this year, according to a top company executive.
“The UHD reference design has been developed in India for Indian market. We are taking to companies, who are willing take it up with their brand name,” said R Ravichandran, director (sales)-Intel South Asia.
UHD is a compact instrument with seven inch screen and a biometric finger print readers along with a thermal printer, which can be used by business correspondents hired by banks to take banking to rural and remote areas of the country.
As two-thirds of the Indian population doesn’t have access to banking services, the RBI has come out with an initiative — Financial Inclusion @@— in which banking will be taken to the doorsteps of rural masses.
Most of state-owned banks have already announced their Financial Inclusion plans and targets and started recruiting business correspondents in large scale. UHD, an Atom-based embedded device has a printer, biometric capable. It has got a smartcard reader and is also GPRS integrated. Customers can pick and choose the functions they want to perform.
According to Ravichandran, the pilot programme and device testing is currently underway and they anticipate huge demand for this device as the financial inclusion programme takes off at large scale.
@@Financial inclusion is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low income segments of society. Unrestrained access to public goods and services is the sine qua non of an open and efficient society. It is argued that as banking services are in the nature of public good, it is essential that availability of banking and payment services to the entire population without discrimination is the prime objective of public policy. The term "financial inclusion" has gained importance since the early 2000s, and is a result of findings about financial exclusion and its direct correlation to poverty. Financial inclusion is now a common objective for many central banks among the developing nations.

C.M. Kiran wants hike in average loan size for SHGs

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has asked the banks to increase the average loan size for each group of women SHGs to Rs. 2.5 lakh from the existing Rs. 1.8 lakh.
The Chief Minister wanted the banks to play a more pro-active role in helping women SHGs in the light of the marginalised role of the micro finance institutions. He hoped that the banks would give a serious thought to the request.
Interacting with bankers at the recent State Level Bankers Committee meeting here, the Chief Minister exhorted banks and the Indira Kranti Patham staff to gear up for achieving the target of Rs. 9,082 crore bank linkages to SHGs for the current year, against the Rs. 7,082 crore achieved last fiscal.

SAIL game plan to become a global player

Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) hopes to emerge as a global company in the next few years, Chairman Chandra Shekhar Verma said. Even as the company races to complete its Rs.72,000-crore modernisation plan, it has put in place a perspective plan to increase the capacity to 60 million tonnes by 2020 from the present 14 million tonnes. “Our target is to take the company from being a domestic player to a global brand,'' Mr. Verma told this correspondent.

Reliance Broadcast Network signs pact with RTL of Germany for thematic television channels

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) has entered into an agreement with RTL Group, a leading European entertainment network, to launch thematic television channels in India. Under the agreement, RBNL and RTL Group will form a 50:50 joint venture company, RBNL said in a statement .

Fiscal deficit down to 4.7% in FY’11

The government contained its fiscal deficit, the gap between overall expenditure and receipts, at 4.7 of GDP during 2010-11 much lower than the revised estimate of 5.1 per cent, a development which provide much needed comfort to the Centre fighting stubborn inflation.
The deficit finally stood at Rs 3,69,043 crore for the fiscal ended March 2011, constituting 4.69 per cent of GDP at Rs 78,75,627 crore, the official figures released today showed.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his Budget speech in February this year revised downward the fiscal deficit number to 5.1 per cent against the earlier estimate of 5.5 per cent for 2010-11, on the back of higher-than-expected realisation from auctioning of 3G and BWA spectrum.
For the current fiscal the Government expects to bring down the fiscal deficit to 4.6 per cent. The Finance Minister has already expressed the confidence of meeting the target.

Per capita income jumps to Rs.54,835/

Per capita income of Indians grew by 17.9 per cent to Rs 54,835 in 2010-11 from Rs 46,492 in the year-ago period, according to the revised data released by the government on May 30, 2011..
The new per capita income figure estimates on current market prices is over Rs 8,000 more than the previous estimate of Rs 46,492 calculated by the Central Statistical Organisation.
Per capita income means earnings of each Indian if the national income is evenly divided among the country's population.
However, the increase in per capita income was only about 6.5 per cent in 2010-11 if it is calculated on the prices of 2004-05 prices, which is a better way of comparison and broadly factors inflation.
Per capita income (at 2004-05 prices) stood at Rs 35,917 in FY11 as against Rs 33,731 in the previous year, the latest data on national income said.
The size of the economy at current prices rose to Rs 73,06,990 crore in 2010-11, up 19.1 per cent over Rs 61,33,230 crore in FY10.
The India's population increased to 121 crore at the end of March 2011, from 117 crore in fiscal 2009-10.

Salary under Rs.5 lakh? - need not file income tax return

As many as 85 lakh salaried tax payers with an annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh will not have to file income-tax returns from now, a finance ministry official said.
"No income-tax returns would be required for salaried persons earning up to Rs 5 lakh per annum. We would notify this in first week of June," outgoing Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes Sudhir Chandra told reporters here.
The scheme would be applicable from assessment year 2011-12 onwards.
This means that the salaried persons eligible under the scheme would not have to file returns for the financial year 2010-11 in 2011-12 (assessment year).
However, such tax payers would have to file returns if they want to claim refunds, Chandra said.
As per the Memorandum to the Finance Bill 2011, the government will be issuing a notification exempting 'classes of persons' from the requirement of furnishing income tax returns.
In case such a salary earner has income from other sources like dividend, interest etc and does not want to file returns, he would have to disclose such income to his employer for tax deduction.
In the scenario, the Form 16 issued to salaried employees will be treated as Income Tax Return.
The idea behind the move is that in cases where there are no other sources of income, filing of a return is a duplication of existing information.

Germany to halt n-power by 2022
BERLIN: The German government agreed on May 30,2011 to phase out nuclear power by 2022. “It’s definite,” Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen said after marathon talks held at the chancellery. Seven plants were shut down in March after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
Zuma in Tripoli to broker peace
TRIPOLI: South African President Jacob Zuma flew into Tripoli on May 30, 2011 to try to broker a peace deal with Muammar Gaddafi. Zuma’s previous trip made little progress because Gaddafi has refused to relinquish power.
Berlusconi suffers setback in local vote
ROME: Silvio Berlusconi’s mayoral candidates lost elections in the premier’s stronghold of Milan and in Naples Final results from the runoff elections held on May 29 and 30, 2011 supported opinion polls that have shown Berlusconi’s popularity slipping as he faces trial in a prostitution scandal.

Municipal corporation of Delhi to be trifurcated

The suspense over division of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi ended on Monday with the Delhi Cabinet approving trifurcation of the civic body into East, South and North corporations and providing for the first time 50 per cent reservation for women in corporations. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after a Cabinet meeting.
NATGRID chief's tenure extended

The government has decided to extend the service of Chief Executive Officer of the proposed National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) Raghu Raman for six months beginning June 1.
A formal government notification to this effect will be issued soon, official sources said.
The Natgrid — the Home Ministry's ambitious project — will facilitate sharing of information by security agencies and law enforcement agencies to combat terror threat at home and abroad.
Sources in the Ministry said the proposal to implement the project was likely to get approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) next month, hence Mr. Raman's service tenure was being extended.

ESIC to go digital from July 1, 2011

From July 1, 2011 onwards, the activities of Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will be carried out digitally, said its Director General C.S. Kedar .
Taking part in the 2011-12 Diamond Jubilee year of ESI Scheme, he said that they have planned a massive roll out of IT project named ‘Panchadeep' at an investment of Rs.1,200 crore and it was next only to Project Unique Identification Authority of India of about Rs.2,000 crore, covering its branch offices, dispensaries and hospitals across the country.

Bengal retains Santosh Trophy (football)
Branco Vincent Cardozo and Budhiram Tudu produced a goal in each session to help Bengal retain the Santosh Trophy after beating local favourite Manipur 2-1. This was Bengal's 31st title and second successive triumph in three consecutive final appearances.
The final of the 65th senior National football championship here on Monday saw the holder dominate for a greater part of the action before its challenger mounted a late resistance to reduce the margin. Manipur's goal came from L. Nabachandra Singh.

Candidates are advised to go through newspapers every day. You may refer,,

Current Affairs--June 1 to 18, 2011 Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 9:10:00 PM Rating: 5

1 comment:

Arun said...

Thank you for the post sir...could u please post the next series after 18th June...

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