THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pranab Mukherjee, the Brahamin from Benagl is all set to misuse the Euro Zone Crisis to bail Out PRIVET sector once again as he had done earlier during Sub Prime US Crisis. Emphasising that he will not hesitate to take harsh measures to control sover

Pranab Mukherjee, the Brahamin from Benagl is all set to misuse the Euro Zone Crisis to bail Out PRIVET sector once again as he had done earlier during Sub Prime US Crisis. Emphasising that he will not hesitate to take harsh measures to control sovereign debt and fiscal deficit of the country, union Finance MinisterPranab Mukherjee Sunday said the financial crisis in Europe is likely to affect the Indian economy. Government plans Rs 5000 crore fund to spur R&D in private sector!Meanwhile, the Government of India Incs have initiated the Process to bail out Vijay Mallya who diverted Capital in Formula One while AIR India is Plated for Disinvestment! This is the Phenomenon going to sustain as it makes the Ruling Class wealthier and Mulnivasi Bahujan do STARVE!

Move fast on decisions, end policy paralysis: Mukesh Ambani to govt

Government plans Rs 5000 crore fund to spur R&D in private sector!India warned on Sunday against protectionism as the world grapples with the sovereign debt crisis, portraying itself as a relative haven of stability in troubled economic times. Bad loans of Indian banks rise 33% in Q2 to over Rs 1 lakh cr.Global corporate leaders and policy-makers today kicked-off the 27th edition of the India Chapter of the World Economic Forum here, saying that nations should guard against protectionism and ensure that capital continues to flow smoothly across the world.

India to test fire sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay next year!

US apologises to former President A P J Abdul Kalam for frisking incident

Steps to combat global crisis at right time: Pranab Mukherjee

Anand Sharma to take meeting of industry leaders on declining IIP

Electronics import bill could surpass oil: Sam Pitroda

Banks hold deliberations on Kingfisher crisis!

PM hints at further fuel hike if oil prices rise!

Asking the government to dispel notions of policy paralysis, India Inc today said it should evolve a new model of governance to meet the growing expectations of the people and guard against any protectionist measures globally.

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and

Time - SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY

Palash Biswas

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Realty Trends
Remotely controlled home automation systems: What's the IQ of your house?
Home automation systems now getting remotely controlled through smartphones and tablets, affordability is the key.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/government-plans-rs-5000-crore-fund-to-spur-rd-in-private-sector/articleshow/10708031.cms

Asking the government to dispel notions of policy paralysis, India Inc today said it should evolve a new model of governance to meet the growing expectations of the people and guard against any protectionist measures globally.

India's leading industrialist and chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)  Mukesh Ambani on Sunday called India as a land of  billion opportunities, and not problems.

Speaking at the annual India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which has travelled out of New Delhi for the first time in two decades, said there are clear indications that energy from all sections has been unleashed in order to build new India.

Lauding private sector's efforts, he said " private sector is taking significant role with bottoms up entrepreneurship."

Commenting on the economic situation of the country, Ambani said there is a speed mismatch between government and the private sector to achieve goals. "Indian government needs to work at faster pace," he told the forum.

He noted that the new trend of India Inc is creating value for society, not only shareholders.


Pranab Mukherjee, the Brahamin from Benagl is all set to misuse the Euro Zone Crisis to bail Out PRIVET sector once again as he had done earlier during Sub Prime US Crisis. Emphasising that he will not hesitate to take harsh measures to control sovereign debt and fiscal deficit of the country, union Finance MinisterPranab Mukherjee Sunday said the financial crisis in Europe is likely to affect the Indian economy.
Government plans Rs 5000 crore fund to spur R&D in private sector!Meanwhile, the Government of India Incs have initiated the Process to bail out Vijay Mallya who diverted Capital in Formula One while AIR India is Plated for Disinvestment! This is the Phenomenon going to sustain as it makes the Ruling Class wealthier and Mulnivasi Bahujan do STARVE!

MURHSIDABAD: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today laid emphasis on more agricultural output for sustainable economic development of the country.


The purpose of the Food Security Bill will also be lost if the country does not produce required foodgrains, Mukherjee said while inaugurating a branch of the 'Bangiya Gramin Bikash Bank' at Lalgola.


Along with increased food production, the Public Distribution System (PDS) should also be strengthened to ensure food for all the citizens, he said.


Referring to banking, Mukherjee said effort was on to bring all people of the country under banking system by 2012.


He reiterated that it was not possible to decrease the prices of petro products because of the huge subsidies given to oil companies by the union government.

The policymakers and industry leaders also sought concrete steps to safeguard the country's capital flows from the economic crisis in Europe and elsewhere globally, while speaking at the annual Indian summit of World Economic Forum here.

Leading industrialist Mukesh Ambani urged the government to move faster in its decision-making and to put to rest any notion about policy paralysis due to political constraints.

Ambani said that a dramatic shift was required in the governance model to meet the expectations of each citizen in the path from the 20th century mindset to a 21st century delivery model.

At the same time, private sector lender ICICI Bank's CEO Chanda Kochhar warned that the capital flows to India might be impacted by the "worrying" trends in the global economic scenario.

Sounding a note of caution, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said steps were required to ensure that the worsening Eurozone debt crisis do not lead to protectionism, as had happened in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Besides, he said, nations should act to see that there is enough capital flow into the rest of the world and the present Eurozone crisis should not curtail the flows.

Sharma expressed hope that India will achieve the USD 300 billion exports target this fiscal despite "disappointing" growth in shipments last month.

He was speaking at the plenary session of the 27th edition of the India Chapter of the World Economic Forum, which among others was attended by WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Planning Commission member Sudha Pillai.

Doing some plain-speaking, Ambani said that political excuses should not come in the way of policy decisions.

He urged both the central and state governments to "align and move a lot faster" along with private sector, remove the mismatch prevailing in their approaches, and speed up the decision making process.

"I think there is a mismatch. We are both heading to the same direction and sometimes, like you have seen in the US and Europe, that's the price of democracy, but we shouldn't put a thing by saying that because the institutions of democracy are there, we will be paralysed.

"And because there is an opposition and a party in power, we would do nothing. That's what worries me," he said, while urging for a minimum agreement to deliver on the expectations of the people," he said.

The problems confronting the aviation industry also figured prominently at the Summit.

Aircraft maker Boeing's India president Dinesh A Keskar called for an urgent need to reprice airfares, saying the industry is losing a whopping Rs 900 per ticket currently.

Referring to the financial troubles at Kingfisher, ICICI Bank's Kochhar said that they had very little exposure to the airline and no overdues were pending.

At the same time, industrialist Rahul Bajaj was against any government bailout for Kingfisher and said the private sector should not be bailed out and "those who die must die".
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has givenKingfisher airlines some reason to hope. He said that his government would find ways to help the ailing aviation industry.
Sources have told CNN-IBN that Pranab Mukherjee will be consulted on a package for Kingfisher airlines. This after the cash-strapped airline cancelled as many as 40 flights on Saturday, passengers bore the brunt of the crisis.
Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya had approached the government for help last week but Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi had ruled out a bailout. He'd said Pranab Mukherjee is likely to speak to banks to bail out Kingfisher from a financial crisis.
Prime Minister on Saturday said that he would seek out Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi on the Kingfisher crisis.
"I have not applied my mind to Kingfisher's difficulties. I will talk to Vayalar Ravi and explore ways and means in which Kingfisher can be helped," the PM said.
The Prime Minister said he would explore options in which Kingfisher could be helped.
However, even as the government mulls its options on Kingfisher, the airline has hit turbulence.
As many as 40 flights were cancelled on Saturday and the passengers bore the brunt of the crisis.
Miffed passengers complained about cancelled and rescheduled flights.
"Flight is rescheduled and now I have to way two to three hours," said Siddharth Gaur, a passenger.
Passengers are being intimated of changed schedules a day or two prior to their flights, but over 40 Kingfisher flights across the country are being withdrawn, an average of nine flights per day cancelled at major hubs like Mumbai.
Kingfisher said the disruptions would continue only till November 19, and sent email apologies to frequent fliers.
Kingfisher has denied that it has asked for a bailout, saying its problems are common to airlines in the industry, such as rising fuel costs and rupee devaluation.
Meanwhile, competitor Jet Airways posted net losses of over Rs 700 crore in the last quarter ending September.
Kingfisher needs over Rs 1000 crore in working capital loans to tide over the current crisis.
But with the Civil Aviation Minister's assurance of support in asking banks to extend credit limits, many are asking why the government should walk the extra mile in bailing out a private airline.
With the airline's vendors, such as ground handling service agents and oil companies stepping up the pressure on delayed payments, this is one ride that's turning out to be too turbulent for the king of good times.

Mukherjee also said that taking into account the current global economic scenario, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate will be less than the targeted nine percent at the end of this fiscal.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair warned on Sunday that the collapse of the euro would be "catastrophic" and urged Europe to move fast to support the currency.

Blair said European leaders faced "very difficult and painful" choices and a "long-term framework of credibility" was needed to see off the crisis.

Speaking following the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday, Blair said there had "never been a tougher time to be a leader than right now".

But he said the "whole weight" of European institutions -- including the European Central Bank -- must get behind the euro if it was to survive.

He told BBC TV that economies had to align and that "the myth that the Italian and German economies were the same -- that 10-year myth has now evaporated".

Measures required to bring stability to the euro would be painful, he warned, but added: "If the single currency broke up, it would be catastrophic."

Blair, who was premier for a decade until 2007, was also asked if his former finance ministerGordon Brown had been right to push hard for Britain to stay out of the euro when Labour was in power.

"He was right, although I would also say by the way, I was never in favour of doing it unless the economics were right," Blair replied.

British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday for talks on the euro's difficulties and the economy.

Cameron said on Friday there was still "a big question mark" over the future of the eurozone and stressed it was not in Britain's interests for the single currency to break up but the government is "preparing for every eventuality".


"I am worried and disturbed because I do not want the situation where sovereign debt would be too high and fiscal deficit unmanageable," Mukherjee said at a programme organised by industry body Assocham here.

He said the financial crisis in Europe was likely to create adverse impact on the country's economy.

"The lesson we can draw from the experiences in Europe is that leaving the golden path of fiscal regulation and control will not help the existing economy, particularly the economy of big countries like India," he said.

"We have to come back to fiscal consolidation," he stated. "We have to be taught... and I can assure you that as a finance minister, I will not hesitate to take the taught decisions at an appropriate time," Mukherjee said.

Economists said the moderation in industrial growth is expected to continue in the months ahead due to global economic uncertainty and weak sentiments.

"We expect the sluggish trends in IIP growth to continue in the second half of the 2012 fiscal year as sentiments continue to remain on the weaker side. This, together with signs of moderation in services (October services PMI fell 0.7 points to 49.1), has probably put our 7.3% GDP growth estimate at risk," said Indranil Pan, chief economist at Kotak Mahindra Bank.

They said Friday's data is unlikely to alter the Reserve Bank of India's policy stance as inflation continues to remain stubborn.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday indicated that the fuel prices may have to be hiked again if international oil prices escalate further. He also termed the double digit inflation rate "worrisome".

When asked if there will be a review of a recent fuel hike which has been opposed by the UPA's ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, he said the government currently provides Rs.1.32 lakh crore as subsidy to mitigate the high international fuel prices and this burden is "unsustainable."

"We do not think that the sharper-than-expected slowdown in economic activity will change the policy stance of RBI, unless headline wholesale price inflation comes off significantly. We see theRBI on an extended pause and any chance of a rate cut could be pushed back to the beginning of the second quarter of the 2013 fiscal year," they added. Industry groups said the government must announce measures to reverse the trend.

"The industrial growth outlook in the country has worsened over the past few months. Uncertainty in economic environment has impacted business and consumer confidence which is reflected in the negative growth of capital goods sector and also the consumer non-durable sector," said Rajiv Kumar, secretary-general of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said he would like to draw a link between high interest rates and slowing industrial growth, but added that he was concerned by the slowdown.

The Prime Minister, while speaking to reporters on board his special flight on his way home from the SAARC summit in the Maldives, said if the international oil prices rise further than any more, subsidies can only aggravate inflation.

On Nov 3, the three state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) had raised petrol prices by Rs 1.80 per litre. The move came just over a month and a half since the last hike.

The hike was to fight depreciation of the rupee and high global crude prices, the oil firms said.

The latest hike of Rs 1.80 per litre -- the 11th time since June 2010 -- comes over and above a steep upward revision of Rs 3.14 a litre on Sep 15, 2011.

Petrol is deregulated, giving oil marketing firms the freedom to change retail prices, they still require the government's approval to effect any changes in the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas.

On inflation, the prime minister said this was "a worrisome problem. And I do not deny it particularly with regard to food prices".

The country's food inflation continued to be in double digits during the week ended Oct 29, although it dipped marginally to 11.81 per cent, recent data showed.

Food inflation had risen to the highest level in nine months last week at 12.21 per cent. It's been a month since food inflation breached the double digit levels.

Prices of pulses, vegetables and milk and poultry rose.

Overall inflation too has remained stubbornly high, near double digits, since January 2010.

The prime minister further said that one reason for high inflation was the rise in fuel prices.

"Foodgrain prices are stable. But the prices of vegetables and that of tertiary goods are going up . The demand is growing on a much faster rate on the supply curve," the prime minister said.

"One reason why inflation has become a problem is due to the prices of fuel products," Manmohan Singh replied.

He also said that with the gross domestic growth of eight percent, the average per capita income would grow by 6.5 per cent this fiscal.

"The economy is growing at the rate of 7.5 per cent to 8 per cent per annum. With the economy growth at eight per cent the per capita income will grow at 6.5 per cent," the prime minister said.
Meanwhile,Lauding the private sector's role in driving India's economic growth, country's top industrialist Mukesh Ambanion Sunday urged the government to move faster in its decision making and put to rest any notion about policy paralysis due to political constraints.

He also called for a dramatic shift in the governance model for better partnership between the government and the private sector in delivering more value to each other, and the society at large.

Speaking at the opening session of the annual Indian Chapter of the World Economic Forum(WEF) here, Ambani said the corporate sector wants both the central and state governments to "align and move a lot faster", remove the mismatch prevailing in their approaches, and speed up the decision making process.

He said the private industry has now become a driver, from a facilitator, of India's economic growth.

"I think there is a mismatch. We are both heading to the same direction and sometimes, like you have seen in the US and Europe, that's the price of democracy, but we shouldn't put a thing by saying that because the institutions of democracy are there, we will be paralysed.

"And because there is an opposition and a party in power, we would do nothing. That's what worries me," he said, while urging for a minimum agreement to deliver on the expectations of the people.

Ambani, head of India's largest corporate entity Reliance Industries and the country's richest person, also acknowledged that the government was taking steps in that direction.

Paralysis in policy decisions and government inaction on important economic issues has been a matter of debate in the recent past, with many industry leaders seeking urgent steps from policy-makers to tackle the problem.
At the same time, private sector lender ICICI Bank's CEO Chanda Kochhar warned that the capital flows to India might be impacted by the "worrying" trends in the global economic scenario.

Sounding a note of caution, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said steps were required to ensure that the worsening Eurozone debt crisis do not lead to protectionism, as had happened in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Besides, he said, nations should act to see that there is enough capital flow into the rest of the world and the present Eurozone crisis should not curtail the flows.

India to test fire sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay next year!

Anand Sharma to take meeting of industry leaders on declining IIP!

The government plans to set up a Rs 5,000-crore fund to support joint research and development (R&D), as well as commercialisation of R&D inputs, Union Minister of State for Science & Technology Ashwani Kumar said here today.Global corporate leaders and policy-makers today kicked-off the 27th edition of the India Chapter of the World Economic Forum here, saying that nations should guard against protectionism and ensure that capital continues to flow smoothly across the world.


The capital flows to India might be impacted by the "worrying" trends in the global economic scenario, the country's largest private sector bank ICICI Bank's CEO Chanda Kochhar warned today.On the other hand,India warned on Sunday against protectionism as the world grapples with the sovereign debt crisis, portraying itself as a relative haven of stability in troubled economic times.  

"The sub-committee of the PM's council of trade and industry on promotion of public-private partnership (PPP) for R&D has prepared and submitted a concept paper. One of the important recommendations is to establish a PPP fund of Rs 5,000 crore for supporting joint R&D and commercialisation of R&D outputs," he said at an event organised by the CII here.

The proposed fund is expected to be available for R&D efforts at public educational institutions like the IITs, as well as private industries, he said.

Looking to add more lethal firepower to its arsenal, India is planning to test fire its latest 1000-km range sub-sonic land attack cruise missile 'Nirbhay' early next year.

Nirbhay will be a terrain hugging, stealthy missile capable of delivering multiple warheads as per mission requirements.

"We are looking to test-fire the new sub-sonic cruise missile in the first quarter of 2012. The Nirbhay will be a new state-of-the-art missile," DRDO officials told PTI here.

With its range of 1,000 Km, the missile has longer reach than Pakistan's Hatf-7 Babur missile, which claims to have a range of 700 km.

The missile is being developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory under the DRDO.

Sources said the missile will be sleeker than other similar weapon systems that are operational with different countries.

The Nirbhay will be India's second cruise missile after the 300 km range BrahMos, which is a supersonic system. The missile can be launched from multiple launchers and will be inducted into all the three services.

The government also plans to bring out a white-paper for increasing private sector engagement in R&D. "Increasing the engagement of the private sector in R&D is an essential step. An industry-led initiative to prepare a white paper for advising government for launching policy initiatives is being considered," he said.

A joint committee of the industry and the government is being constituted for preparation of a white paper for stimulating investment of the private sector in R&D, he said.

It has also been proposed to increase the size of full time equivalent of R&D staff for absorbing at least 10,000 PhDs per year during the 12th Plan, besides generating 2,500 high-value employment for R&D professionals per year in the private sector, he said.

"We are looking at how to increase the gross expenditure in R&D as a percentage of GDP to 2 per cent within the next five years. We are also looking at quadrupling the size of funds estimated to be deployed by the national private sector within the next five years," he said.

Expressing concern over declining industrial production, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today called for an urgent meeting of industry leaders next week in New Delhi.

The Index of Industrial Production ( IIP) has slipped to a two-year low of 1.9 per cent in September.

"It is a matter of concern. I have called for a review meeting in Delhi to look at all aspects like how the industry can get opportunities and climate to invest more," Sharma said here at the World Economic Forum summit.

Sharma also asked the RBI to urgently review its monetary policy to tackle the issue.

India Inc, which has been demanding lowering of interest rates by RBI, has also asked the central bank to reverse the trend of raising interest rates now.

The Reserve Bank has hiked interest rates 13 times since March, 2010, to tame inflation. Headline inflation has been above the 9 per cent-mark since December last year and stood at a 13-month high of 9.78 per cent in August before moderating slightly to 9.72 per cent in September.

The continuous hike in the key policy rates are counter- productive for industrial growth and capital formation, the minister said.

From chip plants to research parks, India must invest in an electronics manufacturing base to sate the swelling demand for smartphones, laptops and other gear or risk an import bill larger than for oil, a top adviser to the prime minister said.

Information technology and services may have powered India to be one of the world's fastest-growing major economies, but manufacturing accounts for just 16 percent of output, roughly half of the share in China and far behind India's targeted 25 percent over the next decade.

"We have lost all of the electronics manufacturing base, whatever little we had," said Sam Pitroda in an interview on the sidelines of a World Economic Forumevent in Mumbai.

Launching the WEF Plenary Session, attended by top Indian and global business leaders, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma called upon the world to ensure that the worsening sovereign debt crisis in Europe should not lead to protectionism as had happened in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

He said the G-20 group of nations should also ensure that the world does not fall back into the kind of protectionist tendencies that the world had witnessed during that crisis.

Besides, he said, nations should ensure that there is enough capital flow into the rest of the world and the present Eurozone crisis should not curtail the flows.

Sharma said India has emerged on the global arena and the past two decades of rapid growth have seen doubling of its GDP and trebling of the national income.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said 20 years of economic liberalisation has lifted 150 million people out of poverty and called for faster policy decisions so that the high level of growth can be sustained.

"The last 20 years have seen the energy of every section of our society getting unshackled as the industry adopted a bottom-up approach to growth. India is not a land of billion problems but a land of a billion opportunities," Ambani said.

WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, the host state (Maharashtra) Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Planning Commission member Sudha Pillai ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and Alcatel CEO Ben Verawaayan were among those present at the session.

Steps to combat global crisis at right time: Pranab Mukherjee
KOLKATA: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said that the global economic crisis have had an impact on India, but there was no need to panic and the government would not hesitate in taking tough decisions, if needed.

"The 2008 and 2011 crises have created some adverse impact, but that does not mean there is need for despondency and suffering," he told Assocham members here today.

"As a finance minister, I assure you that we will not hesitate to take tough decisions at appropriate time," Mukherjee said referring to the euro-zone crisis that may have some adverse impact on the economy.

Mukherjee indicated that the government would take measures for fiscal consolidation to manage the high deficit created by the previous Rs 1,86,000 crore stimulus package to combat the global financial meltdown in 2008.

"I do not want a situation where sovereign debt is too high and fiscal deficit is unmanagable...so we have to come back to fiscal consolidation," Mukherjee said.

The fiscal deficit target of 4.6 per cent will remain a challenge, he said.

Mukherjee said he was not sure as to how soon the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis would be over and it could adversely impact exports.

He said though FDI in the April-August period had doubled, there was some sort of uncertainty.

Mukherjee assured that the government was carrying out the reform process during the year to keep the economy on track.

He said that despite divergent views, the three bills -- PFRDA, Factory Bill and Banking Amendment Bill -- were likely to be taken up this year.

"I believe by this time the Direct tax Code will also be cleared," Mukherjee said.

These measures might help India receive increased FDI flow, he added.

He assured that the budgetary provisions for banks' recapitalisation would be released within the current fiscal.

On inflation, Mukherjee said measures have been taken and if despite that if the rate of price rise remained in double digit, more measures would be taken.

Bad loans of Indian banks rise 33% in Q2 to over Rs 1 lakh cr.
Bad loans of the listed banks in the country soared by 33.46 per cent to over Rs 1 lakh crore during the second quarter of this fiscal reflecting the impact of rising interest rates and a slowing growth.

The gross non-performing assets of State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest bank, rose by 46 per cent to Rs 33,946 crore during the July-September quarter.

However, private sector lender ICICI Bank reported a modest 0.39 per cent increase in gross NPA to Rs 10,021 crore.

According to an analysis of 37 listed banks in the country, the gross NPA have gone up to Rs 1.06 lakh crore during the September quarter from Rs 79,078 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Analysts said the steep rise in interest rates over the past 18 months has led to a sharp increase in bad loans. The Reserve Bank of India has increased its lending (repo) rate 13 times since March, 2010 to tame inflation.

The banks are also under pressure from loans outgoes to the sectors facing delays in execution of projects due to the uncertainty on various regulatory issues, thereby, raising concerns over the companies' ability to timely repay loans.

Loans given to mining and power companies might become non performing assets (NPAs) for the banking sector as the delay in completion of projects on the back of regulatory hurdles can impact the corporate profits.

Already, the rise in bad loans has not gone down too well with investors. Shares of SBI lost as much as 7 per cent on the day of its result.

SBI's NPAs rose mainly from loans to export-oriented sectors, iron-steel, agro-based businesses and the government- -sponsored schemes.

Besides, the NPA of Punjab National Bank ( PNB) rose by 29 per cent during the quarter to Rs 5,150 crore.

Even global ratings firm Moody's has said that slowing economic growth could increase bad loans and impact profitability of companies.

However, another global rating agency S&P has upgraded Indian's banking sector, saying that domestic regulations are in line with international standards.

RBI has also said that the Indian banking sector is not facing any stress and there is no indication of a systemic threat.

Repeated rate hikes by the central bank has increased borrowing costs for corporates and slowed project investments.

This is getting reflected in the index of industrial production which fell to 5 per cent in the April-September period from 8.2 per cent in the same period last year.

RBI has projected that Indian economy will grow at 7.6 per cent this fiscal, which is lower than 8.5 per cent growth recorded in 2010-11.

Noting that the investors across the world were getting into a risk-aversion mode, she said that the global economic scenario has become "quite worrying".

"As of now since people are getting into risk aversion and de-leveraging mode the world over, I think it will impact capital flows in India," Kochhar told reporters here on the sidelines of a World Economic Forumsummit here.

The global situation is quite challenging, quite worrying, she added.

Debt-laden European countries, particularly Greece and now Italy, are under intense global pressure to move swiftly to stave off bankruptcy risks, amid fears that the crisis could destabilise the entire Eurozone region.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde recently warned that the world risked plunging into a "downward spiral" of financial instability and urged Asian economies to be on their guard.

Lagarde had said Asia was not immune to problems currently sweeping the eurozone.

Asked whether removal of oil subsidies was the right way of tackling the current high-price situation, Kochhar said: "I think, as far as inflation is concerned, it is my belief that in the long term, as a country, we have to focus on creating more supply."

State-owned oil firms, recently hiked the petrol price by Rs 1.80 per litre, the fourth increase this year, as the rupee fell from 46.29 a dollar to Rs 49.40 a dollar.

The headline inflation remained close to the double-digit mark at 9.72 per cent in September as all items, including food products, fuel and manufactured goods, grew costlier, a development that might prompt the Reserve Bank to continue with its monetary tightening policy by raising interest rates.

The apex bank has already hiked key policy rates 13 times since March 2010 to tame inflation. The bank's next policy review is slated for December 16.

Continuing its dismal performance, industrial growth also fell further to 1.9 per cent in September, mainly due to poor output from the manufacturing sector.

Growth in factory output, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), stood at 6.1 per cent in September last year.

Commerce minister Anand Sharma said India was an influential emerging economy and that the country "will be part of the stabilisation process when it comes to what's happening in Europe".

But he warned: "In difficult times, the tendency to look inwards, to have protective measures... is something the G20 must reassure the world that we will not allow that to happen.

"We need it (the G20) to engage more, not going for protectionism because that has happened since 2008-09," he told delegates at the India Economic Summit in Mumbai.

"We must first put in place a multilateral trading system by completing the ongoing WTO ( World Trade Organisation) negotiation (and) correct historical imbalances to make this order more equitable and more accessible."

Hundreds of international policymakers and industry leaders have converged in the financial hub for the annual summit, hoping that India can provide a rare chink of light as the global economy falters.

India emerged relatively unscathed from the last global economic downturn in 2008, largely because most of its demand for goods and services was met domestically.

Its tightly regulated banking and financial sectors were also less exposed to overseas troubles.

Prithviraj Chavan, the chief minister of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is capital, said India was on a "high-growth trajectory going into the next decade".

"India offers a refuge for long-term investment in pensions, insurance and banking... Emerging markets will play an increasingly important role in the stabilisation of the global crisis," he said.

India, however, is still facing a squeeze from high inflation that has hit investor confidence and also threatens government ambitions to lift millions out of poverty.

India's stock markets have slid as much as 20 percent this year, making them among the worst performing globally, while companies have seen falling profits due to rising input costs and weak demand from the troubled eurozone.

The central bank governor said in October that India's economy was likely to expand by 7.6 percent in the financial year to March 2012, lower than an earlier forecast of 8.0 percent.

Local financial experts said they were still confident in India's economic expansion, despite signs of a slowdown that has undercut hopes that it can help power global growth.

"India's structural growth story is intact. It's not broken, despite near-term concerns," Sandeep Naik, co-head of private equity advisory group Apax Partners, told delegates.

Udayan Sen, chief executive of Deloitte India, agreed, saying that India was "trending down but not collapsing", with continued robust demand domestically.

Business leaders at the summit called for much-needed institutional reform, as well as improvements in infrastructure spending, transparency and governance.

Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines would have to wait some more time for relief as its lenders continued deliberations today towards resolving the crisis, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singhsaid the government would explore ways to help the private carrier.


The cash-strapped airline cancelled 40 more flights today taking the total number of cancelled services to over 250 flights in one week putting thousands of passengers to inconvenience.


Bankers of Kingfisher, who met in Mumbai yesterday, are holding more rounds of talks on its debt restructuring. Kingfisher is looking for additional working capital to tide over its severe cash crunch.


Kingfisher has approached lender-banks for a reappraisal of working capital requirements following a surge in price of jet fuel in recent months.


Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi has ruled out any bailout package for the airlines but said efforts would be made to help the ailing aviation industry.


Asked whether Government had decided on allowing FDI by foreign airlines in India, Ravi told reporters "it is not a matter to be decided in a day. The proposal may come and then it will be considered". Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya is making a strong pitch for allowing foreign airlines to pick up stakes in Indian carriers.


Ravi, who is leaving for Bahrain on a three-day visit from tomorrow, said he hasn't yet met the Prime Minister on problems faced by Kingfisher and the aviation industry.


In a tweet, Mallya said foreign governments go "out of the way" to support airlines but a leading industrialist and Bajaj Auto chief Rahul Bajaj said the private sector should not be bailed out by the government and "those who die must die".


Opposition parties like the BJP and CPI(M) have also opposed any government bailout for the private airline.


The Prime Minister, while returning from the Maldives, told reporters "we will explore ways and means in which the airlines can be helped".


At the same time, he said private airlines should be managed efficiently, "but if they do get into difficulties, we have to find ways and means to help them get out of the process."


Bankers of Kingfisher, who met in Mumbai yesterday, are expected to have more rounds of deliberations on its debt restructuring. Kingfisher is looking for additional working capital to tide over its severe cash crunch.


It approached lender-banks for a reappraisal of working capital requirements following a surge in price of fuel in recent months.


Meanwhile, industry sources said the 13-bank consortium, led by State Bank of India that has lent to Kingfisher, are not yet ready to provide a bailout package for the debt-ridden company.


After the first round of meeting yesterday, the banks have asked the airline promoters to put more equity into the venture and disclose additional financial details to them.


A core bankers' committee has also been set up to vet the additional financial details to be provided by the airline management over the next few days, the sources said.


The bank representatives would meet their respective managements to take a call on the future course of action, the sources said.


Besides SBI, the consortium includes ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, UCO Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and State Bank of Mysore.


Together, these banks now hold a 23.4 per cent stake in the airlines and have an exposure of over Rs 7,700 crore.


ICICI chief Chanda Kochhar said her bank's exposure in the troubled airline was very less and there were no overdues.


The airline has suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a mounting debt of Rs 7057.08 crore.


Taking positive cues from the US, Indian bourses may open with gains on Monday but will remain range-bound during the week as investors monitor developments of the eurozone debt crisis, say experts.

The BSE benchmark Sensex last week shed 2.1 per cent in view of lower IIP data and poor quarterly results from some companies.

"Positive closing in the US market may lead to gap-up opening at Dalal Street but overall the trend will remain bearish.

"Volatility is likely to rule and any negative news is going to affect the market. The undertone of the market will be range-bound," Ashika Stock Brokers Research Head Paras Bothra said.

Expressing similar sentiments, Alex Mathews, research head of Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said, "Indices are expected to open with gains on Monday. But, going forward, the rally may not sustain for long at higher levels due to poor corporate earnings and Eurozone crisis."

On Friday, the US stock market rallied; the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2.19 per cent higher, while S&P 500 gained 1.95 per cent and tech heavyNasdaq 2.04 per cent.

Italy and Greece moved closer to form new governments and getting their financial crises under control.

Analysts said that European concerns would continue to impact global markets with Italy being the new focus area.

CNI Research CMD Kishore P Ostwal said, "Markets have been reacting to global weakness, yet there does not seem to be much downside and markets will see a firm opening on Monday when Nifty will retest the 5,400-mark."

Unicon Financial Solutions CEO Gajendra Nagpal too said, "Markets have already discounted the bad IIP data and more or less the eurozone crisis has also been factored in. So, the outlook remains positive for the market. Italy and Greece will be closely watched this week."

Monday will also be crucial as inflation data for the month of October will be released and stock market may react to the same, experts said.

This week will see unveiling of quarterly results by Sensex blue-chips such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, BHEL, Cipla, Jaiprakash Associates and Tata Power.

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WEF India Summit: The Everywhere Man

Wall Street Journal (blog) - ‎3 hours ago‎


Prithviraj Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra, has been camping at the World Economic Forum's IndiaEconomic Summit in Mumbai to promote investment in his state.

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India Inc seeks new governance model, end to policy paralysis

Economic Times - ‎4 hours ago‎


The policymakers and industry leaders also sought concrete steps to safeguard the country's capital flows from the economic crisis in Europe and elsewhere globally, while speaking at the annual Indian summit ofWorld Economic Forumhere.


WEF India Summit: Finally, Something Worth Watching

Wall Street Journal (blog) - ‎3 hours ago‎


Social activist Kiran Bedi,at center, with Science Minister Ashwani Kumar, at left, and industrialist Adi B. Godrej during a session at the World Economic Forum'sIndia Economic Summit in Mumbai on Sunday.

Q&A: Sarita Nayyar, MD,World Economic Forum

Business Standard - ‎Nov 11, 2011‎


Sarita Nayyar, managing director, World Economic Forum, talks to Sanjay Jog on how to address the issue. Edited excerpts: What is the WEF's road map on a new vision for agriculture?

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India to be hit by global deleveraging: ICICI's Kochhar

Moneycontrol.com - ‎10 hours ago‎


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US apologises to former President A P J Abdul Kalam for frisking incident

The US has apologised to former President A P J Abdul Kalam for subjecting him to frisking at New York's JFK Airport, an incident that had provoked sharp reactions from India which threatened retaliatory action.

In a written apology to Kalam and the Indian government, the US said, "Appropriate procedure for expedited screening of dignitaries had not been followed".

"We deeply regret the inconvenience that resulted for him (Kalam) as a result of the September 29 incident involving the security screening at JFK Airport in New York," a statement from the US Embassy here said, noting that it had the utmost respect for Kalam.

They also said that US was actively working to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

Taking serious note of the incident, India had threatened retaliatory action with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna directing Indian Ambassador to US Nirupama Rao to take up the matter in writing at the "highest level" with Washington.

The US said that subsequent to the frisking incident, US Charge d' Affairs Peter Burleigh personally hand delivered a letter from the US Transportation Security Administrator to Kalam and a similar letter was delivered to the government of India regretting the incident.

Maintaining that it "deeply values and appreciates" the strong relationship and partnership with India, the US said, "We are confident that despite this regrettable incident, we will continue working closely with India in the many areas of our strategic partnership".

80-year-old Kalam was frisked in New York on September 29 before boarding an Air India flight.

Sources said that even after Kalam had taken his seat in the aircraft, the US security personnel forced the crew to open the door and took away the jacket and boots of the former president to check for explosives since they had forgotten to do so before his boarding. The items were later returned to Kalam.

Govt speeds up process for decision on FDI in multi-brand retail

SHISHIR SINHA
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The Committee of Secretaries had proposed that FDI in multi-brand retail trade be permitted up to 51 per cent.
NEW DELHI, NOV. 13:
In an attempt to dispel the impression of 'policy paralysis', the Government is fast-tracking the process for a decision on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing.
It has also indicated that a proposal for increasing FDI in single brand retail might be considered simultaneously by the Cabinet.
A senior official told Business Line, "The proposal for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail has been sent for inter-ministerial consultations. Our effort would be to collate the views and present the proposal before the Cabinet as early as possible."
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is steering the proposal.
According to the official, there has been lot of discussion on increasing the FDI limit to 100 per cent in single brand retail. The Committee of Secretaries, in its meeting held on July 22, had proposed that FDI in multi-brand retail trade be permitted up to 51 per cent. This could cover the sale of unbranded products, it had added.
It had also said that at least half of the investment could be in back-end infrastructure which would be suitably defined by DIPP. It was advised to include design improvement, quality control mechanism and packaging in the definition. The Committee had also felt that the minimum FDI to be brought into a project should be $100 million.
It had recommended that retail sales locations be set up only in the cities with more than 10 lakh population (Census of 2011). There are 51 such cities.
Allowing FDI in multi brand retail will require the free movement of agricultural produce. In this regard, the Committee had advised the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation to urge the States to expedite reforms in the Agriculture Produce Marketing (APMC) Act.
Shishir.s@thehindu.co.in
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/government-and-policy/article2624772.ece?homepage=true

Surge in bad loans in Sept quarter haunts public sector banks

M.V.S. SANTOSH KUMAR
BL RESEARCH BUREAU
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Computer-based identification, restructured assets going bad add to woes
November 13, 2011:  
The bad loan problems of public sector banks have worsened significantly in the last three months, with manufacturing output slowing and interest rates rising further.
Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of these banks increased by 20 per cent between June and September 2011, the highest slippage in the last several years.
The Rs 16,132-crore increase in NPAs in the latest quarter was more than the increase for the entire previous fiscal. Andhra Bank, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Bikaner and Oriental Bank of Commerce saw more than 50 per cent rise in NPAs over these three months. Loans are classified as NPAs when a part of principal or interest is due past 90 days.
Computer-based identification of bad loans and restructured assets going bad escalated problems for public sector banks.
As a result, gross NPAs for state-owned banks rose from 2.45 per cent in June to 2.9 per cent by the September quarter. Private banks have managed much better with gross NPAs falling.

AUTOMATIC RECOGNITION

September 30, 2011 was the deadline for banks to shift to system-based identification of NPAs. Public sector banks made this shift recently. Computer-based NPA recognition removes the subjectivity that the banker may exercise in classifying a loan as non-performing. Smaller loan accounts, particularly agricultural loans, were the last to migrate to this system, and seem to have suffered the biggest slippage.
Canara Bank, for instance, reported Rs 1,280 crore of additional NPAs, 33 per cent of the total because of such migration. Similarly, Union Bank of India witnessed a 20 per cent addition to NPAs from such accounts.
Another reason for the rise in NPAs is the phenomenon of restructured loans going bad.
Restructured assets refer to loans on which banks have allowed customers to postpone their interest payments until business prospects improve. Such restructured loans accounted for 4.4 per cent of the loans outstanding for the top nine state-owned banks. These banks accounted for over half of all loans advanced by the industry.
The restructured loans that turned bad accounted for 17 per cent of all advances for these banks.
The government-owned banks' net NPA ratio, after setting aside provisions, went up by nearly a third or Rs 12,000 crore.
Due to these and other challenges, public sector banks saw a modest 5.4 per cent growth in profits in the September quarter. Private sector banks managed a 27 per cent growth.
Keywords: bad loan,
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/banking/article2624773.ece?homepage=true

Time to reflect on the future of manufacturing in India

HEMANT SIKKA
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Business LineManaging social, industrial change: A file picture of Maruti Suzuki employees during a protest inside a plant. _ Kamal Narang
November 13, 2011:  
At a time when India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has faced its longest labour unrest in over a decade; when the Government has passed its most ambitious and forward looking strategic policy; when developed countries are facing huge challenges in creating new jobs; and when the world has seen the birth of the seven-billionth baby, its time to reflect on the future of manufacturing in India.
For a country where a large percentage of its population is young and at a working age, manufacturing becomes all the more important as it has the potential to create millions of jobs.
While India must do everything possible to support manufacturing and increase its footprint, it faces many challenges in achieving a manufacturing-led growth even while there are opportunities coming its way.

GOVERNMENT POLICY

This clearly is one of the most important factors affecting manufacturing in any nation. Many G20 countries, including India, have recently announced new policies. Manufacturing is a key industry for any nation. It helps create jobs and create a larger middle-class and, hence, huge demand centres to ensure national prosperity.
The National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) aims at raising the share of manufacturing from 15 per cent to 25 per cent of GDP and creating 100 million new jobs in the next 10 years.
The NMP is centred on the creation of national investment and manufacturing zones (NIMZs). These are intended to be self-governing and autonomous industrial townships of at least 5,000 hectares which will enjoy single-window clearances and relaxations in labour and environmental clearances. The NIMZs will be managed by a SPV to be headed by a Government official.
Clearly, Indian policymakers are pulling the right levers to encourage manufacturing activity. Obviously, whether we can implement the NMP with all our implementation issues such as land acquisition is another issue.

LAND

NMP states that each NIMZ has to be at least 5,000 hectares and the land acquisition has to be managed by the States promoting it. We have been witness to some very hostile land acquisition issues in the recent past and it remains to be seen how this major challenge to manufacturing will pan out. Land acquisition is a major challenge to manufacturing and if this issue is not resolved soon it has the potential to derail its growth.

SKILLED MANPOWER AVAILABILITY

As India grows at eight per cent, the availability of skilled and intellectual labour is the key to manufacturing success. Shortage of this critical input will inhibit growth. Indian corporations and government need to collaborate to identify the critical skills required for manufacturing-led growth, the gaps and then plan for development of this talent resource. With strong manufacturing growth, on one hand, and skilled shortage on the other, labour will become more assertive in demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Companies that understand this quickly and engage positively with their workmen and unions will do their best to manage social and industrial change. They will, otherwise, face prolonged worker agitation and industrial unrest.

LABOUR COST ARBITRAGE

India has enjoyed for long (and still does) the competitive advantage of low labour costs. However, as manufacturing grows, labour aspires for a higher standard of living. As talent pool becomes scarce, this competitiveness will erode and become more elusive. Manufacturing companies will also de-risk their labour strategies by adopting more automation and higher productive processes.

FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS

As India signs more FTAs with new partners, this will translate into huge opportunities for manufacturing.
Reduced tariff opportunities in other countries will open up markets for Indian companies. International entities will be encouraged to set up manufacturing in India to be close to this huge demand centre for their goods.
Currency fluctuation also impacts manufacturing flow and growth in India. Maruti has just reported its third quarter results and one of the factors cited for lower profit is adverse currency movements of its imports due to the hardening of the yen.
As this gains Yen hardens, Maruti will try its best to localise manufacturing of majority of parts in India to mitigate this currency risk, thus, impacting manufacturing in India. I have seen similar scenarios in other companies that have significant imports from Japan.
As Chinese Yuan appreciates, China will also face similar headwinds to manufacturing-led growth in China and this can be an opportunity for India. Energy price is another critical factor that influences global manufacturing flow, and thus, its growth globally. But in Indian context, I do not think it is a strong influencing factor, as availability of energy itself is a big factor for industry, leave alone the price.
While IT has created millions of jobs in India, but majority of these jobs are white collar. For our hundreds of million of young people, we need a manufacturing-led growth that has the potential to provide jobs.
I look forward to discussing these issues at length at the sessions on manufacturing at the India Economic Summit with senior executives and policy-makers from India and abroad.
(The writer is Senior Vice-President, Mahindra & Mahindra, Strategic Partner, Member of the World Economic Forum.)
Keywords: World Economic Forum, India Economic Summit, FTA, National Manufacturing Policy

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article2624678.ece

Pitroda seeks early passage of educational Bills

OUR BUREAU
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NEW DELHI, NOV 12:
Mr Sam Pitroda, Prime Minister's Advisor on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, has called for early passage of Bills related to the education sector in Parliament.
Twelve Bills, including Foreign Education Providers' Bill, Unfair Practices Bill, Tribunal Bill, Accreditation Bill, National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) Bill 2010 and Innovation University Bill are waiting in the wings.
"While many recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission are in the process of being implemented, we are waiting for the Government to act on those relating to reform of higher education," Mr Pitroda said at the FICCI Higher Education Summit.
Mr Harsh Mariwala, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce, also urged the Government to carry forward the education reform agenda within a stringent timeframe.
The chamber proposes to set up five National Knowledge Functional Hubs in association with NMIMS, Thapar, Manipal, Amrita and UPES Universities and industry members L&T, BPCL, ISGEC, Thermax, Bharat Forge, Chemtrols, Hindustan Dor Oliver, JW Precision Tools in the next one year.
Keywords: National Commission for Higher Education and Research, NCHER Bill 2010, FICCI Higher Education Summit, Sam Pitroda, education bills
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article2624612.ece
Obama warns Hu of US impatience with China
By Stephen Collinson (AFP) – 1 minute ago  
HONOLULU, Hawaii — US President Barack Obama told China's President Hu Jintao on Saturday that Americans were "frustrated" and "impatient" at the pace of change in Beijing's economic policy.
Obama delivered the frank warning in talks on the eve of a major Asia-Pacific summit, a senior US official said, after the president earlier warned that China must "play by the rules" of international trade.
The president's direct language betrayed increasing US concern over the level of China's yuan currency, which critics say is kept artificially low to boost exports, and Beijing's observance of intellectual property standards.
The meeting took place amid rising domestic political pressure on Obama over China's trade record, voiced again by Republican candidates in a campaign debate on Saturday as the 2012 presidential election campaign gathers pace.
But Hu retorted that a big rise in the yuan would not help the United States, adding the US trade deficit and unemployment were not caused by his country's exchange rate policy, which he qualified as "responsible."
"Even if the yuan rises substantially, it will not solve problems faced by the United States," he told Obama, according to comments posted on China's foreign ministry website.
In a public appearance before their talks in a Honolulu hotel, Obama and Hu did not stray far from diplomatic niceties, but economic tensions came up in private.
Obama "made it very clear that the American people and the American business community were growing increasingly impatient and frustrated with the state of change in China economic policy and the evolution of the US-China economic relationship," said Michael Froman, a US deputy national security advisor.
Obama said before the talks he wanted to discuss "efforts to jointly ensure that countries like Iran are abiding by international rules and norms" and said North Korea's nuclear program and non-proliferation would also come up.
"We are both Pacific powers and I think many countries in the region look to a constructive relationship between the United States and China as the basis for continued growth and prosperity," Obama said.
Hu, in a nod to fraught economic times that have spooked global markets, said the world was undergoing "complex and profound changes."
"There is growing instability and uncertainty in the world economic recovery. Under these circumstances, it is all the more important that the US and China increase their communication and cooperation."
Earlier at a meeting with CEOs, Obama was more frank over US differences with China, singling out China's record on intellectual property protection amid complaints from US corporations that their innovation and products are being unfairly compromised and copied.
"For us not to get that competitive advantage that we need in a large marketplace like China is not acceptable," Obama said.
"The bottom line is that the United States can't be expected to stand by if there is not the kind of reciprocity in our trade relations and our economic relationship that we need."
The president noted the long-running dispute between the United States and China over currency and said most experts believed that the yuan was unfairly undervalued despite some appreciation this year.
"We want you to play by the rules, and currency is probably a good example," Obama said, paraphrasing his message to Chinese leaders, ahead of his first meeting with Hu since he welcomed him on a state visit in January.
Obama, who is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here, will move on later in the week to Australia and an East Asia summit in Bali, as part of America's effort to cement its role as a major Pacific power.
In the run-up to the APEC summit, China complained Washington was setting its goals too high on trade liberalization and lowering tariffs on green industries. It also suggested TPP entry requirements may prove too onerous for some Asian nations.
China got a hammering on Saturday during a Republican campaign debate in South Carolina.
Texas governor Rick Perry said that the "communist Chinese government will end up on the ash heap of history."
Republican front runner Mitt Romney meanwhile branded Beijing as a "currency manipulator" which was "stealing our intellectual property, hacking into our computers or artificially lowering their prices and killing American jobs."

Winds of change in emerging economies

N RAMAKRISHNAN.
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Mr Tulsi Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director of Suzlon Energy.
Mr Tulsi Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director of Suzlon Energy, replies to queries posed by N Ramakrishnan.
How have the economic problems in Europe affected the renewable energy sector, especially wind energy?
Looking at the current situation, the effect of the economic problems on the wind sector is limited to only certain geographies. The wind energy industry continues to grow rapidly in emerging economies and a few strong, developed economies like Germany, France, the UK, Netherlands and Canada.
A few European nations are slowly withdrawing some of the incentives for renewable energy. Isn't that a retrograde step? What is the industry doing about it?
The wind energy industry needs a level-playing field, not state handouts. If the European nations can deliver that, then the industry will not depend on incentives. In countries like Brazil, wind is already at par with coal and gas – a clear indication of the potential of wind and the future of renewables.
Will the problems in the West be a setback for technological developments in renewable energy?
No. The epicentre on the wind industry has shifted to the emerging economies and they are leading its growth, including technology developments. However, the developed world is not far behind. Europe has always been the leader in wind energy, and now has a strong lead in the development of offshore wind technology.
Will the focus now shift to China, India and other emerging markets for renewable energy?
The Indian market shows strong growth, with the market size expected to reach 4 GW annually by 2015. The World Institute for Sustainable Energy, India (WISE) projects that with larger turbines, greater land availability and expanded resource exploration, the wind potential in India could be as high as 100 GW. Looking at offshore, the market continues to be led by developed economies with the UK, Germany, France and Belgium leading the way.
What is the industry doing to improve reliability and efficiency of green energy technologies?
Economies everywhere are investing in renewable technology. Today's wind industry for example is radically different from that in the early eighties. Wind turbines are now typically 100 times more powerful than earlier versions and employ sophisticated materials, electronics, and aerodynamics. Costs have come down, making wind more competitive than other power generation options.
Keywords: Tulsi Tanti, green energy technologies, World Institute for Sustainable Energy, renewable energy
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article2624585.ece

Land of billion opportunities, not billion problems: Mukesh

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Business LineTaking stock: The Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Anand Sharma, flanked by the CMD, Reliance Industries, Mr Mukesh Ambani, and the MD and CEO, ICICI Bank, Ms Chanda Kochhar, during a session at the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit in Mumbai on Sunday. — Paul Noronha
MUMBAI, NOV 13:
India is a land of billion opportunities and not billion problems, according to Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd.
"Lot of people think that India is a land of problems. I really think that India is a land of billion opportunities and not a billion problems," said Mr Ambani in a panel discussion at the India Economic Summit 2011, organised by the World Economic Forum.

READY TO TAKE-OFF

In spite of the grim situation that the world is facing, India is now at a stage where it is ready to take-off on the back of a young population and high-level of entrepreneurship, which is the differentiating factor in the world, emphasised Mr Ambani, who was ranked ninth in the Forbes 2011 list of world's billionaires.
Pointing out that in the last two decades, the energy of all sections of the Indian society has been unleashed to build a new India, the Reliance chief said, "in the last 20 years, we (the country) have built a foundation on which we can catapult India and give a higher quality of living to all."
Today, India is roughly at $1,000 per capita. In the last 20 years, the country has added a trillion dollars of output. An estimated 150 million people have come out of poverty, he added. "Earlier, it was the Government which had to move the economy. Now, we have moved away from this scenario, with the Government fast becoming a facilitator. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of the changes that have happened in the last two decades," explained Mr Ambani.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

The private sector is playing a significant role in the economy with bottoms-up entrepreneurship that is driven on the strength of 'young' people. Underscoring the fact that corporates are fast adopting the shared value concept, the Reliance chief said most of corporate India is transiting to create shared value for the society rather than only for the shareholders.
On leadership development, he observed that it has to reflect our demographics. "We have had a history where we think that responsible jobs can only be done by 60 year olds. I think we are fast moving towards a situation where a 40-year-old can take on more responsibility and perform better. That mindset change is happening as India is going to become younger in the next two decades."
On governance, Mr Ambani averred that a dramatic shift in governance is happening in the corporate sector. Governance systems, he felt, must ultimately deliver goods and services for common people.
Keywords: Mukesh Ambani, leadership quality

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'In India, day-to-day petty corruption is hardest on the poor'

MURALI GOPALAN
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Ms. Huguette Labelle
The 18-year-old Transparency International strives to prevent the cancer of corruption worldwide through constant engagements with governments and companies. Clearly, people are at the end of their tether and protests have become the order of the day with India seeing its fair share in recent times.
Ms Huguette Labelle, Chair of the Board of Directors, Transparency International, was in Mumbai for the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit. She took time off to speak to Murali Gopalan.
Could we start off with what Transparency International is all about?
Well, I am Chair of the Board of this organisation whose mission is to try to prevent and tackle corruption around the world. We have chapters in nearly 100 countries which grounds us nationally while at the same time being involved internationally.
We try to keep corruption on the agenda because of its devastating effect on people. Transparency International continues to be involved in being a solutions provider working with industries and governments where we develop tools for them to use. More recently, we are becoming increasingly involved in trying to get people to understand that they should not tolerate corruption and, instead, become part of providing solutions. We also work with educational systems to try and build ethics for students in the school curriculum from an early age right up the Ph. D. level so that there is a better moral compass both personally and professionally.
Do you see change happening?
Today, we talk about corruption but before we were born we did not even mention it. It is no longer a hidden secret and people see for themselves how it can be devastating on society. Governments today are more transparent with what they do but there is a long way to go. We also have some industry leaders who have taken on the challenge. When I look at a company like Petrobras of Brazil, there is strong leadership at the top with a code of conduct for the staff as well as incentives and disincentives.
Transparency International has tried to get different sectors in business groups to work together as in the case of people involved in water, construction (the worst activity where there is a lot of money and kickbacks for contracts) etc. We get those leaders of industry to come together in a model we call ' Integrity Pacts'. When there is a contract, the bidders will agree to a pact of integrity and transparency. If anyone is caught bribing, the company is disqualified immediately. We have got this initiative going in about 15 countries. It is my belief that there are ways to prevent corruption where information technology is a powerful tool to use. Many companies are reporting publicly everything they get for contracts or government payments. One of the big problems of corruption is that people lose confidence in their governments and that becomes extremely dangerous. It is a time bomb that eventually explodes as was the case in the Middle-East where corruption was the common denominator. No country is immune to this though some which are better than the others.
Which are some of these nations?
From our Corruption Perceptions Index, Norway, Sweden and Denmark are closer to the top (in terms of being least corrupt) almost all the time. Germany is in the top 20, the US is 22 while India is in the 80s.
Last year, our India chapter carried out a survey where it was revealed that one out of two Indians had to pay bribes to access central services. Big scandals are bad but it is the day-to-day petty corruption that is the hardest on the poor. This is because they do not have the money to pay and if they don't, they do not get the services.
Is there some hope that this will be cured?
The good thing is that there are institutions in India that can catch this when it happens. You have protection for whistle-blowers and a way for people to report to a safe entity which, in turn, can do something. The justice system is following its course which is very encouraging.
Another positive about India is that there is space for people to make their point. The important part is for governments worldwide not to think this is something temporary which will pass. Instead, they must work with people and businesses to see where the pressure points and vulnerabilities are. Our chapter in India is working at the community level to do development pacts where people running for local elections should state clearly what roadmap they have in mind. Once elected, they need to work with the local community and implement this roadmap.
These pacts are functional in 21 localities and working well. Greater transparency is imperative from the local government to their communities so that they know what kind of money is going into schools or roads.
Does this work in a totalitarian regime?
I think that a number of totalitarian regimes have been gradually relaxing their controls. If countries do not involve their people or are not fully transparent in what they are doing about their money/resources, they do so at their own peril and with the danger of social destabilisation. Leadership is very important and should be strong and committed with the involvement of the people. Working closely with businesses is also vital. By the end of the day, industry can be part of the problem as well as (part of) the solution.
Keywords: Transparency International, corruption, Ms Huguette Labelle, World Economic Forum, India Economic Summit
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article2624680.ece

Govt needs to adopt holistic approach to infrastructure, say experts

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MUMBAI, NOV 13:
The Government needs to adopt a holistic approach to infrastructure for sustained development of the economy, experts at the India Economic Summit said here on Sunday.
Infrastructure related to health, information, water, housing, education, energy and logistics required equal focus to sustain the eight plus growth in the run, said Mr Ravi Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Adani Power.
If one part or portion is only addressed then the challenges begin to surface to counter the dissatisfaction, he said.
Speaking at the session on 'India's Infrastructure imperative,' Mr Sharma said it was also important for the private sector to look beyond project execution and also have the skill sets and ability to integrate forward and backward.
Mere project execution capabilities may not suffice as challenges during execution and thereafter need to be addressed.
In the case of Adani Power, the company had commissioned transmission lines for evacuation of power from its power plants, more due to compulsions as it would take its own time to come by.

FINANCING

On financing, Mr Rajiv Lall, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IDFC, said Indian markets were not deep enough and evolution would take seven to eight years to address the long term requirements of the infrastructure sector.
Banks continued to be major funding sources though the tenor was restricted to three to five years.
However, the rupee denominated debt that can be raised from overseas would help bridge the gap till such time the domestic secondary markets deepened and investor appetite for such papers improved. Currently, it was more of a systemic imbalance, he said.

BOTTLENECKS

A major reason to project bottlenecks seen today was due to the speed at which the private sector operated.
The Government, despite taking the initiative on PPP (private-public partnership), was lagging behind.
Mr Harpinder Singh Narula, Chairman, DSC, said a public-private-partnership project once awarded should be considered a closed financial transaction.
However, in general, both the states and Centre still think that they did not taken the views of the end-users and from then complications creep in.

PPP PROJECTS

End-user participation is a must for PPP projects. Conceding that corruption was deep-rooted and a major concern, he said it should not go to the extent of stopping everything.
Mr Sudesh Menon, Managing Director, Waterlife India, pointed out to a need for a nodal agency to accord permissions and sanctions, instead of multiple Government agencies functioning in silos.
The migration from rural to urban centres was a major issue of concern. Urban civic bodies received little importance and rural pockets continued to be looked upon as concentrated vote banks, he said.
Panelists also pointed to the challenges and results that lack of continuance of policies, in many cases, and absence of long-term vision during formulation, led to.
Keywords: holistic approach, to infrastructure, sustained development of the economy, India Economic Summit
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article2624668.ece

Manufacturing policy is designed to create jobs: Confederation of Indian Industry
The National Manufacturing Policy(NMP) provides special emphasis on the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) which will help in promotion of employment intensive industries and ensure job creation, an industry lobby said Sunday.

"The NMP provides for adequate support to promote and strengthen employment-intensive industries to ensure job creation. Special attention will be given in respect of textiles, leather and footwear, gems and jewellery, and food processing industries," theConfederation of Indian Industry (CII) said in a statement.

CII said that one of the major challenges faced by SMEs is inadequate access to adequate and timely finance, mainly due to lack of financial information and non-formal business practices, as they are largely dependent on promoter's resources and loans from financial institutions.

According to the industry lobby, the capital markets are difficult to access, due to high costs, difficulties in complying with regulatory requirements, limited access to bank finances, inability of SMEs to create tangible assets, as also because of the debt-equity ratio norms followed by banks.

Ramesh Datla, chairman of CII National MSMECouncil and managing director, Elico Ltd, said that measures such as the rollover relief from long term capital gains tax to individuals on sale of a residential property in case of re-investment in a new start-up MSME unit in the manufacturing sector will be a huge encouragement.

It will enable a large number of entrepreneurs to raise equity by selling of ancestral properties and to raise the level of investments in the MSMEs in the manufacturing sector, apart from boosting employment.

Datla also said that specific measures highlighted in the NMP, such as the setting up of a stock exchange for SMEs and implementation of Security and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) framework for recognition and supervision of platforms of stock exchanges for SMEs, the tax pass-through status for venture capital funds will focus on SMEs in the manufacturing sector.

It is estimated that in terms of value, the small sector accounts for about 45 percent of the manufacturing output and 40 percent of the total exports of the country and employ about 59 million people in over 26 million units.

Further, this sector has consistently registered a higher growth rate than the rest of the industrial sector. There are over 6,000 products, ranging from traditional to high-tech items, which are being manufactured by the MSMEs in India.

Amid debt-ridden Kingfisher, private sector should not be bailed out: Rahul Bajaj

MUMBAI: Amid debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlinesseeking Government assistance, Bajaj Auto chiefRahul Bajaj today said private sector should not be bailed out and "those who die must die".


"I am proud private sector man and I don't see any logic of bailing out any private sector company either for sake of employees or customers," Bajaj told news channel NDTV.


"If Bajaj auto gets into a mess, would you bail me out," he asked, adding, "If it's a free market economy, those who die must die."


His comments come in the wake of Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya seeking government help to stay afloat and Civil Aviation Minister Vyalar Ravi having stated that he would talk to the Finance Ministry to see whether banks and oil firms could provide some relief to the cash-strapped airline.


The airline has suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a mounting debt of Rs 7,057.08 crore.


The beleaguered airline has cancelled 210 flights since Monday, due to factors like increased costs.


Bajaj even voiced his displeasure over Government's help to national air carrier Air India and said that it should be privatised.


"I am not even in favour of what's being done for Air India... Air India should be privatised, sold off or closed. It is taxpayers' money going down the drain," he said.


However, Bajaj was on the same plane with Mallya over high taxes in the aviation sector being a spoilsport.


"The aviation sector is very highly taxed. We need to relook at taxation. All airlines are in losses, everyone can't be inefficient," he said.




11 NOV, 2011, 03.14AM IST, ET BUREAU

Barack Obama announces austerity measures; similar steps in India are mostly on papers

NEW DELHI: US President Barack Obama has come out with a series of cuts on government spending to jumpstart a sputtering economy. At home, a close look at similar austerity measures reveals that such steps are in place in India, too, but mostly on paper.


On Wednesday, the American president signed an executive order that bans swag, an acronym for "stuff we all get". According to reports, Obama's order "directs (government) agencies to stop wasting taxpayer money on non-essential items used for promotional purposes, such as clothing, mugs, and non-work related gadgets".


He also ordered federal agencies to cut the number of cell phones, smartphones, laptops and tablet computers for employees on the grounds some workers are issued more devices than they need, according to reports.


In India, austerity measures announced some time early this year include a ban on meetings in fivestar hotels and restrictions on foreign travel.


Congress president and NAC chairman Sonia Gandhiset an example for others by traveling economy class, but the measures seem to have petered out lately; the government's original idea was to narrow fiscal deficit target which was upset by a spike in global oil prices and worries of a slowdown.


However, the Indian government was on a spending spree a few weeks ago on the death anniversary of former prime minister and Sonia's mother-inlaw Indira Gandhi.


More than 10 English dailies carried nearly 65 ads of Indira Gandhi, paying tributes to the late Congress leader. This generosity was reflected in the case of Nehru's and Rajiv' Gandhi's birth anniversaries as well.


But none of it stopped the ruling dispensation from criticising UP chief minister Mayawati for splurging on monuments for Dalit leaders and gurus.


At the signing in ceremony in Washington, Obama said: "At a time when families have had to cut back, have had to make some tough decisions about getting rid of things that they don't need in order to make the investments that they do, we thought that it was entirely appropriate for our governments and our agencies to try to root out waste, large and small, in a systematic way."


Such considerations don't seem to exist in India. The government here is busy doling out sleek iPads or other tablets of their choice for our lawmakers.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/barack-obama-announces-austerity-measures-similar-steps-in-india-are-mostly-on-papers/articleshow/10685512.cms

11 NOV, 2011, 03.04AM IST, ET BUREAU

State govt has authority to revoke Afspa: Omar Abdullah

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NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir chief ministerOmar Abdullah has said he would continue to push for the phased withdrawal of Afspa from parts of the state, despite the Army's resistance, and insisted that his government had the authority to revoke the Act.


"The elected government of any state has the authority. In this case, the authority rests with the governor who would act on the basis of the state government's recommendations," Abdullah said, renewing his bid for lifting Afspa.


Insisting that 'no' was not an option for him, the chief minister told reporters here that he had sought a "feasible and workable" solution from the Army at Wednesday's Unified Headquarters (UHQ) meeting in Jammu. The Army brass, however, put up stiff opposition to even a partial rollback of Afspa.


Speaking to reporters in Jammu, Omar said: "We won't accept 'no' over the issue of removing Afspa from certain areas of J&K. We will continue to hold discussions over it in the near future at all levels." He said he had a detailed discussion with the Army brass over their apprehensions regarding continued engagement in areas being considered for Afspa withdrawal.


"Consensus is being built over the phased removal of the Act with Army and other stake holders," said the chief minister. Omar said his case for partial revocation of Afspa has the backing of the home ministry and was in line with a September 2010 decision of the CCS.


"So I don't think it is anybody's case, least of all the Army's, that the state government does not have the authority (to revoke the Afspa)," he said.


"Sooner the better, because winter is normally a phase where militancy is at a low and that obviously gives us a window to consolidate and reorient our deployments and to see how this phased withdrawal is working," he said.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/state-govt-has-authority-to-revoke-afspa-omar-abdullah/articleshow/10685412.cms

Kingfisher Airlines woes: UB Group looses over $4 bn market wealth from one-year peak

Billionaire Vijay Mallya-led UB Group, currently in the eye of a storm over troubles at itsKingfisher Airlines, has lost nearly half of its market value from its peak scaled in the past one year.


As per the stock exchange data, the combined market value of the group's six listed firms -- Kingfisher, UB Holdings, United Breweries (UBL), United Spirits (USL), Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers (MCFL), and UB Engineering (UBEL) -- currently stands at about Rs 22,850 crore.


This marks a fall of about Rs 21,800 crore (USD 4.4 billion) from the total market value of these six at their peaks in the past one year.


Out of this collective loss, the promoter holdings in the six companies account for more than half at about Rs 11,500 crore, while the remainder has been in the portfolio of other shareholders including banks, retail and other investors.


Adding to the group's troubles in the market, promoters have heavily pledged shares in most of its listed companies, including Kingfisher, the stock exchange data showed.


As per the latest shareholding patterns available till the end of July-September 2011 quarter, the total shares pledged by the promoters is worth over Rs 4,000 crore, but the actual value at which these shares were pledged could be much higher as the stocks have fallen sharply in recent past.


While queries sent to a group spokesperson regarding the various aspects of the shares pledged by promoters remained unanswered, the shareholding patterns filed with the stock exchanges show that the promoters pledged further shares in three group companies during the July-September 2011 quarter.


The total shares pledged by the promoters during the latest quarter are worth over Rs 100 crore at current prices.


The companies where promoters pledged more shares in the last quarter included USL, MCFL and UBEL.


However, the level of shares pledged by the promoters in three other companies -- Kingfisher, UB Holdings andUBL -- remained unchanged during the period.


The group is currently facing troubled times with regard to its aviation venture Kingfisher, which has cancelled a number of flights due to factors like increased costs.


The airline has said that it has requested banks for a higher borrowing limit due to rising operating, costs caused by costlier fuel prices and rupee devaluation.


The airline had effected a loan recast earlier this year, wherein some banks were given certain equity stakes, but its debts are still estimated to be about Rs 7,000 crore.


As per the airline's shareholding pattern as on September 30, 2011, the promoters have pledged 90.17 per cent of their holding. These shares are currently worth over Rs 500 crore.
Reliance Industries' cash pile may soar to Rs 1.25 lakh cr by March 2012
: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries' cash reserves may rise to $ 25 billion (about Rs 1,25,000 crore) by March 2012, putting the corporate giant in a comfortable position for investments in existing and new businesses, a report has said.

In an equity research note on Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL), global investment banking major UBS has said that the company's cash reserves were set for a major boost from the payment of remaining stake-sale proceeds from BP and its strong operational cash flow.


RIL's cash reserves stood at $ 14 billion in the second fiscal quarter, ended September 30, 2011.


Subsequently, RIL received a balance payment of $ 3.2 billion in October from BP for an stake sale in energy blocks.


After taking into account the capital expenditure of about $ 4 billion, RIL's cash reserves were expected to grow to $ 18 billion by March 31, 2012, largely due to payments from BP and operational cash flows, UBS said.


Additionally, RIL's treasury stock worth about $ 7 billion could further boost its cash reserves to $ 25 billion by the end of this fiscal, it added.


Addressing the shareholders at the company's Annual General Meeting in June this year, Chairman Mukesh Ambani had said that RIL would become debt-free on a net cash flow basis in the current fiscal.


RIL had outstanding debt of Rs 67,397 crore ($ 15.1 billion) as of March 31, 2011, as against Rs 62,495 crore ($ 13.9 billion) a year ago.


At the same time, RIL had cash and cash-equivalents of Rs 42,393 crore ($ 9.5 billion) as on March 31 this year, which was nearly double the level seen a year ago.


Since then, its cash level has grown substantially, largely due to the stake-sale proceeds from global giant BP. RIL completed sale of 30 per cent stake in its 21 oil and gas blocks to BP in August for over $ 7 billion.


There have been a lot of speculations in the market in recent months about how RIL would utilise its huge cash pile and concerns have been raised in some quarters about the limited clarity on the same.


UBS said that RIL's net-cash balance was a matter of comfort, "contrary to the market's concern, particularly in the current tight liquidity environment."


A lack of visibility on RIL's cash strategy and potential return on investments in non-core businesses like retail, telecom, insurance, hotels, and SEZs has been a dampener on its stock performance and investor sentiment, it said.


However, an efficient use of cash in growing RIL's core energy assets, new businesses and a potential buy-back of shares would be a positive for the stock, UBS said.

11 NOV, 2011, 04.48AM IST, BINOY PRABHAKAR,ET BUREAU

Steven Spielberg keeps Tintin away from Anil Ambani's DreamWorks

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NEW DELHI: Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles -the folks at Reliance Entertainment can be forgiven for mouthing Captain Haddock's famous expression when he and friend Tintin descend on India on Friday.


The Anil Ambani company coowns Steven Spielberg's Dream-Works Studios, but cannot dig into the box office fortunes - $125.3 million and counting - of Spielberg's celluloid take on Herge's treasured comic books.


Under the deal Spielberg secured with Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures in 2008 to produce the first installment of the three-part series, DreamWorks was to have no ties with the film.


Reliance bought 50% in Dream-Works through a $325-million funding deal only in 2009. The company owns the rights to distribute in India any movie the studio makes. "The film has been in the works many years before we came into the picture. We have nothing to do with it," says Reliance Entertainment chairman Amit Khanna.


That includes a share in a lucrative overseas box office run. Since opening on October 26, the animated 3D film has earned $125.3 million in 45 countries. It easily captured the top spot for the second successive weekend with $40.8 million in ticket sales and dominated the market in most countries, particularly the UK, where it racked up $3.5 million in sales at 510 theaters, to bring its gross there to $16.7 million.


Tintin trampled over every other film in every country. In India too, the movie is expected to be a big draw. "The movie will do exceptionally well. It will have a strong opening," says film analyst Taran Adarsh.


Indeed, few - including Reliance - would be surprised by strong ticket sales because Tintin is a beloved character in India. A spokeswoman for Columbia says the movie has received a unique and immense buzz around the country with celebrities like Aamir Khan and Imran Khan endorsing it.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/media/entertainment-/entertainment/steven-spielberg-keeps-tintin-away-from-anil-ambanis-dreamworks/articleshow/10686111.cms


--
Palash Biswas
Pl Read:
http://nandigramunited-banga.blogspot.com/

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