EGOM likely to meet on Dec 30 to consider diesel, LPG hike
India, Russia to design & manufacture fifth generation fighter aircraft
Gujjar stir: Central forces rush to Rajasthan
2G scam: NDA goes all-out against PM, demands resignation on JPC issue
Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time -FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY
India and Pakistan, both ruled with Washington dictations, may not break any escpae route from the Strategic allinace in US, UK and Israel lead. Washington Super salves do rule the Divided Bleeding Geopolitics. It is amusing to see, Chinese and Russian Flavours in the suicidal recipe of Self destruction to defend the Zionsist Corporate Imperialism Fascist Brhamainical Global Hegemony! India and Russia on Tuesday consolidated their defence ties by firming up plans to jointly design and manufacture Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). With each FGFA costing around $100 million, and IAF planning to induct 300 of them from 2017-18, the deal will be worth $30 billion,as Economic times reports.
LUCKONW: Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, who rejoined the party recently, has stoked a controversy when he questioned whether Kashmir was part of India after he said there is only one Muslim minister in the Union Cabinet who is not from this country ...Azam Should be Booked for Treason :VHP Outlook
Azam Khan's controversial remarks on Kashmir provokes harsh criticism Sify
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Daily News & Analysis - 1 hour ago
Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI The Bombay high court today declined to interfere with a directive of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) asking the Lavasa Corporation to stop construction at its multi-crore township in Pune district ...HC upholds ministry's 'stop work' notice to Lavasa Economic Times
Medha Patkar slams Pawar over alleged involvement in Lavasa project Indian Express
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The Home Ministry today dispatched 1,500 personnnel of central paramilitary forces to Rajasthan to assist the state government to deal with the situation arising out of the ongoing Gujjar agitation .
The central forces will be deployed along with Rajasthan Police personnel to maintain law and order and foil any attempt by any one to disturb peace, sources said.
Union Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai also spoke to Rajasthan Chief Secretary Salauddin Ahmed and discussed with him the prevailing situation in the state and assured him all central help to maintaining normalcy.
Rail and road traffic remained affected as the agitators continued to squat on rail tracks and blocked roads in Bharatpur district.
Gujjars have been agitating for the last two days in support of their demands, including quota in jobs. The Ashok Gehlot government has said it was ready for talks to end the impasse.
The Rajasthan High Court earlier in the day stayed the operation of a 2008 state act granting five per cent reservation for them and directed the state government to undertake a data collection exercise to justify the quota for members of the community.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati asked the government to complete the quantifiable data collection exercise within a year to justify the quota for Gujjars under the Special Backward Class category.
EGOM likely to meet on Dec 30 to consider diesel, LPG hikeAn Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) is likely to meet on December 30 to consider hike in diesel and domestic LPG prices.
This comes in the wake of crude oil prices ruling at a two year high of USD 93.59 per barrel and widening the gap between retail fuel price and their cost.
"The EGoM meeting has tentatively been proposed for the afternoon of December 30," a government official said.
Oil prices today rose to the highest over the past two years supported by a weak dollar and chilly weather in northern Europe and the United States that increased heating fuel demand.
"However, a confirmation of the date is awaited from EGoM head (Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee)," he said.
Oil Secretary S Sundareshan had yesterday stated that the EGoM will meet before month end to consider raising diesel and domestic LPG prices.
The EGoM was originally scheduled to meet on Wednesday but has been deferred due to non availability of certain ministers in the grouping.
The ministerial panel may consider a Rs 2 per litre hike in diesel prices to narrow the difference between the domestic retail price of the transport fuel and its imported cost.
"The under-recovery (or the revenue oil companies lose) on diesel today stands at Rs 6.09 per litre," the official said.
Besides diesel, the oil firms lose Rs 17.72 per litre on PDS kerosene sales and Rs 272.19 on (14.2-kg) LPG cylinder.
Sundareshan had yesterday stated there was "certainly" a need to raise LPG prices as the expert group on fuel pricing headed by Kirit Parikh had suggested hiking domestic cooking fuel price by Rs 100 per cylinder. But rates were increased by only Rs 35 per bottle in June.
The necessity of a price increase has arisen because global crude oil (raw material) has climbed to over USD 93 per barrel from USD 73-74 at the time of last revision in June.
Even after last week's steep Rs 2.94-2.96 a litre hike, the retail price of petrol is Rs 1.2-1.25 a litre short of the imported cost.
The government had in June this year freed petrol prices, but the state firms, who control 98 per cent of the retail market, continue to informally consult the oil ministry before revising prices.
Also, the government had decided to make diesel price market-determined in stages. "Freeing diesel prices at current crude prices is simply not possible," the official said.
The three firms are projected to end the fiscal with a Rs 68,361 crore revenue loss on account of the sale of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below cost.
2G scam: NDA goes all-out against PM, demands resignation on JPC issueTargeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the corruption issue, the BJP-led NDA today demanded that he should resign if he does not want a JPC on the 2G spectrum scam and answer charges before it.
"The Prime Minister should form the JPC and answer our questions and if you (PM) cannot answer our questions, then you should step down from your post on moral grounds," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said in his address at an NDA rally here against corruption.
The BJP and its NDA partners directed their fire towards the Prime Minister, saying his offer to appear before the Public Accounts Committee was not enough and the government should agree to a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum scam.
"It has never happened that the Prime Minister would have to say that he has nothing to hide. That he would not go to a JPC but can depose before a PAC," Jaitley said.
Challenging the Prime Minister to depose before a JPC, NDA working President L K Advani said, "In India's history, the Supreme Court has perhaps never asked the PM to give an affidavit in a case.
He said the "campaign against corruption was in a way a campaign against the Prime Minister. He should come before the JPC and say whatever he wants to say."
Addressing the rally, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, "Government is not giving in to the demand for a JPC as it fears that this issue will be kept alive."
Holding that the Prime Minister cannot shake off his responsibility on the issue of corruption, she said, "If corruption is happening under your nose and you are not doing anything, then you are a participant in it."
Swaraj said she had only one question for the Prime Minister and Congress President Sonia Gandhi . "Madam, why no JPC? Mr Prime Minister, why no JPC?"
BJP President Nitin Gadkari attacked the government on alleged corruption in Commonwealth Games projects and said when the budget for the games was "inflated", the sanctions were given by the Finance Minister, Group of Ministers, Cabinet and the Prime Minister.
"The Congress ministers have been involved in corruption and so the party has no right to talk about taking strict action against corruption," he said.
he Congress on Wednesday rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party's demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation for shooting down a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam, saying the government had taken concrete action on allegations of graft. "On the one hand
Singhvi said that a multi-pronged probe was being conducted in the 2G spectrum scam.
"JPC can at best make recommendations," he said, adding that the BJP and other opposition parties wanted to indulge in "political grandstanding and keep the pot boiling".
In a scathing attack on the Congress at the rally at Ramlila grounds, the BJP's Arun Jaitley asked the Prime Minister to give up his job if he was not ready to face a JPC probe into the raging spectrum scandal.
The leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha argued that only a JPC would be able to find out why second generation spectrum was allotted at below the market prices in 2008 by the now disgraced DMK leader and former communications minister A Raja.
Hitting out at the BJP, Singhvi said the main opposition party had not taken action following allegations of nepotism against its Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.
He alleged that the BJP had established "new records in corruption" and said that it was the only party in the world whose president was caught on camera taking cash.
"Instead of action against the party president, he was given a ticket," Singhvi said.
Asked about the BJP's demand for the prime minister's resignation, Singhvi said it was not the first time the opposition party had attacked Manmohan Singh and made such a demand.
"The PMO (prime minister's office) is being run in a clear, clean manner," he asserted.
He termed as "bold, open and transparent" Manmohan Singh's offer to appear before parliament's Public Accounts Committee that is examining the Comptroller and Auditor General's report on the 2G spectrum issue.
At the NDA rally, BJP leader L K Advani said he was making one "final appeal" to Manmohan Singh to accept the JPC demand.
The Prime Minister has said he had nothing to hide and was ready to face the PAC but was against the formation of a JPC. Both PAC and JPC are made up of MPs from all parties but have varying mandates.
CWG files missing, CBI to probe
ome of the crucial documents which could throw light on Commonwealth Games deals have gone missing with the probe agencies fearing that they could have been destroyed or hidden. Official sources said that the key files, which contain important information on tendering, budgetary allocation andcontract details, are missing from the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) office.
They said that CBI officials have found sufficient evidence of criminal conspiracy by unknown OC officials in tampering with some documents and manipulating information in them.
The sources said that CBI officials have made a list of documents which are untraceable.
The revelation came during a series of searches carried out by a team of 20-30 sleuths at OC office besides its Secretary General Lalit Bhanot's residence last month, they said.
The sources said that CBI sleuths were not getting cooperation of certain OC officials as their bosses OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi and Bhanot were still at the helm of affairs.
Hence, the CBI had conveyed to the government that continuance of Kalmadi and Bhanot in their posts was proving to be a stumbling block for its ongoing probe.
However, Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar is understood to have told the CBI that since the OC is no more a part of his secretariat he cannot remove Kalmadi and Bhanot.
The CBI will now approach Sports Ministry for their removal for smooth progress of the probe.
The Central Vigilance Commission is also probing alleged financial irregularities in the conduct of the mega sporting event by Organising Committee among others in October this year.
The Comptroller and Auditor General too is looking into the accounts of the OC and various other projects associated with the probe.
The CBI has filed three FIRs in connection with the alleged irregularities in CWG and searched the residences of OC Director General V K Verma and Bhanot on November 30.
While one case is related to a Rs 107 crore deal struck with a Swiss score keeping firm, the agency had earlier filed two FIRs for the contracting of AM Films and cars/vans for the Baton Relay ceremonies by the OC in London.
It had arrested Joint Director General T S Darbari and Deputy Director General Sanjay Mohindroo for their alleged complicity in these deals.
India and Russia Tuesday inked 29 bilateral agreements, which include building advanced stealth jets to increasing banking linkages and setting up a steel plant. On the other hand,India and Russia Tuesday inked 29 bilateral agreements, which include building advanced stealth jets to increasing banking linkages and setting up a steel plant.
India and Russia Tuesday inked 29 bilateral agreements, which include building advanced stealth jets to increasing banking linkages and setting up a steel plant.
While 11 agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev here Tuesday, 18 more deals were signed on the sidelines of the summit.
1. Joint Statement - Celebrating a Decade of the India-Russian Federation Strategic Partnership and Looking Forward
2. Multi-million dollar pact for preliminary design contract for fifth general fighter contract
3. Memorandum of understanding (MoU) for research and development in reactor technology and peaceful uses of atomic energy
4. MoU between election commissions to exchange information and expertise on
5. Agreement in expertise and capacity building in disaster forecasting and emergency management
6. MoU for simplifying visa procedures
7. Inter-governmental agreement for enhancement in oil and gas sector
8. Framework agreement between ONGC Videsh and Sistema for setting up joint projects
9. Joint projects in science and technology and innovation during 2011-2020
10. Legal and administrative framework to establish joint research and development centres in Delhi and Moscow
11. MoU on cooperation to check illegal migration
12. MoU in information technology and IT-enabled services
13. MoU for setting up joint ventures and exchange of technology in pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceuticals
14. Pact between India's Dr Reddy's laboratories and Russia's R-Pharm for cooperation in pharmaceuticals
15. MoU between India's Naprod Life Science and Russia's Pharmasyntez for joint production of oncological medicine
16. Agreement between India's Biopharm and Russia's Arkihin for cooperation in pharmaceuticals
17. MoU between Central Board of Excise and Customs and Russia's Federal Customs service on exchange of information on foreign trade
18. MoU between State Bank of India and Russia's Vnesheconombank on banking sector cooperation
19. MoU between Exim bank and Russia's Vnesheconombank to operate $100 million line of credit signed in 2009 summit
20. Opening of official representative office of Gazprombank
21. MoU to set up integrated steel plant in Karnataka by NMDC Ltd and Russia's Severstal
22. Agreement between scientific cooperation between Pereslavskij Technopark and India's Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology
23. MoU between Shyam Telecom and JSC Sitronics on joint promotion of telecom products
24. Russia's Navigation Information Systems and Glonis solutions to introduce GLONASS related services in India
25. MoU between Russia's Navigation Information Systems and Kerala State Electronics Development to undertake joint projects
26. Agreement on GLONASS high precision signal access to India
27. MoU between Tata sons and Skolkovo foundation for joint research and development in high-tech innovation
28. Joint venture to set up butyl rubber manufacturing facility in India between Reliance Industries and Sibur
29. MoU between Swastik Polymer and Pereslavskij Technopark for joint production of master batches for polymers
22 Dec, 2010, 03.45AM IST,ET Bureau
India, Russia to design & manufacture fifth generation fighter aircraft
NEW DELHI: India and Russia on Tuesday consolidated their defence ties by firming up plans to jointly design and manufacture Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). With each FGFA costing around $100 million, and IAF planning to induct 300 of them from 2017-18, the deal will be worth $30 billion.
The fighter jet, whose joint production was agreed on in 2007, is intended to compete with the US F-22 Raptor and the under production F-35 Lightning II. Both aircraft are manufactured by a consortium led by Lockheed Martin.
The project will be jointly developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited of India and the Sukhoi Design Bureau and Rosoboronexport of Russia. The agreement, along with 29 other India-Russian pacts, was signed after talks here between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Dmitry Medvedev , who is here on a two-day visit.
President Medvedev is the last in a stream of world leaders to visit New Delhi this year, underscoring India's growing diplomatic heft. In the course of the nearly two-hour long annual summit, the two sides decided to target doubling of bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2015.
According to a joint statement, both sides have arrived at a framework agreement which will allow construction of two additional generating units at Kudankulam, a nuclear power plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu where Russia is already setting up two reactors. While first unit will be commissioned by the month-end or early next month, the second unit will be commissioned by the next year-end. Other agreements pertained to simplification of visa procedures for certain categories, including businessmen, enhancement of cooperation in oil and gas sector, MoU for cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector, MoU on combating irregular migration and agreement on cooperation in the field of emergency management.
Addressing a press conference, President Medvedev backed India's position on Pakistan and said no civilised nation should "hide terrorists". He said terrorists should be handed over for trial in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case.
"Russia is a time-tested friend of India that has stood by us in our times of need," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters after the talks. "We are determined to work together to cooperate in information and intelligence sharing and in devising effective counter-terrorism strategies," Singh said.
Medvedev also supported India's quest for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council. Although China has not been enthusiastic about backing the proposal, India's bid is being endorsed by the United States and France.
Govt allows duty-free import of onions - fin secretaryBy Manoj Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Singh | Reuters – Wed, Dec 22 1:13 PM IST
RELATED CONTENTEnlarge Photo
Govt allows duty-free import of onions - fin secretary
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The government has permitted duty-free imports of onions, Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said on Wednesday.
Onions were subjected to a 5-percent customs duty until now.
Onion prices had more than doubled in the past week due to a shortage caused by unusually heavy rain in growing areas.
On Tuesday, onion prices in India fell more than 30 percent after the government banned exports to rein in the cost of the vegetable, a staple for Indians and sometimes a trigger for voter protests over inflation.
(Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Singh; editing by Malini Menon)
Dalit woman abducted, gangraped for weekPTI – Wed, Dec 22 11:41 AM IST
Lalitpur, Dec 22 (PTI) A 35-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly abducted and gangraped for nearly a week, a senior officer said here today.
The woman was abducted on November 6 from Sadar Kanta area in the city by Chottelal Jha and his aide while she was going to her parents house in Gandhi Nagar locality, Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari said.
The two men then took the woman to Mayaon village where they along with four others raped her for a week, the SP said.
"The woman somehow later managed to escape from their clutches and reached her in-laws house. The couple then informed the police about the incident yesterday after which an FIR had been lodged at Kotwali," he said.
Nira Radia - Latest News
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2G scam: Nira Radia being questioned today- New Kerala - 21 Dec 10:54AM
2G scam: Radia grilled, Raja seeks more time- IBN live - 21 Dec 04:36PM
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Dmitry Medvedev - Latest News
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PTI – 1 hour 9 minutes ago
Kolkata: Railway minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday night said that she was ready to quit if she cannot prove that the CPM was misusing central security forces brought for anti-Maoist operations in West Bengal.
"The CPM is misusing the central forces. I would have nothing to say if the central forces were used against Maoists. If I cannot prove that the central forces are being misused by the CPM, I am ready to quit. Will the CPM government also do so?" the Trinamool Congress chief said.
The railway minister said if she could prove that the central forces were being used, then the Centre would have to withdraw them from the state.
"Central forces are being used to kill Trinamool Congress workers in West Bengal. 2,000 workers and supporters have been killed since the Lok Sabha elections. CPM has unleashed a reign of terror," she claimed.
Banerjee said that she had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and apprised them about the CPM's terror tactics.
"We have been stating repeatedly that state sponsored violence is going on. How many times we will have to say this? Our party met Union home minister P Chidambaram 20 times," she said, adding that governor M K Narayanan had also given a report over the political violence to the Centre.
Pakistan, China sign 22 economic agreements
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China Saturday signed 22 new trade agreements, worth $15-billion, aimed at deepening strategic and economic toes between the two countries, officials said.
These come on the top of another 13 agreements worth around $20 billion signed Friday after bilateral meetings.
The fresh deals were inked at a business summit addressed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Pakistani host Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and attended by business representatives from the two nations.
Gilani said that the corporate and business sectors of both countries must now seize business opportunities offered by Pakistan and take the lead. Wen urged the investors from his country to invest in Pakistan and help build the economic ties with the traditional Chinese friend.
'We have strong political relations and now we are building economic ties, which can witnessed from the fact that trade has risen from $1 billion in 2000 to $7 billion by 2009,' he said.
The state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) said the agreements will bring $25-billion investment and double the bilateral trade to bring to $15 billion till 2015.
Wen is visiting Pakistan to transform the historically defence-oriented relations into broader trade, economic and cultural ties.
Early Saturday, he joined his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to inaugurate the Pak-China Friendship Center, which Wen described 'as symbol of traditional friendship'. China announced it would send medical experts to provide free treatment to 1,000 cataract patents over the next two years. China will also provide 500 scholarships to students over the next three years.
A Pakistani, Manzoor Hussain, recounted how he guarded a cemetery of 500 Chinese engineers and workers in Pakistan's northern areas, where they died while building the Karakoram Highway, which connects the two nations through the Himalayan region.
The two leaders also attended a briefing on Pakistan's floods, that inundated around one-fifth of the country and affected more than two million people.
Wen is due to meet President Asif Ali Zardari at dinner. The leaders of all political parties, including former premier and main opposition figure Nawaz Sharif , have set aside bitter political differences to join the dinner.
China has been perceived as an all-weather friend and mainstay of Pakistan, against its traditional rival India.
But China is delicately trying to balance its ties with both Pakistan and India, as Wen arrived here after visiting India with a trade delegation of over 400 and agreeing to target bilateral trade of $100 billion by 2015. Pakistan and China also privately discussed a deal for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Pakistan's central province of Punjab. However, it was not clear yet if the two countries signed an agreement. China has already helped Pakistan to build two nuclear power plants, one of which is in operation while the second is near completion.
The nuclear cooperation has increased despite reservations in the US, which regards Pakistan's nuclear programme as a proliferation risk. The Chinese premier will also address the parliament Sunday before concluding the visit.22 Dec, 2010, 11.04AM IST, Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar,ET Bureau
The rupee is not too strong
I rarely cross swords with Shankar Acharya, former chief economic adviser and one of the savviest observers of the Indian scene. But I must do so on the exchange rate. Contrary to what he and some other analysts claim, the rupee is not over-strong and is not hurting exports and manfacturing. Exports rose 26.7% in April-November, while imports rose only 24%. This would be impossible if the rupee was over-strong.
Since 1993, the Reserve Bank of India has intervened in forex markets to keep the real effective exchange rate (REER) of the rupee from appreciating. Acharya feels that this approach kept the economy on track, but now a strong rupee threatens derailment.
He cites Goldman Sachs' prediction that the current account deficit (CAD) will touch 4% of GDP in 2010-11 and 4.3% the year after. He attributes this to "the sharpest ever increase in the real effective exchange rate of the rupee in a 12-month period (of 18%, March 2009 to March 2010)."
The accompanying table lists fluctuations in the RBI's two measures of REER, one based on a six-currency basket (all hard currencies) and the other on a wider 36-currency basket. After fluctuating around an index level of 100 for over a decade, the REER (six-currency basket) shot up to 112 in 2009-10 and further to 118 in April-November 2010.
The other REER (36-currency basket) averaged 98 in April-November 2010, a slight depreciation since 1993. However, by this measure, the REER was not constant in the last two decades. It depreciated gradually from 100 in 1993 to 85.89 in 2006-07, then rose to 89.85 in 2007-08, sank again to 84.6 during the Great Recession, and has now appreciated sharply to 98.
Which of the two measures is more relevant? Some will back the six-currency basket, since most trade is designated in these currencies. But India's exports are typically very different from those exported by the big six economies. Rather, India's main competitors are other developing countries, which figure in the 36-currency basket.
Hence this is more relevant for our exports. It suggests the REER has not appreciated since the 1990s. It has indeed appreciated sharply in the last 18 months. But this is mainly a reversal of the rupee's fall during the Great Recession. Today's REER of around 98 is only modestly above the pre-recession level of 94 in 2007-08.
Acharya wrote in September, "Goods exports, which had risen to 18% of GDP in the first half of 2008-09, helped by the global commodity boom, not only fell to 13% of GDP in the second half of the year as global trade plummeted post-Lehman, but pretty much remained there in the subsequent six quarters. Exports of $50.7 billion in the first quarter of 2010-11 were running 12% lower than two years ago.
In contrast, imports, which had also peaked in the first half of 2008-09 and dropped sharply in the second half, have grown quite strongly, from the trough of 20% of GDP in Q4 of 2008-09 to an estimated 25% of GDP in Q2 of 2010-11. This means that as India's good recovery from the "growth recession" of 2008-09 has sucked in more imports, the trade deficit has widened to above 10% of GDP in the current quarter."http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/columnists/swaminathan-s-a-aiyar/the-rupee-is-not-too-strong-swaminathan-aiyar/articleshow/7141670.cms
Plan Panel to set ambitious growth targets for 12th PlanIf this year's preparations on India's next Five-Year Plan (2012-17) provide any indication, the Planning Commission is likely to set ambitious targets for economic growth and infrastructure development for the period.
Clouded by the global economic meltdown that began in 2008, the current Plan (2007-12) needed a lot of scaling down of the targets and the mid-term review was quite straight about it.
Against this backdrop, the Plan panel kicked off the process of formulating the 12th Five-Year Plan, which may eventually see the official think-tank pegging the annual growth rate at 10 per cent, up from 8.1 per cent in the current Plan.
The Planning Commission started the process of preparing the Approach Paper in the second quarter this fiscal and it is expected to be ready by March, 2011.
It is the key document on the basis of which the detailed Five-Year Plan is worked out. The 12th Plan will commence on April 1, 2012.
Unlike earlier years, this time the panel is seeking inputs from individuals as well -- besides heavy-weight stakeholders -- to make the process of Plan formulation more inclusive, for which it has set up a special website.
Before launching the preparatory work for the next Plan, the Commission came out in March with a Mid-Term Appraisal (MTA) of the 11th Plan.
The review took note of the impact of the global financial meltdown on the Indian economy and also the projections for growth. It scaled down the growth estimate from 9 per cent to 8.1 per cent.
The review was considered and approved by the National Development Council (NDC) -- the highest policy making body in the country, headed by the Prime Minister and comprising key Union ministers and state chief ministers.
"The average rate of growth in the Plan period could be a little over 8 per cent (8.1 per cent). This would be below the original plan target of an average of 9 per cent growth... but it would be better than the 7.8 per cent achieved in the Tenth Plan period," the Commission said in the MTA.
It said the economy will expand by 8.5 per cent in 2010-11 and rise to 9 per cent in the terminal year of the 11th Plan.
It had set an average annual growth target of 9 per cent for the 11th Plan -- beginning with 8.5 per cent in the first year and closing with 10 per cent in 2011-12.
The MTA document said the economy exceeded expectations in 2007-08, with a growth rate of 9 per cent, but the momentum was interrupted in 2008-09 because of the global financial crisis.
Following the global meltdown, the growth rate slipped to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09 from over 9 per cent in the preceding three years.
Insatiable India Inc sealed record $55 bn M&A deals in 2010Riding high on its insatiable appetite for foreign assets, India Inc announced merger and acquisition deals worth a record USD 55 billion this year, including a record number of billion-dollar transactions.
As the year 2010 comes to a close, a look back at India Inc's deal activity shows a splendid year, with the total deal value surpassing the previous record set in 2007 and big-ticket deals making a comeback as corporate India regained its deal-making appetite with nine billion-dollar-plus deals -- the highest-ever in a single year.
"Indian companies are ready to pay what they perceive to be the right valuation. They are not just hunting for bargain buys, but they would take advantage of the economic slowdown and the fact that many loss-making companies in developed markets are looking to sell out," said Freny Patel, Associate Editor, DealReporter (part of Mergermarket Group), Asia-Pacific.
The M&A landscape was largely dominated by India Inc's global ambitions, with Indian companies acquiring foreign assets worth USD 27.25 billion with a view to expand their market share -- as was seen in the case of Bharti-Zain -- while Reliance Industries , Tata, Jindal and Coal India also sought to acquire assets abroad to ensure consistent supply of raw materials on a long-term basis.
"There have been acquisitions in South America, Europe, Australia, Singapore, etc, for some time now. More recently, there is a lot of interest in developing economies in Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc," Grant Thornton India Specialist Advisory Services Partner C G Srividya said, but cautioned, "It is important to look for value buys, without which there will not be adequate returns coming for the buyer."
Other major transactions include the end of 26-year-old two-wheeler joint venture Hero Honda and JSW Steel's acquisition of an over 40 per cent stake in Ispat Industries for about Rs 2,157 crore. Out of the two deals, which both happened this month, financial details on Hero and Honda's exit from the Hero Honda joint venture have not been disclosed.
After an one-and-a-half-year lull in M&A activities, the domestic banking space also saw the merger of Bank of Rajasthan with leading private sector lender ICICI in a deal worth about Rs 1,500 crore this year.
So far this year (from January to December 15), the total announced deal value -- according to research firm VCCEdge -- amounted to USD 54.6 billion, significantly more than the previous high of USD 42 billion achieved in 2007.
Mumbai HC upholds ministry's 'stop work' notice to Lavasa
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court Wednesday upheld the 'stop work' orders of the environment ministry to Lavasa Corporation for its Lake City project near Pune for violating green laws.
The court directed the ministry to take a final decision by Jan 10.
Lavasa can, however, challenge the final decision of the ministry if it is aggrieved by it, the court said.
The ministry Nov 25 slapped a show-cause notice on the company because it had allegedly failed to secure necessary environmental clearances before starting work on its 5,000-plus hectare project coming up in Mulshi sub-district of Pune district, around 200 km from Mumbai.
BJP dismisses Sibal's charge, says he is covering up 2G scamDismissing Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's charge that the NDA government lost Rs 1.43 lakh crore in revenue because of its policies, BJP on Wednesday said the minister was "defending the indefensible" in the 2G spectrum scam .
"It is a worst kind of cover up," BJP spokesman Prakash Javdekar said reacting to Sibal's claim.
Sibal had yesterday claimed that the government "actually" lost Rs 1.43 lakh crore in revenue in 1999 due to the then BJP-led NDA regime shifting to revenue share system from fixed licence fee for telecom operations.
Javdekar said NDA government's "pragmatic policies" and revenue sharing model "unleashed a revolution" in the telecom sector and "it did not allow the sector to die."
It is evident from the "teledensity" in the country today, he said.
Criticising the minister for comparing it to the present telecom policy, he said, "You are selling the spectrum in 2008 at the rate of 2001 and how you want to justify any how is all bad advocacy...what was right in 2001 will not be right in 2008."
Sibal's comment come at a time when the government auditor CAG has quantified a "presumptive" revenue loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore due to non-auction of 2G spectrum in 2008 by former Telecom Minister A Raja.
22 Dec, 2010, 01.35AM IST, Kalyan Parbat & Joji Thomas Philip,ET Bureau
2G scam: Sibal meets Tata, Ambani & Mittal, assures transparency
NEW DELHI: Telecom minister Kapil Sibal, who met Bharti Group chairman Sunil Mittal, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group chairman Anil Ambani and Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata on Tuesday, is believed to have told the three that that there will be a level playing field and no discrimination, an official in the ministry told ET on conditions of anonymity.
Sibal is also believed to have told the operators that his ministry will take a "comprehensive view" of three reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that have come out in 2001, 2002 and 2010.
Sibal also sought their views on broadband and is believed to have indicated that his ministry wants a "forward looking" mergers and acquisition policy. Sibal declined to comment on his meetings.
Anil Ambani and Sunil Mittal did not respond to calls or messages from ET. A Tata Group spokesperson said the company had no comments to make. Sibal will also meet chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, Kumar Mangalam Birla on Wednesday and Vodafone Essar managing CEO Martin Pieters later this week to discuss the state of affairs in India's 14-player telecom market.
"The minister sought their views on matters of policy and also indicated that there will be a transparent, fair and level playing field for all operators, incumbents as well as new entrants. The telco heads also told the minister that industry wanted to move forward from the controversies that have plagued the sector," this official said.
The meetings were held separately since Ambani, Tata and Mittal had expressed reservations on meeting the minister together.
Last week, the telecom ministry issued showcause notices to 85 telcos asking why mobile permits of these companies dished out by former telecoms minister A Raja should not be cancelled for suppressing facts and using fictitious documents.
The ministry also issued notices to 119 licencees for failure to roll out services in time. The companies have been given 60 days to respond. Shortly after taking over, Sibal had proposed that the government and industry jointly work out a new policy framework for the sector.
Sibal had also said that errant telcos will be penalised but has not specified a penalty. The CAG, the chief auditor of the country, had alleged large-scale violations in the award of 2G licences and spectrum in 2007. The CAG report, which had quantified the loss to the tune of Rs 1,76,000 crore, led to the ouster of A Raja and paralysed the winter session of the Parliament.
It had also raised questions on the award of dual licences to companies like Tata Tele Services and Reliance Communications as well as allocation of spectrum beyond prescribed limits by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and seven others. Last week, the Supreme Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the licence allocation scam, to expand the scope of the probe from 2001.
Ratan Tata had recently said that alleged hoarding of spectrum by incumbent GSM players needs to be investigated as that was the "real scam". Tata had further noted that the national auditor had not ascribed any value to 48 new GSM licences issued to incumbents during 2004-2008 and 65 MHz of additional spectrum they hold.22 Dec, 2010, 10.19PM IST,REUTERS
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Investors enter 2011 in bullish mood: Poll
LONDON: Investors are entering 2011 in a relatively bullish mood, raising equity holdings to a 10-month high, increasing exposure to high-yield credit and cutting back on government debt, Reuters polls showed on Wednesday.
Within bond portfolios, however, concern about the cost of the US Treasuries and the stability of euro zone debt, did not show up dramatically.
Allocations to emerging market debt were cut instead.
Surveys of 55 leading investment houses in the United States , Europe ex UK, Japan and Britain showed investors holding 54.1 percent of a typical mixed-asset portfolio in stocks in December.
That was up from 53.2 per cent in November and the highest since 55.4 per cent in February.
Bonds were cut to 33.9 per cent, the lowest since February, from 34.2 per cent in November. Cash was at 3.9 per cent, down from 4.6 per cent.
A combination of improving economic data and a belief in future, robust, corporate earnings has lifted investor appetite for equities over the past few months. The MSCI all-country world stock index was flirting with levels last seen in September 2008 on Wednesday.
"People are coming off the sidelines and buying stocks," said Keith Wirtz, president and chief investment officer at Fifth Third Asset Management in Cincinnati.
There was also sign of risk appetite in an increased exposure to riskier, higher yield bonds.
At the same time concerns have risen that yields on benchmarket government bonds are too low, providing little return and threatening a sell-off.
Investors in the Reuters polls did cut back overall exposure to bonds. But when it came to the money left for bonds they favoured the US and euro zone government debt over most emerging markets, which have been very popular this year.
Exposure to emerging market debt was 8.1 per cent of a bond portfolio for the month, compared with 9.6 percent a month earlier.
Investors also regained some composure about euro zone government bonds following the crisis over Ireland's debt. They raised exposure within a bond portfolio to 31.5 per cent from 31.2 per cent, although these numbers remain well below the more than 42 per cent seen at the beginning of 2010.
With the Opposition adamant on JPC probe into 2G scam, the Government today offered to convene a special session of Parliament to discuss whether to set up such a committee.
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee today said that she was ready to quit if she cannot prove that the CPI(M) was misusing central security forces brought for anti-Maoist operations in West Bengal.
In a New Year gift to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the state government today withdrew the ban on Short Messaging Services on post-paid mobile phone but the ban on sending of bulk messages remained in force.
more »Dec 17 in pics
As continuous curfew and shutdown has turned Kashmir into a semi-jail, Peerzada Ashiq, in a first person account from Srinagar says "I want to see the Sun shining at Lal Chowk, Connaught Place of Srinagar, again".
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Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh would soon fix the problem of rise in prices. "We are going to make sure prices are lowered. Leave it to the Prime Minister," Gandhi told Congress Party ...
Sify - 7 hours ago
Chennai, Dec 22 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Wednesday urged Tamil Nadu Youth Congress members to start working at the panchayat level and capture power at the local bodies. Gandhi arrived here Wednesday on a two-day visit to Tamil ...
Oneindia - 6 hours ago
Chennai, Dec 22: Rahul Gandhi has begun his two-day political tour in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, Dec 22. Rahul is there in an effort to boost young congress activist for forthcoming state assembly election in Tamil Nadu. When members asked, what steps ...
The Hindu - 10 hours ago
PTI The Hindu AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi at a hotel in Chennai holding high level meeting on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan Asserting that the priceline would be contained soon, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today said that the Prime Minister ...
Times of India - 19 hours ago
CHENNAI: The first signs of a strain in ties between the ruling DMK and Congress became evident as AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi was denied access to the University of Madras auditorium for an event during his two-day visit beginning Wednesday. ...
IBNLive.com - 7 hours ago
PTI Chennai: Voicing concern over Sri Lanka government "not doing enough" for the Tamils there, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he would ensure that they get justice. "We are concerned that enough is not being done for Sri Lankan Tamils ...
Times of India - Dec 20, 2010
NEW DELHI: Congress' young turks as well veterans lent their voice to a call for Rahul Gandhi to "put in place his own team" with home minister P Chidambaram even likening him to his father Rajiv Gandhi, who was the Prime Minister over two decades back ...
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Times of India - 4 hours ago
NEW DELHI: Nokia Siemens Networks said it has bagged an order from private telecom operator Idea Cellular to deploy equipment and services to provide third generation (3G) services in four circles for an undisclosed amount.
The Hindu - 3 hours ago
PTI The rupee on Wednesday appreciated by 13 paise against the US currency on sustained dollar selling by exporters. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the local unit closed 13 paise lower at 45.09/10 a dollar.
US dollar ends cheaper against rupee Times of India
Rupee hits over 1-week high on strong dollar inflowsEconomic Times
Bloomberg - Anurag Joshi - 3 hours ago
India's 10-year bonds declined after Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn's comments suggesting food prices may fuel inflation cut demand for debt.
Upside risks to inflation still high: Gokarn Economic Times
Credit-deposit growth gap behind liquidity crunch, says Gokarn Business Standard
Hindustan Times - 1 hour ago
The country's largest car-maker, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, on Wednesday said its cumulative production may reach 2 million units by 2014-15, an over 66% jump over current levels, as its two new assembly plants at Manesar become operational by 2012.
Maruti may cut buyers' Swift, DZiRE drive Indian ExpressEconomic Times - 5 hours ago
MUMBAI: Owing to fewer launches of projects and the period of 'Shraadh', sales registrations of property in Mumbai witnessed a sharp decline in the month of November, which is the lowest since March 2009, a survey report said.
Real estate registrations witness a steep decline in Mumbai: Prabhudas Lilladher Myiris.com
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Reuters India - Swati Pandey, Sunil Nair - 2 hours ago
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Nitin Fire Protection Industries Ltd (NFPIL) said on Wednesday it plans to form a joint venture with Worthington Industries Inc for its cylinder manufacturing business.
NFPIL plans JV with Worthington for cylinder manufacturing MSN India
Worthington Industries' cylinders unit buys into joint venture in IndiaColumbus Business First
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India Infoline.com - 5 hours ago
The key benchmark indices edged lower in a choppy trade on profit taking snapping three days gains. The indices had hit two-week highs in intraday trade today before reversing gains.
Hindustan Times - 1 hour ago
Why on earth are you crying? Oh, these are tears of joy! Last month I bought 100 kg of onions at a wholesale price of Rs 20 per kg.
Economic Times - 3 hours ago
MUMBAI: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Wednesday said it has signed a multi-year agreement with global hospitality company Hilton Worldwide to enhance its technology strategy as part of its 'Hilton Worldwide Innovation Collaborative' initiative.
Accumulate TCS; target of Rs 1250: EmkayMoneycontrol.com
Hilton Worldwide and TCS sign a Multi-Year Agreement Siliconindia.com