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Friday, November 30, 2012

Get ready for more repression as Lok Sabha passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill!The king walks unperturbed as dogs bark!

Get ready for more repression as Lok Sabha passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill!The king walks unperturbed as dogs bark!
Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, Chapter:823

Palash Biswas

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Persecution of minorities in India - YouTube

► 4:58► 4:58 Jul 2010 - 5 min - Uploaded by pakdevil47
This is another sad video. Discretion is advised. Any country can claim secularism but to be a Secular Nation is ...

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Do we live in a democratic republic nation?

"Corruption has become so blatant, so pathological that those involved don't even try very hard to hide their tracks." – Arundhati Roy

West Bengal chief minister represents the attitude of the political class which considers the critics as barking dogs. Mamata Banerjee Thursday hit back at her critics with the remark "raja chale bazaar, kutta bhouke hazaar" (the king walks unperturbed as dogs bark). Scam scandal inflicted ruling hegemony practicing genocide culture, thus , treats the mango men in the banana republic.Get ready for more repression!With the Lok Sabha passing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill Friday, the government will give more teeth to the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002 by including offences that threaten the country's economic security. The bill, passed by voice vote, also extends the period of the ban on an organisation from two years to five years.Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government would not misuse the act.

Since religious nationalism is the soul of free market economy, the law is bound to be used against the minorities.

The government will raise the limit on foreign investments in government and corporate bonds by $5 billion each, said a finance ministry official who declined to be named, in a move intended to attract more funds into the country.India currently caps the total amount that foreign institutional investors can buy in domestic debt at $65 billion, which is distributed through categories of government, corporate and infrastructure bonds, some of which include tenor or lock-in restrictions.The increase in limits will be effective in the next seven to ten days, the official said on Friday.

"The UAPA is being amended to bring clarity to the existing legal regime and remove deficiencies identified in its implementation by the central and state intelligence and investigating agencies," Shinde said.

The bill also covers procurement of weapons, raising funds for terrorist activities and counterfeiting Indian currency.

Communist Party of India leader Prabodh Panda, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Saidul Haque and Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab wanted the bill to be deferred so that it could be debated thoroughly.

  1. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  3. The object of this Bill was to make powers available for dealing with activities ... The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 1969;; The Criminal Law ...
  4. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2011 - PRS

  6. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2011 was introduced on December 29, 2011 by the Minister of Home Affairs. The Bill was referred to the ...
  7. [PDF]
  8. the unlawful activities (prevention) amendment bill, 2011 - PRS

  10. File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
  11. 31 Mar 2012 – BILL further to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. ... Act may be called the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, ...
  12. [PDF]
  13. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2008 (India

  15. File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
  16. 17 Dec 2008 – BILL NO. 76-C OF 2008. THE UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES (PREVENTION) AMENDMENT BILL, 2008 A BILL. A BILL further to amend the Unlawful ...
  17. Cabinet clears amended Unlawful Activities Prevention Act Bill ...

  19. 23 Aug 2012 – ... cleared the amendments in Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), ... The amended Bill was cleared at the meeting of Cabinet, chaired by ...
  20. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill - Latest News on ...

  22. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill - Get latest news on Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill. Read Breaking News on Unlawful ...
  23. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill - The Economic Times

  25. Get Latest news updates on Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill - Breaking news and information on Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment ...
  26. News for Unlawful Activities (Prevention ...

    1. Shinde moves Unlawful Activities Bill, takes along AIADMK, BJD
    2. The Hindu ‎- 20 hours ago
    3. Though the Lok Sabha on Thursday took up for discussion the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2011, (UAPA) it wasn't without ...
    4. Unlawful Activities Prevention Bill stalled in Lok Sabha
    5. Daily News & Analysis‎ - 1 day ago
    6. Centre moves Bill to amend UAPA despite protests
    7. Indian Express‎ - 21 hours ago
  27. Lok Sabha adopts tougher anti-terrorist law | Niti Central

  29. 3 hours ago – Tags: Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, terrorism Lok Sabha. Lok Sabha nod to Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill ...
  30. Unlawful Activities Prevention Bill stalled in Lok Sabha - India - DNA

  31. INDIA
  32. 1 day ago – The bill also enhances from two years to five years the period for which an ... the Unlawful Activities Prevention Bill (UAPA) for passage in the Lok Sabha ran ... As soon as Shinde moved the amendments to the UAPA, which ...
Searches related to Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill

In 5 years, value of Narendra Modi's assets goes up from Rs5 Lakh to Rs1 crore.Congress surprises, pits Sanjiv Bhatt's wife Shweta against Narendra Modi.Responding to queries on BJP not giving ticket to a single Muslim for the assembly elections, Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said this confirmed the duality in "chaal, charitra and chalan (conduct, character and image)" of Chief Minister Narendra Modi. "Modi says something but acts completely against it," he said, adding that Modi did not mean "sadbhavana" sincerely. "He knows he will not get votes on development plank and hence, he was using other means for political gains," he said.

Yet another scam!Fraud cases involving an amount of Rs 6,457 crore have been reported by public sector banks (PSBs) in 2012, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.This was much more than Rs 3,850 crore reported in 2011, the Minister said.Chidambaram was replying to a question about the details of scams that took place in banks.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to heed the view of its outgoing director AP Singh with regard to prosecuting public officials and private companies in the matter of the grant of excess spectrum in 2002 during the NDA government's regime. Accordingly, the investigating agency can now file charge sheets and prosecute former telecom secretary Shyamal Ghosh, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. In November 2011, the CBI had carried out raids at the offices of the companies concerned as also the residences of Ghosh and another government official, JR Gupta.Financial Express reports.

Admitting to differences with the Ministry of Environment in the setting up of the National Investment Board, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the Union Cabinet would take a final call on the issue.

Replying to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha, he said the the government has proposed to set up the NIB for "quicker implementation" of large projects entailing investments in excess of Rs 1,000 crore.

"Yes, the Ministry of Environment and Forest has expressed certain reservations. The matter will be placed before the Cabinet and when the Cabinet takes a final decision, we will know what the decision is and how these reservations are being addressed," Chidambaram said.

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing any move to bypass required green clearances for mega project approvals by the proposed NIB.

The value of assets owned by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has crossed the Rs1 crore mark in 2012, from Rs40 lakh five years ago, as per his affidavit accompanying the nomination papers for assembly elections.

Modi filed the papers for Maninagar constituency in Ahmedabad on Friday.

The value of the assets of the Gujarat CM stood at Rs40 lakh in 2007. His assets at the time included a plot in Gandhinagar Sector-1, bought for Rs1,30,488, and valued at Rs30 lakh.

The market value of this plot has been shown as Rs 1 crore in the present affidavit. The development work on the plot is worth Rs2,47,208, it says.

Other assets, including bank deposits, gold rings, NSCs, etc, have been valued at Rs33,42,842.

He has fixed deposits of Rs22,59,226 at SBI Sachivalaya branch, besides Rs4,24,836 in savings account. In 2007, Modi had deposits of Rs8,00,000, and Rs55,651 in the savings account.

The Chief Minister has added two more bank accounts in the last five years: at Rajkot Nagrik Sahkari Bank (Rs 30,347), and SBI Maninagar (Rs 10,000). He has also invested Rs 20,000 in infrastructure bonds.

His income in the latest I-T return was Rs1,50,630. He is yet to get I-T refund of Rs54,403, and has to get back Rs14,363 lent to someone, the affidavit states.

The war of attrition between Narendra Modi and Sanjeev Bhatt today shifted to the electoral arena with the Congress fielding the wife of suspended IPS officer against the Gujarat Chief Minister.

BJP said this has "exposed" the Congress as the "architect" of the "hate campaign" in the state.

In a surprise move, Congress nominated Shweta Bhatt, wife of Sanjeev Bhatt, who has taken on Modi, accusing him of complicity in the post-Godhra riots in 2002, to contest the Maninagar seat of the Chief Minister.

Both Modi and Bhatt today filed their papers before returning officer P K Jadeja.

BJP reacted sharply to Congress' decision to pit Shweta, a political greenhorn, against the party's potential prime ministerial candidate, with party spokesman Prakash Javadekar saying, "Congress is exposed thoroughly today.

Whatever Bhatt did in last 10 years, the whole architect, script writers and directors were the Congress."

"In the last 10 years, they carried out a hate campaign...They defamed Gujarat to the hilt. And Sanjiv Bhatt became a major pawn in the hands of Congress," he said.

"It was Congress-sponsored hate campaign to defame Gujarat and Gujarati voters (who) will definitely teach a bitter lesson to Congress," Javadekar said in Delhi.

"My fight is for truth, to establish democracy, please support me," Shweta told reporters after filing her papers.

Clearly realising the uphill task ahead of her she said, "It is not a fight between equals, I agree...but I am fully confident that I am going with a true heart to say the truth, so people will support me...I don't have false promises to make."

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare today opposed entry of foreign companies in India, including steel major POSCO, saying such investors were exploiting the country's natural resources for their own gain in the name of setting up industries.Former income tax inspector Arvind Kejriwal, 44, is short and at times appears malnourished. He sports a neatly trimmed moustache, frameless spectacles and loads of attitude. In recent months, Kejriwal has exposed them all — from senior ministers to top politicians, from Fortune 500-listed CEOs to high-profile NGOs. All have been hit where it hurts the most. The ruling elite are in shock and the middle class has erupted in sheer delight at Kejriwal's naming and shaming of the rich and the powerful.

Nearly 97% Indian citizens feel that frequent allegations of corruption are hurting India's image globally. As per a survey conducted by global research firm Ipsos, Indian citizens also have a very mixed opinion about corruption practices prevailing among corporates and businessmen. The survey cites that 44% are of the opinion that all corporates and traditional family business houses are corrupt.

"A large majority of the respondents, 94%, across all surveyed cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Lucknow) thought that the prospect of inclusive growth was getting damaged due to wide spread corruption charges as the government and senior bureaucrats were reluctant to take hard policy and administrative decisions to avoid getting into another round of corruption charges," noted Biswarup Banerjee, head of marketing communication, Ipsos in India.

51% responddents also felt that Arvind Kejriwal, leader of 'India Against Corruption' is right in accusing one after another politicians and corporates for corruption. However, remaining half were either against or not sure if his ways are right to level charges without substantial hard evidence. Further, 53% Indians felt that Lok Pal Bill can root out corruption from India. "This suggests that Lok Pal Bill (in general and not specifically any versions) has failed to convince half the respondents about its ability to uproot corruption completely," pointed Banerjee.

Ipsos conducted the survey, titled 'Mood of the Nation', among 420 men and women in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Lucknow.

The survey also claims that six out of ten Indians believe all bureaucrats, government servants including police are corrupt. The survey reveals that a big majority in Chennai (91%) and Bangalore (80%) think that all bureaucrats, government servants including police are corrupt whereas in Mumbai and Lucknow about 53% shared the view.

India's economy extended its long slump in the last quarter, with lower-than-expected growth keeping it on track for its worst year in a decade and underscoring the urgency of politically difficult reforms to spur a revival.Facing the prospect of the downturn stretching into a general election due in 2014, Singh launched some of the most daring initiatives of his eight-year tenure in September, including raising subsidised diesel prices and opening the airline and retail sectors to foreign players.These moves are likely to encourage investment going forward, and Friday's figures showed capital formation at 33.8 percent of GDP, its highest for at least two years.- India's infrastructure sector output grew 6.5 percent in October from a year earlier, higher than a revised annual growth of 5 percent in the previous month, government data showed on Friday. India's fiscal deficit during the April-October period rose to 3.68 trillion rupees, or 71.6 percent of the budgeted full fiscal year 2012/13 target, government data showed on Friday.Indian stocks climbed to a 19-month high on optimism the government will extend an economic-policy overhaul to bolster investment after growth slowed last quarter to match a three-year low.Singh, however, is fighting to defend his reforms in parliament, where a non-binding vote on the supermarket policy will be held on Wednesday. The outcome may test the minority government's appetite for further reforms ahead of a string of state elections starting in December.

Mamata`s comment is believed to have been aimed at a letter by Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju.

NDTV quoted Banerjee as saying: "I know some people are doing bad name against of this government, negative campaigning they are doing because they have vested interest. Let them do. We don't care.

Raja chaley bajar to kutta bhowkay hajar, karney do. Mujhey koi jarurat nahi hai koi dhyan deney kay liye. Kaun kya kaam kartey hai, who sabko pato hai. Aur negative publicity ko positive may lay ayenge, kaam kartey kartey. Agar hamko kaam karney ka mouka hai aur kaam karney ka ichcha hai, then I don't care anybody. In my life, I have fought enough (When the king goes to the market, dogs bark, let them do it. I don't need to pay attention to them. Everyone knows who does what work. We will turn all the negative publicity into positive, we will keep on working. If we really want to work, then I don't care anybody. In my life, I have fought enough)."

In the letter, Katju reportedly said, "Your ministers and bureaucrats are afraid to speak their minds fearlessly before you, and are terrorised by your unpredictable and whimsical behaviour. To say the least, this is a very unhealthy state of affairs, and you will not be able to remain chief minister for long unless you change your ways and become more tolerant."

Outraged over Banerjee's remarks, CPM leader SK Mishra said: "Raja chaley bajar, kutta bhowkay hajar - that means all of us. Not only Opposition. Whether it is media, or Justice Katju or some common villagers, anybody who criticises the government. The language she has used, I have no language to condemn. I have no language to register my protest."

In order to check corruption, the Centre on Friday suggested setting up of an exclusive and independent vigilance wing in each Ministry and central department.

"It should be ensured that that the administration and vigilance wing are exclusively separate from each other in each ministry or department," the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in an order.

Citing an instruction issued by the CVC, it said vigilance functionaries should not be a party to processing and decision-making processes or in other similar administrative transactions of such sensitive nature.

"Secretary of the Ministry or department should review the pending disciplinary proceeding cases and sanction of prosecution cases each month like monitoring of VIP references or RTI cases," it said in a fresh set of guidelines. The Centre's directive came following a recommendation made by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Corruption.

Information was collected from all central departments to asses the work load relating to vigilance administration and the adequacy of the present set-up to handle such volume of vigilance-related work in various ministries.

"From the inputs received from the ministries or departments, it has been observed that in some ministries or departments the numbers of complaints or disciplinary proceedings cases are very high...

"Therefore, each ministry or department should conduct an Staff Inspection Unit study of its vigilance division so that officers or staff may be posted as per requirement vis-vis volume of work," it said.

The DoPT also found that most of the ministries have not yet set-up their monitoring cells to review and monitor progress of all pending disciplinary inquiries on a day-to-day basis.

"All ministries or departments may send an action taken report on setting up of a monitoring cell, to this department within a month from the receipt of these guidelines," it said, adding that all the departments are requested to follow the guidelines in letter and spirit to strengthen their vigilance set-up.

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) reported fraud cases involving an amount Rs 758 crore so far in 2012, followed by Punjab National Bank (PNB) which reported fraud cases involving an amount Rs 728 crore.

On measures taken to prevent/reduce incidences of frauds, Chidambaram said, "RBI is sensitising banks from time to time about common fraud prone areas through issuance of modus operandi circulars on various types of frauds."

He further said RBI has advised banks to introduce a system of concurrence audit and constitute a Special Committee of the Board to exclusively monitor frauds of Rs 1 crore and above.

In a separate written reply to Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narayan Meena said, "total number of fraud cases during the FY 2011-12 stood at 204 involving an amount of Rs 6,600 crore for the financial services sector."

The exposure to banking sector in this regard stood at Rs 3,505 crore, Meena added citing the report of Ernst and Young.

The Reserve Bank had issued detailed instructions relating to frauds in its master circular in July 1, 2012 titled "Frauds-Classification and Reporting" containing all the details.

The General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) framework has been prepared keeping in mind the need to instil confidence among investors, tax expert Parthasarthi Shome said today.

"We have worked like a technical tax committee and saw the GAAR framework in a comparative situation with rest of the world as well as in context that we need investments in India at this stage to get out of (slowdown)," said Shome who is a professor at the Delhi-based think tank Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

Shome, who as the head of the panel on GAAR set up by Prime Minister, was was speaking at an event organised by industry body Assocham.

The government is examining recommendations of the Shome committee which suggested postponement of GAAR by three years and non-application of tax laws with retrospective effect on indirect transfers of assets.

Amendments to GAAR, the controversial law against tax avoidance through foreign investments, have been finalised, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said recently.

The Shome panel, among other things, has also suggested abolition of tax on gains arising from transfer of securities, which is subject to securities transaction tax (STT).

It had also suggested that GAAR should not be invoked in intra-group transactions. It further said that a monetary threshold of Rs 3 crore of tax benefit should be fixed while applying the provision.

Regarding foreign institutional investors (FIIs), the report suggested that if they choose not to take any benefit under India's DTAAs, then the provisions should not be applied.

At the function, Shome also said that India should strengthen the Large Tax Payers Unit (LTUs) and focus on data mining and analysis of tax administration.

"There is need to strengthen LTUs and focus on data mining and analysis of tax administration," he said.

LTUs are self-contained tax administration offices under the Department of Revenue acting as a single window clearance point for all matters relating to central excise, income tax/corporate tax and service tax.

Entities would be able to file their excise return, direct taxes returns and service tax return at such LTUs and for all practical purposes will be assessed to all these taxes at these LTUs.

Chidambaram had proposed setting up of LTUs in Budget 2005-06 to reduce the tax compliance costs and delays.

Currently, LTUs function in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, but the scheme has not been successful as not many taxpayers volunteer for fear of closer scrutiny.

The scheme entailed opening up of a single window facilitation centre for all large entities paying excise duty, corporate tax/income tax and service tax.

Shome also stressed need of holding continuous customer based meetings at different levels on the sector.
Meanwhile,India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate is expected to bottom out when the Central Statistics Office (CSO) announces it on Friday for the second quarter of the current fiscal (Q2FY13). While economic growth would remain weak in Q2, it may still hover in the range of 5.1-5.5 per cent. From here, experts believe that the growth rate will pick up even though at a moderate pace.

Analysts retain optimism while reckoning the overall impact of slowdown on the economy. Commenting on the expected GDP numbers, DR Dogra, managing director and CEO, CARE Ratings, averred, "According to our estimates, GDP Growth in the second quarter would be around 5.1 per cent. I do expect growth to be slower this quarter relative to last quarter (5.5 per cent).

This will be mainly due to stagnation in manufacturing and lower growth in areas such as construction (partly due to slow down in infrastructure spending as well as seasonal factor) and certain other service sectors such as finance and social services. I think that we would have reached the lowest level this quarter and that the way forward will be only an improvement."

Festive demand, possible rate cut in coming quarter and lower base effect may lead to revival in the manufacturing segment. "I do see a slight revival in manufacturing in the next two quarters for three reasons. First, the festival season will add to some demand. Second, interest rates will probably be lowered in January which will aid investment. Last, the base effect of low growth in Q3 and Q4 of last year will help to prop up numbers," added Dogra.

Backing the revival sentiment, DK Joshi, chief economist at CRISIL, reiterates, "We expect GDP to grow by 5.4 per cent in Q2. The GDP growth rate is expected to be tepid due to weakness in the industrial sector and services segment growth also seems to taper down in the quarter under review. However, we expect to see a revival in the manufacturing segment in the coming quarters. I think that the coming GDP growth print would be around the trough and a moderate pick up in the growth is expected going forward."

Expected recovery in agricultural segment may widen the comfort zone. Joshi's thought got an endorsement from Soumya Kanti Ghosh, director at FICCI, who asserted, "We are expecting growth figures to be in the range of 5.3 – 5.5 per cent. The good thing about the second quarter is that agriculture segment growth rate won't be negative due to revival of rains. There are no signs of recovery in manufacturing segment as confirmed by the latest IIP numbers. Even picture on the services side doesn't look promising as can be inferred from the latest trade data figures. In my opinion, growth rate may be bottoming out and a slow recovery is expected in second half of this fiscal."

Another school of thought came from Brinda Jagirdar, chief economist at SBI, who opined, "Our GDP growth forecast for Q2 is 5.5 percent. The weakness will persist in the second quarter as there was no momentum on the policy side in Q2 and all the activities seem to be frozen. The major policy initiatives were announced only in the later part of September. Furthermore, I think that GDP growth has already bottomed out in Q4FY12 at 5.3 per cent. From here on, it would stabilize and traction in growth can be witnessed in the second half of this fiscal (Q3, Q4). Owing to the policy initiatives started in September, we expect GDP growth rate will improve to 6.1 per cent and 6.3 per cent in third and fourth quarter respectively. Thereby, forecasting 5.8 per cent GDP growth rate for FY13."

But not everyone is as optimistic about revival prospects. Sajjid Chinoy, India economist, JP Morgan, cautioned, "GDP growth rate in Q2 is expected to be close to that of the previous two quarters, printing in the 5.3-5.5 range. However, growth could decelerate further in Q3 as the drag on agricultural production from the sub-par monsoon will show up more sharply in the third quarter. Furthermore, the slowdown in government spending to stay close to this year's fiscal deficit target –important from a medium term perspective – will be a drag on growth this year. Growth is likely to pick-up in 2013 but any acceleration is likely to be modest unless the investment cycle picks up."

Commenting on the measures required to accelerate the economic growth, Chinoy, further added, "Faster government clearances of infrastructure projects, a streamlining of land acquisition issues, and restoration of coal linkages and other raw materials to projects."

India's economy extended its long slump in the last quarter, with lower-than-expected growth keeping it on track for its worst year in a decade and underscoring the urgency of politically difficult reforms to spur a revival.Reuter reports.

The economy grew 5.3 percent from a year earlier in the July-September period, provisional gross domestic product (GDP) data showed on Friday, below the 5.5 percent posted for the three months ending in June.

"It is essential that the reform agenda is carried forward with vigour and that the recently announced measures are implemented," leading business chamber FICCI said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's chief economic advisor forecast full-year growth of between 5.5 and 6 percent, which would be the slowest since 2002/3.

"It will be between the two, because in order to get 6 percent we really need very strong growth in the second half," advisor C. Rangarajan told TV network CNBC.

A growth rate below 6 percent for the third quarter in a row is damaging for a country that aspires to at least 8.5 percent expansion to provide jobs for its burgeoning population, and makes it tougher for Singh to fund flagship welfare programmes.

The quarterly number was lower than a Reuters poll had forecast and matched the January-March quarter, which was the weakest growth rate in three years. However, economists say inflation worries mean the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is unlikely to cut interest rates when it meets on December 18.

Facing the prospect of the downturn stretching into a general election due in 2014, Singh launched some of the most daring initiatives of his eight-year tenure in September, including raising subsidised diesel prices and opening the airline and retail sectors to foreign players.

These moves are likely to encourage investment going forward, and Friday's figures showed capital formation at 33.8 percent of GDP, its highest for at least two years.

Singh, however, is fighting to defend his reforms in parliament, where a non-binding vote on the supermarket policy will be held on Wednesday. The outcome may test the minority government's appetite for further reforms ahead of a string of state elections starting in December.


Despite the current gloom, most economists expect the business-friendly measures to help investment to gradually pick up and the economy to slowly recover next year.

"We are getting close to the bottom, although we are most likely talking about a `bathtub shaped` recovery with some bottom scraping in coming quarters," HSBC Global research said in a note.

The government and economists warn more needs to be done to attract capital and modernise India's decrepit infrastructure. Opposition parties say the reforms hurt the common man and weaken regional governments.

India is battling weak consumer demand in overseas and domestic markets. The rupee remains weak and the trade deficit the widest ever after merchandise exports, which make up about 10 percent of GDP, fell for six straight months. Industrial output has contracted in four out of last six months.

Reaction to the data was muted from financial markets, which were still cheering the end of a deadlock in parliament that had threatened to hold up debate on reforms to attract foreign investment in the insurance and pension industries.

The Sensex it a 19-month high.

Markets were also buoyed by a mildly upbeat view from Goldman Sachs on Thursday, with a report forecasting India's economic growth was likely to accelerate to 6.5 percent in 2013.


Growth was dragged down by subdued manufacturing output growth of 0.8 percent on the year and farming output of 1.2 pct.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday again pressured RBI to cut interest rates, saying its tight monetary policy was a drag on the economy.

Low growth is making it harder for Chidambaram to rein in a wide fiscal deficit, which global ratings agencies say needs to be controlled if India is to avoid losing the investment grade designation on its sovereign debt.

In a major relief to the government on Tuesday, rating agency Moody's reaffirmed its stable outlook on India.

The deficit during the April-October period rose to 3.68 trillion rupees, or 71.6 percent of the budgeted full fiscal year 2012/13 target, data showed on Friday.

Chidambaram recently revised the target up to 5.3 percent form 5.1 percent, but most economists expect the government to overshoot this and hit around 5.5-5.6 percent.

The government says India needs to take more steps quickly, including speeding up approval for infrastructure projects, overhauling the tax system and reducing its swollen deficit to revive capital investment.

30 Nov, 2012, 04.32PM IST, ET Now
PSU banks, a sector which could provide fairly outsized returns: Vivek Mavani, Independent Market Analyst and Portfolio Manager

ET Now: What would be your top investment call at this point of time, one stock?

Vivek Mavani: More than one stock from thematic point of view, I would bet on PSU banks. My sense is that in 2013, PSU banks could be a sector which could provide fairly outsized returns relative to other large caps from that point of view and there are two-three things that go into it.

If we are betting on two things which is economic fundamentals having bottomed out and from here on growth is going to pick up if that is one hypothesis and the second being the fall in interest rates which could be triggered over the next few weeks to couple of months. PSU banks could be the serious beneficiaries simply for the valuation gap between PSU banks and the private banks is fairly large.

I believe it is historically the widest valuation gap that we have seen this year and there could be some sort of narrowing over there that is one part of it. Some of the better banks at least the BOB or the PNBBSE 2.51 %, I understand , even they have had asset quality issues and NPA issues but they are still better off among the peers, are trading close to their dividend yields of 3% or close to whereabouts of that. My sense is that going to act as margin of safety in terms of downward support as far as stock prices are concerned. Any wave of improvement from here on over the next one or two quarters, and they could be the market leaders in the next round of the rally for overall markets.

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