On Tuesday, the Indian meteorological department said rains over north-west India are likely to improve significantly over next week. That means Punjab, Haryana, and UP, known as the rice bowl states could see more rain. The meteorological department expects rains to be 93% of the normal.
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The finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha on Union Budget, said the rain god willing, India’s economy will be back on the track soon. Strongly defending his budget, he said the government is borrowing nearly Rs400,000 crore, because it is necessary for social spending.
Mukherjee also said the government was committed to disinvestment but would make sure the government still held a controlling stake. He also repeated his commitment to maintain fiscal responsibility.
Transport minister Kamal Nath intends to overhaul his ministry to speed up work on India’s roads and highways. The minister has promised to construct 20 kilometers of highways everyday or 7000 kilometers every year. He’s considering setting up a Road Finance Corporation and a separate organization to develop and manage expressways.
In corporate news, HDFC Bank has posted a 31% increase in its first quarter profits. The bank’s income rose to Rs 606 crore for the three months ended June, compared to Rs 464 crore for the same period last year. Most of the revenues have come from ‘Other Incomes’, which includes earnings from currency transactions and the sale of government securities.
The Sensex shot up 453 points on Tuesday to end at 13,853, while the Nifty surged 137 point, closing at 4,111.
High-end shoe company Crocs flew into India in 2007, but is now trying to land on its feet. The US company’s India arm’s sales in 2007 were only half of what it expected, and the company has only opened 7 of its planned 14 exclusive stores across India.
In April, the company got rid of its distributors and started selling directly to shops to ensure their shoes would be prominently displayed. Crocs is passing on the savings as extra margins to retailers, hoping to boost sales.
Company managers say the distributors did not ensure good displays for Crocs shoes and did not replenish stocks at retail outlets. It also blames cheap knock-offs that flooded the market and hit their sales.
Manchester United is set to storm Mumbai. The wealthy football club will launch a restaurant and bar in the city in October. The restaurant will recreate the feel of a stadium, along with live acts and big screens showing football matches.