New Delhi:Consumer price inflation accelerated sharply to 7.47% in March, with India’s primary consumer price inflation indicator and wage-indexer, the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) rising by over 43% over February’s rate of 5.47%.
Among the 78 cities, the biggest increases were recorded in Nagpur, Ajmer and Ludhiana, mainly due to increase in prices of rice, wheat, groundnut oil, goat meat and vegetables.
Revised norms for PF investments soon
New Delhi: The finance ministry will soon announce revised investment guidelines for provident funds, which would take into account changes suggested to draft norms by citizens and other stakeholders, a senior finance ministry official said on Wednesday.
The draft norms were placed in public domain in September 2007 and proposed to hike equity investment up to 10% of the total corpus from the current level of 5%. The finance ministry official, who did not want to be identified, declined to explain the changes made in the revised guidelines.
Soon after the finance ministry issued the draft guidelines in September 2007, the central board of trustees of Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), the government run social security unit that has more than 40 million subscribers and more than Rs2 trillion in assets, declined to allow their fund manager to invest in equities. The finance ministry’s investment guidelines are not binding on the EPFO. Sanjiv Shankaran
NHPC may partner with L&T, see worker exodus
New Delhi: The state-owned National Hydro-power Corp. Ltd is considering forming a joint venture with engineering firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) to set up hydro power projects where NHPC will provide the technical expertise and L&T the capital.
“L&T has written to us to form a joint venture that will set up projects. We are evaluating the proposal,” an NHPC executive who did not wish to be identified said.
The company has also been approached by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd or JSPL for a similar arrangement as reported by Mint on 21 April.
An external spokesperson of L&T said the company’s official spokesperson was unavailable for comment.
NHPC has generating capacity of 5400 MW and plans to add another 4800 MW by 2012, but 12 of its projects have already been delayed due to shortage of manpower and price disputes with private contractors. The company has been affected by an exodus of employees, largely engineers, to private sector power firms such as the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s Reliance Energy Ltd, Lanco Infratech Ltd and DS Constructions Ltd, as reported by Mint on 28 August.
“Around 400 employees have quit the company over the last three years. It is a very serious area of concern for us. We will start campus recruitment from this year. Though I agree that it may not suffice for the experienced people who have left us, but a start has to be made some where,” S.K. Garg, chairman and managing director of the company said.
In another development, the company registered a 8.3% increase in its net profit to Rs 1,002.06 crore for the financial year 2007-08 on a turnover of Rs2,311 crore. Utpal Bhaskar
Kerala govt sacks Kochi airport chief
Kochi: The Kerala government on Wednesday terminated the services of Sriram Bharat as managing director of Cochin International Airport Ltd, or Cial, the country’s first public-private partnership venture in the airport sector.
Bharat, an official of the Indian Revenue Service, took charge as managing director in August 2006 and was expected to have a three-year stint. Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, also the chairman of Cial, did not give reasons for the decision, which was taken at a cabinet meeting.
C.G. Krishnadas Nair, former chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), has been given temporary charge. Nair, currently director (technical) of Cial, was inducted on the company’s board in September 2007.
The Kerala government has a 26% stake in the Cial venture. A member of the Cial board who did not want to be named said the main reason for the decision to replace Bharat was the slow pace of development projects at the airport. Bharat was not available for comment. Ajayan