Mumbai: In a double blow to steel makers, the Union government notified export duty of up to 15% on steel products to enhance the availability of the alloy in domestic markets as also to curb inflation, a week after it requested these companies to lower prices.
Steel makers said they will “certainly” consider increasing the prices soon, but would maintain the reduced rates for now.
Steel contributes to roughly 20% of inflation, which has been hovering above 7% the past few months. Last week, steel makers agreed to roll back prices of flat products by Rs4,000 a tonne, and of reinforcement bars and structurals by Rs2,000 a tonne.
“We have already cut the prices and these will stand for now. It is too soon to decide on the course of action,” said Robin Banerjee, director finance, Essar Steel Ltd. The government has levied an export duty of 15% on cold-rolled coils, 10% on hot-rolled coils and 5% on galvanised sheets, effective 13 May.
Ranbaxy signs research pact with Merck
New Delhi: India’s largest drug maker by revenues Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd has signed a research pact with Merck and Co. Inc. to discover and develop new drugs to treat fungal and bacterial infections. The Indian drug maker stands to earn more than $100 million (Rs414 crore) in revenues from each new molecule out of this collaboration, as it crosses various research and regulatory approval milestones. The agreement spans the entire gamut of services from developing the drug candidates to taking it through to phase II human clinical trials.
Ranbaxy CEO Malvinder M . Singh said his scientists would work on “at least two” drug targets and that would mean potential revenues of “$200 million for the time being”.
Notice to Centre on OBC quota implementation
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday issued notice to the Union government on a petition challenging the implementation of 27% quota for other backward classes (OBCs) in Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), other Central higher educational institutions and post-graduate courses. An alumni association of IIMs had said the Centre had misinterpreted the Supreme Court judgement, which while upholding the OBC reservation policy, had said that it would not be applicable to higher educational institutions.
Slower industrial output pulls Re to 13-month low
Mumbai: The rupee slid to the lowest in more than a year after a report showed industrial production expanded at the slowest pace in six years. The currency weakened past 42 a dollar for the first time since April 2007 after the government said the annual pace of increase in output at factories, utilities and mines more than halved to 3% in March from 8.6% in the previous month. The gain was the smallest since February 2002. The rupee also fell on concern near-record oil prices are boosting demand for dollars from the nation’s refiners.
The rupee weakened as much as 1.2% to 42.115 per dollar, the lowest since April 2007, before closing at 42.035 in Mumbai.