Hyderabad: The city police on Sunday arrested G.S. Raju, a director of Nagarjuna Finance Ltd (NFL), on charges of cheating depositors, taking the number of arrested officials to three.
Raju was detained by immigration officials Saturday night at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, when he was trying to board a flight to the US.
Raju was brought here and produced before a local court on Sunday, which remanded him in 14 days judicial custody, detective department DCP R.S. Praveen Kumar said.
“We have issued alert notices for nabbing 16 others who are involved in the case,” the police officer said.
The city police had earlier arrested its chairman K.S. Raju and director P.K. Mahadevan on charges of cheating and defaulting payments of matured deposits. They are in judicial custody.
Centre plans to halve fertilizer subsidy by ’10
New Delhi: After projecting the fertilizer subsidy at a massive Rs1.02 trillion for this fiscal, the Centre is aiming to restrict the burden at Rs50,000 crore for fiscal 2010 as prices have plunged in the global markets.
“All said and done, we do not want to cross the Rs50,000 crore level of subsidy next year, which means it will fall by 50%. Even if the present subsidy system continues through the next fiscal, it would not cross Rs50,000 crore,” fertilizer secretary Atul Chaturvedi said.
The fertilizer ministry’s confidence has emanated from the fact that prices of farm nutrients have been falling in global markets continually, cutting down the government’s import bill.
Oil firm managers plan strike over smaller hike
Mumbai: Supervisors and junior managers at Indian Oil Corp. Lt and other state oil companies plan to strike from 7 January in protest against a pay increase smaller than they had demanded.
The 17% wage increase announced by the government is less than expected, the Oil Sector Officers’ Association, which claims to represent officials at 14 state-owned companies, said in an emailed statement on Saturday.
Refiners will lose as much as Rs900 crore a day and exploration companies up to Rs225 crore if workers strike, the association had said last month.
Irda margin cut gives insurers more capital
New Delhi: Life insurers got another booster from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) in the form of a cut in the solvency margin for Ulip (unit-linked insurance plan) schemes, which would release additional capital for firms.
Irda has cut solvency margins for various Ulip schemes by around 1.2% on average so that the firms can use their resources in a judicious way and insure vast sections of society.
Solvency margin refers to the capital that an insurance company is required to keep aside for policyholders to meet unforeseen exigencies.
“There is a need to utilize the capital optimally with affordable cost so that insurance penetration increases,” Irda said in a circular.
US-listed Indian firms start ’09 on a good note
New York: Indian companies listed on the US stock exchanges lost at least $100 billion (Rs4.89 trillion) of their market value during 2008, but the New Year seems to have started on a good note for them with a recovery of about $2 billion in a single day so far.
After losing 40-80% of their value during 2008, all the US-listed companies have started the New Year with gains at the bourses here, except for Satyam Computer Services Ltd and business process outsourcing firm Genpact Ltd.
With markets in a tailspin due to the global financial crisis, private sector lender ICICI Bank Ltd alone had witnessed an erosion of over $20 billion in its valuation, the biggest one-year loss among the 16 Indian firms listed in the US.
Imitrex delay: Ranbaxy’s loss may be DRL’s gain
New Delhi: The delay in Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd getting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for launching generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) migraine and headache drug Imitrex could turn out to be a gain for Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), which has already launched the drug in the US.
According to analysts, DRL could end up gaining a major chunk of the estimated $80 million (Rs391 crore) sales from the drug by Ranbaxy in the first year of launch in the US.
Debate continues on women’s reservation
Mumbai: The issue of inclusion of other backward classes (OBCs) in the 33% Women’s Reservation Bill continues to be debated as many women activists feel that unless the underprivileged and marginalized get adequate representation in Parliament, the goal of an egalitarian social order would remain elusive.
Activist Rekha Thakur said political parties that represent the marginalized sections have been demanding special provisions for OBC and Muslim women.
“The exclusion of women from these two categories who represent 8% of the total Indian population from political power in the existing format will continue and mostly upper caste women (representing 7.5% of Indian population) would be elected to the 181 seats reserved for women,” said Thakur at a seminar.
Omar elected leader of NC legislature party
Jammu: Omar Abdullah was on Sunday unanimously elected as the leader of the National Conference (legislature party).
The name of 38-year-old was proposed by his father and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, and was seconded unanimously by the party’s other 25 members of the legislative assembly.
Abdullah will meet state governor N.N. Vohra and stake his claim to form the government.
Meanwhile, in Srinagar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday severed its ties with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre. “PDP has formally dissociated itself from the UPA alliance at the Centre,” party president Mehbooba Mufti said in a letter to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Tax exemption on charity under scanner
New Delhi: To curb the misuse of tax exemption given to charitable organizations, the government will now closely scrutinize accounts of large entities including non-governmental organizations and trade bodies, after it was found some of them were allegedly indulging in commercial activities.
At least 60,000 assessees in seven metropolitan cities are claiming tax exemption under the Income-tax (I-T) Act. Large entities will now be closely scrutinized to check revenue loss, an official at the finance ministry said.
According to I-T department officials, the comptroller and auditor general and the higher courts of the country had also asked the department to scrutinize the accounts of such entities effectively.
RCom starts GSM services in Mumbai
Mumbai: In a move that could trigger another tariff war among mobile phone operators, the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communication Ltd (RCom) on Sunday launched its GSM services in Mumbai and offered free talk-time worth Rs900 spread over three months.
When contacted, Ambani said, “In 2003, Reliance changed the face of the telecom sector in India. Through our nationwide GSM launch coupled with the company’s continued focus on our number one CDMA network, we will once again endeavour to rewrite the rules of the industry by offering unbeatable coverage, quality services and above all the value for money.”
Infosys, Wipro get terror emails
Bangalore: Six prominent IT companies in the city, including Infosys Technologies Ltd and Wipro Ltd, have received emails threatening to blow up their buildings, a top police officer said here on Sunday.
Joint commissioner of police B. Gopal Hosur said the companies received emails threatening to blow up their establishments two days ago and immediately informed the police.
The police have begun investigations, he said, without giving details.
Exports may fall further in next six weeks: Ficci
New Delhi: With customers in the US and the UK looking for Indian goods with prices at par with those from Chinese players, the country’s exports are likely to further dip in the next six months, a survey said.
“Indian exporters are on the run by aggressive Chinese pricing behaviour. They are facing ‘meet the China price’ demand from across the market and there is fear that this would intensify in the months ahead,” industry chamber Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) said after conducting a survey of 367 exporters.
The country’s exports, which posted a robust 30.9% growth in the first half of 2008-09, contracted by 12.1% in October, the first such drop in the last five years.
About 51% of the exporters feared that the outlook was weak and the shipments would dip in the next six months.
Truckers’ strike may hit supply of commodities
New Delhi: Supplies of essential commodities may get disrupted in coming days with transporters going on an indefinite strike from midnight on Sunday after their talks with the government failed for the third time.
Among other things, transporters have demanded that diesel prices be lowered by Rs10 per litre, and the withdrawal of service tax on truckers. Transporters also want a moratorium on all instalments and waiver of interest on truck finance for at least six months.