We begin with Sonia Gandhi’s statement to the Congress Parliamentary Party. On Monday the Congress president attacked the growing reports of corruption in India. She added that all parties needed to tackle the problem together. But Gandhi also supported the government’s decision not to agree to the opposition’s demand for a joint parliamentary probe into corruption scandals. Gandhi speech came on the same day the stormy and unproductive winter session of Parliament finally ended.
And in other news, China is proposing a brand new trade deal with India. On Monday, the Chinese envoy to India, Zhang Yan, suggested the two countries negotiate a free trade agreement. The ambassador’s comments came just a day before premiere Wen Jiabao comes to India for a state visit. China’s latest move is being seen as an attempt to allay growing Indian concern about the trade deficit that reached $16 billion in the 2007-08.
Switching to corporate news, Paras Pharmaceuticals has found a foreign buyer. British firm Reckitt Benckiser plans to acquire one hundred percent of Paras for Rs3,282 crore. Private equity company Actis will sell its entire 63% stake in Paras. And others, including Paras founder Girish Patel will, sell their stakes as well. Paras makes over the counter products like Dermicool and the deodorant Set Wet. Its revenues last fiscal were just over Rs400 crore.
And finally, Indian markets shot up on Monday helped along by gains in global bourses. The Sensex jumped 183 points to 19,692. And the Nifty climbed 50 to finish at 5, 908.