Need To Know | Wheat, rice export ban may stay until election

Need To Know | Wheat, rice export ban may stay until election
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First Published: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 11 07 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 11 07 PM IST
New Delhi/Mumbai: Curbs on exports of rice and wheat to check prices may be retained until the general election due by May. India is forecast to harvest record crops of wheat and rice for a second year after the highest-ever grain prices last year prompted growers from Australia to India to increase planting.
“We are in an election year and no one would like to see inflation surging again,” commerce secretary G.K. Pillai said in New Delhi on Wednesday. Delay in easing curbs may help stem a more than 25% drop in prices in the past six months in Chicago.
Bloomberg
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United Spirits confirms Diageo stake sale talks
New Delhi:Diageo Plc., the world’s largest liquor maker, is in talks to buy a stake in United Spirits Ltd to gain a stronger presence in India. Talks with Diageo haven’t ended yet, United Spirits informed the National Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Partnership with United Spirits, India’s biggest liquor maker, would give Diageo a stronger foothold in the country.
Bloomberg
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Reliance Power lowest bidder for Tilaiya project
New Delhi/Mumbai:Reliance Power Ltd is set to win its third so-called ultra mega power project by bidding the lowest to build the 4,000MW power plant at Tilaiya in Jharkhand.
Reliance Power quoted a price of less than Rs2 a unit to sell power from the coal-fired project, said an official of the state-run Power Finance Corp. Ltd, which managed the bidding. Meanwhile, Lanco Infratech Ltd announced it has decided to withdraw from the bid for the Tilaiya project.
Bloomberg
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Govt kicks off identity card project for citizens
New Delhi: The project to assign a unique identification number to each Indian citizen moved one step with the government notifying the setting up of a national authority for the purpose.
The number will be provided by the National Authority for Unique Identify (UID), an entity being set up under the Planning Commission.
PTI
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Manmohan Singh out of intensive care
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who underwent heart bypass surgery on 24 January, was moved out of intensive care and held meetings with his aides on Wednesday. Doctors are confident Singh, 76, can return to work early, said a health bulletin.
Bloomberg
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TCS wins $100 mn deal from British company
Bangalore:Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, or TCS, India’s largest information technology (IT) vendor said it won $100 million (Rs 489 crore) multi-year managed IT services deal from British telecom and financial services firm 4U Group Ltd. TCS staff in the UK will support and manage software applications, the IT infrastructure and data centres for the British retailer, a statement said.
Staff Writer
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PowerGrid in $400 mn World Bank accord
New Delhi: India’s biggest electricity transmission company Power Grid Corp. of India signed a $400 million loan agreement with the World Bank to strengthen its network.
The loan, backed by the Indian government, will be used to finance transmission projects in the five years to March 2012, the company said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.
State-run Power Grid, based in Gurgaon near New Delhi, is in talks with the World Bank for additional assistance of $1 billion, according to the statement. The company got a $600 million loan from the World Bank in March.
Bloomberg
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United Breweries issued notice on tax issue
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued notice to Bangalore-based United Breweries Ltd on a petition filed by the income-tax (I-T) department alleging that the liquor company cannot avoid payment of “actual taxes, which it was liable to pay under the law”.
The I-T department has questioned the sectoral tribunal’s decision that allowed “payment of a guarantee commission” of Rs7.85 crore to United Breweries chairman when he was not competent to provide such guarantees.
A bench headed by justice S.B. Sinha has asked the department to compute the tax afresh, and has raised only the matter of depreciation benefits.
PTI
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DLF Assets to raise private equity funds
New Delhi: K.P. Singh-promoted DLF Assets Ltd, which plans to raise at least Rs2,000 crore from private equity investors may finalize the deal in the next month. Set up to acquire DLF’s commercial projects, the funds would be used by DLF Assets to partly pay back DLF—it owes Rs4,800 crore.
PTI
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Hindustan launches Allahabad edition
Allahabad: ‘Hindustan’, the fastest growing Hindi daily of the HT Media group launched it’s Allahabad edition on Wednesday. After Lucknow, Varanasi, Meerut, Agra and Kanpur, Allahabad is the sixth print location of Hindustan in Uttar Pradesh (UP). With this launch, the newspaper has covered at least 80% of the state.
Hindustan is the third largest daily newspaper in the country and is also the fastest growing Hindi daily. Besides UP, Hindustan is present in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Delhi-NCR and Chandigarh.
Staff Writer
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GAIL posts 59% decline in Q3 net profit
New Delhi/Mumbai: The country’s monopoly natural gas distributor, GAIL India Ltd, said profit declined 59% in the third quarter.
Net income fell to Rs253 core in the three months ended 31 December from Rs621 crore a year earlier, the New Delhi-based company said in an e-mailed statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Net sales climbed to Rs5,810 crore from Rs4,298 crore a year earlier.
Bloomberg
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HPCL posts Rs422 cr loss in third quarter
Mumbai: India’s third-biggest state-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd reported a loss in the third quarter.
The loss in the three months ended 31 December narrowed to Rs422 crore from Rs15.74 crore a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Net sales climbed 8.4% to Rs29,390 crore.
Bloomberg
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Vedanta’s profit almost wiped out in write-down
London: The largest copper producer in India Vedanta Resources Plc. said third-quarter profit was almost wiped out by a $104 million (about Rs500 crore) write-down on inventory forced by slumping prices for the metal.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization plunged 98% to $10.1 million in the three months through December from $671.5 million a year earlier, the London-based company said on Wednesday in a statement. Sales slid 31% to $1.31 billion. Vedanta fell the most in 5 1/2 weeks in London trading.
Bloomberg
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JSW Steel turns to loss on slumping demand
Mumbai: India’s third-biggest producer JSW Steel Ltd turned to a loss in its third quarter because of lower metal demand and a depreciating currency, and forecast the fourth quarter will be a challenge. The loss was Rs1,300 crore ($26 million) in the quarter ended 31 December compared with a profit of Rs3,600 a year earlier, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. Sales were little changed at Rs2790 crore.
Bloomberg
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JetLite 9-month loss at Rs 22 cr, more than Jet
New Delhi: Budget carrier JetLite incurred a loss of Rs22 crore for the third quarter ended December, taking the total loss of the first nine months of the current fiscal higher than that of its parent airline Jet Airways Ltd.
JetLite has a total loss of Rs498.9 crore for the first three quarters, while that of Jet stands at Rs455.3 crore.
As for the latest quarter, JetLite recorded revenues of Rs474.1 crore, up 10.3% from the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year. The carrier had reported total sales of Rs429.9 crore in the corresponding quarter.
PTI
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Nokia- HCL form JV to sell value-added services
New Delhi: Finnish mobile handsets major Nokia Corporation and Indian information and communications technology firm HCL Infosystems have formed a joint venture to sell mobile value-added services or VAS and entertainment content directly to consumers in India. The move is part of a services strategy being adopted by Nokia in India, a statement said.
The JV will come into being once the required regulatory approvals, which have been applied for, are received from the foreign investment departments of the government of India, George Paul, executive vice president, marketing for HCL infosystems said.
They will be selling value-added services including multimedia downloads, games, widgets, locations and navigation based services among others for mobile devices, Paul said.
“A lot of content will come from firms who specialize in VAS applications which will be sold to different target groups ranging from teenagers to enterprise users,” Paul said.
“An important part of our future distribution strategies in India is that we want to ensure that our value-added services and entertainment offerings are readily available to all consumers,” Nokia India Vice-President and Managing Director D Shivakumar said in the statement.
Nokia had announced its services strategy globally some months back while HCL Infosystems has been distributing Nokia products in the Indian mobile phones market through its retail stores.
“Nokia brings its expertise in the mobile phone space while HCL brings its market reach and distribution capabilities,” Paul said. “There may be other revenue models including advertising but we have not decided on those details yet,” he added.
Shauvik Ghosh
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Escorts Q1 net loss to Rs0.34 cr
New Delhi: Farm equipment maker Escorts Ltd reported a net loss of Rs0.34 crore for the quarter ended 31 December, 2008, as against a net loss of Rs5.93 crore in the corresponding period of previous fiscal.
The company, however, registered an increase of 16.7% in sales at Rs495 crore during the quarter as against Rs424 crore a year ago, Escorts said in a statement.
During the quarter, the company launched four-cylinder offering Powertrac 4455 for specialised applications and heavy-duty implements and attachments.
“The quarter results reaffirm the soundness of the strategic path being followed at Escorts Ltd. We continue to build a robust and comprehensive portfolio of products offering price competitive models of global quality norms,” company Chairman and Managing Director Rajan Nanda said.
He added that though agriculture is expected to continue to grow at 4%, the slowdown in the disbursal of farm-directed finance poses a big challenge.
“It is hoped that the government will step up the efforts to accelerate the lending and ensure that targets for priority sector finance are met,” Nanda said.
PTI
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IITs, IIMs not to implement SC,ST quotas
New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and IIMs may not have to introduce caste-based reservations beyond the lecturer grade positions last year, according to discussions at a late evening Wednesday meeting of its Council, the IIT’s highest decision making body that includes officials of the Union ministry of human resource develeopment. This may eventually have a bearing on proposed quotas for OBCs as well.
A member of the Council told Mint on condition of anonymity that the recently passed Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (reservation in posts and services) Bill 2008 exempts 47 Rs.institutes of national importance’ from implementing quotas for the SC/ST category for senior faculty positions. The IITs and IIMs had opposed the government’s last year’s directive of 15% quota for SC, 7.5% for ST and 27% quota for OBCs in teaching positions.
The Bill that lists the seven IITs, six IIMs, National Institutes of Technology, Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University, AIIMS and PGIMER among the 47 Rs.institutes of national importance’ has been passed by Lok Sabha and is likely to be introduced in Rajya Sabha in the next session of Parliament.
IITs currently do not have such quotas for faculty members.
The Council meet, held after a gap of more than five years, also appointed directors of the newly established IITs in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Gujarat and Punjab while granting extension to terms of a majority of IIT directors.
Pallavi Singh
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First Published: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 11 07 PM IST
More Topics: Exports | Rice | Wheat | Prices | General election |