Mumbai: An Indian delegation leaves for Vienna on Wednesday for a third round of talks with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on a safeguards agreement—a necessary follow-up on the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.
The team will hold discussions at the IAEA headquarters on the “agreed text” for India-specific safeguards, which is one of the prerequisites for operationalization of the deal that was first mooted in July 2005, according to Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) persons familiar with the matter.
The third round of discussions, coming after a round each in November and December, possibly could be the final one, the sources said. The Indian team is headed by Ravi Grover, director, strategic planning of DAE. Once the text on the safeguards agreement is finalized, the document has to be approved by a committee comprising United Progressive Alliance-Left party members.
The first round of talks on safeguards were initiated by IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei and Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar on 21 November.
Sonia stable after attack of asthma
New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been admitted to a city hospital following “mild breathing difficulty” and a chest infection.
The 61-year-old United Progressive Alliance chairperson was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital late on Monday.
While doctors at the hospital said that her condition was stable, they could not give a firm answer on when she would be discharged.
“There is nothing to worry,” sources at her 10 Janpath residence said. Gandhi’s children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka, who were away on a vacation, are expected back either on Tuesday or Wednesday, they said. Gandhi complained of breathing discomfort after an asthma attack.
GM India sales in Dec cross 6,300 mark
New Delhi: Car maker General Motors India on Tuesday reported a more than two-fold jump in its domestic sales during December 2007 at 6,309 units, compared with 2,583 units sold in the same month in the year-ago period.
The sales comprised 2,179 units of MUV Chevrolet Tavera, 1,800 units of sedan and hatchback Chevrolet Aveo and Aveo U-VA, 822 units of the luxury sedan Chevrolet Optra and 1,508 units of its small car Chevrolet Spark, the auto maker said in a statement.
For the calender year 2007, the company’s sales jumped by 67.58%at 60,032 units, against 35,823 units during 2006.
“We have witnessed consistent surge in sales during all months of 2007, which is a clear indication of the success of all our carlines,” GM India vice-president P. Balendran said. “Achieving these levels of record growth clearly demonstrates that Chevrolet has become the most admired and preferred automotive name plate in the country today.”
Exports rise 27% to $12 bn in November
New Delhi: India’s exports rose 26.8% in November year-over-year to $12.4 billion (Rs48,856 crore)—slower than in the previous month, government data showed on Tuesday.
Imports rose an annual 29.3% to $19.8 billion in November. The trade deficit for November was $7.4 billion, compared with $5.5 billion in the same month a year earlier.
Finally, UP accepts VAT amid traders’ protest
Lucknow: The introduction of value added tax (VAT) in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday completes the tax levy across India. The new tax system has made 91 items including kerosene, milk and medicines cheaper on account of reduced taxation.
VAT, which replaces the existing sales tax, was introduced in April 2005. While a majority of the states switched to VAT, some states held out. They have all since adopted VAT. Uttar Pradesh governor T.V. Rajeswar on Monday issued an ordinance for levying the tax, which was greeted by protests by traders.