The Mint Report for 30 September 2010

The Mint Report for 30 September 2010

We start with the verdict on Ayodhya. On Thursday the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court ruled that the disputed site should be divided between the three parties. They are the Hindu Mahasabha, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Central Waqf Board. The court also said Hindu religious idols currently at the site could remain. And political reaction to the judgment was muted. The Congress said it ought to be welcomed. But it added that aggrieved parties could go to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile the RSS said the decision paved the way for a Ram temple to be built at the site.

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The government wants to stop spending money on EPF accounts that are dead. It plans to close 30 million Employee Provident Fund accounts not being used anymore. The move could save it Rs300 crore every year. All together, the accounts to be closed hold more than Rs15,000 crore. On 15 September, the government had announced it would not pay interest to EPF accounts that have been inoperative for three years. It also announced a one percentage point increase in the interest rate for EPFs to 9.5%.

Food inflation has accelerated in mid-September. The food price index shot up 16.44% in the week to 18 September. The previous week it increased by 15.46%. While this year’s healthy monsoons were expected to bring down food prices, heavy rains have actually disrupted food supplies. The latest numbers are the second straight week of rise in the food price index since it shifted to new weightings and a new base year of 2004-05.

Mukesh Ambani is still Indian richest man. Rankings produced by Forbes India, show he has a net worth of $27 billion. Lakshmi Mittal comes in second with $26.1 billion. And at a distant third place is Wippro chairman Azim Premji, who’s worth $17.6 billion.