The Mint report for 26 November 2009

The Mint report for 26 November 2009

New Delhi: The government has finally arrived at an estimate of the number of spurious drugs for sale in India. After a survey that took one year, the health ministry has concluded that just 0.046% of all medicines available in retail outlets are fake. The relatively low figure comes as a relief to the government, which has been trying to fight the impression of India as a country where fake drugs are rampant.

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The CBI has indicated that trials for the Satyam Computers accounting fraud case will start in three to four weeks. On Tuesday the CBI had said it had found evidence of another, separate fraud in the Satyam case.

The government says two public sector phone companies BSNL and MTNL had total cash reserves of Rs41,471 crore as of September this year. However, the government has admitted both companies are losing market share because of increased competition.

New figures show personal computer sales in India fell 3.1% to 2.19 million units for the quarter ending September. But while sales have fallen on a year on year basis, they’ve increased over the previous quarter. September quarter are 24% higher than sales in the quarter that ended in June.

Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug maker by revenue, says it expects its alliance with Aurobindo Pharma to help it turn around its generic medicines unit. Pfizer’s established drugs unit contributed $10 billion to the company’s revenues last year. Total revenues for that year were $48 billion.

Tata Steel has reported a poor quarterly performance. It’s consolidated net loss for the quarter ending September reached $585 million. The loss was largely caused by weak figures from its European unit Corus.

Wipro said it has launched a second facility in China to provide IT and back office services. The new facility in Chengdu has a staff of 100 and has started operations. Wipro already has another facility in Shanghai.

India’s food inflation shot up in the second week of November. The food price index went up 15.6% in the week ending the 14 November. Poor monsoons and floods in many parts of India have pushed up food prices in recent months.