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Indian Economy: Growth -3
<b> Ramalinga Raju suffers heart-attack.

B Ramalinga Raju, former chairman of Satyam Computers, on Monday suffered a
heart attack. According to the sources, he has been taken

B Ramalinga Raju, lodged in Hyderabad's Chanchalguda Jail, suffered heart attack at 8 pm on Monday, reports said.

Ramalinga Raju, who is the architect behind the epic Rs 7,800 crore fraud, is in the jail along with his brother and Satyam's former managing director, Rama Raju and others.

The scam-hit company was later taken over by Tech Mahindra, the IT arm of the Mahindra group.

CBI had sought the Andhra Pradesh High Court's permission to conduct brain mapping and lie detector tests on B Ramalinga Raju, his brother B Rama Raju and their former CFO officer Srinivas Vadlamani.

The Enforcement Directorate has attached 287 properties worth over Rs 1,000 crore belonging to the Satyam-scam tainted Raju brothers Ramalinga, Rama and Suryanarayana and their spouses on the grounds that they were purchased with the proceeds of the scam.

The attachment, made under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, would render these properties ineligible for any sale, mortgage and any other similar transaction.

Year Debt - external (Billion US$)
2000 98
2001 99.6
2002 100.6
2003 100.6
2004 101.7
2005 117.2
2006 125.5
2007 132.1
2008 165.4
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Hai mehangayi tu kahan se aayi?</b>
Sidharth Mishra
This Navratra has been a real struggle to come to terms with the ever spiraling rate of inflation. Several incidents during the last nine days repeatedly reinforced the fact that price rise has changed the way people looked at several things. Could you ever think in the past of walking to a banana seller pulling a hand cart with a currency note of Rs 500 to buy a dozen of bananas?

I actually approached a banana seller with Rs 500 note and sheepishly asked him if he would have the change. He asked, what was the quantum of bananas which proposed to be purchased from his cart. I said a dozen, he asked for the note. He packed a dozen of robust bananas into a polythene carry-bag (one thought a ban was in place) and returned the change after deducting Rs 40.

So that’s banana split for you. It gives the flavour of mehangayi (inflation) this festive season. Before I had actually bought the banana I never thought that this ubiquitous fruit, made so popular in RK Narayan’s novels as staple food of an ordinary Indian, could actually cost so much. Two, seeing the banana seller counting the thick wad of currency notes has made me believe that soon the Reserve Bank of India would have to come out with currency notes Rs 2,000 denomination.

Bananas are not only the ones burning holes in my pocket this Navratra. Early morning everyday it’s a struggle to buy three proper garlands of marigold for a reasonable cost. Last year, it did not cost more than Rs five for one garland. The flower seller would also put some extra flowers into the packet as complimentary. This year they are asking for Rs 15 per garland and no complimentary extra flowers with it.

On the first day of Navratra, the devout buyers found the rates difficult to accept. The seller was ready to strain his several-year-long relationship with the buyers but not bring down the price. Thank God(dess), good sense has prevailed. From the third puja onwards, the seller has started to insert white beli flowers between the marigolds and is selling the garlands for a mutually acceptable Rs 10.

On returning home after buying the garland when I find the newspapers telling us <b>about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s address of worst was over on the economy front, a desire arises to suggest the economist-PM to take an early morning walk and try buying some bananas and marigold garlands. The Government, through the official figures it releases every week, has grudgingly accepted that there has been rise in the price of vegetables by about 44 per cent.</b>

<b>It’s not true. Try buying the potatoes and you would know how hot they are. They have witnessed more than 100 per cent rise in price. Butter has vanished from the market and milk is in short supply. Pulses becoming out of reach of the aam admi is an old story and people are now waiting for rice to get costlier. So the common man’s two square meals of khichdi and chokha (mashed potatoes) has now indeed become a luxury. Simply unaffordable!</b>

I do not know if the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, and heir Rahul Gandhi have any interest in the films made by Manoj Kumar. After all, their family friend Shah Rukh Khan had treated Kumar with quite derision in Om Shanti Om. But it would be worthwhile to watch his 1975 make Roti, Kapada aur Makan. The film dealt with the issues of recession, inflation and unemployment with a telling effect.

All these issues prevail today. The film deals with the period when Indira Gandhi turned arrogant soon after leading the nation to a resounding military victory during the Bangladesh war and Congress to an electoral victory in the General Election on the catchy slogan of Garibi Hatao. The Opposition led by legendary Jai Prakash Narayan raised a successful movement against the government and dethroned it in the next poll in 1977.

<b>The Manmohan Singh government is lucky that the Opposition today lacks a leader of the stature and vision of Jai Prakash Narayan. JP despite his frail health and age, led an austere life, did not just fly austerity class, and took the risk of plunging himself in public agitation. Today none in the Opposition has the physical and mental strength to lead a long drawn public agitation on economic issues. This is Congress’s real advantage over the Opposition</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Baba Ramdev buys Scottish island</b>

<b>1. India's Balance of Payments Developments during the First Quarter(April-June 2009) of 2009-10</b>

<b>2. India’s External Debt as at the end of June 2009 : USD 227.7 Billion</b>

<b>3. Sources of Variation in Foreign Exchange Reserves in India: April-June 2009-10 : USD 13.157 Billion</b>

<b>4. International Investment Position (IIP) of India as at the end of June 2009 : USD - 82.5 Billion</b>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>Time right to enter India: US to its companies</b>

WASHINGTON: Enamoured by India's status as one of the world's fastest growing economies, the US is telling its companies that the time is right for them to enter the Asian nation and high rate of return on investments is the most compelling reason.

"Now is the time for US companies to enter the rising Indian market," according to an export promotion agency of the US government.

For the US companies, the agency has named civil nuclear energy as the biggest potential Indian export market segment, estimated at about 150 billion dollars, followed by areas like renewable energy, aerospace and defense, mining and coal, security, healthcare, retail and auto.

"India is a free-market democracy with a legal and regulatory framework that rewards free enterprise, entrepreneurship and risk taking," according to a report compiled by Export.Gov, a collaboration of the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration with 19 other federal agencies.

The agency, which offers export assistance to the US companies on the behalf of the US government, has identified India as the 'market of the month'.

The US exports to India stood at 32.44 billion dollars in 2008, an 85 per cent increase from the previous year. The US imports from India was 39.89 billion dollars in 2008, up 65 per cent from the previous year.

"India's requirements for equipment and services for major sectors such as energy, environmental, healthcare, high-tech, infrastructure, transportation, and defense will exceed tens of billions of dollars in the medium-term as the Indian economy further globalizes and expands," it said.

The report said that Indian companies were increasingly manufacturing finished products to meet growing domestic and export demands and at the same time were "sourcing sophisticated, efficient products and equipment from the US."

"There is also a growing trend in utilizing US expertise in the fields of education, energy, environmental, engineering consulting, management consulting, retail and telecommunication," it noted.

Listing out the best potential market segments in India, the export promotion body said that "civil nuclear energy is perhaps the biggest market opportunity in terms of potential export value to US companies, valued at more than 150 billion dollars over the next 30 years."

"The recent opening of the civil nuclear sector provides a huge market opportunity (reactors, raw materials, supplies) for US companies."

Besides, aerospace and defense sector also ranks among the world's most dynamic and airlines in India were in the process of buying over 300 aircraft between 2007 and 2012.

"India is also a large and growing market for air defense equipment, especially for US suppliers seeking joint-venture opportunities," it said.

As per the report, other high growth potential markets of the country include mining and coal sector, safety and security industry, healthcare, retail, franchising and automotive.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Core sector growth slips to 4% in Sept</b>

New Delhi: Infrastructure sector growth falling to 4 per cent in September after showing a 7.1 per cent expansion in August put a question mark on talks of economic recovery in India.
<b>India's central bank buys 200 tons of IMF gold for $6.7 billion</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- India's central bank confirmed Tuesday it had purchased 200 tons of gold bullion from the International Monetary Fund, effectively boosting its holdings by more than 50% and diversifying its $285 billion foreign-exchange stockpile.

The sale was part of the IMF's previously announced plan to sell 403.3 metric tons of bullion as part of efforts to shore up the institution's finances.

<b>India paid $6.7 billion for the bullion, which was purchased during a two week period ending Oct. 30.</b>

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the gold purchase was part of its foreign exchange reserve management operations.

Its gold holdings were valued at $10.32 billion, or about 3.6% of its $285.52 billion forex reserve stockpile, according to newswire reports that cited figures from RBI Friday.

<b>The recent purchase will lift India's bullion holdings to 557.7 tons, making it the 11th largest holder of the yellow metal among the world's central banks, according to newswire calculations based on September quarterly data from the World Gold Council.</b>

The sale will "help put the Fund's finances on a sound long-term footing and enable us to step up much-needed concessional lending to the poorest countries," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement Monday.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The changes will be dramatic as the GDP in India will grow at four to five per cent higher than the GDP in the West. By taking into account our saving rate of 35 to 40 per cent and the upward migration of 30 to 40 million into the middle class every year, we may be looking at a middle class market in the excess of 600 million in the next decade. This exceeds the population of the US and the Western world. The sensible and mature view is that in a globalised economy every country benefits from each other. In that sense it is heartening to see the developed world make significant cross investments. India too is making huge investments in acquiring assets abroad.


However, I will like to call it, hopeful days are here again! <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />
[url="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704541004575011684172064228.html"] link[/url]

[Image: ED-AK833_index2_NS_20100119142047.gif]

India rank 124.
Quote:Food inflation up at 17.4 per cent

New Delhi: The annual food inflation based on wholesale prices rose to 17.4 per cent for the week ended January 16 from 16.81 per cent the week before, according to official statistics released on Thursday. Essential items continued to rule firm, with potatoes dearer by 57.56 per cent over the past 52 weeks, pulses up 46.87 per cent, and vegetables costlier by 10.5 per cent. The limited data on the wholesale index released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry further showed that while the index for primary articles rose 14.66 per cent, that for fuels fell 5.28 per cent.

This is too much.
[url="http://www.hindustantimes.com/Recovery-on-track-GDP-to-grow-at-7-2-per-cent/H1-Article1-506703.aspx"]Recovery on track: GDP to grow at 7.2%[/url]
Quote:The GDP forecast put out by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), however, is a shade lower than projections by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Finance Ministry.

The ministry, in its mid-term review of the economy in December, had pegged the current year’s growth at 7.75 per cent while RBI had projected the economy to grow at 7.5 per cent.

“This is an advance estimate,” finance secretary Ashok Chawla said. “What we normally see when the final numbers come out for the third and fourth quarters (in May) is an upward bias and we are sure that the same is going to happen this year too.”

The latest data could set the tone for withdrawal of stimul-us measures announced last year to counter the downturn. All eyes will be on Budget 2010, to be presented later this month.

“In terms of what the future policy framework is going to be, I think you will have to wait for the budget,” Chawla said.

The bad news: agricultural production is expected to shrink by 0.2% as a result of last year’s drought.

Growth of the Indian economy slowed to 6.7% in 2008-09 after growing at close to 9% for four straight years before the meltdown hit home in September 2008.

A Chinese official said India had the potential to overtake China as the world’s fastest growing economy. China’s GDP grew by 8.7 per cent in 2009.

Quote:The percentage growth under the eight categories of business activities for this fiscal are as under, with figures for previous fiscal in brackets:

- Overall gross domestic product: 7.2 (1.6)

- Agriculture, forestry and fishing: -0.2 (1.6)

- Mining and quarrying: 8.7 (1.6)

- Manufacturing: 8.9 (3.2)

- Electricity, gas and water supply: 8.2 (3.9)

- Construction: 6.5 (5.9)

- Trade, hotels, transport and communication: 8.3 (7.6)

- Financing, insurance, real estate business services: 9.9 (10.1)

- Community, social and personal services: 8.2 (13.9)

Are they making inflation adjustment? If not, then actual adjusted GDP should be less.

[url="http://indiabudget.nic.in/es2009-10/chapt2010/chapter01.p"]INDIA : ECONOMIC SURVEY 2009-2010[/url]

India’s GDP Current Market Prices = IR 6,164,178 CRORES = IR 61,641.78 BILLION

@ US Dollar 1 = IR 47.94 India’s GDP 2009 – 2010 Equates to US Dollar 1.2858 Trillion

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]
[Image: 350px-Average_GDP_PPP_per_capita.svg.png]

World map showing countries above and below the world average GDP (PPP) per capita. Source: CIA World Factbook.

BLUE: above world average

ORANGE: below world average
[url="http://business.rediff.com/report/2010/mar/02/budget-2010-indias-fiscal-deficit-rises.htm"]India's fiscal deficit rises to Rs 3.5 lakh cr[/url]
Quote:India's fiscal deficit soared by 34 per cent to Rs 3.5 lakh crore in the first ten months of the financial year against Rs 2.62 lakh crore a year ago, mainly on account of the stimulus measures taken by the government to prop up the economy hit by the global financial crisis.

This makes the April-January fiscal deficit at 87.2 per cent of the budgeted estimate of 4.01 lakh crore for the current fiscal. To spur economic activities, the government had initiated massive spending programmes and slashed duties from December 2008 in three stage following the global financial crisis that began in September 2008.

However, partially rolling back the stimulus in Budget 2011, the Government has raised excise duty by 2 per cent to 10 per cent and enhanced tax rates on other products making consumer goods like cars, ACs and several other items expensive.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee [ Images ] presented a Budget with fiscal deficit of 5.5 per cent for the next fiscal as he pegged total expenditure at Rs 11.09 lakh crore on an estimated revenue of total tax and non-tax at Rs 6.82 lakh crore for 2010-11.

The fiscal deficit for the current fiscal is pegged at 6.9 per cent, a tad over the previous estimate of 6.8 per cent.

Till January, the Centre's overall expenditure stood at over Rs 7.83 lakh crore, while receipts were way below at around Rs 4.34 lakh crore, leading to a deficit of nearly Rs 3.5 lakh crore.

The government had pegged total expenditure at the record level of over Rs 10.2 lakh crore this fiscal, 76.8 per cent of which has already been incurred till January. Of the over Rs 7.8-lakh crore expenditure incurred by the government, over 70 per cent is accounted by non-plan outgo including interest payments.

Meanwhile, the revenue deficit, which is the excess of revenue expenditure like salaries over revenue income, rose to Rs 2.84 lakh crore till January, an increase of 100 per cent over the the same time last year.

The government's tax collections at Rs 3.33 lakh crore contributed the most to its kitty.

Heading for bigger inflation and another dip.

Government spending so high. They should trim down government.
[url="http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/wm2830.cfm"]Is India's Economy Weakening?[/url]
Quote:The conventional wisdom concerning the Indian economy has two tenets: (1) India has weathered the financial crisis exceptionally well; and (2) India is still undergoing liberalizing reform. Both of those tenets, though, can reasonably be questioned.

Reported Indian GDP growth fell to 6.0 percent in the October-December quarter of 2009, lower than the 6.2 percent in the same quarter of 2008. By itself this decrease is not important, but it comes at a time of high inflation and a dangerously large budget deficit. Under such circumstances, 6 percent growth is not much of an accomplishment. More telling for the long term, this year's budget means the current Congress Party government has further cemented its legacy as reformers in name only.

America's ability to alter this legacy is limited. However, the emerging U.S.-India partnership requires each nation to be direct. Economic negotiations with India should be regarded in part as a means to encourage market reform.

Indian Growth in Context

Three years ago, an economy exhibiting 6 percent real growth, nearly 9 percent inflation, and a consolidated national budget deficit exceeding 12 percent of GDP would have been rightly deemed as heading for serious difficulties. The obvious response is that India should be judged in the context of the financial crisis. However, it is not clear that the economy has actually improved as the global crisis has eased.

[size="6"]At IIMs, it's India calling now[/size]

BANGALORE: At IIMs, it's India calling now. A significant number of students at the Indian Institutes of Management have opted for domestic offers over international ones. Better career prospects in India, because of the booming economy, are the main reason.

With the global economy rebounding, students across IIMs this year got good international offers, unlike last year, from firms in Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, the US, and Australia. Also, the international pay package offered at IIMs was on a par with market rates. For instance, in IIM-Bangalore alone, 15 students accepted international offers from companies like Nomura, Temasek, Proctor & Gamble, Enzen, Arvin Meritor and UAE Exchange.

Interestingly, an equal number turned down global placements.

"We don't have data on the number of students opting out of international ones. But this time maybe 15 students accepted domestic offers over international ones," Sapna Agarwal, head of career development service, IIM-B told TOI.

An IIM-B student, who didn't want to be named, was offered a consulting role in the UK. Instead, he opted for a domestic offer from a general management company which is yet to declare his position. "India is a more happening place than anywhere else. There is more growth and opportunities here. Hence, I decided to take the offer here," he said.

This 20-something engineer grad from Chennai believes it's important to accept the offer based on growth prospects than on locations. "The future is India. One always gets to travel abroad and work there. The learning there can be implemented here," he added.

Others went local because the domestic profile offered to them matched their area of interest. Take Aditya Mittal, an IIM-B student. He preferred the domestic profile over an international one as he was interested in finance. An IIT-Bombay student, Aditya, has three years experience in consulting and finance sectors. "I was offered research positions with a leading I-bank where I would have been placed in NY, London, Hong Kong or Singapore. The pay package was in line with the market price," he said.

Aditya still said 'No' to that because he was looking at a long-term career in India. "I didn't want to settle abroad," he added.

[size="6"]4,000 employees quit Infosys in Feb? [/size]

NEW DELHI: Brokerage firm CLSA said over 4,000 employees may have resigned from Infosys in February alone, largely driven by an uptick in business

environment that has created a huge demand for talent, after a lull.

The normal attrition numbers in India’s second-largest software exporter is around 1,200 employees a month.

“There is quite a bit of industry chatter that 4,000-4,200 employees have resigned at Infosys in February. This is not officially confirmed by the management, but multiple sources are claiming the same number, including industry blogs,” CLSA said in a note to its clients. However, Infosys group HR head said it was not true.

“The information is grossly incorrect. Attrition has been increasing in the past three months and this is largely because after two years, jobs are picking up. But the 4,000 number is not true,” he said.

The note further said that the number is important as 4,000 in a month is a big number compared with the normal attrition levels, which would be around 1,200 employees a month, on a total headcount of 1,10,000.

“With business coming back strongly, hiring has picked up on a war footing. TCS and Infosys have the industry’s best training programmes, and the relatively dissatisfied category of employees here are the prime targets for poaching,” the note said.

But CLSA said the spike in attrition was no cause for concern as such spurts of hiring and resignations are normal in the IT industry, at the start of an upturn. Besides, Infosys’ is best placed to rapidly deploy programmers in case of such exits, as it has nearly 20,000 free resources right now, possibly the largest bench strength in the industry.

“Infosys is still best placed to face the hiring storm, pays the highest salaries among like-sized peers and has the largest unused bench of programmers,” CLSA said. But it was cautious on Wipro, which has too few extra resources.

[size="6"]Big B to become Kerala's tourism ambassador[/size]

AHMEDABAD/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After Gujarat, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has expressed his willingness to become a brand ambassador of Kerala tourism.

Responding to an offer made by the state, Bachchan has, in a letter to Kerala tourism minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, said the offer was good and he would like to discuss the matter further, sources said. In an interview to a Malayalam TV channel, he had said he was only too keen to be the ambassador of the state he loved.

Balakrishnan, in his letter expressing gratitude, had said the government would like to hold further talks with the actor who is also the brand ambassador of Gujarat.

Bachchan has already met Chief Minister Narendra Modi in January when they watched 'Paa' together. After that Modi announced a tax free status for the film. During the meeting, Bachchan was offered to become the face of Gujarat and he readily agreed.

Last month meetings were held at Bachchan's home in Mumbai, where the superstar was shown a presentation of Gujarat's tourism spots with the CM's request to consider becoming Gujarat's brand ambassador.

"Bachchan readily agreed and thanked the state government for considering him," an official said. Main tourism spots to be projected immediately are: Gir Lions Sanctuary, Kutch's White Desert, Dwarka, Somnath, Ambaji and Palitana.

[size="6"]Tendulkar named UN Goodwill Ambassador[/size]

United Nations: India's cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar has been named a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Tendulkar, the first player to score 10,000 runs in one-day internationals, will use his massive global popularity to raise awareness and harness support for environmental action in his home country of India and around the world, the UNEP announced in United Nations on Friday.

"I have played and enjoyed my cricket across the planet. Now it's also time to do something for the planet, which is our only home," he said.

"Being part of the effort to save the planet is an immense undertaking but it is a challenge I am ready to undertake. Working with UNEP and cricket fans across the globe, I am in good company. Together we can do it."

The agency's Executive Director, Achim Steiner, voiced confidence that Tendulkar's "character, personal integrity, intellect and profile will catalyze widespread environmental action."

With 2010 being the UN's International Year of Biodiversity, the cricket legend will work with the agency to boost the global and grassroots response to the loss of animal and plant diversity worldwide.

Tendulkar is no stranger to the work of the UN, having lent his voice to a UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) campaign in India on the importance of personal hygiene.

As one of his first duties as Goodwill Ambassador, he will lead a Green Pledge to save the planet when the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off its third season on Friday night in Mumbai.

The vow to be made in front of the millions of fans expected to be watching live on television, YouTube or at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai reads "the Earth is our home and together we must conserve our precious wildlife, forests and oceans. I am proud to pledge that I will play my part in caring for our natural heritage."

Along with Tendulkar, team captains from the Deccan Chargers to the Kolkata Knight Riders will sign a giant globe made out of recycled materials.

Noting that as a rapidly developing economy, India's consumption and production patterns could define the planet's future, Steiner said: "We need to make the right choices in terms of how best to manage energy and natural resources."

"To borrow a cricketing metaphor, these choices will define whether the world is running or soon will be run out."


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