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Economic Outlook Survey by FICCI

Oct 13, 2010
According to the latest Economic Outlook Survey by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), inflation rate would continue for a while before settling between 6 per cent and 8 per cent by December 2010. According to the chamber, inflation would take a downward trend post-September 2010 and the primary inflation would cool down from August and manufactured articles inflation would dip from November.

Committee to Review NSSF Structure

Oct 13, 2010
The Indian Government following the recommendation of the Thirteenth Finance Commission recently set up a committee headed by Shyamala Gopinath, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for comprehensive review of the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) structure, interest rates, tenor and other administrative matters. The Committee is permitted to refer to the existing parameters for the small saving schemes in operation. It is expected to recommend mechanisms to make them more flexible and market linked.

ONGC Won 17 Blocks Awarded Under NELP Auction

Oct 13, 2010
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on 30 June 2010 together with its partners signed contracts for half of the 34 oil and gas blocks that were awarded in the latest round of auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). Of the 70 blocks offered in NELP-VIII, only 36 blocks were bid for by the companies.

Market Prices to Determine Petrol Price

Oct 13, 2010
Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) led by the Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee decided on 25 June 2010 to give a free hand to oil companies to determine petrol prices in line with the market price. Petrol price rose by Rs 3.50 a litre and the price of diesel moved up by Rs 2 a litre in Delhi, with eventual increase in other parts of the country.

Ma Foi Randstad Released Work Monitor

Oct 13, 2010
Ma Foi Randstad released second wave of Ma Foi Randstad Work Monitor in June 2010. The Work Monitor is a quarterly review of ‘mental mobility' status of employees across the world.

IRDA Introduced New Norms for ULIPs

Oct 13, 2010
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) issued circulars on 28 June 2010 outlining fresh guidelines for ULIPs. According to the new norms, the investors who wish to prematurely withdraw now have a reason to be happy as their investments would have some protection.

Base Rate Fixed between 7.5 to 8 %

Oct 13, 2010
RBI had asked banks to determine the Base rate for lending to replace the earlier Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) on 9 April 2010. Banks fixed their Base rate to be effective from 1 July 2010 following the RBI guidelines.

Ban on Raw Cotton Export Lifted

Oct 13, 2010
The Indian government in April 2010 banned raw cotton exports to control and lower the fast rising cotton prices in the domestic market. Export duty was imposed on cotton exports and export of raw cotton was regulated.

3G Spectrum to be Allotted

Oct 13, 2010
The Indian government on 25 June 2010 announced its decision to allot 3G spectrum to successful bidders on 1 September 2010. The government also rejected the criticism that the 3G auction was faulty and had resulted in high prices being paid by leading operators.

World Bank to Extend Loan for Indian Projects

Oct 12, 2010
The Indian Ministry of Finance signed two loan agreements with The World Bank on 9 July 2010. The World Bank according to the agreement would extend a loan of $407 million to India for the project on scaling up sustainable and the responsible microfinance as well as for the India statistical strengthening project.

RBI Raised Repo & Reverse Repo Rates

Oct 12, 2010
The RBI raised its main lending rate or repo rate from 5.25% to 5.5% and the reverse repo rate, at which it absorbs excess cash from the banking system from 3.75% to 4% on 2 July 2010. Earlier the apex bank had earlier changed the rates by .25% moving the repo & reverse repo rates to 5.25%.

Investment in Infrastructure Bonds Exempted from Tax

Oct 12, 2010
Under a new section- Section 80CCF of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the Indian government notified on 10 July 2010 that investment in infrastructure bonds would be applicable for tax exemptions. The exemption in these long-term infrastructure bonds under the new section would be in addition to the deduction of Rs 1 lakh already allowed under Sections 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD of the Act.

Economic Impact of the Geothermal Energy

Oct 12, 2010
International Conference on Geothermal and other Energy Resources of Ladakh: Technological and Business Viability” was organised in Leh on 5 July 2010. The focus was on developing this form of renewable energy with the help of big and small projects alike.

BWA Spectrum Allotted to Telecos

Oct 12, 2010
On 7 July 2010 the Indian Government allotted BWA (broadband wireless access) spectrum to Reliance Industries-owned Infotel, Aircel, Bharti Airtel and Tikona. The operators had won the spectrum during the recently held auction organised by the Government. The telecom companies would now offer broadband services that can facilitate high-speed wireless transmission of data.

FII pullout Resulted in Fall in Rupee

Oct 12, 2010
Sensex on 17 May 2010 recovered 300 points in intra-day trading to close 159 points lower at 16835.56. Foreign institutional investors pulled out Rs 5,856 crore in May 2010 after investing Rs 2,667 crore in the secondary market in April.

SEBI to Decide on MCX-SX Plea

Oct 12, 2010
In response to MCX-SX's writ petition, the Bombay High Court Chief Justice Mohit Shah, and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari on 10 August 2010 ordered SEBI to decide on the MCX-SX plea by 30 September 2010. MCX-SX had filed a writ petition against SEBI for delaying permission to launch new products on its platform although it had complied to all the regulations.

RBI Asked to link MHP to Asset, Class, Tenor of loan

Oct 12, 2010
In response to the draft guidelines on securitisation issued by the RBI in April 2010, banks and non-banking finance companies recently requested RBI for the minimum holding period (period between origination of a loan and its securitisation) to be linked to the asset class and the tenor of the loan. As per the RBI regulations, the minimum holding period (MHP) for loans with less than two years maturity should be nine months whereas the mhp for loans of over two years should be 12 months.

RBI asked for Empowered Committee under FSDC

Oct 12, 2010
RBI on date asked the Indian government to empower a committee under the proposed Financial Stability and Development Council, or FSDC to deal with inter-regulatory issues and financial stability. The committee would replace High-Level Coordination Committee on Capital and Financial Markets (HLCCFM).

PSEs Spared the Public Share Holding Burden

Oct 12, 2010
Considering the comfort of Public Sector Entitites, the Indian Finance Ministry on 9 August 2010 diluted minimum public shareholding' guidelines. As per the revised guidelines, listed public sector entities would be required to keep 10% public share holding as against 25% suggested earlier.

Power Producers against Imposition of Customs Duty

Oct 12, 2010
Led by Tata Power and Reliance Power, a lobby of a dozen power companies recently protested against the government's intent to impose 14% customs duty on power equipment to check Chinese imports. The private power producers clubbed themselves under Association of Power Producers and collectively stated that their contribution to the country’s power sector would be restrained if customs duty is imposed on foreign power equipment.

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