Wednesday, May 23, 2012

India - UAE joint task force

India and UAE decided to set up a high level joint task force to further explore investment opportunities, including in the energy sector which will be headed by the respective commerce ministers. This decision was taken at half-hour talks between India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Piramal Health set to acquire US based Decision Resources Group for 3,400 crore

Piramal Healthcare is set to buy the US based Decision Resources Group for 3,400 crore ($635 million). This marks the Group’s entry into the $5.7 billion healthcare information management business.

National Florence Nightingale Award

National Florence Nightingale Award for Nursing Personnel 2012 - P.K. Vineetha

Cabinet may take up pricing issue for TAPI project

The Union Cabinet is likely to consider pricing issue for Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. The cabinet has already approved and rectified the agreement for this project. The Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) for this project has not been signed yet.

Electronic payments still lower than cheque transaction

Cheque payments amounted to Rs 98.9 lakh crore, against the 22 lakh crore paid using the electronic medium in 2011-12, RBI data shows.

Terms of the day

FCNR Deposit – Foreign Currency Non-Resident Deposit
NRE – Non-Resident External rupee accounts
NRO – Non-Resident Ordinary rupee accounts
MAT – Minimum Alternative Tax
IMD – India Meteorological Department
OVL – ONGC Videsh Ltd (the overseas subsidiary of ONGC)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Piramal Health set to acquire US based Decision Resources Group for 3,400 crore

Piramal Healthcare is set to buy the US based Decision Resources Group for 3,400 crore ($635 million). This marks the Group’s entry into the $5.7 billion healthcare information management business.

Independent member on GAAR panel

The Government will have an independent member on the approving panel for the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR). The approving committee will be headed by Director General of Income Tax.

Banks told to give farmers smart cards

The Reserve Bank of India has asked commercial banks, regional rural banks and cooperative banks to issue smart cards/ debit cards to farmers under the revised Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme so that they can access credit with ease. 
The RBI has announced a new KCC scheme based on the recommendations of a working group headed by Mr T.M. Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank.
The Scheme aims at providing adequate and timely credit for the comprehensive credit requirements of farmers under single window, with flexible and simplified procedure, adopting whole farm approach, including the short-term credit needs and a reasonable component for consumption needs, through Kisan Credit Card.

Infrastructure Excellence Award for Tata Power

Tata Power has been awarded the Infrastructure Excellence Award for its 4,000 MW ultra mega power project in Mundra, Gujarat.

SAIL inks MoU with Mongolia to develop coal reserves

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mongolian Ministry of Mineral Resource and Energy to help Mongolia to develop its coal reserves. Mongolia is the second such nation after Afghanistan where SAIL plans to develop coal reserves.  

Record NRI deposit in Indian Banks

Money that NRIs deposited to Indian banks tripled to a record $11 billion in 2011-12. The average NRI deposit in the previous five years was $2.9 billion. The record inflows came amid sharp depreciation of the rupee from 44.50 to a dollar to 51.10. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

G8 summit starts at Maryland, US

The summit of the Group of Eight (G8: Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the USwill discuss issues, including the eurozone crisis, Iran nuclear standoff, Syria, global energy and food security, among others.
This summit will be unproductive in many issues  given the substantial differences between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Francois Hollande. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rangarajan panel to handle excess foodgrain stocks.

To ease pressure on storage, an expert group headed by PMEAC Chairman C Rangarajan has suggested the government to immediately export 2 million tonnes of wheat from government stocks, and make additional supply of 13 million tonnes of the grain via ration shops and in the open market.
The panel, in the report submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, said the release of 15 million tonnes of wheat stock from central godowns would lead to subsidy outgo of Rs 16,790 crore. It also suggested wheat export of one million tonnes via private trade, for which subsidy outgo would be lower at Rs 150 crore.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Food Minister K V Thomas and and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Friday discussed ways to implementing the panel’s suggestions to ease pressure on storage during the monsoon season.
At present, the government godowns are overflowing with granaries of 71.12 million tonnes, which is higher by 20 per cent from last year period. The storage capacity is for 62.8 million tonnes.

Chicago ready for 25th NATO Summit

More than 60 heads of state and government will meet at Chicago. The main discussion will be 

on security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. They will deliver on decisions taken at the 

Lisbon Summit in November 2010, driving forward key Alliance policies and reaffirming the 

transatlantic link.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RBI offers $2 bn swap arrangement to strengthen cooperation among SAARC countries

The Reserve Bank of India will offer Swap Arrangement of US $ 2 billion both in foreign currency and in Indian rupee to member countries of the South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation(SAARC).
Dr D Subbarao, Governor, RBI, announced this arrangement at the 24th SAARC FINANCE Governors’ Meeting, in Pokhara, Nepal. This swap arrangement is with a view to strengthening regional financial and economic cooperation.
With launching of this facility, member countries -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka -- can now approach Reserve Bank of India for availing of the facility.
The SAARC Swap Arrangement will have a corpus of US$ 2 billion. India will contribute the entire fund. The swap amount available to various member central banks has been arrived at broadly based on two months import cover subject to a floor of US$ 100 million and a maximum of US$ 400 million per country.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sathyamangalam announced to be a tiger reserve

 The government decided to create a new tiger reserve spread over 1.40 lakh hectares from the present sanctuary limits. It will be the fourth tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu. The State has three tiger reserves in Mudumalai, Anaimalai and Kalakad-Mundanthurai. The tiger count in the State at present is 163.
The Tamil Nadu State Government decided to set up a forest research centre at Vandalur Arignar Anna Zoological Park at a cost of Rs.34.24 crore with the State's own funds. This would be expanded with financial assistance from the Centre and upgraded to a Rs.74.37 crore research facility.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sikkim won the Best State Award for Strengthening the Panchayati Raj Institutions

Sikkim, won the best state award for strengthening its panchayati raj institutions. The northeastern
state bagged the five prestigious national awards worth of 1.36 crore rupees, at a Panchayat Raj Day(April 23) function held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh and Union minister of panchayati raj and tribal development V Kishore Chandra Deo presented the 2011-12 Panchayat Empowerment & Accountability Incentive Scheme (PEAIS) award to Sikkim's rural management and development minister CB Karki. The Panchayat Empowerment & Accountability Incentive Scheme (PEAIS) is a Central Sector Plan Scheme which is being implemented by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj since 2005-06. The scheme had an allocation of 5 crore for 2005-06, which was raised to 10 crore rupees for the subsequent years.

Moody's downgrades LIC and three private banks

Moody's downgrade of LIC is a result of LIC's recent investments in state owned companies like ONGC(Oil  and Natural Gas Corporation). LIC lost its higher rating as Moody’s downgraded it from Baa2 to Baa3, although it kept the outlook stable. 
Moody's also downgraded three private sector banks, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank  to D+ from C- to align their rating with that of the country.  
The standalone bank financial strength rating (BFSR) of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank are revised down to D+ from C-, which now maps to a baseline credit assessment (BCA) of Baa3 from Baa2 on the long-term scale.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Manchester City wins EPL title in a thriller

Manchester City won the English title for the first time in 44 years, surging past Queens Park Rangers 3-2 on Sunday with Sergio Aguero scoring his team's second goal late in stoppage time to snatch the trophy from defending champion Manchester United on goal difference, who finished second this time.

Are you a Chelsea fan???? Want to know about Chelsea gossips? Click here...

Rs.1560Cr to modernize irrigation canals in Cauvery delta

Over 4.5 acres of agriculture land in the Cauvery delta are set to benefit from Rs1560Cr project to upgrade irrigation canals.  The ADB has approved Rs.1092Cr loan to this project. The Tamilnadu state government will bring in Rs.468Cr.

Japan goes nuclear free

The No:3 unit of the Tomari nuclear power plant, Japan’s last operating commercial nuclear reactor, went off line on 5th May for mandatory maintenance, leaving the nation without atomic generated electricity for the first time in 42 years. None of Japan’s idle reactors will be permitted to go back online until they pass stringent stress test. 

Special development plan for Malkangiri, Sukma

Union Rural Development Minister, Mr Jayaram Ramesh said that his ministry had decided to prepare and implement a special plan for the development of Maoist infested tribal regions of Malkangiri district of Odisha and Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. This plan would be prepared like the already being implemented plans in the Saranda and Sarju areas in Jharkhand.


China, Russia, and the United States joined the three European countries(France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) in 2006 as part of a format known as the P5+1—in reference to the permanent five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

Terms of the day

NPR- National Population Register
FSA – Fuel Supply Agreement
NAFED – National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation
FCNR Account – Foreign Currency Non Residential Account

Serena, Federer win Madrid open...

Serena Williams overpowered the top-ranked Victoria Azarenka to win the Madrid Open today.
In a clash of two of the tour’s heaviest hitters, Williams battered Azarenka around the new blue-clay court with her big serve and vicious return to take the first four games and never looked back.

Federer beat Tomas Berdych to win the men's title.

TRAI got new chairman...

Commerce Secretary, Rahul Khullar has been appointed as the chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) with immediate effect. Mr. Khullar, will take over from J.S. Sarma who leaves office today.
Mr. Khullar’s appointment was cleared by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh paving way for his formal appointment. He will serve for a term of three-years as TRAI chairman and will take charge tomorrow.
Mr. Khullar, who was previously the Commerce Secretary, takes over as the TRAI chief at a turbulent time in the history of telecom in India.Currently the whole telecom industry has been protesting against the recent proposal of the telecom regulator on the auctioning of the 2G spectrum.TRAI’s recommendations came following the Supreme Court's February 2 judgement where it cancelled 122 licenses belonging to nine telecom companies and told the government to redistribute them through a first come, first served allocation methodology.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Iraq topples Iran, becomes 2nd largest crude oil supplier to India

The pressure of US sanctions on Iran is evident with Indian refiners shifting attention to other crude oil producing nations. Supplies from Iraq and Kuwait have seen a significant increase, even as Saudi Arabia maintained its position as the largest supplier. The sanctions also made payments for supplies from Iran difficult. Indian refiners paid for their Iranian oil imports through Turkey’s Halkbank. But, there is a fear that this system may collapse due to the new US sanctions. A method was also worked out wherein National Iranian Oil Company would accept a share of the payments in rupee in an account opened in UCO Bank. However the 40 per cent withholding tax component made the mechanism a non-starter. Domestic refiners had refused to shoulder the additional tax burden, which made sourcing from Iran very expensive. In the Budget for 2012-13, the Government stepped in to exempt tax on payment received by a foreign company in Indian currency on account of sale of crude oil to any person in India.

India to get $6.25 billion from ADB

The Asian Development Bank will provide assistance of $6.25 billion to India over three years for various projects, including those in energy and education sectors. The lending support will go to key areas such as transport, energy, urban development, agriculture natural resource management, finance and education.

Pranab Mukherjee takes over as Chair of ADB Governor’s Board

The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, took over as Chair of Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank. He will hold the position till the conclusion of the next (46th) meeting of the Board scheduled to be held in New Delhi in May next year.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All set for NABARD transition as Bill in final stages of passing

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2012, has entered the final stages of being legislated. The token 1 per cent stake of capital that the Reserve Bank of India holds in NABARD is sought to be vested in the central government, completing the transition. The central bank had sold its majority stake to the centre in 2010

Pact with Switzerland for easier access to banking information

India and Switzerland have signed an agreement for easier access to information about Indians having Swiss bank accounts. This is considered to be an effective mechanism to track Indian money stashed abroad. It is estimated that around $500 billion of illegal money belonging to Indians is deposited in tax havens abroad.

Three private sector banks on Moody’s watchlist

Global agency Moody’s placed credit ratings of leading private sector banks, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, on watch for a possible downgrade within three months.

Core sector growth drops sharply in March

Output growth in eight core industries slowed to 2 per cent in March against 6.5 per cent in the year-ago period. In February, the eight infrastructure industries grew by 6.8 per cent. The fall was largely on account of a drop in output in the crude oil, petroleum refinery production and natural gas sectors. During the fiscal year 2012, the cumulative growth rate of the core sector industries was 4.3 per cent against 6.6 per cent in 2010-11.

Dept of Posts to set up 1,000 ATMs

The Department of Posts plans to set up 1,000 automated teller machines (ATMs) across the country under its modernisation plan.

ADB forecasts 7% growth in Asia-Pacific region

The Asian Development Bank projected a near 7% growth for the Asia-Pacific region during this year. The ADB president Mr Haruhiko Kuroda, said the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) forecasts a healthy GDP of 6.9 per cent for developing Asia and the Pacific in the 2012 and an accelerated 7.3 per cent growth next year. Mr Kuroda was addressing the media at the 45th Annual Meeting of the ADB at Manila.

HSBC gets competition panel’s nod for RBS banking business buy

Anti-monopoly watch god, Competition Commission of India (CCI), has given its nod to HSBC Bank acquiring the retail and commercial banking business of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in India. The CCI decision comes close on the heels of the Cabinet approving the Banking Law (Amendment) Bill. The Bill exempts all banking mergers and acquisitions from the scrutiny of the anti-competitive practices watchdog.    

India starts preparing to host 2013 ADB annual meet

India will host the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in May next year, providing an opportunity for policy makers across 67 countries to brainstorm developmental issues. The theme of the 46th meeting is ‘Development through Empowerment’. The 45th annual meeting focussing on inclusive growth through better governance and partnership was held in Manila, Philippines from May 2-5.

NRIs sent home $64 billion in 2011

India is estimated to be on top in terms of remittances from its workers abroad in 2011. The World Bank’s latest brief on ‘Migration and Development’ estimates that India is likely to receive nearly $64 billion in 2011 which is nearly $2 billion more than China.

Axis Bank sheds 25% stake in AMC to Singapore’s Schroder

The board of Axis Bank has approved the induction of Schroder Singapore Holdings Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Schroder Plc as a 25 per cent shareholder in Axis Asset Management Company.

Samsung overtakes Nokia to become top selling phone brand globally

Samsung has overtaken Nokia to be the world’s top selling phone vendor according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics. Global handset shipments grew a modest 3 per cent annually to reach 368 million units in the first quarter of 2012.

Ronnie O'Sullivan won the 2012 World snooker championship

Ronnie O'Sullivan won the 2012 World snooker championship beating Ali Carter.

Victory gave O'Sullivan his fourth World title while defeat meant Carter had lost in his second final appearance after going down 18-8 to fellow Englishman in the 2008 edition.
It also meant ‘The Rocket', as O'Sullivan is known to his fans, maintained his record of never losing in a World championship final and this year, at the age of 36, he became the oldest player to lift the trophy since Dennis Taylor triumphed in 1985.

INS Vindhyagiri to be destroyed: court

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed the destruction of INS Vindhyagiri, after the Navy said the warship might explode due the presence of ammunition which could not be removed from the vessel. The ship has been grounded since it collided with a merchant vessel, m.v. Nordlake.
The Navy application said if the ship exploded at the place where it is berthed, it might cause huge damage to the naval assets and merchant vessels passing nearby.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Socialist Francois Hollande wins French president election

Socialist Francois Hollande easily cruised to victory in France's presidential election in a swing to the left at the heart  of Europe that could start a pushback against EU's austerity.
He beat the current president Nicolas Sarkozy in the election by a decisive 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent margin.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vladimir Putin sworn in as Russian President

Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russian President for a third term. Mr. Putin served two terms as Russian President from 2000 and 2008 and shifted to the post of Prime Minister after ceding power to his close follower, Dmitry Medvedev. With the presidential term extended from four to six years Mr. Putin, who turns 60 later this year, will serve till 2018 and will have the option of running for the fourth term. Shortly after taking office, Mr. Putin sent to Parliament Mr. Medvedev’s nomination as Prime Minister in keeping with his earlier promise.
Read more

GAAR deferred by one year

The Finance Minister said,GAAR(general anti-avoidance rules), which has evoked sharp criticism from foreign investors is deferred by one year, “to provide more time to both tax payers and tax administration to address all issues, I propose to defer the applicability of the GAAR provisions by one year...(it) will now apply to income of financial year 2013-14 and subsequent years.”

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Indian women archer Deepika Kumari wins first World Cup title

India’s Olympic prospect Deepika Kumari won her first World Cup individual recurve gold medal at Antalya, Turkey.

Ms. Deepika, who has already qualified for London Olympics, is the current junior world champion and a gold medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. She had also won the Cadet World Title in 2009.
Archery Association of India chief and Indian Olympic Association acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra congratulated Ms. Deepika.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Air India fined by U.S. Transportation Department

The U.S. Transportation Department fined Air India $80,000 for failing to post customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans on its website and adequately inform passengers about its optional fees.
Both U.S. carriers and foreign carriers with a website that sells tickets to U.S. consumers have been required to include on their homepages a prominent hyperlink that takes viewers directly to a page that shows all fees for optional services the carrier charges, including baggage fees.
Air India failed to post its customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans and to provide a link to its optional fees by the required date, the statement added.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

TCS is now India's most valued firm...

Tata group firm TCS on Wednesday replaced Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries as the country’s most valued company in terms of market capitalisation, as investors supported TCS after it's results and rupee weakening.
At the end of Wednesday’s trade, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)'s market value was Rs 2,48,116 crore, higher than Reliance Industries’ Rs 2,43,413 crore.

Today(May 3) is world press freedom day

The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression. It is also marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.
UNESCO marks this day by awarding  UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for an individual from the press.
Read more

Basel III to be implemented from January 1, 2013

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI),  issued the final guidelines for implementation of Basel III capital regulation in India, which would be effective from January 1, 2013, in a phased manner.
The Basel III capital ratios will be fully implemented on March 31, 2018.
Banks have to maintain Tier I capital, or core capital, of at least 7 per cent of their risk weighted assets on an ongoing basis.
Under the existing capital adequacy guidelines based on the Basel II framework, banks are required to maintain Tier I capital of at least 6 per cent of their risk weighted assets.
The total capital ratio, including Tier I and Tier II, must be at least 9 per cent, unchanged from the current requirement, the RBI said in a statement, compared with the Basel III minimum requirement of 8 per cent.

Baburam Bhattarai to form new coalition government in Nepal

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai will dissolve his Cabinet and form a new coalition government that includes members of the main opposition parties in Nepal. The two main opposition parties Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal United Marxist Leninist negotiated with PM and confirmed that they would join the new government.
Mr. Bhattarai, deputy leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), had formed the government last year with the support of some smaller political parties in Parliament.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fiat and Tata motors end their distribution tie up

Auto majors Fiat and Tata Motors decided to end the distribution tie up formed in 2007 to distribute and service the vehicles of the Italian auto major.
As part of a 50:50 JV(joint venture) agreement signed in 2007, the two companies had agreed to a joint distribution network and back-end support.

Swimming world champion Dale Oen(Norway) dead at 26

Norwegian world champion swimmer Alexander Dale Oen has died of a suspected heart attack in Arizona at the age of 26. He was Norway's one of best hopes for the London Olympics. 
Dale Oen became a national hero last year when he won the 100 metres breaststroke at the world championships in Shanghai.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Post Bank of India

Moving a step closer to setting up a banking business, the Department of Posts has started scouting for a consultancy firm to prepare a road map for the proposed ‘Post Bank of India’ (PBI). They don't have to invest much for infrastructure which is an advantage.
The Department has already carried out a feasibility study for setting up the Post Bank of India and has invited expression on interest from consultancy firms — domestic or foreign — to finalise the plans for the bank.
The DoP, according to an official document, “intends to obtain approval from the Cabinet and licence from RBI for creation of a full-fledged bank (PBI).”
The consultancy firm will provide inputs on issues like the organisational structure of PBI, requirement of seed money and its relationship with post offices.
The proposed PBI will provide banking services, including accepting of deposits from the public for the purpose of lending or investment.
The PBI will aim to “provide banking services with special focus on rural areas...ride on the Core Banking Solution which is proposed to be provided in all the post offices.”
PBI will also become an additional source of revenue generation for the DoP, besides creating a platform for financial inclusion programme of the government. Financial inclusion in rural areas will be achieved by this.
Currently, DoP operates seven small savings schemes through a network of 1.54 lakh post offices and collects huge amounts for both state and central governments. It has over 250 million account holders.
In addition to deposit schemes, the PBI will provide loans to general public and corporates like any regular bank.

India’s poll practices caught the fancy of SAARC countries

India’s success in holding elections through electronic systems including the use of EVMs, has caught the fancy of Pakistan and other SAARC countries, which have expressed the desire to emulate it in their respective areas.
As heads of poll management bodies of SAARC countries got together to evolve solutions to common problems at the ongoing 3rd conference of heads of election management bodies of SAARC nations here(New Delhi), India showcased its use of modern technology for strengthening democracy and election management systems.
India made a presentation on use of technology in election management which generated encouraging response from Election Commissions of SAARC countries.

Rs.100=100 channels

Television viewers will soon get to choose a minimum of hundred Free to Air (FTA) channels at a maximum retail price of Rs 100, as per new tariff rules for Cable TV announced by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
According to the regulatory framework for Digitalised Cable TV brought out by TRAI to safeguard consumers’ interests, cable operators will have to mandatorily offer a Basic Service Tier (BST) to viewers throughout the country.
The Basic Service Tier would consist of 100 Free to Air channels including 18 mandatory Doordarshan channels plus the Lok Sabha channel.
The TRAI tariff order lays down that apart from the mandatory channels in the BST, cable operators and Multi System Operators (MSOs) will have to provide customers a minimum of five channels of different genres.
The genres which TRAI has named are General Entertainment Channels (GEC) in English, GEC-Hindi, GEC-Regional, Music, News, Movies, Sports, Kids Infotainment, lifestyle.
“The BST shall be mandatorily offered by the cable operator. However it will be optional for the consumer to subscribe,” TRAI said in its tariff order.
Customers can also choose another option which includes some pay channels and pay a monthly price upto Rs 150, the TRAI rules state.
“If the total value of the channels/ bouquets opted by the subscriber exceeds Rs 150, only then actual subscription charges has to be paid,” a press release issued by TRAI said. These rules will come into force along with the Digitalisation of the cable sector for which the government has already set up a deadline of 30 June 2012 in four metros and December 2014 for the entire country.
TRAI’s latest tariff order has also laid down rules on the basis of which channels and bouquets will be priced.

India allows exports, cotton prices drop

There has been an unseemly and very public spat between the commerce and agriculture ministries over a surprise March decision to ban Indian cotton exports. India finally decided on Monday to ease a nearly two-month restriction on cotton export permits, removing all barriers to shipments. Cotton prices fell by 2 percent on the back of the news as global commodity traders rejoiced that India had finally brought clarity to a muddled situation.

Collector- Naxal issue

The prospects for the release of the abducted Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon brightened on Monday night, when the Chhattisgarh government and interlocutors for the Maoists hammered out an agreement to constitute a high-power official committee to examine the cases of all prisoners (with a focus on tribals) in the State and to expedite their release.
Appealing for the release of the Collector at a press conference in Raipur, the interlocutors said the committee would become operational within an hour of Mr. Menon being freed.
Later at a press conference, Chief Minister Raman Singh said the committee would begin its task as soon as the Collector was released.

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