Friday, July 31, 2009

Invitation to 2009 International Steel Forum and China Steel Trade Fair

Sep 16-18, 2009, Rainbow Hotel, Shanghai, P. R. China

Dear Sir/Madam,
On the occasion of the 2009 International Steel Forum and China Steel Trade Fair, Mysteel sincerely requests the honor of your presence at the Rainbow Hotel, Shanghai, P. R. China, Sep 16-18, 2009. 
As China leads the recovery from the worldwide financial crisis, this forum presents an unmissable opportunity for global delegates to learn first-hand about the developments that will shape the future of China's steel export market. Will China give further incentives to steel exports? Will China’s steel exports see a major come-back in the rest of 2009? Answers to such intriguing questions will be found in speeches given by senior China government officials and scholars.
The steel trade fair, slated for the afternoon of Sep 18, is FREE OF CHARGE and open to all delegates who need to showcase their product mix and sales capabilities with an eye to initiating new business ties. Delegates will be able to meet face-to-face with major Chinese steel mills and traders, who used to play hard-to-get and are now more anxious than ever to seek overseas buyers. 
Our three previous events, held in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively, proved a successful series with the most recent one attracting some 500 delegates from home and aboard. The conference of this year is to offer you the following fresh benefits:
 Learn China government’s upcoming moves on steel exports; 
 Gain experts' insights into China's steel sector;
 Meet face-to-face with Chinese steel mills and traders with competitive supplies;
 Get familiar with the pattern of China's steel exports;
 Get a chance to promote company image and display product mix on the steel trade fair.
We sincerely look forward to having you at this year’s event in Shanghai, Sep 16-18 !

Mysteel (Shanghai Ganglian E-Commerce Co., Ltd.)

Event Details:
1. Organizing Committee:
Organized by: Mysteel (Shanghai Ganglian E-Commerce Co., Ltd.)
Supervised by: MC-CCPIT (Metallurgical Council of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade)
Sponsored by: Shanghai Junhe Group

2. Languages:
Chinese-English simultaneous interpreting will be available.
Printed conference materials and event website will be available in both Chinese and English.

3. Media Partners:
Xinhua News Agency, CBN, Chinadaily, Shanghai Daily, Oriental Morning Post, China Securities Journal, Shanghai Securities News, China Metallurgical News, Reuters, Interfax, Bloomberg, KMJ, Core Sector Communiqué, Rusmet

4. Registration Rates and Payment Details:
Early Bird Rates for payment prior to Aug 15, 2009:
1 delegate US$ 1000 per delegate
2 delegates and above US$ 800 per delegate
Early Bird Rates for payment prior to Aug 31, 2009:
1 delegate US$ 1100 per delegate
2 delegates and above US$ 900 per delegate
Rates for payment on and after Sep 1, 2009:
1 delegate US$ 1200 per delegate
2 delegates and above US$ 1000 per delegate

Registration fee covers
---printed seminar materials
--- Chinese-English simultaneous interpreting services
---admission to all sessions of the seminar
---business buffet, breakfast, refreshments, luncheon, and evening reception

Please fill in the Registration Form at the end of this invitation letter, and email it back to (or fax it back to the Seminar Secretariat at +86-21-61408972). 

Meanwhile, please wire transfer the registration fee to the bank account below with “Attn: Overseas Dept., Registration Fee for Sep 16-18 Event” indicated on the remark block of the remittance slip, and email a scanned copy of the remittance slip to the Seminar Secretariat at  

Please bring with you the remittance slip (copy) to the registration desk on the date of registration (Sep 16).

Banking Details:
Beneficiary: Shanghai Ganglian E-Commerce Co.,Ltd
Beneficiary's Add.: 4/F Kailong Building, No.24 (Jia) Fourth Guangling Road, Shanghai 200083, P.R. China
Bank Address: B-2/F Baishu Bldg. , 1230 N. Zhong Shan No.1 Rd. , Shanghai, P.R. China
Account No.: 8570-1586 2408 0910 14 (for US$ transfer)
  8570-1586 2408 0910 38 (for EUR transfer)
Swift Code: BKCHCNBJ300

5. Registration and Accommodation:
Registration Date: Sep 16 (Wed) 
Registration Desk: Lobby (1F), Rainbow Hotel 
Hotel Address: 2000 West Yan An Road, Shanghai, P. R. China
Hotel Tel: +86-21-62753388
Hotel Fax: +86-21-62757244
Hotel Website:
Note: Delegates should exchange remittance slip (copy) for conference pass and printed materials at the registration desk, and check in at hotel reception desk.

Room Type Accommodation Rates 
Single-Bed Room RMB 498/day
Business Standard Room (Twin Bed) RMB 498/day
(US$ 1 = RMB 6.83):

To ensure availability of hotel rooms, delegates requesting accommodation reservation must indicate preferred room type and room quantity on the registration form, and wire transfer the accommodation charges to the bank account above prior to Sep 13. 

6. Steel Trade Fair:
The steel trade fair (on the afternoon of Sep 18) is FREE OF CHARGE and open to all delegates who apply in advance for display desktops, where the applicants showcase their product mix and promote company image. Meanwhile, refreshments will be served during the fair hours. 
For more details, please call 0086-021- 6544- 9382 for Ms. Angela Zhang

7. Contacts of Event Secretariat:
Angela Zhang (Ms.):  
Tel: 0086-21- 6544- 9382  
Fax: 0086-21-6140- 8972

Revamping of Banks

To bring the 'financially excluded' population within the formal banking system, the Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have taken the following steps:- 

• Pursuant to the Budget announcement for 2008-09, the Commercial Banks and Regional Rural Banks were advised to open 250 new rural household accounts every year at each of their rural and semi urban branches. 

• Government has set up two funds, with NABARD, viz., Financial Inclusion Fund and Financial Inclusion Technology Fund with an overall corpus of Rs.500 crore each, to facilitate financial services particularly among weaker sections, low income groups and in backward regions/hitherto unbanked areas. 

• Banks have been advised to make available a basic banking 'no frills' account either with 'nil' or very low minimum balances. 

• Banks have been advised to issue General Credit Cards to eligible beneficiaries without insistence on security, purpose or end use of credit. 

• In January 2006, the RBI permitted banks to use the services of intermediaries in providing financial and banking services through the use of Business Facilitator (BF) and Business Correspondent (ÂÑ) models. In this light, banks can use Non-Governmental Organisations, Self Help Groups, Micro Finance Institutions, Post Offices and other Civil Society Organisation as intermediaries in providing financial and banking services. 

Measures taken by the Government and RBI are not expected to have a negative financial impact on the banks. 

This information was given by Minister of State for Finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena in written reply to a question raised in Lok Sabha today.

Financial Sector Reforms

The High Level Committee on Financial sector Reforms set up by Planning Commission has made wide ranging recommendations on a number of issues including macro-economic framework, broadening access to finance, levelling the playing field, creating more efficient markets, a growth-friendly regulatory environment and a robust infrastructure for credit. There are a total of thirty-five proposals identified by the Committee. Action has already been taken on some of these proposals which include freeing banks to set up ATMs anywhere, providing subsidies/cash transfers to the poor electronically under certain Government Schemes, liberalising the banking correspondent model so that a wide range of local agents can extend financial services and setting up a Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for creating unique national ID number for all citizens of the country. 

This information was given by Minister of State for Finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena in written reply to a question raised in Lok Sabha today.

Revival of Heavy Industries Sector

The Department of Heavy Industry is concerned with the development of the engineering industry viz. machine tools, heavy electrical, industrial machinery and auto industry and administers 32 operating CPSEs. The CPSEs under the Department are engaged in manufacture of engineering/capital goods, consultancy and contracting services. The Department maintains a constant dialogue with various Industry Associations and encourages initiatives for the growth of industry. The Department also assists the industry in achievement of their growth plans through policy initiatives, suitable interventions for restructuring of tariffs and trade, promotion of technological collaboration and up-gradation, and research & development activities etc. The Department facilitates financial support to the PSEs in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Planning Commission for meeting their investment needs and providing funds to the sick/loss making PSEs for implementation of restructuring plans sanctioned by the Government/BIFR. The profit making companies are being strengthened by providing greater autonomy and the loss making CPSEs are being considered for revival / closure.

The Department undertakes restructuring of CPSEs under its administrative control in line with the overall Public Sector Policy of the Government. The profit making companies are being strengthened by providing greater autonomy and the loss making CPSEs are being considered for revival / closure. So far 27 loss making PSEs have been submitted to Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) and BRPSE has given their recommendations in all cases. Out of 27, Government has approved revival/restructuring of 15 PSEs and Joint Venture/closure in respect of 4 PSEs. 

Government has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for Joint Venture partner in Tungabhadra Steel Products Ltd, Triveni Structural Ltd., Nepa Ltd. and Hindustan Cables Ltd., which may have an impact on Government’s equity in these PSEs. The possibility of revival of Nepa Ltd. through the Disinvestment route is under examination of the Department of Heavy Industry. Disinvestment upto 74% equity in HMT (Bearing) is also under consideration of the Government.

 Revival/Restructuring of 12 PSEs namely, Andrew Yule & Co. Ltd., Bridge & Roof Co Ltd., Hindustan Salts Ltd., BBJ Construction Co. Ltd., Praga Tools Ltd., HMT (Bearings) Ltd., Heavy Engineering Corp. Ltd., Braithwaite & Co Ltd., Cement Corporation of India Ltd., HMT (MT) Ltd., Bharat Pumps & Compressors Ltd. and Nagaland Pulp & Paper Co Ltd has been approved by the Government during the 10th Five Year Plan

Master Plan Dealing with Fire, Subsidence and Rehabilitation in Jharia & Raniganj Coalfields within the leasehold of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) & Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) 

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure today approved the Master Plan dealing with fire, subsidence and rehabilitation and diversion of surface infrastructure within the leasehold of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) & Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) at an estimated investment of Rs.9657.61 crore (Rs.7028.40 crore for Jharia Coal Field (JCF) and Rs. 2629.21 crore for Raniganj Coal Field (RCF) excluding Rs.116.23 crore sanctioned earlier for various Environmental Measures & Subsidence Control (EMSC) schemes. 

This would help in achieving the following : 

• Safety of people who will be moved from endangered areas to safer places with better amenities. 

• Saving of large amount of coal from burning which provides scope for projectising the available reserves eventually. 

• Preventing environmental pollution and make the locations environment friendly.

Effect of Global Economic Recession on IT Industry

The Indian IT and ITES/ BPO sector has witnessed some slow down in comparison to its historical rate of growth. It is estimated that the growth rate of the IT and ITES sector during 2008-09 would be 16.3 % as compared to around 30% in the last few years. The total export revenue of this sector is estimated at US$ 47 billion in 2008-09, as compared to US$ 40.4 billion in 2007-08. 

As per the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the IT and IT Enabled Services/ BPO Sector remains a net hirer. During the Financial Year 2008-09, the direct employment in this sector is estimated to reach nearly 2.23 millions from 2.0 millions in the previous year. 

This was stated by the Minister of State for Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Shri Sachin Pilot in Rajya Sabha today.

Technological Upgradation of Railway System

Modernization and technological upgradation of the railway system is an ongoing process and is one of the thrust areas of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012). Various modernization activities covering passenger business, freight business and other areas were identified for implementation in the Integrated Railway Modernization Plan (IRMP) for the period 2005-2010. The plan to improve safety in signaling system include provision of route relay interlocking/panel interlocking/electronic interlocking, colour light signaling, LED Signals, axle counters, track circuiting, data loggers, onboard train protection system and interlocking of level crossing gates. To improve telecom infrastructure, it is planned to provide Optic Fibre and Quad Cables and Mobile Train Radio Communication, Satellite Communication and Voice Recorders.

Modern technology and systems not only prevent failures including human errors, they enable detection of failures like rail fractures, other equipment failures and obstruction of track etc. During the last three years, 12,530 kilometers of track renewals have been done; 20,200 route kilometers of Optic Fibre and Quad Cable laid, Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) commissioned on 700 route kilometers, 230 remote locations connected through V-Set Network and Voice Recorders provided in all Control Offices. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Ministry of Railways, Shri K. H. Muniyappa in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

Science & Technology transforming Indian Economy

The Indian economy has undergone a structural change over the last decade, with shares of agriculture, manufacturing and services in the gross domestic product (GDP) changing from 28.52%, 24.37% and 47.11% respectively in 1997-98 to 20.83%, 26.78% and 52.39% respectively in 2007-08. The share of merchandise trade in GDP increased from 20.28% to 38.61% over the same period and India’s share in world exports increased from 0.5% in 1990 to 1.1% in 2006. 

Science and Technology has played an important role in bringing about this transformation in Indian economy, which is showing a shift from a predominantly agriculture based economy to manufacturing and services based economy and is now increasingly integrating with the world economy to become globally competitive, as demonstrated by its increasing share in world exports. Government S&T departments and agencies have undertaken or promoted research and development to provide innovative and contemporary technologies to industry and India’s recent growth has been driven by rapid expansion in export-oriented, skill intensive manufacturing and, especially, skill intensive services. India is increasingly becoming a top global innovation player in bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts and assembly, information technology (IT), software and IT-enabled services (ITES) and has already become the world’s fourth-largest economy on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. 

Eleventh Five Year Plan approach to S&T has emphasized the following: 

• Setting up a national-level mechanism for evolving policies and providing direction to basic research; 

• Enlarging the pool of scientific manpower, strengthening the S&T infrastructure and attracting & retaining young people to careers in science; 

• Implementing selected National Flagship Programmes which have direct bearing on the technological competitiveness of the country in a mission mode; 

• Establishing globally competitive research facilities and centres of excellence; 

• Kindling an innovative spirit among scientists to translate R&D leads into scalable technologies; 

• Developing new models of public private partnerships (PPPs) in higher education, particularly for research in universities and high technology areas; 

• Identifying ways and means of catalyzing industry-academia collaborations; and 

• Promoting strong linkages with advanced countries, including participation in mega international science initiatives. 

The Eleventh Plan Outlay for S&T sector comprising of Department of Science and Technology, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research and Department of Biotechnology the three Departments under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Departments of Space and Atomic Energy has been raised to Rs.75,304 crore, which is approximately three times the Tenth Plan Outlay. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences (Independent charges), PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Prithviraj Chavan in a written reply to a question by Smt. T. Ratna Bai in the Rajya Sabha today.

Sri Lanka to Use IMF Loan to Reform Economy After Conflict

Rebuilding Sri Lanka’s reserves key to avoiding crisis
IMF program to help support post-conflict reconstruction efforts
Protection for poor, assisting the most vulnerable are key goals

The IMF has approved a 20-month Stand-By Arrangement for Sri Lanka providing the South Asian island nation with a $2.6 billion loan to help reform the economy following the end of its extended conflict.

The government has formulated a program aimed at restoring fiscal and external viability and addressing the significant reconstruction needs of the conflict-affected areas. The IMF staff supports this program, specifically the government’s goals of rebuilding reserves, reducing the fiscal deficit to a sustainable level, and strengthening the financial sector. It is also essential that the program cushion the most vulnerable from the needed adjustment.

In an interview, IMF mission chief Brian Aitken talks about the circumstances leading to Sri Lanka’s current economic problems and how the new IMF program will help get the country’s economy back on track after the end of its 26-year conflict.

IMF Survey online: Why does Sri Lanka need an IMF-backed program? How did the country get into economic problems that required the IMF’s assistance?

Aitken: Sri Lanka had been running high budget deficits for several years and had borrowed to finance these deficits internationally on short terms. This left the country exposed to a sudden reversal of this borrowing. When the global financial crisis hit, there was a sudden stop in financing from international markets and the central bank intervened to prevent the exchange rate from depreciating. This, in turn, put pressure on Sri Lanka’s international currency reserves, which still remain at very low levels. 

IMF Survey online: It took many months to reach an agreement on the loan. What was the sticking issue? 

Aitken: As with other countries that seek financial assistance from the IMF, there is no one-size fits all approach. In negotiating the agreement with the Sri Lankan government, we needed to adequately take into account the unique circumstances facing the country. It is not unusual for this to take some time, as the program needs to be carefully designed. 

IMF Survey online: What conditions will the IMF attach to this loan? Will higher taxes and spending cuts be required?

Aitken: The central objective of the government’s program is to reduce the fiscal deficit to a sustainable level of 5 percent of GDP by 2011. To accomplish this, the government has recently put in place a number of revenue enhancing measures and intends to introduce reforms to broaden the tax base and reduce tax exemptions beginning in the 2010 budget.

At the same time, it is important that the government maintains protection for the poor and funding for social services. Under their program they have maintained support for health and education and also support for the most vulnerable under their Samurdhi program, which is aimed at poverty alleviation. 

IMF Survey online: How can you make sure that the IMF-supported program will protect Sri Lanka’s vulnerable population, who still suffer as a result of the conflict?

Aitken: To protect the vulnerable groups in society, the government’s social sector spending is targeted to increase to 7 percent of GDP in 2009 from 6.8 percent in 2008—this during a time of deficit reduction. In addition, the government also is taking action to provide immediate relief and expand social safety net spending to resettle the displaced persons in the North within the shortest possible time.

IMF Survey online: Where will the IMF's money go? 

Aitken: The IMF’s money would go directly into central bank reserves, rather than financing budget expenditures. The program aims to rebuild international reserves while allowing flexibility in the exchange rate. This would provide a bit of a shock absorber to the real economy, thereby helping to reduce the size of the impact of adjustment on the real economy that would otherwise be needed. It would also help avoid a balance of payments crisis and allow a more gradual adjustment. It will preserve confidence and allow the country to sustain a higher level of growth over time.

IMF Survey online: How will the IMF help Sri Lanka with its post-conflict reconstruction? 

Aitken: One of the main purposes of the program is to rebuild confidence, and thereby lay the basis for higher growth in the years ahead. This would certainly provide more resources to the government so they can engage in their important reconstruction effort. The program would provide a framework in which international donors can come in and help support the government’s considerable reconstruction needs over the next several years, including repairing and rebuilding infrastructure, roads, hospitals, and schools. The government is currently developing a comprehensive reconstruction strategy based on its experience gained during the reconstruction of the Eastern province that started in 2007.

IMF Survey online: How will the IMF disburse the money to Sri Lanka and what is the rate of interest on the loan?

Aitken: The government requested a 20-month Stand-By Arrangement with access of SDR 1,653.6 million (about $2.6 billion), which is equivalent to 400 percent of Sri Lanka’s quota. An initial disbursement of SDR 206.7 million (about $322.1 million) is made upon approval, followed by seven additional disbursements in an equivalent amount. The interest rate on this loan is currently less than 1½ percent per year. The program will be subject to quarterly reviews to ensure the program remains on track. Starting in September 2009, disbursements will depend on the completion of a review.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CSR debuts breakthrough SiRFstarIV location-aware architecture

SiRFaware technology delivers continuous location awareness without compromising battery life 
Bangalore, India, July 30, 2009 – CSR plc., a leading provider of GPS-powered location platforms, today launched its breakthrough SiRFstarIV™ location-aware architecture with exclusive SiRFaware™ self-assisted, micro-power GPS technology that enables consumer devices to always be location aware – without draining batteries and without requiring network aiding. CSR today also introduced its first SiRFstarIV-based product, the GSD4t receiver, which offers a superior solution for enabling mobile phones and other space- and power-constrained devices to have the robust, always-available geo-awareness consumers are demanding.
“I am very pleased that we are able to launch such a major, breakthrough technology so soon after our merger with SiRF,” said Joep van Beurden, CEO of CSR. “Today’s announcement significantly strengthens our GPS product offerings and our location technology portfolio.”
The essence of the SiRFstarIV breakthrough is its ability to continually maintain “better-than-hot-start” conditions in the GPS receiver for fast location fixes without having to be kept fully turned on all the time and draining precious battery power. Until now, designers of mobile devices were forced to completely turn off GPS receivers when not in use to conserve power, causing annoying start-up delays when a location application needed to get a new location fix quickly. Through a fusion of multiple innovations, the unique SiRFaware technology overcomes this barrier with or without network aiding while consuming only 50-500 microamperes of current. 
“With consumers expecting reliable location services everywhere, we had to rewrite the traditional rule book on GPS architectures and create a new, low-energy way to maintain continuous location awareness without draining the device battery or requiring network assistance,” said Kanwar Chadha, Chief Marketing Officer for CSR and Founder of SiRF. “With SiRFstarIV and our unique SiRFaware technology, we have developed an architecture that will not only significantly improve the consumer experience when navigating with smartphones, but also enable consumer devices to maintain continuous location awareness.”
According to Chadha, people count on using their mobile phones and other mobile consumer devices just about everywhere, and expect pretty much the same of these devices’ location functionality, and this was a critical consideration while developing the SiRFstarIV architecture. As a result, SiRFstarIV GPS receivers are more compatible with how consumers actually use these kinds of products, delivering a superior user experience by enabling handsets and other mobile devices to always get a fast location fix without significantly impacting battery life. SiRFstarIV’s unique blend of high performance and low energy location-awareness modes opens the door to the more widespread use of GPS in digital still cameras and camcorders, hand-held games and a wide variety of portable consumer electronics devices.
The SiRFstarIV Architecture
The SiRFstarIV architecture core is comprised of a high-performance GPS location engine, smart location sensor interface, adaptive micro-power manager and active jammer remover, which together deliver:
• Twice the search capacity of the industry proven SiRFstarIII™ architecture, resulting in enhanced sensitivity, reduced time-to-fix and improved positional accuracy 
• Advanced micro-power management and integrated switched-mode regulation that maintains hot-start conditions with minimal energy (50-500 microamperes)
• Intelligent MEMs sensor support (for accelerometers and other sensors) that improves the location experience, enabling greater contextual awareness, more sophisticated energy management and enhanced indoor positional accuracy
• Advanced DSP technology that actively searches for jammers and removes them prior to correlation for maximum GPS performance and design troubleshooting
SiRFstarIV GSD4t 
The first implementation of the SiRFstarIV architecture, the GSD4t host-based platform, is optimised for mobile phones and other space and power-sensitive consumer devices. The GSD4t receiver provides industry leading performance, with navigation to -160 dBm, tracking to -163 dBm and excellent pass margins for E911 and 3GPP. It can maintain its full rated -160-dBm acquisition sensitivity without network assistance. A low-power champion, the GSD4t receiver requires only 8 mW in 1-Hz TricklePower mode – two and a half times less than the industry benchmark SiRFstarIII. 
SiRFstarIV GSD4t features such as active jamming removal, single-SAW design, an on-chip LNA, fail-safe I/O, integrated switchers, single supply voltage, simple RF matching and small size and packaging also make SiRF’s GPS receivers easier for designers to use and integrate into their products.
 “Radio frequency interference within a portable consumer product, such as from embedded Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and mobile radios, as well as LCD screens, can easily inhibit GPS performance, and often does not become apparent until shortly before the product is due to go into production. This can easily add months of delay until the issue is resolved,” said Dave Huntingford, Director of Product Management for CSR’s Handset Business Unit. “Our unique active jammer removal not only solves this issue, but can pinpoint for designers much earlier in the development process the precise strength and source of these interfering signals, enabling them to be contained in the design phase rather than in later, more costly test phases.”
Available in a 42-ball, 0.4-mm pitch wafer level chip scale package (WLCSP), the GSD4t offers low integration and BOM costs and fast time-to-market, combining RF receiver, baseband, switcher and low-current LDOs on a single chip, and requiring only six to eight external passive components and a single SAW to provide a complete solution that occupies less than 20 square millimeters, including switcher parts.

IMF Announces Unprecedented Increase in Financial Support to Low-Income Countries

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved unprecedented measures that will sharply increase the resources available to low-income countries in this time of global crisis. The resources—including from the sale of IMF gold— are expected to boost the Fund’s concessional lending by up to $17 billion through 2014, including up to $8 billion over the next two years. In addition, the IMF announced zero interest payments on outstanding concessional loans through end-2011 for all low-income members. A new set of lending instruments will underpin this increased support.

“This is an unprecedented scaling up of IMF support for the poorest countries, in Sub-Saharan Africa and all over the world,” said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. “The G20 asked the Fund to help respond to the global economic crisis, which has hit the low-income nations so hard, and we are responding with a historic set of actions in terms of support for the world’s poor. The new resources and new means of delivering them should help prevent millions of people from falling into poverty.”

As part of its response to the global economic crisis, the IMF has more than doubled its financial assistance to low-income countries. The new measures represent a significant additional effort in the coming years. The IMF support package includes:

• Scaled-up concessional financial assistance to low-income countries to boost the Fund’s concessional lending capacity by up to $17 billion through 2014, including up to $8 billion in the first two years. This exceeds the G20 call for $6 billion in new lending over two to three years.

• Interest relief, with zero payments through end-2011 on the IMF’s concessional facilities to help low-income countries cope with the crisis.

• Permanently higher concessionality of Fund financial support, with a mechanism for updating interest rates after 2011.

• A new set of financial instruments tailored to the diverse needs of low-income countries and better suited to meet the crisis challenges:

– the Extended Credit Facility provides flexible medium-term support;

– the Standby Credit Facility addresses short-term and precautionary needs; and

– the Rapid Credit Facility offers emergency support with limited conditionality

In addition, the IMF’s Executive Board recently backed the Managing Director's proposal for a new general SDR allocation of $250 billion, of which more than $18 billion will help bolster the foreign exchange reserves of low-income countries. If approved by the IMF's Board of Governors, the proposed SDR allocation would take place at the end of August.

In order for the IMF to meet the new financing commitments, additional loan resources of SDR 9 billion will need to be mobilized from bilateral contributions. In addition, new subsidy resources of SDR 1.5 billion will need to be mobilized from the IMF’s internal resources—including from the use of revenue from the envisaged gold sales, and through bilateral contributions—to help cover the cost of concessional interest rates.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn said that “All this represents a historic effort by the Fund to help the world’s poor.” He added that there would be greater emphasis in Fund-supported programs on poverty reduction and growth objectives across all its new lending instruments, including targets to safeguard social and other priority spending.

The IMF already announced this year a more flexible approach to conditionality in the programs it supports: structural reform conditions have been streamlined for all Fund-supported programs. Structural conditionality in medium-term, low-income country programs will become more flexible and focused on core goals tailored to each country. IMF-supported programs have also accommodated larger fiscal deficits during the crisis in most low-income countries.

“Since the crisis hit, we have been listening and responding to our member countries,” said Mr. Strauss-Kahn. “The scaling up of the IMF’s support not only will help these low-income countries weather a crisis that is not of their making. Once the crisis has passed, it also will pave the way for progress in the battle against poverty.”

IMF Backs New Package To Support World's Poorest During Crisis

Up to $17 billion to help low-income countries over five years
Zero interest rates on outstanding IMF concessional loans through end-2011
New set of lending instruments, with streamlined conditions 

The IMF, stepping up lending to low-income countries to combat the impact of the global recession, has announced a new framework for loans to the world’s poorest nations, including increased resources, a doubling of borrowing limits, zero interest rates until the end of 2011, and more flexible terms.

The IMF’s Executive Board approved the package of measures that will sharply increase the loan resources available to low-income countries. The resources—including from the planned sale of IMF gold—are expected to boost the Fund’s concessional lending to up to $17 billion through 2014, including up to $8 billion over the next two years.

In addition, the IMF announced zero interest payments up to the end of 2011 for all concessional loans to low-income members and lower interest rates on a permanent basis thereafter. A new set of lending instruments will underpin this increased support.

“This is an unprecedented scaling up of IMF support for the poorest countries, in sub-Saharan Africa and all over the world,” said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a statement accompanying the July 29 announcement. 

The crisis originated in the advanced economies and has had its most visible impact on the emerging market countries. But a third wave of the crisis has threatened the remarkable economic achievements many low-income countries have made over the past decade. 

Crisis hitting hard

An IMF report on the implications of the global financial crisis for low-income countries had warned in March that the global financial crisis has hit poor countries especially hard, posing serious threats to their hard-won gains in boosting economic growth and creating a need for additional foreign financing to mitigate the impact of the crisis. 

Also in March, Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, Strauss-Kahn, and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan convened a conference in Dar es Salaam of government, business, civil society, and opinion leaders to address these issues. The IMF committed at the meeting to increase its support for Africa with more financing, greater flexibility, enhanced policy dialogue, and a further strengthening of Africa’s voice in the Fund. 

“We are responding with a historic set of actions in terms of support for the world’s poor. The new resources and new means of delivering them should help prevent millions of people from falling into poverty,” Strauss-Kahn said.

Comprehensive support package 

As part of the response, the IMF has already more than doubled its financial assistance to low-income countries. New IMF concessional lending commitments to low-income countries through mid-July 2009 reached $2.9 billion compared with $1.5 billion for the whole of 2008.

The new measures represent a significant additional effort in the coming years. The IMF support package includes:

• Mobilization of additional resources, including from sales of an agreed amount of IMF gold, to boost the Fund’s concessional lending capacity to up to $17 billion through 2014, including up to $8 billion in the first two years. This exceeds the call by the Group of Twenty for $6 billion in new lending over two to three years.

• Interest relief, with zero payments on outstanding IMF concessional loans through end-2011 to help low-income countries cope with the crisis.

• Permanently higher concessionality of Fund financial support—with annual interest rates regularly reviewed so as to preserve a higher level of concessionality than previously.

• Doubling of average loan access limits for low-income countries

• A new set of financial instruments tailored to the diverse needs of low-income countries and better suited to meet the crisis challenges:

1. An Extended Credit Facility (ECF) to provide flexible medium-term support; 

2. A Standby Credit Facility to address short-term and precautionary needs; and 

3. a Rapid Credit Facility, offering emergency support with limited conditionality

In addition, the IMF’s Executive Board recently backed the Managing Director's proposal for a new general allocation of $250 billion of Special Drawing Rights into the global economy, of which more than $18 billion will help bolster the foreign exchange reserves and relax the financing constraints of low-income countries. If approved by the IMF's Board of Governors, the proposed SDR allocation would take place at the end of August. 

Strauss-Kahn said that “All this represents a historic effort by the Fund to help the world’s poor.” He added that there would be greater emphasis in Fund-supported programs on poverty reduction and growth objectives across all its new lending instruments, including targets to safeguard social and other priority spending. 

The new lending windows are expected to become effective later this year, when donor countries have given their final consent. At that time, existing concessional arrangements will automatically be converted into ECF arrangements. Existing arrangements under the Exogenous Shocks Facility, however, will remain in effect, and new ones that have already been prepared could still be approved during a three-month window.

More flexible conditionality

The IMF already announced this year a more flexible approach to conditionality in the programs it supports: structural reform conditions have been streamlined for all Fund-supported programs, and additional flexibility has been introduced for structural conditionality in medium-term, low-income country programs. IMF-supported programs have also accommodated larger fiscal deficits during the crisis in most low-income countries. 

“Since the crisis hit, we have been listening and responding to our member countries,” said Strauss-Kahn. “The scaling up in the IMF’s support not only will help these low-income countries weather a crisis that is not of their making. Once the crisis has passed, it will also pave the way for a progress in the battle against poverty.” 

Increased IMF financial assistance has been coupled with programs that include higher levels of pro-poor spending in a majority of low-income countries. Fund programs have accommodated increased fiscal deficits, and often higher spending, to meet the challenges of the food and fuel and global financial crises. Recent programs have also often contained looser monetary policy and higher inflation targets.

Role of gold sales

Some of the money to boost IMF lending to low-income countries will come from the envisaged sales of IMF gold. The IMF Executive Board will consider a plan for the Fund to sell about 400 metric tons of gold in order to create a new income model for the institution. In order to meet the financing needs of the low-income countries during the global crisis, some of the proceeds of those sales will be used to help provide new subsidy resources for the concessional lending to those countries. 

Resources linked to the gold sales will be used to help fund concessional lending to low-income countries in the following ways. First, windfall profits when the gold sales take place can be used for the subsidy resources. Windfall profits would derive from gold sales at an average price in excess of $850 per ounce—that is the price assumed in the new income model as necessary to fund the model. Second, to the extent that the realized windfall profits fall short of the required contribution, the remaining amount will be generated through investment income from the endowment funded by the gold sales.

SAIL registers profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 1326 crore in Q1

· Best-ever Q1 saleable steel production & sales; growth in volumes at 4% & 5% resp.

· Production of value-added items up 21%

· Techno indices improved further

· Modernisation & expansion related capex more than tripled during quarter 


New Delhi: In spite of input cost pressures and price realisations being far below the significantly high levels obtained in the first quarter of FY ’09, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) recorded profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 2,005.91 crore (lower by 28% y-o-y) and profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 1,326.09 crore (lower by 27.7% y-o-y) during Q1 of the current financial year. The company’s net turnover at Rs. 8,950.64 crore was lower by 16.5% over the corresponding period last year (CPLY). These unaudited financial results of SAIL were taken on record here today by the company’s Board of Directors. 

The adverse impact of input price increases, especially of coking coal by almost 49% (Rs. 868 crore), and drop in steel prices was partially neutralised by higher production and sales volumes, increase in special/value-added steel production, improved operational parameters and aggressive cost efficiencies, resulting in savings to the extent of about Rs. 570 crore during Q1. Domestic sales grew by about 5% over CPLY with best-ever Q1 sales of value-added products. Exports at 50,517 tonnes were also up by 13%. The sales performance was supported by best-ever Q1 saleable steel production at 3.06 million tonnes, a growth of over 4% over CPLY. Q1 sales turnover at Rs. 9,746.75 crore was lower by 20% over CPLY. However, EBDITA to net sales ratio rose to 27% in Q1 from 22.6% in Q4 of FY ’09. 

SAIL plants operated at an overall capacity utilisation of 111% during the quarter. With continued thrust on production of value-added and special steels, the major SAIL plants produced 1.15 million tonnes of these items during Q1, a growth of 21% over CPLY. The growth areas included electrode-quality wire rods, SAILCOR in HR/CR coils, LPG grade HR coils/plates, etc. Today SAIL produces 61% of its total reinforcement steel output in High Strength Earthquake Resistant grade.

Further improvement in operational efficiencies helped to reduce the impact of lower realisations and higher input costs. Production through the energy-efficient continuous casting route crossed 2.2 million tonnes. Other important techno-economic indices also showed substantial improvement, with reduction in coke rate by 3.5%, specific energy consumption by 1.5% and improvement in blast furnace productivity by 5%. 

To partly fund its planned capital expenditure of about Rs. 10,300 crore during the current financial year, SAIL undertook long-term market borrowings in Q1. A sum of Rs. 1,300 crore raised during Q1 brought SAIL’s debt-equity ratio to 0.30:1 as on 30th June ’09 from 0.27:1 as on 31st March ’09. With pace of projects under the expansion plan picking up, capital expenditure during the quarter at Rs. 2,469 crore was more than three times higher than incurred in Q1 of FY ’09. Among projects that were completed during Q1 are installation of roll grinding machine at Salem Steel Plant (SSP) and air & oxygen turbo compressor at Bokaro Steel Plant. SSP’s Sendzhimer mill has also been upgraded successfully.

During Q1, the captive mines of SAIL at Chasnalla, Jitpur and Ramnagore produced about 2.2 lakh tonnes of coal, which was 20% higher than CPLY. SAIL’s efforts to achieve raw material security received a boost in June ’09 with the Ministry of Coal approving the plan to mine 4 million tonnes of coal from Tasra coking coal mine. As regards the new coal block at Sitanala, its mining plan had been approved in January ’09 and EIA/EMP study has been submitted for environment clearance. With regard to Rowghat iron ore mine in Chhattisgarh, the state government has recommended grant of final forestry clearance in June ’09. Discussions with the state of Jharkhand have been continuing at different levels to satisfactorily resolve the issue of Chiria iron ore mine.

Announcing the Q1 results, SAIL Chairman Mr. S.K. Roongta said: “In spite of downturn continuing in global steel markets, the overall demand scenario in India is encouraging. Although input cost pressures are easing now, SAIL’s thrust on operational and cost efficiencies will be intensified in the current and subsequent quarters and we aim to achieve best ever capacity utilisation during the year.”

Farooq Abdullah inaugurates World’s Largest Solar Steam System


Union Minister for New & Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah inaugurated the world’s largest solar steam system installed at Sri Sai Baba Sansthan, Shirdi today. The solar system has been designed for cooking food for devotees visiting the sansthan. 

The total cost of the solar steam system is estimated at Rs. 133.00 lakhs for which a subsidy of Rs. 58.40 lakhs has been provided by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The system installed & completed at Shirdi is the World’s largest solar steam system for cooking food for pilgrims visiting Shri Sai Baba Sansthan. The solar system enables the sansthan to cook food for 20,000 people a day, resulting in a huge annual savings of one lakh kg. of LPG translating to nearly Rs.20,00,000 per year. The system has been installed within a record time of 10 months. 

Steam cooking has been found to be very clean, efficient and hygienic way of cooking, especially when food is cooked for large number of people. The Shirdi system generates about 3500 kg of steam every day, which is sufficient to cook food for about 20,000 people. The system has been designed in such a way that it will generate steam for cooking even in the absence of electricity to run the feed water pump for circulating water in the system. 

To promote such systems in the country, a scheme is in promotion through Ministry of New and Renewable Energy which provides support upto 50% of the cost of systems to non-profit making bodies and up to 35% to profit making bodies availing depreciation benefits. Over 40 systems covering a dish area of about 12,000 sq. m have been supported by the Ministry so far for various applications, though the major application is cooking only. Other applications include process heat in industries & laundry, sterilization, air conditioning etc. 

Some of the large solar steam cooking systems installed include systems at Mount Abu in Rajasthan for 10,000 people/ day, at Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh & Satyabhama university in Chennai each for 15,000 people/ day and the recent one at Shri Sai baba Sansthan, Trust, Shirdi for 20,000 people per day. 

India is full of sunshine during most part of the year. Solar radiation available during the daytime can be harnessed for generation of steam using automatically tracked solar concentrators. The concentrators focus the sunlight on receivers which convert water into steam flowing through them for use in the kitchen. The system comprising such concentrators is hooked up with existing boilers so as to take care of cloudy days/ non-sunshine hours. The system can help in saving 70 to 80% of the fuel being used for cooking or other steam applications. These installations can help religious places/ ashrams, schools, students’ hostels, canteens of various establishments etc.

Disciplinary mechanism to deal with misconduct of Chartered Accountants

Lok Sabha 

Government has said that the profession of Chartered Accountants is regulated under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 including disciplinary action in Satyam like cases. The Central Vigilance Commission does not have any role in such cases. Chapter V of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 has been amended in 2006 to provide more effective disciplinary mechanism to deal with professional or other misconduct mentioned in First or Second Schedule of the Act. 

At present, there is no proposal to replace Chartered Accountants of Companies after three years. 

This information was given today by Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister for Corporate Affairs, in the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Performance of Telcom Sector for the month of June 2009

The expansion of the telecom sector was further consolidated with an increase of 119.14 lakh in the number of telecom subscribers during the month of June 2009. As a result, the total number of telephones in the country is 4648.25 lakh as on 30th June 2009; as compared to 3257.86 lakh as on 30th June 2008. 

The Wireless (GSM+CDMA) segment has registered an increase of 120.48 lakh. The Wire-line segment has declined by 1.34 lakh respectively during the month of June 2009. 

The overall tele-density improved further to 39.86% in June 2009 as compared to 28.33% as on June 2008. 

In the Wireless (GSM+CDMA) segment, only Bihar telecom circles added more than ten lakh subscribers during June 2009. 

In the Wire-line segment, only Delhi telecom circles added more than twenty thousands subscribers during June 2009. 

The growth of broadband connections improved further and at the end of May 2009, 64.0 lakh broadband connections were provided. Further, the total number of existing ISP licences is 375 at the end of May 2009. 

Under Bharat Nirman Programme, 264 VPTs were provided in the month of May 2009. Thus, out of the targeted 66,822 villages, a total of 57595 villages have been provided with VPTs till May 2009.

Index Numbers of Wholesale Prices in India (Base: 1993-94=100) Review for the week ended 18th July 2009

The official Wholesale Price Index for 'All Commodities' (Base: 1993-94 = 100)for the week ended 18th July 2009 rose by 0.04 percent to 236.8 (Provisional) from 236.7 (Provisional) for the previous week. 

The annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis, stood at -1.54 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 18/07/2009 (over 19/07/2008) as compared to -1.17 percent (Provisional) for the previous week (ended 11/07/2009) and 12.54 percent during the corresponding week (ended19/07/2008) of the previous year. 

The movement of the index for the various commodity groups is summarized below:- 

1. PRIMARY ARTICLES (Weight 22.02%) 

The index for this major group rose by 0.3 percent to 261.1 (Provisional) from 260.3 (Provisional) for the previous week. The groups and items for which the index showed variations during the week are as follows:- 

The index for 'Food Articles' group rose by 1.2 percent to 259.0 (Provisional) from 255.9 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of mutton (14%), arhar (9%), gram (4%), moong, jowar, fruits & vegetables and masur (3% each), bajra and urad (2% each) and maize and ragi (1% each). However, the prices of condiments & spices (1%) declined. 

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group rose by 1.7 percent to 242.5 (Provisional) from 238.4 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of logs & timber (35%), copra (3%), raw silk (2%) and rape & mustard seed, raw cotton and gingelly seed (1% each). However, the prices of sunflower (1%) declined. 

The index for 'Minerals' group declined by 16.8 percent to 561.7 (Provisional) from 675.4 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of iron ore (24%) and felspar (3%). However, the prices of vermiculite (86%), manganese ore (77%), silica sand (4%) and barytes (2%) moved up. 

2. FUEL, POWER, LIGHT & LUBRICANTS (Weight 14.23%) 

The index for this major group declined by 0.1 percent to 338.2 (Provisional) from 338.4 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of aviation turbine fuel (7%). 


The index for this major group declined by 0.1 percent to 205.7 (Provisional) from 205.9 (Provisional) for the previous week. The groups and items for which the index showed variations during the week are as follows:- 

The index for 'Food Products' group declined by 0.4 percent to 232.1 (Provisional) from 233.0 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of oil cakes (3%) and cotton seed oil (1%). However, the prices of imported edible oil (4%) and rice bran oil, coconut oil, sugar, butter, ghee and gur (1% each) moved up. 

The index for 'Beverages Tobacco & Tobacco Products' group rose marginally to 304.4 (Provisional) from 304.3 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of soft drinks (all kinds) (1%). 

The index for 'Textiles' group declined by 0.2 percent to 143.4 (Provisional) from 143.7 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of hessian cloth (3%) and hessian & sacking bags (2%). 

The index for 'Chemicals & Chemical Products' group rose marginally to 227.1 (Provisional) from 227.0 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of acid (all kinds) (1%). 

The index for 'Non-Metallic Mineral Products' group declined by 0.1 percent to 222.5 (Provisional) from 222.8 (Provisional) for the previous week due to marginal decline in the prices of cement. 

The index for 'Basic Metals Alloys & Metal Products' group rose marginally to 255.1 (Provisional) from 255.0 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of foundry pig iron and basic pig iron (1% each). However, the prices of other iron steel, steel ingots and lead ingots (1% each) declined. 


For the week ended 23/05/2009, the final wholesale price index for 'All Commodities’ (Base:1993-94=100) stood at 234.3 as compared to 232.3 (Provisional) and annual rate of inflation based on final index, calculated on point to point basis, stood at 1.34 percent as compared to 0.48 percent (Provisional) reported earlier vide press note dated 04/06/2009

Performance highlights for the Quarter ended 30.06.2009

 Shri J.M.Garg, Chairman and Managing Director, Corporation Bank,announced the performance of the Bank immediately after adoption of the Q1 results of the Bank by the Board of Directors.

Financial Highlights:
Net Profit: Net Profit of the Bank for the quarter ended June ‘09 increased by Rs.76.95 crore (41.75%) from Rs.184.30 crore in June ‘08 to Rs.261.25 crore.  
Operating Profit: Operating Profit of the Bank for the quarter ended June ‘09 increased by Rs.250.25 crore (77.96%) from Rs.320.99 crore in June ‘08 to Rs.571.24 crore.  
Total Income: During Q1, the total income increased by 45.31% from Rs.1,446.28 crore in June ‘08 to Rs.2,101.53 crore. 

Net Interest Income: During Q1, the Net interest income increased by Rs.89.50 crore from Rs.378.04 crore in June ‘08 to Rs.467.54 crore, recording an increase of 23.68%. The Net interest Margin (NIM) worked out to 2.26%.
Non-Interest Income: During the Q1, the non-interest income increased by 128.07% on Y-o-Y basis from Rs.157.55 crore in June ‘08(Q1) to Rs.359.32 crore in June ‘09(Q1). 
Business Growth: Total Business of the Bank as on 30.06.2009 stood at Rs.119,504.75 crore. The total business increased by Rs.25,810.54 crore from Rs.93,694.21 crore in June ‘08. The increase recorded in business is 27.55% on y-o-y basis.
Deposits: Total Deposits of the Bank increased to Rs.72,127.16 crore from Rs.54,741.85 crore as on 30.06.08 recording a growth of 31.76%.  
Advances: The Y-o-Y growth in Advances was 21.63% from Rs.38,952.36 crore to Rs.47,377.59 crore as on 30.06.2009. The Credit Deposit ratio stood at 65.69%. SME advances of the Bank stood at Rs.5,284 crore as at the end of June 2009 as against Rs.4,243 crore as at June ’08, showing an annualised growth of 24.5%.
NPA: Gross NPA has come down to 1.29% compared to 1.46% as on 30.06.08 and Net NPA stood at 0.32% as at 30.06.09.

Cash Recovery: The Bank could effect a cash recovery and upgradation of NPAs of Rs. 52.70 crore, during the period ended 30.06.08. 
Networth: The Networth of the Bank stood at Rs.5,158 crore compared to Rs.4,413 crore as on 30.06.08.
Capital Adequacy Ratio: Capital Adequacy Ratio of the Bank as on 30th June 2009 was at a comfortable level of 14.84%, as compared to 12.43% as on 30th June 2008. The Capital Adequacy Ratio under Basel II norms works out to 16.29% as on 30.06.09 of which Tier –I is 9.63% and Tier-II is 6.66%.
Return on Equity: The Return on Equity works out to 20.26% (annualised) for the quarter ended June ‘09 as compared to 16.71% (annualised) in June ‘08. 
Earning Per Share: The Earnings per Share [Annualised] works out to Rs.72.85 as compared to Rs.51.39 for the quarter ended 30.06.2008.
ROA: The ROA ratio works out to 1.26% as compared to 1.19% for the quarter ended 30.06.2008.
Cost to Income Ratio: The Cost to Income ratio improved to 30.91% for the quarter ended June’09 as compared to 40.07% in the corresponding period last year. 
Yeild on Advances: Yeild on advances stood at 10.61% p.a. for the quarter ended June ‘09.
Cost of Deposits: Cost of Deposits has come down to 6.67% as compared to 7.02% p.a. for the year ended 31st March 2009. 
Staff Productivity: Business per Employee of the Bank was higher at Rs.10.25 crore compared to Rs. 8.28 crore in June ‘08.
Branch Expansion:

Domestic footprint: During the current quarter the bank opened 25 new branches and 4 ATMs. The Total number of branches of the Bank as on 30.06.2009 stood at 1079 and number of ATMs at 1036, as against 999 branches and 985 ATMs as at 30.06.2008. The Bank has drawn plans to open 700 new branches in next five years.

International footprint: The Bank has opened Representative Offices at Dubai & Hongkong in the last fiscal.
Technology Initiatives: The Bank has migrated all its units [1139] to the Core Banking solutions [CBS] covering 100% business. The Bank has also operationalised and networked 1036 ATMs across the country inclusive of 7 Biometric ATMs. As a security measure, Digital Video Recorders have been installed at all 518 off-site ATM locations. Digital Video Recorders have also been installed in 695 branches across the country. The RTGS facility is available at 1067 units of the bank and NEFT facility is available at 1038 units of the Bank. 25 self service Terminals[KIOSKS] have been installed at identified branches. The Bank has launched many new products / services like NEFT through ATMs, Campus card, Payment of LIC premium, SMS banking, mobile payment facility, etc.
Financial Inclusion: During the quarter, the Branchless Banking units have been increased to 419 units and the Bank is actively using this channel for effecting Dairy Payments, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Social Security Pension Payouts in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The total number of 'no-frill' accounts increased from 4.48 lakhs to 4.61 lakhs with a balance of Rs. 18.28 Crore . The Bank is exploring the possibility of using Mobile Phones for carrying out basic banking transactions through the Business Correspondents.
Clientele growth: 15,47,511 new accounts were acquired under deposits during the 12 months period ended 30th June’ 09. To improve share of low cost deposits, the bank had acquired 12,57,797 demand deposit accounts during the same period

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Update On Iron Ore Price Negotiations

BHP Billiton today announced the terms it has agreed with a range of iron ore customers for the 2009 contract year. These terms vary and reflect the specific needs and requirements of each customer, consistent with our marketing approach.

BHP Billiton has settled 23 per cent of total iron ore volumes at an agreed annual contract price. The price for iron ore fines will be approximately 33 per cent lower than the contract prices agreed in the 2008 contract year. The price for iron ore lump will be approximately 44 per cent lower than the contract prices agreed in the 2008 contract year.

A further 30 per cent of BHP Billiton's total iron ore volumes will be sold on a mix of quarterly negotiated pricing, market clearing price (spot market) and index-based pricing.

Negotiations for the remaining 47 per cent of iron ore volumes are ongoing.

The Company believes that current settlements are indicative of continued progress towards transparent market pricing.


 IAG Company Limited organized a Dealers’ Meet at The Golden Park Hotel, Kolkata,for their Eastern India dealers. The occasion was marked by the presence of 63 dealers of IAG in this region besides the Company management, all of whom expressed their satisfaction in reopening the plant after four years and assured their heartfelt determination to be with the Company at every step.

 Shri Vijay Joshi, Chairman of the Company welcomed all to this get-together taking all the pain to attend this programme from far away places of North-Eastern States including Nepal. He introduced the other Directors of the Company to the assembly.

 The Company’s Managing Director Shri P.K. Chatterjee, while addressing the guests expressed satisfaction for overwhelming attendance which demonstrate the strong bondage, support and patronage of Dealers with IAG in good and difficult times as well. The Company faced several problems in re-starting it’s operations just about six months back after it was shut for four years. Shri Chatterjee ensured the gathering sustained quality in Sheet Glass to regain the market share as well as introduction of newer designs in Figured Glass.

 Shri Mukul Chatterjee, General Manager – Sales of the Company coordinated the meeting.

 The vote of thanks was given by Shri T.K. Ganguly, Senior Sales Executive, and invited all to attend the dinner.

Government to build more roads in a year than achieved earlier: Kamal Nath

Rajya Sabha

The Government has geared up to launch one of the biggest highways development programme in the country. Replying to the discussions on the working of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry in the Rajya Sabha today, the Minister for Road Transport & Highways Shri kamal Nath said that the National Highways Development Programme would be stepped up so as to achieve the target of 7000 km per year. The Minister said “we will build this year more roads than the total length completed by NDA in its 5 years term”. He said, the Ministry will award road projects for a length of 15,000 km amounting to one lakh crore rupees (20,677 miillion USD) as part of its Annual Work Plan this year. A similar length of roads would also be awarded in the next financial year .Shri Nath said that the work awarded in the first 2-3 years is important as it would determine the success of the highways programme. To achieve the target, he laid stress on the capacity building , both within NHAI and also of the concessionaires, contractors and technical consultants. Terming infrastructure as the biggest challenge in the next decade, he said roads would play an important role in infrastructure development as it affects the lives of all and is an important component of economy. 

The Minster while welcoming the suggestions from the members on various issues informed the House that the toll policy would be revised so as to address concerns raised by the members and also to address other issues raised by various stakeholders. On the land acquisition issue, the minister sought the co-operation of the State Chief Ministers to help in speedy land acquisition. He informed the members that separate Land Acquisition Units have been set up to expedite the process and provide just and fair compensation. The Minister, apprising the House about the new initiatives from his Ministry, said that the Ministry has appointed a Consultant to look at the feasibility of 15,600 km of Expressways in the country. This would be in addition to the plans of constructing 1000 km of expressways. The Minister also announced that the Ministry would carry out an exercise of renumbering of the National Highways to facilitate easy identification. Elaborating on this, he said that the highways would be numbered in such a way that the odd and even numbers would specify whether the highway is running from East to West or North to South. He also informed the House that the Government has approved 1200 km of National Highways and 4500 km of State Highways amounting to Rs.7300 crore in the 8 Naxal affected States. He said that more emphasis will be given for the development of less developed States. He informed the House that Rs.200 crores have been earmarked for Jharkhand in this year.

Usha Martin’s consolidated net profit at Rs 32.03 Crores

Kolkata, July 29th 2009: Usha Martin Limited, leading producer of speciality steel and one of the largest wire rope manufacturers globally, has reported consolidated profit before tax of Rs.50.24 crores and profit after tax of Rs.32.03 crores for the quarter-1 of financial year 2009-10 against Rs.100.83 crores and Rs.65.08 crores respectively for the corresponding quarter-1 of financial year 2008-09. The net sales for the quarter is Rs.608.54 crores against Rs.698.69 crores in the corresponding quarter of previous financial year.  

On stand alone basis, profit before tax and profit after tax are Rs.25.75 crores and Rs.13.40 crores respectively during the quarter-1 of current financial year against Rs.85.23 crores and Rs.56.70 crores of the corresponding quarter-1 of previous financial year. The net sales has dropped by 17.4% to Rs.405.13 crores from Rs.490.40 crores.

The turnover and profitability of the Company were impacted due to planned shut down of its Wire Rod Mill for 24 days during the quarter to increase the capacity to 4,00,000 tonnes per year, high incidence of deferred tax liability and significantly adverse economic and business conditions in the quarter compared to quarter-1 of financial year 2008-09.

Key Highlights of the quarter under review:

a) All the subsidiaries performed well.

b) Integration of new plants and equipments have commenced with trial production of DRI-II Kiln, 30 MW thermal power and Blooming Mill.

c) Value added product share was at 59% of steel produced.

d) EBIDTA margin stood at 18.9% excluding the impact of foreign exchange.

Usha Martin has manufacturing facilities at Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hoshiarpur, UK, Thailand, UAE and USA. It has created a worldwide distribution, service and marketing network spread across the US, UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia.

ArcelorMittal reports second quarter 2009 results

Luxembourg, July 29, 2009 - ArcelorMittal (referred to as “ArcelorMittal” or the “Company”) (MT(New York, Amsterdam, Brussels, Luxembourg, Paris) MTS (Madrid)), the world’s leading steel company, today announced results for the three and six month periods ended June 30, 2009.

Highlights for the three months ended June 30, 2009:
· Shipments of 17.0 million tonnes, up 6% as compared to Q1 2009
· EBITDA1 of $1.2 billion, up 38% as compared to Q1 2009
· Net loss of $0.8 billion due in part to $1.2 billion exceptional charges2 pre-tax
Reinforced financial structure and debt maturity profile extended
§ Net debt reduced by $3.8 billion to $22.9 billion and gearing reduced from 48% to 37%
during Q2 2009
§ Successful equity, convertible and bond financing transactions raising approximately $11.4
billion during Q2 2009
§ Pro forma liquidity of $16.1 billion (after cancellation of $3.2 billion of credit facilities and
prepayment of $3.4 billion of bank debt), resulting in no significant term loan debt
repayments due until end of 2010
§ Financial covenant (net debt/EBITDA) in principal credit facilities will be amended to 4.5x
in December 2009 and 4.0x in June 2010, reverting to 3.5x in December 2010
Progress of industrial and financial plan:
· Gradual production increase in line with demand improvement
· More than $10 billion of total annualized fixed cost reduction, including $8.4 billion ($6.6
billion at constant dollar3) of annualized temporary fixed cost reduction and $1.7 billion of
sustainable management gains rate achieved as of Q2 2009
· Working capital rotation days4 reduced to 98 days from 115 days; progressing towards
target of 75-85 days by end of 2009
1 EBITDA is defined as operating income plus depreciation, impairment expenses and exceptional items.
2 During the second quarter of 2009, the Company recorded exceptional charges amounting to $1.2 billion pre-tax related
primarily to write-downs of inventory ($0.9 billion) and provisions for workforce reduction ($0.3 billion).
3 At average 2008 exchange rate

Guidance for third quarter 2009:
· EBITDA expected to be between $1.4-$1.8 billion.
Commenting, Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal, Chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal, said:
“The first six months of the year have been some of the most challenging the steel industry has
ever experienced. Operating in such a difficult environment, I am pleased with the way in which
ArcelorMittal has responded to adapt production, cut costs and strengthen our balance sheet.
In recent weeks we have started to see some initial signs of recovery, as a result of which we are
now planning to re-start production at some facilities. Provided there are no further unexpected
economic deteriorations, we should see continued gradual improvement throughout the second
half of the year, with full recovery remaining slow and progressive.”

IMF Backs Rebalancing of China’s Economy

IMF backs Beijing’s response to global crisis
Rebalancing China’s economy—key to sustained strong growth
Positive global spillovers from reorienting of China’s economy

The IMF has praised Beijing’s swift and concerted response to the global downturn, but says China needs to adjust its economic model for continued strong growth.

In its 2009 assessment of the world’s third-largest economy, the IMF’s Executive Board said Beijing’s “rapid and vigorous policy response” had “served to mitigate the economic downturn and facilitate an economic recovery during the course of this year.” 

China has been hit hard by the slump in worldwide demand with Beijing introducing a $586 billion stimulus package to support growth. The members of the Executive Board welcomed the substantial stimulus package and said the country’s low public debt allowed for further short-term fiscal measures to promote domestic demand. 


The Fund supports China’s efforts to rebalance its economy by boosting private consumption and reducing its dependence on exports and high levels of investment. It encouraged China to view the global crisis as an opportunity to promote further measures in this direction. 

The IMF also welcomed China’s “recent bold efforts” to reform the provision and financing of health care, raise the public funding for education, and expand pension coverage and portability that would have an important impact in the coming years. Additional reforms in these areas would help to further “lessen the motivation behind high precautionary savings, ” said the statement.

A rebalancing of China’s economy would also help reduce global current account imbalances while generating jobs over time, particularly in the service sector. “There would be important and wide-ranging spillovers from rebalancing, with Chinese consumption becoming a key factor in driving global growth,” the IMF said. 

The IMF’s Executive Board advocated a cautious liberalization of domestic interest rates and financial sector development to bolster China’s domestic demand. Interest rate liberalization would encourage greater efficiency within the banking sector by facilitating greater competition between banks, and by channeling more resources into currently underserved sectors such as small and medium-sized enterprises. It would also raise the cost of capital, help reduce the reliance on investment, and increase employment.

The IMF also said that “measures to promote capital market development would play a useful complementary role in raising household income, lowering the savings rate, boosting consumption, and improving the allocation of capital in the economy”. 

The IMF Executive Board strongly welcomed China’s intention to participate in a Financial Sector Assessment Program to help identify priorities for further financial sector reform. 

Exchange rate

On China’s exchange rate, many Directors on the Board believed that allowing the currency to appreciate further would support Beijing’s goals of fostering consumption and that “a further strengthening of the renminbi would be part of a comprehensive strategy to rebalance the economy”. 

Some Directors “supported the view that the renminbi remains substantially undervalued.” A number of other Directors, meanwhile, considered that exchange rate appreciation should play only “a supplementary role” in supporting China’s rebalancing and should be pursued gradually.

This Week's Raw Steel Production

In the week ending July 25, 2009, domestic raw steel production was 1,254,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 52.6 percent. Production was 2,120,000 tons in the week ending July 25, 2008, while the capability utilization then was 88.8 percent. The current week production represents a 40.9 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending July 25, 2009 is up 0.8 percent from the previous week ending July 18, 2009 when production was 1,244,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 52.1 percent. 

Adjusted year-to-date production through July 25,2009 was 31,397,000 tons, at a capability utilization rate of 44.7 percent. That is a 50.5 percent decrease from the 63,427,000 tons during the same period last year, when the capability utilization rate was 90.3 percent.

Broken down by districts, here's production for the week ending July 25, 2009 in thousands of net tons: Northeast Coast: 108; Pittsburgh/Youngstown: 85; Lake Erie: 10; Detroit: 40; Indiana/Chicago: 379; Midwest: 136; Southern: 429 and Western: 67.

(Estimate based on reports from companies representing about 50% of the Industry's Raw Steel Capability + includes revisions for previous months)

landmark signs bp to global agreement for technology and services

HOUSTON – Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) announced today that BP (NYSE:BP) has renewed their global software access and services agreement. The three-year contract enables continued access to a broad suite of Landmark technology and petro-technical consulting services for the development, deployment and ongoing global support of exploration and production (E&P) technology and workflows. Software access covered in the agreement includes applications for seismic processing, geophysical and geological interpretation, reservoir simulation and drilling engineering.

“This contract extends our valuable relationship with BP into its second decade,” said Paul Koeller, vice president of Halliburton Software and Asset Solutions. “The agreement is another testament to Landmark’s commitment to providing integrated technologies and services supporting high-science, cross-domain E&P workflows.” Landmark software provides an open environment that enables efficient E&P workflows through the integration of preferred applications and data, within and across domains, from any vendor. The environment leverages industry-standard OpenWorks® project data management software.

Mark Bouzek, chief information officer, E&P, BP, said, “Having reviewed our technology needs and assessed the market, BP has decided to renew our software and services agreement with Halliburton for a further three years. The performance-based global agreement will continue to provide core software and services for our technical teams to use as they work to identify opportunities and reduce risk associated in the discovery and recovery of hydrocarbons worldwide.”

About Landmark

Landmark is the premier provider of software and technology services for the upstream oil and gas industry. Our software solutions, built for the DecisionSpace® environment, help improve insight from data in ways never possible before, across the entire exploration and production life cycle. Landmark’s technology deployment and hosting services, petrotechnical computing portfolio, software training, and certified customer support are globally available to help its customers realize the maximum return on their technology investments. Visit for more information.

About Halliburton

Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. With more than 50,000 employees in approximately 70 countries, the company serves the upstream oil and gas industry throughout the life cycle of the reservoir – from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production through the life of the field

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jury nominates finalists of the Mondialogo Engineering Award by Daimler and UNESCO

• International jury of experts nominates 30 finalists for the third worldwide contest for engineering students, among them fourteen teams from India
• Presentation of the award worth €300,000 at the Mondialogo Symposium in Stuttgart in November 2009 
• Premiere for the Mondialogo Online Community Award

Stuttgart/Paris – The finalists for the Mondialogo Engineering Award 2009 were selected in Stuttgart. An international jury of experts nominated 30 teams and their project ideas for the finale of the worldwide contest for engineering students organized by Daimler and UNESCO. Participants from 28 countries will be represented in the finale, among them Indian students from universities in Aurangabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Mumbai and New Delhi. The finalist teams will take part in the Mondialogo Symposium from 6 to 9 November 2009 in Stuttgart, where they will receive their Awards. These will be presented in three categories: gold awards worth €15,000, silver and bronze awards worth €10,000 and €5,000 respectively. The total award prize money is €300,000 in this third round of the Mondialogo Engineering Award. Engineering students from 94 countries have submitted a total of 932 project ideas, which are focused on addressing climate change, sustainable development, and the eradication of poverty in developing countries.
Key criteria for nomination by the jury were quality and creativity, addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals, feasibility, and the intensity of cooperation, dialogue and exchange of knowledge between the student engineers. About one third of the finalists are women.

The five-person jury chaired by Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice-President E-Drive & Future Mobility and Chief Environmental Office at Daimler AG and Prof. Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO, consists of 
• Peggy Oti-Boateng (Ghana), Director of the Technology Consultancy Centre at the University of Kumasi, Ghana 
• Shirley M. Malcom (USA), Head of Education and Human Resources of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 
• Ali Uddin Ansari (India), Director of the Centre for Environment Studies and Socioresponsive Engineering at Muffakham Jah College in Hyderabad 
• Paul Jowitt (United Kingdom), Director of the Scottish Institute of Sustainable Technology 
• Barry J. Grear (Australia), President of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO).
At the Symposium in November the Mondialogo Online Community Award will be presented for the first time. All visitors to the Internet Portal were eligible to vote for their favourite project. 
Alongside the Mondialogo Engineering Award, the initiative launched by Daimler and UNESCO in 2003 also consists of the Mondialogo School Contest and the Internet Portal in five languages. The aim is to encourage dialogue between people of different origins, who work together across continents on a joint project. This cooperation is intended to promote understanding, tolerance and friendship between people with different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds. 

Siemens Water Technologies commissions on-site mobile treatment equipment and services for produced water at a major oil company’s site in the Western United States 

Siemens Water Technologies has commissioned a produced water treatment system for a major oil company’s site in Western U.S. The system, consisting of on-site mobile equipment and services, recycles flowback water through the treatment process to provide a source of “frac” water for reuse. Sized for 6,000 barrels per day (bpd), the mobile system consists of a flotation unit, media filtration and cartridge filtration. The heart of the system is the Veirsep system; a horizontal flotation system that incorporates several unique technologies to separate oil, grease and suspended solids from the flowback stream. The system also supports the customer’s green objectives by conserving fresh water and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. 

Siemens to engineer selective waste-gas recirculation systems for Posco sinter plants

 – Environmental benefits in combination with operational cost savings 

Siemens VAI Metals Technologies received an order from the Korean steel producer Posco for the provision of engineering and supervisory services in connection with the installation, operation and maintenance of a selective waste-gas recirculation system for each of two sinter plants located at the company's Pohang Works. The contract value is a single-digit million-euro figure. Through the recycling of hot offgas containing dust and other pollutants to the sinter strand, a reduction in the specific waste-gas volume and emission level can be achieved, in addition to a lower specific coke consumption. Start-up of the new waste-gas recirculation systems is scheduled for the first quarter of 2010. 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wage Parity between Men and Women


The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers for the same work or work of similar nature without any discrimination. 

However, according to the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) data for 2004-05 the average difference of wages paid to men and women in the rural areas is Rs.59.40. This disparity in wages could be attributed to existing social norms and practices as well as inadequate accounting of the overall work output of women in rural areas. 

This Act is implemented by the respective State Governments for the areas under their jurisdiction. For the areas under the Central Government, the Act is implemented by the office of Chief Labour Commissioner (Central). Central Government is regularly monitoring the implementation of the Act and instructions are issued from time to time for effective enforcement of the provisions of the Act. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment Shri Harish Rawat in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today

Employment opportunities in I.T. Sector

Lok Sabha

As per the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the number of persons employed in the Information Technology – BPO sector during each of the last three financial years and the current financial year are as under:  
Year Number

2006 1,293,000

2007 1,621,000

2008 2,010,000

2009 2,236,614

The above figures do not include employees in the hardware sector.

  Department of Information Technology (DIT) in consultation with the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) had instituted a study entitled “Mapping the manpower skills in the IT hardware and electronics manufacturing industry” through Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT).

As per the findings of the study the human resource directly employed in the industry in the year 2007 is roughly of the order of 770,000. It is estimated that about 2.25 million persons would be directly employed in the industry by 2015 as against 0.77 million in 2007. The incremental human resource requirement has been estimated to be at around 1.5 million persons.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment Shri Harish Rawat in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

Internatioal convention on ship recycling

Lok Sabha 

The proposal of signing and ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Re-cycling of Ships is under consideration. 

Ship breaking industry had some apprehensions on the effect of Convention on ship recycling industry in India. India had taken up the relevant issues during the various meetings of Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) of International Maritime Organization (IMO) and at two National IMO workshops held at Mumbai and Alang. The ship recycling industry was consulted in a meeting held on 23rd April 2009 and the stand of the Government was decided based on consensus arrived at during that meeting. 

The fundamental apprehensions raised by the industry were deliberated, resolved and adhered to in the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC). The significant areas which were debated during the Conference and decision taken included the Ship Recycling Plan, receiving tankers for re-cycling with certification as safe-for-entry and safe-for-hot work, ‘Beaching method’ of ship recycling being followed in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan etc. India had proposed for inclusion of warships within the scope of the Convention. However, same was not agreed upon, on the pretext that, none of the IMO Conventions have the provision for warships and same can be included in the national legislation as deemed necessary. 

At present in India the ship breaking activity is regulated by the directives of the Honorable Supreme Court of India in their ruling in W.P. (Civil) No. 657 of 1995 vide Order dated 6th September, 2007. A draft Ship Recycling Code is being formulated by the Ministry of Steel, which takes into account the following:- 

(i) the directions contained in the Honorable Supreme Court Order of 2007, 

(ii) the recommendations of Technical Experts Committee (set up by the Honourable Supreme Court), and ; 

(iii) the requirements of various stakeholders, which include the concerned Ministries/ Departments, Port authorities, Pollution Control Boards and Recycling Industry. 

This information was given by the Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G. K. Vasan in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Dredging companies working in the country

Lok Sabha 

The names of Indian and foreign Companies involved in dredge work in sea in the country are as under:-

1. Dredging Corporation of India Limited, Visakhapatnam.

2. Jaisu Shipping Company Private Limited, Kandla.

3. Mercator Lines Limited, Mumbai.

4. Dharti Dredging and Construction Limited, Hyderabad

5. Meka Dredging Corporation, Mumbai.

6. Sical Logistics Limited, Mumbai

7. Infra Dredge Services Private Limited, Mumbai

8. Van Oord India Private Limited, Mumbai

9. Van Oord Dredging & Marine Contactors BV, Netherlands

10. Boscalis Dredging India Private Limited, Mumbai.

11. Royal Boskalis Westminister NV, Netherlands

12. Jan De Nul Dredging India Private Limited, New Delhi

13. Jan De Nul NV, Belgium

14. Dredging International India Private Limited, New Delhi

15. Dredging International NV, Belgium

16. International Seaport Dredging Limited, Chennai

17. Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company Limited, South Korea

18. Chellaram Shipping (Hong Kong) Limited, Hong Kong

19. Inaikiara (I) Dredging Private Limited, Mumbai.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G. K. Vasan in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today. 

Major ports affected by economic recession

Lok Sabha 

Some major ports including Visakhapatnam Port have been affected by the economic recession. The growth rate of traffic handled by Major Ports has come down to 2.13 % during 2008-09 as compared to 11.97% during 2007-08 against previous year. Similarly, the growth of the traffic at Visakhapatnam during 2008-09 was (-) 1.07% as compared to 14.56% during 2007-08 against previous year. Economic recession is one of the reasons for such decline of traffic at Major Ports as well as in Visakhapatnam Port. The Iron Ore traffic which is mainly for export, recorded growth of 2.3% only in 2008-09 compared to 14.2% in 2007-08. In the liquid bulk category, cargo growth in crude & petroleum was modest at 3.3% during 2008-09 compared to 10.0% in the same period last year. Container traffic which largely reflects trade in manufactures and components showed a marginal growth of 0.9% in 2008-09 compared with a robust increase of 25.6% in 2007-08. Major impact of recession was noticed in certain commodities. 

The Government has taken the following steps in the overall this situation:- 

(i) In the context of the recession and its impact on the business of the major ports, it was decided to re-look at some of the policies which directly have a bearing on the functioning of the major ports. Accordingly, a committee has been set up to go into the whole issue. 

(ii) Augmentation of infrastructure facilities viz., deepening of channels, modernization of cargo handling facilities, construction of berths, improvement to road and rail connectivity, etc. 

(iii) The Ports have taken new initiatives like implementation of Berth Reservation Scheme, volume discount scheme and improvement in conditionalties to ensure cost effective services to the trade. 

This information was given by the Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G. K. Vasan in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Violation of Companies Act

Rajya Sabha 

A total of 18,183 cases were filed against companies for violating the Companies Act, 1956 during the period 01.01.2008 to 31.03.2009. Giving this information in the Rajya Sabha today in a written reply Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister for Corporate Affairs, said that out of the companies that came out with IPOs during 1992-2005, a total of 238 companies were identified as vanishing companies, of which 117 companies have been traced back, resulting in the number of vanishing companies being reduced to 121.

Balmer Lawrie Achieves 20% Growth in Profits

Kolkata – 27th July, 2009 

Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd., a Mini Ratna Category – I PSE, has improved its performance in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, inspite of the general economic downturn. Though the total income in the first quarter ended 30th June, 2009 registered a slight dip to record Rs 429 crore from Rs 433 crore for the same period last year, the Profit before Tax registered an impressive gain of 20% and stood at Rs.43.80 crore for the quarter ended 30th. June 2009, as compared to Rs. 36.46 crore for the same quarter last year. Similarly, the net profit during the quarter increased to Rs. 28.92 crore as compared to Rs. 24.16 crore for the corresponding period of last year.

SPML wins consolidated orders worth Rs 151.79 crore from Bihar State Electricity Board and PHED, Govt. of West Bengal

Þ Rs 108.02 crore order for rural electrification of Supaul district from Bihar State Electricity Board
Þ Rs 43.77 crore order for clear water supply project in New Town from Public Health Engineering Directorate, Government of West Bengal

Kolkata, July 27, 2009: Subhash Projects And Marketing Ltd (SPML) one of India’s leading infrastructure development companies has won cumulative orders worth Rs 151.79 crores. These include Rs 108.02 crore worth mandate for rural electrification in Supaul district of Bihar from Bihar State Electricity Board, Patna; and a Rs 43.77 crore project for clear water supply to the New Town Kolkata Water Supply circle from Public Health Engineering Directorate, Government of West Bengal. 

The Bihar State Electricity Board, Patna order has been awarded on a turnkey basis under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY-in XIth Plan). The mandate aims to create rural electricity infrastructure and household electrification in Supaul District of Bihar which ensure supply of electricity; crucial for the development of the region. The scope of work involves supply of materials and equipments for creation, civil works, testing and commissioning of all the equipments supplied under the supply contract and all other services as specified 

The clear water supply project from PHED, Govt. of West Bengal aims to provide uninterrupted supply of clear water to the entire area, thereby bringing relief to the local populace. The scope of work includes - Surveying entire route of Clear Water Rising Main, filling up of ditches, laying of 1200 ± 6 mm dia. (internal diameter) Clear Water Rising Main from Water Treatment Plant to Booster Stations and Action Areas with the supply of pipes and special valves. It also includes construction of three Steel Bridges, crossing of Major Arterial Road by trench less technology including all other allied works completed in all respect. This will be followed by 3 months trial run and subsequent 3 (three) years operation & maintenance under New Town Kolkata Project.

Mr. Subhash Sethi, Vice Chairman, SPML, commented, “These project wins in rural electrification and clean water supply domain are critical to the provisioning of basic civic amenities to our communities, an integral component to India’s growth story and consolidation of our efforts towards making human life comfortable through world class infrastructure .”

About Subhash Projects & Marketing Ltd.: 

Subhash Projects And Marketing Limited (SPML) is a leading infrastructure development company with more than two and half decades of multi-disciplinary experience in Water, Power, Environment, Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Technology. The company that started in 1981 as a water pumps agency in Guwahati has evolved today into a multi-faceted conglomerate. Promoted by the Sethi family, SPML was incorporated as a public limited company in August 1983. An ISO – 9001: 2000 certified company, SPML has executed more than 400 projects across India and has established its leadership in the contracting business. 

SPML has proven business capabilities in the Water, Energy, Environment and Infrastructure domain, on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) & Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis.

SPML’s vision to become a force in the global infrastructure sector is supported by its core strengths – pan India presence, 27 years of experience in turnkey projects, innovative in– house designs and engineering solutions, highly skilled team of over 1000 professionals; complimented by its focus on innovation and cutting edge technology.