Monday, May 31, 2010

BHP Billiton And Eskom Sign An Amended Agreement For The Mozal Smelter In Mozambique - Discussions On South African Smelter Contracts Continue
30 May 2010
Eskom and BHP Billiton today announced that they have reached agreement on an amended power supply contract for the Mozal aluminium smelter in Mozambique. Discussions relating to the contracts for the supply of electricity to the Hillside and Bayside smelters in South Africa will continue over the coming months with the intention of concluding binding agreements before the end of Eskom's 2010/11 financial year.

Eskom Acting Chairman, Mpho Makwana, explains: "The agreement, effective 31 March 2010, removes the impact of embedded derivatives on Eskom's balance sheet, as well as all onerous conditions. This amended agreement is also an important step in ensuring that both Eskom and BHP Billiton continue advancing the growth and development of southern Africa. We commend BHP Billiton for this unprecedented step on signing the amended Mozal contract, which shows their commitment to South Africa and the SADC region."

Whilst discussions relating to the South African smelters are continuing over the coming months, the BHP Billiton smelter contracts at Hillside and Bayside in Richards Bay will remain firm and binding. Eskom will maintain its interruptibility at the smelters in line with the provisions of the contract.

BHP Billiton South Africa Chairman, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, said: "BHP Billiton remains acutely conscious of the electricity supply challenges facing South Africa and the region and has been exploring innovative and sustainable solutions to these challenges. With the announcement of the amended Mozal agreement, Eskom and BHP Billiton remain confident that, given the necessary time and commitment, innovative and mutually beneficial solutions will be found for the South African smelters. The smelters continue to make an important contribution to the South African economy and at present continue to fulfil a commitment to a 10% power reduction. Eskom's success is our success and we will continue to work with Eskom to address issues of common concern."

The new pricing agreement will be submitted to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for approval.
Policy, Initiatives and Achievements of the Ministry of Steel During the Last one Year

Policy, Initiatives and Achievements of the Ministry of Steel During the Last one Year

Ø During the year the Ministry played a crucial role in providing directives for the Steel industry¡¦s harmonious and integrated growth, facilitated removal of important constraints and was an active mediator for sensitive issues like pricing, iron ore exports and renewal of mining leases by the State Governments.

Ø It may be relevant to highlight certain facts about the industry which only confirms its importance for our economic growth. It¡¦s contribution to our GDP is nearly 2% and is also providing employment to over 5 lakh people. We are today the world¡¦s largest producer of sponge iron and the third largest producer of crude steel. With a targeted production capacity of 124 million tonnes, we may also expect to become the second largest steel producing nation. The sector continues to be one of the major contributors to the exchequer and last year, the consolidated net profits earned by all steel PSUs was over Rs. 8000 crores as on end December¡¦09.

Ø As everyone present here may be aware, the first policy initiative taken by the present Government was the announcement of the Agenda for 100 days. The Ministry¡¦s ¡§100 days¡¦ Agenda¡¨ was announced on 10th June 2009 and covered all important and strategic issues linked to the sector. I am happy to inform that action on almost all of the agenda items have been completed. Wherever it involved long term objectives and targets like the modernisation and expansion programmes of SAIL and RINL also the various projects are at advanced stages of execution.

Ø The priority issue for the sector has be en the need for creation of additional capacity for steel making specially in the light of the projected target of 124 million tonnes .An important result of this was the launching of ambitious expansion and modernisation programme for SAIL and RINL. Besides the above programme NMDC- the largest mining PSU under the ministry is also diversifying into steel making by setting up of a 3 million tonnes Integrated Steel Plant at Nagarnar, Chhattisgarh. Details relating to these initiatives have been given in the booklet circulated to all of you.

Ø After capacity creation, the next area of focus has been the need to ensure for raw material security specially for the Steel majors like SAIL. Two major achievements in this regard during the year was the resolution of the long pending issues linked to Chiria mines in Jharkhand and the Rowghat mines in Chattisgarh. After prolonged efforts the ¡¥In principle¡¦ approval was obtained for renewal of lease for Budhaburu mines, in the Chira-Gua belt in Jharkhand and also the forestry clearance for Rowghat mines in Chhattisgarh. SAIL has already initiated the setting up of a 7 MTPA mines in Budhaburu and a 12 MTPA state-of-the-art mine at Rowghat, Chhattisgarh.

Ø The Ministry is also responsible for smaller Steel PSUs like KIOCL, MSTC, HSCL and FSNL. Realizing the critical need for a review of their structure, functioning and objectives for efficient performance a Committee was constituted and its recommendations are under examination in consultation with the PSUs concerned.

Ø The year also saw promotion of joint ventures (JV) between PSUs for operational efficiency. Such agreements finalised includes the JV between MOIL and SAIL for setting up of a Ferro Alloy Plant at Nandini, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, JV between MOIL and RINL for a Ferro Alloy Plant at Bobilli, Andhra Pradesh and agreement signed by SAIL with Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) for shipping of coking coal.

Ø The Ministry has been encouraging merger of PSUs and during the year administrative formalities relating to merger of erstwhile Bharat Refractories Ltd (BRL) with SAIL was completed. Action on two other merger proposals initiated are also at advanced stage of completion i.e. of Sponge Iron India Limited (SIIL) with NMDC and of Maharashtra Elektrosmelt Ltd (MEL) with SAIL.

Ø Restructuring of PSUs for improving their physical and financial performance continues to be an important agenda item of the Ministry. So during the year after obtaining the Cabinet approval existing shareholding pattern of the Bird Group of Companies (BGC) has been restructured to make in a PSU. The follow up action on converting the company into a subsidiary of RINL is being taken up. As for revival/restructuring of HSCL - a draft cabinet proposal is presently under formulation.

Ø The Ministry has been supportive of the stand that given their scale of operations, the larger PSUs do need greater autonomy in decision making. So during the year RINL - one of our most modern and integrated steel plants was made a Navaratna Company. SAIL has also been recently elevated to the status of Maharatna. However, SAIL would be able to exercise its delegated powers as a Maharatna Company subject to nomination of the requisite number of non-official Independent Directors in its Board.

Ø Two important performance turnaround achieved during the year was of MECON Ltd. - engineering and consultancy PSU becoming profitable after eliminating the accumulated losses since 2003-04 and the reopening of the Panna diamond mines in Madhya Pradesh lying closed since August, 2005.

Ø The 100 days agenda may have covered most of the strategic issues requiring the Ministry¡¦s intervention during the year but there were other significant achievements also. These included acquisition of Malavika Steel Ltd. at Jagdishpur, UP by SAIL, resuming of production by KIOCL Ltd. of their Pellet plant at Mangalore, MOU between SAIL and NMDC for development of Arki limestone mines at Solan, Himachal Pradesh, Joint Venture agreement between SAIL and Kerala Government for revival of steel complex at Calicut and MOU between SAIL with POSCO for possible joint ventures in use of FINEX technology.

Ø As the administrative Ministry for Steel we are also responsible for protection of steel consumer¡¦s interests in terms of availability, pricing etc. specially in the rural areas. A decision has been taken to appoint at least one dealer per district and today SAIL has 2508 dealers and RINL 90 dealers. Items of common consumption are also being made available through the rural dealer network at the same price as in Metros.

Ø The Ministry has been ensuring that a share of the profits generated by Companies are also flowed back to the society directly through their CSR activities for which all profitable Steel PSU¡¦s have earmarking at least 2% of their distributable surplus. Villages around their plants have been adopted by PSUs and being developed as ¡¥Model Villages¡¦ with facilities like roads, electricity, water, schools, community centers etc. More than 400 Health/Medical camps were organized by SAIL and other PSUs during the year covering over 5 lakh people in many states.

Ø To build of a world class steel industry with capacity to cater to diversified demand, continued investment in Research & Development is crucial. So during the year a new 11th Plan scheme for promotion of R&D in the Iron & Steel Sector was formally approved and initially four research projects have been cleared for implementation.

Ø As Steel PSUs are amongst the commercially viable and profit making companies they have been amongst those short listed for disinvestment by government. So 8.38% government equity in NMDC was disinvested and it resulting in generation of Rs. 9930.42 crore. Cabinet has also approved disinvesting 10% of shareholding in SAIL and for raising of 10% of additional equity by SAIL. Another similar proposal for MOIL is also under consideration.

Ø Today, Steel PSUs are amongst the best managed government companies and therefore have been receiving a number of awards, honours and accolades. During 2009-10 these honours won by them included PM¡¦s trophy for the best integrated steel Plant by RINL and Bhilai Steel Plant, the first Steel Minister¡¦s trophy for the best integrated Steel Plant by RINL, the maximum number of Shram and Vishwakarma Awards amongst both private and public sector by SAIL employees etc.

Ø Steel making is today a highly capital intensive and competitive industry and remains sensitive to global trends. In 2008-09 the sector was also affected by the global downturn and the resultant adverse market condition. But in 2009-10, the industry specially the Steel PSUs have been able to make a recovery. The resurgence in automotive appliances, capital goods and construction sectors have directly contributed to this positive performance. Therefore, 2010-11 has begun on a note of optimism and with the expectation that things may improve further specially for Steel PSUs
Monitoring of GHG emission

The Ministry of Environment and Forests is planning to monitor the Green House Gas emissions in the country as well as in the Globe. The Ministry is also planning to have a dedicated satellite with the support of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for such monitoring. The Department of Space (DOS) has proposed to setup a new Institute called National Institute for Climate and Environment Studies, (NICES) in which the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be involved. Besides this, as a part of Indo-French Space collaboration, Indian Space Research organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch “Megha Tropiques” satellite in polar orbit within a year. This satellite will provide data on atmospheric humidity, greenhouse gas monitoring and radiation budgeting.

Earlier the Government has conducted research on Green House Gas (GHG) emission. This research which was done through many institutes established the carbon dioxide general profile of India’s energy sector. The Government of India supported a number of organizations undertaking studies on India’s GHG emission profile and included, inter alia, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), Integrated Energy Planning & Development (IRADe), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and Jadhavpur University. The Government’s role was to give a platform and to ensure that studies are fact based and objective. From the finding of the studies it was observed that there was a broad convergence in the estimate of India’s GHG emissions and per capita GHG emission in the next decades. This major study on GHG emissions was brought out in 2006 report of the Expert Committee on India’s Integrated Energy Policy.
Environment Relief Fund

The Government of India has enacted the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 (amended in1992). The Act provides for immediate relief to persons affected by accidents occurring while handling the notified hazardous substances. Relief is provided in the event of death or injury to persons or damage to private property. For this purpose, the owner of the industrial unit handling such hazardous substances is required to obtain one or more insurance policies. The Act also provides for establishing the Environment Relief Fund (ERF). In case the amount of relief awarded by the Collector exceeds the amount payable under the insurance policy purchased by the owner or exceeds the liability of the insurance company, ERF is to be utilized for paying claims.
Climate Research Centres

India and United States of America have an institutionalized energy dialogue which explores cooperation in clean and efficient energy and development of renewable resources of energy. During the visit of Prime Minister to Washington in November 2009, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation on Energy Security, Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy and Climate Change, which seeks to strengthen and intensify India-USA collaboration in these areas.

One of the priority initiatives of Indo-US MoU is setting up of an Indo-US Clean Energy Research and Deployment initiative, including a Joint Research centre to foster innovation and joint efforts to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies. The draft protocol regarding setting up of a Joint Clean Energy Research & Development Centre is still at a discussion stage. The priority areas of focus for the initiative is likely to include solar energy, energy efficiency, bio fuels, clean coal technology and integrated gasification combined cycle project. This will help accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

India & US have been actively participating under the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development & Climate which aim at developing, deploying and transferring cleaner and more efficient technologies. Both countries are associated in a number of projects under various task forces.
Introduction of Carbon Trading

The National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) and Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) have introduced future trading of Caron Credits.

The Union Government has not provided any assistance to any State during the last three years specifically for ‘carbon trading’. However, the Government has extended capacity building activities in certain States for participation in Clean Development Mechanism.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Index of Six Core Industries (Base: 1993-94=100) - April 2010

The Index of Six core industries having a combined weight of 26.7 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with base 1993-94 stood at 259.6 (provisional) in April 2010 and registered a growth of 5.1% (provisional) compared to 3.7% registered in April 2009. During April-March 2009-10, six core industries registered a growth of 5.5% (provisional) as against 3.0% during the corresponding period of the previous year.

Crude Oil

Crude Oil production (weight of 4.17% in the IIP) registered a growth of 5.2% (provisional) in April 2010 compared to a growth rate of (-)3.1% in April 2009. The Crude Oil production registered a growth of 0.5 (provisional) during April-March 2009-10 compared to (-)1.8% during the same period of 2008-09.

Petroleum Refinery Products

Petroleum refinery production (weight of 2.00% in the IIP) registered a growth of 5.3% (provisional) in April 2010 compared to growth of (-)4.5% in April 2009. The Petroleum refinery production registered a growth of (-)0.4% (provisional) during April-March 2009-10 compared to 3.0% during the same period of 2008-09.


Coal production (weight of 3.2% in the IIP) registered a growth of (-)2.3% (provisional) in April 2010 compared to growth rate of 14.2% in April 2009. Coal production grew by 8.2% (provisional) during April-March 2009-10 compared to an increase of 8% during the same period of 2008-09.


Electricity generation (weight of 10.17% in the IIP) registered a growth of 6 % (provisional) in April 2010 compared to a growth rate of 6.7% in April 2009. Electricity generation grew by 6.5% (provisional) during April-March 2009-10 compared to 2.7% during the same period of 2008-09.


Cement production (weight of 1.99% in the IIP) registered a growth of 8.7% (provisional) in April 2010 compared to 11.9% in April 2009. Cement Production grew by 10.5% (provisional) during April-March 2009-10 compared to an increase of 7.2% during the same period of 2008-09.

Finished (carbon) steel

Finished (carbon) Steel production (weight of 5.13% in the IIP) registered a growth of 4.7% (provisional) in April 2010 compared to (-)1.3% (estimated) in April 2009. Finished (carbon) Steel production grew by 4.9% (provisional) during April-March 2009-10 compared to an increase of 1.6% during the same period of 2008-09.

N.B: Data are provisional. Revision has been made based on revised data obtained.

Mechel’s Board Recommends Dividend Amount

Moscow, Russia – May 28, 2010 – Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL), one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, announces its Board’s dividend recommendation.

On May 28, 2010, Mechel’s Board of Directors recommended to the annual general shareholders’ meeting annual dividend of 1.09 rubles per one ordinary share (approximately $0.035 per ADR)* for the 2009 fiscal year. Also Mechel’s Board recommended annual dividend of 3.29 rubles per one preferred share (about $0.11 per one preferred share and $0.055 per one preferred American Depositary Share)*.

The total dividend the Board recommended to the annual general shareholders’ meeting would amount to 453,735,112.05 rubles (about $14.7 million)* for ordinary shares. The total dividend for preferred shares is 456,510,250.35 rubles (about $14.8 million)*. This dividend payment amount is in line with Mechel OAO’s Charter provision regarding preferred shares.

According to the Board’s decision dividend payment will be in cash by wire transfer not later than December 31, 2010.

The record date for the Mechel’s share, preferred share and ADR-holders entitled to participate in the annual general shareholders’ meeting and to receive dividends is May 24, 2010. The annual general shareholders’ meeting will be held on June 30, 2010, at the address: 1 Krasnoarmeyskaya Ul., Moscow, Russian Federation.

* According to the Russian Central Bank exchange rate of 30.8786 RUR/$ as of May 28, 2010.

SAIL Q4 PAT up 40% to Rs. 2085 cr. vs. Rs. 1485 cr. (yoy)

                          28th May, 2010


SAIL Q4 PAT up 40% to Rs. 2085 cr. vs. Rs. 1485 cr. (yoy)


·        Q4 net sales exceeds Rs.11900 cr.

·        Record 37% higher value-added steel production in Q4 boosts profitability

·        Capex 45% higher in Q4 at Rs. 2894 cr.; doubles to over Rs. 10,600 cr. for full year

·        FY’10 PBT over Rs. 10000 cr., grows by 7% – 2nd highest since inception

·        Final dividend of 17% to shareholders totalling 33% for the year (16% interim dividend paid)


New Delhi:   Recently anointed a Maharatna company by the Government of India, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) took on record its audited financial performance for January-March (Q4) of FY ’10 here today, showing profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 2,085 crore, with a year-on-year improvement of 40%.  The company achieved net sales turnover of Rs. 11,955 crore during the quarter, as against Rs. 11,790 crore in the corresponding period last year (CPLY).  SAIL’s Q4 profit before tax (PBT) at Rs. 3,067 crore reflected 34% y-o-y growth.


The company’s improved profitability in Q4 was mainly due to market-oriented product-mix, 37% increase in production of value-added steels and several cost efficiency measures. Improved sales realisation during the quarter and reduction in cost of some inputs like imported coking coal and ferro-alloys also boosted the bottomline.


Progressive improvement in profitability in every successive quarter of FY ’10 helped SAIL to achieve PBT of Rs. 10,132 crore during the year, higher by 8% – its second highest profit since inception. PAT for the whole financial year has been higher by 9.5% at Rs. 6,754 crore. In spite of sales growth of 7% during FY ’10 in volume terms at 12.11 million tonnes, of which one-third constituted value-added items, net turnover at Rs. 40,551 crore was lower by about 6% as compared to the previous year, primarily on account of lower net sales realisations, especially in the first half.


The SAIL Board has recommended final dividend payment to company shareholders at 17% of paid-up equity, with total dividend payout (including interim dividend of 16%) for the year 2009-10 at 33% amounting to Rs. 1,363 crore.


During FY ’10, the SAIL plants produced 14.5 million tonnes of hot metal and 13.5 million tonnes of crude steel and 12.6 million tonnes of saleable steel (capacity utilisation of 114%). With demand for special and value-added steels rising, SAIL continued its special thrust on production of value-added and special steel products. This resulted in production of value-added products reaching a record level of 4.6 million tonnes, a growth of 24% over FY’09.


Under SAIL’s modernisation & expansion plan, capital expenditure at Rs. 2,894 crore in Q4 was 45% higher than Rs. 2,002 crore in CPLY.  During FY ’10, the company’s capex touched Rs. 10,606 crore – more than twice the previous year (Rs. 5,233 crore).  Modernisation & expansion projects at Salem Steel Plant which involve installation of new steel making facilities and a new cold rolling mill are ready to be commissioned shortly. Several stand-alone projects have been commissioned during the year, namely new slab caster with RH degasser and ladle furnace and rebuilt Coke Oven Battery-5 at Bhilai, augmented coking coal storage facilities at Bokaro, rebuilt Coke Oven Battery-4 and new coke oven gas holder at Rourkela, as well as a new bloom caster at VISL.


To meet capex requirements for maintaining the schedule for modernisation & expansion, SAIL increased its market borrowings by over Rs. 8,900 crore during FY ’10. On 31.3.10, the company’s total borrowings stood at Rs. 16,511 crore, taking its debt-equity ratio to 0.49:1. However, the company’s cash reserves in term deposits stood at over Rs. 22,000 crore as on 31.3.10. 


During the year, several cost efficiency and administrative measures resulted in savings of over Rs. 2,000 crore during the year. Improvement in major techno-economic parameters – best-ever coke rate, lowest-ever energy consumption and 4% improvement in blast furnace productivity – contributed substantially to cost savings. 


SAIL’s thrust towards optimization of human resource resulted in overall reduction in employee strength by about 6,000, primarily on account of natural separation, even after fresh intake of about 1,800. As a result, labour productivity in SAIL plants in FY ’10 went up to 226 tonnes per manyear, highest since inception.


FY ’10 was a milestone year for SAIL in terms of obtaining raw material security. After more than two decades of intense efforts, the company secured mining lease of Rowghat mines in Chhattisgarh in October ’09. Rowghat, with estimated reserves of 500 million tonnes of iron ore, will meet Bhilai Steel Plant’s needs for the next 30 years. The process for setting up a 14 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) state-of-the-art mining facility at Rowghat has been initiated by the company. SAIL also obtained in-principle clearance in October ’09 from the Jharkhand government for renewal of the Budhaburu lease in Chiria/Gua, which has a reserve of about 810 million tonnes of iron ore. The detailed project report for setting up a 7 MTPA mining facility here is also underway.


A number of new strategic initiatives and alliances also made FY ’10 significant for SAIL. Erstwhile Bharat Refractories Limited was merged with SAIL in July ’09 and renamed as SAIL Refractory Unit. The company also acquired the assets of Malvika Steel Limited at Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh and in the initial stage would put up a 1.75-lakh tonne capacity TMT bar production facility, crash barriers and corrugation plant. A joint venture agreement was also signed with Shipping Corporation of India to set up a shipping company to initially handle a part of SAIL’s coal import needs. SAIL is also exploring setting up joint ventures with other steel majors.


SAIL’s established fundamental strengths received wide recognition in the form of awards and accolades during the year, including four SCOPE/DPE awards presented by the Prime Minister in October ’09, the maximum number among PSUs. Employees of the company also bagged the highest number of Shram and Vishwakarma national awards (about 45% of total awards amongst both public and private sector organizations). The PM’s Trophy for Best Integrated Steel Plant for the years 2006-07 and 2007-08, announced during FY ’10, were bagged by Bhilai Steel Plant of SAIL.


SAIL Chairman Mr. S.K. Roongta commented that conferring of ‘Maharatna’ status by the Government and on the global front, too, SAIL getting a prominent position – having been ranked at No. 2 in the ‘World-Class Steel Makers’ Ranking’ by World Steel Dynamics, USA – demonstrate the basic strengths of SAIL and have been possible due to the SAIL collective always converting challenges into opportunities.  

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wholesale Price Indices for Primary Articles and Fuel. Power, Light & Lubricants in India (Base: 1993-94 = 100)Review for the week ended 15th May, 2010 

 The WPI for the week ended 15th May, 2010 in respect of ‘Primary Articles’ and ‘Fuel, Power, Light & Lubricants’ is given below:

PRIMARY ARTICLES (Weight 22.02%)

The index for this major group declined by 0.10 percent to 298.9 (Provisional) from 299.2 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis, stood at 15.90 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 15/05/2010 (over 16/05/2009) as compared to 16.19 percent (Provisional) for the previous week (ended 08/05/2010) and 6.97 percent during the corresponding week (ended16/05/2009) of the previous year.

The groups and items for which the index showed variations during the week are as follows:-

The index for 'Food Articles' group declined by 0.1 percent to 293.6 (Provisional) from 293.9 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of masur (4 %), fruits & vegetables (2%). However, the prices of tea (9%), mutton (5%) and urad and condiments & spices (1% each) moved up.

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group declined by 0.1 percent to 281.8(Provisional) from 282.1(Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of cotton seed ( 2 %), raw rubber, gingelly seed, rape & mustard seed and linseed (1% each ). However, the prices of fodder (12%) and castor seed, copra and raw jute (1% each) moved up.


The index for this major group rose by 0.05 percent to 365.5 (Provisional) from 365.3 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of aviation turbine fuel (4 %).

The annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis, stood at 12.08 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 15/05/2010 (over 16/05/2009) as compared to 12.33 percent (Provisional) for the previous week (ended 08/05/2010) and -6.08 percent during the corresponding week (ended16/05/2009) of the previous year.

Build up inflation over the week, financial year end and over the year is as below for some important items.


·         Signs MoU with Gujarat Government for the next 5 years

·         A first-of-its-kind approach, aimed specifically to benefit the tribals

·         TeamLease to explore more such associations with other State Governments


Ahmedabad: TeamLease Services, India’s largest staffing company, today announced that they have been awarded the project to train and place 60,000 tribal youth by the Gujarat Government. The project will extend over the next 5 years and the costs involved will be incurred by the Tribal Department, making the services free for youth. This is a pioneering, first-of-its-kind initiative in India for the benefit of the tribal community involving a State Government and TeamLease Services. The project is expected to go live by July 2010.


With the recent acquisition of Indian Institute of Job Training (IIJT), India’s fastest growing vocational training company, TeamLease is uniquely placed to provide end-to-end services. While TeamLease ensures the employment end of the spectrum, IIJT ensures employability of the candidates. With this partnership, TeamLease is well equipped to provide Assessments, Counseling, Training and Placement services to the tribal youth in Gujarat.  This is expected to provide a much needed fillip to their employability and employment needs and enable opportunities for their integration into the mainstream.


“Gujarat is among India’s most progressive states and there are several opportunities for job seekers here. The issue among the tribal population in Gujarat is the same as with the thousands of unemployed in India.  Most lack the necessary skills required to take advantage of the opportunities in the state and elsewhere and to be gainfully employed. TeamLease-IIJT will accurately assess and provide sound training for the candidates, thereby increasing their placement chances as well as their productivity at the work place. On a wider plane, this project can help offset various development-related challenges in tribal communities that have become an important national issue today,” commented Ashish Prasad, CEO of IIJT.


According to Neeti Sharma, Vice President, TeamLease Services, “We are happy to be associated with this prestigious project with Government of Gujarat. This will help bring quality training, employability assessment and placement services to sections of society which till now had little or no access to such services. This will not just play a key role in the upliftment of the tribal youth in Gujarat, but is an important element of the larger developmental paradigm in the country, particularly with regard to fringe communities. TeamLease has an avowed vision of “Putting India to Work” using the 3E’s - Employment, Employability and Education and this project exemplifies that vision”. 


About TeamLease

TeamLease Services (TeamLease™) is India's largest staffing solutions company and has been spearheading the Temporary Staffing revolution in India for more than seven years now. In this short span of time, TeamLease has deployed more than half a million candidates, and in doing so, it has emerged as one of India's largest private sector employers. The company currently has over 65,000 employees on its rolls, in over 700 locations across the country, working for more than 1,200 clients. In a recent acquisition, Teamlease has acquired a substantial majority stake in the Indian Institute of Job Training (IIJT).


About IIJT

Indian Institute of Job Training [IIJT] is one of India’s largest and leading vocational training providers with a capacity of over 1 lakh concurrent students in courses. Started in 2006, IIJT is the fastest growing educational brand in the country with over 250 centers across the country. IIJT offers short term and long term courses in the areas of Finance, Information Technology, Retail and Sales & Marketing. The Teamlease and IIJT strategic alliance aims to help bridge the employability gap and support the industry’s demand for skilled manpower.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

18th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting Concludes

Madrid, 27 May 2010


The 18th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting wrapped up yesterday in Madrid, and agreed upon a new indicative list of activities for 2011-2012 to further implement the Phnom Penh Agenda, an action programme for closer ties between ASEAN and the EU which was agreed at last year’s meeting.


The meeting, themed “Partners in Regional Integration”, was co-chaired by H.E. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Spain; Lady Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission; and His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam.


The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, expressed satisfaction on the renewed commitment from both ASEAN and the EU to intensify their relations. Dr Surin hoped that while ASEAN will internally determine how best to coordinate and enhance its collective representation to the EU, the latter would subsequently extend its support.


With more than 30 years of mutually beneficial cooperation, ASEAN and the European Union have reached a new stage in its relations, a much more matured and higher level of cooperation after the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter and the Lisbon Treaty. This new institutional change in the EU, and also in ASEAN, is expected to lead the way to regular and effective consultations between both parties.


The two-day meeting also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest and concern, from regional and international issues, non-traditional and traditional security challenges, climate change and environment to the economic crisis and its aftermath.


The 19th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting will take place in Brunei Darussalam in 2012.

BHP Billiton Finalises Joint Venture Arrangements for its Indonesian Coal Project

27 May 2010

BHP Billiton has today confirmed the formation of the new joint venture for its Indonesian Coal Project (ICP) with a subsidiary of PT Adaro Energy TBK (Adaro) following the completion of Government approvals. Adaro has acquired a 25 per cent interest in the ICP joint venture, with BHP Billiton holding the remaining 75 per cent.

BHP Billiton President Metallurgical Coal, Hubie van Dalsen, said "We are very pleased that the Indonesian Government has approved the formation of the joint venture with Adaro, a strong Indonesian partner who shares our values and our commitment to the protection of the region's outstanding biodiversity."

"We are progressing study work to identify development options across the seven Coal Contracts of Work (CCOWs). In future, the project will be known as the IndoMet Coal project."

PM’s address at the National Technology Day
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh addressed the gathering at the Award distribution ceremony on the occasion of the National Technology Day 2010 in New Delhi today. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s address on the occasion:

“It gives me great pleasure to be here today to participate in the National Technology Day 2010 function. At the outset I wish to heartily congratulate all the award winners for their distinguished achievements, for their sincerity and for their spirit of national service. I wish each of them even greater success and glory in the service of our motherland in the years to come.

The National Technology Day symbolizes the importance the Government attaches to the development of the country’s technological capabilities. The path to India’s emergence as a major technological power has not been easy. Our scientists and engineers faced many odds and they came out with flying colours. The nation is truly proud of their achievements.

Our scientific capabilities grew on the strong foundations that were laid soon after our independence. The founding fathers of our Republic realised that if India had to become truly self reliant, as it must, it would have to invest in scientific infrastructure. In the decades following independence, scarce resources were invested not only in building physical infrastructure but in developing world class scientific manpower too that ranks among the best in the world. We are reaping the benefits of those far-sighted decisions.

Today we celebrate the achievements of an important pillar of our scientific establishment. I commend all the scientists and engineers of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) who have contributed to strengthening our defence capabilities in different areas. The DRDO has made its mark in diverse fields, ranging from advanced missiles, battle tanks, combat aircraft, electronic warfare, radar and communication systems, materials technology, armaments and ammunitions. The initial operational clearance for the Tejas light combat aircraft is scheduled for later this year, and will include multiple variants. The country’s main battle tank, Arjun, has undergone successful evaluation and is now under production. Several life support technologies developed by DRDO have helped to enhance the health and operational efficiency of our gallant troops in extreme conditions.

Various missiles developed by DRDO have been inducted into our Armed Forces. New capabilities have recently been acquired for the BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile. The successful launch of the Agni 2 missile earlier this month is yet another landmark in our strategic defence preparedness.

I would also like to acknowledge the spin-off benefits of DRDO’s work on Indian polity at large. The simple and cost effective diagnostic kit for the H1N1 virus is a commendable effort which could have widespread societal applications. Technologies developed by DRDO for meeting fresh food requirements of our troops in remote high altitude areas like Ladakh have led to economic benefits for the local population.

While lauding these achievements, we should use the occasion of the National Technology Day to introspect on how we wish to see this sector develop in the years ahead. In many areas, we have moved fast, but our competitors have often moved at a faster pace. It is a fact our current level of self-reliance in Defence R&D is less than our capabilities and it needs to be stepped up significantly.

Technology is changing at a very rapid pace. Globalization has resulted in changes in the rules of business. Only the most competitive and resilient companies can expect to survive in the fiercely global market. We must make sure we have the capacity to compete, to innovate and to deliver on time. If our systems are strong and robust, the world will respect us and be willing to work with us. This was the lesson we learnt in the process of negotiating the civil nuclear deal with the international community.

If we have to stay ahead of the curve, as we must, we must be open to new ideas. We must be able to learn from our experiences. We should be able to acknowledge and learn from our setbacks. It is a fact that some defence projects have been delayed and others have faced difficulties during the stage of operational induction. It is essential that DRDO learn from these experiences and work more closely with the Armed Forces, as well as the industry.

We should develop the capacity of making the right technology choices, of ensuring synergy between research and product development and of focusing on critical technologies of the future. India is now in the forefront of knowledge based industries and we should therefore harness this strength to meet our defence needs.

I am happy to note that DRDO has developed fruitful partnerships with the private sector. Greater participation of Indian industry in the defence sector is a must. Our Government will encourage public-private partnerships as a catalyst towards achieving this objective. We must use the offset scheme in defence procurement to fill the technological gaps in our capabilities.

I would also encourage our research and development organizations and laboratories to develop a closer interface with the academic world. It is essential that we motivate and incentivize our youth to focus on research activities. The development of advanced technology is not a one-off event, nor can it be achieved in a day. An integrated approach to building a broad base of scientific talent, production capacities and a long-term vision are key elements to success.

I am very glad to note that the Ministry of Defence is examining the recommendations of the External Review Committee set up under the Chairmanship of Professor P. Rama Rao on the functioning of the DRDO.

I firmly believe that if we put our mind to it, there is no reason why our successes in the software sector cannot be replicated in the Defence sector. We must strive for leadership in research and development in defence technologies. I would urge all of you assembled here today to think big and to act with a strong sense of self-belief, nationalistic spirit and the desire to excel.

I am confident that our scientists and technologists will be equal to the task and be able to convert the challenges into new opportunities for creative endeavours. Your efforts will help in building a strong and self-reliant India. Our Armed Forces, who are the pride of the nation, and the citizens of our country deserve nothing less than that.

My best wishes once again to all members of the DRDO family. You have acquitted yourself well but your best is yet to come. I assure you of the government’s full support in your endeavours.”
PM’s Council on Trade and Industry Meets.
The Prime Minister's Council on Trade & Industry was recently re-notified. The first meeting of the newly constituted Council was held today, the May 26, 2010. The Council has as its members, the country’s eminent industrialists and trade leaders The Council met in the presence of Finance Minister, Commerce & Industry Minister as well as Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to PM.

The Council deliberated on India’s industrial growth and achievements. The members also held wide-ranging discussions on various issues including use of clean technology for energy and economic security, research & development to further industrial growth, contribution of industries in food security and affirmative action for social inclusion.

Members expressed confidence in the strength of the Indian economy and its rising contribution to the global economy and reiterated that the economy was well on its way to return to a high growth trajectory of 9 percent plus growth rate.

The Prime Minister remarked on the need for industry to reach out to the rural economy and contribute in the efforts in skill development. He invited the members to form sub-groups on subjects of their interest including Food Security, Public Private Partnerships, Backward Area Development and Corporate Social Responsibility in order to deliberate further on these issues, & give their recommendations to Govt. The Prime Minister’s Office will coordinate and facilitate these groups.

Among those members of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry who attended the meeting were Dr. V. Krishnamurthy, Shri Rata Tata, Dr Ashok Ganguly, Shri Keshub Mahindra, Shri Mukesh Ambani, Shri R. P. Goenka, Shri Aziz Premji, Shri Sunil Mittal, Smt. Swati Piramal, Shri Deepak Parekh, Shri Jamshed Godrej, Smt Kiran Mazumdhar Shaw, Smt Chanda Kochhar, and Shri Sunil Kant Munjal.
Stakeholders Meeting on Concerns on Impact of Mining on Women and Children
Ms Santha Sheela Nair, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, held a high level brainstorming session with regulatory Ministries of Central Government and stakeholders, including Industry, Civil Rights Groups and NGOs, to ascertain the incidence of occupational diseases like Siderosis in mining areas, evolving mechanisms for identifying the impact of mining activities on women and children in mining areas and the remedies available under various laws for amelioration of harmful impact. As per sources in the Ministry of Mines, the meeting was held as a follow up to media reports on diseases alleged among children in mining areas due to spillages in transportation of iron ore Fines, and NGO reports on impact of mining on Children. It was decided in the meeting that National Institute of Miner’s Health, National Institute of Occupational Health, DGMS and concerned agencies would conduct a pilot study in Jharkhand to assess the impact of iron ore mining on people in the mining areas. The study would also cover the crusher units operating in mining areas of Jharkhand, which are alleged to be the greatest source of pollution since they are poorly regulated by the State Governments. This report would be published in six months time. Recognising that children and women in mining areas suffer from morbidity and malnutrition due to high rate of displacement, it was held that proper implementation of law and various schemes was necessary in the mining areas. FIMI, representing the Industry, agreed that many of the CSR activities of the mining companies could be coordinated along with the existing schemes of the Government to increase effectiveness. The Ministry would monitor the situation on quarterly basis.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010





Rossell Tea Ltd. has excelled in producing of high quality orthodox teas and its produce has become a bench mark for the industry. The Company is also consistently producing high quality CTC teas. Rossell Tea Ltd. continued to build on the good performance of the recent past and achieved price averages which were among the highest in the industry.  With consistent quality levels the Company outperformed the market.  The Company’s average for its produce for the year 09 – 10 was Rs.159.68 per kg. as against Rs.128.46 for the year 08 – 09 , an increase of Rs. 31.22 per kg. or 24.30% in 09-10 over that of 08-09. The average for Assam for the year 09-10 stood at Rs.121.06 per kg.  The averages fetched by the Company reflect the high quality standards achieved over the years. The company maximized production of orthodox teas, which constitute nearly 80% of its annual production. 


The turnover from the tea business of the Company went up to Rs. 6,807 lacs in the year 09 - 10 from Rs. 5,363 lacs in the year 08 - 09, an enhancement by Rs. 1,444 lacs. i.e. +27%, the highest achieved so far by the company.


As a result of remunerative price realization, the Company has more than doubled its profit before interest and tax to Rs. 2,279 lacs for the year ended March 31, 2010 against Rs. 1,128 lacs for the previous year ended March 31,2009  This is despite the escalating costs on all fronts for various inputs including higher wages, which continues to put severe inflationary pressure on the cost of production.



Rossell Tea is confident of maintaining its high standards, production of high quality teas and continuing its profitable performance.




Aviation Products and Services


 Over the recent years Govt. has opened the defence sector for private participation.  As per the new Defence Procurement Procedure, it has become mandatory that 30% offset work has to be executed in India against all contracts which are awarded to overseas companies and valued above Rs.300 Crores. In higher value contracts, offset / sub contract work share is further enhanced to 50% of the work to be done in India.


Compliance of this offset is a pre requisite for the foreign company, prior to execution of the entire contract.  Offsets are likely to be $ 10 billion in the next five years.


Because of this emerging opportunity for private participation in Defence,  Rossell has setup Aerotech Services and acquired Vankesh Avionics Technologies a division of Rossell and Sigma Microsystems a subsidiary of the Rossell.


Aerotech Services specializes in customer, product and maintenance support services and also installation and integration of equipment on board various platforms.


Aerotech has signed long term agreements with multi national companies for providing product support services for their equipments fitted on various aircrafts, helicopters and ships in India.  It is also involved in integration and installation of navigation equipments at more than 50 different locations all over India.


Vankesh Avionics Technologies became a division of Rossell in Sept’08 and was primarily involved in design and development.  However, since Rossell’s take over, it has been converted into a production unit.  Its main thrust areas are harness and loom manufacturing, testing and integration, system integration, design and development of Automatic Test Equipments (ATEs) for ground testing of aircraft and spacecraft sub-systems.


Sigma Microsystems specializes in embedded software technology, solid state flight data recorders, missile controllers, PC based test rigs / equipments and system / process simulation.




During the year 2009-2010, the Turnover of the Group from Aviation Products and Services was Rs. 1,209 lacs as against Rs. 595 lacs in the year 2008-2009, indicating a growth of more than 103%. The profit before interest and tax also increased substantially to Rs. 376 lacs as against a breakeven factor for the previous year.




We are confident that the Company will continue to perform well in its Aviation Products and Services business in coming years also in view of the great potential for this business.


Consolidated Results

Consolidated Turnover of the Company in 09 – 10 was Rs.7,994 lacs vis-à-vis Rs.5,956 lacs in 08 – 09 (+34%) and Profit Before Tax and Interest in 09 – 10 was Rs.2,656 lacs vis-à-vis 1,124 lacs in 08 – 09 (+136%) and the Net Profit in 09 – 10 was Rs.1,887 lacs  vis-à-vis Rs.637 lacs in 08 – 09 (+196%).




The Board of Directors of the Company has recommended a Dividend for the year of 20% on the Equity Share Capital of the Company, inclusive of Interim Dividend of 10% paid earlier.

Appointment of Merchant Bankers and Intermediaries required for Disinvestment Transactions 
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the appointment of Merchant Bankers and other intermediaries to disinvestment transactions involving offer for sale or fresh issue by the company in conjunction with offer for sale be advanced to an earlier stage in the process of disinvestment.

The approved process will help planning and timing of the Public Offerings in a manner that they are spread out evenly and avoid bunching as far as possible so as to ensure better response from investors, including retail. .

The appointment of Merchant Bankers and other intermediaries will now be taken up simultaneously with the process of seeking CCEA approval as soon as the Minister-in-Charge has approved the case. It is expected that the time saved will be optimally utilized in preparing for the actual transaction and in facilitating the disinvestment process. .
Power grid’s FY10 net profit surges by 21% To Rs.2041 Crore
Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), a Navratna PSU and the Central Transmission Utility of the Country, has reported a net profit of Rs.2041 Crore for the financial year 2009-10, a 21% rise as compared to the previous year’s profit of Rs.1691 Crore. The turnover of the Company rose to Rs.7,504 Crore from Rs.6,139 Crore, up by 22%.

In this financial year the Company’s Earnings per Share (EPS) increased to Rs.4.85 as compared to an EPS of Rs.4.02 for previous fiscal. The Book Value also grew from 34.73 to 37.81 for FY10. POWERGRID achieved an increase in capital expenditure from Rs.8,167 Crore in the last year to Rs.10,586 Crore.

POWERGRID operated around 75,289 ckt. kms. of transmission lines along with 124 Sub-stations as on March 31, 2010. Average availability of transmission systems during the year 2009-10 was maintained at 99.77% with the use of state-of-the-art preventive maintenance techniques. POWERGRID continues to wheel about 50% of total power generated in the country through its transmission network.


Aditya Birla Money launches a co-branded Health Card with Indian Health Organization


Aditya Birla Money, the broking, distribution and wealth management arm of Aditya Birla Financial Services Group (ABFSG) launched a new co-branded Health Card with Indian Health Organisation Pvt. Ltd. (IHO). The Aditya Birla Money – IHO Health Plan Card will bring affordable, preventive and pre-hospitalisation healthcare at a cost as little as Rs. 7 per day for a year for a family of four members, and also comes with a Personal Accident Cover.


The Aditya Birla Money- IHO Health Plan Card brings together a consortium of individually practicing medical professionals and facilitates its members to avail concessional rates on quality medical services. These services range from a free dial-a-doctor facility, to subsidized treatments at the finest path labs, dentists and doctors and, are currently being offered in 17 prime cities of the country.


Mr. Kanwar Vivek, Chief Executive Officer of Aditya Birla Money Mart Limited and Managing Director of Aditya Birla Money Limited said– “Healthcare is gaining importance in India and the key issue faced by most people today, is the quality and cost of medical services. The Aditya Birla Money – IHO Health Plan Card, a first of its kind, attempts to address the needs of this segment and offers a convenient and affordable healthcare solution.”


About Aditya Birla Money

Aditya Birla Money is a single brand offering the combined products and services of Aditya Birla Money Limited and Aditya Birla Money Mart Limited (formerly Apollo Sindhoori Capital Investments Limited and Birla Sun Life Distribution Company Limited respectively).

Aditya Birla Money Limited is a broking and distribution player, offering Equity and Derivative trading through NSE and BSE and Currency derivative on MCX-SX. It is registered as Depository Participant with both NSDL and CDSL and also provides commodity trading on MCX and NCDEX through its subsidiary company.

Aditya Birla Money also provides a range of other products from Aditya Birla Money Mart Limited like company deposits, mutual funds, insurance, structured products, alternate investments and has a premier wealth management service arm to cater to HNI customers.

These offerings are delivered through a strong Pan India distribution network of over 850 owned and sub broker branches, a robust online and offline model with a strong technology backbone to a large customer base in excess of 4,00,000.

For more information please visit

About Aditya Birla Financial Services Group


Aditya Birla Financial Services Group is a broad based and integrated player in the financial services space with a strong presence across verticals viz., life insurance, asset management, retail broking, distribution and wealth management, Non Banking Finance, insurance broking & advisory services and private equity. ABFSG is rapidly growing in line with its vision to be a leader and role model in the Indian financial services sector.


The seven companies representing Aditya Birla Financial Services Group are Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited, Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Limited, Aditya Birla Money Limited, Aditya Birla Money Mart Limited, Aditya Birla Finance Limited, Birla Insurance Advisory & Broking Services Limited and Aditya Birla Capital Advisors Private Limited.


The consolidated revenues from these businesses crossed USD 1 billion mark in 2008-09. Today ABFSG collectively enjoys trust of over 4 million customers, manages assets over USD 16 billion and prides itself for having a talent pool of over 15,000 committed employees. ABFSG has its wings spread across more than 500 cities in India through over 1500 branches and over 2 lacs channel partners.


ABFSG is a part of Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited (ABNL), a USD 3 billion conglomerate having leadership position across its manufacturing as well as services sector businesses. ABNL is a part of the Aditya Birla Group, a USD 29 billion Indian business house operating in 25 countries across the globe.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Following status has been received from Chairman, Airport Authorities of India on the Aircraft accident at Mangalore Airport today

“Date : 22nd May, 2010

Time : 0605 IST 

Aircraft Details : Air India Express Flight No. 812

Type : Boeing 737-800

Registration : VT-AXV

From/To : Dubai to Mangalore

Total Persons on Board : 166 (137 adults, 19 children, 4 infants and 6 crew)

Weather Conditions : Visibility 6 Kms., Wind Calm, No rain at the time of incident.

Details : The aircraft was following ILS Approach for landing runway 24 and the pilot reported to ATC that it is established on ILS approach at about 10 miles from touch down. Landing clearance was given at about 4 miles from touch down. Aircraft touched down the runway 24 slightly beyond the touch down zone, overshot the runway and went in the valley beyond the runway.

The Mangalore airport is a licensed airport and the length of runway 24 is 2450 metres (approx. 8000 feet) and the runway has a Runway end safety area of 90 metres. This runway was commissioned in 2006 and remained operational since then. ILS was operating normal. No problem was reported by pilot.

The Airports Authority of India has established control rooms at Chennai - tel. no. 044-2256 1365 & 2256 0894, Mangalore - tel. no. 0824-2220422 and Delhi – tel. no. 011-2461 0848/2461 0843.

Rescue status at 1000 Hrs
25 charred bodies recovered, 
1 discharged from Hospital, 
2 minor injuries, 
3 seriously injured.”

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wholesale Price Indices for Primary Articles and Fuel, Power, Light & Lubricants in India (Base: 1993-94=100) Review for the week ended 8th May, 2010 (18 Vaisakha, 1932 Saka)

The WPI for the week ended 8th May, 2010 in respect of ‘Primary Articles’ and ‘Fuel, Power, Light & Lubricants’ is given below:

PRIMARY ARTICLES (Weight 22.02%)

The index for this major group declined by 0.1 percent to 299.2 (Provisional) from 299.5 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis, stood at 16.19 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 08/05/2010 over (09/05/2009) as compared to 16.76 percent (Provisional) for the previous week (ended 01/05/2010) and 6.67 percent during the corresponding week (ended 09/05/2009) of the previous year.

The groups and items for which the index showed variations during the week are as follows:-

The index for 'Food Articles' group declined marginally to 293.9 (Provisional) from 294.0 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of wheat (2%) and fish-inland, maize and gram (1% each). However, the prices of urad and moong (2% each) and fruits & vegetables and tea (1% each) moved up.

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group declined by 0.4 percent to 282.1 (Provisional) from 283.1 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of raw rubber (7%), linseed (2%) and castor seed (1%). However, the prices of raw jute (2%) moved up.


The index for this major group has remained unchanged at its previous week’s level of 365.3 (Provisional). The annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis, has also remained unchanged at its previous week’s level of 12.33 percent (Provisional).

ThyssenKrupp strengthens materials services in Central and Eastern Europe

Flame cutting specialist Techno-Stahl in Austria acquired

With effect from April 30, 2010 the ThyssenKrupp Group has bought all shares of Techno-Stahl Stahlgroßhandel und Brennschneidbetrieb GmbH, Vienna (Austria). The new acquisition is a flame cutting company with great technical expertise in the area of processed flat products. Its core business is the production of sheet metal and slab blanks by thermal cutting. It has been agreed that the purchase price will not be disclosed.

Techno-Stahl processes both standard and specialty materials. The company (2009 sales: €17.4 million/76 employees) will be assigned to the Materials Services business area under the management of ThyssenKrupp Materials Austria GmbH, Vienna. The seller is managing partner Edward Ferszt, who will stay with the company in the interests of continuity and safeguarding know-how.

Techno-Stahl operates mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, where it intends to grow further: The company currently serves customers in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Poland. Techno-Stahl will benefit in the future from the sales and procurement networks of the Materials Services business area.

The acquisition is subject to approval by the Austrian antitrust authorities.

With 500 locations in 40 countries, the Materials Services business area specializes in materials distribution, logistics and services, the provision of technical services as well as services for industrial plants and steel mills. In addition to rolled steel, stainless steel, tubes and pipes, nonferrous metals, specialty materials and plastics, Materials Services also offers services from processing and logistics to warehouse and inventory management through to supply chain and project management.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Steel Minister asks Indian Steel and Mining Companies to look for Overseas Opportunities
The Union Minister of Steel, Shri Virbhadra Singh has asked Indian Steel and Mining Companies to look for overseas opportunities seriously. He said “it is the time for Indian steel and mining companies, whether they are in the public or private sector, will have to look for overseas opportunities seriously”. Addressing a Conference on “Challenges for Indian Steel Industry in Infrastructure and Resources” here today, he said that however, one would also have to take cognizance of the changing national policies in respect of investment in overseas mineral assets. He said, the recent proposal of the Australian Government to levy a 40 per cent resource tax is a case in point. Therefore, it makes strong sense to also remain focused on exploiting all the available internal resources and make best use of them with adoption of appropriate technology in iron and steel making, he said.

Shri Virbhadra Singh said that as far as iron ore is concerned, the Government has taken policy measures to discourage avoidable exports and consequently raise domestic availability by increasing export duty on lump ores to 15 per cent having a 5 per cent duty on fines. Although it will have some marginal impact on the export, the Government will have to look at the question of exports differently by bringing in definitive deterrence. This may be in the form of either prohibitive duty or quantitative restrictions. But, such measures can be brought in only in a phased manner with a clear long term plan.

The Minister said, the other major challenge for the Indian steel and mining industries is the inadequate development of supportive infrastructure. The problem looks more serious in the areas with greater mining potential. He said, the Government has launched infrastructure development plans in unprecedented scale in areas such as power, road, ports, railways, communication and human resource development. However, whether it is a sole Government project or one in the PPP model, progress in implementation is being hit by difficulties in land acquisition, extremist violence and skill shortage. He said, “I am sure, the conditions will change in the course of time to allow for completion of the projects in hand”.

Shri Virbhadra Singh informed that while the Government is doing its bit, a large responsibility lies with the industry and the industry associations. It is the synergy between what the Government does and how the private sector or the industry responds to it that will determine the success of all our efforts, the Minister added.

Delivering the keynote address the Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Shri Atul Chaturvedi, pointed out that the Joint Plant Committee (JPC) of the Steel Ministry has undertake a massive exercise of mapping out the infrastructure requirements of the steel companies in terms of augmentation of new railway line and development of highways. He urged FICCI to commission a study for taking the JPC report forward with specific projects that need to be undertaken so that these could be taken up with the ministries concerned and the appropriate authorities.

As regards forest and environment clearances for steel projects, Shri Chaturvedi said that the Ministry of Environment & Forests has been very cooperative in addressing the issues. He urged companies come up with specific issues so that these could be put on the fast track for clearance. While land acquisition for steel projects continues to pose a major challenge, the Steel Secretary asked industry players to consider using the large land mass that is currently available with the closed units. “I have asked the Ministry of Heavy Industry to map out such land masses and put the information on their website for the benefit of the prospective investor. I hope FICCI will coordinate with the Ministry of Heavy Industry to take the process forward,’’ he said.

The Conference was jointly organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Mines.
REC Net Profit Grows by 57%
Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), a Navratna Public Sector Company brought out its Annual Audited financial results for the year ended 31st March 2010. Net profit of the Company recorded a growth of 57.33%, rising from previous year’s figure of Rs.1272.08 crore to Rs.2001.42 crore, while the gross profit of the Corporation grew from Rs.1920.11 crore to Rs.2649.19 crore. Keeping the trend with other indicators, income of the company increased from Rs.4757.17 crore to Rs.6549.76 crore registering an increase of 37.68 crore. The Company has paid interim dividend of Rs.3.00 for each share of Rs.10 in the month of January, 2010 for the year 2009-10. The Board of Directors, REC has further recommended final dividend of Rs.3.50 per share for the year 2009-10, thus, the total dividend will be Rs.6.50 per share. Net NPAs of the company declined from Rs.20.89 crore in the previous year to Rs.2.00 crore for the financial year 2010.

Average yield on Loan assets at the end of 31st March 2010 was 11.23% as against 10.45% at the end of March 2009. During the period, Corporation has also accounted for 1% agency charges for RGGVY implementation of Rs.58.52 crore (net of service tax).

Enabling Trade Paves The Way to Recovery from Global Economic Crisis

  • Singapore and Hong Kong SAR are the most open economies to international trade in 2010
  • Vietnam gains 18 positions among 125 countries in The Global Enabling Trade Report 2010
  • Turkey, India and Russia drop in the rankings
  • Report highlights, summary, country profiles, quotes and more on the World Economic Forum's website

Geneva, Switzerland, 19 May 2010 – East Asian economies – Singapore and Hong Kong SAR – continue to occupy the top two positions in the Enabling Trade Index ranking, followed by Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, according to The Global Enabling Trade Report 2010, released today by the World Economic Forum. New Zealand moves by five ranks to 5th place. Norway, Canada, Luxembourg and the Netherlands complete the top-10 list. Iceland enters the ranking for the first time at 11th position, and Finland drops out of the top 10 to 12th place.

The e-waste industry in India: CSE exposes what lies beneath

  • India generates about 350,000 tonnes of electronic waste every year and imports another 50,000 tonnes

  • Unorganized sector recycles more than 90 per cent of this e-waste – instead of organizing this sector, government chooses to ignore it

  • Frames draft regulations which allow only registered, big-investment companies to recycle e-waste

  • Gives first and only licence to import e-waste to Attero Recycling -- undercover investigations by CSE find Attero reselling e-waste, instead of recycling it

  • CSE warns new draft regulations might be ineffective in controlling illegal trade in e-waste

  • CSE report uncovers the grimy details of the illegal trade, horrific working conditions, and huge pollution in the industry

New Delhi, May 18, 2010: It is a well known fact that India produces as well as imports thousands of tonnes of electronic waste every year. Almost all of this waste is recycled or scrapped by the unorganized sector, using the most rudimentary methods that pollute.

What may not be so well known is that the government’s new draft e-waste rules, announced in April this year, refuse to recognize and help organize this key sector. Instead, the ministry of environment and forests has chosen to grant its first and only licence to import e-waste to a company called Attero Recycling. And undercover investigations done by researchers from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) have found Attero reselling e-waste, instead of recycling it.

Down To Earth, a science and environment fortnightly that CSE helps publish, has come out with a complete expose of the e-waste industry, the illegal trade that thrives in this sector, the horrific working conditions, and the immense pollution that results from all of these.

Regulations which may not achieve much

The investigations by CSE spanned the main e-waste dismantling and recycling hub in India – from Seelampur in Delhi to Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh. More than 90 per cent of the e-waste generated in the country lands up in the unorganized market, reports CSE.

The government, says the CSE report, assumes it will be able to regulate the informal

sector through its proposed rules on e-waste, which allow only registered companies

with updated and safe technologies to recycle e-waste. This leaves in the

lurch an overwhelming majority of the existing e-waste recycling industry.

India generated 330,000 tonnes of e-waste in 2007 – equal to 110 million laptops. About 10 per cent of the e-waste generated is recycled every year; the remaining is refurbished, and the unorganized sector is right behind almost all of it. Informal dealers refurbish and make money from e-waste. 

The organized e-waste recycling industry, of course, cries foul at these practices. Organized and formal recyclers have welcomed the new e-waste rules. Says Kushal P S Yadav, head of CSE’s toxins and solid waste unit, “However, CSE’s undercover forays into the business dealings of Attero Recycling have exposed the double-talk – a company favored by the government is not doing what it claims to specialize in.”

According to CSE, the government’s new draft rules ignore the reality and are likely to be toothless. It is estimated that illegal import of e-waste in the country stands at about 50,000 tonnes annually. Loopholes in laws facilitate this. For instance, the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act of 1992 provides for donation of computers to educational and charitable institutions, hospitals, etc.

The government’s new draft rules declare such imports for charity illegal – without giving any thought to the other ways through which e-waste is imported, such as under the pretext of metal scrap and second-hand electrical appliances.

The proposed rules, for the first time in India, bring in the concept of extended producer responsibility, making manufacturers liable for safe disposal of electronic goods. However, they do not detail the business model for collection of e-waste from consumers. Neither do they offer any assistance to help the informal sector get organized.

India is a global dump for hazardous waste and e-waste

India wants global waste, and gets what it wants: the CSE analysis looks at the entire hazardous and e-waste import industry. It also reveals how developed countries are using free trade agreements (FTAs) to export their waste to the developing world. Japan and the EU, for instance, are currently negotiating with India and a deal is likely to be signed this year. The commerce ministry has not made public details of about 30 such deals that India is negotiating.

According to CSE, the cause for concern is the part of the draft text of an FTA between the EU and India, which was leaked. This leaked text coins a new name for waste: it says “non-new goods shall be understood to include notably used and remanufactured goods” and that “non-new goods” would not have any restrictions such as import or export tariffs.

Thus, import of waste could be treated just like import of fresh products. This could result in enormous increase in the import of wastes in India, which would severely hamper environmental safeguard measures.

So what is the way out? Says Sunita Narain, director, CSE: “The choice India faces is this – either it becomes a dumping ground for the world’s waste, or regulates the recycling and the trade better so as to import only non-hazardous and recyclable waste.”