Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FIFA should postpone presidential election, embrace transparency, and fully investigate corruption allegations

Berlin, 31 May 2011
Transparency International (TI), the anti-corruption organisation, is calling on FIFA, the governing body of world football, to postpone its presidential elections set for 1 June so that an independent investigation into all allegations of corruption against its executives can be carried out.
”Free and fair elections cannot take place when there is a suspicion that voters may have been swayed. Two major figures in football politics have been suspended recently for alleged vote-buying. FIFA delegates know that they must clean house if their vote is to have legitimacy,” said Sylvia Schenk, senior advisor on sport to TI.
“All eyes in world football are upon the FIFA delegates. FIFA should be setting a better example to its billions of supporters and especially to young fans that look to the sport for inspiration and role models,” said Schenk.
Because the proceedings of FIFA’s ethics committee have thus far been shrouded in secrecy, the investigation should be carried out externally to guarantee impartiality, transparency and accountability.
TI is calling for FIFA to:
  • Bring in clear rules on how to deal with allegations of corruption, as well as transparent reporting and accounting rules
  • Appoint an empowered ombudsman
  • Launch a review of the existing code of ethics including the competences of the ethics committee
  • Introduce compliance clauses for all contracts, including FIFA’s financial support for member federations
  • Review the tender and awarding procedure of events as well as TV-rights and sponsorship contracts.

IFC Helps India Expand Agri-warehousing Infrastructure to Reduce Wastage, Promote Food Security
New Delhi, India, May 31, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and partners are investing in Indian local agri-warehousing company National Collateral Management Services Ltd to help build modern warehouses for efficient storage of agricultural commodities that will help reduce waste of food grains and promote food security.
IFC, Rabobank-sponsored India Agri Business Fund, and public sector company Indian Farmers’ Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd. will each provide equity investments of approximately $ 6 million, $ 7.5 million and $ 5 million respectively(INR 275 million, INR 345 million and INR 237.5 million respectively). The project will expand state-of-the-art storage facilities across India and will also help manage volatility of food prices in India.
“We offer modern, scientific, and IT-enabled storage and preservation services for agricultural commodities,” said Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director and CEO, National Collateral Management Services Ltd. “We plan to deploy funds over the next two years to create our own network of warehouses in over 40 locations across India.”
The company’s existing investors, India’s National Commodity and Derivative Exchange Ltd, Karur Vysya Bank, and the Haryana State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation Ltd., will collectively commit an additional $3.5 million (INR 160 million) to support the expansion.
“This investment sends a strong signal to the market on the viability of private solutions to expand critical agriculture-related infrastructure, said Anita George, IFC Director for Infrastructure in Asia. “By reducing food waste and minimizing price volatility, the project will benefit Indian farmers and help stabilize their income levels.”
In India, huge quantities of food items are wasted annually due to inadequate agricultural infrastructure, including storage and transportation facilities. Storage and warehouses are owned predominantly by government enterprises in India. The private sector can play an active role in developing additional storage capacity for food and grains, and this project is a testimony to that.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010.

  • 27th India Economic Summit to be held in Mumbai for the first time
  • Summit to be held on 20 to 21 November 2011 under the theme Linking Leadership and Livelihood 
Geneva, Switzerland, 31 May 2011 – The 2011 India Economic Summit will be held in Mumbai for the first time in the 26 year history of the Summit. In partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and with the support of the Government of India, this year's summit will take place on 20-21 November 2011 in Mumbai. The Summit will return to New Delhi in 2012 and 2014 in time for India's next national election.

CIL in talks to buy Golden Energy coal mines in Indonesia - Report

Reuters citing sources with direct knowledge of the deal reported that Coal India Limited is in advanced talks to buy up to 40% of Indonesian low grade coal producer Golden Energy Mines for up to USD 1 billion.
A source said that "The due diligence has been going on for some time and will be completed soon and we plan to submit bid by the end of next month.”
Golden Energy Mines aims to raise its output to 10 million tonnes a year of 4,200 to 5,300 kc/kg coal this year from 3 million at its Sumatra and Kalimantan mines.

Aphrodite Gold Limited [AQQ] - Major Expansion to Mineralisation at Aphrodite Gold Project

Aphrodite Gold Limited (ASX: AQQ) has confirmed a major extension to the Phi gold zone which, together with the Alpha zone, hosts the existing Aphrodite gold resource containing 1.03 million ounces at its flagship Aphrodite Gold Project near Kalgoorlie Western Australia (refer to ASX release 24 March 2011).

New Directorate of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation) Created; to be Headed by an Officer of the Rank of Chief Commissioner of Income Tax; to Look into Criminal Matters Having any Financial Impliaction Punishable as an Offence Under any Direct Tax Law

A new Directorate of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation), to be known in short as DCI, has been created in the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, with immediate effect. The DCI has been created by the Central Government through a notification today.

The DCI will perform functions in respect of criminal matters having any financial implication punishable as an offence under any direct tax law including, inter alia –(i) Chapter XXII of the Income Tax Act 1961 (Act 43 of 1961); and (ii) Chapter VIII of the Wealth Tax Act 1957 (Act 27 of 1957).

The DCI, in discharge of its responsibilities under the direct tax laws, will be required to perform the following functions:

(a) To seek and collect information about persons and transactions suspected to be involved in criminal activities having cross-border, inter-state or international ramifications, that pose a threat to national security and are punishable under the direct tax laws;

(b) To investigate the source and use of funds involved in such criminal activities;

(c) To cause issuance of a show cause notice for offences committed under any direct tax law;

(d) To file prosecution complaint in the competent court under any direct tax law relating to a criminal activity;

(e) To hire the services of special prosecutors and other experts for pursuing a prosecution 'complaint filed in any court of competent jurisdiction;

(f) To execute appropriate witness protection programmes for effective prosecution of criminal offences under the direct tax laws, i.e. to protect and rehabilitate witnesses who support the state in prosecution of such offences so as to insulate them from any harm to their person;

(g) To coordinate with and extend necessary expert, technical and logistical support to any other intelligence or law enforcement agency in India investigating crimes having cross-border, interstate or international ramifications that pose a threat to national security;

(h) To enter into agreements for sharing of information and other cooperation with any central or state agency in India;

(i) To enter into agreements for sharing of information and other cooperation with such agencies of foreign states as may be permissible under any international agreement or treaty; and

(j) Any other matter relating to the above.

The DCI will be headed by a Director General of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation), who will be an officer of the rank of Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, and will be located in New Delhi. The DCI will function under administrative control of the Member (Investigation) in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and will be a subordinate office of CBDT.

The DCI shall have eight Directors of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation) located at Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow. These Directorates will be headed by officers of the rank of Commissioner of Income Tax who will perform such functions as are notified or assigned to them by the CBDT. The CBDT shall have all powers to amend the functions assigned to the DCI.

The headquarters of the DCI shall consist of a Director General of Income Tax (Cl) supported by a Director of Income Tax (CI), an Additional Director of Income Tax (Cl), a Deputy Director of Income Tax (Cl) and officials known as Special Agents of the rank of Income Tax Officer and Agents of the rank of Inspector of Income Tax. Each zonal Directorate of the DCI shall be headed by a Director of Income Tax (Cl), and shall be supported by an Additional Director of Income Tax (CI), a Deputy Director of Income Tax (CI) and an appropriate staff complement consisting of Special Agents and Agents.

It may be recalled that the Government has adopted five-fold strategy to tackle the menace of illicit funds.
Taking further the strategy of setting up institutions for dealing with illicit funds, Government has approved the setting up of the aforesaid Directorate.

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Please wait a minute" - A sculpture by Andreas Rimkus for the world's religions made of stainless steel from ThyssenKrupp Nirosta

Five billion people are followers of one of the six world religions. But what are they all about? That's something most people will have asked themselves at some point. One of them is the German artist Andreas Rimkus from Springe in Lower Saxony. He transformed his ideas and his concept into the sculpture "Please wait a minute", which he made using stainless steel provided by ThyssenKrupp Nirosta. It is currently on display in "Platz der Weltausstellung" (World Expo Square) in Hanover, where it was officially unveiled in the presence of the artist by the President of the German UNESCO Commission, Walter Hirche, by provost Martin Tenge, Spokesman of Council of Religions, and the Mayor of Hanover, Stephan Weil. Over the next few weeks the sculpture will be on show in various other parts of the city before embarking on its first long journey to Aachen in September, where it will be displayed at RWTH Aachen university as part of the 10th International Conference on Technology of Plasticity, ICTP 2011.
In the past the artist has already created several works using stainless steel from ThyssenKrupp Nirosta. "This valuable material allows me to realize my designs in a very special way. The works are intricate yet robust to allow tension-filled combinations," says Rimkus on his choice of material. The idea is that the new sculpture will be displayed in public places where people have to wait, such as public squares, train stations, airports and hospitals. Wherever people often have to spend several hours waiting, a work such as this provides "meaning".

Outwardly, its appearance is shaped by the six symbols of the major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Baha'i). People can stand in the middle of the stainless steel sculpture and by touching various sensors immerse themselves in an unknown world. Similar to an audio book, visitors can hear about the most important teachings of the individual religions and discover that all religions pursue the same basic goal: peace. The texts were written by the Council of Religions in Hanover. They provide a brief introduction to the various religions and are available in different languages. The artist's next project will also be made of stainless steel - a play fountain that can also be "played with" via the internet.
Krefeld-based ThyssenKrupp Nirosta is one of the world's leading manufacturers of flat-rolled stainless products with a wide range of stainless steel grades, sizes and finishes. The company has several sites in Germany and employs around 4,200 people.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In omens, markets trust

Did mommy dearest feed you sugar and curd before you embarked on exams? Or was the almanac consulted to figure out a ‘good time' to commence long journeys? Welcome to the club. A lot of us Indians have a special thing for omens and superstitions. Fact and logic is all well and good, but hey, are the stars aligned right? So, Rahu kaal, a black cat crossing the path, twitching of the eye, cawing of the crow, a lizard falling on various parts of the human anatomy, and a long list of such ‘future portenders' are closely tracked and play a key role in the what, when, where and how of our decisions.
To an observer, it would seem that the powerful and the moneyed are more susceptible to the superstition phenomenon. That may well be true. After all, they probably have more to lose (at least in absolute terms). And as the wise say, higher the stakes, greater the insecurity. So, it also goes that omens, superstitions and quirks abound in stock markets, the Mecca of the moneyed and the wannabe-moneyed. Anything that has predictive power, no matter how tenuous, commands attention on the bourses.
Here's a list of some interesting ‘can't-be-proven-but-it-exists' phenomena which contribute to the song and dance on the stock markets.
Muhurat mojo
Well begun is half-done! So come “Muhurat trading” on the commencement of the traditional New Year during Diwali every year, and the Sensex invariably moves up. Many investors place symbolic buy orders that day to mark their fresh trades. Since 2000, on all occasions but one, the Sensex has risen on Muhurat day. Thus, in the belief that as Muhurat goes, so goes the year. This is quite similar to the ‘January effect' believed to operate in several global markets.
Uncannily, the Muhurat trade has proved its predictive power time and again. In seven out of nine cases from 2000 to 2009 when the Sensex rose on Muhurat day, the market followed suit in that year. And in the sole case when the Sensex dipped on Muhurat day (November 2007), the year ahead was one of severe value destruction for all global financial markets including India. So, there could be hope that the recent market downturn is but a temporary phase, and the 111 point rise in the Sensex in November 2010 will eventually translate into good tidings for the market this year. But this superstition battles with the unlucky reputation of the Nelson's number! To follow yet another superstition, let's keep fingers crossed!
Gruhlaxmi sentiment
Ours is a country of huge paradoxes. On one hand, the latest census numbers show continued discrimination against the girl child. But on the other, there are investors who make stock market investments only in the name of the lady of the house (Gruhlaxmi).
This applies especially in the case of fresh issues in the market. The belief is that when Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth (symbolised by the lady in the house) makes an investment, the chances of it appreciating are enhanced.
Sell not on Fridays
As an extension of the above sentiment, some investors are loath to making sales on Fridays.
It is believed that selling on a day Laxmi is traditionally worshipped may not be a good idea. As the thought goes, it just isn't worth the risk of antagonising the Goddess of wealth!
Relying on Reliance
Then there are those traders whose first bet for the day is invariably Reliance Industries, in the belief that the stock “never disappoints shareholders”. These are usually the old-timers who swear by the company which created the equity cult in the country. However, with the market behemoth underperforming for the last two years, such investors just may have got their calls wrong.
Sell in May and go away
This investor maxim, quite in vogue on Wall Street also has takers in India. Empirical evidence in the US seems to suggest that the best time to stay invested is from November to April, while the May to October period usually produces negative returns. However, this seasonal trading belief has had a chequered record in India, with the Sensex dipping in only 7 out of the 12 Mays since 2000. Perhaps it's the heat, perhaps it's coincidence, but in any case, a 58.33 per cent success record for a superstition doesn't inspire too much confidence.
Other much talked about ‘effects' include the Monday effect (with markets often disappointing in the beginning of the trading week), the October effect (when some of the worst market crashes in history have occurred), the Santa Claus effect (when stocks are thought to surge in the last week of December) and the eclipse effect (when celestial body-induced mood swings are believed to precipitate a downhill movement in the markets).
A jog down memory lane throws up the interesting accusation levelled by Dalal Street traders during the market crash in January 2008. They blamed the recently installed bronze statue of a bull (more specifically its positioning) in the Bombay Stock Exchange for the market's ills. The bull, they claimed, was ‘panvati' (bringer of ill-luck). Markets apparently sought a scapegoat , or in this case, ‘scapebull'.
In an uncertain, high-stakes environment, investors clutch on to almost anything which helps negotiate markets. This behavioural bias - the ‘anchoring effect' - is the genesis of most market superstitions and quirks.

Indians are superstitious, even in the stock market.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Committee constituted under chairman, CBDT to examine ways to strengthen laws to curb the generation of black money in the country, its illegal transfer abroad and its recovery.
The Government has constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to examine ways to strengthen laws to curb the generation of black money in the country, its illegal transfer abroad and its recovery.

The Committee includes Member (L&C), CBDT, Director, Enforcement Directorate(ED), Director General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI),Director General(Currency), Joint Secretary(FT&TR),CBDT, Joint Secretary,MoL, Director, FIU- IND, all as its Members. The Commissioner of Income Tax (CIT)(Inv),CBDT would be its Member Secretary.

The Committee will examine the existing legal and administrative framework to deal with the menace of generation of black money through illegal means including, inter alia,

(a) Declaring wealth generated illegally as national asset;
(b) Enacting/amending laws to confiscate and recover such assets; and
(c) Providing for exemplary punishment against its perpetrators.

The Committee will also consult all the stakeholders and submit its report within a period of six months.

Dreamz Group forays into films and entertainment
Kolkata, May 27, 2011: Kolkata based Dreamz Group, a diversified group with business interests in service sectors mainly in healthcare, education, hospitality, entertainment, and real estate today formally launched Dreamz Movies & Entertainment Private Limited (DMEPL) – a new line of business in film and entertainment software production.
The new venture was formally launched by Mr Manab Chaudhuri, Managing Director, Dreamz Group, and Ms Paoli Dam, the Group's brand ambassador in Kolkata today. DMEPL also announced the launch of its debut film project Char Addhay.
“It is our aim to make quality movies and television entertainment software by associating with talented and reputed film makers in Bengal and create a household brand name. For our debut Bengali film project Char Addhay we have associated with film maker Bappaditya Bandhopadhyay. The shooting for the film is expected to hit the floors in few months. Ms Paoli Dam has been signed up as the lead actress for the film,” said Mr Manab Chaudhuri.
“It is a great to be a part of the debut project. I am greatly impressed by the vision and profesionalim of Dreamz Group and am honoured to be the Group's brand ambassador. I am sure Bengali films and entertainment would gain much from the activities of Dreamz Group,” said Ms Paoli Dam.
DMEPL has corpus of substantial amount to promote for the entertainment business that would make regional Bengali films for the big screen and entertainment software for television. The plan is to produce serious and wholesome entertainment including reality shows, talk shows and mega serials. The company is currently working out the modalities for some of these projects.
DMEPL would provide a platform for the creativity of talented artistes and professionals in Bengal to find expression. “Our footprint would be Bengal and Bengali entertainment to begin with. We have pooled in talented professionals to put in place a profession unit and also set up requisite infrastructure to take up projects. The focus would be on the quality of production backed by the latest and finest technologies. We would also leverage our existing infrastructure in exotic locales for production purposes,” Mr Chaudhuri said.
DMEPL would seek to promote creativity, innovation and quality to build up a solid reputation and brand name for the company.

Jiangsu Xigang produces first seamless tube on a PQF mill from SMS Meer
The Chinese tube manufacturer, Jiangsu Valin-Xigang Special Steel Co. Ltd., has commissioned its new PQF (Premium Quality Finishing) seamless tube mill.  The mill will enable to reduce standstill times and hence increase the productivity at its works in Wuxi. The annual capacity in future will be 500, 000 t. The maximum tube diameter is 10 ¾.

The line is built around a six-stand PQF mill of LCO (Lateral Change Over) design in which the stands are  changed from the side. That simplifies service and maintenance. The mill allows tubes with  thin walls to be produced within close tolerances and requires less material and energy. ‘’The PQF mill enables tubes to be produced with a higher quality, thus strengthening our position on the market,’’ says Lei Youtong of Jiangsu Valin- Xigang. The company will use the machine predominantly for the  production of tubes for the oil and gas industry.

SMS Meer and SMS Innse supplied the core components of the rolling mill equipment for the new PQF line, including the CARTA automation and quality assurance system. Furthermore, the scope includes a PQF calibration stand for checking the rolls and chocks after dressing. In addition, SMS Meer was responsible for the project management, the erection supervision and commissioning, and for the hands-on training of the operating personnel.

The seamless tube plant at Jiangsu Valin-Xigang is the 11’’PQF mill to be successfully put into operation. A further five such seamless tube mills will go into production during the course of 2011.

Statement by IMF Acting Managing Director John Lipsky on the G-8 Summit

May 27, 2011
Mr. John Lipsky, Acting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Deauville, France, following the conclusion of the Group of Eight Summit:
“The Group of Eight leaders have recognized the significant challenges facing the global economy. For its part, the IMF will continue to support the current global economic recovery, to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth, and to foster stronger employment gains. As we know, there are varying speeds of economic growth and recovery worldwide, and some specific regional challenges.
“In this regard, the IMF has been asked by the G-8 to support efforts by leading donor countries to reinforce critical policy reforms in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). A staff team currently is in Egypt to discuss an economic arrangement that can be supported by IMF financing. We also are in regular contact with other MENA nations, including Tunisia, and stand ready to support their short-term challenges of ensuring social cohesion and macroeconomic stability as well as their medium-term transformation efforts.
“A report submitted by the Fund to the G-8 on the medium-term challenges facing MENA notes that oil importers in the region will require substantial financial support for reforms that will generate jobs and growth. The Fund potentially could make available as much as $35 billion in financial assistance to the region in the years ahead as part of a broad international effort. Though the challenges may be great, we are optimistic that a commitment to sound policies and their consistent implementation will bring positive results.
“I had the opportunity to meet here with the Egyptian and Tunisian leaders, and I gained a sense of their encouraging commitment to lasting change and structural reform. More work remains to define goals and strategies. The Fund is prepared to work actively with member countries in the region to meet their urgent financing needs and develop the strategies necessary for medium-term success.”

Blacksmith Wins UN-backed Green Star Award for Work in Environmental Emergencies
Green Star Award 2011Blacksmith Institute has won the prestigious Green Star Award for excellence in preventing, preparing for and responding to environmental emergencies.
A joint initiative between the United Nations Environmental Program, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Green Cross International, the award was presented to Blacksmith President Richard Fuller at a ceremony in Bern, Switzerland on May 18, 2011.
"This award is important because it shines a light on the crucial work that is being done, often under difficult conditions, in environmental emergencies, when lives depend on fast and effective intervention," says Fuller. "It also increases awareness of global threats like toxic pollution, which often go underreported until a crisis happens."
Blacksmith was recognized for its urgent efforts following the Nigerian lead poisoning crisis, which killed over 400 children. Blacksmith collaborators TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering and Médecins Sans Frontières also received the Award for their part in the Nigerian cleanup. Other winners include a renowned academic working to make houses safer after the earthquakes in China and Haiti, and Linda Norgrove, who received a posthumous award for her work in Afghanistan.

Q4 Turnover up 13%, Operating profit down 10%
During the Quarter, Company has posted Net Sales of Rs. 1070 crore, up 13% from Rs. 944 crore in corresponding previous quarter of last year. Cement and Clinker Sales Volume of the Company grew 8% against North Indian Demand Growth of 6%. EBITDA for the quarter was Rs. 298 crore against Rs. 331 crore in corresponding quarter of previous year.
During the year, Company posted net sales of Rs. 3511 crore, down marginally from Rs. 3632 crore in 2009-10. Cement and Clinker sales volume remained flat during the year on account of sluggish demand and surplus capacity. Operating Profit for the year down 41% at Rs. 932 crore against 1578.35 crore in last year.
Company’s Board has declared a Final Dividend of Rs 8/- share to its members. The company had also paid an Interim Dividend of Rs. 6/- share during the year which takes total Dividend payment for the year to Rs. 14/- share against Rs. 13/- share paid last year.
Expansion projects

During the Quarter, Company has commissioned the 1.50 MTPA Clinker Grinding Unit at Jobner near Jaipur in Rajasthan. With this grinding unit, the cement capacity of the Company has increased to 13.5 MTPA.
Work on 300 MW (2 x 150 MW) power plant is in advanced stage of completion. The 1st unit of 150 MW is expected to come up by second quarter and the second unit by third quarter of current year.
In recognition of Company’s efforts made in the field of sustainability, climate protection and good business practices, it has received the following awards:
  • ICC sustainability vision award of “CSR contributing to inclusive growth” for year 2010-11.
  • Golden Peacock Award by Institute of Director for Climate Security
  • Jamnalal Bajaj award for Fair Business Practices
Cement Industry outlook for next 6-8 quarters continues to remain sluggish with over capacity exerting pressure on prices and thereby affecting cement realizations. Increasing Government thrust on infrastructure, affordable housing and rising real estate demand may lead to an early recovery.

Friday, May 27, 2011

G8 governments must back commitments to Arab Spring with action

Berlin/Deauville, 27 May 2011
Transparency International (TI), the anti-corruption organisation, is calling on the Group of Eight countries to back up its Deauville Summit commitment to aid the fight against corruption in Arab Spring countries with concrete action to ensure recovery of stolen assets, and prevention of their flight in future.
Today’s G8 summit failed to commit to mandatory disclosure requirements for oil, gas, and mining companies payments to governments on a country-by-country basis. Such rules already exist in the United States (the Dodd-Frank act) and Hong Kong.
“The G8 have today recognised the need for accountable institutions in Egypt and Tunisia, and civil society’s role in achieving that. This is a welcome development, and we look forward to engaging with the G8 to help build a more transparent future in the region,” said Angela McClellan, Senior Programme Coordinator at Transparency International. “But aid is not enough; the G8 must also address the opacity of the financial system and multinational companies’ operations in these countries. Failure to do so will undermine reform efforts.”
Action should follow words on stolen assets
To meet its commitments to support Egypt and Tunisia in their recovery of stolen assets the G8 should take specific, concrete action:
  • Creating independently-run escrow accounts so that banks do not unethically profit from stolen assets that are frozen pending investigation and restitution;
  • Oblige banks to carry out enhanced due diligence on clients who are politicians or senior officials;
  • Fully support all legal actions aimed at recovering stolen assets, including assets transferred to trusts;
  • Create a fund to assist developing countries in their asset recovery efforts, which can support capacity building and legal assistance;
  • Make public the investigations into suspected illicit flows to strengthen public confidence that there is no impunity for corrupt dictators.

Jai Balaji Industries
posts impressive results
Kolkata, 27th May, 2011: Jai Balaji Industries Limited has once again posted impressive consolidated results for the financial year ended 31st March, 2011. Total Income for the financial year was Rs. 2208.83 crore as compared to Rs.1936.69 crore in the last year, reflecting an increase of 14 %. The EBIDTA for the year was Rs.356.80 cr. as against Rs.260.32 cr. an increase of 37%, The PBT for the year was Rs.121.11 cr. as against Rs.54.76 cr., showing an excellent increase of 121%. The net profit for the year also showed a healthy increase of 119% at Rs.77.52 cr. as against Rs.35.39 cr. in the last financial year.
On standalone basis, Jai Balaji has recorded total income of Rs.677.31 cr. in the last quarter ended March, 2011 as compared to Rs.519.41 cr. in the same period last year, reflecting an increase of 30%. The EBIDTA for the quarter was Rs.124.21 cr. as against Rs.71.87 cr., an increase of 73%. The PBT and PAT for the said quarter were Rs.56.64 cr. and Rs.32.07 cr., reflecting an increase of 142% and 110% respectively.
Commenting on the results and the future plans of the company, Mr. Aditya Jajodia, Chairman & Managing Director, Jai Balaji Industries said, ‘the company has been consistently delivering continuous growth both in top line as well as in the bottom line with the support of its stakeholders. With our expansion plans moving ahead as per schedule, we are confident that Jai Balaji Industries will grow into a large and efficient steel company.’

Sinopec selects Siemens for wastewater treatment at Chinese refinery
Siemens Water Technologies will provide a system to treat wastewater at China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Corp.)’s Anqing refinery, in Anhui Province, China. The complete wastewater treatment solution will include a powdered activated carbon treatment (PACT) system, a Zimpro wet air regeneration (WAR) hydrothermal unit, and a Hydro-Clear sand filtration system. The three-tier system will be used to treat salty and oily wastewater from refining and petrochemical production activities from existing and upgraded units. The wastewater needs to meet the Chinese specifications for surface discharge. The system will become operational in 2012.

First ever Indo-German Government Consultations

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits India with members of her cabinet Chancellor Merkel arrives in India on Tuesday, 31st May, accompanied by four cabinet ministers, high-ranking officials, members of parliament and representatives of German business, education and training organisations. In New Delhi, the Chancellor and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lead the first Indo-German government consultations.
The consultations will cover the full range of bilateral relations, from trade, vocational training, education & research, infrastructure, sustainable energy and environment technologies to security and defence policy. It will also address current regional and global issues, including reform of the United Nations Security Council, fight against terrorism, global financial reforms, as well as the work of the G-20.

From the German side, participants at the consultations will include representatives from the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministries of Interior, Defence, Economics & Technology, Environment, Education & Research, and Transport & Urban Development. After the intergovernmental consultations, the Chancellor will call on President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and receive the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. The Chancellor will also meet the Chairperson of the UPA, Sonia Gandhi during her stay in
New Delhi.

Since the year 2000, Germany and India have maintained a strategic partnership. A ‘Joint Declaration’ emphasising this strategic partnership was signed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the latter’s visit to Berlin in April 2006. This was followed by a reciprocal State visit to India by Chancellor Merkel in October 2007. In the years since, there have been several key bilateral political visits on both sides. The two leaders had their latest bilateral consultations during Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Berlin in December 2010.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

IMF Sets Out Work Program, Focus on Growth, Financial Stability and International Monetary System

May 26, 2011
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will focus its efforts for the period ahead on three priority areas: spurring growth while bolstering economic and financial stability; strengthening the international monetary system; and continuing to adapt efforts to support low-income members, IMF Acting Managing Director John Lipsky said in presenting the IMF's bi-annual work program.
“One theme cutting across these areas is our ongoing efforts to transform and strengthen our economic surveillance, in order to help policy-makers anticipate and react effectively to emerging challenges,” Mr. Lipsky told the IMF Executive Board during the presentation of the work program. For the Fund this means in particular improving understanding of policy spillovers and interactions across major economies, and enhancing its engagement with policymakers on these issues, he noted.
The work program, published today, highlights efforts in these areas, while underscoring that the complex global economic landscape, in which the strength and quality of recovery varies widely across regions, continues to make global policy cooperation as critical as it was at the peak of the crisis. “Participants at our recent Spring and G-20 meetings shared this view, and I am heartened that the commitment to policy cooperation is alive and well,” said Mr. Lipsky.
Growth and Stability
New spillover reports—aimed at highlighting the interconnected nature of the global economy—on China, Euro Area, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States will be discussed by the Executive Board along with the relevant Article IVs in July 2011. A new IMFC consolidated multilateral surveillance report from the Managing Director to the IMFC will draw on the IMF’s established multilateral surveillance products (e.g. World Economic Outlook, Global Financial Stability Report, Fiscal Monitor, Spillover Reports) and will examine the principal policy challenges facing Fund member countries. The IMF will continue to support the G-20 Mutual Assessment Process (MAP), with its own involvement to be assessed in the Review of the Fund’s involvement in the G-20 MAP.
Recognizing that a focus on GDP growth alone is not sufficient, the IMF will also be looking into issues—both at the country level and in its cross-country work— related to the quality, sources and distribution of growth as well as job creation—important dimensions of sustainability. The Executive Board will also discuss a new framework to assess debt vulnerabilities and policies to ensure fiscal transparency and sustainability, as well as issues related to macroprudential policy implementation and data gaps that impede adequate surveillance of global financial risks.
Strengthening the International Monetary System
Work will continue on: better management of capital flows, with particular attention to the multilateral effects of policies on capital flows both in source and recipient countries; an enhanced global safety net, through in-depth analysis of cross-border linkages and experience with systemic crises; and diversifying the international currency and reserve system, including through a possible expansion of the basket of currencies making up the Special Drawing Rights (SDR). Further, the Review of Conditionality and the Design of Fund-supported Programs will examine Fund support during the crisis.
The Triennial Surveillance Review and Review of the 2007 Decision on Bilateral Surveillance, will formulate concrete proposals to strengthen surveillance, including the identification of risks, surveillance of countries that pose the largest systemic risks, and the coherence and integration of surveillance products.
Helping Low-Income Countries Manage Volatility
The Executive Board will consider how the Fund can step up efforts to help LICs deal with challenges posed by recurring macroeconomic volatility, particularly from rising food and energy prices, and the role of contingent financial instruments in this context. In addition, the Board will discuss the particular challenges faced by countries in fragile situations, and review the implementation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).
“I have no doubt that we can meet all the challenges we are facing effectively, efficiently and expeditiously,” Mr. Lipsky concluded, noting that the IMF would continue to fulfill its duties and unique responsibilities regardless of management succession.

UTI Dividend Yield Fund declares tax-free dividend of 5%

UTI Dividend Yield Fund declares tax-free dividend of 5% (Re.0.50 per unit on face value of Rs.10). Pursuant to the payment of dividend, the NAV of the dividend option of the scheme would fall to the extent of payout and statutory levy if any.
The record date for the dividend is 30th May, 2011.
All unitholders registered under the dividend option of UTI Dividend Yield Fund as on 30th May, 2011 will be eligible for this dividend. Also investors who join the dividend option of the scheme on or before the record date will be eligible for the dividend.
The NAV per unit as on May 24, 2011 was Rs. 14.34 under the Income (dividend) option.
The scheme performance vis – a - vis its benchmark index is as per table given below:
Fund Performance (Growth Option) as on April 30, 2011
Performance Comparison with Benchmark Index
Compounded Annualised Returns
BSE 100
One year
Three years
Five Years
Since Inception (3rd May ‘05)
Assuming that all pay outs during the period have been reinvested in units of the fund at the immediate ex-dividend NAV
Past Performance may or may not be sustained in the future
UTI-Dividend Yield Fund is an open-ended equity oriented scheme. The investment objective of the scheme is to provide medium to long-term capital gains and / or dividend distribution by investing predominantly in equity and equity related instruments, which offer high dividend yield. Dividend Yield may be considered as high if it is greater than the dividend yield of the Nifty last released/ published by NSE.
Ms Swati Kulkarni is the fund manager of the scheme.
About UTI Mutual Fund
UTI Mutual Fund is a SEBI registered mutual fund whose Sponsors are State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Life Insurance Corporation of India.
UTI Mutual Fund had investor accounts of 9.88 million under its 82 domestic schemes as on March 31, 2011. The Average Assets Under Management (AAUM) for the quarter of January – March 2011 of UTI Mutual Fund was Rs. 67,188.82 crore (source: AMFI website).

Outokumpu received ISSF sustainability award

26 May 2011 at 1.00 pm EET
The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has granted the first ISSF Sustainability Award for Outokumpu. The acknowledgement was received in ISSF Annual General Meeting in Madrid, Spain on 22 May 2011. The recognition was based on Outokumpu's determined actions and great achievements in reducing waste to landfill and increasing material efficiency in Sheffield.
David Martin, chairman of the ISSF Health & Environment Committee comments: "Outokumpu's Sheffield melting shop case is an excellent example of sustainable development. Minimising waste is in everyone's interest and this case demonstrates significant improvements with clear figures."
Outokumpu established a sustainable recovery and re-use route for different stainless steel waste in Sheffield. Slag was re-used in the production of asphalt and waste refractory material was used as a substitute for limestone in the stainless steelmaking process. These actions have led to dramatic reduction in waste to landfill. Since 2007 over 80% of all slag has been recovered and re-used as road stone in the asphalt production. During 2010 half of all refractory waste generated on site was re-used as a lime substitute.
Outokumpu's CEO Mika Seitovirta comments: "I'm pleased and honored to receive recognition for our efforts in the area of sustainability. This encourages us to work towards our long-term target - minimum waste in the production process."

Developing Managerial Skill for Entrepreneurship in North Eastern Region

The Ministry of Development of North East Region, DoNER has sponsored a Programme Developing Managerial Skill for Entrepreneurship. The Programme will be conducted by Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management, Shillong through its Centre for Development of North Eastern Region (CEDNER). The Ministry has sanctioned an amount of Rs.79.15 lacs for this programme for training 60 youth from the Region. The Course will deal with developing managerial skills among the new generation of entrepreneurs of the region. The program is supported under the Technical assistance and Capacity Building Scheme administer by the DoNER Ministry.

The DoNER Ministry and the North Eastern Council has collaborated with the Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management, Shillong to offer a range of short term skill development programmes encompassing the different areas of Management, Entrepreneurship, Tourism, Hospitality, among many others, from this financial year onwards. This partnership is a result of the initiative of the Union Minister of DoNER and Chairman, NEC, Shri B.K. Handique, who has been pursuing the agenda of involving the premier institutes in the North Eastern Region like IIM, IIT and Tata Institute of Social Sciences in the process of nurturing the human resources in the region. Shri Handique said that the Ministry has a larger roadmap to continuously train youths from the Region with a focus on increasing their employability. The institutes like IIM, IIT and TISS are well positioned to cater to the training needs of the Region in addition to their regular courses. We have requested them to develop such courses and we have been able to make considerable headway in designing some, the Minister added. He said that the DoNER Ministry and NEC will sponsor these courses.

Earlier, DoNER Ministry had announced a one and a half months programme in association with IIT Guwahati to train 30 Engineers from Assam Irrigation Department on Mitigation of River Bank Erosion. The programme will be entirely funded by the Ministry and will be conducted by the Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Guwahati.

Wholesale Price Indices for Primary Articles and Fuel & Power in India (Base: 2004-05 = 100) Review for the week ended 14th May, 2011 (24 Vaisakha, 1933 Saka)

The WPI for the week ended 14th May, 2011 in respect of ‘Primary Articles’ and ‘Fuel & Power’ is given below:

PRIMARY ARTICLES (Weight 20.12%)

The index for this major group rose by 0.4 percent to 192.4 (Provisional) from 191.7 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis, stood at 11.60 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 14/05/2011 (over 15/05/2010) as compared to 10.94 percent (Provisional) for the previous week (ended 07/05/2011).

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

The index for 'Food Articles' group rose by 0.6 percent to 186.7 (Provisional) from 185.5 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of poultry chicken (5%), jowar (4%), fish-marine (3%), mutton, barley and maize (2% each) and milk (1%). However, the prices of tea (5%), arhar and ragi (2% each) and masur and urad (1% each) declined.

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group declined by 0.2 percent to 185.2 (Provisional) from 185.6 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of fodder (12%), raw silk and gingelly seed (3% each), safflower (2%) and raw jute (1%). However, the prices of flowers (10%), sunflower (2%) and castor seed, raw rubber, groundnut seed, copra and rape & mustard seed (1% each) moved up.

The index for 'Minerals' group declined by 0.1 percent to 266.6 (Provisional) from 267.0 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of sillimanite (17%), chromite (4%) and iron ore and copper ore (1% each). However, the prices of magnesite (13%), barytes (9%) and bauxite (2%) moved up.

FUEL & POWER (Weight 14.91%)

The index and annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis for this major group, remained unchanged at its previous week’s level of 160.1 (Provisional) and 12.11 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 14/05/2011 (over 15/05/2010).

Address by PM at the Joint Session of the two Houses of the Parliament of Ethiopia

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh addressed the Joint Session of the two Houses of the Parliament of Ethiopia at Addis Ababa today. Following is the text of Prime Minster’s speech on the occasion:

“I am deeply honoured to be given this opportunity to address the Joint Session of both Houses of the Parliament of Ethiopia.

I feel privileged to be the first Prime Minister of India to visit this great country.

For me, this is a voyage of friendship and solidarity. I bring to you warm and friendly greetings from a fellow democracy - a democracy that, like yours, faces the challenges of development and a democracy that, like yours, treasures diversity and federalism.

I am conscious that when one visits Ethiopia one visits the cradle of humankind. It is strategically located in the Horn of Africa and is the gateway to East Africa. It is a land of great natural beauty which was home to the most ancient kingdom in Africa.

India and Ethiopia are no strangers to each other.

Many millennia ago, Africa and India were joined as one landmass. Today we are separated by the waters of the Indian Ocean but our connections are deep and they have brought in their wake rich and varied exchanges in the ebb and flow of history.

Indian traders flocked to the ancient port of Adulis, trading silk and spices for gold and ivory. A sizeable Indian community consisting of merchants and artisans came and settled in this ancient land in the latter part of the 19th century.

There was movement in the other direction too. Thousands of people of Ethiopian origin have settled as an integral part of Indian society along the West Coast of India. The fort of Murud Janjira in the State of Maharashtra stands as a symbol of African influence in India.

These exchanges have produced remarkable and often overlooked similarities in our traditions and cultures.

The Siddis of African descent living in India have created a fusion of Indian and African styles of music that thrives today. The tradition in southern India of using fermented flour for making Dosa is similar to the Injara in Ethiopia. The sight of women with heads covered and men wearing turbans is strikingly common in Ethiopian and Indian villages. Hospitality in humble village homes begins with simple offerings, and guests are treated as incarnations of the gods.

Unlike large parts of Asia and Africa, Ethiopia never suffered the humiliation and trauma of colonization. Yet, when Abyssinia was invaded in 1935, it deeply affected Jawaharlal Nehru, and he led India in offering sympathy to the people of Ethiopia. In his appeal to the people of India to observe Abyssinia Day in 1936 he said:

“We in India can do nothing to help our brethren in distress in Ethiopia for we also are victims of imperialism. But we can at least send them sympathy in the hour of their trial. We stand with them today in their sorrow as we hope to stand together when better days come.”

I believe the better days that Jawaharlal Nehru spoke of have come.

Ethiopia has overcome many adversities to become one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. Ethiopia is a magnet for foreign investment.

Its economic performance and political stability are the fruit of the hard working people of Ethiopia and a tribute to the progressive leadership of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The voice of Ethiopia is heard with respect. Addis Ababa, the new flower, has become the diplomatic capital of Africa. It is the Headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

I heartily congratulate the people of Ethiopia on their splendid achievements.

Relations between India and Ethiopia have expanded impressively in the last few decades. We attach high importance to our relations with Ethiopia.

Our development and economic partnership is progressing well.

Education and capacity building are high priorities for both our countries.

The Pan-African e-Network project in Ethiopia implemented by India has connected Addis Ababa University with the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

We have agreed to the early establishment of a Vocational Training Centre in Ethiopia.

In the infrastructure sector, India has assisted in a rural electrification programme in Southern Ethiopia which has brought benefit to hundreds of thousands of people in rural Ethiopia.

India has provided a line of credit of 640 million US dollars for the development of Ethiopia’s sugar industry.

We will support the new Ethio-Djibouti Railway project to promote regional integration. We have decided to extend a line of credit of 300 million US dollars for this important project.

India is one of the largest foreign investors in Ethiopia. More than 450 Indian companies have committed upwards of 4 billion US dollars in investment in Ethiopia.

Our bilateral trade is on course to reach the target of 1 billion US dollars by 2015.

Our political ties are close. Indian troops were part of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea to secure peace and security. Military training is a valued area of our cooperation.

The decisions Prime Minister Zenawi and I took in the course of our discussions yesterday will strengthen our partnership even further.

Going forward, our bilateral cooperation should help to make a difference to the real problems affecting the common man.

India and Ethiopia must work to address the challenges of food security, energy security, health security, sustainable development and climate change. We have to learn to solve our own problems by collaborating with each other.

Our farming communities and scientists should collaborate to usher in a second Green Revolution. This is the lasting solution to the scourge of hunger that afflicts millions in both our countries.

Providing affordable health care to our people, particularly in rural areas, is another major challenge. Indian pharmaceutical companies are known for providing cheap and good quality generic drugs. I am happy they have begun to invest in Ethiopia.

We have to be conscious of our environment and ensure the judicious management of our natural resources. We should protect our rich biodiversity and traditional knowledge.

It is essential for rich countries to share the financial burden of combating climate change, participate in research and development and promote the transfer of technology to ensure green growth. Prime Minister Zenawi has made an invaluable contribution to these issues as co-chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing.

India owes a debt of deep gratitude to Africa for it was here that Mahatma Gandhi experienced his political and spiritual awakening. It was in Africa that he first experimented with the philosophy of non-violence and passive resistance or satyagraha that shook the colonial powers of that time.

The struggles for freedom in India and Africa and the collaboration of our leaders were glorious chapters in our history. After we attained freedom, we worked shoulder to shoulder to fight apartheid and strengthen the Non-aligned Movement and the United Nations. India supported liberation movements such as the African National Congress and South West Africa People’s Organisation. We fought to build a just, equitable and democratic international order.

This is the legacy of friendship that we have inherited from our forefathers. Our empathy with our African brothers and sisters is of long standing and comes from our hearts and minds.

The world has changed. Globalisation is a reality today. Our people have rising expectations. Africa is responding to these challenges and discovering its rich potential. The world is reaching out to Africa and seeing it as a new growth pole in the world economy.

India sees Africa as a natural partner in our growing engagement with the world.

India and Africa have to work together to make global interdependence work for the benefit of all people and particularly for the millions who live in the developing world. This is our next project.

We must work towards market access for some of the poorest commodity producers in Africa. Vulnerable sections of our peasantry need to be protected from the vagaries of the international marketplace. It is imperative that the development dimension of the Doha Round of multilteral trade negotiations is not diluted.

Prices of many agricultural commodities remain volatile. The problem is made worse by speculation. The G-20 countries have taken the initiative of supporting work on regulation and supervision of commodity derivative markets. This is an area where India and Ethiopia have vital interests and should cooperate with each other.

The Second India-Africa Forum Summit which concluded yesterday here in Addis Ababa under the theme “Enhanced Partnership: Shared Vision” has opened a new era in India-Africa relations.

Our development cooperation with Africa is based on the principles of mutual equality and mutual benefit. We want the participation of as many of our African brothers and sisters as possible in our aid and economic cooperation programmes. Local employment generation and capacity development are the pillars of our development cooperation.

African students find a welcome home in India. The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme has enabled the training of thousands of African youth in industrial training institutes, medical colleges, engineering colleges and in fields such as business administration, agriculture and legal services.

We have decided to increase scholarships and training slots for Africa. Their total number will stand at over 22,000 during the next three years.

The development of infrastructure in Africa is a priority and an area where Indian technology is very appropriate.

We will offer 5 billion US dollars for the next three years under lines of credit to help achieve the development goals of Africa. We will offer an additional 700 million US dollars to establish new institutions and training programmes in consultation with the African Union and its institutions.

India and Ethiopia are pluralistic and diverse societies. We share the belief that democracy and respect for the free will of the people are the only durable basis to find solutions to our problems.

We believe that similar principles should be applied in the conduct of international governance.

The Horn of Africa is today faced with threats from piracy and terrorism. International piracy in the Red Sea and off the coast of Somalia has become a well organized industry. It is important that the United Nations takes the lead in developing a comprehensive and effective response to this threat. Simultaneously, the international community should continue with efforts to restore stability in Somalia.

As a littoral State of the Indian Ocean, India is ready to work with Ethiopia and other African countries in this regard. We would all like the Indian Ocean to remain a secure link between Asia and Africa through which international maritime trade can take place unhindered.

The winds of change are blowing in West Asia and North Africa. We believe it is the right of all peoples to determine their own destiny and choose their own path of development. International actions must be based on the rule of law and be strictly within the framework of United Nations Resolutions. We support the efforts of the African Union in bringing peace and stability to the region.

The birth of a new nation in a few weeks time in South Sudan will be a historic event. We hope it will contribute to peace and reconciliation among the people of Sudan.

The changing world order calls for corresponding changes in the structure of institutions of global governance, whether these are international financial institutions or the international monetary system or the United Nations Security Council. These are issues which have to be tackled and resolved. We are grateful to Ethiopia for its strong support to India’s permanent membership in an expanded Security Council and look forward to our continuing cooperation with Ethiopia on these issues.

Ethiopia is one of most stable and progressive states in Africa. The engine of African growth is being driven by economic dynamism in countries like Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has the credentials to shape a new vision for Africa’s prosperity and development. I call upon you, the parliamentarians and people of Ethiopia, to take a lead in this process. The people of India will stand with you every step of the way.

Our economies have been doing well in recent years. Let us cooperate with each other so that we can reinforce and build upon our successes and achievements.

In conclusion, let me say once again how fortunate I feel to have visited your beautiful country. I feel a sense of deep personal fulfillment to see the coming together of our two brotherly nations.

You have honoured me and the people of India today for which I am indebted to you.

I wish Ethiopia greater peace, prosperity and happiness in the years ahead. May your dreams come true.”