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We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas.




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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Re: [Impeach Bush] Swine-flu outbreak could be linked to Smithfield factory farms fr Grist

 gostokanan, sodepur, kolkata-700110 phone:033-25659551

From: Robert Fox <>
Sent: Wednesday, 29 April, 2009 0:49:29
Subject: [Impeach Bush] Swine-flu outbreak could be linked to Smithfield factory farms fr Grist

Swine-flu outbreak could be linked to Smithfield factory farms

Posted 11:06 AM on 25 Apr 2009
Tom Philpott        GristVisit article original @ Grist

The outbreak of a new flu strain—a nasty mash-up of swine, avian, and human viruses—has infected 1,000 people in Mexico and the U.S., killing 68. The World Health Organization warned Saturday that the outbreak could reach global pandemic levels.
Is Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork packer and hog producer, linked to the outbreak? Smithfield operates massive hog-raising operations Perote, Mexico, in the state of Vera Cruz, where the outbreak originated. The operations, grouped under a Smithfield subsidiary called Granjas Carroll, raise 950,000 hogs per year, according to the company Web site.
On Friday, the U.S. disease-tracking blog Biosurveillance published a timeline of the outbreak containing this nugget, dated April 6 (major tip of the hat to Paula Hay, who alerted me to the Smithfield link on the Comfood listserv and has written about it on her blog, Peak Oil Entrepreneur):
Residents [of Perote] believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to "flu." However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms. It was unclear whether health officials had identified a suspected pathogen responsible for this outbreak.
From what I can tell, the possible link to Smithfield has not been reported in the U.S. press. Searches of Google News and the websites of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal all came up empty. The link is being made in the Mexican media, however. "Granjas Carroll, causa de epidemia en La Gloria," declared a headline in the Vera Cruz-based paper La Marcha. No need to translate that, except to point out that La Gloria is the village where the outbreak seems to have started. Judging from the article, Mexican authorities treat hog CAFOs with just as much if not more indulgence than their peers north of the border, to the detriment of surrounding communities and the general public health. Get this:
De acuerdo con uno de los habitantes de la comunidad, Eli Ferrer Cortés, los desechos fecales y orgánicos que produce Granjas Carroll no son tratados adecuadamente, lo que genera contaminación del agua y del viento en la region.
My rough translation: According to one community resident, the organic and fecal waste produced by Granjas Carrol isn't adequately treated, creating water and air pollution in the region. I witnessed—and smelled—the same thing in Hardin County, Iowa, a couple of years ago, another area marked by intensive industrial hog production. The article goes on to say that area residents have long complained of "fetid odors" in the air and water, and swarms of flies hovering around waste lagoons. Like their counterparts who live in CAFO-heavy U.S. areas, they also complain of respiratory ailments. Now, with 30 percent of the area's residents now infected with the virulent flu bug, people are demanding that state and federal authorities inspect hog operations there. So far, reports La Marcha, the response has been: nada.
The Mexico City daily La Jornada has also made the link. According to the newspaper, the Mexican health agency IMSS has acknowledged that the orginal carrier for the flu could be the "clouds of flies" that multiply in the Smithfield subsidiary's manure lagoons.
I'll be in touch with contacts in Mexico as this story develops —and I'll be curious to see whether the U.S. media explores the link with Smithfield's Mexico operation.
Note: In the original version of this post, I had called production at Granjas Carroll "nearly equal to Smithfield's total U.S. production." I had been confusing total production at Granjas Carroll—950,000 hogs produced in fiscal 2008—with the number of sows, or breeding pigs, kept by Smithfield in the United States. According to my source—"Concentration of Ag Markets, 2007" (PDF) by Hendrickson and Heffernan—Smithfield keeps 1.2 million sows. Actual hog production is much larger—thus Smithfield's total U.S. hog production is much larger than Granjas Carroll's. I regret the error.

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Re: [bangla-vision] On The Death of My Mother - Dr.M.K.Sherwani

On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 1:19 PM, Sherwani Mustafa <> wrote:



She was a shield against  the Divine Chastisement,

When my sinful life invoked the Almighty's wrath;

Her prayers for Mercy  always  placated  His Fury,

Under her feet I used to see the glimpse of Paradise.

She was an oasis  in this stormy desert of life,

When the  blasts of   winds left me bewildered;

Her face always gave me the  hope  and zest of life,

Under her  guidance I  found  the meaning of 'love'.

Alas!   She left me alone in this forlorn world ,

In the dawn of  Friday , April , 24  this year;

Reciting the eternal words,with her  finger raised,  

She returned from this transit to her Guardian Lord.

But the day  brought for me the most lethal blow,

With none to protect , now I am fearful of my sins;

My childhood has been snatched in a ruthless way,

As I will never hear the sweet words ' My dear son'!.


Dr. Mustafa Kamal Sherwani

Lucknow, U.P. India

E:mail –

      Phones: +91-9919777909




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Palash Biswas
Pl Read:

Re: [bangla-vision] Fw: Tuesday's Daily Brief -- SWINE FLU

On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 11:52 PM, liz allen <> wrote:

Read information about swine flu below...

----- Forwarded Message --Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 1:21:02 PM
Subject: Tuesday's Daily Brief -- Obama's Big 100 Days Accomplishment: Arlen Specter's Defection

The Huffington Post

The Daily Brief

Subscribe to the Daily Brief Join the HuffPost Community

Jacob Heilbrunn: Obama's Big 100 Days Accomplishment: Arlen Specter's Defection



Jacob Heilbrunn: Pundits have been feverishly speculating about what Barack Obama's most important accomplishment is in the past 100 days. I say it came today. Senator Arlen Specter is switching from the Republican to the Democratic party. The specter of Specter as a Democrat will enrage Republicans and should come as big relief to Democrats. Specter's move isn't opportunism but a concession to reality. For now, Obama has won a major battle without firing a shot. This will be remembered as a turning point in the historic Obama presidency. Click here to read more.

Dr. Jon LaPook: Swine Flu: Trying to Think Correctly

Nobody wants to overreact, but nobody wants to be caught unprepared. Responsible members of the media are faced with the difficult task of properly informing without needlessly alarming the public.

Ed Miliband: The Route to Economic Recovery Lies in Climate Recovery

If governments and our businesses and citizens want it enough, a global deal to prevent climate change further damaging our environment, and our economies, is within reach.

Richard H. Neiman: Message Delivered: Timothy Geithner Answers Questions from Huffington Post Readers

On measuring progress, your questions made it even clearer to me that Treasury has to do a better job communicating the success, or failure, of its efforts.

Bernard-Henri Lévy: After Durban II, the Question of the United Nations

For me, an anti-racism conference that was organized by Libya, kicked off by Iran, and concluded with an attack on women, Jews, religious and sexual minorities, and indigenous people, is a total failure.

Ralph Gardner Jr.: Inside the Astor Trial: The People vs. Anthony Marshall and Francis Morrissey

There's something almost quaint about the government taking the time and resources to prosecute a case that hearkens back to a more genteel era of fine silver, fresh flowers, and Hudson River views.

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Palash Biswas
Pl Read:

SWINE FLU FDI Inflicts Indian ECONOMY with DRUG BOOST for Manusmriti Apartheid Zionist Tri IBLIS ILLUMINATI SOVEREIGNTY,Quattrocchi, SRILANKAN CEASE FIRE DRAMA INTERNATIONAL, Foreign Take Over of IT Sector, the Story of HAJU Sana, an ORPHAN Partition victim in Basantipur consumed by Wine symbolising WINE CONSUMPTION to TREBLE!

SWINE FLU FDI Inflicts Indian ECONOMY with DRUG BOOST for Manusmriti Apartheid Zionist  Tri IBLIS ILLUMINATI SOVEREIGNTY,Quattrocchi, SRILANKAN CEASE FIRE DRAMA INTERNATIONAL, Foreign Take Over of IT Sector, the Story of HAJU Sana, an ORPHAN Partition victim in Basantipur consumed by Wine symbolising WINE CONSUMPTION to TREBLE!
Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams: Chapter 216
Palash Biswas

Govt to review FDI norms in banking sector? - ‎Apr 27, 2009‎
Stung by criticism of its new foreign direct investment (FDI) rules, the government may order a review of FDI norms in the banking sector. ...

India likely to see return of FIIs in 2009-10

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Economic Times - ‎2 hours ago‎
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Cabinet Secy reviews impact of stimulus packages on economy

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Noting that the global economy is passing through a very severe phase, Ahluwalia said, "We are weathering it better than most countries." The India economy ...

Economists sight 'green shoots'

Daily News & Analysis - ‎18 hours ago‎
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India's economic revival will be fast: Chanda Kochhar

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Singh May Gain Advantage in India Election With Rural Jobs Plan

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Economy may recover by Sept: ICICI Prudential

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According to Shah, if the next few months witness a good monsoon, capital flows from abroad and further rate cuts by RBI, Indian economy may come out of the ...

'Economy to grow by 5.5-7.5 per cent, depending on US recovery'

Hindu - ‎Apr 21, 2009‎
New Delhi (PTI): As the RBI projects Indian economy to grow by six per cent this fiscal, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Virmani on Tuesday said the growth ...

Man who found pebbles in Anil Ambani's chopper found dead

Times of India - ‎1 hour ago‎
28 Apr 2009, 2024 hrs IST, PTI MUMBAI: Bharat Borge, the man who found pebbles in the fuel tank of industrialist Anil Ambani's helicopter, was on Tuesday found dead on railway tracks between Vile Parle and Andheri suburban stations, Railway Police said ...

World health chiefs' pandemic fear as Britons flood out of Mexico

Times Online - ‎28 minutes ago‎
The World Health Organisation issued a historical note of warning over swine flu today when a top official pointed out that the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 - which killed at least 50 million people - also started off as an apparently mild virus.
Reuters  - Hindu  - The Associated Press  - Los Angeles Times

Better English teaching will help Indians to globalise
28 Apr 2009, 2012 hrs IST, T K ARUN,ET Bureau


The need is to overhaul English teaching as well as to empower and equip all Indians to take advantage of the opportunities arising from globalisation. Studying abroad


Man who found stones in Anil Ambani's chopper dead
28 Apr 2009, 2018 hrs IST, ET Bureau & Agencies


Bharat Borge was a mechanic with Air Works & was questioned by police on Monday. Police is not ruling out the possibility of suicide. India's biggest wealth creators


All headlines >>
Market votes for development not politics
27 Apr 2009, 1601 hrs IST, Saikat Das, ET Bureau
MUMBAI: As election fever grips the city, marketmen feel two main issues—economic slowdown and national security—need to be addressed by political
parties in the fray to gain their vote. The main battle is between the BJP and Congress, but the alliances likely post elections could decide the market direction, they feel.

"We need a stable government with strong governance. We cannot do away with both the problems (economic growth and national security). What we need are supportive ready measures to counter those," said Manish Innani, a NSE-listed broker.

"How can we ignore national security as an electioneering issue? A peace of mind can only help you concentrate in your trading. A peaceful domestic environment is also a prerequisite for industrialisation, which finally push up economic growth," said R G Bhallah, a Mumbai based trader.

Drawing attention to MPs who hardly attend Parliament sessions, another Mumbai based trader said, "I want constructive work from my people's representative. I will not send anybody to Parliament, who remains fully busy in pursuing career in tinsel town."

Traders and brokers were not too forthcoming on whether they were satisfied with the performance of the last government, but were critical of the absence of banking and insurance reforms.

"Whoever comes to power not dare upset the reforms process. We have tested governance of both, NDA and UPA regimes, in the last two terms. Now, we need to decide which one is better on developmental front. We must keep growing as an emerging nation," said the chief investment officer of a fund house. Mumbai goes to the polls on Thursday, April 30.
4 fall in killing spree

Bongaon, April 27: A young mentally challenged man who had been kept in fetters by his family after being caught trying to rob a neighbour broke free today and hacked to death a six-year-old girl and three adults before being lynched by a mob.

Residents of North 24-Parganas' Bongaon alleged that Ratan Ghosh's family had come from Bangladesh and settled there seven years ago.

His wife, three children, father and brother went missing today after the 30-year-old man with a history of drug abuse went berserk.

"He ran out with a scythe and attacked Dhiren Biswas, 65, working on his field with granddaughter Nibedita Mondal by his side. He hacked the elderly man and turned to the little girl when she raised the alarm. She was thrown to the ground and her throat was slit," a police officer said.

Manju Biswas, 60, and Kalidashi Bairagi, 70, who were drawn out of their houses by the girl's cries, were also butchered.

Around 8.30am, vegetable vendor Anup Sapui saw the four bodies and a blood-splattered Ranjit standing with his weapon. Within seconds, other villagers were out as well. Some of them went to the local BSF camp and alerted the jawans there.

"Two of the jawans joined us and we gave Ratan a chase," said Anup, 52. He could be caught 15 minutes later, only after the weapon accidentally slipped off his hand.

Neighbours said Ranjit's children were between five and 10 years old. He used to pull a rickshaw van for a living like his father Prahlad and brother but his addiction got the better of him and the family decided to put him in chains, a police officer said.

According to a psychiatrist, Ranjit was possibly suffering from a personality disorder and the addiction aggravated the violent nature within him. "The way he killed people at random suggests that he had not been able to take drugs for long," said psychiatrist Ranadip Ghosh Roy.

An elderly villager said the police came after "everything was over".

"We had no option but to beat him because he could have killed more people had he been allowed to roam free."

Officers of the Bongaon police station, some 2km away, claimed that they had been informed about the incident only after Ranjit was lynched.


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Pvt banks may be exempted from new FDI guidelines

Posted: 2009-04-28 14:54:26+05:30 IST
Updated: Apr 28, 2009 at 1454 hrs IST

New Delhi: Private sector banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Vysya Bank may be kept outside the purview of the new FDI guidelines, with the Government addressing the RBI's concerns on the change of their status from 'resident' to 'foreign' if the norms are implemented.

"There is a probability that we will exempt these banks from the guidelines on the lines of the exemptions in the insurance sector," an official said.

With the changes in the FDI guidelines by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, through a string of 'Press notes' in February, several private sector banks found that their status would change from 'resident' to 'non-resident'.

This was so because the total FDI will take into account the stakes held by Non-Resident Indians, American and global depository receipts, foreign currency convertible bonds and convertible preference shares.

Raising the issue with the Finance Ministry and DIPP, the RBI pointed out that as per the revised policy, foreign investment in all these banks would exceed 50 per cent in the new policy regime and they will be treated as non-resident entities.


I had been watching the HOLOCAUST CRIME most latest with BLEEDING heart as I Identify myself with the Indigenous Aboriginal DRAVID Non Aryan Black Untouchable Legacy as well as Nationality.
Expressing its strong disapproval towards the trend of footwear attacks targeting politicians during the electioneering, the Election Commission called for a halt to the "phenomenon".

"It's a very unfortunate development", Election Commissioner S Y Quereshi said here in response to questions at a press conference, adding, "the way it is spreading, it's a matter of concern for all of us".

EC's comments came on a day when Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa became the latest target in an election meeting, where a man hurled a 'chappal' at him but it missed the target.

Investors grappled with worries Tuesday about the spread of swine flu and the viability of banks.Crude prices continued to decline during Asian trade on Tuesday amid worries that an outbreak of swine flu globally would hurt air travel, thereby reducing oil demand, analysts said. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, dropped 20 cents to USD 49.94 a barrel.
Stocks fell moderately in early trading as investors worried that a growth in swine flu cases could hurt industries such as travel and tourism. The World Health Organization raised its alert to a phase 4 out of 6, saying the flu spreads easily but is not pandemic.

Banking troubles came back into the spotlight after The Wall Street Journal reported that regulators told Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. that they may need to raise more capital.

Government officials briefed the 19 biggest U.S. banks last week about "stress tests" they have conducted on them, but the results aren't expected to be made public until early May.

In the first hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 48.43, or 0.6 percent, to 7,976.57.

Broader stock indicators also fell. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7.30, or 0.9 percent, to 850.21, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 13.61, or 0.8 percent, to 1,665.80.

Later Tuesday, the Federal Reserve will begin its two-day meeting on interest rates. The Fed has already lowered its target rate to a range of zero to 0.25 percent and started buying Treasurys in an effort to keep market rates low. Investors are curious about the central bank's assessment of the economy, and whether it will accelerate its purchases of government bonds.

The market is also awaiting the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for April.

The swine flu gave investors reason to cash in recent gains Monday, and stocks pulled back moderately. The Dow remains up 22.6 percent, though, from the nearly 12-year low it reached in early March.

In overseas trading Tuesday, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 2.7 percent. In afternoon trading in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 2.6 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 2.9 percent and France's CAC-40 fell 2.1 percent.

U.S. government bond prices edged modestly lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.92 percent from 2.91 percent. Bond yields move opposite to prices.

The dollar was mostly higher against other major currencies. Gold prices fell.

Light, sweet crude fell $1.04 to $49.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Meanwhile,  Asian companies stepped up precautions against a potential flu pandemic, restricting travel and advising staff how to protect themselves from the deadly virus, but stopping short of implementing more stringent and disruptive safety measures for the time being.The new strain of flu has killed up to 149 people in Mexico and infected people from the United States to Spain and world health experts are moving closer to declaring it the first flu pandemic in 40 years.
BJP's fire-brand leader Narendra Modi made a strong pitch for rooting out terrorism from the country, saying the menace and he cannot coexist.
"Terrorism and Modi cannot coexist in the country. There will be either terrorism or Modi," the saffron party leader said, adding that he can fight terrorism because he does not indulge in "vote bank politics" like Congress.

Addressing a public meeting in BJP stronghold Sola area in presence of party's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani, Modi, the Gujart Chief Minister, asked the electorate to vote for BJP and elect a PM, an opportunity which people of no other state have got in this polls.

Srilankan War Planes continue to Bomb in Tamil Region despite the Imposed cease fire with Indian Interference thanks to Pre poll obligation in south India stimulated by Karunanidhi`s fast!
 I watched Chidambaram with official GOI Stance, karunanidhi fasting and the Tamil Villages in Srilanka pounded by Bombing!
Government of India clarified its stance on RBI note regarding New FDI Norms and declared that the FDI Fed Banks, described as Foreign Owned remains INDIAN!
Mind you, Hundred Percent FDI Allowed in Indian economy and the SENSITIVE Defence and nuclear energy sector are no exception.
One day, with stunned Blind Nationalism, we would note that the Indian Security Forces CEASE to be Indian and the GOI clarifying that Indian army remains Indian while Strategic realliance puts Indian Army as well as Internal security under US Israel COMMAND in the War ZONE South Asia with WAR Against Terror and Mass Destruction to capture all natural resources in the best interest of the ILLUMINATI! Indo-US relationship is possibly the only area of the US foreign policy, wherein President Barack Obama is not willing to undo the legacy of the previous Bush Administration. In fact, all indications coming from the White House are that Obama would further strengthen America's relationship with India.

Even though the Administration's most of the time in the first 100 days has been spent in fire fighting operations on the economy front and those in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, the new Government with Hillary Clinton at the helms of affairs as the Secretary of State has made clear in uncertain terms that they value US' relationship with India.


In the very few weeks, Obama entered the White House, he issued a statement on the occasion of Republic Day saying that he considers India as a 'natural ally', while Clinton in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the new administration is determined to 'build' on the already existing relationship with India.


Obama completes first 100 days in office this week.

SWINE Flu has just affected Indian ECONOMY as the Mexican waves touch the American SHORE with VILE!
IT sector in India is infiltrated by the Foreign nationals. Tata consultancy, WIPRO and INFOTECH leads the way.
Satyam Astyam Money machine has the Licence of ETHNIC Cleansing!
GOI feeds the KILLER Blood Greedy machine with National revenue and tax payer's` hard earned Money!
 Bail Out is launched as a Serial Killer to kill the Economy in the disguise of FLU VIRUS not to be CURED at all!
Snapping a three-day rising streak, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Tuesday tumbled by over 370 points as funds and general investors sold aggressively blue-chip stocks, principally of realty firms and banks.
The Sensex, which had gained 5.1 per cent in the last three trading sessions, fell by 370.10 points, or 3.25 per cent, to 11,001.75, after touching the day's low of 10,961.76 points.

The key index has gained 35 per cent since sliding to its lowest in the year on March 9, making India one of the 10 best-performing stock markets in the world.

Disinvestment and deportation, displacement and development to DEINDUSTRILISE continues under cover and the Process is so underplayed or Hidden that the EFFECTED employees of no less than Eight four PSU have no Idea and also have no option but to commit SUICIDE in Near Future. Many more BIDARBHAS ready in the WINGS!
With just three weeks to go before the Congress-led UPA government's term ends, Ottavio Quattrocchi, the lone surviving suspect in the Bofors payoff case, no longer figures in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)'s list of wanted persons.


The 12-year Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) against the Italian businessman has been taken off the "Interpol Notices" section of the agency's website.


Ostensibly, the CBI's move is based on the legal opinion of Attorney General Milon Banerjee dated October 28 last year. According to the opinion, a copy of which has been obtained by The Indian Express, Banerjee calls the RCN "a continuing embarrassment."

I posted the RMS write up to the social activists and media personalities at large scale as well as on Blogs and Yahoo groups with my Cell phone Number. But the HARD News of DISINVESTMENT in Indian Post attracted none. Some people are diverting the Discussion posting hard PORN which is not stopped in Web Groups. Rather PROMOTED. But we discuss hard on basi Issues and resistance our sites and IDs are locked, disabled and deleted! What an Information war!
RMS workers in Kolkata Region have no work with REDUCED Strength!
Neither the foreign takeover of Indian banks and IT sector creates any head ache
In what a democracy we live?
I called a friend, an OIL India Top Official in New Delhi this Morning that his company is gone!
What an amusement!
The official  has not the faintest IDEA!
 The Trade Union leaders and politicians say all is well!
It is CONCENTRATION camp full of DEATH chambers and gas chambers and the fascists and imperialists Hard core declare themselves to be the Most Democrats, Most socialist, Most secular!
We may not help this as the MARXISTS claim to bail out INDIA with making HOSTAGE the Government of India for Four and half years!
Wine Consumption is to TREBLE in India! So happens with DRUGS and RAV parties!
Entire INDO Bangla Border area Happens the FREE ZONE for DRUG and Woman Trafficking!
Who cares?
I never get a PHONE call from anywhere and I have to get the FEED backs calling friends countrywide!
I have no Organisation, no resource to engage myself to a MASS AWARENESS campaign at Grass Root level which is MOST MANDATORY at this moment!

The Indian IT services sector may see up to five per cent layoffs -- amounting to more than one lakh job cuts -- over the next six months as companies focus more on cost-cutting due to persisting weakness in global demand, experts say.


Companies may reduce workforce in this fiscal, mostly based on stringent performance criteria, experts added.


"We expect the knowledge industry (IT) to see 3-5 per cent non-voluntary exits in the first two quarters of the financial year mainly in senior and middle levels," Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Senior Director (Management Consultancy Services) P Thiruvengadam said.


Given the fact that more than 22 lakh people work in the IT industry, five per cent non-voluntary exits would mean more than one lakh employees being shown the door by September.

I am looking for my committed friends to come forward and STEP OUT if they have any COMMITMENT as well as GUTS!
I always doubted the Commitment, Intention and guts of Bengali Intelligentsia and civil society as they did never address the real issues related to the Black Untouchable majority masses  Enslaved!
What happened?
They issued a JOINT Press Statement CRYING CHANGE WANTED!
Now, there is a DIVIDE Vertical as some of them do not want to be EXPOSED! So much so SKIN EXPOSURE is in VOGUE and AFRAID of SOCIAL Political EXPOSURE?
Indian Economy Inflicted with SWINE Flu reminds me of my native Village BASANTIPUR near Pant Nagar University in UTTARAKHAND where I was BORN and Brought up out of Bengali Geopolitics!
Wine consumed my CHHOTO KAKA, the Excellent DOCTOR, the most talented , Most versatile Personality of my life, My Inspiration!
I have been writing on my CHHOTO Kaka as I have been writing on my teachers Pitambar Pant and Tara Chandra Tripathi, Ms Veena Pandey, Mrs Madhulika Dexit and Mrs Anil Bisht!
I would rather tell you the long forgotten story of an ORPHAN, adopted by my village BASANTIPUR, Haju Sana!
Haju Sana belonged to District Khulna in east Bengal!
 Partition Holocaust swallowed his parents!
Haju Sana landed in REFUGEE camp with his Aunt, the sister of his mother HAZARI.
 Hazari and her Husband adopted the boy while they had five sons! The travelled with my father countrywide, camp to camp and settled with the CARAVAN in Basantipur!
Haju  was a BLUE EYED Boy and we would consider him as great as RAJ Kapoor.
He was married to a refugee girl from Shaktifarm, 36 miles away from our village. our sister in law had a brother, suffering from Personality disorder !
During one year Study Stay or CORRECTION Home, I had been close with the family!
The couple was very close to my heart!
 I would spend all the time at their place while I would return from Nainital during vacations.
In may childhood, Basantipur Jatra party was very popular in the area as all of our artists had been very expert in FENCING!
They learnt it seeing the films with the cast like RANJAN, Feroze khan and Sunil dutt! But most of them died of stomach disorder prevalent in Nainital terai those days!
 Haju Sana survived until Nineties.
Haju sana was also an OJHA as he would heal any SNAKE BITE. He would let me read his book of secret Mantras! So close I had been with him even as a child!
In our Childhood , every family had to depend on Haju sana for any EXCURTION! He would manage it and take care of the ladies and the children.
It was just after INDO CHINA war perhaps, our family ladies decided to enjoy a Film, KASHMIR KI KALI, starred by Sharmila Tagore, Pran and Shammi kpoor. In those days, man Eater Tigers were roaming in the area. My friend ARUN`s brother was EATEN Up by Tiger recently while he was returning from Rudrapur by cycle amidst dense forest!
But we reached SIBBAL Cinema, only hall in the area! during the show, there was tough fight amongst the ladies involving my mother and grand mother also! sooner the show was stopped as there was no light!
We had to return in the dark. the ADVENTURE was so sensational , I would never forget!
The Energetic Haju Sana, well known for his humour and popular in Terai and Bhabar beyond Bengali colonies was Consumed by Wine!
 This is not the end!
 I could never meet his only son during last two decades as he is always drawn in WINE. Our sister In law, the widow of Haju Sana weeps and complains and I have no way to help her out!
Meanwhile , Hajuda`s Cousin brother had a LOVE Affair with my cousin sister, REKHA. The Village stood against it as Hajuda was a Paundra Kshatriya. My father remained calm as he always pleaded to dissolve caste barriers amongst our people and hence had to face wild protest!
But the couple ELOPED and Got Married.
Me and father supported and convinced the village to accept the marriage!
But my JETHA MOSHAI, eldest Uncle, the father of the poor girl was quite RELUCTANT as he was a RSS Minded hard liner and used to VOTE for RSS every time! He did not accept the relation until few days before his death!
Jethamoshai was so much so against the Paundra Kshatriyas that he would not pronounce the Holy name of Rama despite his undoubted Commitment to Hindutva as he believed in caste system!
He would sing the Bhajan HARE RAMA HARE KRISHANA Hare Hare, deleting RAMA!
Manusmriti Rule never spares the Gods and half Gods!
HINDU Graded CASTE SYSTEM and Manusmriti Rule divided the society in more than six thosand castes! We aboriginal indigenous minorites inherit the legacy of HATRED and Hate Speech from VEDIC culture.
Campaigning ends on Tuesday for round-three elections to Lok Sabha on April 30, when electors would decide the fate of political giants like Sonia Gandhi and L K Advani.
Rae Barelli and Gandhinagar, the respective Parliamentary constituencies of Gandhi and Advani saw hectic campaigning.
Gandhi's daughter Priyanka and son Rahul canvassed for votes for their mothers, while Advani's daughter Pratibha camped in Gandhinagar to appeal to voters to elect her father like they have done every time since 1991.
Gandhi and Advani are among the 1,567 candidates in the fray in the third phase elections to 107 constituencies spread over nine states and two union territories.
Meanwhile,  Mumbai will house the 2011 World Cup secretariat and India will host 29 matches of the quadrennial extravaganza, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said here on Tuesday. The secretariat was earlier based in the Pakistani city
of Lahore. After the ICC ruled out Pakistan as a co-host, the schedule had to be re-drawn and accordingly, India will now host 29 matches in eight venues, including one semifinal and the final of the event.
Sri Lanka will host 12 matches in three venues, including a semifinal, while eight matches, and the opening ceremony, would take place in Bangladesh, ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat said.
GDP slips to a 3.5 yr low at 7.9 per cent
New Delhi The global investor confidence has witnessed a significant surge in April with institutional investors participating enthusiastically in the recent market rally across the world, says a survey.

According to US-based investment research and trading firm State Street Global Markets, the Global Investor Confidence index rose by a healthy 9.4 points to 79.6 points in April from a revised March level of 70.2 points.

The investor confidence saw a surge in all the three regions tracked by the research firm -- North America, Europe and Asia -- during the month.

Amongst North American investors, the investor confidence index rose 10 points to 70.2 in April from 60.2 in the previous month, while European investors saw their reading increase by five points from 63.9 to 68.9 in the period.

"A more modest increase was recorded among Asian investors, where the Index rose by 0.7 points from 86.6 to 87.3," the survey stated.

"The data reveals that institutional investors have participated with some enthusiasm in the recent market recovery ... Our measure of investor confidence, which goes beyond pure measure of flow, shows foundation for this rally was laid with turnaround in risk appetite that began last September," Harvard University Professor involved in developing the confidence index Ken Froot said.

RBI extends concessional credit to exporters till Oct 31
NEW DELHI: Providing relief to exporters hit by shrinking global demand, the Reserve Bank on Tuesday extended the concessional interest rate scheme
by six months till October this year.

The ceiling of interest rate on pre-shipment rupee export credit up to 270 days and post-shipment credit up to 180 days at BPLR minus 2.5 per cent was to expire on April 30, 2009.

"It has been decided to extend the validity ... up to October 31, 2009," the RBI said in a circular to the scheduled commercial banks.

Since these are ceiling rates, banks would not be able to charge exporters interest rates above the benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) minus 2.5 per cent.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations has been demanding that exporters should be given credit at 7 per cent without linking with the prime lending rate.

The exporters has been hit by recession in major markets of the US, Europe and the Middle East, which together accounts to over 70 per cent of India's overseas sales.

After registering growth of over 30 per cent in the first six months of the last fiscal, India's exports dipped by 12.1 per cent in October 2008 for the first time in five years and has been on the downslide since then.
India pitches for substantial increase in World Bank lending

WASHINGTON: India has pitched for a substantial increase in World Bank lending to help the developing countries battle the current global economic

"We need to consider and act on the decisions of the G-20 leaders," Ashok Chawla, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, said yesterday, addressing the Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The recent G-20 London summit had drawn up a three-point action plan: substantial increase in lending, a review of the Bank's lending capacity, and enabling large developing countries to access finance through increase in lending limits.

Noting that emerging market economies are not responsible for the global crisis, but are among its worst victims, Chawla said, "All the three issues are important and we need to direct the Bank to start work on all fronts."

Raising India's demand for making the World Bank a more "responsive, credible and relevant" organisation, he said the world body should reflect the "changing dynamism of the global economy and the evolving weights of developing economies.
Global investor confidence rises in April: Survey
New Delhi The global investor confidence has witnessed a significant surge in April with institutional investors participating enthusiastically in the recent market rally across the world, says a survey.

According to US-based investment research and trading firm State Street Global Markets, the Global Investor Confidence index rose by a healthy 9.4 points to 79.6 points in April from a revised March level of 70.2 points.

The investor confidence saw a surge in all the three regions tracked by the research firm -- North America, Europe and Asia -- during the month.

Amongst North American investors, the investor confidence index rose 10 points to 70.2 in April from 60.2 in the previous month, while European investors saw their reading increase by five points from 63.9 to 68.9 in the period.

"A more modest increase was recorded among Asian investors, where the Index rose by 0.7 points from 86.6 to 87.3," the survey stated.

"The data reveals that institutional investors have participated with some enthusiasm in the recent market recovery ... Our measure of investor confidence, which goes beyond pure measure of flow, shows foundation for this rally was laid with turnaround in risk appetite that began last September," Harvard University Professor involved in developing the confidence index Ken Froot said.


Recession to stay till year-end: RBI


New Delhi: Warning that the worst may not be over yet, Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao has said the global economic recession may not only continue through 2009 but could prolong to the next year as well.

"Even with current levels of policy intensity, the trough of the global recession is not seen until the end of 2009 and could get pushed out further if the policy responses fail to gain traction," Subbarao said at the International Monetary Fund-World Bank spring meetings.

Leading the Indian delegation to the International Monetary and Financial Committee meet in Washington, he said India is expected to grow at 6.5 to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09, and the real GDP growth for 2009-10 would be about 6 per cent.

A statement by RBI further quoted Subbarao as saying, "The most frequently asked question today is whether the worst is behind us. While there are incipient signs of business confidence and consumer spending trying to gain toehold, rising unemployment, high inventories and financial stress weigh heavily on overall demand conditions," Subbarao said.

The RBI's policy response was aimed at containing the contagion from the global financial crisis while maintaining comfortable domestic and forex liquidity as it launched three fiscal stimulus packages apart from other measures, he said.

economic time reports:
Foreign Institutional Investors have increased their stake in one out of every four companies, including Reliance Industries, Maruti
Suzuki India and Infosys Technologies, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008-09, an analysis by capital market research firm CNI Research shows.

According to the analysis, FIIs have increased their stake in 109 firms out of the 394 companies surveyed. The report shows that on an average, foreign holdings have risen in about one-fourth of the companies surveyed.

FIIs have hiked their stake in car maker Maruti Suzuki India by 5 per cent to 19.4 per cent, in Reliance Industries by 0.5 per cent to 16 per cent and in Infosys their holdings have increased by 1.9 per cent to 34.9 per cent.

While other companies whose FII holdings went up in the fourth quarter include -- ACC (10.3 per cent), Punj Lloyd (15 per cent), Nestle (8 per cent), Tata Steel (13.2 per cent), Wipro (5.9 per cent), Indusind Bank (18.7 per cent) and UTV Software (5.6 per cent).

"This study should act as precursor for investors to decide the stocks in which they should be investing. Companies where FII are raising their stake have a greater probability of their share prices rising against other companies," CNI Research CMD Kishor P Ostwal said.

Meanwhile there are 121 companies in which FII stake has dropped below 5 per cent in the fourth quarter ended March, 2009, while in 164 firms in which despite share sale by foreign investors the holding is above 5 per cent.

Some of the companies in which FIIs holding has dropped drastically below 5 per cent stake include Aban Offshore from to 3.2 per cent 10.9 per cent, Indian Oil Corporation (one per cent) and Cadila Healthcare (2.2 per cent).

CNI Research stated that a strong inference can be drawn from the change in the holding of FII and retail investors may get a hint about the performance of the stock from the change in shareholding pattern.

The report added that the only segment which poses high risk is where the FII holding is still above five per cent.

"It may not be true if the market itself goes up substantially from current level. But if for any reason market reverses its trend and starts correcting, this segment will be the one where maximum risk is involved," the report added.

Meanwhile, in the category in which FIIs have raised stake, could pose risk because this is the only category where there is over ownership and any negative outlook or change in sentiments could mean fresh FII selling to generate cash

Across Asia, mood calm but wary in face of swine flu threat

Reuters India - ‎10 hours ago‎
By James Pomfret HONG KONG (Reuters) - Across Asia, people are closely following the global spread of swine flu from Mexico and preparing for the worst ...
The Naming of Swine Flu New York Times

Markets mixed amid swine flu concerns

Toronto Star - ‎2 hours ago‎
The Toronto stock market was lower Tuesday morning as investors continued to be cautious amid growing cases of swine flu around the world. ...

Australian Researchers: Surgical Face Masks Important Weapon ...

Voice of America - ‎5 hours ago‎
Experts say that the new H1N1 swine flu virus is spread the same way as the other forms of the disease - through sneezes and coughs and by touching ...
Will Face Masks Protect Against Swine Flu? PR Newswire (press release)

Developments on swine flu worldwide

The Associated Press - ‎3 hours ago‎
Key developments on swine flu outbreaks, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and government officials: ...

European Stocks Retreat on Bank Capital Concerns, Swine Flu

Bloomberg - ‎1 hour ago‎
By Sarah Jones April 28 (Bloomberg) -- European stocks retreated on concern that banks may need to raise additional capital and the outbreak of swine flu ...

FACTBOX: Defenses against swine flu

Reuters - ‎1 hour ago‎
At Prague Airport, information boards on swine flu have been put up and medical tests are available. DENMARK -- A general pandemic plan is in place since ...

Town considers swine flu threat

BBC News - ‎2 hours ago‎
By Jo Perry Despite predictions from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that swine flu could infect up to 40% of the UK population, there is little to ...

Yen, dollar gain on swine flu fears

Economic Times - ‎13 hours ago‎
TOKYO: The yen and the dollar notched up fresh gains against the euro in Asian trade on Tuesday as fears of a swine flu pandemic spurred demand for ...

Re slips to 50.26 vs $ on swine flu fears

Economic Times - ‎20 hours ago‎
MUMBAI: Fears that a 'Swine Flu' contagion would hurt recovery prospects sent investors rushing to safe haven currencies resulting in the dollar and the yen ...

RBI, government divided on FDI relaxation in press notes

Business Standard - ‎Apr 26, 2009‎
Significantly, the DEA also raised objections to the new FDI norms after receiving RBI's letter and has asked the DIPP to clarify several issues. ...

Companies cash in on new FDI norms

Hindustan Times - ‎Apr 22, 2009‎
Pantaloon Retail has decided to hive off its fashion and retail divisions to its wholly owned subsidiaries to take advantage of these new FDI norms. ...

US asks India to clarify FDI cap for internet services

Economic Times - ‎Apr 8, 2009‎
WASHINGTON: The United States has asked India to address its concerns about the process for modifying foreign direct investment (FDI) requirements for ...

DIPP refuses FinMin's request to review new FDI norms - ‎Apr 23, 2009‎
A few days after the Finance Ministry had raised objections, certain key provisions of the new foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, the Department of ...

New FDI rules face scrutiny

Hindustan Times - ‎Apr 19, 2009‎
Barely two months after the government announced major changes in foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Finance ...
• New FDI Norms under Scrutiny Institute of International Trade

FDI norms look set to be tweaked

China Daily - ‎Apr 15, 2009‎
By Ding Qingfen (China Daily) China will further streamline approval procedures for foreign direct investment (FDI) and channel more FDI into the ...

Finance Ministry raises questions on new FDI rules

Hindu - ‎Apr 24, 2009‎
NEW DELHI: The notification of the new foreign direct investment (FDI) norms has run into trouble with the Finance Ministry raising questions on the new ...

FIPB clears ISP deal by former RCom executives

Business Standard - ‎Apr 27, 2009‎
As per Indian regulations, FDI in the telecom sector is allowed up to 74%. As such, the investment in Tikona is well under the norms. ...

US seeks transparency in FDI norms for ISPs

Business Standard - ‎Apr 9, 2009‎
... the US has sought from India transparency in the procedure for modifying foreign direct investment (FDI) norms for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). ...
RIL inks gas supply agreements with power firms

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries has inked deals to supply gas from its eastern offshore KG-D6 fields to most power sector consumers, including Essar Power and an Anil Ambani Group firm.

However, it is yet to sign the Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement (GPSA) with state-run NTPC Ltd and Ratnagiri Gas and Power, the owner of the Dabhol power plant. NTPC is to get 2.67 million cubic metres per day of gas from KG-D6 while Dabhol has been al located 2.7 mmcmd.

Ratnagiri Gas and Power cannot immediately take KG-D6 gas and so it has not signed the GSPA, which has provisions of take-or-pay,'' a Government official said. "In the case of NTPC, RIL has sent a draft GSPA and the agreement is likely to be signed soon. ''

The power sector had been allocated 18 mmcmd gas out of the initial 40 mmcmd volumes from KG-D6. Gas of 6.22 mmcmd would go to eight power plants in Andhra Pradesh, the landfall point of the gas from the Bay of Bengal fields.

Essar's 300 MW power plant in Gujarat will get 1.08 mmcmd while ADAG's 220-MW Samalkot plant in Andhra Pradesh will get 0.19 mmcmd. Gas will be sold at government-approved rates of USD 4.20 per million British thermal unit plus taxes and transportation, the official said. Company officials could not be reached for comments.- PTI


HUMAN RESOURCES: Bajaj on hiring mode, effects 7% pay hike
Bets on two-wheeler biz growth, ultra low-cost car project. Mumbai, April 27 At a time when salary cuts and layoffs are the order of the day, Pune-based Bajaj Auto has not only hired over 500 people but has just implemented a seven per cent ...

PRIVATE PLACEMENT: Jaiprakash Q4 net up 83%; to raise Rs 4,000 cr
New Delhi, April 27 Infrastructure firm Jaiprakash Associates Ltd announced on Monday that higher revenue from its engineering operations pushed its net profit for the fourth quarter of 2008-09 by 83 per cent to Rs ...

OUTLOOK: Exide posts 9% rise in Q4 net; 'difficult year ahead'
Co to tighten belt to maintain profitability. Kolkata, April 27 Exide Industries is now tightening its belt to "face one of the most difficult years" ...

PEOPLE: New ED for Nuziveedu Seeds
Mr Giridhar Myneni has joined Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd (NSL) as its Executive Director. He would be involved with all the group companies. Mr Myneni has held consultant positions with Ernst & Young, Anderson Consulting/Accenture, etc. NSL ...

IPR: L&T unit files for 108 patents in 2008-09
Mumbai, April 27 Larsen and Toubro's Electrical and Electronics Division has filed 108 patents applications in 2008-09 for its electrical and electronic products. It filed for 101 patents the ...

NEW PROJECTS: Volkswagen starts trial production of Polo
Trial production of the Polo at Volkswagen India's (VWI) Chakan plant was flagged off today by Dr Philipp Rosler, the Minister of Economics, Labour and Transportation of the German Federal State of Lower ...

INTEREST RATES: Banks continue to park surplus funds with RBI despite rate cut
Borrowing at a lower rate under CBLO mechanism, making a tidy spread. Mumbai, April 27 Parking surplus funds with the Reserve Bank of India continues to be an attractive option for banks despite the 25 basis points cut effected in the reverse ...

Most of the annual policy statements of the Reserve Bank of India are identified in the public mind as position papers on monetary policy, itself loosely equated with adjustments in systemic liquidity. This time too the monetary policy review was ...

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: Bank of Baroda net profit soars 172% on overall income growth
Continuing growth momentum this year would be a challenge: Mallya. Mumbai, April 27 Bank of Baroda's net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 surged by 172 per cent to Rs 753 crore against Rs 276 crore in the same quarter last ...

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: Oriental Bank Q4 net rises to Rs 196 cr
Estimates Rs 1,000 crore capital requirement for 2009-10. Aided by a surge in core operating income, increased treasury related gains and a Rs 147-crore write-back in income tax provision, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) on Monday reported a net ...

FOREX: Rupee down 45 paise
The rupee depreciated by around 45 paise against the dollar on Monday, pulled down by the greenback's strength against other major currencies. It opened weak at 49.97 and fell to touch an intra-day low of 50.30. It closed at 50.26, ...

GOVT BONDS: Bond prices dip on profit booking
Bond prices fell by around 70 paise on Monday, after investors sold government securities to book profits. The markets opened higher but fell after there was no buying interest from investors, said a dealer with a private bank. The total ...

SHORT TERM INSTRUMENTS: Call rate ends steady
The inter-bank call rate ended at 3.20-3.30 per cent, against the previous close of 3.25-3.30 per cent. In the first liquidity adjustment facility (LAF), there were no bids in the one-day repo auction. In the reverse repo auction, there were 24 ...

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: Indian Bank Q4 net up 63% at Rs 394 cr
Decline in provisioning, growth in income lift profit. Chennai, April 27 Indian Bank reported a 63 per cent jump in net profit to Rs 394 crore for the fourth quarter ending March 31, 2009 compared with Rs 242 crore for the same period last ...

PRIVATE BANKS: ICICI Bank surges despite dip in Q4 net
Analysts say bank showed improved performance on several fronts. Mumbai, April 27 The stock of ICICI Bank gained 8 per cent on Monday despite the bank having reported a 35 per cent dip in its fourth quarter net ...

LIFE INSURANCE: LIC new premium income declines 9.8%
Kolkata, April 27 The Life Insurance Corporation of India suffered a 9.8 per cent decline in new premium income (FPI) in 2008-09 compared with ...

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: 'Open, merit-based process needed for selecting IMF chief'
Chennai, April 27 The RBI Governor, Dr D. Subbarao, has called for a more open and merit-based process of picking the top management of the International Monetary Fund. Speaking as leader of the Indian delegation to the International ...

PENSION PLANS: IDBI Fortis' pension plan product

LIFE INSURANCE: Future Generali's children plans

FINANCIAL SERVICES: Prepaid payment: RBI nod necessary
Non-banking financial companies or other institutions that are seeking to issue prepaid payment instruments must now approach the Reserve Bank of India for authorisation. The RBI, on Monday, notified the 'Guidelines for Prepaid ...

PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS: CorpBank branch relocated
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WATER: Water storage levels at 4-year low on scanty rains
Actual rainfall received up to April 22 only 35 mm. Chennai, April 27 Water storage level in the country is at a four-year low as the country received below normal rainfall from ...

SPICES & CONDIMENTS: Cardamom market witnesses volatility
Auction prices swing between Rs 600 and Rs 570 a kg. Cardamom market during the week witnessed volatility on both bullish and bearish ...

SPICES & CONDIMENTS: Sharp drop in pepper futures
Triggered by heavy liquidation by bull operators. Kochi, April 27 The pepper futures market fell sharply on Monday on heavy liquidation by bull operators and rumours of high production ...

CLIMATE & WEATHER: Heat wave seen rebuilding over North and East India
Thiruvananthapuram, April 27 A helpful north-south trough along the east coast persisted on Monday even as India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned of heat wave conditions rebuilding over much of the North and ...

POULTRY: Plea to ban futures in maize, soyameal
Coimbatore, April 27 The National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) has appealed to the Centre to ban forward trading in maize and soyameal and channelise the export of these commodities through a designated Government ...

RUBBER: Spot rubber drops on global cues
Kottayam, April 27 The rubber prices finished weak on Monday. In spot, a leading tyre manufacturer bought sheet rubber up to Rs 100.50 a kg on early trades but the grade failed to sustain at higher levels lacking follow up support amidst ...

TEA: Tea import bill up in Jan-Feb
Coonoor, April 27 India's tea import bill is showing signs of sharp increase in calendar 2009 over 2008, an analysis of the latest information available with Tea Board ... INDUSTRY & ECONOMY

EVENTS: Investors chase paper gold on Akshaya Tritiya
Volumes jump manifold for Gold ETFs. Mumbai, April 27 Despite the downturn in the economy, investors seemed to have kept their date with gold on what is considered in India to be an auspicious occasion to buy the precious ...

HEALTH: Swine Flu: Centre on better footing with medicine supplies
We can do it at short notice, say drug cos. Mumbai, April 27 It is a déjÀ vu of sorts for the Central Government as it sets up surveillance at ports and international airports, besides issuing travel advisories to people travelling to ...

CEMENT: When economy slows, cartelisation grows
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. — Adam Smith in ...

INFRASTRUCTURE: CII working on Chennai 'Aero Park'
Agenda for this fiscal unveiled; development plan for each district. Madurai, April 27 Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is working on the establishment of an 'Aero Park' near Chennai, according to Mr C.K. Ranganathan, Chairman, ...

PAPER, BOARD & NEWSPRINT: Safeguard duty mooted on uncoated, copy paper imports
20% ad valorem provisional duty on the cards. New Delhi, April 27 The domestic producers of uncoated paper and copy paper may have a cause for ...

TAXATION: Bengal commercial tax collection up 15% in 2008-09
VAT accounts for 63% of Rs 9,300 crore collected. Kolkata, April 27 The West Bengal Government witnessed 15 per cent rise in commercial tax collections in 2008-09 at Rs 9,300 crore (Rs 8,092 crore in 2007-08), said Mr H.K. Dwivedi, Commissioner ...

AUTOMOBILE COMPONENTS: Manufacturers gear up to meet demand for auto disable syringes
Pune, April 27 The Union Health Ministry has mandated April 30 as the date on which the public health system will switch over from conventional disposable syringes to auto disable (AD) ones, which become dysfunctional after a single ...

EDUCATION: PG course on aviation law and air transport
National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (Nalsar) University of Law, Hyderabad, in collaboration with the Institute of Applied Aviation Management (IAAM), Kozhikode, has launched a one-year post-graduate diploma in Aviation Law and ...

POWER: Power curbs in Kerala withdrawn
The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) has issued an order withdrawing the power restrictions imposed on consumers and other licensees in Kerala, with effect from May ...

EXPORTS & IMPORTS: Tea import bill up in Jan-Feb
Coonoor, April 27 India's tea import bill is showing signs of sharp increase in calendar 2009 over 2008, an analysis of the latest information available with Tea Board



FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: Tech Mahindra posts muted profit growth
Pricing pressures may continue. Mumbai, April 27 The volatile economic environment coupled with forex losses led to Tech Mahindra posting a muted net profit growth of 5 per cent for the fourth quarter ended March ...

HUMAN RESOURCES: Wipro to hire front-end staff for consulting unit
Intake of 300 with eye on downstream projects. Bangalore, April 27 Wipro Technologies is revamping the front-end of its consulting business to sell services more effectively and expects to add about 300 consultants by the ...

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: MCA sees indirect link between Essar and Loop
'Essar has invested in the promoter company of Loop Telecom'. New Delhi, April 27 The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has told the Department of Telecom that there is an indirect link between Loop Telecom — a new telecom licence ...

INSIGHT: The economic impact of mobile telephony
The rapid spread of mobile telephony in India is the most obvious manifestation of the benefit of telecom sector liberalisation. Fixed line penetration is declining and projections now exclusively focus on mobile telephony. At the current level ...

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: Nucleus net profit drops 40% in Q4 on higher expenses
Plans to cut costs by 10% in FY10. New Delhi, April 27 Nucleus Software Exports on Monday registered about 40 per cent drop in its profit after tax for the quarter ended March 2009, as high software development costs and SG&A expenses ...

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: Bartronics posts lower net profit
Bartronics India, an automatic identification and data capture solutions company, has posted a lower net profit of Rs 9.56 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2009, against Rs 20.14 crore in the same period last year. The company, however, ...

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: 3i Infotech, JP Morgan Treasury tie up
IT solutions company 3i Infotech announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire JP Morgan Treasury Services national retail lockbox business (NRLB). Virtually, all JP Morgan Treasury Services NRLB employees have been ...

OUTLOOK: Infotech Enterprises to take call on retaining PW as auditors
Hyderabad, April 27 Infotech Enterprises, a Hyderabad-based leader in engineering design services and geospatial solutions, has said that it would soon take a decision on retaining Price Waterhouse as ...

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: MindTree sequential net zooms 115% in Q4
Bangalore, April 27 MindTree Ltd reported a 115.6 per cent increase in sequential net profit for the March quarter aided by strong profitability in Aztecsoft, while its revenues declined 7.1 per cent over the December quarter, largely due to ...

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Police using SMS for smooth polling
Mangalore, April 27 The use of SMS (short-messaging service) has become a part of the election process in the Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha ...

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: TRAI directive to operators on value-added services
New Delhi, April 27 Telecom regulator directed the operators to get written consent from users for activating value-added services (VAS) such as call ring back tone and hello tunes on their mobile phones. The move is aimed at ...



Recovery brings back Rs 10,00,000 cr of investors wealth
MUMBAI: The stock market uptrend, which has brought back the benchmark Sensex above the 11,000-points level, has recovered as much as Rs 10,00,000
crore of investors wealth in less than two months.

However, the total recovery so far is less than one-fourth of close to Rs 45,00,000 crore lost in the sharp downturn that started in early 2008 and continued for more than a year till early-March this year.

At the end of the last trading session (April 24), the total investor wealth measured in terms of cumulative market capitalisation of all the listed companies in the country, stood at Rs 36,25,000 crore.

This marks an increase of about Rs 10,00,000 crore since March 9, when the Sensex was trading near its one-year low of 8,000 points and the total investor wealth had dipped to just above Rs 26,00,000 crore.

The benchmark Sensex has also gained more than 3,000 points since then and closed at 11,329.05 points in the last trading session.

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However, the index is still about 10,000 points below its record high level of 21,206.77 points scaled on January 10, 2008. At that time, the total investor wealth had soared to a high of nearly Rs 72,00,000 crore.

Incidentally, the recovery of Rs 10,00,000 crore since March 9 has been mostly led by the top large-caps in the country, with India's 25 most valued firms together accounting for nearly half of the total recovery.

In value terms, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries
has alone added close to Rs 1,00,000 crore to investors' wealth, with its market capitalisation rising to about Rs 2,81,000 crore. PSU major ONGC has added about Rs 41,000 crore, while Sunil Mittal-run Bharti Airtel has gained over Rs 30,000 crore.

PSU majors SBI and NMDC have also added more than Rs 25,000 crore each, while Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications, engineering major L&T, ICICI Bank and MMTC have gained close to Rs 20,000 crore each during this period.

NTPC, Infosys, BHEL, ITC, TCS, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Reliance Petroleum, SAIL and Wipro have also added more than Rs 10,000 crore each to their market valuations.

While some analysts have cautioned that it could be a short-term rally and profit-booking at higher levels might again bring in a sharp downtrend, others have asserted that it could be the beginning of a long-running bullish phase.

Global equity research firm Elliott Wave International has gone to the extent of envisaging a milestone of as high as 1,00,000 points for the Sensex in the next 15 years. This would mean a rally of over 10-times from the level seen just a few days ago, when Sensex was toiling below 10,000-points.

bollywood brigade flying back to India to vote

Mumbai With the elections around the corner, Bollywood is pitching in by contributing to the awareness programs. Aamir Khan and other biggies of bollywood have already launched nation wide promos on TV.

SRK has taken the process a step further by declaring that he will fly down from South Africa with his team on April 30 to cast their vote.

Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan have also claimed that they will make sure they are in Mumbai so they can cast their vote.

What is interesting is that SRK has requested Mallya to lend him his private jet so he can make the quick trip.

Preity Zinta is also planning to head back to India to cast her vote.

However, it seems Shilpa Shetty will not be able to fly back on the important day as Rajasthan Royals have match scheduled for April 30.

ICICI Bank seeks clarity on new FDI policy

New Delhi The country's largest private lender, ICICI Bank, whose ownership status may alter because of the new FDI guidelines, said it is awaiting a clear stance on the policy from the government.

"We are awaiting clarification (issues regarding foreign bank status)," ICICI Bank Joint Managing Director Chanda Kochhar said in New Delhi.

"Nothing has changed in ownership; we continue to be with same ownership for years," she said.

ICICI Bank's statement is significant in the light of the Government announcing new FDI norms, which say if indirect FDI in an Indian company exceeds 50 per cent, its investment in subsidiaries will be treated as foreign investment.

Moreover, in calculating indirect foreign investment in an Indian entity, the sum total of FDI, stake from Non-Resident Indians, American and global depository Receipts, foreign currency convertible bonds and convertible preference shares will be taken into account.

With these changes, several private sector banks may find themselves transforming their status from being 'resident entities' to non-resident entities.

The RBI and the Finance Ministry have raised issues concerning these far-reaching changes, which will throw several banks into a different regime of governance in terms of policy clearances.



PE firms prefer to be minority stakeholders

 New Delhi Private equity firms in India prefer to be minority stakeholders in their target companies as a study showed only 4 per cent of total deals in last four years were for acquiring a controlling stake.

According to the study by domestic brokerage firm SMC Capitals, "during the period between 2005 and the first quarter of 2009 in India, there were only 46 'controlling stake' transactions out of total 1,185 number of PE transactions during the period".

The 'controlling stake deals' include deals where an investor acquire 50 per cent or more in the investee company.

The controlling stake PE deals in India are lower than the global average both in terms of number as well as value.

In terms of number, only 4 per cent of total PE deals had acquired a controlling stake in the target company.

Besides, out of USD 40.87 billion total PE transaction value during the period under review, only USD 2.48 billion represent 'controlling stake' transactions, indicating 6 per cent which is also lower than global average of 18-20 per cent.

"This probably because of the fact that Indian promoters are 'emotionally' attached to their companies in comparison to promoters in developed markets," SMC Capitals Equity Head Jagannadham Thunuguntla said.


Using force against terror right of the state: Lanka Prez

Colombo Amid pressure from some sections of the international community to announce a ceasefire with the beleaguered LTTE, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Tuesday that using force to "eradicate terrorism" was the right of any state.

"As I speak here today, we have passed the difficult landmarks of the defeat and eradication of terrorism from our land. Our heroic troops, a vital sector of our workforce, are completing the historic task of sweeping terrorism away from our midst," he said at a function in Colombo to mark the 90th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

"The people see a new promise of freedom throughout the land, a freedom that was for long denied for nearly two-thirds of our land and a third of our population and working people," Rajapaksa said.

He maintained that the government was "compelled" to use force after its efforts for dialogue and negotiations were rejected by the Tamil rebels.

"In the past three and a half years we have responded to this (LTTE) challenge in different ways. We tried to have a dialogue and negotiations. That was rejected. We were then compelled to use force, the force that is the right of the State, force that is the only language that the terrorist seemed to understand," he said.

Under mounting international pressure, Sri Lanka had announced on Monday that it will immediately stop air strikes and use of heavy weapons in the war zone but President Rajapaksa had made it clear that it was not a ceasefire.

Lankan troops have cornered estimated 900-1,000 LTTE fighters, including its top leadership, in a small swathe of land where about 15,000-20,000 civilians are also trapped.

"We used our force with great concern for the hardships it causes to the ordinary people, to the workers and farmers, to their children, and to their livelihoods. We had to take hard decisions, and in the end those decisions saw victory against the evil of terror," Rajapaksa said on Tuesday.

Terrorism, he said, has spread all over the world, affecting the rich, developed and the developing world. "It is a threat that did not exist at the time the ILO was launched with such great hope 90 years ago. But today this is also a threat to the conditions of work of the people that the ILO will have to take note of."

India welcomes Lanka's move to cease hostilities
Chennai Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday welcomed the Sri Lankan government's announcement that combat operations in the northern parts of the island nation have reached a conclusion, saying it meant cessation of hostilities.

"It means cessation of hostilities.It means to the government of India that the Sri Lankan government has put an end to the ongoing offensive," he said. Chidambaram, who spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, informing him of the Sri Lankan government's decision, said from Kariakudi where he is campaigning that "Sri Lanka's announcement offers solace to us. The next course of action on the issue will be decided in consultation with all."

"I think we all should welcome the development. More needs to be done. The Government of India will do more. The Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh), the NSA (M K Narayanan) are in touch with the Sri Lankan authorities. We will try to do more. But for now this means there is cessation of hostilities," he said.

Chidambaram said New Delhi's understanding was that Sri Lankan government, which launched a decision combing operation against LTTE, has put an end to the hostilities.

The Home Minister said India was asking for cessation of hospitalities and the Sri Lankan government's statement was a significant one. "It is a result of the efforts that the Government of India has been making over the last several days, specially in the last 72 hours. We have exerted pressure on the humanitarian situation...," he said.

Asked whether India would send relief material to affected Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, Chidambaram said indeed it was a humanitarian situation and it was prime concern for India. "I think we are examining the possibility of stepping up humanitarian aid. I intend to speak to the Prime Minister later on Monday and if there is any aid, it will be announced on behalf of the Prime Minister," he said.

Chidambaram also thanked United States, UK, the UN Secretary General and several European countries who have expressed their concern.

"We should be grateful to them for their support and understanding," he said.


Sri Lanka says it is still fighting rebels

Colombo The Sri Lankan military pressed ahead on Tuesday with its offensive against the beleaguered Tamil Tigers, breaking through a defensive fortification and killing at least seven rebels, the military said.

The fighting came a day after the government announced it would cease using heavy weapons in the battle as a precaution against further civilian casualties, but would not accept the rebels' appeal for a cease-fire.

International officials have pressed the government to accept a temporary truce to allow tens of thousands of trapped civilians to escape the fighting. The government, which accuses the Tamil Tigers of holding the civilians as human shields, says any letup in the battle would allow the rebels to regroup just as they stand on the verge of defeat in their quarter-century separatist war.

Early Tuesday, Sri Lankan forces took over a line of earthen fortifications the rebels had constructed to protect the tiny strip of land they still control along the northeast coast, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. Troops recovered the bodies of seven rebel fighters, he said.

Sri Lankan forces also foiled a rebel attempt to send an explosives-laden truck barreling at them, Nanayakkara said. The truck exploded short of its target, wounding several soldiers, he said, without elaborating.

A rebel-linked Web site said on Tuesday that the government continued to use heavy weapons in the fight, despite its promise.

TamilNet said air force jets dropped nine bombs in the war zone after the announcement, troops launched artillery and mortar shells and the navy joined the fight in the evening, firing into the area.

Journalists and aid groups are barred from the area.

International concern has grown over the safety of the estimated 50,000 ethnic Tamil civilians still trapped in the war zone, especially in light of a recent U.N. report that nearly 6,500 noncombatants have already been killed in the recent offensive.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner were to arrive in Colombo on Wednesday to mediate an end to the conflict and press the government to agree to a cease-fire. The pair were among the highest level European officials to visit the island since the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was also to have made the trip, but he said on Tuesday he had been denied entry by the government. Bildt said no reason had been given for the decision, and government officials in Colombo declined to immediately comment on the report.

Bildt had been scheduled to visit the country this week with Miliband and Kouchner, who were granted permission to enter the country, Bildt said.

"This is remarkable," he said. "You just don't act this way."

Bildt said Sweden would call back its ambassador from Colombo in response to the decision.

The Tamil Tigers, listed as a terrorist group by many Western nations, have been fighting since 1983 for an ethnic Tamil state in the north and east after decades of marginalization by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority.

New York-based Human Rights Watch called on the UN Security Council to create an international commission of inquiry to look into abuses by both sides.


Pro-Tamil supporters label Sonia Gandhi a terrorist

London Supporters of the Sri Lankan Tamils right to self-determination have described Sonia Gandhi, the wife of former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, as a terrorist out to finish the community as retribution for her husband's assassination allegedly by the LTTE in May 1991.

The description came a day after hundreds of Tamil activists smashed the windows of the Indian High Commission (also known as India House) in Aldwych, London after staging a noisy protest outside the building. A similar attack was carried out on the Sri Lankan High Commission in Hyde Park Corner.

Scotland Yard officials said the protests were illegal in an area described as highly residential.

London Metropolitan and Westminster Police confirmed the detention of at least five of the protesters, but later said they were released. Police officials were surprisingly ill equipped; some of them did not even have the traditional batons associated with London's Bobbies to keep demonstrators at bay.

On Monday, the rowdy crowd pelted stones at the High Commission buildings, forcing the police to remove some of them from the area. Some of the demonstrators were cordoned off at the entry of Basewater Road.

The violent pro-Tamil Tiger supporters said that they would be demonstrating in front of the two buildings again on Tuesday. Shouting anti-Indian slogans on Monday, they sought the Indian Government's intervention for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka. They also asked New Delhi to force Colombo to call off its winning offensive against the LTTE.

In anticipation of more protests on Tuesday, the police are taking steps to block busy Central London roads near the Indian and Sri Lankan High Commissions.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who is due to visit Sri Lanka on Wednesday, has been briefed by the diplomats from both missions on the incidents and has been requested to provide adequate security.

According to some television channel reports, the number of protesters outside the missions on Monday was closer to 3000.

The protesters belong to several pro-LTTE groups and are carrying simultaneous protests over New Delhi's failure to secure the release of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians stuck in a small strip of land. They squarely blamed the Indian and Sri Lankan Governments for the current plight of Tamils in the island-nation.

The protests in London came as the Sri Lankan Government instructed its troops not to use heavy weapons or air strikes against Tamil Tiger rebels in the northeast of the country.

The statement said the army would focus on trying to rescue civilians, as international concern has been rising over civilian deaths.

The rebels and the Tamil civilians are boxed in to a shrinking patch of land.

The statement from the office of the president said combat operations in the civil war between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels had "reached their conclusion".

"Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian casualties," the statement said.

"Our security forces will confine their attempts to rescuing civilians who are held hostage and give foremost priority to saving civilians."

However, the pro-rebel TamilNet web site reported that air strikes are continuing since the announcement.

It quoted the head of the Tigers Peace Secretariat, Seevaratnam Puleethevan, as saying that bombers had targeted civilians in Mullivaaykkaal.

No confirmation of the reports is possible, as independent journalists are not allowed in the war zone.

A government-run television station has broadcast images said to show the army helping civilians

On Monday, Tamil Nadu's 85-year-old Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi, 85, went on a five-hour-long hunger strike that forced the Sri Lankan Government to declare a temporary cease-fire.

Sri Lanka's minority Tamil community has close cultural, religious and business ties with more than 50 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu.

The UN's top humanitarian official, John Holmes is in Sri Lanka and has demanded more access to civilians affected by the fighting.

British, French and Swedish foreign ministers will visit Sri Lanka on Wednesday,

The UN says some 50,000 civilians remain trapped in a government-designated no-fire zone, but the army puts the number at 15,000.

The Tamil Tigers have fought for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority since 1983.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the war, but that figure could now be far higher because of intensified fighting in recent weeks.


Don't touch my feet, shake hands: Priyanka to women


Nandakher (UP) Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi does not like to see people deifying politicians and that includes herself as well.

So, when women in a row began touching her feet in Nandakher village in her mother Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency of Rae Bareli, Priyanka withdrew and offered her hand. "Do not touch my feet. Shake hands," she told them.

A few days back, Priyanka had told the villagers in Bhojapur village of Sareni assembly segment to treat politicians as servants and not God.

A day after party chief Sonia Gandhi addressed her first election meeting in Rae Bareli, Priyanka was back at her job of teaching the mantra of politics and power to Rae Bareli voters to whom her "family owes a lot."

In Bhitargaon village, she repeated "leader is a medium of service ... a servant while the true power lies in you."

In Akoria Chouraha village, she told people not to vote for the candidate who did not take care of them.

The constituency, which her mother, father, grandmother and grandfather represented goes to polls on May 30 from where Sonia Gandhi seeks re-election for the second time.


CPM, BJP sing same tune; say next PM should be from LS

New Delhi The CPI-M and the BJP, although poles apart, are speaking the same language, saying the next Prime Minister should be from the Lok Sabha.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who the Congress has named as its Prime Ministerial candidate for this general elections, is a member of the Rajya Sabha.

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat, spearheading the Third Front initiative, has said that post-elections the Left parties will back a Lok Sabha member for the post of Prime Minister.

The BJP has already made an issue by insisting that the Prime Minister should be from the Lok Sabha and with BJP's candidate for the top post L K Advani even suggesting a Constitutional amendment for the purpose.

The saffron party's stand has, however, been dismissed by the Congress citing Supreme Court rulings which make it abundantly clear that there is no bar for a Rajya Sabha member to adorn the top post.

The CPI(M)-led Left parties has not been on the best of terms with Singh since they withdrew support to his Government last year on the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal.


No fight over Modi being projected as future PM: Advani

Ahmedabad BJP senior leader L K Advani on Tuesday denied that there was any rift in the party over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being projected as its future Prime Ministerial candidate.

"There is no fight in the party over Modiji being projected as the future Prime Ministerial candidate. Rather I am proud of the fact that ours is a party where a second line of leadership is ready and which has aspirants for the coveted post," Advani said while addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad.

Senior BJP leaders Arun Shourie, Arun Jaitley, M Vekaiah Naidu and Yashwant Sinha had earlier endorsed Modi as a possible future Prime Ministerial candidate of the party.

With the Supreme Court ordering a probe into the alleged role of Narendra Modi and some of his cabinet colleagues in Gujarat riots, Advani said that the move did not have any negative effect on the party.

"There is no setback for the party with the Supreme Court ordering the probe. It will be followed by the state government," he said.

Modi had got a clean chit in the earlier probes on the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat. The BJP has already ruled out any question of Modi resigning as Chief Minister as till now he has not been indicted for the riots. 


Congress conspiring to send me behind bars: Modi

Anand A belligerent Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi said he was ready to go to jail if he was found to be involved in the 2002 riots in the state and accused Congress of hatching a conspiracy to put him behind bars.

In his first public response to the Supreme Court order directing the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe his alleged role and also of his administration in aiding and abetting the riots, Modi said he was not afraid of going behind bars for the people of the land.

"After three months I might be in jail. But people of Gujarat should remember one thing, that Modi will live for Gujarat and die for Gujarat," he said at a poll rally here.

The Apex court had ordered the SIT probe "within three months" into a fresh complaint regarding the post-Godhra riots.

"If people ask me if you want to go to jail or gallows, then I will say I want to be hanged so that I can be reborn again to serve my Gujarat," Modi said, adding, "there are conspiracies against me to send me to jail."

Modi said "Union minister Kapil Sibal had given a threat that if I did not stop talking against Congress I would end up in jail."

"Just after 15 days the order has come from the Supreme Court. What does this mean?. This is a Congress conspiracy to send me behind bars," Modi said.

"On the one hand a foreign relative of Sonia (Gandhi), Quattrocchi has been given a clean chit by CBI. Everybody knows who controls CBI. On the other hand conspiracy is formed to sent me, who is the son of Bharat Mata, to jail," he added. 
 Pak launches air, ground offensive in Buner; Dir fighting kills 85


Islamabad Succumbing to international pressure to contain the advancing Taliban, Pakistan mounted a major offensive against them in Buner, using fighter jets to pound their hideouts, even as 75 militants and 10 soldiers were killed in fighting in a nearby district.

"Enough is enough," Interior Minister Rehman Malik said as he warned that "a handful of militants cannot challenge the writ of the government" and asserted that "strict action" will be taken against the Taliban who had come as close as 100 kms away from the federal capital.

Most of Dir district in North West Frontier Province had been cleared of Taliban fighters after an offensive that left 70 to 75 militants and 10 security personnel dead, chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said.

The operation in Dir was launched on Sunday and a "few pockets of resistance" that remained would be cleared soon, he told a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Abbas said the operation was extended to Buner district, located 100 km from Islamabad, this afternoon. Helicopter gunships and fighter jets are backing paramilitary Frontier Corps and army troops in the area, he said.

Over 200 militants are present in Dir while the number of Taliban fighters in Buner is 450 to 500 and they have weapons like Kalashnikovs, rocket launchers, grenades, mines and explosives. The objective of the offensive in Buner is to "eliminate or expel" the militants, he said.

The government and the army had shown significant restraint in the face of an increase in Taliban activities in Buner and Dir and the operation was launched only after the authorities had no option left, Abbas said.

Earlier in the day, Malik told reporters that the Taliban would have to leave Buner and other areas occupied by them. "A handful of militants cannot challenge the writ of the government. Let me tell them that the government will take action in a forceful manner," Malik said.

The presence of militants so close to the federal capital had raised concerns in the US which told Islamabad to take strong action to flush out Taliban and other militants.

The fresh fighting triggered a mass exodus from various villages and towns of Dir with 30,000 people leaving their homes for provincial capital Peshawar and other towns.

"Up to 30,000 people have left Maidan in Lower Dir district over the past few days," NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said. Upto a million people have so far been displaced in restive NWFP, local officials were quoted by officials as telling international relief agencies in Geneva.

Abbas said some 600 families displaced by the operation in Dir are currently sheltering in a relief camp. Asked if the operation would also be extended to the restive Swat valley, where the President recently approved the implementation of Shariah, Abbas said a decision in this regard would have to be made by government.

However, Abbas noted that militants were conducting armed patrols and kidnapping of civilians and security personnel in Swat. They had also killed police and army personnel and fired at or stopped convoys of the security forces, he said.

Despite this, the army and the government were showing restraint to take the peace process in Swat to its logical conclusion, he added. "After the implementation of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (for enforcing Shariah), there is no reason for armed activities by the militants. They should surrender their arms and take forward the peace process."

Efforts were also underway to capture Maulana Fazlullah, the Taliban commander in Swat, he said. Abbas also played an intercepted conversation in Pashtu between Fazlullah and another militant commander about the Taliban campaign in Buner.

The army is "fully on board in the government's reconciliatory process" and the launching of military operations was the prerogative of the civilian administration, he said.

On April 2-3, some 300 militants from Swat entered Buner and began indulging in unlawful activities like kidnapping and killing policemen, forcibly recruiting youths and carrying out armed patrolling. They also took positions on hilltops and punished people for matters like having cassette players in their cars, Abbas said.

The government, Abbas said, showed restraint and gave the Taliban many opportunities to vacate Buner. It also warned the militants that it would have no option other than launching an operation if they did not leave the area, he added.

Abbas described as "misplaced" the perception that the hundreds of militants who had advanced to Buner could pose a threat to Islamabad.

"Distance is not the only component for measuring threats, there are other determinants. There is a counter-capability... and a huge military and paramilitary and civilian police forces. There is a huge capability to eliminate them," he said in response to a question.

There were no reports of foreign militants being present in Dir or Swat. However, some militants from Punjab province had entered Swat a few months ago, Abbas said.

The unchecked advances of Taliban has stunned the Obama Administration and raised fears in the international community about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

Reacting to the Taliban's march towards other Pakistani cities from their stronghold in Swat, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US cannot even contemplate that and cannot let this go on any further.

Malik dismissed fears about the safety of the country's nuclear weapons, saying Pakistan is "a responsible nation that knows how to protect these assets."

Karnataka CM becomes latest victim of footwear attacks

Chennarayapatna (KTK) Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Tuesday became the latest victim of footwear attacks on politicians, with a man hurling a slipper at him while he was addressing an election meeting in Chennarayapatna but the missile did not hit him.

Police said the attacker identified as Chandrasekhar was arrested soon after he flung the 'chappal' to express his anger at the BJP leader who was lashing out at JDS chief H D Deve Gowda for "betraying" the saffron party on power transfer issue in 2007.

The slipper, however, fell short of the target, police said.

A case has been registered against Chandrasekhar, who hails from Kodihalli in Hassan district and he has been remanded to judicial custody, police said.

Condemning the action, Yeddyurappa called for an end to incidents of throwing footwear at political leaders.

On April 26, a shoe was hurled at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by a computer engineering student while he was campaigning in Gujarat but it fell short of the target. Singh forgave the student and did not want police to register a case

Early this month, a Sikh scribe, Jarnail Singh, threwhis shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram protesting the minister's response to a question on Congress leader Jagdish Tytler being given a clean chit by CBI in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

On April 10, a retired school principal flung a shoe at Congress MP Naveen Jindal at a party meeting in Haryana. In both cases the footwear missed the target.


Britons drinking less beer as recession bites

London Many pubs across Britain have closed their operation and the usual buzz surrounding them is missing as recession-hit people choose not to take to the pint to relax.

Besides job losses and economic crisis, beer lovers are also grappling with the 2 per cent rise in alcohol duty announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling last week.

New figures released by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) show that beer sales in the UK have plummeted by more than 8 per cent in a year, underlining the ongoing pressure on the ailing drinks and hospitality industry in the grip of recession.

The BBPA said fall in sales in the first quarter of 2009 was the highest first-quarter fall since 1997. The breakdown of sales across all outlets showed poor results, with many consumers opting to drink more cheaply at home. Supermarket and off-licence beer sales also dipped by 11 per cent.

The BBPA is the UK's leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 98 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own nearly two-thirds of Britain's 56,000 pubs. The organisation has led a campaign to try and persuade the government not to raise duty on alcohol further.


IIP may rise 10% in March: Macquarie

Mumbai After contracting in February, India's industrial production is likely to rebound and may post a double-digit growth in March on the back of fiscal and monetary measures taken in the last few months, a research has firm said.

"March IP (Industrial Production) data will probably post a 10 per cent month-on-month gain," Macquarie Research said in a note.

"Some industries (motor vehicles, cement and steel) are already showing signs of increased activity, though India's structurally broad industrial base suggests that IP will need a bit more time for the year-on-year growth rates to be firmly in the black, and rising," it added.

India's factory output or IIP (Index of Industrial Production) fell by 1.2 per cent in February, compared to 9.5 per cent growth in the same month a year ago.

The decline in India's IP has been significantly less than that in other Asian economies, Macquarie said, adding that the smaller contraction in IP is because India is not heavily dependent on electronic or automotive shipments.

"The motor vehicles sector is a key sector that is benefitting from a combination of increased availability of financing, cheaper cost of credit as the central bank eased policy aggressively, and improved demand following fiscal measures, especially those that enhance purchasing power," Macquarie said.


Taliban suspend peace talks as Pak kills 50 millitants

 Islamabad Helicopter gunships on Monday pounded Taliban hideouts, as Pakistani security forces in intensified operations killed over 50 militants in NWFP, putting the recent peace deal reached between the government and radicals in jeopardy.

The paramilitary Frontier Corp continued their operations for the second day today hitting militant hideouts in the province as Taliban suspended talks with government on the peace deal to protest operations in Dir, adjoining Swat.

"Twenty militants were killed in operations in Maidan area of lower Dir on Monday," a military statement said. Earlier, briefing newsmen Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said security forces had killed at least 30 militants overnight.

Malik said the operations were launched in retaliation to efforts by Taliban to extend their influence outside Swat.

As Pakistani forces intensified the offensive, Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muhammadi spokesman Izzat Khan told reporters that no peace talks would be held with the government unless the security forces halted the operations.

Izzat Khan said their peace deal with the government was now "worthless".

The pressure on the deal built up when authorities sent troops backed by artillery, tanks and helicopter gunships to attack militants in lower Dir, part of the area which is covered by the Swat peace accord.

Islamabad has been under severe pressure from the US and other countries to back out from deals with radical militant outfits which they say pose a danger of destabilising the entire region.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan denounced the operations as a violation of the pact and vowed his militants will not lay down their arms at any cost. The Swat peace deal stipulated that the militants would lay down arms once the demand for enforcing Islamic Sharia law in Pakistan's once famous tourist resort was implemented.

The Taliban said they were waiting to get in touch with the Swat deal mediator, hardline cleric Sufi Muhammad, before apparently declaring the pact dead. The cleric has been trapped in his home in lower Dir due to ongoing heavy fighting.

Muslim Khan said "the agreements with the Pakistani government were worthless as Pakistani rulers are acting to please the Americans".

Taliban confirmed that commander Maulvi Shahid was among the militants killed on Sunday. Gunship helicopters targeted militant hideouts, killing and injuring a number of them. Two personnel of the paramilitary Frontier Corps were also killed and a Major was among five personnel injured in an ambush in Maidan, the hometown of TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad.

An indefinite curfew was imposed in Lal Qila, Islampura, Kal Kot and several other areas in Dir considered to be Taliban strongholds. Security forces yesterday took control of Lal Qila after clearing the area of militants.

22 customs officers, 10 girls, one nude party

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Express News Service

Posted: Aug 28, 2008 at 0208 hrs IST


Pune, August 27 The police cracked down on a high-profile party at a bungalow at Khandala at dawn on Wednesday and arrested 40 persons, including 22 Mumbai-based custom officers and 10 dance bar girls. Most of them were nude when caught, said inspector Sudam Darekar, who led the raid.

Ten of the custom officers were superintendents and the other 12 inspectors, all 22 working at Sahar International Airport. Apart from the officers and the girls, the other eight were four men from Mumbai who are believed to have organised the party, the caretaker of the bungalow, a driver and two men who were playing music systems.

The police seized 35 cellphones, along with eight cars, foreign liquor, a laptop, VCDs, a music system and

Rs 55,000 in cash. They produced the group in Wadgaon Maval court in the afternoon and sought custody, but defence lawyers argued this was pointless as police had nothing more to recover. Judicial Magistrate First Class D B Patange then remanded the group to magisterial custody, after which defence lawyers filed for bail immediately.

After competing their shift on Tuesday, the customs men drove to the bungalow in Taj Cottage, Khandala. Their plan was to rejoin work at 8 am on Wednesday. They were carrying their uniforms.

The party started sometime in the evening. Kadam received a tip-off ; the raid came around midnight, by a joint team of the Lonavla city and the rural police.

Darekar said most of the officers and girls were drunk and dancing nude. An adult video was playing on a laptop. Currency notes lay scattered on the ground.

"It is suspicious that so many senior customs officers were partying at the same spot. We are investigating who was behind this party," Darekar said. "We are also trying to find out whether the dance girls were employed by some escort service."

Police said a Mumbai-based person owns the bungalow. The party organisers had taken the bungalow on rent for a day from the caretaker.

Women constables nabbed the girls, while male cops rounded up the men. "Initially, the partygoers tried to hide their identities, but later owned up. We were shocked that 22 of them were customs officers," said Darekar.

The customs officers have been told to report to their commissioner and give an explanation. According to senior officers, none of them have been suspended and any disciplinary action would be taken after each one had been given a chance to explain.

State-of-the-art detection machine lies unused at Lucknow's SGPGI

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Posted: Nov 20, 2008 at 0120 hrs IST


Lucknow, November 19 In a state where vector-borne diseases are a perennial problem, a machine that promptly tests samples and helps decide a precise line of treatment at an early stage, has been lying unused at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences for the last two months.

Called real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machine, it is a sensitive equipment which identifies chikungunya, JE, dengue and some other viruses with 45 minutes.

But the SGPCI authorities have not obtained certain kits, nor have they been able to decide the rates that should be charged from patients.

While the machine lies idle, samples continue to be tested by the old, gel-based PCR. "Gel-based PCR takes anything between five hours to days for giving results which are not that accurate," said Dr TN Dhole, head of Microbiology Department of SGPGI. "Real-time PCR takes hardly 45 minutes to give accurate results."

Explaining the situation, he said sometimes, a particular virus is suspected, but the results are negative when gel-based PCR or enzyme immunoassay (ELISA) test is used. These tests, he said, are simply not that accurate. "Even today, I am sending reports of two patients as negative for herpes encephalitis, even though I know the results would have been different had we been using RT-PCR," he said.

In the absence of prompt, accurate detection, the patient keeps getting symptomatic treatment, which may or may not be correct.

The machine has cost the SGPGI around Rs 15 lakh and the experts say that it is the best such equipment in the state. Dhole said they hadn't been able to use the machine due to "lack of co-ordination". "Despite having the technology, we cannot use it as the decision about the rates for the tests and other formalities might take another few months when the committee formally sits," he said.

Dr AK Bhatt, Chief Medical Superintendent, said he has not received any complaint about the machine remaining unused. "Our Microbiology Department looks after the laboratory. They know best about the equipments and their procurement," he said.

Dr KN Prasad, who looks after procurement for the institute, said the committee which finalises the rates and the kind of tests that can be done on RT-PCR will meet in "around one month". But if the Microbiology Department feels that there is an urgency, then they should write to the hospital administration, he said.

The patients, meanwhile, continue to suffer.

Around 15 days ago, four-year-old Ayush Pathak was admitted in the institute with complaints of seizures, fever and bouts of unconsciousness.

Doctors suspected herpes encephalitis or dengue, but the Microbiology Department sent a report that they could not identify the virus.

The illnesses of 43-year-old Rajesh Chandra and 17-year-old Abhinandan Mallik also remain unidentified.

Last week, the microbiology lab received serum samples of eight patients from different parts of the state, all of whom showed clinical symptoms of chikungunya, but only two of these were actually confirmed.

Pandemic risk fuels fears for world economy

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Posted: Apr 28, 2009 at 1151 hrs IST


Singapore The rising risk that a global pandemic could snuff out frail signs of recovery in the world economy spurred nervous investors to seek safe havens on Tuesday, after the World Health Organisation raised its alert level for a deadly swine flu outbreak that started in Mexico.

Mexican Labour Minister Javier Lozano said the country did not yet plan a mass closure of businesses to try to halt the spread of the disease that has killed up to 149 people so far.

"Economic activity must continue," he said.

But markets were on edge. Oil dropped a further 1 per cent, sinking below $50 a barrel on concern that a pandemic would damage the already battered world economy and stifle air travel.

Most Asian stock markets slipped into negative territory after tentative early gains, and the yen climbed to a seven-week high against the euro and a one-month high versus the dollar as investors cut their exposure to riskier currencies.

Drug stocks extended Monday's gains while airline stocks were hit once again.

The Mexican swine flu outbreak came just as many global policymakers were daring to proclaim the start of a tentative turnaround in the world economy after months of decline.

Now, any recovery is in doubt.

"We almost have to wait to see not so much the contagion aspect but how deadly is this," said Alan Ruskin, chief international strategist at RBS Greenwich Capital in Connecticut.

He said that while a mild strain would have only a limited global impact, "if you start getting a number of fatalities, then it ramps the issue up substantially at every level, from a human standpoint and from an economic standpoint".


The World Bank estimated in 2008 that a flu pandemic could cost $3 trillion and result in a nearly 5 per cent drop in world gross domestic product.

An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which disrupted travel, trade and workplaces in 2003, cost the Asia Pacific region an estimated $40 billion. It lasted six months and killed 775 of the 8,000 people it infected in 25 countries.

In Washington, the Obama administration said it was too soon to determine the potential economic impact but US Treasury officials were monitoring the situation.

Regardless of the effect of the virus on the global economy, the head of the International Monetary Fund said he did not see a global economic recovery before 2010.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told CNBC television he hoped the worst was over but that "green shoots" in the global economy were mostly in the United States.

A Reuters survey of analysts across European and the United States taken April 21-27 found a slim majority saying the bottom had yet to be hit in the worst global recession since World War Two. Most expected the crisis to last anywhere from six months to another two years.

"Financial and macroeconomic stability are still some way off and we don't yet have the foundation for a solid recovery," said Lena Komileva, chief G7 market economist at Tullett Prebon.


General Motors Corp, one of the casualties of the global crisis, announced its final plan to stave off bankruptcy on Monday. It aims to slash its $27 billion bond debt through an equity swap and cut more than 21,000 more jobs.

The move would effectively nationalise GM, putting majority control in the hands of the US government -- a controversial issue in a country that has long preached the primacy of markets.

"We strongly back an auto industry that we believe can and should be self-reliant," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "It is not our desire to either own or run one of the auto companies."

Chrysler lenders were also expected to receive a new offer from the US Treasury shortly. The company has an April 30 deadline to reach a deal with creditors and cement an alliance with Fiat that would eventually give the Italian firm a 35 per cent stake in the restructured US automaker.

Despite risks of more financial turbulence, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Monday lowering interest rates may not be the best way to fight a recession.

"Our actions have been different from those taken by other central banks, reflecting differences in economic and financial structures," he said of the ECB's reaction to the crisis in a speech to the Foreign Policy Association in New York.

"Indeed, given the different economic structures, they need to be different to reach the same objective."

The ECB meets on May 7 and markets expect it to cut the benchmark interest rate from 1.25 per cent to 1.0 per cent. The US Federal Reserve starts a two-day meeting on Tuesday and is expected to leave benchmark rates at or near zero.


FII net sell at Rs 257cr, DII net sell at Rs 202cr

Business Standard - ‎4 hours ago‎
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers of Rs 256.85 crore (provisional) today, according to data released by BSE. While FIIs made gross ...

FIIs hike stake in one out of four cos in Q4

Business Standard - ‎2 hours ago‎
PTI / New Delhi April 28, 2009, 19:55 IST Foreign institutional investors (FII) have increased their stake in one out of every four companies, ...

FIIs reduce stake in 7 out of 10 companies in Jan-March

Hindu Business Line - ‎Apr 27, 2009‎
Seventeen of these companies have seen over 5 percentage point fall in FII holdings. Vakrangee Software saw the steepest fall of close to 18 percentage ...

Instanex FII Index opens 1.18% down - ‎Apr 26, 2009‎
At 10 am, the Instanex FII Index is down 1.18% at 247.63 and the Instanex DII 15 Portfolio is down 1.06%. The other Instanex Ownership Indices are down ...

FIIs pull-out Rs 191-cr from equity market

Economic Times - ‎Apr 21, 2009‎
In today's trade, FIIs were gross seller of shares worth Rs 1658.72 crore, while they bought equities worth Rs 1467.71 crore resulting in a net sale of Rs ...

See global eco recovery by CY09 end: ICICI Pru - ‎1 hour ago‎
"When we speak with the sales people and our counter parts on the FII side, a majority of them do believe that there will be a majority government albeit ...

FIIs lower holdings in Sensex companies - ‎Apr 21, 2009‎
FIIs, which pulled out over Rs 6000 crore from domestic equities in the January to March period of this year, have lowered their stake in as many as 17 ...

Markets at a glance

Business Standard - ‎Apr 27, 2009‎
While FII have sold heavily this year, recent purcahses of Rs 4800 crore in April has reduced net sales to Rs 1811 crore for the year. ...
Shift in balance? Business Standard

FII investments can indicate market trend

Economic Times - ‎Apr 25, 2009‎
Foreign institutional investors (FII) have been the key drivers of the domestic stock markets since the last few years. They invested billions of dollars in ...

First time since 1999, FIIs turn net sellers

Economic Times - ‎Apr 20, 2009‎
MUMBAI: Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) disposed of shares worth $11.83 billion last fiscal, turning net sellers for the first time since 1998-99, ...


General Motors offers final survival plan

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Posted: Apr 28, 2009 at 1016 hrs IST

Detroit General Motors Corp on Monday offered its final plan to reorganize outside bankruptcy by slashing bond debt, cutting over 21,000 more US jobs and emerging as a nationalized automaker under majority control by the US government.

GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said the automaker would file for bankruptcy protection if an offer to exchange bonds for company equity failed to cut $27 billion in bond debt by about 90 per cent or other changes faltered.

Analysts doubted the debt exchange offer would succeed, setting up GM to restructure in Chapter 11.

GM's bondholder's blasted the terms of its debt-exchange as a back-room deal designed to protect the interests of its major union the United Auto Workers, a group that campaigned for President Barack Obama in last year's election.

Representatives of the bondholders said GM and the Obama administration were gambling on a risky and "legally questionable" strategy for a company that once ranked as an icon of American industrial and economic strength.

The White House said on Monday the US government had no desire to run a domestic automaker despite the potential controlling interest.

"We strongly back an auto industry that we believe can and should be self reliant," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "It is not our desire to either own or run one of the auto companies."

GM's new strategy, which will also jettison the Pontiac brand and shut down production of Saturn brand cars this year, underscored how quickly and far it has fallen since last summer when executives, including Henderson, were insisting that the automaker could restructure under a program of "self help."

Separately, Chrysler lenders were expected to receive a new offer from the US Treasury as early as Monday in the wake of cost-cutting deals the US automaker has reached with unions in the United States and Canada.

Chrysler faces an April 30 deadline to reach a deal with creditors and cement an alliance with Italy's Fiat SpA and continue to receive US government emergency support.

The automaker was working "diligently" to complete the Fiat deal and restructure its business by the deadline and maintain government emergency loans, Chief Executive Bob Nardelli said in a memo to staff.

Chrysler cleared another hurdle in its reorganization on Monday when Daimler AG reached a deal to divest the nearly 20-per cent stake it had held since selling Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management LP in 2007.

Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement said it was now more likely Chrysler would not have to go into liquidation following an agreement with the Canadian union that Fiat has concluded is cost-effective.

Plots and plans: How the Chargers turned the corner

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G.S. Vivek

Posted: Apr 27, 2009 at 1048 hrs IST
Durban After finishing at the bottom last year, the secret behind Deccan Chargers' dramatic early success in the 2009 edition of the IPL has been hard-nosed planning and near-perfect execution of those plans, team officials revealed after their fourth straight win on Monday.

Coach Darren Lehmann and his think-tank have provided an in-depth analysis of every opposition, listing their strengths and weaknesses. Deccan's comprehensive six-wicket victory on Monday, for example, was the execution of a detailed plan. According to an internal Hyderabad memo, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, on the Chennai Super Kings prepared ahead of the match, Manpreet Gony "hits the deck, bowls straightish, tries to swing it out, and is predictable — bowling the same length all the time", while L Balaji "bowls straight, is predictable with a good slower ball from the back of the hand".

"Morkel is a skiddy type of bowler, bowls quite full and can give you plenty to hit. Got an off-spinner slower one," the memo says, and asks opener Herschelle Gibbs to chip in more information about his fellow South Africans in the team meeting. Similarly, Scott Styris was asked to fill in information about New Zealand team mate Jacob Oram.

The Chargers identified Muttiah Muralitharan as the "key to their (Chennai's) bowling, a lot of doosras like Harbhajan coming around the wicket for right-handers looking for lbw." Murali was carefully seen off with just 17 runs in his four overs, but he did dismiss Dwayne Smith coming around the stumps.

There was a similar plan in place for the batsmen, who got a flying start before slowing down in the middle overs. According to the memo, "Dhoni likes singles early, struggles with length, the bouncer is a good option, and (Pragyan) Ohja has a real good chance of dismissing him." Ohja eventually had Dhoni caught at point region. Similarly, the plan for Suresh Raina was for Fidel Edwards to target him with bouncers.

Further, the Chargers have identified nine key result areas, each with a fixed monetary incentive. The Man of the Match gets an additional $1000, every half-century at a strike rate of more than 130 earns $400, scores of 25 with a strike rate of 175 fetch $150, while every six after the batsman's first gets an additional $75. There are similar prizes for bowlers — three wickets in a match fetch $500, eight dot balls in a four-over spell get $250, with an additional $50 for every dot ball thereafter. Not to be left behind, the fielding unit gets $150 for taking two catches or effecting a stumping.

While these are small amounts considering their contracts, and just a way to keep the atmosphere competitive in the dressing room, the players have raked in more than $20,00 between them in the four games.

In the name of dance

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Shalini Rai

Posted: Apr 27, 2009 at 0248 hrs IST

Retailers turn to co-op movement for better supply chain management

BV Mahalakshmi
Posted: 2007-10-09 00:00:00+05:30 IST
Updated: Oct 09, 2007 at 0325 hrs IST

Hyderabad, Oct 8: Far from the existing corporate or contract farming, co-operative movement is becoming a revolution. Thanks to the retail boom, retailers are giving a push to this momentum for better supply chain management. Even while the existing contract or corporate farming is being debated by many states as there are no clear-cut policies during violation by the corporates, co-operatives are much sought-after by the retailers. The buyers list includes ITC's e-choupal, Reliance Fresh, Heritage Foods and many more are the in the process to join the co-operative movement.

Reason is obvious as the co-operatives are registered under the mutually-aided co-operative society Act. For instance, as pilot, the Federation of Farmers' Association (FFA) of Andhra Pradesh has initiated a move by setting up eight co-operatives in the state for mango which has helped in mitigating losses to an extent of Rs 2-3 crore. Says Chengal Reddy, chairman, FFA: ''About 4,000 farmers in over 1,40,000 acres are working across eight co-operatives in Chitoor for mango production. This is being sourced by Coca-Cola to an extent of 3,500 tonnes of mango. Owing to the increasing demand, we are planning to increase it to over 12 co-operatives by this year end.''

Interestingly, FFA has forged relationships with ITC in Medak district in Andhra Pradesh for sourcing vegetables on about 200-300 acres with over 700 growers and is in talks with Heritage Foods for supplying over one lakh bags of Sona Masoori rice. ''We are in the process of forming a society towards this,'' Reddy said. On the same lines, a co-operative movement is already in place for dairy products in association with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), he added.

''More so, many states across the country do not have a policy for contract farming to assist the farmers during any kind of violation of the terms and agreement,'' says an commodity analyst. A strict code-of-conduct for contract farming arrangements have to be in place by the corporates, the analyst said adding that perhaps this is also one of the moves to boost cooperative movement. Moreover, the state Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act is yet to be amended in many states which is affecting direct market linkages, Reddy said.

Cement, telecom, capital goods to post higher growth: study

R Ravichandran
Posted: 2007-10-09 00:00:00+05:30 IST
Updated: Oct 09, 2007 at 0323 hrs IST

Chennai, Oct 8 : Sectors such as telecom, capital goods (including power equipment), cement, construction, and non-banking financial institutions are expected to post highest revenue and earnings growth in the second quarter ended September 30, 2007 while others like automobiles, pharmaceuticals, metals will report lowest growth, according to a study.

At 18% Sensex return in second quarter of the current fiscal has been best in the last six quarters, softening interest rates, lower inflation, FII inflows, positive sentiment towards emerging markets all have contributed to the rise in these sectors, said market analyst Prabhudas & Lilladher in its latest earnings preview.

"We expect that earnings growth in the second quarter will not disappoint. Sectors like telecom, cement, construction are expected to report a solid 19% year-on-year growth in earnings and 10% y-o-y growth in revenues," the report said.

"While valuations are not cheap, we expect it to sustain with strong earnings report and we remain cautiously bullish from a 12-month perspective. Earnings and markets have weathered the period of rising interest rates, tightening money supply and choppy global markets," the report added.

The country is now in a period of topped-out interest rates, moderate inflation, continuing capex and steady consumer spending. This along with positive FII sentiment towards emerging markets should keep the domestic markets trending up over the medium-term. However, given the political uncertainty, high oil prices and increasing impact of global factors, a near-term-correction is not just possible but quite likely.

Some of the overweight sectors are bank and non-bank institutions, capital goods, power, telecom, cement and real estate

Promoters raise stakes in companies

28 Apr 2009, 0835 hrs IST, Rajesh Chandramouli, TNN


CHENNAI: Seeing their stock prices at very attractive valuations, promoters are slowly shoring up stake in their companies. Of the 2,023 companies
Stock Market
which filed shareholding pattern for the quarter ended March 2009, as many as 549 companies have seen an increase in shareholding of the promoter group.

"The increase in promoters holdings is a clear signal of the value present in companies after the correction witnessed in their stock prices over the last few quarters," said Hitesh Agarwal, head (Research) at Angel Broking.

Sebi rules allow promoters to increase their stake through the open market by as much as 5% every year. In some cases, stakes could have gone up due to a merger or a share buyback. Therefore, any shareholding increase of more than 5% means there has been an extra activity during the quarter like a merger or a share buyback.

According to a data collated by CMIE, a number of companies has seen promoters hiking their stakes between 2% and 4% in the quarter.

"In the case of Avery, the promoters increased their holding by 20% through to a public offer. Besides, a lot of promoters increase their stake to have a stronger holding in the company," said K Ramakrishnan, executive director and head (Investment Banking) at Spark Capital. Companies like SREI Infrastructure Finance saw its promoters hike stake by 4.97%, Adlabs (3.68%), M&M (2.71%) and Zensar 2.72%.

"Sometimes promoters have had to increase their holdings to ward off takeover threats in wake of the low valuations. Nonetheless, generally, the act of increasing promoter holding in a company points to greater faith of the promoters in the company and also boosts shareholders' confidence," said Agarwal of Angel Broking.

Also Read
 → Stocks that can be offloaded at current levels
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 → Recovery brings back Rs 10,00,000 cr of investors wealth
 → Check out if stocks are riskier than bonds

"However, it is important to keep track of the fundamentals of the company and check the quantum of the hike and ensure that it is not merely a window dressing act."

Of all the companies which have filed the shareholding pattern, 1,314 companies did not see any change in their promoter holdings, while 160 companies saw a dip. The promoters of Karuturi Global dropped stakes by 7.11%, Bank of Rajasthan (-3.6%), Punj Lloyd (-2.78%), and scam-hit Pyramid Saimira saw its promoters holding drop by 14.99%.

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