Current Affairs : Business & Economy
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has registered its fifth clean development mechanism (CDM) project with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
What is CDM ?
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol which allows the industrialised countries with a greenhouse gas reduction commitment to invest in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries.
The CDM allows net global greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced at a much lower global cost by financing emissions reduction projects in developing countries where costs are lower than in industrialized countries.
The CDM is supervised by the CDM Executive Board (CDM EB) and is under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
ONGC’s latest project is for Hazira Plant in Gujarat. This project will fetch an estimated certified emission reduction (CER) of 4043 annually for a period of 10 years. The first project of ONGC was registered in 2007.
October 22, 2009: Sri Lanka may be suspended from EU’s GSP+trade incentive scheme
Many countries are trade incetive beneficiaries of a prestigious arrangement under the EU General System of Preferences called Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance known as GSP+.Recently EU has given indication of suspension of these privilages to Sri Lanka due to significant shortcomings in Human Rights committments. The amount may be worth tens of millions of euros a year.
European Commission has recently completed a “thorough investigation into whether Sri Lanka is living up to the commitments it made to respect international human rights standards when it became a beneficiary of the EU’s GSP+trade incentive scheme.
This report has concluded that there are significant shortcomings in this area and that Sri Lanka is in breach of its GSP+commitments. EU will now consult with member states on whether to prepare a proposal with a view to temporarily suspending these additional trade benefits
According to the report Sri Lanka has not lived up to its pledges to protect children’s rights, crack down on the use of torture and support broad-based political rights, the commission believes. The suspension would be to encourage improved human-rights activity.
October 22, 2009: 12th Inter Parliamentary Union Assembly at Geneva
12th meeting of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) was held in Geneva from october 19 to 21, 2009. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan, and parliamentarians K.S. Rao, Ramdas Agarwal, S.K. Biswamuthiary and Jayaprada were part of the Indian delegation led by Meira Kumar , Speaker of Lok Sabha.
October 20, 2009: Growth of Indian Textile Industry in August
After a slump period of 9 months, India’s textile and apparel industry has shown positive growth for the month of August 2009. The reasons is two fold.There is a growth in demand from the European Markert and another reasons is that India is taking on its biggest competitor by entering the Chinese market.
70 % of India’s $10-billion Indian textile and apparel industry exports to US & Europe.
China is known for exporting cheap textiles across the globe, yet India is far ahead of China in terms of creativity, fashion, designs and the variety of textiles.
India’s main competitors are Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia, apart from China.
In the $373-billion global clothing industry, India’s share has fallen over the years from 3.3 percent to 2.6 percent, amounting to $9.69 billion.
To maintain the current share of 2.6 percent, India needs to export $18 billion worth of clothes annually, requiring 2.7 million additional manpower and investments of $30 billion.
The sector employs over 33 million people, and contributes about four percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 14 percent to its industrial production. (This is a summary of a news from IANS)
October 20, 2009: Integrated Security System (ISS) for 2010 Commonwealth Games
India has recently approved the state-of-the-art setting up the Integrated Security System (ISS) security for the 2010 Commonwealth Games at an estimated cost of Rs.370 crore – a move that also aims to set a benchmark for all big events in future.Hyderabad-based state-owned Electronics Corporation of India Limited has been assigned for setting up the Integrated Security System (ISS) for the Games.
October 17, 2009: Divestment in SJVN & NTPC
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has recently approved a proposal to divest stake in state-run utilities NTPC Ltd and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVN).
Government’s Present Share holding in the company : 89.5 %
Government’s share holding After divesting : 84.5 %
Government will raise : Rs. 8800 Crore
The NTPC’s market capitalisation currently stands at Rs.172,000 crore.
SJVN is a 75:25 joint venture between the central government and Himachal Pradesh.
After Divestment: Central Government: 65, Himachal Government: 25
October 20, 2009: Proposal to Release Monthly Inflation Data Approved
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a proposal to release inflation data on a monthly basis instead of week-wise as is done currently. The new inflation data on monthly basis will be with the base year of 2004. However Wolesale Price Index (WPI) for primary articles would continue to be released on a weekly basis.
October 19, 2009: Madhya Pradesh amends sugar control order
Government of Madhya Pradesh has amended the State Sugar Trade Order 2009 to exempt institutions, hospitals, state-run working women’s hostels and educational institutions, local bodies and registered trusts from its ambit. This was done on the baisis of requests from the sugar traders.
October 18, 2009: B& B Scheme of Chandigarh scrapped
Bed and breakfast (B&B;) scheme was launched in Chandigarh last year to boost tourism has beem scrapped after its operators allegedly misused it and violated rules. The contracts of all the 25 homes registered under this scheme have been cancelled.
What was the scheme?
The B&B; scheme was launched in 2008 with much fanfare to facilitate tourism in the city but it lost its true purpose mid-way, as people took it as a money-making business. They converted their premises into mini-hotels, started advertising on the internet and were charging exorbitant amounts.
This scheme will be modernized and relaunched in 2010 most probably.
October 17, 2009: Arrest of Raj Rajaratnam, The Sri Lankan Wizard
Raj Rajaratnam is the founder of Galleon Group, a New York based hedge fund.On October 16, 2009 he was arrested by the FBI for insider trading. Jim Walden, an attorney for Mr. Rajaratnam, said his client is innocent and will fight the insider-trading charges.Galleon Group is one of the world’s largest hedge funds, with branches in London, Singapore, Mumbai and Menlo Park, California.
Raj Rajaratnam was arrested by the FBI and accused of conspiring with others to trade based on insider information about several publicly traded companies, including Google Inc. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, putting total profits in the scheme at $20.6 million, told a news conference it was the largest hedge fund case ever in insider information and then caused the Galleon Technology Funds to execute trades that earned a profit of more than $12.7 million between January 2006 and July 2007.
October 18, 2009: US budget deficit reaches record $1.42 trillion
The US federal budget deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, ended Sep 30, represents about 10 percent of US gross domestic product (GDP) the highest percentage since 1945 amounting to a record high of $1.42 trillion . That compares to a deficit of 3.2 percent of GDP in 2008.
$320 million World Bank Loan for better roads in Andhra
The World Bank has approved a $320 million loan to India, designed to improve quality, capacity and safety of roads in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This loan is with a maturity of 30 years, including a grace period of 5.5 years. It would help finance the Andhra Pradesh Road Sector Project designed to upgrade about 429 km of priority state highways and finance long-term maintenance of over 6,000 km of the state’s core road network.
Road transport is vital to Andhra Pradesh’s economy, accounting for more than 80 percent of freight and passenger traffic, the Bank said noting the State Government has invested heavily to improve its transport infrastructure.
October 14, 2009: Central Excise launches ACES in Delhi
Delhi Service Tax Commissionerate launched the Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES) to ease the woes of service tax payers and assesses.
What is ACES?
ACES is a new centralised and web based software application of the Central Board of Excise and Customs that is now available to the service of tax assesses. It will offer various online facilities and services such as registration, filling of service tax returns, refund claims, filing of intimations, tracking, dispute resolutions and online viewing of records.
October 10, 2009: China & Russia sign Gas Deal
Russia & China have recently signed an agreement to supply gas to China via two pipelines. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promised to promote oil and energy cooperation and build on the two nations’ “strategic and practical cooperation”.
October 9, 2009: Coal productions in the half fiscal
India’s coal production in the first half this fiscal was 184.4 million tonnes, against 167.8 million tonnes produced in the corresponding period last year. This has reflected a 9.9 percent growth as per a review of the performance of Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries.
About Coal India Ltd:
Coal India Limited (CIL) is a public sector undertaking of the Indian Government. It is the world’s largest coal miner . It is owned entirely by the Union Government, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Coal. It is involved in coal mining and production industry.
October 14, 2009: Microfinance India Summit
Microfinance India Summit is a national advocacy platform, initiated by ACCESS Development Services. 6th annual conference will be held from October 26th -28th 2009 in New Delhi. The summit aims to address issues concerning the trade-offs and points of convergence in the microfinance sector and the balance between building social as well as financial capital. Continuing in this tradition, the theme for this year is “Doing Good and Doing Well: The need for balance”.
October 10, 2009: IREDA Ties up with KfW
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) has tied up with KfW, a German development bank, for promoting biomass power generation in the country. KfW will provide financial assistance worth 19.971 million euros (Rs.140 crore) to IREDA. This loan aims to accelerate the adoption of environmentally sustainable biomass power and co-generation technologies in India. It will promote innovative biomass projects of combustion, gasification, methanation, and co-generation technologies for electricity generation.
The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) was established in 1987 as a Public Sector Non-Banking Company under the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) with the objective of providing loans for new and renewable sources of energy (NRSE). It has played a key role in the development of renewable energy in India.
The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) provides revolving fund to financing and leasing companies offering affordable credit for the purchase of PV systems.
KfW is a German government-owned development bank, based in Frankfurt. Its name originally comes from Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, meaning Reconstruction Credit Institute. Recently KfW has tied up with the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) to help Indian companies identify projects, fund the projects and help earn carbon credits. The tie-up would also help the companies find a suitable buyer in the international market.
At present, 12 energy sector projects with KfW loan commitments of more than Rs.7,700 cr