The Week That Was

Before we enter the new year, the government would come out with the Fiscal Deficit data for the month of November.

December 27, 2013 6:15 IST | India Infoline News Service
Top Stories

Slew of reforms! Congress for Lokpal framework

Congress-ruled states are now set to enact the new Lokayukta Act by February 28, 2014.   Announcing a slew of ‘reforms,’ Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said Congress-ruled states are now set to enact the new Lokayukta Act by February 28, 2014. The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption ombudsman organization in the Indian states.  Rahul Gandhi today held a strategy session with Chief Ministers of 12 Congress-ruled states and top leaders of the Congress. The meeting was held to discuss the issue of corruption, Lokpal and price rise, Gandhi was quoted as saying.  Gandhi said that corruption in the country can be dealt with if the bills pending in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha are cleared. Among the other initiatives announced by the Congress is that by January 15, fruits and vegetables would be delisted from APMC acts. This will enable farmers to have a choice on price and consumers could benefit due to lower prices. All Congress-ruled states will also invoke Essential Commodities Act to stop hoarding, black marketing and profiteering. All Congress-ruled states will immediately implement reforms of the Public Distribution System (PDS) to eliminate leakages. Senior leaders who attended the meet include P Chidambaram, A K Antony, Sushilkumar Shinde, Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh, Digvijay Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Kapil Sibal and KB Thomas. Rahul Gandhi also today made public his disagreement with the Maharashtra government's decision to reject judicial commission's report on Adarsh scam. It may be recalled that former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan was indicted in this case.

Indian manufacturing growth story is quite strong: Frost & Sullivan

Developing solutions 'For India in India' is as much the need of the hour, as is keeping pace with the rapid advancements in global manufacturing techniques. Manufacturing renaissance is an important aspect that can potentially contribute to the increase in contribution of manufacturing sectors toward India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth.   The manufacturing sector is likely to witness a healthy growth over the next two to three years, which is in contrast to the current scenario of declining manufacturing share in total GDP. According to Frost & Sullivan's analysis, the recent dip (2012-13) can be considered as a temporary phenomenon because the fundamentals defining Indian manufacturing growth story are quite strong.

The National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) is likely to be one of the key drivers. While there is a concern on investment slowdown, Frost & Sullivan's analysis indicates that Indian manufacturers are focused on operational excellence improvements, which are a key to manufacturing renaissance. The push toward making the Industrial corridors a reality, increasing urbanization, rise in working age population, and focus on smart factory are some of the Mega Trends that could potentially drive manufacturing renaissance. The increasing per capita expenditure and penetration of assets spanning urban and rural household demonstrate the strong fundamentals that support India's manufacturing story. The Industrial Automation and Process Control Practice of Frost & Sullivan recently concluded its annual forum "Enhancing Manufacturing Competitiveness: New Age Solutions Driving Change" on Discrete Automation and Process Automation in Mumbai. The Discrete Automation event was followed by an awards banquet that witnessed industry's best-in-class companies being recognized with Frost & Sullivan's Excellence in Industrial Technologies Awards, India...Read More

Unconventional Monetary Policy: The Indian Experience with Crisis Response

It is now 5 years since the collapse of the Lehman Brothers in September 2008, which evoked unprecedented monetary policy activism – both conventional and unconventional - across the advanced and emerging market economies (EMEs). It is for the first time on December 18, 2013 that the US Fed announced concrete measures to exit from unconventional monetary policy in a calibrated manner starting January 2014. The Indian economy like other EMEs was affected both by the global financial crisis post-Lehman and the announcement of likely exit by the US Fed in May 2013. We also resorted to both conventional and unconventional policies not only in response to the crisis but also to the announcement of exit, though there were qualitative differences in these responses. Against this backdrop, I will begin by distinguishing unconventional monetary policy from conventional policy, highlight the contours of unconventional policies in major advance economies and review the impact of such policies. I will then turn to the impact on India and our monetary policy response. I will end by drawing a few broad conclusions...Read More

RBI sets up Committee on Data and Information Management

RBI cautions users of Virtual Currencies against Risks

Congressmen want Rahul Gandhi declared PM candidate at January 2014 conclave

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is in full flow in the run up to 2014 elections, trying his best to reach out to a larger cross section of society. Gandhi is in the process of hosting discussions with Students, Youth groups, Women and Panchayats to record their feedback and concerns over critical issues plaguing society. He was also involved in detailed discussions with the SC, ST, OBC as well as the minority communities. This will be carried over to the Congress' manifesto for 2014. This is being witnessed the first time in history, where Congress is using an 'open access' approach to formulating the party's agenda. The Congress manifesto will portray requisites of the student community, putting forward their demands which focuses on employment. Rahul Gandhi has consistently been stressing on prioritizing education and greater interaction between education and industry. The Youth Congress wing is highlighting the importance of the youth vote-bank in the upcoming polls...Read More

Arvind Kejriwal to be sworn in as Delhi CM

Arvind Kejriwal, standing true to his election-campaign words, is planning to issue orders of providing 700 liters of water per day to each household in Delhi, promptly within 24 hours of his induction as Chief Minister. Kejriwal had voiced his doubts earlier regarding the accounts of Power Distribution Companies in the city fudging records and overcharging customers; post being sworn in as the CM, he intends to order a probe (audit) into the records of these companies. Kejriwal confirmed that taking such a step was always possible within the ambit of the Controller and Audit General (CAG), the only necessity being political will. The two announcements made by him asserted his plan of standing by trhe remaining promises that he has made. Arvind Kejriwal recently held discussions with Chief Secretary on issues related to Financial Health of Private Power Distribution Companies and the city government, giving rise to speculations that a reduction in power tariff may be in the vicinity. Kejriwal sought specific information regarding the financial position of the private power distribution companies from the Chief Secretary. Sources close to Kejriwal said there is a possibility of an announcement on power tariff after he is sworn in as Chief Minister...Read More

Ministry Of Home Affairs: Year End Review-2013

During the year 2013, the Ministry of Home Affairs dealt with the challenges of security, law and order, disaster management, police modernisation and border management among other issues. Important consultation meetings with the Chief Ministers, DGPs of States/UTs on law and order and naxalities management were also held. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, launch of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS), Strengthening of Unlawful activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 were other highlights during the year. The Conference of Chief Ministers was held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on April 15,2013 to discuss the recommendations contained in the 5th report of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission. During the Chief Ministers’ Conference on June 5, 2013, the Union Home Minister Shri Sushilkumar Shinde had a separate meeting with the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Finance Minister of West Bengal and the Governor of Jharkhand on security related issues in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states. The Special Industry Initiatives "UDAAN" in J&K was also taken up during the year. On the bilateral and multi-lateral areas, revised travel arrangements between India and Bangladesh, 33rd Asia and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA) and bilateral discussions with the Homeland Security Department of US in Washington and at New Delhi were other highlights during the year...Read More

India Strategy: Leaders and laggards of past rallies

In the past 10 years, we have seen three bull runs, including Bull phase-1 (Apr 2003 to Dec 2007) (cumulative Sensex returns of 597%), Bull phase–2 (Mar 2009 to Nov 2010) (cumulative Sensex returns of 152%) and Bull phase-3 (Dec 2011 until date) (cumulative Sensex returns of 35%). In between we saw two bear phases, including Bear phase-1 (Dec 2007 to Mar 2009) (cum Sensex returns -59%) and Bear phase–2 (Nov 2010 to Dec 2011) (cum Sensex returns -27%)...Read More

Greater household savings may flow into equities in future

FII flows have greater influence on India than other emerging markets

FII flows have significantly more influence on Indian markets compared with other large emerging markets such as Brazil, China, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa, especially in recent years. This is demonstrated on two counts. Firstly, FII equity flows as a percentage of market cap was the highest for India in the past six quarters since Jan 2012. Secondly, Indian market return had the highest correlation to FII equity flows, compared with other emerging markets. India’s Nifty Index returns and FII flows had a correlation of 0.60 since March 2005, compared with 0.48 for China’s Shanghai Composite, 0.44 for Brazil’s Ibov Index, 0.43 for Indonesia’s JCI Index, 0.42 for Russia’s Indexcf Index and 0.53 for South Africa’s Jalsh Index. Nifty’s correlation to FII flows is even higher at 0.65 during the past six years since 2Q2007. In this period, Nifty’s correlation to DII flows was -0.33...Read More

Sharp drop in household savings going into equities

Household savings as a percentage of GDP declined from 25.2% in FY10 to 21.8% in FY13. Households are also investing less in financial assets and more in physical assets. Share of financial assets in household savings declined from a peak of 51.9% in FY08 to 35.3% in FY13. There was a corresponding rise in the share of physical assets such as real estate and gold. This explains the decline in share of DIIs and retail public. Promoters’ stakes have declined partly due to government disinvestment in PSUs and because companies had to comply with the recent SEBI cap on promoter shareholding...Read More
Weekly: Sensex, Nifty gains for 2nd week

After creating new highs at the start of the month, the holiday season kept the key indices in a tight-range especially this week. Lack of any major trigger as well as low activity from FIIs kept indices more or less muted despite an F&O expiry. For the week, the BSE Sensex gained by 0.5% and the NSE Nifty gained by 0.6% to close at 21,193 and 6,313 respectively. Meanwhile, US markets received a boost after International Monetary Fund indicated it would raise its outlook for the economy, as a budget deal in Washington and the Fed’s plan to taper its bond buying ease doubts about the future...Read More

News In Focus

Brain connections may explain why girls mature faster: Study

Newcastle University scientists have discovered that as the brain re-organises connections throughout our life, the process begins earlier in girls which may explain why they mature faster during the teenage years. As we grow older, our brains undergo a major reorganisation reducing the connections in the brain. Studying people up to the age of 40, scientists led by Dr Marcus Kaiser and Sol Lim at Newcastle University found that while overall connections in the brain get streamlined, long-distance connections that are crucial for integrating information are preserved. The researchers suspect this newly-discovered selective process might explain why brain function does not deteriorate - and indeed improves -during this pruning of the network. Interestingly, they also found that these changes occurred earlier in females than in males...Read More

Swimming pools are ideal platforms for water conservation

From cracking jokes to business deals, we Indians love talking, and we talk about everything under the sun. Let’s for a change today talk about something as important as life itself - Water. Should we care? We must, each one of us. These days villagers of Maharashtra, especially Western Maharashtra have a new peculiar morning routine. With a bucket in hand, each villager walks towards the train junctions/ stations and for whatever time the train stops there, they fight amongst themselves to get on and even at time pay the corrupt ticket checkers to get inside. This entire struggle, to fill that one bucket of water. And yes, what water we are talking about here. No this is not the Rail Neer specially packed for us that we proudly sip away whenever we travel. These people struggle to get the water used in train’s washrooms. Imagine the plight. Now when so much is happening around us, don’t you think it’s time we as individuals contribute in our own capacities before we actually reach a stage when we would either be fighting or paying for water as a luxury item...Read More

Family centered approach reduces weight in South Asians

Modest lifestyle changes made by South Asian families could help to improve their health and wellbeing, a clinical trial shows. Making moderate improvements to diet and levels of physical activity, gave trial participants a better chance of losing enough weight to lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study, carried out in participants’ homes as opposed to hospital clinics, is the first of its kind in the UK to look specifically at South Asian cultures. Patients lost weight reduced their hip and waist measurements and there were indications that they were less likely to become diabetic by the end of the trial, which focused on people of Indian and Pakistani-origin. Researchers say that ethnic background and culture play an important role in shaping attitudes and behaviours towards diet and exercise.National guidelines show that South Asian people place strong emphasis on family life and eating together. From a young age, South Asians are sensitive or at risk of health problems linked to obesity...Read More

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