The Week That Was

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday declared that all coal mining licences awarded between 1993 and 2010 are illegal.

Aug 28, 2014 07:08 IST India Infoline News Service

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Supreme Court terms all coal block allocations since 1993 as "Illegal"

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ruled that all the coal blocks allocated by the Union Governments between the period 1993-2010 were illegal, and on many occasions the guidelines on coal allocation were breached and the approach of the companies was casual. The three judge bench, headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha came down heavily on the governments during the UPA and NDA regime criticizing them for their callous approach towards allocation of a natural resource which is the main driver for the country's economy. The Screening Committee, which made the recommendations in 36 cases of allocation, lack in transparency, fairness, and has caused huge losses to the public exchequer, the SC said in the ruling. However, whether the illegal coal blocks will be de-allocated or the companies would be required to pay penalties is a matter that would require more deliberation. Therefore, the SC has set a date of 1st September for the final decision on this matter, after taking into consideration the point of view of industry experts as well the amount of investment in the sector... Read more

Coal mining licenses illegal; what's the impact on stocks?

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday declared that all coal mining licences awarded between 1993 and 2010 are illegal. The SC will now examine whether permits of some or all 218 should be revoked. The court will further hold a hearing on September 1, 2014 after which it will decide whether to cancel the allocations or impose some sort of penalty. The SC said that successive governments gave rights to mine coal to state and private companies in a style that was not fair and transparent and without competitive bidding. The judgement also says that the entire coal block allocations, as per recommendations made by the screening committee from July 14, 1993 in 36 meetings and the allocations through the government dispensation route, suffer from the vice of arbitrariness and legal flaws. According to the judgment, the Central Government has adopted a role not envisaged under the Mines & Mineral (Development & Regulations) Act and Coal Mines Nationalisation Act. Coal blocks allocated to state government companies also fall under this ambit; though those for UMPPs are legitimate, they cannot sell surplus coal... Read more

Coal mining licenses illegal; what's the impact on stocks?

British Deputy PM in India: What are the deals signed?

Iconic British brands are flocking to India to take advantage of booming growth and ever increasing spending power. The retail sector in India is currently worth 309bn, with growth of 25 per cent a year expected by 2016. British companies including United Biscuits, Lush Cosmetics and Pavers Shoes are taking advantage of Indias growth with new ventures being announced today.

Announcements being made during the visit include:

  • Lush Cosmetics, the iconic brand from the British high street, is expected to open its first shop in India after receiving approval from Indias Ministry of Commerce. The shop in Mumbai would give the company an initial foothold in the country.
  • United Biscuits Group, the worlds fourth-largest biscuit manufacturer, to increase investment in its India operation from 30 million to 50 million. This will build on the success of iconic British brands including Hobnobs and Digestives in India.
  • Pavers Shoes, based in York, are set to invest 10 million in India, expanding from 35 to 100 stores. Pavers is listed on Europes Forum 500 list of the UKs fast growing and most profitable retailers.
  • Chaucer Foods, based in Hull, has signed a deal with an Indian food manufacturer to export 60 tonnes of croutons a year, worth 100,000 a year and increasing their trade with India by 50 per cent.

Fever-Tree, a British manufacturer of premium mixers, has announced that it is going to start exporting Indian tonic water to India. This will be the fiftieth export market for this company, which has been awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Exports...Read More

PM announces 'Energy Highway' for Eastern India

India should be treated as a "preferred country": Gopichand Hinduja

Britain should give India preferential immigration and investment status over other countries to boost bilateral trade. David Cameron, the prime minister, should relax immigration restrictions, which have caused great resentment among Indian business leaders, and help revive dozens of major infrastructure projects stalled by lack of finance. David Cameron made increasing trade with India a priority shortly after his election in 2010. He has visited India three times since then, while George Osborne, the Chancellor, and William Hague, then foreign secretary, also visited last month. But despite the intense focus, there have been few reciprocal visits or major deals for British companies to show for it. Britain should seize the opportunity of Narendra Modis new leadership to make a practical demonstration of its support. It should make it easier for Indian students to stay longer in Britain after graduating, offer greater flexibility for Indian businessmen who want to bring their domestic servants during business trips to London and help finance and complete major infrastructure projects now languishing as non-performing assets with the banks which part-financed them. The Modi government is alarmed at the amount of money given by state banks for power plants and other infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars, which are now abandoned and listed as bad loans. They include unfinished power stations, which could provide India with 28,000 Megawatts of desperately needed electricity. Under Mr. Hindujas proposals, Britain could encourage some of its companies to finance and complete the construction of these projects in exchange for fast approvals from the Indian government and the prospect of operational power stations, roads and bridges within two years...Read More

The new BMW X3 debuts in India

A paragon of sporty dynamics, premium ambience and robust agility, the new BMW X3 was launched at Deutsche Motoren, the BMW dealership in Noida. The new BMW X3 is locally produced at the BMW Plant Chennai in a diesel variant and is now available at BMW dealerships across India.  Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India said, The new BMW X3 is the embodiment of independence. Whether its on the way to work, or on a weekend. With family or for some quality time alone. It is built for both the small and big challenges that each day brings. Its sporting character is revealed in an extremely dynamic driving experience with impressive efficiency and fascinating design that emphasises the athletic character of the new BMW X3. The new BMW X3 is available for the first time in a new design scheme: the BMW xLine equipment package which brings out the robust and dynamic Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) character even more prominently.

The all India ex-showroom prices of the new BMW X3 are as follows

  1. BMW X3 xDrive 20d Expedition : Rs 44,90,000
  2. BMW X3 xDrive 20d xLine : Rs 49,90,000

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News Infocus

15 Ways Indian Women Could Be More Financial Savvy

Indian women have grown a lot smarter and savvier today than they were anytime before. Also, the advent of social media and Smartphones has brought enormous powers in the hands of the Indian womenfolks, who are a touch away from the answers of their questions. It is heartening that the women today are smartly managing their personal financial lives, here are 15 ways that could give women more control of their finances.

1. Limit Credit card drawings. A credit card is handy all the time, but shop-alcoholic often miss to keep tab on their spending habits, leading to a huge dues and cash crunchy month ends.

2. Envelope Budgeting and Paying on Time. There is still more left to learn from our ancestors, who used to diligently keep aside the outstanding bill amount, in order to fix their monthly disposable budget in hand. Also, paying bills on time could save from unnecessary late fee and charges.

3. A lot many offerings are bundled with women friendly schemes like gym, club and others and so its best to bank upon them at the right moment.

4. SEASON SALE. Indian retailers roll out enticing discount schemes twice a year and that is the best time to shop for most of the things...Read More

Learn valuable lessons in financial planning from Lord Ganesha this Ganesh Chaturthi

It is that time of the year to welcome Lord Ganesha, into our hearts once again. He comes to bless our homes with peace and happiness and prosperity. The good Lord Ganesha is also called the vighnaharta or the remover of all troubles and is generally invoked before one begins a new venture. So, if you have been having troubles keeping your finances in order and worry relentlessly about your future, this is a great time of the year to begin financial planning with the blessing of the Lord. And in case you have not noticed thus far, Ganesha himself symbolizes wealth creation and financial wellness. Let us tell you how.

See the big picture ahead

Gajanana or the elephant headed Lord or tells you to see the big picture. Worried about how your future will turn out to be as far as finances are concerned? Chalk out a financial plan. Begin with identifying your short, medium term and long term financial goals. The second step is to make a budget and see what your expenses are and how much you can save after having met them. With your investible corpus, identify the asset classes according to your risk appetite and invest in diverse asset classes to see your savings grow. The big picture should also include things like insurance allocation, retirement planning and estate planning...Read More

Top Retail News Of The Week

Intel and Flipkart's collaboration has taken the Indian tablet market to an altogether new level. The duo has rolled out smart and sturdy Digiflip Pro tablets sized 7-inch, 8-inch and 8.9-inch, where buyers could take home 7-inch model for as little as Rs. 5,999. For the rest of the two models, prices vary from Rs 8,999 to Rs 15,999, which could be considered competitive amid the present tablet offerings. Now, if the Indian consumers would trust a product from an e-commerce retailer remains a question, which needs to be answered.

Retail Industry Confronts "Backoff"

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI) has urged the merchants and retailers to review their security systems in place to keep check on attacks from a malware "Backoff", a culprit that led to the information security collapse at Target last year. The PCI communication requested the concerned retailers to inspect their system logs, update their antivirus and change default as well as staff passwords, which could prevent illegal access to the key payment systems and applications.

Store One Retail India Ltd Announces Book Closure Ahead of 9th AGM

Store One Retail India Ltd informed that The Register of Members & Share Transfer Books will remain closed starting September 19, 2014 through September 26, 2014, in view of the 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled on September 26, 2014.

Hypercity Retail (India) Ltd Gets New Leadership

Hypercity Retail (India) Ltd announced the appointment of Mr. Vipin Bhandari as its Chief Executive Officer. It is to be noted that the company is a subsidiary of Shoppers Stop Ltd...Read More

Top Three SME News Of The Week

After an extensive survey covering nearly 36 million Small & Medium Enterprises (SME), the Business Today and Knowledge Partner YES Bank finally arrived at the final lists of the winners. Thirteen best performing SME companies were bestowed with the fifth Business Today-Yes Bank Best SME Awards on Tuesday at Delhi.

The event was graced by the presence of Union Minister of Law and Justice and Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad as the Chief Guest of the ceremony.

Several experts staged their views on the growing importance of the SME sector on the backdrop of its 37 per cent contribution to India's GDP, while the call for greater support from banks remained the central focal point throughout the event. Out of the 13 victorious companies, Vidya Herbs and iConcept Software Services bagged the Overall Winners Awards.

AIBI Requests SEBI To Lower The Investment Threshold For Retail Applications

In view of the threshold limit of as much as Rs 1 Lakh for retail participation in SME public issues stipulated by the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), The Association of Investment Bankers of India (AIBI) has requested the regulator as well as the finance ministry to review and bring down the application limit. According to AIBI's SME vertical and group MD of Pantomath Advisory Services, Mahavir Lunavat, the investment limit of Rs 1 lakh is excessive and would prevent retail investors to participate in SME bourses, which, in turn, could hinder the immense growth potential of SME...Read More

Rupee high amid positive environment

The 90-day of Modi government's governance has started showing its effect on the general sentiment of the market and more particularly on the Rupee trend. So far, the policies have helped to cut down the long prevailing red tapism and bureaucracy to some extent, which has encouraged investors both globally and at home.

Surrounded With Optimism

Besides these positive factors running on the background, there is an improved vision that India has attained a level of stability, where it could comfortably withstand the headwinds created by the anticipated interest rate hikes in the U.S. as well as other challenges emerging across the globe.

Also, the government's plans to divest from chief state run companies in the coming next months could further create an enticing opportunity of investments. Thus, overall the optimistic flow of events has kept the inspiration in general positive and should boost the Rupee going ahead. As of now, it is expected more of short side bets for Rupee to build up as the traders will be on lookout of further gains. As the long weekend approaches ahead, there is a bit of volatility anticipated for Rupee on account of short coverings...Read More

Home Buyers expect property price hike: IIMB MB HIS

The latest Housing Sentiment Index (IIMB-MB HSI) by IIM Bangalore and Magicbricks forecasts that homebuyers across 9 of the 10 cities surveyed expect real estate prices to rise over the next six months. The aggregate Housing Sentiment Index (HSI) measured across 10 cities rose by 9% over the previous quarter and stood at 118. (An HSI score of 100 suggests prices are expected to remain static). The IIMB-MB buyer sentiment survey includes Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Noida and Pune. Introducing The IIMB-MB HSI Report, Jayashree Kurup, Research and Content Head,, explained, In line with the positive market sentiments, real estate buyers are upbeat about residential property. Most of the early seekers are end users, largely with a family income of upto Rs 10 lakh. While end users are actively scouring the market for property, the actual purchase decision may still be about 9 months away, marginally higher than the previous quarter. It is interesting to also note that premium buyers with an annual family income of Rs. 1 crore and above have posted significantly higher sentiment up by 13% over the previous quarter.

Hyderabad posted an HSI of 118, an increase of 22% as compared to the previous quarter. Sentiment has improved considerably after the division of the state. Specifically, Central Hyderabad witnessed a 54% increase in HSI this quarter. Bangalore topped the list of cities once again with an HSI of 143, a marginal 2% increase from the previous quarter. Consistent demand from IT and manufacturing sectors, increasing job security coupled with Bangalore being the preferred destination for job seekers has ensured that the city remains at the top of the list. Ahmedabad was the only city with negative sentiment of 86, a drop of 13% from the previous quarter. The Seller Sentiment Survey indicates that sellers continue to be bullish about markets with an HSI of 161. Of the sellers, 35% are doing so to book profits while 29% want a bigger accommodation. Of the respondents 60% of sellers are looking to sell apartments/flats.

Are online loan approvals of any help?

Rajan Mehta, an employee with a prominent MNC, was seeking a home loan and applied through an online marketing portal to avoid the process of multiple visits to the bank and save time. Within a few minutes of answering some basic questions about his financial details, he received an online loan approval. Mr. Mehta was delighted by the speedy approval of his loan. Soon after, he was referred to a bank executive to collect and check his documents. After scrutiny, the bank rejected his loan application, and Mehta had to restart the entire process of applying for a loan elsewhere. Mehtas delight was short-lived, and he realized that the online sanction letter he received earlier had no real value. It seems easy to apply for loans through online marketing portals, as all you have to do is answer a few basic questions regarding your present job profile, income, age and current residential status. When all the details are given, the online portal generates an online approval for your loan. Most applicants fall prey to this as they mistake it for the final sanction letter given by a financial institution. In fact, the online sanction letter clearly states the phrase This is not a sanction letter, but many prospective borrowers miss this statement completely and assume their loan has been sanctioned only to be disappointed later... Read more

Taking a term policy makes lot of sense in today's fast pace world

Term insurance is a kind of insurance in which a person does not receive any amount on maturity however the individual has higher amount of Life Cover at lesser amount of premium compared to other insurance products which are there in the market.

Why you should buy Term Insurance Plan?

You should buy term insurance plan to provide Protection and Financial security to your family in event of unexpected death. It is a basic and inexpensive form of coverage which gives all the security you need. It has different tenures for which you can buy a term insurance policy ranging from five years, 10 years, 20 years and so on. People can take the policy based on the amount of coverage which they want to take. If the insured person dies during the tenure of the policy, his immediate beneficiaries will get the Sum Assured amount. However, it is important to note that a Term Insurance plan doesnt pay anything on maturity.

Significance of term plan

A term plan can be called the best form of insurance as it provides much-needed cover at a low premium. The customers need to pay a small fraction of amount as insurance premium compared to other insurance plans like endowment plan, ULIP, or Money back policy as those are saving plans while the later is not....Read More

50% of Indian respondents end up working while on vacation: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, revealed the results from itsWorking on Vacation Survey of more than 17,000 employed1respondents across 11 countries including 1100 in India. The other 10 countries include US, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and the U.K. Commenting on the findings Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India says, While mostly no one enjoys having to work while on a vacation, today's hyper competitive and demanding work cultures preclude the fact that almost 50% of Indian's ended up attending to work while on vacation last year. While employees from a few other countries such as the US and Australia are ahead of Indians on this not-so-desirable indicator, clearly this is not a great trend from the point of view of advocates of a happy work-life balance... Read more

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