IRDA against sovereign backing for LIC plans
IRDA has recommended that the government should withdraw its guarantee for LIC policies. The sovereign guarantee provides comfort to over 16 crore policy holders of LIC.
LIC has a share capital of only Rs. 5 cr.
Under the LIC Act, 95% of the surplus earned goes to policy holders and 5% to the government as dividend.
LIC needs about Rs. 7000 cr to meet the stipulated 150% solvency margins.

Kerala cola ban order gets HC thumbs-down
The High Court of Kerala has struck down the ban orders imposed by the Kerala government on Coke and Pepsi holding that the state government does not have such powers to impose the ban.
It held that such a power can only arise as a result of wider policy decision and should emanate from parliamentary legislation.

Band of Baroda in JV talks with Nippon Insurance
RBI stipulates that banks cannot hold more than 49% in an insurance venture. Therefore, it is on the lookout for a third partner.

IBA committee to review Banking Regulation Act
As per section 10(1) C of the BR Act, a bank chief cannot serve as a director on another company.
It was using this clause that recently Naina Lal Kidwai, CEO of HSBC has been denied approval for continuing on the board of Nestle.

Ladakh wants to move on, renew trade links with Central Asia
Ladakh region in J&K remains cut off from the rest of the world for almost half the year as Zoji La and Rohtang passes are closed due to extreme winter conditions.

I-flex to build, buy or ally in KPO market
I-flex is best known for its Fexcube, a core banking software used by over 280 financial institutions across the world.

Heart diseases in India
The incidence of heart diseases is the highest in India. We have over 30 mln cases of heart diseases. WHO studies suggest that by 2012, 50% of the world’s heart attack victims in the world will be Indians.
Genetic disposition of Indians has been identified as a prime cause for early onset of heart problems.
Apollo Hospitals and US based John Hopkins Medicine International are going to undertake a collaborative study to detect the gene responsible for cardiac problems.

Telcos get a tough call from Trai
Trai suggested that revenue from the sale of handsets bundled with a tariff plan should be included in the AGR (adjusted gross revenue).
Telcos typically pay anywhere between 6 to 10% of AGR per annum to the Government.

5.5 lakh chemists unite to take on biggies
Chemists and drug retailers have come together to form a holding company along with subsidiaries in various states to give a tough competition to the big time retailers to protect their market share in the Rs. 25,000 cr retail drug business.
The number of unorganized pharmacists in the country has been growing at about 8 to 9% per annum. They together control about 90% of the retail pharma business.

World Bank is now 450 strong in India
Having set up in 2001 in Chennai, its first accounting office outside the US, it has increased its strength to 240 subsequently.
Now World Bank Chennai office covers loan and disbursement services, budget analysis, treasury management, internal audit and infotech in addition to other administrative functions.
The head count is slated to go up to 450 shortly.

Lubricant’s business
Lubricants form 2% of the consumption basket of a vehicle.
Globally 80% lubricant sales are outside the petrol pump while in India it is 70%.

India’s oil import bill
India imports 70% of its oil requirement.
The import bill in the current year is estimated to be $62 bn as against $45 bn last fiscal.

Policy daze puts $1 bn power FDI flow on hold
The existing norm of allowing 100% FDI in power and other infrastructure projects has run into problems as holding companies governing such project cannot have more than 49% FDI. This anomaly in policy came to light when the FIPB found that two of its guidelines were in conflict with each other.

Ansari enjoys stay in space
Ms. Anousheh Ansari is the first woman tourist in space.
She paid $20 mln for her trip to the ISS.

Bharat Nirman programme
The programme is on track with four components – roads, houses, power and phones – exceeding the targets fixed.
The programme seeks to provide villages with electricity, all-weather roads, potable water and telephones by 2009. About 60 lakh new houses are to be constructed and 1 cr hectares to be brought under irrigation.