Tata Steel may buy huge chunk in Corus
The Anglo-Dutch company, which is the world’s 7th largest steel maker, is valued by Tatas at $10 bn.

Iron ore prices have touched $60 per tonne, a sharp jump of over 140% during the last three years.

NYSE on move to take exposure in BSE
New York Stock Exchange is in advanced negotiations to take a stake in BSE, a move that could lead to a sharp rise in listed companies in India and an improved access to modern trading processes.

The direct taxes to GDP ratio was 2.8% in 1995-96 and it is poised to touch 5.5% by 2006-07.

Just 1% of the 207.2 mn households studied have a home PC. For telephones the penetration is 11.7% households.

Engineering outsourcing the next sizzler
The $750 bn a year global engineering services sector may be the next big thing for offshore firms.

Only about $10-15 bn of the $750 bn is at present offshored. The potential is estimated to rise to $150-225 bn by 2020.

India needs to build a significant manufacturing capability to tap the ESO space.

To support the engineering services market India will need about a quarter million engineers by 2020.

The number of internet users in India is said to be 37 mln.

The subsidy bill for petroleum sectore is estimated at Rs. 3,080 cr for 2006-07.

Investment Commission
Is headed by Ratan Tata.

Was setup to invite domestic and foreign businesses to invest in India and to make India more attractive for investors.

Travel and tourism is a $32 bn industry in India and contributes about 5.3% of the GDP.

Agreement on drug price cut to cost finance ministry Rs. 50 cr.
The revenue loss is not a concern as the government had shifted the applicability of the 16% excise duty on medicines from the ex-factory price to the MRP in order to discourage huge trade margins.

National Building Code of India is in the final stages of legislation in many states. The energy conservation building code (ECBC) will legally bind builders to adhere to minimum energy saving steps.

Insurance costs come down despite terror attack fears in aviation industry
Airlines are spending at least $8.36 bn a year on risk management, with around 70% or $5.86 bn of it going to insurance premium.

Globalisation – is essentially the free movement of goods, services and service-providers across the borders of nations.

Nobel prize for Chemistry
American Roger D. Kornberg was awarded this year’s Nobel for Chemistry for his studies of how cells take information from genes to produce proteins. Disturbances in that process known as transcription are involved in many human illnesses, includig cancer, heart disease and various kinds of inflammation.

His father was awarded the Nobel in 1959 along with Severo Ochoa for their studies of how genetic information was transferred from one DNA to another.

RRBs (Regional Rural Banks) may get freedom from banks
RBI to deliberate on areas where RRBs could be given more autonomy.

The 10-member task force is headed by KG Karmakar, MD of Nabard.

Commercial banks hold 35% in each RRB, the union government holds 50% and the remaining 15% is held by the state governments.

Memebrs are expected to suggest alternative revenues for RRBs and explore new lines of business for them.

RBI has asked the panel to assess manpower requirement in these banks.

Mutual Funds on a roll
The mobilization by MF industry during H1 is Rs. 34,611.53 cr. (Rs. 42,541.31 cr)

Total AUM (Assets Under Management) are at Rs. 2.91 lk cr for this H1 as against 2 lk crore last year.

CCIs refuse to offer soft loans to farmers
Cooperative Credit Institutions which work more closely at the ground level have refused to lend to farmers at the concessional rate of 7% with an upper limit of Rs. 3 lk.

This refusal stems from the government’s decision to offer interest subvention only to commercial banks and regional rural banks under this scheme.

There are 32 state cooperative banks, 368 district cooperative credit banks (with a network of 13,000 branches) and more than 1 lakh primary agricultural cooperative credit societies (PACS) in the country.

The government has a total lending target of Rs. 39,000 cr for CCIs for 2006-07. This means that these agencies need a total subvention of Rs. 1,750 cr this fiscal for lending this sum at 7%.

NPRR (National Policy for Resettlement and Rehabilitation) mandates the preparation of a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) report simultaneously along with the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) for all those projects which involve displacement of 400 or more families in plain areas and 200 or more families in tribal or hilly areas.

Branded Alleppey coir in the offing
Over 80% of the coir exports ae from Alleppey district in Kerala.

It is entitled for GI (Geographical Indication) so as to give it a patent status and brand name.

World’s largest airline is US based Southwest Airlines in terms of market value. Singapore Airlines comes next.

India is 30th in global bribe payers index
The index is based on the propensity of the companies in bribing abroad.

A score of 10 indicates no corruption; a score of 0 means rampant corruption.

Switzerland, Sweden, Australia and Canada have less corruption in this regard.