Pre-launch offers in housing may be banned
A real estate bill under consideration of the government proposes that development should take place only when the developer has got clear titles.

Government to make it mandatory for developers to sign a deal with buyers, assuring delivery of property within stipulated time.

Developer would be liable to give payment options, installment scheme in writing to the prospective buyers.

30% buying from SC/ST entrepreneurs on cards
The GoM (Group of Ministers) headed by Mr. Pranab Mukerjee has mooted a proposal that the central government source 30% of all purchases from entrepreneurs belonging to SC/ST categories.

The recommendations were drawn from the procurement policy of the MP government, the first such measure adopted in the country by any state.

The GoM is also considering declaring a village with over 40% Dalit population as “Prime Minister’s Ideal Village” with all facilities including health, education, drinking water and electricity.

SC resurrects creamy layer issue
The Supreme Court has ruled that affluent beneficiaries be kept out of job reservation purview.

The concept of creamy layer, as held in Indra Sawhney judgment, had to be maintained as a constitutional requirement, failing which the structure of Article 16(4) would be destroyed, felt the Supreme Court.

The 5 judge constitutional bench made it clear that the extent of reservation shall not exceed 50%. In this regard, the State will have to show in each case the existence of the compelling reasons, namely backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficacy before making provisions for reservation.

Tamilnadu Handloom Weavers’ Cooperative Society, popularly called Cooptex is a large network of 2.11 lakh handlooms in Tamilnadu. They clocked a turnover of Rs. 427 cr in 2005-06. It is considered the country’s apex handloom cooperative society.

Footwear market in India
The organized footwear market in India is stated to be having a share of 25% in the market.

The footwear market size is estimated to be Rs. 10,000 cr.

US Visas issued in 2006
Students 24,622
Business 1,79,253
Temporary 76,509

SEZ sops
An SEZ gets income tax exemption for 15 years – 100% for first five years, 50% for the next five years and 100% exemption for ploughed back profits for the next five years.

Indo China war
On October 20, 1962 China invaded India on the north-east and the western border. The war continued for a month by the end of which the Indian resistance totally collapsed. On November 20, China announced a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew its forces to positions it had occupied before the war erupted.

New road map – better highways
State highways comprise about 1,31,899 km. They carry about 40% of the total road traffic and 20% of total road length.

Indian shipping
The government is expecting an investment of Rs. 10,665 cr in 12 major ports to achieve the targeted 2000 mln tonnes ports capacity by 2016. The capacity of the domestic ports in 2005-06 was 660 MT.

The growth rate in ports has remained above the GDP rate at about 9 to 11% during the last four years.

Gas run cities in the pipeline
If the Government’s plans bear fruit, half the urban population and 60% of vehicular traffic will have easy access to clean fuel.

On an energy-equivalence basis natural gas costs an average of 68% less than petrol and about 38% cheaper than diesel in Delhi.

ONGC net growth less than 1%
ONGC continued to sell crude at heavily discounted prices in the region of $45.42 per barrel when global prices were averaging around $68 a barrel.

Subsidies by ONGC are given in the form of discounts to the price at which crude oil is sold to the refining companies.

NBFC regulation
According to RBI policy, an entity will be treated as an NBFC (Non Banking Financial Company) only if its financial assets are more than 50% of its total assets and income from financial assets is more than 50% of the gross income.

International players are looking at getting into the NBFC business on the back of a growth in customer finance business. Also, unlike a foreign bank, there is no restriction on the number of branches an NBFC can open in India.

Bank credit zooms in Q2
Last year banks lent around Rs. 1,00,008 cr by way of non-food credit. This year, the figure stood at Rs. 1,14,147 cr.

Total loan outstandings of the banking system are currently at Rs. 16,54,734 cr.

Global shortfall makes Indian spices hot
Total exports of spices is put at 1,65,198 tonnes valued at Rs. 1405.34 cr. against 1,71,616 tonnes valued at 1208.64 cr last in 2004-05.

Exported spices include: Chillies, Cumin seeds, Pepper, Cardamom, Turmeric and Mint products.

According to the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, fiscal deficit would have to be reduced from 3.8% of GDP in 2006-07 to 3.4% in 2007-08 and 3% in 2008-09.

India to take up bio-piracy issue at WTO Trips meet
Developed countries, especially the US have made several efforts to patent the properties of biological products like neem and turmeric which Indians have been using for centuries. The US government revoked patents on certain uses of neem and turmeric when India challenged the decision. Despite the small victories, the developed countries have been extensively using products growing in the developing world in their patented products without paying royalty.

PSU banks eye online trading business
Daily online turnover in stocks is expected to double to Rs. 10,000 cr next year from the present Rs. 5,500 cr.

At present there are only 2 cr participants in the online share trading community. Of them active participants are considered to be very less.

Nicaragua set to chase Panama canal
Nicaragua wants to build an $18 bn 277 km long alternative to the increasingly overloaded 92 year old Panama Canal.

About 5% of the world’s maritime trade crosses the Panama Canal. But its growth is limited: 10% of the world’s ships are too big for it.