• Union Coal Minister Shibu Soren found guilty of murder: resigns
    • He was found guilty in the murder of his private secretary Sashinath Jha. Sashinath Jha was abducted from Dhula Kuan in New Delhi on May 22, 1994 and the police found his body in a village near Ranchi in 1998.
    • The reason for the murder appears to be that he was in the know of the ‘secret deal’ between the JMM (Jarkhand Mukti Morcha) and the Congress to bail out the Narasimha Rao government. Four of the JMM MPs were paid a bribe to vote against the no-confidence motion moved against the P.V. Narasimha Rao government in July 1993. The private secretary seems to have demanded a share in the money.
    • This is not the first time that Shibu Soren is accused of crime. He had to leave the Cabinet in July 2004 after a Jharkhand court issued a non-bailable warrant against him for his alleged involvement in the massacre of 20 people in Chirrudih 20 years ago.
    • The court is expected to award the sentence tomorrow i.e., November 30th.
  • Changes in coal mining policy
    • On 23rd October we have noted in this blog (see it here) that private companies are about to be allowed into coal mining.
    • In a further liberalization of the policy, the government has now decided to allow domestic and foreign mining companies direct access to captive coal blocks reserved for cement, power and steel sector players. The only rider for this is that they should have a set up an Indian arm or propose to do so within a specified time frame.
    • In all, 38 coal blocks with reserves of over 6 bn tonnes have been earmarked for allocation under the new dispensation.
    • Mining biggies like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and domestic companies like Sesa Goa, Runta Mining and Essel Mining etc., are expected to evince interest in view of this change in policy.
  • ONGC investment plans and its ‘look abroad’ policy
    • It has plans to invest about Rs. 1,60,000 cr in the next five years.
    • As it finds that no major oil finds are possible in India, it is focusing on acquiring oil assets globally. The government had given a target, initially, of getting 20 mln tpa (tonnes per annum) of oil from outside by 2020. But now the government wants it to achieve this by 2012.
    • OVL, the entity through which ONGC makes its overseas forays, has started producing 4 mln tpa of oil from 25 projects spread across 14 countries.
    • Currently ONGC’s production stands at 26 mln tpa.
  • Incometax scrutiny
    • Only 2% of the IT returns filed in a year are taken up for scrutiny by the Department.
  • Insurance penetration
    • Despite tremendous growth seen in the life insurance growth (of 164% in life premium) it is distressing to note that India remains one of the most under-insured markets globally. The total premium collected was less than 1% of the GDP in 2005.
    • In our country, we have less than 10% of our population having access to any social security and a much smaller percentage – less than 2% -- having access to pension scheme.
  • When there is rush of foreign hot money, what measures do countries typically put in place to temper the inflows?
    • Tax the profit (this is done in Latin American countries)
    • Impose a cap on the inflows.
    • Fix a minimum period during which the foreign investor has to hold the stock or investment he made. This is done in China.
  • Online shopping statistics and prospects
    • It is predicted that online shopping may eventually peak at about 10% and 15% of the total annual retail sales.
    • Online sales (globally) are predicted to cross the $100 bn mark this year.
    • Studies have shown that many shoppers go online to do research, then go to shops to see the products.

1 Comment:

Ramakrishna said...

Shibu Soren was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Additional Sessions Judge, New Delhi.

It is very ironical that his supporters call Shibu Soren 'Guruji'.

He is sixth time member of the Lok Sabha.