16.12.2006

  • Nymex set to buy into MCX
    • MCX is India’s largest commodity exchange founded by Financial Technologies India that holds 64% in the entity. The balance is held by various state-owned and private sector banks. It accounts for 56% of the total Indian commodity & futures market with an average daily turnover of about $1.5 bn.
    • Nymex – NewYork Mercantile Exchange
    • MCX – Multi Commodity Exchange
  • Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill passed. Salient features:
    • The tribal forest dwellers living since December 13, 2005 were entitled to sell the forest produce from their land.
    • The cut-off year for recognizing the rights of tribals living in forests, changed to 2005 from 1980.
    • Gram Sabhas to have jurisdiction to settle claims of tribals.
  • NWFP bid to form moral police stalled
    • North West Frontier Province of Pakistan passed a law (Hisba bill) establishing Taliban style moral policing system.
    • The Supreme Court of Pakistan has restrained the Governor of the province from signing the bill into law.
    • Chief Justice of Pakistan: Iftikar Muhammad Chaudhry
  • Importance of brand building for pharma companies
    • Indian pharma companies which paid little focus on building brands will soon have to do so. With the implementation of India’s new patent regime, access to brands has reduced and the window of products with a patent prior to 1995 available is becoming smaller.
    • Until India’s commitment to the WTO’s intellectual property rights in 1995, Indian pharma companies could sell imitations of global pharma drugs in the Indian market. So as a new molecule was globally launched, Indian pharma companies would merely copy the molecule and introduce it in the domestic market. Consequently, a plethora of pharma companies would market the same product in India, under different brand names.
    • Few Indian pharma brands have moved into the realm of the top branded products in the domestic market, in spite of India being the fourth largest pharmaceutical market by volume in the world. Traditionally Indian companies have focused more on new product launches rather than products’ brand building.
    • As opposed to Indian companies, pharma MNCs have always respected WTO’s intellectual property rights. Therefore, they have never been able to launch new products in plenty every year. Instead, they have focused on brand building to boost sales growth, through brand building collaterals, such as free camps or awareness campaigns.
  • Issues involved in ADAG’s Hutch bid
    • With Anil Ambani’s ADAG bidding for Hutch International’s equity in Hutch Essar, the DoT was caught off guard. Let’s see how:
      • Whether the existing regulatory regimes permits a CDMA player to buy a controlling stake in a telco providing GSM services.
      • This issue will crop up if ADAG wants to buy more than 10% stake in Hutch Essar.
      • Licence conditions of UASL (Unified Access Service Licence) and cellular services do not allow a telco or a promoter to own more than 10% equity in another providing services in the same circle, irrespective of the technology adopted.
      • In case such a bid is made, the two companies have to be merged, but their combined subscriber base has to be less than 67% of the total number in a circle.
      • There are also spectrum related issues in case of a CDMA company acquiring GSM company, as the former will have to specify the frequency band of spectrum in which the services will be operated.
  • Banks’ NPA levels
    • Despite an increase in the outstanding gross advances of public sector banks to Rs. 11.35 lk cr as of March 2006, gross NPAs have come down to Rs. 42,106 from Rs. 54,090 cr as of March 2003.
  • There is no case for interest on CRR
    • RBI does not pay interest on the amount of money impounded from banks in the form of CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio)
    • In June this year, the government amended the RBI Act, which among other things, has done away with the RBI paying interest on the CRR amount to banks.
    • The logic of the above move was two fold:
      • It made no sense to first impound cash from banks and then pay interest on it.
      • Central banks elsewhere in the world do not pay interest on CRR.
    • But now the government is inexplicably thinking of paying interest on CRR balances. As nothing has changed at the systemic level since June, there is no ground for changing its position in this regard.
  • Unluckest man in the world!!
    • John Lyne of UK. He was involved in 16 major accidents including 3 car crashes, a rock-fall in a mine, nearly drowned once, struck by lightening twice.
    • Recently while trying to avoid walking under a ladder on the pavement, he fell down a manhole.
  • Ultrasound levitates life forms
    • Chinese scientists have levitated small live animals like tadpoles, fish and spiders using ultrasound for the first time ever.
    • Ultrasound of 20 mm wavelength was demonstrated to be balancing the relevant gravity and hence levitate (floating in air) objects half that wavelength or less.
  • Pooja stops in Orissa temple on entry of dalits
    • Place: Keredegada, Kendrapara District of Orissa. 300 year old Jagannath temple.
    • Event: When dalits entered the shrine on Thursday and offered prayers following a Orissa High Court ruling of December 5th 2006.

1 Comment:

Ramakrishna said...

Tribal bill:
The bill mandates a requirement of 75 years of continuous residence in case of non-tribal forest dwellers, while the JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) suggested the cut-off date should be advanced for categories like displaced people and forest villages, a large portion of which are non-tribal and are some of the most vulnerable forest communities in the country.

Temple entry by Dalits:
The district administration has finally succeeded in brokering peace between the two discordant factions. The upper caste Hindus finally agreed to abide by the decision of the administration.