• Indian Trusts Act, 1882 to be amended
    • The government is contemplating to amend this Act to allow trusts to invest in securities, including shares and bonds, of listed companies. This move is expected to further charge up the booming stock market.
    • There are reportedly a few thousand trusts in the country, of which about 400 are very big with phenomenal resources.
    • Section 20 of the Act which prescribes the investment options is proposed to be amended.
  • Thermal efficiency to boost low emissions
    • All across India, thermal efficiency (which denotes the percentage energy content of fuel being converted into electrical energy) rate in coal-fired power plants is a low 28%.
    • In contrast, average thermal efficiency levels abroad, in routine commercial operations, is in the range of 42-44%.
    • A one percentage point increase in thermal efficiency reduces CO2 emissions by over 3 percentage points.
  • World Bank’s ICP report says Indian economy is only 5th largest; not 4th largest
    • ICP: International Comparison Programme.
    • This downsizing is on PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) terms. The country’s GDP in PPP terms for 2005 is estimated to be only $2.34 trillion compared to $3.8 trillion computed earlier. This revision occurred because the price data used by the Bank to estimate PPP has been changed to the year 2005, as against the year 2000 used in other World Bank reports.
    • PPP expresses the value of national currencies in terms of a common currency, and in this report the US dollar value in 2005 has been used as the common currency.
  • Americans are now tripping on their credit card payments
    • Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year. This is largely attributed to financial deterioration in many households due to mortgage woes.
    • 325 million individual accounts are held in trusts that were created by credit card issuers in order to sell the debt to investors. Together they represent about 45% of the $920 bn the Federal Reserve counts as credit card debt owed by Americans.