Finance & Economy
  • Cell banking for financial inclusion
    • THE Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has reportedly asked the department of telecommunications to find ways to expand mobile banking services to the remotest corners of the country. A pilot project to take financial services to the poorest of the rural poor through mobile banking is likely to be launched in 2012 to cover select villages.
    • The move is part of the UPA regime’s initiative to ensure financial inclusion of the poor. The government is keen to make sure that poor with mobile phone connections can carry out financial transactions using their handsets, including receipt of wages and payments, even if they do not have bank accounts.
    • As of now, almost 41% of the country’s adult population does not have a bank account. This, the government feels, is a major roadblock in delivering financial services to the poor, especially in rural areas. In some cases, such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, attempts are being made to provide wages through smart cards.
    • The number of mobile phone connections in India is estimated at about 440 million, reaching roughly 38% of the country’s population.
  • Why is the totalisation agreement with Belgium not benefiting Indian companies still?
    • Hope you remember our notings about totalisation agreements. Even if you had missed them; don't worry. This ET editorial makes the concept very crystal clear.
    • Hope you have read the editorial by following the link.
    • Now, if you are asked to explain the tax provisions that are making this non-workable for the corporates, you should be able to do so easily; won't you?
  • Achuthan panel to rewrite takeover code
    • INDIA’S takeover code, which was responsible for a big wave of M&A activity and corporate consolidation after being introduced in 1997, is set for a big change. The Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, has set up a special committee to review its key provisions after realising the need to make it relevant to current needs of investors and companies.
    • C Achuthan, who has handed out many a ruling on mergers and acquisitions as a former presiding officer at the Securities Appellate Tribunal, will head the panel, as the regulator examines the possibility of making changes to some of the code’s key provisions such as the trigger limit for open offers. It will also look at doing away with the provision of non-compete fee and reviewing norms relating to indirect acquisition.
    • Koushik Chatterjee, group chief financial officer of Tata Steel which bought Corus Group in the UK, and YM Deosthalee, chief financial officer of L&T which lost out a battle to buy out scandal-hit Satyam Computer Services, are the corporate executives who will help Mr Achuthan in drafting recommendations.
    • Other members of the committee include Saurab Malik, Kotak Investment Banking, and Raj Balakrishnan, managing director, DSP Merrill Lynch, who will represent industry and capital markets. Somashekar Sundersan, partner, J Sagar Associates, and Kumar Desai, advocate, who will represent the legal community. Other members include Usha Narayan, executive director, Sebi, J Ranganayakulu, executive director, Sebi, and Neelam Bhartwag, general manager, Sebi.
    • India introduced a formal takeover code in 1997, which helped set basic rules for mergers and acquisitions in the then nascent market for such transactions. However, the rules left scope for interpretation leading to many disputes including cases such as Gujarat Ambuja Cements’ purchase of a near 15% in rival ACC.
  • Wasn't it till the other day that the country was welcoming portfolio inflows?
    • But now, there is concern that the portfolio inflows may not be all the good in the present times for the country. Why?
    • In an environment of already high liquidity, large portfolio inflows could cause monetary policy headaches, impose sterilisation costs and also dent export prospects as the rupee appreciates in response to massive inflows. Moreover, inflation could require a more immediate response if excess liquidity causes retail inflation to rise rapidly. Retail inflation, as measured by the various consumer price indices, is already back into the double digits.
  • Americans becoming frugal?
  • Now it is the turn of the UN to call for dollar replacement
    • THE dollar’s role in international trade should be reduced by establishing a new currency to protect emerging markets from the “confidence game” of financial speculation, the United Nations said.
    • UN countries should agree on the creation of a global reserve bank to issue the currency and to monitor the national exchange rates of its members, the Genevabased UN Conference on Trade and Development said in a report.
  • Doctors played a villainous role in Abu Ghraib atrocities
  • Some pioneering research done right in our backyard: on stem cell therapy
    • Take a look at this report about LV Prasad Eye Institute's research on using skin-derived stem cells to treat hereditary vision defects. Not just interesting; it makes us feel happy that we are able to show a thing or two to the world on stem cell research.
Language Lessons
  • surfeit
    • Noun: The state of being more than full; The quality of being so overabundant that prices fall; Eating until excessively full
    • Verb: Supply or feed to surfeit; Indulge (one's appetite) to satiety
    • eg: Strong momentum, a surfeit of liquidity and improved prospects for the Rabi crop following better recent monsoon rains have driven large flows into the stock market, causing indices to...
  • winnow: Verb
    • Separate the chaff from by using air currents; Select desirable parts from a group or list
    • eg: The NRDC has winnowed the wish list but there is only so much it can do.


I, Me, Myself ! said...

Something wierd stuck when I was reading the totalisation agreement. I am pretty sure we are trying for such kind of agreements with other countries... was just wondering if anyone knew why Belgium is the first country with which we made such an agreement? What would have been the crietria to choose a particular country (like, is there large exchange of labour, or limited exchange because of strict laws and therefore freeing up some restrictions etc?)

- Sudhir

neone said...

According to wiki there are more than 7000 indians in Belgium who are IT & business men. I guess Belgium might be the country with a small scale of indians but with good business/IT establishments to try out the totalisation agreement.

Vish said...

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thanks thanks agaain...