Politics & the Nation
  • New DGH
    • S K Srivastava is new director general of DGH
    • Over seven months after controversial oil regulator V K Sibal demitted office, the government has appointed S K Srivastava as the new director general of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).
    • Srivastava was Director (Operations) in state explorer Oil India when in late October last year he was given the additional charge of DGH after Sibal was denied an extension amid charges of favouring private parties.
Finance & Economy
  • A look at the tower companies in India
    • In the wake of the reports that ADAG controlled RCOM is hiving off its tower business, let us take a look at the tower companies and the number of towers they have in India:
      • Indus Towers 125,000
      • Reliance Infratel 54,000
      • Quippo 38,000
      • GTL 33,000
      • Bharti Infratel 33,000
      • American Towers 8,000 (in India)
    • Some of the tower deals that happened in India this year:
      • GTL bought Aircel's 17,500 towers for Rs 8,500 crore
      • American Towers bought Essar's 4,500 towers for Rs 2,000 crore
      • Quippo bought Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd's 2,500 towers for Rs 1,318 crore
    • That gives us a picture of how much could RCOM's tower business cat fetch. If the current negotiations that are reportedly happening with a few PE firms goes through RCOM's debt is expected to come down by about Rs. 15,000 crores.
  • UK Starts Probe into Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Aid after reports Of corruption
    • The British government has initiated an inquiry into the manner in which funds from Department for International Development (DFID) have been used for India’s flagship elementary education programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
    • The inquiry initiated following reports in the British media about “millions of pounds of aid for education and the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’, that has disappeared into the depths of corruption without any benefit to the poor children”.
    • Reports in the British media put a monetary figure on the corruption ranging from £70 million to £340 million. The media is also quoting the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report stating that almost £14 million had been spent on items and luxuries that had nothing to do with schools.
  • Some snippets on our services sector
    • For every 10% increase in value added, employment rises by 3.5% in manufacturing, but by fully 6% in traditional services like trade, hotels and restaurants, and by an even more impressive 9.4% in modern services like financing, insurance, real estate and business services.
    • The services sector accounts for a large percentage of global GDP and an even larger share of global employment. By some estimates, as much as two-thirds of the global GDP now originates in the services sector.
    • In India since 1991, the services sector has consistently grown faster than the agriculture and industry, to the point where it now contributes nearly 60% of the Indian GDP. In the fiscal year 2009, of the 6.7% growth in GDP, more than 5 percentage points can be attributed to the growth in the services sector value added.
  • Spectrum fee eases fiscal deficit pressure
    • It is now expected the fiscal deficit of the Union government will be a lot lower than the 5.5% estimated in Budget 2010.
    • The unexpectedly aggressive bidding for spectrum to provide third generation mobile services and wireless broadband has fetched the government Rs 1,06,262 crore, 200% more than what was budgeted. All this money would be available to the Centre by the end of this month, as winners of the spectrum for wireless broadband have to pay up by June 22.
    • The spectrum fee will, in one stroke, cut budgeted fiscal deficit from Rs 3,81,408 crore to Rs 3,10,146 crore, or about 4.5% of the nominal GDP assumed in Budget 2010.
  • On Base rate regime
  • Riots in Kyrgyzstan
    • Deadly riots swept through Osh and another southern city of Jalalabad on Friday and Saturday, Kyrgyz news agency AKI press reported on Sunday. Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbek groups set ablaze cars, and looted stores and markets. The Kyrgyz interim government, which imposed curfew in the entire Jalalabad region, has allowed police and troops to shoot to kill in order to control the riots.
    • About 117 people have been killed over the past three days in what is being described as the worst ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan in the last two decades. The interim government in Kyrgyzstan, which took power in April after a popular revolt toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, had appealed for Russian help to quell the riots.
    • Media reports added that violence continued unabated with Kyrgyzs rioters torching Uzbek villages and slaughtering residents. More than 75,000 Uzbeks are said to have crossed over to Uzbekistan. Tensions between Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks have erupted earlier too, and appear to have been reignited by the ouster of the president in April. Local Uzbeks largely support the country’s new leadership in a predominantly Kyrgyz stronghold of the former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
    • The provisional government has accused Bakiyev of provoking the violence in order to destabilise the country.
    • There are about 116 Indians trapped in Osh and Jalalabad towns. For the present they are reported to be safe.