Bihar likely to sign MoU with GAIL for natural gas supply

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Bihar is likely to ink Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to use natural gas from the Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipeline which will pass through four districts of Bihar Gaya, Aurangabad, Rohtas and Kaimur. “Branch pipeline would pass through 10 districts of Bihar, covering a distance of 621km. The commission

Rangarajan committee’s gas pricing formula meets opposition from different ministries

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The finance, power and fertilizers ministries have refused to accept the gas pricing formula of Rangarajan committee which recommended rise in base price to USD 8.8 a million British thermal unit (mBtu) from the USD 4.2 currently applicable for gas produced from Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 and a host of other fields. The formula has been rejected

FinMin plans to revise FDI norms again

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The finance ministry once again plans to tweak the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms, after opening up sectors like retail, aviation, power, broadcast, during last September, said a media report. As per the reports, the ministry wants to minimize the layers of caps, clearly define the FDI break-up and foreign institutional investment (FII) sub-li

Govt starts probe into Saradha Group fraud; other chit funds too come under the lens

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The corporate affairs ministry on Thursday started enquiry into the alleged chit fund fraud by Saradha Group and also ordered investigation into businesses of 57 such similar deposit-taking companies, most of which are based in West Bengal. Earlier the ministry had refused to enquire the matter saying that chit funds were regulated by states and the

Parliament panel recommends abolition of STT

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Pitching voice for abolishing of the Securities Transaction Tax (STT), a standing committee of Parliament has urged the department of finance to conduct a study on the impact of Commodities Transaction Tax (CTT) on food inflation over a period of one year. This is for second time that the standing committee has recommended abolition of the STT after

Economic growth to return to 8% in next couple of years: Pranab Mukherjee

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Expressing confidence over economic growth, President Pranab Mukherjee said that growth rate would return to 8 per cent in next couple of years. “I am confident that with the measures being taken and through our collective effort it would be possible to return to the path of higher GDP growth around 8 per cent in next couple of years”, Mu

Govt urges S&P to upgrade India’s credit rating

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Armed with concrete plans to bring down the fiscal deficit of India, the government recently met representatives from rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to highlight the reforms undertaken and urge it to upgrade the credit rating of the country, said a media report. The government had earlier met representatives of Fitch Ratings for

Govt identifies 1.2 cr multiple LPG connections through KYC

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The public sector oil marketing companies have blocked approximately 1.2 crore multiple LPG connections in the last six months through the Know Your Customer (KYC) scheme. According to the statement, as an April 1, OMCs has identified approximately 75 per cent of such customers. This scheme was initiated to help the OMCs in identifying those who had m

Mamata raises tax on cigarettes to finance relief fund for Saradha hit depositors

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West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday decided to raise the taxes on cigarettes by 10 per cent, hoping to garner at least Rs 150 crore for the relief fund being set up for the depositors of Saradha Group. "I am sorry but I have to do this," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, who plans a Rs 500 crore relief fund for the de

Indian investors express optimism over equities

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Among a survey of investors from 19 nations, those from India were most bullish about the performance of the nation’s stock markets in 2013, said the Franklin Templeton Global Investor Sentiment survey report on Wednesday. The 9,518 investors who took part in the survey expressed their investment preferences, expectations for the current year an

Indian economy not in Stagflation, but the present situation far from ideal: Nouriel Roubini

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"Inflation is high in India but the growth has slowed down. It's not truly stagflation but certainly the situation is not ideal," said Nourie Roubini, famous American economist, while addressing the 44th General Assembly of the World Trade Centers Association in Mumbai. Talking about the present state of Indian economy Roubini added tha

TMC MP blames Centre, RBI for not taking action against Saradha Group

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Trinamool Congress government, senior party leader, Saugata Roy today blamed central agencies such as RBI for not taking action against the fraudulent chitfund company Saradha Group. "The Centre did not take action. RBI could have taken steps. But it did not act," Roy, a TMC Lok Sabha member told media.

Roy in his statement said t

Power cos likely to get fuel supply pacts in 2 wks: Montek Singh Ahluwalia

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The power projects to be completed by March 2015 are likely to get operational fuel supply agreement (FSAs) in place within a time frame of 2 weeks, said Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. "My expectation is that within two weeks we will essentially have a situation where we would be able to say that all projects (Power)

Govt to limit 2013-14 fiscal deficit below 4.8%: FM

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The Finance Minister, P Chidambaram today said that the the government will keep the fiscal deficit for 2013-14 below 4.8 per cent of the gross domestic product. Government sources had earlier said that the fiscal deficit for 2012-13 will be at approximately 5 per cent of the GDP. Chidambaram further added that the fiscal deficit target is a red line,

All coal blocks allocated since 1993 should be cancelled: Parliamentary panel

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The chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on coal, Kalyan Banerjee, who is also a Trinamool Congress member of the Lok Sabha, on Tuesday said all the coal blocks allocated since 1993 were unauthorized and should be cancelled. "The entire allocation needs investigation. The entire distribution (of coal blocks) was unauthorised. It shou

More than expected decline in WPI gives much-needed space to cut rates: Rangarajan

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Decline in headline inflation to over 3-year low level will provide much-needed elbow room to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for easing monetary policy rates, said Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan. “I would say that decline in WPI is higher than what was expected. It gives greater space for monetary authority to act,&

India increases trade focus on ASEAN region

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With the growing economy and developing business environment in the country, India’s focus on the ASEAN community is increasing as well, said the media reports. However, despite the total trade in ASEAN at USD 1.7 trillion, the country’s trade relations with the region has still not reached its potential, CII-ASEAN/ANZ Regional Committee,

Economy will grow at higher rate of 6.4% in the FY14: Rangarajan

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Given the improvement in performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors, Indian economy is likely to grow at 6.4 per cent in 2013-14 from 5 per cent in the previous fiscal, PM's economic advisory panel said on Tuesday. Speaking at release of the Economic Review for 2012-13, Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) chairman C R

CCEA gives thumbs down to coal price pooling proposal

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Monday dropped the proposal for coal price pooling for the projects of country’s power producers as they reel under high costs of imported coal while domestic supply remains limited. The proposal, under the pooling mechanism, was to supply costly imported coal at uniform rates to power firms, a

Banks should open branches in rural & unbanked areas: Parliamentary Panel

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Parliamentary panel, headed by Yashwant Sinha, in a bid to promote financial inclusion said that the banks should open branches in rural and unbanked areas and treat them as "service centre" instead of "profit centre". "The Committee in their earlier reports had expressed their view that the rural branches should be considere

Empowered committee on GST calls for protection of financial autonomy of states

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The chairman of empowered committee on Goods and Services Tax (GST) Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday called for the protection of a financial autonomy of states and formulate an appropriate incentive model as followed by countries like Singapore and Canada. Modi, at a meeting with the industry representatives organised by Ficci, said states want protection

RBI to cut key rates by 25 bps on May 3: Poll

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With falling inflation and global commodity prices, analysts in the financial sector are expecting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut repo rate by 25 basis points to a two-year low of 7.25 per cent on May 3, suggested a media report which conducted poll. While most of the analysts said RBI would draw comfort from a fall in inflation as it tries t

PMEAC set to release 2012-13 Economy review finally this week

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The Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), headed by C Rangarajan, is finally set to release the economy review of 2012-13 this week, much delayed from its usual release at around February or March. Experts said that the review is likely to peg GDP growth at 6.5 per cent during 2013-14 as against 5 per cent during 2012-13. Also, a me

Government brings in new strategies to boost exports

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The government has recently risen curtains to unveil a number of measures to uplift the exports and perk up investor sentiment. The Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), which was formulated the very last time, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry strategized and dished out sops for various sectors, which are likely to bring down the current account deficit (

India’s economy is opening up gradually & it’s not restricting investments: P Chidambaram

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Finance Minister P Chidambaram has rejected the suggestions that India is imposing restrictions on investments and said the country's economy is opening up in a gradual manner. In an interview to a TV show, Chidambaram said, “I think the right way to look at it is we are not restricting. We are opening up in a gradual manner. Where were we