Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SC asks Centre, CBI to reply on plea

Radia Tapes: SC asks Centre, CBI to reply on plea
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and CBI to file replies on a plea seeking to direct the government to take action on findings of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) which found irregularities in some business transactions after examining Niira Radia tapes.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda on Wednesday also asked former Tata chief, Ratan Tata who has filed a plea for not making public tapped conversations of Radia, to file reply within a week. 
Immediately after the order was passed and the matter was adjourned for 2nd December for hearing of cases arising out of Radia’s tapped conversation, senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan, appearing for Open Magazine, strongly objected for deferment of hearing. 
Dhawan pleaded that the court should hear the case today itself and he be allowed to argue on behalf of the magazine against Tata’s petition but the court turned down his plea. 
An agitated Dhawan said, “It is highly unfortunate. I don’t want to say this at a time when my lordship is retiring but I have to say it is highly unfortunate.” 
“You are denying me an opportunity to respond on the plea. It is highly arbitrary,” he further said. 
Taking exception to Dhawan’s submission, Justice Singhvi recused himself from the case and said the matter be listed before another bench. 
In the plea filed by NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), referred to a purported letter written by the investigating officer to the Director of SFIO and submitted that cases of serious corporate fraud were allegedly brought out against them which need to be probed. 
The plea submitted that the probe was originally initiated by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) on whose report to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, an SFIO inquiry was ordered. 
“All of the above have been thoroughly investigated and action has been recommended against top corporates to the Government of India several months back. Yet no action has been taken.” 
The NGO alleged that these cases are different from the issues framed by the apex court in which it had directed CBI probe. 
“Thus it is clear an attempt is being made to scuttle investigations arising out of or involving the intercepted conversations of Niira Radia’s telephones in order to save top corporate groups. Only strong directions from this court coupled with the disclosure of the transcribed conversations can lead to the guilty being brought to book,” the application said. 


Egypt announces end of state of emergency

Egypt announces end of state of emergency
Egypt’s government announced the end of a 3-month-old state of emergency on Tuesday, two days earlier than planned, after a court ruled that the measure has expired.
Ending the state of emergency would mean the end of a nighttime curfew also in place since mid-August, measures aimed at helping authorities impose control amid protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. 
Security officials have shown concern that its end could add fuel to the protests. Morsi, who has been in detention since his 3rd July ouster by the military, had his first extensive meeting with lawyers on Tuesday, consulting in prison with a team from his Muslim Brotherhood and allies on his ongoing trial on charges of inciting murder, which began last week. 
Morsi is so far refusing to allow the team to represent him, saying he remains the elected president and refuses to recognise the tribunal against him following what he and his supporters call an illegal coup.
During the meeting, Morsi gave the lawyers a “statement to the nation and the Egyptian people,” said Morsi’s son, Osama, a lawyer who was among those who met him, according to the Muslim Brotherhood’s website. 
He said the statement was addressed to “the various movements, factions and sects” of the Egyptian people. The lawyers planned a press conference for tomorrow, when it appeared the statement would be released. 
The court ruling on ending the state of emergency appeared to have caught the government off guard. 
Only a day earlier, Interior Minister Mahmoud Ibrahim had said it would be lifted on Thursday, announcing that security reinforcements would deploy in the streets at that time a sign of the worries over intensified protests. 
The confusion came because the state of emergency was initially announced for a month on 14th August. But the government renewed it for another two months on 12th September. The court today said that means it ends on 12th November, not 14th November. 
The Cabinet put out a statement saying it will abide by the ruling, though it said it will wait for the court to issue the verdict in writing. It was not clear what would happen if that did not happen on Tuesday.


I&B ministry seeks stakeholders’ views on curbs on ‘paid news’

I&B ministry seeks stakeholders
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has sought stakeholders’ views vis-a-vis its proposal for bringing in amendments to the Press and Registration of Books and Publications (PRB) Act which specify that publications carrying “paid news” will lose registration.
In a statement in New Delhi on Tuesday, the ministry pointed out that the PRB Act of 1867 had been enacted to create a system for keeping a record of publications through regulation of printing presses and newspapers. 
And, in order to make the Act relevant in the present scenario, the Press and Registration of Books and Publication (PRBP) Bill, 2011, was introduced in Parliament on 16th December 2011, and referred to the Standing Committee on Information Technology. 
The Standing Committee submitted its report to Parliament on 20th December 2012, the ministry said, inviting suggestions by 19th November from various stakeholders interested in the subject matter of the Bill. 
The draft Press and Registration of Books and Publications Bill, 2013, seeks to define what constitutes paid news. 
As per the definition in the draft, “Paid news means publishing any news or analysis in the publication for a price in cash or kind as consideration.” 
The draft also prescribes the course of action to be adopted in case a publication is found to have engaged in the practice of paid news. 
If a publication is found guilty of carrying paid news, the declaration made by it under the provisions of the Act would be cancelled along with the registration certificate issued by the Press Registrar General, the draft says. 
Another important amendment proposed in the draft bill is for the definition of newspapers to be expanded to include its internet editions as well. 


Jet – Etihad deal gets CCI clearance; moves closer to finality

Jet-Etihad deal gets CCI clearance; moves closer to finalityUpdated on : 12-11-2013 10:58 PM
Paving way for closure of long- pending Jet-Etihad deal, fair trade regulator CCI on Tuesday approved the proposed acquisition of 24 percent stake in the Naresh Goyal-led Indian carrier by Abu Dhabi-based airline.
Etihad is acquiring this stake for Rs 2,058 crore in a deal that was announced in April this year, becoming the first-ever FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in an Indian carrier by an overseas airline. 
However, the deal has been stuck for months for want of various regulatory approvals. 
The clearance by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), whose nod is necessary for any major merger and acquisition deal involving an Indian entity, was among the last regulatory approvals for this transaction. 
Among others, the deal has been already cleared by capital markets regulator SEBI, Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA). 
The deal had to be revised after Sebi raised objections over a previous structure that involved Etihad possibly getting larger control over Jet Airways, which is a publicly listed company in India. 
“Considering the facts on record and the details provided in the notice (under relevant section of the Competition Act)… the Commission is of the opinion that the proposed combination is not likely to have appreciable adverse effect on competition in India and therefore, the Commission hereby approves the same,” CCI said in an order on Tuesday. 
The majority order, passed by CCI chairman Ashok Chawla and four members, said that the approval can be revoked if information provided by Jet and Etihad is found to be incorrect at any time. 
However, one CCI member passed a minority order dissenting with the majority view and said the deal could have adverse impact on competition in international air travel market. 
Dissenting member Anurag Goel said he was “of the prima facie opinion that the proposed combination is likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within the market of international air passenger transportation from and to India.” 
“A notice may, therefore, be issued to show cause to the parties to the combination calling upon them to respond within thirty days of the receipt of the notice, as to why investigation in respect of the proposed combination should not be conducted,” his dissent order said. 
The Commission said the approval is granted on the basis of “underlying competition assessment” based on information provided by the parties in their notice, which has been modified and supplemented from time to time. 
“This approval should not be construed as immunity in any manner from subsequent proceedings before the Commission for violations of other provisions of the (Competition) Act. It is incumbent upon the parties to ensure that this ex-ante approval does not lead to ex-post violation of the provisions of the Act,” CCI said. 
The regulator also noted that this “approval however, shall have no bearing on proceedings under Section 43A of the Act”.
Under this section, CCI has powers to slap penalties for non-furnishing of information on M&A deals. 
While Jet and Etihad were said to be in discussions for a long time, they had formally announced their proposed deal in April this year. 
However, the original deal had hit several regulatory road blocks, primarily on concerns that it could lead to a foreign airline getting control over an Indian company in a sensitive sector like aviation and Jet’s public shareholders were being given a raw deal. 
Subsequently, the deal was restructured to address the apprehensions of various regulators and other government bodies, such as Sebi, CCI and FIPB. 
After the deal, Etihad would have 24 percent stake in Jet Airways, main promoter Naresh Goyal would have 51 percent and public shareholders would have remaining 25 percent. 
Besides, Etihad’s control over board matters and other business decisions was also curtailed in revised deal. 


 4th Supplementary orbit raising a success
MoM: 4th Supplementary orbit raising a successUpdated on : 12-11-2013 11:18 AM
A day after suffering a glitch during the fourth orbit raising operation on its Mars Orbiter Mission, ISRO today successfully completed the supplementary manoeuvre this morning, raising the spacecraft’s apogee (farthest distance from Earth) to over 1,18,000 km.
The fourth supplementary orbit raising manoeuvre of Mars Orbiter spacecraft started at 5.03 AM (IST) with a Burn Time of 303.8 seconds and it has been successfully completed. The observed change in apogee is from 78,276 km to 1,18,642 km,” ISRO said.
The supplementary manoeuvre, which was completed by 5.10 AM, added a velocity of 124.9 m/s to the spacecraft, it said. After suffering a glitch during the fourth orbit raising operation yesterday, ISRO planned for a supplementary manoeuvre at 5 AM to achieve the targeted apogee of one lakh km.
The fifth of the five orbit raising operation to raise the spacecraft’s apogee of over 1,92,000 km is scheduled for November 16.
During the fourth orbit raising operations yesterday, the 440 Newton liquid engine stopped, while both primary and redundant coils were energised together, however the thrust level augmentation logic, as expected, came in and the operation continued using the attitude control thrusters and the spacecraft was “normal” and “100 per cent safe,” according to ISRO.
Following the glitch, the apogee was raised only to 78,276 km against the target of about one lakh km. During the first three orbit-raising operations, the prime and redundant chains of gyros, accelerometers, 22 Newton attitude control thrusters, attitude and orbit control electronics as well as the associated logics for their fault detection isolation and reconfiguration were exercised successfully.
After successfully completing these operations, the mission is expected to take on the “crucial event” of the trans-Mars injection around 12:42 AM on December 1.
ISRO’s PSLV C 25 successfully injected the 1,350-kg Mangalyaan Orbiter (Mars craft) into orbit around Earth some 44 minutes after a textbook launch at 2:38 PM from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Tuesday last, marking the successful completion of the first stage of the Rs 450-crore mission. 


EC notice to Narendra Modi

EC issues notice to Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, has been served a notice by the Election Commission (EC) for his comment against rival Congress during a rally in Chhattisgarh last week, where he referred to a “khooni panja” or bloody hand.
The EC has asked Modi to explain by 5 PM on 16th November why action should not be initiated against him for model code violation. 
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, meanwhile, asserted that there was no violation of model code of conduct by Modi. She added that the BJP will respond to the EC notice in detail. 
On 10th November, the Congress had moved the EC demanding stern action against Modi over his remark at a rally in poll-bound Chhattisgarh. 


Oil India Limited Q2 & HY1


(A Government of IndiaEnterprise)

Oil India Board in its 437th  Board Meeting held on 12th November, 2013 approved the Q2 & H1 FY14 results. Details of Q2 & H1 FY14 results are as follows:
I.  Performance.      
DetailsUnit     Q2                      FY 13-14     Q2                      FY 12-13    %
     H1                      FY 13-14    H1                      FY 12-13     %
A. Financial
Gross IncomeRs. Crores
TurnoverRs. Crores
Net ProfitRs. Crores
Earnings per shareRs.
SubsidyRs. Crores
B.Crude oil Price
Gross Crude oil PriceUS$/barrel
Net PriceUS$/barrel
Gross Crude Oil PriceRs/Barrel
Net PriceRs/Barrel
Ex rateRs
Crude oil *MMT
Natural GasBCM
Oil + Oil equivalent
of Gas
Crude oil *MMT
Natural GasBCM
Oil + Oil equivalent
of Gas
*Includes OIL’s production in joint ventures.

II. Physical Performance.

a)           The crude oil production during Q2 FY14 was 0.916MMT as compared to 0.960MMT during Q2 FY13.
b)           The natural gas production at 666 MMSCM during Q2 FY14 as compared to 690 MMSCM during Q2 FY13.
c)            Crude oil sales during Q2 FY14 was 0.926 MMT as compared to sales of 0.943 MMT in Q2 FY13. Sale of Natural Gas was 530 MMSCM during Q2 FY14 as compared to 548 MMSCM during the Q2 FY13.
d)           The decrease in crude oil production and sales quantity is due to certain bandhs and blockades which affected operations in Q2 FY14. The crude oil loss due to such Bandhs and Blockades was 3456 MT during Q2.
e)            In Carrizo Shale asset in USA, the production is around 640 Boe/d as on date. OIL has 20% PI in the asset.
f)            In Gabon, where OIL is the operator, a discovery has been made in the third well that we drilled. The well encountered two prospective zones.  On testing the 2nd sand, the well produced oil and gas. This is the first discovery of OIL in a overseas venture as an operator. Action is at hand for drilling of appraisal wells in the area.
g)            In Venezuela, in the Carababo Basin asset, accelerated early production from first development well started since 27th Dec 2012. Current production from three wells is 3200 bopd and it is expected to reach 90000 bopd by the end of 2015.
h)           The Company made two discoveries in Assam during the Q2.
III.    Financial Highlights:
  • Company has been rated ‘Baa2’ by Moody’s, which is higher than         sovereign rating.
  • The turnover of the company during Q2 FY14 has increased by   12.58% to  Rs. 2836.40 crore as compared to Rs.2519.37 crore during the      corresponding period last year,
  • The gross crude oil price realisation for Q2 FY14 is US$ 108.33/bbl, as compared to US$ 108.63/bbl in Q2 FY13. However as a result of subsidy, the net realisation during Q2 FY14 is US$ 52.33/bbl as       compared to US$ 52.63/bbl. Due to rupee depreciation, the Net Realisation in rupee   terms during Q2FY14 is higher  by 12.09% to Rs   3257.54/bbl as compared         to Rs. 2906.23/bbl during Q2FY13.
  • During Q2 FY 14, the subsidy to the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) has increased by 7.48% to Rs.2233.70 crore from Rs. 2078.17 crore    during the corresponding period last year, which has affected the PAT   by      Rs. 1265.68 crore.
IV. Awards
  • Corporate Excellence Award 2013 for Best Investor Relations
  • Golden Peacock Environment Management Award, 12th Annual   Greentech   Safety Award-2013 in Gold Category in Petroleum Sector,           by Greentech        Foundation.
    • BT Star Best National PSU” and “BT Star Best PSU in Excellence in         Market capitalization, by Bureaucracy Toda
    • National Award for Excellence in Employee Relations in the pan India category by Employers’ Federation of India, (EFI).
V.   Corporate Social Responsibility
As a leading Corporate Citizen, OIL continues its exemplary social         welfare and community development initiatives focusing on the key      areas of education, healthcare, skill development, livelihood generation and the overall development of basic infrastructure have touched many a lives in and around its operational areas. The Company has also given thrust on sustainable development activities in and around its operational areas.
OIL, in line with its vision, is now poised to consolidate its position as   one of the leading energy companies of India and in this endeavor        certain acquisition opportunities are under different stages of    evaluation.


Sept 2013 IIP grows at 2% and October CPI Inflation at 10.09%

Dear All,

Sept 2013 IIP grows at 2% and October CPI Inflation at 10.09%

Growth in industry output, as measured in terms of IIP, for the month of Sept 2013 is estimated at 2% as compared with 0.4% during Aug 2013. The cumulative growth for the period April-Sept 2013-14 stands at 0.4% as compared to 0.1% in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The growth in the three sectors mining, manufacturing and electricity in Sept 2013 stands at 3.3%, 0.6% and 12.9% as compared to (-) 1.0%, (-) 0.2% and 7.2% during Aug 2013 respectively. The cumulative growth for the period April-Sept 2013- 2014 in the three sectors mining, manufacturing and electricity over the corresponding year stands at (-) 2.5%, 0.1% and 5.9% respectively.

   Recent growth pattern in IIP                                                                               (% growth)
Industry Group
Weight in IIP
Apr- Sept
(-) 1.0
(-) 0.2
Use based classification
Basic goods
Capital goods
(-) 2.0
Intermediate goods
Consumer Goods
Consumer goods
(-) 0.9
a) Consumer durables
(-) 7.6
b) Consumer non-durables
Overall IIP



     Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from CSO

The growth in Basic goods stands at 5.4% during Sept 2013 as compared to 1.1% in Aug 2013. The cumulative growth during April – Sept 2013-14 stands at 1.2% as compared to 2.7% during the corresponding period of last year. Consumer goods have grown at 0.6% during Sept 2013 as compared to (-) 0.9% during Aug 2013. Consumer durables have grown at (-) 10.8% during Sept 2013 as compared to (-) 7.6% during Aug 2013, while consumer non durables have grown at 11.3% during Sept 2013 as compared to 4.8% during Aug 2013.

The cumulative growth of consumer goods during Apr-Sept 2013-14 stands at (-) 1.3% as against 2.7% during the corresponding period last year. Consumer durables have shown a cumulative growth of (-) 10.9% during Apr-Sept 2013-14 as against 4% during the corresponding period last year, while consumer non durables have shown a cumulative growth of 7.3% during Apr-Sept 2013-14 as compared to 1.6% during the corresponding period last year.

Some of the important items showing high positive growth during the current month over the same month in previous year include Vitamins (86.6%), Cable, Rubber Insulated (68.0%), Ayurvedic Medicaments (60.1%), Petroleum Coke (41.9%), Rice (40.4%), Apparels (35.5%), Cigarettes (27.7%), Tractors (27.5%), Copper and Copper Products (26.5%), Hot Rolled Steel Coils/ Skelp (23.4%), Cashew Kernels (22.7%), Antibiotics & its preparations (21.8%) and Petrol (Motor Spirit) (21.0%).

Some of the other important items showing high negative growth are Hot Rolled Steel Sheets ((-) 58.1%), Sugar Machinery ((-) 38.9%), Sugar (including sugar cubes) ((-) 33.7%), Colour T.V. Sets ((-) 30.7%), Cylinders ((-) 30.3%), Polyester Chips ((-) 28.8%), Heat Exchangers ((-) 28.7%), Commercial Vehicles ((-) 28.5%), Earth Moving Machinery ((-) 28.2%), Telephone Instruments including Mobile Phones & Accessories ((-) 26.6%) and Aluminium Conductor ((-) 24.5%).

  Trend in IIP growth                                                                                                      (%)
  Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from CSO

Capital goods have grown at (-) 6.8% during Sept 2013 as compared to (-) 2% during Aug 2013. The cumulative growth of capital goods stands at (-) 0.7% during April-Sept 2013-14 as compared to (-) 14.2% during April- Sept 2012-13.

Trend in the growth of capital goods                                                                              (%)
  Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from CSO

October CPI Inflation at 10.09% – The all India general CPI (Combined) for Oct 2013 stands at 10.09% as compared to 9.84% for Sept 2013. The inflation rates for rural and urban areas for Oct 2013 are 10.11% and 10.20% respectively as compared to 9.7% and 9.9% respectively for Sept 2013.

Warm regards,

Dr. S P Sharma
Chief Economist


World Energy Council responds to IEA 2013 Outlook

World Energy Council responds to IEA 2013 Outlook
Following publication of the IEA’s 2013 World Energy Outlook today, the World Energy Council issues the following response.

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, comments:
“Coming hard on the heels of the World Energy Congress where we published our explorative scenarios and our energy resource assessment, the launch of the World Energy Outlook adds to the weight of knowledge which highlights that the global energy system is now at a tipping point. Our Jazz and Symphony scenarios see that fossil fuels will remain dominant up to 2050, with between 77% and 59% of the primary energy mix being supplied by coal, oil and gas. This finding is supported by the IEA’s central scenario clearly shows that we need to see a shift in the way we address the triple challenges of the energy trilemma – environment, energy security and energy equity.
“We urgently need to realise the potential of breakthrough technologies such as electricity storage and CC(U)S. The 450 parts per million CO2 goal cannot be achieved without CC(U)S. It is essential, therefore, that there are clear and unambiguous policy and institutional frameworks to support investment in this technology to justify its inclusion in roadmaps and carbon emission reduction strategies.
“Demand for energy services continues to rise and the energy map is changing. Our institutions need to change to keep pace with developments if we are to have a sustainable energy future.
“We must get real in the way we respond to the findings in the World Energy Outlook.”

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