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March 2010 Economy

Vizag steel plant was given Navaratna stature by the central government. The company authorities need not take permission from the government up to Rs. 1000 crore investment. 

The Seed processing plant under the Seed Business Incubation (SBI) initiative run by the farmers in partnership with International Crops Research Station for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Aakruthi Agricultural Associates of India (AAAI) is launched at Uravakonda in Anantapur district. This is first-of-its-kind in the country where ICRIST and a private organisation came forward for establishing an innovative Public Private Partnership-based seed system. 

Coal India Ltd (CIL) is keen to join a consortium of companies comprising GAIL (India) and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) to launch a coal gasification project at the now closed Talcher unit of the Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCI), which will enable CIL to source one-third of its requirement of an explosive it now has to procure from outside. A mine with a reserve of 5.5 million tonnes has been earmarked for this venture. The output of this mine would yield 3.7 million tonnes of coal annually which would have 30 per cent less ash content and could be gasified. 

Having set an export target of $200 billion in 2008-09, India ended the fiscal year with $185 billion on account of the shrinking markets following the global meltdown. 

The Planning Commission scaled down the 11th Plan growth target to 8.1 per cent from an average annual growth of 9 per cent pegged earlier. 

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said, investment in the infrastructure sector in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007-12) would be very close to the target of $500 billion, primarily due to better show by the telecom sector. On growth prospects during the Eleventh Plan, he said it was likely to be 8.5% in the 2010-11 fiscal and 9% during 2011-12. 

State Bank of India (SBI) opened the 1,000th branch and 10,000th ATM in Mumbai. With this, SBI now has 12,448 branches and over 21,000 ATMs. 

The Reserve Bank of India has raised the repo and reverse repo rates (short - term rates at which the RBI lends and borrows from banks) by 25 basis points to 5 percent and 3.5 percent respectively. 

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S & P) pegged India's overall growth rate at 8 percent for 2011 - 12. S&P raised India's sovereign rating outlook to 'stable' from 'negative' even as it cautioned that the high rate of inflation at nearly 10 percent could upset the country's stable macro economic and interest rate environment. 

The Central Government will set up a Central Food Security Fund to compensate the Below poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries of the Targeted Public Distribution system (TPDS) who fail to get the proposed mandatory 25 kg of wheat or rice per family a month at a subsidised rate of Rs. 3 a kg. 

National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Fertilizers where the company has set a production target of 32.31 lakh tonnes of urea for 2010-11. 

The National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group entered into a memorandum of understanding with respect to cross-listing arrangements, development and distribution of financial products and services.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee moved the State Bank of India (Amendment) Bill, 2010 in the Lok Sabha which reduces Centre's shareholding in State Bank of India (SBI) from 55 percent to 51 percent and allows the bank to raise more capital from the market through preference shares. 

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with RBI Governor D. Subba Rao unveiled a plaque at RBI head quarters to mark the Central Bank's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Mumbai. 

The Reserve Bank of India deferred the implementation of the Base Rate regime by three months to July 1 and also exempted three categories of loans from the new system. The RBI decided to replace the current benchmark prime lending rate system with the Base Rate to increase transparency in lending at much lower rates than their benchmark lending rates to new customers. 

Italian helicopter manufacturer Agusta Westland and Tata Motors which recently signed joint venture for setting up a final assembly unit of AW 119 have finalised Hyderabad as location for the proposed unit. 

Kobelco Group of Japan is setting up an equipment machinery facility at the multi - product Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Sri City at Tada in Andhra Pradesh. 

Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan launched the 3G mobile services of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) covering 29 cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh. 

Eurocopter, world's leading helicopter manufactures announced that it would form ventures with Pawan Hans Helicopters for maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) and training facilities either in Mumbai or Delhi. The MOUs for the two proposals would be signed during the three - day, 'India Aviation - 2010' beginning at the Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad. 



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