Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by sagar, Feb 17, 2009.
Boeing to deliver $17 billion of planes to India in 5 years
Boeing to deliver $17 billion of planes to India in 5 years
Boeing to deliver $17 billion of planes to India in 5 years
By Sumeet Chatterjee
BANGALORE (Reuters) - U.S. aircraft maker Boeing Co (BA.N) will deliver 100 planes worth $17 billion over the next four to five years to Indian airlines, and will have to compensate some for the late delivery of 787 Dreamliners, the president of its Indian operations said on Tuesday.
"We clearly want to extend our footprint in India," Dinesh Keskar, president of Boeing India, told reporters at the launch of Boeing's research and technology center in the southern city of Bangalore.
The outstanding orders were part of the $25 billion aircraft delivery contracts Boeing had signed with Indian airlines in the past three years, he said.
"We have steady stream for deliveries coming to India," said Keskar, also noting Boeing would pay compensation to national carrier Air India AI.UL and Jet Airways (JET.BO) for the delay in delivery of 787 Dreamliners.
He declined to quantify the amount of compensation.
Last year, Boeing had projected India would need 1,001 aircraft worth more than $105 billion over the next 20 years and Keskar said the forecast was still valid despite an economic downturn that has impacted the global aviation industry.
Boeing has not seen any cancellation of its order for civilian aircraft from Indian airlines, though Jet Airways deferred the order of two aircraft last year that was expected to be delivered later this year, he said.
"India is fortunate because the slowdown in India is less severe than any parts of the world," said Keskar, who was appointed as head of India operations this month. "Fortunately, we are doing very well in India compared to our competition."
Boeing, which also competes for defense projects in Asia's third-largest economy, and European rival Airbus (EAD.PA) have seen new orders for planes slump as many major economies have slid into recession.
Both Airbus and Boeing have seen the size of their backlogs, swollen by record orders before the economic downturn, fall so far this year as neither manages to sell faster than airlines cancel, data showed earlier this month.
The U.S. aircraft manufacturer is looking to bid for defense projects worth up to $31 billion over the next 10 years in India, as strategic ties between the two countries deepen.
Keskar also said Boeing will pay compensation to Air India and Jet Airways for the delay in delivery of 787 Dreamliner.
"We are really sorry that because of our actions Air India is suffering, other airlines in the world are suffering. We feel for them and we will do what's right for us and them both.
Air India has placed orders for 27 787s, and the carrier will get its first such plane in the second quarter of 2010, Keskar said. Jet Airways has placed orders for 10.
"These are our big customers," Keskar said. "We are going to work together to come to an amicable solution and we will."
Rival Airbus was forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation after its A380 superjumbo fell two years behind schedule. Now Boeing may face similar claims, analysts said.
More than 50 airlines are waiting for 892 Boeing 787s, worth a combined $145 billion at list prices.
Earlier this month Boeing said it was working toward the first delivery of the delayed 787 in the first quarter of 2010.
It was on track to make its first test flight of the aircraft in the second quarter of 2009.
(Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan and Andrew Macdonald)
$9 billion! That's how much India will save with the RIL KG D-6
Image: Reliance Industries' KG-D6 floating production storage and offloading vessel is seen off the Bay of Bengal.
India IOC buys 2 mln barrels Nigerian crude -trade
Areva India aims to double sales by ’13
Areva India aims to double sales by ’13
: Areva T&D India, the wholly owned subsidiary of French power equipment company Areva T&D SA, has set a target of doubling its
sales in India
over next four years. Though the slowdown has affected the company’s industrial business, it expects the transmission and distribution business to deliver good growth.
The company, which closed the calendar 2008 with a sales of close to Rs 2,600 crore, is planning to become a billion dollar company by 2012, as it expects a sizeable expansion in power generation capacity and rapid growth in demand for electricity in the country.
Areva T&D is in the process of converting its Indian operation into an export hub for the Asian markets through its recently opened manufacturing facilities at Padappai and Hosur in Tamil Nadu, and Vadodara in Gujarat. “The Indian operation is already feeding export markets in South East Asia and the Middle East and 14% of the revenue is coming from it. This would be increased to 25% in next few years,” Philippe Guillemot, Areva T&D SA chairman and CEO told ET.
“The global slowdown has only impacted our business in the industrial sector. But the transmission and distribution business has remained unaffected. In India we have clocked double digit growth in 2008 we and remain bullish about prospects here and expect a double digit growth again in 2009,” said Guillemot. He added that the company has redrawn its investment strategy in the country with a focus on localising all the new transmission and distribution technologies.
“This certainly would help us to double sales in the country in the next four years,” Mr Guillemot said.
India contributes 10% to Areva T&D’s order book, which the company expects to go up 14% by 2010. The current order book of the company in India is around Rs 4,000 crore. On recruitment, he said that globally the company was recruiting 12,000 people and in India also 1,500 people would be hired to support the expanded manufacturing activities. Areva T&D India currently employs 4,600 people.
The French major’s Indian operations currently enjoys market leadership in several transmission and distribution equipment categories. As is the case with its global operations, the company plans to increase its market share by one percentage point every year in India over the next few years.
The new manufacturing unit at Paddapai will host three new factories including Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) production facility, a circuit breaker factory and disconnector factory (both upto 1200 KV). The Hosur facility will house an instrument transformer unit and an R&D centre. The Vadodara factory will manufacture power transformers, distribution transformers, primary distribution equipment and secondary equipment.
India-France trade reaching new heights
Global economy: India to play a bigger role
Global economy: India to play a bigger role
India hopes to increase its share in the quotas of multilateral development banks like the International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank [Get Quote] after major stakeholders in them bring forward the issue of quota review and expanding in accordance with current realities that will give proper representation to the emerging economies.
Indian sources are upbeat about such a development in the context of the just-concluded Summit of the 20 industrialised and emerging economies which have agreed to expand the resources of the IMF and ADB and to also bring forward the quota review in the IMF.
The Indian side is also conscious of the fact that such a review was not going to happen overnight but was sure that it cannot be postponed for long.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself indicated as much when he said at the end of the Thursday Summit that India can consider increasing the contribution to IMF in proportion to its quota though it has not visualised approaching the institution for borrowing in the near future.
India is also not unduly worried about, what some analysts say, is the "growing weightage" for China in institutions like the IMF as it feels that China is definitely a stronger and bigger economy than India but both have their "own strengths and weaknesses".
The official communique issued at the end of the Summit recognised the importance of the issue when it said that alongside the significant increase in resources agreed, the G-20 countries were determined to reform and modernise the international financial institutions to ensure they can assist members and shareholders effectively in the new challenges they face.
"We will reform their mandates, scope and governance to reflect the changes in the world economy and the new challenges of globalisation, and that emerging and developing economies, including the poorest, must have greater voice and representation."
Towards this end, the leaders pledged to implement the package of IMF quota and voice reforms to complete the next review of quotas in the IMF by 2011.
Delegates said the present governing structure in these Multilateral Development Banks was not in favour of countries like India and the contents of the communique have come as a "silver lining" for emerging economies.
As a beginning, the G-20 has admitted countries like India and Brazil forming the BRIC grouping into the Financial Stability Board replacing the existing financial stability forum to strengthen the financial system. India has also got entry into the Basle Committee on banking norms.
Sources said that once the review of the quota is completed India's share in the IMF may double from the present two per cent.
In the ADB, India, which is the largest borrower, will consider accessing it for more loans once the quota issue is reviewed which may be finalised next year.
As for questions regarding China's contribution of $40 billion in the G-20 decision to place $250 billion from the IMF money to poor countries for the economic stimulus and why India did do a corresponding act, the sources said that was an ad hoc on the spot decision of the Summit and India did not want to make a "grand statement".
New Delhi is keen on husbanding its resources estimated at $250 billion in foreign exchange. Japan contributed $100 billion, EU $100 billion and a few others contributed a sum of $10 billion.
On the outcome of the Summit, Indian sources said apart from the need to reform the financial system, New Delhi is satisfied that there was realisation that it should help global economy recover and become normal and that the multilateral banks should help poor countries with balance of payments crisis to overcome their difficulty.
On protectionism, the sources said the attempt at the Summit was to see that there should not be a "sudden and high wave" of barriers in view of the current difficulties though there was realisation that countries would raise walls "within some norms" or within WTO guidelines to protect their interests.
On the issue of tax havens, which the G-20 has threatened to "name and shame", the Summit decided to crackdown on non-cooperative jurisdictions and that countries should cooperate. The Summit decided to crack down on the tax havens
Mercedes, BMW go head-to-head in India
Mercedes, BMW go head-to-head in India
PUNE: India is turning out to be a battleground for German luxury carmakers Mercedes and BMW. Unfazed by BMW beating it in the first two months
of 2009, Mercedes Benz said that its arch rival achieved higher numbers by "pushing into the market with heavy discounts".
"With the launch of the new 3-Series, they pushed the older version of the model with heavy discounts. So in that sense, we are not worried about their performance," Wilfried Aulbur, CEO & MD of Mercedes-Benz India, told TOI here.
Aulbur said Mercedes was against "stuffing" dealers
with huge inventory to increase numbers. "In our model of business, everybody needs to win, including the dealers... Therefore, you have to find a medium between what a dealer can do and what a manufacturer can do. Otherwise, you run into a situation where you burn your partners (dealers) more than you should."
However, BMW India president Peter Kronschnabl refused to agree with Mercedes. "We at BMW India are prepared to meet challenges head on and ensure our company's success for the future. We are able to do this because we invest in our brand, we focus on our customers and we actively invest to shape our future... We are the segment leaders worldwide with the BMW brand and we want to become the number one in India too," he said.
Mercedes Benz has been one of the first luxury carmakers to start local assembly operations that began more than a decade back. But, it has seen competition growing after the entry of BMW and Audi, who too have started local assembly, thus pricing their vehicles competitively. While Mercedes had been a leader in the market for long, BMW managed to sell more in January, selling 270 units against 79 units sold by Mercedes. It repeated the feat in February, selling 244 units against 226 units sold by Mercedes (as per SIAM numbers). Audi has also been gaining ground, selling 109 units in January that grew to 113 units in February.
But Aulbur said Mercedes was confident of maintaining its edge by launching latest models and strengthening sales and service network. He refuted allegations that the company was slow in bringing in new cars. "That is outright rubbish. We have the latest products available in India and we do try and get them here in the fastest-possible time". The company has now introduced its super-luxury famed AMG range of vehicles, while also driving in the new M class SUV.
To gain strength, Mercedes has established a new manufacturing facility at Pune, investing Rs 450 crore. "This plant has been designed to manufacture the current local-production portfolio of the Mercedes-Benz C-, E-, and S-Class. Importantly, it will also take care of our future needs in India as it is flexible enough to accommodate production of other models from our range on the same assembly line," he said.
According to The Economic Times , ICICI BANK MD & CEO K V Kamath said that Indian Economy should register a growth of 7-8%.
The link and the report from The Economic Times are as follows:
Economy should register 7-8% growth this fiscal: Kamath
5 Apr 2009, 0138 hrs IST, ET Bureau
Print EMail Discuss Share Save Comment Text:
KOLKATA: Striking a positive note at a time when the overall economy is going through a downturn, ICICI Bank MD & CEO KV Kamath said on
Saturday that the credit offtake has improved in India and the corporate India will be pushing forward with its investment programmes. The worst is over and quarter-on-quarter growth should start looking up, he said.
"The government has taken good steps, and a large amount has been injected into the system. In my opinion, the Indian economy should register a 7-8% growth in this fiscal. Yes, there is pain in sectors like textiles and oil and gas, among others, but rural India, the knowledge and FMCG sectors are in good shape. I don't think deflation is possible since there is no chance of a collapse in demand," said Mr Kamath. He was speaking on the sidelines of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta's (IIM-C) 44th convocation in the city.
IIM-C director Shekhar Chaudhuri said that the institute would have 924 students in its two-year full-time programme by 2012. He also spoke of consolidation in the area of executive education and planning for a major growth thrust after the new executive guesthouse comes onsteam in 2010.
"We plan to continue our intense efforts to augment the faculty strength. We plan to strengthen the infrastructure for alumni networking substantially over the next few years," he said.
IIM-C board of governors chairman Ajit Balakrishnan stressed on the importance of research. "We have increased the amount for faculty research to Rs 2 crore from the current Rs 10 lakh," he said.
India to seek $5.2 billion from World Bank
London (IANS): Assured a greater say into the affairs of multilateral lending institutions, India will seek additional assistance of $5.2 billion from the World Bank for its financial sector and infrastructure projects, officials said.
The main component of this assistance is for recapitalisation of state-owned commercial banks over the next two to three years, Indian officials here said.
The rest of the amount is for infrastructure finance companies and power grid corporations.
India normally gets assistance worth $3 billion from the World Bank annually of which half is given in concessional form.
At the G20 summit that concluded on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was assured that developing countries like India will have a higher voting right in institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Leaders at the G20 on Thursday pledged a $1.1 trillion package alongside measures for a tighter regulation of the international financial system to help bring the world out of recession.
The measures were also designed to prevent future shocks.
The leaders agreed to negotiate a speedy conclusion of the Doha trade round and put some $250 billion more into trade finance — key demands from India, represented by Mr. Singh.
Out of the $1.1 trillion pledged for various institutions, $250 billion will be given to the IMF to lend at cheaper rates to needy countries in the form of special drawing rights (SDRs).
The leaders agreed to another major Indian demand by deciding to sell IMF gold reserves to raise $6 billion that will go toward helping out the world's poorest countries with cheap loans over the next two to three years.
Besides India, Britain and the U.S., the G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the EU.
This is a report from The Statesman, that how recession hit hard Indian corporate sector employees.
The link and the report from The Statesman follows herewith:
Recession blues for corporate sector employees
NEW DELHI, April 7: The global meltdown has made corporate sector workers in India ill. The health conditions of employees are fast deteriorating, especially of those engaged in sectors such as IT/ITes, media, market research, knowledge process outsourcing (KPOs), financial services and telecom a survey conducted by an industry body on the eve of World Health Day revealed.
Over 54 per cent of the workforce in IT/ITes sector workers have been found suffering from urban lifestyle diseases such as depression, severe headache, obesity, chronic backache, spondilytis, diabetes, hypertension, etc, according to a survey based study “Corporate Workforce: Chronic and Lifestyle Disease”, conducted by Assocham. The study, based on a survey of 210 corporate employees from 200 various organisations across 18 broad sectors of the economy, focused on the health issues of the corporate workforce.
Out of the 54 unwell employees working with IT/ITes, 23 per cent suffer with spondylitis and 16 per cent are afflicted to depression. Obesity (18 per cent) was a close third and sleeping disorder (20 per cent), fatigue (13 per cent) and high B.P (9 per cent) were other urban lifestyle disease to which the corporate sector is prone to.
“Corporate employees have to survive the stiff global competitive environment to save their jobs, particularly so in the economic crises affecting the world. This puts pressure on their health leading to ‘silent diseases’ like heart attack, strokes or even cancer, Mr D S Rawat, secretary general, Assocham, said quoting experts. Fifty one per cent of the survey respondents in the media sector were reported to be ill. Of these, 36 per cent are patients of high blood pressure, 29 per cent afflicted to depression and 15 per cent have diabetes, he quoted from the survey.
Twenty seven per cent of employees working in the telecom sector were reported to have chronic diseases. Financial services is yet another sector that has been hard hit with 47 per cent sick employees. The World Health Organisation in 2002 estimated that overweight and obesity accounts for 8-15 per cent of the burden of disease in industrialised countries, while high cholesterol accounts for 5-12 per cent. “Most of the illness is being triggered by the high carbohydrate, high fat consumption mainly in the form of fast food like burgers, pizzas and cola drinks,” said Dr G K Rath, professor and head of the department of radiation oncology, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, AIIMS. He added that “one third of the cancers being reported these days is mainly due to diseases triggered by deteriorating urban lifestyles”.
The National Commission on Sleep Disorders estimates that lack of sleep leads to higher stress and reduced workplace productivity. “Depression, and stress cause lack of sleep, and which in turn, as per National Sleep Foundation studies, sets in sleeping disorder that increases the chances of diabetes by 81 per cent, hypertension (79 per cent), heart disease (78 per cent),” said Dr R M Nair, head of the Bapu Nature Cure Hospital and Yogashram, who feels the remedy lies in Naturopathy. n Ajita Singh
Daily News and Analysis (DNA) reports that there are predictions that Indian Economic Growth will 'bottom out' in the second quarter of 2009.
The link and the report from DNA follows:
If all goes well, economy bottom likely around June
Wednesday, April 8, 2009 3:23 IST
Text size Text
Mumbai: Has the Indian economy already seen off its worse phase?
Economists certainly think so. Predictions are that Indian economic growth will 'bottom out' in the second quarter of 2009 (April-June) as consumer confidence returns and monetary and fiscal stimulus packages start having an impact.
Japanese company Nomura Securities predicts that economic activity will pick up in the July-September quarter of 2009. Its composite leading index (CLI), which predicts economic activity two quarters in advance, rose in January-March after four consecutive falls, indicating that economic activity is reviving.
Sonal Varma, India economist at Nomura, says macro parameters point towards a turning point in growth. "It (CLI) includes seven leading non agriculture parameters from the industry and services. All these are clubbed together in one index with which the correlation of GDP growth is the highest," she said.
However, the economy is unlikely to bounce back with a bang. Growth will continue to be sluggish in the first six months of 2009. Nomura predicts 4.5% growth in the April-June quarter of 2009 as companies go slow on production and output in the services sector declines.
Other economists also agree that India may turn the corner at the end of the current quarter. Surjit Bhalla, economist and chairman at Delhi-based Oxus Investments, said, "China has bottomed out in October-December and India will probably bottom out in January-March".
Bhalla suspects the economy did its worse in the October-December quarter, with only a miniscule 1% growth, while January-March clocked just 3-4%. He expects 6.5% growth in the April-June quarter, with the economy probably getting back to a strong 7-8% growth in the quarter to December 2009.
Economists are watching the industrial production numbers together with domestic credit and international markets.
Only an unexpected worsening of global growth could spoil the party for India, they said.
Dharmakirti Joshi, principal economist with Crisil, says the effects of monetary and fiscal stimulus will also kick in post June, helping growth.
Reserve Bank of India has cut interest rates five times since October. The last time on March 4, RBI cut the repo (the rate at which banks borrow funds from the RBI) and reverse repo (rate at which banks park surplus funds) by 50 basis points each.
"Industry numbers will also be good in 2009 because it will come on a lower base of 2008. Construction and auto sectors will get a kick but only the export situation might not improve much. But it is not that we will suddenly start growing at a high rate. Recovery will be sluggish," he said.
Anubhuti Sahay, associate economist, Standard Chartered Bank, said the problem in India is more about confidence. "Six months down the line, when the uncertainty goes away, especially in the private sector, consumer spending could pick up which will lead to an increase in investment demand by companies," she said.
Economists said the signs for a pick up will be when companies start investing. Hence, individual numbers in the industrial production figures like basic goods (iron ore), intermediate goods (things made of iron like nut bolts) and capital goods (where iron and other components are used to make things like trucks) are also under watch.
Deepali Bhargava, economist at ING Vysya Bank, said there is still some pain to come especially in the services sector as job losses and pay cuts in the sector are still showing up.
Sensex tests 11,000 in longest winning streak in 18 months
The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex, in its longest winning streak in over 18 months, on Monday tested the 11,000 level on aggressive
buying by funds on the optimism that government stimulus packages might help revive global economies.
The Sensex, which regained the six-month high level of 11,000 points during the day, ended with a gain of 163.36 points, or 1.51%, at 10,967.22. It moved between 11,069.54 and 10,800.84 points.
The index rose over 14% in the last seven trading sessions, and is set for its longest run of gains since October 3, 2007, when a succession of gains for 11 days ended.
The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 40.55 points, or 1.21%, to 3,382.60. It moved between 3,417.80 and 3,334.15 points during the day.
Marketmen said firming trends overseas continued to support trading sentiment in domestic markets. They said Japan doubled stimulus spending and Chinese lending made a record jump.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4% to 88.34, the highest since January 12.
Trading sentiment turned bullish after Satyam Computer shot up 3.61% to Rs 48.85, after touching a high of Rs 54, ahead of the announcement of the highest bidder for a 51% stake in the firm today.
The Economic Times reports that Indian Economy is expected to grow by 6%
The link and the report from The Economic Times follows:
India expects resilient economy to grow at 6 per cent- Indicators-Economy-News-The Economic Times
India expects resilient economy to grow at 6 per cent
25 Apr 2009, 2245 hrs IST, IANS
WASHINGTON: Notwithstanding several challenges, the Indian economy remains resilient and is expected to grow at around 6 percent in 2009-10 with
fiscal and monetary stimulus measures cushioning the downturn, global finance leaders were told here on Saturday.
"On balance, with the assumption of normal monsoon, real GDP growth for 2009-10 is placed at around 6.0 percent," Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank begin their twice-yearly meetings.
"Going forward, the fiscal and monetary stimulus measures initiated during 2008-09 coupled with lower commodity prices will cushion the downturn by stabilising domestic economic activity," he said.
Noting that consumer price inflation too is declining, albeit less sharply, Subbarao said: "Notwithstanding several challenges, the Indian economy remains resilient with well functioning markets and sound financial institutions."
The macro-economic management has helped in maintaining lower volatility in both financial and real sectors in India relative to several other advanced and emerging market economies, he said.
However, the global financial crisis interrupted India's growth momentum, Subbarao said.
"Since downside risks have materialised, the GDP growth for 2008-09 is now projected to turn out to be in the range of 6.5 to 6.7 percent after clocking annual growth of 8.9 percent on an average over the preceding five years (2003-08)."
As the global crisis brought to the fore the strong interactions between funding liquidity and market conditions, Subbarao said, both the government and the Reserve Bank responded to the challenge of minimising the impact of the crisis on India in a coordinated and consultative manner.
The RBI governor said there are several challenges on the way forward, including implementing the fiscal stimulus packages, particularly stepping up public investment; revival of private investment demand; unwinding of fiscal stimulus in an orderly manner.
Maintaining the flow of credit while ensuring credit quality; preserving financial stability along with provision of adequate liquidity; and ensuring an interest rate
environment that supports the return of the economy to a high growth path were also listed.
India prepares for shift to gas-based economy
Welcome to India’s new gas economy. As gas supply increases and distribution infrastructure (cross-country pipelines and piped gas in cities) falls in place, India will transit from an oil-based economy to a gas-based one, says former head of the Directorate of Hydrocarbons, Avinash Chandra. He estimates that India will find at least 200 trillion cubic feet of gas (tcf) from the country’s east coast alone.
Reliance Industries, which has started producing gas from its D6 block on the east coast, will produce 40 million cubic metres per day or 235,230 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) a day by July, and double this by end-2009. This will take care of the deficit, as there’s demand for 200 million cubic metres per day of gas (1.2 million BOE per day) against available supplies of 110 million cubic metres per day (647,432 BOE per day).
Two other companies, GSPC and ONGC, which also struck gas on the east coast, will bring in an additional 40 million cubic metres per day by 2012. In India, the fertiliser and power sectors account for 80 per cent of the demand for gas, which will continue. But as gas supplies increase, supply to other sectors like refining, petrochemicals, steel, industrial and city gas distribution (CGD) will increase substantially.
There is a large unmet demand for power in India which will promote the use of gas for distributed generation (like DG sets we see in office blocks). But gas engines can be costly: a micro turbine costs around Rs 8 crore per mega watt. “Everyone need not buy a turbine. An industrial estate or a business district can do so,’’ says an expert. 'Need not’ would read 'cannot’ or 'should not’ at these prices, even for business districts. Price, as we shall see, is key, and we’re still waiting for technology innovation.
New gas-based applications are being developed. “The development of fuel cells can meet the total energy requirement of a household through generation of power, hydrogen and hot water from gas,’’ says PMS Prasad, President & CEO (petroleum), Reliance Industries. Efforts are on to drive down the cost of fuel cells. Similarly, there’s huge potential to use gas as CNG, which is cheaper and cleaner than liquid fuels.
A network of pipelines is emerging in the country. Reliance has laid the East-West pipeline, which connects to the HBJ and other regional networks. GAIL is expanding the HBJ network to the north and east. Next, Reliance and GAIL will lay pipelines in the south and along the east coast. Thus, India will have a quadrilateral of pipelines, all interconnected; a pipeline grid will further spur investments upstream.
Similarly, piped gas would be available in many cities soon and the government plans to issue licences for 74 Indian cities in phases. Once the city gas networks come up, gas could be sold to any new industrial unit, malls, offices, vehicles or homes. Deepak Mahurkar, associate director, PricewaterhouseCoopers, though feels it would take two-and-half years for a new city to get gas but existing city gas networks can expand much earlier.
Equipment makers are warming to the opportunity. Maruti Suzuki will launch CNG variants for three or four of its car models by 2010 or 2011. Many cars in Delhi and Mumbai already run on CNG. Tata Motors will soon launch CNG variants for trucks and Tata Magic, the passenger vehicle built on the Tata Ace platform. Its buses and small and light commercial vehicles are already available in CNG variants.
In Mumbai, geysers are available which run on gas. Thermax and Voltas make gas-fired vapour absorption chillers, used in malls, restaurants, theatres and offices. The smallest of these is of 15 tonnes of refrigeration (TR), which can cool an area of 1,900-2,000 sq ft. The initial costs of Rs 12-13 lakh for a 15 TR will be a deterrent, but it does cut operational energy costs by half.
A very good news , it is a good switch over from oil to gas.
I think that will take care of our huge oil bills .
U.S. Media See a Path to India in China’s Snub
U.S. Media See a Path to India in China’s Snub
Frederic J. Brown/Agence France-Presse — Getty Image
In China, the number of foreign films that can be shown in theaters has been limited to 20, frustrating American studios
By TIM ARANGO
Published: May 3, 2009
After many years of fervent lobbying and deal-making in China, American media companies have little to show for their efforts there and are increasingly shifting their attention instead to India.
Media executives still believe that Chinese audiences are receptive to Western culture — “SpongeBob SquarePants” is a big hit in China — but many companies have been pulling back out of frustration over censorship, piracy, strict restrictions on foreign investment and the glacial pace of its bureaucracy.
In recent weeks, America Online shut its operations in China, for the second time. Warner Brothers, the movie studio that shares a corporate parent with AOL in Time Warner, had plans as recently as 2006 to open more than 200 retail stores throughout China, with a local partner. Today there are no such plans.
“No one really has a decent-size presence there, and no one seems to know how to get one,” said Michael Del Nin, senior vice president for international and corporate strategy at Time Warner. “In terms of priorities, the focus is elsewhere.”
Increasingly, that focus is India, a country with a fast-growing economy and fewer government impediments for foreign media companies. In March, the Motion Picture Association of America opened an office in India for the first time, in Mumbai. A little over four years ago, Dan Glickman became the head of the association, and he has visited China several times.
“The feeling was that there were greater opportunities then than there are now,” he said.
This is a stark reversal. For many years, American media executives have extolled the potential of China, wooing executives and promoting the potential goldmine of reaching its one billion-plus population. Sumner M. Redstone, who controls Viacom and CBS, entertained Chinese officials in his Beverly Hills mansion over meals prepared by Wolfgang Puck.
But for media companies, frustrations have been growing. For several years, China has capped the number of foreign films that can be shown in theaters at 20.
Sometimes studios back away from even seeking the approval of Chinese authorities, as Warner Brothers did last year with “The Dark Knight,” because of a belief that the movie would not pass muster with government censors. “The Dark Knight” is the second-highest grossing movie of all time, with more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office, after “Titanic” (in dollars not adjusted for inflation).
In November, Warner became the first studio to announce it would make new movies available in China over a video-on-demand at prices low enough — about 60 cents to $1 — to compete with pirated versions. The service still is not under way.
Even with access, it is possible to reach only a tiny portion of the Chinese. In China, for example, CNN International is available only in hotels that cater to foreign business travelers and in embassies. Viacom has an MTV China, but it reaches only about 14 million homes in the Guangdong Province.
“It seemed like China captured everyone’s imagination,” said William H. Roedy, chairman of MTV International. “I think everyone expected too much, too soon. You have to be patient.”
Rupert Murdoch engaged in a decade-long odyssey — some say obsession — to entertain China’s vast populace. Mr. Murdoch found a wife, but very little revenue. His wife, Wendi Murdoch is paid $100,000 a year to “provide strategic advice” on the development of MySpace China, a joint venture operated by the News Corporation, according to regulatory filings.
Other than that, Mr. Murdoch’s activities in China are minimal. His Star TV, a pan-Asian satellite service, has channels in Chinese, but reaches only a small presence on mainland China. The company has significantly cut its staff in China in recent years.
Troubles with Chinese investments have even reached back to American shores. Yahoo and Google have been criticized in the United States for cooperating with Chinese censors.
When Jack Cafferty, the CNN commentator, insulted China last year by saying its products were “junk” and its leaders “goons,” Time Warner quickly apologized. But the episode has lingered in the minds of executives.
Their gradual disenchantment puts media companies at odds with many industries, like consumer products, that still look for large-scale growth in China. Nike recently said China was its primary area of growth in Asia, as revenues there increased 29 percent through the first nine months of its fiscal year. Coca-Cola is planning to increase its business there, despite a recent ruling by Chinese regulators that shut down the takeover of a juice company. And despite its problems elsewhere, General Motors remains a force in China.
In India, American-owned networks can reach far bigger audiences than in China, because of fewer government restrictions. Recently, Turner Broadcasting and its movie studio, Warner Brothers, which are part of Time Warner, established a new English-language channel called WB in India. Turner Broadcasting Systems, another unit of Time Warner, has started a Hindi-language pay-TV channel, REAL.
“We’re certainly focusing on India,” said Louise Sams, executive vice president for and general counsel of Turner networks. “There’s been a huge amount of growth in the number of networks in India over the last couple of years.”
Viacom, meanwhile, made a significant investment in India last year with Colors, which has become the top-rated entertainment network there in recent weeks. Its top show, “Balika Vadhu,” is a drama about a girl who marries at age 8. Another popular show is a locally based reality show with a premise like that of “Fear Factor.” MTV India of Viacom reaches 30 million homes, more than twice that of the network’s China outpost.
But executives remain alert to any signs of a thaw in China. When “Slumdog Millionaire,” which was filmed in India, won an Academy Award for best film this year, it caused a stir in China’s film community and raised hopes that China, out of regional rivalry and envy, might become more open to American studios.
“Now that they’ve seen ‘Slumdog,’ they want more movies produced in China,” said Jeanette Chan, a lawyer who represents United States film studios in Asia. “There’s this undercurrent, this competition, between China and India. Particularly when they see Bollywood do well.”
Say no to Bangalore, yes to Buffalo: Obama
May 04, 2009
Image: US President Barack Obama speaks about tax reform
at the White House in Washington on May 4.
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
'Say no to Bangalore and yes to Buffalo,' seems to be the latest mantra of United States President Barack Obama as he struggles to bring the ailing American economy back on track.
Meeting one of his major election promises, Obama on Monday the announced end of years of tax incentives to those US companies which create jobs overseas in places like Bangalore.
Text: Lalit K Jha in Washington, PTI
Image: A demonstrator holds a sign reading 'The American dream is over'
during a rally outside Wall Street in New York.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Instead, the incentives would now go to those creating jobs inside the US, in places like the Buffalo city -- bordering Canada in upstate New York.
"We will stop letting American companies that create jobs overseas take deductions on their expenses when they do not pay any American taxes on their profits," Obama said at White House announcing the international tax policy reform.
"We will use the savings to give tax cuts to companies that are investing in research and development here at home so that we can jump start job creation, foster innovation, and enhance America's competitiveness," Obama said.
The new tax laws are expected to majorly hit countries like India, China and the Philippines, where US companies have been outsourcing their work.
Hitting hard at the current taxation system, to which he had been very critical since his election days and as a Senator, Obama said: "It's a tax code that says you should pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York."
Reiterating his campaign rhetoric, the US President said: "The way we make our businesses competitive is not to reward American companies operating overseas with a roughly 2 per cent tax rate on foreign profits; a rate that costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year."
Image: A man participates in a rally as part of national Tax Day in
Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington.
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
Obama said he wants US companies to remain most competitive in the world. "But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens," he argued.
Announcing a set of proposals to crack down on illegal overseas tax evasion, close loopholes, and make it more profitable for companies to create jobs in the US, Obama said his series of tax reforms would save $210 billion in the next 10 years.
Image: Traders stand outside the New York Stock Exchange even
as the US goes through major economic turmoil.
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters
Under new measures, American companies would also have to disclose before the IRS the details of the income American citizens are generating in overseas accounts.
"For years, we've talked about stopping Americans from illegally hiding their money overseas, and getting tough with the financial institutions that let them get away with it," he said.
Say no to Bangalore, yes to Buffalo: Obama
India's start-up businesses flourishing
*Poor get assistance on path to social entrepreneurship
By Lee Bailey THE WASHINGTON TIMES |
Friday, March 20, 2009
R.K. Jeyaram, a 19-year-old with a 10th-grade education, used to go door-to-door offering to repair stoves and washing machines. Then he heard about a company that manufactured lanterns rechargeable by solar power. It fired up his entrepreneurial spirit and he approached the manufacturer. The company saw potential in his work ethic, guaranteed a loan from a bank and started selling him the lanterns.
These days, Mr. Jeyaram, his brother and another partner are in business, renting the lanterns to more than 80 vendors in Mysore for about 30 cents a night, and in the process helping vendors and their customers do away with the soot and smell of kerosene lamps.
Mr. Jeyaram's story is characteristically Indian. People in this teeming nation of more than 1 billion seem to have a natural knack for entrepreneurship. For many, invention comes from necessity, with jobs and money scarce and social obstacles such as caste, making getting by all the more difficult.
Yet Mr. Jeyaram's success is in other ways atypical - finding a guarantor for financing is usually a challenge, and not many lenders are willing to risk loans to nonprofessionals with no assets for collateral.
Innovators in the development field have recently recognized that socially constructive enterprises like Mr. Jeyaram's are vital to India's future.
Among them is Lisa Heydlauff, a 33-year-old Briton who has lived for the past decade in New Delhi, India's capital. Ms. Heydlauff has launched a number of nonprofit projects in India, and she and her team are now in the early stages of an ambitious initiative called Be.
Be's aim is to empower low-income Indians to become social entrepreneurs - businesspeople who improve their own lots as well as those of their communities.
"In 2020, there will be 210 million unemployed people in India," Ms. Heydlauff says. "Ninety percent of them will be below the age of 30. The economy simply can't grow enough to provide jobs for everyone."
Be is a multiphase initiative. The first component is the creation and distribution of videos, illustrated books and other media to explain the fundamentals of entrepreneurship to young people from low-income backgrounds.
Ms. Heydlauff believes in both telling and showing, so narratives centering on real people like Mr. Jeyaram are the core of her approach. Be has begun production of an illustrated book describing his success.
Ms. Heydlauff feels that many development models focus on what the country's poor lack, rather than what they do have - in this case, the potential to be successful entrepreneurs.
One problem that Be is tackling is a paradox surrounding entrepreneurship in India.
Anyone who has walked down a single Mumbai block and been offered a rickshaw ride, a handful of cashews, an on-the-spot ear-cleaning, a hotel room, and a palm reading knows that Indians are innately entrepreneurial. But in India, starting one's own business is usually seen as a desperate last resort rather than an inspired, pro-active choice.
"Low-income Indians sometimes think, 'I'm not working, I have no money, and I don't have a roof over my head,' and only then do they start thinking of business ideas," says Mahamaya Navlakh, a development specialist with Be.
"But starting your own business is something you can do instead of medicine or law or teaching, not something you do because you can't do one of those things," she says.
Apart from private efforts such as Be, India's government has an entire ministry devoted to promoting entrepreneurship, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry.
The ministry sponsors training programs, credit facilities and networking opportunities. Moreover, government has also introduced entrepreneurship in the course curriculum from the secondary level onward to attract young minds to take up entrepreneurship as a career option, says Siddhartha Dash, chairman of the postgraduate program at the Entrepreneurial Development Institute of India.
Deval Sanghavi, founder of the Mumbai-based social entrepreneurship group called Dasra, credits the government with becoming increasingly proactive in promoting entrepreneurship.
"There has definitely been much greater opportunity for individuals to become entrepreneurs in India over the last 10 years. Twenty years ago, established businesses in this country were run by just five or 10 families. That's not at all the case anymore," he says.
Be's researchers have produced a list of skills the group thinks is critical to successful entrepreneurship. These include negotiation, communication and leadership.
"We'll also explore things that disable young Indians in their attempts to start businesses, such as caste and gender discrimination," explains Doel Trevady, a former journalist who is part of the Be team in New Delhi.
Ms. Heydlauff likes to focus on success stories, with only a nod to the subjects' circumstances.
"You don't say 'Santosh is from this low caste and was very poor,' " she explains. "You say 'Santosh has an amazing waste management business with a turnover of 200,000 rupees a month and 60 people who work for him.' Viewers may notice, 'Ah, he's also from a low-income group,' but that's not where you start your story."
Apart from Be's media initiative, the second, and riskier phase of the project is to set up a source of funding called the Be Fund.
Ms. Heydlauff is raising $1.5 million to invest in 75 social enterprises, to be identified after an open call for proposals later this year. Investments will be awarded to an even mix of young entrepreneurs - male and female, rural and urban.
The Be Fund differs from other development financing in several ways. Ms. Heydlauff emphasizes that the funds disbursed are investments, not gifts with no strings attached.
"The whole problem with grants is that they don't come with a high expectation of return," she says. "The idea of an investment is that it's a partnership between me and you."
Ms. Heydlauff notes that all profits from investment will be recycled into Be's ongoing operations, as well as later tranches of funding.
In addition to showing potential for income generation, funded business plans must also achieve advances in at least one of a dozen social categories, including sanitation, health, renewable energy and transportation.
Ms. Heydlauff concedes that her project is ambitious.
"But you have to be ambitious in India," she says. "It's the only way to meet the enormous challenges here."
India's start-up businesses flourishing - Washington Times
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