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NRI Worldwide > Back Home Bytes

$1 trillion infrastructure plans to be presented to new government
Report dated 07/05/2014 @ 1:52 PM

$1 trillion infrastructure plans to be presented to new government Deepak Parekh, the chairman of HDFC will present a blueprint to finance India's plans to build new infrastructure worth $1 trillion after the next government takes over.

Both the BJP and Congress election manifestos have focused on reviving growth and the Parekh report is likely to be one of the first major action plans to come up for consideration in the new government's first 100 days.

In the last years, infrastructure projects have suffered delays and government has struggled to award new projects as private developers have stayed away. However since Deepak Parekh took over as HDFC chairman in 2012 his committee has been tasked with estimating investments to be made by the public and private sectors in major core areas that are suitable.

In 2010 PM Manmohan Singh had said investment in infrastructure will need to expand to around $ 1 trillion but industry representatives expressed reservations about India's ability to meet the goal.

Now however the committee that includes Uday Kotak, GM Rao and Sanjay Reddy as well as leaders from major financiers have been tasked with suggesting ways to improve equity flows into infra projects.

Recruitment drive in Tihar jail lands 66 inmates jobs
Report dated 07/05/2014 @ 1:51 PM

Recruitment drive in Tihar jail lands 66 inmates jobs Tihar jail inmates who are on the verge of completing their sentences were headhunted by private companies, and 66 of them were hired during a recruitment drive on the premises of the jail.

The Vedanta Group and IDEIM India Pvt Ltd offered the largest number of placements and the Taj Mahal Group offered the biggest package to Raju Parasnath, who has spent over 8 years in Tihar. Parasnath had completed a Bachelor of social work during his term in jail and his job at the Taj Mahal Group will be as assistant business development manager, at a salary of Rs.35,000 per month. Interestingly Parasnath was jailed at age 18 on charges of murder and his sentence was reduced for good behaviour.

Thirty one companies participated in the recruitment drive and all 66 inmates who were selected landed jobs based on their skill and education, however no women inmates participated in the placement drive.

Vimla Mehra the director general (Prisons) congratulated the candidates and wished them success. She said she is unsure why no women were included but will check and arrange a special placement event for them.

This was the 7th placement drive at Tihar and so far 400 inmates have been successfully placed. The appointment letters for the new recruits will remain with the jail authorities and will be handed over to the successful inmates upon their release.

Crony Capitalism : Adani's rising wealth fuels attacks on BJP
Report dated 07/05/2014 @ 1:50 PM

Crony Capitalism : Adani's rising wealth fuels attacks on BJP According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Gautam Adani's wealth has tripled to $5 billion since May 2, from $1.9 billion last September.

This indicates that Adani's fortune skyrocketed since Narendra Modi became the opposition party's prime minister pick, fueling campaign attacks over the Gujarat CM's plans to bolster Asia's third-biggest economy. The story has incited flak from the AAP and Rahul Gandhi who says it demonstrates that Modi's policies will benefit the rich at the expense of India's poor.

The attacks magnify the sort of opposition Modi will face as India's leader, to any business-friendly moves he makes that are aimed at reviving economic growth, even though Modi improved access to electricity, built more roads and eased investment approvals after taking power in Gujarat in 2001, thereby providing a platform for growth for companies in the state such as Adani Enterprises Ltd., whose shares have risen 85-fold, while the benchmark Sensex index grew around 8-fold.

Investors believe the Adani Group has enjoyed tacit political support from Modi, and it is thought support will be further cemented if Modi manages to form the government, even though admittedly other individuals and entities have also enjoyed growth since Modi was named a PM candidate.

Adani said in an interview that he has never received any special treatment from Modi nor does he expect any.

Election brings avalanche of 36 new TV channels in 5 months !
Report dated 07/05/2014 @ 1:42 PM

Election brings avalanche of 36 new TV channels in 5 months ! India's already crowded TV news space has increased by at least 3 dozen in the past five months coinciding with the ongoing elections. Besides national space that comprises of Hindi and English channels, small broadcast markets too have witnessed some hurried launches.

Estimates say over Rs.300 crore has already been spent on political advertising on TV thus far.

New promoters include among others, real estate developers, regional businesses some with political leanings such as TV18 with Reliance Industries as its primary investor that launched a Bangla news channel, and another in Kanada. News Nation, co-promoted by the father-in-law of Congress MP Naveen Jindal, launched new channels in UP and Uttarakhand. Supreme Court advocate Pradeep Rai launched APN with its focus on UP, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Bihar.

TV viewership remains small and its share of the total ad pie is even smaller. Till March 2014, 792 channels were given permission to run operations in India. In 2013-14 total TV made around Rs.2000 crore in advertising, 80 percent of which went to the top 10 players.

21 killed 161 injured as train derails in Maharashtra
Report dated 06/05/2014 @ 1:42 PM

21 killed 161 injured as train derails in Maharashtra At least 21 people have been killed and 161 injured when a passenger train derailed on the Konkan Railway route in Maharashtra's Raigad district. Local railway officials suspect that the accident may have been caused by the sudden application of the brakes by the driver whose whereabouts are unknown.

Most of the victims were locals who were visiting Roha for a weekly market. The Railway rescue team reached after the locals had already started to free trapped passengers.

Commissioner of Railway Safety, Chetan Bakshi, will conduct an inquiry into the accident and Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge announced an ex-gratia of Rs.2 lakhs for those killed in the accident as well as Rs.50,000 for the grievously injured and Rs.10,000 for whose who suffered minor injuries.

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