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 What Is India News Service Wednesday, February 28, 2007

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Mkt Update: 13K Gone- Sensex slumps 541pts

Mirroring the heavy sell-off in the global markets, the Sensex opened with a huge negative gap of 434 points at 13,045, and soon tumbled to a low of 12,801 - a drop of points from the previous close.

  • Politically correct budget aims to tame inflation
    UPA Government’s fourth budget does not hold any surprises. It has turned out to be a politically correct exercise to tame inflation and price rise.

  • Budget bite: Indian VC funds cry out
    After the IT and automobile industries, it is the turn of the Indian venture funds to scream foul.

  • Special scheme for ground water recharge launched
    Alarmed by the rapid depletion of groundwater levels with a direct bearing on the food security as well, the government has launched a special scheme for ground water recharge with a budgetary allocation of Rs 1800 crore to be spent through NABARD.

  • Agriculture gets primacy over industry in Budget
    Populism took precedence over reformism as India's Finance Minister P Chidambaram presented a general budget for 2007-08 giving primacy to agriculture and the social sector while diverting attention from industry and services.

  • Play-safe budget, disappoints industry
    In a play-safe budget, Finance Minister P Chidamabaram today gave marginal relief to income tax payers and announced some anti-inflationary measures in his fourth budgetary exercise which was received with disappointment by trade and industry.

  • Peak customs duties cut to 10%
    Taking a step forward towards aligning customs duties to Asean levels, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today reduced peak customs duties to 10 per cent from the present level of 12.5 per cent.

  • No changes in personal IT rates, excise duty on petrol cut
    Making no changes in the personal and corporate income tax rates, the Union Budget for 2007-08 raised the threshold limit of exemption by Rs.10,000 giving a relief of Rs.1000 to all individuals.

  • Allocation for backward regions increased to Rs 5800 crore
    Finance Minister P Chidambaram today proposed to increase the allocation for Backward Regions Grant Fund to Rs 5800 crore from Rs 5000 crore.

  • Tax payers unhappy, India Inc says 'no relief'
    Greatly disappointing personal income tax payers, Finance Minister P Chidambaram's Budget for 2007-08 proposed a marginal Rs 10,000 increase in threshold tax exemption limit, while foisting an additional one per cent education cess on them.

  • More funds for rural health mission
    The government's flagship National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has got increased allocation in the central Budget for 2007-08 with major emphasis on mother and child care and prevention of communicable diseases.

New model for rural projects

Public-private partnerships could draw lessons from mechanical engineering says PV INDIRESAN.

Pakistan pledges anti-Taliban drive
Pakistan responded to reports of a "tough message" from U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney to President Pervez Musharraf during his brief visit here that it would not take "dictations" from anyone.

* * *

Tourism dept building blasted by naxalites
CPI(Maoist) blasted an under-construction building of the state tourism department late last night at Madhuvan, about 35 km from here.


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Ancient Indian dynasties documented their administration, significant
developments, grants, and milestones as inscriptions in temples.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has documented these
inscriptions from 1886. These pages contain inscriptions from
Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Western Chalukya, Eastern Chalukya,
Rashtrakuta, Hoyasala, Vijayanagara, Vishnukundin, Kakatiya, Reddi,
Vaidumba, Chinda, Eastern Ganga, Gajapathi, Kalchurya, Qutb-Shahi
of Golkonda, and Moghul,  dynasties.

Australia to help India progress in Doha Round of trade talks
The Australian Trade Minister, Mr Warren Truss, has said that he will take up with the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, the need to achieve progress on the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks.

ICICI to bank on overseas corp funding
ICICI Bank has said that it will increase the share of revenue from international business to 25% to its overall business in the next 18 months. At present, the international business contributes 17% ($12 billion) to the bank’s revenue.

SPV formed for freight corridors
The Railways has formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFC-CIL), to implement the Rs. 30,000-crore eastern and western dedicated freight corridors during the XI Plan.

HCL centre for Smiths Aerospace
Smiths Aerospace, part of Britain's Smiths Group, has set up an engineering services centre in India in partnership with HCL Technologies.

Economy in high-growth trajectory, says Survey
The economy seems to have decidedly `taken off' and moved from a phase of moderate growth to a new phase of high growth.

Survey paints grim picture of power situation
The Economic Survey painted a grim picture for the power sector, with only around half the targeted addition in generation capacity during the 10th Plan expected to come up, while the total losses of state utilities rose to over Rs 26,000 cr.

IT- ITES sector boosts employment
The growth of the IT/ ITES sector has had a salutary effect on the employment scenario, with total number of professionals employed in the sector growing from an estimated 2,84,000 in 1999-2000 to 12,87,000 in 2005-06.

Population growth to stabilise by 2045
The annual population growth rate in India is expected to decelerate from the prevailing 1.6 per cent levels to 0.9 per cent by 2026.

Christy to shift production base
UK towel brand Christy is proposing to shift its manufacturing plant to the Welspun group.

Goldman Sachs to contribute $1 m to Room to Read
Goldman Sachs Foundation, a NGO outfit of the leading financial institution, will contribute $1 million of expansion capital to Room to Read India, an organisation focusing on providing education to underprivileged children.

FDI flows push India to 4th spot
Buoyed by favourable policies, India has emerged as fourth largest destination in Asia for foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting over Rs 20,000 crore within the first six months of the current fiscal year.

Take India to WTO on taxes, EU urged
Scotch whisky makers are urging the European Union to launch dispute proceedings under the World Trade Organisation rules against India following its failure to cut taxes on imported spirits in Wednesday's Indian budget.

Holcim increases stake in Ambuja Cement
Swiss cement company Holcim has increased its stake in Ambuja Cement India Ltd (ACIL) to 78 per cent, buying an additional 11 per cent stake from Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd (GACL).



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