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 What Is India News Service Friday, April 06, 2007

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EGoM clears 83 SEZs

After months of controversy, the empowered group of Union ministers (EGoM) today lifted the political freeze on special economic zones permitting the commerce ministry to approve and notify more zones.

  • Govt lifts freeze on SEZs, caps size at 5,000 hectares
    The Government today lifted the freeze on special economic zones (SEZs) while simultaneously tightening rules by prescribing a ceiling on the size at 5,000 hectares for multi-product SEZs and increasing the processing area from 35 per cent to 50 per cent

  • Industry welcomes eGoM decision on SEZs
    Industry chambers today welcomed the central government's decision to lift the freeze on special economic zones, saying it clears the uncertainty surrounding the SEZ policy.

  • Untidy patchwork
    The government has moved finally to correct some of the more egregious problems with its hastily announced policy on special economic zones, but not everything that needs to be corrected has been addressed even now.

Boost to SAARC

Almost 15 years since the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) undertook to create a South Asian Free Trade Arrangement (SAFTA), there still is no sign of a free trading bloc in this region.

  • Some positive signs
    The 14th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation underlined the big gap between performance and potential. However, positive signs did emerge at the end of the summit held in New Delhi on April 3-4.

Muslims no more a minority in Uttar Pradesh: High Court

The Allahabad High Court ruled that Muslims in Uttar Pradesh could no longer be treated as a religious minority.

* * *

Pak mends fences with Bhutto
Amid indications that efforts are on to reach a pact of cooperation with former premier Benazir Bhutto, the government has wound up an anti-corruption cell dealing with cases against her before President Pervez Musharraf’s bid to seek a re-election.

"Next Commonwealth chief should be Indian"
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa is believed to have mooted the idea that SAARC member countries should work for election of an Indian as the next Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

Iran must pay long-term price for short-term victory
Iran’s hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledged to release the 14 men and one woman—ending a crisis that may lead Tehran to claim a short-term victory but also pay a long-term price.

Tame the Maoists
Despite the formation of an interim Government in Nepal, under the leadership of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, of which the Maoists are now a part, internal conflicts in that country, largely instigated by Prachanda's thugs, have not ceased.

Centre steps in to cover `strategic` chicken neck
The Central government is moving to upgrade security in the strategic Siliguri corridor, which connects the Indian heartland with the border states of the North-East.

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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.

Recent Editorials

ONGC Videsh, IPR make new discovery in Gulf of Suez
ONGC and its partner IPR Red Sea Inc have made a significant discovery in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt.

Roche bringing cancer drug to India
Neulastim, a medicine that is used in the supportive care of cancer patients, will be available in India and the drug, from Swiss drug-maker Roche, is priced at Rs 22,000 per vial.

ONGC inks service contracts for 14 fields
ONGC has entered into service contracts for development of 14 onshore marginal fields.

ONGC-Shell alliance runs into rough weather
The alliance between Royal Dutch Shell and ONGC for development of the latter's Kalol oil field in the western onshore region (Gujarat) seems to have run into rough weather.

Lupin receives patent payments
Lupin Ltd has received euro 20 million (Rs 115 crore) from Laboratoires Servier of France for the sale of certain patent applications and other related Intellectual Property for hypertension drug Perindopril.

Indian cos invest $23 b abroad in Jan, Feb
Indian companies have made foreign direct investments (FDI) worth $23 billion in January and February of the current year, higher than $21 billion made in the whole of 2006, said Dr Ajay Dua, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

Areva T&D may soon ramp up India operations
Areva T&D India plans to ramp up its India operations and is planning to invest about 60 millioneuros over the next three years to modernise its production sites and build new plants.

IT majors hiring big time in India
Both Indian and MNC IT majors are hiring big time, expressing their confidence in the Indian economy and outsourcing/offshoring growth story.

Toyota Motor board to discuss small car for India
board of Toyota Motor Corporation is expected to meet towards the end of this month in Japan to discuss new projects for the emerging markets, including India.

'India services exports to touch $311 bn'
India's export of services is expected to touch $310.9 billion by 2011/12, powered by the booming software, consultancy, engineering and tourism sectors.

After GAIL, NTPC eyes Dabhol LNG terminal
NTPC Ltd, one of the promoters of Dabhol power project's new owner Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd, on Thursday said it was keen to acquire the LNG terminal associated with the project and was ready to infuse Rs 500 crore into cash-starved RGPPL.

Thailand proposes FTA expansion to India
Thailand plans to expand the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to India if the ASEAN-India talks fail to reach an agreement.

Sun TV joins hands with Malaysia's Astro
The Sun TV group has forged a joint venture with the Malaysia-based Astro All Asia Network Plc to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) services in India in the second half of this year.

WTO members frustrated before G4 meet
World Trade Organisation members have voiced frustration at the slow pace of negotiationsslow pace of negotiations ahead of a ministerial meeting of key players in New Delhi next week.


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