Business & Economy

Roadmap for banking
reforms soon: FM

What is India News Service, Thursday, 6 January 2005, 1400 hrs IST

The Government said on Thursday it would shortly set up a regulator for the pension sector and announce a roadmap for banking reforms, which includes allowing 74 per cent FDI in private banks.

"We can have eight per cent growth. The question is how to create a financial sector which can foster eight per cent growth," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said at a conference organised by IRADe-IIEF on Thursday.

He said, "With insurance and derivatives, risks are controlled, which increases the viability of projects and foster higher investment rate. This in turn leads to higher GDP growth."

Referring to the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), he said there was a need to strengthen the financial sector regulators and run it professionally to foster competition.

Observing that SEBI and IRDA have brought about tremendous energy in the financial sector, he said: "Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority will be set up within a few weeks. 

Andhra may change free power policy: The Andhra Pradesh Government is gearing up to bring in major changes to its policy of free electricity to farmers to ensure that while small and marginal farmers in the drought-prone and upland areas benefit from it, the rich, income tax paying farmers are not able to misuse the facility.

Cell call rates may dip: Telecom regulator TRAI on Thursday slashed the access deficit charge (ADC) rates, thus putting the onus of lower cell phone rates on cellular operators. TRAI has made imposition of ADC uniform across the country as against different distance slabs starting from 40 paise to Rs 4.25.

Tourist arrivals top 3.3m: For the first time ever, tourist arrivals in India have exceeded the three-million mark. The number of total visitors to the country stood at 3,367,980 in 2004. There was continuous month-on-month increase throughout the year, with an aggregate growth over 2003 of 23.5 per cent. It had grown 14.3 per cent in 2003 over the previous year. 

RIL ignored Anil\92s proposal on bonus: Reflecting the differences with elder brother Mukesh on buyback of shares by flagship company Reliance Industries, Anil Ambani today said he had proposed that 12 per cent equity in RIL held by the Petroleum Trust and four companies be distributed free of cost among the existing shareholders.

Reliance will charge for R World services: Reliance Infocomm Ltd will soon start charging for services offered through its "R World", a web-based platform.

Tatas enter mobile arena in North: Mobile telephony in the Northern region comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh has turned more competitive with Tata Teleservices Ltd launching its services in a market that has six major telecom players already jostling for a market share.

BSNL says Tata Tele avoiding payment on `Walky' services: After blowing the whistle on Reliance Infocomm's illegal routing of long distance calls, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has now lodged a complaint with the telecom regulator against Tata Teleservices for avoiding payment of Access Deficit Charges.

Maruti cars to cost more: Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL), on Wednesday, announced a nominal hike in prices of its models, ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000, due to increase in input costs, and said it will soon revise the price of its top-selling mini car Maruti 800. The domestic car market leader said the price hike varied from less than 0.3 per cent to 1.34 per cent for its popular models and variants.

Margin calls trigger fall: An increase in margin payments in the derivative segment of NSE is believed to have triggered a sharp fall in stock prices.

Govt to offload stake in Bhel, Maruti: Heavy Industries Ministry has virtually consented to Finance Ministry's suggestion for part divestment of Government equity in bluechip PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and auto joint venture Maruti Udyog in the current financial year.

Sensex in free fall after global aftershocks: The Bombay Stock Exchange\92s sensitive index went into free fall today after foreign institutional investors encashed their holdings in keeping with bearish sentiment across the globe, analysts said. 

LG launches DTH-ready TV: LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd (LGEIL) launched the first direct to home (DTH) ready TV set in India that will enable the customers to watch all the \93free to air\94 channels of Doordarshan. The company is also likely to bring a public issue in the market.

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