INDIA INTELLIGENCE REPORT

 

Business & Economy

World Bank pledges $ 500 m
for India's e-governance plan

What is India News Service, Monday, 14 March 2005, 1300 hrs IST

The World Bank has agreed in principle to provide $ 500 million for India's National e-Governance Plan (NEGP) over the next four years. The Bank has approved the project concept and has given the green signal to support NEGP projects, a senior economist at the bank, Mark Dutz, said. 

The announcement was made at the concluding session of the NEGP workshop with States and Union Territories held here on March 11 and 12. The two-day conference coincided with the visit of the World Bank Preparatory Mission, which is currently in the country to discuss the objectives, scope, design and implementation arrangements of the project with the Government. 

According to an official release, the bank's decision follows a dialogue with the Government for possible support of the NEGP, followed by the identification mission. This approval will have potential for follow-up with additional financing, depending on the need, absorptive capacity and rapid disbursement of the initial financing. A final decision of the Bank's support, including amount of financing and other modalities, is expected within the next nine to 12 months, subject to the Government's preparation. 

Apart from funds, the World Bank will also help in capacity building and provide managerial and other expertise. Mr. Dutz said the bank's experience while working with the Indian Government will be useful for similar plans in other countries. 

Elusive bank credit leaves farm sector parched: The financial institutions, including commercial, rural and cooperative banks have failed to reach over 5.5 crore farming families, around 55 per cent of around 10 crore total farmer households in India.

FMCG, pharma cos betting on `wellness' products: The key, apparently, is to make one's presence felt in the growing "natural" products market, which is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years.

Outstanding dues of employees of 24 PSUs up Rs 150 cr: Though the government had said it would no longer support the public sector companies for paying the dues of their employees as it was the responsibility of the management, the salaries and other dues that the 24 loss-making companies owe to their employees has grown to Rs 150 crore since July. 

Now, 20,000 more H-1Bs for Indians: The new package will help Indian students looking for a job in the US after completing their masters.

Indian IT-ITeS to mop up $28 bn revenue': The Indian IT-ITeS industry will grow 32 per cent to reach an all-time high of $28 bn in the current fiscal following booming services exports and healthy increase in domestic demand, apex IT body Nasscom has said.

Rs 150-crore pharma R&D fund set to roll: Will the Rs 150-crore research and development (R&D) fund for the pharmaceutical industry finally get off the blocks, a good five years after it was first announced in Budget 2000-01?

PNB fixes public issue price at Rs 390 per share: Punjab National Bank (PNB) today announced that it had fixed the issue price for its latest public issue at Rs 390 per share. 

National Insurance, New India rapped for lapse: The deviation by the two national insurers from the set practice follows the two witnessing sizeable fall in their business in December while most private players saw high growth. 

Bajaj refuses name change in Tempo: Rahul Bajaj continues with his opposition to the Firodia's move to change the name of `Bajaj Tempo' to `Force Motors'. The company has also stated that it would approach the regional director, RoC, Mumbai on the issue "any day".

Private equity funds to invest more in India: After the FIIs, private equity funds are set to join the party in the booming indian capital market that is scaling new heights every week. 

Indian gets top berth in Microsoft: Gurdeep Singh, with a pay of over $1mn, has been appointed Corporate VP at Redmond.

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