Forty coal mines on for allotment, auction

13 01 2015

Jan 13,

Taking the auction process forward, the government has put 40 more coal mines on offer for auction and allotment. Among those 40 mines 26 would go to the power sector. As per the list, 23 mines that are close to production, have been earmarked for auction, while 17 others including Tara East, Parsa East and Kanta Basan would be allotted directly.

E-auction of 23 coal mines for qualified bidders will be held from the second week of February. The government on December last year began the auction process for 204 coal mines that were cancelled by the Supreme Court. The Union Cabinet had earlier approved re-promulgation of the coal ordinance and necessary guidelines for mine allocations.

Indian economy to inject fund to grow

13 01 2015

Arun Jaitley today said, the divestment programme would be pursued on priority and involve more than one PSU during current fiscal. The comments follow media reports that the government is looking to sell 10 per cent stake in Coal India to raise Rs 24,000 crore.

While terming the reports as speculative, Jaitley told reporters on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit at Gandhinagar that the government will sell part of its stake in more than one public sector company before March-end. He, however, did not name the firms where the government is looking at divesting its stake.
The government has realized Rs 1,715 crore from disinvestment proceeds so far in the current fiscal 2014-15,for which it had set a target of Rs 43,425 crore from sale of its shares in listed companies.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said we are the first human generation which can eliminate extreme poverty and India should be the leader in eliminating poverty. Stating that he is looking forward to a Vibrant India along with Vibrant Gujarat, Mr. Kim said India’s economy is expected to grow at 6.4 percent this year. Mr. Kim added that tax and subsidy reforms essential for inclusive growth in India. India has potential to be a leader in solar energy production, and the solar sector could be India’s key contribution towards fighting climate change. The World Bank President said after slowing to sub-five per cent growth in the previous two financial years, the economy has started showing signs of pick-up as it expanded by 5.7 per cent and 5.3 per cent in the second and third quarter of 2015.

The World Bank President said Prime Minister Modi and his government have been quickly putting in place the building blocks for even more rapid growth, streamlining national regulatory structure and promoting social inclusion. Jim said he was very encouraged by the recent proposal of a Constitution amendment bill for Goods and Services Tax. He said the World Bank had a deep interest in promoting policies and supporting projects that maximise sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Overseas investors have pulled out nearly 1,700 crore rupees from the Indian stock markets in January, so far, following a steep fall in crude oil prices amid slowing global growth.

The outflow comes after investments from Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) in the equities hit a 10-month low of 2,100 crore rupees in December. According to the latest data with Central Depository Services Ltd, foreign investors were gross buyers of equities worth around 18,500 crores between January 1st and 9th, while they sold shares amounting to around 20,200 crores — a net outflow of 1,673 crores for the period. However, they took a bullish stance on the Indian debt markets and invested a net of 2,620 crore rupees in the segment during the period.

Brent crude oil price is hovering at around 51 dollars per barrel. On the 7th of this month, it fell below 50 dollars a barrel – first time since May 2009 – mainly due to increased supply of oil and slowing global growth. It had dropped to as low as 49 dollars 66 cents a barrel on that day.

Air India fares on domestic flight by up to 50% discount

13 01 2015


Jan 13

National carrier Air Indian has slashed its fare on all its domestic flights nearly 50 percent to attract more passengers during the lean season.

The new scheme by the state-run airline has rolled out for limited period, starting at Rs 1,557 across its domestic network.

The sale is on from yesterday to January 18 for a travel period between January 16 and April 30. Air India has recorded a net profit of Rs 14.6 crore in December last year due to healthy growth in both passenger and cargo revenue.


US military Twitter account hacked

13 01 2015


Jan 13,

The US government is seriously looking into the hacking of social media accounts of the military’s Central Command, CENTCOM. Talking to reporters in Washington, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest yesterday said that they are examining and investigating the extent of this incident.

The hackers posted threatening messages on Twitter and YouTube accounts aimed at American troops. Initial US media reports said that the tweets appeared to be from sympathizers of the Islamic State militant group. In a statement, the CENTCOM said its social media account has been compromised and said it is taking appropriate measures to address the matter. The twitter account was disabled later on.


French Film Festival India 2015

13 01 2015

My French Film Festival India 2015 starting on January 16th.

CWC meet today

13 01 2015

Jan 13,

With announcement of Delhi assembly election the old guard Congress with its core group, the Congress Working Committee, to meet in New Delhi today to discuss the current political situation, party’s future strategy.  CWC, the highest decision making body of the party is likely to deliberate on the road map to revamp Congress in the wake of its debacle in the Lok Sabha and recently held assembly polls.

The meeting is significant amid reports that the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi may be elevated as party chief. The working committee is also expected to come out with an action plan to take on the NDA government on issues like bringing ordinance to amend Land Acquisition Act.

The party has already asked state units to launch agitations on the issue.The meeting has also come at a time when Congress President Sonia Gandhi has asked Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs to hold a series of consultative meets with party leaders to elicit views on core issues.

Lohri celebrations continues

13 01 2015


Jan 13,

Northern India, Lohri, a bonfire festival is being celebrated today. Lohri is the seasonal and cultural celebration of Punjabi`s on the eve of the winter solstice. In Punjab and Haryana, the government and the NGOs have made the focus of the celebration to promote the ideology of saving girl child. Sky is donning a colourful look as kite flying is a part of Lohri celebrations.

During the day, children go from door to door singing folk songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti. Dulla Bhatti wala is at the centre of most of the Lohri songs. He was a person with Robinhood image who robbed the rich to feed the poor during Mughal period. He besides robbing the rich, rescued girls being forcibly taken to be sold in slave market of the West Asia from the Sandal Bar region. He arranged their marriages with rituals.

The bonfire is lit at sunset in the main village square and in the houses too. People toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries on the bonfire, sit around it, sing and dance on the beats of Dhol till the fire dies out. Some people perform a prayer and go around the fire.

This is to show respect to the natural element of fire. It is traditional to offer guests til, gachchak, gur, peanuts and popcorn on Lohri

Oil prices lowest in six years

13 01 2015


Jan 13,  8

Motor, truck and auto fuels has not beenrevised to the lvels of Global market price and the petrol is likely to sell below Rs 40/ and diesel to come to lowest at rs 35/- at current global rates. But the government is dormant to make more profits in this sector. Rhetoric continues and common man grinds in process. Arise and awake Modi Sarkar to bring MSME an opportunity to produce more at lower cost.

Oil prices fell 5 percent to its lowest in nearly six years yesterday, extending the second-deepest rout on record, after Goldman Sachs warned that prices will fall further and Gulf oil producers showed no sign of cutting output. An unusual spate of major refinery glitches across the U.S.

East and Midwest added to the concerns, threatening to accelerate a buildup of surplus crude. Brent fell USD 2.68, or more than 5 percent, to settle at USD 47.43 a barrel, its third-largest one-day decline since 2011 and its lowest close since March 2009.

The decline was the 10th in the past 12 sessions. U.S. crude settled down USD 2.29 at USD 46.07, leading losses across the complex. Gasoline and ultra-low sulphur diesel futures fell by around 3 percent as refinery outages spurred some prompt buying.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks slipped today as crude oil prices continued to slide further. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.4 per cent while Australian shares were down 0.9 per cent.

The unrelenting rout, which has wiped nearly 60 percent off prices since June, shows no sign of letting up, with many traders giving up attempts to predict a bottom even amid growing signs that U.S. shale drillers are hitting the brakes. Even with oil plumbing new lows, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies appeared no less resolved to maintain their market share, resisting a diplomatic push by Venezuela and Iran to begin cutting output.

Delhi election announcement is victory of the people

13 01 2015

Monday, January 11

The declaration of date of elections by the Election Commission for Delhi assembly is a victory of the people of Delhi.

The election schedule marks the culmination of a nearly year-long struggle for an elected government in Delhi.

The Aam Aadmi Party led a struggle for elections and foiled all attempts by the BJP to cobble up a majority through unfair means.

The party had petitioned all constitutional authorities seeking fresh elections when President’s Rule was imposed in Delhi in February.

The BJP’s central government delayed the elections for six months and earlier it was the predecessor UPA government which tried to evade elections at any cost.

The BJP central government was left with no choice following a severe reprimand by the Supreme Court on why it was unable to resolve the issue.

Finally, now the people of Delhi will decide which kind of government they want.

The AAP will take its agenda of providing an honest government, which will reduce the electricity tariffs by half and providing lifeline water free of cost to the residents.

The AAP challenges the BJP and Congress to come out with their agendas and who are their faces to lead their parties in the assembly elections.


AAP Media cell

Vibrant Gujarat summit attracts Rs 25 LakhCr investments

13 01 2015

Jan 13,

7th Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit ended last evening attracting investment intentions worth of Rs 25 lakh crore this year. Addressing the valedictory ceremony at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has said that two day Summit has inked 21 thousand Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and 1,225 strategic partnership agreements.

She said that a committee of State Industry department led by Chief Secretary will monitor the progress of MoUs on monthly basis. The Chief Minister has said that MoUs have been finalized, but real test begins now. Global investors have expressed their confidence and now it is responsibility of Government to turn it into a reality.

Speaking on this occasion, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that Gujarat model of Good Governance and Development is point of discussion. He said that first condition for development is good law and order situation, and in Gujarat, a single woman can travel on road even at midnight.

He said that Gujarat has witnessed smart planning and quick execution and one example is Mahatma Mandir itself which was constructed in 180 days. Some Business icons and foreign delegates also spoke on the occasion.

U.S.-India Business Council’s Delegation to Vibrant Gujarat

13 01 2015

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U.S.-India Business Council’s Delegation to Vibrant Gujarat

Hosts U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

USIBC members brief John Kerry, Secretary of State, and Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at Vibrant Gujarat


January 12, 2015 – Ahmedabad, India: On the sidelines of the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with the USIBC Business Delegation to discuss how India and the U.S. can boost bilateral trade-ties.


The meeting held strategic importance, coming just two weeks prior to President Obama’s anticipated arrival as the Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day on January 26.


Reaffirming the U.S. Government’s commitment to expediting opportunities for collaboration and shared growth with India, Kerry assured business delegates that the Obama Administration is engaged in high-level talks on matters related to trade and security.  U.S. industry applauds the Secretary’s focus on economic issues, including his leadership in forging the way for a U.S.-India bilateral investment treaty (BIT).  “USIBC is delighted to know that the BIT was discussed between Prime Minister Modi and Secretary Kerry at Vibrant Gujarat. When making investment decisions, companies need an environment that is predictable, transparent and consistent.  A bilateral investment treaty between India and the U.S. would create this environment and significantly increase investment flows,” Diane Farrell, Acting President, USIBC, said.

Earlier in the meeting, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Catherine Novelli held a breakfast roundtable with senior executives representing a broad spectrum of sectors. U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma, U.S. Consul General from Mumbai Tom Vajda and Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service also joined the meeting. Expressing optimism, the business group remarked that the timing couldn’t have been better to re-look at several areas where regulatory roadblocks have impeded growth in recent years. Among top priorities discussed, USIBC members felt that tax, labor and land reforms, long term infrastructure financing, movement of capital and increasing FDI in key sectors would increase investments in India. It was suggested that the definition of R&D be broadened to spur further innovation in order to leverage the full potential of the talent pool India has to offer.


Diane Farrell, Acting President, USIBC, added, “The U.S. business community is very excited that Mr. Obama is making history by visiting India for the second time during his Presidency. We are keen to leverage the President’s visit to push for a deeper partnership. Initiatives like Make In India, Digital India, and Smart Cities are just some of the great opportunities where U.S. companies can truly partner in India’s growth.”


About U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC):

Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organization advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of 310 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies. The Chairman of USIBC is Ajay Banga, President and CEO, MasterCard.

Versa by Ashok Leyland, Taking passenger transport in a whole new direction

13 01 2015

On display at SIAM’s Bus & Special Vehicles Show 2015 from Jan 15 to 17, 2015 at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida

Optare it is one of the world leaders in terms of electric and hybrid buses and Versa is one of the latest introductions expected to be launched in India very soon. Mr. T Venkataraman, Vice President, Buses, Ashok Leyland will be available on January 15, 2014 at the trade show to share details about Ashok Leyland’s strategy and business plans to roll out electric buses in India and grow from its current No 4 worldwide leadership position in the buses segment.


As a true pioneer of the bus and coach industry, Ashok Leyland’s Optare is committed to innovating and developing new concepts in style and functionality, delivering solutions that answer the diverse demands of today’s public transport sector.  Optare’;s MetroCity electric vehicles have been adopted by the UK Govt. and Ashok Leyland hopes to achieve similar success in India to promote cleaner environment through its Optare – Versa model.

Please confirm your interest in meeting Mr. T.Venkataraman, Vice President, Buses, Ashok Leyland on Jan 15, 2015 at Ashok Leyland stall. Official reveal of Versa is scheduled at 11 am,  Ashok Leyland Stall.

Asia Pacific Rail 2015

13 01 2015

If you have trouble viewing this email, read the online version

Dear N.K,

If you participated in our inaugural roundtable sessions in 2014, you’ll be glad to know that we’re bringing them back for Asia Pacific Rail 2015! Once again, get up close with Asia’s rail experts during these one-on-one, interactive sessions and debate ideas, get feedback and gain insights from thought leaders in the industry.
Choose from the following buffet of roundtable choices and sign up now to reserve your place!
Roundtable topics happening on Day 1, 31 March 2015:

  • Country Updates on:
    • Singapore
    • Indonesia
    • Malaysia
    • Thailand
  • Risk management in railway design and construction
  • Condition monitoring
  • Safety and reliability in metro operations
  • Railway safety regulations
Each table will be led by senior-level experts in the rail industry. Click here to find out who will be leading these roundtable discussions.
This is the opportunity for you to direct burning questions to top transit authorities and operators. If you want to meet and have Q&A sessions with them, register now to attend.
As a delegate, you will be given the choice to choose from any of the above topics of your interest. Express your interest with me early! The seats are limited, so do act fast before they run out.
I look forward to see you in March.
Best Regards,
Regina Koh
Conference Manager, Asia Pacific Rail 2015
T: +65 6322 2308

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