GN Staff | September 1, 2015
Oil prices fell nearly by 3% in Asian trade on Tuesday, with investors covering short positions and taking profits after Brent and US crude soared more than 8% in the previous session. Both Brent and US crude prices dropped nearly $2 a barrel shortly after trading in Brent started on Tuesday before partly recovering later in the session. Meanwhile, petrol prices have been cut by Rs 2 per litre and diesel by Rs 0.50 a litre, the third reduction in rates this month on fall in global oil rates.
Manipur: 3 killed, curfew imposed in Churachandpur after mob fury
Three people were killed and an indefinite curfew was imposed in Churachandpur district of Manipurlate on Monday. A mob also set the houses of a minister and three legislators on fire. Several frontline tribal organisations have also called a 12-hour shutdown on Tuesday to protest against three bills they say are against the interests of the tribal people. The bills are aimed at protecting Manipur's indigenopus people and were passed by the state assembly on Monday. These include the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill 2015 and Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Bill 2015. Kuki and Naga tribal organisations said the bills were against the spirit of Article 371C and Manipur Hill People Administration Regulation Act of 1947 that safeguard the rights of tribal people over land and resources.
Manipur has virtually been paralysed by an agitation seeking imposition of Inner Line Permit (ILP) for checking the influx of outsiders. The bills are expected to pave the way for ILP on the lines of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Sensex slips below 26K, down nearly 300 points; Nifty breaks below 7900
The S&P BSE Sensex slipped nearly 300 points in trade on Tuesday following muted trend in Asian markets.At 9.20 am the 30-share index was trading at 26086, down 196 points or 0.75 per cent. It touched a high of 26,127.04 and a low of 25,984.28 in trade today. The Nifty was at 7909 down 61 points or 0.7 per cent. It touched a high of 7,915.30 and a low of 7886.65 in trade today. On the global front, major Asian markets were trading in the negative territory. China's Shanghai Composite pared its intraday losses and was down over 1 per cent. Japan's Nikkei lost nearly 2.5 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed about 0.5 per cent. Meanwhile, South Korean KOSPI fell 1 per cent and Singapore Straits Times fell about 0.4 per cent.
Narendra Modi's rally in Bihar's Bhagalpur today
Prime minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday address his last Parivartan rally in Bhagalpur district of Bihar and is expected to give a point by point rebuttal to JDU-RJD-Congress. The three party addressed a rally on August 30 in Patna. The supremo of three parties launches a blistering attack on Modi and his government. Congress president Sonia Gandhi shared the dais for the first time with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and both targeted the Modi government for playing a 'cruel joke' on farmers. This is Modi's third visit to Bihar in one-and-a half month after becoming Prime Minister in 2014. In the second rally addressed on August 18, Modi has announced a package of Rs 1.65 lakh crore for the poll-bound state. In reply to Modi, Nitish unveiled scheme worth Rs 2.70 lakh crore for Bihar.
11 per cent deficient monsoon so far, Kharif crops may be hit
Monsoon has been deficient by 11 per cent so far with August recording 22 per cent less than normal rainfall, raising the prospect of lower foodgrains production for the Kharif season than 2014 if the situation does not improve in September. "This month, the deficiency was 22 per cent," Laxman Singh Rathore, Director General of the India Meteorological Department, said. The IMD said 51 per cent of the country has so far received normal rainfall, while 36 per cent experienced deficient monsoon and 13 per cent excess precipitation. Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), the government's premier agri-research body, said the initial Kharif production may fall below 2014's level of 126.31 million tonnes if crucial September rains are not well distributed.
Muslim outfits oppose naming Aurangzeb Road after APJ Abdul Kalam
Muslim outfits on Monday objected New Delhi Municipal Council's (NDMC) decision to rename Aurangzeb Road after late President APJ Abdul Kalam, terming it as a "deliberate" move that is "likely to set the trend of rechristening other cities/streets distorting history". "It is a deliberate effort, it will not halt here. This is because soon after the road was named after Abdul Kalamji, Shiv Sena said it will change the name of Maharashtra's Aurangabad district where the Mughal Emperor's graveyard is located." "They have a long list of cities/roads named after some historical figures or Muslim Emperors, which they want to change," SQR Ilyas, president of Welfare Party of India and All India Muslim Personal Law Board member, said.
Economic growth slows to 7%, boosts rate cut calls
India's growth slowed by more than expected in the quarter to June. Monday's data showed gross domestic product expanded at an annual 7 per cent rate in the April-June quarter, matching China, but slower than provisional growth of 7.5 per cent in the previous quarter. The latest data will also strengthen the calls from Modi's administration for a rate cut. Some bureaucrats are already arguing for an immediate cut of as much as 50 basis points in the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) main 7.25 per cent policy rate.
China’s official factory PMI shrinks to lowest in 3 years
China’s official factory gauge fell to the lowest reading in three years as monetary easing fails to revive old growth drivers weighed by overcapacity and sliding prices. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 49.7 for August, down from 50 in July. Numbers below 50 indicate contraction, with small, medium and large enterprises all below that level last month. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 12% in August after sliding 14% in July. Swings in Chinese markets in August have rattled investors worldwide as they struggle to anticipate policy actions in the world’s second-largest economy.
Consumer goods market growth slows to 7.5%
In fiscal 2015, the overall consumer goods market growth slowed to 7.5% (in value terms) from 10.6% in the previous fiscal year. The decline was recorded in food, personal care, home care and over-the-counter goods across India, says a report prepared by industry lobby Ficci and advisory firm KPMG released on Monday. It said the consumer packaged goods and retail sectors may not be able to sustain the high growth path solely on consumption-led demand in the wake of structural bottlenecks and notes that the sectors may already be decelerating. The key issues plaguing these sectors include the paucity of proper infrastructure and a complex policy and regulatory framework, besides counterfeits and pass-offs, said the report.
Progress made on stalled projects
The government can claim success in clearing stalled investment projects as the total value of stalled projects has fallen $15 billion since May. The pace of new projects coming before the group has also slowed. Almost three quarters of the stalled projects were substantially completed, unviable or lack funding, UBS Group AG had said in a 2 July note. India’s economic growth slowed to 7% in the three months ended June, down from 7.5% the previous quarter.
Sheena Bora alive and in US, claims Indrani Mukerjea
Indrani Mukerjea, who is accused of killing her daughter Sheena Bora, has allegedly claimed during her interrogation that the 24-year-old is in the US and is not coming forward because she hates her. Police sources say Mukerjea, a former media executive married to TV tycoon Peter Mukerjea, has stuck to this assertion and has been "tough to crack."
S&P team meets finance ministry on ratings
A team from ratings agency Standard and Poor's met with Finance Ministry officials on Monday and expressed concern over the slow pace of reforms. Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian pitched for a ratings upgrade citing strong macroeconomic indicators, low inflation, the government's commitment to implementing major tax reform the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill. He also said that country's growth in the current fiscal is expected to improve to around 8 per cent. India currently is rated by S&P as BBB-. This means the country has ability to pay back loans and meet its financial commitments. It's the lowest investment grade rating. Below this grade, rating is junk.
AK Jha takes charge as NTPC's chairman and managing director
AK Jha, director, technical, assumed the charge of chairman and managing director (CMD) of India’s largest power generation utility, NTPC Ltd. The incumbent CMD Arup Roy Choudhury’s term ended on August 31 after he wasn’t given an extension. Jha’s term as NTPC chief is for a period of three months or till the time a successor is chosen or until further orders. Jha, widely respected within and outside the organization, also holds the charge of director commercial at NTPC.
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Is the BJP trying to split the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)?