Indian Economy

GDP RISES 8.9% IN JULY-SEPTEMBER, 9% GROWTH IN SIGHT THIS FISCAL
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Indian economy grew by 8.9% in the quarter-ended September, driven by a sharp rebound in farm output on the back of abundant monsoon rain.

The agriculture sector, which accounts for nearly 17% of GDP, rose 4.4% and this offset the moderation manufacturing sector growth, where production went up by 9.8%. The services sector too grew at a faster clip of 9.7% during July-September this year, led mainly by finance and real estate as well as trade, hotels, transport and communication.

Three straight quarters of more than 8% growth has raised expectations of the 9% growth barrier being crossed during the current financial year, as against the earlier estimate of the target being achieved in the next financial year.
“It is not impossible any more. We are very close to that (9% growth),” chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu told reporters.

INDIANS REMITTED $50 BILLION IN 2009; SENT MORE THAN GLOBAL COUNTERPARTS
The Economic Times

GENEVA: Indians working overseas send more money back home than any of their global counterparts, remitting $ 50 billion in 2009 despite a worldwide economic slowdown and anti-immigration measures adopted by industrialised countries, according to a report.

In contrast, overseas workers from neighbouring China remitted $47 billion during the year, as per the World Migration Report 2010.

Together, the two Asian giants accounted for nearly half of total remittance inflows into Asia, which were pegged at $ 162.5 billion in 2009. This translated into about 39 per cent of total global remittances

INDIA RANKS SIXTH IN NUCLEAR POWER REGENERATION
The Times of India

BANGALORE: India ranked sixth in the world’s elite nuclear club, with its 20th nuclear-powered reactor at Kaiga in Karnataka achieving criticality Saturday, a senior official said.

“India is elevated to the sixth rank in an elite club of nations, after the US, France, Japan, Russia and Korea to have 20 or more nuclear reactors in operation,” Kaiga generating station director J.P. Gupta said in a statement.

In nuclear terms, criticality signifies the start of self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction in the reactor core, which leads to power generation.

SAMSUNG TO MAKE INDIA PRODUCTION HUB
The Times of India

CHENNAI: South Korean electronics major Samsung, which has announced Rs 350 crore fresh investments at its facility near here by 2016, is planning to make India its production hub for Middle East and other neighboring markets in five years, a company official said.

Announcing commencement of Samsung’s second refrigerator plant in India, J.S.Shin, president and CEO (South West Asia), told reporters: “All our future expansions will be at our Chennai plant. We will invest Rs.350 crore in Chennai plant and five years later, India may be the production hub for Middle East and other neighboring markets.”

Infrastructure: Airports

AIRPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA (AAI) NOD TO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Harpreet Bajwa
Chandigarh
The Indian Express

With the Airports Authority of India (AAI) clearing its architectural designs and building maps, the foundation stone for the international terminal coming up at Chandigarh airport is likely to be laid in a couple of months, it is learnt. According to sources, both the AAI board and the joint venture floated to oversee the project recently cleared the designs and maps and approved the architect. Detailed estimates are now being prepared for the first phase of the airport, which will be submitted to AAI in March.

AAI has, meanwhile, sanctioned around Rs 500 crore for the first phase of the project. Of this amount, Rs 250 crore is for construction of the terminal building spread over 3,14,500 square meters, Rs 50 crore is for external development (road and parking within airport) and Rs 90 crore for apron construction, Rs 35 crore for hangar construction, while Rs 40 crore will be for the cargo area.

Real Estate Sector

BADARPUR FLYOVER SHOOTS FARIDABAD PROPERTY PRICES BY 40%
November 30, 2010
Indian Realty News

Over the past six months, Faridabad has been witnessing a quiet revolution. Real estate prices, which had plummeted post 2008 and then plateaued at Rs 20,000-25,000 per square yard last year, have suddenly shot up by 30-40%. Reason — the coming up of the Badarpur flyover.

Pradeep Mishra, a real estate analyst, said, ”The realty market reflects the sentiments of the investors. Over the past six-eight months, there’s been a very positive sentiment about Faridabad because of the expected opening of the flyover.” With the Metro also scheduled to come up anytime soon, realty experts say that Faridabad is looking at a booming realty scenario. Added Mishra, ”These prices will be going up by another 10-15% over the next few months.”

Residents agree. Virendra Chanda, a resident of sector 8 who also owns a business in sector 15, said,”The fact is that the image of Faridabad is changing with the opening of the flyover. Coming here and setting up a business is no longer implausible because of the Badarpur bottleneck.” With the increased connectivity, Chanda hopes that not only will it be easier to go to Delhi, residents of the capital will also be coming down to Faridabad. Nitin Deol, a small-time entrepreneur, said, ”When big malls and cinema complexes open here, footfalls from Delhi and Noida will also be contributing to the economy.”

CORPORATES EYE UPSCALE ADDRESSES FOR HONCHOS
Rajni Shaleen Chopra, Chandigarh
The Indian Express

Chandigarh is flying high in a whole new direction. High-end, fully furnished accommodations in the upscale sectors of the city is attracting handsome rentals to the tune of Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 1.75 lakh a month, depending on the location, size and the kind of construction. The takers are corporate houses that are going in for such accommodations either to host their guests or their head honchos. Northern sectors score high with their sprawling bungalows, where a well-constructed, fully furnished independent duplex is fetching rentals up to Rs 1.75 lakh a month.

Finance

RESERVE BANK OF INDIA TAKES STEP TO EASE LIQUIDITY FOR BANKS
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: To ease the cash crunch in the financial system, RBI on Monday allowed banks to maintain lower investment level in government bonds.

The move to lower the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) by 2 percentage points to 23% comes in the wake of banks tapping the RBI window to borrow around Rs 1 lakh crore daily in November. On Monday, banks tapped RBI to raise around Rs 80,000 crore, though the overnight rate in the inter-bank call money market rose to a high of 6.9%.

Under LAF, banks can borrow from RBI or park surplus cash. For the past few months, banks have resorted to borrowing at the prevailing repo rate 6.25% due to tight liquidity scenario.

According to RBI’s SLR norms, banks have to keep 25% of their liabilities in government securities and have to pay penalty for falling below the prescribed level. RBI, however, said that it will not levy any penalty for banks keeping 23% of their liabilities in SLR.

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