India will be USD 5 trillion economy by 2022-2025: Mukesh Ambani

Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani today said that India would become USD 5 trillion economy by 2022-25.

A more optimistic ICICI Bank chairman K V Kamath said that India would be USD 5 trillion economy by 2022.

India, at present, is a USD 1.2 trillion dollar economy. Participating in a discussion organised at the meeting of the Institute of International Finance ( IIF )) here, Ambani said, “India will be a USD 5 trillion economy by 2022-25 … there can be a debate whether it would 2022 or 2025.”

Indian Economy

INDIA AMONG WORLD’S TOP 10 MANUFACTURERS, SAYS UNIDO
Economic Times

NEW DELHI: India has emerged as one of the top ten manufacturers of the world, primarily helped by strong economic growth, according to a UN agency.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has said that India is listed as one of the top 10 manufacturers of the world in 2010.

India along with other leading developing economies such as Brazil and China showed strong performance in economic growth in 2010 and the manufacturing value added (MVA) of all these countries grew by over 10 per cent last year (at constant USD of 2,000), the agency said.

INDIA INC REINFORCES FAITH OF INVESTORS
Financial Express

Among the industries (79) studied, only 16 showed negative growth in their total income during 2009-10. Mention may be made of aluminium and aluminium products (-8.35%), electronics consumer (-6.75%), fertilisers (-24.21%), oil & gas (-1.3%), real estate (-12.82%), shipping (-4.86%), steel large (-17.52%), sugar (-4.67%) and transport airlines/travel agencies (-3.01%).

All the other 63 broad industry categories under which the FE 500 had been clubbed had positive growth to show. As always, aggregates tend to conceal some real good or bad performances. Thus, even though auto ancillaries showed good income growth of 23.34%, Rane Holdings grew at the higher rate of 42.84%. The group average was also weighed up by the 25.14% income. The net profit of Subros, one of the biggest auto ancillaries companies, increased by 58.80% during 2009-10.

LOW-COST HUBS LURE INDIAN BPOS
Times of India

BANGALORE: Over the past few months, BPO company Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) has received government representations from a wide range of countries seeking to draw investments into their shores.

Partha Sarkar, CEO of HGS, says that Kosovo, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Colombia and Banglades are some of the new destinations looking to play a larger role in the BPO industry. These newer geographies are following on the heels of countries like the Czech Republic, Poland and China, which have in recent years managed to attract significant investments in the BPO sector.

INFOSYS BPO TO HIRE 8,000
Times of India

BANGALORE: The back-office processing arm of India’s No.2 software firm, Infosys Technologies Ltd, expects revenue growth of 18-20 per cent in the financial year that begins in April, its chief said.

D Swaminathan, chief executive and managing director of Infosys BPO, said he expects operating margins of 20 to 22 percent in fiscal 2012.

The company will also hire 8,000 staff, he said on the sidelines of a conference, adding that he expects attrition to stabilize to 25-30 per cent in the next fiscal.

Foreign Investment

UK CONFIRMS 280 MILLION POUNDS ANNUAL AID TO INDIA
Economic Times

LONDON: The David Cameron government has resisted pressure from various quarters at home to continue aid to India at the rate of 280 million pounds per year until 2015, an official review of UK’s overseas aid has announced.

The review says that Pakistan, which is facing several crises and challenges will be given 350 million pounds a year over four years, but this aid is “linked to progress” on reforms.

On Britain’s plans for aid to India, the review document says: “India’s tremendous economic growth over the last decade has lifted people out of poverty and generated the resources to pay for some of the world’s largest and most successful anti-poverty programs”.

Policy

GOVERNMENT NON-COMMITTAL, PRESSURE MOUNTS TO DROP TAX ON HEALTHCARE
Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The government remained non-committal on withdrawal of service tax on healthcare services, even as the medical practitioners stepped up pressure for roll back of the proposal.

“We are getting representations (for withdrawing the proposal to impose service tax on health care). That is all I can say,” Central Board of Excise and Customs Member (Budget) Y G Parande told reporters when asked about the possibility of rolling back of the proposal.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his Budget for 2011-12 proposed to levy service tax on treatment carried out at 25-bed hospitals with central air-conditioning and diagnostic test services.

CABINET GIVES GREEN SIGNAL TO BANKING BILL
Business Standard

The Cabinet today gave its nod to the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, which proposes to increase the voting rights of foreign investors in private sector banks.

The Bill — which seeks to align the voting rights of foreign shareholders in banks in proportion to their equity holding — will make it easier for banks to raise capital. It will be tabled in the current session of Parliament.

At present, there is a 10 per cent cap on voting rights of foreign entities in private banks, regardless of their shareholding.

The Bill seeks to liberalize norms for raising capital through preference shares, according to government officials.

Real Estate Industry

ONE-MONTH DEPOSIT RATES HIT 10%
Business Standard

With liquidity deficit, rates of such deposits may rise further.

The scramble for cash to meet year-end targets has made banks pay 10 per cent for even one-month deposits. According to bankers, the rates for such deposits may rise further, as certificates of deposit (CDs) worth Rs 1 lakh crore will come up for renewal in this month.

Deposit growth of commercial banks was 17 per cent for the year till February 11, lower than Reserve Bank of India’s projection of 18 per cent. The low interest rates which prevailed during the first half of the current financial year had made bank deposits unattractive. With high inflation, the real return to depositors was negative during much of the current financial year.

The rate for three-month CDs crossed 10 per cent last month. Market participants expected rates to cool after State Bank of India (SBI) decided to stop accepting CDs and bulk deposits above card rates. However, rates on three-month CDs have not come down, though they’ve remained stable. On Thursday, Syndicate Bank raised a three-month CD at 10.10 per cent, while Punjab and Sind Bank raised at 10.12 per cent.

REALTY BOOM IN MEERUT
Credai NCR

Low realty costs, availability of large land parcels and government incentives for development in Tier I and Tier II cities have inspired a Meerut chalo movement,says A K TIWARY

Meerut,about 71km from Delhi and with a population of around 4 million,is set to witness a boom in the real estate market with prominent developers like Supertech Group,MSX Developers,Era Group,Antriksh,Majestic Properties,Ansal Housing & Construction,Parsvnath,DLF and Omaxe planning new projects here.

Siraspur project gets nod; 4,740 EWS houses to be constructed
New Delhi
The Indian Express

Clearing the first of many projects that have been stuck in limbo thanks to the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will construct 4,740 houses for the economically weaker section (EWS) in Siraspur, Northwest Delhi.

The DDA’s screening committee finally cleared the project, which has been in the planning stage for a long time, last week. “Because of the Commonwealth Games, the committees had not been convened and the projects were awaiting clearance. We have cleared the Siraspur project and construction will start soon at the site,” said DDA Vice-Chairman G S Patnaik.

REALTY FUNDS FIND IT TOUGH TO RAISE MONEY OVERSEAS
Madhurima Nandy
Mint

Real estate funds trying to raise a couple of billion dollars overseas are struggling to tie up commitments, with potential investors put off both by integrity worries over India’s realty sector and still-depressed property markets abroad. Some half-a-dozen funds have been scouting abroad for about a year to raise between $200 million and $700 million (Rs 900-3,000 crore) each. This is the second big overseas fund-raising initiative for the sector. In 2006-07, domestic real estate funds got commitments for $8-10 billion, of which about $5 billion made its way to the Indian market.

The foreign money is crucial. India’s real estate sector is poised to expand after a couple of slow years, with developers again taking on large projects, but is held back by a severe fund crunch. Loans from banks, their biggest source of capital, are tight because of the central bank’s hawkish stance on lending to the sector. Domestic fund-raising by private equity (PE) firms is on a smaller scale of Rs 50-150 crore.

“While global investors are themselves relooking at their portfolios, the fact is that they haven’t seen many significant exits in Indian real estate in the past, and returns on investments were not significant,” said Ajit Krishnan, partner, real estate practice, at consultancy Ernst and Young. According to property consultancy Knight Frank India, only $400-500 million of foreign funds flowed into the real estate sector in 2009-10.

Subhash Bedi, managing director of Red Fort Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd, said overseas investors are being cautious because of devaluation in their real estate portfolios.

Infrastructure

NEW E-WAY PROPOSED FROM NOIDA TO FARIDABAD
Chaitanya Marpakwar, Noida
The Times of India

In what will reduce distance and save travel time for thousands of commuters, the Noida Authority has approved a proposal to build another expressway from Gautam Buddha Nagar to Faridabad. Once completed, the expressway will offer commuters direct connectivity to Faridabad and they will be able to avoid the massive jams seen on the route. The 75-m wide expressway will start from Sector 150, on the outskirts of Noida. A four-lane bridge will also be built on the Yamuna, taking the expressway to Faridabad.

DMRC goes to competent body
Nivedita Khandekar, New Delhi
Hindustan Times

All stakeholders would get a chance to share their views on the proposed new line of the Delhi metro joining Central Secretariat and Kashmere Gate.

The DMRC has sent its proposal for the new line to the competent authority–designated after an amendment in the Archaeological Act in 2010–which plans to involve stakeholders in the decision making process. The proposed line manoeuvres through a heritage corridor with a number of ASI-protected monuments.

As first reported by HT on February 7, the alignment proposed by the DMRC–Central Secretariat-Janpath-Mandi House-ITO-Delhi Gate-Red Fort-Kashmere Gate–have raised concerns about the route.

L&T TIES UP FINANCES FOR HYDERABAD METRO
My Digital

INDIA’S largest engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro has achieved financial closure for the Rs 12,312 crore Hyderabad Metro Rail project, said a senior Andhra Pradesh government official.
He did not want to be named in view of the prevailing election code in the state for MLC elections.

When contacted, L&T spokesperson said, “The company cannot comment on issue at this point of time.” The L&T chief financial officer YM Deosthalee had earlier during his visit to Hyderabad in January said the project would be funded through a 70:30 debt equity and the company expected an internal rate of return of 14-17 per cent.

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