India growing despite hurdles, probably faster than China: Adrian Mowat, JP Morgan

Living/Dining room at Ireo Gurgaon Hills

According to Adrian Mowat of JP Morgan, the Indian economy is probably growing faster than China at this point of time. In an interview with ET Now, Mowat said that India is showing better earnings trend versus the Chinese economy. This trend from an equity markets perspective is good for those investing in India.

“India is growing despite its government,” Mowat said. Crediting the private sector for growing despite many structural problems, Mowat said that this growth has made the industrial base of India stronger.

He is also of the opinion that a fall in commodity prices will be positive for India Inc. The fall will not only reduce raw material costs but it will also help reduce the current account deficit (CAD), he opined. “A wide current account deficit will increase the risk of investing in India,” he added.

Read more: The Economic Times

Need for stable policy regime to attract FDI: RBI chief Subbarao

Reserve Bank India Governor D Subbarao joined the debate on the retrospective taxation provisions, saying there is need to have a stable policy, taxation and investment regime to attract foreign capital.

“India has to run a stable policy regime and have a stable taxation and investment regime,” he said during his lecture at the Asia Society.

He was responding to a question on what India should be doing to inspire trust and confidence of investors.

“We need to streamline our foreign investment policy and procedures, improve infrastructure, improve our governance,” to make the system more friendly for investors, the RBI Governor said.

“Potential foreign investors have to have confidence that India has a stable, predictable, transparent capital sector regime,” he said.

The 2012-13 Budget introduced a controversial retrospective tax provision in the wake of Supreme Court judgement quashing the tax demand on Essar-Vodafone deal.

The Finance Bill also had provisions for introduction of General Anti-Avoidance Rules ( GAAR) under which investors rather than tax department have to prove that they do not attract tax provisions.

Subbarao sought to allay concerns that the investment climate in India is losing its attractiveness among foreign investors, saying the country still has an investor friendly environment with the central and state governments anxious to attract investments.

Read article: NDTV Profit

For some firms, Indian economy still humming

India’s economic growth may have slowed to a near-decade low, but you wouldn’t know it from the pace at which Britain’s Costa Coffee and many other consumer-focused companies are expanding.

“The last couple of months have shown a slight dip in terms of consumer traction, but I don’t think it’s anything that we are very worried about,” said Santhosh Unni, India CEO of the chain owned by Whitbread Plc.

The firm recently opened its 100th India store and plans 100 more over 18 months.

“We will continue to expand aggressively in the coming 6-8 months,” he said.

Data due on Friday is expected to confirm another dismal three months for the Indian economy, with June quarter growth forecast at 5.3 per cent in a Reuters poll, in line with the March quarter and far below the 9 per cent India aspires to.

Read more: NDTV Profit

Real Estate

Noida Extension: Housing prices to go up by at least 25%

Real estate developers expect home prices to rise by at least 25 per cent in Noida Extension as the government’s approval to Greater Noida master plan has paved the way for start of construction, which was stalled for over a year in the area.

The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) has given its nod for master plan, which was made mandatory by a court order in October 2011 for any construction activity in Noida Extension, a newly proposed residential hub in the NCR.

About 2.5 lakh homes have already been launched, of which about 1.5 lakh were sold even before construction work stopped about a year ago on farmers protest.

“The housing demand in Noida Extension is going to be very high after NCRPB approval, while supply is very weak.

Prices are bound to increase because of various factors such as hike in compensation to farmers and rising input cost,” Amrapali Chairman and Managing Director Anil Sharma told PTI.

Read more: NDTV Profit

Realtors hopeful of government help to lower funding costs

Real estate developers’ apex body CREDAI today said the government has assured that it will look into the problems of the realty players and work towards lowering the cost of funding by banks and other lenders.

The real estate sector has been demanding for a long time steps by the government towards reduction in cost of financing for it, saying such initiatives were necessary for property prices to fall from the current levels.

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI) today said that its Chairman Pradeep Jain had a meeting yesterday with D K Mittal, Secretary, Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance.

“We had a very cordial and fruitful discussion as we raised the various issues being faced by developers across the country in terms of high cost funding and escalating cost of material which adversely affect the cost of housing,” Jain said in a statement.

Read more: The Economic Times

Ambitious It City Project Gets Go-Ahead


Hindustan Times (Lucknow edition)

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has given the go-ahead to the ambitious IT City project on Lucknow-Sultanpur Road here. Infrastructure and industrial development commissioner (IIDC) Anil Kumar Gupta said the state animal husbandry department had agreed to transfer about 200 acres of land for the IT City that would have residential colonies, schools and hospitals. The IT City would be developed on the “walk to office” concept, he said. “We may send a team of officers to southern states to study the IT City projects and find out the consultants who have implemented them,” said Gupta. Gupta said the information technology (IT) department would take the proposal to develop the IT City to the state cabinet soon.

(Page 4)

NCR’s First Green IT Park To Come Up In Faridabad


The Times of India (Delhi edition)

RPS Group, a Faridabad-based real estate and infrastructure conglomerate, is all set to launch the Oxy Park—Delhi-NCR’s first green IT Park—built with an estimated investment of Rs 700 crore. It will be functional by 2014-15 with around 1.3 million sq ft of covered office space besides covered 3-level parking space providing employment to more than 8,500 people.

(Financial Times, Page 3)


High investment potential for US firms in Indian infrastructure sector

India’s ambitious $ 1 trillion investment target in infrastructure in the next five years offers immense opportunities for the US firms here, a top Indian diplomat has said

India’s ambitious $ 1 trillion investment target in infrastructure in the next five years offers immense opportunities for the US firms here, a top Indian diplomat has said.

“Besides innovation and advanced technology, India’s priority to invest in modernising its infrastructure sector – over $ 1 trillion in the next five years, also opens opportunities for US firms in Houston to invest and harness opportunities for collaboration in this sector”, Ambassador Arun Singh said.

Singh, who is the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Indian Embassy in Washington, was speaking at an event under the banner “United In Excellence” organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce Greater Houston (IACCGH) late last week.

Most of this investment is expected to come through Public Private Partnerships, he said.

Read more: The Economic Times

Three airports ready to take off in Haryana

Haryana will soon take wings. The state is set to have its first ever domestic flight connectivity with two civil airports and a cargo airport approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), 100 years after the first commercial flight flew between Karachi and Delhi in the then united India in 1912.

Speaking exclusively to TOI, Rohtak Congress MP Deepender Hooda shared the aviation plans for his state where people for years have only derived a vicarious pleasure of watching the big jets flying over them to the neighbouring airports in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab.

Read more: The Times of India


30000 MW of renewable energy capacity addition planned in 12th Plan

India is expected see renewable energy capacity addition of 30,000 MW, with significant contribution from wind power, over the next five years.

“At the end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), the country is expected to have a total renewable energy generation capacity of 55,000 MW,” Joint Secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Tarun Kapoor said here today.

India has a renewables generation capacity of about 25,000 MW, he said at a conference on the power sector.

Of the projected 30,000 MW capacity addition, around 15,000 MW would be from wind power.

According to him, there are also certain issues such as the financial health of power distribution companies (discoms) and availability of transmission lines for renewable energy projects.

Amid a severe power shortage in the country there is increased focus on generating electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro to bring down the demand supply gap.

Currently India has an installed power generation capacity of little over 2 lakh MW.

The conference was organised by the International Trade and Exhibitions India Ltd and ITE Group Plc.

Currently, India has a renewables generation capacity of 25,000 MW.

Read article: Business Line

India Plans to Amend Electricity Laws

The Indian government, looking to prevent a repeat of two power failures in July that affected more than 600 million people, plans to propose legislation amendments to overhaul the electricity sector, Power Minister Veerappa Moily said Wednesday.

A key push of the proposals will be to give regulators more authority to revise charges as well as prevent states from drawing too much electricity from the national supply network, which was cited as a major factor for the July 30 and July 31 outages.

Mr. Moily told reporters after a meeting with electricity regulators of all states that the government plans to table the proposals during the winter session of parliament, which usually occurs in December.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal


RIL To Build Its Flagship Shopping Mall In Delhi

RIL (Reliance Industries Limited)’s deep pockets have always enabled it to have a head start over others and is probably the conglomerate’s secret sauce to its unparalleled growth and success. After its entry into the retail sector, it walks the extra mile by building its own shopping mall in South Delhi. It intends to make its real estate business complimentary to its retail segment that will enable it to gain ground in both the arena.

A company official mentions that RIL will use the land Mukesh Ambani won in a Delhi Development Authority bid for around Rs.400 crore in 2007 to construct its 720,000 sq ft commercial complex at Alaknanda. It will use two- fifth of the retailing space to house brands owned by Reliance Retail (a subsidiary arm of RIL). It will have three basement levels along with parking space sufficient to accommodate more than 1000 cars and 700 two wheelers and ground level along with five storeys. The company will infuse capital in the range of 200 to 250 crore for construction and is projected to be executed by the end of 2014.

Read more:  Ground Report


Harvard courses focus on India cases

Harvard Business School (HBS) is expanding its presence in India through adoption of more India-based cases and new offerings in Executive Education. The base of Indian case studies at HBS has risen to 90 in the last one year, and will see more additions in the coming time, says the school. “There are a lot more new India-focussed cases coming up in the next few years. We are still concentrating on building this up, gathering and creating more teaching material. It will take some time as it is a long process, and a lot of work goes into it,” said Stefan H Thomke, William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration at HBS and Faculty Chair for HBS Executive Education in India.

Read more: Business Standard

eGATE training for engineering students

eGATE, a concept of live classes for preparing for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), has been launched by GateForum.

The idea is to impart quality training to GATE aspirants across the country. By connecting through their Hyderabad Centre, the institute plans to take training to students who cannot afford to come to metros and other bigger cities for preparation.

GATE is the second largest qualifying exam, after AIEEE. About 6.86 lakh student took the exam recently. Addressing newspersons here today, Abhijit Chaudhuri and Aditya Reddy said, considering that GATE is the qualifying exam for admission to ME/M.Tech/M.S. courses in various institutes in India and also the recruitment criterion for various PSUs such as BHEL, NTPC, IOCL etc, the demand for the examination is quite high.

eGATE is essentially live classes, via Internet, with two-way interaction between the faculty and students. Some of the best faculty will conduct the lectures from studios in Hyderabad and aspirants can access them via the Internet or at the Institute’s centres on a big screen.

GateForum is promoted by alumni of the IIMs and IITs. It is one of the largest organisation in the field of engineering training with a presence in more than 55 cities and has trained more than 50,000 students.

Read article: Business Line

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