NEW DELHI: The Department of Pharmaceuticals has mooted a proposal to allow the country’s foreign investment approving body to continue clearing stake purchases by foreign firms in Indian drug companies, as it seeks to end the uncertainty that has stalled the investment plans of MNCs and foreign investors in the sector.
“The Department of Pharmaceuticals has sought approval from the Prime Minister’s Office. The PMO has forwarded the proposal to both the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and health ministry for their views,” said a government official familiar with the development. Senior officials from the Department of Pharmaceuticals met their DIPP counterparts last week to enlist support for their proposal to avoid further delay in clearing the deals. As ET reported last week, four foreign investment proposals involving stake sales are pending with the government.
For the last decade, foreign investment in the drugs sector was automatically cleared by the government. But following a spate of high-profile acquisitions by multinational drug companies, concerns were raised by health groups and some local companies about foreign domination of the Indian pharma sector, possibly resulting in spiralling medicine prices in the country. In October, an inter-ministerial group headed by the prime minister decided to make the Competition Commission of India (CCI) the approving body for foreign investments in the sector. It was also decided that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) would approve investment proposals for an interim six-month period, which ended in April. The CCI and DIPP were tasked with the responsibility of framing guidelines for foreign investments in the sector.
But confusion persists over when the authority will shift to CCI and when the new guidelines will be finalised. Experts say it may take several months before necessary amendments are made to empower the CCI to approve buyouts.
Meanwhile, the FIPB stopped clearing foreign investment proposals on the grounds that specific conditions for considering cases of brownfield foreign investment in the pharma sector were under formulation. The matter has got further complicated by the fact that the FIPB’s six-month window for considering foreign investment proposals in this sector is over. To end this confusion, the department of pharmaceuticals has proposed that the FIPB continues to clear proposals.
The unnamed government official quoted above said the inter-ministerial group’s decision was not legally binding and there would no problems if FIPB continued to approve pharma M&A deals for some more time, till new rules are put in place. “Otherwise pending applications will pile up,” the official said. The Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), the industry body that represents foreign drugmakers in the country, said there appeared to be some issues that were making it difficult to route brownfield investments through CCI even after six months.
“Till such time a proper mechanism of clearance of M&A applications by the CCI is put in place, the government should revert to the system of 100% FDI in pharmaceuticals through automatic route, instead of holding such application for an indefinite period,” said OPPI director-general Tapan Ray.
The applications that are stuck include Mauritiusbased Ambrose Pvt Ltd’s plans to buy 40% stake in Sutures India for . 199 crore,Spain’s Chemo Group’s plans to buy a 100% stake in Ordain Healthcare Global for . 58 crore, Ankur Drugs’ plans to raise about . 40 crore from NRIs and Plethico Pharma’s plans to raise . 490 crore by diluting 22% stake via FCCBs.
GAIL, OIL AMONG 11 COMPANIES BIDDING FOR STAKE IN MUKESH AMBANI FIRM
NEW DELHI: Eleven firms including state-run GAIL (India) and Oil India (OIL) have bid to buy stake in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s privately owned firm Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure (RGTIL). “There are five Indian and six foreign companies which have submitted expression of interest (EoI) for buying stake in the gas transportation company (RGTIL),” a source privy to the development said. Gas utility GAIL and oil explorer OIL have submitted separate EoIs for the stake buy, which is being managed by J P Morgan, Citi and SBI Caps. Other firms which have put in EoI may include NYSE-listed energy major Enbridge. A company spokesperson declined to comment. The source said the companies who have put EoI would visit data room of RGTIL and do a complete due diligence before making any financial bid. (For details log on to : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/GAIL-OIL-among-11-companies-bidding-for-stake-in-Mukesh-Ambani-firm/articleshow/13146535.cms)
ITC MAY TIE UP WITH STARWOOD TO ENTER SL MARKET
NEW DELHI: ITC Hotels has acquired land in the Sri Lankan capital city to make its foreign foray. The homegrown hospitality player is likely to make its foreign debut with international hospitality biggie Starwood Hotels, with which it has a franchise tie-up for India. The hotel is likely to be branded as ITC ‘Luxury Collection’ Hotel. “We know what ITC’s plans are. But we will leave it to ITC to announce them. We have three properties under development in Sri Lanka. And we see a potential ‘Luxury Collection’ hotel with ITC,” vice-chairman and CFO of Starwood Vasant Prabhu told FE. He also said that the ITC Hotel in Sri Lankawill not be a Sheraton as few reports claim. Regarding a latest development pertaining to this property, in an official email, the ITC spokesperson said, “ITC, with a market capitalisation of over $35 billion and a turnover of around $7 billion with business interests spanning consumer goods, hotels, paper and packaging, agri-business and information technology, has incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary — WelcomHotels Lanka Private (WLPL) — in Sri Lanka. WLPL has acquired land at Galle Face in Colomboon a 99-year lease from the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka with an intention to set up a mixed use project, including a luxury hotel. The exact nature of the project will be decided on more detailed evaluation in the course of time.” The company did not give investment details of the project. (For details log onto : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/itc-may-tie-up-with-starwood-to-enter-sl-mkt/949857/)
EMMVEE SOLAR TO ENTER DOMESTIC PHOTOVOLTAIC MARKET
BANGALORE: Emmvee Solar, the makers of Solarizer water heaters, will get into solar photovoltaic (PV) power project development in Indiaby the end of this year. The company has set up two solar projects of about 14 MW in Europe, and is looking at projects of over 5 MW capacity here, Mr D. V. Manjunatha, Managing Director of the company, told Business Line. Currently, the company is into manufacturing and retailing of solar water heaters and manufacturing solar crystalline PV modules. Over the last few years, it has also started providing ‘solar solutions’ across segments. It provides engineering-procurement-construction (EPC) services for power projects, installs solar systems for industrial applications such as telecom towers, railways or installing rooftop solar systems for commercial and residential buildings. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-corporate/article3423410.ece)
GAIL-TIDCO JV TO INVEST RS 10,000 CRORE IN POWER PLANT
CHENNAI: Gas Authority of India Limited (Gail) will be setting up a joint venture with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (Tidco). The new com-pany will make an investment to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore over the next five years across Tamil Nadu for setting up a power plant and pipeline infrastructure to carry LNG. In a statement at the state Assembly, chief minister J Jayalalithaa said that the Tamil Nadu government had signed an MoU with Indian Oil Corporation to set up LNG terminals in north Chennai with a capacity of 5 million tonne a year. The facility will distribute 18 million cubic metre of LNG every day for power generation, industries, vehicles and households, through the pipeline, which will be set up by GAIL. The MoU was signed between B C Tripathi, chairman and managing director of Gail, and N Sundaradevan, chairman and managing director of Tidco, in the presence of J Jayalaithaa in Chennai on Thursday. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/gail-tidco-jv-to-invest-rs-10000-cr-in-power-plant/474420/)
SEVERAL NEW POWER PROJECTS ON THE ANVIL
CHENNAI; Power-starved Tamil Nadu is expected to get an additional 4,887 Mw of power from state and Central projects, as well as joint ventures before the end of 2013. The state government is confident that by June this year, power cuts — which vary from two to four hours a day in various parts of the state — will be withdrawn. The state government also envisions investments of some Rs 4.50 lakh crore as part of its Vision 2023 for the energy sector. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has alleged the Centre, “irrespective of the number of pleas”, has made “no allocation of funds or additional electricity, even as people are groping in the dark. The Centre’s actions are aimed at ensuring that Tamil Nadu does not grow.” She said her government was betting big on renewable energy, which will bring down its dependence on the Centre for coal allocations. The state government has set a target of adding 3,000 Mw through solar energy as part of it solar mission programme and is planning to announce a new policy for solar energy. Similarly, it is also focusing on wind energy, where it has envisaged investments to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore for generating capacity of 10,000 Mw. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/several-new-power-projectsthe-anvil/474497/)
TIGHTER NORMS LIKELY FOR FDI IN REAL ESTATE
NEW DELHI: The government is prescribing tighter rules for foreign direct investment (FDI) in real estate which will bar a foreign company from repatriating funds even after the mandatory three-year lock-in period in an Indian company. The new norms will make it mandatory for foreign companies to complete at least 50% of the project within five years from the date of project conception. The finance ministry recently rejected two such proposals of international builders wishing to exit Indian operations after fulfilling the condition of mandatory three-year lock-in, though it failed to honour criterion of minimum project completion. The DIPP is framing new rules regarding the same, government sources said. This comes after the department of economic affairs, under the finance ministry, asked the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) to clearly spell out the modalities in the FDI policy clearly linking all the conditions governing FDI in real estate. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/tighter-norms-likely-for-fdi-in-real-estate/949745/)
WORRIED PMO PROPOSES BIG INVESTMENT BOOST
NEW DELHI: Worried over the declining growth rate, the large supply constraints on many fronts and a negative perception of India among the intelligentsia and industry, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has proposed the setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for accelerating investments in the infrastructure, mineral resources and oil and natural gas exploration sectors. Acknowledging that the “licence raj” has been replaced with a “clearance regime,” where both the private and public sectors had to wade through unending clearances before projects actually take off, the PMO hopes the SPV will help cut short their agony. A meeting on this issue was taken by Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterjee on May 10. (For details log on to: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article3423795.ece)
U.S. MAY OFFER SHALE GAS IN LIQUEFIED FORM TO INDIA
NEW DELHI: India and the U.S., on Tuesday, held talks on weaning New Delhi away from dependence on Iranian oil and while both sides stated their known positions on the issue, one positive outcome of the talks, which were wide ranging in nature and not focussed just on Iran, was the possibility of India importing shale gas in liquefied form from the U.S. Indian officials, during their meeting with U.S. Special Envoy on Energy Carlos Pascual, explained the long-term projections of India’s energy needs, including key suppliers of oil and natural gas and possible external energy sources in Africa, North America and Southeast Asia. Indiais, at present, importing crude oil from 30 countries spread across different continents, the U.S.team was told. From the trend of discussions, officials said the possibility of the U.S.exporting shale gas to Indiashould be seen positively. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/article3423647.ece)
INDIA CUTS CRUDE OIL IMPORTS FROM IRAN
NEW DELHI: In the aftermath of the recent visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and an indication of rising U.S. pressure not to deal with Iran working, the Central Government, on Tuesday, admitted that it had cut the crude oil supplies from Iran by 11 per cent to 15.5 million tonnes this fiscal. “Total crude oil imported from Iranby Indian companies during 2010-11 and 2011-12 is 18.50 million tonnes and 17.44 million tonnes, respectively. The target fixed for import of crude oil from Iran for 2012-13 is about 15.5 million tonnes,” Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R. P. N. Singh said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Indiahas been under tremendous U.S.pressure to curtail sourcing of crude oil from Iranfollowing sanctions imposed by it and the European Union. However, Indiahad stated that it was not bound by bloc sanctions and it would only go by UN backed sanctions. Mr. Singh said the quantum of crude oil imported by Indian refineries from various sources is decided by them on the basis of technical, commercial and other considerations. “To reduce its dependence on any particular region of the world, India has been consciously trying to diversify its sources of crude oil imports to strengthen the country’s energy security,” he said. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/article3423646.ece)
PANEL FOR FLEXIBILITY IN LNG TRANSPORTATION
NEW DELHI: Keeping in mind the continued shortfall in domestic gas production and the mounting demand for gas, an inter-Ministerial Committee has pitched for flexibility in transportation of LNG and keeping in abeyance the guidelines of Director-General (Shipping) for grant of licence to LNG vessels. This decision follows the report of the inter-ministerial committee on “Review of existing LNG shipping policy”, which felt that the DG Shipping guidelines for grant of licence to LNG vessels should not be implemented at this juncture as it could hamper the free import of the much-needed LNG. The guidelines stated that LNG vessel should be Indian flag vessel; Indian shipping entity to own 26 per cent; employ minimum two Indian officers and two trainee officers/cadets; LNG importer cannot fix spot vessels for more than 10 per cent of the total annual imports and transfer technology to Indian partner within five years. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/article3423628.ece)
HIGH COSTS, LOW PRICING POWER TRIM CORPORATE PROFITS, MARGINS IN Q4
MUMBAI: With the earnings season already half-way through, it is now clear that India Inc is in a bit of a spot. While a number of companies including Hindustan Unilever, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Idea Cellular have turned in good performances, there has been a string of disappointments too. Maruti Suzuki’s bottom line was 3% lower year-on-year despite a big boost from other income, while Sterlite’s operating profit of R2,700 crore was a shade under estimates. Not too many companies could improve volumes and even fewer could command pricing power. Indeed, subdued top line growth was not enough to cover costs and as a result, margins and bottom lines came under pressure. For a clutch of 1,066 companies (excluding banks and financials) net sales in the three months to March 2012, were up a reasonably good 15.5% y-o-y, though this was way below the 22% y-o-y seen in the December 2011 quarter. However, operating profit margins came off by 250 basis points leaving operating profit lower by 9% and consequently, net profits fell 4.7% y-o-y. This, despite the fact that other income rose 60% y-o-y and provided a big support to the bottom line. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/high-costs-low-pricing-power-trim-corporate-profits-margins-in-q4/949932/)
ACQUIRING LAND TO GET TOUGHER FOR INDUSTRIES
NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel on Tuesday proposed tougher norms for acquiring land for industrial use, as it finalised the new Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development, in a report due to be tabled in the House on Thursday, proposed a more stringent definition of ‘public purpose’ to ensure that the government does not acquire land for private businesses. According to the report, the government should not acquire any land for infrastructure and projects executed under public-private partnerships. The committee has argued that the government shouldn’t acquire any land that will be used ‘for profit’. Since the government can acquire land citing ‘public purpose’ under prevailing norms, a tighter definition of this clause is required, the committee has proposed, arguing that all economic development can be explained away as public purpose. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/13158118.cms)
PAWAN HANS, NMDC, MMTC AMONG 21 PSUs SANS FULL-TIME CMDs: GOVT
NEW DELHI: As many as 21 public sector companies including Pawan Hans, National Fertilizer Ltd, NMDC and MMTC are without a full-time Chairman and Managing Director, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. State-owned companies not having a full-time chief executive includes National Hydro-electric Power Corp (NHPC), National Mineral Development Corp (NMDC), Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corp, RITES Ltd, Hindustan Cables Ltd, Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL) and Heavy Engineering Corp Ltd. Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Praful Patel said during Question Hour that bulk of the companies having top-level vacancies are “not in good (financial) health … And (the government) was finding difficulty in appointing suitable persons to head these companies.” Board-level appointments are done through interviews conducted by Public Enterprise Selection Board. Vigilance clearance of the shortlisted candidate is then taken and the name then forwarded to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments, the final appointing authority. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/news/pawan-hans-nmdc-mmtc-among-21-psus-sans-full-time-cmds-govt/8517/)
OIL PSUs CRY FOR HELP TO ABSORB RUPEE SHOCK
NEW DELHI: The continuous fall in the value of the rupee has worried the petroleum ministry that has sought immediate intervention from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). In a recent letter to the PMO, the petroleum secretary has stated that higher cost of oil imports in the wake of sharp fall in the rupee against the dollar is making the state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) borrow more and more, resulting in a sharp deterioration of their debt-equity ratios. In case of Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, these ratios have almost doubled due to the increased debt required to purchase oil for meeting the domestic demand. The weakening of the rupee against the dollar has made oil imports costlier. Non-revision of domestic fuel prices despite high crude oil (the raw material) prices is putting further pressure on the financials of the oil marketing companies. “During March, the price of the Indian basket of crude oil ranged between $121.50 and $125.44 per barrel, and the average price was $123.61 per barrel as compared to $117.67 per barrel in February, 2012,” the letter said. (For details log on to : http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/Markets/Oil-PSUs-cry-for-help-to-absorb-Rs-shock/Article1-856333.aspx)
COAL MINISTRY IN NO MOOD TO REDRAFT FSA
NEW DELHI: Despite strong objections by power entities to certain clauses of the FSA document, mainly the 0.01 per cent penalty clause applicable on CIL in case it fails to supply the dry fuel to thermal plants at 80 per cent trigger level, the Coal Ministry seems to be in no mood to soften its stand and redraft the pact template, even as 29 out of the 89 stations are left with just a week’s supply of coal. Official sources say that even as NTPC and other thermal power companies have stoutly refused to sign the FSA document alleging that its clauses were heavily loaded in CIL’s favour, the Coal Ministry does not seem to be in any mood to relent on the penalty clause, which apart from being abysmally low, would become effective only three years after signing the pact. According to sources in the know, the ministry does not have any plans to increase the penalty clause, something which the Power Ministry has been demanding. The official sources denied any change in the Coal Ministry’s stance on the issue. (For details log on to : http://dailypioneer.com/business/65522-coalmin-in-no-mood-to-redraft-fsa.html)
COAL INDIA TOO WILL HAVE TO PAY RESERVE PRICE FOR NEW BLOCKS
NEW DELHI: Coal Indiawill henceforth have to pay the reserve price, as any other bidder, for acquiring blocks in fresh auction rounds. This will be so even for blocks offered to the public sector entity on nomination basis. A reserve price will be derived by the Coal Ministry for a block. Companies proposing to acquire the asset will have to pay this amount to the respective State Governments for undertaking mining activities. In case of Coal India, it was till now not paying any reserve price. However, as a first step for creating a certain level playing field, the Ministry now proposes that even Coal Indiawill have to pay this price. The Ministry is in the process of finalising auction norms that would be similar to the licensing rounds of oil and gas blocks. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/article3423429.ece)
COAL MINISTRY WANTS MORE TRANSPARENCY IN PRICING SYSTEM
NEW DELHI: The Coal Minister, Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal, is in no mood to make any controversial statement. He is clear that whatever be the decision of the high-level ministerial panel dealing with some ticklish issues concerning his Ministry, he will stand by it. In an interview with Business Line, the Minister reiterated that there was no immediate move to raise coal prices and if there is an increase, it will keep in view the concerns of all stakeholders. For power plants set up before 2015, it is Coal India’s responsibility to supply coal to them at 80 per cent of requirement. Since differences on FSA continue, we have directed them to supply coal based on MoUs. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-economy/article3423419.ece)
GOVT CONSIDERING EXPORT OF SKIMMED MILK POWDER
NEW DELHI: After allowing the export of casein, a high-value milk protein, the government is now reportedly considering allowing the export of about 10,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder. However, officials said the fact that the supply of milk usually declined in the summer was making the government think hard before taking a formal decision on the issue. Nevertheless, industry players said the export of skimmed milk powder would help absorb the excess stock of 70,000-90,000 tonnes of the commodity spread across various dairies in the country and support domestic prices, which had dropped about 26 per cent since November. “The situation has become so bad that if the government does not allow some export of skimmed milk powder immediately, we would be forced to cut our annual purchases of milk from farmers from June,” said Kuldeep Saluja, managing director of Sterling Agro Industries, which manufactures the Nova brand of dairy products like ghee, butter oil and skimmed milk powder. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/govt-considering-exportskimmed-milk-powder/474494/)
DETTOL’S ‘HEALTH 100% MARKS 100%’ AD MISLEADING: REGULATOR
MUMBAI: Taking cognisance of a complaint filed by MP Tarun Vijay, the Advertising Standards Council of India (Asci) has asked British consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser to rectify its advertisement for Dettol soap. The ad, which was published in leading dailies in February, spoke of how Dettol, if used everyday for bathing, could help keep a child healthy during exams. Author-journalist Vijay said the tone and tenor of the message “disturbed” him, since it exerted pressure on students to get cent per cent marks. “The day I saw the ad, I immediately complained to the Asci,” he says. While Asci Secretary-General Allen Colaco says the complaint was upheld in March for misleading readers into believing that the use of Dettol would lead to “100% health, 100% marks”, a Reckitt spokesperson says the ad is not in circulation at the moment. “The ad is not being run,” the spokesperson said. This is not the first time when a complaint against an ad that has violated the Asci code has been upheld after it has run its course. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/dettols-health-100-marks-100-ad-misleading-regulator/474479/)
TIMES GROUP TO FIGHT IT OUT WITH ANANDABAZAR PATRIKA IN BENGAL
KOLKATA; It may well be the clash of the titans in West Bengal’s media industry. The country’s largest media conglomerate, Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL), also known as the Times group, is set to battle it out in the regional media space with Aveek Sarkar’s family-owned Anandabazar Patrika (ABP). According to sources close to the development, the Times group is planning to launch a Bengali newspaper by the end of this year. Rahul Kansal, chief marketing officer of BCCL, said, “We are keeping our possibilities open, nothing has been finalised yet. I do believe that West Bengalis a matured market for the newspaper industry. We are looking for portfolio expansion across the country.” While The Times of India is the largest broadsheet daily in the country, Anandabazar Patrika is the largest Bengali newspaper. According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation figures, Anandabazar Patrika has a circulation of nearly 1,250,000, while its nearest competitor, Bartaman, has a circulation of 534,000 copies. Other major competitors in the vernacular space are Aajkaal, Sangbad Pratidin, Ganashakti, Sakalbela, Ekdin and NEWZ Bangla. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/times-group-to-fight-it-outanandabazar-patrika-in-bengal/474478/)
VODAFONE-LIKE CASES CAN BE REOPENED IN 6-YR WINDOW
NEW DELHI: Companies entering into Vodafone-like transactions could now be pursued by the income tax department for up to six years after payment to the seller of a capital asset. The Finance Bill has amended the Income Tax Act to allow the tax department to go back up to six years, instead of two years at present, and seek tax from a person who could be treated as an agent of the non-resident. The amendment in Section 149 of the Act will enable tax officers to serve a notice to furnish the return of income on a person, treated as the agent of a non-resident under Section 163, within a period of six years from the end of the relevant assessment year. That will help the department seek tax on capital gains made in other pending cases or reopen assessment in cases where some income has escaped taxation. (For details log on to: http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/vodafone-like-cases-can-be-reopened-in-6-yr-window/474454/)
STRUCTURAL REFORMS REQUIRED TO CURB FOOD PRICES: ECONOMISTS
NEW DELHI: With no political consensus as yet to allow the foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, India needs to undertake structural reforms urgently to curb food inflation that surged to a 15-month high of 10.49% in April on dearer vegetables and protein-based products. Economists said these reforms should focus on four fundamental aspects: raising productivity, curbing wastages, better distribution and delivery system, and ensuring fair returns to producers to keep them engaged in the farm sector. Prices of food articles rose in April, from 6.89% the previous month, on soaring rates of vegetables and protein-based edible products, showed official data released on Monday. Prices of vegetable soared a whopping 60.97%, egg, meat and fish 17.54% and oilseeds 16.66%. Inflation had stood at 6.89% in March. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/structural-reforms-required-to-curb-food-prices-economists/949766/)
DOMESTIC PHARMA MARKET GROWS HEALTHY 16% IN APRIL
NEW DELHI: The Indian pharma market has clocked a growth of 16.4% in the month of April. For the period of 12 months ended April, the domestic drug market grew by 18.4%, according to pharma market research agency Aiocd Awacs. Among the top 10 drug firms by market share, those which witnessed a higher growth rate than the industry growth rate are GSK (24%), Zydus Cadila (18.8%), Alkem(19%), Mankind (20%) and Pfizer (27.8%). Ranbaxy has grown in line with the industry growth for the month at 18.2%. In April alone, the growth of Cipla and Sun Pharma hovered around the range of 17.5% while those of Abbott, the leader in market share, is in the range of 13-16%. The growth of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, the largest domestic drug firm by turnover, in the domestic market for the month lags at slightly over 9%. This is sluggish compared to its peers in the top 25 league, all of whom have grown in double digits at a rate of over 13%. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/domestic-pharma-market-grows-healthy-16-in-april/949853/)
PAY CHANNELS TO SWITCH OFF ANALOG FOR DIGITAL SIGNAL ON JUNE 30
NEW DELHI: All the 90-odd pay channels including Star, Zee, Sony, Colors, ESPN will switch off their respective analogue signals from June 30 in the four metros making it mandatory for the 10-million cable homes to shift to a digital addressable cable set-top box. Even the 300-odd free-to-air channels may be switched off by July first week in order to enable the consumers of metros to shift to the digital addressable system (DAS) as mandated by the law. Putting their weight behind the government’s digitisation drive, now Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the apex body of broadcasters has decided to switch-off all analogue TV signals of pay channels from July 1 in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. A meeting to this effect between the IBF and other stakeholders including the Multi Service Operators (MSOs) was held in Mumbai on Monday. (For details log on to: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/pay-channels-to-switch-off-analog-for-digital-signal-on-june-30/949737/)