IndUS Business Journal

With 274 million households without electricity, replacing kerosene lanterns with solar-LEDs can spur jobs

Jul 20, 2016 0

New York–In addition to environmental benefits, shifting away from inefficient and polluting fuel-based lighting — such as candles, firewood, and kerosene lanterns — to solar-LED systems can spur economic development as well — to the tune of two million potential new jobs, a study says.

The researchers analysed how the transition from polluting fuel-based lighting to solar-LED lighting would impact employment and job creation.

“People like to talk about making jobs with solar energy, but it’s rare that the flip side of the question is asked — how many people will lose jobs who are selling the fuels that solar will replace,” said researcher Evan Mills from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

“We set out to quantify the net job creation. The good news is, we found that we will see many more jobs created than we lose,” Mills noted.

The findings were published in the journal Energy for Sustainable Development.

There are about 274 million households worldwide that lack access to electricity.

But Mills’ study focused on the “poorest of the poor”, or about 112 million households, largely in Africa and Asia, that cannot afford even a mini solar home system, which might power a fan, a few lights, a phone charger, and a small TV.

Mills found that fuel-based lighting today provides 150,000 jobs worldwide.

Because there is very little data in this area, his analysis is based on estimating the employment intensity of specific markets and applying it to the broader non-electrified population. He also drew on field observations in several countries to validate his estimates.

He did a similar analysis for the emerging solar-LED industry and found that every one million of these lanterns provides an estimated 17,000 jobs.

These values include employees of these companies based in developing countries but exclude upstream jobs in primary manufacturing by third parties such as those in factories in China.

Assuming a three-year product life and a target of three lanterns per household, this corresponded to about two million jobs globally, more than compensating for the 150,000 jobs that would be lost in the fuel-based lighting marke, the study said.

Furthermore, Mills’ research found that the quality of the jobs would be much improved.

“With fuel-based lighting a lot of these people are involved in the black market and smuggling kerosene over international borders, and child labour is often involved in selling the fuel,” he said.

“These new solar jobs will be much better jobs — they’re legal, healthy, and more stable and regular,” he added.

The new jobs span the gamut, from designing and manufacturing products to marketing and distributing them.

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Capital infusion will lead to book value dilution for banks: Jefferies

Jul 20, 2016 0

Chennai– The recapitalisation of 13 government-owned banks, announced by the central government, will result in dilution of their book value per share for banks with larger capital infusion, investment banking firm Jefferies said on Wednesday.

In a report, Jefferies said: “Banks with larger capital allocations relative to their Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) are typically the ones to see a steeper dilution of book value per share, given that stock prices for the SOE (State Owned Enterprise) banking space have remained largely depressed for the last several quarters now.”

Based on current market prices, the largest book value per share hit will be seen for Indian Overseas Bank at 28 per cent followed by United Bank of India at 20 per cent. Among other banks affected will be Bank of India (12 per cent) and Dena Bank (12 per cent).

At current market prices, the book value dilution is zero per cent for State Bank of India and three per cent for Punjab National Bank.

The key beneficiaries in terms of CET1 jump are IOB, United Bank of India, Central Bank of India and UCO Bank.

The central government on Tuesday announced capital infusion of Rs.22,915 crore for 13 banks.

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IMF cuts India’s GDP growth to 7.4 percent for 2016 and 2017

Jul 19, 2016 0

Washington– The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday marginally lowered India’s growth forecast to 7.4 per cent for 2016 and 2017, from the 7.5 per cent in April, due sluggish recovery in private investment, even as it blamed Brexit for provoking global economic uncertainty.

“In India, economic activity remains buoyant, but the growth forecast for 2016-17 was trimmed slightly, reflecting a more sluggish investment recovery,” the IMF said in its latest update of World Economic Outlook.

“The outcome of the UK vote, which surprised global financial markets, implies the materialisation of an important downside risk for the world economy. As a result, the global outlook for 2016-17 has worsened, despite the better-than- expected performance in early 2016,” the multilateral agency said.

The IMF also lowered the global growth forecast for 2016 by 0.1 percentage point relative to April, to 3.1 per cent.

“The first half of 2016 revealed some promising signs – for example, stronger than expected growth in the euro area and Japan, as well as a partial recovery in commodity prices that helped several emerging and developing economies.

“As of June 22, we were therefore prepared to upgrade our 2016-17 global growth projections slightly. But Brexit has thrown a spanner in the works,” said IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department Maury Obstfeld.

“The real effects of Brexit will play out gradually over time, adding elements of economic and political uncertainty. This overlay of extra uncertainty, in turn, may open the door to an amplified response of financial markets to negative shocks,” he added.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday said the Indian economy is on course to meet its projected growth target of 7.4 per cent in 2016-17, on the back of brisk consumer spending and an upturn in the rural economy.

The Indian economy grew at 7.6 per cent in 2015-16, while the government expects it to grow at over 8 per cent in 2016-17.

American agency Fitch Ratings on Monday projected India’s GDP growth to accelerate slightly to 7.7 per cent in 2016-17 and 7.9 per cent in 2017-18, while retaining India’s sovereign ratings at the lowest investment grade of BBB- with a stable outlook.

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Guruprasad Mohapatra takes over as AAI Chairman

Jul 19, 2016 0
Guruprasad Mohapatra (Photo: Facebbok)

Guruprasad Mohapatra (Photo: Facebbok)

New Delhi– Guruprasad Mohapatra, an IAS Officer of the 1986 batch, on Tuesday took over as Chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI).

“Guruprasad Mohapatra, IAS Officer of Gujarat Cadre, (1986 Batch) in the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of India, took over as Chairman, Airports Authority of India, today,” the state-run airport operator said in a statement.

Mohapatra worked as Joint Secretary in the Department of Commerce prior to joining AAI. (IANS)

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Wipro backs out of buying US firm Viteos Group for $130 million

Jul 19, 2016 0

Bengaluru– Indian IT firm Wipro Ltd’s bid to acquire the US-based back office firm Viteos Group for $130 million (Rs 861 crore) fell through due to delay in closing the deal, the company said on Tuesday. Viteos is founded by Indian-born chief executive Shankar Iyer.

“Both parties have decided not to proceed ahead with the acquisition due to inordinate delay in completing closing conditions that exceeded the target date and expiration date under the terms of the agreement,” the software major said in a statement here.

Shaji Farooq

Shaji Farooq

The deal was to be completed in fourth quarter of 2015-16 ending March 31.

Headquartered at Somerset in New Jersey, Viteos provides customised straight-through-processing and integrates post-trade operations across asset class, currency, border or structure for the alternative investment management industry in the US, Europe and Asia.

As a leader in shadow-accounting services, Viteos offers a range of middle and back-office outsourcing through its 400 employees.

The city-based outsourcing major was keen on buying out Viteos, as the IT services industry is moving to an ‘as-a-service’ model and the future of BPS (business process service) is going to be BPaaS (business process as-a-service), which is a business process outsourcing run as a cloud service.

“Our strategy is to invest in industry vertical platforms which will provide platform-based services to our clients in transaction or outcome-based pricing models. Viteos will further our strategy in the capital markets domain,” said Wipro chief executive for finance solutions Shaji Farooq in a statement here on December 23 when the deal was announced.

Viteos, founded by Indian-born chief executive Shankar Iyer, licenses its proprietary platform to offer transformation and integration of post-trade operations. (IANS)

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India: No firm allowed to hike drug prices beyond limits

Jul 19, 2016 0

New Delhi–The government has not allowed any pharmaceutical company to increase prices of drugs beyond permissible limits, parliament was told on Tuesday.

Ananth Kumar-Minister-BJP“Few companies have given representations for increasing prices of medicines beyond permissible limits mentioning various reasons like increase in cost, tax, foreign exchange rates etc. However, no company has been given permission to increase the prices so far,” Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar told the Lok Sabha.

He said the government has brought down prices of 404 medicines under the National List of Essential Medicines, 2015 (revised schedule-I) of the Drug Price Control Order (DPOC) 2013.

The government has earlier “reduced the ceiling prices of 530 medicines as on 2/3/2016 under NLEM 2011 of DPCO 2013 (original schedule-I) on the basis of the negative wholesale price index,” he said.

Schedule I of DPCO 2013 contains the national list of essential medicines.

Meanwhile, the government said earlier this month that the rapidly growing Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to grow to $55 billion by 2020 and emerge as the sixth largest globally by size.

India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20 per cent of global exports in terms of volume. (IANS)

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Transport minister Gadkari seeks US investment for Indian roads, highways

Jul 19, 2016 0

New Delhi– Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday concluded his week-long trip to the US, which he termed successful upon receiving assurances from infrastructure and investment companies to boost Indian roads and highways.

During the trip, Gadkari held a series of productive interactions with investment bankers, fund managers and captains of trade and industry in the infrastructure sector at business platforms in Washington, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and placed on record convincing statistics of the rapid growth of this sector under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari

He outlined the government’s policy initiatives and his own vision to strengthen India’s infrastructure sector and offered lucrative investment opportunities in road and highways construction and port-led industrialisation, listing the incentives to the US industry for joint ventures and collaborations on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Gadkari also explained about the new highways under construction in the difficult terrains of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himalayas, the North-Eastern Region and coastal areas and the financing mechanisms under PPP models, framing of policies for logistics parks and modernization of roads, said a statement.

The Minister visited Tesla and proposed joint ventures between the electric car manufacturers and the Indian automobile companies with a view to introducing pollution free road transport in India, especially commercial and public motor vehicles.

He invited Tesla to make India their Asia manufacturing hub and offered land near major Indian ports to facilitate export of their vehicles to South and South East Asian countries.

Gadkari said he was returning home fully satisfied with his visit which has broken new ground in the bilateral ties between India and the US and given the much needed impetus to cooperation in the field of infrastructure, particularly road transport, highways and shipping sectors.(IANS)

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Mumbai police attaches assets worth Rs 2,000 to firm founded by disgraced Jignesh Shah

Jul 19, 2016 0

Mumbai–The Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai police has attached assets worth Rs 2,000 crore belonging to Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), owned and founded by Jignesh Shah, official sources revealed.

The assets, which include FTIL’s headquarters renamed 63 Moons, have been seized under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act, bank accounts and deposits.

Jignesh Shah

Jignesh Shah

Reacting to the EOW move, FTIL termed the move as without “legal basis” and said the company would challenge it before the court soon.

“We have received a letter from EOW dated 18/7/2016 at 6 pm today on 19/7/2016 securing assets of FTIL. 63 Moons is a listed company having 63000+ shareholders and about 1000+ employees. We will take all legal remedies to protect their interest. There is no legal basis for the said action and we will be moving court soon on the said letter,” said FTIL in a late evening statement.

The development comes barely a week after Shah’s arrest by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Rs 6,000 crore scam at National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), which is owned by FTIL.

The ED said it had collected evidence of money-laundering against Shah, and he has been remanded to judicial custody till August 1 by a Special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) Court. (IANS)

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In India, Rs 58,792 crore bank loans wilfully defaulted

Jul 19, 2016 0

Chennai– The total quantum of loans wilfully defaulted by borrowers is Rs 58,792 crore, the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the major union in the banking sector said out of the total loans wilfully defaulted, a whopping Rs.47,351 crore are accounted by government owned banks-nationalised, State Bank of India (SBI) and its five associate banks.

The union said the total quantum of bad loans of the government owned banks stands at Rs 539,995 crore as on March 31, 2016.

“But the government and the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) are not taking tough measures to recover the bad loans. Even their (defaulters’) names are not being published,” said AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam.

“Loans are given from public money. Hence people should know who the loan defaulters are. When poor borrowers are harassed, corporate defaulters are given all concessions. The number of willful defaulters is also on the increase,” AIBEA said.

The AIBEA has uploaded the names of wilful defaulters bank wise. (IANS)

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Oil’s next big growth center will be India

Jul 19, 2016 0

New Delhi– Commodities price reporting agency S&P Global Platts on Tuesday projected that India would become the next big growth centre for oil based on the fact that demand for most oil products hit record highs last year and the recent rising momentum of demand for cleaner cooking gas or LPG.

“For most of last year, demand has seen average of 10 per cent growth. Demand for most oil products hit record highs,” the Amercican agency said in a report.

“Market participants expect gasoline and gasoil to rebound to levels closer to double digits in the second half of the year,” said S&P Platts Oil News and Analysis Editor Sambit Mohanty.

“In addition, the policy move last month lifting salaries of government employees could boost car demand, which in turn could lift gasoline consumption,” he said

Meanwhile, LPG has “added a silver lining” to the Indian growth story,” the report said.

“A raft of government intiatives to promote cleanfuels lifted LPG demand to record highs in March. And the momentum continues. We saw demand growing by 9 per cent in June and around 10 per cent in the first half,” Mohanty added.

The report noted that the government has plans to provide more subsidies for 50 million new LPG connections for lower income families.

“This is leading analysts to believe that LPG demand growth will be closer to double-digits for the whole of 2016,” it said.

“In addition to LPG, a booming petrochemicals sector has also come as a blessing for naphta, which saw demand growth of 16 per cent in June,” it added.

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