India’s plan to give millions cheap food will cost more than its forecast of Rs 1.3 trillion (USD 23.8 billion) a year and will accelerate inflation, a leading adviser on food issues for the government said in an interview.The bill aims to provide subsidized wheat and rice to 70 percent of the 1.2 billion people in India, home to 25 percent of the world’s hungry poor, according to a UN agency, despite being one of the biggest producers of food supplies.The Congress party, which leads the coalition government, is pushing to pass the National food Security Bill before elections, which are due by May 2014.But the government’s own estimates say the bill would increase India’s annual food subsidy by 45 percent, threatening to add to an already hefty fiscal deficit. Critics say it is little more than an attempt to divert attention from corruption scandals involving the government. Calculation is that (Rs 1.25 trillion) is front-end subsidy. There are many costs that have not been counted.Food Minister KV Thomas has said the bill could cost Rs 1.2-1.3 trillion a year. The budget for the current year ending March 31, 2014 sets aside Rs 900 billion as the bill still awaits passage by parliament. Gulati, who advises the government on prices to pay farmers for their crops, said large-scale state grain purchases to meet commitments under the bill would lead to higher inflation.
Category Archives: Economics
The government which introduced amendments to the landmark Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha could not get it passed as opposition stalled proceedings in the House over killing of Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan and other issues.Food Minister K V Thomas moved amendments to the National Food Security Bill, which was originally introduced in Parliament in December 2011, but no discussion on it could take place as the Opposition-led by BJP persisted with protest over Sarabjit Singh’s death.The cause was also not helped as other members raised issued like Chinese incursion and coalgate scam, forcing adjournment of the House for the day without passage of the measure.Major changes in this bill include doing away with priority and general classifications of beneficiaries and providing uniform allocation of 5 kg food grains (per person) at fixed rate of of Rs 3 (rice), Rs 2 (wheat) and Rs 1 (coarse grains) per kg to 67 per cent of the country’s population. Protection to 2.43 crore poorest of poor families under the Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) to supply of 35 kg food grains per month per family would continue.That apart, nutritional support to pregnant women without limitation are among other changes proposed in the Bill. At the proposed coverage of entitlement, total estimated annual foodgrains requirement is 61.23 million tonnes and is likely to cost the exchequer Rs 1,24,724 crore.
Advertising spending on the internet jumped 12.5 percent in Britain last year, defying a flagging economy as companies battled to reach consumers spending more time on smartphones and tablet computers.The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced through a study conducted by PwC showed spending on online advertising reached 5.42 billion pounds in 2012.The study, which used data from companies that had provided information the previous year, said internet ad spending rose 607 million pounds on 2011, with some 323 million pounds due to an increase in mobile advertising.Britain has led the way in moving advertising from traditional areas like newspapers and radio to the internet. A high take up of broadband and the rise of smartphones and tablet computers which allow users to access the internet on the go have helped the shift.
With around two-thirds of Britons owning a smartphone as of December 2012, mobile advertising now accounts for almost 10 percent of all digital ad spending, compared with about 1 percent in 2009.Video advertising grew 46 percent to 160 million pounds, accounting for 12 percent of online and mobile display in 2012.Demand for mobile ads is likely to increase after auctions for next-generation 4G airwaves earlier this year, which are set to deliver speeds more than five times faster than 3G services. These services will make downloading high-resolution video easier and enable better multi-tasking on the latest smartphones and tablets.The consumer goods sector overtook the finance sector as the biggest spender on digital display advertising – accounting for almost 16 percent of display ad spend in 2012.
In a major move aimed at reforming the global financial architecture, the BRICS finance ministers today agreed on the setting up of a development bank to fund infrastructure and development projects in the five-nation grouping of emerging powers.The agreement came after weeks of negotiations among the five emerging economies in a move aimed at changing the rules of governance in global governance, especially the Bretton Woods institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.Senior Indian negotiators have said that the BRICS bank initiative will be cleared at the level of the heads of government when the summit adopts the report of the finance ministers. Issues including capital, membership and governance still dog the BRICS bank over which a final document may get ready by next year. Still it may take years before it finally gets going.The BRICS bank can also borrow from other banks to pitch in with the much-needed capital. The BRICS bank will focus on funding infrastructure and development projects in the BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries in a direct challenge to the way the World Bank and IMF do their business.However, Indian negotiators are also conscious of the fact that issues like capital, membership and governance are yet to be thrashed but before the summit can put a seal of approval on launching the BRICS bank.
Facing demands from India and other countries for banking details of persons with alleged black money in Switzerland, the European nation has proposed new rules for combating money laundering and mandating extra due diligence by banks before accepting clients’ money.Switzerland’s Federal Council, the country’s top-most policy making body, has proposed that these norms would be put through an extensive consultation process till June 15.
The proposals come within days of Switzerland promising deepening of dialogue with India on administrative assistance and exchange of information about suspected illicit wealth stashed by Indians in the Swiss banks.At the same time, Switzerland’s finance ministry has also made it clear that it would not entertain any banking information requests that are based on stolen or illegally obtained account details, while it has also refused to consider any fishing expedition for Swiss bank details.In its latest proposals, the Federal Council said it has adopted two consultation drafts - one for implementation of the revised international recommendations on combating money-laundering and terrorist-financing, and the second for putting in place and extended due diligence requirements should prevent untaxed assets from being accepted by financial intermediaries in Switzerland.India is probing alleged stashing of untaxed funds in certain Swiss banks. The country has not got details of such funds directly from Switzerland and it is said that these details found their way to India after certain account details were stolen electronically by a third party.
Despite hundreds of B-schools opening doors across India, the premier Indian Institutes of Managements or IIMs continue to be the most coveted. In an environment where many lesser known private B-schools are facing closure and even new IIMs are struggling to attract faculty and build infrastructure, the top 20 B-schools are reinforcing their position in the popularity charts. Down the years, IIMs have been the top pick for almost all aspiring B-school candidate.
And now, in the latest study, the MBA rankings list compiled by C-fore research, for the academic year 2012, the Indian Institute of Managements or IIMs lead the race, with the top 10 spots going to IIM-Ahmedabad, followed by IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Calcutta, IIM-Lucknow, XLRI Jamshedpur, IIM-Kozikhode.IMI New Delhi, IMT Ghaziabad, SP Jain Mumbai and FMS Delhi. This year’s surprise has been IMI, delhi which moved up to the 7th place from 15th last year, because of its strong faculty base.While IIM-A is the top choice for Finance and Marketing, IIM-C is most popular for IT and Operations and for those looking to pursue HR, XLRI is a firm favourite. While, IIM-B emerged number 1 in terms of publication in international journals, revenue form management programmes and affiliations to foreign B-schools, IIM-A takes the top spot in terms of revenue from consultancy and incubating startups.In terms of intellectual capital, placements and employer satisfaction, too…there’s no beating IIM-A. However, IIM-bangalore is the strongest in its infrastructure among all schools.Salary structures are also seeing a distinct change…with the gap between averages salaries being paid to graduates from older and newer IIMs narrowing. In 2012, the average salary offered to an IIM-A graduate was 16.4 lakh per annum and the same for IIM-Ranchi was 13 lakhs. But the seven newer IIMs are fighting a tough battle with their older peers. The new and younger IIMs are finding it tough to attract faculty and build infrastructure and have also not found much favour with top companies such as Mckinsey and Boston Consulting who continue to make a beeline for the older IIMs during the placement season.
Ybrant Digital, a digital marketing company, has found success by maintaining a healthy balance between organic and inorganic growth. As it grows from strength to strength, the company’s top management see it emerging as a leader as fragmented markets consolidate themselves in the future.
Where there is media, there is content creation. And this content creation requires monetization. With the digital medium, digital marketing is a critical element to growth, Ybrant Digital (Ybrant). And Ybrant’s objective is to focus on the monetization by fundamentally helping content builders find suitable advertisers and providing advertisers with an effective medium.
However, this business clarity took its time. The company began as a digital greeting cards concern in the U.S. and morphed with a change in market dynamics. There is a definite difference between having a business plan and implementing it in the face of market realities. They went from being a dot com to a services provider to advertising networks in the U.S. That team saw this move was impacting them positively and prompted a decision to climb higher in the value chain. This was a move that was more due to opportunity as opposed to facing a difficulty. And if turnovers tell a story, the move was certainly in the right direction. Ybrant Digital ended 2011 with revenues of close to 272 Cr and today, its presence has spread to over 20 countries.
Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani is the 18th richest person in the world with a personal wealth of USD 24.7 billion in 2012, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 100 wealthiest individuals.Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim remained the world’s richest person last year holding a personal fortune of more than USD 70 billion, it said. Ambani, 55, Chairman & MD of Reliance Industries, has also retained his position as the world’s richest Indian for the sixth year in a row and increased his ranking from 19th to 18th position and personal wealth from USD 21 billion to USD 24.7 billion in the world.The world’s top 100 billionaires got even richer in 2012, with their total wealth rising by around 15 per cent to USD 1.81 trillion, it said. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the founder of fashion retailer Zara, Amancio Ortega, rounded out the top three spots, with wealth estimated just over and just under USD 60 billion, respectively.Renowned investor Warren Buffett slipped to fourth place, but added around USD 5 billion to his fortune over the year despite donating a substantial amount to charity last year. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad saw his net worth rising 16.6 per cent to approximately USD 40 billion, putting him in fifth place on Bloomberg’s billionaire index.
In first decline in five years, the number of Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) registered in India has dipped to 1,755 this year, although their investments have grown sharply.As per data available with market regulator Sebi, the total number of registered FIIs stood at 1,755 as on December 21, as against 1,767 at the end of 2011. The number of FIIs has been rising continuously since the end of 2007, when there were a total of 1,219 registered FIIs in the country. At the end of 2010, there were 1,718 registered FIIs, while at the end of the previous year the number was 1,700 and 1,594 in 2008 end.However, the number of FII sub-accounts has risen to 6,350, from 6,278 at the end of 2011. The sub-accounts include foreign firms, individuals and institutions on whose behalf FIIs make those investments. The rate of growth in their numbers has, however, grown at a slower pace in 2012.On the net investment side, FIIs have so far pumped in $23.5 billion into stocks – the second highest figure since the foreign investors were allowed entry into Indian capital markets in 1992.As far as debt is concerned, FIIs have invested $6.4 billion in 2012, with just a week remaining.