Amrutanjan acquires Siva’s Soft Drinks for Rs26.20 crore

With this deal, Amrutanjan has diversified into the beverage business

Amrutanjan Health Care has forayed into the beverage business by acquiring Chennai-based Siva's Soft Drink Private Ltd for Rs26.20 crore.

Siva's Soft Drink is the manufacturer of soft drink and fruit based under the brand name "Fruitnik". "Amrutanjan Health Care has entered into an agreement with Siva's Soft Drink Pvt Ltd, Chennai to acquire their soft drink and fruit based beverages business along with the brand 'Fruitnik' for a total consideration of Rs26.20 crore," Amrutanjan said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Established in 1893, Amrutanjan is a strong player in the health care industry. The company currently offers various products in pain management, cough and cold care, health and home care. It exports some products to East Asia, Middle East and South East Asia.

On Friday, Amrutanjan ended 7.62% up at Rs688.15 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.02% to 18,486.45.

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NTPC to hire 1,000 engineers annually for 10 years

At present, NTPC has about 25,000 employees, out of which half of the workforce are engineers

The country's largest power producer NTPC Ltd will hire 10,000 engineers in the next ten years as part of massive expansion plans.

"We need to hire 1,000 engineers every year for the next ten years to meet manpower requirements in view of our plans to expand generation capacity," NTPC director-human resources SP Singh said.

At present, the power giant has about 25,000 employees, out of which half of the workforce are engineers.

The company also aims to improve its Man-to-MW ratio-an indicator of the work force's efficiency-to as much as 0.50, which would be the best achieved so far globally, by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

In the initial phase, the company plans to take its Man-to-MW ratio to 0.64 by the end of the 11th Plan (2007-12). Currently the ratio is around 0.80.
NTPC plans to scale up its power generation capacity to 50,000MW by the end of the 11th Plan (2007-12) from its present production capability of over 33,000MW.

At present, projects totalling 16,340MW are under various stages of implementation.

Its ultimate plan is to attain a generation capacity of 75,000MW by 2017, which would be the terminal year of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).

On Friday, NTPC ended 0.31% up at Rs179 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.02% to 18,486.45.

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Government to further liberalise FDI policy: FM

The industry ministry's discussion paper on liberalising the multi-brand retail argues that foreign investment in the sector would help bridge in supply loopholes in the food chain and, thereby, help tame high food inflation

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the government is considering further liberalisation of foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for meeting the ambitious $I trillion fund requirement in the next five years for infrastructure development, reports PTI.

"Discussions are underway to also liberalise the FDI policy," Mr Mukherjee said at an IIF event here. The move comes in the backdrop of a slowdown in FDI and its impact on the current account deficit.

FDI during April-December this fiscal declined by 23% to $16 billion from $20.8 billion in the same period last year.

The current account deficit (CAD) has been projected at 3.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal 2010-11.

The country's CAD, representing the difference in inflows and outflows of foreign exchange, barring capital movements, stood at 2.9% of the GDP last fiscal.

Mr Mukherjee further said that the sustainability of growth momentum of the country in the medium-term depends critically on quality and pace of infrastructure development.

The infrastructure sector requires an investment of a whopping $1 trillion in the 12th Plan, beginning year 2012 -17.

Mr Mukherjee said the 8% growth rate achieved by the economy during 2009-10 came on the back of stimulus provided by the government to tide over the financial slowdown. India's GDP is expected to expand by 8.6% in 2010-11.

"This growth... vindicates the expansionary fiscal and monetary policy stance adopted during and after the economic slowdown in the sector half of 2008. The economy is thus back to its pre-crisis growth momentum," he said.

Mr Mukherjee also said that the rising commodity prices and volatility in capital flows is a source of worry. Also, political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has pushed global crude prices to $116 a barrel, its highest since 2008.
Even the World Bank has expressed serious concerns over food prices rising to "dangerous levels" globally and said food inflation has pushed 44 million people in developing countries into extreme poverty since June last year.

"The major emerging market economies are experiencing robust growth, though volatility in capital inflows and inflation, including from the hardening of global commodity prices, is a source of worry," Mr Mukherjee said.

India's inflation at the end of January stood at 8.23%, higher than the Reserve Bank of India's comfort level of 5%-6%. Also, food inflation was recorded at double-digit level at 10.39% for the week ended 19th February.

The government has been toying with the idea of opening the retail sector for foreign direct investment (FDI). India's retail sector is dominated by mom & pop stores (kirana shops).

The industry ministry's discussion paper on liberalising the multi-brand retail argues that foreign investment in the sector would help bridge in supply loopholes in the food chain and, thereby, help tame high food inflation.

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