AP High Court grants bail to former Satyam MD, others

With this, all Satyam accused except B Ramalinga Raju have got bails from various courts on different occasions

The Andhra Pradesh High Court today granted bail to former Satyam managing director Rama Raju, former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas and three others accused in the multi-crore rupee accounting scam, reports PTI.

Justice Raja Elango of the AP High Court granted bail to Rama Raju, brother of Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju, Srinivas and three others former Satyam employees — G Ramakrishna, Venkatapathi Raju and Ch Srisailam.

With this, all Satyam accused except B Ramalinga Raju have got bails from various courts on different occasions.

Last month, the high court had granted bail to former Pricewaterhouse (PwC) auditor S Gopalakrishnana and former internal auditor Prabhakara Gupta.

In February, the Supreme Court had granted bail to another PwC auditor Srinivas Talluri. A city court, in March last year, granted anticipatory bail to B Suryanarayana Raju, brother of Ramalinga Raju.

In January last year Satyam founder and the then chairman Ramalinga Raju and nine others were arrested after Raju had admitted to fudging the accounting books of the IT company.


Maruti Suzuki to limit exports to last year's level

The company has been forced to take the decision in view of capacity constraints

India's largest automaker Maruti Suzuki will limit exports to the same level as last year due to capacity constraints, reports PTI

"We are not competing in exports (with other carmakers)... We are short of capacity. This year exports will not go beyond last year", Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava said.

Maruti Suzuki exported 1.47 lakh units in 2008-09, its highest ever export figures, with the compact car A-Star alone clocking over 1.27 lakh units.

"A-Star" was exported to Europe, including UK, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Major non-European export markets for the car include Algeria, Chile, Indonesia and neighbouring countries.

South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia and Norway were new markets where the company's cars were exported during the year

To address increasing demand for its products, Maruti Suzuki has commenced work to increase capacity at its Manesar plant.

"We have started work at Manesar. But that will take time (to reach full capacity), which would be by 2012" he told PTI.

In March 2010, the company had announced a Rs1,700 crore investment for expanding production by 2.5 lakh units at its Manesar plant.

Production capacity after the expansion will reach 12.50 lakh units by 2012.

Mr Bhargava replied in the affirmative when asked whether the company was facing delay in deliveries. "Almost all our models are in the waiting list...I would say the average waiting list is three months for the diesel variant of Swift DeZire."

"We will keep increasing production in whichever way we can primarily to meet customer demand...our reasonable target (to meet the demand) is 2012", he said.

Maruti Suzuki sold 10.18 lakh vehicles in 2008-09 fiscal, the first time in Indian automotive history that a car company has sold over a million units in a financial year. This included sales of 8.70 lakh units in the domestic market, the highest ever by the company in a fiscal.

Asked whether introduction of new models by foreign companies would be a challenge, Mr Bhargava said every carmaker has to introduce new models to address customer needs. "He (carmaker) should make sure the customer gets something new".

On the growth of the automobile industry, he opined it might grow by 15%. "Even SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) also said the industry would grow by 12%-14% and that is reasonable...but we have to look at base effect also", he said.

Mr Bhargava felt one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is lack of infrastructure. "I think (lack of) infrastructure is one big problem… especially when you look at global developments (in auto-industry)".

He urged more car makers to look at investing in "Research and Development" and also address labour issues.

Asked whether the company would phase out Maruti 800, the first small car introduced in 1982, he said, "Sometimes, every model has to be stopped… Maruti 800 will also end at one stage… I don’t know when it will happen… Right now, it is running..." he said.

Maruti Suzuki reported a 17.28% jump in sales to 88,091 units in June against 75,109 units in the same month last year.


Economy to grow over 9% in Q1: Pronab Sen

GDP grew by 7.4% in the last fiscal with its fourth quarter managing clipping at 8.6%. The government expects 8.5% growth this fiscal

The economy is likely to grow above 9% in the first quarter, reports PTI quoting Planning Commission principal energy advisor Pronab Sen.

"The first quarter gross domestic product growth (GDP) will be slightly above 9%," said the former chief statistician on the sidelines of a PHD Chamber function in New Delhi.

Last Friday, chief economic Advisor Kaushik Basu also had said the first quarter might show up around 9% expansion while the full fiscal would grow over 8.5%.

GDP grew by 7.4% in the last fiscal with its fourth quarter managing clipping at 8.6%. The government expects 8.5% growth this fiscal.

The economy has been on the recovery path since dipping to 6.7% in FY09 mainly on stimulus measures undertaken by government, which saw the and industry ticking back after the global downturn that began in September 2008.

Industrial production has remained in double-digits for the eighth month in a row in May driven mainly by a robust performance of the manufacturing sector. However, Mr Sen said industrial growth is not likely to remain in double digits for the full financial year. It has slipped to 11.5% in May from 16.52% in April.

"The index of industrial production is very unlikely to cross 10% this fiscal. It will be probably around 9%," Mr Sen said.

On headline inflation, he said it is likely to inch up from the 10.55% in June, but will not cross 11% mark in July.

"July provisional inflation is likely to be below 11%. Inflation may peak in July unless rains play havoc," he said, adding the fuel price hike has already been factored in.

On whether there should be a uniform sales tax on petrol and diesel to avoid inter-state price disparity, he said the Centre has no role as sales tax on these items are out of the value-added tax (VAT) regime and it depends solely on the states.


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