Cabinet clears Bill to amend Forward Markets Act

The Bill would help develop commodities futures market and also strengthen FMC by providing it financial autonomy, facilitate the entry of institutional investors and introduce new products for trading such as options and indices

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the much awaited Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill that aims to give more powers to commodity markets regulator Forward Market Commission (FMC), reports PTI.

 

Sources said the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the amendment Bill which may now be brought in the forthcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament.

 

The Bill is essential for the development of commodities futures market as it aims to strengthen the FMC by providing it financial autonomy, facilitate the entry of institutional investors and introduce new products for trading such as options and indices.

 

The Parliamentary Standing Committee had demand greater autonomy for FMC that also regulates the three spot online commodity exchanges -- Financial Technologies-promoted National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange-promoted NSpot and Ahmedabad-based National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE).

 

It had also suggested allowing financial institutions and banks, mutual funds, and insurance companies to participate in forward market so as to ensure better price discovery and lower volatility.

 

Sources in the government said the Trinamool Congress had written to the Prime Minister at the last minute expressing reservations over the Bill that led to deferring of its consideration.

 

Food Minister K V Thomas said the Bill would be taken up sometime later. He said all consultations have been done and most of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee have been accepted.

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Industrial production slows to 2.4% in May

The slowdown in industrial production is likely to put pressure on the RBI to cut lending rates at its quarterly policy review at the end of the month

New Delhi: Industrial production growth rate slowed to 2.4% in May 2012 due to contraction in capital goods and mining output, coupled with poor show by manufacturing sector, indicating persistent slowdown that may prompt the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut the lending interest rate, reports PTI.
 

Growth in factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), was 6.2% in May 2011, according to the official data released on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the industrial growth rate for April 2012 was revised to -0.9% from 0.1%, as reported earlier.
 

For the first two months of the current fiscal, the industrial growth is sharply lower at 0.8%, compared to 5.7% in the year-ago period.
 

According to the data, the capital goods output declined 7.7% in May, as against a growth of 6.2% in the same month last year.
 

Mining output contracted by 0.9% in May, as against growth of 1.8% in the same month a year ago.
 

The manufacturing sector which constitutes over 75% of the index did not perform well as it grew a meagre 2.5%, as against 6.3% in May 2011.
 

The slowdown in industrial production is likely to put pressure on the RBI to cut lending rates at its quarterly policy review on 31 July 2012.
 

Consumer Durables production showed a faster growth rate of 9.3% in May, as compared to 5.1% in the same month last year.
 

The consumer non-durables segment output growth remained flat at 0.1% in May, as against 9% in the same month last year.
 

Power generation witnessed a slower growth of 5.9% during May compared to 10.3% in the same month a year ago.
 

In all, 12 of the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during May as compared to the same month a year ago.
 

The output of basic goods went up by just 4.1% in May, as against 7.5% in the same month last year.
 

The intermediate goods grew by 2.7% as against a 0.1% growth in May last year.

The overall consumer goods output growth also slowed to 4.3% in May compared to 7.2% a year ago.
 

The official statement further said that industry group “radio, TV and communication equipment and apparatus” has shown the highest growth of 16.4%, followed by 13.7% in “machinery and equipment”, and 12.6% growth in “fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment”.
 

On the other hand, the industry group “electric machinery and apparatus” has shown a negative growth of 28.6%, followed by 14.9% in “furniture manufacturing” and 6.8% in “wearing apparel, dressing and dyeing of fur”.

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