Fall in industrial output disappoints FM

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today expressed disappointment at the slippage in industrial production, but asserted that the economy was on the recovery path, led by increased investments and rise in demand, reports PTI.

"(The trend is) a little disappointing. Let us see how it fares in annualised terms," Mr Mukherjee said while reacting to the sharp decline in the industrial growth, IIP, which fell to a 15-month low of 5.6% in August.

Mr Mukherjee, however, said that he hoped the economic recovery process would continue as there is strong demand for industrial goods.

"As you all know, Indian economy is on the path of robust growth, led by increased investment and capital inflows, stronger industrial output and rising aggregate demand," he said.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) nosedived to 5.6% in August, from 10.6% a year ago, mainly on account of decline in output of capital goods, a sector which reflects fresh investments in the economy.

The previous low of IIP number was recorded at 2.7% in May 2009.

The government is expecting the economy to grow by 8.5% in the current fiscal, higher than 7.4% in 2009-10. In the first quarter (April-June) of current fiscal, the economy grew by 8.8%.

Following the global financial meltdown, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate slipped to 6.7% in 2008-09, from over 9% in the preceding three years.

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Bajaj hikes two-wheeler prices by up to 2%

New Delhi: The country's second largest two-wheeler maker, Bajaj Auto, today said it has hiked the prices of almost all of its models by up to 2% with effect from 1st October.

"We have raised prices by up to 2% for almost all two-wheeler models from 1st October," Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj told reporters here.

Bajaj Auto's move to hike the prices of its scooters and bikes comes in the wake of similar steps by other companies, such as Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors, to offset rising input costs.

While Maruti had increased the prices of all its models, except the Alto, by up to Rs7,500 in August, Tata Motors hiked the price of its passenger and commercial vehicle by up to Rs40,000 at the beginning of this month.

Bajaj Auto had reported its highest ever motorcycle sales in a month of 3,14,515 units in September, a 26.24% jump vis-à-vis its performance in the same month last year.

The previous record was achieved by the Pune-based company on the back of the robust performance of its premium bikes, Pulsar and Discover 100.

Total vehicle sales of the company stood at 3,52,769 units in September, compared to 2,80,916 units in the same period a year ago, a growth of 25.58%, the company had said.
 

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Govt asks BlackBerry to provide access to services by 31st Dec

New Delhi: The government has extended till 31st December the deadline given to Research In Motion (RIM), maker of BlackBerry phones, to provide access to its messenger and enterprise services to the security agencies, reports PTI.

The decision has been taken by the home ministry after a meeting with representatives of RIM and the ministry of telecommunication.

Technical discussions on the BlackBerry Messenger Service (BMS) and BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) have been going on between the security agencies and the RIM. The latter has sought more time as the 31st October deadline given to the company was approaching.

"We are satisfied with the solution provided for the lawful interception of BMS. We want to test it for some more time while discussions on BES are still on, hence RIM has been given a fresh deadline," an official said.

According to the licensing conditions, service providers are liable to put in a mechanism allowing security agencies to intercept any conversation or message of any subscriber whenever required.

As telecom service providers like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Communications (RCom), the Tatas and the government-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) are offering BlackBerry services, it is the responsibility of these operators to ensure that the security agencies get access to all services they offer.

RIM representatives explained that BlackBerry mobile device sends encrypted emails, which are sent to BlackBerry Enterprise Server located with the service provider.

BES decrypts messages and sends them to the email server of the service provider where they remain stored in decrypted form. Then they are pushed to the BlackBerry device in encrypted form.

"We hope that final solution would be found by 31st December," the official said.

As of now, voicemail, SMS and BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS) have been made available to the law enforcement agencies.

There are around one million BlackBerry subscribers in India. RIM offers the BlackBerry services in 175 countries across the globe.
 

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