Food ministry issues export release for 86k tonne sugar

The food ministry has issued export release orders for 86,039 tonne as on 9th March. Sugar mills have been given 45 days from the notified day to apply for export release orders, which will be valid for 60 days

New Delhi: The food ministry has issued export order for more than 86,000 tonne sugar, out of the second tranche of 10 lakh tonne that the government allowed for overseas shipments in the 2011-12 marketing year, reports PTI.

Sugar mills cannot export the sweetener without the release order from the food ministry. The sugar marketing year runs from October to September.

On 7th February, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, had allowed exports of additional one million tonne of sugar.

The decision was notified on 24th February and 10 lakh tonne (LT) was allocated to the mills based on their average output over the last three years.

According to the latest data, the ministry has issued export release orders for 86,039 tonne as on 9th March.

Sugar mills have been given 45 days from the notified day to apply for export release orders, which will be valid for 60 days.

The EGoM had decided to allow the second tranche of sugar exports as the country’s output is estimated to outstrip demand in 2011-12.

In the 2010-11 marketing year, the government had allowed 26 LT of exports, out of which 15 LT was through OGL in three tranches.

Sugar production in India—the world’s second-largest producer and the biggest consumer—is estimated at 25-26 million tonne in this marketing year. The country's annual demand is pegged at 22 million tonne.

In the 2008-09 and 2009-10, sugar production was below domestic consumption at 14.53 million tonne and nearly 19 million tonne, respectively. The country had to import about 6 million tonne of sugar to meet the shortfall.

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SBI to consider fund raising through FPO, QIP next fiscal

“We should understand that government cannot keep on pumping in capital (in public sector banks) without any limit. So, we would explore the possibility of FPO or QIP next fiscal after due consultation with the government,” SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said

Gurgaon: Sate Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, on Sunday said it would explore the possibility of raising capital through a public offer or from institutional investors next fiscal even as it is getting Rs7,900 crore support from the government by end of this month, reports PTI.

“In the next fiscal beginning April 2012, we would discuss with the government for dilution of its stake through a FPO (follow-on public offer) or QIP (qualified institutional placement),” SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said here.

“We should understand that government cannot keep on pumping in capital (in public sector banks) without any limit. So, we would explore the possibility of FPO or QIP next fiscal after due consultation with the government,” he said.

For raising the Tier I capital of the bank, the government has agreed to infuse capital to the tune of Rs7,900 crore by 31 March, 2012.

Post capital infusion, the government holding in the bank would rise to 62%, from about 59% at present.

As per the existing regulation the government holding cannot come down below 51%.

So there is headroom for stake dilution of about 11% in the bank, he said, if the government permits, the bank may go in for raising capital.

Terming 0.75 percentage cut in Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) a week ahead of the mid-quarterly review of monetary policy on 15th March as a ‘surprise,’ he said this would help easing liquidity pressure on the system.

“I don’t think that RBI would take further action the policy review (on 15th March),” he said.

The apex bank slashed CRR, the percentage of deposits that banks have to keep with the RBI, from 5.5% to 4.75% on 9th March. With this, the central bank infused Rs48,000 crore into the economy.

On the issue of fresh lending to Kingfisher Airlines, he said, “there is need for fresh capital. I think the management of the airline is alive to the issue and would make all effort to get fresh capital.” 

Asked if SBI participated in the recent ONGC share sale, Mr Chaudhuri said the bank did participate in the offer for sale. He, however, refused to divulge details of share purchase made by the bank.

Of the 42.04 crore shares auctioned earlier this month, state-owned insurance giant LIC picked up 37.71 crore shares in ONGC.

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RBI policy rate cuts to depend on inflation scene: PMEAC chief

“I think that (policy rate cut) will depend very much upon how inflation behaves. But this present decision of cutting the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 75 basis points is an important step towards easing of the monetary policy,” Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Committee chief C Rangarajan said

New Delhi: Terming the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) action to infuse liquidity ‘appropriate’, prime minister’s economic advisory panel chief C Rangarajan on Sunday said policy rate cuts by the central bank would depend on inflation movement, reports PTI.

“I think that (policy rate cut) will depend very much upon how inflation behaves. But this present decision of cutting the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 75 basis points is an important step towards easing of the monetary policy,” he told PTI, when asked about RBI's possible course of action in its mid-quarterly review this week on 15th March.

The apex bank in a surprise move slashed CRR from 5.5% to 4.75% on Friday, a step that will infuse Rs48,000 crore into the economy.

“I think there is tightness in the market. This tightness may even be stronger towards the middle of month when tax payments are also due. Therefore, given all these factors, I think this action (slashing CRR) of RBI was appropriate,” Mr Rangarajan said.

The RBI had said that the measure was aimed at reducing the liquidity deficit (which) is expected to increase significantly during the second week of March on account of advance tax outflows and the usual frontloading of cash balances by banks with the Reserve Bank.

The last date for advance tax payments is 15th March and is estimated to drain out Rs60,000 crore from the system.

RBI had last reduced CRR by 0.5 percentage point on 24th January thereby injecting Rs32,000 crore into the cash-strapped system.

With the latest decision, the RBI would be injecting around Rs80,000 crore into the economy in less than 40 days.

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