Govt starts anti-dumping probe into soda ash imports

New Delhi: India has initiated a probe into alleged dumping of soda ash by countries like China, Iran and Pakistan to protect domestic players, reports PTI.

The commerce ministry's designated authority, the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), has started an investigation into alleged dumping of the chemical, used in detergent and soap making, on the basis of an application filed by the Alkali Manufacturers' Association of India.

"... The authority (DGAD) hereby initiates an investigation into the alleged dumping and consequential injury to the domestic industry... To determine the effect of dumping and to recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty... To remove the injury," the commerce ministry said in a notification.

The period of investigation for the purpose is from April, 2009, to March, 2010.

It said that the DGAD has sufficient prima facie evidence of dumping of soda ash by China, the EU, Kenya, Pakistan, Iran, the US and Ukraine to initiate the probe.

As many as 15 anti-dumping duties have been imposed in the first 11 months of the current fiscal, with the maximum on Chinese goods. India has slapped the restrictive duty on several items such as yarn, fabrics, certain stainless steel products, auto parts and chemicals.

Countries initiate an anti-dumping probe to see whether their domestic industries have been hurt because of a surge in cheap imports. As a counter-measure, they impose duties under the multilateral regime of the WTO.

The duty also ensures fair trading practices and creates a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-à-vis foreign producers and exporters resorting to dumping.

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Pawar apprises PM of sugar decontrol plan

New Delhi: Making a case for freeing the sugar sector from government controls, food and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar today met the prime minister to apprise him about the proposed move to give freedom to mills for sale of the sweetener, reports PTI.

At present, the government controls the sugar industry by fixing the quantity of the sweetener that mills would sell in the open market as well as through ration shops each month.

With expectations of bumper production from the next season starting October, the ministry is planning to decontrol the sector.

According to sources, Mr Pawar made a presentation to prime minister Manmohan Singh about the way the food ministry is planning to ease controls on the sugar industry.

The issue of the Supreme Court's latest order on free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of allowing it to rot might have figured during the meeting, they said.

The minister also discussed in detail how withdrawal of curbs on the sugar sector would benefit consumers and farmers, sources said.

In the presentation, sources said, the ministry is understood to have proposed to do away with the system to fix the monthly quota of sugar for sale in open market and public distribution system (PDS).

To meet the requirement of sugar for ration shops, the ministry has suggested buying sugar from the open market. At present, mills are obligated to sell 20% of their produce to the government for distribution through PDS.

It has also suggested that farmers should be given freedom to sell their produce. Currently, growers can sell sugarcane to designated mills only, sources said.

Last month, Mr Pawar had said the ministry is preparing a proposal for decontrol of sector, which would be sent to various ministries for their views before taking it to Cabinet.

He had made it clear that the government would continue to fix the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane to protect the farmers' interest. FRP is the minimum price that mills have to pay to procure cane.
 

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‘Property rates becoming unaffordable for average buyer’

High property value and interest rates, coupled with a lower loan- to-value ratio are becoming serious obstacles for average home buyers, says researcher

An average working class person intending to buy a house will find it almost impossible today, as high interest rates and property values, coupled with low conduciveness of the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, will make him "ineligible" for the purchase. The LTV ratio indicates how much of a property can be financed through a loan.

Pankaj Kapoor, founder and managing director, Liases Foras, a real estate research firm, says: "He (the average buyer) cannot purchase a property today as the LTV ratio is not very conducive. A consumer is most eligible for a purchase when the banks give 80% to 85% of the property value as loan, as he can manage the rest 15% to 20% from his own sources. However, if he has to pay 30% or 40% of the property value from his own pocket it turns out to be a huge burden. Besides, the property prices have also gone up, making it completely unaffordable for the average buyer."

Mr Kapoor also explained how the high property values deterred consumers from making a purchase of a property in Mumbai. He said the average cost of flats in the Greater Mumbai area of Colaba to Mulund and Borivli, is about Rs1.97 crore and if you ask an average customer to pay about 40%, or Rs80 lakh, then he has no option other than to cancel his purchase as it is unaffordable for him. "The average consumer does not have that kind of money. He may aspire to buy a property, but he will not be able to exercise this purchase today," Mr Kapoor said.

Interest rate is another roadblock that makes a home purchase difficult for a common person. Although some financial institutions offer interest rates of 8% and 8.5%, some customers find themselves ineligible for these schematic loans and move to other institutions where they are charged higher interest. "To expect 8% and 8.5% interest rate on home loans is too much. No one is offering that because the inflation rate is moving at that level," Mr Kapoor said.

A survey conducted by ICICI Securities recently has also found that property prices have become unaffordable. According to the survey in which 3,839 ICICI Direct customers participated, 72% of the respondents believed that property prices were unaffordable and 79% perceived property prices to be high. However, a significant section of the respondents indicated that while affordability was a concern, it was manageable. The survey showed that 48% of the buyers were interested in buying at the current prices or were keen to see a marginal correction. The survey was conducted during June-July this year.

The survey found a larger percentage of respondents in Mumbai and Pune who felt that home prices were too high, as compared to Hyderabad and Kolkata where a lower proportion of the respondents had a similar perception.

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COMMENTS

pinakin mamtora

6 years ago

Wish to add one point to what I wrote 3 days back (see below): The Government has been and will continue to choose not to use the vast treasure of the domain-knowledge and impeccable integrity of Mr.Deepak Parekh to make housing affordable. Why? It is waiting for a realty-scam (of the UTI and Satyam scale) to happen so that it can then call in Mr.Deepak Parekh for fire-fighting!!!

Sam Kark

6 years ago

I agree with Davesh Bansal. However, it is better to invest in property than to keep black money in Swiss banks by the politicians businessman. Most of the NRI's invest in property for the their future by bringing to India huge amount of foreign exchange. So govt. must see all the pros and cons.

DAVESH BANSAL

6 years ago

Property prices are slave of black money floating in the economy. it is not the demand and supply of property but the black money which find no other avenue to be kept other than real esate. it will be better that government bring one last time amnesty scheme to curb the menance.

pinakin mamtora

6 years ago

It is hard to envisage property prices coming down to affordable levels in India - the politicians, the bureaucracy and the land-owners and builders have humungously huge money at stake to allow that to happen in reality. No matter what is being said by all/any of them in the media, the lure of astronomical profits is what blinds them all. Practical wisdom of truly credible experts like Mr.Deepak Parekh is being completely ignored by these suckers. I wonder whether they are re-born as mosquitoes who spread malaria/dengue and other killer diseases!! The habit of harassing others for self-gratification is so deeply programmed in the psyche of the powers-that-be that it gets carried forward from one birth to the next!!
Now you know why sucking-based diseases are spreading so bountifully in India?

K Narayanan

6 years ago

The sole reason for the same is govt alllowing investment by FIIs in real estate companies under QIP route and pubic issue.The real estate cos issued the shares at a huge premium -Rs 5 FV share sold for Rs500 or so. and with the huge money these cos bought lakhs of acres at a hefty price causing the land prices to zoom 3to 4 times in 3 or 4 years.

Amalaraj Marian

6 years ago

It is absolutely correct that the prices seem to have run-up quite a bit in the unaffordable zone. considering the fact that even if the average buyer would still want to buy a property for personal use, buy v/s rent analysis will tilt the scales towards rental as coughing up such a huge upfront is next to impossible. similarly the ability to leverage a large loan has also evaporated.

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