Govt to set up special group to deal with impact of global crisis

The RBI had pitched for a closely knit nimble footed CMG with representations from the regulatory bodies, namely, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA and the Government of India, ministry of finance

New Delhi: The finance ministry on Monday decided to set up a Crisis Management Group (CMG) to deal with the impact of the global problems on the domestic economy, especially on the financial sector, reports PTI.

The decision to set up a CMG was taken at a meeting headed by R Gopalan, secretary Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) in the finance ministry.

“The group will work towards developing an early warning mechanism to avert a crisis,” a senior finance ministry official said, adding it would also include experts.

Among others the meeting was attended by Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu, financial services secretary DK Mittal and disinvestment secretary Mohammad Haleem Khan.

The idea to set up a small group comprising representatives of different regulators to deal with the crisis was mooted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The RBI had pitched for “a closely knit nimble footed CMG with representations from the regulatory bodies, namely, RBI, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority), PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority) and the Government of India, ministry of finance”.

The group, which will be a part of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), according to sources, will be headed by secretary, DEA.

The group, the official said, would be on the lines of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) which was set up by the US administration to identify threats and responding to emerging risks to ensure stability of the financial system.

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Core infrastructure growth bounces back to 6.8% in November

Riding on a stellar growth in cement, electricity and refinery products, the eight infrastructure sectors which have weightage of 38% in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP), grew 6.8% year-on-year as well from 3.7% in November 2010

New Delhi: After touching five-year low of 0.3% in October, growth in key infrastructure industries bounced back in November to 6.8%, thus brightening prospects for industrial production for the month, reports PTI.

Riding on a stellar growth in cement, electricity and refinery products, the eight infrastructure sectors which have weightage of 38% in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP), considerably improved year-on-year as well from 3.7% in November 2010.

However, due to lagging performance in the previous months, the April-November growth of the core industries stood at 4.6% as against 5.6% in the same period last fiscal, according to the data released today.

Except for crude oil, natural gas and fertilisers, all other segments registered healthy growth in November.

The maximum growth was witnessed in cement which expanded by 16.6%, while there was a contraction of 4.3% in the same period last fiscal.

Electricity and steel output grew by 14.1% and 5.1% against 3.5% and 7.6%, respectively, in the same month last year.

Coal and petroleum refinery products growth went up by 4.9% and 11.2% in November 2011.

However, crude oil and natural gas output contracted by 5.6% and 10.1% from a positive growth of 17% and 5.5%, year-on-year, respectively.

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Lok Sabha to begin discussion on Lokpal Bill on Tuesday

The House will witness a day-long combined discussion on the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to give the ombudsman a Constitutional status. The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010 (popularly known as Whistle-blowers’ Bill) will also be discussed along with the two bills

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha will on Tuesday begin discussion on the much talked about Lokpal Bill, even as social activist Anna Hazare begins his three-day fast at the same time in Mumbai for a ‘strong’ Lokpal, reports PTI.

The House will witness a day-long combined discussion on the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to give the ombudsman a Constitutional status.

The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010 (popularly known as Whistle-blowers’ Bill) will also be discussed along with the two bills.

The Congress party has already issued a three-line whip to its members to remain present in the Lok Sabha during the debate.

The party has also requested its allies in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to issue similar whips.

The Lokpal Bill (anti-corruption Bill) seeks to provide for the establishment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries.

The Bill had faced objections from various political parties including the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party at the stage of introduction last week, saying 50% quota for minorities in the Lokpal bench and the Search Committee was ‘unconstitutional’.

Several parties had slammed the measure claiming that the Bill made it obligatory upon states to establish Lokayuktas and it was an infringement on the federal structure of the country.

Some others had criticised the move to put the prime minister under the ambit of the anti-corruption watchdog.

Mr Hazare has announced that he will begin his three-day fast at Mumbai from tomorrow to protest a ‘weak’ Lokpal Bill.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had declared that she will fight for the Lokpal Bill.

She had recently told party MPs (Members of Parliament) that to tackle the issue of corruption, three bills with major implications are to be passed soon—those relating to the protection of whistle-blowers, enhancing judicial accountability, strengthening anti-money laundering operations and controlling bribery of Indian public officials by foreign companies.

The government aims to establish a mechanism to receive complaints relating to disclosure on any allegation of corruption or wilful misuse of power or wilful misuse of discretion against any public servant under the Whistle-blowers’ Bill which will also come for discussion in the Lower House tomorrow.

The measure also seeks to provide adequate safeguards against victimisation of the person making such a complaint.
 

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