HC directs West Bengal govt to file affidavit on Tata Motors opposition to Singur Land Act

Court asks government to file affidavit by 11th July and Tata Motors to reply by 13th July

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court today directed the West Bengal government to file an affidavit in opposition to the Tata Motors' prayer for amendment to its original petition challenging the Singur Land Development and Rehabilitation Act, 2011.

Justice Saumitra Pal directed the state government to file its opposition by 11th July and asked Tata Motors to file its reply by 13th July.

Tata Motors had in its original petition moved on 22nd June, stated that it apprehended the Singur land leased out to it would be taken possession of by the state and prayed for status quo. But the state opposed this, submitting that the land had already been taken possession of on 21st June, when the notification of the Singur Act was published, and as such the petition was flawed, PTI reports.

Tata Motors' counsels, moving the amendment application before the court, prayed that it be heard 'in-camera'. With the state counsels agreeing, judge Pal directed that he would hear both sides in his chamber.

After a 20-minute hearing, the court asked both the parties to file affidavits and directed that the issue would be taken up on 14th July, along with the hearing of the main petition challenging the Act.

The Supreme Court had stayed the distribution of land at Singur to 'unwilling farmers' till the High Court disposed the main petition.


FM: Food inflation, fuel prices still reason for concern

Pranab Mukherjee expects inflationary pressures to continue due to higher fuel prices

New Delhi: While the food and fuel inflation figures announced today have shown signs of easing, union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that inflationary pressures are likely to continue due to the increase in rates of petroleum products a fortnight ago.

"There is inflationary pressure in the system and these weekly variations (in food inflation numbers) are mainly because of the base effect," Mr Mukherjee said.

He said the overall inflation in June could see some upward movement, from the 9.06% recorded in May, mainly on account of the fuel price hike announced on 24th June, PTI reports.

The 7.61% rise in prices of food items for the week ended 25th June is the lowest since the week ended 7th May when food inflation was at 7.47%.

On a weekly basis the index on fuel and power rose to 166.3 points from 160.2 points in the previous week. Overall fuel and power inflation stood at 12.67%.

"This six points increase is mainly because of enhancement of prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG. That has its impact," Mr Mukherjee said.

While experts said the softening of price rise is likely to continue as the monsoon progresses, the price rise of fuel could affect the overall trend.

They also said that the fuel price hike may spill over into the food segment in the form of higher transportation costs for grains and other crops.


SBI hikes lending rates by 25 bps; deposit rates by 100 bps

Minimum lending rate at 9.5%; fixed deposits from 1-10 years to earn 9.25%

New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI), the country's biggest lender, today increased lending rates by 25 basis points and raised deposit rates by up to 100 basis points, a move that will make home, auto and other loans more expensive, but provide better returns to savers.

The bank has revised the base rate, or the minimum lending rate, upwards by 25 basis points (bps), or 0.25%, to 9.5% with effect from 11 July 2011, the Bank announced in a statement.

The interest rates on fixed deposits with a maturity period of 1-10 years has been fixed at 9.25%. The new deposit rates are effective also from 11th July.

The bank has also raised its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) that is used to determine floating interest rate loans, which has been increased from 14% to 14.25%, PTI reports.
The decision to hike the rates comes after the Reserve Bank of India hiked key policy rates at its policy review last month. ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda have already raised lending rates.

SBI said today that deposits up to 90 days would fetch an interest rate of 7% as against 6.25% current. The rates for fixed deposits with a maturity period of 1-10 years would be 9.25%. Current deposits between 1 year and 554 days earn an interest of 8.25%.

SBI has also decided to waive the penalty for premature withdrawal of deposits up to 90 days and it has reduced the penalty on other deposits to 0.5% from 1%.
On 16th June, the RBI hiked key short-term lending and borrowing rates by 25 bps, continuing with its measures to subdue inflation. The short-term lending (repo) rate was up to 7.5% and the borrowing (reverse repo) rate to 6.5%.

Last week, besides ICICI Bank, other public sector lenders like Indian Overseas Bank, Corporation Bank and Dena Bank also hiked their base rate by 25 basis points each.

While most other banks have raised the lending rates, SBI is the first bank to announce a hike in both lending and deposit rates.


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