India biz spending up on sales, marketing, but not on property

"This is a remarkable change on just a few years ago when the combination of economic upturn and increasing employment would have generated a boom in traditional commercial property spending," Regus' country head, Madhusudan Thakur said

Mumbai: Indian business is exuding confidence and this rising optimism is increasing business spend in India, a survey said. Departmental spending is on the rise, specifically sales and marketing costs, reports PTI quoting the latest edition of the Regus Business Confidence Index.

While companies are reporting rising revenues and profit, interestingly many are going slow on expenses related to premises and property, Regus said in a release.

"Departmental spending is predicted to rise this year, with the exception of property where companies are maintaining a strict cost control policy," it said.

Globally, 81% of companies expect to freeze or cut their property spending and in India, a large majority (70%) expect to follow suit, it said.

This matches other research studies which reveal a general trend towards lower-cost working practises, it said.

Regus' country head, Madhusudan Thakur, said, "That business confidence is returning is great news as is the fact that so many companies are reporting rising revenues and profit. Planned departmental spending increase for 2011 is a further confirmation of returning confidence."

Mr Thakur said that it seemed that firms are only investing where there is a clear bottomline return, such as sales and marketing, whereas spending on property will continue to decline in 2011.

"This is a remarkable change on just a few years ago when the combination of economic upturn and increasing employment would have generated a boom in traditional commercial property spending," he said.

Inflationary pressures remain strong despite the Indian government's bullish growth predictions, he said.

"So it looks like firms are remaining cautious in respect to property costs and now prefer to minimise risk and opt for more flexible and scaleable arrangements," Mr Thakur said.

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Bajaj Auto ties-up with SBI for inventory finance to dealers

Through this tie-up, a cash-credit facility ranging between Rs25-lakh to Rs5-crore will be made available to Bajaj Auto’s dealers who predominantly fall in the small and medium enterprise (SME) category for State Bank of India

Bajaj Auto, the country's second largest two-wheeler-maker, today said it has tied-up with State Bank of India (SBI) to offer inventory finance to its dealers, reports PTI.

Through this tie-up, a cash-credit facility ranging between Rs25-lakh to Rs5-crore will be made available to Bajaj Auto's dealers who predominantly fall in the small and medium enterprise (SME) category for State Bank of India.

The loans will be sanctioned and disbursed subject to necessary approvals at a competitive interest rate, the company said in a statement.

The inventory finance innovation comes on the back of a spectacular sales performance by the company which recorded its highest-ever sales of more than 2.4-million motorcycles during 2010-2011.

With ambitious growth plans this year as well, higher inventories at the dealer level as well as secondary network are expected during this fiscal. Higher inventories would mean higher working capital requirements at the dealer level, the company said.

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NPCIL moots additional safety features for India’s nuke plants

The measures are part of six recommendations made by four separate task forces set up by the country's nuclear plant operator NPCIL to study the capability of handling extended power loss scenario witnessed during Japan's nuclear crisis

New Delhi: India's nuclear plants may soon get some additional safety features, including more provisions to add water to the reactors to deal with over heating of the core, a condition that led to the Fukushima nuclear accident, reports PTI.

The measures are part of six recommendations made by four separate task forces set up by the country's nuclear plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to study the capability of handling extended power loss scenario witnessed during Japan's nuclear crisis.

"Detailed walk down of all the plants have been conducted by specially constituted teams at sites and preparedness has been ensured," Shreyans Kumar Jain, chairman and managing director of NPCIL said in a statement late last evening.

He said the reports of the task forces were thoroughly reviewed and discussed by experts and the top management at NPCIL.

The studies have indicated that capabilities exist in all Indian nuclear plants to handle severe natural events, Mr Jain said.

However, the task forces have suggested introduction of new technologies to ensure initiation of automatic reactor shutdown on sensing seismic activity.

It has also suggested setting up of an advance tsunami alert mechanism at the Tarapur Atomic Power Station which houses two Boiling Water Reactors, similar to the crippled reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, which was affected due to a massive tsunami on 11th March.

The task forces also recommended additional shore protection measures at Madras and Tarapur Atomic Power Stations which are located near the sea coast.

The task forces have suggested additional hook up points to bring water to the spent fuel pools at Units 1 and 2 each of Tarapur, Rajasthan and Madras Atomic Plants.

While Units 1and 2 at Tarapur began operations in 1969, RAPS-1, built with Canadian assistance, became the prototype for the country's indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs).

India completed the RAPS-2 on its own after Canada suspended its assistance following India's 1974 nuclear test.

The two units of MAPS are also an earlier version of the PHWRs design of which was standardised later.

Standardised PHWRs are located at Narora (two units), Kaiga (four units), Kakrapara (two units) and Tarapur (two units). The units at Narora, Kaiga and Kakrapara are of 220MW capacity each, while Tarapur has two 540MW capacity units.

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