India Inc raises $2.65 billion in May through ECBs, FCCBs

Around 60 companies raised almost $1.50 billion for various projects through the automatic route and another $1.15 billion were raised through the approval route, according to RBI data

Mumbai: India Inc raised over $2.65 billion from overseas markets in May through external commercial borrowings (ECBs) and foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), reports PTI quoting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Around 60 companies raised almost $1.50 billion for various projects through the automatic route, which does not require RBI or the government approval.

Another $1.15 billion were raised through the approval route, according to the RBI data.

Private firm Hospira Healthcare India raised $250 million through ECBs for import of capital goods in May.

ERA Infra Engineering mopped up $220 million through ECBs during the month for its overseas acquisition and Jaiprakash Power Ventures raised $188.56 million for import of capital goods.

Corporates, registered under the Companies Act, 1956, can access ECBs up to $500 million in a financial year, under the automatic route. The ECBs, which are not covered by the automatic route, is considered under the approval route on a case-by-case basis by RBI.

ECBs are used as an additional source of funding by Indian corporates to augment resources available domestically.

Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) are also governed by norms similar to ECBs.

Other major fund raisings in May using the automatic route came from Torrent Power which raised $60 million for import of capital goods while Ashok Leyland mopped up $50 million.

Under the approval route, Tata Teleservices raised a total of $750 million in two tranches for refinancing its rupee loans, while Bhushan Steel raised $259.91 million for import of capital goods during May.

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Direct subsidy: Poor to get cash through banks, ATMs

Pilot projects for transfer of a direct cash subsidy will be launched in seven states-Tamil Nadu, Assam, Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Orissa-from October, according to the roadmap suggested by the UIDAI

New Delhi: Beneficiaries of kerosene, LPG and fertiliser subsidies will be able to get direct cash transfers through banks, ATMs or even mobile banking after the Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) recommendations to plug leakages in the system are implemented, reports PTI.

Pilot projects for transfer of a direct cash subsidy will be launched in seven states-Tamil Nadu, Assam, Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Orissa-from October, according to the roadmap suggested by the UIDAI.

A comprehensive 70-page interim report suggesting ways to plug leakages in the subsidies was submitted to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee by UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani.

"The pilot project will take approximately six months' time and taking into account the experiences which they will gather, they will submit the final report by the end of this year," Mr Mukherjee told reporters.

The report has suggested creation of an IT-drive 'Core Subsidy Management System (CSMS)', which will be able to detect fraud and diversions.

"Beneficiaries can report malpractices to the government directly, making it possible for the government to react in a timely manner," the report said.

The government, through the CSMS, will transfer the cash component of the subsidy directly and in real-time into the bank account of the beneficiaries.

The government spends about Rs73,637 crore a year on fuel and fertiliser subsidies, but a significant portion does not reach the beneficiaries.

In his Budget speech, Mr Mukherjee had said that a significant proportion of subsidised fuel does not reach the targeted beneficiaries.

After receiving the UIDAI report, he said the direct transfer of subsidies on LPG, fertiliser and kerosene would help in curbing pilferage and leakages.

Stating that subsidy on kerosene should be linked to reforms in the public distribution system (PDS) he said the success of direct transfer of subsidy on the fuel would depend on state governments, as it is distributed by them.

In a statement the finance ministry said that achieving full financial inclusion is crucial for implementation of direct transfer of subsidies, since the subsidies would be directly transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

"The roll-out of Aadhaar (unique identity card) will provide a foundation for the implementation of direct transfer of subsidies," it added.

Deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who was also present on the occasion, later told reporters that the purpose of direct subsidy is to ensure that it reaches the targeted beneficiaries.

Mr Nilekani said that UIDAI has provided an implementation plan to be operationalised by the respective ministries.

The report has recommended a three-phase approach for subsidy transfer in case of LPG and fertiliser. In case of kerosene, it suggested wider consultations with states.

Mr Mukherjee also asked the UIDAI to look into the possibility of distributing solar lanterns and cookers through LPG outlets and petrol pumps.

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DSP BlackRock MF floats 12 months fixed maturity plan

DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund new issue closes on 13th July

DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund has launched DSP BlackRock FMP-12M-Series 25, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate returns and capital appreciation by investing in a portfolio of debt and money market securities. The scheme will invest only in such securities which mature on or before the date of maturity of the schemes. The tenure of the scheme is 12 months.

The new issue closes on 13th July. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Dhawal Dalal is the fund manager.

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