India’s edible oil imports doubled in four years

New Delhi: Driven by widening demand-supply mismatch, India's edible oil imports have more than doubled in just four years to over 88 lakh tonnes in 2009-10 oil year, and the momentum is expected to continue in the coming years, reports PTI.

In the first eleven months of the current oil year, which ends in October, India has already imported 80.42 lakh tonnes edible oil and up to 8 lakh tonnes are on the anvil in the current month taking the tally to over 88 lakh tonnes, said B V Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors' Association.

India imported only 44.16 lakh tonnes edible oils in 2005-06, 47.14 lakh tonnes in 2006-07, 56.08 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 and 81.83 lakh tonnes in 2008-09 oil year.

The rise in imports is led by galloping increase in demand for edible oils, and a near stagnant oilseeds production in the last decade due to non growth in acreage.

As per a Rabo India Finance report, published recently, while India's edible oil consumption has grown by 6.5% per annum since 2000-01 to reach 147 lakh tonnes — valued at $15 billion —oilseeds production has grown only by 4.7% during the period.

Further increase in areas under oilseeds cultivation is a big challenge due to lack of arable land and competition from grains and other cash crops.

"Low quality seed, low access to inputs, poor farming practices and the fact that much of India's oilseed crop is cultivated in unirrigated areas are the reasons for oilseed productivity lower than the global average," Rabo India said.

Moreover, India's per capita consumption of about 12.7 kg is well below the global average of 20 kg.

Coupled with rising income on a growing economy, India's reliance on imports — over half the total demand — is only going to escalate in the coming years.

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Personal finance Monday

A quick look at the latest developments in the world of personal finance

Post offices can now sell insurance plans; JPMorgan MF launches JPMorgan EEMEA Equity Off-shore Fund; HDFC Mutual Fund introduces HDFC FMP 100D October 2010 (1); Bank of Baroda floats Baroda Utsav Deposit Scheme till 31st December; IndusInd Bank ties up with Unistream Bank for remittances

Post offices can now sell insurance plans

Post offices can now distribute insurance products with Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), allowing each circle of the Department of Post (DoP) to act as a corporate agent of insurers.

"Each circle of India Post should be treated as a separate unit to grant independent corporate agent licence with various insurers," insurance regulator IRDA said while granting permission to postal circles to distribute insurance products.

It, however, said that in the case of metropolitan areas, the head of circle may approach IRDA for prior approval of further division in the circle as separate units to obtain licence to act as corporate agent in view of the large population. The DoP has 22 postal Circles for providing postal services.

The IRDA allowed each circle to tie up with two non-life insurance companies, two life insurance companies, one agricultural insurance company and one standalone health insurance company for this purpose. Corporate agents act as insurance agent for insurers and procure business on behalf of the insurance companies through its executives. IRDA had last month sought views from insurers for granting corporate agency licence to the DoP to promote financial inclusion.

However, IRDA has disallowed the head office of India Post to engage in the distribution of the insurance products. In its individual capacity, the head/corporate office of India Post shall not obtain license to act as corporate agent of any insurance company. The head/corporate office of India Post shall not engage in the distribution of insurance products of any insurance company registered with IRDA in any other capacity.

JPMorgan MF launches JPMorgan EEMEA Equity Off-shore Fund

JPMorgan Mutual Fund has launched JPMorgan EEMEA Equity Off-shore Fund, an open ended fund of funds - overseas scheme.
The primary investment objective of the Scheme is to provide long-term capital appreciation by investing in JPMorgan Funds - Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa Equity Fund, an equity fund which invests primarily in a diversified portfolio of companies incorporated or which have their registered office located in, or derive the predominant part of their economic activity from, an emerging market in central, eastern and southern Europe, Middle East or Africa.

The Scheme offers a growth option only. During the new fund offer (NFO), the units will be offered at face value of Rs10 per unit. The Scheme has an exit load of 1% if units are redeem within 12 months from the date of allotment. The Scheme opens on 18th October and closes on 29th October. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The minimum target amount is Rs1 crore. MSCI EMEA (total return net) is the benchmark index.

HDFC Mutual Fund introduces HDFC FMP 100D October 2010 (1)

HDFC Mutual Fund launches HDFC FMP 100D October 2010 (1), a close-ended income scheme.
The investment objective of the Plan under the Scheme is to generate income through investments in debt/money-market instruments and government securities maturing on or before the maturity date of the respective Plan.

Each HDFC Fixed Maturity Plan offers growth and dividend (payout) option. During the new fund offer (NFO), the units will be offered at face value of Rs10 per unit. The exit load for the Plan is nil. The Scheme opens on 18th October and closes on 20th October. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. CRISIL Liquid Fund Index is the benchmark index. Bharat Pareek and Anand Laddha are the fund managers.

Bank of Baroda floats Baroda Utsav Deposit Scheme till 31st December

Bank of Baroda has launched a new term deposit scheme called Baroda Utsav Deposit Scheme till 31 December 2010.

The Scheme is for term deposit having maturity of 444 days. The Scheme is only for term deposits (fresh and renewal) that are less than Rs1 crore. It carries an interest at the rate of 7.50% per annum. Deposit interest rates for all other tenors remain unchanged.

IndusInd Bank ties up with Unistream Bank for remittances


IndusInd Bank has signed an arrangement with Moscow-based commercial bank JCB Unistream for India bound remittances. This tie up will give remitters an option to send money from any branch of Unistream, towards direct credit into over 60,000 bank branches in India.
“Having established ourselves as a major player in remittances from Middle East, we are now keen to reach out to NRIs across other major markets. This arrangement with Unistream will help us tap into India bound flows from Europe & UK” said Amit Talwar, SVP & Head Global Remittances, IndusInd Bank, from Mumbai.
Operating in 95 countries, Unistream Bank serves over 6 million clients a year and holds 35% market share for remittances in Russia to CIS countries.

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