Citizens' Issues
India's 1st US-made C-17 aircraft to arrive in 2013

Manufacturing of the C-17 or Boeing heavy-lift military transport aircraft, which will roll out with Indian colours on its T-tail and the cockpit, had begun in January this year  

Long Beach (California): The first of India's ten ordered Boeing heavy-lift military transport aircraft has got its shape at an exclusive 'major join' ceremony here attended by the top Indian diplomat of the region and Indian Air Force officials, reports PTI.
The global aerospace giant Boeing integrated the forward, center and aft (rear) fuselages and the wing assembly of India's first C-17 Globemaster during the airlifter's "major join" ceremony on Tuesday.
Officials from the Indian embassy in San Francisco and IAF drove ceremonial rivets into the aircraft, a key milestone in the programme.
India's Consul General in San Fransico N Parthasarathi called the ceremony as "practically riveting the Indo-US relations".
"This momentous occasion, where we see India's first C-17 take shape, further strengthens our growing relationship.
As India strives to become a global reservoir of highly skilled and technologically sophisticated manpower, we will witness an escalating technology transfer, collaborative joint research and development, and co-production of defense items between our two countries," Parthasarthi said as he addressed members of US and Indian Airforce, Boeing company and a select number of people from both the countries on Tuesday.
Parthasarthi was accompanied by a team of senior IAF officials who had flown down from India especially for Tuesday's "major join" ceremony.
"With this ceremony, we expect the first C-17 to be in India by June next year," Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh told PTI on the sidelines of the event held inside the Long Beach manufacturing facility of the Boeing. .
Parthasarathi also said that India has ordered purchase of US equipment to the tune of $9 billion and there was "much more to come".
"This is a proud day for the highly skilled Boeing workforce and our newest customer (India) to celebrate a major production milestone," Boeing Airlift vice president and C-17 programme manager Bob Ciesla said in a statement.
The manufacturing of this aircraft, which will roll out with Indian colours on its T-tail and the cockpit, had begun in January this year.
The nine others are expected to fly into the country in specified timelines by the end of 2014.
India had inked the official order for procuring ten of these aircraft in June last year which made it the largest customer of the 'Globemaster' after the US Air Force.
India plans to use these multi-purpose flying giants for humanitarian relief and assistance during floods and other calamities, strategic lifting and transport of large contingents of troops and military equipment to any part of the country at a short notice.
The IAF is expected to base its C-17 fleet at Hindon.
The aircraft is powered by four-engines, has a rear-loading ramp and can take a payload as much as 164,900 pounds and boasts of a take-off from a 7,000-foot airfield and land on a small unprepared airfield of 3,000 feet or less.
The aircraft, used by 18 other countries like Australia, Canada and the UK can fly 2,400 nautical miles and can be refueled mid-air.
It is said to be a workhorse for aeromedical 'care in air' sorties and evacuation and can fly long haul missions.
The ceremony was cheered upon by a number of Indians who work with the Boeing company here in Long Beach and senior officials and workers from both the countries.
The Indian plane, heavily plugged with wires and mechanics, stood aloft on its landing gear in its raw paint yellow colour, sporting the Indian flag on the cockpit.
The Long Beach Boeing facility in California state is the third largest aircraft manufacturing site of the aviation firm in the United States.
Boeing has delivered 245 C-17s worldwide, including 217 to the US Air Force.


Retail real estate market looks promising: CBRE

According to CBRE survey, in all the seven major cities, the retail real estate market appears to be promising with an increase in retailer enquiries

Mumbai: Despite negative sentiment, commercial real estate services firm CBRE says retail real estate market appears to be promising as leading brands and retailers are pursuing expansion plans aggressively, reports PTI.


According to the survey titled 'India Retail Market view' by CBRE, India witnessed increased transaction activity and retailer expansion in January-June period.


"Leading brands and retailers pursued expansion plans aggressively, increasing their presence across key retail hubs. Retail mall rentals witnessed growth in prime city micro markets of Delhi, while values in high streets increased in Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune," the report said.


In all the seven major cities, the retail real estate market appears to be promising with an increase in retailer enquiries, CBRE, South Asia chairman and managing director Anshuman Magazine said in a statement.


"The same can be attributed to the heightened interest by retailers, coupled with a low base of supply addition as developers continue to focus on attracting tenants in completed products and reducing current vacancy rather than launching new projects," he said.


Nearly 1.12 million sq ft of mall supply was added in the first half of the year, largely concentrated in Bangalore, which was less than 20% of almost 6 million sq ft added during the same period last year.


"The rising level of activity in retail space across key cities is testimony to the growing confidence of domestic and international retailers in India," Magazine said.


He said retailers are looking to expand operations beyond the top three cities to include Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh due to growing urbanisation and an increase in the acceptance of organised retail.


"Going ahead, transaction activity and size are expected to increase on the back of higher consumer spending and expanding mid-income purchasing power. The anticipated changes in the FDI regime should propel the demand for organised retail space further," he added.


CAG says Goa getting meagre returns on investment in state-run units

The CAG report says average return on Goa's investment in statutory corporations, government companies, joint stock companies and co-operatives was only 0.17% during last five years

Panaji: Criticising the fiscal management practices of the Goa government, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report for 2010-11 has said that its investment in state-run corporations has brought meagre returns even as it paid high interest on borrowing, reports PTI.
The CAG report which was tabled in the assembly said that the average return on state's investment in statutory corporations, government companies, joint stock companies and co-operatives was only 0.17% in the last five years while the government paid an interest of 7.46-7.97% on its borrowings during this period (2006-11).
As on March 2011, the state government had invested Rs382.16 crore in state-run companies and cooperative banks, the CAG report stated.
The state made a capital contribution of Rs9.50 crore in the state-run Kadamba Transport Corp during the year 2010-11 itself while Goa State Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corp received Rs4.90 crore and co-operative banks and societies Rs5 crore.
"The government should take steps to ensure better value for money in investments. Otherwise, high cost borrowed funds will continue to be invested in projects with low financial returns," the CAG stated.
Meanwhile, referring to another example of financial indiscipline, the CAG report said that Goa government has been transferring funds directly to state agencies for the implementation of various schemes, programmes in social and economic sectors.
As these funds are not routed through the state budget or state treasury system, the annual accounts do not capture the flow of these funds and state's receipts and expenditure as well as other fiscal variables derived from them are understated.
The auditors have also expressed the possibility of misuse of funds as they are directly transferred to these agencies and not through the state budget.


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