Max India appoints Mohit Talwar as deputy managing director

Mohit has spent 24 years in wholesale banking in Standard Chartered, ANZ Grindlays and Bank of Nova Scotia

Max India Ltd said that it has approved the appointment of Mohit Talwar as its deputy managing director (DMD) and induction as an additional director on its Board. Mohit was previously director-corporate development at Max India. He has been with the company for almost four years and has played a pivotal role in growing the business and transforming the Max India Group into a profitable, 1.7 billion-dollar enterprise. Mohit was also instrumental in Max Healthcare’s recent stake sale to South Africa’s Life Healthcare for Rs 516 crore. Mohit will continue to report to Rahul Khosla, managing director (MD), Max India Ltd.
Rahul Khosla, MD, Max India Ltd, said, “Mohit is a valuable part of the leadership team and has demonstrated strong performance and commitment to the Group. I look forward to his vital support as the company’s deputy managing director, as we set about driving growth, creating a more efficient enterprise approach and delivering on  our values of caring and service excellence.”
As the DMD, Mohit will play a significant role in shaping the future success of the Max India Group. This will include managing effective shareholder alignment, especially with Max India valued joint venture partners, progressing new business opportunities – both organically and inorganically, ensuring appropriate funding arrangements for the Group, optimizing Group capital management and Treasury,  managing Investor and Analyst Relations and advising Management and Shareholders on Capital Market implications. In addition, Mohit will also drive revenue synergies across the Max India Group.
Mohit has spent 24 years in wholesale banking in Standard Chartered, ANZ Grindlays and Bank of Nova Scotia. Prior to this, he spent almost 6 years with the Oberoi Group. Mohit is a post graduate from St. Stephen's College and completed his management studies in Hospitality from the Oberoi School.

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India set to harvest record 250 million tonnes foodgrain: PM

The prime minister said foodgrain production will exceed the target by 5 million tonnes and cotton output at 34 million bales, which is a new record as per the latest estimates. However, there was only 1% growth rate in food production in the country, against 2% required to meet India’s grain requirement by 2020-21, he said

New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) Exceeding target, the country is set to harvest a record 250 million tonnes of foodgrain this year, as efforts to push farm growth seem to be paying off, reports PTI quoting prime minister Manmohan Singh.

“Our farmers have done us proud again this year. ...but we still have a long way to go. ...we cannot afford to be complacent since demand of horticulture and animal products is increasing very rapidly and this will require some shift of area away from production of foodgrain.

“Therefore productivity in foodgrain has to go up handsomely,” he said at a workshop at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the capital.

The workshop is the part of the initiative of president Pratibha Patil for enhancing farm productivity, especially in rain-fed areas. A committee of governors constituted by the president has already met twice.

Besides Ms Patil, Wednesday’s meeting was attended by over 20 governors, eight Union ministers, five chief ministers and 37 vice-chancellors of agricultural universities.

The prime minister said foodgrain production will exceed the target by 5 million tonnes and cotton output at 34 million bales, which is a new record as per the latest estimates.

However, there was only 1% growth rate in food production in the country, against 2% required to meet India’s grain requirement by 2020-21, he said.

The prime minister also pointed out distortions arising from pricing and subsidy regimes resulted into soil degradation.

He expressed concern over volatility in prices of farm products. “There is a big gap between farm gate and retail prices that the consumers pay. There is also volatility with prices being low after harvest. We need to address all this by reforming agricultural marketing systems and investing in supply chains,” he said.

The prime minister stressed the need of private investment in marketing logistics, particularly in sub-sectors with perishable products, as well as in agricultural research areas like extension activities.

Mr Singh called for a special focus on rain-fed areas, where farm productivity continues to be low.

“Rain-fed farming continues to be a gamble with nature and cases of distress continue to be reported despite our efforts,” he said, adding that productivity in rain-fed areas must be improved.

Rain-fed farming account for about 60% of the country’s total cropped area. It contributes more than 80% of the oilseeds and pulses grown in the country.

The prime minister also observed that strong agriculture is necessary for food security and inclusive growth cannot be achieved in its true sense without providing livelihood security to the farmers.

Referring to the suggestions made by the three core groups, constituted by PMO to look into agricultural issues, Mr Singh said, “These groups have given their reports and ministry of food and agriculture has examined them. I am told that most of the recommendations are acceptable and action on them has either already been taken or is underway.”

Agriculture and allied sectors have grown at an estimated rate of 3.5% in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-2012), compared to the growth rate of 2.4% in the previous plan period, he added.

The foodgrain production in 2010-11 crop year (July-June) stood at 244.78 million tonnes.

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EGoM fails to decide on ONGC, BHEL stake sale; to meet again

While the EGOM is slated to meet again to finalise the ONGC stake sale plan, heavy industries minister Praful Patel said that the BHEL disinvestment may happen in the next fiscal

New Delhi: With just one-and-half months left to meet the Rs40,000 crore disinvestment target for this fiscal, a panel of ministers today failed to take a decision on stake sale of blue chip oil major ONGC and engineering giant BHEL and decided to meet again to take a final call, reports PTI.

“(The government is) considering auction route for ONGC (disinvestment). No time line fixed as yet. Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) to meet again shortly”, petroleum and natural gas minister, S Jaipal Reddy, told reporters after the meeting of the EGoM here.

As regards BHEL, heavy industries and public enterprises minister Praful Patel said, “no decision on BHEL disinvestment...May happen next fiscal”.

The EGoM, which met under the chairmanship of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, was slated to take a call on stake sale in the two major PSUs with a view to garnering about Rs14,500 crore in the current fiscal itself.

The government in the budget for 2011-12 had envisaged to raise Rs40,000 crore through PSU disinvestment, but in over 10 months it could mop up only Rs1,145 crore from stake sale in the Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

The target of Rs40,000 crore, according to disinvestment secretary Mohammad Haleem Khan, “is now almost impossible (to meet)”.

He further said that a final picture with regard to raising funds from disinvestment in the current fiscal would emerge after the next meeting of the EGoM.

The government is, however, hopeful that NBCC disinvestment might go ahead in the current fiscal, but that would only fetch Rs250 crore.

The government has been considering selling 5% government stake in ONGC to raise about Rs12,000 crore through the auction route.

It owns 74.14% stake in ONGC and proposed to offload 427.77 million shares or 5% equity.

In case of BHEL, the proposal is to offload 10% government stake in the state-owned company with a view to mopping up around Rs2,500 crore.

The auction route, which is being considered by the EGoM for stake sale, is aimed at allowing the government to complete the disinvestment process quickly and raise funds within the current fiscal which ends on 31st March.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has already issued norms allowing promoters to sell stake by way of auction, through a separate window on the BSE and the NSE, which has to be completed within a day.

The share price of ONGC rose 1.78% to Rs280.90 during the mid-day trade on BSE, while BHEL shares were up 2.45% at Rs 271.45.

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