Stocks
Nifty, Sensex still trendless – Wednesday closing report
We had mentioned in Tuesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were awaiting triggers. The major indices of the Indian stock markets were range-bound on Wednesday and closed with small gains over Tuesday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Wednesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Mixed global cues and lower crude oil prices led the key Indian indices to trade on a flat note during the mid-afternoon session on Wednesday. Selling pressure was seen in capital goods, banking and metal stocks. The BSE market breadth was marginally tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,540 advances and 1,171 declines and 202 unchanged. On the NSE, on Wednesday, there were 929 advances, 648 declines and 276 unchanged.
 
On Wednesday, the benchmark indices opened on a flat note on the back of negative Asian and European markets, and slightly positive US markets. Investors were also watchful of the negotiations for amendments in a tax treaty between India and Singapore. In addition, caution prevailed in the markets ahead of futures and options (F&O) expiry on Thursday and hampered the upward trajectory. Moreover, apprehension of a possible interest rate hike in the US following Fed Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech later during the week, and lower crude oil prices led the key indices to cap gains. Largely, the markets are flat ahead of the F&O expiry tomorrow (Thursday), pointed out market analysts. Also, the stock markets have been trading flat, as oil prices are steeply down, one of the main reasons being caution ahead of US crude oil inventory data due tomorrow (Thursday), explained market analysts. The foreign institutional investors (FII) continue to be net sellers during the week.
 
Tata Power on Tuesday reported a 76% drop in its consolidated net profit to Rs72.49 crore for the quarter ended June 30, as compared to Rs303.14 crore in the same period last year. "PAT (profit after tax) stood at Rs72 crore mainly due to one off items as well as first time impact on account of INDAS. One-off items includes Rs120 crore in CGPL (Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd) and regulatory orders pertaining to previous years of Rs62 crore and INDAS related adjustments of Rs130 crore," the company said in a statement. Its consolidated revenue in the quarter under review stood at Rs6,566 crore (including regulatory income/expense) as compared to Rs7,016 crore in the corresponding period last year. The company has announced acquisition of renewable assets and also commissioned several non-fossil fuel based projects during the year, which is in line with its strategic intent. Tata Power shares closed at Rs76.45, up 2.27% on the BSE.
 
Implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime will have an inflationary impact, leading to increase in tea prices, Tata Global Beverages' Chairman Cyrus P. Mistry said on Wednesday. "GST will have an inflationary impact on the prices of tea, but this will be across the board," he said while responding to a query of a shareholder at the company's 53rd Annual General Meeting. Mistry said that initially that GST will have inflationary impact on the company's current coffee and tea business as they have a tax incidence. However, there might be "short-term impact" of the GST but the "long term benefit is significant", he added. Mistry said the industry has been making representations for a favourable rate as coffee and tea are widely consumed beverages cutting across economic strata. The company is looking to tap e-commerce platforms to sell its products. The company’s shares closed at Rs140.35, up 0.68% on the BSE.
 
The Delhi assembly on Tuesday passed the Delhi Tax on Luxuries (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which is aimed at reducing burden on tourists and citizens and offering small hotels relief from luxury tax. The bill, introduced by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the assembly on Monday, seeks to double the threshold limit of luxury tax from a room costing Rs750 per day to Rs1,500 by amending Sections 2 and 8 of the existing 1996 Act. Speaking in assembly during the discussion on Tuesday, Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that it will benefit the common man who searches for budget hotels. India Tourism Development Corporation shares closed at Rs196.10, up 0.28% on the BSE.
 
Bandhan Bank, which marks its first anniversary on Tuesday, plans to expand its branch network to 1,000 by August 2017 from the existing 701, said its chief. "Next year when we meet to celebrate our second anniversary we will surely have at least 1,000 branches and more products," MD and CEO CS Ghosh said at the bank's first anniversary celebration. Pan India, 33% of its branches are in unbanked rural area, as against RBI's stipulation of 25%, he said. He said that 45% of branches are in West Bengal and 68% of them are in rural and semi-urban areas. Bank Nifty gained 0.07% on Wednesday.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Delhi's waste chokes Yamuna of all aquatic life
The Yamuna river, often called Delhi's lifeline, is gasping for life. The 22-km stretch along the national capital has virtually no aquatic life -- thanks to over 20 drains that pour untreated sewage and other waste into the river.
 
It is not that Yamuna river has no aquatic life at all. Upstream from Wazirabad -- before the river enters Delhi -- it is home to turtles, different species of fish, crocodiles and an abundance of aquatic plants and phytoplankton. But as it enters Delhi, the river starts to die.
 
Noted ecologist C.R. Babu, who is helping the Delhi government in developing a riverfront for the Yamuna, says that the river is in fact "ecologically dead" in the 22 km urban stretch -- between the Wazirabad and Okhla barrages.
 
"Downstream from Wazirabad, the river is ecologically dead as it has no aquatic life. Low levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) and a very high degree of pollution are the reasons that killed the river," Babu told IANS.
 
A retired Delhi University professor, Babu says that sewage from 21 nullahs (drains) flow into the river, polluting it to a level that is enough to kill the components essential for maintaining aquatic life.
 
Agents like phytoplankton are responsible for sustaining the aquatic food web by creating organic compounds from carbon dioxide dissolved in the water.
 
"In the urban stretch of Yamuna there are no phytoplankton or zooplankton left; these play an important role in maintaining the aquatic life of any water body. They have vanished," he said.
 
Experts say factors like river-basin degradation, ecological pollution, contaminant effect on ecosystem and ecology, solid and liquid waste pollution and encroachment on riverbed have all combined to kill Yamuna's aquatic life.
 
The 21 nullahs discharge around 850 MGD (million gallons per day) of sewage into the Yamuna every day. Of these drains, 67 per cent pollution is caused by the Najafgarh drain alone. The stench emanating from the river can make one nauseous.
 
The 33 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) operational at present treat only 390 MGD of this, although even their total combined capacity of 640 MGD is inadequate to treat all of the sewage emptied into the river.
 
The river, which normally flows through the city in the form of a big 'nullah' with no water life, is these days flooded because of heavy monsoon rains which may temporarily revive some aquatic life.
 
"We can witness some free-floating phytoplankton and fishes in the urban stretch of the river because of some excess of fresh water in the river, but this is all temporary," says Babu.
 
According to a report of the Central Pollution Control Board, the current level of DO in the river is only around 1 mg per litre, while it should be between 4 to 5 mg/l to sustain life.
 
Sushmita Sengupta, Deputy Water Programme Manager at the Centre for Science and Environment, quotes government data to substantiate these figures. According to numbers provided in the Lok Sabha, she says, the quantity of DO at Nizamuddin is 1.5 mg/l and at Okhla it is 2.4 mg/l.
 
"The formation of coliform bacteria is very high due to pollution. It is formed from raw sewage, and the Delhi stretch of Yamuna is no different than a sewer drain. This is a major factor discouraging aquatic life in the river," Sengupta told IANS.
 
Ammonia levels, which should to be at a maximum level of 1.2 mg/l, also shoot up to 12 mg/l at some points in the city.
 
Research biologist Chaitra Baliga, who has worked extensively on turtles in various parts of the country, says that other than in Delhi, the Yamuna contains rich aquatic life.
 
Besides different species of fish, crocodiles, turtles and mugger crocodiles, even fresh water Gangetic Dolphins can be found in some stretches of the river near Hamirpur, in Uttar Pradesh.
 
"The high degree of pollution in the Yamuna in Delhi is not favourable for aquatic animals. Fresh water during the monsoon may dilute some of the river's pollutants, but that will not have any sustainable effect on aquatic life," Baliga told IANS, adding that river-bed construction and human interference are equally responsible for the ecological imbalance in the river.
 
Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra said the government was working seriously to clean the river and bring the Yamuna back to life.
 
"The construction of 14 STPs is going on and we will complete it by December 2017. It is our primary focus that after the STPs are made functional, untreated water will not be allowed into the river," Mishra told IANS.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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