If the last week’s lows hold, the Nifty will attempt to cross 5,740 and then 5,770
The market declined over 2% in the Budget week as corporates and foreign investors were largely disappointed with the proposals announced by the finance minister on Thursday. While he made a clarification on the tax residency certificate issue on Friday, some other proposals are seen as a setback to foreign investments. Concerns about the twin deficits—current account and fiscal—also dampened sentiments.
The BSE Sensex declined 398 points (2.06%) to settle at 18,919 and the Nifty closed the week at 5,720, a fall of 131 points (2.23%). The market indices are down for the fifth week in a row. However, if the last week’s lows hold, the Nifty will attempt to cross 5,740 and then 5,770.
The market managed to close with minor gains on Monday amid high volatility on support from the IT sector. The benchmarks tanked over 1.5% on Tuesday on global concerns, which led to a broad-based sell-off in the domestic market. Optimism emanating from the Economic Survey that the government would be able to rein in the current account deficit led the market in the positive on Wednesday.
The lacklustre Union Budget which proposed higher taxes on corporates and individuals saw the market paring its early gains and crashing by over 2% from the day’s high on Thursday. The finance minister’s clarification soothed foreign investors, which helped the market close in the green on Friday.
BSE Consumer Durables (up 4%) and BSE IT (up 2%) were the top sectoral gainers in the week. The key losers were BSE Realty (down 9%) and BSE PSU (down 5%).
TCS, Infosys (up 3% each), Bajaj Auto (up 2%) and Wipro (up 1%) were the main gainers on the Sensex while Hindalco Industries (down 8%), Tata Steel, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank (down 6% each) and Coal India (down 5%) were the major losers on benchmark.
The Nifty was led by TCS, Jaiprakash Associates, Infosys (up 3% each), Bajaj Auto (up 2%) and Wipro (up 1%). The top losers were Siemens (down 10%), Reliance Infrastructure (down 9%), DLF, Hindalco Ind and Punjab National Bank (down 8% each).
The much talked about Railway Budget, presented two days ahead of the Union budget, turned out to be largely a non-event. While sparing passengers from another hike within a month, Pawan Kumar Bansal, however increased charges for super-fast trains, and fees for ticket cancellation and reservations.
The pre-Budget Economic Survey for 2012-13, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, projected a turnaround in the economy in 2013-14, with growth expected to be in the range of 6.1% to 6.7%, higher than the advance estimates of 5% growth in the current financial year. The improved growth, however, would be subject to a normal monsoon, further moderation in inflation, which should induce further relaxation of the tight monetary stance, and a mild recovery of global growth.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, presenting his eighth Budget, did not have too many options before him. Corporates were miffed as he raised the surcharge on corporate tax to 10% from 5% for domestic companies, whose taxable income exceeds Rs10 crore per year, and raised the surcharge on dividend distribution tax to 10% from 5%. He also levied a 10% surcharge on persons earning above Rs1 crore a year.
India’s economic growth in the October-December period of the current financial year declined to 4.5% —the decade’s lowest quarterly growth.
In international news, US president Barack Obama on Friday ordered the start of $85 billion in government spending cuts, heralding a potentially decade-long wave of belt-tightening that is likely to impede US economic growth this year. The cuts total $1.2 trillion over nine years. Of that, $85 billion comes out of the budget for the remaining seven months of this fiscal year, making for effective reductions of about 13% for defence programs and 9% for non-defence programs.
The importance of using authentic public information before making an investment decision
Dr Nita Mukherjee finds a rich collection that provides published and unpublished materials relating to Indian women
On a recent visit to Delhi, I had the opportunity to personally explore the rich resource that the library of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS) provides on all aspects of gender research.
CWDS has been functioning as a think tank on women’s issues since it was set up in 1980 by a group of people involved in writing ‘Towards Equality’, the first comprehensive government report on the status of women in India. It was registered under the Societies’ Registration Act, 1860, in New Delhi, in response to a felt need for an autonomous institute that would build on the knowledge generated, but with a wider mandate and resources to expand its activities in research and action. It began operations with a grant from the Vikram Sarabhai Foundation. In 1985, CWDS was recognised by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, which now gives the Centre an annual grant. It also receives funds raised from various national and international donor agencies for specific research projects.
Crucial to the functioning of any think tank is a source for information and documents. The CWDS library has been playing this role remarkably, with its comprehensive collection of published and unpublished materials relating to Indian women. More commendable is its effort to ensure that the needs of those who work on gender issues are fulfilled. To keep its users abreast with current information, it publishes a “Current Awareness Bulletin”. Since January 2008, the Bulletin is available in PDF format and is sent by email, on request.
Anju Vyas, the librarian at CWDS, has been proactive in marrying technology with information. She says that “most people get immersed in the technology aspects of the IT revolution and forget its information part. It is here, that we librarians play a vital role.” To this end, she has prepared various databases that can be searched through OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) on the Centre’s Intranet and are also searchable online.
Among the important searchable databases are: a) Articles Index Database comprising news items and articles from selected periodicals and journals received in the Library since 1994; b) Mahila Database of books and analytical entries from edited volumes, monographs, government documents/ policy papers, institutional publications, reports and conference proceedings; c) Periodical Database about the journals/ newsletters/ bulletins being received in the Library; d) Women’s Studies Articles Database which contains some 3,000 full text articles on women’s studies from various journals; and e) Chitra—An Audio-visual Database on over 1,000 posters, films and videos relating to women from South Asia from secondary sources.
Among the many initiatives of the Library—applying the latest developments in information technology—has been providing electronic platforms for discussions on women and health, to begin with. One of these is called ‘Bol’ (Hindi for talk), which is a moderated e-discussion group about issues pertaining to women from South Asia that was started in 2000, much before social media became a rage. Currently, ‘Bol’ has nearly 1,000 subscribers from 25 countries.
Anju, and her team, has also brought out several bibliographies on subjects like “Voices of Resistance, Silence of Pain: An Annotated Bibliography on Violence against Women” and “Gender Dimensions of Employment and Wages in Selected Asian Countries”.
Anju says that she has noticed a surge in publication of women’s memoirs and biographies. These provide insights into the status of women over the past century. Maybe a bibliographic compilation of these publications would enable scholars to do a content analysis to study these as cases of social change.
A membership-based research institute, currently, CWDS has 93 life members and four institutional members. Members are drawn from among scholars, activists and intellectuals with the expectation that they would actively participate in fulfilling the Centre’s aims and objectives.
Centre for Women’s
25, Bhai Vir Singh Marg (Gole Market)
New Delhi 110001 India Phone: 91-11-23365541;
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http://www.cwds.org; [email protected]