World
Only four killed in Nepal quake epicentre Lamjung
The epicentre of the massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake that devastated Nepal on Saturday and has claimed 4,347 lives so far, Lamjung district suffered only four casualties, a top official said on Tuesday.
 
"Since the earthquake happened in the morning, many people were outside their homes. Four people have died so far and around 25 are injured," Lamjung Chief District Officer Shrawan Kumar Timilsina told IANS in New Delhi over phone.
 
"We have not suffered many casualties, but the physical destruction is very grave," said Timilsina.
 
He said over 3,000 houses were completely razed to the ground in this sparsely populated district surrounded by snow-capped Himalayas.
 
"As many as 3,243 houses in the district have been completely flattened," he said. Most of these houses were 'kuccha' and were made up of stones.
 
"Nearly 4,000 houses have cracks and are now unfit for stay," he added.
 
Timilsina feared severe destruction in the far-flung villages of the district, some five hours' drive from Nepal capital city Kathmandu.
 
The district with vast agricultural land has an estimated population of 1,67,000, according to the official.
 
Timilsina said almost 95 percent of the houses in at least five severely-affected villages had been destroyed.
 
After the strong earthquake and a series of consequent aftershocks, the residents are fearful of entering their homes and prefer to stay outdoors. But incessant rainfall has made their stay outdoors difficult.
 
Timilsina told IANS that there is a growing demand for food items from some villages, and though the officials are trying to help people with the aid they have received from the army, much more needs to be done.
 
"We are in shortage of tents. We need at least 4,000 tents immediately," he said.
 
He said authorities were trying their best to help people, but inclement weather has posed serious challenges as people were sleeping in the open after the earthquake.

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Indian economy to grow 7.5 percent in 2015-16: World Bank
With decline in oil and commodity prices, the Indian economy is expected to grow by 7.5 percent in 2015-16, 7.9 percent the next fiscal and 8 percent in 2017-18, the World Bank said in its India Development Update report on Tuesday.
 
"Aided by a supportive external environment, in particular the sharp decline in oil and commodity prices, the Indian economy has taken strong strides towards higher growth and enhanced stability. Growth has accelerated, inflation has declined, the current account deficit has narrowed, and external reserves have increased," the report said.
 
The update is published twice a year.
 
According to the report, the growth acceleration is conditional on the growth of investment picking up to 11 percent during FY2016 - FY 2018, the report adds.
 
"The government has made progress in several policy areas and long-term prospects for growth remain bright for India," Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India was quoted as saying in a statement.
 
"The current situation offers an opportunity to further strengthen the business environment and enhance the quality of public spending. Continuous strong momentum in these reforms will further unleash the productivity that Indian firms need in order to create jobs and become globally competitive," he added.
 
To achieve higher investment growth, the Update calls for fiscal reforms that protect public capital spending; financial sector reforms; and reforms in the business environment - all of which can help unlock private investments.
 
Specifically the update calls for the timely implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST); rationalizing current expenditures, especially on subsidies; delivering on divestment plans, ensuring greater tax buoyancy than has been realized lately; encouraging PPP projects; and addressing balance sheet issues of public sector banks.
 
According to World Bank the recent economic turnaround and the outlook also rest crucially on oil and commodity prices remaining low.
 
Reiterating the need for the government to further insulate the economy from the global price of oil, the Update suggests weaning the fiscal outcomes more fully from oil prices; by encouraging alternative sources of energy; creating additional fiscal buffers by using petroleum taxation more actively, as well as rationalising subsidies.
 
The Update sounds a word of caution on the risks from potential tightening of the US monetary policy.
 
"While the Reserve Bank of India has taken preventive measures to reduce external vulnerability, and has built international buffers as a "first line of defense", the risk remains, warranting vigilance," said Poonam Gupta, senior economist, World Bank.
 
On the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the report said the scheme has the potential to drastically cut poverty.
 
However an, analysis of household survey data from Bihar shows the programme's actual impact on rural poverty is only about one percentage point against its potential of reducing poverty by at least 14 percentage points.
 
According to the study, the full potential of MGNREGS may not be realised due to the supply side being too slow to respond to the demand for work on the scheme; workers not being paid the full scheme wage; delays in wage payment; and awareness of how to demand work being limited.

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Nifty trying to find a bottom; Bank Nifty stronger– Tuesday closing report
Nifty has to close above 8,300 for the first sign of a durable short-term bounce. Bank Nifty has to stay above 18,100
 
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that NSE’s CNX Nifty is still under pressure. On Tuesday, for most of the session, the 50-stock index moved in the red. However, at 2.30pm, the benchmark gained momentum moving up sharply, got sold off towards the end and closed in the green.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 27,216 and moved in the range of 27,073 and 27,482 and closed at 27,396 (up 219 points or 0.81%). Nifty, which opened at 8,216 moved between 8,185 and 8,308 and closed at 8,286 (up 72 points or 0.87%). Bank Nifty moved in the green for the entire session. It opened at 17,767, which was also the day’s low to the high of 18,320 and closed at 18,246 (up 479 points or 2.69%). NSE recorded a volume of 77.81 crore shares. India VIX fell 7.07% to close at 17.4100. 
 
Nifty is attempting to put in a short-term bottom. A close above 8,300 will be the first sign that Nifty will rally. Bank Nifty has to stay above 18,100 for the bounce to continue.
 
In a move that will cut by Rs36,000 crore the future capital expenditure of Reliance Power, a part of the Anil Ambani-led group, announced on Tuesday that it has terminated the power purchase agreement of its 3,960-MW ultra-mega project at Tilaiya in Jharkhand.
 
As the country is heatedly debating issues of net neutrality and the role of over-the-top (OTT) players, major telecom operators like Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel and others have favoured a regulatory regime for OTT services.
 
Indian securities market regulator, SEBI, is expected to take at least around six months to decide on the listing of stock exchanges but after the merger of Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with it, its chief UK Sinha said Tuesday.
 
With many small and large mineral-based industries facing a shortage of iron ore, the Odisha cabinet on Tuesday approved the supply of 70% of the ore mined in the state to local industries.
 
Sun Pharma was in the news over the report that it is willing to spend as much as $7 billion on further acquisitions. The stock ended flat at Rs924.35.
 
The World Bank on Tuesday said that India's economy may expand by 7.5% during the current financial year. The government reportedly yesterday agreed to the Congress-led opposition's demand in Parliament to defer a discussion on the GST constitutional amendment bill till after the passage of the finance bill in the Lok Sabha.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said in an article written in a foreign newspaper that he is considering setting up a high-level committee to resolve legacy tax cases. He said that the government has pledged to end the previous Indian government's record of "tax terrorism". Jaitley has been on a damage control exercise after Foreign Institutional Investors were threatened with Rs40,000 crore of demand.
 
In an effort to help banks facing asset quality woes and to revive investments in the critical infra sector, the government today discussed 85 large projects entailing Rs3.51 lakh crore in outstanding bank credit.
 
Gold surged by Rs305 to over 7-week high of Rs27,355 per 10 grams while silver also spurted by Rs1,000 to Rs 37,500 per kg.
 
According to official sources, corporates owed over Rs4.85 lakh crore approximately to the exchequer as outstanding tax demands, under direct and indirect taxes, towards the end of fiscal 2014-15. However, this figure means little because tax demands are often arbitrary.
 
Coming back to the Indian stock markets, Welspun Corp (19.98%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. Although the top line of March 2015 quarter increased over March 2014 quarter, its bottom line fell. However, its consolidated result showed growth both in the top line as well as bottom line. On the declaration of its result, it surged. Its board of directors have recommended a dividend at the rate of 10% on the face value of Rs 5 each fully paid-up.
PMC Fincorp (8.56%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. ICICI Bank (8.02%) was the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack while ITC (1.92%) was the top loser in the pack.
 
On Monday, US indices closed in the red. Asian indices showed mixed performance. Nikkei 22 (0.38%) was the top gainer while Shanghai Composite (1.13%) was the top loser.
 
European indices were trading in the red. 
 
US Futures too were trading lower. 
 
In France, consumer confidence rose for the third consecutive month in April to reach the highest level in over five years. Consumer confidence rose one point to 94 in April from March, the highest level since January 2010, national statistics agency Insee said.

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