Islamabad: The Pakistan government today appeared divided over resuming onion exports to India. While the agriculture ministry of that country is not averse to lifting the ban, the commerce ministry has some reservations, reports PTI.
A meeting was held in the commerce ministry on the issue and there was no decision.
Official sources said commerce minister Maqdoom Amin Fahim was out of the country and was expected back tomorrow after which there could be a meeting to review the issue.
Earlier the ministry of food and agriculture had agreed to the move to continue onion exports to India because there was adequate production of onion in the country despite the floods that devastated agricultural lands across Pakistan last year, an official said.
Sources in the Indian high commission confirmed that there has been no movement of onion consignment since the ban was imposed by Pakistani authorities last week.
A Chandigarh report said no truck carrying onions from Pakistan crossed over to Amritsar today, Customs Department (Amritsar) deputy commissioner RK Duggal told PTI.
However, 146 trucks carrying vegetables and soyabean were sent to Pakistan today by Indian traders and nine trucks containing dry fruits from Pakistan entered Indian territory through the Attari-Wagah land route.
According to customs officials, the Pakistan government has not taken any decision on the request made by its vegetable traders to lift ban on onion export.
"We have been told by officials of customs department of Pakistan today that the talks (relating to lifting of ban) between (Pakistan) government and vegetable traders were still going on but no decision has still been taken by the Pakistan government," he said.
Pakistan had imposed complete ban on onion export to India via land route on 6th January to prevent any spiralling hike in bulb prices in its country.
Vegetable traders of India and Pakistan protested against the ban and shut down their trade on 7th January 7 Amritsar-based traders refused to export vegetables, including tomato, to Pakistan via Attari-Wagah land route, though they commenced sending vegetables on 8th January.
Indian traders have been demanding that the Pakistan government should allow the supply of contracted orders of onion which they made before the announcement of ban.
"Close to 300 trucks laden with onion, which were contracted before the ban was imposed, were not allowed to be sent by Pakistan," Amritsar-based vegetable trader Anil Mehra said while adding that it was a huge loss to traders here and in Pakistan.
Traders pointed out vegetable exporters in Pakistan may dispose of 300 trucks of onion (3000 metric tonne) today or tomorrow because of continuation of ban. "They (Pakistan vegetable traders) will sell 300 trucks of onion, which was to be supplied to us, today or tomorrow in their local market to prevent themselves from further loses with ban (onion export) still in place," Mehra said.
India is a major exporter of vegetables to Pakistan as out of total export via land route, 30%-32% account for tomato alone. Besides, soybean has a share of 55% soybean and remaining with chilly, ginger, potato, capsicum, biscuits, raw cotton etc.
India started importing onion in the month of December last year for the first time from Pakistan after facing soaring prices of bulb. About 7,000 MT of onion had arrived since the commencement of onion export to India from Pakistan via the land route.
Global woes and a huge sell-off by institutional investors plunged the key benchmarks sharply lower for a second day today, as the market fell for the fifth day in a row
As suggested in our weekly report, the market continued to decline today. In fact, the market indices crashed heavily once again for the second consecutive trading session.
The Sensex began with an opening gap down of 22.61 points (three points on the Nifty) and made an intra-day high of 19,720.43 (5,907 on the Nifty). This is the lowest intra-day high in the past 19 days. Massive and steady selling soon took over. The Sensex broke through the support of 19,500 before noon and in the closing session witnessed a sharp sell-off.
The indices made a 20-day low hitting the 19,158.43 mark, after easily breaking the support of 19,500. Finally, the Sensex closed at 19,224.12 (down 2.38%) and the Nifty at 5,763 (2.38%). The 1,319-point gain in the 16-day rally which started on 10 December 2010 has been completely wiped off in the past five days.
The advance-decline on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was, however, slightly better today 176:1,228 from that on Friday. The market has sharply fallen for the past five days and there is some scope for a bounce back after the morning session tomorrow. But this doesn't mean that the decline which started on 4th January will come to a halt soon. After a day or two of rally, if at all, the market will fall again. The support may come around 18,500 on the Sensex and 5,600 on the Nifty.
All sectoral indices ended in the red today. BSE Realty (down 3.55%), BSE Capital Goods (down 3.52%), BSE Consumer Goods (down 3.26%), BSE Bankex (down 3%) and BSE Oil & Gas (down 2.99%) were the top losers.
Infosys (up 0.90%) and Bharti Airtel (up 0.04%) were the only gainers on the Sensex. The laggards were led by HDFC Bank (down 5%), BHEL (down 4.76%), HDFC (down 4.44%), Hindalco Industries (down 4.44% each) and Jaiprakash Associates (down 4.18%).
The market breadth was pathetic. The Sensex closed with 28 losers and two gainers, while the Nifty had 47 declining stocks against three advancers. In line with the benchmarks, the BSE Mid-cap index lost 2.34% and the BSE Small-cap index fell 2.83%.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre on a plea seeking cancellation of second generation (2G) spectrum licenses allocated during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja. The apex court also issued notices to 11 companies which allegedly did not fulfil their roll-out obligations as per the terms and conditions of allocation of the spectrum.
The markets in Asia ended mostly lower on speculation that central banks in the region will rejig interest rates to rein in rising prices, and renewed concerns about the debt crisis in Europe. Weak US jobs data announced on Friday, also played on investors' minds.
The Shanghai Composite tumbled 1.66%, the Hang Seng declined 0.67%, the Jakarta Composite plunged 4.21%, the KLSE Composite fell 0.55%, the Straits Times tanked 0.98% and the Seoul Composite declined 0.26%. The Taiwan Weighted was the only benchmark that bucked the trend, ending 0.40% higher. The Nikkei 225 was closed on account of a local holiday.
Back home, in a move that could further push up onion prices, traders in Nashik and adjoining areas today went on a two-day strike against income-tax raids and disrupted supply to contracting traders from other states who are being forced to sell the vegetable at "below the cost price". The retail price of onion, which is ruling at Rs55-Rs60/kg in metros, is expected to shoot up further in the next few days in the wake of a short supply due to the strike.
Buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) on Friday was offset by offloading by foreign institutional investors (FIIs). While DIIs pumped in Rs1,115.83 crore in the equities segment on the last day of the week, FIIs pulled out funds worth Rs1,040.74 crore.
US-based iGate said today that it has acquired nearly 63% stake in Patni Computer Systems (up 0.82%), India's sixth largest IT firm, for $1. 22 billion. iGate will buy 45.6% of the shares of the three founders of Patni-Narendra Patni, Gajendra Patni and Ashok Patni-along with the 17.4% stake of private equity firm General Atlantic, iGate CEO Phaneesh Murthy told reporters in Bangalore.
The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2011, is valued at approximately $1.22 billion, including the mandatory 20% open offer to be made to the public shareholders of Patni, he added.
Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) major Ind-Swift Laboratories (down 3.22%) has drawn up plans to pump in Rs500 crore in the next two to three years to ramp up its manufacturing capacity by 40% in two years. Part of the funding will come through internal accruals, the company's top management said.
IT services major for the communications segment, Subex (down 4.90%), has bagged a managed service-cum-license contract worth $12 million from a global telecom services provider, for its industry leading ROC Data integrity management solution. The managed services portion is for three years and is renewable at the end of that period, the company said in its filing with the exchanges.
New Delhi: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power is believed to have signed the power purchase agreement with the state-owned NTPC for its upcoming 100MW solar power project at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, reports PTI.
Reliance Power signed the power purchase agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vypar Nigam (NVVNL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTPC, for its 100MW solar thermal power project, sources in the know of development said.
The private sector power utility major won this project in tariff-based competitive bidding under the government's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.
The project which is being set up in Jaisalmer is expected to be commissioned within the next 28 months i.e. by May 2013.
The project will be implemented by Rajasthan Sun Technique Energy Private Ltd (RSTEPL) a subsidiary of Reliance Power.
Reliance Power is currently generating 1,200MW of electricity from its coal-based power project at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The total capacity of the project is 2,400MW.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is a major initiative of the Centre and state governments to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India's energy security challenge.