Pawar seeks FM intervention to permit sugar export

Mr Pawar has sought the intervention of the finance minister for an early decision on this issue because the window to export sugar from India is available only up to end April. With Brazilian sugar entering the market in May, the price differential between Indian and the global sugar would not be conducive to exports, he added

New Delhi: With a glut-like situation in sugar resulting in lower prices, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has sought permission to allow sugar exports immediately saying this would help the industry to pay cane growers, reports PTI.

In a letter to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, Mr Pawar said: "The estimated sugar production of 24.5 million tonnes (MT) would now be nearly 25 MT, more than the estimated consumption of 22 MT during 2010-11 sugar season.

"Considering committed exports under the advance license scheme (ALS) of 1.2 MT, there is still an exportable surplus of 1.3 MT in the country," he said.

Since the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on food is yet discuss and take a decision on allowing sugar exports under the open general licence (OGL), Mr Pawar has pressed the panic button saying any delay would lead to increase in cane arrears and reduction in cane area in the coming years.

Mr Pawar has sought the intervention of the finance minister for an early decision on this issue because the window to export sugar from India is available only up to the end of April.

At present, the government has kept on hold export of 0.5 million tonnes of sugar under OGL as the prime minister has directed the food ministry to refer the matter to the EGoM in view of high inflation. But earlier, it had allowed mills to meet their export obligation (ALS) of nearly 1.2 million tonnes by March 2011.

Mr Pawar explained that extension of stock holding limit and substantial surplus sugar has depressed domestic prices below cost of production, thereby leading to mounting cane arrears.

"If sugar prices are not stabilised and cash flow to mills are not improved, I fear that we will end up paying a huge subsidy to clear cane payment arrears of farmers," he noted.

He observed that high cane arrears may lead to reduction in cane area in the coming years.

In Uttar Pradesh, cost of sugar production is Rs2,950 a quintal, while ex-mill price is Rs2,800 per quintal.

Similarly, in Maharashtra, the cost of production is Rs2750 per quintal and the ex-mill price is Rs2,600 per quintal.

Highlighting the need to permit immediate export of sugar, Mr Pawar said that Brazilian sugar will be entering the market from May, "after which the price differential between Indian and the global sugar would not be conducive to exports".

According to industry body ISMA, sugarcane arrear till December 2010 stood at about Rs4,000 crore.

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Rajat Gupta resigns as ISB chairman

Rajat Gupta, who is alleged to have indulged in insider trading to make $45 million using leaked information, has requested the ISB executive board to relieve him of board responsibilities till his pending matter with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is resolved

Hyderabad: Rajat Gupta, the former McKinsey & Company chief accused of insider trading in the US, has resigned from chairmanship of Indian School of Business, a Hyderabad-based B-School, today.

Putting an end to the speculation that loomed large over the issue of his resignation, the ISB confirmed his resignation and is on the lookout for a new chairman for the executive committee of the board, reports PTI.

"Rajat Gupta has requested the ISB executive board to relieve him of his board responsibilities till his pending matter with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is resolved.

"This, and the appointment of the new chairman, will be tabled at the upcoming board meeting on 2 April 2011," an ISB spokesperson said.

Mr Gupta, who is the co-founder of ISB, may not attend the upcoming board meeting scheduled for 2nd April, sources said.

A McKinsey veteran, Mr Gupta has decided to take "leave of absence" from management of the $1.4-billion private equity (PE) fund New Silk Route, which he co-founded five years ago.

Earlier, Indian-American Rajat Gupta had resigned from three corporate boards, including American Airlines.

Mr Gupta, a former board member of Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble, has denied the charges level against him by the American regulator.

"We also note the statement of counsel for Rajat Gupta, which asserts that the allegations are totally baseless. The ISB community is confident that Rajat Gupta will be vindicated. He continues to be the chairman of the ISB executive board," ISB had said in a statement earlier.

ISB is a premier business school in the country and has academic alliances with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, among others.

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COMMENTS

K Narayanan

6 years ago

He may be a mgt expert but USA is not India.In India you can swindle laks of crores and get away.Nobody can prove it if you have good lawyers like Kapil Sibal,Manish Tiwari,Manu Singhvi and CBI.He shd have taken advice from our MMSingh.He would have advised him to say" I don't know.I am not aware of it.I have not authorised it.etc."What a great contrast between the two countries.The industralists known to Mr Gupta are already giving clean chit to him sitting in India and parking funds in Swiss.Anil Ambani paid 50cr rupees to SEBI and got away .No one is great in USA and there is no hero worship.He may be clean but he has got to prove it given the taped conversations etc.In India Rammohan Rao got away without any punishment in Satyam case.If it would have been USA Rammohan would have been behind bars for such a massive fraud-having been audit committee chairman he cannot claim innocent.It will take hundreds of years for us to be independent nation in the true sense.

AT&T to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion

The deal includes $25 billion in cash and the rest in AT&T stock. Deutsche Telekom would receive an 8% stake and a seat on AT&T's board as part of the transaction

New York: US telecom giant AT&T has said it will buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion from Deutsche Telekom, the European telecom company, reports PTI.

In a statement AT&T Inc and Deutsche Telekom AG announced that "They have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion.

The deal, which was approved by the boards of both companies, includes $25 billion in cash and the rest in AT&T stock. Deutsche Telekom would receive an 8% stake and a seat on AT&T's board as part of the transaction.

The deal will benefit customers, who would get access to AT&T's 4G technology. Besides, AT&T said the deal would help boost US infrastructure and improve network quality.

"This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future," AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said.

"This transaction delivers significant customer, shareowner and public benefits that are available at this level only from the combination of these two companies with complementary network technologies, spectrum positions and operations," Mr Stephenson added.

The acquisition is expected to close in 12 months, subject to regulatory approvals.

The acquisition would reduce the number of wireless carriers in the US from four to three and is likely to face intense regulatory scrutiny.

The deal would add 34 million customers to AT&T's current 96 million and the combined entity would serve about 43% of US cell phones.

The deal would also advance AT&T's annual wireless revenues to $80 billion from $58.5 billion at present.

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