Money & Banking
RBI likely to cut interest rate by mininum quarter percent
Mumbai : At the new fiscal's first bi-monthly monetary policy review due on Tuesday, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan is widely expected to cut interest rates by at least a quarter of a percentage point on the back of the union budget's fiscal prudence measures, reduction in small savings interest rates and low inflation.
 
"Though a 25 basis points (bps) rate cut is anticipated by market participants, and few even expect a possibility of a surprise 50 BPS cut as well, thereby setting the tone for the new financial year," Hiren Sharma, senior vice president, currency advisory at Anand Rathi Financial Services, told IANS.
 
At its sixth and the fiscal's final bi-monthly monetary policy review in February, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its key lending rate unchanged at 6.75 percent.
 
"The Reserve Bank continues to be accommodative even as it leaves the policy rate unchanged in this review, while awaiting further data on inflation," Rajan said in his policy statement at the time.
 
The government has cut the small savings interest rate by up to 1.3 percent, facilitating an RBI rate cut.
 
India's annual retail inflation eased to 5.18 percent in February from 5.69 percent in the month before even as the 12-month wholesale inflation was in the negative for the 16th straight month, official data showed last month.
 
Rajan, last month, kept the cards close to his chest on possible easing of monetary policy with rate cuts, but said the government's decision to stick to its fiscal targets was comforting.
 
He also said economic recovery in the country was not smooth, particularly after data on index of industrial production (IIP), released by the Central Statistics Office last month, showed India's factory output had logged a decline in January for the third straight month.
 
Bansi Madhavani, analyst, India Ratings and Research, told IANS that a cautious assessment of US economic revival prospects in the FOMC (federal open market committee) minutes may push back expectations of a near-term rate hike.
 
While 25 basis points cut in the interest rates by the RBI in the monetary policy is imminent, the real impact on lending costs will be felt if the apex bank goes for at least a 50 bps cut, says a CEO survey conducted by Assocham ahead of the monetary policy review.
 
"The RBI has all the building blocks in place to go in for re-aligning the repo rate to 6.25 percent on April 5 when it reviews the credit policy," Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said in a statement.
 
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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Scientists develop green technology for water purification
Kolkata : Indian scientists have developed an eco-friendly nanotechnology for water-softening applications that could be used in civic water treatment plants for generating potable water, said the official of a technical institute.
 
The team from Institute of Advance Study in Science & Technology (IASST) in Assam's Guwahati, crafted a biopolymer using a naturally occurring substance, called chitosan (obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, including crab, lobster, and shrimp) as a backbone for the carbon nanoparticles to sit on.
 
"In the biopolymer, nanoparticles are the functional parts of the technology. They remove calcium and magnesium components of water through ion exchange, the same process that is used by common water purifiers," Devasish Chowdhury, associate professor, physical sciences division, IASST, told IANS.
 
"This material, we report, is the first of its kind with potential to act as a biodegradable and green material for water-softening applications," he said.
 
Published online on March 30 in the joural Nanoscale, the work involved IASST's Upama Baruah and Achyut Konwar.
 
While convention water-softening techniques use synthetic resins, Chowdhury said that the novel technology is biodegradable as well.
 
"We have applied it to pond water sample successfully. This could be used in civic water treatment plants since they do not have very effective water-softening methods and the resulting treated water is very crude," he added.
 
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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NIA officer killed in planned attack; probe on
New Delhi/Lucknow : Tanzil Ahmad, an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) died after unknown assailants pumped 21 bullets into him while he was returning from a wedding in Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor district after midnight on Saturday. Police termed the killing a planned attack.
 
Ahmad, 48, known for undercover operations, joined the NIA in 2010.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in Lucknow, said the death was being probed.
 
The shooting in Bijnor district took place when the officer, an assistant commandant in the Border Security Force (BSF) and on deputation with the NIA as an inspector since 2010, was returning from a wedding with his wife and children. His wife Farzana received four bullet injuries, but his children were unharmed.
 
Rajnath Singh, speaking on the sidelines of a function in Lucknow, said: "I have spoken to the officers concerned. Our teams have gone there to probe the matter and they will submit a comprehensive report very soon."
 
The officer was laid to rest with full state honours in Shaheen Bagh area of south Delhi.
 
NIA spokesperson Sanjeev Kumar said in Delhi that Ahmad was a "martyr".
 
"He will be given all dues that is given to someone killed in service," Kumar told IANS.
 
An official statement issued by the NIA termed the death a "great loss".
 
"Tanzil Ahmed was an asset to the agency. His killing is a great loss to NIA. We take it as a challenge to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. We will not rest until that happens," the statement said.
 
"The assailants came on motorbikes and opened fire from a close range on Ahmad near Sahaspur town," Sanjeev Kumar told reporters earlier on Sunday.
 
The Uttar Pradesh police said they were working "on all angles" to find out the motive behind the killing of Ahmad.
 
His wife is undergoing treatment at Fortis Hospital in Noida.
 
"Nothing can be ruled out now until and unless we get absolute concrete evidence. We have to work on all angles. We have to see it from all the sides and work out the case," Daljit Chowdhary, additional director general of police, Uttar Pradesh, said on Sunday.
 
He said borders have been sealed, nearby areas are being searched and senior officials from Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) have been put on the job to track the assailants and probe the attack.
 
"I am very hopeful that we will work out the case and arrest the accused. It looks like a planned attack. It was definitely not a robbery," Chowdhary said.
 
The NIA termed Ahmad's killing a "planned attack".
 
"A planned attack took place on him when he was fired upon and killed," NIA spokesman Kumar said. "He (Tanzil) was assistant commandant with BSF and currently on deputation with NIA. He was with us for last six and half years."
 
The investigating agency is trying to find out how he was tracked by his assailants.
 
"The patient has been brought in a critical condition. Our doctors are providing the best medical treatment to treat the patient. As a matter of patient confidentiality we cannot comment anything further," a statement from the Fortis Noida said.
 
Ahmad was pronounced dead on being taken to a medical facility in Moradabad. His body was later brought to Delhi.
 
Before joining the NIA, Ahmad was part of the in-house team of BSF, providing vigilance cover. He also held tenures as instructor at BSF Academy at Tekanpur, near Gwalior, and training centre at Hazaribagh.
 
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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