Money & Banking
RBI to conduct field trials of Rs10 polymer notes

“It has been decided by the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India to introduce Rs10 notes in polymer/plastics on a field trial basis,” minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena informed Parliament

 
New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to conduct field trials of Rs10 polymer banknotes in five cities including Shimla and Cochin, reports PTI quoting minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena.
 
“It has been decided by the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India to introduce Rs10 notes in polymer/plastics on a field trial basis,” Mr Meena said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
 
He said the RBI has informed that field trial is proposed to be conducted at five places—Jaipur, Shimla, Bhubaneshwar, Mysore and Cochin, keeping in view of “the varied geographical locations and climatic conditions.”
 
The expenditure proposed to be incurred on the field trial would be finalised as per the guidelines, he added.
 
Polymer notes have relatively longer life compared to the prevailing paper banknotes and may help in checking counterfeiting.
 
Polymer notes were first introduced in Australia to safeguard against counterfeiting of currency.
 
Besides Australia, other countries which have introduced plastic notes include New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Bermuda, Brunei and Vietnam.
 

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NTPC offers to help Railways transport coal: Who will clear the roadblocks?

NTPC’s offer to help the Railways fund projects for transporting coal is a good move. But issues like acquiring land for laying new tracks need to be addressed first

 
In an interesting move, NTPC, India’s single largest power generator, has made a proposal to finance the Indian Railways to build or lay the track lines required for the coal movement, according to the Mint.
 
Cash rich NTPC with Rs17,000 crore in the kitty has reported a net profit of Rs 9224 for the year ending 31st March 2012.
 
The power producer has proposed that this capital outlay may be set off against the freight charges to the Railways when the coal movement begins.
 
The modalities of this proposal will have to be worked out in greater detail and the matter is already in the hands of an inter-ministerial group which will make its final recommendations to the Cabinet for clearance.
 
Presently, the Indian Railways moves 52% of the coal mined in the country, which could possibly increase to 58% or more by 2016-17. This excludes imported coal, which also utilizes other modes of transportation to the required sites. Even where the river transportation may be available, another source could be dumb barges.
 
Out of the total 205,340 MW of power generated, about 56.7% amounting to 166,333.38 MW is coal based and for years to come the dependence on fossil fuel is imperative.  At present NTPC requires 160 million tonnes (MT) of coal and a little more than 10% of which (17 MT) is imported at a much higher cost than its indigenous counterpart.
 
It is essential therefore, for NTPC to modernize both its excavation and evacuation methods, including the use of dedicated freight corridors to ensure uninterrupted local supplies. However, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India, a subsidiary of Indian Railways, established in 2006 with the urgent task of constructing 3278 km long corridor has not made much progress, though work is on hand in two sectors.
 
The Railways have a conflict of interest with its own subsidiary that the DFC (dedicated freight corridor) may secure business from others, resulting in the loss of business for Railways, which they are currently procuring. This is actually a baseless fear, as there is enough business to go around.
 
In this new proposal, NTPC will have to ‘acquire’ the land for the purpose of laying the tracks.  It is a little too early to comment until we have some clear cut announcement from the inter-ministerial group.
 
The most important factors are the need to investigate the issues relating to: (a) laying additional lines with existing tracks, to overcome the land acquirement problem, and to expedite the work; and (b) reworking the freight movement timings vis-a-vis other train passages so that track capacity is judiciously used to the optimum extent possible.  The issue of acquiring land will then become applicable where there are no lines and new tracks will have to be laid to the pitheads and from where, currently road transport may be used.
 
These issues should be handled by an independent competent body so that there is no conflict of interests with a clear time frame within which their recommendations should be submitted.
 
Too many committees spoil the broth and we have no time to lose. 
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)
 

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COMMENTS

Ashok Hallur

4 years ago

TO MD NTPC, sirji this is fantastic move, which will definitely improve the prospect of fast coal movement to thermal projects. Recently NTPC is constructing a super thermal plant at Kudagi near Bijapur in Karnataka for which doubling of existing BG line between Solapur and Gadag is absolutely essential so that coal can be easily transported to the Thermal plant . Pl go ahaed & do it(If the railways red tape allows it)

Upmove under threat: Thursday Closing Report

The indices have to stay above today’s low to continue the uptrend

The Asian indices had a mixed opening, while the indices at home opened in the positive. The Sensex opened at 17,856 while the Nifty opened at 5,426. Speculation that central banks in the US and China will ease monetary policies amid signs slowing growth helped indices to remain in the positive. Yesterday we had mentioned that we may now see a cautious upmove ahead and a change in trend may happen if the Nifty closes below the previous day’s low. We continue to maintain the stance. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a higher volume of 59.01 crore shares.

 

Back home, the government on Wednesday eased rules governing overseas borrowing, a move that will help local companies and spur capital inflows. 

 

On the Asian front, China's factory activity in August shrank at its fastest pace in nine months as new export orders slumped and inventories rose, a signal that a persistent slowdown in economic growth has extended deeper into the third quarter. The HSBC Flash China manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to 47.8 in August, its lowest level since November, from 49.5 in July. Asian stocks rose amid hope weak Chinese manufacturing data could lead to fresh monetary easing from Beijing

 

On the opening of the European market the indices back home hit their intraday high after which they started their downward move. Both the indices hit a higher high, the Sensex climbed to 17,973 while the Nifty rose to 5,449.

 

Eurozone manufacturing activity contracted for a seventh month in a row in August, according to preliminary survey data released today. An initial calculation of the PMI, a survey of 3,000 Eurozone manufacturers, came in at 45.3 in August, up from 44 in July. A score below the neutral 50 mark indicates contraction.

 

Weak data from the Eurozone dragged the local indices into the negative and thereon to their intraday low, which was almost at the same level as yesterday. The Sensex hit a low of 17,793 while Nifty fell to 5,394.

 

However, during the closing hour the indices managed to pull themselves up and end marginally in the positive. The Sensex and the Nifty closed up three each at 17,850 and 5,415, respectively.

 

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was in negative at 769:992.

 

The broader indices underperformed the Sensex today. The BSE Mid-cap index fell 0.08% and the BSE Small-cap index slipped 0.12%.

 

The sectoral gainers were BSE IT (up 1.80%); BSE TECk (up 1.36%); BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.88%); BSE Healthcare (up 0.51%) and BSE Metal (up 0.50%). The main losers were BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.05%); BSE Auto (down 0.83%); BSE Capital Goods (down 0.76%); BSE Power (down 0.41%) and BSE Consumer Durables (down 0.37%).

 

The top gainers on the Sensex were Wipro (up 2.61%); TCS (up 2.25%); Infosys (up 1.73%); Tata Steel (up 1.53%) and Hindustan Unilever (up 1.45%). The losers were led by Reliance Industries (down 1.68%); Larsen & Toubro (down 1.63%); ONGC (down 1.59%); Mahindra & Mahindra (down 1.55%) and Tata Motors (down 1.09%).

 

The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Voltas (up 4.49%) and Gujarat State Petronet (up 4.20%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Opto Circuits (down 012.27%) and Adani Ports (down 4.92%).

 

The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Autolite India (up 20%) and Suven Lifesciences (up 19.98%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Shelter Infraprojects (down 16.79%) and Fintech Communications (down 16.67%).

 

Cairn India (up 3.36%); Ranbaxy Laboratories (up 2.68%); TCS (up 2.57%); Wipro (up 2.5%) and HUL (up 2.15%) were the Sensex toppers today. The losers were led by Reliance Infrastructure (down 2.10%); RIL (down 1.73%); M&M (down 1.72%); L&T (down 1.60%) and Power Grid Corporation (down 1.51%).

 

All the Asian indices ended up in the positive except for KLSE Composite which fell 0.04%. The highest gainer among the Asian indices was Hang Seng which closed 1.23% up.

 

At the time of writing, the European indices and the US Futures both were trading in the red.

 

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares amounting to Rs96.64 crore on Wednesday whereas domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities aggregating Rs230.14 crore.

 

Software firm Ramco Systems, focused on the cloud computing platform, today said it has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Australia to drive growth in new markets. The company will be called Ramco Systems Australia Pty. The stock declined 2.97% to settle at Rs133.75 on the NSE.

 

Somany Ceramics on Thursday said it would invest Rs200 crore over the next five years in Gujarat and Karnataka for expanding capacities. The company is also exploring to acquire a tile-making firm at Morbi in Rajkot district of Gujarat this year. The stock tumbled 7.89% to close at Rs42 on the NSE.

 

A consortium in which the wholly-owned subsidiaries of Videocon Industries and Bharat Petroleum Corporation are members have completed the drilling of a second well in a block off Brazilian coast. The discovery of hydrocarbons has been made in a block named BM-SEAL-11 in the sea where the water depth is close to 2.5 km, about 100 km off the coast of the city of Aracaju — in what is known as the Sergipe Basin — which was first announced in September 2011.

 

Videocon declined 0.29% to Rs174.25 while BPCL gained 0.72% to settle at Rs351.40 on the NSE.

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