Shiv Sena has been assured of five cabinet rank posts and seven ministers of state in the Fadnavis government in Maharashtra
Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Thursday finally decided to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Maharashtra. On Friday, 12 members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from Shiv Sena would join the 34-day-old Devendra Fadnavis government.
Addressing a crowded press conference, accompanied by Shiv Sena leaders, Maharashtra Chief Minister Fadnavis told reporters that both the parties have been ideological partners for the last 25 years. "Unfortunately, they could not form an electoral alliance during the recent assembly elections but the people of Maharashtra voted in their favour. Today it is people’s wish that both parties come together in the State," he added.
According to Fadnavis by Thursday evening Shiv Sena high command will draw up a list of 12 MLAs who would be sworn in as ministers on Friday. Similar number of MLAs from BJP would also be made ministers in the State. Final modalities of portfolio distribution are being worked out, he said.
Shiv Sena has been assured of five cabinet rank posts and seven ministers of state. The new additions will increase the Fadnavis government strength to 29.
Senior Sena leader Subhash Desai said that since the electoral mandate is against the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), his party has decided to join the Fadnavis government.
Fadnavis added that the alliance between the two parties will be a broad alliance and it will jointly fight even local elections in the State. Soon, a joint committee would be set up for fighting the elections, he said.
At present, there are eight cabinet and two ministers of state in the Fadnavis ministry sworn in on 31st October.
Shiv Sena has 63 legislators in the state assembly while the BJP has 121 members supported by one member of the Rashtriya Samaj Party.
With Shiv Sena joining the government, Eknath Shinde, who had assumed the post of leader of opposition on 12th November, when Fadnavis had won the confidence motion by trust vote, would step down.
If the export subsidy of Rs3,300 per tonne is given, by extending the scheme, and bearing in mind the growing sugar stocks on hand, it would bring great relief to the industry
As per details released by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), 45 mills, including 14 cooperatives have begun crushing of sugarcane in Uttar Pradesh (UP). By the end of December another 70 mills would go into crushing programme, and, hopefully, by the first week, ISMA expects most mills in UP to be in full swing in crushing cane.
At the end of November, the arrear payments to sugarcane farmers is reported to have come down to Rs1,200 crore and the ex-factory sugar price stood at Rs2,700/2,750 per quintal. In UP, based on a recovery of 9.2% the State Advisory Price is Rs280 per quintal for 2014-15 season. Of this, Rs240 is expected to be paid within 14 days of purchase, Rs40 to be paid within 90 days after crushing. For the second tranche, government plans to gives Rs20, covering the society commission of Rs6.60, purchase tax of Rs2 and entry tax of Rs8.60, subject to market movements, once cane payments are made.
As in the past, banks lend upto 85% of the stock value as working capital and had the first charge on sugar stocks pledged to obtain the loans. However, due the recent ruling by the Allahabad High Court, cane dues to the farmer get priority over the bank claims. Rightly so.
If the export subsidy of Rs3,300 per tonne is given, by extending the scheme, and bearing in mind the growing stocks on hand, it would bring great relief to the industry. It may be noted last year India exported 1.2 million tonnes of raw sugar, out of which 700,000 tonnes were covered under the incentive scheme. Ram Vilas Paswan, Food Minister, has indicated that a decision would be tied to cane arrears being repaid on time. Our opening stocks of sugar amounted to 7.5 million tonnes and production during the current season is expected to be between 25 and 26 million tonnes, marginally higher by 5% over last year.
If Brazil, the world's largest producer can divert 60% of cane it produces for the manufacture of ethanol, why not India also make it mandatory for the sugar mills to compulsorily set aside a certain percentage for this purpose? This should be followed by mandatorily directing the blending with petrol for the oil companies and marketing the same. Current fall in oil prices should not make us complacent.
Finally, the UP mills have been demanding the implementation of the linkage formula as outlined by the Rangarajan Committee, and there is no reason why this matter cannot be revisited by a new committee to be set up by the present government. What is important is to find a solution to this perennial issue that comes up every year!
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also 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.)
Deutsche Mutual Fund-DWS has launched its first mid-cap oriented scheme in a market where investors are flooded with so many choices
There are as many as 55 mid-cap oriented mutual fund schemes, excluding close-ended schemes, which are available for investment. With most small and mid-cap schemes delivering double-digit returns in excess of 75% over the past year, fund houses seem to be using this opportunity to attract investors. Deutsche Mutual Fund too has joined the league of mutual funds that offer a mid-cap oriented scheme. The fund house recently launched a three-year close-ended scheme— DWS Mid Cap Fund. With a high allocation to mid-cap stocks, investors should be aware of the risks associated with the scheme, especially since it is a close-ended scheme with no prior track record.
The scheme will invest 70%-100% of its investments in mid-cap companies. Up to 90% of the portfolio will be invested in non mid-cap companies. According to the offer document of the scheme, mid-cap companies are companies are defined as those “with a market-cap within the market-cap range of the companies in the CNX Mid Cap Index.” The performance of the scheme will be benchmarked to the CNX Mid Cap Index.
Akash Singhania will be the fund manager for equity investments. He has around 10 years experience. Rakesh Suri will be the co-fund manager. He has an experience of 16 years.