Speaker examining report on 2G scam given by PAC chief

Murli Manohar Joshi, who has been appointed as PAC chairman for a second term, had submitted the report to the Speaker’s office on Saturday last, unfazed by the “rejection” of the draft report by Congress, DMK, SP and BSP members in the 21-member committee

New Delhi: Speaker Meira Kumar appears to be in no hurry to decide whether the “document” submitted by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Murli Manohar Joshi on its scrutiny into the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam issue is indeed the report of the committee, reports PTI.

The controversial draft report that was sharply critical of the prime minister’s office (PMO), prime minister, the then finance minister P Chidambaram among others was ‘rejected’ by the majority of members during a chaotic meeting last week.

“We have not applied our mind to it,” Lok Sabha sources when asked as to when the Speaker would decide on the contentious issue.

The Monsoon session of Parliament is likely to start sometime in July and its exact schedule is yet to be fixed.

The sources said that all the material which has been submitted in connection with the PAC is under examination.

To a specific question when the report submitted by Mr Joshi to her would be tabled in Parliament, they said the “document” given by the BJP veteran, as also the papers submitted by Congress and like-minded parties, were under examination.

Mr Joshi, who has again been appointed as PAC chairman for a second term, had submitted the report to the Speaker’s office on Saturday last, unfazed by the “rejection” of the draft report by Congress, DMK, SP and BSP members by majority in the 21-member committee.

“I have submitted the report... My expectation is that the Speaker should accept it and place it in Parliament,” Mr Joshi had said.

Attacking Mr Joshi, parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal had said that “going by Mr Joshi’s queer theory, the entire democratic system would crumble with a minority in Parliament insisting on treating their views as the decision of parliament”.

Congress and DMK members have attacked the draft, saying it had been prepared by Mr Joshi with a “malafide” intention of destabilising the government.


Share prices may stage a weak rally: Wednesday Closing Report

A laboured rally up to 5,650 on the Nifty is possible, if Wednesday’s lows hold

The Sensex and Nifty today opened with small positive gains, at 18,558 and 5,568. The indices quickly slipped into the red to hit intra-day lows of 18,340 and 5,503, respectively. Rate-sensitive sectors like banking, realty and auto, which were impacted by the harsh policy announcements of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday, continued to pull the market lower in early trade today.

However, in the post-noon period, the indices inched to intra-day highs at 18,604 and 5,579. But the gains were short-lived and the market slipped into the red in the last hour. The Sensex declined 65 points to close at 18,469 and the Nifty fell 28 points to close at 5,537. The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange was 543:1136.

On 24 March 2011, the Nifty had closed at 5,522, from where it took nine trading days to hit an intra-day high of 5,944 on 6 April 2011 and closed at 5,892. The total gains of 369 points of the nine trading sessions have been wiped off to the extent of a 355 point drop in the subsequent 17 trading sessions (including today’s fall of 28 points on the Nifty).

If the lows of today hold, the market can rally up to 5,650 on short-covering, before the decline resumes. The chances of a rally tomorrow are bright, given historical evidence. Since 1990, the market has been negative for eight consecutive days on 16 occasions (excluding the current fall). Out these 16 times, it has turned turned positive on the ninth trading day on 11 occasions, while on the other five it remained negative.

In the broader market today, the BSE Mid-cap index declined 0.45% and the BSE Small-cap index fell by 0.54%.

BSE Auto (down 1.33%), BSE TECk (down 1.13%), BSE IT (down 1.08%), BSE Metal (down 1.05%) and BSE Healthcare (down 0.92%) were the top sectoral losers. On the other hand, BSE Oil & Gas (up 1.21%), BSE PSU (up 0.71%) and BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.52%) ended in the green.

Among the Sensex stocks, ONGC (up 4.78%), HDFC Bank (up 1.35%), State Bank of India (up 1.33%), Hindustan Unilever (up 1.03%) and Jaiprakash Associates (up 0.88%) settled at the top. On the other hand, Bajaj Auto (down 4.82%), Hero Honda (down 3.63%), HDFC (down 2.89%), Reliance Communications (down 2.63%) and Tata Power (down 2.24%) were the major losers.

The government is considering hiking diesel prices by up to Rs3 a litre, after the assembly elections in five states are completed next week, and an equally steep rise in petrol prices is also on the cards.

A Rs3-Rs4/litre hike in the price of petrol, which was freed from government control last June, could happen simultaneously after polling in the last phase of assembly elections is completed on 10th May, according to a top government official.

An increase in domestic LPG prices may also be discussed at the EGoM meeting that will decide on how the oil firms will be compensated for their losses, he said.

Markets in Asia settled mostly in the red, as falling commodity prices dragged energy and materials-related stocks lower. Speculations of another rate hike by the Chinese central bank weighed on investor sentiments there. Besides, the European Central Bank will also look at increasing borrowing costs at the end of its policy meeting on Thursday.

The Shanghai Composite tumbled 2.23%, the Hang Seng tanked 1.31%, the KLSE Composite fell by 0.20%, the Straits Times lost 1.26% and the Seoul Composite declined 0.91%. On the other hand, the Jakarta Composite gained 0.03% and the Taiwan Weighted added 0.01%. The Japanese market remained closed for the Golden Week holidays.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs1,178.66 crore on Tuesday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs606.83 crore.


Hero Honda Q4 net profit falls 16% to Rs502 crore

For the entire fiscal 2010-11, Hero Honda’s net profit went down by 13.62% to Rs1,927.90 crore from Rs2,231.83 crore in FY09-10

New Delhi: Hero Honda, India’s largest two-wheeler maker today reported a 16.23% decline in its net profit for the quarter ended 31 March 2011 to Rs501.61 crore, compared to Rs598.81 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2009-10, Hero Honda said in a statement.

The total net operating income during the fourth quarter of the last fiscal increased by 30.77% to Rs5,390.93 crore from Rs4,122.32 crore in the same period previous fiscal, reports PTI.

During the quarter, the company’s total two-wheeler sales stood at 14,54,431 units as compared to 11,86,536 units in the year-ago period, up 22.58%.

For the entire 2010-11 financial year, Hero Honda’s net profit went down by 13.62% to Rs1,927.90 crore from Rs2,231.83 crore in FY09-10.

Total income from operations during the last fiscal increased by 22.32% to Rs19,401.15 crore from Rs15,860.51 crore in 2009-10.

The two-wheeler major sold a total of 54,02,444 motorcycles and scooters in FY10-11 as against 46,00,130 units in the previous fiscal, up 17.44%.

The company’s board has recommended a dividend of 1,750%, which is Rs35 per share of the face value of Rs2 each for 2010-11.

Reacting to the results, shares of the company settled 3.63% down at Rs1,600.10 on the Bombay Stock Exchange today.


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