Companies & Sectors
States isssue Rs.1 lakh crore Uday bonds to address discom debt
New Delhi : Eight states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, have issued bonds of nearly Rs.1 lakh crore in 2015-16 under the UDAY scheme for debt restructuring of distressed state distribution companies (discoms), Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
 
"Another target achieved: UDAY bonds worth almost Rs 1 lakh crore issued in the last financial year helping achieve 24X7 affordable power for all," he said in a tweet.
 
Goyal also welcomed Uttarakhand joining the scheme.
 
"Congratulations to the people of Uttarakhand on the Govt. of India, State and DISCOMs signing UDAY MoU to ensure power for all," he added, on the state signing the Uday MoU here on Thursday.
 
"Under UDAY, ten states have signed MoU till date. The combined discom debt that would be restructured in respect of these states is around Rs.1.96 lakh crore, which is approximately 45 percent of the total outstanding discom debt of Rs.4.3 lakh crore as on 30th September, 2015," a power ministry release said.
 
The scheme envisages taking over 75 percent of discoms' cumulative debt by March next year. States would issue loans against the debt at prevailing market rates. The balance 25 percent would be issued as sovereign backed bonds by discoms.
 
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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Hero MotoCorp's March sales up 14 percent
New Delhi : Hero MotoCorp Ltd (HMCL), the world's leading two-wheeler manufacturer, on friday reported a 14 percent growth in sales in March 2016.
 
"HMCL sold 606,542 units in March, with a 14 percent growth over the corresponding month last year when the company had sold 531,750 units," it said in a statement.
 
Apart from March, the two-wheeler maker also exceeded 6 lakh plus monthly sales in October and September in the 2015-16 fiscal. 
 
It sold 6,632,322 units of two-wheelers during 2015-16 as compared to 6,631,826 units in 2014-15, the company said. 
 
"FY'16 has also been a landmark year. We launched our first in-house developed products and commissioned our first overseas manufacturing facility began operations at our centre of innovation and technology at Jaipur," said company's chairman and managing director and CEO Pawan Munjal. 
 
"The industry witnessed mixed fortunes in FY '16 with sales looking up in the second half of the year. Timely measures by the government and a good monsoon will be essential in sustaining this positive trend," he said.
 
The company's global footprint also expanded to 30 countries.
 
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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Tobacco companies halt production to protest bigger pictorials
New Delhi : As the government on Friday enforced the much debated 85 percent pictorial warnings on packets of all tobacco products, manufacturer across the country decided to halt production, citing ambiguity in the government action.
 
The move is likely to result in a daily loss of Rs.350 crore to the government, apart from increase in illegal cigarette and tobacco products in the market.
 
The government decision comes even after recommendations of a parliamentary committee advocating pictorial warnings on tobacco and cigarette packets be brought down to 50 percent from 85 percent, saying the latter will be too harsh on the tobacco industry.
 
Various health experts welcomed the move, citing that the health ministry could not take a better step than this to curb the tobacco-related deaths in the country, which currently stand at over 10 lakh, costing the government over Rs.1,04,500 crore - a whopping 1.16 per cent of India's gross domestic product.
 
"We now look to the health minister to continue his crusade against tobacco and implement the 85 percent pictorial health warnings on both sides of tobacco packages, as planned, to save the Indian youth and children from tobacco addiction," Harit Chaturvedi chairman, Max Institute Of Oncology, and director, surgical oncology, at Max Healthcare, told IANS.
 
M.C Misra, director of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), said: "This is one of the best initiative. Eighty percent of the cancer patients are linked with tobacco and tobacco chewing. Though not every consumer will stop taking tobacco but this initiative will have a impact on a large chunk."
 
With the implementation of new warnings, India will now move to the second position from 136th in the list of countries with such warnings on tobacco packs, including neighbouring Nepal (99 percent), Sri Lanka (80), Thailand (85) and Bangladesh (50). 
 
India will host the Conference of the Parties of the WHO tobacco-control treaty in November 2016.
 
Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, chief executive, Voluntary Health Association of India, said: "This landmark decision of the government to implement stronger and larger pictorial warnings on both sides will save millions of Indians who die due to tobacco-related diseases every year."
 
Till now tobacco packets available in the market had statutory pictorial and textual health warnings that covered only 40 percent of the package area and that too on one side only. 
 
The government move comes despite repeated requests and several memorandums submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister J.P. Nadda, following economic losses to tobacco farmers and those dependent on the tobacco industry for livelihood. 
 
The announcement to shut production was made by the Tobacco Institute of India (TII), which comprises manufacturers accounting for more than 98 percent of the country’s domestic sales of duty paid cigarettes in India. 
 
Though no official from the health ministry was available for comment, M.C. Misra, Director, AIIMS said: "It does not matter even if the loss is Rs.3,500 crore. Nothing is more important than the lives of the people. During such initiatives, there are advantages and disadvantages; so we need to be ready for everything." 
 
Calling it a black day for all tobacco farmers, Murali Babu, general secretary of the Federation of All India Farmers' Associations (FAIFA), a tobacco farmers association, told IANS: "The government is trying to murder the Indian tobacco farmers by going ahead with such initiatives."
 
Both the Tobacco Institute of India and the FAIFA have said that 85 per cent warnings will promote illegal cigarette trade, and adversely affect the livelihood of 45.7 million people dependent on tobacco farming, including farmers, labourers, workers, traders and others.
 
According to them, the government should align the tobacco pictorial warning policy with the other tobacco producing countries such as the US, China and Japan, which do not have any pictorial warnings. 
 
The US, China and Japan, accounting for 51 percent of global cigarette consumption, have only text-based warnings (about 30 percent in size), they said.
 
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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COMMENTS

Hemen Parekh

1 year ago

Ambiguity is Bad !

Where ?

* Health Ministry wants warning images on cigarette packs to cover 85% of the surface , against earlier rule of 40%
* A Parliamentary Committee had recommended 50 %

Reaction :

* From friday ( 01 April 2016 ) , all cigarette factories have shut down in protest ,
According to Tobacco Institute of India , this will cause,
# Daily revenue loss of Rs 350 Crores
# Threatening livelihood of 45.7 million people dependent on the Industry
# Increase in trade in illegal cigarettes ( which already causes an annual
revenue loss of Rs 9,000 cr to the exchequer )

What should Government do ?

Negotiate with the Industry and reach Agreement , using my suggestion as under :
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source : My Blog dt 18 Aug 2013

Going Up in Smoke ?

Yesterday , Times of India reported :

India's tobacco industry supports 38 million people ( 380 lakhs )

Every year , some 6 million ( 60 lakh ) people die in India thru use of tobacco ( mostly cigarettes )

Of these , some 6 lakh die by inhaling smoke of other cigarette smokers

So what can we do to save these 60 lakh ?

Immediately close down entire tobacco industry ?

And jeopardize the lives of 380 lakh ?

Obviously , we cannot adopt a mutually exclusive solution !

We must find a solution that , not only saves those 60 lakh but also continue to provide livelihood to 380 lakhs

That cannot be done in one - or even five - years , but it is entirely possible to solve this problem over , 20 years , as follows :

* Thru appropriate legislation , phase out tobacco industry by 2033

* Immediately stop expansion of existing units

* Do not allow new units to come up

* Place a recruitment freeze in tobacco industry - no fresh hiring at any level

* No replacement for retiring employees , after 2018

* Provide incentives to industry to redeploy capital / manpower in alternate industries - especially those industries with large scope for creation of new jobs

* Give generous tax-breaks to industry to remain profitable , even as they wind-up operations

* Provide incentives to put up new-industry projects in less industrialized regions

* Provide incentives for re-training existing workers in new skills in demand by others

* Subsidize Voluntary Retirement Schemes of industry


This is just a partial list . I am sure , if there is political will , experts will come up with many more viable suggestions

Hint :

If Shri Piyush Goyal can plan on banning all petrol / diesel driven vehicles on roads from 2030 , then banning cigarettes from 2036 , ought to be a " Child's Play " !



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

hemenparekh.in / blogs

03 April 2016

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