Supreme Court provides interim protection to Tata Motors

The order was passed on a Special Leave Petition by Tata Motors to stay distribution of land till the Calcutta High Court has disposed of the main matters

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today provided interim protection to the rights of Tata Motors till disposal of the main matters pending before the Calcutta High Court on the land earmarked for the Tata Motors' integrated project at Singur.

The order was passed on a Special Leave Petition (SLP) by Tata Motors to stay distribution of land till the Calcutta High Court has disposed of the main matters. Tata Motors appealed to the Supreme Court that the position on the ground should not be irretrievably changed when the main matters are pending before the Calcutta High Court.

"As an interim arrangement, we direct the State not to return the land to the unwilling owners until further orders being passed by the High Court," the Supreme Court said "taking note of the apprehensions expressed by the petitioners".  

The Supreme Court said, "Considering the fact that the petitioners have approached the High Court challenging the action of the State and in as much as the main issue is pending before the High Court, we are not inclined to interfere at this stage."

The Supreme Court added, "All the parties are directed to co-operate with the High Court for early decision in the main matters. In view of the urgency expressed by all the parties, we request the High Court to dispose of the main matters as early as possible preferably within a period of one month."
Tata Motors had appealed on 24th June to the Advocate General of West Bengal that the government should not proceed with any action on the Singur plot in view of the ongoing hearing on the company's main matters on The Singur Land Rehabilitation & Development Act 2011.  

On 27th June, the Advocate General informed the Calcutta High Court that the state government was unable to accept the proposal of Tata Motors.

The Singur Land Rehabilitation & Development Act 2011 charges Tata Motors with non-commissioning of the plant and abandonment, and takes away its rights to the land without providing for a reasonable compensation, despite the company having made an investment of over Rs1,800 crore in the plant. All the equipment had been installed and trial production had begun. In fact, about 15 to 20 cars were ready for roll-out.

On Wednesday, Tata Motors ended 1.48% up at Rs997.80, while the benchmark Sensex gained 1.09% to 18,693.36.

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GDP to grow by 8.5%, fuel price hike not to impact deficit: FM

“In a developing economy like ours, if we cannot bring inflation within a manageable limit, the hardship goes to the weaker sections of the people... they are the worst sufferers,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said

Washington: Exuding confidence that the economy will grow by 8.5% in 2011-12, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the recent hike in prices of petroleum products will not have much impact on the fiscal deficit, reports PTI.
Asked if he will consider rolling back the increase in prices of cooking gas (LPG), diesel and kerosene amidst demands from various quarters, the minister said, “No...No question of revoking (price hike).”

As regards the impact of the decision to cut duties on the fiscal deficit, he said the shortfall would be made good by buoyancy in tax collection and improved compliance.

“I do not think so because this was the conscious decision... About Rs49,000 crore will be the shortfall in the duty. I think it would be possible for us to make it up through buoyancy and by better compliance,” Mr Mukherjee told PTI in an interview.

The government proposes to reduce fiscal deficit to 4.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011-12 from 4.7% a year ago.

In view of spiralling prices of crude oil in the international market, the government had increased the price of diesel by Rs3 per litre, LPG by Rs50 per cylinder and kerosene by Rs2 per litre. The price hike decision was accompanied by a reduction in excise and customs duties, resulting in a per annum revenue loss of Rs49,000 crore.

The economy, the minister hoped, would grow by around 8.5% during the current fiscal, the same rate which was recorded during 2010-11.

“I am still holding the projection which I had that is 8.5% plus... We shall have to wait for some time. But it would not be less than 8% plus,” he said.

The economy will grow by over 8% despite the conscious decision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to sacrifice growth to contain inflation, Mr Mukherjee said, adding that the government and the central bank have been trying to strike a balance between containing growth and promoting inflation.

“One need not cancel the other, but controlling inflation is essential. In a developing economy like ours, if we cannot bring inflation within a manageable limit, the hardship goes to the weaker sections of the people... they are the worst sufferers,” the minister said.

Mr Mukherjee was here to participate in the ‘US-India Economic and Financial Partnership’ jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Brookings Institute, a Washington-based think-tank.

Sacrificing growth, the RBI has raised key policy rates ten times since March 2010 to contain inflation, which is hovering at around 9%. Inflation stood at 9.06% in May.

Controlled inflation is needed, Mr Mukherjee said, adding that the “best course would be to reduce inflation to have it at the acceptable moderate level and also to have reasonable high growth rate... because if you want to have high growth which is not realistic, that would lead to inflationary pressure.”

On the other hand, he said the country cannot afford to have very low growth, as it would mean less jobs and no wealth creation. “So we shall have to strike a balance and exactly we are doing that,” the minister said.

The RBI, which is slated to hold its next review of the monetary policy on 26th July, has pegged India’s GDP growth in 2011-12 at 8%, lower than the 8.5% rate recorded in the previous fiscal.

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Share prices on an upswing: Wednesday Closing Report

Nifty to head to 5,650 subject to dips

The Nifty closed in the positive for the seventh day in a row and the Sensex finished higher for the fifth straight day on positive developments in Europe and across-the-board buying by foreign institutional investors. Both benchmarks closed at their highest levels in nearly two months. We had said yesterday that if the index closes above 5,560, the up-move will gain more strength to reach up to 5,650. The Nifty traded above 5,560 for the entire session. The index has to stay above 5,608 to keep the momentum going.

The Nifty opened 22 points higher at 5,567 and the Sensex started the day at 18,552, up 60 points from its previous close. The day's opening figures were also the intra-day lows today. Metal, power, IT, technology and fast moving consumer goods counters witnessed good buying in early trade.

The market continued its northward journey in subsequent trade, on all-round buying support, amid some choppiness. Gains in post-noon trade were also boosted by a firming up in the key European bourses, which opened in the green on confidence that Greece will be able to avoid a default on its debt. All sectoral indices were positive.

The indices touched their intra-day highs at around 2.30pm, with the Nifty adding 64 points to 5,609 and the Sensex climbing 223 points to touch 18,715. Finally, the Nifty finished 55 points higher at 5,600 and the Sensex jumped 201 points to close at 18,694. The closing on both the Nifty and the Sensex are the highest since 3rd May.

The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange was 1121:590.

Among the broader markets, the BSE Mid-cap index gained 0.78% and the BSE Small-cap index advanced 0.95%.

All sectoral gauges settled in the positive, with the BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods index (up 2.58%) emerging as the top gainer. It was followed by BSE Metal (up 1.52%), BSE Bankex (up 0.96%), BSE Power (up 0.95%) and BSE IT (up 0.75%).

In the Sensex space, Sterlite Industries (up 3.45%), ITC (up 2.79%), Hindustan Unilever (up 2.72%), HDFC Bank (up 2.65%) and Reliance Infrastructure (up 2.38%) were the major gainers. ONGC (down 2.13%), Bajaj Auto (down 1.32%), Jaiprakash Associates (down 1.20%), DLF (down 0.31%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (down 0.27%) were the laggards on the index.

The main Nifty gainers were IDFC (up 3.64%), Sterlite Industries (up 3.63%), HUL (up 3.38%), ITC (up 3.15%) and Ranbaxy (up 3.03%). The top Nifty losers were ONGC (down 2.21%), Reliance Power (down 1.39%), JP Associates (down 0.95%), GAIL India (down 0.93%) and BPCL (down 0.88%).

Most markets in Asia closed in the green on optimism that the developments in Europe would help export-oriented nations in the region. Besides, the announcement that industrial output in Japan rose 5.7% in May was above analysts' expectations of a 5.5% increase and a 1.6% gain in April. It was the second-biggest increase on record after a 7.9% rise in March 1953.

The KLSE Composite gained 0.32%, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.54%, the Straits Times rose 0.95%, the Seoul Composite climbed 1.53% and the Taiwan Weighted advanced 1.11%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite tumbled 1.11% and the Hang Seng settled flat, down 0.60 points.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs819.41 crore on Tuesday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net sellers of shares worth Rs575.06 crore.

The Supreme Court today directed the West Bengal government not to go ahead with distribution and return of land in Singur to farmers which was acquired for Tata Motors' small car project Nano.

The bench said it was passing a limited interim order and asked the high court to proceed with the main matter in which the Tatas have challenged the new law enacted by the Mamata Banerjee government for taking possession of land and distributing it to farmers who were the original owners.

Tata Motors gained 1.48% to Rs997.80 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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