TN pollution board orders Sterlite Ind to shut down copper smelter unit

The leak triggered protests with hundreds of people, including MDMK leader Vaiko and CPI leader Nallakkanu, being arrested on 28th March when they led a march to the unit demanding its closure

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has ordered the closure of Sterlite Industries’ copper smelter unit in Tuticorin following alleged noxious gas leak from it.

 

Company officials said they have started shutting down the operations of the unit complying with the TNPCB order, which came a week after an unspecified gas allegedly leaked in the area on 23rd March.

 

The gas leak caused mild suffocation, sore throat and eye irritation among people in the locality who suspected that it originated from Sterlite, dealing in sulphuric acid.

 

The leak triggered protests with hundreds of people, including MDMK leader Vaiko and CPI leader Nallakkanu, being arrested on 28th March when they led a march to the unit demanding its closure.

 

Based on an inspection report by the state pollution control board, Revenue Divisional Officer K Latha had served a notice on 24th March to the company seeking its reply.

 

Sterlite officials, however, claimed that their plant was safe and that they followed the highest safety norms.

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Maruti launches new version of SX4, keeps price unchanged

The petrol variants of the car are priced between Rs7.38 lakh and Rs8.84 lakh while the diesel versions are priced between Rs8.27 lakh and Rs9.79 lakh

India’s largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki India on Friday launched an all-new version of its mid-size sedan SX4 in the country, with price remaining unchanged in the range of Rs7.38-Rs9.79 lakh (ex showroom Delhi).

 

“The all new Maruti Suzuki SX4 has new looks, and also envisages new features such as touch screen audio navigation and electronically foldable ORVMs with turn indicator,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) vice-president Marketing Manohar Bhat said in a statement.

 

The car, which has two engines options—the Super Turbo 1.3 litre diesel and the 1.6 Litre VVT petrol engine—has been launched with fresh exteriors and interiors and enhanced performance, Bhat added.

 

The petrol variants of the car are priced between Rs7.38 lakh and Rs8.84 lakh while the diesel versions are priced between Rs8.27 lakh and Rs9.79 lakh.

 

The new SX4 comes with many features including an all new touch-screen audio with integrated navigation with Bluetooth.

 

SX4 was first launched in India in 2007. The diesel version of the car was introduced in 2011. Till now, the company has sold over 1.08 lakh SX4 cars in the country.

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India’s CAD expected to remain at around 5% of GDP in FY13 and FY14 says Nomura

While domestic demand remains weak, India’s current account deficit is likely to remain elevated reflecting the supply-constrained nature of the Indian economy and the global new norm of high oil prices and weak exports, says Nomura

India’s current account deficit (CAD) widened to a record 6.7% of GDP in Q4 CY12 from 5.4% in Q3, worse than expected, due to a wider trade deficit (led by higher gold imports) and a lower-than-expected invisibles surplus. However, according to Nomura Research while domestic demand remains weak, the CAD would remain elevated reflecting supply constraints and the global new norm of high oil prices and weak exports. 

 

During the fourth quarter to end December, India’s balance sheet has deteriorated. External debt rose to 20.6% of GDP in Q4 2012 from 19.7% in Q1, while the net international investment position worsened to -15.9% of GDP from -14% in Q1, due to rising external liabilities, Nomura says.

 

However, owing to seasonality and a payback in gold imports after the steep surge in Q4, Nomura says it expects the CAD to improve to around 4.5% of GDP in Q1 2013 and remain to about 5% of GDP, both in FY13 and FY14.

 

According to Nomura, the deterioration in India’s trade deficit has been ongoing for over a year due to a combination of weak exports and high oil prices. However, this was worsened by a sharp surge in gold imports in Q4 2012 due to the Diwali festival and preponement of gold imports in expectation of an impending import duty hike. Moreover, while invisibles were better than in Q3 2012, they were lower than their year ago levels as remittances have flat-lined and investment income outflows have risen due to rising interest payments. Overall, the balance of payments (BoP) recorded a marginal surplus of $0.8 billion from a deficit of $0.2 billion in Q3, according to the Nomura report.

 

Nomura points to the basic weakness in government policy that the structural issues related to the current account deficit remain intact and policy measures continue to be aimed at funding the deficit rather than addressing it.

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