Vegetable prices push retail inflation to double digit

In April, vegetable prices recorded the maximum spurt in prices, up 24.55%, followed by edible oils - 17.63% and milk products - 14.94%

New Delhi: Retail inflation shot up to the double digit mark at 10.32% in April on account of substantial increase in vegetable, edible oils and milk prices, reports PTI.

Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the inflation for March was revised to 9.38% from the provisional estimate of 9.47%, as per the government data release on Friday.

Vegetable prices recorded the maximum spurt in prices, up 24.55%, followed by edible oils - 17.63% and milk products - 14.94% in April, year-on-year basis. Prices of egg, fish and meat shot up 9.95%, while non-alcoholic beverages became costlier 9.52%.

Among other items, prices of cereal and its products saw a rise of 3.94% over the April 2011 level. While sugar saw a marginal rise of 4.32% in April, 'pulses and products' were up by 6.03%, over the same month last year.

Prices of fuel and light, and clothing, bedding and footwear segments also remained in the double-digit.

Inflation rates for rural and urban areas were 9.86% and 11.10% respectively in April.

According to the revised data, the inflation rates for rural and urban areas were 8.70% and 10.30% respectively in March.

The All-India CPI is in addition to the three retail price indices -- for agricultural labourers, rural labourers and industrial workers -- prepared by the Ministry of Labour.

Meanwhile, inflation based on Wholesale Price Index also rose to 7.32% in April on account of steep spurt in vegetables as they turned costlier by 60.9% during April as per the WPI data released earlier this week.


Kingfisher Airlines owes Rs269 crore income tax

The government has initiated action against Kingfisher Airlines for recovering and so far have recovered Rs103.03 crore

New Delhi: Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines owes Rs269.06 crore income tax and I-T Department has initiated penalty and prosecution proceedings against the private carrier, Government informed the Lok Sabha on Friday, reports PTI.

Kingfisher Airlines was found to have deducted tax at source (TDS) on salary payments but had not deposited it in Government account, Minister of State for Finance SS Palanimanickam said in a written reply.

"Survey...was conducted at the business premises of the aforesaid company and subsequently tax demand (including interest) amounting to Rs372.09 crore pertaining to FYs 2009-10 to 2011-12 were raised," he said.

"Action for recovering has been undertaken and a total of Rs103.03 crore has already been recovered. Penalty and prosecution proceedings under the Income-tax Act have also been initiated," Palanimanickam said.

He said in case of Employees State Insurance Corporation, an amount of Rs23.42 lakh is outstanding against the Bangalore unit of Kingfisher Airlines towards 'interest and damages', for which recovery action has been taken. The matter is pending in a court, he said.

The Minister said proceedings under Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, have been initiated against Spice Jet Ltd for assessment of dues from November 2008 to January 2012.

To another question, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said as on September, 2011, exposure of public sector banks to private airlines was Rs15,700 crore.

Meena said the Reserve Bank of India has not issued any specific guidelines to banks for providing loan to private airline companies.

Credit related matters have been deregulated by RBI and banks are free to take their decision in the matters of loan eligibility based on their commercial judgement and in accordance with their policy framed within the overall framework of RBI, he added.


Economy & Nation Exclusive
Bajaj Auto reports healthy operating profit on increased exports but disappoints on the domestic front

Bajaj Auto has reported a 31% higher operating profit due to increased exports but vehicular sales have declined domestically as consumers feel the pinch of higher interest rates

Bajaj Auto, the Pune-based and third largest manufacturer of motorcycles (it also manufactures three-wheelers), posted robust fourth quarterly earnings. It reported 12% y-o-y increase in its net sales, for the quarter ended 31 March 2012, at Rs4,651.44 crore. It was mostly driven by higher export realisations. Exports revenues increased 40% y-o-y, to touch Rs1,477 crore for the quarter ended March 2012. It exported around 3,47,414 vehicles in the quarter, which was 26% higher than the corresponding quarter last year. This helped negate the higher costs incurred during the quarter, which increased on par with net sales.  The higher realisation led to swelling of its operating profit by 31% to Rs920.55 crore, which saw its operating profit margins grow by 288 basis percentage points to 19.79%. Its net profit was Rs772 crore for the reporting quarter, down Rs628.39 crore, from Rs1,400 crore when compared to the same quarter last year. However, this is due to an exceptional item the company recorded last year.

Bajaj Auto sells in markets which are seemingly immune to the challenging economic environment, as seen in the western world, namely—Africa and Latin America—where the market profiles are similar to the Indian market. However, it remains to be seen whether it can sustain the momentum going forward as it could be difficult to replicate the success, as global demand is more dynamic and varied than local tastes. In order to gain knowledge in international technologies, the company has tied up with KTM PowerSports AG, an Austrian motorcycle major, by investing 40.87% in the latter through its Netherlands-based subsidiary Bajaj Auto International Holdings BV.

On the other hand, it has disappointed on the domestic front, as it sold 2,602 fewer vehicles in the March 2012 quarter, compared to the corresponding period last year, with 6,69,753 being sold. The quantum of vehicles sold is one of the more broadly used indicators to gauge the economic well-being. Much of vehicular sales depend on external financing, as most middle-class consumers take loans to buy two-wheelers. However, even through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had cut interest rates, they are still high enough to warrant consumers to postpone purchase. Therefore, Bajaj Auto has not been an exception to the industry-wide dependence on interest rates.

It has a healthy cash balance, at Rs5,451 crore as of 31 March 2012, which is higher than Rs4,239 crore compared to the corresponding quarter last year. It has even reduced long-term liabilities by nearly 14%, to Rs414.84 crore. 

The company has recommended a dividend of Rs45 per share, which works out to a dividend yield of 2.93%, which is decent by today’s standards. 

According to the company, its motorcycles enjoy a market share of 32%. The company sells motorcycle brands such as Avenger, Pulsar and Discover.





4 years ago

My reading knowing the Company (externally) for many many years.
They are deviating serving the masses to serving the Stylists (high end). While there is nothing wrong in serving the Stylists, there is no reason to stop producing Vespa, M50 and M80.
Vespa is coming back although as origial Piaggio Vespa from them and I am sure the day is not far away when someone comes out with the equivalents of M50 and M80 which were extremely popular in the ow income group in Cities as well as Villages. The day is not far with the petrol prices as they are today.
These are different segments of the same industry and there is nothing wrong in being in multiple segments. Maruti is an example. If the sale of high end cars is down the sales of low end cars are higher.



In Reply to Ravindra 4 years ago

Kindly read Hamara Bajaj to fade into oblivion and also the comments of Veeresh Malik below that article.

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