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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Reforms drive Continues without any Respite.The finance ministry, in a big reform initiative, is planning to introduce a comprehensive legislation to overhaul the stamp duty regime in the country that will lead to a uniform rate for all financial tra




Reforms drive Continues without any Respite.The finance ministry, in a big reform initiative, is planning to introduce a comprehensive legislation to overhaul the stamp duty regime in the country that will lead to a uniform rate for all financial transactions!World Economic Forum Davos 2012: Suspension of FDI in retail just a pause; Sharma to global CEOs

Food, fuel inflation numbers to be released monthly to avoid public gaze

Having lost not even one election in the 45 years of his political career so far, union ministerand veteran politician Sharad Pawar has said he wants to bid adieu to politics now to make way for the younger generation.

Manipur poll: 82 pc turnout of voters; 7 killed in militant violence

Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, chapter 736
Palash Biswas

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Markets advanced for the fourth straight week as investors cheered RBI's decision to cut the cash reserve ratio by 50 bps and on the back of aggressive buying from foreign institutional investors who have injected $1.54 billion this month so far.Gold on Saturday rose by Rs 105 to Rs 28410 per 10 grams on increased buying by stockists and jewellers to meet the demand for the ongoing marriage season, amid a firm global trend.

The finance ministry, in a big reform initiative, is planning to introduce a comprehensive legislation to overhaul the stamp duty regime in the country that will lead to a uniform rate for all financial transactions!Reforms drive continues without any respite. On the other hand,Food, fuel inflation numbers to be released monthly to avoid public gaze!

Meanwhile, in Davos,India today assured global CEOs that its reforms agenda is well on course and the decision to put on hold FDI in multi-brand retail is "just a pause", forced by compulsions of coalition politics. Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma put up a furious defence of his country on Friday, demanding "why are you picking on India" when asked about concerns in Davos over the emerging giant.

The government is readying the stage for reform of the sugar industry, one of industrial sector still under tight state control. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set up an expert panel under his key economic aide C Rangarajan to chalk out the policy ...

A firm assurance in this regard was given by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharmawhen he met top management functionaries of global retail chains Walmart and the Metro Group on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting here.

This is for the first time that senior management of the two retailers met any minister after Indian government suspended the controversial decision to open Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail on November 24.

Sharma said the decision to open 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail "could not be implemented because of the compulsions of coalition politics as also partisan opposition.

"It is just a pause. The decision has only been put on a temporary halt."

He said while the government has restarted consultations taking on board concerns of agrarian states, only the bona fide objections would be taken into account.

His assurance seems to have gone down well with both Walmart and Metro.

"If retail FDI happens, it would be good for the entire trade and the Indian government seems to be confident about that," Frans W H Muller, Member of the management board of German-based Metro Group said.

Walmart Executive Vice-President (Corporate Affairs) Leslie Dach said "We are hopeful about the government allowing FDI in retail. India is a very big growth market for us. We do understand that things take some time in democracy. Even the US similar things do happen."

Having lost not even one election in the 45 years of his political career so far, union ministerand veteran politician Sharad Pawar has said he wants to bid adieu to politics now to make way for the younger generation.

"It's enough... It is the responsibility of people like me to encourage younger people and younger leadership to continue to work in (his) political party," Pawar, the union agriculture minister, said in a TV interview.

Having won the Lok Sabha elections eight times since he first entered the Indian parliament in March 1985, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief said he won't be contesting in the next general polls scheduled in 2014.

"I don't want to contest (the) next Lok Sabha elections because this year I will complete 45 years. I entered politics in 1967 since then continuously I am getting elected... Fortunately I never lost the elections," he told CNN-IBN.

Pawar founded the NCP in 1999 after breaking away from the Congress. He has held the posts of defence minister and has been chief minister of Maharashtra thrice.

His daughter Supriya Sule is already in active politics and is Lok Sabha MP from Maharashtra.

His nephew Ajit Pawar is also a prominent politician in the state and is the deputy chief minister of the state.

But the 72-year-old politician said it was unlikely that some one from his family will succeed him as the head of the NCP.

"I don't believe in projecting anybody. The NCP does not believe in dynastic politics. We have a good team in the NCP. We'd like to encourage good team and ultimately they have to prove (themselves)," he said.

Manipur poll: 82 pc turnout of voters; 7 killed in militant violence
IMPHAL/NEW DELHI: An estimated 82 per cent of the electorate today exercised their franchise inManipur assembly elections which was marred by militant violence that claimed seven lives, including that of an ultra.

Chief Electoral Officer P C Lawmkunga said as per preliminary official reports, 82 per cent of the 17.50 lakh electorate cast their votes even as details from the state's nine districts were awaited.

Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla said in New Delhi that a person, posing as a voter, entered a polling station in an interior area in Sugnu assembly constituency in Chandel district at around 12:30 and started firing indiscriminately, killing a CRPF man, three polling persons and a voter on the spot.



An injured voter, who was taken to Imphal in a helicopter, succumbed to bullet injuries. The shooter, who is yet to be identified, was also gunned down by CRPF personnel posted at the polling booth.

Bombs suspected to have been planted by militants were seized and defused before the start of polling in Khurai Chingangbam area, Sawombung High School, Khomidok in Imphal East district and Naoremthong High School area in Imphal West district, official sources said.

There were also reports from six other places in the state where mobs damaged Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and in another incident miscreants snatched an EVM, said Shukla.

A total of 12,967 polling personnel were deployed for the elections at 2,357 polling stations.

Around 350 companies of security personnel including 270 central para military force personnel were deployed besides the state armed police. A helicopter was also kept on standby for emergencies.

The run-up to the election witnessed several militant attacks.

A coordination committee of seven major militant groups had called for a ban on all election meetings and campaigning by Congress candidates.

Congress and its partner CPI, which comprise the ruling Secular Progressive Front, fought separately. While Congress contested all the 60 seats, CPI did so in 24.

Trinamool Congress, which has one legislator and is an ally of Congress in West Bengal contested in 47 seats on its own.

Peoples Democratic Front, an opposition five-party alliance comprising Manipur Peoples Party, NCP, CPI-M, Janata Dal (U) and RJD, contested 43 seats.

BJP fielded candidates in 19 seats and Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) in 34. Manipur unit of Nagaland-based party, Naga Peoples Front (NPF), contested in 12 constituencies in the hills.


28 JAN, 2012, 05.31AM IST, ET BUREAU

Budget 2012: Finance ministry plans new law for uniform stamp rate for all deals


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The finance ministry, in a big reform initiative, is planning to introduce a comprehensive legislation to overhaul the stamp duty regime in the country that will lead to a uniform rate for all financial transactions.

"The legislation has gone to law ministry for vetting... We are looking at bringing it in the budget session," said a finance ministry official.

For most securities transactions, both in the futures and cash segments, the finance ministry has proposed a rate of 0.003 %, from the present 0.005%. For currency derivatives, the rate could be reduced to 0.0001% to boost trade in this segment.

A high stamp duty tends to discourage secondary market trading in financial assets because of the wafer thin margins these markets function on. The move is in line with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's budget announcement.

States have in principle agreed to the changes in theIndian Stamp Duty Act and the new Act will allow stock exchanges to collect stamp duty from the purchaser and pass it on to the respective state government.

The reform of century-old Indian Stamp Act, enacted in 1899, is important as the stamp duty has been kept out of the proposed goods and services tax, that seeks to replace a slew of indirect taxes.

Stamp duty is a form of tax that is usually levied on documents and some transactions such as buying and selling of land.

The new framework for stamp duty, which has been finalised after several rounds of discussions spanning more than six years, seeks to drop several archaic provisions. The mechanism for collection of stamp duty will also be streamlined in line with this reform.

Under the proposed system, stock exchanges will collect stamp duty from the purchaser of a financial security and pass it on to the state government entitled to the revenue based on the location of the purchaser.

Currently, brokers collect stamp duty on any sale or purchase of shares or financial instruments and deposit it with the state governments.

A high-level committee headed by RH Patil, which submitted its reports in December 2005, had suggested a blueprint for breathing life into the corporate bond market by prescribing a low uniform stamp levy.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/budget-2012-finance-ministry-plans-new-law-for-uniform-stamp-rate-for-all-deals/articleshow/11658785.cms


Food, fuel inflation numbers to be released monthly to avoid public gaze
28 JAN, 2012, 05.21AM IST, RISHI SHAH,ET BUREAU

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The government will stop releasing weekly food andfuel inflation numbers from next month to tone down expectations of price rise and keep public glare off the politically sensitive issue.

"It was felt that weekly inflation numbers were fanning inflationary pressures," said a senior government official. A higher figure for a particular week led to expectations of further price rise the next week, he said.

However, economists felt that weekly estimates kept inflation under the spotlight.

Food inflation numbers also tended to move markets, affecting government debt yields.

"There would be less speculation in the markets and the focus would also be brought off inflation to a certain extent," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings.

The government had stopped releasing weekly numbers for the overall WPI in October 2010. Data on primary articles and fuel and power were being released weekly. They have a weight of 20.12% and 14.91% in the overall wholesale price index, respectively. But data on manufactured products, which have a weight of almost 65% in the index, is released monthly.

"The positives of the move outweigh the negatives," said Saugata Bhattacharya, senior vice president and economist at Axis Bank.

Monthly release of inflation numbers will help the government compile more authentic and up-to-date price data without having to frequently update previous figures. Data volatility is also likely to come down as a result.

"The data would end up being more robust," said Sabnavis.

The government was uneasy about frequent WPI data revisions as there were reports of values being repeated owing to unavailability of data.

Inflation numbers, released in the middle of every month, come with a lag of two weeks.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/food-fuel-inflation-numbers-to-be-released-monthly-to-avoid-public-gaze/articleshow/11658706.cms

26 JAN, 2012, 04.26AM IST, BILL GATES,

Innovation in agriculture, vaccine research can wipe out hunger and disease

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Farming is a great example of something critical to the poor that gets very little attention in rich countries. Back in the 19th century, the majority of people in the US worked in agriculture.

Now less than 2% of the workforce is involved in farming, and less than 15% of US consumer spending goes to food. Farming issues rarely make the news. The exceptions are when food is contaminated, when government subsidies are being debated, or when there is a famine like the current one in the Horn of Africa.

Despite the rich world's distance from farming, food-related issues are important for all of us. In the 1960s and 1970s, when I was in high school, people worried that we simply couldn't grow enough food to feed everyone in the world. A popular book that came out in 1968, The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich, began with the statement, "The battle to feed all of humanity is over.

In the 1970s, hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programmes embarked upon now. At this late date, nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate..." Fortunately, due in large part to the Green Revolution, this dire prediction was wrong.

But the world's success in warding off famine led to complacency. Over time, governments in both developed and developing countries focused less on agriculture. Agricultural aid fell from 17% of all aid from rich countries in 1987 to just 4% in 2006. In the last 10 years, demand for food has gone up because of population growth and economic development: as people get richer, they tend to eat more meat, which indirectly raises demand for grain.

Supply growth has not kept up, leading to higher prices. Meanwhile, the threat of climate change is becoming clearer. Preliminary studies show that the rise in global temperature alone could reduce the productivity of main crops by over 25%.

Climate change will also increase the number of droughts and floods that can wipe out an entire season of crops. More and more people are raising familiar alarms about whether the world will be able to support itself in the future, as the population heads toward a projected 9.7 billion by 2050.

Ibelieve these new dire predictions can be wrong, too. We can help poor farmers sustainably increase their productivity so they can feed themselves and their families. By doing so, they will contribute to global food security. But that will happen only if we prioritise agricultural innovation.

When I was in India in March last year, I met about 20 rice farmers who had recently switched to a new rice seed called Swarna-Sub1, which is both very productive and can survive in flooded fields. Their rice fields get flooded every three to four years, and in past flood years, they ended up with almost no food to eat.

Now, these farmers can feed their families no matter the weather. Currently, four million tonnes of rice is lost to flooding every year in Bangladesh and India. But as farmers in the region adopt Swarna-Sub1, they will grow enough extra rice to feed 30 million people.

Fortunately, there are reasons to believe that the chronic underfunding of research in agriculture is starting to change - and that there will be more breakthroughs like Swarna-Sub1.

One approach that looks promising is innovative partnerships with private companies where the companies donate proprietary assets in which they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars, and their expertise, to help make appropriate varieties available royalty-free to poor farmers.

Other key partners are rapidly-growing countries like Brazil and China, which bring not only new resources but also deep experience in helping poor farmers at home. Brazil is a leader in soybeans, cassava and tropical soils. China is a leader in rice and farmer education. This year, the foundation entered into model agreements to work with both countries.

The foundation's top priority remains helping to complete the eradication of polio, perhaps the best-known vaccine-preventable disease in the world. I spend a lot of my time learning about the disease and being an advocate for doing what it takes to end polio. At the start of 2011, polio virus was still spreading in three areas: 10 countries in Africa (with viruses that originated primarily in Nigeria), Afghanistan and Pakistan, and India.

Now India has reached a huge milestone. The country had only one case in 2011, which was recorded on January 13 in West Bengal. So, on January 13, 2012, India celebrated its first year of being polio-free. The challenge in India was mind-boggling. It's hard to imagine how you would design a polio campaign that reached every Indian child. More than a billion people live in the country.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/innovation-in-agriculture-vaccine-research-can-wipe-out-hunger-and-disease/articleshow/11635019.cms

27 JAN, 2012, 01.12AM IST, SMRITI SETH,ET BUREAU

Food Bill, FDI in retail, NPS: UPA's litany of policy errors raises fears of License Raj


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NEW DELHI: On January 24, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) cleared the Cairn-Vedanta deal for the second time. The double-barrelled clearance --- the first CCEA nod was on June 30 last year --- was triggered after the home ministry raised concerns over Vedanta's 'human rights' records, while vetting its security credentials.

But the instances cited by the home ministry --- according to media reports these were disapproving noises from the Church of England and Norway's sovereign wealth fund --- have been in the public domain for years, leaving many puzzled. The actual deal was completed on December 8, 2011 and both companies had made public announcements to the exchanges.

The UPA government, battered by scandals and accusations of policy paralysis, has often struggled to fashion a response. But, as in the case of Vedanta, where the episode became part of the policy paralysis and regulatory uncertainty narrative that has bedevilled its second term, the problems are often self-inflicted.

Far too often its instinct has been reach back into the toolkit of the 1970s raising the possibility, say some economists and industry officials, to the return of the license-permit raj, at least in some sectors.

That era of growth-sapping controls, scrapped by then finance minister Manmohan Singh in the famous 1991 budget, is not about to make a full-fledged comeback. Yet some proposals which are in the works, if implemented, would mean a significant increase in state control in parts of the economy.

Flirting With Controls

Mining and pharmaceuticals are two sectors where the government has been conspicuously flirting with the possibility of reintroducing controls.

Take mining, a sector where alleged violation of environmental norms and corrupt practices has attracted the ire of the Supreme Court and has prompted state-level probes in Karnataka, Orissa and Goa. In response the ministry of commerce has recently proposed that export of certain kinds of iron ore be canalized, or executed through state-owned MMTC.

This is being touted as a measure to check illegal mining, but critics say it marks a return to the permit raj where inspectors decides who gets to export and when.

"The government is turning the clock backwards. We have come far from the control days and this step will not only empower the public sector with unwarranted clout but also hamper the mining industry", said H Noor Ahmed, Managing Partner, Trident Minerals and vice president of the Federation of Indian Mineral industries.

Analysts are also sceptical of the impact of such controls to solve the problem, illegal mining in this case. "Canalising of iron ore exports is a step backwards and will put more pressure on an already stressed mining industry while failing to control illegal mining", Kalpana Jain, senior director (mining), Deloitte.

In some cases, the fondness for physical controls are evidently knee-jerk reactions to scams or strictures from regulators and auditors and are eventually squelched by higher authorities.

The coal ministry recently barred private companies from producing extra coal at captive mines after the National Auditor reportedly criticised a government decision allowing Reliance Power to use excess coal from mines allocated for one power plant for another.

The ministry's directive, which was put on its website, has since been put on hold after intervention by the powerful Prime Minister's Office (PMO). The coal ministry's action, analysts say, was prompted by intense fear of the CAG, whose report claiming huge losses to the exchequer led to the arrest of former minister A Raja and former bureaucrat Siddharth Behura.

Pharma Policy

The origins of what most mainstream economists would describe as retrograde policies in various sectors are manifold, a mixture of populism and judicial proceedings.

In case of the pharmaceutical sector the government has outlined plans to bring 348 drug formulations under price control, according to a draft proposal released in October 2011.

At present 74 drugs are under control, but the new regime proposes to cover 60% of the Indian pharma market. The policy, if implemented, would reverse two decades of liberalisation in which the span of price control has been gradually reduced.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/food-bill-fdi-in-retail-nps-upas-litany-of-policy-errors-raises-fears-of-license-raj/articleshow/11643766.cms

27 JAN, 2012, 02.08PM IST, NITIN SETHI,TNN

Poor labourers pledged Rs 100, get Re 1 for day's work under NREGS

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NEW DELHI: Poor workers are being paid wages as low as Rs 1-10 for a hard day's labour in states like Rajasthan and Karnataka under the Mahatma GandhiNational Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme which promises a real wage of Rs 100 per day.

Documents with TOI show that many desperate, poorlabourers across the country are being cheated of their hard earned money and the much publicized guaranteed daily wage of Rs 100 on many occasions remains a mere illusion.

The scheme legally entitles any citizen in the hinterland to demand work for 100 days from the government and be paid Rs 100 per day for the work rendered. But documents with TOI show how rules of the scheme have allowed government officials to cheat the people of their day's entitlement.

In practice, the promise of guaranteed wage has been supplanted by non-transparent efficiency norms which allow the executing authorities to use discretion to hammer down the wages.

De-linking the payment under the scheme from minimum wages keeps the wages low to begin with. On top of it, linking it to non-transparent efficiency norms has ensured that the poor can be robbed of their wages under MNREGA, and that it can be done safely under the techno-legal loopholes passing off the inefficiency of the bureaucracy to the poor at the latter's cost.

Initial reports had suggested just a one-off case of Re 1 being paid to several in Tonk district in Rajasthan. But trawling through hundreds of muster rolls in the state has shown that this is an endemic fraud being perpetrated on the poor in Rajasthan.

A survey of 249 panchayats in 33 districts of the state carried out by Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan has shown that in 37 panchayats, some people were paid wages between Rs 1-10 in 2011-12. Another 40 panchayats paid between Rs 11-20 to people employed to carry out rural development work under the scheme. In only 7 of the 249 panchayats, scrutinized workers ever got between Rs 91-100 per day for their work in 2011-12.

The story is as bad in Karanataka. A scrutiny of the muster rolls shows that in Bapur village of Sadapur panchayat in Raichur, people got paid anywhere from Rs 2-11 for carrying out work under the scheme. It is not a one-off case in Karnataka either. The meagre wages have been paid in several districts over the last year, documents with TOI show.

The shocking discrepancy between the promise and the reality is a pointer to how the details of a scheme can end up defeating the objective it was meant for. In this case, while Rs 100 is publicized as the guaranteed pay, it is actually the maximum the poor can get and it entirely depends on the district administration if the worker will get it at all.

Under the scheme, the administration first assesses how much work was done in the day by the labourer on a particular project. This technical assessment takes place days after the labourer has completed his work. The labourer has no room to dispute the assessment and is, thus forced, to settle for whatever has already been put in the banks. More so, because in many cases, the payments reach months after completion of the project.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/poor-labourers-pledged-rs-100-get-re-1-for-days-work-under-nregs/articleshow/11645672.cms

Tough US strictures on Ranbaxy

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*

Mumbai, Jan. 27: The US Department of Justice has virtually hurled the book at Ranbaxy Industries as it filed a consent decree in the district court of Maryland as a first step towards resolving a four-year long investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that uncovered serious irregularities at the drug maker's plants in India and the US.
The consent decree was filed at the request of the FDA.
Investigations by the US drug regulator showed that Ranbaxy had falsified drug tests and data, failed to keep proper records to certify that the drugs had been made properly at its plants and did not investigate evidence that showed that the drugs did not meet specifications.
Last month, Ranbaxy had signed a consent decree with the FDA in which the drug maker agreed to rectify its conduct and clean up its act without admitting its guilt.
It also announced then that it intended to make a provision of $500 million to "resolve all potential civil and criminal liabilities" arising from the four-year-long investigation by the US regulator.
A consent decree is a document that consists of an agreement between parties following which there is a withdrawal of a criminal charge or an end to litigation.
If Ranbaxy was hoping to get off lightly after signing the consent decree and creating a fund to pay out penalties, it wasn't to be.
The US Department of Justice has set extremely tough terms under the consent decree that have the potential to gouge more out of the company in the form of lost business opportunities, with analysts estimating the total impact at over $700 million.
The consent decree sets out stiff terms and conditions that Ranbaxy must comply with before three plants in India and one in the US are allowed to start making drugs for the US markets.
"This action against Ranbaxy is groundbreaking in its international reach — it requires the company to make fundamental changes to its plants in both the US and India," said Tony West, assistant attorney- general for the Justice Department's civil division. "Our commitment to ensuring that the drugs the American people rely on are safe, effective and manufactured according to the FDA's standards extends beyond our borders."
The ferocity of the clampdown on Ranbaxy sent its stock plunging 7 per cent on the BSE today and brokerages piled on the misery with a raft of downgrades.
The dispute with the US FDA dates back to 2008 when the regulator barred exports of around 30 drugs from two Indian facilities of Ranbaxy to the US citing deviation from good manufacturing practices.
Marketmen said the negative reaction to the development came as it was felt that Ranbaxy might at best have to pay up to $500 million.
"Nobody had anticipated such tough conditions. In such consent decree cases, the resolution is not quick and sometimes it can drag on for years," an analyst added.
Under the terms of the consent decree, Ranbaxy will not be able to sell drugs (in the US) made from its four facilities until these units meet the US manufacturing and quality standards. These are Paonta Sahib, Batamandi, Dewas facilities in India and Gloversville in the US. Moreover, Ranbaxy will have to take a number of actions at these plants to ensure that such violations do not occur again.
It will also have to hire an outside expert to conduct a detailed internal review at the affected facilities and to audit applications containing data from those facilities.
In a press statement, the DoJ said Ranbaxy would have to withdraw any applications found to contain false data, set up a separate office of data reliability within and hire an outside auditor to audit the affected facilities in the future.
What worried the market most was that Ranbaxy will give up its 180-day marketing exclusivity for three pending generic drug applications, thus losing potential sale revenues. Moreover, the company will do the same for other applications if it did not meet certain requirements by specified dates.
Although Ranbaxy did not disclose the identities of the three generic drugs, Sushant Dalmia at PINC Research said they could be generic versions of Provigil, Diovan and Valcyte that had potential sales of around $186 million. Dalmia today downgraded the stock to a "sell".
The consent decree also contains liquidated damages provisions. Ranbaxy will have to pay $15,000 in liquidated damages for each day it violates the law or the decree at the facilities covered by the decree and an additional $15,000 for each overall violation of the law and the decree.
The decree also states that if Ranbaxy distributes any drug from the facilities covered by the decree, it shall shall pay liquidated damages equal to two times the retail value of such drug, not to exceed $10 million dollars in any one calendar year.
The decree also permits FDA to order additional Ranbaxy facilities to be covered by the decree if the agency discovers through an inspection that the facility is not operating in compliance with the law or has serious data integrity issues.
Ranbaxy tried to put on a brave face after the latest setback.
"Today's announcement is the next step in the process of finalising our agreement with the FDA to resolve this legacy issue," said Arun Sawhney, Ranbaxy CEO & managing director.




  • 'Next 4 billion nations' will power business opportunities: PwC study

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  • MUMBAI, JAN. 28:
  • Businesses around the world are now looking at the "Next 4 Billion" nations for growth, owing to the global economic slowdown. The nations included in this category are India, China, Indonesia and parts of Africa and Latin America, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) India report.
  • The report, titled "Profitable growth strategies for the Global Emerging Middle – Learning from the 'Next 4 Billion' markets", indicates that the next wave of business opportunity will come from the Global Emerging Middle' (GEM) segment.
  • The GEM segment in these nations, which lies just below the middle segment, constitutes a significant, expanding and largely untapped market, said the report.
  • The above mentioned nations have an average per capita income of between $1,000 and $4,000 a year. They are home to 4 billion people, or more than half of the world's total population of 7 billion.
  • "The GEM will represent a combined annual market in excess of $6 trillion by 2021. In India alone, the segment is expected to cross the $1 trillion threshold by 2021 as its ranks swell to 570 million, from 470 million in 2010," said the report.
  • THREE POINTS

  • The report has outlined three main points that companies should keep in mind to succeed in the GEM segment. They should have a new value proposition which understands the aspirations and unique trade-offs of the segment. Companies should also develop an innovative business model which they can use to address this segment profitably. Another factor that companies need to adjust to is the shift in mindset.
  • This requires both internal as well as an external shift. Companies would need to have a strong leadership presence, a bold approach that embraces disruptive solutions, and a willingness to adopt new values and metrics to drive and measure success.
  • "Innovations developed in 'Next 4 Billion' countries can be exported to mature economies to spur growth and increase efficiencies," said Mr Shashank Tripathi, Executive Director and Leader – Strategy and Research, PwC India
  • For the report, PwC conducted in-depth interviews with more than 30 CEOs and leaders of major corporations as well as grass-roots organisations and innovation experts.
  • They also conducted a structured consumer study with individuals and families from the emerging middle class to develop an understanding of their needs and demands.
  • priya.s@thehindu.co.in
  • Keywords: Businesses, Next 4 Billion, nations, economic slowdown, PWCreport
  • http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article2840214.ece


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Palash Biswas
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