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INDIA-E  June 2002

INDIA-E June 2002

Subject:

India Network Economic News - June 12, 2002

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Wed, 12 Jun 2002 09:44:16 -0400

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******************************************************************
India Network Economic News - June 12, 2002 Volume 14 Issue 109
********************************************
Brought to you in co-operation with Various News Reports from India
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Workers, and Students is available for 2001-02 year.
Details and forms at http://www.indnet.org or http://health.indnet.org
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----------------------------
Today's News Items
------------------
#1. RBI reviews bank security after threats
#2. Oh, to be a consultant
#3. Sensex gains as war clouds recede
#4. FM to ask banks to lower transaction costs
#5. Exchange rates
------------------------------------

#1. RBI reviews bank security after threats

New Delhi, June 11: Following a red alert sounded by the Centre, banks and
financial institutions are beefing up security in the commercial capital,
Mumbai, on information that hard core jihadis including al-Qaida and
Taliban are planning terrorist strikes on banking institutions.

RBI reviewed the security situation in banks and fis after a secret
message was sent by banking division here to Indian Banks Association and
market regulator Sebi.

RBI deputy governor Vepa Kamesam, who held the meeting asked chief
executive officers of banks and FIs to put in place contingency plans for
tightening security, a RBI press release said. Banking sources said there
were reports that terrorist strikes were planned against banks and FIs in
Mumbai in the next ten days.

#2. Oh, to be a consultant
Word on the Street by Shaukat H Mohammed

In these days when the economy is almost comatose, the best business to be
in is consulting, particularly to governments. The trick to get on the
consultants gravy train is to get yourself a sharp three-piece suit,
preferably pinstriped, an accent squikier than Winnie the Poohs and a
snazzy laptop which you can snap open to give PP presentations to clients.

And, voila, the big-bucks start rolling in just for telling the client
what he knows already but was fearful of articulating. Ergo, the
consultant gets paid to give voice, or a PP show, to the clients
knowledge.

These days, consultants, especially those with names like Jack or Dick,
have become a familiar sight in the corridors of government, providing
roadmaps on everything from eliminating corruption in government, to
making Andhra Pradesh an IT-savvy paradise.

According to McKinsey, it of the numerous suits with Don Rumsfeld accents,
this paradise is achievable. In its Vision 2020 document. Obviously, in
the year 2020.

The McKinsey suits are one of the slickest bunch of consultants going
around, always on the lookout for the main chance, and coming up with
roadmaps whose destinations are normally many years into the future.

To wit, McKinseys report on the Indian IT industry. McKinsey, obviously
after many discussions over extended beer lunches, says the industry will
account for $77 billion in revenues. In 2008.

Why should it be exactly $77 billion, and not $90 billion? Or $49.99
billion? How were these figures frozen on the expensive bond paper that
went into making the Nasscom-McKinsey report 2002, I asked a McKinsey
principal? He mumbled something about working our way up with inputs from
key players, before suddenly remembering that he had meeting elsewhere.

The McKinsey report did not come cheap, according to Nasscom, though the
organisation was coy about disclosing the amount it paid.

The Vision 2020 document also cost the State government a tidy amount, in
the bargain getting valuable insights on the administration of property
tax and such other mundane things, which any reasonably cogent revenue
inspector will tell you.

Delicious irony

There was Pramod Mahajan, a self-appointed warrior defending the supposed
public weal against the crass capitalism of the corporate sector, telling
the press that the government had kissed and made up with the Tata group
over its decision to park VSNLs money in TTSL equity.

The venue: the Nasscom Strategy Summit, which Mahajan inaugurated. The
summits Platinum Sponsors were, get this, Tata Teleservices and VSNL.

#3. Sensex gains as war clouds recede

Mumbai: Buoyed by de-escalating tensions on the subcontinent, share values
staged a further smart rally on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday after
heavy buying support from all quarters pushed up the Sensex by another
82.93 points to close at 3362.42. The Sensex opened sharply up with a wide
gap of about 60 points at 3339.96 and moved in a narrow range of 3368.56
and 3323.37 before concluding at 3362.42 as against Mondays close of
3279.49, a sharp rise of 2.53 per cent. The broad-based BSE-100 index also
shot up by 41.57 points to close at 1703.38 from previous close of
1661.81.

#4. FM to ask banks to lower transaction costs
PTI [ WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2002  6:36:30 PM ]

NEW DELHI: The government has said that banks should lower the transaction
costs to pass on the benefits of the lower interest rate regime to
consumers. The issue would come up for discussion at the meeting of chiefs
of public sector banks with Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha later this
month, Economic Affairs Secretary C M Vasudev told reporters here on
Wednesday.

"There is a feeling that benefits of lower interest regime have not yet
fully reflected in the cost of borrowing by customers. The finance
minister would take up this issue with bank chiefs later this month," he
said.

Sinha would review the performance of the banks at the meeting to be held
in Mumbai.

Asked if there could be any benchmarking for the transaction costs of
banks in India, Vasudev said it was perhaps not possible.

However, the cost of transaction could come down with banks gradually
reducing their non-performing assets, he said, adding that at present
banks also build in the cost of NPAs in the transaction costs.

"NPAs in India are lower as compared to other east Asian nations.
Provisioning for these is strong and we have transparent accounting
practices which is at par with international standards," he said.

#5. Exchange rates



=========================================================
      Currencies                    Direct rates
                              TT Buying      TT Selling
=========================================================
Indicative rates in rupees a unit at 4 p.m. on June 11
U.S. Dollar                    48.78          49.09
Sterling                       71.47          71.97
Euro                           46.11          46.40
Singapore Dollar               27.25          27.43
Japan yen (per 100)            39.06          39.31
Swiss Franc                    31.25          31.54
Australian Dollar              27.72          27.91
New Zealand dollar             23.73          23.91
Hong Kong dollar                6.25           6.29
Malaysian Ringitt              12.84          12.92
Canadian dollar                31.70          31.92
Swedish Kroner                  5.02           5.06
Kuwaiti Dinar                 160.30         161.36
UAE dirham                     13.28          13.37
Bahrain Dinar                 129.32         130.23
Qatary Riyal                   13.39          13.49
Saudi Riyal                    13.00          13.09
Omani Riyal                   126.37         127.83
=========================================================
Source: Indian Bank
-----------------------------------------
End of India Network Economic News Digest
-----------------------------------------

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