Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Viva La Vino!

At Rome’s Etruscan Museum, under a sarcophagus one comes across an utterance ‘CAERE’ suggesting a nearby town, known to current breeds as Cerveteri. One of Italy’s great Etruscan cities, Cerveteri props the bizarre tag of “City of the Dead” owing to the existence of the Etruscan civilisation surviving in the Necropolis of Cerveteri – Etruscan tombs on the outskirts of this tiny hamlet. Regardless of it, rural folks come alive in the annual gala of Sagra dell’Uva del Vino or Festival of the Grape and the Wine (August 27). It’s a gathering where people pay homage to the region’s two most important agricultural products – grapes and their definitive consequence – savory wines! Costumed processions of historical fl oats and various equestrian competitions throng the milieu, including races and acrobatic displays along with the Frachetto d’Oro – a farming produce contest – and an air where the smell of the finest cabernets lingers long after it has been quaff ed. Not so dead, after all!

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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006, Arindam Chaudhuri's Initiative

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Though India Inc. has announced voluntary support to SCs & STs, the government’s calls are unlettered

So India Inc. appears to have worked it out. After plenty of deliberation and discussion, to pre-empt a law reserving jobs for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the private sector, the industry says it will “voluntarily” adopt ‘Affirmative Action’.

On July 29, 2006, at a press conference jointly called by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (ASSOCHAM), top corporate bodies pledged to adopt the J. J. Irani Committee action plan unambiguously titled ‘Proposed Concrete Steps by Indian Industry on Affirmative Action for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes’. Other than encouraging higher participation of backward castes in the private sector, the action plan lays down guidelines for entrepreneurship development among SC/STs. It plans to create and mentor 100 entrepreneurs in the first year (that is 2007) and aims to scale it further in future. Apart from that, to enable enterprises to survive competition, CII and ASSOCHAM have taken up the task of facilitating the creation of business partnerships between corporations and enterprises owned and promoted by SC/STs. It has also decided to identify 10 universities for programmes covering 10,000 students with the aim of increasing to 50 cities and 50,000 students by the year 2009.

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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006, Editor - Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Mercury deal is spot on, but HP must keep the momentum going

One would hardly associate a big ticket acquisition with a term like charity. On July 25, however, when IT giant HP gobbled up business management software maker Mercury Interactive for a whopping $4.5 billion, it seemed to have benevolence written all over it. For Mercury is going through a turbulent period – be it the accountancy scandal, SEC investigations, resignation of its CEO, being delisted from NASDAQ or delayed financial results. Who would have predicted that HP would pay a 33% premium for Mercury Interactive? Clarifies Mark Hurd, “We believe the issues to be limited and we are comfortable the issues will be resolved soon.” Other than the price and culture issues, even the analysts seem to be supporting him.

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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006, Editor - Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri

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Monday, August 21, 2006


Securitisation is the process of creating a tradable financial instrument by pooling together other financial assets and marketing them to investors. Though it is one of the old financial concepts, its application is becoming more appropriate only now in the modern financial world. Though in reality securitisation does not hold much ground in India, under the current situation of high growth in credit demand, the Indian banks could vigorously follow this method to improve their liquidity position.

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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

The US has agreed to open up 97% of its markets to the poorest of countries. The catch is that it gets to chosethe 3% it wants to refuse

The situation is no better if the 3% rule applies to the tariff lines that the US imports from the rest of the world (rather than to the lines individual poor countries export to the US), for then the US can exclude roughly 300 tariff lines from duty-free and quota-free treatment. For Bangladesh, this implies that 75% of the tariff lines, accounting for more than 90% of the value of its exports to the US, could be excluded from duty-free treatment. Exclusion from duty-free treatment could reach 100% for Cambodia, which exported only 277 tariff lines to the US in 2004.

The official argument for the 3% exclusion is that it affects “sensitive products.” In other words, while the US lectures developing countries on the need to face the pain of rapid adjustment to liberalization, it refuses to do the same. (Indeed, it has already had more than 11 years to adjust to liberalization of textiles). But the real problem is far worse, because the 3% exclusion raises the spectre of an odious policy of divide and conquer, as developing countries are invited to vie with each other to make sure that America does not exclude their vital products under the 3%.
Th e whole exclusion simply undermines the multilateral trading system.

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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006, Editor - Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

There’s a bill, where’s the way?

One can only imagine how these 55 will be passed. One reason for this mass of non-work is ‘bickering’. As always, the Treasury benches and the Opposition are readying to bait the other. Ruckus is already growing on the weak-kneed release of terrorists in exchange for Indian hostages at Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1999. The then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh’s conduct in Kandahar, promises to be a topic of raucous name-calling, especially with his belated assertion that there was a “mole” in the Narasimha Rao government (a statement challenged by the current PM Manmohan Singh). There will be many more of such niggles, which will keep some important legislation on hold – like the Seed Bill, the Pension Bill, the Prevention of Child Marriages Bill and the Women’s Reservation Bill.

“Often, people say MPs are wasting money. It is only the middle-class and the political class that is concerned about money being spent on Parliament and no work being done,” snaps D. Raja, Secretary, Communist Party of India. What Raja is alluding to could be the second reason for piling bills: Lobbying. Interested parties push for legislation to suit their interests. Some MPs, therefore, see no harm in taking time to pass bills. One bill is on hold since 1987, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill. Then there’s the Food Safety and Standards Bill that proposes to establish a Food Safety & Standards Authority for setting and monitoring nutritional & chemical- content standards in local & imported food items. In the West, for instance, these would be issues to deal with haste.

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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006, Editor - Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri

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