In Friday's South Asia papers

08 February 2008 04:30  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--These were the top stories at 4:00GMT in the following South Asia newspapers’ online versions on Friday. ICIS has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. To go to the individual websites, click the links below:




Front Page


Kidney kingpin Amit Kumar held in Nepal

A fortnight after kidney scam kingpin Dr Amit Kumar fled from Gurgaon, setting off an Interpol alert, he was arrested on Thursday by the Kathmandu police from a luxury forest resort in Sauraha in southern Nepal, close to the Indian border.


Government mulls lower taxes for 'green' cars

You may soon have to pay less to have a "green" car. And more to drive fuel-guzzling SUVs. Vehicles not meeting upcoming fuel efficiency standards could face increasing excise duties--besides higher parking fees--while those which adhere to norms could enjoy much lower rates.




Slowdown: Economy to grow at 8.7%

Just when you were getting used to 9% growth, the government's statistics office on Thursday said GDP would rise by 8.7% in the current financial year, compared with 9.6% last year and 9.4% in 2005-2006.


Policy tangle: DoT to hold back licence offerings

Those waiting to convert 121 letter of intents (LoIs) to telecom licences are in for grief. After rushing to issue LoIs, the telecom ministry is now dragging its feet over the award of licences on two counts: It simply has no spectrum to dole out to new aspirants and neither has it finalized the criteria for spectrum priority. 




Front Page


Nifty futures hit with Singapore traders

Trading volumes in Nifty futures on the National Stock Exchange may have shrunk as most high net worth and retail investors are yet to recover from the blisters suffered during last month’s meltdown. But the country’s largest stock exchange can take heart in the fact that Nifty futures are finding takers elsewhere. 


Tatas to talk jobs, pension with Jaguar-Land Rover union on Friday

As the Jaguar-Land Rover negotiations enter the final lap, top Tata Motors officials are meeting JLR union Unite on Friday to discuss ‘pensions, job security’ and other concerns. 




Front Page


SC defers govt appeal hearing

The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred to10 February the government appeal hearing against Wednesday’s High Court verdict cancelling the Azam J Chowdhury extortion case against Hasina.


No confusion about polls: CEC

The Chief Election Commissio-ner (CEC), ATM Shamsul Huda, on Thursday reasserted that the stalled ninth parliamentary election will be held by the end of 2008 and there is no confusion over holding the election in accordance with announced road map.




Mirza asks leather exporters to submit proposal to solve their problems

Finance Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam Thursday advised the leather and leather goods manufacturers and exporters to submit through the Industries Ministry a concrete proposal on the problems faced by them.


Donors pledge $650m so far for flood-Sidr rehab

Foreign donors have so far pledged $650m for the reconstruction and rehabilitation works of recurrent floods and the Sidr affected areas of Bangladesh, out of estimated $4bn required for the purpose in 15 years.




Front Page


Legitimacy of Mayadunne nomination questioned

The dispute over the reactivation of the Constitutional Council (CC) heightened in Parliament yesterday, with the government expressing doubts about the legitimacy of minority party nominee, the former Auditor General S.C. Mayadunne, serving on the committee.


President praises Premadasa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the duty of those who followed the principles of former President R. Premadasa was to support his efforts to wipe out terrorism and bring peace to the country.




Hemas strengthens in FMCG, leisure hampered

Hemas has achieved 25% growth with a dampened FMCG sector and a leisure sector that continued to be hampered by the prevailing situation. Growth in quarterly profits in the FMCG sector by 21% year on year was achieved due to cost containment and phased price adjustments.


Worker Safety in Sri Lanka

A few days ago a top Sri Lankan industrialist pointed out that by investing beyond the minimum regulatory requirements stipulated for worker safety his group has created a safety and quality consciousness among his employees and that has helped directly and indirectly to increase productivity and profitability in his group by 200% in the last five years. 




Front Page


Thousands of mourners attend Chehlum: Zardari vows to accomplish Benazir’s mission

Thousands of People’s Party supporters converged on Garhi Khuda Bakhsh to attend the Chehlum of Benazir Bhutto on Thursday, expressing determination to carry on her mission.


Two suspects held in Benazir case

Police said on Thursday they had arrested two more suspects in connection with the assassination of PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, as a Scotland Yard team helping Pakistani investigators into the terror attack of 27 December returned to Islamabad from Britain.




GST, energy rates may be raised to cut fiscal deficit

The government is considering curtailing current expenditure, increasing sales tax rates and raising energy prices to bridge the rising fiscal deficit, which now stands almost 70% higher than the budgeted target.


Return on bank deposits up

Banking spread, which shows a gap between lending and deposit rates, declined by 30 basis points in December 2007 compared to December 2006.




Front Page


Kiyani clears army pullout from civil institutions

106th Corps Commanders Conference was held at General Headquarters here on Thursday. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired the meeting. 

Scotland team to submit report on Benazir’s martyrdom today
Scotland Yard team which arrived here on Thursday would submit its report on martyrdom of Pakistan Peoples Party late Chairperson Benazir Bhutto on Friday.




Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves dip to the lowest level

The country's foreign exchange reserves have dipped to the lowest level of current fiscal year, $14.7bn, by recording 10% decline during the last three months.


Fiscal deficit has gone up to 2.5% of GDP: Salman

The fiscal deficit has gone up to 2.5% of the GDP, which is well above the current financial year's target of 1.7%, and the next government will bridge the gap by increasing the energy prices, said caretaker finance minister Dr Salman Shah. 

By: Staff Reporter
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