Economic Development

  • New World Bank catastrophe loan

    WORLD Bank on Tuesday launched a new catastrophe loan facility and revised an existing contingency credit line designed to help increase its business with middle-income countries. The World Bank board on Tuesday approved the Catastrophe Risk Deferred Drawdown Option that will give middle-income countries access to emergency funds in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake. Countries stricken by disaster will be able to access funding of up to $500 million once a state of emergency is declared. Countries may qualify for the loan facility if they have a hazard risk management programme already in place that is monitored by the World Bank. World Bank president Robert Zoellick said the facility was an example of how the institution could be useful to middle-income countries, a diverse group that includes fast-growing economic powerhouses like China. In September, Mr Zoellick cut the price the World bank charged on its loans and simplified a complex set of fees and waivers for emerging economies, which were increasingly tapping global capital markets for funding. "These financial product enhancements reflect the World Bank Group's commitment to using creative ways to expand resources for our country partners,' Mr Zoellick said. "As our client relationships with middle-income countries become more sophisticated, the World Bank is responding with development solutions that share knowledge, build markets and institutions, and provide capital,' he added. The World Bank board separately also approved changes to its existing Deferred Drawdown Option (DDO), a pre-approved line of credit for countries which do not immediately need the funding but have access to it in the future in case of an unforeseen event. Only two countries

  • Central panel advises Ministry against Mangalore SEZ Phase II

    The Rs. 35,000-crore Mangalore Special Economic Zone Project appears to have suffered a setback as a Central committee of experts has advised the Ministry of Environment and Forests against going ahead with Phase II of the project, according to information available on the website of the Ministry. At a meeting in New Delhi on February 27 and February 28 to discuss the issue of environment clearance for the project, the Expert Committee on Infrastructure and Miscellaneous Projects said, "The project should be restricted to only Phase I.' Phase I covers 1,800 acres of land which has been acquired by the promoters of the project. Land (2,035 acres) for Phase II is yet to be acquired. The company, Mangalore Special Economic Zone Limited, has been facing opposition from various farmers' organisations and environmentalists as far as Phase II is concerned. The committee has come to the conclusion based on the recommendations of another sub-committee constituted by the Ministry which was entrusted with the responsibility of visiting Mangalore and inspecting the villages notified for the project. The inspection committee was sent to Mangalore after the Ministry took cognisance of the protests and objections against the proposed project. At the New Delhi meeting, the committee said that in view of the protests, the company should confine itself to Phase I of the project. However, the promoters of the project have requested the Ministry to consider the whole project (Phases I and II) saying that the Environmental Impact Assessment has been done for infrastructure on 2,035 acres of land as well. Guarding against any complacency, Lawrence D'Cunha, secretary of the Krishi Bhoomi Samrakshana Samiti, said, "This is only the first step towards victory. We are going to scale up our agitation and not relent until our lands are de-notified.' The samiti represents the four villages of Permude, Thenka Ekkaru, Delantha Bettu and Kuthethoor which have been notified for the second phase of the project.

  • Gujarat aims at 15% industrial growth for 5 yrs

    'Brand Gujarat' is on the roll and the state government is aiming to reach out globally this time.

  • Trend-setting Budget

    The government has made significant allocations to important developmental and social agenda, and yet provided enough stimuli for continued growth.

  • Khanduri offers some relief in Budget

    The entire Opposition continues boycott of the Assembly session for the third day VAT on wheat flour, maida, pulses down to 1 p.c. Water tax and sewerage tax to be abolished

  • Rs. 2,973-crore surplus Budget for State

    The Karnataka Budget for 2008-09 presented by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had no fanfare, no announcements of new schemes and no new "populist' initiatives.

  • Gogoi presents 2,819-crore deficit budget for 2008-09

    Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday presented a Rs. 2819 crore deficit budget for the 2008-09 fiscal and announced a number of sops and projects to be undertaken by his government during the year.

  • FICCI to focus on inclusive growth model

    Induction of fresh blood and ideas into the apex chamber, changing the common perception that all the business does with the Government is to seek sops for itself and contributing to the nation-buildi

  • Industrial growth slumps to 5.3 p.c.

    The Reserve Bank of India's tight money policy by way of high interest rates to contain inflation coupled with the chilly winds blowing across the globe appear to have led to a slowdown in the econo

  • Rejuvenating agriculture with the help of the small farmer

    The small farmer might be the solution to the ongoing crisis in the farming sector in India.

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