Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 23:13:26 -0800
Subject: The real looters
NEW DELHI, MARCH 14: Maharashtra, which houses Mumbai, the financial
capital of the country, accounts for the highest amount of corporate loan
defaults in the banking sector. Corporates in the state owe a whopping Rs
37,396 crore as dues to banks and financial institutions as on March 31,
Delhi is a distant second in the defaulters' list with Rs 13,399 crore
outstandings. The total amount of bad loans in the banking sector stood at
Rs 96,084 crore at the end of 2003-04, of which the largest chunk - Rs
52,101 crore - was with public sector banks, followed by private and foreign
banks with stressed assets of Rs 22,357 crore.
Banks and FIs have already filed suits for recovery of Rs 62,639.54 crore of
the outstanding amount. Though they have been successful in recouping
substantial dues, fresh non-performing assets are being added up
simultaneously. According to Reserve Bank of India's list of defaulters
released by the All Indian Bank Employees Association, companies in Tamil
Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal with unpaid dues of Rs 10,755 crore, Rs
6,542 crore and Rs 5,822 crore respectively also feature in the list of top
"The NPA level is huge and it needs to be immediately cleaned up before
allowing foreign money into the sector," CH Venkatachalam, secretary, AIBEA,
The biggest defaulters include well-known names such as DCM Ltd, Lloyds
Steel, Core Healthcare, Prakash Industries, Malvika Steel, IG Petro and
Pyrites Private Ltd.
Mr Venkatachalam also said the validation of the Sarfaesi Act by the Supreme
Court did not have any wholesome effect on reducing the non-performing
assets. The Act empowers the banks to recover the outstandings but they are
largely unable to exercise the option due to the Debt Recovery Tribunal Act
provision mandating withdrawal of all cases before the tribunals prior to
Meanwhile, unions have also demanded that Securitisation Act must empower
banks to take over personal assets of the top management of defaulting
The Word of the Day for Mar 18 is:
capricious \kuh-PRISH-us\ adjective
: governed or characterized by sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated
ideas or actions : unpredictable
Given his capricious nature, Irving is more likely to go wherever the road
takes him than follow any scripted plan.
Did you know?
The noun "caprice," which first appeared in English in the mid-17th century,
is a synonym of "whim." Evidence shows that the adjective "capricious"
debuted about sixty years before "caprice"; however, it's likely that both
words derived via French from the Italian "capriccio," which originally
referred not to a sudden desire, but to a sudden shudder of fear.
"Capriccio" in turn derives from the Italian "capo," meaning "head," and
"riccio," the word for "hedgehog."
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 19:08:12 -0800
Subject: Air Arabia
DUBAI: UAE-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia LLC announced on Thursday the
commencement of daily flights to Mumbai from March 26, with the fare of a
one-way ticket from Sharjah to Mumbai starting from nearly Rs 3,000.
The fare of the one-way ticket excluded government taxes and surcharges and
similar return fares will also be available, Air Arabia said, adding its
fares will be at least 15-20 per cent lower than other airlines.
Also, the airliner's fare structure is based on supply and demand and fares
increase as more seats are booked on a particular flight. Flights will
depart Sharjah International Airport daily at 16:40 hrs and arrive in Mumbai
at 21:00 hrs local time.
From Mumbai, flights will depart every day at 21:45 hrs and arrive in
Sharjah at 23:25 hrs local time. The latest destination grows the airline's
reach to 12 countries and 16 destinations within the Middle East, North
Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
" I would like to thank the Indian government and civil aviation authorities
for their role in facilitating our operations and their invaluable
cooperation in making this possible," said Mr Adel Ali, Air Arabia's CEO. -
New Patents Bill introduced amid protests
By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, MARCH 18. The Patents (Amendment) Bill, 2005, was introduced in
the Lok Sabha today amid protests with a majority of members from across the
political spectrum, including parties supporting the Government, objecting
to the adoption of the ordinance route.
The introduction of the Bill - replacing the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance,
2004, promulgated on December 26 last year to meet the January 1, 2005,
deadline to move over to a new patents regime - by the Union Commerce
Minister, Kamal Nath, saw the Left parties on the side of the Opposition
along with the Samajwadi Party protesting the move.
Woman Leads Friday Prayers in New York City
Barbara Ferguson, Arab News
WASHINGTON, 19 March 2005 - In a historic first in New York City yesterday,
a group of American Muslim activists broke with convention and had a woman
lead the Friday prayers, in order to "send women from the back to the front
According to the Progressive Muslim Union, which organized the event, Dr.
Amina Wadud, professor of Islamic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth
University, was the first woman to lead public, mixed-gender Friday prayers.
She also delivered Friday's sermon.
Dr. Wadud, the author of "Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a
Woman's Perspective," believes Muslim women should be able to lead in
The Muslim world and the American Muslim community generally believe that
women cannot lead mixed-gender prayers. It is only over the centuries, they
say, Muslim women have lost their place as intellectual and spiritual
"I have no objection to this salah, even though I disagree with it. It is a
matter of opinion, it is not a fixed law that women cannot lead the salah,"
Imam Mohamed Al-Hanooti, the grand mufti of Washington metropolitan area,
told Arab News.
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