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June 2014

Furore Among Real Estate Players Against Arbitrary Hike in Cement Prices

Bangalore: The Governing Body of CREDAI – Karnataka met in Bangalore and one of the key matters on the agenda was the arbitrary hike in cement prices announced by the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA). The increase has taken the price of cement from Rs 255 to Rs 315 per bag, an increase of almost 25%. “CREDAI-India will take a petition to the Central Government of India requesting that the price of cement be brought down in a week’s time, failing which – construction across all South-Indian states namely TAMIL NADU , KERELA , ANDHRA PRADHESH And KARANTAKA will be forced to be haltedas prices of all apartments will have to be increased by us” said Mr. R Nagaraj, President, CREDAI Karnataka.

At the same time, four organizations – the Builder’s Association of India, Construction Federation of India, National Highways Authority of India and CREDAI will also take a presentation to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) protesting the price rise.

As a result, the cost of construction is poised to escalate pan-India, which means that the end consumer is going to be burdened with a rise in apartment costs. This price increase, CREDAI officials ascertain, has been grossly timed wrong, especially now, with the onset of the monsoons and when prices are generously supposed to be on the downtick due to the slowing of construction pace.

CREDAI acknowledges that the change in economy may result in a small change to the price of cement trading, however asserts that the input cost to the cement manufacturers does not warrant the current level of hike. Coupled with the hike in cement, is a steep increase in steel prices too. Prices have gone up from Rs 47,000 to Rs 52,000 per metric tonne.

It is the common man who will be largely burdened by this increase in prices. A majority of infrastructural projects today are done on the basis of a PPP (public-private partnership). This sharp increase in prices will in turn pass on the burden of projectcompletion to the people, in the form of higher taxation.

AMW and L & T Finance Announce Financing Relationship Entire Range of AMW Vehicles Covered Under the Agreement

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Bangalore, June 25, 2014: India’s leading heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer, AMW Motors Ltd. AMW announced that the Company had entered into an agreement with L & T Finance to provide competitive retail financing options for its range of medium and heavy haulage vehicles and tippers.

The agreement will help provide loans at attractive rates for all classes of commercial vehicle operators, including retail customers and will be available across the range of AMW vehicles such as tippers, the new AMW haulage range and other special purpose vehicles. The country-wide reach of AMW and L & T Finance will considerably augment financing options for customers.

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The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by A. Ramasubramanian – President AMW Motors and Mr G C Rangan, COO, L&T Finance. Senior officials of both companies were present on the occasion.

Mr. A Ramasubramanian said, “Affordable financing for commercial vehicles is extremely important as it provides our customers the advantage of aligning their monthly outgo on loans with vehicle operating costs and enables them to increase the Return on Investment which is crucial to business. The combined benefit of high product performance and attractive financing options is a “win-win” for all of us. We are privileged to be associated with L & T Finance and are confident that this tie up will generate increased volumes for AMW and better overall productivity for customers.”

Mr G C Rangan, COO, L&T Finance said “With this strategic tie-up with AMW we feel that the potential of owning a quality portfolio by the transport community will get a real boost. It is our continuous endeavour to make availability of finance more convenient and customer friendly and with this partnership; we believe, we will be able to help people in buying their choice of commercial vehicle.”

This partnership is expected to benefit and support customers across India by making loans easily accessible with attractive benefits. The benefits include attractive interest rates, high loan to value of commercial vehicles, simple documentation process, personalized services, quick disbursement and pan India network. AMW’s expects that this agreement with L & T Finance will help its sales offices and dealerships to reach out to more truck operators across the country.

B L SRINIVAS PETITION DISMISSED

Bangalore: Justice L Narayana Swamy dismissed the petition filed by B L Srinivas, who runs the Flower Shop at KR Market and had sought allotment of the neighbouring shop. The High Court of Karnataka on 20th June 22, 2014, Friday directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to adopt tender system for allotting shops. Justice Naranaya Swamy directed the BBMP to call for tenders and allot the shopes for five years. At the end of fifth year, the BBMP will issue a public notice calling for fresh tender.

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The court also said that reservation should be provided for SC/STs, Minorities, Unemployed and Physically Challenged in allotment. Source:Deccan Herald, Saturday, 21st Bangalore Edition

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Canon India “Adopts a Village” in Karnataka

ImageBangalore, 21st  June, 2014: After successfully implementing its ‘Adopt a village’ program near Delhi, Canon India today announced the adoption of Maharaja Katte Village at Kanakapura district of Bangalore. The campaign, which has been launched under iCare, the CSR wing of Canon India, aims to support the village with core interventions in Education Environment and Eye care for a period of three years. Canon India has been involved in various community welfare programs in the past and this project is an attempt to build a progressive self-reliant rural community. With the adoption of the village school as the first step in this direction, Canon India focuses to improve the quality of education that would positively affect the lives of children in the school adopted in the village. The school adoption program by Canon India aims to educate and provide better infrastructure to make the school more conducive to learning and fun to attend.  Canon aims to expand facilities in this school by way of an  activity centre for children with sports equipment, art and craft material and books, drawing books and colours.

Speaking on the occasions, Mr. Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO, Canon India said“We, at Canon, believe that organizations should focus not only on the economic well-being of the nation it operates in, but also upon its social fabric. As a responsible business, Canon India takes pride in being socially inclined and focuses on sustained and effective CSR projects. In line with this thought process, Canon has created this unique CSR initiative, where we adopt a village to bring about a big transformation in the lives of the people living here. The project involves engagement with children to enhance their education as well as providing eye care facilities and supporting the environment in the village. The first village we adopted was near Delhi and today is a proud day for us as we are expanding this project to its 2nd phase and focusing our energies in Bangalore. With the adoption of a Higher Secondary School, we plan to provide the best of facilities to the students of Maharaja Katte village. As a part of a holistic development plan for the village, Canon India will work in the area of improving enrolment of children in the school and facilitating inclusive and quality education to optimize age-appropriate learning of each child.  We wish to equip these children to continue their further studies in a public school. We will also plant trees in the village to improve the environment conditions and finally, we are setting up a vision centre to provide eye care facilities to the village and surrounding areas.”

As a part of the immediate steps at the village school, Canon India seeks to implement a wide range of activities to improve the quality of education for all children. This will include need analysis of children, teachers, school, family members of children and community; construction of a resource  centre for activity learning; provision of safe drinking water; improving general sanitation; sensitisation of teachers, parents and community members; community education; active advocacy and involvement of local government machinery, especially education authorities for school improvement. In view of the lack of healthcare facilities available in the village, Canon will also establish a ‘Vision Centre’ which will serve as a primary health centre providing comprehensive eye check-ups to all sections of the village community. This Vision Centre will also extend its services to the cluster villages around the Maharaja Katte village.

“Our CSR policy reflects our corporate philosophy of “Kyosei” which means living and working together for the common good”. Through this project we are aiming to adopt villages in different parts of the country and contribute to the well-being of the community as well help them become self-sustainable after a while. We also hope to create goodwill from this initiative and earn more customers for our company. We believe that we should create pride in the minds of all those, who associate with us and such community initiatives bring a positive vibe to our business”.Mr. Kobayashi further added.

We also plan to interact with the village community closely so that with their active participation, we can promote eye care and help prevent blindness. The activities of the as a step Vision Centre will be monitored by the base hospital. All patients needing further investigations or surgery will be taken to level 2 hospitals. The above interventions will have the complete support of Canon India and its employees. Employee volunteering opportunities will be organized in both the school and the eye care center to build a close connection between the employees and the villagers. Canon employees in the Bangalore office and the company’s partners in this region, will engage in this unique CSR initiative through activities such as planting of saplings along with Mr Kobayashi himself, for saving and contributing for a healthy and safe environment. With this adoption, the company has added yet another milestone to its Corporate Social Responsibility programs and aims to expand these further in the country.

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Orion Mall Wins Images – “Most Admired Shopping Centre (Marketing & Promotions) of the Year” (South)

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Bangalore, June 10, 2014: Orion Mall, at the Brigade Enclave in Rajajinagar recently won the Images Most Admired Shopping Centre (Marketing & Promotions) of the Year: (SOUTH). This prestigious award comes from the Images Group which plays a pivotal role in the evaluation and recognition of outstanding retail performance across the country. The awards were presented at The Renaissance, Mumbai on 7th and 8th of May. Mr Vivek Kaul, Head-Retail, CBRE presented the award to Mr Vishal Mirchandani, CEO, Commercial and Retail, Orion Mall and Mr Sunil Munshi, GM, Orion Mall.

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Speaking on winning this award, Mr Vishal Mirchandani said, “There were several contenders for the category, spread across the country and who were major players in the sector. Having secured this award is a pat on the back to our entire team who have worked tirelessly to make Orion Mall a holistic entertainment option for the people of Bangalore. This award is the perfect acknowledgement for all our efforts and the encouragement we need to continue on our path of innovation.”

Mr Sunil Munshi said, “At Orion Mall, we keep a constant track of the pulse of the people and try to give them what they want. We take care to look into the finer details and try to fulfil all expectations of people who are out to have a good time. Our aim is to make Orion Mall a complete experience for every kind of person who visits us.”

‘HONEYWELL EXPANDS INDIA FOOTPRINT BY OPENING ITS SIXTH MANUFACTURING FACILITY IN VADODARA, GUJARAT

BANGALORE, June 11, 2014 – Honeywell (NYSE: HON) today added its sixth manufacturing facility in India with the inauguration of a plant that will manufacture solar water heating systems for its Environmental and Combustion Controls (ECC) business, adding to other manufacturing facilities the business has in Chennai and Dehradun. This business is part of Honeywell Automation India Limited (HAIL), a $300 million company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), and the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

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The 50,000-square-foot Vadodara facility will manufacture solar water heating (SWH) systems for residential, commercial and industrial applications for the domestic market in India as well as for export to Southeast Asia and North Africa. Honeywell’s Vadodara facility will manufacture 10 solar water heater variants of stainless steel (SS) and galvanized iron (GI) material ranging from 100 to 300 liters per day.

“Honeywell is a technology leader in energy efficiency and clean energy generation, with more than 50% of the company’s portfolio linked to energy efficiency,” said Beth Wozniak, president, Honeywell Environmental and Combustion Controls, who was at Vadodara to officially launch the facility. “Solar water heating technology is evolving as one of the most energy-efficient methods of heating water. The opening of this facility marks Honeywell’s entry into the renewable energy product manufacturing, and adds to our already broad portfolio of energy focused products and technologies for customers worldwide.”

Honeywell ECC is global industry leader in integrated products and solutions in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), building management systems, and industrial burners and combustion controls.

Honeywell’s solar water heating system works on the thermo-siphon principle that allows heat exchange without the need for a pump. The system uses an advanced triple layer evacuated tube technology with high absorption and low emission characteristics. To ensure that water stays hot for longer, Honeywell provides specially insulated storage tanks that are robust in structure and resistant to corrosion. These are available in various sizes and for different climatic conditions.

“With this sixth manufacturing facility, five global technology and engineering centers, and close to 13,000 employees across 50 locations in the country, Honeywell continues to demonstrate its commitment to India. As a global technology leader, Honeywell is well positioned to help address India’s toughest challenges in energy efficiency, clean energy generation, safety and security, globalization and customer productivity,” Anant Maheshwari, president, Honeywell India.

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Students add colour to village homes

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Bangalore: June 11, 2014: The students of Canadian International School, Bangalore had initiated a project “Brush of Kindness” today in association with an NGO called “Habitat for Humanity” 54 IB1 students (Grade 11) students along with their CAS Coordinator Ms. Priya Anand & and three staff members painted houses for the below poverty line (BPL) families in Bangalore in a village called Basavalingappa Nagar near Hegdenagar. Students had raised funds for this project through a Walkathon that involved students from K-12. SCA members of the school also donated to the cause. Around Rs. 50,000 was collected from the secondary students and the SCA members and was donated to Habitat for the project.

 

Habitat for Humanity India is a non-profit organization that builds homes and provides housing-related services to low-income, marginalized families across India. Community initiative is an integral part of CIS. This is just one of the projects undertaken by students as part of the IB CAS program at CIS. Through the CAS (Creativity, Action, and Service) programme, all students at CIS are given opportunities to develop awareness of different communities and their needs.

“Each year it gives me immense pleasure to see the joy on the faces of the families when they see their houses getting a fresh coat of paint.  Our students also enjoy the physical labour though they complain of arm pain at the end of the day”, said Priya Anand, Community Service Coordinator of CIS.

 

“It is an amazing opportunity to be able to help the less fortunate even though it is just a small gesture of painting” said Nida Ajmal (IB1 Student). “I happy to be given a chance to contribute my time and effort to a wonderful charitable cause,” said Kunal Sharma (IB1 Student).

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CREDAI COMMITTED TO FULFILL NARENDRA MODI’S DREAM OF HOUSING FOR ALL BY 2022

Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) which is the apex body representing 9000 housing providers spread across 150 cities and 22 states views the emphasis on housing by the new Government as a lifeline for the Indian economy owing to the strong correlation of housing measured at 0.78 with the national GDP. It is noteworthy that the BJP in its manifesto has promised to roll out a massive low cost housing programme to ensure that by the time the nation completes 75 years of its Independence, every family will have a pucca house of its own.

2.         A CREDAI delegation comprising Shri Lalit K. Jain, Chairman, Shri C Shekar Reddy, President, Shri Sanjeev Srivastva, and Shri Jaxay Shah both Vice Presidents met with Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu and presented CREDAI’s recommendations on the theme of ‘Housing for All by 2022’. These recommendations have been drawn up on the basis of nationwide consultations that CREDAI had among its members.

 3.         Shri Lalit K. Jain, Chairman, CREDAI welcomed the bringing together of Departments of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Urban Development within the same Ministry hoping that it would enable an integrated view on urban development and housing to emerge. He urged the Government to implement the reports of the two Task Forces on Affordable Housing,and Rental Housing and theCommittee to Streamline Approval Procedures for Real Estate Projects (SAPREP) which is the low hanging fruit in his opinion.  CREDAI in its recommendations has also sought to reduce the cost of borrowing for the housing sector. This can be achieved by a mix of interest subvention for the low income borrowers on the one hand and increasing the access to finance by developers. To augment the finance for the housing sector, CREDAI has sought the removal of minimum requirement of 50,000 square meters and capital requirement of USD 5 million for FDI in case of affordable housing, automatic ECB and higher refinance from NHB to Housing Finance Companies.

4.         It is well recognized in a series of judgements that housing is not a polluting activity. Given this background, CREDAI believes that the application of environment regulations to housing is a case of overreach which needs to be immediately done away with. This by itself is expected to unlock investments of Rs. 5 lakh crore in housing which are stuck for want of environment clearances.

5.         Housing also faces a disproportionate incidence of taxes amounting to more than 35% of the cost of a completed unit. This can be partially alleviated by giving the tax treatment of SEZs to affordable housing projects and providing benefits under Section 35 AD to the real estate sector. Increasing threshold limits of deduction on interest to Rs. 5 lakh on housing would provide incentive to the home owners. A dispensation is required to ensure that the subsidies provided to the North East reach the ultimate beneficiaries. CREDAI believes that by accelerating investments and increasing employment, the higher growth in GDP would mean that these measures would enhance the tax base of the economy and be revenue positive even in the short run.

6.         Mr. Jaxay Shah, Vice President CREDAI stated that inspired by the promise of housing for all, CREDAI would take the message of the Government right down to the states and the cities by making housing a movement. CREDAI would be organizing conferences and conclaves involving all stakeholders based on the theme of housing for all throughout the year. 

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

Bangalore, 7th June 8, 2014: On world Environment Day, Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited(RGRHCL) and Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD) Society, with support from Government of Karanatka, BWSSB ( Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board), Karanataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) and Karnik was organized a Workshop on Technology Options for Decentralised Wastewater Management  – Towards Sustainable Environment, in partnership with Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association(BORDA), Germany, Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited. The Workshop aimed at providing a platform for exchanging knowledge and experience in the field of decentralized wastewater treatment services and environmental protection.

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CDD Society is a Non-Government Organization aiming to promote environmental  conversation through the provision of Decentralised Basic Needs Services (DBNS). The Society functions as a network of like minded partners across India, with its headquarters in Bangalore. CDD Society recognizes the need for effective wastewater management systems which are cost effective, sustainable and simple to operate and maintain.

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