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Foodgrain output down 13%

Mumbai, April 4: The country’s foodgrain production in 2002-03 fell sharply by 13 per cent to 184 million tonnes to a seven-year low due to the worst ever drought in a century. The 28-million tonne decline in output comes a year after the record production of 212.03 million tonnes in 2001-02, according to the third advance estimates released today.

Gold prices

New Delhi, April 4: Gold prices today tumbled further across the country, touching an over eight-month low level. In Delhi, it suffered a loss of Rs 75 to close at Rs 5,105 per 10 grams. In Mumbai, it dropped by Rs 45 to close at Rs 5,110 per ten grams.

Primary dealers

Mumbai, April 4: The Reserve Bank has decided to allow primary dealers (PDs) to avail of FCNR (B) loans subject to the foreign exchange risk of such loans being hedged at all times at least to the extent of 50 per cent of the exposure. In addition, the primary dealers should ensure that total outstanding FCNR (B) loans availed of should not exceed 25 per cent of its net owned funds according to the latest audited financial accounts.

Rail freight

Calcutta, April 4: The Eastern Railway has urged industry captains to make good use of the additional 10 million tonnes of freight capacity that remain untapped and unutilised in this region. Speaking at a meeting here today, Eastern Railway general manager Sunil Sengupta said if the industry misses out on this opportunity then the facilities will move away to other places in the country.

Ispat move

Calcutta, April 4: Pramod Mittal-promoted Ispat Industries has decided to merge Ispat Metallics India with itself. It has appointed Ernst & Young and ICICI Securities as advisers to determine the share swap ratio.

ITC salt

New Delhi, April 4: ITC Foods today introduced salt under the brand name of Aashirvaad in the staple food segment, as part of its efforts to clock sales of Rs 500 crore in five years.

Bank service

Mumbai, April 4: RBI governor Bimal Jalan today said banks need to improve their efficiency and reduce costs to provide better customer service.


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