The Hindu Business Line

TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY

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APRIL 4, 1999

Insat-2E in orbit

In what was termed "a textbook take-off ", the latest Indian multi-purpose satellite, Insat-2E, rode into space at 3.33 a.m. (1ST) on April 3 from the Kourou launch pad in French Guiana. The Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan picked up the signals at 4.02 a.m., eight minutes after the Ariane-42P rocket released it into a tentative oval orbit. The MCF took over from there and conducted some quick health checks on the new satellite before orienting its north face towards the Earth.

Jalan rules out further cut in interest rates for now

The RBI Governor, Dr. Bimal Jalan, today ruled out the possibilit­y of any further cut in the interest rates at this juncture. “The whole issue is interlinke­d with the deposit rates prevailing in the country,” Dr. Jalan told members of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “With the average cost of deposits at 8 per cent and transactio­n costs of about 3 per cent, the total cost comes to around 11 per cent. Any cut in the interest rates would require a reduction in the deposit rates,” Mr. Jalan said.

Rating agency for real estate to be set up

In the first of its kind in the country, the Centre has decided to promote an independen­t rating agency for real estate developers and promoters to inspire public confidence in their activities. According to official sources in the Ministry of Urban Affairs, the proposed agency would also undertake demand assessment and survey for housing projects, which would help in reducing the speculativ­e pressures created in the land and housing market. Such an independen­t agency is expected to take up the task of land valuation and title investigat­ion for institutio­nal financing. It would also aid the local authoritie­s in approving projects, the sources said.

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