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Presidential criticism stings biotech firms

Issue Date: May 15, 1993
US BIOTECH shares have fallen 33 per cent since January 1 and many firms face the dismal prospect of going out of business, if investors continue to shy away, afraid that drug price reforms will weaken the industry's profitability. Further deterring investors are US President Bill Clinton's public criticism of the high price of drugs and that clinical trials of two high-profile drugs produced by the biotechnology industry have yielded poor results.

Fish blindness

Issue Date: May 15, 1993
FISHERFOLK and environmental scientists are blaming industries set up along the Sindh coast for causing serious health problems by emitting increasing amounts of carbon monoxide and lead into the environment, says a Panos report by Najma Sadeque.

Submission date postponed for green audits

Author(s): Nitya Jacob 
Issue Date: Apr 30, 1993
INDIA is the first country to make environmental auditing compulsory. Countries such as the UK and the Netherlands have encouraged their industries to conduct audits since the mid-1980s, but it's not mandatory.

Kerala brick industry taking over rice fields

Author(s): S Unnikrishnan
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993
IMMEDIATELY after the monsoon, most of the paddy-fields in central Kerala are prepared -- not for cultivation, but for brick making! Brick-making has been gaining momentum during the last 15 years because it is easy money. From about one hectare of paddy-field leased from farmers, a brick manufacturer can rake in a whopping annual profit of more than two lakh rupees. And, because the brick manufacturer can afford to pay more, most of the women who used to work in paddy-fields have switched to the brick industry.

Jurisdictional ruling angers environmentalists

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993
ENVIRONMENTALISTS and civil rights lawyers strongly oppose the Sri iLankan government's move to shift jurisdiction of all cases involving projects approved by, the Board of Investments (BOI) from district courts to the court of appeal in Colombo. This means that a person may no longer petition a district court for an injunction to restrain the developer of a development project that could harm the environment.

Wind power projects push land costs sky-high

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993
THE TAMIL Nadu government's decision to encourage private industries to set up wind turbines has received a good response and with an increasing number of industries rushing to buy land, prices, have boomed in the two areas developed for wind farming - Muppandal in Kanniya-kumari di'strict and Kayattar in Chidambaranar district. Tamil Nadu generates the highest amount of electricity from wind

Boosting industry will tax resources base

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1993
Proposals to promote industrialisation in ecologically fragile but genetically rich areas such as the Himalayan states and the island territories have drawn equal flak from both environmentalists and environment and forest ministry officials, who say they will take the issue up with the Planning Commission.

Meagre allocation for R&D

THE BUDGET gives only marginal, if any, benefits to public-funded research and development, though it opens the door to private funding of this sector. The overall S&T budget of Rs 3,903 crore is 19.6 per cent more than the revised estimates for 1992-93. Only a few departments, such as the departments of space, of electronics and of non-conventional energy sources, actually benefit from the increase.

Industries get long rope to rein pollution

Author(s): Gopal K Kadekodi
Issue Date: Mar 31, 1993
ECONOMIC reforms launched in India in July 1991 were aimed at bridging fiscal and monetary imbalances and reducing the balance of payments. Associated with these conspicuous disproportions was the environmental imbalance, which economists set aside as externalities. But with increasing global concern about the environment, India, too, has started responding to the problem.

A bonus for the middle class consumer

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1993
FINANCE Minister Manmohan Singh has presented a budget that seeks to push the economy from stabilisation to growth, through structural adjustments. In order to give a boost to exporters, he has moved from partial to full convertibility and reduced customs duties on imports. To ensure there is no resulting threat to domestic manufacturers, Singh has simultaneously reduced excise duties on domestic goods so as to stimulate demand. These measures will give a fillip to middle-class consumerism while simultaneously forcing Indian companies to compete with their foreign counterparts.
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