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[holding answer 7 February 2006]: The Regulatory Impact Assessment which accompanies the Companies Act 1985 (Operating and Financial Review and Directors' Report etc.) Regulations 2005 (S.L 2005/1011), estimates the cost of preparation and audit assurance for the Business Review at a total of £103.74 million for 37,290 companies.
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Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the efficacy of the restrictions on the supply of fireworks since the coming into force of the Fireworks Regulations 2004. 
Malcolm Wicks: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote to the European Commission on 5 December to ask them to consider whether the price volatility on the UK gas market last November may have been the result of abusive behaviour or distortions in the wider EU gas market. The Commission is already carrying out an inquiry into the EU gas and electricity sector and I understand they intend to present their preliminary findings on 16 February. We would expect and encourage them to take urgent action to address any examples of such abusive behaviour or distortions.
Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the five Indian companies in the UK with a presence in the financial services sector which have the highest turnover; and what the turnover is of each. 
Ian Pearson: According to publicly available information from Companies House, the top five Indian companies in the financial services sector in the UK, based on turnover in 200405, are given in the following table. Several Indian banks have only branches in the UK but these, according to Companies House, are not required to provide separate accounts.
|Company||Latest year||Turnover (£000)|
|1. ICICI Bank UK Ltd||31 March 2005||7,124|
|2. JB Boda and Co (UK) Ltd||31 December 2004||552|
|3. KM Dastur and Co Ltd||31 March 2005||243|
|4. First Global (UK) Ltd||31 March 2005||49|
|5. Ridge Futures Ltd||31 March 2004||16|
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what export credit arrangements have been put in place to provide cover for military equipment exported to Saudi Arabia under the Memorandum of Understanding document signed in December 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the 2002 New Delhi Declaration, what assessment his Department has made of the operation of the (a) Joint Economic and Trade Committee and (b) Indo-British Economic and Financial Dialogue. 
Ian Pearson: The purpose of (JETCO) is to engage bilaterally with business on UK-India trade and investment issues and take action where possible to increase business opportunities. The second meeting was held in London on 31 January. The meeting, chaired by John Sunderland of the CBI and in the presence of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Indian Minister of Commerce, Kamal Nath, was well attended by business delegations from India and the UK. Progress reports were given on 11 areas of work taking place under JETCO, including intellectual property rights and sector based activity being conducted by business to business working groups e.g. legal services, hi-tech, infrastructure, health, agribusiness and creative industries. JETCO has already seen the liberalisation of air services and the signing of a bilateral film co-production agreement. During the second JETCO meeting, Ministers Nath and Johnson asked their officials to continue conduct a six monthly review of the JETCO process. Findings will be submitted at the mid-year review (summer 2006). Both Ministers agreed that JETCO is playing a vital role in promoting an increasing bilateral trade and investment.
Terms of reference for the Indian British Economic and Financial Dialogue were agreed in London on 4 February 2005 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Indian Finance Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram. Since then, senior officials from both countries have held useful exploratory discussions about topics to take forward in partnership under the dialogue. A first session of the Dialogue is expected to take place later this year.
Malcolm Wicks: In the context of the Energy Review, the Government are looking at the lifecycle carbon emissions of nuclear generation. This will require an understanding of the energy requirements for the preparation of fuel, operation, and decommissioning and waste management.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and I both have regular discussions with representatives of Amicus on a wide range of issues. However, none of our recent meetings have been specifically related to new nuclear build.
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Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what estimate his Department has made of the financial costs incurred by business prior to November 2005 in respect of implementing the operating and financial review; 
(2) if he will list the interested parties who were consulted by his Department prior to November 2005 in respect of the proposal to remove the requirement to prepare operating and financial review statements. 
Alun Michael: The options to increase narrative reporting requirements were considered in the final regulatory impact assessment that accompanied the Companies Act 1985 (Operating and Financial Review and Directors' Report etc) Regulations of March 2005 which was the subject of extensive consultation in summer 2004. It follows that no further consultation was carried out by the Department of Trade and Industry before the regulations repealing the operating and financial review were introduced.
Because of the high degree of overlap between the content requirements of the OFR and the business review, the bulk of the preparatory work undertaken by quoted companies for OFR purposes should be applicable to the preparation of the business review, so formal assessment has been carried out of costs already incurred by business.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what methods he used to calculate the estimated financial consequences for business of the Operating and Financial Review prior to his decision not to proceed with it; and what discussions he had with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs before taking this decision; 
(2) what assessment he made of the economic effects of requiring large companies to report on environmental issues under the Operating and Financial Review prior to his decision not to proceed with the scheme, with particular reference to resource efficiency. 
The options to increase narrative reporting requirements and the associated costs of these were fully considered in the final regulatory impact assessment (RIA) that accompanied the Companies Act 1985 (Operating and Financial Review and Directors' Report etc.) Regulations of March 2005 which was the subject of extensive consultation in summer 2004. No further RIA was considered necessary because the information provided in the original RIA was used by the Government to adjust its decision. In deciding to repeal the OFR, the Government chose one of the original options rather than another, and did not consider that a new RIA was necessary. Relevant Departments were consulted before the decision to repeal the OFR requirement was taken.
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