KCR vs Center : Telangana to deposit fortified parboiled rice with FCI

New Delhi [India]: The central government has allowed Telangana to deposit 6.05 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of fortified parboiled rice with the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said on Saturday.

Telangana has been allowed to deposit the remaining paddy of Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21 & 2021-22.
The letter in this regard was issued on 11 May 2022, keeping in view the request of the state government, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said in a statement.

The original milling/ delivery of Customed Milled Rice (CMR) period of KMS 2020-21 (Rabi) in Telangana was upto September 2021. At the request of the State Government of Telangana, this has been extended seventh time upto May 2022.

Earlier, the Centre approved procurement estimate of 40.20 LMT of rice in Telangana during KMS 2021-22 (Rabi Crop) with procurement period upto June 2022 and milling period upto September 2022.

“Govt of India has always supported procurement operations in all States including Telangana. As compared to 15.79 LMT of rice procured during KMS 2015-16 benefitting 5,35,007 farmers with MSP value of Rs 3,417.15 crore, 94.53 LMT of rice was procured in Telangana during KMS 2020-21 benefitting 21,64,354 farmers with MSP value of Rs 26,637.39 crore,” the ministry said.

As on 11 May 2022, in the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season 2021-22, 72.71 LMT of paddy (48.72 LMT of equivalent rice) has been procured benefitting 11,14,833 farmers with MSP value Rs 14251.59 crore. (ANI)


Centre bans wheat export with immediate effect

New Delhi [India]- The Centre has amended the Export policy of wheat by putting its export under the “prohibited” category.

The order that was rolled out by the Ministry of Commerce late Friday night stated that the government has banned the wheat exports with “immediate effect”.
The government said that the move is being made to manage the overall food security of the country and to the needs of the neighbouring and other vulnerable countries.

“There is a sudden spike in the global prices of wheat arising out of many factors, as a result of which the food security of India, neighbouring and other vulnerable countries is at risk,” said the Ministry in its notification.

However, the export will be allowed in case of shipments where an irrevocable letter of credit is issued on or before the date of notification.

The export will be allowed on basis of permission granted by the government of India to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of the governments. (ANI)

Skanda Aerospace to invest Rs 250 crores in Hyderabad

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Skanda Aerospace Technology Private Limited (SATPL) plans to invest Rs. 250 crores to set up a facility at Hyderabad.

SATPL is the joint venture between Raghu Vamsi Machine Tools (RMVT) and Rave Gears, LLC, Texas USA and their production facility becomes the first private company having capability to manufacture Helicopter Gears and Gear Boxes in India.
The joint venture (SATPL) will have 55 per cent holding by Rave Gears while RVMT & Investors hold 45 per cent. The JV company will invest Rs. 250 Cr and provide employment for 1000 in the next 3 to 5 years.

Rave Gears have also committed to provide annual orders to the tune of $9M to Skanda Aerospace.

Located at Texas, USA – Rave Gears LLC is a designer, manufacturer and system integrator of gears and precision drive trains catering to Aerospace, Defence, Automotive and industrial customers worldwide. Rave Gears supplies to major OEMs like Boeing, Bell, Collins, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Mclaren, Nascar etc.

Raghu Vamsi Machine Tools is a leading supplier of High Precision Products and subassemblies to leading OEMs such as Boeing, GE Aviation, Eaton, Honeywell etc.

In the picture above seen are Tushar Patel- Partner, Nimish Mehta- MD, Rave Gears India Ltd, Vishu Patel- Director, Rave Gears India Ltd, Nick Patel- CEO, Rave Gears LLC, (Texas, USA), Vamsi Vikas- MD, Raghu Vamsi Group, Revanth Kotha- Executive Director, Skanda Aerospace Technology Pvt. Ltd.

This story is provided by GPRC. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/GPRC)


Sensex down by 929 points

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Equity benchmark indices opened in the red on Thursday with Sensex down by 929.43 points and Nifty by 297.60 points.

At 10:15 am, the BSE Sensex was down by 929.43 points or 1.72 per cent at 53,158.96.
BSE Limited, also known as the Bombay Stock Exchange, is the oldest stock exchange in Asia, and also the 10th oldest in the world.

The 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 15,869.50, at 10:15 am, down by 297.60 points or 1.84 per cent.

NIFTY 50 is a benchmark Indian stock market index, representing the weighted average of 50 of the largest Indian companies listed on the National Stock Exchange. It is one of the two main stock indices used in India. (ANI)


Elon Musk pledges to scale up work standards in Twitter

Washington [US]: Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he would significantly increase work ethic standards in Twitter once he officially acquires the social media platform.

Last week, Twitter said it agreed to be acquired by Musk in a deal worth $44 billion, although it is still subject to shareholder approval.
“Work ethic expectations would be extreme, but much less than I demand of myself,” Musk said on Twitter on Friday.

Twitter is going through a major change

The company will be “super focused on hardcore software engineering, design, information security and server hardware,” he added. Elon Musk previously said that he would like to revolutionize Twitter’s role in public debate as “free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”


Domestic LPG cylinder price hiked by Rs 50 again

New Delhi [India]- The price of Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder has been increased by Rs 50.

With the latest revision, domestic LPG cylinders will retail at Rs 999.50 in Delhi.
Earlier this month, the price of commercial LPG cylinders had been increased.

On May 1, the price of a 19-kilograms commercial LPG cylinder was increased by Rs 102.50, to Rs 2355.50.

Recently, on May 1, Oil marketing companies organized more than 5000 LPG panchayats on the occasion of Ujjwala Diwas, where apart from experience sharing, aimed at safe and sustained usage of LPG, all out efforts were made to maximize customer enrolment.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a step toward social inclusion by providing Free LPG connection to every BPL household. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016 at Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. (ANI)

India is becoming high-tech manufacturing economy: Piyush Goyal

New Delhi [India]- Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Friday said India is gradually moving towards becoming a high-technology manufacturing economy.

“Government is working to capitalise on demographic dividend to have investment-driven export-led growth with greater engagement with the rest of the world in years to come. Reduction in corporate tax rates, improving Ease of Doing Business, FDI policy reforms, reduction in compliance burden, PM Gati Shakti, Make in India, are some of the initiatives the Centre has taken to encourage investments,” Goyal said while addressing an industry event virtually.
“Today, India is an island of stability amid ongoing global disturbances. Solid structural reforms, macro-economic stability, predictable policy and business-friendly reforms make India the world’s most open, investment-friendly economy,” he said.

“Innovation has been one of the key themes of our Government, be it governance, welfare delivery, or entrepreneurship, we are constantly trying to reform and innovate,” he added.

The minister said India’s overall exports are at an all-time high at near $675 billion with a record GST collection of Rs 1.68 lakh crore in last April and Manufacturing PMI at 54.7 and Services PMI at 57.9. All of these are reflective of the Indian economy’s revival.

“A closer look at the export trends indicates that the country is gradually moving towards becoming a high-class, high-technology manufacturing economy,” he said.

Noting that a few days ago, India had hit a century of unicorns, the Minister congratulated all the startup entrepreneurs of the country for this unique feat.

Speaking about recently concluded FTAs, Goyal said India-Canada Early Progress Trade Agreement, India-EU FTA, India-UK FTA are other trade deals with the developed nations are in pipeline.

The Minister noted that the India-UAE FTA will provide a large market to India’s labour-intensive exports and is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion. The India-Australia ECTA aims at boosting bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2030 from the current level of around $27.5 billion, he said.

“For the first time in a decade, we are making massive progress in trade deals with developed nations. FTAs are providing huge opportunities for businesses across the developed world and in India, to support each other’s economies, needs, to create jobs in a big measure. What we are looking for is a fair, equitable win-win transactions with all countries with whom we are expanding our engagements,” he added. (ANI)


LIC IPO subscribed 1.03 times on second day of bidding

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]- The initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has been subscribed 1.03 times till the second day of bidding on Thursday.

Policyholders and employees, who are offered discounts, are driving the subscriptions. The policyholders’ portion has been subscribed 3.11 times. The employees’ portion has been subscribed 2.21 times.
The country’s largest IPO opened for subscription on Wednesday and will close on May 9.

LIC has set its price band for the Initial Public Offer (IPO) at Rs 902 to Rs 949 per equity share. Policyholders are offered a discount of Rs 60 per equity share, while retail investors and employees are offered a discount of Rs 45 on each share.

The IPO is a pure offer for sale. Out of the 22.13 crore shares offered for sale, around 5.93 crore shares have been reserved for anchor investor portion. Employee reservation portion is at 15.8 lakh while policyholder reservation is at 2.21 crore.

Retail investors have subscribed 93 per cent of the shares reserved.

However, there has been a muted response in the non-institutional category. Non-institutional category that consist of corporates, individuals, and others has witnessed less than 50 per cent subscription so far. (ANI) introduces listing facility of books for sale

New Delhi [India]: ‘’, an e-platform based dedicated tool for the writer community through for publishing their books and promote them online and earn money, has now introduced the listing facility of books for sale across the country. Any writer, who has got their book published from any publication, will now be able to list it on for sale. In addition to it, the brand is preparing to make available all the books in nearly all Indian languages on their website for readers to purchase from. used to be a Hindi-based website, and recently has added English language, making it a one of the very few bi-lingual literature websites in India. was soft-launched in late 2021 and re-launched in March 2022, with additional features and various revenue models. The platform aims at serving as a means to bridge the gap of the absence of local language platforms in India where people could write freely and get their books published. came into existence as in 2015, where it was merely a social networking site in Hindi, founded by Amitesh Misra and Nikhil Tiwari. In September 2021, the social networking site was re-branded as with an expanded range of services targeted towards the writers in Indian languages. The platform was joined by another founding member, Santosh Verma, to further strengthen the functionality and vision. For its interactive model, the platform got approved by the IIT Kanpur incubation center and received seed funding to proceed. The platform is headquartered in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and has its branch office in Noida.

has different revenue and publishing models.

1. Writers can publish their e-book on the platform for free and the users can enjoy reading their work without shelling a dime.

2. Writers can publish their e-book and set a price on their work to earn 80 per cent royalty on each sale, claimed highest compared to the competing publishers in the industry.

3. Writers can also get their books published in paperback, promote them on the platform and get them listed on other platforms like Amazon or Flipkart as well.

For publishing the paperback edition, the writer is required to pay a one-time fee of INR 5100. An additional package available at INR 11,000 is made available with added benefits for the printing of the book like the addition of ISBN and listing on 3rd party platforms. For listing a book published by other publishers, 65 per cent commission is paid to the writer.

Discussing the platform, MD & CEO –, Amitesh Misra said, “We are continuously adding more and more convenient features and options for the userbase and writer community of India so that no piece of creativity is lost due to the lack of resources or opportunities. With our new additions of listing facility, adding English to our website and further working on adding 20+ Indian languages in the coming months will certainly serve to the pressing requirements of the community.” aims to become the biggest multilingual content platform in the vernacular space in India in the next 5 years, while keeping the exploitation of writers at bay. While the platform offers the highest royalty percentage for the sellers, it looks ahead to become every writer’s first choice to publish their work in their native language.

This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)


Start-up ‘First In Class’ Launches Free Edu Platform for One Lakh poor kids

Delhi NCR/Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]- First In Class edutech platform has signed an MoU with Rotary India Literacy Mission (RILM) to create the largest free-of-cost edutech initiative in India and the world. One Lakh (1,00,000) tablet PCs will be distributed free-of-cost. All the tablets will be loaded with fully functional e-learning platforms also free-of-cost provided by First In Class.

This is being done to mark the occasion of the 75th year of India’s Independence – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. The MoU was signed at the Rotary International Presidential Conference India 2022 being held in Hyderabad this morning.
The motivating force behind First In Class is ‘all for learning, learning for all’. India’s first and only edutech platform in which the cause of social justice is the core value. This is the kind of positive, trailblazing disruption and pioneering effort that can truly revolutionise how edutech is delivered, perceived and implemented in India.

First In Class will provide K to 12 high quality curated content in line with CBSE-NCERT curricula. In a notable first, the coursework will be available in Hindi, English, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi & 6 other regional languages to facilitate inclusion, access & mother tongue learning. More than 10,000 hours of audio-visual & graphical interface content will be part of the course libraries. This will be linked with interactive testing & assessment nodules. The coursework will be facilitated with live-teaching. A special continuous review deck for parents to track the progress of their wards will be available in a user-interface friendly format.

Cultural learning, language learning, linguistic training and spiritual learning modules will also be available through the First In Class platform. For higher education, entrance test modules and specialisation in UPSC, Law & engineering are also on offer.

The MoU was signed today between RILM Chairman Kamal Sanghvi and iTV Network Founder Kartikeya Sharma.

“The coursework is structured and curated by some of the best educationists in the country in line with the CBSE NCERT curriculum. Crucially, it is being offered in Hindi, English and many regional languages to ensure inclusivity and mother tongue learning. All of this is the fruit of years of research and hard-graft to create content using the latest pedagogical techniques to ensure students benefit from holistic learning,” said Kartikeya Sharma, Founder, iTV Network.

“The government is keen to promote digital learning. In this context, RILM already has an MoU with NCERT to provide E-learning content. In this new year, in line with public priority in vocational training, First In Class in collaboration with RILM will create content for vocational education for higher classes,” said Kamal Sanghvi, Chairman RILM earlier.

“This is our way of saluting our martyrs in the 75th year of independence. While there is no way we can fulfil our debt to those who sacrificed their lives, it is our tribute. We have been working on E-learning in India for 10 years, reaching out to thousands of schools providing world-class audio-visual content,” said Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta at the proclamation of the mission earlier this year.

Member of Parliament and Rotarian Vivek Tankha said in the run-up to the event, “What is being done today, the world will remember. This MoU is an organised effort to tell the Rotary and corporate world that we are ready to educate one lakh deserving children.”

“First In Class is born out of the vision that every child is unique and deserves equal opportunity to learn and think. Our curriculum is a result of extensive research on new digital learning techniques. Our highly experienced teachers have carefully curated the curriculum to prioritise the student perspective,” said Aishwarya Sharma, Founder, First In Class.

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)


Karnataka signs MoU with ISMC to set up Rs 22,900 cr semiconductor fab plant

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka government on Sunday signed an MoU with Israel-based ISMC Analog Fab Private Limited for setting up a semiconductor fabrication plant in the state with an investment of Rs 22,900 crore ($3 Billion).

The company will implement the project over a period of the next seven years with employment potential for 1,500 persons, an official statement from the State Government stated.
Additional Chief Secretary in the department of IT, BT Dr EV Ramana Reddy on part of Karnataka and Director of ISMC Ajay Jalan signed the MoU in the presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Bommai, in his address after signing the MoU, said, “Karnataka is already a pioneer in the IT, BT and R&D sectors and this MoU with ISMC would make the State a place to look forward to in semiconductor technology”.

“Karnataka has signed this major MoU when many other states are competing to draw investments in the Semiconductor Fab sector. Karnataka government understands that it is not just the concessions or incentives, it is the conducive ecosystem that is needed to draw the investors. The State has the best infrastructure and skilled human resources,” the Chief Minister said.

It is a major stride in the semiconductor sector. There are challenges ahead. The MoU would drive us to turn those challenges into opportunities, he added.

Welcoming the deal, the Chief Minister said, “This MoU is a significant agreement amid the competition among various states to attract semiconductor fabs. Karnataka understands that it’s not just the fiscal incentives that matter but availability of conducive eco-system and overall ease in operations are also important.”

Lauding the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bommai said that the Union Government has launched the Semiconductor Mission and it has spurred Karnataka to lead the march in this sector.

The MoU has provided a forum for technology and cultural exchange between Israel and India, Bommai added and requested ISMC not just to set up the plant here, but bring the latest developments in the technology as it evolves with time to this plant in Karnataka.

Minister for Higher Education, IT, BT CN Ashwathnarayan and senior officials were also present on the occasion. (ANI)


Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand owe the most dues to Coal India Limited

New Delhi [India]:  State power generating companies of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh owe the most amount of money to Coal India Limited, sources said.

The highest amount is owed by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company. Coal India Limited’s dues to Maharashtra State Power Generation Company stand at Rs 2,608.07 crore. Undisputed amount is Rs 2591.45 crore.
The second highest amount is owed by West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited, which has dues of Rs 1066.40 crore. Undisputed amount is Rs 955.54 crore, the sources said.

In terms of the amount dues the third highest is Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited, a Government of Jharkhand undertaking. It owes Rs 1018.22 crore to Coal India Limited. Entire amount is undisputed.

The fourth highest amount is owed by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) with dues of Rs 823.92 crore. Undisputed amount is Rs 704.94 crore.

Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company owes Rs 531.42 crore, the fifth highest amount. The undisputed amount is Rs 480.54 crore.

The sixth highest amount is owed by Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited with dues of Rs 429.47 crore. Undisputed amount owed is Rs 423.13 crore.

The sources said, although the dues pertain to the state power generating companies of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal are very high, Coal India Limited never regulated supply to these gencos and made adequate supply as per the Sub-group plan and availability of rakes. (ANI)


Taxi Rides without Paying Single Penny

New Delhi [India]: World renowned wrestler Sangram Singh has aligned his name next to a great initiative taken by Murtaza Ali (Founder & CEO Apna Bhada) This initiative is a taxi service called Apna Bhada in which people can hire a taxi for free of cost.

This service has started in Goa, Delhi NCR and Banglore for the time being but will soon expand for other cities as well. Murtaza Ali has a goal of providing this service in all over India.
Apna Bhada can be a Revolution in Taxi Service and in public transportation, the moment which is why there are a limited number of taxis available but through their business agendas and plans they will soon have more taxis to their name.

They are not making any revenue through the customers but will be making it through advertisements. Their plan is to provide advertisements at a low cost and make their revenue through that.

This initiative officially began on April 23, 2021 in Goa where they successfully provided services for about a year which proved that they can easily expand in other cities as well. Later on during April, 22 Apna Bhada was introduced in Delhi as well. Not just now but their taxis were on the streets during pandemic as well.

They helped several people for covid relief, In those days when getting Taxis or Transportation was very tough Apna Bhada came Forwarded and they provided free Taxi to the people who were in need.

Murtaza Ali has a huge experience in the mobility industry and he has a very sharp vision of the future market of mobility he said we can make transportation free if we put little effort, The present scenario where fuel price getting hikes continuously we need to think over it that how can we provide affordable transportation to common people. After doing several years of Research & analysis APNA BHADA business plan got created in a hope of that common people can enjoy free taxi rides instead of paying a huge amount.

According to Murtaza Ali he faced many troubles and challenges to launch this service but he never loses hope and kept working to continue on his mission to provide free Taxi service for the common people. Free Transportation is now no more a dream you can try Apna Bhada services and see the dream come true.

According to Driver’s who has joined Apna Bhada has Driver Partner they found it very reliable and stable source of income , Not ever they are happy with the pay scales infect they liking the concept.

To know more about Apna Bhada, log on to

Home – Apna Bhada

This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)


Semiconductors consumption in India projected to cross $80 billion: PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: Hailing India for being an attractive investment destination for semiconductor technologies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the country’s own consumption of semiconductors is expected to cross $80 billion by 2026 and may touch $110 billion by 2030.

PM Modi said that the country is building a digital infrastructure to connect over 1.3 billion citizens.
“We are using digital technology to transform lives in all sectors of governance from health and welfare to inclusion and empowerment,” PM Modi said while virtually inaugurating the three-day Semicon India Conference-2022 in Bengaluru.

The Prime Minister said that with steps like connecting six hundred thousand villages with broadband investment in developing capabilities in 5G, IoT, and clean energy technologies, India is paving the way to lead the next technology revolution.

India is headed for robust economic growth with the world’s fastest-growing startup ecosystem and has undertaken wide-ranging reforms for improving the ease of doing business in the country, PM Modi said.

He noted the various reform measures taken by the government like the abolition of more than 25,000 compliances, a push towards auto-renewal of licenses, transparency and speed in regulatory framework via digitisation, and one of the most favorable taxation structures in the world.

The Prime Minister asserted, “We have an exceptional semiconductor design talent pool which makes up to 20 per cent of the world’s semiconductor design engineers. Almost all of the top 25 semiconductor design companies have their design or Research and Development centers in our country.”

He also said that India has undertaken several measures toward transforming the Indian manufacturing sector. “At a time when humanity was fighting a once in a century pandemic, India was not only improving the health of our people but also the health of our economy”, he said.

The Prime Minister also talked about ”Production Linked Incentives” schemes that offer incentives of over $26 billion in 14 key sectors.

“Over the next 5 years, the electronics manufacturing sector is expected to see record growth,” he informed.

He also said that the recently announced Semicon India’s programme with a total outlay of over $10 billion aims to provide financial support to companies investing in semiconductors, display manufacturing, and design ecosystems.

PM Modi acknowledged the need for government support and assured the industry leaders of the best efforts of the government to provide a conducive environment for business. “While the industry works hard, the government must work even harder,” he added.

Noting the formation of the new world order, the Prime Minister asked to seize the opportunity that is emerging.

“We have worked hard over the last few years to create an environment that encourages growth. India has an appetite for tech and risk-taking. We have put the odds in your favor as far as possible through a supportive policy environment. We have shown that India means business,” the Prime Minister concluded.

Union Ministers, semiconductor industry business leaders, investors, academics and diplomats were among those present on the occasion. (ANI)

Elon Musk says for Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral

Washington [US]: Days after Tesla Chief Elon Musk take control over Twitter, he said that for the microblogging site to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral.

“For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally,” Musk tweeted.

Twitter on Monday (local time) confirmed the sale of the company to Musk for USD 44 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, shareholders will receive USD 54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter stock they own, matching Musk’s original offer and marking a 38 per cent premium over the stock price the day before Musk revealed his stake in the company, CNN reported.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said that he was proud of the employees who continue to do the work with focus and urgency despite the noise.

“I took this job to change Twitter for the better, course-correct where we need to, and strengthen the service. Proud of our people who continue to do the work with focus and urgency despite the noise,” Agrawal tweeted.

Meanwhile, the former CEO of the microblogging site Jack Dorsey dropped a series of tweets, suggesting that he supports the move.

“In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter. It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company, however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness,” Dorsey tweeted.

For those unaware, Dorsey, the maverick co-founder of Twitter, on November 29, 2021, suddenly announced his resignation. Parag Agarwal, an IITian who was CTO at Twitter, was named his replacement. (ANI)

LIC IPO price band at Rs 902-949 per share; offer opens on May 4

New Delhi [India]: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has set its price band for the Initial Public Offer (IPO) at Rs 902 to Rs 949 per equity share. The public offer starts on May 4 and will remain open for bidders till May 9, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said on Wednesday.

The size of LIC IPO is set to be the largest so far in the country. The government targets to raise Rs 20,557.23 crore by offloading 3.5 per cent of its equity stake or 22.13 crore shares of LIC. This is substantially lower than the earlier projection of about Rs 60,000 crore.

Addressing a press conference, Pandey said, “Even after the reduce size of Rs 21,000 crore, the LIC IPO will initially be the biggest ever IPO in the country.”

The government has decided to reduce the size of the IPO due to the volatility in the market.

“This is right-sized considering the capital market environment and will not crowd out capital and monetary supply, given the current environmental constraints,” he said.

The IPO will be a pure offer for sale. Out of the 22.13 crore shares offered for sale, around 5.93 crore shares have been reserved for anchor investor portion. Employee reservation portion is at 1.58 million while policyholder reservation at 22.14 million.

Half of the shares are reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIB), 15 per cent of the shares will be reserved for non-institutional investors while the rest is for retail investors.

Policyholders will get a discount of Rs 60 per equity share. Retail and employees will get a discount of Rs 40. (ANI)

LIC IPO to open on May 4

New Delhi [India]: The much-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of the Life Insurance Corporation of India is likely to open on May 4, sources privy to the development told ANI.

The government, which wholly owns the insurance behemoth, plans to sell a 3.5 per cent instead of 5 per cent as mentioned in the previous Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP), said sources.
LIC has cut the size of IPO from 5 per cent to 3.5 per cent due to the market condition. A proposal to reduce the size of LIC’s IPO to 3.5 per cent from 5 per cent proposed in its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) was tabled and approved at a board meeting held on Saturday.

Last month, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved the initial public offering proposal of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

The company has filed the Draft Red Herring Prospectus with the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

It has time until May 12 to launch the IPO. If it is not done by May 12, the company would be required to file fresh papers with the market regulator.

The government had initially wanted to list LIC in the last financial year that ended March 31 but had to delay the sale after the Russia-Ukraine war triggered a market rout. (ANI)

Twitter confirms sale of company to Elon Musk for USD 44 billion

Washington [US]: Twitter on Monday (local time) confirmed the sale of the company to Tesla Chief Elon Musk for USD 44 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, shareholders will receive USD 54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter stock they own, matching Musk’s original offer and marking a 38 per cent premium over the stock price the day before Musk revealed his stake in the company, CNN reported.
It further reported that the deal caps off a whirlwind news cycle in which the Tesla and SpaceX CEO became one of Twitter’s largest shareholders, was offered and turned down a seat on its board and bid to buy the company — all in less than a month.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it,” he added.

The deal comes after Musk revealed last week he had lined up USD 46.5 billion in financing to acquire the company, an apparent turning point that forced Twitter’s board to seriously consider the deal. The board met Sunday to evaluate Musk’s offer.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal in a statement said “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.” (ANI)

RBI imposes Rs 1.12 crore monetary penalty on Bank of Maharashtra

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said it has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 1.12 crore on Bank of Maharashtra for non-compliance with certain directions related to Know Your Customer (KYC).

The Statutory Inspection for Supervisory Evaluation (ISE) of the bank was conducted by RBI with reference to its financial position as on March 31, 2020. Also, scrutinies were conducted in the matter of non-credit of customs duty to the Government Account by the bank, the RBI said in a statement.
The examination of the Risk Assessment Report & Inspection Report pertaining to the ISE, scrutiny reports and all the correspondence related to the same, revealed, inter-alia, non-compliance with the aforesaid directions issued by RBI to the extent the bank (i) failed to allot Unique Customer Identification Codes (UCIC) to its individual customers, (ii) failed to ensure integrity and quality of data submitted to RBI in CRILC, and (iii) did not enter into any Service Level Agreement (SLA) and failed to review the outsourcing arrangement for one of the outsourced financial services.

“In furtherance to the same, a notice was issued to the bank advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on it for failure to comply with the said directions,” the RBI said.

After considering the bank’s reply to the notice, oral submissions made during the personal hearing and examination of additional submissions made by it, RBI came to the conclusion that the charge of non-compliance with the aforesaid RBI directions was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty, to the extent of non-compliance with such directions, the RBI said.

However, the RBI further noted that the “action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers”. (ANI)


PNG Coffee, JoeySports and SquashLab forays into India via Kolkata

Kolkata, [India]: Papua New Guinea Coffee, one of the most distinguished Coffee in the world has announced its foray into eastern part of India through Kolkata. PNG’s foray into West Bengal is believed to create more than 5000 employment opportunities in its different fields ranging from manufacturing to customer services. His Excellency, Paulias Korni, OBE, High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to India, Mr. Daniel Sim, Australian Deputy Consul General in Kolkata and Mr. Sujoy Maitra, Founder & CEO, AdzGuru Pty Ltd, Australia were present at the announcement today.

PNG Coffee aims to open around 300 outlets in India in upcoming years. PNG Cocoa and PNG Vanilla beans have also been launched by PNG High commissioner. PNG Coffee stores will be across all cities in India.

Honorable PNG High Commissioner, Australian Deputy Counsel General and AdzGuru CEO Sujoy Maitra with ADZGURU officials at the event.

Adzguru Pty Ltd is acting as trade connect between PNG, Australia, New Zealand and India. PNG will soon sign MOUs with a few leading manufacturers of India. From Kolkata, Ajanta Shoes, Shalimar Chemicals, Boroline (JD Pharmaceuticals), Vicco, Marvel, Nirkon Group, DM Industries, Millet Magic Foundation and Balaram (textiles) along with many other brands are now being connected and exported to Australia, PNG and New Zealand through Adzguru. Similarly many brands from Australia and PNG, New Zealand will foray into Indian markets.

On the Occasion, PNG High Commissioner, Paulias Korni, OBE, expressed his happiness that Indian brands will be now available in PNG and PNG coffee stores will be in India. He emphasized on the quality of PNG coffee and the desire of his government to do trade with India.

In a major Sports related announcement, the event witnessed the launch of the Australian sports brand Joey Sports and Squash Lab by Mr. Daniel Sim , Deputy- Consul General  for the Australian Consulate- General in Kolkata. Joey Sports is soon going to have a tie-up with one of the leading Sports Associations in India through Adzguru and Squash lab is a sports training application which has been developed by  Australian Liz Irving , coach of eight times Squash champion Nicol David.

CEO Sujoy Maitra and Honorable High Commissioner-PNG addressing the media at Kolkata

NRI Bengali Entrepreneur Mr. Sujoy Maitra, Founder & CEO of Australian Company AdzGuru Pty Ltd and Ecolook, India has played an instrumental role in bringing the PNG Coffee along with Joey Sports and Squash Lab to Bengal. Mr Maitra said, “I strongly believe that West Bengal is now a potential investment destination and a good market for global manufacturers. I hope we would be able to bring more such brands like PNG Coffee into India in near future.” Currently his company is planning to establish a processing unit in Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar to cater to the eastern part of India. Sujay Maitra is also working on the double taxation between PNG and India.

On the occasion, CEO, Arijit Ray expressed his happiness that from Kolkata, big brands are now expanding their footprint in PNG and Australia. COO, Khusboo K Singh was of the opinion that there are multiple opportunities and Adzguru is trying to connect the relevant brands between the countries.

Elon Musk says he has secured USD 46.5 billion for funding Twitter buyout bid

Washington [US]:  Tesla Chief Elon Musk has said that he has lined up commitments worth USD 46.5 billion to finance a Twitter takeover deal, a week after he first made a public offer to buy the social media company, CNN reported.

According to Musk, he has commitment letters to finance the deal, including two debt commitment letters from Morgan Stanley and other unnamed financial institutions and one equity commitment letter from himself, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday (local time).
However, he has yet to receive any formal response from Twitter’s board to his offer to acquire all of its shares that he does not currently own for USD 54.20 a piece, the Tesla Chief said in the filing.

Last week Twitter’s board adopted a “poison pill” defense that could make a takeover attempt prohibitively expensive.

The “poison pill” provision, announced in a press release on last Friday, preserves the right for Twitter shareholders other than Musk to acquire more shares of the company at a relatively inexpensive price, effectively diluting Musk’s stake, as per CNN.

The provision will be triggered if Musk (or any other investor) acquires more than 15 per cent of the company’s shares. Musk currently owns around 9 per cent of Twitter’s shares.

“The Rights Plan will reduce the likelihood that any entity, person or group gains control of Twitter through open market accumulation without paying all shareholders an appropriate control premium or without providing the Board sufficient time to make informed judgments and take actions that are in the best interests of shareholders,” the company said in its statement.

This comes at a time when the world’s richest man made the offer in an updated 13D filing. Musk offered a “best and final” bid to purchase 100 per cent of Twitter for USD 41.39 billion with USD 54.20 per share in cash.

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in his filing.

“However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form,” he had said.

In a separate Tweet, Musk had mentioned that he will try hard to keep as many shareholders in privatized Twitter as allowed by law.

A series of tweets were posted after Tesla’s chief claimed of having a ‘Plan B’ ready if the board of the social media giant Twitter decides to reject his offer to buy the entire company. (ANI)

Bengal means Business: Mamata’s eight pillar strategy, Adani to invest 10,000 Cr

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]:  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday laid out an eight-pillar strategy for the development of the state and making it a global hub for business.

Addressing the Summit, the Chief Minister said, “We do not divide people on the basis of caste, creed and religion. We stay like family. Irrespective of one being from any part of the country, whenever one is in Bengal, he or she becomes part of our family and should be comfortable here.”

Banerjee’s statement comes contrary to her party’s “Bohiragoto” campaign against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) whose major vote bank in West Bengal is believed to be from Hindi speaking population.

The ‘Bengal Global Business Summit’ started at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in Kolkata on Wednesday.


Gautam Adani declares an Investment of 10,000 Cr in Bengal

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo emphasized infrastructure development and no-strike culture in order to instill an ‘ease of doing business’ ecosystem transforming West Bengal into a global hub for trade.

“West Bengal is the first state to organize a physical business summit since COVID pandemic struck. There are eight pillars on which our strategy lays. First is world-class infrastructure, second is education, third is social security for the unprivileged and the fourth is skill development,” said Banerjee.

She further said, “The fifth pillar is expanding capital infrastructure while the sixth is the ease of doing business, the seventh is digitalization and the eighth is no strike and no mandate loss.”

Industrialists from different countries attended the event. Gautam Adani, chairperson of Adani Group also graced the event.

Gautam Adani on Wednesday said the company’s investment in West Bengal would exceed Rs 10,000 crore over the next decade.

Addressing the inaugural session of Bengal Global Business Summit 2022 (BGBS 2022), Adani said, “Over the next decade, we expect our total investment in Bengal to exceed Rs 10,000 crore.”

The investment will help generate over 25,000 direct and indirect employments in the state.

“All in all, over the next decade, we expect our total investment in Bengal to exceed 10 thousand crore rupees. We anticipate that this investment will create 25,000 or more direct and indirect jobs for the people of Bengal,” Adani Group said in a tweet.

In a separate tweet, Gautam Adani said, “What an honour to be at #BGBS2022 and hear Hon’ble CM Mamata Didi lay out her bold vision for Bengal. This is the land that gave India some of its greatest Freedom Fighters. The Adani Group is committed to invest and make a difference to this great land of Bengal.” (ANI)

Only 8 days of Coal stock left with states, BJP talks big, does nothing : Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi [India]: A day after the Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting on the coal and power crisis in the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that only eight days of coal stocks are left in the country.

Rahul said, “Eight years of big talk has resulted in India having only eight days of coal stocks.”
He asked the “Centre to switch off the bulldozers of hate and focus on the power plants in order to prevent the loss of small scale industries leading to more job losses”.

“Modi Ji, stagflation is looming. Power cuts will crush small industries, leading to more job losses. Switch off the bulldozers of hate and switch on the power plants!” tweeted Gandhi.

The Congress leader also shared a picture quoting PM Modi’s announcement on June 18, 2020, to auction 41 coal mines for commercial mining in order to make India self-reliant in energy by reducing imports. He compared it with the current coal crisis situation in the country.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday held a meeting with Power Minister RK Singh, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav amid reports of ongoing coal and power situation across the country.

The meeting was held in the wake of several states warning of a possible power crisis due to the shortage of coal supply to power plants, officials said.

There are reports of depleting coal inventory of domestic thermal power plants in 12 states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Jharkhand and Haryana which are facing power cuts ranging from 3 to 8.7 per cent.

In the first fortnight of April 2022, domestic power demand reportedly hit a 38-year high for the month.

While there was a 1.1 per cent power shortage in October 2021, this shot up to 1.4 per cent in April 2022.

Union Power Minister R. K. Singh has blamed the steep rise in the prices of imported coal on the Russia-Ukraine war. This is because of the inadequate availability of railway wagons to transport coal. (ANI)

Home, car loans get expensive as SBI and others hike lending rates

New Delhi [India]: The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), and other government and private banks including Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda and Kotak Mahindra Bank, on Tuesday increased their benchmark lending rates by up to 10 basis points or 0.10 per cent.

This will make the home, car, personal and other loans more expensive. Equated monthly installment (EMI) for different categories of loans will go up.
State Bank of India has increased its marginal cost of funding based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.10 per cent across tenors, as per data available at SBI website.

Bank of Baroda has increased its one-year MCLR by 0.05 per cent.

Private sector lenders Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank have also hiked one-year MCLR rates.

Banks have hiked lending rates for the first time in around three years. Other banks are also likely to increase their lending rates in the coming days. (ANI)


Government exempts customs duty on cotton imports till Sept 30

New Delhi [India]- The Government has decided to exempt all customs duty on the import of cotton in order to provide relief to the textiles industry, the Ministry of Textiles said on Thursday.

“This exemption would benefit the textile chain-yarn, fabric, garments and made-ups and provide relief to the textile industry and consumers,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has notified the exemption from Customs duty and Agriculture Infrastructure development Cess for import of cotton.

This notification shall come into effect from April 14, 2022 and will remain in force up to and inclusive of September 30, 2022.

“Removal of import duty on raw cotton should have salutary effect on cotton price in India,” the ministry said.

The government’s action came after the industry’s demands for the removal of 5 per cent Basic Customs Duty (BCD) and 5 per cent Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on raw cotton.(ANI)


Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for USD 41 billion

Washington [US]: Billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday offered a “best and final” bid to purchase 100 per cent of microblogging site Twitter for USD 41.39 billion with USD 54.20 per share in cash.

The world’s richest man made the offer in an updated 13D filing on Thursday and follows an announcement by Twitter that Musk will not be joining the company’s board of directors.
The Tesla chief executive’s offer price of USD 54.20 per share was 38 per cent higher than the closing price of Twitter’s stock on April 1, the last trading day before his investment of 9.2 per cent in the company was publicly announced, reported Sky News.

“Since making my investment I now realise the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form,” said Musk in a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor.

“Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” he added.

Earlier last week, Musk had disclosed that he had taken a nine per cent stake in the social media platform.

“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” said Tesla CEO.

The offer comes after Musk rejected a seat on the social media company’s board.

Taking the board seat would have stopped him from a possible takeover of the company, reported Sky News. (ANI)

Bengal is excited to Welcome PNG with a Hope of Trade Connect that will Benefit both the Countries


Kolkata (WB)[India] :Arrival of Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to India, HE, Paulias Korni, OBE, in the city of joy brings hope of investment, an array of business opportunities, employment and strengthened bilateral ties. Bengal Global Business Summit will witness beginning of a new relationship between PNG and India!

The Arrival of Spring

In Kolkata, it’s surely the spring in the truest sense as it has been learnt that the honourable High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to India, HE, Paulias Korni, OBE, is going to arrive in the city of joy to attend the Bengal Global Business Summit which is slated to take place on 20th and 21st April. He will be accompanied by Madam Joyce Korni and a business delegation headed by ace tax consultant, Sujoy Maitra, the founder of AdzGuru Pty Ltd, which is highly rated as a trade connector in this part of the world and credited with introducing trade connecting services in India, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Honorable PNG High Commissioner has launched PNG Coffee in India recently where Honorable Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu was also present

IND-PNG Bilateral Trade

India and the dream island nation of Papua New Guinea possess strong bilateral ties that has only grown strong over the years. The fastest growing economy in the world has developed bonds with the booming Papua New Guinea market that transcends all sorts of barriers. This move is likely to solidify the already deep economic ties between the two countries on stronger foundations.

High Hopes

The Bengal Global Business Summit is indeed a huge platform which has stretched its wings with the passage of time. It has turned out to be a melting pot so far as business trade is concerned. Investors, owners of various business enterprises, international delegations across the globe come to Kolkata around this time of the year to share ideas and facilitate the business trade in the state of West Bengal. In this regard, one must mention that the government of West Bengal under the leadership of Smt. Mamata Banerjee has been instrumental to bringing the best of the corporate minds and business professionals through this signature event. The summit, which was planned by eminent economist Shree Amit Mitra, former Finance Minister of government of West Bengal and the erstwhile president of FICCI, has managed to attract investment from several parts of the world since its very inception. This time, a massive investment from Papua New Guinea is likely to happen thanks to Mr. Paulias Korni and his business delegation.

Beyond Business

HE, Paulias Korni, who took the charge of his office in May 2018, happens to be a social worker. He has contributed a lot to the upliftment of the downtrodden people back in Papua New Guinea. The man who was awarded with the OBE in 2017, has done wonders along with his better half Madam Joyce Korni in the form of providing constant support to the thousands of coffee farmers in the coffee rich and cricket frenzy country. Hence, they are supposed to join hands with several organizations working in Kolkata in order to help out the marginalized people.

Adzguru Founder & CEO Sujoy Maitra with Honorable  High Commissioner Paulias Korni, and Respected Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu Shri Palanivel Thiagarajan at the Chennai event

Kolkata Connection

Sujoy Maitra, the founder and CEO of AdzGuru, has gone to a great extent to pull this off. It was his brainchild to make this move happen. Maitra, who has his roots in Bengal, wants to generate employment in his homeland. In a bid to payback to his city, he has already launched a green drive courtesy his slow fashion start-up, Ecolook.

Early Promise

In the month of January, HE, Paulias Kroni and AdzGuru led by Sujoy, made the historic move of launching Papua New Guinea coffee in India. So, Kolkata awaits for another epoch-making move by the duo which will broaden the horizon of new businesses and employments in the state.

Hyundai Motor to invest 300 million won in Alabama EV plant

Seoul [South Korea] (ANI/Global Economic): Hyundai Motor will invest USD 300 million (about 360 billion won) in its US Alabama plant to produce Santa Fe hybrid and Genesis Electrified GV70 models.

This is the first time to produce eco-friendly vehicles such as electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars in the US. Hyundai Motor Group currently produces only internal combustion engine vehicles at its Alabama and Georgia plants.
According to the Alabama government and Hyundai Motor’s US business unit on the 13th, Jose Munoz, president of Hyundai Motor North America, officially announced the plan to produce EVs at the Alabama plant at the New York Auto Show.’

President Munoz said, “Hyundai plans to produce Santa Fe Hybrid from October and Genesis GV70 from December.”

Hyundai Motor will invest USD 300 million to build EV production facilities and create 200 new jobs.

Ernie Kim, president of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, said, “Hyundai Motor has taken the first step toward producing EVs in the US. We are excited to showcase our team members in producing EVs here at the Alabama plant.”

It is analyzed that Hyundai Motor’s investment is based on Joe Biden administration’s ‘Buy American’ policy. The Biden administration announced in March that the US will increase the percentage of the use of American parts and components from the current 55 per cent to 75 per cent by 2029. (ANI/Global Economic)


DGCA restrains 90 SpiceJet pilots from flying, Reason “Not Fully Trained”

New Delhi [India]: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has restrained 90 pilots of SpiceJet airline from operating Boeing 737 Max aircraft after finding they were not properly trained, informed SpiceJet on Wednesday.

“90 pilots have been restrained from flying the Boeing 737 MAX. They will have to undergo training again to the satisfaction of DGCA,” DGCA Director-General Arun Kumar told ANI.
However, the restriction does not impact the operations of MAX aircraft, he added. “SpiceJet currently operates 11 MAX aircraft and about 144 pilots are required to operate these 11 aircraft”, said DGCA Director-General.

Of the 650 trained pilots on the MAX, 560 continue to remain available. The pilots will have to undergo training again, in a proper manner, on the Max simulator.

The DGCA’s move comes after a 737-800 plane operated by China airline crashed in mountains in southern China killing 132 people on board last month.

Indian airlines like SpiceJet, Vistara and Air India Express operate Boeing 737 aircraft in their fleets. (ANI)

WTO downgrades forecast for global GDP growth in 2022 to 2.8pc

Geneva [Switzerland]: The World Trade Organization (WTO) has downgraded its forecast for global GDP growth in 2022 to 2.8% from the previously expected 4.1%, according to a fresh report released on Tuesday.

“World GDP at market exchange rates is expected to grow by 2.8% in 2022, down 1.3 percentage points from the previous forecast of 4.1%. Growth should pick up to 3.2% in 2023, close to the average rate of 3.0% between 2010 and 2019,” the report said.
The decline in the GDP of countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), excluding Ukraine, will be 7.9% this year, with regional imports expected to drop 12% as a result.

CIS exports, on the other hand, will not be affected by the crisis in Ukraine, the WTO said.

“Exports should grow by 4.9% as other countries continue to rely on Russian energy,” the report read.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow. (ANI/Sputnik)


Chennai-based IT firm gifts cars to its 100 employees

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: A Chennai-based IT firm on Monday gifted as many as 100 cars to its employees for their constant support and unparalleled contributions to the company’s success and growth.

Ideas2IT, an It firm has gifted Maruti Suzuki cars to 100 employees.

“We are gifting 100 cars to 100 of our employees who have been a part of us for more than 10 years. We have a strength of 500 employees. Our concept is to return the wealth we have received, to the employees,” said Hari Subramanian, Marketing Head, Ideas2IT.

Murali Vivekanandan, Founder and Chairman, Ideas2IT said that the employees have made a lot of efforts for improving the company and the company is not giving cars to them, they have earned it with their hard work.

“Seven-eight years ago we promised that when we get lefty goals we will share our wealth. Awarding these cars is just the first step. We plan to roll out more such initiatives in the near future,” added Vivekanandan.

“It is always great to receive gifts from the organization; on every occasion, the company shares its happiness with gifts like gold coins, iPhones. Car is a very big thing for us,” said Prasath, an employee, who received the gift from the company.

This comes days after another Chennai-based software-as-a-service company (SaaS) Kissflow gifted luxury BMW cars to its five senior executives, each worth about Rs 1 crore, as a gift. (ANI)


Air India suspends non-stop flights to Russia

New Delhi [India]: Air India has suspended its twice-weekly Delhi-Moscow non-stop flight with effect from April 1, 2022. Now there is no direct connectivity between India and Russia, sources said.

“Dear fellow citizens. Please note that Air India has stopped selling tickets on the Delhi Moscow-Delhi route. The prospects for the resumption of flights remain uncertain at the moment,” Russian Embassy in India said in a Facebook post.
According to the Air India office, funds for previously purchased tickets for canceled flights can be returned to passengers in full.

In connection with the abolition by the Government of India restrictions on international air traffic, it is possible to freely use transit routes to Russia through Tashkent, Istanbul, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and other available destinations, it said. (ANI)

Bandhan consortium to buy IDFC Mutual Fund for Rs 4,500 crore

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: A consortium consisting of Bandhan Financial Holdings Limited, GIC, and ChrysCapital is set to buy IDFC Asset Management Company and IDFC AMC Trustee Company for Rs 4,500 crore.

IDFC Limited said in a statement on Thursday that it has entered into a definitive agreement with the consortium for the deal.
The Bandhan consortium was selected through a highly competitive divestment process which witnessed strong participation from strategic players and financial investors. This is a highly tracked acquisition and will be the largest deal in the Indian asset management industry to date, it said.

“The agreement envisages continuity of the current management team and investment processes at IDFC AMC, helping unitholders benefit from consistency in the high-quality investment approach IDFC AMC is reputed for. This will be supplemented well by Bandhan’s brand as well as GIC’s and CC’s international network and experience which will aid IDFC AMC in further cementing its position in the asset management industry and propel further growth,” IDFC Limited said.

“The acquisition of IDFC AMC provides us with a scaled-up asset management platform, with a stellar management team and a pan India distribution network. IDFC AMC could benefit significantly from the Bandhan brand and continue strengthening its position in the asset management industry,” said Karni S Arha, Managing Director, Bandhan Financial Holdings Limited.

On the consortium partners, Arha said, “We are happy to partner with marquee investors such as GIC & ChrysCapital and are confident that this venture will enhance value for all the stakeholders of Bandhan and IDFC AMC.”

Established in 2000, IDFC AMC manages over Rs 1,15,000 crore of Asset Under Management (AUM) at the end of March 31, 2022 for over 1 million investor folios representing leading institutions, corporates, family offices and individual clients.

Reacting on the deal, Anil Singhvi, Chairman of IDFC Limited, said, “This transaction is a significant milestone in our plan of unlocking value and the consideration demonstrates strong position of IDFC AMC in the Indian Mutual Fund space.”

“We have achieved signing within 6 months of the Board’s decision to divest, which further demonstrates IDFC Board’s commitment to consummate the merger of IDFC Limited and IDFC Financial Holding Company with IDFC First Bank. The Bandhan consortium with its strong brand and resources will further strengthen the distribution of products and improving the overall experience for IDFC AMC’s investors and distributors,” Singhvi added. (ANI)


Intel suspends all business operations in Russia

Washington [US]: US technology company Intel, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of computer components and electronic devices, said it has suspended its activities in Russia over the situation in Ukraine.

“Effective immediately, we have suspended all business operations in Russia,” the company said.
“We are working to support all of our employees through this difficult situation, including our 1,200 employees in Russia. We have also implemented business continuity measures to minimize disruption to our global operations,” it said.

Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 in response to calls from the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics for protection against intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation, which targets Ukrainian military infrastructure, aims to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine.

Moscow has said it has no plans to occupy Ukraine. Western nations have imposed numerous sanctions on Russia. (ANI/Sputnik)


Wall Street up broadly, tech stocks fired up by Twitter rally after Musk purchase

New York [US]- Wall Street’s three major equity indexes rose about 1% on the average with shares of Twitter, particularly, outperforming on news that flamboyant tech-entrepreneur and influencer Elon Musk had become the largest shareholder in the microblogging site.

The three indexes – the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite – also rose broadly for a second day in a row after closing first quarter trading last week with the biggest slump since the coronavirus breakout of two years ago.
Twitter jumped 27% in price, closing up $10.66 at $49.97 per share after Musk, the chief executive of electric carmaker Tesla, bought almost 73.5 million shares in the company amounting to a passive stake of 9.2%.

Musk’ purchase, worth nearly $3 billion, comes less than two weeks after he criticized the company, polling people on Twitter about whether Twitter adheres to free speech principles. An entrepreneur known for courting controversy and for getting into trouble with stock market regulators, Musk has also polled Twitter users on whether he should sell his stake in Tesla. Besides these, he also constantly tweets about cryptocurrencies, another one of his passions.

Wedbush Securities said it expects Musk’s buy into Twitter to be the start of his bid to raise his influence on the site.

“We would expect this passive stake as just the start of broader conversations with the Twitter board/management that could ultimately lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter,” the broker said in a note.

The rally on Twitter helped fire up Wall Street’s broader tech sector.

The Nasdaq Composite – which houses the biggest technology names of the world, including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google – closed up 271 points, or 1.9%, at 14,533.

The S&P500 – which groups the top 500 US stocks – finished up 38 points, or 0.8%, at 4,584.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which lists travel, aviation and cross-industry value stocks, settled up 104 points, or 0.3%, at 34,922. (ANI/Sputnik)


Softline Womenswear, a brand by Rupa & Co., signs Bollywood actress Kiara Advani 

Kolkata (West Bengal) [india]:  Softline Womenswear, the brand from the house of Rupa & CompanyLimited, one of India’s largest knitwear organizations, has announced Actress Kiara Advani as the brand ambassador. Softline Womenswear has been the go-to label for Indian fashionistas for their wardrobe-essentials for over two decades. The actress will be endorsing the womenswear range from Softline, including-Leggings, Palazzos and Pants etc.

On the Association, actress Kiara Advani affirmed, “It is a pleasure to be associated with the decades-old brand Softline by the very reputed Rupa & Co. The brand resonates with the youngsters offering unique designs and comfort at the same time. It is one of the very few brands that strikes a chord with people pan India.”
Kiara as the New Softline Girl represents the brand’s persona to a T. Her unstoppable energy, vibrance and versatility are effortlessly aligned with Softline’s wide range of Leggings, Palazzos and Pants. The leggings consist of a wide variety of styles in trendy colours & patterns such as Ankle length, Churidar, Printed, Shimmer, Capri, and Comfort Fit Pocket & Winter Leggings. Similarly, the Pants are available in varieties of Knitted, Kurti & Western Kurti Pants. Palazzos too come in a wide range of colours and designs.

“For a consumer, it’s almost magical that how ‘EFFORTLESSLY’ Softline understands them and helps them dress up for every occasion. We partnering with Kiara will ensure that the brand reaches and appeals to much wider and younger consumers,” says Vikash Agarwal, President, Rupa & Co. Ltd.

The brand will be launching a series of campaigns with the new brand ambassador highlighting the wide range of Softline’s Leggings, Palazzos and Pants available for the customers. These campaigns will be unveiled both online and offline.

Softline Womenswear is synonymous with innovation, style, and comfort. The expert designers at Softline make sure that they keep up with the latest trends and the requirements of the evolving consumers. Hence the detailing in every product is well thought of and crafted to perfection. With its effortless, easy-breezy movements and endless colour options, fashion is now going to get comfortably & effortlessly stylish.

This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)

Flipkart Foundation to support entrepreneurship, skill development

New Delhi [India]: E-commerce giant Flipkart said on Monday that it has constituted Flipkart Foundation with a focus on supporting improved market access for under-served communities, entrepreneurship, skill development, community development, livelihood opportunities, and environmental responsibility initiatives in India.

The Foundation aims to impact 20 million lives directly and indirectly over the next decade, Flipkart said in a statement.
The Foundation will carry forward Flipkart Group’s efforts towards bringing opportunities for ecosystem partners and convenience to stakeholders through a technology-led digital commerce model. This will enable it to drive inclusive growth with a mission to drive grass-root level, at-scale and institutionalised impact for sustainable livelihoods and growth opportunities in India for the underprivileged.

The Foundation was formally launched in the national capital by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar, Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma and Minister of State for Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.

“While India is full of opportunities, there is a need to drive equitable growth. To help drive this, it is important for businesses to offer support to underprivileged sections of society to make them a part of the country’s growth story,” Social Justice and Empowerment Minister said at the launch event.

Flipkart Foundation’s operations are grant-based, with contributions from the Flipkart Group and through the ‘Charity Checkout’ feature available on Flipkart platforms, which provides an easy and seamless way for philanthropic giving.

The establishment of the Foundation is in line with the Flipkart Group’s continuing efforts toward nation-building by supporting livelihoods through direct and indirect employment creation and opportunities enabled by its technology and innovation-driven marketplace for lakhs of MSMEs, sellers and artisans, along with infrastructure development through its supply chain and other group services and offerings, Flipkart said.

“Flipkart Foundation is our commitment to engage with diverse stakeholders to enable transformational development work for society and the economy. The Foundation will address several critical societal concerns ranging from art and craft revival to employment opportunities for the underserved, to disaster relief,” said Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart.

“We have set audacious targets for the Foundation and aim to influence 20 million lives directly and indirectly in the coming decade across a wide array of areas by utilising our learnings over the years,” Kumar said in a statement. (ANI)


India Inc performance improves in second half of 2021-22

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]:  India Inc performance based on credit ratings improved sharply in the second half of the financial year 2021-22 on the back of sustained improvement in demand, secular deleveraging by debt issuers, and proactive relief measures by the government, CRISIL Ratings said.

The CRISIL Ratings credit ratio 1 (upgrades to downgrades) increased to 5.04 times in the second half (H2) of fiscal 2022, compared with 2.96 times in the first half (H1), underscoring continuing improvement in the performance of India Inc.
In all, there were 569 upgrades and 113 downgrades in the second half (H2) of 2021-22.

The upgrade rate increased to 15.4 per cent in H2 from 12.5 per cent in H1, while the downgrade rate declined to 3.1 per cent from 4.2 per cent in the same period. The downgrade rate is less than half the 6.5 per cent average seen in the past ten-and-a-half-year period, CRISIL Ratings said.

The performance comes on the back of a sustained improvement in demand (that lifted the revenues of most sectors to their pre-pandemic levels), secular deleveraging by debt issuers (seen over the past few fiscals and through the pandemic), and proactive relief measures by the government (that cushioned the pandemic blow), it said.

CRISIL Ratings’ outlook on credit quality remains ‘positive’, with upgrades expected to outnumber downgrades in fiscal 2023, too. However, going forward, the credit ratio could moderate for two reasons: one, demand and profitability could soften if commodity prices remain high; and two, winding back of Covid-19 relief measures. Further, with offices reopening and business travel restarting, some of the cost savings of 2020-22 would be eliminated.

Demand recovery, nimbleness in managing supply chains, and a tight leash on costs have shored up the median operating profit growth of the upgraded companies by 41 per cent in the past two fiscals — more than double the rate for the portfolio. (ANI)


Domestic natural gas prices doubled; CNG, cooking gas to get costlier

New Delhi [India]: Domestic natural gas prices will be more than doubled to USD 6.10 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) effective from April 1, 2022, from the current USD 2.90 per mmBtu, Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas announced on Thursday.

The new price will be effective for the first six months of the financial year 2022-23.
“In accordance with Para 8 of the ‘New Domestic Natural Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014’ issued vide Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt of India, F.No. O-22-13/27/2012-ONG-D-V dated 25-10-1014 the price of domestic natural gas for the period 1st April 2022 to 30th September 2022 is $6.10/MMBtu on the Gross Caloric Value (GCV) basis,” Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell said in a release.

This will result in an increase in the prices of piped cooking gas, CNG and other energy product. Apart from CNG and piped cooking gas, natural gas is also used to produce electricity and fertilisers.

The prices of the natural gas from deep fields will be increased to USD 9.92 per MMBtu for the April-September 2022 period from the existing price of USD 6.13 per mmBtu. (ANI)


Stock markets witness volatile trading; Sensex down 140 points

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: After three days of rally, the Indian equities markets key indices witnessed volatile trading on Thursday on weak global cues.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 58,543.94 points at 12.11 pm, which is 140.05 points or 0.24 per cent lower from its previous day’s close at 58,683.99 points.
Earlier, the Sensex opened in the positive at 58,779.71 points and surged to a high of 58,890.92 points in the morning trade.

The Sensex is trading weak after three days of rally. The index had gained 740.34 points or 1.28 per cent on Wednesday.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange was trading 19.95 points or 0.11 per cent down at 17,478.30 points against its previous day’s close at 17,498.25 points.

Earlier, the Nifty opened in the positive at 17,519.20 points and rose to a high of 17,559.80 points in the morning trade.

The Nifty had gained 172.95 points or 1 per cent on Wednesday.

The index heavyweight Reliance Industries slipped 1.23 per cent to Rs 2640. Wipro slipped 0.87 per cent to Rs 595.40. Infosys fell 0.83 per cent to Rs 1901.80. Bharti Airtel fell 0.77 per cent to Rs 743.60.

Mahindra & Mahindra 1.96 per cent higher at Rs 808.70; Asian Paints 1.13 per cent higher at Rs 3115; Bajaj Finance 0.97 per cent higher at Rs 7324.50; Axis Bank 0.97 per cent higher at Rs 757.45 and Hindustan Unilever 0.86 per cent higher at Rs 2032.75 were among the major Sensex gainers. (ANI)

India to allow Russia to invest, borrow from domestic market amid sanctions on Moscow

New Delhi [India]: In the face of mounting sanctions against Russia for launching military operations in Ukraine, India in line with its old ties and friendly relations will allow Moscow to invest and borrow in the domestic market.

Russia has been hit by multiple sanctions following its military operations in Ukraine. Countries around the world are imposing fresh sanctions against Russia.
The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada have banned certain Russian banks from SWIFT, the high-security network that facilitates payments among 11,000 financial institutions in 200 countries. Earlier, Germany halted certification of the ‘Nord Stream 2’ gas pipeline, following Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

Amid the sanctions, India allowed Russia to invest in Indian corporate debt funds that could help Moscow.

This can be seen as a return gesture for the Russian offer of selling to India oil at a whopping 25 to 30 per cent discount. Energy-starved India has already begun to avail this facility and build enough buffer stocks.

Equally important is the Indian decision, taken at the highest level, to allow Russia to pay for these investments through a Reserve Bank of India account that has existed since the collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago. Funds have accumulated pending payments for defence purchases made from Moscow. There is thus an element of a quid-pro-quo.

India is drawing lessons from the past dealings with Iran, another sanction-hit friend. Iranian oil imports were brought down to zero some years ago after the United States made it difficult for monetary transactions with Tehran.

Among other areas, Russia will be allowed to invest in debt securities.

Reports say that the Russian government officials have asked their Indian counterparts to relax India’s External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) framework, which would allow Russian entities to invest in bonds of Indian companies, and pay for these investments through an account with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The RBI account has an accumulated balance of Rs 2,000 crore from pending payments for defence purchases made from Russia, according to media reports.

‘Masala bonds’ are rupee-denominated bonds issued overseas by Indian companies. They are debt instruments that help companies raise money in India’s currency from foreign investors. Both government and private entities can issue these bonds.

The proposed arrangement is a response to pressures at the economic level, when global oil prices are rising, with their imports having a negative cascading effect on the Indian economy.

India abstained from United Nations votes on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, calling instead for an “immediate cessation of violence”, and emphasizing dialogue as the way out of the dispute. (ANI)


Hero Electric receives Great Place to Work accreditation

New Delhi [India] : Hero Electric, India’s oldest and largest electric two-wheeler brand, receives the Great Place to Work certification, thereby accrediting Hero Electric’s efforts to create a healthy work culture as well as emboldening its vision to create green and sustainable livelihoods across India.

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on building, sustaining and recognizing High-Trust, High-Performance CultureTM at workplaces. It serves businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in more than 60 countries, across all six continents, mission touching more than 10,000 organizations every year. It thrives on insights gleaned from working with companies of all industries and sizes, to help organizations around the world, build, sustain and scale their great culture.
Naveen Munjal, MD, Hero Electric, said, “We are delighted to receive this accreditation and it bolsters Hero Electric’s efforts to take care of the wellbeing and productivity of our performance-driven team. We stress on ensuring the growth of an employee entirely, who can then contribute to the company’s mission. We aim to create an environment that makes work achievable for the teams while taking care of them. The certification reflects our hard work to bring us to where we are today.”

Hero Electric has always emphasized the importance of not only well-being but also the happiness of its employees. Coming from the belief that – “In nature, nothing exists alone”, Hero diligently works towards empowering its employees by supporting them through all avenues at every phase of their career. The company recognizes the diverse and multi-talented employee pool and hence has discovered various approaches to permit them to stay committed to the company’s mission.

Commenting on the certification, Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric, said, “Our employees have worked with us through this journey to bring it to the position currently. Our employees are our family, and we truly understand the needs and wants of people through different life stages, and we want to give them exactly what motivates them to be aligned with the company’s goals. We are honoured and pleased to receive this certification, that will further enable our work culture to thrive and aid employees to succeed in an environment that respects each one of them.”

Adding further, Manu Sharma, AVP – HR, Hero Electric, said, “This certification is a testament of a great working culture further adding immense value and trust for the organization. This will aid in building a stronger talent pool and hiring a skilled individual workforce to achieve our future goals. It also fortifies our people-driven culture who are passionate and determined to work at a futuristic and legacy brand.”

This certification stands to empower and enable talent acquisition for Hero Electric. Hero Electric aims to work simultaneously with Make-in-India government initiatives and global supply chain realignments, to push for self-reliance and job creation, thus driving the EV narrative across the country.

Hero Electric is one of the oldest and India’s Largest Electric two-wheeler companies and has been at the forefront of the electric 2-wheeler industry. The company’s manufacturing unit is in Ludhiana, and it sells a wide range of electric scooters catering to a wide spectrum of customers. Hero Electric currently has over 750-plus (and rapidly expanding) sales and service outlets spread across the country along with a widespread charging network and trained roadside mechanics on EVs. It has a lot of firsts in the industry ranging from developing and launching the first lithium ion-based electric scooters in India to launching the unique concept of charging stations for anywhere, everywhere charging. With over 4.5 lakh electric two-wheelers in India, the company has been delivering sustainable travel solutions over the past 14 years and counting & has played a crucial role in developing and promoting the EV market in the country.

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)


US eases COVID-19 travel advisory for India from ‘Level 3’ to ‘Level 1’

Washington [US]: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday (local time) has eased its COVID-19 travel advisories for India, taking it from Level 3 (high risk) to Level 1 (low risk).

The CDC in its advisory said it has changed its COVID-19 travel recommendation for India to “Level 1 (Low)” from “Level 3 (High).”
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine,” the US department of state said in a statement.

“Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers,” the statement added.

While giving key information for travellers to India, the CDC said, “Make sure you are vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travelling to India. Even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19. Anyone 2 years or older should properly wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public spaces. Follow all requirements and recommendations in India.”

CDC uses Travel Health Notices (THNs) to alert travellers and other audiences to health threats around the world and advise on how to protect themselves. (ANI)

Sosyo Hajoori Beverages Announces Partnership with Royal Challengers Bangalore

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India]: Sosyo Hajoori Beverage Pvt Ltd, a brand rising out of Gujarat, has announced its association with Royal Challengers Bangalore franchisee for the upcoming Season 15 of the most popular cricket league which starts from March 26, 2022. The brand shall boast as the official refreshment partner for the T20 Cricket Team.

Following the association, the brand shall unveil a marketing campaign titled – Refresh Your Game that will be upheld by the hashtags #DrinkBold #DrinkSosyo across the digital platforms. The concept revolves around encouraging players and fans to enjoy a bubbly yet solid drink while supporting their team.
As part of the association, the branding of SOSYO – the aerated drink produced and marketed by Hajoori shall appear on the dugouts fuelling the team with vigor.

Sharing this news with their customers, directors Abbas Mohsin Hajoori and Aliasgar Hajoori explained, “We are delighted to partner with the very Royal Challengers Bangalore. The team is known for pushing its limit, and this has been motivating for the entire audience. Therefore, we understand that the brand shares the right synergies with the team, and the upcoming league would be the best opportunity to present the same. Our most seasoned and most liked brand Sosyo will be seen in the dugouts invigorating our players during the entire period of T20. We are anticipating desired results and breakthrough achievement out of this association.”

Speaking of the partnership, Rajesh Menon, Vice President & Head of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said, “We are happy to partner with SOSYO Hajoori as our official beverage partner for the second consecutive season. As the country is in the peak of summer this T20 season, SOSYO’s wide range of beverage offerings is helping the team stay hydrated.”

Being the trailblazer of the refreshment business, Sosyo has a huge customer base in the Indian market. The brand just completed 100 years in the business and is developing its client base universally. Today, Sosyo has its presence in around 15 nations and is continually testing and experimenting with leaving an imprint universally. Run by Abbas Mohsin Hajoori and AliasgarHajoori, the brand is well known for its novel taste and flavors to invigorate your taste buds.

With more than 100 flavors, the brand has progressively advanced, given the changing tastes of its customers. Known for offering countless flavors, drinks like Sosyo Jeera Xtreme, Masala Jeera Kashmira, Lemee, Hajoori’s Soda, Opener, Runner – Energy drink, Sosyo Juice Drinks and S’eau are some of Sosyo’s most savored refreshments. The brand additionally puts stock in being dependable towards its purchasers by creating drinks produced using India’s most seasoned flavors like Lemon, Ginger, and Jeera, which are known to help one’s wellbeing.

For additional insights about Sosyo Hajoori Beverages Private Limited, visit –

This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)


PVR, INOX announce merger to ‘deliver unparalleled movie-going experience’

New Delhi [India]: Cinema brands PVR Limited and INOX Leisure Limited announced their merger on Sunday with a view to “delivering an unparalleled movie-going experience” to the audience.

The combined entity will be named PVR INOX Limited with the branding of existing screens to continue as PVR and INOX respectively. New cinemas opened post the merger will be branded as PVR INOX, said a press release by PVR and INOX.
“Post the merger, PVR Promoters will have a 10.62 per cent stake while INOX Promoters will have a 16.66 per cent stake in the combined entity,” said the release.

Upon obtaining all approvals, when the merger becomes effective, INOX will merge with PVR. Shareholders of INOX will receive shares of PVR in exchange for shares in INOX at the approved share exchange (“swap”) ratio.

Ajay Bijli would be appointed as the Managing Director and Sanjeev Kumar would be appointed as the Executive Director. Pavan Kumar Jain would be appointed as the Non- Executive Chairman of the Board. Siddharth Jain would be appointed as Non-Executive Non-Independent Director in the combined entity.

“With PVR currently operating 871 screens across 181 properties in 73 cities and INOX operating 675 screens across 160 properties in 72 cities, the combined entity will become the largest film exhibition company in India operating 1546 screens across 341 properties across 109 cities,” said the release.

Commenting on the announcement, Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director of PVR said that the partnership will put consumers at the centre of its vision.

“This is a momentous occasion that brings together two companies with significantly complementary strengths. The partnership of these two brands will put consumers at the centre of its vision and deliver an unparalleled movie-going experience to them. The film exhibition sector has been one of the worst impacted sectors on account of the pandemic and creating scale to achieve efficiencies is critical for the long term survival of the business and fight the onslaught of digital OTT platforms,” he said.

Siddharth Jain, Director, INOX Leisure Ltd called the merger of the cinema brands “historic” and said it is driven by passion.

“Coming together of two iconic cinema brands, which are driven by passion, is certainly the most historic moment in the Indian cinema exhibition industry. Both companies have set high service benchmarks in an endeavour to offer the best cinema experience in the world, to the most passionate moviegoers, and would continue to do so as a unified entity,” he said. (ANI)


Banks, Other sectors will be closed, Trade Unions call Strike on 28 & 29 March

New Delhi: A joint forum of central trade unions has called for a nationwide strike on Monday and Tuesday to protest against Central government policies that affect workers. The banking sector will be joining the strike, the All India Bank Employees Association said on Facebook.

The call for a nationwide strike was taken after a meeting of the joint platform of central trade unions on March 22, 2022. After taking stock of preparations in various states, the unions announced a two-day all-India strike against “the anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-national policies” of the central government.

The bank unions are participating in the strike to protest against the government’s plan to privatise public sector banks, as well as the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021.

The State Bank of India has issued a statement informing customers that banking services may be impacted on March 28 and 29.

Banks have pensions of workers who are about to retire, would not be affected if they participate in the strike. Workers from various other sectors such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, and insurance are expected to participate in the strike.  The unions in the railways and defence sector would be making mass mobilisation in support of the strike at several hundreds of spots across the country.

Lok Sabha approves ‘crypto tax’ amendments

New Delhi [India]: Taxation of virtual digital assets (VDAs) or “crypto tax” proposed in the Union Budget 2022-23 is set to be implemented from April 1, as the Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Finance Bill, 2022.

The Lok Sabha also passed the amendments introduced in the Finance Bill, 2022 regarding clarification on taxation of virtual digital assets.
Section 115BBH of the Bill deals with tax on virtual digital assets. Clause (2)(b) prevents loss on the trading of crypto assets from being set off against income under “any other provision” of the IT Act.

As per the amendment, the word “other” is dropped. Under the amended law, loss from crypto assets cannot be set off against gains in crypto assets as well.

“The proposed 30 per cent tax irrespective of whether crypto-assets are capital assets or not will be detrimental to the investor growth that the industry has been seeing so far. This move will make day-traders incapable of saving on taxes even if they aren’t in the income tax brackets currently,” said Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of crypto exchange WazirX.

“Furthermore, not allowing investors to offset losses from one crypto trading pair by gains from another type will further deter crypto participation and throttle the industry growth,” he said.

Shetty said the new regulation would not provide desired results to the government.

“It can result in cascading participation on Indian exchanges that adhere to the KYC norms and lead to a rise in capital outflow to foreign exchanges or to the ones that aren’t KYC compliant. This is not conducive for the government or the crypto ecosystem of India,” he said. (ANI)

Sensex falls 280 points; Titan, Maruti, ITC slump

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 25 (ANI): The Indian equities markets benchmark Sensex witnessed volatile trading on Friday amid mixed cues from the global markets.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex was trading 274.16 points or 0.48 per cent down at 57,321.52 points at 12.56 pm, against its previous day’s close at 57,595.68 points.
Earlier, the Sensex opened in the positive at 57,801.72 points and surged to a high of 57,845.37 points in the morning trade. However, the index turned into negative within a few minutes of trade. It slipped to a low of 57,249.97 points.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange was trading 79.95 points or 0.46 per cent down at 17,142.80 points against its previous day’s close at 17,222.75 points.

There was selling pressure in auto and IT stocks.

Titan slumped 3.36 per cent to Rs 2530.70. Maruti Suzuki fell 1.92 per cent to Rs 7409.25. Tech Mahindra slipped 1.65 per cent to Rs 1542.95.

Nestle India, ITC, Wipro, L&T, Power Grid Corporation and Infosys were among the major Sensex losers.

The index heavyweight Reliance Industries was trading 0.74 per cent higher at Rs 2596.95. Kotak Bank, Tata Steel, State Bank of India and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories were also trading the positive. (ANI)

BSE seeks clarification from Paytm as stock dips 75 pc from issue price

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: The country’s leading stock exchange BSE has sought a clarification from Paytm’s parent firm One 97 Communications over the sharp drop in its share price of the company.

The share price of One 97 Communications Ltd slumped 3.59 per cent to Rs 524.40 at the BSE on Wednesday. This is nearly 75 per cent down from its issue price of Rs 2150 per share.
“The exchange has sought clarification from One 97 Communications on March 22, 2022 with reference to significant movement in price, in order to ensure that investors have latest relevant information about the company and to inform the market so that the interest of the investors is safeguarded,” BSE, formerly known as Bombay Stock Exchange, said in a statement.

The market capitalisation of One 97 Communications stood at Rs 1,39,432.7 crore at issue price of Rs 2150. It has now plunged to Rs 35,273.23 crore. In just four months the company’s market capitalisation has been eroded by Rs 1.04 lakh crore.

In a reply to the clarification sought by the stock exchange, One 97 Communications said, “We would like to inform you that our Company has been complying with Regulation 30 of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (Listing Regulations) and have, from time to time, made all necessary disclosures to the Stock Exchanges within stipulated timeline.”

“Further, as on date, there is no information/ announcement, which in our opinion may have a bearing on the price/volume behaviour in the scrip of the Company and which is yet not disclosed to the Stock Exchanges,” Amit Khera, Company Secretary & Compliance Officer, One 97 Communications, said in the letter.

“The Company would also like to point out the business fundamentals remain robust as demonstrated in our last earning release dated February 04, 2022,” he said.

“We would like to reiterate that the Company is committed to comply with the Listing Regulations and any information/ announcement, likely to have bearing on the price/ volume of the shares of the Company would be disclosed, from time to time, to the Stock Exchanges within stipulated timeline,” Khera added in the letter. (ANI)


Cochin Airport to facilitate 1190 flights per week from Sunday

Kochi (Kerala) [India]: India’s third busiest airport, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) will facilitate 1190 flights every week from Sunday as India will resume commercial international flights from March 27 after a gap of two years.

The airport was facilitating 848 flights during the ongoing winter schedule. The Summer schedule released by the airport starting from Sunday will be operational till October 29.
CIAL’s summer schedule will see 20 airlines operating to destinations abroad among which 16 are International carriers operating 261 weekly departures.

“Air India Express, Air Asia Berhad, Ethihad, Emirates, Oman Air, Qatar Air, Saudi Arabian, Kuwait air, Thai Air Asia, Srilankan, Gulf Air, Fly Dubai, Singapore Airlines, Spice jet and Indigo are among some of the major flights which frequently operate from Cochin Airport.

There will be 44 weekly departures to Dubai alone. Whereas Abu Dhabi comes second with 42 operations from Kochi.

Air India will continue their three weekly operations to London and Thai Air Asia will resume its operations from Kochi in June, with 4 weekly direct flights to Bangkok.

CIAL schedules 668 domestic operations for the summer season offering connectivity with 13 cities in the country which includes 63 weekly flights to Delhi, 55 to Mumbai, 39 to Hyderabad, 49 to Chennai, 79 to Bangalore and 7 to Kolkata.

“The zealous effort taken by the company to smoothen the traffic during the pandemic period would have instilled a sense of safety in International Airlines and which has been reflected in the summer schedule,” said S Suhas, Managing Director, CIAL. (ANI)


Assets worth Rs 19,111.20 cr of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Choksi attached: Govt to RS

New Delhi [India]: The Central government on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that assets amounting to Rs 19,111.20 crore relating to fugitives economic offenders Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi have been attached by March 15 this year.

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary made the declaration in a written reply to a question asked by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Brij Lal.
Pankaj Chaudhary was asked whether the government has proposed or proposes to return the funds to the banks by confiscating the properties of business persons who fled abroad without repaying the loans of the banks.

In a written reply, the minister said Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA) provide that the Special Court trying the offence may restore any property or assets involved in money laundering to a third party claimant with a legitimate interest, including banks.

In the cases pertaining to Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi who have defrauded Public Sector banks by siphoning off the funds through their companies which resulted in a total loss of Rs 22,585.83 crore to the public sector banks, as of March 15, 2022, the Minister said, “assets worth Rs 19,111.20 crore have been attached under the provisions of PMLA”.

“Out of which, assets worth Rs15,113.91 crores has been restituted to the Public Sector Banks,” said Chaudhary.

In addition, the Minister said assets worth Rs 335.06 crore have been confiscated by the government of India.

“As on March 15, 2022, 84.61 per cent of the total defrauded funds in these cases have been attached or seized and 66.91 per cent of a total loss to the banks has been handed over to Banks or Confiscated to the government of India,” the minister added.

The Minister also mentioned that the consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India has realized Rs 7,975.27 crore by sale of assets handed over to them by the Directorate of Enforcement as of March 15 this year. (ANI)


India : How to file Income Tax Return, Important Tips

New Delhi [India]:  To measure the growth and prosperity of any country, there are several yardsticks, one of which is how many people in that country file their Income Tax Return (ITR). Read below to find out how to file an income tax return.

Filing the ITR is a path of growth for the nation, from infrastructure to energy, social welfare to subsidies, and it can make a huge difference. This is a matter of pride for an individual if he or she is an Income Taxpayer and files the Income Tax Return in time.
In an advertisement by the Income Tax Department, there is a slogan that

“Tax Compliance in Time Makes your Nation Shine”

and this compliance has started with the filing of Income Tax Return. Now the basic question arises; how to file Income Tax Return? This Article takes up various questions for individuals who would like to file their Income Tax Returns, as they do not have the aid of competent staff and the Chartered Accountants that Firms, Corporate and NGOs have. I hope this article helps and upgrades the knowledge of individuals to file their ITRs.

Kalidas in Raghuvansham, said, “It was only for the good of his subjects that he collected taxes from them, just as the Sun draws moisture from the Earth to give it back a thousand-fold”. Article 265 of the Constitution of India provides that “no tax shall be levied or collected except by the authority of law, therefore the Income-Tax Act, 1961 was enacted to provide for levy and collection of tax on income earned by a person.

For the filing of Income Tax Returns, one can register with the Income Tax website i.e.,

through PAN (Permanent Account Number). The main consideration should be given on Residential Status, Person, Scope of Income, Tax Year i.e., Previous Year between 1st April to 31st March and. As per Income Tax Act, every person, whose total income exceeds the maximum 26AS amount (Annual Statement) not chargeable to tax, shall be chargeable to tax at the rate or rates prescribed in the Finance Act.

The Income Tax Act defines the term “person” u/s 2(31) includes an individual, and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), a company, a firm (including LLP), an Association of Person (AOP) or a Body of Individual (BOI); a local authority, and every other artificial juridical person. Section 2(24) defines the word “income” as including not only those things which this definition explicitly declares but also all such things as the word signifies according to its natural import. There are four types of Forms for filing the Income Tax Returns for the individuals depicted in the Flow Chart as under:

Primarily, there are five parts in Income Tax Return in which we must provide the given information:

Part A: General Information

about the Tax Individual. It contains, PAN, Name, Date of Birth, Aadhar No. Mobile No., Email Address, Address, section under which Return is going to be filed whether on or before the due date [u/s 139(1)]; Belated [u/s 139(4)]; Revised [u/s 139(5)], Nature of Employment etc.

Part B: Gross Total Income

, that comes from various sources on the Return Forms like Salary, Income from House Property, Income from Business, or Profession, Capital Gain, Income from other sources

Part C: Deductions and Taxable Total Income

, this contains various deductions under Chapter VI A of the Income Tax Act. Like 80C: Deduction in respect of Life Insurance Premium, Annuity, Contributions to Provident Fund (PF), Tuition Fees etc. The deduction limit is Rs 1.5 lakh together with section 80CCC and section 80CCD (1).


: Deduction up to Rs 50,000 in respect of Contribution to Pension Scheme of Central Government (NPS).


: Deduction for Medi-claim premium. Premium paid up to Rs 25,000 is eligible for deduction for individuals, other than Senior Citizens. For Senior Citizens, the limit is Rs 50,000 and the overall limit u/s 80D is Rs 1 lakh.


: Deduction for maintenance including medical treatment of a dependent who is a person with a disability. The maximum deduction limit under this section is Rs 75,000.


: Deduction in respect of expenditure up to Rs 40,000 on medical treatment of specified disease from a neurologist, an oncologist, a urologist, a hematologist, an immunologist, or such other specialist, as may be prescribed.


: Deduction for Interest on Loan taken for higher education without any ceiling.


: Deduction for interest up to Rs 50,000 on Loan taken for residential house property.


: Deduction for interest up to Rs 1.5 lakh on Loan taken for certain house property (on affordable housing).


: Deduction for interest up to Rs 1.5 lakh on Loan taken for the purchase of the electric vehicle.


: Donations to certain funds, charitable institutions, etc. depending on the nature of the donation, the limit varies from 100 per cent of total donation, 50 per cent of total donation or 50 per cent of donation with a cap of 10 per cent of Gross Income.


: Deductions in respect of the rent paid by non-salaried individuals who don’t get House Rent Allowance benefits. The deduction limit is Rs 5,000 per month or 25 per cent of total income in a year, whichever is less.


: Full deductions in respect of certain donations for scientific research or rural development.


: Full deductions in respect of donations to Political Party, provided such donations are non-cash donations.


: Deductions in respect of Interest on Savings Bank Accounts up to Rs 10,000 in case of assesses other than Resident Senior Citizens.


: Deductions in respect of Interest on deposits up to Rs 50,000 in case of Resident Senior Citizens.


: Deduction in case of a person with a disability. Depending on the type and extent of disability maximum deduction allowed under this section is Rs 1.25 lakh.

Part D: Computation of Tax Payable

, the Tax on Income, Health and Education Cess, Rebate u/s 87A and the Interest u/s 234A, 234B and 234C of the Income Tax Act is auto-calculated by the Income TaxSoftware whether filing online or offline or through any other software available in the market.

Part E: Other Information

, includes details of Bank Accounts with IFSC code and Account Number and has the person done any of the followings, during the previous year, — (i) hold, as beneficial owner, beneficiary or otherwise, any asset (including financial interest in any entity) located outside India; or (ii) have signing authority in any account located outside India; or (iii) have income from any source outside India [applicable only in case of a resident] [Ensure Schedule FA is filled up if the answer is Yes.

Apart from the above, we have to provide the Tax Payment details; like TDS which is auto-captured, however, we have to check with 26AS statement that provides details of any amount deducted as TDS or TCS from various sources of income of a taxpayer. Details of payments of Advance Tax and Self-Assessment Tax –

And lastly the


in the following format:

I, son/ daughter of, ……solemnly declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief, the information given in the return and schedules thereto is correct and complete and is in accordance with the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961. I further declare that I am making return in my capacity as ___________ and I am also competent to make this return and verify it. I am holding Permanent Account Number (if allotted) (Please see instruction) I further declare that the critical assumptions specified in the agreement have been satisfied and all the terms and conditions of the agreement have been complied with. (Applicable in a case where return is furnished under Section 92CD).

After completing the ITR form, we proceed for online verification in which the software checks and correlates the information provided by us. If there is any discrepancy, an error will be displayed and we would have to rectify it to proceed to the next level i.e., e-verification. One can verify one’s returns online(e-verification) using:

After E-verification now, one can download the ITR and Acknowledgement copy for the record. If Return is not E-verified then take a print of ITR Receipt, sign it at specified place and send it to the CPC Bangalore within 120 Days of the filing of the ITR.

Disclaimer: The author of this article is Shankar Mishra, a Chartered Accountant with more than 20 years of experience in the field of Direct & Indirect Taxes and Company Law Matters. (ANI)

France freezes USD 24bn of Russian Central Bank’s assets

Paris [France]: France has frozen 22 billion euros ($24 billion) worth of assets belonging to the Russian Central Bank, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.

“We have frozen the assets of the Central Bank of Russia in the amount of 22 billion euros. In addition, we have frozen assets in private individuals’ accounts in French financial institutions in the amount of 150 million euros,” Le Maire told the RTL radio.
France also froze real estate in the country worth half a billion euros, which is about 30 properties and apartments owned by Russian citizens, according to the minister.

“In total, this is almost a billion euros, or 850 million euros, that we have frozen,” Le Maire added.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine responding to calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in defending themselves against the aggression of Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the operation was targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only.

In response, the US and its allies have imposed comprehensive sanctions against Russia, its financial and energy sectors. (ANI/Sputnik)


Australia to announce ‘largest-ever’ investment of Rs 1,500 cr in India

New Delhi [India]: In the largest-ever investment by the Australian government in India, Canberra will announce an investment of Rs 1,500 crore in the country in multiple sectors at the India-Australia bilateral summit to be held on Monday. India and Australia will conclude an early harvest agreement by the end of this month, according to sources.
An early harvest agreement is aimed at liberalising tariffs on the trade of certain goods between two countries or trading blocs before a comprehensive agreement.

As per a diplomatic source, the two countries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of critical minerals, which will help increase India’s access to metallic coal and lithium in Australia and cater to India’s growing demand for electric vehicles and growing infrastructure.

Australia has one of the biggest reserves of lithium and is also a provider of the cleanest metallic coal.

The two countries will also be building a centre to promote partnership, which will be located in Canberra, Australia. Announcements on space, cyber activities, technology, agriculture, education and broadcasting will also be made, said the source.

According to the source, India-Australia’s comprehensive strategic partnership is not just symbolism but there is remarkable depth in relation.

Tomorrow both leaders will demonstrate that India and Australia are top tier partners that deliver.

When asked whether Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and India’s position will have any impact, the source said that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s 1957 no condemnation policy and space of resolution policy is in place and every country has a different relationship with different countries.

It is widely believed and reported that PM Modi is in discussion with Russian President Putin on the issue.

The source also said that it will have no negative impact on India-Australia bilateral relations or quad, although incidents in Ukraine will have implications in the Indo-Pacific region.

Further, the Union Minister of Coal and Mines in India, Pralhad Joshi, is expected to visit Australia soon.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison will hold the second India-Australia Virtual Summit on Monday to lay the way forward on new initiatives and enhance cooperation in a diverse range of sectors between the two countries.

The Summit follows the historic first Virtual Summit in June 2020 when the relationship was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. During the upcoming virtual summit, the Leaders will take stock of progress made on various initiatives under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The Leaders are expected to commit to closer cooperation in trade, critical minerals, migration and mobility, and education, among others, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press statement.

According to the MEA release, views on regional and international issues of mutual interest will also be discussed by the Leaders. It also said the Summit highlights the importance attached by both countries to their bilateral relations as also their close cooperation on regional and global issues.

The India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has maintained the momentum of an upward trajectory with both countries continuing to collaborate closely, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in wide-ranging areas including science and technology, defence, cyber, critical and strategic materials, water resource management, as well as public administration and governance.

PM Modi and Morrison met in Washington DC for the first in-person meeting after the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2021 on the margins of the Quad Leaders’ Summit and jointly launched the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) in Glasgow on the margins of the COP26 in November 2021.

On Friday, Morrison had underlined that the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries is based on a shared vision of an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific.

In an official statement, he said, “Australia and India’s strong bilateral relationship is based on mutual understanding and trust, a commitment to democracy, and a shared vision of an open, inclusive, resilient and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

“Prime Minister Modi and I will discuss deepening our trade and investment relationship and harnessing new economic opportunities to support our mutual economic recovery and growth. Central to these endeavours are strengthened cooperation in defence and security, science and technology, and critical minerals and clean energy,” he added.

Furthermore, the Australian PM said both sides will also discuss a range of regional and multilateral issues, including the situation in Ukraine and its implications for the Indo-Pacific, and Myanmar. (ANI)

Tax Tips : How to plan income tax and minimize tax liability

New Delhi [India]:  As far as paying income tax, it feels good because it is an indicator of prosperity, and the taxpayer feels that our money is being used for the progress of the country. But sometimes this amount is being used for inducement to the voters by way of giving free stuff, various types of subsidies and remuneration to meet out the political obligation only, then it pinches a lot.

But income tax is an important legal provision, and we should follow it honestly. However, as far as possible within the scope of the law, we should make the effort to minimize the tax liability through good planning. Hope this article enlightens the facts to our readers in this regard.
In the case of salaried employees, tax is painful when it is not deducted on an equated monthly basis, particularly, when at year-end most parts of the salaries exhaust in a deduction for Income Tax.

Thus, tax planning should start with the start of the financial year, and we should declare in advance to our employer about the expenses and investment and should adhere to the commitment by providing evidence of such expenses and investment when required by the management.

Apart from the salary, if the individuals have the income from any other source like income from house property, income from business or profession, capital gain, or the income from other sources, the details of such income, expenses, and investments are as under:

Part A

: Incomes that do not form part of total income or are exempted from Income Tax and a few details are given below:

Part B

: Some deductions to be made in computing total income:

Part C

: Some other deductions allowed in computing total income:

Further, there is new tax regime u/s 115BAC has been introduced in Budget 2020, which bifurcated the income tax slab. Both new and old slabs are as under:

However, the new regime of tax slab does not allow the deduction and certain exemptions

The tax payable under both the new and the existing regimes without claiming deductions and exemptions is as below:

Before opting for the regime, the taxpayer should decide the pros and cons of both the slab. If he has exhausted the investments and expenses limit, then it is beneficial to opt old tax slab.

For a salaried person, there is not much scope to save the tax. However, for a person who is in business, there are lots of deductions available u/s 30 to 42 of the Income Tax Act. Hence, we use to say the UdymeBasati Lakshmi, (Lakshmi resides in the enterprise).

Disclaimer: The author of this article is Shankar Mishra, a Chartered Accountant with more than 20 years of experience in the field of Direct & Indirect Taxes and Company Law Matters. (ANI)

Project Kirana : Digital empowerment of women

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Mastercard have partnered to foster digital empowerment of women in India through an initiative called ‘Project Kirana’.

Project Kirana is a business development and digital financial literacy programme for women entrepreneurs that aims to increase revenue streams, expand financial inclusion, and enable the adoption of digital payments and other digital tools by women-owned-and-operated kirana shops.
The two-year programme, implemented by DAI and ACCESS Development Services, is working in select cities of Uttar Pradesh, according to a statement released by Mastercard.

Officials of USAID and Mastercard on Thursday made a joint visit to the shops covered under Project Kirana in Lucknow.

USAID Mission Director to India and Minister Counselor for International Development Veena Reddy and Executive Vice President, Sustainability and Founder and President Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth Shamina Singh visited small convenience stores operated by women entrepreneurs.

“It was enlightening to engage with women entrepreneurs in Lucknow today. Increasing the participation of women in the formal sector, especially the digital economy, is critical to the well-being of people and the growth of economies,” Reddy said.

“At USAID, advancing women’s digital financial capabilities is a key component of our work to increase equitable economic empowerment. Through this partnership, Mastercard and USAID are addressing the gender inequalities that limit the ability for women-owned businesses to grow and thrive,” she added.

Since Project Kirana’s launch in November 2020, more than 2,100 women have benefitted from the programme.

Together, USAID and Mastercard are supporting women participants to build financial and digital literacy skills on topics such as banking, digital payments, saving, credit and insurance; improving basic business management skills including inventory management, accounting, budget management and customer loyalty; and addressing cultural and gender norms as well as other barriers to women becoming successful kirana entrepreneurs.

The programme provides customised training on business and financial management, leadership development, digital payments, and access to financial services through digital tools, applications, video content, in-person training, and peer networking opportunities to reinforce learnings grounded in real-life experiences, the statement said.

Commenting on the project Shamina Singh said, “Project Kirana is an extension of Mastercard’s commitment to empower and enable micro and small businesses with technology, products, insights, and catalytic philanthropic funding. Small businesses owned or led by women consistently outperform peers.”

“Yet, they are at risk of being left behind in an increasingly digital economy without tools and training that meet their needs. We are proud to partner with USAID to develop capacity-building programmes that unleash women’s entrepreneurial spirit and their potential to be drivers of a digital, inclusive India,” Singh added. (ANI)

With $103 billion wealth Mukesh Ambani is Asia’s richest

New Delhi [India]: Reliance Industries Limited Chairman Mukesh Ambani is Asia’s richest man with $103 billion wealth, a whopping 24 per cent jump in a year, while Nykaa founder Falguni Nayar has become the newest billionaire in India, according to Global Rich List report compiled by research platform Hurun.

Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani is the second richest man in India. He added the most amount of wealth in a year. Adani’s wealth surged by $49 billion in a year, taking his net worth to $81 billion. Adani’s wealth increased by around Rs 6,000 crore every week over the last year.
The research platform Hurun has compiled the rich list in association with real estate firm M3M. The report titled ‘2022 M3M Hurun Global Rich List’ ranked 3381 billionaires from 2557 companies and 69 countries. Out of the total 3381 billionaires, wealth of 2071 increased in the last one year, while the wealth of 942 people declined. 490 were new faces joined the billionaire club during the year.

With 215 Billionaires residing in India and 58 new additions, India continues to be the third largest billionaire producing nation in the world. The number rises to 249 if Indian origin billionaires are added.

China has 1133 billionaires almost 5 times bigger than India with 215 billionaires.

In the last 10 years, Indian billionaires have added $700 billion to their cumulative wealth. This is equivalent to Switzerland’s GDP and twice the GDP of United Arab Emirates.

Mumbai is home to 72 billionaires, followed by New Delhi 51 and Bengaluru 28.

“India has 18 per cent of the world’s population and 8 per cent of the world’s ‘known’ billionaires, up from 50 per cent compared to last year. Of the 34 living outside of India, the preferred residences were the USA, the UAE and the UK,” Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and Chief Researcher said in a statement.

Mumbai and New Delhi are amongst the top three cities with the fastest-growing number of billionaires in the world. 215 Indian billionaires in 2022 M3M Hurun Global Rich List hail from 21 cities.

“To give a perspective, the billionaires from US, China and Germany hail from 240, 135 and 68 cities respectively. India’s plutocratic makeover has some catching up to do when it comes to geographic spread. Some of the Government projects such as the Smart-City initiative, Digital India and so on will catalyse rapid urbanisation that could accelerate wealth distribution across the country,” the report said.

“Interestingly, 59 per cent of the country’s billionaires are self-made, thus indicating that the new-generation entrepreneurs are financially-wise, asset-rich and investment-vibrant. Also, gender inclusivity and equality has been a noticeable theme with women outranking men across industries,” said Pankaj Bansal, Director, M3M India.

The year was also a moment of reckoning for India’s startup ecosystem which witnessed major startup IPOs including 4 companies in Hurun Global Unicorn Index. 2021’s IPO story began with a bang but fizzled out towards the end owing to bubble concerns. 10 Tech companies that listed in 2021 cumulatively lost $23 billion or Rs 1,72,000 crore since listing, resulting in a momentary pause of the tech IPO. (ANI)


Telangana: Holi boosts demands in markets, cheers shopkeepers

Telangana [India]: With Holi round the corner, the festivities have gripped Hyderabad markets, boosting sales of herbal colours, balloons and water guns (pichkari).

Preparations for the festival of colours were seen in full swing throughout the country.
The local shopkeepers have seen a tremendous rise in sales ahead of Holi.

“With the business doing well this time, we hope to celebrate a mega Holi this year,” said a shopkeeper.

Marking the onset of the spring season, Holi is a festival of colours, symbolic of joy and victory of good over evil.

Holi celebrations for the last two years were under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent relaxations of the COVID-19 guidelines cheered the shopkeepers as the demand soared. (ANI)


India needs USD 20 billion investments each year to achieve climate targets

New Delhi [India]: India needs USD 20 billion worth of investments each year to achieve its climate targets and fund its green transition, according to an industry report released on Saturday.

The report titled ‘ESG – Into the Mainstream’ done jointly by the industry body FICCI and Trilegal, notes that India would require a large budget allocation, international finance from bilateral and multilateral sources and green private investments to fund the programmes needed to achieve climate targets.

The report released by Rajesh Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, comes at a timely juncture as ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) considerations are increasingly influencing the way in which businesses measure success. The expectations of key business stakeholders such as investors, regulators, customers, and employees are also bringing these parameters into sharp focus.

The narrative around ESG has changed significantly over the last couple of years, from being seen as compliance imperative to taking the centre stage at boardroom discussions and driving investment and business strategy decisions, FICCI said in a statement.

A chapter of the report titled ‘Unlocking Green Finance’ explores India’s readiness to access and deliver climate finance and other related aspects such as uniform carbon tax policy and green taxonomy for enhancing investor confidence. It delves deep into potential sources of finance and novel structures and the need to incentivize investors willing to provide ‘first loss capital’ to de-risk projects and catalyze further investments.

Focussing on redefining corporate citizenship – the road to sustainability, the report details how corporates can contribute to the sustainability agenda, non-financial metrics and management of ESG risks. As regulators actively incorporate ESG and sustainability factors into the legal framework, the ways in which companies operate will change.

The report also explores the themes of ESG Crisis Readiness and Regulation of ESG Ratings Providers in India through global comparisons and makes recommendations on the ESG framework that pre-empts ESG crises as well as handles one responsibly when it arises. (ANI)


Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was arrested, granted bail later

New Delhi [India]- Co-founder and CEO of Paytm Vijay Shekhar Sharma was arrested and released on bail by Delhi Police last month for allegedly ramming his car into the official vehicle of South Delhi’s Deputy Commissioner of Police.

“On February 22, the police received a complaint of a car ramming into the official vehicle of the DCP of South Delhi near Mother International School, Aurobindo Marg. After the alleged offence, the driver fled. The case under section 279 of IPC was registered on the complaint of Deepak Kumar for rashness and negligent driving,” said the Delhi police spokesperson Suman Nalwa.
She further said that the offending vehicle after the investigation was found to have been driven by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who was arrested and released later on bail.

The incident took place on February 22 when the DCP South Benita Mary Jaiker’s driver had taken her car towards Aurobindo Marg for refilling petrol.

Delhi Police, in its FIR copy, stated, “At that time, there was traffic jam outside Mother International School as the children of the school were crossing the road. At the same time, Sharma’s car hit the DCP’s vehicle from behind and the driver fled from the spot.”

Delhi Police informed that constable Deepak, who was driving the DCP’s car, noted down the number of that vehicle and informed the incident to Malviya Nagar Police Station.

Later, the vehicle was traced and found to have been registered in the name of a Gurgaon-based company and from there it was found that the vehicle belonged to Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Investigations by the police revealed that Sharma was driving the car when the incident took place. He was later called to Malviya Nagar Police Station, where a case was registered under section 279 (rash and negligent driving) of IPC and was arrested. He was granted bail from the police station later the same day.

Further probe into the matter is underway. (ANI)


Interest rates on PF deposits cut to 4 decades low of 8.1 per cent

Guwahati (Assam) [India]- The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO’s) top decision-making body the Central Board of Trustees on Saturday approved 8.1 per cent interest rate on provident fund (PF) deposits for the financial year 2021-22. This is the lowest interest rate on PF deposits in more than four decades.

In the last two financial years, 2020-21 and 2019-20, the interest rates on PF deposits stood at 8.5 per cent. The interest rate for 2021-22 will be the lowest since 1977-78 when it stood at 8 per cent.
The decision on the PF deposit rates for the current financial year was taken in the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees meeting held here. The Central Board of Trustees is the apex decision-making body of the EPFO. It is a tripartite body involving the government, workers, and employers’ representatives. The Board is headed by the union labour minister.

The union finance ministry will now vet the interest rate recommended by the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees and issue notification.

The interest rates on PF deposits have been reduced sharply in the last six years. In 2015-16 the interest rate on PF deposits stood at 8.8 per cent. It was lowered to 8.65 per cent in 2016-17 and further to 8.55 per cent in 2017-18. In 2018-19 it was increased to 8.65 per cent. However, in 2019-20 it was again lowered to 8.5 per cent. It was kept unchanged in 2020-21. (ANI)


RBI bars Paytm Payments Bank from onboarding new customers

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said it has banned Paytm Payments Bank from onboarding new customers with immediate effect.

“Reserve Bank of India has today, in the exercise of its powers, inter alia, under section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, directed Paytm Payments Bank Ltd to stop, with immediate effect, onboarding of new customers,” the RBI said in a statement.
The RBI has also directed Paytm Payments Bank to appoint an IT audit firm to conduct a comprehensive system audit of its IT system.

“The bank has also been directed to appoint an IT audit firm to conduct a comprehensive System Audit of its IT system. Onboarding of new customers by Paytm Payments Bank Ltd will be subject to specific permission to be granted by RBI after reviewing report of the IT auditors,” the statement said.

“This action is based on certain material supervisory concerns observed in the bank,” the central bank added. (ANI)


Instagram head condemns Russian decision to block social network

Washington [US]: Instagram head Adam Mosseri has condemned the Russian decision to block the social network over Meta’s decision to allow publication of calls for violence against Russian soldiers and Russians in the context of the military operation in Ukraine.

Following the controversial statements of Meta, the Russian authorities decided to block Instagram starting from Monday.
“On Monday, Instagram will be blocked in Russia. This decision will cut 80 million in Russia off from one another, and from the rest of the world as ~80% of people in Russia follow an Instagram account outside their country. This is wrong,” Mosseri wrote on his Twitter page.

On February 24, Russia launched a special operation after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk requested assistance to defend themselves from ongoing attacks by the Ukrainian troops.

The Western countries have strongly condemned the Russian military operation and boosted the sanctions pressure on Moscow. (ANI/Sputnik)


Ola faces backlash over its ‘8 missed calls from mom’ ad

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: After Flipkart, Ola has become the recent company to face the wrath of people over its recent marketing stunt.

The cab aggregator company recently sent a notification reading “8 missed calls from mom” to their customers and offered a 40 per cent discount on certain services.

However, this gimmick did not go down well with a section of people on social media.

Calling out the company, a Twitter user wrote, “There’s a way to do marketing. Do not cross your limits by sending such notifications. Couldn’t block the notifications coz bookings notifications will also get blocked. #disappointed.”

Another user called Ola’s stunt “cringy”.

“Why do you all give such cringy clickbaits. Don’t be another zomato. Be original in marketing. Especially those 8 missed calls one is yakk,” the netizen tweeted.

Started in 2010, Ola was founded by the current chairman and Group CEO of Ola Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati (Co-founder and CTO). (ANI)


Banks should not use public deposits to finance risky projects: Ex RBI Deputy Governor

New Delhi [India]: Projects with implementation risks should normally be financed by the capital markets and not by banks using public deposits, N S Vishwanathan, Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, said on Thursday.

Speaking at an event organised by the industry body Assocham, Vishwanathan said India needs a very strong bond market that can fund projects and manage its risks.
“The fundamental risk management and providing liquidity needs to come from the bond market. IBC is one of the legal frameworks enabling the development of the bond market,” he said.

He pointed out that if the bond markets develop, the banks must brace up to a situation of higher disintermediation. “The biggest contributor for the net interest margin being higher is the high NPAs. Going forward, we are looking at the Indian banking system having NPAs of globally accepted standards,” he said.

Vishwanathan highlighted that credit culture in India is a function of many things. “The quality of credit in the bank, the post-credit follow-up and the legal system for recovery are some of the factors which determine it. If you don’t have all these things, you reduce the probability of default and bring down the loss given default,” he said. (ANI)


India among top 3 countries most affected by ransomware attacks

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI/BusinessWire India): Industry-leading organization PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) highlights the danger of ransomware threats and best practices to mitigate them in a recently issued bulletin, which can be viewed



Ransomware attacks have been front and centre in the news over the past year due to various high-profile breaches that have impacted businesses across the globe. These attacks have been part of a larger global increase in ransomware crime over the past year. In fact, it is estimated that ransomware attacks cost the world $20 billion and hit 37 per cent of all businesses and



2021 alone


The impact of this can be clearly seen in the Asia-Pacific region where India has been one of the country’s worst affected by ransomware crime. Last year, 49 per cent of companies in India suffered multiple ransomware attacks, while 76 per cent have experienced at least one, according to a recent


by US security firm Crowdstrike. This makes India among the top 3 most affected countries when it comes to ransomware and demonstrates that it is critical for Indian businesses to protect themselves against cybercrime.

Nitin Bhatnagar, Associate Director India, PCI Security Standards Council, on cybercrime in India said “As an industry-leading organization for payment security in India, we are issuing this bulletin to help educate those who work in payments and security about the presence and growing risk of ransomware attacks. Organizations in India need to be aware of these threats and need to make cybersecurity a top priority as the number of cyber-attacks is on the rise.”

A ransomware attack involves cyber criminals gaining access to your network, systems and data and then rendering parts of these unusable, and/or stealing some of the data you have stored. The cyber-actor then ‘ransoms’ the data back by requiring payment to provide a decryption key to allow for the recovery of the encrypted data and systems or to

guarantee sensitive data is not further exposed

. Ransomware attacks are often the result of a phishing attack, when a company employee clicks on a malicious link, or the exploitation of known vulnerabilities in outdated software.

When it comes to protecting payment card data, which is often the target of a cyber-attack, adherence to the PCI DSS is considered a best practice. It consists of steps that mirror industry-accepted security best practices and at a high level requires you to consider how to mitigate the impact of a cyber-attack.

Speaking on combatting the growing threat of ransomware attacks, Lt Gen. Dr Rajesh Pant, National Cybersecurity Coordinator, Prime Minister’s Office Government of India said, “The imminent threat of ransomware needs serious and immediate attention. We have seen a rise in the number of ransomware attacks over the last 2 years in India. Cybercrime is growing and evolving at a rapid pace which makes it crucial for us to be equipped with the right tools and information to tackle it. We are pleased to see global payment security standards body PCI SSC’s constant efforts to educate businesses and government organizations on the best practices to tackle such threats.”

Learn more about the threat of ransomware attacks and the many ways to better protect against in PCI SSC’s recently issued bulletin,


. It highlights best practices businesses can take to mitigate the threat of ransomware attacks, including how the PCI DSS can be helpful in preventing an attack and improving payment data security.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)


Sensex up by 1,092 points

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): Equity indices opened in green on Thursday with Sensex up by 1,092.16 points and Nifty up by 315.90 points.

The 30-scrip BSE Sensex was up by 1,092.16 points or trading at 55,739.49 and up by 2.00 percent at 9.33 am.
Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 16,661.25 at 9.33 am, up by 315.90 points or 1.93 percent. (ANI)


Indian stocks rally for 2nd-day; Sensex climbs 1,223 points

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], (ANI): The Indian stock markets key indices rallied for the second consecutive day on Wednesday with Sensex and Nifty rising by more than two per cent on the back of strong buying support in auto, infra and banking, and financial stocks.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex surged 1223.24 points or 2.29 per cent to 54,647.33 points against its previous day’s close at 53,424.09 points.
Earlier, the Sensex started the day on a positive note at 53,793.99 points and surged to a high of 54,893.73 points in the intra-day.

The Sensex had gained 581.34 points or 1.10 per cent on Tuesday.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange closed 331.90 points or 2.07 per cent higher at 16,345.35 points. The Nifty had gained 150.30 points or 0.95 per cent on Tuesday.

There was strong buying support in auto, energy and banking and financial stocks.

The index heavyweight Reliance Industries surged 5.24 per cent to Rs 2353.80. Asian Paints soared 5.56 per cent to Rs 2875.10. Bajaj Finance jumped 5.13 per cent to Rs 6473. Mahindra & Mahindra soared 4.94 per cent to Rs 735.10.

Only five of the 30 stocks that are part of the benchmark Sensex closed in the red.

Power Grid Corporation slipped 1.89 per cent to Rs 208.05. NTPC fell 1.57 per cent to Rs 131.50. Tata Steel, Nestle India and Wipro also closed in the red. (ANI)

Socomec India Launches New Website To Mark Its 100th Anniversary

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 9 (ANI/NewsVoir): Commemorating its 100 years of shared energy, Socomec, a leading Global specialist in LV power management solutions, announced today, the launch of its redesigned website for India region.

A perfect combination of branding and user interface, the enhanced website exudes a fresh design, with intuitive navigation and well-crafted technical content that reflects the company’s vision of improvising upon its field of expertise across products and services that have evolved over a Century. With more than 1,500 documents including technical guides, white papers, catalogues and brochures made available under a single location, the new website is highly responsive with optimised accessibility through selectors and configurators that can be used across a plethora of handheld devices and different browsers.

The users can also preview the product references in 3D mode, which are downloadable in over 80 formats. This enhanced feature will not only help them choose a particular product solution, but also enable them to create their own product references that will suit their applications and projects.

Speaking on the launch of new website, Sushil Virmani, Managing Director, Socomec Innovative Power Solutions said, “We are elated to unveil our new company website to our customers, partners, and prospective visitors who are looking for information about our product and services as well as application-related contents on the power management subject matter. The redesign of our website not just enhances the user experience, but also ensures the overall experience with our brand as a whole.”

He further added, “Digital transformation is imperative to all businesses and improving seamless customer experience has become a mandate in today’s world. Socomec is no exception to this and the launch of our new website marks an exciting step towards this direction.”

Visit Socomec India New website
Socomec: When energy matter

Founded in 1922, Socomec is an independent, industrial group with a workforce of 3600 experts spread over 28 subsidiaries in the world. Our core business – the availability, control and safety of low voltage electrical networks serving our customers’ power performance.


Sensex rebounds 1165 points from day’s low; Tata Steel, Power Grid soar


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Extreme volatility continued in the Indian stock markets on Monday with benchmark Sensex sliding over 1000 points and briefly trading in the positive amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex opened deep in the red at 55,329.46 points and slumped to a low of 54,833.50 points in the morning trade.
At around noon trade, the investors rushed to bargain buying. The Sensex was trading 59.46 points or 0.11 per cent higher at 55,917.98 points at 12.28 pm, against its previous session’s close at 55,858.52 points.

The Sensex rose to a high of 55,998.65 points at around noon, which is 1,165.15 points higher from the day’s low of 54,833.50 points touched in the early morning trade.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange was trading 48.15 points or 0.29 per cent higher at 16,706.55 points against its previous session’s close at 16,658.40 points.

The Nifty 50 opened deep in the red at 16,481.60 points and slumped to a low of 16,356.30 points. The Nifty rose to a high of 16,720.95 points in the intra-day trade.

Tata Steel surged 5.48 per cent to Rs 1207.90. The scrip had also surged 6.54 per cent on Friday.

Power Grid Corporation 3.52 per cent higher at Rs 204.25; NTPC 2.07 per cent higher at Rs 133; Tech Mahindra 1.68 per cent higher at Rs 1412.80 and Reliance Industries 1.73 per cent higher at Rs 2323.45 were among the major Sensex gainers.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories slumped 2.53 per cent to Rs 4074.75. Mahindra & Mahindra fell 2.07 per cent to Rs 790.95. HDFC Bank 1.99 per cent down at Rs 1426.65; Axis Bank 1.89 per cent down at Rs 743.80; Nestle India 1.66 per cent down at Rs 17413.25 and Maruti Suzuki 1.25 per cent down at Rs 8250.05 were among the major Sensex losers. (ANI)

LIC update: Government allows up to 20 per cent FDI in LIC


New Delhi [India]: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday approved a proposal to allow up to 20 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), official sources said.

As per the sources, up to 20 per cent of FDI will be allowed under automatic route in LIC. The move is expected to open doors for foreign investors to participate in the upcoming initial public offering (IPO) of LIC.
Continuing with the efforts to make India an attractive investment destination, the amendment has been approved to permit Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and further simplified and enhanced the existing FDI Policy, an official source said.

Other minor enhancements in the existing FDI Policy have also been carried out in order to provide an updated, consistent and easily comprehensible FDI framework.

“The FDI policy reform will further enhance Ease of Doing Business in the country, leading to larger FDI inflows and thereby contributing to the growth of investment, income and employment,” the source said.

Life Insurance Corporation of India has already filed draft papers with the market regulator for IPO.

As per the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) filed by LIC with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), up to 31,62,49,885 (31.62 crore) equity shares will be on offer through the offer for sale (OFS), representing 5 per cent of equity stake of Life Insurance Corporation of India.

“Insurance” is a permitted sector under Para 5.2.22 of the FDI Policy. However, the FDI Policy currently lists only “Insurance Company” and “Intermediaries or Insurance Intermediaries” under the “Insurance” sector. LIC being a statutory corporation, is not covered under either “Insurance Company” or “Intermediaries or Insurance Intermediaries”.

Further, no limit is prescribed for foreign investment in LIC under the LIC Act, 1956; the Insurance Act, 1938; the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 or regulations made under the respective Acts.

Since as per the present FDI policy, the FDI ceiling for public sector banks is 20 per cent on the government approval route, it has been decided to allow foreign investment up to 20 per cent for LIC and such other bodies corporate. Further, in order to expedite the capital raising process, such FDI has been kept on the automatic route, as is in the case of rest of the insurance sector.

With an intent to improve and enhance the overall FDI Policy, certain changes and alignments under various provisions of the FDI Policy, are also carried out in order to provide greater clarity and updated, consistent and easily comprehensible FDI framework.

The reform in the FDI policy will have several benefits. It would facilitate foreign investment in LIC and such other bodies corporate, for which Government may have a requirement for disinvestment purposes.

The reform will facilitate ease of doing business and lead to greater FDI inflows, and at the same time, ensure alignment with the overall intent/objective of FDI Policy. Increased FDI inflows will supplement domestic capital, technology transfer, skill development for accelerated economic growth and development across sectors, to support the implementation of Atmanirbhar Bharat. (ANI)

India, Australia discuss comprehensive economic cooperation agreement

New Delhi [India]: India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday he held a detailed discussion with his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan Wannon on the “way ahead” for the proposed Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between the two countries.

“Held a detailed discussion with the Australian Trade Minister @DanTehanWannon on the way ahead for our Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement,” Piyush Goyal said in a tweet.
“Both sides are committed to a mutually beneficial deal covering goods, services & investments for the prosperity of our people,” Goyal said.

The minister had said recently that the proposed deal is likely to include lower tariffs and greater market access for Indian exporters in areas such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, footwear, and leather.

The two ministers held a virtual meeting to discuss the way ahead for the proposed Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

Earlier this month, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan visited New Delhi. He held discussions with India’s Commerce and Industry Minister to expedite the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations.

During his visit to New Delhi earlier this month Tehan also met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss economic cooperation and issues related to taxation of off-shore income of Indian firms in Australia. (ANI)(instagram Image )

South Korea: Samsung, LG, POSCO, Hyundai Motor closely eye Russia-Ukraine crisis

Seoul [South Korea]: As Russia has ordered operations in Ukraine, Korean companies have been also impacted. Korean companies have returned their expatriates from Ukraine, and are closely watching the situation.

According to the industry on the 22nd, Samsung Electronics, which operates a local unit in Ukraine, has ordered its expatriates and their families to move to Korea or nearby countries. Korean employees working at Samsung AI Research Center in Kiev also moved to other countries or returned to Korea.
LG Electronics and POSCO also have returned expatriates and their families to Korea first and temporarily relocated other Korean employees in Ukraine to Korea or nearby countries.

This is because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a Level 4 travel warning and banned the travel to all regions in Ukraine. Under the Level 4, Koreans and Korean companies should leave the country immediately.

However, considering that it is difficult to re-enter the local market after complete withdrawal, the companies are continuing to run their businesses in Ukraine. Local employees are currently working from home and communicating online. LG Electronics is also continuing its business with local employees.

POSCO International, which operates a grain terminal business in Ukraine, is also working as usual but has put the new projects on hold.

A business official said, “We will keep monitoring to decide whether to respond or not. As the U.S. and Europe are likely to impose sanctions on Russia, we are keeping a close eye on the situation.”

Airlines are also paying keen attention. Airlines are currently operating their flights on a route bypassing Ukrainian airspace, and considering suspending flights in accordance with the authorities’ guidelines.

Korean companies in Russia have not yet consider withdrawing but they also are concerned about impacts of Ukraine crisis. Supply disruptions of raw materials and local production delays are expected. As of last year, Russia is the 10th largest country in trade with Korea, accounting for about 1.6% of total exports and 2.8% of imports.

Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Hyundai Motor, which have factories in Russia, are currently continuing the production at local plants. Samsung Electronics operates a TV plant in Kaluga near Moscow, Russia, and LG Electronics operates a TV and home appliance plant in Luza near Moscow. Hyundai Motor has production facilities in St. Petersburg.

The three companies said there is no problem with operation in Russia. However, if the Russia-Ukraine war breaks out, the demand is expected to rapidly decrease, having a serious impact on profits. In addition, there are concerns about worsening profitability and supply chain disruptions due to ruble weakness.

Currently, companies are keeping monitoring the situation. An official from the company said “There are limitations for corporate responses in this urgent situation. We continue to operate plants as usual.” (ANI/Global Economic)

Amid Russia-Ukraine crisis, Sensex down by 1,432 points


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: With Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing a special “military operation” in eastern Ukraine, equity indices opened in red on Thursday with the Sensex down by 1432.50 points and Nifty down by 410.70 points.

The 30-scrip BSE Sensex was down by 1432.50 points or 2.50 per cent at 55,799.56 at 9.15 am.
Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 16652.60 at 9.15 am, down by 410.70 points or 2.41 per cent.

On the Sensex, the sectors trading on a positive bias were consumer durables and consumer discretionary goods and services among others.

Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special “military operation” to protect Donbas, the separatist-held region in eastern Ukraine.

Delivering an emergency address, Putin said the operation has been launched to demilitarize the country. (ANI)

Bikaji Foods files draft papers with SEBI for IPO


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: FMCG firm Bikaji Foods International on Wednesday filed draft papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to seek the market regulator’s approval for raising funds from the primary market through an initial public offering (IPO).

According to the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) filed with the SEBI, Bikaji Foods plans to sell nearly 2.93 crore shares in the IPO. It will be a pure offer for sale. This means the shares of existing promoters and shareholders will be available for sale.
Founders Shiv Ratan Agarwal and Deepak Agarwal will sell 25 lakh shares each. India 2020 Maharaja (PE Firm Lighthouse) will offload 1.21 crore shares, IIFL Special Opportunities Fund will sell 1.1 crore shares and Avendus Future Leaders Fund will offload 12 lakh shares.

Since the issue is an offer for sale, the selling shareholders will be entitled to the entire proceeds. The money raised through the IPO will not go to the company.

According to the draft paper, Bikaji Foods International controls 8.7 per cent market share in the Indian snack segment. Haldiram’s is the market leader with 36.6 per cent share.

Founder of Bikaji Foods International Shiv Ratan Agarwal is the grandson of Haldiram’s founder Gangabishan Agarwal. Shiv Ratan Agarwal founded the company in 1986. It was originally incorporated as Shivdeep Industries Ltd. In 1993, the company’s name was changed to Bikaji Foods.

In the draft paper, Bikaji Foods International claimed it is the largest manufacturer of Bikaneri bhujia, packaged rasgulla, soan papdi and gulab jamun with annual production of 26,690 tonnes, 24,000 tonnes, 23,040 tonnes and 12,000 tonnes respectively in the fiscal year 2020-21.

During the financial year 2020-21, Bikaji Foods International was the second-largest manufacturer of handmade papads with an annual production capacity of 9,000 tonnes.

JM Financial, Axis Capital, IIFL Securities, Intensive Fiscal Services and Kotak Mahindra Capital are the lead managers to the proposed IPO. (ANI)

China to impose sanctions on US firms for Taiwan arms deal


Beijing [China] (ANI): In retaliation to US arms sales to Taiwan, China has decided to impose sanctions on American defence companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China would continue to take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty.
The US earlier this month had approved a possible USD 100 million sales of equipment and services to Taiwan to “sustain” and “improve” the Patriot missile defence system used by the self-governing island.

The announcement drew a reaction from China and it advised the US against the arms deal. China had warned that it would take necessary actions to protect its sovereignty.

“China will take countermeasures against Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, which participated in a USD 100 million-worth sale of US arms to the island of Taiwan, a move that severely harmed China’s sovereignty and security interests,” Wang told a briefing on Monday, as quoted by the state media tabloid Global Times.

After the US approved the arms sales to Taiwan, Taipei thanked Washington for taking concrete actions to meet its security commitments stipulated in the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.

“It not only demonstrates the significance the US government continues to place on Taiwan’s defence capabilities but also shows the rock-solid Taiwan-US partnership,” Taiwan News quoted Taiwan’s Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang as saying.

This is the second weapons sale since President Biden took office and the first arms deal this year. (ANI)

The book ‘I AM’ challenges the myths and breaks the stereotype around creativity


Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] (ANI/PNN): The book ‘I AM’ is a first of its kind in the illustrated picture book category that defines the correct meaning of creativity.

Inspired by the core principle of design thinking, the book takes the reader through the journey of Empathy-Define-Ideate-Prototype-Test to demonstrate simple methods to solve complex problems.
Creativity isn’t always an in-born trait but a refined skill in the creation process. I AM an illustrated book for adults & children who believe in having a mindset that lets them find multiple solutions for the same problem.

I AM a happy book that emphasizes positivity. It is an emotional journey of a boy who is on his path of self-discovery. The story keeps the readers glued to the protagonist’s journey and how his brother encourages him to face the challenges and discover the essence of life. The book revolves around the myths about creativity and its stereotype. It’s an eye-opener for young adults, professionals, and parents who believe that creativity is synonymous with being artistic, whereas it is all about inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking the rules, making mistakes, and finding out solutions.

Reshma Budhia, the author of I AM, believes that creativity is not a form of doing but a form of being. With over 16 years of marketing experience, she has helped companies conceptualize and build marketing roadmaps using emerging technology solutions. Her key role includes brand & strategy consulting, content creation, UX/UI consulting, and growth strategy planning & execution.

She is a Certified Design Thinking Specialist from Emeritus MIT Sloan School of Management and has completed her PG Diploma in Innovation & Design Thinking. Reshma says, “Creativity is all about connecting things and solving problems. It’s solving ordinary problems through extraordinary solutions. We need to come out of the cocoon to explore and experiment.” She adds that her book was not born as an impulsive, spur-of-the-moment story but is her own journey to discover the creative side. She takes pride in being recognized as the Exceptional Women of Excellence by the Women’s Economic Forum.

There are different aspects of creativity, and through the book I AM, one gets to understand the true essence of creativity. It’s a keepsake that opens a new dimension each time you read it. I AM available on Amazon at Rs. 1199/.


to find out more.

Instagram handles:

Book: @discoveriam

Author: @designthinkqueen

This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)

TCS slumps 2 per cent ahead of Rs 18,000 crore share buyback


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): The share price of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) fell around 2 per cent on Monday, which is the last day for retail investors to participate in the company’s Rs 18,000 crore share buyback plan.

TCS has set February 23, 2022, as the record date to identify investors who will be eligible to participate in the stock buyback plan. If a retail investor wishes to participate in the buyback offer, February 21 is the last opportunity to buy. In order to be eligible to participate in the share buyback, the stock should be in the investors’ Demat account on the record date.
Trading in TCS shares started on a positive note on Monday. However, the scrip slipped into the red in tandem with the benchmark indices.

At 15.04 pm at the BSE, TCS was trading at Rs 3,725, which is Rs 69.80 or 1.84 per cent down from its previous session’s close at Rs 3794.80. The share price of TCS slumped to a low of Rs 3705.80 in the intra-day.

On January 12, 2022, the board of directors of TCS approved a proposal to buy back up to 4 crore shares for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 18,000 crore.

The company plans to buy back shares from investors at Rs 4,500 per share which is at a premium of around 20 per cent to Monday’s price of Rs 3,725. (ANI)

Budget 2022-23 has growth revival as a priority, says Nirmala Sitharaman


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): The high capital expenditure proposed in the Union Budget 2022-23 will have a multiplier effect on the economy and will help in sustained recovery, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.

“The budget has growth revival as a priority along with messages for sustainability as a priority and on predictable tax regimen,” Sitharaman said while addressing a post-budget interaction with industry.
She said the government’s decision to increase spending on infrastructure will help create long-term assets and have a sustainable impact on the economic recovery.

“A sustained recovery is what we would want,” said the Finance Minister adding the Union Budget 2022-23 seeks to lay a foundation for India’s growth for the next 25 years.

In the 2022-23 Union Budget presented on Parliament on February 1, 2022, Sitharaman proposed to increase the outlay for capital expenditure by 35.4 per cent from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the current year to Rs 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23.

The Finance Minister said the extensive use of technology helped India manage the COVID pandemic more effectively than most other countries. (ANI)

Choppy day at Dalal Street: Sensex closes 145 points down


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India](ANI): The Indian stock markets key indices, Sensex and Nifty, closed in the negative in a choppy day on Wednesday amid continued uncertainty over Russia-Ukraine tensions.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex closed at 57,996.68 points, which is 145.37 points or 0.25 per cent down from its previous day’s close at 58,142.05 points.
The index witnessed a volatile session. The Sensex opened in the positive at 58,310.68 points and surged to a high of 58,569.22 points and slipped to a low of 57,780.28 points in the intra-day.

The Indian stock markets have witnessed extremely volatile trading this week. The Sensex soared 1736.21 points on Tuesday after losing 1747.08 points on Monday.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange closed 30.25 points or 0.17 per cent down at 17,322.20 points against its previous day’s close at 17,352.45 points.

Earlier, the Nifty 50 opened in the positive at 17,408.45 points and rose to a high of 17,490.60 points and slipped to a low of 17,257.70 points in the intra-day.

There was selling pressure in banking stocks. State Bank of India slipped 1.58 per cent to Rs 516.35. ICICI Bank fell 1.39 per cent to Rs 765.35.

NTPC 1.63 per cent down at Rs 133.15; Ultra Tech Cement 1.56 per cent down at Rs 7177.30; Tata Steel 1.28 per cent down at Rs 1192.05; Bajaj Finserv 0.96 per cent down at Rs 16209; Bajaj Finance 0.91 per cent down at Rs 7072.90 and L&T 0.90 per cent down at Rs 1860.10 were among the major Sensex losers.

Only eight of the 30 scrips that are part of the Sensex close in the positive. Bharti Airtel rose 1.41 per cent to Rs 721.40. HDFC 1.29 per cent higher at Rs 2370; Mahindra & Mahindra 1.10 per cent higher at Rs 864; Dr Reddy’s Laboratories 1.04 per cent higher at Rs 4320.05 and Kotak Bank 0.93 per cent higher at Rs 1829.45 were among the major Sensex gainers. (Image -kshvid)

Equity indices open in green, Sensex up by 340 points


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 15 (ANI): Equity indices opened in green on Tuesday with Sensex up by 340.05 points and Nifty up by 90.80 points.

The 30-scrip BSE Sensex was up by 340.05 points or trading at 56,745.89 and down by 0.60 per cent at 9.29 am.
Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 16,933.60 at 9.29 am, up by 90.80 points or 0.54 per cent. (ANI)(images-instagram)

Jio Platforms, Europe-based SES form JV to deliver broadband services through satellite across India


New Delhi [India](ANI): Reliance’s Jio platforms and Europe-based content connectivity solutions provider-SES-have formed a joint venture to deliver the next generation of scalable and affordable broadband services in India, leveraging satellite technology.

According to an official statement, the joint venture will use a multi-orbit space network that is a combination of geostationary (GEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellations capable of delivering multi-gigabit links and capacity to enterprises, mobile backhaul and retail customers across the length and breadth of India and neighbouring regions.
Jio Platforms Limited JPL and SES will own 51 per cent and 49 per cent equity stake in the joint venture – Jio Space Technology Limited – respectively.

“While we continue to expand our fibre-based connectivity and FTTH business and invest in 5G, this new joint venture with SES will further accelerate the growth of multigigabit broadband. With additional coverage and capacity offered by satellite communications services, Jio will be able to connect the remotest towns and villages, enterprises, government establishments, and consumers to the new Digital India,” said Akash Ambani, Director of Jio.

The joint venture will leverage SES-12, SES’s high-throughput GEO satellite serving India, and O3b mPOWER, SES’s next-generation MEO constellation, to extend and complement Jio’s terrestrial network, increasing access to digital services and applications. Jio will offer managed services and gateway infrastructure operations services to the joint venture.

“This joint venture with JPL is a great example of how SES can complement even the most extensive terrestrial networks to deliver high-quality connectivity, and positively affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people. We look forward to this joint venture whereby we can play a role in promoting digital inclusion in India,” said Steve Collar, Chief Executive Officer of SES.

As part of the investment plan, the joint venture will develop extensive gateway infrastructure in India to provide services within the country.

Jio, as an anchor customer of the joint venture, has entered into a multi-year capacity purchase agreement, based on certain milestones along with gateways and equipment purchases with a total contract value of circa USD 100 million. (ANI)

Is Singapore’s USD 110 million space-tech investment an opportunity for Indian firms?

Singapore (ANI): Last week at the 14th Global Space and Technology Convention 2022 held in Singapore, the Singapore government announced that it is committing SGD 150 million (USD 110 million) to the space technology industry through research and development (R&D) funding.

The programme will be hemmed by the Office for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn), the government office which oversees the country’s space industry, and the National Research Foundation. OSTIn was created in 2013 to support Singaporean companies in developing internationally competitive capabilities in the space-tech industry.
The investment seeks to enhance space-related capabilities applicable to key industrial sectors for Singapore such as aviation, maritime and sustainability by using such technology to enrich daily life. For example, in improving technology used for everyday applications such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) that are crucial to ride-hailing services and parcel delivery tracking.

It is also envisaged that the scheme will help maintain Singapore’s position as a research and technology hub in emerging technologies and as an emerging hub for capital, talent and intellectual property.

The first grant call which taps into this fund was already made in 2021 and is for disruptive technologies for small satellites and satellite data exploitation and Artificial Intelligence. The submitted projects are currently being assessed. A second open grant call will be launched in the second half of this year and will cover areas such asin-space manufacturing and on-orbit servicing and assembly.

As part of its space strategy, Singapore is focused on building international partnership in order to continue nurturing local space-tech firms. These partnerships help the nation’s space-tech firms expand into more mature space industries abroad and tap more robust international experience.

Last Wednesday, February 9, OSTIn renewed a space-tech cooperation agreement with the French Space Agency first signed in 2015. It also signed an agreement with the European Space Agency last October to collaborate on space-tech applications and services in telecommunications and related fields.

Among the projects that are benefiting from Singapore space programme is a joint effort by Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, ST Engineering, as well as domestic space startups Aliena and Lighthaus Photonics. The project aims to build a microsatellite, which will fly at low earth orbit and will carry the first Singapore-designed space camera.

ST Engineering, which launched the first Singapore-made commercial earth observation satellite in 2015, is now a market leader that supplies satellite communications systems to global customers such as Verizon, the U.S. telecommunications giant.

Singapore’s space sector continues to grow rapidly and now has 50 companies employing more than 1,800 professionals.

The international space industry is forecast to reach USD1 trillion in value by 2040.

Separately, Singapore Space and Technology Limited (SSTL), the organiser of the convention, is setting up a commercial fund — said to be Asia’s first dedicated commercial fund for startups venturing into space research.

The commercial fund will be open to all space startups and the startups in SSTL’s Space Accelerator Programme. Started in 2020, the accelerator programme provides support such as mentorships and fundraising assistance for space startups here and abroad. It now supports 37 companies from 17 countries such as Japan, Singapore and India.

SSTL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the convention to form a trade corridor with the United Kingdom. This will facilitate the partnering of Singapore and UK space start-ups for resources like investment, expertise and even to trial their products in those markets.

Speaking as the keynote speaker at the convention, Mr Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (MTI) said that MTI is continuously “forging partnerships with other space-faring nations and building a talent pipeline for the space sector.” He added, “We are also constantly looking for like-minded partners internationally, so we can learn from each other and grow together.”

In the area of space-tech, India is without a doubt more advanced than Singapore. India’s initial foray into space started with the setting up of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962. This was followed by the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation, or ISRO, in 1969.

To date, based on “Make-In-India” website, India has launched a total of 109 spacecraft missions, 77 launch missions, 10 student satellites, 2 re-entry missions and 319 foreign satellites. The Indian space industry was valued at USD7 billion in 2019 and targets to reach USD50 billion by 2024. One of its most notable accomplishments is the inter-planetary mission, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), which in September 2019 successfully completed 5 years in the orbit of Mars.

It would therefore be unsurprising if, in the near future, India participates in one way or another in Singapore’s space-tech development programme, given the close ties between the two countries. (ANI)

Andhra Pradesh eyes investment opportunities from India Pavilion


Dubai [UAE](ANI/NewsVoir): The state of Andhra Pradesh is ready to showcase its development and immense business opportunities to global investors while participating in the India Pavilion in EXPO2020 Dubai.

The state’s floor at the India pavilion was inaugurated yesterday by Mekapati Goutham Reddy, Minister of Commerce and Information Technology, Government of Andhra Pradesh along with H.E. Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, H.E. Dr Ahmed Albanna, UAE Ambassador to India and Sunjay Sudhir, India Ambassador to the UAE.
Zulfi Ravdjee, Advisor to Government of Andhra Pradesh & Special Representative to Government for Middle East & Far East Countries and JVN Subramanyam, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) & CEO Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) along with other senior government officials from the state were also present at the inaugural ceremony.

Inaugurating the Andhra Pradesh floor, Mekapati Goutham Reddy said, “Under the able leadership of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, India has achieved remarkable progress across economic and social development metrics and continues to develop as a powerhouse in the world economy. The state of Andhra Pradesh has strong governance, strategic locational advantages, robust infrastructure, thriving industrial & business ecosystem, skilled manpower and immense potential for growth across key sectors. I am confident that the state floor at India Pavilion will project Andhra Pradesh in a new perspective, open new opportunities for business and establish new relationships with industry & governments.”

“Andhra Pradesh is blessed with abundant natural resources, mineral wealth, and presents a low-risk and easy environment for businesses to grow. We are poised to exchange strengths and are looking forward to long term business relationships with global investors,” he added.

JVN Subramanyam, said, “It is a great privilege for Andhra Pradesh to participate in EXPO2020 Dubai. Andhra Pradesh is one of the nine industrialized states in India, which is also helping the country to realize its $5 trillion economy mission. The state’s floor at India Pavilion depicts our key pillars of governance and development in the state, which will support us to partner with global investors.”

The state will be making a strong pitch to the global investors during the week by showcasing its business capabilities along with its tradition and culture through a series of events exhibiting opportunities across key focus sectors including Automobile, Food Processing, Textiles, Healthcare, Information Technology and Capital Goods among other to forge new partnerships.

Along with showcasing the business attractiveness, the state will also exhibit its rich cultural heritage to the global audience through India Pavilion.

The Andhra Pradesh week will conclude on February 17, 2022.

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This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

Rahul Bajaj – the man who put average Indian on two motorised wheels, passes away


Pune (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): Rahul Bajaj, the man who made brand Bajaj a household name through scooter models like Chetak and Priya and the ubiquitous Bajaj three-wheeler auto, passed away at 83 on Saturday, nearly a year after stepping down as the non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto.

A Padma Bhushan-awardee Rahul Bajaj was one of the longest-serving chairmen in corporate India. He breathed his last at Ruby Hall Hospital in Pune.
“Rahul Bajaj died today at 2.30 pm. He died due to heart and lungs problems. He was admitted for past one month in Ruby hall hospital in Pune,” Dr Parvej Grant, chairman of Ruby Hall hospital told ANI.

Rahul Bajaj

“It is with deep sorrow that I inform you about the passing away of Shri Rahul Bajaj, husband of the late Rupa Bajaj and father of Rajiv/Deepa, Sanjiv/Shefali and Sunaina/Manish. He passed away on the afternoon of 12th February, 2022 in the presence of his closest family members,” Bajaj Group said in a statement.

Rahul Bajaj stepped down as non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto in April 2021, ceding the position to his cousin Niraj Bajaj.

He had stepped down from the executive role of Bajaj Group companies before his election to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, 2006. He served as a member of Rajya Sabha from 2006 to 2010.

Rahul Bajaj’s younger son Sanjiv Bajaj has taken over as chairman of both the group’s finance companies – Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv. His elder son Rajiv Bajaj is Managing Director of Bajaj Auto.

Born on June 10, 1938, Rahul Bajaj took over as Chief Executive Officer of Bajaj Auto in 1968 and was appointed as Managing Director of the company in 1972. He stepped down from that position in 2005.

Bajaj also served as president or chairman of several industry bodies. He served as president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) twice – from 1979 to 1980 and again from 1999 to 2000.

He served as Chairman of the erstwhile Indian Airlines from 1986 to 1989. He also served as president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

“Rahul Bajaj strode across the Indian industrial landscape like a colossus. He was among the few stars who created the Indian automotive industry. He was a pioneer who established a culture of quality and technology,” said Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor.

Rahul Bajaj held a Bachelors degree in economics, a law degree from Mumbai University and an MBA from Harvard.

Expressing his condolences Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “Rahul Bajaj was the one who put average Indians on two motorised wheels. In his passing away, we have lost a far-sighted and outspoken business leader. My sincere condolences to his family and numerous members of the Bajaj family and Bajaj group of business.”

“Rahul Bajaj was the captain and voice of Indian Industry. He was the doyen of manufacturing and truly the pillar of the auto industry. As Secretary, DIPP interacted with him on several occasions. Admired him for being always frank and fearless. India has lost a Gr8 nation builder,” Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said in a tweet.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also paid his tributes.

“My heartfelt tributes to Rahul Bajajji, a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and former chairman of Bajaj. I had a personal relationship with Padma Bhushan awardee Rahulji for many years. Rahul ji, who has led the Bajaj Group for the last five decades, has been instrumental in the industry. May God rest the departed soul and give strength to the family members. Om Shanti,” he said in a tweet.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also condoled the demise of Bajaj.

“The demise of Rahul Bajaj the Chairman emeritus of the Bajaj Group is a loss to India’s business community. My condolences to the bereaved family and the group,” Chouhan said in a tweet.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar also expressed his condolences over Rahul Bajaj’s death.

“I am deeply shocked to learn about the sad demise of Padma Bhushan Shri Rahul Bajaj! The grandson of eminent freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj brought transformation in society especially in poor and middle-class people with his two-wheel technology – a Bajaj Bike!” Pawar tweeted.

“The affordable vehicle increased mobility, eased struggle for getting means of livelihood and became the tool of socio-economic change! We Indians are deeply indebted for his immense contribution to the industry,” he said in another tweet.

“I am grieved with a passing away of my very close friend. India has lost an industrialist, a philanthropist and a lighthouse for young entrepreneurs! Hamara Bajaj,” he said.

Former union minister Praful Patel said that Rahul Bajaj is credited with making the brand Bajaj a household name.

“Saddened by the passing away of renowned industrialist and one of the longest-serving chairman in corporate India, Padma Bhushan Rahul Bajajji. He is credited with making the brand Bajaj a household name. My heartfelt condolences to his family members,” Patel tweeted.

“Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Padma Bhushan Rahul Bajaj. He was among the foremost Business Leaders our nation has seen, and an inspiration to all. We will miss him dearly and his wise counsel,” tweeted Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule. (image -instagram)

CIL taking steps to increase coal supply to non-power sector


New Delhi [India] (ANI): Coal India Limited (CIL) has sufficient buffer stock and is making efforts to increase coal supply to the non-power sector in view of the increased demand, the Ministry of Coal said on Saturday.

The current supply by Coal India Limited stands at around 3.4 lakh tonnes of coal per day to the non-power sector.
“With more than 37 million tonnes (MTs) of coal at its pitheads CIL aims to further step up supplies to this sector,” the ministry said in a statement.

Coal India Limited’s despatch to the non-power sector (NPS) during the April-January period of 2021-22 at 101.7 million tonnes (MTs) was up by 8.2 per cent compared to 94 MTs in the corresponding period of a standard pandemic free FY 2019-20.

For comparable period of even FY 2018-19, when CIL recorded the highest ever total coal despatch since its inception, supply to the NPS sector grew by 11 per cent over 91.5 MTs, it said.

Growth in supplies to NPS customers was at a higher rate than the supplies to the power sector during this period. In April 2020 to January 2021 period despatch to the NPS segment at 105 MTs was higher by a little over 3 MTs compared to same period of FY’22.

As coal intake for the major part of FY’21, witnessed demand disruption caused by COVID-19, CIL scaled up supplies to the NPS segment. Further, NPS customers also opted to lift higher volumes of coal as CIL’s e-auction sales were capped at notified price for the first half of FY 2021.

The NPS imports around 170 MTs of coal in any given fiscal for blending with domestic coal. But in FY’22 the unusually high international coal prices proved to be a hindrance for importing requisite quantity giving rise to scarcity of coal at their end.

“CIL has sufficient buffer stock to further increase supply to non-power sector,” the Ministry of Coal said.

The current financial year has witnessed an unprecedented surge in power generation, the growth rate being the highest in a decade, necessitating the need to meet the power sector’s coal demand on a national priority. Riding on robust economic recovery total coal-based power generation till January’22 of the fiscal in progress grew by 11.2 per cent on year-on-year. Whereas domestic coal-based generation was up by 17 per cent during this period. Bulk of the coal supply to power sector was met by CIL on priority.

In sharp contrast power generation by 14 imported coal-based power plants was down by 48 per cent during April-January 2021-22. Meeting the resultant generation gap fell on domestic coal-based generators requiring enhanced indigenous coal supply. CIL supplied to the tune of around 20 MTs of this additional demand. In other words, imports were curtailed to that extent.

Despite prioritisation of coal to power sector and facing other challenges, CIL at 101.7 MTs till January FY’22 supplied 97 per cent of same period last year’s quantity to NPS customers, the Ministry of Coal said. (ANI)(image -instagram)

JSP posts 20 per cent growth in steel sales in January 2022

New Delhi [India], (ANI): Jindal Steel and Power (JSP) on Wednesday said its steel sales in January 2022 soared to 6.95 lakh tonnes, posting year-on-year growth of 20 per cent, despite low Railway rake availability.
The company’s steel sales volume stood at 5.81 lakh tonnes in January 2021. Inventories continued to decline for the second consecutive month with JSP posting Steel Production of 6.82 lakh tonnes. Marginal improvement in rake availability during the month, resulted in export share rising to 31 per cent in January 2022 from 28 per cent in December 21.
“We have surpassed our targets for the last calendar year, and we are confident that we will also achieve our envisaged targets for the financial year. We firmly believe in India’s growth story which is expected to grow for FY22 9.2 per cent, which will be the highest amongst major economies, and for FY23 GDP is also estimated to be robust at 8.0-8.5 per cent,” V R Sharma, Managing Director, JSP, said in a statement.
“We would like to thank Government of India for the announcements made in budget with regards to coal gasification, coal to liquid initiative and extension of manufacturing timeline for claiming 15 per cent concessional income tax rate on green field projects to 31 March 2024 are highly appreciated,” Sharma said.
“Government’s push on infrastructure and increase in outlay for capital expenditure will support growth for steel, cement and other related sectors in the coming year,” he added.

Sensex up by 201 points


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): The equity indices on Monday opened in green with the Sensex up by 201.33 points and Nifty up by 61.80 points.

The 30-scrip BSE Sensex was up by 201.33 points or 0.35 per cent at 57822.52 at 9.41 am.
Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 17275.40 at 9.41 am, up by 61.80 points or 0.36 per cent.

On the Sensex, the sectors trading on a positive bias were consumer durables and consumer discretionary goods and services among others. (ANI)

COVID-hit tourism industry feel abandoned as no special package announced in Budget for sector


Agra (Uttar Pradesh) [India] (ANI): With no mention of any special packages or relief for the tourism industry in Union Budget 2022, the tourist associations and guide associations of Agra feel that they have been left abandoned.

The tourism industry has been hit hard due to COVID-19-induced restrictions for the past two years. Tourism is one of the main sources of income for a large number of people in the city as it is home to three UNESCO recognised heritage sites– Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.
“It is surprising that there was not even a single mention about the tourism industry in this year’s budget. Everybody knows what is happening with the people associated with the industry. There is still no reaction from leadership in our state and it is demoralising. People are suffering for the last two years,” said JP Singh, President, UP Pariyatan Guide Association.

For the past two years, associations claimed they are requesting for the government’s help, submitted letters/representations, met ministers but it all went in vain. They are demanding to waive off GST, property tax for a specific period during which tourism industry suffered the most.

In India, there are two categories of government-approved guide i.e. central and state. There are approximately 1100 government recognised guides throughout Uttar Pradesh whereas 381 guides are recognised by the central government. Among them, around 450 guides operate in Agra alone.

The Central government recently announced a policy of giving loans worth Rs 1 lakh to guides.

“There has been no mention of the tourism industry, no mention of packages. Loans can never be a relief because if there is no earning from where we will pay off the loans,” said Vishal Sharma, Secretary, Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber.

“Tourism industry as a whole is barely functioning because tourism has plummeted significantly,” he said.

“Moreover, there are also 4-5 cases where guides after receiving the loan from banks had to give it back for reason till date unknown,” a guide said.

A number of people associated with the tourism industry for their bread and butter have been forced to switch to different professions of which they had no prior knowledge and required skills. (ANI)

CCI imposes penalty on 7 entities for bid rigging in SBI tender


New Delhi [India],(ANI): The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday said it has imposed financial penalties on seven entities for indulging in an anti-competitive agreement for the supply of signages for branches, offices, and ATMs of State Bank of India (SBI).

“This matter was initiated suo motu by CCI on the basis of a complaint received in 2018 alleging bid-rigging and cartelisation in the tender floated by SBI Infra Management Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The investigation inter alia found e-mails exchanged between the parties which formed the basis for manipulation of the bidding process,” CCI said in a statement.
Based on a cumulative assessment of the evidence collected, CCI found that there was an agreement amongst the parties which resulted in geographical market allocation as well as bid-rigging in the above-mentioned tender of SBI.

Accordingly, all the parties were held to be guilty of contravention of the provisions of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002 (the Act), which prohibits anti-competitive agreements including cartels. Further, nine individuals of these parties were also held liable for the anti-competitive conduct of their respective entities, in terms of the provisions of Section 48 of the Act, the CCI said.

Amongst the seven entities that have been penalised, one was a lesser penalty applicant before CCI.

Considering that one party has filed a lesser penalty application besides cooperating during an investigation as well as inquiry process and that most of the parties are MSMEs – some of which even acknowledged their conduct during the inquiry, CCI took a lenient view and decided to impose a penalty upon the parties @ 1 per cent of their respective average turnover.

The individuals found guilty under Section 48 of the Act were also imposed a penalty @1 per cent of their respective average incomes.

Further, considering the stage at which the lesser penalty applicant approached the CCI and in light of the co-operation extended by it thereafter, CCI granted a reduction in penalty by 90 per cent to it and its individuals. Apart from the above, CCI also directed the parties and their respective officials to cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive conduct. (ANI)

Kerala CM hopes companies in UAE would take advantage of business-friendly environment in state


Dubai [UAE] (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday while inaugurating the Kerala pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 said he hopes companies and businesses in the UAE would be able to take advantage of the present business-friendly environment in Kerala to make the partnership stronger.

“I certainly hope that companies and businesses in the UAE would be able to take advantage of the present business-friendly environment in Kerala to make our partnership stronger,” said Vijayan.
“We have always strived to provide maximum support to investors and would make concerted efforts to further help industry and the government of Kerala to bridge gaps and work together in the true spirit of collaboration and partnership, so as to chart a new growth story,” he added.

He added that over the years, Kerala has invested heavily in connectivity, communication networks, skill development and infrastructure, giving the State an intrinsic advantage for growth in the industry.

On the industrial front, through a series of legislations and rules, the process of industrial licensing has been moved to online platforms and made automatic and transparent,” he stated.

“The Government of Kerala is committed to improving the Ease of Doing Business in the State via a number of initiatives including the simplification of procedures, enablement of digital engagement channels such as Kerala – Single Window Interface for Fast and Transparent Clearance (K-SWIFT), Kerala-Central Inspection System (K-CIS) etc,” he stated.

“As far as Keralites are concerned UAE is their second home, with nearly 1.2 million Malayalis residing here. The Malayali community in UAE has played a significant role in nurturing and further strengthening the friendly relations between the two regions. They have been the backbone of many key projects implemented by the UAE. In turn, UAE has provided and cared for them during their pravasi life. It has also helped in strengthening Kerala’s economy,” he stated while talking about the relationship shared by the two regions.

“Kerala and UAE share a unique bond of mutual trust based on our shared values and synergies. Our economic and cultural links and people-to-people ties are deep-rooted and marked by resilience and vibrancy. I am sure that Dubai Expo will enrich us with ideas and avenues that will go a long way in strengthening our ties and cementing the future of our regions,” he further stated.

He added that Kerala is often regarded as the social capital of India and it is now emerging as an important destination for investments. Therefore, we are happy to showcase our State at this Dubai Expo through the Kerala Pavilion, he stated. (ANI)

PM Modi didn’t create single PSU, privatised 23: Congress in Rajya Sabha


New Delhi [India]: Congress’s MP Ripun Bora in Rajya Sabha on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he did not create a single Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) while he privatised 23.

Speaking on the Motion of Thanks to President’s Address in Rajya Sabha, Bora also compared previous Prime Ministers with PM Modi on the matter and said Rajiv Gandhi created 16 PSUs and no privatisation, Atul Bihari Vajpayee created 17 PSUs; and Manmohan Singh created 23 PSUs and privatised only three.
Noting that the economy was badly devastated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congress leader said that nothing was mentioned on how to recover the economic scenario in President’s address which is considered as a roadmap.

It was totally contrary to people’s expectations as the address neither mentioned ways nor measures on how to recover the losses during COVID-19. “There was a drastic fall in the income of 84 crore people during a pandemic but President’s address did not mention anything.”

Meanwhile, the Congress leader mentioned how 27 crore people were pulled out of poverty under the UPA government and that five crore people have been pushed below the poverty line now.

The MP also took a dig at the Modi government on inflation, saying “not a single word to tackle price rise was mentioned in President’s address despite individual consumption has hugely declined”.

Bora raised the issue of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and noted how the Indian armed forces ambushed and killed 17 coal miners in Nagaland’s Mon district on December 4 last year.

“Normally military is used against foreign aggression, but our military has killed our own people,” said the Congress leader.

He also pointed out that the Naga peace talks have not yielded any result.

The leader also raised the issue of crime against Scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribe, citing National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. “Where is the empowerment if we cannot protect them (SC/ST people)?” asked the leader. (ANI)

Eminent Global Leaders to participate in VLSID 2022 between Feb 26-March 2, 2022


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI/NewsVoir): The 35th International Conference of VLSI Design and the 21st International Conference on Embedded Systems (VLSID 2022), the annual conference of global repute is scheduled between 26th February and 2nd March 2022.

The theme for the conference is “Silicon Catalyzing Computing, Communication and Cognitive Convergence”. Staying true to its legacy of shedding light on technology innovation and world-class research in the areas of Semiconductors, VLSI and Embedded Systems. This leading Global conference brings together key stakeholders of the ecosystem – Industry, Academia, Researchers, Innovators, and regulators in the space of Semiconductors and Electronics.
This platform of Global visionaries and leaders will together discuss and envision the latest advancements in Silicon driving AI/ML, 5G, IoT, Edge computing, Data Centers, Quantum Computing, EV, Compound Semiconductors etc. to unleash the potential of these technologies and set a direction along with a roadmap of Semiconductors in India. This 5 days’ conference will feature 2 days of tutorials and 3 days of the conference

The VLSID Annual Conference has been an eagerly awaited event in Electronics and Semiconductor industry for the past 34 years. With several leading experts in the committee, the technology conference aims at providing an excellent platform to several industrial and scientific researchers via thought-provoking sessions, unique knowledge-sharing and engaging discussions on innovations and achievements related to VLSI Design, Automation, Test and Embedded Systems

Talking about the conference, Dr. Satya Gupta, President, VLSI Society of India says, “The Indian Semiconductor and VLSI ecosystem is critical for empowering the USD 1 Trillion Digital economy and will play a key enabler role for India’s Semiconductor Vision. All stakeholders including Industry, Government and Academia need to come together to create a vibrant design-led manufacturing of semiconductor products leveraging the progressive policies of the government and pave the way for “Real” Self-Reliance in Electronics & Semiconductors. VLSI Design conference has been providing a great platform for last 35 years for both Global & Indian Semiconductor technology ecosystem and this year’s conference will continue to provide the leadership with the focus on technologies like AI/ML, 5G, Edge, IoT, EV and many others.”

The five-day conference will present 14 eminent global visionary leaders as keynote speakers. The curated list of speakers consist of some of the eminent industry veterans including Dr. Nick McKeown (SVP & GM, Intel), Dr. Suk Hwan Lim (EVP, Samsung), Joe Sawicki (EVP, Siemens), Dr. Philip Wong (Stanford), Ken Wiseman (VP, Qualcomm), Sanjive Agarwala (Corporate VP & GM ,Cadence), Daisy Chittilapalli (President – Cisco India & SAARC), Shankar Krishnamoorthy (GM, Synopsys), Prof. Jason Cong (UCLA), Prof. Andrew B Khang (UCSD), Prof. Ramgopal Rao (IIT Delhi), Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri ( IIT Bombay), Sonam Wangchuk (HIAL).

“Silicon is increasingly becoming a pivot in digital arena. Silicon and Electronics solutions for the societal and engineering challenges is of utmost priority, especially now that we are all trying to build back after the COVID setback. Through this conference, we leverage our domain knowledge and expertise to handhold all budding and promising talented professionals, and connect them with industry veterans who will further support them in identifying opportunities, challenges, new markets and their overall journey of transforming the sector,” Anil Kempanna, General Chair, International VLSI & Embedded Systems Conference 2022 and VP & GM – IOTG, Intel.

The symposium will also showcase over 30 chosen exhibitors who will be displaying their latest products and 53 Scientific paper from over 300 Submissions globally, focused on rapid advances in Computing, Connectivity, Storage and Sensors which have resulted in path-breaking developments in the areas such as AI/ML, 5G, Compound Semiconductors, EV, Cloud & Edge computing and more unique solutions in new technology domains as well.

“With the world increasingly becoming more connected, we see tremendous opportunities to emphasise the potential of the VLSI & Embedded Systems community. VLSID 2022 will continue to provide an encouraging platform by acknowledging achievers and propel unique opportunities to the next level, by bringing together community experts, leaders and all key stakeholders under one umbrella,” said Lakshmi Narayana Kethamreddy, General Chair, International VLSI & Embedded Systems Conference 2022 and VP & Head – Foundry BU, Samsung Semiconductors India R&D Centre.

The VLSID conference attracts more than 2,000 Global Attendees and more than 300 different organizations (Both Industry and Academia) participate in this biggest conference in the Electronics & Semiconductors domain.

35th International VLSI Design & 21st Embedded Systems conference is a Premier Global conference with legacy of over three and half decades. This Global Annual technical conference that focusses on latest advancements in VLSI and Embedded Systems, is attended by over 2000 engineers, students & faculty, industry, academia, researchers, bureaucrats and government bodies.

This year’s Conference Theme is Silicon catalyzing computing, Communication & Cognitive Convergence. Silicon and Electronics today are the vital forces for all aspects of technology, Industry and human life – enabling rapid advances in Computing, Connectivity, Storage and Sensors which have resulted in path-breaking developments in the areas such as AI/ML, 5G, Compound Semiconductors, EV, Cloud & Edge computing and more.

The future is starting to witness a “Confluence” of these technologies with Silicon continuing to be the fulcrum harnessing the power of each in a way that was unimagined so far. VLSID 2022 conference brings a unique opportunity to time travel the future of technologies and explore the role of Silicon in decades to come.

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)(Image -Instagram)

India’s exports to China rise by 21 per cent to USD 22.9 billion in 2021


New Delhi [India]: India’s exports to China rose by 21 per cent to USD 22.9 billion in the 2021 calendar year while imports surged by 49 per cent to USD 87.5 billion during the same year, according to data released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics.

Bilateral trade between the two countries rose to USD 110.4 billion in 2021 against USD 77.7 billion in 2020, registering a year-on-year growth of 42.2 per cent.
When compared with 2019 data, India’s exports to China rose by 33.9 per cent in 2021. India’s exports to China have risen consistently in the last three years despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

India’s exports to China stood at USD 17.1 billion in 2019. It rose to USD 19 billion in 2020 and further to USD 22.9 billion in 2021.

However, India’s imports from China declined from USD 68.4 billion in 2019 to USD 58.7 billion in 2020. But it rose sharply to USD 87.5 billion in 2021.

In 2019, India’s total trade with the United States was highest with a value of USD 90.1 billion (share 11.1 per cent in total trade) as against China with a value of USD 85.5 billion (share 10.5 per cent).

With a share of 12.0 per cent, China became the largest trading partner of India in 2020, whereas, the United States’ share stood at 11.7 per cent.

In 2021, the US has again taken a top slot as India’s merchandise trade partner with a value of USD 112.3 billion and in the same year, India’s trade with China was USD 110.4 billion. (ANI)

Digital Rupee will open up new opportunities for Fintech sector, says PM Modi


New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the digital Rupee will open up new opportunities for the Fintech sector and will give a big boost to the digital economy.

“There is also a lot of discussion about Central Bank Digital Currency in today’s newspapers. This will give a big boost to the digital economy. This digital rupee, which is our physical currency now, will have a digital form and it will be controlled by RBI. It can be exchanged with physical currency. Digital Rupee will open up new opportunities for the Fintech sector,” said PM Modi while addressing BJP workers and leaders on Budget 2022.
The Prime Minister said that people who have Sukanya Samriddhi accounts and PPF accounts in the post office will be able to transfer instalments online directly from their bank account.

“Those who have Sukanya Samriddhi account and PPF account in the post office, also do not need to go to the post office to deposit their instalments. Now they will be able to transfer online directly from their bank account,” he said.

He further added that the online fund transfer facility will be available in post office accounts like banks.

“Now mobile banking, internet banking, ATM and online fund transfer facility will be available in post office accounts like banks. At present, there are more than 1.5 lakh post offices in the country, most of which are in villages,” he added.

The Prime Minister said that very soon optical fiber connectivity will be completed to all the villages.

“Today cheap and fast internet has become the identity of India. Very soon optical fiber connectivity will be completed to all the villages. 5G service is going to give a different dimension to ease of living and ease of doing business in India,” he said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled Union Budget 2022-23 on Tuesday.

Sitharaman announced in her budget speech that income from digital asset transfers will be taxed at a rate of 30 per cent.

The move is being seen as ‘crypto tax’ and gifts received in the form of cryptocurrencies are likely to be taxed at the same rate. Cryptocurrency gifts would also be taxed at the receiver’s end.

The Finance Minister also announced that the Reserve Bank of India will issue a Digital Rupee in the next financial year.

In order to regulate the digital assets market, the government had proposed to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 in the Winter Session of Parliament. However, the Bill was not tabled with the government deciding to have more consultations.

Sitharaman said Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will give a big boost to the digital economy.

The minister said the digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system and it will use blockchain and other technologies. (ANI)

Modi govt’s ‘zero sum budget’ has nothing for poor, farmers, MSMEs: Rahul Gandhi


New Delhi [India]: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday slammed the Centre over the Union Budget and said that it does not have anything for the salaried class, middle class, poor, youth, farmers and MSMEs.

“M0di G0vernment’s Zer0 Sum Budget! Nothing for–Salaried class–Middle class–The poor and deprived–Youth–Farmers–MSMEs,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday tabled Union Budget 2022 in the Lok Sabha and later in Rajya Sabha.

While presenting the Budget in the Lower House, the Finance Minister said that India’s economic growth in the current year is estimated to be 9.2 per cent, the highest among all large economies. She also said that Union Budget 2022-23 seeks to lay the foundation and give a blueprint of the economy over the next 25 years.

The budget session of Parliament began on Monday with the address by President Ram Nath Kovind to both Houses in the Central Hall.

The first part of the Union Budget Session of Parliament will be held from January 31 to February 11 and the second part of the Budget Session will take place from March 14 to April 8. (ANI-image InstagramRahul)

Union Budget 2022-23: Industry experts welcome govt’s focus on healthcare sector


By Shalini Bhardwaj

New Delhi [India]: Welcoming the Union Budget for FY 2022-23, industry experts said the government’s renewed focus on healthcare will build stronger health systems in the country.
Speaking to ANI, Biocon chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said, “Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget for FY23 is well balanced with fiscal prudence and ease of doing business as the main themes. I believe the 35 per cent increase in capital expenditure for FY23 is positive and will drive the creation of much-needed infrastructure and jobs. The Finance Minister must also be commended for maintaining the fiscal deficit at 6.9 per cent of GDP in FY22.”

She said the Union Budget focusing on ensuring regulatory ease by promoting digital trust and digital compliance is in the right direction.

“We were expecting some incentives for Pharma R&D (Research and Development) in the Budget as public investment is very low in this critical area of research and innovation, which are key for spurring exponential economic growth. The Finance Minister has assured the government’s support for R&D expenditure in sunrise areas such as drones, artificial intelligence, genomics, space, clean energy etc,” Shaw said.

The Biocon chairman further said, “We will need to see the fine print if there is anything on pharma. The only concern I have is the absence of any fiscal stimulus for the MSME (Medium and Small Scale Enterprises) and Services sector that have borne the brunt of the pandemic with large layoffs and job losses reflected in a sharp drop in rural and semi urban consumption. The government will need to address this urgently. Overall, it was a positive Budget without any negative surprises.”

Vikram Thaploo, CEO, Apollo Telehealth said the Centre’s focus on health and wellbeing that is has placed the first of its six pillars, is reflected in the Union Budget with the country entering the third year in COVID pandemic.

Referring to the launch of the National Tele Mental Health Programme, Thaploo said it is a welcome move by the government to augment the use of telemedicine services as well as provide support to people with mental health disorders.

National Tele Mental Health Program will include a network of 23 tele mental health Centres of Excellence with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) being the nodal centre and IIIT Bangalore providing technical support.

“An open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will be rolled out and it will further help in strengthening the healthcare services within the country. It will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities. The increased investment towards health infrastructure and focus on a holistic approach to health is seen as a testimony of the commitment to building stronger health systems in the country,” Thaploo told ANI.

KR Raghunath, senior chairman, Jindal Naturecure Institute also welcomed the much-deserved attention on India’s healthcare sector in the Union Budget 2022-23.

Speaking to ANI, Raghunath said, “We are encouraged by the government’s renewed focus on preventive and curative health as well as the overall wellness and well-being of our citizens. An open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will widen access to health and wellness while driving a focus on preventive health.”

“Also, to better the access to quality mental health counseling and care services, a National Tele Mental Health program has been announced that will further help in tackling the rising number of mental health disorders in the country. These patient-centered initiatives will play a pivotal role in the success of the National Health Mission,” added Raghunath

Earlier on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the budget 2022-2023 announced the rollout of an open platform for the national health ecosystem.

It will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, consent framework and universal access to health facilities, she had stated.

Sitharaman began her presentation of Budget 2022 by expressing empathy with those who were affected by the adverse health and economic effects of the COVID pandemic. (ANI)

Extremely disappointing, a damp squib: Shashi Tharoor on Budget 2022-23


New Delhi [India]: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said that the Union Budget is “extremely disappointing, a damp squib” and there is absolutely nothing.

Speaking to ANI, the Congress MP said there is no mention of MGNREGA, Defence or any other urgent priorities facing the public.
“Extremely disappointing, a damp squib! There seems to be absolutely nothing in this Budget. It’s an astonishingly disappointing Budget. When you listen to the speech, no mention of MGNREGA, of Defence, of any other urgent priorities facing the public,” said Tharoor.

He further said that the country have to wait for 25 more years for ‘acche din’ to arrive.

“We are facing terrible inflation and there’s no tax relief for the middle class. This is a Budget that seems to be pushing the mirage of ‘achhe din’ even farther away. Now it’s India at 100, we’ll have to wait for 25 more years for ‘acche din’ to arrive,” said the Congress MP.

“Very clear that as far as digital currency is concerned, Government was heading in that direction. To the best of my knowledge, a reasonable proposition, I don’t think we will be criticising that. But we are more concerned about lack of substance for common citizens in Budget,” he added.

India has set a target to reduce fiscal deficit to 6.4 per cent of GDP in 2022-23 from the estimated 6.9 per cent in the current financial year, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

For the current financial year 2021-22, the fiscal deficit has been revised upward at 6.9 per cent of GDP as against 6.8 per cent projected in the Budget Estimates.

Presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said gifts received in the form of cryptocurrencies will also be taxed at the same rate.

The Finance Minister also announced that the Reserve Bank of India will issue a digital rupee in the next financial year. (image -instagramShashi)

Commercial 19 kg LPG cylinder prices slashed by Rs 91.50


New Delhi [India]: National Oil Marketing companies have slashed the prices of 19 kg commercial LPG cylinder cost by Rs 91.50 effective from February 1.

The 19 kg commercial cylinder will cost Rs 1907 in Delhi from today, sources told ANI.
It will provide some relief to restaurants, eateries, tea stalls and others which constitute the largest user segment of the 19 kg cylinders.

Last month on January 1, the price of 19 kg commercial LPG cylinders was reduced by Rs 102.50 bringing the price of cylinders to Rs 1998.50 in Delhi

However, there are no decrease in prices of other domestic cylinders weighing 14.2 kg, 5 kg, 10 kg composite or 5 kg composite cylinders and their prices remain the same.

LPG Cylinder rate is revised monthly for all the states and union territories in India. (ANI-image -instagram)

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