QBiz: Govt’s 5-Point Plan For Bad Loans, Red Corner Notice to NiMo

Here are the top business stories of the day.

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Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal unveiled a five-point plan to tackle bad loans.
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1. Government Unveils Five-Point Plan ‘Sashakt’ To Tackle Bad Loans

The government, on 2 July, accepted a new resolution scheme submitted by a committee of bankers to tackle India’s mounting bad loans, interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said.

The scheme, titled Sashakt, aims at resolving the problem of non-performing assets through a market-led approach. Under the scheme, bankers are not seeking any dispensation or forbearance from the Reserve Bank of India, Goyal told reporters at a news conference on 2 July.

Last month, Goyal had announced the setting up of a high-powered bankers’ committee to better deal with bad loans through an asset management company or asset reconstruction company structure. Sunil Mehta, chairman of Punjab National Bank, had been asked to lead the committee.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

2. Interpol Issues Red Corner Notice Against Nirav Modi

Interpol has issued a red corner notice (RCN) against fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal Modi and close aide Subhash Parab, who was an executive with the Nirav Modi group. The 29 June notice, announced on Monday, 2 July, is a big boost for India’s agencies hunting Modi in connection with the Rs 14,356 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB).

“The Interpol headquarters in Lyons (France) has informed on 29 June that a red corner notice against Nirav Deepak Modi, Neeshal Deepak Modi and Subhash Shankar Parab has been opened. The NCB (National Central Bureau—Interpol), India, had forwarded the request of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and other investigating agencies to the Interpol HQ for the said notices against the accused,” CBI said.

(Source: Livemint)

3. Security Flaws in 4G Can Lead to Mobile Phone Hacking

If you are a 4G mobile phone user, hackers can identify the web pages you visit and re-route them to a scam website. All devices using longterm evolution (LTE), or fourth generation (4G) as it is better known, are at risk, reveals a new study carried out by security experts from the Horst Görtz Institute at Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

The weaknesses “are impossible to close... and they are also still present in the upcoming mobile telephony standard 5G (fifth generation), the standardisation of which is pending”, the researchers said in a 28 June press release.

(Source: Livemint)

4. Retail Traders Protest Walmart-Flipkart Deal Across The Country

Almost a million traders across from the country held protests at 1,000 locations against the $16 billion Walmart-Flipkart deal, in which the former will acquire 77 percent of the Indian e-commerce company.

The Confederation of All India Traders Association along with 10,000 other associations has made a plea to the government to reject the deal and frame an e-commerce policy and set up a regulatory body before the deal goes through.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

5. ICICI Securities IPO: SEBI Asks ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund To Return Investors’ Money To Schemes

Markets regulator SEBI is believed to have found ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund in violation of rules during the last day bidding for IPO of the group firm ICICI Securities and has asked the fund house to pay back Rs 240 crore, with 15 percent interest, to its five schemes from which the money was taken for the shares.

Besides, the fund house has been asked to pay the investors, who have redeemed their units since allotment of shares in the initial public offer, after calculating the loss incurred by the respective schemes due to fall in the ICICI Securities share price, sources said.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

6. Volkswagen Reboots India Dreams, Plans to Invest Rs 79 Bn by 2021

When I drive around in Delhi or Mumbai, I see a lot of cars around me but too less Skodas, global CEO of Czech carmaker Skoda Bernhard Maier said on Monday, 2 July, after announcing the parent company Volkswagen’s plan to invest Rs 79 billion here. The two brands together own less than 2 percent market share in India, the fifth-largest market for passenger vehicles (cars, vans and utility vehicles).

Skoda entered India 17 years ago, while Volkswagen began selling in 2007. The brands struggled to grow and underutilised manufacturing units. “There have been criticism on how this big group (Volkswagen) was tackling the Indian market,” said Maier. Skoda has been chosen by the group to lead its operations in India.

7. Lack of Response Stopped Air India Sale, Says PM Narendra Modi

On Air India's disinvestment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his government doesn’t want to be accused of selling something cheaply.

In an interview to Swarajya magazine, Modi said he disagreed with the perception that his government had been half-hearted at divesting from public sector entities. He said it had undertaken “significant disinvestment”.

Modi said his government has pursued Air India’s divestment “with utmost sincerity”. “You have to differentiate between the lack of response to one sale offer and a policy decision,” he said.

8. India Has ‘Plan D’ for Iran Oil as Donald Trump Adds Sanction Pressure

One of Iran’s biggest oil buyers said it has enough alternative sources of crude to replace any supplies cut off by US sanctions on the Persian Gulf state – even if shipments stop completely.

Indian Oil Corp Chairman Sanjiv Singh says Saudi Arabia alone can cover most of the world’s supply shortfall in case Iran’s oil exports dry up. Also a narrowing spread between Brent crude and Dubai oil gives Indian Oil even more options, the head of the State-run refiner known as IOC, one of Iran’s largest customers, said in an interview.

9. The Reason Why Railways May Have Replaced Face Towels With Cheap Napkins

The Indian Railways has decided to replace face towels in its air conditioned coaches with cheap, disposable napkins.

As reported, Railways will now offer smaller and disposable napkins measuring 40 cm x 30 cm instead of current towels that are bigger at 52 cm x 40 cm. The new napkins will be environment-friendly and made of cotton to absorb more water. Two such napkins per bedroll will be provided during long journeys, if required.

The decision has come almost a year after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) rapped the Railways over cleanliness and management of linen.

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