QBiz: Tech Mahindra Sacks Homophobic Officer; Hike in Fuel Prices

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1. Tech Mahindra Sacks Diversity Officer for Homophobic Slurs

Information technology major Tech Mahindra Limited has sacked its chief diversity and inclusivity officer accused of making homophobic and racial slurs against a former employee, a week after it said it would conduct an internal investigation on the matter.

The incident was brought to light by a former company employee, Gaurav Pramanik, who on 9 September tweeted that his former head of the department, Richa Gautam, had mocked him, calling him effeminate leading to bullying by other co-workers and affecting his work.

In another incident in 2015, Gautam taunted a former manager of ‘crying like a gay man’ in a staff meeting, according to an email sent to Gautam by Pramanik which he tweeted out, after section 377 criminalising consensual sex between homosexual adults was struck down by the Supreme Court earlier this month. He also highlighted Gautam’s hatred towards Muslims, calling her behaviour “bigoted and homophobic”.

(Source: BloombergQuint)


2. Walmart Didn’t Pay Taxes on Flipkart Shares From 34 Shareholders: I-T Dept

US retail giant Walmart paid Rs 74.39 billion tax on payments it made to buy out shares of 10 major shareholders of Flipkart but has not yet done so for another 34 who exited the Indian e-commerce company in the $6 billion deal, tax officials said.

As many as 44 shareholders of Flipkart, including significant ones like SoftBank, Naspers, venture fund Accel Partners and eBay, had sold their holdings to Walmart.

Walmart on 7 September, the last date for depositing taxes with the Indian authorities, paid Rs Rs 74.39 billion withholding tax on payments made to 10 shareholders of Flipkart.


3. Petrol Price Nears Rs 90 Per Litre-Mark in Mumbai, Rs 82 Per Litre-Mark in Delhi

Citizens are yet to witness a relief in terms of purchasing fuel, as petrol and diesel prices have once again been hiked.

Petrol in New Delhi is being sold 28 paise higher at Rs. 81.91 per litre, and diesel at Rs. 73.72 per litre after a hike of 18 paise. In Mumbai, the price of petrol has mounted to nearly Rs. 90 per litre, while diesel is retailing at Rs 78.26 per litre respectively.

The rising prices of fuel come less than a week after the Congress Party and 21 other regional and national parties observed a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on account of the consistent rise in fuel prices and urged the government to take necessary steps to reduce citizens’ woes.


4. Micromax, Jio Bag Rs 1,500 Cr Order From Chhattisgarh Govt

A consortium of handset maker Micromax and telecom major Reliance Jio has bagged a Rs 1,500-crore order from the Chhattisgarh government to distribute 50 lakh smartphones to women and students in the state.

Under the project, 45 lakh smartphones are being given to women and the remaining will be distributed to college students in the state, Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain told PTI.

“About 10,000 camps are being organised under the project and deliveries have already started. Every beneficiary, chosen by the state government, is handed the device personally after activating it with Reliance Jio connection. The authentication of the beneficiary is done using Aadhaar,” he said.


5. Barmer: Govt Looks to Milk Vedanta for Millions More

Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Ltd may have to fork out a few million dollars more to get an extension as the operator for its most prolific oil and gas producing asset in Barmer, Rajasthan.

The Rajasthan production-sharing contract (PSC) is valid till May 14, 2020. Cairn Oil & Gas, a vertical of Vedanta Ltd, and the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas as well as the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) are currently negotiating the terms of the contract for an extension.

(Source: Business Line)


6. CBI Charge Sheet Against Mallya, Senior Bank Officials Likely in a Month

Many senior bank officials who had dealt with loans given to liquor baron Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines may be named as accused in a CBI charge sheet which is likely to be filed within a month, sources said.

This would be first charge sheet in the case pertaining to loans of over Rs 60 billion given to Kingfisher by a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India which alone had an exposure of Rs 16 billion.

The agency has already filed a charge sheet against Mallya last year in connection with a separate case related to Rs 9 billion pending loan given by IDBI bank in which senior officials of the bank were allegedly involved.


7. Arvind Eyes Rs 12,000 Crore Revenue From Textile Business in Next Five Years

Textiles maker Arvind Limited plans to invest Rs 500 crore per annum for the next 4-5 years with an aim to double revenue from its textile business to Rs 12,000 crore. The company is in the process of de-merging its brands and engineering businesses into separate entities.

“In the last 5-6 years we have not put much capital in the textile business. We are very excited about textiles..we see tremendous growth opportunities... This capex will take the business from a single digit growth rate at present in to double digit growth rate.

“We are planning to double our textile business from Rs 6,000 crore to Rs 12,000 crore in 5 years time. We plan to invest Rs 500 crore every year for the next five years to expand its textile business,” Arvind Executive Director Kulin Lalbhai told news wire PTI.

(Source: BloombergQuint)


8. KYC Non-Compliance: Govt Starts De-activating Identification Numbers of 21 Lakh Directors

The government has started the process of de-activating the identification numbers of nearly 21 lakh directors of companies as they failed to comply with KYC norms, according to a senior official.

The Director Identification Numbers (DINs) — a unique number allotted to individuals who are eligible to have directorship on the boards of registered companies — are being de-activated. They will be re-activated after a fee payment of Rs 5,000 along with the requisite form and the individuals concerned might also face action.


9. NHA Launches Website, Helpline Number for Ayushman Bharat Beneficiaries

The National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body implementing the Ayushman Bharat– National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), has launched a website and a helpline number to help prospective beneficiaries check if their name is there in final list.

The ambitious insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) which aims to provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually and benefit more than 10 crore poor families will be rolled out from Jharkhand on September 23 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One can visit the website or call up the helpline (14555) to check their enrolment. The official website is also an attempt to help beneficiaries in the wake of several fake websites promising PMJAY enrolment.


10. Trade War in Full Swing: Trump May Slap New Tariffs Worth $200 Billion on China

The Donald Trump administration is pushing forward to slap trade tariffs amounting to $200 billion of Chinese products as the trade war between Washington and Beijing showed no signs of abetting. However, the announcement of the same is yet to be made.

Earlier this week, the US president had met with top officials and has directed them to proceed with the plan to impose tariffs on China.

CNN quoted a White House spokeswoman, Lindsay Walters, saying, "The President has been clear that he and his administration will continue to take action to address China's unfair trade practices. We encourage China to address the long-standing concerns raised by the United States."

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