QBiz: Karnataka Asks Centre to Foot 50% Farm Loan Waiver & More

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A farmer burns his the stubble left behind after harvesting crops. Image used for representational purposes. 
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1. More Steps Needed to Achieve Double-Digit Growth: PM at Niti Aayog

The challenge before India is to take the economic growth rate to double digits for which many more steps need to be taken, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a meeting of chief ministers in New Delhi on Sunday, 17 June.

Speaking at the NITI Aayog's fourth meeting of Governing Council, Modi stressed that the world expects India to become a $5 trillion economy soon, according to a statement by the Prime Minister's Office.

As many as 23 chief ministers and one Lt Governor attended the meeting. The notable absentees however were chief ministers of Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi.

(Source: PTI)

2. Karnataka Asks Modi Govt to Foot 50% of Farm Loan Waiver Bill

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday, 17 June, requested the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government to foot half the costs of the proposed farm loan waiver to help reduce the burden on the state’s coffers.

“My government is ready to help farmers in crisis. Around 8.5 million farmers in Karnataka have outstanding loans, owing to drought and crop failure. The state government is ready to waive off the loans of these farmers, but seek 50 percent backing of the Union government,” Kumaraswamy said in New Delhi.

Chief ministers from across the country were in Delhi to attend the governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog.

(Source: Livemint)

3. Mobile Wallet Transactions Fell Sharply in March

Mobile wallet transactions fell sharply in March as mandatory know-your-customer (KYC) requirements took effect, before clawing back somewhat in April.

Data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shows mobile wallet transaction volume and value were substantially lower in March than in February, as companies struggled to come up with the necessary compliance infrastructure and convince users to provide the required documentation.

Data shows the value of mobile wallet transactions fell from a peak of Rs 13,100 crore in February to Rs 10,000 crore in March and Rs 11,695 crore in April. Volumes also tell a similar story. The number of mobile wallet transactions fell to 268.79 million in March from 310 million in February. It was 279.29 million in April.

(Source: Livemint)

4. 5G Rollout in India: Panel Bats for Early Release of Spectrum for R&D

The telecom department should quickly release spectrum for research and development (R&D) of fifth-generation, or 5G, networks and set up labs to showcase potential uses to industry, a government panel set up to provide a road map for 5G deployment has suggested.

The committee will submit its report to the government in August. 5G networks will be significantly faster and more reliable than the most advanced 4G network and will support connection of many more devices simultaneously than is possible now.

(Source: Livemint)

5. DoT May Give Conditional Nod to Vodafone, Idea Merger on 18 June

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is set to give conditional approval to the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular in the next couple of days, which will close the largest M&A deal in the sector and bring together India’s second and third largest telcos to create the country’s largest carrier.

Telecom minister Manoj Sinha is believed to have signed off on the merger and a final letter is likely to be issued on Monday, 18 June, said people in the know.

6. Excise Duty Cut in Oil to Impact India's Fiscal Deficit Badly: Moody's

Rating agency Moody's has sounded a note of caution that any reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel would adversely affect fiscal deficit unless it is matched by a commensurate cut in expenditure. Pressure has been mounting on the government to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel to bring down their prices which have gone up following a spike in crude prices in the international market.

According to government estimates, every rupee cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel will result in a revenue loss of about Rs 13,000 crore.

(Source: PTI)

7. India Seen Leveraging Solar Alliance Meeting for Foreign Policy

The first general assembly of the International Solar Alliance will be held in India this October. The historic event is expected to coincide with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, signalling that New Delhi would employ the first treaty-based international government organisation in India as a foreign policy tool.

As part of India’s strategy to cement its leadership among developing countries, the marque event is expected to be attended by representatives of 65 countries which are signatories to the framework agreement. The general assembly follows International Solar Alliance’s founding conference, co-hosted by India and France, in New Delhi in March.

(Source: Livemint)

8. Vijay Mallya Faces Fresh Money Laundering Charge Sheet, Fugitive Tag

In more trouble for liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the Enforcement Directorate is set to soon file a fresh charge sheet against him and his companies on charges of money laundering and allegedly cheating a consortium of nationalised banks to the tune of Rs 6,027 crore, officials said on Sunday, 17 June.

With this charge sheet (also known as the prosecution complaint), official sources told PTI, the central probe agency will immediately seek from a court permission to "confiscate" more than Rs 9,000 crore worth assets of the beleaguered businessman and his firms under the recently promulgated Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

9. Distressed Asset Funds Eye Buyout Deals Ahead of Bankruptcy Process

Distressed asset funds and promoters of defaulting companies are coming together to buy out loans before the start of bankruptcy proceedings, as the former sense investment opportunities and the latter race to prevent loss of control.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 12 February ordered lenders to begin bankruptcy proceedings against defaulters before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) if they fail to make interest payment within 180 days of missing a payment. This exposes many defaulters to bankruptcy courts by mid-August, posing the threat of loss of control to many promoters.

(Source: Livemint)

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