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QBiz: Maruti Chief on Millennials; Cigarette Makers’ Shares Jump

Ban on electronic cigarettes amid growing fears over the health risks, sent shares of cigarette makers soaring.

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1. Maruti Chairman Says Millennials Want Gadgets Over Cars

Ride-hailing companies such as Ola and Uber have hit demand for new cars in India as young buyers don’t need to buy cars for commuting and can spend most of their income on electronic gadgets, said RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s largest carmaker.

Bhargava’s latest statement supports the contention of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman who cited millenials’ unwillingness to buy cars as one of the reasons for a slump in sales.

(Source: Livemint)

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2. Cabinet Approves Ban on E-Cigarettes, Shares of Cigarette Makers Jump

India banned electronic cigarettes amid growing fears over the health risks posed by vaping, sending shares of conventional cigarette makers soaring.

The Union Cabinet has made the manufacture, import, sale, distribution and advertisements of e-cigarettes a cognizable offence, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said after a Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. Sitharaman, who headed a group of ministers on the issue, said the products are harmful.

(Source: Livemint)

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3. Government Open to Selling Part of Air India to Foreign Airline: Report

Government is open to selling a partial stake in debt-laden state-run carrier Air India to a foreign airline, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The government has moved about Rs. 30,000 crore of Air India's debt to a separate holding company, leaving the carrier with roughly another Rs. 30,000 crore of debt, the people said.

(Source: NDTV)

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4. Finance Minister to Review State-Run Banks' Merger Preparedness: Report

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet the heads of PSU banks on Thursday to discuss merger-related issues and review their preparedness to execute the process within the stated timeline of 1 April 2020.

"Tomorrow's PSB meeting will take up some of the key issues which relate to passing of low cost of borrowing and NPA settlement, doorstep banking and also the merger execution strategies to be taken up by the merging and anchor banks to iron out glitches," a source said.

(Source: NDTV)

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5. NCLAT Keeps Bakshi Deal With McDonald's on Hold, Bars Him From Going Abroad

In fresh trouble for former McDonald's India head Vikram Bakshi, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday barred him from leaving the country without informing it or the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) first.

The appellate tribunal has also said that the deal between Bakshi’s Connaught Plaza Restaurants Limited (CPRL) and McDonalds India would not be given effect to until further orders.

(Source: Business Standard)

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6. RBI Looking at How NBFCs, HFCs Set Their Lending Rates

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is studying how non-bank lenders and home financiers price their loans, close on the heels of directing commercial banks to link their loan rates to external benchmarks.

The matter came up at an internal RBI discussion on external benchmarks, which are binding on all banks beginning 1 October, a person aware of the development said.

(Source: Livemint)

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7. Govt Approves 78-Day Wages as Productivity Bonus to Railway Employees

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved productivity-linked bonus equivalent to 78 days wages to over 11.52 lakh railway employees, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has said.

This is for the sixth consecutive year that productivity-linked bonus is being given to railway employees.

(Source: Business Standard)

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8. NCLAT Refuses to Entertain RCom Resolution Professional, Sends Him to NCLT

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea moved by the resolution professional (RP) of Reliance Communications Limited (RCom) seeking refund of nearly Rs 580 crore from Ericsson India. Instead, he was asked to approach the Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

The RP of the company had approached NCLAT with a plea stating that since RCom was now under Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process, the money that it had given to Ericsson as a part of the settlement deal should now be returned to the company as Ericsson was only an operational creditor.

(Source: Business Standard)

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9. TRAI Weighs Deferring Date for Scrapping IUC

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is having a rethink two years after it decided to phase out interconnect usage charges (IUC) from January 2020.

The regulator on Wednesday floated a fresh consultation paper to see if there is a need to revise the applicable date for scrapping IUC, given the continuing imbalance in inter-operator traffic.

(Source: Livemint)

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