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QBiz: RBI Guv on Rate Cuts; Essel Gets 6 Months to Clear Debt

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Business
4 min read
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.
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1. There’s Room for More Rate Cuts, Says RBI Governor

Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das said there is room for further interest rate cuts to bolster economic growth given that inflation continues to remain within the central bank’s target.

Governor Das, speaking at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum in Mumbai on Thursday, added, however, that the government has limited space for any fiscal expansion.

(Source: Livemint)

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2. Breather for Essel as Lenders Give Six More Months to Clear Its Debt

Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra has secured a six-month extension from lenders to repay debt given its inability to pay back more than half of its dues by 30 September as agreed earlier, a mutual fund executive familiar with the details said.

A standstill agreement with mutual funds and non-bank lenders that was inked in February has now been extended to 31 March, the person said on condition of anonymity.

(Source: Livemint)

3. Loan ‘Melas’ Are Back: PSBs to Hold Credit Meets in 400 Districts, Says FM

Public-sector banks (PSBs) will hold public meetings with borrowers for distributing loans in 400 districts of the country to boost demand ahead of the festive season, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Thursday.

In this, the banks will take help from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will be following the footsteps of its predecessor, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, which had introduced the concept of “loan mela” to boost credit by directing banks to lend to people through public meetings.

(Source: Business Standard)

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4. Sitharaman May Announce More Measures on Friday to Support Economy

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will announce more measures to support economic growth and job creation on Friday in continuation of the steps announced in recent weeks as she tries to steer Asia’s third largest economy into a faster growth trajectory.

Sitharaman will address the media on Friday morning ahead of the 37th meeting of federal indirect tax body, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, scheduled here. A government official said on condition of anonymity that there could be measures for supporting small and medium enterprises.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Norms on RBI Reserves Not Cast in Stone: Jalan

The recommendations of the panel to revise the central bank’s economic capital framework are not cast in stone and the revaluation balance which is accumulated through depreciation of the rupee—currently left untouched—can be partially used to fund defence or security exigencies, said Bimal Jalan, who headed the panel.

“If you need it in some later years, something requires to be done, there is a defence or security (exigency) as it happens from time to time, then you can do that, next year or year after. All these things are open to consideration depending on what the circumstances are," Jalan, a former Reserve Bank of India governor, said in an interview.

(Source: Livemint)

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6. OECD Slashes India's Economic Growth Forecast From 7.2% to 5.9%

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) appears to be the most pessimistic on India's economy among think tanks, as it cut the GDP growth forecast by 1.3 percentage points to 5.9 per cent for 2019-20.

For the next year, the OECD has projected the Indian economy to grow 6.3 per cent, bringing down its earlier forecast by 1.1 percentage points.

(Source: Business Standard)

7. GST Council to Opt for Just Minor Tax Tweaks

India’s federal tax council is likely to ignore the rising chorus for tax relief at its Friday meeting and make only minor tweaks instead as a revenue shortfall looms, a person familiar with its deliberations said.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council at its 37th meeting in Goa will also consider states’ demand for extending the GST cess on select products like automobiles and tobacco beyond 2022 in view of the bleak revenue collection trends.

(Source: Livemint)

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8. Government Tells Tech Firms to Protect User Privacy, Prevent Abuse

Technology firms must protect user privacy and prevent abuse of their platforms, IT minister said on Thursday, speaking as the government draws up a data privacy law and seeks to push companies to store more data locally.

The Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he wanted Indians to have access to more technology platforms but said this should not undermine user privacy.

(Source: NDTV)

9. Bank Stake Sales in Insurance, Mutual Fund Subsidiaries Hit a Wall

Even as private banks have the appetite to acquire stakes of public sector banks in insurance or mutual fund subsidiaries, there is no progress in the matter as they await clarity on holding company (holdco) structure norms from the regulator.

Sources say given the complexity involved in the process of creating a holding company, which will ultimately be the parent company of banking and other businesses, banks are going slow in acquiring stakes in insurance arms or mutual funds of other lenders.

(Source: Business Standard)

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