QBiz: Amazon India May Delay $1 Billion Investment Plans & More

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1. Facing Stiff Rules, Amazon India May Delay $1 Billion Investment Plans for 2019

Jeff Bezos-led Amazon is likely to put any fresh investment on hold for the India business at least till the Lok Sabha elections are over and a new government is in place.

Sources indicated that about $1 billion worth of investments could get stuck as Amazon India is facing stiff regulatory hurdles. “No new investment is likely till at least the second half of the year,’’ one of the sources said.

(Source: Business Standard)


2. Provident Funds Face Crores in Losses from IL&FS

Provident and pension funds of thousands of middle-class salaried people face the spectre of losing thousands of crores of their nest egg as analysts estimate these funds’ investments in Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services and group companies to be between Rs. 15,000 to Rs 20,000 crore, said three people familiar with the matter.

Many of these funds handling the retirement funds are owning either bonds or given money as loans to the failed infrastructure lender amid hopes that the triple A rated paper would be safe and was fetching higher returns, said those people who did not want to be identified.

(Source: The Economic Times)


3. Goods Delivery by Drones Gets Closer to Reality, Updated Policy Unveiled

The government has proposed allowing delivery of goods by drones, paving the way for commercial applications in the field.

In drone policy 2.0, unveiled on Tuesday, 15 January, the government has proposed permitting their operations beyond the visual line of sight. “Commercial UAS (unmanned aerial system) operations will foster various new forms of air freight capabilities, such as creation of supply chain relay networks for delivery of payload, transport of temperature-sensitive commodities like bodily organs, emergency or just-in-time deliveries of life-saving medicines, etc.”

(Source: Business Standard)


4. Govt Forms Panel to Resolve GST Issues Troubling Real Estate Sector

The government on Tuesday, 15 January, announced the composition of a seven-member Group of Ministers (GoM), which will examine and suggest ways to resolve the issues plaguing the real estate sector after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

A lower GST rate of 5 percent is one of the demands of industry players. Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel will head the panel that has eight terms of reference set for it.

The committee will suggest ways for a scheme to address the problems facing both developers and buyers.

(Source: Livemint)


5. Telcos May Have to Spend Rs 1.25 Trillion on Court Cases, Stare at Huge Loss

An adverse fallout of litigation on many unresolved issues in the Indian telecom sector may cost service providers a fortune. They might have to fork out Rs 1.25 trillion to Rs 1.5 trillion in important cases pending in the country’s courts, especially the Supreme Court.

The government has filed the cases for recovering money. The disputes, which have many twists and turns and have gone through courts and quasi-judicial bodies for many years, have some key issues.

(Source: Business Standard)


6. Exports up 0.34% in Dec; Trade Deficit Narrows

Exports grew marginally by 0.34 percent to $27.93 billion in December 2018 on account of negative growth in sectors such as engineering and gems & jewellery, according to a commerce ministry data.

Imports, however, dipped by 2.44 percent to $41 billion during the last month, narrowing the trade deficit to $13 billion. The trade deficit stood at $14.2 billion in December 2017. Gold imports declined by 24.33 percent to $2.56 billion in December last year as against $3.39 billion in the same month of 2017.

(Source: PTI)


7. GAIL Chief Bhuwan Chandra Tripathi May Get Third Term

Bhuwan Chandra Tripathi will likely get his tenure extended as the chairman of state-run GAIL after his second five-year term ends in July this year.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has recommended extending Tripathi’s term until his retirement, which is due in January 2020, sources said. The recommendation will now go to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, or ACC, for approval.

Tripathi has been the CMD of GAIL since August 2009, before which he held the position of Director (Marketing) for about two years.

(Source: The Economic Times)


8. Huawei Does Not Spy for China: Founder Ren Zhengfei

Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei on Tuesday, 15 January, rejected claims that his company is used by the Chinese government to spy and said he missed his daughter, who is being held by Canadian authorities, the Financial Times newspaper reported.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was detained in Canada last month at the request of US authorities who allege she misled banks about the company’s control of a firm operating in Iran.

Huawei had “never received any request from any government to provide improper information”, the newspaper reported Ren as saying in an interview with reporters in the southern city of Shenzhen.

(Source: Reuters)


9. Pharma Sales Growth Doubles in 2018

The domestic pharma retail market registered a robust growth rate of around 10 percent in 2018, nearly doubling year-on-year, buoyed by higher volumes and launch of new drugs.

In 2017, the market was impacted by the introduction of GST, resulting in a meagre growth rate of 5.5 percent — the lowest in recent years.

Anti-diabetics, cardio-vascular, respiratory and derma medicines ended the year with strong double-digit growth, while overall drivers of the Rs 1.29- lakh-crore market include higher volumes (4.8%), price increase (2.2%) and new launches (2.4%), data from market research firm AIOCD-Awacs said.

(Source: The Times of India)

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Topics:  QBiz   Amazon India   Business News 

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