QBiz: EAC Reconstituted; Modi’s Rs 16k Cr Plan to Light Up India
Read The Quint’s compilation of all the top business stories in dailies across the country.
1. PM Modi Reconstitutes Economic Advisory Council to Revive GDP Growth
Putting economic growth revival in the spotlight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy.
The move, which comes in the backdrop of increasing concerns over weakening GDP growth momentum, signals that the prime minister will be closely scrutinising future economic policy.
The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) is an independent body designed to guide the government on policy decisions. The government has drafted economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal, all of whom are part-time members, with Ratan Watal, principal adviser, NITI Aayog, as the member-secretary.
2. PM Unveils Rs 16,000 Crore ‘Power For All By 2019’ Scheme
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a scheme to ensure that every house in the country has electricity by March 2019 as about a fifth of 120 crore Indians are estimated to have no access to power.
The government introduced the Rs 16,320-crore Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana-Saubhagya (Hindi for ‘easy access to power for every house – a good fortune’) to ensure electricity in all urban and rural households, according to a statement released by the government.
3. Shipload of Relief Likely for Harried Exporters
Traders may get exemption from IGST on imported inputs that currently don't face basic customs duty; refund mechanism for taxes paid on local inputs also under consideration.
Exporters may get an outright exemption from the integrated goods and services tax (IGST) on imported inputs that currently don’t face basic customs duty to help perk up the sector, which has been hit hard by rupee appreciation, said government officials. Also under consideration is a refund mechanism for taxes paid on local inputs used by exporters, they said.
4. Sensex Drops to Lowest Close in a Month as Risk Appetite Diminishes
Indian stocks closed lower for the fifth session in a row on Monday as investors took money off the table because of concerns over high valuations and weakening macroeconomic fundamentals at a time of diminishing global risk appetite.
Both the BSE’s 30-share Sensex and the National Stock Exchange’s 50-share Nifty closed at their lowest levels in a month. The Sensex lost 295.81 points, or 0.93 percent, to close at 31,626.63 points, after falling as much as 447.88 points earlier in the day. The Nifty shed 91.80 points, or 0.92 percent, to 9,872.60 points.
5. Shell Companies: Disqualified Directors Under Banks’ Scrutiny
Banks have started the process of scanning account details of directors disqualified by the ministry of corporate affairs to analyse their links with shell companies and check whether they diverted funds, according to senior executives of four public sector banks, who did not want to be named.
“The exercise will take at least three weeks to complete because the list runs into several hundred pages. After shortlisting the names, we will prepare a report on the transactions conducted and submit to the government,” said one of the four officials, a banker with a large Mumbai-based bank.
6. Former and Current NSE Execs Opt for Consent Mode to Settle Co-Location Case
High-profile current and former top executives of National Stock Exchange (NSE) have opted to settle the co-location case through the consent mechanism with the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India.
Former board members and chief executives Ravi Narain and Chitra Ramkrishna and current chief of business development Ravi Varanasi are some of the people who have applied for settlement, people close to the situation said. Consent orders are similar to an out-of-court settlement in securities law parlance.
It is a negotiated settlement between the capital markets regulator and an entity by paying a penalty or by undergoing a voluntary ban from the stock markets.
7. Facebook Joins Apple, Google in Top 10 Most Valuable Brands List
The technology sector dominated the annual Interbrand Best Global Brands Report, released on Monday with half of the top ten brands being technology firms. Apple and Google topped the 18th edition of global rankings for the fifth consecutive year. The report estimated the value of brand Apple at $184.1 billion, up 3 percent from last year. The value of brand Google was estimated at $141.7 billion, an increase of 6 percent from last year.
Another tech major Microsoft knocked off beverage brand Coca-Cola to grab the third spot in the list. Microsoft’s estimated brand value stood at $79.9 billion, 10 percent increase in brand value from last year. The top 10 brands in the list included Coca-Cola, Amazon, Samsung, Toyota, Facebook, Mercedes-Benz and IBM.
8. Flipkart May Put eBay to Good Use for Used Goods
Flipkart is finalising another use for eBay India after deciding to employ it as a global sales platform for its thousands of vendors – to sell used or refurbished products.
India’s largest online marketplace will primarily use eBay India, which it recently acquired, to sell used goods it receives from customers through its product exchange offers and buyback guarantee schemes, according to three people aware of the company’s plans.
9. SBI Eases Minimum Balance Rules On Savings Accounts
State Bank of India has lowered its minimum balance requirement for savings accounts and the fee applicable for not maintaining it, just four months after it re-introduced such charges.
The minimum average balance requirement in metro cities has been revised to Rs 3,000 from Rs 5,000 earlier, SBI said in a media statement. The charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance has also been cut by 20-50 percent across all categories, the statement said.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.