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QBiz: Foxconn Hit Hard By Demonetisation; Car Exports Gain Speed

Read business stories from across the country with The Quint’s newswrap. 

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1. RBI Against Government’s Proposal to Dramatically Lower Charges on Debit Card Transactions

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has questioned a government proposal to dramatically lower charges on debit card transactions for pushing the Digital India story in the aftermath of demonetisation.

In multiple meetings and video-conferences held last week with the banking regulator and large lenders, a cabinet minister along with senior government functionaries have suggested that the merchant discount rate (MDR) – the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing card services – should be either done away with or substantially lowered till 31 March 2017.

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2. In a First, ISRO Chooses Private Consortium to Build Two Satellites

In a step towards entrusting the private sector with satellite making, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) issued a contract to a consortium of six companies to manufacture two remote-sensing satellites. IRO will pay an undisclosed amount to the consortium for building these satellites to its specifications in the next 18 months, said a senior official with the space agency.

3. Hit Hard by Demonetisation, Foxconn Puts a Fourth of Its Indian Workers on the Bench

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer and poster boy of the government’s Make in India project, has asked nearly a fourth of its 8,000 factory workers to go on paid leave for two weeks after last month’s demonetisation of high value notes sparked a severe cash crunch that saw sales slump almost 50%, forcing the company to slash production by half.

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4. Car Exports Gain Speed, on Track in FY17

Prospects of a double-digit growth in the domestic passenger vehicles market in the current financial year look uncertain after demonetisation, but a stronger growth story in the export market seems intact. Passenger vehicle (cars, vans and utility vehicles) exports are on track to hit a new record in FY17, as shipments continue to post strong double-digit growth.

In the first eight months of FY17, exports have grown about 16 percent to 499,037 vehicles, against a growth of 9.84 percent in domestic sales volume (to two million units) of companies. In the corresponding period of FY16, exports had grown by only 4.3 percent.

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5. ONGC Awaits Nod for $5-B KG-D5 Gas Development Plan

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is awaiting a nod from upstream regulator DGH to commence investing $5.07 billion in bringing to production oil and gas discoveries in its Bay of Bengal block KG-D5.

About a year back, ONGC had submitted a field development plan (FDP) to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), for bringing to production 10 oil and gas discoveries in KG basin block KG-DWN-98/2 (KG-D5), which sits next to Reliance Industries flagging KG-D6 fields.

The DGH so far has not approved of the FDP, an official said.

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6. SBI Cards to Launch Rs 25,000 Limit Credit Cards for Lower Income Strata

To tap opportunities arising out of limited cash supply, SBI Cards will soon launch a credit card with a cap of Rs 25,000 for those in the lower strata of the society, who have the capacity to pay but don't have cards, a top company official said.

(Source: DNA)

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7. BigStylist to Raise $4 M, Expand to Smaller Metros

Online beauty service provider BigStylist is planning to close its Series A round by raising about $4 million (₹25 crore) from a new set of financial investors, with a valuation of ₹150 crore.

The less than two-year-old start-up has already raised $2 million from listed company Info Edge, and is now approaching VC funds for expanding operations and developing cosmetics under its own brand name.

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8. Startups Club to Expand in India, Abroad

Bengaluru-based Startups Club, a community for early stage start-ups with 15,000 members, will expand its operations overseas and in tier I and tier II cities in India by 2017.

The organisation currently has a presence in 10 cities and will expand to 10 more by the end of 2017.

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9. Panel Seeks Revival of Hindustan Antibiotics

Pressing for a time-bound revival of Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd (HAL), a parliamentary panel has asked the Department of Pharmaceuticals to coordinate with all concerned for the same.

The Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers in its 29th report pointed out that the process of appointment of a consultant has already been initiated by HAL for the revival.

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