QBiz: ITC to Set up Hospitals; Snapdeal Plans to Fire 30% Staff
Read the top business stories from around the country in QBiz.
1. Govt Plans Crackdown on Shell Companies to Counter Money Laundering
The government on Friday announced a crackdown on shell companies that were used to launder money in the aftermath of the 8 November invalidation of high-value currency notes.
Bank accounts of such entities will be frozen and the benami law invoked as part of the drive, said a government statement issued after a meeting of investigative agencies at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, gives the government powers to confiscate benami assets – those held in the name of another person or under a fictitious name to avoid taxation and conceal unaccounted-for wealth.
2. Infosys Row Seen as Narayana Murthy vs Vishal Sikka Personality Clash
The trouble at Infosys Ltd is the result of a personality clash between founder NR Narayana Murthy and Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka that is damaging to both its shareholders and employees.
Investors may believe Murthy’s tirade against alleged corporate governance issues at the company is directed against the board; some have described the trouble as reflective of challenges faced by a company shifting from a founder-run firm to one managed by professional managers; a few have dubbed it a cultural clash between the old and new.
Employees who have worked with both Murthy, 70, and Sikka, 49, and experts say that although the current spat may be between some of the founders and the board, the eventual aim of this face-off is to make Sikka abide by Murthy’s decisions.
3. Ajay Tyagi Appointed as New Sebi Chief
The government on Friday said it appointed Ajay Tyagi, an additional secretary in the Finance Ministry, as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
The cabinet appointments committee said Tyagi, a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre, will serve as the Sebi chief for five years or until the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
Tyagi, who will be the ninth Sebi chairman, will take over from UK Sinha, the second-longest serving chief of the capital markets regulator after DR Mehta.
4. ITC Plans to Set up Multi-Speciality Hospitals
Diversified group ITC Ltd plans to set up multi-speciality hospitals and leverage its experience in hospitality for tapping into the expanding medical tourism segment in India.
The Kolkata-based firm, better known for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products and cigarettes, is seeking approval from shareholders through a special resolution to alter its Memorandum of Association in order to be able to foray into the healthcare sector.
5. Indian IT Companies Likely to Hand Out Peanuts as Appraisals This Year
In the technology industry, the career ladder isn't the only important attribute disappearing too quickly: Additional digits on payslips may be the next to go as wage-growth at software companies increasingly moves in lockstep with recent investor returns on these bellwethers.
Annual pay-raises in companies that once set wealth-creation benchmarks for both investors and employees may barely breast the consumer-inflation tape this year, reflecting persistent headwinds for a $150-billion industry built primarily around the cost end of the value spectrum.
Increases may be as low as 2 per cent in some cases and hover about 6 per cent for most employees, shrinking from about 10 per cent last year, say industry experts and hiring and staffing managers.
6. Snapdeal Tightens Belt, Plans to Fire 30 Per Cent Staff in 2 Months
Snapdeal aims to trim about 30% of its workforce over the next two months, according to four people aware of the plan at the Gurgaon-based company. The online marketplace plans to drastically cut costs as the Indian ecommerce industry battles slowing growth and a paucity of investors willing to provide fresh rounds of funding.
The move is expected to affect about 1,000 employees directly employed by the company in its ecommerce marketplace while thousands of contract workers in the company’s logistics division are also expected to be let off, said the people cited above.
7. Aircel-Maxis Deal: Supreme Court Seeks More Material From Subramanian Swamy to Act Against P Chidambaram
The Supreme Court on Friday said it would not hesitate to act against any influential person, but said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy needs to produce more material for it to act against former finance minister P Chidambaram over Aircel-Maxis deal.
Swamy had alleged that Chidambaram granted Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the Rs 3,500 Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 in violation of rules, and urged bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar to order a probe against the former finance minister on the prima facie evidence.
But Khehar said there was not enough material to act against the former minister.
8. Larsen & Toubro to Invest Rs 2,080 Crore in Bengaluru
Larsen & Toubro plans to set up an IT Park and IT SEZ in Bengaluru for a combined investment of ₹2,080 crore.
The conglomerate, which is engaged in technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services, has over $16 billion in revenues.
L&T’s application to set up an IT park and IT SEZ in Yelahanka near the international airport came up before the Karnataka State High Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC) for clearance on Friday.
9. Tata Chemicals Plans to Invest Rs 565 cr For Units in AP, Gujarat
Tata Group's chemical arm Tata Chemicals Ltd on Friday announced its plans to invest Rs 565 crore for two greenfield facilities in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat to manufacture soluble dietary fibres and silica.
Tata Chemicals had signed an MoU with the Government of Andhra Pradesh on 27 January to seal a Rs 270-crore investment plan wherein a state-of-the-art, biotechnology unit will be set up in Nellore district for the manufacturing of soluble dietary fibres with cutting edge health benefits, the company informed in Ahmedabad.
TCL has also laid out investments worth Rs 295 crore to set up a plant in Gujarat for manufacturing precipitated highly dispersible silica.
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