QBiz: RBI To Get CFO Soon; Petrol, Diesel Prices Slashed

Your roundup of important business stories. 

4 min read
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1. In a First, Reserve Bank of India to Have CFO Soon

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon have a chief financial officer (CFO) to oversee financial reporting and accounts, besides shaping policies.

Spelling out job responsibilities for the CFO, who will be of the rank of executive director, the RBI said he or she would be responsible for “accurate and timely presentation and reporting of financial information”.

The head of finance should essentially be a qualified chartered accountant with at least 15 years of experience of overseeing financial operations of banks or financial firms, the central bank said in a notification seeking applications for the position.


2. Petrol Cheaper by Rs 2.16 per litre, Diesel by Rs 2.10

The price of petrol was reduced on Monday night by Rs 2.16 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.10 a litre, effective midnight.

The price cut reverses the four-week trend of hiking the petrol and diesel prices. Prior to this, petrol price was hiked by Rs 1.39 per litre and diesel by Rs 1.04 a litre from 16 April.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation's largest fuel retailer, said the rate cut on both petrol and diesel excluded state levies.

(Source: PTI)


3. No Tax Scrutiny of Big Transaction If It Matches Income

If you splurged on something really expensive or made an enormous investment recently, rest assured your accounts won’t be opened up for scrutiny by the income tax department as long as these can be squared with your declared income.

“Scrutiny will be based on specific information,” a senior income tax official told ET. In other words, big transactions will no longer automatically qualify a person for scrutiny. The income tax department will only start asking questions if it has clear information that calls for an investigation, sparing honest taxpayers.


4. EPFO Looks to Invest Rs18,000 Crore in Stocks

India’s retirement fund manager Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will invest at least Rs 18,000 crore in stocks in the current financial year, adding fuel to a stock market that is already on fire.

Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya told reporters in New Delhi on Monday that his ministry is positive on more equity exposure because of the “encouraging returns” it has received over the last one-and-a-half years. “We have to increase the basket. The central board of trustees (CBT) of the EPFO is meeting on 27 May and we hope to reach a decision on this,” said Dattatreya, who is also the chairman of the EPFO’s CBT, the apex decision-making body of the retirement fund manager.

(Source: Livemint)


5. ICICI Bank, HDFC Match SBI, Cut Home Loan Rates by up to 30 Basis Points

Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd (HDFC), India’s largest mortgage lender, on Monday cut interest rates on home loans of up to Rs 30 lakh by 15 basis points for new borrowers, to gain from the momentum created by the government’s support for affordable housing.

HDFC cut the interest rate to 8.35 percent for female borrowers and 8.40 percent for others for loans up to Rs 30 lakh, the lowest being offered and on par with the rates now offered by ICICI Bank, State Bank of India (SBI) and LIC Housing Finance Ltd. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. For loans up to Rs75 lakh, HDFC kept interest rates unchanged at 8.50 percent.

(Source: Livemint)


6. Netflix Plans Local Studio in India Push

Netflix, the world’s leading video-on-demand (VOD) service, proposes to set up a production facility in India, the company’s management said in a recent analysts’ call, as the pressure to localise content grows in a market that has enormous potential for the VOD business.

Speaking to investors, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said, “We are already building our production capabilities outside the United States. Today, we are filming local shows in 13 different countries, including India and Japan”.


7. India One Of The Worst Affected By WannaCry, Says QuickHeal Co-Founder

India is one of the 150 countries affected by the 'WannaCry' ransomware worm and computers are still at high risk, Sanjay Katkar, one of the co-founders and chief technology officer of QuickHeal Technologies, said in a phone interview with BloombergQuint.

Computers with older versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system have been the worst affected. “Most of the computers are connected to the net, so if it enters your network, it spreads across all the computers very fast,” said Katkar.

The solution he said was to install the Microsoft patch MS17010 and back it up with adequate anti-virus protection in the system to control or prevent the virus from spreading.

(Source: BloombergQuint)


8. Vedanta Will Continue With Production Ramp-Up And Debt Reduction, Says Outgoing CEO Tom Albanese

After delivering its highest ever quarterly profit and significantly reducing debt, Tom Albanese, outgoing chief executive officer of Vedanta Ltd, said Vedanta has more room to grow. His optimism is based on the benign commodity markets, which according to him, are still below the highs seen five years ago.

Under Albanese, the company turned the corner on its debt position. Gross debt reduced by Rs 4,000 crore during the year while the net debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) stood at 0.4 times.

The company will continue on the path of production ramp-up and deleveraging after he steps down in August this year, Albanese told BloombergQuint in an interview. “A year from now you will see a stronger company than today,” he quipped.

(Source: BloombergQuint)


9. Bleak Future Ahead for Sacked IT Employees: Experts

The future looks grim for thousands of employees of Indian IT industry who have been handed pink slips over the past couple of months. A double whammy of automation and lack of key skills may result in many of them being unemployed for a while.

Recruiters and experts said the number of jobs lost is unprecedented in the history of IT industry and perhaps larger in magnitude than the 2008 global economic crisis. A small number of people sacked from companies like Wipro and Cognizant may be absorbed by second rung firms, but since the number of resumes in the market is huge, not all may find jobs. There are about 40 lakh Indians employed in the IT industry in India and overseas and of them, 12 lakh professionals cannot upgrade their skills or acquire new ones, Kris Lakshmikanth, founder of Head Hunters India, told ET.

(Source: Economic Times)

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