ECONOMY - 2014 December

December 1

LPG rate cut by Rs. 113, jet fuel prices by 4.1 per cent as oil rates slump to multi-year lows.
Price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was cut by a steep Rs. 113 per cylinder and that of jet fuel (ATF) by 4.1 per cent as international oil rates slumped to multi-year lows.
A 14.2kg cylinder of non-subsidised LPG will now cost Rs. 752, down from Rs. 865 previously, in Delhi, oil companies announced.

December 2

SEBI passes orders against 8 cos for non-disclosures in IPO, including realty major DLF.
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has passed orders against eight companies, including realty major DLF, for non-disclosure of 'material' information in their initial public offering (IPO) prospectus, in the last three years.
Apart from DLF, SEBI has passed orders against Brooks Laboratories, Bharatiya Global Infomedia, Onelife Capital Advisors, PG Electroplast, RDB Rasayans, Taksheel Solutions and Tijaria Polypipes.
Giving the status update of these cases, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said that DLF's appeal is listed for hearing on December 10 in Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).

December 3

Union Cabinet approved bill on coal block auctions to replace Coal Mines Ordinance 2014.
The Union Cabinet on approved a bill on coal block auctions to replace the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2014. The decision on the bill was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament in the winter session 2014.
The Ordinance was promulgated by the President in accordance with the Article 123 (1) of the Constitution to allow Union government to acquire the land of the 214 cancelled coal blocks and plants on it and e-auction them.
Supreme Court in its order of 24 September 2014 had cancelled 214 coal block mines out of 218 allotted since 1993 saying they were given in an illegal and arbitrary manner.
Ryerson Futures, Chokhani Group to launch $15 million start up fund in India.
The accelerator will invest in early stage technology businesses connected to Zone Startups India and will invest up to Rs 2.7 crore annually.
Ryerson Futures Inc. (RFI), Canada-based accelerator for early stage companies and India’s Chokhani Group have joined hands to launch a $15 million (Rs. 82 crore) fund to invest in early stage technology businesses connected to Zone Startups India.
The fund will seek to invest between Rs. 27 lakh and Rs. 2.7 crore in 10-15 start-ups every year.
IRDA orders audit of Future Generali Life Insurance.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has ordered an independent audit into some outsourcing transactions and payments made by Future Generali Life Insurance Company.
In an order issued, IRDA Chairman T.S. Vijayan said the company had violated the guidelines on outsourcing activities issued by the regulator in February 2011.
The company had also paid Rs. 100-200 for a specific period of time to outsourced persons for organising some events.

December 4

Finance ministry forms panel to hear industry's tax issues.
The Finance Ministry set up a high level committee to interact with trade and industry on tax-related issues on a regular basis and ascertain areas where clarity in tax laws is required.
The HLC will give recommendations to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) for issuance of appropriate clarifications by way of circulars, instructions on tax issues, it added.
Further, the CBDT and CBEC will issue the required clarifications, circulars, instructions within a period of two months from the date of receipt of recommendations of the HLC.

Govt to divest 5 per cent stake in SAIL on December 5.
The government will sell a 5 per cent stake in state-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL), kicking off an ambitious disinvestment program that is crucial for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to help trim the budget deficit.
The stake sale, which is worth US $286 million at the scrip's closing level, would mark the first stake sale under the new government, which won a landslide election in May largely on a promise of economic growth.

December 5

Forex reserves rise $1.43 billion.
The country's foreign exchange (Forex) reserves rose $1.43 billion for the week ended November 28 to $316.31 billion, show Reserve Bank of India data released. Foreign currency assets, a key component of reserves, rose $1.42 billion to $290.82 billion. Gold reserves remained unchanged at $19.74 billion.
For the week under review, the Special Drawing Rights rose $6.4 million to $4.23 billion, while the country's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund was up $2.5 million to $1.52 billion.
Cisco partners IL&FS Technologies to tap smart city business.
Networking giant Cisco has partnered Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS)Technologies to jointly develop digital solutions to tap into the multi-billion dollar opportunity in the smart city space in India.
The companies will jointly develop Internet of Everything (IoE)-based digital solutions to pursue opportunities in the infrastructure sector and smart cities in India.
About smart city:
The government plans to develop 100 smart cities by 2022. In the Budget, the Finance Ministry has allocated Rs. 7,060 crore for developing these smart cities.

December 6

Karnataka offers government services through mobile platform.
Karnataka, which exports nearly a third of India's IT exports, has embarked on a new experiment of offering nearly 637 government services through a mobile platform called 'Mobile One'.
From applying for birth and death certificates, paying utility bills, property registration, to paying taxes and applying for a driving license, the state government says can all now be done on mobile. The app is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
For those using non-smart 'feature phones' a dedicated number (161) has been set apart where they can interact and request services via messages.
The platform was launched in Bangalore by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, who lauded the move.
RIL, TCS, others among Barclays' top 133 stock picks for 2015.
Reliance Industries, TCS and Bharti Airtel are among the six Indian firms that figure in Barclays' top 133 stock picks from across the world for 2015.
Other Indian firms in the list include HDFC Bank, homegrown pharma major Lupin and Voltas.
RIL was the only stock pick in energy segment in Asia, while Bharti and Lupin were the only ones in telecommunication and healthcare segments.

December 7

India to see fastest USD nominal growth in 2015, says Credit Suisse.
India's economy will see the fastest USD nominal growth in the world in 2015", said Credit Suisse, Swtzerland-based multinational financial services company.
The financial services major added- "Given the growth outlook, equity market is not expensive in both absolute and relative terms".
Economy likely to grow at 5.5 per cent in FY15, says Nomura.
India is heading towards growth with macroeconomic stability and its economy is likely to expand at 5.5 per cent in the current fiscal, Japanese brokerage firm Nomura said.

Rs. 5.50 crore lottery 'loot' in Raghuram Rajan's name.
Deposit Rs. 15,500 in cash and win Rs. 5.50 crore. Scamsters have adopted this latest trick to con gullible investors by using the name and picture of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan.
According to news agency PTI, the 'lottery' amount that these scammers promise to credit into the account of those giving an 'approval fees' is claimed to be part of funds given to RBI by the British government.

Tax evasion of Rs. 9,951 crore detected in last 3 years, says Arun Jaitley
Tax authorities detected as many as 672 cases of tax evasion, in the current financial year through September, valued at Rs. 1,379.57 crore, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley informed the Parliament.

December 8

Ericsson bags contract to manage RCom's pan-India network.
Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson will manage the pan-India network of telecom operator Reliance Communications under a seven-year business agreement signed between the two companies.
SEBI finds 22 PSUs violating norms, SBI files for settlement.
Sebi has found 22 public sector firms including giants like ONGC, Coal India and IOC to have violated various capital market guidelines, while banking major SBI has filed for settlement of a case against it with the regulator, Parliament was informed.
Others include SAIL, ITDC, HMT, Shipping Corporation, NTPC, NHPC, STC, Nalco, EIL, REC and Neyveli Lignite.
A total of 17 firms were found to be non-compliant with the norms pertaining to the composition of the board of directors. These rules were related to minimum number of independent directors.
Other violations by PSUs include non-compliance of minimum public shareholding norms by Haryana Financial Corporation.
Two state-run firms - Indian Tourism Development Corporation and HMT had failed to submit annual audited financial results within the prescribed time limit.
Public sector units Sicom Ltd and Dena Bank were found to have violated disclosure norms.

December 9

RIL raises $1 billion by bonds sale.
Reliance Industries (RIL) hit the international debt market to raise up to $1 billion (about Rs. 6,150 crore) by selling 10-year dollar-denominated bonds.
While the company refused to confirm or deny the development citing market sensitivity of the issue, market sources said the dollar-bond sale program is already in the market and the Mukesh Ambani-led company will close the issue.
NTPC inks Rs. 3,000 crore loan agreements with banks.
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) said it has signed two term loan agreements worth Rs. 3,000 crore with banks towards financing capital expenditure.
In a statement in the national capital, the power giant said it has signed a term loan agreement for Rs. 2,000 crore with HDFC Bank and a similar agreement for Rs. 1,000 crore with Syndicate Bank.
Note: NTPC is currently generating 43,128 MW of electricity and has drawn up a long-term plan to generate 1,28,000 MW by 2032.
Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy deal gets nod with riders.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the $4 billion Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy merger with the rider that the two pharma companies will have to divest seven key products to address monopoly concerns.
The deal was announced in April and will create the country's biggest drug company.
This was the first case which the CCI subjected to public scrutiny as it had found the deal 'prima facie' in violation of the competition laws.

December 10

RIL to form joint venture with China's Shandong Ruyi in textile business.
Reliance Industries (RIL) said it will transfer its textile business into a new joint venture with China's Shandong Ruyi Science and Technology Group.
Reliance Industries said it will receive a cash consideration for the deal but did not disclose the amount.
India’s GDP may grow 5-6% in 2015: Moody’s.
Indian economy is expected to pick up pace in 2015 and grow in the range of 5 to 6 per cent, helped by strong domestic demand, rating agency Moody’s today said.
''India will have stronger GDP growth in 2015, which we forecast at 5-6 per cent, up from around 5 per cent in 2014'', Moody’s said in a report titled — 2015 Outlook-Global Credit Conditions.
The country, it said, has benefited from a strong domestic demand base and diversified export market that give protection from the effects of a slowing Chinese economy and muted growth in the euro zone and Japan.

December 11

India is the brightest spot in Asia Pacific region: S&P.
India has emerged as the brightest spot in the Asia Pacific region as reform has picked up pace in the country in recent months, a top credit rating agency has said.
Confidence has improved and growth momentum is now at around seven per cent, S&P said in its latest quarterly updates on credit conditions in North America, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and Europe.

RIL forms JV with China's Shandong Ruyi for textile business.
To reposition its textile business and expand globally, Reliance Industries announced a joint venture with China's USD-three billion Shandong Ruyi Science and Technology Group.
The JV firm, where Reliance Industries will own 51 percent stake and Shandong Ruyi will have 49 percent, also plans to bring some global brands to India while benefiting from the strength of RIL's Vimal brand.

Reliance Capital to sell Yatra.com stake for Rs. 500 crore.
Reliance Capital is all set to sell its 16 per cent stake in leading travel portal Yatra.com for an estimated Rs. 500 crore and is in talks with 2-3 international investors.
The deal would mark an over 12-times appreciation for this investment by Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Anil Ambani-led business conglomerate Reliance Group, which had acquired a 16 per cent stake in the online travel company for Rs. 40 crore in 2006.

December 12

Industrial output shrinks 4.2% in October.
Industrial output fell 4.2 per cent in October, the most in three years, against growth of 2.5 per cent in September. This was despite the festive season and a favourable base-effect in October 2013, production had fallen 1.2 per cent.
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had previously declined more than 4.2 per cent in October 2011, when it had registered a five per cent fall.
The decline in October was primarily due to a sharp 7.6 per cent contraction in the manufacturing sector, against 2.5 per cent expansion in the previous month, official data showed. In October last year, output in the manufacturing sector had declined 1.3 per cent.

Tata Power acquired 540 MW thermal power plant for 3000 crore rupees.
Tata Power acquired 540-megawatt (MW) thermal power plant in Maharashtra for 3000 crore rupees
The thermal plant was acquired from the promoters of IRB Infrastructure. With this deal, Tata Power aimed to increase its total capacity to 8885 MW.
Until now, Tata Power used to be the nation's biggest private sector electricity producer but after the new announcements by Adani Power, Tata Power is under deficit of Production. Adani Power has total capacity of 11040 MW.

December 13

India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by massive. 
India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by a massive $1.64 billion to $314.66 billion for the week ended December 5, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed.
The RBI said the foreign currency assets, expressed in US dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the pound sterling, euro and yen held in reserve.

Three new discoveries notified by ONGC.
The Board was notified of the three discoveries made recently; one in deepwater Krishna Godavari Basin, off the east coast of the country, one in Mumbai offshore Basin, off the west coast of the country and one in Cauvery basin in the southern onland part of the country.
In KG Basin offshore, ONGC has made a significant gas discovery from its nomination deep water block, KG-OS-DW-III.
In Mumbai offshore ONGC has made a new pool discovery in the well. On testing, the well flowed oil at the rate of around 1500 barrels per day and gas at the rate of around 10000 cubic meters per day through half inch bean. Significantly, oil flow from Panna Formation has been reported for the first time in this structure.
In Cauvery Basin, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, ONGC has made a significant gas discovery in the well the second hydrocarbon discovery made by ONGC.
Oil India Ltd, the second largest state explorer, has signed contract for two offshore oil and gas blocks it had bagged in Myanmar.
OIL along with its consortium partners signed Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) for two offshore blocks M4 and YEB at Nay Pyi Taw, the company said.
OIL-led consortium won these blocks under Myanmar offshore bidding round 2013 which was launched on April 11, last year.
A total of 30 blocks (11 shallow water and 19 deepsea) were put on offer in this bidding round. OIL and partners bid for three offshore blocks M-4, M-8 and YEB and won two of them.
OIL is the operator with 60 per cent interest in both the blocks.
Other consortium partners are Mercator Petroleum Ltd (25 per cent), Oilmax Energy Pvt Ltd (10 per cent), and Oil Star Management Services Co Ltd (a local company of Myanmar with 5 per cent stake).

December 14

Reliance Media Works Ltd (RMW) has a signed definitive agreement with Carnival Cinemas.
Reliance Media Works Ltd (RMW), part of Reliance Capital of Anil Ambani-led Reliance group, has a signed definitive agreement with Carnival Cinemas to sell its multiplexes business for an unspecified amount.
Debt to reduce by Rs. 700 crore.
With this move, Reliance Capital’s debt will be reduced by Rs. 700 crore through a combination of transfer of debt of RMW and infusion of cash proceeds.

December 15

Online ridehailing service Uber jumped to $40 billion.
From $17 billion, the valuation of online ride-hailing service Uber jumped to $40 billion in just six months as it gained popularity with consumers across the world. Unfortunately, it now finds

December 16

GST (Goods and Services Tax) Bill for 122nd amendment, States to get relief.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will seek the Cabinet’s nod for 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill on the Goods and Services Tax.
The GST will subdue into one levy all indirect taxes imposed by the Centre and the States, These also include entry tax.
The Committee said that GST regime exclude real estate transactions and stamp duties.
The committee was headed by Asim Dasgupta.

12 New technologies can add to India’s GDP says MGI.
McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has identified 12 new age technologies that could have a bigger impact on India’s economic growth and efforts to reduce poverty.
MGI evaluated over 100 technologies and has highlighted 12 of them that are likely to have the most impact on addressing India’s challenges.
The combined economic impact of the 12 technologies in 2025 could be up to six times the current economic value of the Indian IT industry. 

December 17

India on track to 5.5 % GDP growth, says ADB.
India is on track to reach the growth forecast of 5.5 per cent in financial year ending March 31, 2015 after expanding by 5.7 per cent in the first quarter and 5.3 per cent in the second quarter.
The ADB (Asian Development Bank) said India must extend its efforts to reach the forecast of 6.3 per cent GDP growth in 2014-15.
Head Quarters of ADB: Manila.
Chief Economist: Shang-Jin Wei.

December 18

IRDA imposes penalty on Canara, HSBC, OBC life insurance and Anand Rathi Insurance.
IRDA imposes monetary penalty on Canara, HSBC, OBC life insurance and Anand Rathi Insurance brokers for violating regulatory norms.
The imposed penalty was 31 lakh rupees for Canara, HSBC and OBC life insurance, 5lakh rupees for Anand Rathi Insurance brokers under section 102, clause C-7 of IRDA act 1999.
Back Ground
Clause (7-C) of section 102 deals about to maintain solvency margin & Penalty for not maintaining of solvency margin
IRDA Chair Person: T.S. Vijayan.

December 19

Zomato acquired Cibando, the restaurant search service of Italy.
Online restaurant guide Zomato has acquired Italy's leading restaurant search service Cibando, for an undisclosed sum, making it the company's fifth global acquisition this year.
Zomato plans to invest $6 million in Italy over the next two years. The Cibando brand will be integrated with Zomato and over the next few months, Italian users will be able to use Zomato for all major cities in the country.
This is Zomato's fifth acquisition in the recent months. Zomato acquired MenuMania in New Zealand, Lunchtime in Czech Republic, Obedovat in Slovakia, and Gastronauci in Poland recently.

8.75 percent interest rate on PF deposits for 2014-15 was approved by Finance Ministry.
Union Finance Ministry approved 8.75 percent interest rate on Provident Fund (PF) deposits for the year 2014-15. This decision will be notified by Union Labour Ministry as well as by the Income Tax Department now and will be implemented from the date of notification.
The rate of interest on PF deposits for 2013-14 was 8.75 percent itself. On 26 August 2014, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's Central Board of Trustees (CBT) had decided to retain the interest rate on PF deposits at 8.75 percent only for the 2014-15.

December 20

Photo sharing website Instagram has been valued at $35 billion by Citigroup, surpassing Twitter.
This beats Twitter’s market cap of $23 billion by a wide margin, wired.com reported.
In April 2012, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and had about 30 million users.
In the last nine months, Instagram’s user base grew 50 per cent, while Twitter could only boost its active user base by 4.8 per cent in the last quarter.
Online marketplace Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.
Online marketplace Flipkart said it had raised $700 million in fresh round of funding. The fresh round of funding brought five new investors such as Baillie Gifford, Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital, T. Rowe Price Associates and Qatar Investment Authority on board.
About Flipkart:
Flipkart is India's largest electronic commerce, founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
It operates exclusively in India, where it is headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, though Flipkart is actually registered and based in Singapore.
Flipkart has launched its own product range under the name "DigiFlip" which include products available under the brand name Digiflip are tablets,USBs,Laptop Bags,etc.
The acquisition of India’s financial advisory start-up firm BigDecisions.com for an undisclosed sum by News Corp.
Last month, News Corp acquired 25 per cent stake in Indian realty portal PropTiger.Com for $30 million (Rs. 185 crore) as part of its strategy to expand presence in digital media.
About the firms:
BigDecisions.Com started in 2013 by Manish Shah and Gaurav Roy help Indian consumers make smarter financial decisions through interactive, decision-making tools powered by sophisticated algorithms and data.
News Corporation or News Corp. was an American multinational mass media corporation headquartered in New York City. It was the world's second-largest media group in 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world’s third largest in entertainment in 2009.

December 22

A joint venture of GMR Infrastructure Ltd. and Megawide Construction Corporation of Philippines to construct an international airport in Philippines.
A joint venture of GMR Infrastructure Ltd. and Megawide Construction Corporation of Philippines that will construct, develop, renovate, expand and operate the Mactan Cebu international airport in the Philippines.
It is a 25-year concession agreement that GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), the joint venture firm, has signed, and the airport in Mactan Cebu is the first in the Philippines to be privatised under the administration’s ambitious PPP (public private partnership) aimed at modernising key infrastructure assets.
About GMR :
GMR Group is one of the fastest growing infrastructure enterprises in the country with interests in Airports, Energy, Highways and Urban Infrastructure sectors. Employing the Public Private Partnership model, the Group has successfully implemented several iconic infrastructure projects in India.
BHEL bagged a thermal power project contract in Turkey.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has achieved a breakthrough in its international business by making its maiden entry in the Turkish power market by bagging Rs. 130 crore contract for rehabilitation of electrostatic precipitators (ESPs).
Against stiff international competitive bidding, the company, which has heavy plate and vessels plant here, bagged the contract for rehabilitation of three units of ESPs for the 430 MW Tuncbilek Thermal Power Project in Turkey on engineering, procurement and construction basis.
BHEL CEO: B. Prasada Rao.

December 23

The insurance bill been pending in Rajya Sabha approved.
Government approved promulgation of an Ordinance to hike Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in the insurance sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent.
The Insurance Bill, which has been pending since 2008 in the Rajya Sabha, seeks to increase the composite foreign investment limit in insurance companies to 49 per cent from current level of 26 per cent.
The 49 per cent cap would include both FDI and foreign portfolio investments.
The proposed hike in foreign investment limit to 49 per cent in the insurance sector has potential to attract up to USD 7-8 billion (about Rs. 50,000 crore) from overseas investors, giving a major boost to the segment.
Yes Bank for onlending to SHGs, farmers gets $200 million from ADB.
Private sector lender Yes Bank has raised $200 million in an unsecured loan from Asian Development Bank for onlending to small farm households and rural womens’ self help groups (SHG).
Apart from the unsecured loan, Yes Bank said ADB will also provide a Capacity Development Technical Assistance grant up to $1 million, which will be used for capacity building and improving the financial literacy of women borrowers.
Yes Bank’s chief executive and managing director Rana Kapoor.
Cipla bags Rs. 1,100 crore order from South African government.
Drug major Cipla’s subsidiary has bagged an order worth 2 billion rand (around Rs. 1,100 crore) for HIV drugs from the South African government.
Cipla Medpro, the South African subsidiary of the Indian firm, has bagged the order as part of the South African government’s 2015-17 National ARV tender.
Cipla Medpro CEO Paul Miller.
Snapdeal launches online product for farmers on account of Kisan Diwas.
Celebrating Kisan Diwas, e-retailing firm Snapdeal.com today announced the launch of “The Agri Store”, offering products like seeds, fertiliser and irrigation tools, among others, to farmers. A Hindi version of the store will also be launched soon to aid farmers in making an informed decision.
The Agri Store aims to offer wide variety of farm items from seeds to fertilisers, farming tools and irrigation tools.
About Snapdeal:
Snapdeal.com, which started in 2010, is one of the fastest growing e-commerce company in India with over 60 per cent of its orders coming from mobile phones.
Snapdeal.com CEO and Co-founder Kunal Bahl.

December 24

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has signed agreements with Mitsui O.S.K.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has signed agreements with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd (MOL), one of the world’s largest and reputed shipping companies, to handle transportation of liquefied ethane from North America to India.
MOL will supervise the construction of six Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs), ordered by Reliance. MOL will also operate and manage the vessels after they are built and delivered.
About:
MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.)  is a Japanese transport company headquartered in Toranomon, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The company's main area of operations is international shipping.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is an Indian conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The company operates in five major segments: exploration and production, refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and telecommunications.
The group is present in many business sectors across India including petrochemicals, construction, communications, energy, health care, science and technology, natural resources, retail, textiles, and logistics.
RIL is the second-largest publicly traded company in India by market capitalisation and is the second largest company in India by revenue after the state-run Indian Oil Corporation.

Snapdeal and India Post to work on bringing weavers online.
Online marketplace Snapdeal has partnered India Post to jointly work on bringing thousands of weavers and artisans from Varanasi through its website.
Snapdeal has launched a pilot with India Post to set-up facilitation desks at Varanasi post offices to enable local weavers to sell on its platform.
This is an endeavour by Snapdeal and India Post to empower local artisans, small and medium entrepreneurs to sustain their livelihood by providing a platform to popularise their indigenous products.
Snapdeal CEO and co-founder Kunal Bahl.
About:
Snapdeal.com is an online marketplace, headquartered in New Delhi, India.
Snapdeal has grown to become the largest online marketplace in India offering an assortment of 4 million+ products across diverse categories from over 50,000 sellers, shipping to 4,000 towns and cities in India.
The Department of Posts, trading as India Post, is a government-operated postal system in India, it is generally referred to within India as "the post office".
The postal service is under the Department of Posts, which is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of theGovernment of India. 
Minister of Communications and Information Technology: Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad.
CIL and GAIL sign agreement to convert coal into gas.
Coal India Ltd. (CIL), the world’s largest producer, and state gas utility GAIL India Ltd., signed agreements to invest Rs. 9,000 crore in a plant to convert coal into gas and use this fuel to manufacture fertilizer.
CIL and GAIL, along with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) and Fertilizer Corp of India Ltd (FCIL), will set up an integrated coal gasification-cum-fertilizer and ammonium nitrate complex at Talcher in Odisha by 2019.

December 26

Satya Nadella meets Mr. Modi discussed about Digital India.
Keen to invest more in India, Microsoft’s Chief Satya Nadella, and pledged support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative.
Besides Mr. Modi, Mr. Nadella also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and discussed modernisation and security of the government’s digital infrastructure, among other issues.
Microsoft was keen on collaborating with the government in providing last mile Internet connectivity, especially through the Wi-Fi technology.

Prasar Bharati trying to expand online reach.
Prasar Bharati is trying to expand its online presence to reach a wider audience.
Referring to the young generation’s increasing use of Internet, if Vividh Bharati had online presence then its reach would widen.
As these days the youth are listening to everything on the Internet. If Vividh Bharati goes online then listeners from California to Vancouver will be able to listen to it. 
TRAI rejects proposal to charge fee on WhatsApp, Viber and Skype.
Indian telecom companies have been quite vocal about their dislike for over-the-top (OTT) services such as WhatsApp, Viber and the likes.
Last month there was a buzz around TRAI implementing fees on such apps, and a new report suggests otherwise.
TRAI has rejected Telco’s’ proposal to charge fee on popular services like WhatsApp, Viber and Skype.
TRAI has decided not to initiate the process because it now believes that ‘operators can offset their losses through growth in data revenue’.
About TRAI:
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was established February 20, 1997 by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997.
This act was established to regulate telecom services and tariffs, which were previously vested in the Central Government.
TRAI Chairman: Rahul Khullar.

December 27

Japan unleashes fresh stimulus to spur growth.
Japan’s Cabinet, approved about 3.5 trillion yen ($29 billion) in fresh stimulus, including subsidies and job creation, to help pull the world’s third-largest economy out of recession.
The Cabinet endorsed the plan proposed by as it wrapped up work for 2014. It includes 420 billion yen ($3.5 billion) earmarked for helping stagnant regional economies.
Japan’s Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe.

December 28

Sebi to set up panel to push MF sales via internet, mobiles.
To re-energise the mutual fund industry, regulator Sebi plans to set up an expert panel to suggest measures for increasing distribution of MF products through digital modes such as internet and mobiles.
The panel, a sub-committee of Sebi's Advisory Committee on Mutual Funds, will look into various options and steps required to boost the penetration of mutual fund products through use of digital channels for their sale.

About:
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India. It was established in the year 1988 and given statutory powers on 12 April 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.
SEBI Chairman: Upendra Kumar Sinha.

December 29

Blue Star has collaborated with Eureka Forbes.
Air-conditioning firm Blue Star has collaborated with Eureka Forbes, a major player in offering water purification products, to launch a range of water coolers with in-built Aquaguard water purifiers.
The new range of water coolers from the stable of the two reputed firms are targeted at educational institutions, hostels, canteens, factories, hospitals and commercial establishments, among others.
About:
Eureka Forbes is a consumer durable company which was formed from a joint venture between the Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s Aushim Gupta & Company Ltd. based in Mumbai, and Electrolux of Sweden in 1982.
Eureka Forbes started as a small firm to introduce domestic water purifier – the Aquaguard and is now a multi-product, multi-channel organization.
Blue Star is India's largest central airconditioning company with an annual turnover of Rs. 2800 crores. It fulfils the airconditioning needs of a large number of corporate, commercial and residential customers.

L&T bagged an offshore contract from ONGC.
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) said it has bagged an offshore contract worth Rs. 894 crore from Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for additional development of the Vasai East project.
The Rs. 2,500 crore project will result in incremental oil production of 1.83 million metric tonne (MMT) and incremental gas production of 1.971 billion cubic metres (BCM) by 2030.
L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE) has bagged the contract from ONGC to improve recovery factor of Vasai East field where production started in 2008, and it is scheduled to be completed by April 2016.

December 30

Junglee.com, a search and comparison site by Amazon announced the launch of pre-owned vehicles category to its offering.
According to a company release, customers can now find around 25,000 pre-owned vehicles from around 160 cities across the country. Junglee’s vision is to help customers find the best place to buy anything.
The website has also launched the automotive accessories store where customers can find and compare over 80,000 car and bike accessories available from more than 100 online sellers.
About Junglee.com
Junglee.com is an online shopping service by Amazon which enables customers to find and discover products from online and offline retailers in India.
Junglee.com started to use its database technology to create a single window marketplace on the Web by making every item from every supplier available for purchase, thereby saving consumers and enterprises time and money.
Web shoppers could locate, compare and transact millions of products from across the Internet shopping mall through one window.

Government has cleared eight foreign investment proposals worth about Rs. 34.77 crore.
Government has cleared eight foreign investment proposals worth about Rs. 34.77 crore, including that of CSC Computer Sciences International Operations and Life Positive Pvt Ltd.
CSC has sought permission for setting up a proposed LLP with an investment of about Rs. 30 crore.
While, Life Positive seeks to increase foreign equity participation from existing 96 per cent to 99 per cent and induction of further FDI of about Rs. 4.61 crore by foreign collaborators.
Among others, government cleared proposals of Mahanagar Gas Limited, Medicamen Biotech Ltd, TutorVista Global Private Ltd, Ventura (India) Pvt Ltd, Syssmart Services LLP and Mahindra CIE Automotive Ltd.

Modi approves IFCI to make it a government company.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, approved infusion of Rs. 60 crore in Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) Ltd to make it a government company by way of acquisition of preference shares from existing shareholder.

The current shareholding of Government of India in IFCI after inclusion of the preference share capital was 47.93 per cent.
Therefore, IFCI is not a Government Company under section 2(45) of the Companies Act, 2013.
A contribution of Rs. 60 crore to the capital of the company would raise the shareholding of the Government to 51 percent.
About IFCI:
IFCI was set up in 1948 as a statutory corporation under the Industrial Finance Corporation Act, 1948. The Act has since been repealed by the Industrial Finance Corporation.
It is converted under (Transfer of Undertaking and Repeal) Act, 1993.
IFCI Ltd was registered under the Companies Act, 1956 on March 31, 1993.
Venezuela entered recession with economic growth shrinking in the first three quarters of 2014. It was announced by the Central bank of Venezuela.
The economy of Venezuela shrank 2.3 percent in the third quarter after shrinking 4.8 percent in the first quarter and 4.9 percent in the second quarter.
Besides, the inflation of Venezuela has reached 63 percent in the month-ending November 2014 which is the highest inflation in the world. Price increases were the sharpest especially for housing, food and alcoholic beverages, and restaurants and hotels.
Though Venezuela government has introduced mandatory price cuts to control inflation but has not managed to get the inflationary spiral under control. Inflation has been aggravated by severe shortages of basic goods and fall down of crude prices.

 


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