ECONOMY - 2015 November

November 1

Reliance Communications to merge Sistema Shyam Tele with itself.
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) is merging the telecom business of Russian conglomerate Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL) that operates MTS brand with itself in an all-stock deal worth Rs. 4,500 crore, marking the start of the much-anticipated consolidation in India’s telecom sector.
R-Com signed a definitive agreement with Sistema JSFC, a publicly-traded holding company in Russia, for demerger of SSTL. As a result, SSTL will acquire and hold a 10% equity stake in R-Com.

November 2

‘Project Loon’ in India: Google, govt working on balloon Internet project.
Google is working with the government on a pilot project for providing Internet connectivity by using large balloons.
Google, under its 'Project Loon', is using big balloons floating at a height of 20 kilometers above earth surface for transmission of Internet services. It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (the US) and Brazil.
Google may initially partner with BSNL for testing this technology by using broadband spectrum in 2.6 Ghz band.
About Project Loon:
The technology, used for 4G services, has potential to replace mobile towers as it can directly transmit signals on 4G mobile phones.
To use LTE, Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.
Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day.

November 3

Facebook and BSNL partnered to set up 100 WiFi hotspots in rural India.
Facebook partnered with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to create 100 WiFi hotspots in rural areas of western and southern India.
During the partnership, Facebook will invest 5 crore rupees per annum for buying bandwidth from BSNL. The hotspots will be set up by BSNL selected vendor Quad Zen and Trimax.
Under the joint initiative, Facebook has chosen 100 villages to provide Wi-Fi hotspots on a revenue-sharing model. The social media major will spend 5 lakh per site a year for buying bandwidth from BSNL for a period of three years.
As per the project, the first half an hour will be free for the consumers. In addition, the WiFi network will have a capacity to allow an average of 2000 individuals to latch on at the same time.
Qaud Zen will be responsible for equipment sourcing and sales and marketing initiatives for the south-west region while Trimax will work out for the northern region in an open process.
BSNL expects to complete the WiFi rollout by 31 December 2015.

November 4

Eight Core Industries of IIP grew by 3.2% in September 2015; Fastest in 4 months.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) announced that the eight core industries of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew by 3.2 per cent in September 2015 as compared to 2.6 per cent in September 2014.
The growth was calculated with base year 2004-05 and was the highest in four months since May 2015 that saw 4.4 per cent growth.
However, the cumulative growth rate in the April-September period of FY 2015-16 was pegged at 2.3 per cent, lower than 5.1 per cent registered during the same period in FY 2014-15.
The eight core industries - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity - comprises about 38 per cent of IIP.

Govt hikes rabi pulses MSP by Rs. 250/qtl, wheat by Rs. 75/qtl.
the Centre hiked the support price to farmers for masoor and gram dals sharply by Rs. 250 a quintal each to boost production in the ongoing rabi season and reduce dependency on imports.
Apart from raising the minimum support price (MSP) of pulses, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a bonus of Rs. 75 per quintal for gram and masoor dals over and above the support price.
The MSP of wheat, the main rabi crop, has been increased by Rs. 75 to Rs. 1,525 a quintal for the 2015-16 rabi season, while that of oilseeds has been increased by Rs. 250 a quintal.

November 5

Manufacturing sector growth cools to 22 month low in October.
Growth in the manufacturing sector cooled to its slowest in 22 months in October as domestic demand softened, a private survey showed, adding pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to usher in long-promised reforms.
The 'Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by Markit, fell to 50.7 in October from September's 51.2. The 50 mark divides expansion from contraction.
A sub-index covering new orders dropped to a two-year low of 51.2 from 52.5 as the uncertain economic climate deterred clients from committing to new projects, Markit said. New export orders grew slightly faster than September but at a modest pace, and levels were still well below those in late summer.

Amazon to open its first-ever physical book store in Seattle. Inc is set to open its first physical book store in Seattle's University Village, Seattle, USA.
The brick-and-mortar store, Amazon Books, is a physical extension of with books being selected based on customer ratings and pre-orders on
The store will also have an option to test drive Amazon's devices such as Kindle, Echo, Fire TV and Fire Tablet.
Amazon Books, which is located in Seattle's University Village, will be open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

November 6

Alibaba Group to buy "China's YouTube" for about $3.7 billion.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd agreed to buy Youku Tudou Inc - popularly known as "China's YouTube" - for about $3.7 billion.
The deal announced on Friday will give the e-commerce giant access to more than half a billion online video users, accelerating its push into the Chinese digital media market.
Deal value:
The new offer values the rest of Youku Tudou at about $4.8 billion.
The new offer represents a premium of 35.1 per cent over Youku Tudou's closing price on October 15.
Any deal would include the $1.1 billion of cash held by Youku Tudou, Alibaba's chief financial officer, Maggie Wu, said in October.
Based on this, Alibaba will end up paying about $3.7 billion under its revised offer.

November 7

Govt to impose 0.5% Swachh Bharat cess on services from November 15.
All services, including air travel, telephony, eating out and banking will become expensive from November 15 as the government decided to impose a 0.5 per cent cess on all taxable services to fund the Swachh Bharat programme.
The additional cess would be over and above the 14 per cent Service Tax rate which is already being levied and may yield the government an additional about Rs. 400 crore during the remainder of the current fiscal.
The proceeds from this cess will be exclusively used for Swachh Bharat initiatives.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in Budget 2015-16 proposed to levy a Swachh Bharat cess of up to 2 per cent on all or certain services, if need arises.

November 8

India better placed among emerging economies in facing external vulnerabilities: FSDC.
India’s financial sector regulators agreed on the need to continue to be in a ''state of full preparedness'' for managing external vulnerabilities faced by the Indian economy.
India appeared to be much better placed on the back of improvement in its macro-economic fundamentals and large forex reserves, which provides cushion against financial market volatility.
There is wide expectation among economy watchers that any US Federal Reserve rate hike in December could exacerbate volatility in financial markets.
At the FSDC meeting, which was attended by Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha among other regulators, the Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian gave an overview of the state of macro-economy highlighting important issues.
Boeing teams up with Tata to build Apache fuselages in India.
Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems announced a joint venture to manufacture aerostructures for aircraft and collaborate on integrated systems development opportunities in India.
The JV will initially create a manufacturing center of excellence to produce aerostructures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter and to compete for additional manufacturing work packages across Boeing platforms, both commercial and defense.
Boeing and Tata group companies have established partnerships in India to manufacture aerostructures for Boeing's commercial and military aircraft.
L&T inks pact to sell Kattupalli Port to Adani group.
Larsen & Toubro has entered into an in-principle agreement with Adani Group to sell Kattupalli Port in Tamil Nadu.
The port is being sold to Adani Kattupalli Pvt Ltd (AKPPL), a subsidiary of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone.
Currently, L&T operates both the port and shipyard through its subsidiary, L&T Shipbuilding Ltd. The strategic sale is subject to receiving the necessary approvals from the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Centre, and the port being demerged from LTSB.
About Kattupalli Port:
Kattupalli is a deep-water all-weather port with an international container terminal located 35 km from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and is well connected to the hinterland. The port commenced commercial operations in January 2013.
Trucks entering Delhi to pay green tax.
After six days of refusal and bargaining on financial terms, the concessionaire employed by South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) finally agreed to levy a new 'green tax' on trucks coming into Delhi. SMYR Consortium LLP, which collects toll at all 127 entry points into the city, agreed to charge the additional 'Environment Compensation Charge' (ECC).
The Supreme Court had ordered that Rs. 700-1300 be charged as green tax on all light commercial vehicles and heavy goods trucks that enter Delhi but are not destined for the Capital from November 1.

November 9

India better placed among emerging economies in facing external vulnerabilities: FSDC.
India’s financial sector regulators agreed on the need to continue to be in a ''state of full preparedness'' for managing external vulnerabilities faced by the Indian economy.
India appeared to be much better placed on the back of improvement in its macro-economic fundamentals and large forex reserves, which provides cushion against financial market volatility.
There is wide expectation among economy watchers that any US Federal Reserve rate hike in December could exacerbate volatility in financial markets.
At the FSDC meeting, which was attended by Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha among other regulators, the Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian gave an overview of the state of macro-economy highlighting important issues.
Boeing teams up with Tata to build Apache fuselages in India.
Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems announced a joint venture to manufacture aerostructures for aircraft and collaborate on integrated systems development opportunities in India.
The JV will initially create a manufacturing center of excellence to produce aerostructures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter and to compete for additional manufacturing work packages across Boeing platforms, both commercial and defense.
Boeing and Tata group companies have established partnerships in India to manufacture aerostructures for Boeing's commercial and military aircraft.

November 10

Oct retail inflation edges up for third month to 5%.
The annual consumer price inflation edged up to 5.0 per cent in October, up for the third straight month, compared with 4.41 per cent a month ago.
Retail food inflation in October came in at 5.25 per cent, higher than 3.88 per cent recorded in September.
Note: The Reserve Bank of India estimates retail inflation to be at 5.8 per cent by January 2016.

Alibaba sets new record with over $14 billion sales on Singles Day.
Alibaba created a new record in online sales netting $14.33 billion on the annual Singles Day, the world's biggest online shopping day, with shoppers splurging on a variety of products despite the world's second biggest economy experiencing its worst slowdown since 2009.
China's e-commerce giant, which accounts for eight per cent of the country's total retail volume, said its total sales far exceeded the 57.1 billion yuan ($10 billion) transactions it generated last year.
September industrial output growth slows to 3.6%.
Annual industrial output grew at a slower-than-expected pace of 3.6 per cent in September, dampened by a slower expansion in the mining sector, government data.
A survey of economists by Reuters had estimated industrial output would grow 4.7 per cent in September compared with a downwardly revised 6.3 per cent growth in August.

November 11

Govt plans to sell 5% stake in Container Corp.
The government plans to sell a 5 per cent stake in state-run Container Corp, a notice seeking interest from investment banks to manage the sale worth about $200 million at current market price showed.
The government, which owns 61.8 per cent of Container Corp, will sell the stake through a stock market auction, the notice said.
Investment banks need to submit their interest by December 2, the notice, posted on the website of the divestment department of the government, showed.

Alstom to supply 800 electric locomotives to Indian Railways in $3 billion deal.
Alstom has won a contract worth around $3 billion to supply India's railways with 800 electric locomotives and set up a local manufacturing plant, a railways spokesman.
The contract is one of the largest awarded to a foreign firm since India last year opened up limited parts of its state-owned railways to 100 per cent foreign direct investment, and comes as the government tries to modernise its vast but outdated rail network.

GE lands $2.6 billion deal to supply Indian railways with 1000 diesel locomotives.
General Electric Co has won a $2.6 billion contract to supply India's railways with 1000 diesel locomotives, as the state-owned network looks to foreign capital to help it modernise.
The US company will also invest $200 million to build local manufacturing and service facilities, GE.
In most of our growth markets, localization is typically a key part of any infrastructure deal we do.
The contract is also one of first and largest to be awarded to a foreign firm since India last year allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment in some parts of its railways, and comes as New Delhi embarks on a huge modernisation programme to overhaul its vast but dilapidated network.
Keen to upgrade the country's creaking infrastructure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 's government has said it will invest $137 billion on its railways by 2020.
It will bring this technology to a market that needs it. For them, this is really aligned with 'Make in India'.

November 12

Govt goes on reforms overdrive; okays FDI in 15 sectors.
The Central government on the eve of Diwali went on a reforms overdrive and announced foreign direct investment (FDI) and liberalisation in 15 sectors.


Limited liability partnerships, downstream investment and approval conditions


Investment by companies owned and controlled by non-resident Indians (NRIs)


Establishment and transfer of ownership and control of Indian companies


Agriculture and animal husbandry




Mining and mineral separation of titanium bearing minerals and ores, its value addition and integrated activities




Broadcasting sector


Civil aviation


Increase of sectoral cap


Construction development sector


Cash and carry wholesale trading/ wholesale trading (including sourcing from MSEs)


Single brand retail trading and duty-free shops


Banking-private sector


Manufacturing sector

Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev finalized takeover of SAB Miller.
Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev announced a final agreement to buy SABMiller for 71 billion pounds ($107 billion), in a deal that will combine the world’s two biggest brewers and create a company that makes almost a third of the beer consumed worldwide.
In an effort to assure regulatory approval of the transaction, SABMiller agreed to sell its 58 per cent stake in a venture with fellow brewer Molson Coors for $12 billion. The deal, which also includes rights to the Miller brand name worldwide, should ease concerns that AB InBev would have a stranglehold on the U.S. market after the merger.
The two companies own hundreds of brands, including Budweiser, Corona, Grolsch and Stella Artois, and AB InBev expects to cut costs by $1.4 billion after the takeover.

November 13

Thomas Cook India signs pact with OYO Rooms.
Travel services provider Thomas Cook India has entered into a partnership with online aggregator of budget hotels, OYO Rooms, offering access to over 3,200 hotels, spread over 140 cities across India.
The company’s partnership with OYO Rooms aims at providing a wide range of standardised stay options, optimal locations (both business and leisure areas) and maximised savings.

Practo, Uber enter into pact.
Healthcare booking platform Practo and taxi-hailing platform Uber announced a global partnership to help people reach doctors easily.
Across India, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore, those who book an appointment on Practo’s mobile application will be able to view the closest Uber available along with the appointment reminder alert.
The next phase of integration will involve notifying the user to request for an Uber, an hour prior to the appointment.
The partnership comes with an India-specific inaugural offer where any existing or new user booking an appointment on Practo till November 30, will get a free ride to and from the doctor’s clinic.

November 14

Online auto classifieds portal CarTrade acquired CarWale.
Online auto classifieds firm acquired car-selling portal from Automotive Exchange Pvt. Ltd. in a full-cash deal worth Rs. 600 crore.
As a part of the acquisition, German media giant Axel Springer exited CarWale by selling its entire shareholding to CarTrade.
About CarTrade & CarWale:
Together, the CarTrade and the CarWale get over 32 million monthly visits and work with about 9000 new and used car dealer partners who connect car manufacturers with buyers. The deal gave a passage to more than 225000 used cars to be listed for sale now.

IRDA forms panel for transparency in motor insurance.
Insurance regulator IRDAI set up a seven-member committee to suggest ways to bring transparency in payouts made to the auto dealers by the insurers for getting motor insurance business.
The committee to be headed by a senior official of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will comprise members from insurance companies and auto industry.
It has also been asked to align with the Insurance Act, regulations, guidelines on the provisions for expenses of management, and outsourcing, among others.
To bring transparency and uniformity in such activities, to design standard formats for agreements (between insurers and dealers) on outsourcing and recommendations on draft guidelines, are among others terms of reference for the committee.
Earlier in August, the Finance Ministry had said it had issued summons to 16 insurance companies and was investigating the agreement between car manufacturers and insurers for wrongfully availing CENVAT credit in the range of Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 2,500 crore.

November 15

Exports fall 17.53% in October, trade gap narrows.
India's merchandise exports fell 17.53 per cent in October to $21.35 billion, mainly due to a steep fall in shipments of petroleum products, iron ore and engineering, amid a broader demand slowdown.
The imports too shrank an annual 21.15 per cent to $31.12 billion in October, narrowing the trade gap to $9.76 billion, from $13.57 billion in the same month last year.
Exports in October 2014 were valued at $25.89 billion.
Gold imports during the month under review showed a sharp decline of 59.5 per cent at $1.70 billion.

WPI inflation at (-) 3.81% in Oct; pulses, onion expensive.
Inflation rate moving up slightly to (-) 3.81 per cent in October as pulses, vegetables and onion turned costlier.
This is 12 month in a row when the inflation at wholesale level remained in the negative territory. It has been in the negative zone since November last year.
The Wholesale Price Index-based inflation was (-) 4.54 per cent in September. In October last year, it was 1.66 per cent.
Pulses and onion among the food items category turned costlier with inflation at 52.98 per cent and 85.66 per cent respectively during October.
The rate of price rise in case of vegetables was at 2.56 per cent as against (-) 19.37 per cent in the same month last year

November 16

Baba Ramdev launches Patanjali noodles, plans 6 manufacturing units.
Patanajali Ayurved, the FMCG venture promoted by yoga guru Baba Ramdev, launched noodles aiming to take on Nestle's Maggi which has returned to the market after a 5 month ban.
The venture plans to set up six manufacturing plants for 'Patanjali Atta Noodles' to add to the existing unit based in Haridwar as looks to cater to more states.
Nestle India had relaunched its Maggi noodles in the market last week after Bombay High Court had lifted ban on it imposed by FSSAI and Maharathstra FDA.

Apollo Tyres' Reifencom acquisition puts it on course to become a global biggie.
India's second-largest tyre maker Apollo Tyres' is on course to add new value to its business after announcing the acquisition of German tyre distributor Reifencom GmbH.
The new logistics and retail entity has been acquired for euro 45.6 million (around Rs. 320 crore). This acquisition would further expand its trading presence to six major markets - Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark.
Note: Chennai-based MRF Tyres is the largest Indian tyre company in India.

November 17

CCI imposed penalties on 3 Airlines for concerted action in Fixing Fuel Surcharge.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed penalties upon 3 Airlines for concerted action in fixing and revising Fuel Surcharge (FSC) for transporting cargo. These 3 Airlines are Jet Airways (India) Ltd, InterGlobe Aviation Limited and Spice Jet Limited.
Accordingly, penalties of 151.69 crore rupees, 63.74 crore rupees and 42.48 crore rupees were imposed upon Jet Airways (India) Ltd., InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGO) and Spice Jet Limited respectively. Besides, cease and desist order was also issued against the Airlines.
No penalty was imposed upon Air India Limited as its conduct was not found to be parallel with other Airlines.

Reliance Power exits Tilaiya project.
Reliance Power has managed a clean and quick exit from the 4,000 MW Tilaiya ultra mega power project in Jharkhand.
A little over six months after serving a notice for termination of the power purchase agreement for the project, Reliance Power has done an out-of-court settlement with distribution utilities of 10 States.
The company had cited delays, of over five-and-a-half years, on the part of the procurers in handing over land and related infrastructure for the power station.
Reliance Power had won the right to develop the Tilaiya UMPP in 2009 through competitive bidding.
In the aftermath of the termination notice for Tialiya, the Coal Ministry had cancelled one coal mine in Madhya Pradesh - Chhatrasal - allotted to Reliance Power.

November 18

Govt approves additional 10% stake sale in Coal India.
The cabinet has cleared the sale of another 10 per cent stake in state-run Coal India Ltd that could raise as much as $3 billion.
Bankers have already put in bids to manage a similar stake sale in the company as part of New Delhi's aim to raise more than $10 billion by March by selling minority stakes in state firms. The government owns about 79 per cent of the world's largest coal miner.
The divestment could raise as much as Rs. 20000 crore ($3.02 billion).

Marriott to buy Starwood to create world's biggest hotel chain.
Marriott International Inc will buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc for $12.2 billion to create the world's largest hotel chain with top brands including Sheraton, Ritz Carlton and the Autograph Collection.
The combined company will have over 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide, giving Marriott a greater presence in markets such as Europe, Latin America and Asia and allowing it to better compete with apartment-sharing startups such as Airbnb.

November 19

TCS, Intel launched Centre of Excellence for IoT in Hyderabad.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's largest software exporter, launched a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Internet of Things (IoT) in collaboration with Intel at the TCS campus in Hyderabad.
Features of the CoE for IoT
Its focus is to integrate IoT solutions developed by TCS on Intel IoT platforms and to fast-track creation of end-to-end solutions.
It will enable the creation of indigenous and innovative solutions, establish a strong ecosystem of IoT, cloud computing, and a software-defined network.
It will help in creating new business opportunities; simplify product development and help customers deal with rapid changes in technology.
About Internet of Things
It refers to a network of internet connected devices which are embedded with electronic sensors and data transmitting technologies.
By using the Internet, the data collected by sensors in the IoT devices like cars, power systems and even as small as tooth brushes transmitted to other networked devices and data processing systems.
The information generated by processing the data will be used by the companies and individuals to make better decisions.

November 21

Ola teams up with MapmyIndia for better navigation.
Ola announced its partnership with MapmyIndia by acquiring a multi-year licence.
Through this partnership, Ola will get complete access to mapping data from MapmyIndia, which has the IP ownership for the most comprehensive, accurate and updated digital map data for the country.
This first-of-its-kind partnership in the country would also enable consistent map updates from MapmyIndia to Ola, making the data rich and relevant.

November 22

Walmart offers entrepreneur development programme for women.
Walmart India announced an entrepreneur development programme for women, a move to encourage women owned businesses (WOBs) in the supply chain. This will include softer payment terms for them in their first year of empanelment with Walmart India.
As an ongoing commitment to empowering women around the world and helping WOBs succeed and grow, Walmart has committed to source $20 billion from women for its US business and double sourcing from women in international markets.
About Walmart India:
Wal-Mart India Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart Stores Inc., owns and operates 21 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in 9 states across India. The company plans to open 50 more stores by 2020.
AAI signed MoU with IL & FS to bolster overseas expansion.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IL & FS Global Financial Services to spread its wings overseas.
Through this tie-up, AAI aims to go global from local, considering its expertise and capabilities in airport development and operation and management. The authority will get an opportunity to identify airport development opportunities in Middle East, Africa regions as well as in CIS countries.
Over a period of time, AAI has developed more than 60 airports in metro and non-metro cities in India.
Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL & FS) is one of India's leading infrastructure development and finance companies.

November 23

SEBI signed MoU with Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on bilateral cooperation.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) on bilateral cooperation and technical assistance.
This MoU will further facilitate training and technical assistance program between the two jurisdictions.
The MoU seeks to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two signatories. It aims at enhancing investor protection and creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries.
In the past, SEBI has been actively engaging with the securities market regulators in the SAARC region. Till date, SEBI has signed 20 bilateral MoUs with a number of countries. India and Bangladesh both are signatories to the multilateral MoU of International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Foodpanda ties up with IRCTC.
Food ordering portal Foodpanda has tied up with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for order and delivery of food to the passengers.
Passengers can now order meals of their choice through foodpanda’s aggregator model from a wide variety of cuisine options. To ensure that food reaches consumers in the best condition, foodpanda will deploy its own delivery fleet to fulfil all deliveries.
Customers will have the choice to order meals at least 2 hours in advance of the travel. Delivery of food will be aligned to the train arrival time at the station and consumers can pay for the order in advance online or make on the spot cash payment as per their convenience, the company said in a statement.

November 24

I-T dept launches PAN-based litigation management system.
The Income Tax department has activated a PAN-based online system which enables the taxman to access cases in their jurisdiction on a click, amongst a building database of over 5 lakh appeals and 1.50 lakh judgments.
The new facility is part of the National Judicial Reference System (NJRS), an electronic repository of cases under the direct taxes category or income tax pending in legal forums like the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Authority for Advanced Ruling (AAR), various High Courts and the Supreme Court.
The tax department is on a spree to ensure more and more number of people and taxpayers in the country use the PAN card. It has recently launched a business application software which uses PAN to track all the transactions and financial records of an individual and entity across the country.

November 25

Govt announces interest equalisation scheme to boost exports.
The Central government has announced an INTEREST EQUALISATION SCHEME on pre and post shipment rupee export credit with effect from 1st April, 2015 for five years.
The rate of interest equalisation would be 3 per cent. The scheme would be available to all exports made by small and medium scale enterprises across 416 tariff lines. Merchant exporters will not be eligible for the sop.
Sectors under scheme: The scheme covers mostly labour intensive and employment generating sectors like processed agriculture/food items, handicrafts, handmade carpet (including silk), handloom products, coir and coir manufactures, jute raw and yarn, readymade garments etc. Fabrics of all types, toys, sports goods, paper and stationary, cosmetics and toiletries, leather goods and footwear, ceramics and allied products, glass and glassware are also included. Medical and scientific instruments, optical frames, lenses, sunglasses, auto components industrial machinery, electrical and engineering items, manufactured by SMEs are also covered.
The scheme will be evaluated after three years.
The scheme was earlier called Interest Subvention Scheme.

IDBI Bank becomes first commercial state-owned bank to raise $350 million via selling green bonds.
IDBI Bank has become the first commercial state-owned bank to raise $350 million via selling green bonds, where proceeds are used for clean energy projects.
It have got huge oversubscription more than $1.10 billion.
Note: Earlier a few months ago, privately-held Yes Bank sold green bonds, but the offer was on euro denominated currency.

November 26

Japan announces $10.6 billion in climate financing.
Gearing up for global warming talks it plans to provide 1.3 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) in climate financing a year for developing countries from 2020, including public and private funds.
The financing plan is an increase from its current assistance of about 1 trillion yen ($8.2 billion) a year and is meant to help industrialized countries fulfill a commitment to extend a total of $100 billion a year to help developing countries cope with or stave off climate change.
Funds will go to projects such as urban railways, geothermal power generation and training, and other areas where Japan has strong expertise.
Japan's emissions are about 10.6 metric tons per person, up from 9.2 metric tons per person in 2010.

Barclays fined for failings on $2.9 million elephant deal.
Barclays Plc. was fined 72.1 million pounds ($109 million) by UK regulators for failing to fully probe a group of “politically exposed” ultra-high-net-worth clients tied to a 1.9 billion-pound transaction.
The lender executed the so-called elephant deal in 2011 and 2012 for a number of clients, the financial conduct authority (FCA).
The latest fine tied to past misconduct comes as a blow to Chairman John McFarlane, who has made a “high performance ethic” one of his three priorities as Barclays seeks to restore investor confidence and bolster earnings growth.
''Barclays ignored its own process designed to safeguard against the risk of financial crime and overlooked obvious red flags to win new business and generate significant revenue'', Mark Steward, the FCA’s director of enforcement
The fine is the largest that has ever been imposed by the FCA and its predecessor for failings tied to financial crime.

November 27

India to launch $1-b equity fund for renewable energy.
India’s central government aims to introduce a US$1 billion private equity fund dedicated to the renewable energy sector, according to India’s energy minister Piyush Goyal.
The government plans to collect US$4 billion each year over three or four years for a clean energy fund.
The country is confident of meeting its 175GW of renewable capacity by 2022 targets due to falling prices and technological innovations.
Under the Indo-German alliance, to help develop India’s Green Energy Corridors, which will transport electricity for states rich in renewable resources, such as Rajasthan, to major areas of energy consumption such as Delhi and Maharashtra.

November 28

Cipla signs pact with FIL capital.
Pharmaceutical major Cipla Ltd., its wholly-owned subsidiary Cipla Health, and FIL Capital Investments (Mauritius) II Ltd. signed an investment agreement concerning the Cipla’s consumer healthcare business which was divested as a subsidiary in July this year.
The investment is subject to approvals from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the Competition Commission of India and the transfer of the consumer healthcare business to Cipla Health Ltd.
For the financial year 2014-15, the OTC division of Cipla had generated a sales turnover of Rs. 34.88 crore which was 0.3 per cent of the company’s total income.
The net worth of the division was Rs. 6.45 crore in 2014-15.

CBDT signs 11 more Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into 11 more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). With this, CBDT has so far signed 31 APAs (30 unilateral and one bilateral).
The CBDT aims to finalize another 30 to 40 APAs before the end of this fiscal to provide stability and confidence to foreign enterprises operating in India.
Of the total eleven APAs, seven were having rollback provisions in them with maximum period of 9 years, while the other four are extension agreements for future five years i.e. till 2020.
With this, CBDT so far has entered into 31 APAs (30 unilateral and one bilateral) and is now aiming to finalise another 30 to 40 APAs in order to provide stability and confidence among the foreign enterprises operating in India.
What is Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs):
APA usually is signed between a taxpayer and the central tax authority (in case of India it is CBDT) for multiple years on an appropriating transfer pricing methodology.
The APA Programme was introduced in 2012 as per the provisions of the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961. It helps in determining the price and ensuing taxes on intra-group overseas transactions.

November 29

Mankind Pharma to invest Rs. 200 crore by mid-2016.
Drug firm Mankind Pharma will invest Rs. 200 crore to open two manufacturing plants in the country by the middle of 2016 as part of its expansion plans.
The Sikkim plant, which will entail an investment of Rs. 150 crore, will be opened by March 2016, while the Behror plant would require around Rs. 50 crore and will be ready by middle of next year.
The company will open a plant at Udaipur by the end of 2017 or early 2018.
Mankind Pharma recently launched anti-diabetic drug Gliptin under the brand name 'Dynaglipt' at Rs. 8.5 per tablet for the patients and expects diabetes segment to contribute Rs. 200 crore to the company's expected revenues of around Rs. 4,200 crore for the fiscal.

November 30

Russia to impose food ban in new sanctions against Turkey after downing of Russian warplane.
The sanctions - including a ban on hiring Turkish citizens, an end to chartered flights between the two nations and restrictions on imported Turkish products - were signed by President Vladimir Putin.
The new measures against Turkey announced at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also include limits on Turkish construction firms' ability to sign new contracts in Russia and restrictions on road transport.
Turkey claims the plane had violated its airspace near the Syrian border.
About Russia:
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NGT ban led Lakadong coal miners to switch to turmeric farming.
The National Green Tribunal ban on coal mining and transportation of coal in Meghalaya's Jaintia Hills region has resulted in many of those engaged in the activity switching to turmeric farming for their livelihood.
D. Rymbai, a resident, invested in turmeric cultivation in his six-acre barren land at Moolamylliang village.
Rymbai owned a few coal mines at the village and never thought of farming as a viable alternative to coal mining until April last year when the NGT issued the blanket ban.
The hub was built at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh, funds from the 13th Finance Commission, and will benefit the local farmers.