ECONOMY - 2016 November

November 1

Finance Ministry releases Rs. 1,093 crore for restoration of infra in J&K.
Finance ministry released first instalment of special assistance of Rs. 1,093.34 crore for repair and permanent restoration of damaged public buildings in Jammu and Kashmir in pursuance of the announcement made by the Prime Minister last November.
A total sum of Rs. 2,000 crore has been provided for permanent restoration of damaged Infrastructure such as schools, colleges, hospitals, bus stations and other critical public infrastructure under Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan for J&K.
Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan for J&K was announced by Narendra Modi on November 7, 2015, for Rs. 80,068 crore for post flood relief and restoration and long-term development of the state, including assistance for small trade and business, power, new and renewable energy.

November 2

Sebi tightens norms for credit rating agencies.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) asked credit rating agencies to frame detailed rules for rating criteria, processes and responsibilities of rating analysts and increase the range of their disclosures. Raters have 60 days to adhere to these norms.
Rating has to be reviewed periodically and disclosed publicly. Any change in the rating process or policies also has to be disclosed by a rater on its website along with the original provision so that investors can understand the changes.
The SEBI move follows an increase in the number of defaults due to a deteriorating corporate debt profile.

LinkedIn inks MoU with govt to create jobs for students.
LinkedIn signed an agreement with the human resource development ministry to create more job opportunities for Indian students.
As part of the MoU, LinkedIn’s 'Placements' product will be adopted by all Indian colleges affiliated with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
'Placements' provides a level-playing field for all students, regardless of their location or college and allows them to take an online assessment test, which gives them direct access to thousands of openings in 35 top corporates in India.

November 3

India's gross-value added growth to hit 7.6% - DBS repo.
India gross-value added growth is expected to 7.6%.
From 7.2 per cent in 2015-16, driven by sustained support from public capex spending - DBS report.
GST Council approves 4-tier rate at 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
GST Council has fixed a four-tier GST rate structure at 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% slabs.
The peak rate will be applicable for FMCG and consumer durables. Further, there will be zero tax rates on food grains used by common people.
India-Japan tax convention to cover banking information exchange.
India and Japan can now exchange banking related information for tax administration purposes.
New Protocol came into force on October 29 by amending the double taxation avoidance convention (DTAC), which was signed in March 1989.
The Protocol provides a strengthened exchange of information clause, which will act as a deterrent and help in reducing tax avoidance and evasion and will also enable assistance in collection of taxes between India and Japan.

November 4

India holds business seminar in China.
Over 280 Chinese investors from top business houses attended a seminar in Beijing organised by India to invite investments from China.
Amid the growing interest among Chinese investors to invest in 'Make in India' projects, both the countries also held a meeting of the joint working group on industrial parks in India and reviewed the progress of setting up of Chinese industrial parks.

Govt Cancels Fcra Licences Of Over 11,000 Ngo's.
Union home ministry cancelled the licence of 11,319 NGOs under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.
The licences were cancelled as they failed to apply for renewal within the deadline of June 30, 2016.

IRCTC, MobiKwik partner for tatkal payments.
MobiKwik has partnered with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to power e-cash payments for tatkal bookings.
Instantaneous payments with MobiKwik will help tatkal online in managing the load of over a thousand ticket bookings per minute.

November 5

President approves payment of 2% DA from July 1.
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his approval to payment of a 2 per cent dearness allowance (DA) to central government employees.
The move will benefit about 50.68 lakh employees and 54.24 lakh pensioners.

HCC becomes first firm to get debt recast under RBI's S4A Scheme.
Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) became India’s first firm to get debt recast under RBI’s new Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A).
The scheme, which was passed by an ICICI Bank-led joint lender forum in September, has been now approved by the RBI-mandated Overseeing Committee (OC).

Google Capital changes its name to 'CapitalG'.
Google Capital, the search giant's venture arm that invests in growth-stage companies, has changed its name to 'CapitalG'.
The old domain now forwards to, and Google Capital's Twitter account has announced that it’s being retired in favour of a new @CapitalGTweets account.

November 6

Government, 3 PSUs to set up $2 billion equity fund for renewable.
Government along with state-run power entities NTPC, REC and PFC, will soon launch a USD 2 billion clean energy equity fund to support the government's ambitious target of adding 175 GW renewable energy generation capacity by 2022.

Google ties up with ASI for virtual tour of monuments.
Google has tied up with Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) for 360 degree virtual tour of 280-odd monuments across the country.
ASI had given the permission to Google for creating the virtual tour, which would be available in the maps.
Some of the major monuments are Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial and the ruins of Hamp.

Parliamentary panel to examine security issues over payments.
A parliamentary panel will examine various security issues related to payments in the banking sector and has asked government officials and representatives of some banks to appear before it.
This comes after as many as 32 lakh debit cards data were compromised and 641 customers across 19 banks were duped of Rs. 1.3 crore using stolen debit card data.

India to buy rescue aircraft from Japan for $1.5 billion.
India will reportedly sign a deal to purchase 12 amphibious rescue aircraft worth around $1.5 billion (over Rs. 10,000 crore) from Japanese manufacturer ShinMaywa Industries.
This would be one of Japan's first sales of military equipment since PM Shinzo Abe lifted a 50-year ban on arms exports. The deal is expected to be signed during Abe's India visit.

November 7

ONGC to provide $318 million financing guarantee to Venezuela.
ONGC Videsh Ltd will provide $318 million financing to help raise output at a Venezuelan oilfield after signing a pact to supply 17,000 barrels per day of crude oil to India to clear past dues.
OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned ONGC, owns 40 per cent of Venezuela's San Cristobal oilfield and had invested about $190 million in the project in 2008.

UK says 600 million pounds of masala bonds to be listed in London.
Four rupee-denominated bonds worth a total of 600 million pounds ($748 million) are expected to be listed in London in the next three months.
The four bonds will provide financing to expand India’s highway and rail networks and meet its plans to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Bonds will be issued by Indian government-backed corporates Indian Railway Finance Corporation, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, Energy Efficiency Services Limited, and National Highways Authority of India by the end of January 2017.

November 8

Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000 notes are no longer legal tender.
Government has declared Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency invalid from the midnight of November. 8.
Rs. 500 or Rs. 1,000 notes can be deposited in an individual’s bank or post office accounts between November 10 and December 30.
Currency value of up to Rs. 4,000 can be exchanged from any bank or post office per day till November 24 by showing a government identity card.
Post December. 30, these notes will be accepted only by the Reserve Bank of India along with a written declaration.
Cash withdrawal from a bank account over the counter will be restricted to Rs. 10, 000 subject to an overall limit of Rs. 20,000 until November 24, 2016.

President of India Inaugurates Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of ECGC.
Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Limited (ECGC) in New Delhi.
ECGC Ltd was established in July, 1957 to strengthen the export promotion by covering the risk of exporting on credit.

NSE hires four more bankers for its initial public offering.
National Stock Exchange has hired four additional investment banks for its initial public offering and is likely to file its share-sale documents with the regulator SEBI by December-end.
IDFC Bank, ICICI Securities, IIFL Holdings, and HDFC Bank have been reportedly appointed to the syndicate, for which the bourse had earlier hired four other banks.

India, UK to set up Joint Working Group to expand trade.
PM Narendra Modi has agreed with his British counterpart Theresa May to set up a joint-working group on trade between the two nations.

November 9

Govt to keep tabs on individuals exchanging over Rs. 2 lakh.
Income Tax department will keep a check on individuals who exchange an amount exceeding Rs. 2 lakh.
This comes after Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes ceased to be a legal tender from November 9.
The tax department has reportedly been asked to keep a record of individuals and their PAN card details, and tally it with the tax filing.

200% penalty if deposits above Rs. 10 lakh don't match with income.
Cash deposits of above Rs. 10 lakh to return Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes, not matching with the declared income, will attract the tax amount plus a penalty of 200%.

November 10

Cabinet nod to be sought for setting up ITIs in 2,500 blocks.
Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry will soon seek an approval from the Cabinet to establish Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) in 2,500 blocks in the country.
Nearly 61% students going to ITIs are trained in only two trades despite having 127 trades.
Government has started a grading system for ITIs to rate them on the basis of their credentials.

November 11

Union Government launches Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana for entrepreneurs.
Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched of Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana (PMYY) to scale up an ecosystem of entrepreneurship for youngsters.
The scheme was launched by Union Minister of State (I/C) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy to mark 2nd Foundation Day of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
PMYY is MSDE’s flagship scheme on entrepreneurship education and training. The scheme spans over five years (2016-17 to 2020-21) with a project cost of 499.94 crore rupees.

November 12

Chinese Ship Opens New Trade Route Via Pakistani Port.
Pakistan inaugurated a new international trade route by seeing off a Chinese ship exporting goods to the Middle East and Africa from Gwadar Port.
China is seeking convenient and reliable access to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The new route gives China access to the Persian Gulf region and the Middle East.

India pledges USD 10.95 million for UN development activities.
India pledged about 10.95 million dollar for development activities across several UN bodies for the year 2017.
4.5 million dollar for the UN Development Programme, 1.92 million dollar for the World Food Programme, 1.25 million dollar for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Near East and a million dollars towards UN Women.

November 14

Task force led by S.S. Mundra formed to recalibrate ATMs.
S.S. Mundra task force following the existing problem in which the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are failing to cope with the huge cash demand of people, Reserve Bank of India on 14 November 2016 constituted an eight-member task force to re-calibrate all ATMs.
The eight-member task force, led by RBI deputy governor S.S. Mundra, will comprise officials from banks, NPCI, Department of Currency Management, Department of Payment and Settlement System and home and finance ministries.

November 15

Government to present Union Budget 2017 on February 1.
The government has decided to present the Union Budget for 2017-18 on February 1 and the budget session may begin in January.
The government had issued the customary budget circular in September.
Centre earlier approved scrapping of the 92-year old practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget and merged it with the Union Budget.

November 16

Oxigen Partners Federal Bank for Cash Management Services.
Federal Bank has tied up with Oxigen to expand the bank’s e-collection facility to the about 3 lakh- retail outlets of Oxigen.
The agreement was exchanged between Chief Operating Officer, Federal Bank, Shalini Warrier and Pramod Saxena, Founder and Chairman of Oxigen, in the New Delhi.

BBC World Service announces biggest expansion 'since the 1940s'.
BBC World Service will launch 11 new language services as part of its biggest expansion ''since the 1940s'', due to the funding boost.
The new languages will be Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Yoruba.
The first new services are expected to launch in 2017.

November 17

Airtel Merges With Axiata In Bangladesh.
Bharti Airtel announced the completion of the merger of its subsidiary unit in Bangladesh with Robi Axiata.
Post-merger, Axiata will hold 68.7% stake in the entity while Airtel will hold 25% and the remaining 6.3% stake will be held by NTT DoCoMo.
This entity will now be the second-largest mobile operator in Bangladesh.

Mastercard Launches Masterpass QR Payment Solutions.
MasterCard has introduced Masterpass QR, a safe and secure 'quick response' (QR) mobile payments solution in India.
Masterpass QR is a digital wallet service, which allows mobile banking users to safely pay for face-to-face purchases using their smartphones.
To make purchases, users can scan a QR code displayed on the merchant’s device using a mobile app, without cash or cards.
RBL Bank is the only bank to integrate the Masterpass QR service into its OnGo mobile digital wallet.

PAN card mandatory on combined cash deposits above Rs. 2.5 lakh.
The government has made quoting the PAN card mandatory on combined cash deposits exceeding Rs. 2.5 lakh till December 30.
Until now, the limit for cash deposits without PAN was fixed at Rs. 50,000 per transaction.
The move will help government to stop people who are depositing less than Rs. 50,000 in multiple batches to escape quoting the PAN card.

November 18

India, US Resolve Tax Disputes Worth Rs. 5,000 crore.
India and US have resolved more than 100 tax dispute cases involving Rs. 5,000 crore under the bilateral Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP).
During the meeting, 66 MAP cases relating to Transfer pricing issues and 42 MAP cases relating to Treaty Interpretation issues were agreed to be resolved successfully.
MAP, under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), is an alternative dispute settlement mechanism available to authorities and foreign investors.

November 19

Mauritius to waive 40% shooting tax for Indian film-makers.
Mauritius will waive 40 percent shooting tax for Indian film-makers for shooting on the island nation.
The decision was taken by Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth, who is on a visit to India.

IMF Approves $41.6 million in Financial Assistance for Haiti.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) extended a line of credit of over 41 million dollars to Haiti will be to help the nation deal with financial pressures in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
Emergency relief and reconstruction costs will significantly raise the overall fiscal deficit and external current account deficit over the next few years.

Rs. 1.4 lakh crore deposited in SBI since demonetization.
Rs. 1.4 lakh crore has been deposited in the SBI since the demonetization of old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes.

Infosys invests Rs. 14.5 crore in Danish AI start-up.
Infosys has invested Rs. 14.5 crore from its ''innovation fund'' in UNSILO, a Danish artificial intelligence start-up on advanced text analysis.
This is Infosys’ 11th investment in a start-up from its $500 million innovation fund and fourth in 2016.

November 20

India, Cyprus ink new tax pact to replace old treaty.
India and Cyprus signed a new double tax avoidance pact under which capital gains tax will be levied on sale of shares on investments made after April 1, 2017.
The new DTAA provides for a source-based taxation of capital gains arising from alienation of shares, instead of a residence-based taxation provided under the existing DTAA.
The latest pact would replace the existing Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), which was in place since June 13, 1994.

Mining sector can add $70 billion to India's GDP in next 15 yrs: CII.
Mining sector has the capacity to push growth and add around $70 billion (Rs. 4.77 lakh crore) to India's economy, a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report stated.

Telangana govt introduces coupons for cashless purchases.
Telangana government is issuing coupons of Rs. 5, Rs. 10 and Rs. 20 to customers in return for notes like Rs. 500 or Rs. 1000 for cashless transactions at farmers' market.
While customers can make purchases with the coupons, farmers can exchange these coupons for cash at the end of the day.
The amount of remaining coupons with the customers is credited to their accounts.

November 21

Reliance Infrastructure Bags Rs. 3,675 crore EPC Order From NLC India.
Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RInfra) has won an EPC order for Rs. 3,675 crore from NLC India Limited for setting up two lignite based CFBC thermal power projects with a capacity of 250 MW each. The power projects will be set up at Barsingsar and Bithnok of Bikaner district in Rajasthan. 

Miraj Cinema to invest Rs. 60 crore, set up 37 screens.
Rajasthan-based Miraj Cinema is planning to invest Rs. 55-60 crore to set up 37 screens in both metros and tier II cities by the second quarter of next year to capitalise on the growth in the cinema exhibition and entertainment space.
The company, which started operations in 2012, has 65 screens in 11 States and is the fifth largest multiplex player in terms of number of screens.

November 22

CBDT allowed Rs. 4,500 crore of irregular benefits to infrastructure companies.
Government auditor CAG I-T department has provided "irregular" tax benefits to infrastructure companies without verification, which have cost the exchequer over Rs. 4,500 crore. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) did not have any established mechanism to assess the impact of revenue foregone on account of deductions under Section 80 IA on the economy and industrial growth of the country.

Sobha Q2 profit flat at Rs. 38 crore.
Sobha Ltd’s profit for the second quarter (Q2) in FY 2016-17 was flat (1.03 per cent) at Rs. 38.4 crore on a consolidated basis as compared with Rs. 38.8 crore during the same period last year.
The company’s revenues for Q2 is higher by 8.22 per cent at Rs. 541.10 crore against Rs. 500 crore during the same period last year. EPS (basic) stood at Rs. 3.97 (last year Rs. 3.96).

November 23

Over two thousand industrialists owe Rs. 3.89 lakh crore to banks.
There are as many as 2,071 industrialists whose loan accounts with an exposure of Rs. 3.89 lakh crore have turned into NPAs, Parliament was informed. All these industrialists had taken loan of Rs. 50 crore or more.

Cap on essential drug prices helped consumers save Rs. 5,000 crore: government.
The government fixing prices of essential medicines had helped consumers save Rs. 5,060.3 crore, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh L. Mandaviya in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
This is despite the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) catching overcharging cases worth over Rs. 4,950 crore. However, despite such massive benefits to the public, it is believed that the government is considering a proposal to disband the NPPA, and delink price control from the list of essential medicines. The National List of Essential Medicine 2015 contains 377 drugs for which prices are controlled.

November 24

No collection of Toll tax till midnight 1st December.
The government announced it was extending till December 1 the suspension of fee collection at all toll plazas on National Highways in the country.
"Toll suspension is extended till 1st December midnight across all national highways'', Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.

November 25

E-commerce firms like Flipkart and Snapdeal to deduct TCS under GST.
E-commerce operators like Flipkart and Snapdeal will have to deduct TCS (tax collected at source) while making payments to their suppliers, according to the new model GST law, which has done away with the definition of 'aggregator'.
Explaining the changes in the provision, experts said the proposal will increase the compliance burden on e-commerce operators as they will have to deduct 2 per cent TCS and deposit it with the government.
The measure, Nangia & Co Director Rajat Mohan will not increase the incidence of taxation on consumers as the supplier will get tax credit for the TCS.The model GST law provides for 1 per cent TCS to be deducted by the E-commerce operators.

YES Bank, Gujarat Roadways join hands to digitise bus travel payments.
YES Bank, the fifth largest private sector bank, announced a partnership with Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) to digitise payment of bus tickets for its customers.
For this the bank will install over 125 points of sale (PoS) terminals to facilitate booking through credit and debit cards at all GSRTC bus depots. The bank is already live with 50 terminals and will set up the remaining in the next couple of weeks as part of the first phase of implementation.
The initiative will cover all municipal corporation locations and multiple cities including Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and towns including Bhuj, Dahod, Palanpur and Valsad.

November 26

Centrum Housing Finance sees loan book of Rs. 3,000 crore in 3 years.
Centrum Group, a leading domestic integrated financial services group, has received the certificate of registration from the National Housing Bank to commence its housing finance business.
Centrum Housing Finance will start its operations in Madhya Pradesh (first office in Indore) by the second week of December.
''There is no Madhya Pradesh-dominated housing finance arm, unlike Gruh Finance (Gujarat) and Au Financiers (Rajasthan)'', Sanjay Shukla, the newly appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

November 27

Govt realises over Rs. 23,497 crore from disinvestment: Jaitley.
The government has realised over 23,497 crore rupees from disinvestment as on the 15th of this month. In the current financial year, the budget estimate for disinvestment is 56,500 crore rupees.
Giving this information in the Rajya Sabha Finance Minister Arun Jaitley the government has identified some central public enterprises for sale in sectors like mineral and metal, oil and capital goods.

November 28

MobiKwik launches new app to work with slow internet.
Mobile wallet company MobiKwik has launched new mobile app MobiKwik 'Lite', that claims to work smoothly on slow data connectivity. Users can also download this app with one missed call and sign up with their mobile number.
Bipin Preet Singh, Co-founder of MobiKwik ''With 250 million smartphones and less than 50% net penetration, India is highly underserved and the adverse impact of this reality is being observed by masses given the recent demonetization. To bridge the gap between India & Bharat, we have launched MobiKwik 'Lite'''.

November 29

E-commerce firms like Flipkart and Snapdeal to deduct TCS under GST.
E-commerce operators like Flipkart and Snapdeal will have to deduct TCS BSE 0.19% (tax collected at source) while making payments to their suppliers, according to the new model GST law, which has done away with the definition of 'aggregator'.
Explaining the changes in the provision, experts said the proposal will increase the compliance burden on e-commerce operators as they will have to deduct 2 per cent TCS and deposit it with the government. 

PFRDA seeks tax parity for NPS with EPF, PPF.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), which regulates National Pension System (NPS), has asked the government to include this tax parity in the forthcoming Budget.

November 30

Singapore Tops Global Education Rankings.
Singapore has the highest-achieving primary & secondary pupils in international education tests in Maths & Science. Primary school pupils in Northern Ireland were ranked sixth at Maths, the highest of any in Europe.
The top places in these rankings are dominated by East Asian countries. These international rankings, Trends in International Mathematics & Science Study, are published every 4 yrs.

Government approves 6 new SEZs for IT, biotech.
The government has approved six proposals from four developers to set up new special economic zones (SEZs) across three states in areas such as IT and biotechnology. 
The decision was taken by the Board of Approval (BoA), headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, at its November 9 meeting.

Morgan Stanley lowers India’s growth forecast by 40 bps to 7.3% for FY’17.
British scientists approved the use of so-called "three-parent baby" fertility treatments, paving the way for the country to become the first in the world to officially introduce the procedures. 
The practice should be "cautiously adopted" to prevent certain genetic diseases from being passed on to future generations.

78 schemes covered under DBT system so far.
As many as 78 schemes including Jhan Dhan and MGNREGA being implemented by 17 ministries and departments are covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system, the Parliament was informed.
In case of food subsidy, Minister of State for Food C.R. Chaudhary informed, "DBT for foodgrains is being implemented according to the 'cash transfer of food subsidy rules 2015''.
Present, cash transfer of food subsidy is being implemented in Chandigarh and Puducherry since September 2015 and it has also been partially implemented in Dadra and Nagar Haveli from March 2016.