ECONOMY - 2016 October

October 1

Government Decides to Raise EPFO Investment in ETF from 5 Per Cent to 10 Per Cent.
Government has decided to raise the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) investment in Exchange Traded Funds from present 5 per cent to 10 per cent.
The last one year, the EPFO has invested 6,577 crore in ETF for the financial year 2015-16.
The decision has been taken considering the good returns in ETF.

HCL and IBM enter into 15 year partnership.
HCL and IBM have entered into a 15 year partnership for automation and development operations.
The partnership will enable the companies to focus on native cloud and cognitive solutions, as well as industry-specific opportunities.
Under the partnership, HCL will be building features and functions on the existing IBM platforms and products such as the Tivoli workload scheduler, rational testing and rational modeling construction and software for on-premises, hybrid and public cloud software as a service (SaaS) platform.

Google to set up cloud region in India.
Google announced that it will open a new Google Cloud Region, in Mumbai.
India cloud region is aimed at offering Google Cloud Platform services to Indian developers and enterprise customers.
Google Cloud is a portfolio of products, technologies, and services that let customers operate in a digital world.

October 2

Black money: Rs. 65,250 crore disclosed under Income Declaration Scheme.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had received total disclosures of Rs. 65,250 crore under the Income Disclosure Scheme, 2016 in the form of cash and other assets.
The income tax and penalties collected under the scheme will be used for public welfare.

October 3

Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi lead income disclosures: Report.
Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi accounted for nearly half of the Rs. 65,250 crore black money disclosures made under the Income Declaration Scheme.
Hyderabad reportedly topped the list with Rs. 13,000 crore, while Mumbai and Delhi received disclosures worth over Rs. 8,000 crore each.

Rafale - Reliance Group joins hands with Dassault Aviation for offset contract.
Reliance Group has formed a joint venture with Dassault Aviation of France to execute the offsets for the recently-concluded deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets.
Dassault Aviation recently won the contract for supplying Rafale fighter aircraft to India for Rs. 60,000 crore with 50 per cent offset clause.
The new joint venture called Dassault Reliance Aerospace will focus on aero structures, electronics and engines.

October 4

IMF India GDP forecast at 7.6%.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) retained its forecast of 7.6 per cent growth in 2016-17 and 2017-18 for India.
The economic recovery will continue to benefit from the improvement in trade, more effective policy actions and stronger external buffers.
The report has projected consumer price index based inflation at 5.5 per cent in the current fiscal year and 5.2 per cent in 2017-18.
Global growth projection of 3.1 per cent for 2016, for 2017, it has pegged the global growth rate at 3.4 per cent with a gradual increase to 3.8 per cent.

Ratan Tata invests in start-up GOQii.
Ratan Tata has invested in virtual fitness coaching platform GOQii.
The company, which is a leading player in the Indian wearables market, is backed by angel investors such as Shriram Nene and his wife and Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene and Neeraj Arora.

Startups Allowed Raising $3 million via ECBs.
Reserve Bank has decided to allow start-ups to raise external commercial borrowings (ECBs) of up to 3 million in a financial year.
Startups will be permitted raise the overseas funds in rupees as well as in foreign currency. RBI will issue guidelines in this regard by month-end.

October 5

Intas Pharma to buy Teva’s UK, Ireland generics businesses.
Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, through its wholly owned subsidiary Accord Healthcare, has agreed to acquire Actavis UK and Actavis Ireland from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd for £603 million.
Actavis UK and Ireland are among the leading suppliers of generic pharmaceuticals in both the UK and Irish markets.

SEBI to audit its own governance standards.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to practice what it preaches in the area of corporate governance and board structure.
Board members will conduct a performance audit of the regulatory body.
SEBI has also asked the finance ministry to appoint a woman member to the board of the regulatory body.

MasterCard launches 'selfie pay' app in Europe.
MasterCard has rolled out 'Identity Check', an app that uses facial biometrics for payment authentication, in Europe.
The app will be made available to MasterCard users globally in early 2017.
The app supports both selfies and fingerprint biometrics, offering users a choice of authenticating a mobile payment at the point of purchase.

October 6

Adani to buy R-Infra transmission assets.
Reliance Infrastructure (R-Infra) has agreed to sell its transmission assets in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and its 74 per cent stake in transmission lines in the state of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to Gautam Adani-led Adani Transmission Limited (ATL).

Railways to raise around INR 2,000 crore via masala bonds.
Indian Railway Finance Corporation is planning to raise 1,000 - 2,000 crore through an issue of rupee-denominated offshore or masala bonds.
The instruments will have a tenure of three-five years.

FICO, Lenddo partner to develop credit risk scores for consumers in India.
FICO, a global leader in credit scoring, has announced a new partnership with Lenddo, a specialist in credit and verification technologies.
Together, the companies plan to develop a credit risk score for consumers in India who have limited or no formal credit history.

October 7

ONGC signs pact to buy stake in GSPC's KG basin gas block.
ONGC and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation have signed an initial pact to pave the way for the former to buy a majority stake in a GSPC’s DeenDayal West gas block in the Krishna-Godavari basin.
ONGC and GSPC currently have differences over quantity of reserves. Thus, the pact provides for a three-member committee to oversee the transaction.

Minimum Import Price on 66 Steel Products.
The government has extended the minimum import price (MIP) on 66 steel products by another two months to protect the industry against cheap imports.
The 66 products include semi-finished products of iron or non-alloyed steel, flat rolled products of different widths, bars and rods.

PwC and Microsoft Forms an Alliance.
Consultancy firm PwC India has formed a alliance with Microsoft India to empower Indias digital transformation.
PwC has also joined Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme which will enable them to provide their advisory and other solutions at scale, securely to all their customers.
PwC will extend Microsoft’s outreach to organisations of all sizes and across many industries, such as financial services (banking and insurance), government and public sector, manufacturing, consumer goods and durables, retail/ e-commerce, healthcare and pharma, to help start their cloud and digital journey.

October 8

SEBI proposes ban on trading tips through SMS, WhatsApp.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed a ban on unauthorised trading tips through SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms, as well as on games and leagues relating to securities market.
SEBI also proposed to curb unsolicited investment advice through electronic and broadcasting media platforms and a detailed advertisement code for those providing such advice.

Govt to get Rs. 37000 crore from spectrum auction.
Government will garner as much as 37,000 crore rupees this fiscal from spectrum auction after taking into account close to 5,000 crore rupees of service tax that telecom companies will pay.
Government has received commitment of 65,789 crore rupees by selling 964.80 MHz of spectrum. This is more than the combined amount of airwaves sold in past four auctions.

Forex reserves touch record high of $372 billion.
India’s foreign exchange reserves scaled a new high of $371.99 billion, up $1.223 billion for the week to September 30, as per the Reserve Bank data.
Previously, they had touched a high of $371.279 billion. Foreign currency assets which are a major component of the overall reserves surged by $1.468 billion to $346.71 billion.

October 9

Aegon Life to invest Rs. 200 crore in IT to push online sales.
Aegon Life plans to invest Rs. 200 crore in digital technology in the next two to three years as it looks to tap growing online retail channel as part of its strategy to become a 'direct-to-consumers' company.
Aegon Life Insurance has also changed its strategy to become a "direct-to-consumers" company and exited the agency channel in August.

DoCoMo sues Tata Sons in US court.
Japanese telecom major NTT DoCoMo has filed an application in a US court seeking $1.17 billion from Tata Sons.
The suit has been filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The move is aimed at enforcing the penalty awarded by the London Court of Arbitration (LCIA) against Tata.
The two companies have been at loggerheads over their joint venture, Tata Teleservices. The London court had asked the Tatas to pay $1.17 billion to the Japanese major as compensation.

October 10

BHEL commissions another 660 Mw thermal unit in UP.
BHEL has commissioned 660 Mw coal-based supercritical thermal power units in Uttar Pradesh.
The unit has been commissioned at the 3×660 Mw Prayagraj super thermal power project, located in Bara tehsil in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh.

Standard Chartered Bank forms tie-up with Uber.
Standard Chartered Bank announced a tie-up with Uber under which its credit cardholders, across six countries, will get a cash-back of up to 25 per cent for hailing cabs from the app.
Apart from India, the partnership has been activated in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Union Government extends anti-dumping duty on certain Chinese products.
Union Government has extended anti-dumping duty on import of certain Chinese products, used in garment, toys and footwear manufacturing, for another five years (till 2021).
Decision in this regard was taken by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) based on recommendations of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).
Extension will protect domestic industry from the harm caused by dumping (import) of the cheap Chinese products.

October 11

GST lends more weight to India’s 8% growth projection: S&P.
India’s GST passage gives us additional conviction around our 8% GDP growth forecast over the next few years - S&P Global Ratings in a report titled 'Asia-Pacific steadies while China goes silent'.
Inflation remains a risk, given the large weights on food, fuel, and other volatile items in the Reserve Bank of India’s target basket.

Reliance Jio sets 'world record', enrols 16 million users in 1st month.
Reliance Jio claimed that it has created ''a world record'' by crossing the 16 million subscriber mark in its first month of operations.
Jio has introduced Aadhaar-based paperless Jio SIM activation across 3,100 cities and towns. This enables the customer to complete the SIM activation process in a matter of minutes, with only his/her Aadhaar number.

World Economic Forum is setting up a tech-focused hub in San Francisco.
World Economic Forum is opening a San Francisco office to explore policy and regulatory questions surrounding new technologies such as artificial intelligence, automated vehicles and blockchain.
The goal is to develop policy approaches to address the novel issues raised by new technologies.

October 12

India now the 12th largest holder of US govt bonds.
India’s holdings of the US government bonds touched a high of $123.7 billion in July, making it the 12th largest holder, US Treasury Department's latest data showed.
China and Japan were the top two countries with the largest exposure to American government securities at $1.22 trillion and $1.15 trillion, respectively.
India added $6 billion in July, as per the data.

Tata Comm, Skylab join hands to promote IoT.
Tata Communications and Skylab, a Singapore-based technology solutions provider, have announced a partnership to help more enterprises adopt the Internet of Things (IoT).
Skylab provides advanced data harvesting, processing and delivery solutions to its customers over a scalable platform called Data Logistics Cloud.

Centre to invest Rs. 1,000 crore in PSUs for skill development.
Centre is looking to pump in around Rs. 1,000 crore in public sector undertakings (PSUs) through the skill development initiative.
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has reportedly held discussions with the PSUs over deploying 5 lakh apprentices as against 36,000 now.
The ministry will pay these companies Rs. 18,000 per apprentice deployed.

October 13

Just 20 blocks kept for private explorers under the new mineral exploration policy.
The Centre has decided to reserve for private explorers just 20 blocks out of a total 100 blocks to be allotted under the new mineral exploration policy.
Centre to allocate 80 mineral blocks to state-owned companies citing lack of exploration firms.
Thirty blocks are to be allotted to the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. (MECL) and the Geological Survey of India (GSI) each, while central public sector firms will be assigned 20 blocks for exploration purposes.

IOC to lay India’s longest LPG pipeline.
Indian Oil Corporation plans to lay the nation’s longest LPG pipeline (1,987 km) from Gujarat coast to Gorakhpur in eastern UP.
1,987 kilometre pipeline via Kanpur, Varanasi and Lucknow will carry 3.75 million tons of LPG per annum. To meet the growing demands of cooking gas in the country.

ABB to electrify Indian buses.
Swiss power and automation technology group ABB has drawn up plans for India to become a fully electric vehicle nation by 2030, including an offer to supply electric buses that can be charged within 15 seconds.
India has plans to convert around 1.5 lakh diesel buses run by state transport corporations into electric buses in a bid to reduce its Rs. 8 lakh crore annual crude oil import bill and check pollution.
Buses can be fully charged within five minutes and can help save up to 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions ever year, compared with existing diesel buses.

India and Russia to jointly manufacture Kamov 226 helicopter.
India and Russia to form a joint venture agreement to produce the Ka-226T light utility helicopter
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will own 50.5 per cent equity stake, and Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport will hold the remaining 49.5 per cent equity.
The Ka-226Ts are to replace the aging Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by the Indian Army and Air Force.

October 14

Govt approves Rs. 1,955 crore road link project.
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved construction of a road link between Sahibganj in Jharkhand to Manihari in Bihar, including a bridge on the Ganges, with an estimated project cost of Rs. 1,955 crore.
The total length of the road to be developed is about 22 kms with a concession period of 19 years.

India gets first Iranian oil parcel for emergency reserves.
India received the first parcel of Iranian oil to partly fill its strategic storage in southern India, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd , which imported the very large crude carrier (VLCC).
India will fill half of the storage with 6 million barrels of Iranian oil while continuing talks with United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for the remainder.

India to collaborate with Germany for rail projects worth Rs. 1 trillion.
India will collaborate with Germany for projects worth Rs. 1 trillion to improve and enhance rail connectivity of Indian ports.
Representatives from Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited and German railway company Deutsche Bahn AG will work out the details.

Government to distribute subsidized pulses through postal network.
Government has decided to use postal network for distribution of subsidized pulses and release more Chana from buffer stock to ensure availability of these commodities at reasonable prices during ongoing festival season.
The decision was taken in the Inter Ministerial Committee on prices of essential commodities headed by Union Consumer Affairs Secretary, Hem Pande.
The committee reviewed availability and prices of essential commodities specially pulses and suggested that in the absence of Government outlets in the states postal networks should be export for the distribution.

October 15

Infosys loses fifth spot to ONGC.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) beat India’s second largest software exporter Infosys Ltd to become the fifth most valuable company in India by market capitalization.
Data from BSE showed that ONGC had a market capitalization of Rs. 2.37 trillion, after its shares advanced 1.65%.

RCom, Brookfield ink Rs. 11,000 crore Deal.
Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom) has agreed to sell a 51 per cent stake in its nationwide tower assets to Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure Group in a Rs. 11,000 crore.
As part of the deal, the specified assets that include related infrastructure would be transferred from Reliance Infratel Ltd. (RITL) to Brookfield.

Telangana Government signed MoU with Johnson & Johnson.
Telangana Government signed a memorandum of understanding with Johnson & Johnson for making the State TB free.

Air India posts operational profit for first time in 8 years.
Air India posted an operational profit of Rs. 105 crore in 2015-16 compared with an operational loss of Rs. 2,636 crore in 2014-15 due to an increase in traffic growth.
A sharp decline in aviation turbine fuel prices helped it bolster operational profit.

Amazon launches 'Global Store' in India.
Amazon unveiled the Global Store, which will offer over four million global products of international brands.
The store will enable Indian customers to purchase authentic global products in Indian currency with ease and confidence across various categories such as books, apparel, shoes, watches, office supplies, home, kitchen, sports, trendy fashion accessories and unique brands that are not available in India.
Customers will be able to avail of three different delivery options such as Priority Shipping with a transit time of 2-4 days, Expedited Shipping (5–10 days) and the Standard Shipping (9-12 days).

October 16

Centre to set up Rs. 2,000 crore credit guarantee fund to support start-ups.
To softening regulations for Start-Ups to further motivate their entrepreneurship, the government would shortly set up a Credit Guarantee Fund with a corpus of Rs. 2,000 crores to support their ventures and risk taking abilities
Corpus will provide up to 80 per cent risk cover for collateral free credit being given by banks and financial institutions to start-ups.

Uber, Centre sign pact to impart skills training.
Uber has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Electronics and IT to use Common Services Centers (CSCs) to impart skills training to drivers.
Uber aims to ensure that people who come to these CSCs, especially at the grassroot level, gain access to tools, training resources and related information for becoming a driver on its platform.
Partnership could provide an opportunity for individuals to receive driver training, license facilitation and vehicle financing to become successful micro-entrepreneur.

India, Russia agrees to explore building the world’s most expensive pipeline.
India and Russia have agreed to explore building the world’s most expensive pipeline costing close to USD 25 billion.
The pipeline will be used to ferry natural gas from Siberia to India.
The pipeline will connect Russian gas grid to India through a 4,500 km to 6,000 km pipeline. The shortest route will entail bringing the pipeline through Himalayas into Northern India, a route which poses several technical challenges.
Alternately, the pipeline can come via Central Asian nations, Iran and Pakistan into Western India.
The Engineers India Ltd has signed an agreement with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom for studying the Russia-India pipeline.

October 17

BRICS to set up credit rating agency.
BRICS to set up an independent rating agency based on market-oriented principles, to strengthen the global governance architecture.
It was announced during the 8th BRICS summit held in Goa, India.

Ashok Leyland rolls out country’s first electric bus.
Ashok Leyland unveiled its 'Circuit' series comprising the first 100 per cent electric bus made in India.
A zero-emission, non-polluting vehicle created specifically for Indian road and passenger conditions, the bus has a seating capacity ranging from 35 to 65.

October 18

Tata, GE to train 10,000 in healthcare.
Tata Trusts and GE Healthcare have entered into an agreement to train 10,000 youth in various technical areas of the healthcare sector in three years.
The partnership is aimed at bridging the skills gap among healthcare staff in technical or operating roles.
GE Healthcare will expand its network of training institutes from 10 to 25 across the country, while Tata Trusts will provide an interest-free loan of Rs. 86,000 per candidate to cover the course fee for an entire year.

MakeMyTrip acquires ibibo.
MakeMyTrip has decided to acquire rival ibibo Group in an all-stock deal to create one of India’s largest travel companies.
Both companies have agreed to pursue a transaction that will combine the two businesses under MMYT, creating one of the leading travel groups in India.

Vehicle makers must share noise, emission data from April 2017.
All automobile manufacturers, including makers of electric rickshaws and electric carts, will need to give a detailed declaration about the emission levels of the vehicles starting April 2017.
Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has amended Form 22 under the Central Motor Vehicles Act, through which manufactures provide the initial certification of compliance with pollution standards, safety standards of component quality and road-worthiness certificate for all vehicles.
Form 22 will include the brand, chassis number, engine number and emission norms… of the vehicle and specify the levels of each pollutant like carbon monoxide, hydro carbon, non-methane HC, NOx, HC + NOx, PM etc for petrol and diesel vehicles and also sound level for horn and pass-by noise values.

October 19

Sun Pharma, genetic research centre to develop dengue vaccine.
Sun Pharma collaboration with International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) for developing the ''first Made in India designer'' dengue vaccine that targets all four serotypes.
ICGEB, will grant Sun Pharma exclusive rights and licence to develop and commercialise vaccine globally. In return, ICGEB will receive pre-defined royalty and milestone payments.

October 20

Oracle to help Maharashtra govt accelerate smart city programme.
Oracle and the Maharashtra government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to accelerate the State’s smart city programme.
According to the MoU, Oracle and the Maharashtra government will create a Center of Excellence in Mumbai. This will serve as a research platform to design, develop and test new capabilities that will deliver better government-to-citizen and government-to-business services.
Both Oracle and Maharashtra will invest in IT infrastructure, training and skillset resources as well as management of the CoE.

Uber, tech incubator T-Hub partner to handhold social impact start-ups.
US-based cab-hailing firm Uber is going to handhold about 20 'social impact' start-ups.
The cab aggregator will work with tech start-up incubator T-Hub to provide mentorship and help the start-ups scale up their operations.
The two entities signed an agreement to conduct the UberEXCHANGE programme.

BSE ties up with Twitter to provide live stock updates.
Investors can now track BSE updates real-time on Twitter by following the official Bombay Stock Exchange account.
The investors can now get live updates of BSE Sensex levels, stock prices and opening and closing figures of Sensex companies.

Finance Ministry announces fresh tranche of gold bonds.
Finance Ministry announced the sixth tranche of sovereign gold bonds.
The duration of the bond will be for a period of eight years with exit option from the fifth year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
Applications for the bonds will be accepted from October 24 to November 2.
To attract more investors the issue price of the gold bonds will be Rs. 50 per gram less than the nominal value.

October 21

Wipro to buy cloud services firm Appirio for $500 million.
Wipro Ltd will buy Appirio Inc., an Indianapolis, US-based cloud services firm.
Appirio helps companies move applications to hosted servers offered by Amazon, Google and Salesforce.com.

Ashok Leyland bags Rs. 1,140 crore order from Tanzania.
Ashok Leyland has won $170 million ( Rs. 1,140 crore) order from the United Republic of Tanzania.
The order is for purchase of Ashok Leyland’s vehicles, gensets, spares and equipment for development of workshops, training modules and allied equipment to be fitted on ambulances.
Ashok Leyland had recently concluded the supply of 773 vehicles to Tanzania under Line of Credit from the Government of India.

October 22

Aditya Birla Group to invest Rs. 20,000 crore in Madhya Pradesh.
Aditya Birla Group pledged an investment of Rs. 20,000 crore for the Madhya Pradesh state in sectors like retail, telecom and cement.
Birla group has five world-class facilities, including Grasim and chemical plants, in Madhya Pradesh.

PowerGrid board approves investments of Rs. 1,184.45 crore.
Power Grid Corp board has approved proposals to invest Rs. 1,184.45 crore in power transmission projects across the country.
The Board has approved the proposal 'Augmentation of Transformation Capacity in Southern Region' at an estimated cost of Rs. 167.75 crore, with commissioning schedule of 30 months from the date of approval.
The board further gave a go ahead to investment in 'Transmission System for Ultra Mega Solar Park at Tumkur (Pavagada), Karnataka - Phase-II (Part A)' at an estimated cost of Rs. 408.46 crore.

October 23

SEBI relaxes restrictions on 40 entities.
SEBI has eased curbs on 40 entities against whom it had taken action in two different cases of alleged misuse of the stock market platform for tax evasion and suspected money-laundering.
Following this, these entities can now deal in government securities and invest in exchange-traded funds. Besides, these firms can also subscribe to mutual funds.

TRAI suggests Rs. 3,000 crore fine on incumbents.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommended a hefty penalty of Rs. 3,050 crore on top three telcos Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, for violating their license agreement and denial of interconnection to new player Reliance Jio.

October 24

Reliance Forays into LPG Retailing.
Reliance Industrieshas forayed into cooking gas retailing, launching a 4 kg LPG cylinder on pilot basis.
4 kg LPG cylinder was launched in 4 districts on pilot basis.
Government had last year permitted RIL to sell up to 1.2 lakh tonnes of LPG.

SEBI bars 8 companies from trading for 5 years.
SEBI barred eight listed firms along with 40 of their promoters and directors from dealing in the securities market for five years for failing to comply with listing agreement norms.
These companies and their promoters were non-traceable despite being served several show-cause notices and they failed to explain the reasons for norms' violation.

October 25

Finance minister launches SMS Alert for salaried tax payers.
Salaried taxpayers will now get SMS alerts from the Income Tax Department on the amount deducted at source by their employers.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes launched the service alert for 2.5 crore salaried employees in a bid to cut down TDS mismatches. It also plans a slew of other measures for taxpayers including faster refunds and more tax return preparers.
The new step is an effort by the I-T department to directly communicate deposit of tax deducted through SMS alerts to salaried tax payers.

Government to provide higher subsidy for airlines connecting two regional airports.
Centre will provide higher a subsidy to airlines that operate flights between two regional airports under the regional connectivity scheme.
Under the scheme, also known as UDAN, the Centre will provide a three-year subsidy to fund the losses of airlines to enable them to offer airfares at Rs. 2,500 for an hour’s flight on half the seats. The subsidy amount for airlines connecting to one regional airport will vary between Rs. 2,350 and Rs. 5,100 per seat depending upon the distance covered between two destinations.
The subsidy amount given to airlines that operate between two unserved or underserved airports will be 10 per cent higher than the sum offered to airlines that connect only one regional airport.
Centre has cut the bank guarantee to Rs.8 lakh and allowed airlines to change size of aircraft

Ola ties up with BMW India to offer luxury rides.
Ola Cabs has tied up with BMW India to provide the high-end cars to its customers for rides and on hourly basis rentals. The tie-up is part of the start-up’s luxury category offering in addition to Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz.

October 26

India ranks 130th in 2017 Ease of Doing Business index.
India has been placed at 130th position among the 190 countries in the recently released World Bank’s ease of doing business index for the year 2017.
The index was released as part of the World Bank’s annual report Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All. This report had revised India’s rank to 131 from earlier 130th for the year 2016.
New Zealand topped the list fallowed by Singapore.

Indian economy can reach $6-8 trillion mark in 15 yrs.
NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman, Dr. Arvind Panagariya in press lesease announced that the Indian economy has the potential to touch 6-8 trillion USD in the next 15 years as against 2 trillion at present.
NITI Aayog is working on towards this direction and has adopted a 15-year vision document.

Union Government forms panel to resolve telecom penalty row.
Telecom Ministry has formed a committee to look into the regulator TRAI’s recommendation of a Rs. 3,050 crore penalty on three telcos Airtel, Vodafone and Idea for denial of interconnection points to Reliance Jio.
The committee has been asked to give a report.

October 27

Accept Rs. 500, Rs. 1000 notes after scrutiny, says RBI.
Reserve Bank of India has urged public to examine 500 rupees and 1000 rupees currency notes before accepting them in the usual course of transactions to avoid circulation of fake currency notes.
The central bank has cautioned the public to subject notes that are accepted to "careful scrutiny".

Bangladeshs economy grew at record 7.11 per cent.
Bangladesh’s economy grew at a record 7.11% in the last financial year amid stronger industrial performance.
Economy has helped the country break out of the 6% 'growth trap', which it could not cross in the last one decade.
Bangladesh, as per the purchasing power parity, now stands at 33rd position among the world economies.

Qualcomm buys NXP.
Qualcomm agreed to buy semiconductor manufacturer NXP for $47 billion, making it the largest purchase in the chip industry's history.
Qualcomm would offer NXP Semiconductors $110 per share.
The acquisition will help Qualcomm expand from the smartphone market to other industries.

October 28

Twitter is shutting down its video app Vine.
Twitter announced that it will be shutting down Vine, a video-sharing service it had acquired in October 2012.
The platform lets users share six-second-long looping video clips.

Hero MotoCorp invests Rs. 205 crore in electric vehicle start-up.
Hero MotoCorp would invest up to Rs. 205 crore to acquire about 26-30 per cent stake in Bengaluru-based Ather Energy.
Ather is a technology start-up engaged in the business of designing and manufacturing smart Electric Vehicles (EV) and associated charging infrastructure.

GMR group wins $270 million in Maldives airport dispute.
GMR Group has been awarded compensation worth $270 million by a three-member international arbitral tribunal in its dispute with the Maldives government.
The compensation covers the debt, equity invested in the project along with a return of 17 per cent and termination payments and legal costs.

IBM acquires Sanovi Technologies.
IBM to acquire Bengaluru-based disaster recovery solution provider Sanovi Technologies.
IBM also plans to make Sanovi disaster recovery management solution available as a standalone software license for partners and customers.

Cabinet approves NITI Aayog's proposal for strategic sale.
Cabinet gave in-principle approval to strategic stake sales in some state-owned companies on the recommendations of the government think tank NITI Aayog.
The government did not disclose the number and names of public sector companies in which it will sell stakes.
The companies are a mix of loss-making and profitable units and the government is looking to bring down its stake to less than 50% in some of them.
The government had budgeted raising Rs. 20,500 crore from strategic stake sales in the current fiscal year.

October 29

Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 to curb black money comes into effect.
Law to prohibit benami transactions will come into effect from 1st November.
Parliament had passed the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 to curb black money.
The new legislation provides for seven years imprisonment and fine for those indulging in illegal transactions.

Cabinet approves 2% hike in DA for central government employees and pensioners.
Cabinet approved a 2% hike in dearness allowance for central government employees and pensioners at a cost of Rs. 5,622 crore per year.
More than 10 million former and current government employees will benefit from the move.

October 30

Govt to fix minimum wage rate for farm labour at Rs. 350 a day.
Labour Ministry has decided to fix the minimum wage at Rs. 350 per day for unskilled agricultural labour in C-class towns in the central sphere.
The ministry will notify minimum wages on November 1 to enhance minimum wages.
Currently, the minimum wage is Rs. 160 per day.

October 31

GST Network To Borrow Rs. 800 crore To Fund Infra Costs.
Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is a non-government, private limited company promoted by the central and state governments with the specific mandate to build the IT infrastructure and the services required for implementing the Goods and Services Tax.
GSTN will borrow Rs. 800 crore from banks to fund infrastructure costs to support the rollout of Goods and Services Tax from April 1 next year.
GSTN, a not-for-profit, non-government, private limited company promoted by the central and state governments, is borrowing Rs. 250 crore for working capital needs and another Rs. 550 crore as long-term loan from domestic lender.
Government of India has a 24.5 per cent stake in GSTN and the state government an equal share. The remaining 51 per cent is with private financial institutions.
The total authorised and paid-up capital is Rs. 10 crore. So, Rs. 4.90 crore has come from central and state governments and Rs. 5.10 crore from private institutions.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana top in ease of doing business.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have jointly topped the 2016 all-India State/Union Territory-wise ease of doing business rankings, while last year’s topper Gujarat slipped to the third spot.
The rankings have been arrived at on the basis of a 340-poaint business reform action plan and their implementation by the States. This covers the period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

EU, Canada sign CETA free trade deal.
European Union and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free trade deal.
CETA eliminates tariffs on almost 99% of goods and will reportedly increase Canadian-EU trade by 20%.

EPFO to give interest on 'inoperative' provident funds.
Government will issue a notification authorising retirement fund body EPFO to pay 8.8% interest to "inoperative" provident fund accounts.
About 9.7 crore workers will benefit from this. The inoperative accounts have not been paid interest since 2011.

China fully opens civilian airport market to private capital.
Chinese aviation regulator has fully opened its civilian airport market to private capital for the first time.
State-owned airports would be reduced and public-private partnerships will be encouraged to improve "quality and efficiency".


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