ECONOMY - 2017 JANUARY

January 1

India’s Petronet Signs MoU to Set Up $950 million LNG Project in Bangladesh.
India's largest LNG importer Petronet has signed an agreement to set up a USD 950 million liquefied natural gas import project in Bangladesh.
Petronet signed a MoU with Petrobangla to set up a 7.5 million tonnes a year project to receive and regasify LNG on Kutubdia Island in Cox's Bazar and lay a 26 km pipline to connect it to the consumption markets.
The project envisions future expansion and can be used to supply LNG through small barges and LNG trucks to users which are not connected by gas grid.

Jan Dhan account deposits double to Rs. 87,000 crore I-T dissects data.
Deposits in Jan Dhan account have more than doubled to Rs. 87,000 crore in 45 days post demonetisation, prompting the tax department to ''dissect'' information relating to such deposits.
Besides, the tax department also has data on small cash deposits between Rs. 30,000-50,000 made in 4.86 lakh accounts totaling to Rs. 2,000 crore. Between November 10 December 23, the total deposits in Jan Dhan accounts reported is Rs. 41,523 crore in 48 lakh accounts.
This, together with the total deposits of Rs. 45,637 crore as on November 9, takes the aggregate amount in Jan Dhan accounts to over Rs. 87,100 crore.

January 2

Amazon wins patent for a flying warehouse that will deploy drones to deliver parcels in minutes.
Amazon has been awarded a patent for a giant flying warehouse that acts as a launchpad for drones to deliver items within minutes.
The U.S. e-commerce giant described plans for an "airborne fulfillment center" (AFC) such as an airship or blimp that would float at an altitude of around 45,000. The airship will be stocked with lots of products.
When a customer places an order, a drone or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will fly down and deliver the package. Amazon insists that this would require little power because the drone would be gliding down rather than having to take off and land.

January 3

RBI asks banks to supply 40% of notes to rural areas.
The Reserve Bank directed banks to distribute at least 40 per cent of currency notes in rural areas.
Banks should advise their currency chests to step up issuance of fresh notes to rural branches of regional rural banks (RRBs), district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) and commercial banks, white label ATMs and post offices in rural areas on a priority basis which are considered as main rural channels of distribution.

Service charge by hotels and restaurants not mandatory: Government.
Service charges billed by restaurants are optional and it is up to the customers to pay it.
The department of Consumer affairs cited complaints that hotels and restaurants are levying an additional 5 to 20% in bills in lieu of tips, regardless of the kind of service provided.
The department asked state governments to sensitise hotels and restaurants and advise them to display at appropriate places on their premises that service charges are discretionary/ voluntary and can be waived if a consumer is dissatisfied with the services.

January 4

Bill Gates invests $140 million in HIV cure.
Charity foundation of Microsoft founder Bill Gates has invested $140 million in the development of HIV-preventing drug implants that could revolutionise the treatment of the life-threatening infection.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing this funding for the groundbreaking new technology which could revolutionise HIV prevention.
Currently, prevention drugs are available in the form of pills which, if taken daily, can reduce a person's chances of being infected with HIV.

FDI up 27% at $27.82 billion in April - October this fiscal.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country grew by over 27 per cent to $27.82 billion during April-October this fiscal.
The FDI stood at $21.87 billion in April - October 2015-2016, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
India receives maximum FDI from Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands and Japan. The inflows increased by 23 per cent to $55.6 billion in the last financial year.
The main sectors which have attracted the foreign inflows include services, telecom, trading, computer hardware and software and automobile.

Digital push: Rs. 5 discount on online payment for LPG refill.
Cooking gas customers can now avail an upfront discount of Rs. 5 on every refill booked and paid for online.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have begun offering the price discount to cooking gas customers.
Customers can pay using net banking, credit and debit cards at the time of online booking. The discounted amount will be seen on customers' screens as well as the cash memo accompanying the cylinder.

Azure Power Commissions 150 MW solar power project in Punjab.
Azure Power has commissioned one of the largest (150 MW) solar power project in north India, in the state of Punjab. For this project, Azure Power had signed a solar power implementation agreement with Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) under its Solar Policy Phase III.
The 150MW solar power plant represents a portfolio of three projects of 50MW each. The weighted average tariff on these projects is Rs. 5.63 (US $8.5 cents) per kWh and the company will supply power to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited for 25 years.
The solar project spreads across 713 acres of land was commissioned ahead of the contracted. The solar power plant will help in electrifying the nearby areas and will create an estimated 1,000 jobs in the locality.

Google introduces tools for small businesses in India.
The tech giant Google has created two initiatives - My Business and Digital Unlocked - which have been introduced in India first.
Google India announced key initiatives for the small and medium businesses in India, including a new tool that would help them create an online presence, besides a digital training programme.
Google My Business would help small businesses set up website from their mobile devices. All they need is a smartphone and a few minutes.
The tech giant also launched Digital Unlocked, an education programme in association with industry body FICCI and Indian School of Business. The programme will impart mobile and online courses to help small businesses.



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