ECONOMY - 2017 September

September 1

Growth Of Eight Core Sectors Slips To 2.4% In July
The growth of eight core sectors slowed to 2.4 per cent in July due to contraction in output of crude oil, refinery products, fertiliser and cement. These eight infrastructure sectors -- coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity -- had witnessed a growth of 3.1 per cent in July last year.
The production of crude oil declined by 0.5 per cent, refinery products by 2.7 per cent, fertiliser by 0.3 per cent and cement by 2 per cent, as per official data.
Coal output growth decelerated to 0.7 per cent last month as against 4.1 per cent in July 2016. Natural gas output rose by 6.6 per cent in July.
Steel production and power generation rose to 9.2 per cent and 5.4 per cent, respectively in July this year from zero per cent and 2.1 per cent in the same month last year.

SEBI bans Orion Capital, Orion Broking from markets for 10-yrs
SEBI barred Orion Capital as well as Orion Broking and their partners from the securities markets for 10 years for failing to redress several investor grievances pertaining to non- settlement of funds due to the clients.
The nature of investor complaints received against both the firms are predominantly on non-settlement of the funds and securities and balances due to their clients. The claim amount is more than Rs 6 crore against Orion Capital and over Rs 4 crore against Orion Broking.
Orion Capital and Debt Market and Orion Broking Services India have failed to redress the investor grievances till date. Arbitration Awards were passed against Orion Capital and Orion Broking and none of the Awards has been implemented by the notices.

September 2

Saab, Adani join hands for defence manufacturing
Swedish defence giant Saab and Indian conglomerate Adani group announced collaboration in defence manufacturing entailing billions of dollars of investment, mainly eyeing a contract for single- engine fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.
The project would encompass design, development and production of Gripen jets for India in line with the Make in India initiative.
The government is set to procure a fleet of single-engine fighters for the IAF and US defence firm Lockheed Martin will be a major competitor for Saab for the deal.

Fiscal deficit touches 92.4% of budget estimates at July-end
India’s fiscal deficit at July- end touched 92.4% of the budget mainly because of front loading of expenditure by various government departments.
according to the data of Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the fiscal defict- difference between expenditure and revenue - was Rs 5.04 lakh crore during April- July, 2017-18.
During the same period of last financial year, 2016-17, it was 73.7% of the target. For 2017-18, the government aims to bring down the fiscal deficit to 3.2 % of the GDP. Last fiscal, it had met the deficit target of 3.5 % of the GDP.
The CGA data showed that government’s revenue receipts improved at Rs 2.91 lakh crore during April—July period, which works out to be 19.2 % of the target of Rs 15.15 lakh crore for the whole year.

September 3

Anti-dumping duty slapped on synthetic rubber from EU, Thailand, South Korea
The Finance Ministry has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) of 1500 and 1700 series imported from the European Union, Thailand and South Korea, for a period of five years, unless revoked earlier.
The domestic tyre industry is a significant consumer of SBR 1500 and 1700 series. SBR is the largest volume of synthetic rubber produced and consumed globally.
The petition seeking anti-dumping duty on SBR 1500 and 1700 series was filed by Indian Synthetic Rubber Private Ltd (ISRPL) and Reliance Industries Ltd.
ISRPL is a joint venture company, jointly promoted by Indian Oil Corporation; TSRC, Taiwan and Marubeni Corporation, Japan.

September 4

UBS lowers India growth forecast to 6.6 pc for FY18
Global brokerage firm UBS has lowered Indias GDP growth forecast to 6.6 per cent for this fiscal from 7.2 per cent earlier. The growth is expected to pick up in coming quarters as the economy normalises post implementation of the GST.
UBS revising down forecasts for Indias GDP growth to 6.6 per cent year-on-year and 7.4 per cent year-on- year in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively (as against our earlier estimates of 7.2 per cent and 7.7 per cent).
Reforms like implementation of GST, adoption of inflation targeting, a new bankruptcy code, liberalisation of FDI, measures to curb black money and encouraging digitisation would help in improving the productivity dynamics of the country and lay the foundation of a sustainable growth.

Govt notifies hike in GST cess on mid, large cars to 25%
The government has notified hike in GST cess on a range of cars from mid-size to hybrid variant to luxury ones to a maximum of 25 per cent, from earlier 15 per cent.
The government has notified the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Ordinance, 2017. The Ordinance was approved by the Union Cabinet, headed by PM Narendra Modi, and was sent to the President for his approval.
With this amendment, taxation on luxury, SUV and other vehicles would be brought at par with that prevailing pre-GST rollout.
Car prices had dropped by up to Rs. 3 lakh following the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1 and the ordinance is being seen as an attempt to rectify the anomaly where rates of certain common use items had gone up but luxury cars were costing less under the new regime.

September 5

CBDT signs 4 more Advance Pricing Agreements
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into four more Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs), pertaining to sectors like telecom, banking, manufacturing and education.
Out of these four agreements, three are unilateral and one is a bilateral. The bilateral APA is for international transactions between an Indian company and a UK-based company. This is the 8th bilateral APA with the United Kingdom and 13th overall. The other five bilateral APAs are with Japan.
The APA scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance.
With the signing of these four agreements, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 175. This includes 162 unilateral APAs and 13 bilateral APAs. In the current financial year, a total of 23 APAs (two bilateral and 21 unilateral) have been signed till date.

China bans raising funds through cyrptocurrencies
China banned individuals and organisations from raising funds through initial coin offerings (ICO), or launches of digital currencies, saying the practice constituted illegal fund-raising.
ICOs have become a bonanza for digital currency entrepreneurs, globally and in China, allowing them to raise large sums quickly by creating and selling digital “tokens” with little or no regulatory oversight.
Individuals and organisations that have completed ICO fund-raisings should make arrangements to return funds. The prices of bitcoin and ethereum, two of the largest cryptocurrencies.

September 6

HCL acquires ETL Factory to help clients accelerate data integration
HCL Technologies (HCL) agreed to buy ETL Factory Limited, doing business as Datawave, a UK-based company that has created an innovative data automation platform which enables enterprise customers execute large scale, complex data-migration and data-integration projects in a leaner, faster and smarter way.
The flagship product Datawave, won the Informatica Innovation Award and is also extendable to other platforms, including big data.
The acquisition of Datawave and its suite of products bolster HCL's capabilities to collaborate with clients on their mission-critical data transformation projects, incorporating a culture of DevOps and continuous integration. Datawave also brings in significant banking industry expertise.

IFC invests $10 mn in Power2SME to lift SME sector
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $10 million (around Rs 64 crore) as equity in e-commerce platform Power2SME that helps small and medium companies buy raw materials at bulk prices.
Power2SME is backed by venture capital firms such as Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners, and Inventus Capital. Infosys Non-Executive chairman Nandan Nilekani had joined it as a strategic advisor through his investment in late 2015.
IFC will also advice Power2SME to help it expand beyond its current 14 states, improve the ability to provide working capital to SMEs by adding more banks as partners, and increase the number of users on its platforms by up to 10 times in five years.

September 7

BSNL and Coriant Enter into Agreement to Chart Path to 5G and IoT in India
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited entered into an Agreement with Coriant to chart a path to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) in India.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between BSNL and Coriant for Laying the Foundation for Innovation in Network Architectures and Services leveraging 5G, IoT, SDN/NFV, and Mobile Edge Computing technologies.
As part of its strategic collaboration, BSNL and Coriant will work together to develop 5G and IoT use cases such as rural connectivity, connected healthcare, industrial automation, public safety, video surveillance, energy, and agriculture.
In addition, the agreement encompasses research programs, knowledge sharing, and workshops focused on the latest networking trends and hyperscale architectures designed to support the scalable, ultra-low latency, ultra-efficient, and reliable delivery of commercial 5G services and applications.

Ashok Leyland arm, ELCOM ink defence pact with Russian firm
Ashok Leyland Defence Systems (ALDS), Russia’s Rosoboronexport and ELCOM Group have signed a cooperation agreement in defence business. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the International Military Technical Forum Army - 2017 held at Kubinka, near Moscow.
Rosoboronexport has chosen ALDS and ELCOM as its partners in India to address the tracked vehicle upgrade programmes of the Indian Armed Forces. The issue of indigenisation and availability of service and parts, which has been an area of concern, will now be addressed as ALDS and ELCOM will be responsible for manufacturing in India and also for providing life cycle support.
Rosoboronexport (ROE) is the only state organisation in Russia for export of the entire range of military products and technologies. ROE represents Russian companies that are manufacturers of infantry fighting vehicles and main battle tanks for the Indian Army.

September 8

Nestle sets up India's first food safety institute, makes peace with FSSAI
The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal inaugurated India's first ever food safety institute set up by Nestle India in Manesar.
The institute aims to train and guide its students in food safety including nutrition check and keeping the ingredients in the food items within the limit among others.
This partnership is very well thought strategy. Nestle Food Safety Institute will conduct training programmes, on food safety management systems, testing methods and regulatory standards.
Partnerships with private parties on food safety and standards are an imperative for FSSAI. This is our effort to implement a first world regulatory ecosystem in India.

Airtel Launches GST Advantage Solution for Small Businesses, Offers 18GB Free Data for 3 Months
Airtel Business has partnered with ClearTax to launch a new business service called Airtel GST Advantage. With the recent advent of GST and the lack of clarity around it, this solution is specifically designed to enable small businesses and startups to file their GST returns without hassle.
All Airtel Business customers can sign up for Airtel GST Advantage for free by registering on www.airtel.in/gst-advantage. With GST Advantage, Airtel is offering 18GB of free additional data spread over three months (2GB/ month/ connection on a maximum of three devices) with any Airtel corporate connection or device, to help them upload returns without worrying about bandwidth charges.
This offer also gives Airtel users access to the GST Advantage Helpdesk between 8.00am and 8.00pm IST on all weekdays. This helpdesk, as the name suggests, will look to solve any queries relating to GST of Airtel customers. There's also access to the GST knowledge bank published by Airtel and curated by tax experts, giving users in-depth information about GST.

ICICI Lombard gets Sebi nod for Rs 6,000 crore IPO
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company has got capital markets regulator Sebi's go-ahead for its estimated Rs 6,000 crore initial public offer, which could be the first by a general insurer in the country.
Two state-run general insurers -- General Insurance Corp of India and New India Assurance Company -- as also two life insurance firms (SBI Life and HDFC Standard Life) have also lined up IPO plans and are awaiting Sebi's go-ahead for their respective draft papers.
Among these, Sebi is awaiting "clarification" from insurance regulator IRDAI with regard to IPOs by HDFC Standard Life, New India Assurance and General Insurance, as per the latest update available with Sebi on these IPOs.

September 9

Monsanto to sell its cotton seed brand to India's Tierra Agrotech
Monsanto Co will sell its small branded cotton seed business to local firm Tierra Agrotech Private Ltd, but remains fully committed to India’s agriculture sector.
The sale comes as Monsanto fights a former licensee in India in a bitter dispute that has drawn in both the Indian and U.S. governments, while it is also the subject of a $66 billion takeover by Germany’s Bayer.
Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) (MMB), a joint venture with India’s Mahyco, will continue to sell genetically modified cotton seeds under license to more than 40 Indian seed companies.
Monsanto Holdings Private unit, an MMB licensee which sells the company’s Bollgard I and Bollgard II seeds, will exit cotton and sell its branded seed to Tierra Agrotech.

Govt offers online tool to resolve foreign trade issues
The government has set up an online service facility that can be used by importers and exporters to resolve all foreign trade-related issues.
The directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT), which comes under commerce ministry, has asked all exporters and importers to use the system - Contact@DGFT - for resolution of their matters.
Traders can raise all matters related to the directorate or other agencies of the Centre and States through this facility, which is activated at the DGFT website.
"Contact@DGFT system has been activated as a single point contact for resolving all foreign trade-related issues.

Bharat Petroleum set to get Maharatna status
Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) is all set to become a Maharatna company. The oil marketing company is at present a Navratna firm. The decision to elevate BPCL to Maharatna status was taken by a panel headed by the Cabinet secretary.
Maharatna and Navaratna state-owned units operate in strategic fields such as coal, petroleum, steel, heavy engineering, power supply, telecommunications and transportation services.
Under government rules, a firm is eligible for Maharatna status if it is already a listed Navratna firm, has an average turnover, net worth and annual net profit after tax of at least Rs 25,000 crore, Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 5,000 crore, respectively, in the last three years. Moreover, the company should have significant global operations.

September 10

SEBI imposes Rs 2,423 crore fine on PACL, 4 directors
Securities market regulator SEBI imposed a fine of Rs 2,423.16 crore on PACL Ltd and its four Directors for illegally mobilising Rs 49,100 crore under different schemes.
The SEBI Rs 49,100 crore was mobilised by PACL over 15 years through unregistered collective investment schemes in violation of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, and SEBI (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations, 1992.
The SEBI had imposed a penalty of Rs 7,269.49 crore under SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices Relating to Securities Market) Regulations, 2003, to be paid jointly and severally by PACL and its four Directors -- Tarlochan Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Gurmeet Singh, and Subrata Bhattacharya.

IRDAI allows one-time password for opening online insurance account
IRDAI has permitted usage of OTP or one-time password for opening e-insurance account (eIA) as an alternative to an electronic signature.
As part of its ongoing effort to improve insurance penetration, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has also permitted e-KYC facility offered by UIDAI which provides the unique Aadhaar numbers.
In order to facilitate opening of e-insurance account through online/electronic means, the authority permits validation by 'One Time Password for eIA opening as an alternative to e-signature.

September 11

SEBI advisory panel to discuss trading hours extension
An advisory committee of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is likely to discuss a proposal for extending stock market trading hours, even as several brokers feel any such move would increase cost and logistics burden for them.
The stock market in India currently opens at 9 am and closes at 3.30 pm, but there is a view—including among stock exchanges—that the trade hours could be extended till up to 7.30 pm to better align domestic trading with global markets.
The proponents of this proposal feel extended hours can help boost trade volumes, thus generating greater revenue for exchanges, and help deepen the equity markets in the country.

Facebook fined 1.2 million euros by Spanish data watchdog
Facebook has been fined 1.2 million euros ($1.4 million) for allegedly collecting personal information from users in Spain that could then be used for advertising, the national data protection watchdog.
Spanish Agency of data protection (AEPD) found three cases in which Facebook had collected details such as the gender, religious beliefs, personal tastes and browsing history of its millions of Spanish users without informing them how such information would be used.
The tech giant did not sufficiently inform users about how it would use data collected on third-party websites, and did not obtain consent to use it.

September 12

Karnataka, Finland in innovation tie-up for start-up incubation
Karnataka Department of Information Technology (IT) and Biotechnology (BT) entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Embassy of Finland in Bengaluru.
The innovation cooperation between Karnataka and Finland, called Karnataka–Finland Innovation Corridor, offers a virtual platform facilitating the exchange of information and expertise in the fields of science, research, innovation and skill development.
Karnataka–Finland Innovation Corridor envisions identifying mutual interests and organising joint projects, such as start-up incubation programmes, research programmes, events, competitions and exposure visits.

Mother Dairy, Maharashtra tie-up for processing plant
The Maharashtra government and Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), announced the signing of a lease agreement to set up plant for the processing of milk and milk products.
According to the MoU, a dairy development initiative will begin in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to provide milk producers access to markets in Nagpur and Mumbai.
Apart from transferring the Nagpur dairy on lease and land for setting up a new dairy at Gove Bhiwandi, Maharashtra will provide assistance, including funds, for a coordinated approach to improve productivity through animal breeding, nutrition and health.
Mother Dairy has already initiated milk procurement operations in Amravati, Wardha, Nagpur, Chandrapur,Nanded, Osmanabad, Buldana and Yavatmal.

Infosys acquires London-based design firm Brilliant Basics for Rs 63 crore
In a bid to build on 'Design Thinking' approach, Infosys announced it has completed the acquisition of London-based product design and customer experience company Brilliant Basics.
The acquisition extended Infosys' digital design services network to include Europe and the West Asia, enhancing the company's expertise across financial services, retail and telco sectors.
Through this acquisition, Infosys expanded its worldwide connected network of 'Digital Studios' that is focused on fulfilling needs of global clients for end-to-end digital transformation solutions.
Infosys has several 'Digital Studios' the world over, including in Bengaluru, Pune, New York, London and Melbourne.

September 13

PayU, IRCTC Joins Hand To Lends Online Payment Services To Users
India’s leading internet payment service provider, PayU has announced its collaborations with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to provide users a safe and secure option to pay for rail tickets booked via the IRCTC website.
PayU will now be available as a payment option under the Multiple Payment Services or MPS option on the IRCTC website at the payment stage of booking an e- ticket. Clicking on this option will enable users to make a safe and secure transaction via various payment options like internet banking, debit/credit card, and e-wallet.
PayU has partnered with Mswipe Technologies Private Limited, India’s largest independent POS merchant acquirer and network provider for digital payments.

Bharti Airtel, S K Telecom tie up to develop 5G technology
Bharti Airtel and Korea's telecommunications company SK Telecom announced a strategic partnership to build advanced telecom network in India.
The partnership will work across several areas, including developing software to dramatically improve network experience, leveraging advanced digital tools including machine learning, big data and building customized tools, to improve network planning based on every customer's device experience.
The two companies will also collaborate on an ongoing basis to evolve standards for 5G, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Software-defined Networking (SDN) and Internet of Things (IoT), and jointly work towards building an enabling ecosystem for the introduction of these technologies in the Indian context.

September 14

Force Motors ties up with Rolls Royce to set up engine plant
Commercial vehicle maker Force Motors has tied up with Rolls Royce Power Systems to set up a joint Venture to produce engines for multiple applications like railways and power generation.
Under the partnership, the Pune-based firm will set up a dedicated manufacturing facility meeting the standards and specifications laid down by Rolls Royce at Chakan near Pune.
The joint venture will produce complete power generation systems including associated spare parts for Indian as well as global markets.
Rolls Royce Power Systems portfolio includes high speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defense vehicles. The company has customers in more than 150 countries, including 400 airlines, 160 armed forces, 70 navies and more than 4,000 power and nuclear customers.

India FY18 GDP Growth Likely At 7.1%: Nomura
India's GDP growth is expected to be around 7.1 per cent this fiscal following a likely pick up in industrial production as firms resort to 'restocking' post GST.
According to the Japanese financial services major, post-GST restocking is likely to drive a faster pace of industrial output growth in the coming quarters.
Before the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), destocking was triggered largely owing to a steep fall in demand from consumers as they delayed purchases. Post GST implementation, restocking might pick up in anticipation of rising demand conditions.
Overall, Nomura expect GDP growth of 7.1 per cent year-on- year and GVA growth of 6.7 per cent in 2017-18.

Mindtree opens first innovation hub in US 'Digital Pumpkin'
Domestic IT consulting firm Mindtree opened its first international innovation hub 'Digital Pumpkin' at its New Jersey office.
Building on the success of the original 'Digital Pumpkin' at its global headquarters in Bengaluru, the facility addresses the demand from Mindtree clients in the US for an interactive space where multi-disciplinary teams can ideate, design and craft meaningful digital experiences.
The 16,000 square feet facility will offer digital solutions, accelerators and tools for clients including a multi-channel Site Builder, Consumer Engagement and Loyalty Platform, Next-Generation Unified Interface for consumer-centric organizations.

Hindustan Shipyard and Hyundai Heavy Industries Company to join hands in ship building
Hindustan Shipyard Ltd., the largest shipbuilding enterprise under Ministry of Defence, and world’s premier shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) are likely to undertake joint construction of self-propelled fleet support ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy.
HSL is confident of getting order for construction of five FSS, each costing Rs.2,000 crore. FSS will have a speed of 16 knots, can travel 12,000 nautical miles and have a service of 30 years with capability to carry ballistic weapons.
The plan is to roll out one FSS every 10 months after the delivery of the first vessel from Hyundai. The total cost of the five FSS would be around ₹9,500 crore.

Zomato acquires food delivery start-up Runnr
Food technology start-up Zomato Media Pvt. Ltd has acquired delivery start-up Runnr as part of a widely expected, all-stock deal that would help the former significantly shore up its food delivery business.
The deal, which was announced by Zomato founder and chief executive Deepinder Goyal, is expected to bolster Zomato’s delivery capabilities and help the New Delhi-based start-up build a captive fleet of delivery personnel.
the all-stock deal could be pegged at about $20 million.

September 15

India’s GDP growth likely to slip below 7 per cent this fiscal: DBS
India’s GDP growth is likely to face near-term headwinds and might slip below 7 per cent mark to a three-year low this financial year.
According to the global financial services major, two recent policy measures — demonetisation in November 2016 and GST rollout in July 2017 had a short term impact on economic activity and aggravated the already slowing momentum. These amplified the already weak trends in manufacturing and investment growth slowing first half growth to 5.9 per cent from 7.9 per cent in 2016.
For 2017-18, a weak June quarter and the likelihood of only a modest improvement in July-September, prompts us to temper our full year expectations. DBS expect real GDP to average 6.8 per cent year-on-year in 2017-18 (as against 7.3 previously).

Google likely to launch mobile payment service in India
Google plans to introduce a localised digital payment service in India as early as next week. The payment service, called Google 'Tez', will offer payment options beyond the existing ones like Google Wallet or Android Pay.
Tez, meaning fast in Hindi, will include support for the government-backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and other consumer payment services including Paytm and MobiKwik.
Google launched its payment app Android Pay in the United States two years ago.
Google, Facebook Inc and WhatsApp Inc were in talks with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to provide UPI-enabled payment on their platforms.

Ministry of Corporate Affairs, CBDT sign MoU for Automatic and Regular Exchange of Information
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) concluded a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for data exchange.
The MoU will ensure that both MCA and CBDT have seamless PAN-CIN (Corporate Identity Number) and PAN-DIN (Director Identity Number) linkage for regulatory purposes. The information shared will pertain to both Indian corporates as well as foreign corporates operating in India.
It will enable sharing of specific information such as Permanent Account Number (PAN) data in respect of corporates, Income Tax returns (ITRs) of corporates, financial statements filed with the Registrar by corporates, returns of allotment of shares, audit reports and statements of financial transactions (SFT) received from banks relating to corporates.

September 16

India’s Forex reserves cross $400 billion for the first time on asset surge
India’s foreign exchange reserves topped the $400 billion mark for the first time to hit an all-time high of $400.726 billion, aided by a sharp rise in foreign currency assets, mainly huge inflows through foreign direct investments in projects and portfolio investment.
After hitting the $300 billion mark in 2008, it took the country over nine years to cross the $400 billion level. Foreign exchange reserves had earlier topped $300-billion in March 2008, months before the global financial crisis hit Indian rupee and the economy.
India is now in the sixth position in forex reserves ranking, ahead of Taiwan, Brazil and euro zone. But China is way ahead topping the table with reserves of $3,053 billion. Japan is in the second position with reserves of $1,188 billion, followed by Switzerland with $743 billion.

India, China unlikely to be ‘growth poles’ for global economy: UNCTAD report
The UNCTAD’s recently released Trade and Development Report (TDR) 2017, stated that India and China at their current levels of growth will not serve as “growth polls” for global economy in near future.
The world economy in 2017 is picking up but not lifting off. The global growth is expected to reach 2.6%, well below pre 2008 financial crisis average of 3.2%.
Effects of demonetisation and rollout of the Goods & Services Tax regime on the informal sector and reduction in pace of credit creation may affect India’s growth prospects and the country unlikely to serve as the “growth pole’’ for the global economy in the near future.

September 17

National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute signs an MoU with Ludhiana based Bonn Food Industries to promote coloured wheat
National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, an autonomous body of Ministry of Science and Technology has signed MoU with Ludhiana based Bonn Food Industries to promote coloured wheat with antioxidant qualities beneficial for control of diabetes, cholesterol and obesity.
The cross between high yielding Indian cultivars and colored wheat procured from Japan and America is as rich in anthocynanins as blueberries and high in zinc.
NABI has signed MOU with Bonn group of industries that will be making healthy products from the colored wheat and other talks are on with other baking and milling companies.
It has been developed by routine way of plant breeding by crossing high yielding Indian cultivars PBW550, PBW621, HD2967 with colored wheat procured from Japan and America.

September 18

Ola ties up with Karnataka Tourism Department to launch tourism campaign
Ola and the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation kicked off a campaign to promote responsible tourism, titled #GhoomoResponsibly. Tourism and IT-BT Minister Priyank M. Kharge flagged off the initiative to promote and raise awareness about responsible tourism.
The Karnataka Tourism Development Corporation has started new packaged and curated tours for tourists, picking them up from their doorsteps and taking them to various destinations in cars/SUVs, in collaboration with Ola.
To promote offbeat travel, Shenaz Treasury, actress and travel vlogger, embarked on a road trip that spans across seven states, 14 days, and 21 lesser-known locations across the country with Ola Outstation, a service for inter-city travel.

Small traders can opt for GST composition scheme till 30 September
The GST (goods and services tax) Network, or GSTN, the company that processes GST returns, offered two more weeks for small traders who missed an earlier opportunity to sign up for a liberal compliance scheme involving quarterly return filings.
The ‘composition scheme’ for traders with up to Rs75 lakh annual sales is now open till 30 September. Those who opt for this can file returns on a quarterly basis unlike the others who have to file returns on a monthly basis.
Those who sign up before 30 September will get the benefit of the scheme from 1 October, until which they will be treated as normal assessees.
Under the scheme, small businesses, manufacturers and restaurants will be subject to a GST rate of 0.5%, 1% and 2.5% respectively on turnover.

September 19

IFC to invest Rs 320 cr in Mahindra Life space industrial parks
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will invest about Rs 320 crore in realty firm Mahindra Lifespace Developers' industrial park projects across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd is the real estate and infrastructure development arm of the Mahindra Group while IFC is a member of the World Bank group.
Mahindra Lifespace and IFC announced "a partnership for the development of multiple industrial parks across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra". IFC has committed $50 million investment in these projects.
The partnership envisages investment across Mahindra Lifespaces' existing and upcoming industrial park projects, with its first investment in an approximately 350-acre industrial park near Ahmedabad.

SEBI plans to allow REITs, InvITs to raise funds via bonds
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) permitted real estate investment trusts (REITs) and infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) to issue bonds, as part of measures it has been taking to help attract investors to a capital-starved property sector. Earlier, these trusts could only raise funds through equity.
The regulator also allowed single-asset REITs, in contrast to a previous rule where the trust needed at least two projects under it, with one of the projects limited to 60 percent of the value of assets. SEBI also allowed strategic investors to participate in REITS, in line with InvITs.
Sebi's board has approved amendment to REITs and InvITs regulations in order to facilitate growth of such trusts; Sebi has also decided to amend the definition of 'valuer' for both REITs and InvITs.

September 20

Tata Steel, ThyssenKrupp seal deal to form Europe's 2nd-largest steelmaker
Thyssenkrupp and Indian peer Tata Steel struck a preliminary agreement to combine their European steel operations in a 50-50 joint venture, creating the continent's No.2 steelmaker after ArcelorMittal.
The MoU will be followed by negotiations about the details of the transactions as well as due diligence - a detailed look at each other's accounts - before a joint venture contract can be signed at the beginning of 2018.
The signing of the joint deal will require the approval of Thyssenkrupp's supervisory board and Tata Steel's board of directors as well as that of the European Commission.

Anti-dumping duty on import of bus/truck radial tyres from China
India has imposed anti-dumping duty on import of certain type of radial tyres used in buses and trucks to protect domestic manufacturers from below cost shipments from China for five years.
The anti-dumping duty has been imposed in the range of USD 245.35 - 452.33 per ton. The levy follows recommendation for the same by Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).
The duty has been slapped on "new/unused pneumatic radial tyres with or without tubes and/or flap of rubber (including tubeless tyres) having nominal rim dia code above 16 (inch)" used in buses and lorries/trucks.

Mahindra & Mahindra enters into strategic alliance with Ford to explore collaboration on electric vehicles
Mahindra & Mahindra has entered into a strategic alliance with US car major Ford Motor Company to explore cooperation in the sphere of products, technologies and distribution including future mobility program, connected vehicle projects, electrification of cars amongst other areas.
The tie-up could facilitate Mahindra's expansion into other global emerging markets. And the potential of talks are wide ranging right from for shared investment, economies of scale, technology sharing and higher efficiency in conventional areas like product development, sourcing and distribution as also in new emerging growth areas of mobility, electrification and internet of vehicles or connected cars.

September 21

MSE launches Member Activation Drive, provides infrastructural support, incentives to members
Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSE), a national level stock exchange recognized by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) launched a Member Activation Drive that will provide all infrastructural support to its members, various incentive schemes as well as lowest transaction charges on almost all product contracts.
The exchange introduced a Business Loyalty Program called MY MSE, under which the members need to comply with several businesses and risk mitigating parameters to be eligible for the incentive.
Among the incentive schemes, the exchange is reimbursing Clearing Fee paid by its trading members to their Clearing Members, enabling a reduction in transactional cost of brokers.

Google buys HTC engineers for $1.1 billion to aid hardware push
Google agreed to buy part of HTC Corp.’s engineering and design teams for $1.1 billion to bolster the US internet giant’s nascent hardware business.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google is getting a team of employees that’ve worked on its Pixel smartphone for Google. The deal comes with a non-exclusive licensing agreement for HTC intellectual property.
By owning a manufacturer, Google gains tighter control over production of its Pixel smartphone and other devices, potentially helping sales. Those gadgets are becoming the pillars of Google’s strategic push to distribute critical software products, such as its voice-enabled assistant, contain costs in its main advertising business and better compete with Apple Inc.

TRAI cuts mobile termination charges 57%; eyes waiver by ’20
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India slashed mobile termination charges (MTC) by 57% to 6 paise per minute with effect from October 1, in a move that is likely to lead to a reduction in call rates.
Mobile Termination Charges (MTC), currently 14 paise, are payable by the operator whose subscriber makes a call to the operator whose subscriber receives the call, and directly impact the tariff.
these charges worked as disincentive for deployment of new technology such as VoLTE and migration to IP networks by operators, where there are no interconnection charges.

State-run PSUs sign MoU to form Khanij Bidesh India Ltd
National Aluminium Company (Nalco), Hindustan Copper (HCL)and MECL, three state-run PSUs, have signed an MoU to form a joint venture Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (Kabil).
The proposed JV will identify, explore, acquire, develop and process strategic minerals overseas for commercial use and to meet domestic supply needs.
The JV will deal in 12 strategic minerals that are either not available in the country or the quantity available is lower then recruitment.

September 22

Global trade likely to grow at 3.6% in 2017: WTO
According to revised estimates published by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Global merchandise trade is expected to grow at a higher 3.6 per cent in 2017, compared with 1.6 per cent increase last year, on the back of resurgent Asian trade.
The WTO had earlier projected the world trade to grow at 2.4 per cent in 2017. The improved outlook is based on the fact that intra-regional shipments boosted Asian trade and import demand in North America recovered after falling last year.
The improved outlook for trade is welcome news, but substantial risks that threaten the world economy remain in place and could easily undermine any trade recovery.

SEBI to issue unified licence to stock brokers for commodity derivatives, equity trading
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) decided to grant a unified licence to brokers and clearing members to operate in commodity derivative as well as equity markets.
The board of Sebi has approved a proposal for integration of stock brokers in equity and commodity derivative space. Following this, a broker or clearing member dealing in the securities markets will be allowed to buy, sell or deal in commodity derivatives without setting up a separate entity and vice-versa.
To enable the integration, Sebi will amend norms pertaining to stock broker and securities contract regulations

Indian economy to grow 6.7% in 2017-18: OECD
According to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Indian economy is projected to grow at a lower than expected rate of 6.7% this fiscal due to the “transitory effects” of demonetisation and the goods and services tax (GST) implementation.
The Paris-based think tank has also revised downwards its estimate for the country’s growth in next financial year (2018-19) to 7.2%. For this period, the GDP expansion was pegged at 7.7% in June.
In 2017-18, India’s growth is forecast to be 6.7% compared to June projection of 7.3%, as per the OECD Interim Economic Outlook. As per report in India, “the transitory effects of demonetisation and of the implementation of the GST have led to a downward revision in 2017 growth projections.

September 23

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) to buy Turkish tractor firm for Rs 815 crore
The country’s biggest tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) will be acquiring Turkey’s fourth-largest tractor maker, Erkunt Traktör Sanayii and its foundry business, for Rs 815 crore in an all-cash deal. This is the company’s second acquisition in Turkey.
M&M will be purchasing 100% stake of Erkunt Traktor Sanayi for Rs 487 crore. The company will also be acquiring 80% stake of Erkunt’s foundry unit, Erkunt Traktor Sanayi, for Rs 328 crore.
The company will make efforts to acquire the remaining 20% in the foundry business before the close of transaction on November 30. Turkey’s Armagan family, who incorporated the company in 2003, will continue to operate with key support resources from India.

Online general insurer Acko General Insurance gets IRDAI nod
Indian insurance sector regulator IRDAI has given the final nod to online non-life insurer Acko General Insurance Ltd.
Company has mapped a huge opportunity to tap into online general insurance segment which is estimated to be over $10 billion annually. this has helped to take a plunge as an insuretech that is completely digital in the general insurance space without the traditional set-up of the brick and mortar format.
The focus would be to make insurance affordable and relevant to customers with less frills and more value to suit their needs.
Acko General Insurance is currently directing its endeavors to strengthen the team, set-up robust tech processes, and forge alliances to formulate and customize products as per the need of the customers.

Uber loses its license to operate in London
Taxi-hailing app Uber suffered a major blow as Transport for London (TfL) — the body responsible for issuing licences to cab companies announced that from September-end it would lose its licence to operate in the city.
Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license. the transport app’s private hire operator licence that expires on September 30.
TfL’s regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety. Private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, in order to operate. TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a licence.

Aditya Birla Group to wind up e-commerce venture Abof.com
Aditya Birla Group will shut down its online shopping portal Abof.com by the end of this year, weighed down by intense competition from the sector giants Amazon and Flipkart.
Launched in October 2015, Abof.com has portfolio across clothing, footwear and accessories besides a collection of the group’s own brands like Allen Solly and Peter England, among others.
There are various reasons for the closure. First, the sector is not maturing to the level it was expected, and secondly, the return on investment is long drawn affair and to continue putting money into the resources is not a very intelligent idea.

September 24

Dabur India joins hand with Amazon for ayurveda E-marketplace
Dabur India has tied up with e-commerce major Amazon for an online ayurveda marketplace which will house all ayurvedic brands and products of the country.
The exclusive ayurveda e-marketplace has been hosted by Amazon India and the content is developed by Dabur India. The idea is to service all health and personal care related needs.
Consumers can search on the basis companies, brands and ailments, they will gain access to all ayurveda solutions available in the country.
Products of other ayurvedic manufacturing companies like Baba Ramdev-promoted Patanjali and Himalaya would also feature on the marketplace.

Etihad Airways launches fly now pay later scheme
The UAEs flag carrier Etihad Airways has launched a fly now and pay later scheme which provides people an option of paying the ticket fare in monthly instalments.
The initiative is designed to allow families to book flights with convenience as payment plans have been tailored to meet their requirements.
Etihad Airways is the first in the Gulf region to offer fully automated online instalment plans after partnering with PayFort, a leading online payment service provider in the Arab world.
To participate, travellers need to select the Pay by Instalment option, choose their bank they have a credit card with and their payment period while making an online payment on the airlines website.
The instalments can be paid within three to 60 months, with 17 participating banks.

IRDAI panel to help move to risk-based capital norms in 3 yrs
IRDAI has formed a ten-member steering committee to help implement by March 2021 the new risk-based capital (RBC) regime that will also enhance protection to policyholders.
The decision to move to the RBC norms from the current solvency principle regime has been taken after recommendations of a panel which gave its report in July this year.
A shift in regime is felt because the current solvency based rules do not help in assessing whether the capital held is adequate enough for the risks inherent in the insurance business.
The RBC Committee headed by Dilip C Chakraborty in its report to Irdai suggested that the industry should move ahead with RBC to ensure that capital held by a company will take into account its overall risk profile.

September 25

Subsidy on home loans under PMAY till March 2019
The Centre extended the benefits of the interest subsidy scheme on home loans under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or PMAY (Urban) by 15 months beyond December this year. Now, the subsidy of up to ₹2.60 lakh on home loans for the middle-income group (MIG) will be available till March 2019.
The announcement was made by Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra at the Real Estate and Infrastructure Investors Summit organised by NAREDCO in Mumbai.
The government decided to give more time for MIG beneficiaries to avail interest subsidy under PMAY (Urban).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2016 had announced that the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) under PMAY (Urban) for MIG would continue till the end of December 2017.

TRIFED signs MoU with Amazon India to sell tribal products online
To popularise the ‘Tribes India’ brand in national and international markets, Trifed has signed a memorandum of understanding with Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd for sale of tribal products through e-commerce giant www.amazon.in.
As a part of the MoU, authentic tribal art and craft items crafted and sculpted by tribal artisans from all over the country will be showcased on the online portal for sale.
From a single store in Delhi in 1999, the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (Trifed) has established a chain of 42 retail outlets and tie-ups with 13 State-level emporiums.
Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram also announced the nationwide expansion of the scheme to provide minimum support price for 24 minor forest produce (MFPs), such as karanj seed, mahua seed, tamarind, wild honey etc. The scheme is already being implemented in nine States.

September 26

Sebi imposes Rs 4 lakh penalty on Swagruha Infrastructure
Sebi imposed a penalty of Rs 4 lakh on Swagruha Infrastructure Ltd (SIL) for failing to make requisite disclosures for 11 straight years.
After concluding that SIL violated the provisions of SAST (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, the regulator imposed the fine on the firm.
As per SAST Regulations, SIL was required to make yearly disclosures with regard to changes in shareholding of certain entities to the exchange within 30 days from the financial year ending March 31 as well as the record date for dividend declaration.
The noticee (SIL) had made the relevant disclosures with a huge delay, for the period 2001 to 2011.

Asian Development Bank Lowers India Growth Outlook To 7% for 2017-18
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has slashed India's GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7 per cent from 7.4 per cent owing to weakness in private consumption, manufacturing output and business investment.
The 7 per cent GDP growth expected in 2017-18 is lower than 7.1 per cent recorded in 2016-17 and its earlier projection of 7.4 per cent in July. ADB pencilled in 7.4 per cent for 2018-19, down from the earlier forecast of 7.6 per cent in July..
According to Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017, Private consumption is expected to pick up on the back of low inflation and anticipated wage hikes. Manufacturing is also likely to bounce back as the sector adjusts to the new tax regime.

September 27

India Is World's 40th Most Competitive Economy, Switzerland ranked 1st place: WEF
India has been ranked as the 40th most competitive economy slipping one place from last year's ranking on the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index, which is topped by Switzerland.
On the list of 137 economies, Switzerland is followed by the US and Singapore in second and third places, respectively. China is ranked at 27th.
India stabilises this year after its big leap forward of the previous two years, the score has improved across most pillars of competitiveness.
These include infrastructure (66th rank), higher education and training (75) and technological readiness (107), reflecting recent public investments in these areas.

Flipkart acquires mobile and IT products service chain F1 Info Solutions
Flipkart has acquired F1 Info Solutions, a mobile and IT repair Services Company with a pan-India presence of owned and franchised centres. F1 Info Solutions will be a part of Jeeves.
The acquisition adds complementary capabilities to Jeeves’ existing expertise, and will expand Flipkart’s offerings to the entire lifecycle of mobiles, IT products and consumer electronics, from sales to after sales and repair services. Flipkart customers can now walk into an F1 Info Solutions store to get their devices repaired.
Established in 2012, F1 Info Solutions is a neutral service provider with a distributed repair service network of around 158 centres in 135 cities.
It is also a service partner of several global mobile and IT brands such as Apple, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Asus.

September 28

Amazon India launches Amazon Business for SMBs
Amazon India launched a new marketplace ‘Amazon Business’ to cater to the requirements of the small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the country.
The new marketplace is focussed on meeting the procurement needs of SMBs such as technology and service companies, manufacturers, universities, schools and offices, Amazon.
They would be able to choose from over 10 crore products including laptops, printers, network storage solutions, electronics, pantry supplies among others at business-only pricing.
Small companies can register with Amazon Business with their GST number and be entitled for input tax credit (varying between 5-28 per cent basis different product types).

NeSL gets final nod to become India's first Information Utility
National e-Governance Services Ltd. (NeSL), a union government company that had received an in-principle approval in June for establishing an information utility (IU), has now received the final approval to become India’s first IU.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has granted it registration till September, 2022.
IUs will be the one-step repository for all information related to lending and borrowing activities of financial institutions. In other words, information of all such financial contracts will be maintained in an electronic format.
It will also provide effective retrieval facilities for Insolvency Professionals, Debt Recovery Tribunal, and the National Company Law Tribunal so as to enable the proceedings to be completed in a time-bound manner.

Sebi bans Jeevan Suraksha Energy and Industries from markets
SEBI barred Jeevan Suraksha Energy and Industries Ltd (JSEIL) from the capital markets for not complying with public issue norms.
The move comes after SEBI received a complaint against the company with regard to alleged fund mobilisation by way of issuance of Redeemable Preference Shares (RPS) and inability to recover investments and promised returns.
A probe conducted by Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) found that the company allotted redeemable preference shares worth about Rs 25.82 lakh to 125 persons during 2012-13.

VNL signs pact with BSNL to provide solutions for disaster management
Telecom equipment and solutions provider VNL has signed a memorandum of understanding with BSNL to provide solutions for disaster management.
The 'Relief 123' service will restore connectivity at disaster sites, help locate the affected and integrate information across platforms to enable informed decision-making for quick relief.
The service is an integrated disaster response solution for first responders and public safety agencies. The solution is designed and manufactured by VNL and the backhaul connectivity will be provided by BSNL.
The service has been designed to work in different scenarios, including natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms, floods and tsunamis.

5. India's GDP growth to fall to 6.7% in FY18: India Ratings
India Ratings has lowered the growth forecast for the current fiscal to 6.7 percent from 7.4 percent estimated earlier, citing 'disruption in economy' on account of demonetization and GST implementation.
The failure to quickly remonetise the economy has proved fatal for the small and unorganised sector which was heavily dependent on cash.
The combined effect of demonetisation and introduction of goods and services tax (GST) is proving to be more disruptive for the economy than was expected earlier.
It is unlikely to meet the agency's earlier projection of 7.4 percent and will come down to 6.7 percent during 2017-18.

September 29

LG Mukhi inaugurates industry at Kinyuka village in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Prof. Jagdish Mukhi inaugurated an industry at Kinyuka village in Car Nicobar Island. This is the first ever industry established by a tribal youth in Car Nicobar.
He appealed to the youth of the Island to come forward and venture into entrepreneurial activities. He assured them of all possible help on priority basis in all their endeavors.

BSNL signs MoU with ZTE to collaborate on pre-5G and 5G technologies
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China-based equipment vendor ZTE to collaborate on developing pre-5G and 5G wireless systems. The MoU will seek to establish a virtual network architecture of a 5G eco-system for research and commercialisation in India.
Meanwhile, ZTE has also initiated 5G-related activities such as pre-5G trials with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), as it increases it focus on providing advanced 5G technologies in India.
The company has also partnered with Bharti Airtel to provide 5G-ready massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) technology.

September 30

Government extends deadline for sale of MRP labelled pre-GST stock
Government extended the last date for selling MRP (Maximum Retail Price) labelled pre-GST stock by three months. Companies now have a new deadline of December 31, in place of September 30.
Under the existing rules, companies have time till December 31 to clear unsold pre-GST goods with a revised MRP to be displayed along with printed sale price to reflect the changes post the new tax regime kicking in. Also, the old MRP will have to be clearly on display along with the revised MRP sticker.
The move, if it comes through, will indeed be a relief for traders and retailers who were reportedly stuck with old stocks.

FPIs can buy corp debt limit worth Rs 9,500-cr in infra sector
According to SEBI, Sovereign wealth funds and other long term foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) can buy up to Rs 9,500 crore worth corporate debt in infrastructure sector.
This comes after RBI's decision to exclude foreign investment in rupee denominated bonds, popularly known as masala bonds, from the combined corporate debt Limit (CCDL).
This sub-limit for long-term FPIs for infrastructure sector would be Rs 9,500 crore from October 3 and would be further enhanced to Rs 19,000 crore on January 1.
The new limit will be within the overall corporate debt investment limits (CDIL). Sovereign wealth funds, multilateral agencies, insurance funds, pension funds and foreign central banks are long term FPIs.

Ireda Mops Up $300 Million Via Green Masala Bonds on LSE
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (Ireda) mopped up close to $300 million in the overseas markets by issuing green masala bonds which are issued for some green project which is deemed to beneficial for the environment.
With this the state-run financial agency becomes the first institution to raise money in the international markets.
The masala green bond issue on the London Stock Exchange got a subscription of 1.7 times. The coupon rate for the bond is 7.125%.



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