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Showing posts with label BUSINESS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BUSINESS. Show all posts

Monday, 5 July 2021

Indian government, e-commerce firms at loggerheads

 Revised rules may force online retailers to change their business structures, increase operational costs 

  The logo of e-commerce company Flipkart at its headquarters in Bangalore. Photo: AFP

The confrontation between the Indian government and e-commerce giants has once again come to a head after authorities came out with a proposal to amend the e-commerce rules.

The government claims that proposed rules it had announced on June 21 would protect consumers. It sought comments from relevant stakeholders by July 6. However, the proposals have created quite a stir among e-commerce players, with some even anticipating a change in their business structure and increased costs if they were to be implemented.

The revised Indian Consumer Protection (E-commerce Rules) includes several proposals that range from banning “flash sales,” which benefit only preferred sellers, to holding an online marketplace responsible for actions of a seller on its platform and requiring that it set up a complaints system.

The proposed rules cover both domestic and foreign companies operating in the Indian market.

E-commerce players are also required to ensure that related parties and associated enterprises are not listed as sellers to consumers directly. This rule will impact Amazon as it holds an indirect stake in at least two of its sellers, Cloudtail and Appario.

Nayomi SA AE

Walmart-owned Flipkart had rejigged its agreements with some of its sellers in order to comply.

This rule could even hurt such a domestic player as Tata Group, which is planning a super app, Tata Digital, and holds stakes in and joint ventures with many companies. Those affiliates all would be barred from offering their products on Tata’s marketplace website.

The rules were formulated following complaints from India’s brick-and-mortar retailers that Amazon and Flipkart bypass the foreign investment law by using complex business structures. They were also accused of promoting preferential sellers, influencing product prices, and following various anti-competitive practices.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had recently accused leading e-commerce players of flouting laws of the land, adding that many of their practices were against the interests of consumers.

At a meeting called by Invest India, the government’s investment promotion and facilitation agency, on Saturday, the government officials pointed out that the proposed rules were meant to protect consumers and said they were not as strict as those of other countries.

However, while making their presentations, Amazon and Tata Group had argued that some of the clauses were problematic and would have huge ramifications on the industry.

Representatives of major industry bodies including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry and National Association of Software and Service Companies attended the meeting. Some of the trade bodies sought more time for stakeholder response and wanted the deadline to be extended till the end of this month.

 

source ;  //asiatimes.com

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Saturday, 3 July 2021

PM Modi says, Government takes landmark step of including retail and wholesale trade as MSME

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Government has taken a landmark step of including retail and wholesale trade as MSME. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, it will help crores of our traders get easier finance, various other benefits and also help boost their business. The Prime Minister said, Government is committed to empower the traders.  

Minister of MSME Nitin Gadkari yesterday announced revised guidelines for MSMEs with inclusion of Retail and Wholesale trades as MSMEs. Mr Gadkari said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Government is committed to strengthening of MSME and make them engines for economic growth.

The Minister said, the revised guidelines will benefit 2.5 Crore Retail and Wholesale Traders. He said Retail and wholesale trade were left out of the ambit of MSME, now under the revised guidelines, retail and wholesale trade will also get benefit of priority sector lending under RBI guidelines.

AIR Correspondent reports that the move has an immediate impact on smaller retailers & wholesalers with businesses up to Rs 250 crore of turnover in availing immediate-term finance as part of various schemes announced under Atmanirbhar Bharat.  

Retail and trade associations have welcomed the move, saying that this will enable traders to get access to much-needed capital having been impacted greatly due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Several measures announced for the MSME sector over the past year will now be applicable to retail and wholesale traders as well.

This landmark decision will have a structural impact for the sector, helping it get formalised by giving better finance options for businesses that want to get structured. It will give retail MSMEs the support they need to survive, revive and thrive.

With the revised guidelines the Retail and wholesale trades will be now be allowed to register on Udyam Registration Portal.

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Saturday, 26 June 2021

Paraguay not looking to make bitcoin a legal tender – lawmaker

 

Rumours have been doing the rounds for days that Paraguay will follow suit after El Salvador became the first country to use cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin enthusiasts will feel let down after a Paraguayan lawmaker said no immediate plan to make the cryptocurrency a legal tender.
Bitcoin enthusiasts will feel let down after a Paraguayan lawmaker said no immediate plan to make the cryptocurrency a legal tender. (Reuters Archive)

Paraguay is in no hurry to make bitcoin a legal tender as previously thought. 

Lawmaker Carlos Rejala, who had inadvertently sparked the excitement with a tweet  earlier in June, confirmed on Friday that he was pushing a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies, not make them legal tender.

For days, crypto currency supporters had wondered if Paraguay will become the second country in the world after another Latin American neighbour - El Salvador - announced that bitcoin can be used as money. 

The internet has been buzzing with rumors that Asuncion will follow suit. 

But centrist legislator Rejala said, "It is a bill of digital assets and it differs from that of El Salvador because they are taking it as legal currency and in Paraguay it will be impossible to do something like that." 

Earlier in June, linking to a story about a local entertainment firm planning to accept cryptocurrencies, Rejala had tweeted: "This is Paraguay. July we legislate! #Bitcoin", which some media and twitter users had picked up on.

 

 

 

The 36-year-old, who leads a small political party with a total of four seats in Congress, is now seeking to rally support to pass his bill regulating the digital assets. He is working on three drafts of the law he intends to present on July 14.

El Salvador's gamble 

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele said on Thursday that a recently passed law making bitcoin legal tender will take effect on September 7, making the Central American nation the first country in the world to take such a step.

Bukele has said he is confident the project will be a success and could be a "leap forward for humanity" even though the World Bank has declined to offer technical support and the International Monetary Fund has expressed concern.

In Paraguay, Rejala said that despite not having anything like a majority in Congress, lawmakers with other parties were interested in his proposal and he was confident of approval.

"We want the regulators and banks to also participate so that Paraguayans or foreigners can operate with these assets legally, because we know that illegal transactions exist here and in other countries," he said.

"We want to be a crypto-friendly country."

Source: Reuters
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Vishist Lifestyle

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Bombay Stock Exchange crosses milestone of seven crore registered users


 
 FILE PIC
The Bombay Stock Exchange has crossed the milestone of seven crore registered users based on Unique Client Code. In a statement, BSE said that the journey from six to seven crore users took just 139 days, adding that the 82 lakh of these new users are in the age group of 20 to 40 years. Besides, the market capitalization of BSE-listed companies recorded a new high cruising at over 227 lakh crore rupees ($3.12 trillion) post-touching three- trillion dollar mark on 25th of May 2021.
 
After touching these twin milestones on Monday, BSE’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ashishkumar Chauhan said, these achievements are a testament to BSE’s efforts to bring more investors, especially from the retail side on the exchange platform. He added that BSE remains confident of leveraging its increasing reach and capacity for delivery of a wider range of financial products including mutual funds, insurance and so on.
 
Over the last few years, BSE has been working with members for e-enabling customers with a less-paper ecosystem and on-boarding through an easy and hassle-free digital process.

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Sunday, 6 June 2021

The Curious Case of Cox & Kings

 

The first part of the three-part investigative series looks at the back story of the goings-on in India’s once leading travel agency, which has gone bankrupt, the allegations against its promoters and its various dealings that are being probed.

 

 

A two-and-a-half-century-old travel agency is bankrupt. Its promoter Peter Kerkar is behind bars for allegedly defrauding banks. An accountant in his company has died under mysterious circumstances. Kerkar claims he was cheated by his one-time professional associates in India and abroad. His detractors and law-enforcing agencies claim he was complicit in illegal diversion of funds from his companies. Behind the story of the travails of the Cox & Kings group is a company that was once owned by the Indian government, which is now controlled by individuals and private firms. The complex web of connections also involves a slew of corporate entities and persons across the globe. In a three-part exclusive investigation for NewsClick, the writers look into the goings-on in this corporate conglomerate.

He used to have a prominent profile, a flamboyant lifestyle. He was a frequent flier between Mumbai and London. His father once headed the hotels division of the Tata group before he fell out with Ratan Tata in 1997. He graduated from Stanford University in the United States. He used to run a travel agency that was supposed to be the oldest of its kind in the world, set up in 1758, a year after the British established control over large parts of India following their victory in the Battle of Plassey in Bengal. Today, this man languishes inside a dingy prison in Mumbai. The business empire he led – that boasted of a brand that was a household name in the country – is in shambles.

On March 2, 2021, Ajay Ajit Peter Kerkar, better known as Peter Kerkar, promoter of the bankrupt tour and travel agency company Cox and Kings (C&K), was arrested by the Mumbai police. Earlier, in October 2020, the chief financial officer of the company, Anil Khandelwal, and its internal auditor, Naresh Jain, had been picked up by the cops. They were booked for defrauding banks. Other charges against them include forgery, criminal conspiracy and defaulting on repayment of loans. On April 30, Kerkar and Khandelwal’s bail applications were rejected by a special court handling cases lodged under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Mumbai.

What is unusual is that Kerkar was arrested and (at the time of writing) is still being kept behind bars, following the filing of first information reports (FIRs) in September 2020 by Mumbai Police officials after he had himself formally complained to them. While various FIRs and counter-FIRs have been filed by different players, Kerkar’s sister Urrshila Kerkar, a director in C&K and their lawyer Akhilesh Dubey argue that the allegations that the Kerkars have made against some of their former colleagues and associates are being selectively used against him to keep him in jail.

A profile published by Business Standard quotes a former associate describing Kerkar as “ambitious and intelligent, with a hands-off style of functioning – a man who saw himself more as a dealmaker than manager.” While he oversaw the company’s businesses in the UK, Europe and Australia, his older sister, Urrshila, micromanaged affairs in India as director, the article added. After an initial public offering of shares in 2009, the company got ambitious and bought a UK-based travel company, Holidaybreak, for around Rs 2,300 crore in a deal that eventually went sour and contributed to C&K going bankrupt.

VICTIM OR VILLAIN?

Is Kerkar a victim or a villain? Was he a naïve businessman who was taken for one huge ride by so-called professionals and financiers he trusted? Or was he complicit in the many misdemeanours he has been accused of? Even as the legal cases are yet to play themselves out, Kerkar protested his innocence in an exclusive interview with two of the writers of this article (Paranjoy and Sourodipto) a few months before law-enforcing agencies incarcerated him.

The Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of the Mumbai Police had registered FIRs against C&K and its group company, Ezeego One Travels and Tours Limited, for duping Axis Bank and others of Rs 1,582 crore. On November 15, 2020, the Hindustan Times reported that Kerkar had lodged a counter FIR against Axis Bank, alleging that its officials colluded to divert funds from C&K and Ezeego.

One FIR was lodged after Dinesh Goel, director of the Singapore-based Investment Opportunities IV Private Limited and its investment advisor SSG Capital Management Private Limited, headed by Shyam Maheshwari, approached the Mumbai Police alleging misappropriation of funds by one of C&K’s offshore subsidiaries, Prometheon Enterprises Limited. (More about Maheshwari and Goel later in this article.) In this instance as well, there are many allegations and counter-allegations.

The Hindustan Times report quoted Kerkar claiming that an entity controlled by SSG Capital colluded with key management personnel of C&K and some bank officials to illegally siphon money out of the company. His sister Urrshila reiterates these claims and alleges that these officials misused credit cards to clandestinely remove large amounts from Ezeego. In an e-mailed response to questions raised by the authors of this article, a spokesman of the Ares-SSG group (of which SSG Capital is now part) denied the claims and further alleged that Kerkar was attempting “to deflect blame on to external parties.”

A MYSTERIOUS DEATH

Sagar Deshpande, a chartered accountant employed by Cox & Kings, who had agreed to become a witness in the cases being investigated by the EoW and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Ministry of Finance, was found dead on the railway tracks in Thane, Mumbai, on October 12, 2020, days before he was to reportedly testify and provide documents to the ED. He had joined C&K in July 2010 and rose to become the company’s finance manager. Deshpande’s family suspects foul play even as the police continues to investigate the circumstances behind his unnatural death.

The three of us who collaborated in investigating this story over a period of more than seven months spoke to several individuals, a few of them on condition of anonymity. We perused hundreds of pages of documents, many of which were provided to us and some that were in the public domain. Some of the information provided to us by sources close to the interested players could not be independently verified and was ignored by us.

Two of the writers of this article (Jyotindra and Paranjoy) received several electronic mail messages from individuals who had apparently set up anonymous email accounts but who clearly knew our email addresses and were aware that we were preparing a report on what was going on in the C&K group. We also received anonymous email messages in mid-October 2020 highlighting Deshpande’s unusual death and one such email suggested that complaints had been made to the highest authorities in the country. The email trails pointed towards the links that Khandelwal and Jain had with Maheshwari and the Hong Kong-based private equity firm he founded, SSG Capital (now a part of the Ares-SSG group). Supporting documents were also attached to some of the email messages that turned out to be authentic.

We have tried to connect the dots to tell this tale of alleged corporate chicanery and fraud, of greed and stupidity, of financial experts who can manipulate balance sheets and move money across the world in a jiffy from one tax haven to another. This report is not just about Kerkar and his sister but also about the Maheshwari, Khandelwal and Jain families.

Since January, we became aware of a blog that is in the public domain (https://ckleaks.wordpress.com). Interestingly, months later, a representative of a public relations (PR) firm representing Ares-SSG drew our attention to the same blog, which is over 6,000 words long and is divided into 12 “chapters” with catchy headlines and purportedly written by an unnamed former C&K employee. The blog describes in detail why Peter and Urrshila’s father, Ajit Kerkar, fell out with Ratan Tata over the management of the Taj group of hotels, the controversial privatisation of the Juhu Centaur Hotel in Mumbai, the Kerkar family’s holdings in different entities located in tax havens like Mauritius, Panama and Guernsey, their foreign business associates, besides numerous unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds.

The person or persons who wrote the blog are clearly accomplished writers. Despite a few typographical errors, the “chapters” use impressive turns of phrase, literary references and mythological analogies while attempting to tell a story of alleged corporate greed and mendacity. What we found interesting was that this blog was being written and published even as we were researching the story, speaking to our sources, and perusing documents. The introduction and the first 11 “chapters” were published in December 2020 and January 2021, while the 12th and last “chapter” was published on April 8, 2021.

When contacted, Urrshila Kerkar, director of C&K dismissed the contents of the blog and denied the authenticity of the information published.

We spoke to Kerkar before his arrest and in the recorded interview, he repeatedly emphasised his innocence. He said: “I may be negligent, I may be stupid, I may be lazy, I may be indulgent… but I am not a criminal.”

His antagonists, however, allege he was complicit in the various misdemeanours his company has been accused of.

Kerkar believes the story of C&K could one day become a case study that would be taught to aspiring students of management in business schools. What he did not say was that this could perhaps become a study of what not to do if one wants to become a successful entrepreneur.

What we present here is a story that is still unravelling, an account that is incomplete but worth recounting. Only time will tell how long the proverbial “long arm” of the law will turn out to be, and if, when and how the maze of court cases and legal disputes will be resolved. Read on.

BACKDROP AND BANKRUPTCIES

Established in 1758, C&K is a more than just a 260-year-old company that, until recently, provided a range of services related to destination management, outbound tourism, business travel, domestic and foreign holidays, organising trade fairs, besides providing foreign currency and insurance facilities to travellers.

The promoters of the company, including Peter and Urrshila, own 12.20% of its shares, the rest being owned by the public. The table below indicates the deteriorating financial health of C&K between 2015-16 (financial year that ended on March 31, 2016 or FY16) and 2019-20. After clocking a net profit of Rs 539.4 crore in 2015-16, the company reported a loss of Rs 10,356 crore in 2019-20. Its revenue dipped drastically from Rs 2,346.6 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 781.4 crore in 2019-20.

FINANCIALS OF COX AND KINGS LIMITED

(All figures in Rs crore)

The impact of the bankruptcy of such a reputed firm was felt by C&K employees who were laid off without notice and did not receive salaries for July, August and September of 2019. In October 2019, the company ‘abruptly’ shut down its Kolkata office on Russell Street and cancelled without refund the travel programmes of over 2,000 customers who had booked tours with them in different parts of the country.

According to C&K director, Urrshila Kerkar, the cancellation of the travel programmes was a consequence of the company defaulting on dues on commercial paper on June 26, 2019. She alleged the company’s customers were inconvenienced because of complex procedures and because banks did not release refunds on time.

C&K has been undergoing insolvency proceedings in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) since October 2019. Ever since the Mumbai bench of the tribunal admitted Rattan India Finance’s plea to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against C&K, many names that were allegedly involved in financial irregularities have tumbled out of the closet.

On May 11, 2021, the website VC Circle reported that the NCLT had also admitted the financial arm of the C&K group, Cox & Kings Financial Services Limited, for insolvency proceedings for defaulting on repaying Rs 445.5 crore to YES Bank that was obtained as a working capital loan and a credit facility in 2018-19. This entity was demerged from the parent C&K that year.

In November 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked C&K directors Urrshila Kerkar, Karthik Venkatraman, Pesi Patel, Manisha Amrapurkar, Arup Sen and Neelu Singh. A charge-sheet was also filed by the ED, which enforces the Foreign Exchange Management Act and PMLA, naming 12 entities and individuals, including Peter, the chief financial officer of C&K and its former internal auditor Jain. The CBI has also named the disgraced former promoter and co-founder of YES Bank, Rana Kapoor, who, like Kerkar, is currently lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Mumbai in connection with an alleged multi-crore fraud on the bank and for allegedly approving loans in exchange for kickbacks.

The Mumbai Police had lodged FIRs in September 2020 based on two complaints filed by Kerkar himself. The FIRs were lodged on court orders. In the complaints, Kerkar denied any wrongdoing while accusing Khandelwal, Jain and the now-deceased chartered accountant of the company, Sagar Deshpande, of embezzling funds.

The arrests of Kerkar, Khandelwal and Jain by the EOW of the Mumbai Police for their alleged involvement in a Rs 1,030 crore loan fraud on Axis Bank, took place after a special court dealing with cases relating to PMLA had granted custody of the accused persons to the EoW. Their arrest was based on a complaint filed at the Cuffe Parade police station in tony South Mumbai in November 2020 by Axis Bank’s Vice-President Prakash Rao. Besides Kerkar, Khandelwal and Jain, the others accused in the case include Peter’s sister Urrshila, Nilu Singh, Manisha Amblapurkar, Arup Sen and Mahalinga Narayanan.

On December 4, 2020, the PMLA Court sent Kerkar to judicial custody in connection with another alleged fraud, this one on YES Bank, just over a week after the ED arrested him.

PWC REPORT ON COX & KINGS

In April 2020, Indian Express journalist Khushboo Narayan reported that a forensic audit of the accounts of the scam-tainted YES Bank, done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in February that year, had disclosed transactions worth over Rs 21,000 crore in the four financial years between 2015-16 and 2018-19 and were questionable. According to the PwC report, the bank has an exposure of Rs 2,267 to C&K and the company owed a total amount of Rs 5,500 crore to various banks. (links to the reports published by the Indian Express have been appended to the blog on the Kerkars referred to earlier.)

The PwC report alleged that most of the transactions related to C&K took place without a loan agreement and without “proper approvals” from the company’s board of directors. It added that C&K advanced Rs 1,100 crore to Alok Industries, a stressed firm that went bankrupt in 2017, although the two did not have any business relationship with each other. The report had also pointed out that when the loan was advanced to Alok Industries, the company’s CFO was Sunil Khandelwal, the brother of Anil Khandelwal.

[India’s largest private company Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) headed by India’s and Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani picked up a stake of 37.7% in Alok Industries for Rs 250 crore in February 2020, a year after the Ahmedabad bench of NCLT approved a joint bid by JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Company Limited and RIL to take over the company.]

Coincidentally or otherwise, Maheshwari’s SSG Capital was evaluating an investment in Alok Industries and had also contemplated an investment in Rattan India Finance that had moved the NCLT to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against C&K.

When contacted, the lawyer representing the Kerkars, Akhilesh Dubey emailed us stating that the “PwC report of the forensic audit of YES Bank is not part of the investigation” and had not been “relied upon” either by the EoW or the ED in their investigations. He added that when the bail application of Kerkar was being heard by the PMLA court, the counsel for the ED referred to the PwC report of the audit of C&K. Dubey claimed that the audit report is a “draft report, the credibility of which is highly doubtful given the disclaimers made by the PwC.”

He contended that the PwC report on C&K specified that it does “not have (the) right or authority to determine or conclude any transaction constituting/amounting to fraud/fraudulent activity… Whether a particular transaction is fraudulent or not in its legal parlance is a matter of legal and judicial interpretation, inference, judgement and adjudication, which can be determined, ascertained and adjudicated only by an appropriate judicial/quasi-judicial body authorised under the applicable extant laws.”

The Sunday Guardian weekly had reported on the two complaints filed by Kerkar in an article published on September 19, 2020. However, the article seems to have been taken down from its website. We are not clear whether this article was removed following a request made by a representative of a particular corporate entity that is associated with the working of C&K, as a similar request had been made to NewsClick after this portal published an article relating to a legal dispute – details of this article and this dispute come a bit later.

Incidentally, in October 2020, it was reported that the ED was investigating the legalities of a loan worth Rs 447 crore disbursed in 2016 by Deutsche Bank AG to a firm in the tax haven British Virgin Islands, Castleman Management Limited, that was owned by Peter Kerkar. The transaction reportedly resulted in the Hong Kong subsidiary of C&K, Cox and Kings Asia Pacific Travel Limited, losing an almost similar amount of Rs 450 crore. For the borrowed sum of Rs 447 crore, Deutsche Bank had been furnished a security by the Hong Kong firm and when Castleman defaulted, Cox and Kings Asia Pacific Travel Limited lost Rs 450 crore in July 2019.

The series of scandalous stories relating to the C&K group has only just begun. This is where a former public sector company enters the picture.

(To be concluded)

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Sourodipto Sanyal are independent journalists based in Gurugram, Haryana. Jyotindra Dubey was an independent journalist based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, at the time of reporting this article. He is now employed in a media company.

Read second part here.

First published by Newsclick. 

 

 

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Wednesday, 2 June 2021

lawyers, academics, and politicians

 Indian Currency- Rupees- Salary.jpg 

On Monday, the Madras High Court directed the State to consider increasing the Rs 72,000 per annum income ceiling for availing the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS).

The court observed that the eligibility criteria is much lower than the minimum wage paid to an unskilled worker in the State.

The issue pertains to a plea moved by one DI Nathan seeking the court to direct the authorities to provide free treatment to the public for Covid-19 in private hospitals. The petitioner alleged that private hospitals are charging exorbitant prices and not everyone can afford the treatment.

The petitioner cited several instances and brought them to the notice of the court on the charges levied by private hospitals in the State.

State Advocate General R Shunmughasundaram submitted that beds are now freely available in the State for Covid patients and there is no pressure on government hospitals. He also submitted the Government Orders passed on the charges to be collected by the private hospitals.


Advocate NGR Prasad in reply submitted that only families earning up to Rs 72,000 per annum are eligible to be enrolled under the CMCHIS. The criteria requires to be increased to at least Rs 2 lakh per annum since it is too low, he added.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy recording the submissions observed that the minimum threshold level should be substantially increased to allow a larger number of families in the State to avail of the benefits under the insurance scheme.

The bench further observed, “There is no doubt that every family would have gone beyond its means to ensure the best treatment for its members; but these families would have been drained of their savings or may have gone into debt.  

This is a matter which requires the attention of the State and data has to be gathered before any effective policy decision is taken. It is hoped that such aspect will engage the attention of the State, sooner rather than later.”

SOURCE ;  .newindianexpress.com

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Thursday, 27 May 2021

Wall Street’s main indexes witness marginal losses

 


 
File Pic

Wall Street’s main indexes witnessed marginal losses yesterday as investors continue to try and assess the trajectory of inflation. Federal Reserve officials continue to downplay rising price pressures, and Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said the central bank can take steps to cool a jump in inflation.
 
Yields on longer-dated U.S. Treasuries fell for a fourth straight day, with the benchmark 10-year yield hitting a fresh two-week low of 1.564 percent and helping to ease inflation worries. The yield had climbed to as much as 1.776 percent at the end of March.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, both fell marginally by 0.2 percent while the Nasdaq Composite index ended flat.

 

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PFRDA crosses Rs 6 lakh crore AUM

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The pension Assets Under Management (AUM), under Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, PFRDA has crossed six lakh crore rupees. Subscribers' contribution to National Pension Scheme and Atal Pension Yojana has built up six lakh crore rupees of pension assets after 13 years. The Assets under Management, AUM growth of last one trillion rupees has been achieved in just 7 months.
 
PFRDA has witnessed remarkable growth in NPS subscribers over the years with 74.10 lakh government employees in the scheme and 28.37 lakh individuals joining from the non-government sector. As on 21st May, the total number of subscribers under NPS and Atal Pension Yojana has crossed 4.28 crore.

 

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Zydus Cadilla seeks DCGI’s approval to undertake clinical trials for monoclonal antibodies cocktail

 


 
@DDNewslive

Pharmaceutical Company Zydus Cadilla has sought Drug Controller General of India’s(DCGI) approval to undertake clinical trials for monoclonal antibodies cocktail that can neutralise Covid infection. India’s leading Indian Pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadilla Healthcare has announced biological therapy ZRC-3308 for the treatment of mild COVID-19 symptoms. ZRC-3308 is a cocktail of two anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies.
 
Managing Director of Cadila Healthcare Limited, Dr. Sharvil Patel has said that there is a critical need to explore safe and more efficacious treatment to combat Covid at this juncture. He said, it is important to look at different stages of the disease progression and options that can reduce a patient's suffering and discomfort. Mr. Patel believed that ZRC-3308 has the potential to address these concerns and provide safe treatment. 

 

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Sunday, 23 May 2021

Shipment of 1.2 MT of fresh jackfruit exported from Tripura to London


 
@APEDADOC
In a major step towards harnessing exports potential of agricultural and processed food products from north-eastern region, a shipment of 1.2 metric tonne of fresh jackfruit was exported from Tripura to London yesterday.
 
Jackfruits were sourced from the Tripura based Krishi Sanyoga Agro Producer Company Ltd. The consignment was packed at Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) assisted pack-house facility of Salt Range Supply Chain Solution Ltd and exported by Kiega EXIM Pvt Ltd.
 
This was the first APEDA assisted pack house for exports to European Union, which was approved this month.
 
APEDA regularly carries out promotional activities to bring the North- Eastern states on the export map of India.

 

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NEFT service will not be available till 2 pm today


 
@RBI

Reserve Bank of India has informed that National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) service will not be available till 2 pm today. RBI said, due to technical upgrade of NEFT service, aimed at enhancing its performance and resilience, the facility has been suspended for all member banks for 14 hours from midnight last night. It said, the RTGS system will however continue to be operational as usual during this period. It has asked all member banks to inform their customers to plan their payment operations accordingly.

Similar technical upgrade for the RTGS transfer facility was completed last month.

 

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Thursday, 20 May 2021

Chart: The Most Profitable Companies in the World

 Tech companies Apple and Microsoft, which benefited majorly from people working and socialising online, shot to the top of the ranking.

Chart: The Most Profitable Companies in the World  

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar/File Photo/File Photo

 



According to the Forbes Global 2000 published Friday, the coronavirus pandemic has shaken up the list of the most profitable (public) companies in the world. Tech companies Apple and Microsoft, which benefited majorly from people working and socialising online, shot to the top of the ranking, while banking and investment profits remained more stable. Google parent company Alphabet grew its profits to $40.3 billion up from $34.3 billion, up more than 17 percent.

Saudi state oil company Saudi Aramco slid down to rank 3 as oil suffered during the pandemic. The company, which was touted as the most profitable company in the world before going public in late 2019, cleared the spot for Apple, which had previously topped the list.

 Infographic: The Most Profitable Companies in the World | Statista 

You will find more infographics at Statista, where this article was originally published.

 

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Совкомбанк - РКО [CPS] RU

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Asian markets end mostly lower, as investors fear a potential spike in inflation

 


AIR

Asian markets ended mostly lower, as investors were concerned over a potential spike in inflation, while rising COVID-19 cases and curbs in other parts of the region further dampened sentiment. So Japan's Nikkei-225 index tanked 3.1 percent; Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined 2 per cent; Singapore's Straits Times index dropped 1.3 per cent and South Korea's Kospi index slipped 1.2 per cent. But China's Shanghai Composite index rose 0.4 per cent, after data showed that factory-gate prices in April had reached the highest level since October 2017.
   
European stocks retreated from all-time highs today, after worries about rising US inflation knocked back US markets. So London's FTSE-100 had declined 2 per cent; France's CAC-40 had dropped 1.9 per cent and Germany's DAX had slipped 2.1 per cent, in intra-day trade.
 
Global sentiment soured after investors dumped Wall Street’s market-leading growth stocks yesterday ahead of the latest reading on US consumer prices, which many fear could prompt the Federal Reserve to rethink its monetary policy stance. 


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Sensex drops 341 points; Nifty declines 92 points

 


File Pic

At the stock markets, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange dropped 341 points, or 0.7 per cent, to close at 49,162, today. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange declined 92 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 14,851. 

 

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Sunday, 9 May 2021

Various NGOs, social organisations soon could list on social stock exchanges & raise funds like corporates

 


@airnewsalerts


Various NGOs and other social organisations in India, soon could list on social stock exchanges and raise funds like as corporates. Pursuant to an announcement made by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech for FY 2019-20 regarding Social Stock Exchanges SEBI had constituted a Working group and later a technical group.
 
Technical group has submitted its recommendations and SEBI has sought comments from the public on this report. AIR correspondent reports that various corporates, startups, MSME can raise funds from stock markets in India and abroad. Soon various Social organisation, NGOs can also opt this route. Country’s first Social Stock Exchange could soon become reality. As per the recommendations of technical groups headed by Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Ex - Chairman of  NABARD, Various social enterprises working with social intent can be listed on social stock exchange.
 
Non-profit organisations can use various instruments like equity, Mutual Funds, Zero Coupon Zero Principal bonds, Social Impact Funds, and Development Impact Bonds for fundraising. But the technical group has recommended that, Corporate foundations, political or religious organizations, professional or trade associations, infrastructure and housing companies except affordable housing should not be permitted on Social stock exchange. 



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India in process of securing commercial supplies of Medical Oxygen into country in coming weeks: Dharmendra Pradhan

 


 

AIR Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had close consultations during the last week with his counterparts from some Gulf countries on ways to increase import of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) into India. Mr Pradhan deeply appreciates the initial gesture of goodwill with complimentary LMO supplies particularly from UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. 
In a series of tweets, Mr Pradhan said he had close consultations during the last week with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. He said India is in the process of securing commercial supplies of LMO into the country in coming weeks. The minister expressed his deep appreciation to his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar for their extended support and special gesture of solidarity with India through the offer of ISO Containers for the next six months.  

 

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CBIC restores facility for trade, provides option to submit undertaking in lieu of bond upto 30th June


@cbic_india

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has restored the facility for trade by providing option to submit an undertaking in lieu of bond upto 30th June. This has been done to ensure that there are no delays or disruptions in EXIM trade due to COVID19 pandemic.
 
Importers and Exporters availing this facility shall ensure that the undertaking furnished in lieu of bond is duly replaced with a proper bond by the 15th of July. Representations from trade had been received by the board citing difficulties faced in different regions of India due to resurgence of COVID 19 pandemic 

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Govt procures 49% more Wheat during current Rabi Season compared to corresponding period last year

 


FILE PIC

Government has procured 49 per cent more Wheat during the ongoing Rabi Season compared to the corresponding period last year. So far over 323 Lakh Metric Tonnes of wheat has been procured against the last year corresponding purchase of around 216 Lakh Metric Tonnes. Nearly 32.21 Lakh farmers have already benefitted from the ongoing procurement operations with MSP value of over 63 thousand 924 crore rupees.
 
Paddy procurement in the ongoing season is continuing smoothly in the procuring States. So far over 727 Lakh Metric Tonnes paddy have been procured against the last year corresponding purchase of around 671 Lakh Metric Tonnes. About 109 lakh farmers have already benefited from the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season procurement Operations with MSP value of over one lakh 37 thousand crore rupees. 



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Tuesday, 4 May 2021

FPIs turn net sellers after 6 months; withdraw Rs 9,659 crore in April


Snapping their six-month buying spree, foreign funds turned net sellers in April and pulled out 9,659 crore rupees from domestic equities. According to data available with depositories, Foreign Portfolio Investors withdrew a net sum of 9,659 crore rupees from domestic equity markets in April.
 
This was the first net withdrawal since September 2020, when they had pulled out a net of 7,782 crore rupees from equities. 


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Hero MotoCorp reports 35% slump in sales in April


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The country's top two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp's montly sales in April slumped 35 percent, to 3.72 lakh units, from 5.77 lakh units dispatched in March this year. The company said sales in April were subdued due to the temporary closure of plant operations and the retail outlets across several key territories in India on account of the impact of the second wave of COVID-19.
 
The sales numbers of April 2021 were not comparable with the corresponding month of the previous year as no vehicles were manufactured then.
 
Mid-sized motorcycle maker, Royal Enfield, part of Eicher Motors has sold a total of 53,298 units in April, down 19 percent from the sales in March this year. The company's domestic sales stood at 48,789 units.

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