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Arun Jaitley Vouches for Non-Adversarial Taxation Policy and Non-Imposition of Retrospective Taxes

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while addressing an audience during D P Kohli Memorial Lecture, vouched for the need of non-adversarial taxation policy and stressed on non-imposition of retrospective taxes as well as importance of simplification of taxes for wooing foreign investments. Jaitley went on to say that there is a need to rationalise corporate tax as per global standard and that’s why his government has slashed the same from 30 per cent to 25 per cent during 2015-16 financial year. Finance minister acknowledged the fact that lack of investment in the infrastructure and agricultural sector is a serious challenge.      

Government Mulling Idea of Putting Cap on Multiple Auction Bids

Union Government is mulling the idea of restricting the number of bids a corporate can make during next round of coal block auction by Coal Ministry. During the first round of auction it was witnessed that a corporate group not only made multiple bids for a single coal block but many of the bids also made it to the final list. An official said that Coal Ministry is contemplating the idea of putting cap on multiple bids to just one. Final decision is yet to be taken. Jindal Steel & Power Ltd., Sesa Sterlite, Aditya Birla Group, Adani Power, and Jaypee followed this multiple bidding approach for same coal mines.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Vouches to Stand by Earthquake-Hit Nepal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation on All India Radio’s “Mann Ki Baat” yesterday, said that he was saddened by the devastation the earthquake had caused in Nepal as well as in various parts of India. He went on to say that in this time of distress, “India is with Nepal”. The 30-minute one in a month programme on AIR was cut short to just 15 minutes as the question-answer session was dispensed by the PM. Modi said that he can feel the pain of Nepal as he closely witnessed the devastating earthquakes that took place in Gujarat's Kutch back in 2001.

NSE Nifty Trading below Psychologically Relevant Support Level of 200 DMA

By giving jitters to the traders in Indian bourses, NSE Nifty today fell sharply from previous close and breached the 200 days simple moving average of 8,257.44, a strong psychological support level. At 2pm IST, Nifty was trading at 8246.20, 59.05 points or 0.71 per cent down from previous close.  Analysts believe that Nifty is hovering around 8250 for quite some time and therefore by the end of trading day may end just above 8250. However, on the downside, if Nifty breaks the 8,200 support level, it will slide down towards the next support at 7,970. BSE Sensex has also shed 196.47 points by 2.07pm IST and is trading at 27241.47.

Capgemini Acquires iGate at $4.04 billion to enhance Hold in the US and Indian Markets

France headquartered global IT giant, Capgemini, today announced acquiring iGate having $1.2 billion revenues, 33,000 global employee talent capital, and operating margin of 19 per cent in 2014 at an amount of $4.04 billion. In a statement Capgemini said that this acquisition strengthens its leading position in the consulting, outsourcing, and IT sector as the combined estimated revenue, number of global employee, and operating margin increases to $12.5 billion, 190,000, and 10 per cent respectively. While referring to the acquisition as “very important transaction” in the history of the company Chairman and CEO of Capgemini, Paul Hermelin, said that it will help it more ground in both US and Indian market.

Diageo Plc-Vijay Mallya Tussle Reaches a New High

The tussle between UK-based Diageo Plc (the company having controlling stake at United Spirits Ltd) and Vijay Mallya led UB Group reached a new high when the former asked Mallya to step down from the post of the chairman of USL. The decision comes following a PricewaterhouseCoopers’s inquiry report that shows fund diversion and other financial irregularities between 2010 and 2013 in the transactions that took place between USL and UB group. Diageo is all set to submit the findings to SEBI and at the same time contemplating the idea of filing criminal complaint. While Vijay Mallya refused to resign, he appointed top lawyers to make it a long drawn legal battle.

Ratan Tata makes an Investment in Chinese Tech Behemoth Xiaomi Technology

A statement issued by Chinese Technology giant, Xiaomi Technology, said that Chairman Emeritus of Tata conglomerate, Ratan Tata, has acquired a personal stake in Xiaomi. This move is expected to increase the Chinese behemoth’s clout in the expanding Indian smartphone market. The statement, however, does not reveal the extent of investment done. Founder and CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, told media that a personal investment by a respected businessperson in India such as Ratan Tata will bolster Xiaomi’s presence in India and also give impetus to the strategy adopted by the company. He went on to say that the company plans to unveil more products in India.

Government Asks People to Ignore Text Predicting Earthquake in North India

With the rising fear of earthquake in north India and circulation of text messages predicting the same, Government of India was forced to come up with a clarification. GOI said that the earthquake prediction text is a fake one and NASA has not forecast anything regarding the matter on India. A seismologist and top official at India Meteorological Department made it clear that there is no country in the world that can predict earthquakes, not even NASA. He also said that research is currently going on in China but it has not produced any substantial result as yet. Indian government made it clear that “there is no substance in such messages”.

Google's Person Finder Tool for Nepal Earthquake

A Person Finder Web-based tool of Google has been officially opened in response to 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal. The simple tool can give information about a person if it exists in the database. The tool is also accessible via mobile devices. On said profile you can find a person by name, sex, age, home address, or any other related description. On the flip side you can enter information about a person if you have.

N Srinivasan Allegedly Spent Rs. 14 Crore BCCI Money to Spy on Other Members, says report

A newly published report says that N Srinivasan, ex-BCCI President, spent Rs 14 crore of board’s money to spy on other BCCI members with the help of a London based private investigating agency. The report alleges that the concerned spy agency not only tapped phones and heard telephonic conversations of the BCCI officials but also tracked their private emails. It is learnt that a new probe panel, headed by its Secretary Anurag Thakur, will investigate the matter. During a recent BCCI meeting, Jyotiraditya Scindia (who was a special invitee in the meeting) questioned the glaringly depreciated value of Chennai Super Kings, valued at Rs. 5 lakhs, when it pays BCCI Rs. 40 lakhs yearly.

Dhoni works on his instincts while playing - Ashwin

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni goes blank and without preconceived notions to the field and works on solely his instincts. By winning a match against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday night, CSK is now at the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table. Spinners Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja played exceptionally well and helped team to win match.

IOC President to Meet PM Modi Fueling Speculation of India's 2024 Olympic Hosting Bid

President of International Olympics Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, is all set to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The upcoming meeting has fueled speculation that Modi may show willingness to host the 2024 Olympics in India. Sources say that PM Narendra Modi may approve bidding for hosting the game after the meeting. When Randhir Singh, the only IOC member from India, was contacted he said that approval of bidding to host Olympic games will be welcomed by his colleagues in the IOC. He downplayed the talks on hosting 2024 Olympics by calling it wishful thinking. However, he kept the hope alive by saying that if India misses the 2024 opportunity, it may host 2028 or even 2032 Olympics.

Apex Court Vacates Karnataka HC's stay order on Giving Judgement on Jayalalithaa's Appeal in Disproportionate Assets Case

Justice Madan B Lokur-led Supreme Court bench today vacated Karnataka High Court’s stay order on former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa's appeal in disproportionate assets case. He also observed that delay in the concerned case is not only extremely unfortunate but also makes the criminal justice system a loser. While Justice Lokur allowed DMK leader K Anbazhagan’s plea of removing Special Public Prosecutor Bhawani Singh for alleged lack of impartiality, Justice R Banumathi observed that appointment of SPP was duly authorised. Jayalalithaa had earlier strongly supported SPP Bhawani Singh by saying that de-facto doctrine favours him and the notification is also there in his favour.

Government to Save Payment of Subsidy for 20-30 Million LPG Cooking Gas Connections

A senior official related to implementation of modified Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme for LPG cooking gas has said that the pace of enrollment of beneficiaries under the concerned scheme has slowed down, which may save Union Government around 20 per cent in LPG subsidy spending. Out of the total 150 million LPG consumers, 126 million have registered with the concerned scheme. However, the official said that the pace of enrollment has slowed down from an initial one million to 200,000, which means the DBT registration will never reach 150 million, saving the government from paying subsidy for around 20 to 30 million connections.

India Launches "Operation Maitri" to Expedite Rescue and Relief Operation from Earthquake-hit Nepal

Indian government has stepped up its earthquake-hit Nepal rescue mission by deploying 24 choppers and military aircrafts along with giving maximum push to evacuation by roads. While naming the relief op. “Operation Maitri”, one thousand National Disaster Response Force professionals have been deployed.  Vikas Swarup, MEA spokesperson, has tweeted that India has till now evacuated 1935 Indians from Nepal through IAF aircraft. As per latest available information, the official death toll in Nepal has increased to 3,218 and the number of injured people has crossed 5,000. It is learnt that led by a top Home Ministry official an inter-ministerial team will leave for Nepal to coordinate the rescue operation.