Major News and Events of 12 March 2015
What Happened on 12 March 2015
Alibaba and Google Inc in Negotiation with Snapdeal and InMobi Respectively
Rajya Sabha Condemns Katju's Statements on Gandhi and Subhash
Nagaland Government Report on Dimapur Lynching Says that the Rape Accused didn't Rape
AAP Divide Widens as Sting Audio Confirms Kejriwal involved in Horse-Trading
Congress Stands Behind Former PM Manmohan Singh with all its Might
Fruitful Bilateral Talks Between India and Mauritius During Indian PM's 3-Nation Tour
Government Faces RS Challenge from United Opposition
Spectrum Auction Increases Government Coffers by Rs. 96,000 Crore
IMF Forecast for 2015-16 Fiscal Falls Short of Indian PM's 8.5 Per Cent Target
NPAs of PSUs Increase to 10-year High Level
Traders Take Fresh Positions Before Announcement of IIP and CPI Data
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, skipper of Indian cricket team for ODIs, reportedly owed his success of captaincy to the success of his bowlers during a press meet after convincing win over Ireland. He said this when asked whether his success as a captain has anything to do with the experiments he does with bowling. In the last ICC World Cup match Dhoni made spin bowlers bowl 30 overs. The comment is significant because cricketing legend of West Indies, Viv Richards, questioned Indian bowling by pointing out the inconsistency of the Indian bowlers just a week back.
Science and Technology
Reports say that Alibaba, eCommerce giant of China, has shown interest in making significant cash investment in Indian eCommerce sensation Snapdeal and accordingly the two companies have already started negotiation. It is learnt that Snapdeal (which got personal investment from Ratan Tata and $627 million investment from Softbank) is looking for investment to the tune of $1 billion to accelerate its growth to compete with other eCommerce behemoths such as Amazon and Flipkart. In another significant development, Google Inc. has started negotiation with InMobi, a platform that helps companies target Indian mobile and phone users with ads, on possible Buyout.
In a rare show of unity, Rajya Sabha univocally condemned derogatory comments made by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju regarding Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Hamid Ansari, Chairman of RS and Vice President of India, read out the condemnation resolution, adopted by the house unanimously. Katju regarded Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as British and German agents respectively. While Naresh Agarwal of SP mooted the idea of condemning Katju’s remarks on Gandhi, TMC’s S.S. Roy demanded condemnation of ex-SC judge’s remarks on Subhash Chandra Bose. CPIM’s Sitaram Yechury urged the chair to move condemnation resolution on Markandey Katju’s statement.
In a bizarre turn of events, Nagaland government has said in a report submitted to Ministry of Home Affairs that the rape accused Syed Arif Khan of Assam (who was lynched by a mob) did not rape the girl from Nagaland in the first place. The report said that from prima facie evidence it seems the alleged raped girl had consensual sex with Syed Arif Khan in lieu of money. When IGP (Range) of Nagaland, Wabang Jamir, was inquired about the report, he categorically said that he’s unaware of such report.
Rift within two-year old Aam Aadmi Party, which claimed itself different from other political parties, reached all time high when an audio tape released by Rajesh Garg, ex-AAP MLA, confirmed attempt of ‘horse-trading’ by none other than AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal and his lieutenant Manish Sisodia. While Yogendra Yadav-Prashant Bhushan duo confirmed reports that AK wanted to form government with support from Congress, AAP leader from Maharashtra Anjali Damania resigned from the party saying she “didn’t join AAP for this”. However, AAP’s Ashish Khetan denied “horse trading” allegations and instead called it “political realignment”.
A day after former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh was summoned by a special court, hearing Coal scam case, on 8 March as one of the main accused, Indian National Congress led by its President Sonia Gandhi stood behind Singh. Sonia Gandhi also staged a protest march along with hundred INC leaders up to Singh’s residence to show Congress’s solidarity with the ex-PM. While meeting press after the rally outside Manmohan Singh’s residence, INC President told media that her party will not only fight the case legally but will also use every possible means to support Manmohan Singh.
First day of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Mauritius during on-going three-nation tour witnessed signing of five agreements between Anerood Jugnauth (PM of Mauritius) and Indian PM. While both the countries agreed to continuing negotiations for coming up with a revised double-tax treaty, India pledged to offer concessional line of credit to the tune of US$ 500 million for construction of Mauritius’s civil infrastructure projects. During a joint news conference, PM of Mauritius said that he raised the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement issue while discussing with Modi and also sought the latter’s full support.
The Union government, which is a minority in the Upper House of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), has conceded to united opposition’s demand of sending mines and coal bills to Rajya Sabha’s separate panels. Government has agreed to it with the understanding that the panels will place their reports latest by 18 March as the former wants to pass the pending bills within the current session. Reports say, insurance bill is going to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today and Indian National Congress is not going to oppose the bill, thereby paving the way for the concerned bill to be passed in the RS.
Government earns Rs. 96,000 crore through auction of spectrum till Wednesday-end. While it was Rs. 94,000 crore till Monday, it was Rs. 92,000 crore till Tuesday. Bidding for different spectrum (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2,100 MHz) started on 4 March and till now 43 rounds of bidding are complete. Provisional allocation of 84 per cent spectrum has taken place, increasing the government coffers by Rs. 96,000 crore. Statement released by Department of Telecommunications shows that most of the service areas witnessed bid price overtaking reserve price, thereby bringing in more fund to the government than expected.
International Monetary Fund in its annual report observed that the GDP growth rate, calculated on the basis of new adopted methodology, for the fiscal 2015-16 may not be attained. Per the report, India is expected to grow at just 7.5 per cent rate in the coming financial year starting from 1 April 2015 in comparison to 7.2 per cent in the ongoing 2014-15 fiscal. IMF has also pointed out in the report that Indian economy got adequate support from low international crude oil prices coupled with positive policy actions by the Narendra Modi government and improved investor confidence.
During Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s meeting with chiefs of PSU Banks and financial institutions, the agenda note circulated yesterday revealed that Non Performing Assets of all PSU banks reached 10-year high level. It reached 5.64 per cent of total advances done till December 2014, which is the second highest level witnessed back in 2004-05 when it was 5.73 per cent. PSU data shows that the percentage increased at an alarming rate in the last few quarters. While it stood at 4.72 per cent by March-end 2014, it increased to 5.29 per cent by September 2014.
With IIP data for January and CPI data for February all set to be released later today, BSE Sensex surged over 250 points (reached 28,912.96 over previous close of 28,659.17) during morning trade. NSE Nifty also rose by more than 70 points (reached 8,773.60 over previous close of 8,699.95) in the morning. At 11.22am IST, BSE Sensex was trading at 28,850.64 (up by 191.47 points) and CNX Nifty was trading at 8,756.85 (up by 56.90 points). Brokers and analysts believe that after significant profit booking the traders have again started to take fresh positions, especially before the announcement of key IIP and CPI figures.