Major News and Events of 18 November 2014
What Happened on 18 November 2014
Will Aditya Birla Group Sell Stake at Less Bid?
Robust Growth in Advertisement Spending
Gold Import Restiction on the Way after Inflated CAD Report
CBI Files Chargesheet Against Saradha Accused
Push for Free Trade Pact between Australia and India
Bank Account Opening Target Reached in Less Than 3 Months
New Maha Government Reconsidering Power Tariff Cut
Modi Woos Indians in Australia
Sharad Speaks Out on Maharashtra
Harsh Vardhan on Scientific Innovations and 'Make in India' Initiative
Mudgal Report Made Public Partially
Adani Enterprises got a boost on November 17, 2014 from the largest commercial bank in India, State Bank of India. For building a coal mine, port, and rail project the infrastructure conglomerate has signed a MoU with SBI, according to which the bank will provide a $1 billion loan to one of the fastest growing enterprises in India. The concerned projects are expected to be completed by 2017-end. Currently, founder of Adani Enterprises – Gautam Adani – is among the high level delegation of the India PM in Australia’s Brisbane.
Aditya Birla group is trying to woo private equity firms so that it can sell 10 per cent stake each of the new company – which will comprise renowned brand companies like More and Pantaloons. Each stake will be provided to two equity companies for US$ 400 million, having US$ 2 billion valuation. While L Capital has offered final bid, which is reported to be less than $200 million, another firm called IFC is still in talks with the group. Temasek hasn’t put their bid till date. It is rumoured that holding company is not happy with the bids.
Professionals of media and advertising agency expect that the quarter ending in December 2014 could see 10 to 15 per cent growth. The main drivers of ad spending is coming from ecommerce sites, which are on the verge of a revolution in India. Interestingly, ad spending saw significant increase due to assembly election in Haryana and Maharashtra.
Recent reports indicate that current account deficit has increased due to trade deficit (which soared to $13.35 billion in October), which in turn has been caused mainly by significant increase (around four times) in gold imports. Government is mulling over the idea of imposing restrictions on gold imports, similar to the steps taken by erstwhile UPA2 government in August 2013 that slowed down gold import significantly.
CBI has filed chargesheet against the main accused of Saradha Scam. Some of the names include main culprits - Sudipto Sen and Debjani Mukherjee – along with other important names such as Rajat Majumdar (ex-police officer and leader of TMC), Debabrata Sarkar (of East Bengal club), Sadananda Gogoi (Assamese singer), Sajjan Agarwal (businessman), and Sandhir Agarwal (businessman). The charges leveled are under IPC 420, 120B, and Prize Chit and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978’s section 4 and section 6.
Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott, and PM of India Narendra Modi has signed five deals and gave the extra required push for the possible pact between India and Australia. Abbott confirmed that the free trade pact will be finalised in and around end of 2015. The 2-year long ban on selling uranium has been lifted by Australia. 5 important deals signed between the two countries are on tourism, social security, ways to combat narcotics trade, transfer of sentenced prisoners, and Art & Culture.
The target of opening 75.16 million bank accounts, especially for those who were outside banking facility for a long time, has been reached in a record period of time – less than 180 days. Among these accounts, seventy five percent of them have no cash in them. In addition, just 58 per cent of the newly opened accounts under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’ have RuPay debit card facility.
Last Maharashtra government under Prithviraj Chavan had cut tariff on power by 20 per cent. However, this has increased state government’s revenue deficit by Rs. 26,000, according to the state exchequer. The burden born by the state due to this decision is Rs. 706 crore. While Rs. 606 crore will be provided by Maharashtra Government, Rs. 100 crore will be shared equally by MahaTransco and MahaVitaran.
At Australia’s Allphones Arena, Indian Prime Minister wooed Indians living in this part of the continent. He assured a crowd of around 20,000 that Overseas Citizens of India and Persons of Indian Origin are going to be merged within two months, especially before the advent of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas. PM also announced that the Australian travellers will get visa on arrival.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has reportedly asked his party cadres to get ready for another election, among increased distrust between erstwhile allies BJP and Shiv Sena. While pointing out its neutral role during the trust vote in Maharashtra assembly, Pawar said that creation of a stable government at the assembly is not the sole duty of NCP.
Science and Technology
Dr Harsh Vardhan, newly appointed Minister of Science and Technology, has not only vouched for technological advancements but also emphasised the importance of technocrats as well as scientists in the quest of making ‘Make in India’ initiative of Narendra Modi successful. The minster said these while addressing an audience at North East Institute of Science and Technology.
A portion of the Mudgal Report on 2013 IPL Scam has been made public on November 17. This report shows that the BCCI President has no involvement in either betting or match fixing. However, the report also made it clear that Srinivasan never took action against the culprit players inspite of the fact that he knew fully well about the several violations done by different players.