Business Current Affairs

Union Government Ordinance for Resolving Coal Supply Issue

 After September 24 Supreme Court verdict leading to cancellation of 204 coal blocks allocated earlier, the Union government is going to issue ordinance that will help in resolving supply issues of coal to central as well as state government companies, on one hand, and private companies in the power, steel, and cement businesses. Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, has also said that for introduction of commercial mining, provisions will be enabled at a later date. Market cheered on this announcement.

Hero MotoCorp to Expand Exponentially

Hero MotoCorp is looking forward to capacity expansion by the year 2020. The largest two wheeler manufacturer of India is all set to invest Rs 5,000 crore for increasing annual production capacity to a massive 12 million units. Capacity expansion will be done in the existing manufacturing units present in India, Bangladesh, and Colombia.

Foreign Investors upbeat about Indian market

 Chief Investment Officer as well as President of DSP Blackrock has said that after Narendra Modi government started announcing and implementing reforms and policy actions in India, global market has started to rebuild its faith in Indian market. This has led many foreign investors to contemplate the idea of increasing exposure to Indian equities.

No Probe against Flipkart, says Nirmala Sitharaman

The Union government is not mulling the idea of initiating probe into the alleged unfair trade practices as well as predatory prices of goods by Flipkart, one of the leading e-Commence names in India, during the 'big billion day sale' on October 6.

Depending upon Global Price, India will have New Gas Price after Every 6 Months

Domestically produced natural gas has seen an upward revision of prices to $5.61 per mBtu from $4.2 per mBtu. This government decision will have an impact on consumers of PNG, CNG, fertilisers, and power. On the basis of Gross Calorific Value, the new price is going to be determined, which will be subject to review after every 6 months.  From November 2013, the new price will come into effect.

IndiGo on a Buying Spree

In its latest move IndiGo is all set to buy 430 jets, billing $40 billion. In the aviation history of India, this is the largest order placed till date. Market analysts believe that this move has been undertaken by IndiGo management on the belief that Indian economy is going to rebound after economic performance is expected to accelerate under the new business friendly Modi government. Many also feel that it is the biggest bet any Indian aviation company has yet placed.

Diesel Price Deregulated; Oil Stocks Cheer; Apprehension of Inflation Shoots Up

Diesel price has been deregulated. Most transport vehicles, including the ones transporting food articles and essential products, use diesel. Some economists believe that this will lead to increase in inflation. Due to gas and diesel price reforms, oil and gas companies will be the biggest beneficiaries. Market has responded positively and the stocks of Oil India, ONGC, BPCL, HPCL, S&P BSE Oil and Gas index, etc. are making significant gains.

CBI Files FIR Against JSPL; Market Responds Sharply

Central Bureau of Investigation has slapped new case against JSPL or Jindal Steel and Power Limited. Criminal conspiracy and cheating charges have been pressed against JSPL. The FIR filed by CBI shows that JSPL has done excess coal mining and mined illegally beyond permitted areas. However, JSPL retorted by saying that all its actions are in accordance with the law of land. However, JSPL stocks saw a dip after CBI filed fresh charges against it.

Fresh case against Jindal Steel and Power Ltd by CBI

A new case of cheating and corruption has been filled against Jindal Steel and Power Limited and others by CBI. The case is linked to the investigation of coal blocks allocation case. As per official report it is the 36th FIR in the coal block scam. Four locations in Chhattisgarh and Rajgarh have been searched soon after registering the case by the CBI. There are allegations of irregular mining in areas beyond the approved areas, coal mining more than recommended, sale of coal, irregular consumption of coal.

India will get info on suspected black money hoarders from Swiss bank

To bring back black money deposited by Indians in foreign banks was one of the main agendas of PM Narendra Modi's government. Indian government has recently achieved a breakthrough in this regard as Switzerland has agreed to disclose and share information on Indians who have illicit money in Swiss banks. Switzerland will assist the Income Tax Department of India in its investigations on unaccounted money and tax evasion. In August, Switzerland made some changes in its domestic laws. Under these changes other countries can now make a group request to get information about individuals who are suspected black money hoarders.

India's New Chief Economic Adviser - Arvind Subramanian

Arvind Subramanian becomes the new chief economic advisor. In the year 2011, he was recognised among the top 100 global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. He was Peterson Institute for International Economics’ senior fellow, Assistant Director at research wing of IMF, expert group member of finance minister during G20 meet, and St Stephen's College alumnus. He also advised Indian government on various aspects.

Will there be an Early Resolution at WTO Meet?

Roberto Azevêdo, Director General of WTO, has hinted that some movements are taking place towards finding a permanent solution towards public stockholding that is essential for India’s food security. India is looking forward to the early resolution of this demand. In July India had vetoed Trade Facilitation Agreement and insisted upon WTO’s parallel agreement that allowed government of India to give as much subsidy as they want to farmers who produce staple food grains including cereals, wheat, and rice.

Is Price Under-cutting Taking Place in Group Health Schemes of Non-Life Companies? IRDA will Look into it

Group Health space by non-life companies may come under IRDA scanner. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority is expected to take strong views on non-life companies’ under-cutting practice in the group health space. The incurred claims in the group schemes are very high, much more than those of retail schemes. Sometimes, the claims touched 100 per cent, which made IRDA raise the flag.

HCL's Less Than Expected Performance

In the quarter that end on September 30, HCL Technologies reported a net profit of Rs 1,873 crore, which is lesser than the 2.1 percent expected sequential growth of the company. There are two reasons for such a figure. While global currency rate fluctuation played spoil sport, on one hand, salary hike during last quarter of employees also ate some of the net profit, on the other hand.  

Labour Reform Launched in India

Indian Prime Minister launched labour reform to achieve his dream of making India a successful manufacturing hub. The reform is expected to ease the process of doing business in India. Some of the essential reforms included in ‘Shramev Jayate’ (Triumph of Labour) are introduction of minimum Rs. 1000 pension, inclusion of more workers within the ambit of EPF scheme (through raising the income ceiling for it from Rs. 6500 to Rs. 15000 per month), doing away with ‘inspector raj’, Shram Suvidha, and Labour Inspection Scheme.

India Not to Cooperate with US Trade Representative on IPR Issues regarding Special 301 Report

Office of the US Trade Representative have unilaterally initiated OCR or out-of-cycle review for its annual Special 301 Report. According to the US, India has a slack IPR or intellectual property right regime. American authorities have been conveyed by Government of India that the latter is in no way obliged to participate in the review process. India will only cooperate with the US in US-India IP working group formed recently during Indian PM’s US visit.

Standoff Expected Again during Geneva Meet of WTO

India will stick to its gun on food security’s permanent solution before ratifying TFA or Trade Facilitation Agreement. This was conveyed by Nirmala Sitharaman, the Commerce & Industry Minister, thereby negating any possibility of softening of previous stand. WTO meeting of Trade Negotiations Committee will be held today in Geneva and the primary focus will be on breaking the deadlock. However, some reports also indicate that India may curtail some of the demands done earlier such as insistence on protection of future welfare scheme.

Guidelines to be Issued for Setting up Small Finance Banks

Raghuram Rajan, Governor of RBI, has said that within a few weeks guidelines will be issued to set up small finance banks that are expected to cater to the needs of small customers, to fulfill the aim of achieving financial inclusion. Existing banks are also asked to use mobile platforms to make banking more affordable and accessible.  

Gold import increases by five-fold in September

Festive season has resulted an increase in the gold import in India by five-fold i.e. to $3.75 billion in September. In the same month last year the gold import was $682.5 million. This in turn pushed up the trade deficit of India, as per media reports. Most of the gold imported in the country is utilised to fulfill the demand for diamond and gold jewellery. The custom duty on gold has also been increased to 10 percent by the Government. It has also banned the import of medallions and gold coins.

WPI and CPI hits Record Low

During September 2014, Wholesale Price Index fell to 2.38 percent. In August 2014, WPI was 3.74 percent. The main reasons behind this fall are decrease in prices of crude prices globally, low demand for industrial products, and slow down in increase of food articles. Since October 2009, it is the lowest WPI. CPI or Consumer Price Index or Retail Inflation has also hit a record low since January 2012. In September 2014 it stands at 6.46 per cent.

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