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$1Billion Valuation of Indian Healthcare IT Market by NASSCOM

NASSCOM’s report points out that current valuation of the Indian healthcare IT market is around Rs. 6,650 crore or US$ 1 Billion. The report also expects the same to grow around 1.5 times by the year 2020 (with a compounded annual growth rate of 11 per cent in the coming 5 years). Revenues generated by healthcare software segment in 2014 was US$96.8 million and the deluge of health tech start-ups, which have cropped up recently, have attracted more than $100 million since 2014.

Rupee falls by 6 paise against dollar

During early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange, Rupee weakened by 6 paise to 66.58 against the dollar. Reason for this is quoted as the month-end demand for the US currency from the importers in addition to a lower opening of the Indian equity market. Yesterday, the rupee gained 10 paise to close at 66.52 against dollar with the benchmark BSE Sensex trading lower by 122.06 points to close at 25,885.25.

India-France launch Solar Programme for Developing Countries, To Facilitate over $1 trillion investment

India-France launched a solar finance programme for facilitating development of solar energy potential of developing countries. The facilitation works will be two-pronged – lower finance cost and facilitate investment flow of over $1 trillion to ISA (International Solar Alliance) members. The announcement was jointly done by Indian Power minister Piyush Goyal and French environment minister Segolene Royal. Another programme was signed by over 25 countries at ISA meeting that aims providing solar technology to farmers for harnessing “energy of the future”.

India says USA's stance on Solar Trade 'unfortunate'

The Union Minister of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal, has reportedly accused US of practicing double standard when it comes to solar trade. After the WTO said that India's efforts at promoting only Indian-made products in solar power industry were "inconsistent" with a range of global trade regulations, the Goya said that the US continues to purchase solar equipment giving preference to domestic manufacturers and on the other hand, chooses to go against the developing world. 


India becomes the #1 FDI Destination

India has replaced China as the world’s top destination for foreign direct investment. The country has been successful in attracting FDI worth $63 billion in 2015, achieving the milestone of being the highest-ranked country by capital investment. In 2015, India witnessed high-value project announcements across multiple domains including oil and natural gas, coal and renewable energy.  

GoAir shoots up its ticket cancellation rates

India’s budget carrier GoAir has revised its ticket cancellation charges from Rs. 1,900 to Rs. 2,225. The new cancellation charges would be effective from 21 April 2016. It is important to note that GoAir has kept its ticket cancellation charges slightly lower as compared to other budget carriers like SpiceJet and IndiGo, which have recently increased the same to Rs. 2,250 per ticket.

BSE Sensex jumps to reach 26,000 mark

Today, the BSE Sensex jumped over 100 points to close at its key 26,000 mark. Additionally, the Nifty closed above 7,950 during early deals and traded 8 points lower to close at 7,907. India’s biggest IT outsourcer, TCS was among the top Nifty losers and its shares fell nearly 2 per cent after the firm missed margin estimates in its fourth quarter.

LIC likely to infuse Rs. 57 crore into Allahabad Bank

Public sector lender Allahabad Bank is ready to raise over Rs. 57.5 crore by issuing shares on preferential basis to LIC. While the decision was made at Allahabad Bank’s general meeting held on 30 March 2016, LIC (Life Insurance Corporation) has given its consent on subscribing up to 1,32,44,282 equity shares of Allahabad Bank on preferential basis subject to their shareholding that is restricted to 14.50 per cent of the bank’s post issue share capital.

PF withdrawal now applicable on housing and health

As an initiative to ease the planned restriction on withdrawal of contribution to an employee’s provident fund, the labour ministry has informed that PF withdrawals would now be allowed for housing, major medical treatment for self and family members, medical, dental and engineering education of children, and also for their marriage. While these norms would come into effect from August, the same are also applicable on members who have joined a firm belonging to or under the state or central government.

India stresses on electing New IMF MD from Emerging Economy

Union Finance Secretary Shaktikant Das confirmed that India has supported current IMF (International Monetary Fund) Chief Christine Lagarde’s second 5-year term (which starts on July 5). There was no other serious candidate for the coveted position during this term. However, he also said that while supporting Lagarde’s second term as IMF chief India made it clear that they are in favour of an IMF Managing Director from the emerging economies in the next term, five years from now.

36 Rafale Jets Deal Sealed at US$8.8 Billion

Reports say that India has at last agreed to purchase 36 Rafale Jets from France at an estimate cost of US$ 8.8 billion after fierce negotiation. Initial asking price of these fighter jets by France was US$ 12 billion. Sources say that the final agreement is all set to be signed in three weeks’ time and delivery of first lot of Rafale Jets will be done after 18 months time. With Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar proclaiming himself to be a tough negotiator, India has indeed succeed to buy the 36 jets at far lesser price and  making France agree to India’s 50 per cent offset obligation demand.

Passport, driving licence freed from service tax

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has granted certain business entities exemption from service tax on a range of services provided by the government and local authorities. The list of services includes grant of a passport, visa, driving licence, and birth or death certificate to an individual who is pursuing a profession or a business. It should be noted that the service tax levy doesn’t apply in case the services are being availed by individuals hailing from government or local bodies.

Rupee gains to 66.31 against dollar

Rupee reaches a new high by advancing to 66.31 against dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange. Reason for this hike is the increased selling of the US currency by banks and exporters amid the positive economic data. While the rupee ended marginally higher by one paisa to close at 66.43 against dollar, the benchmark BSE Sensex gained by 1.48 per cent to close at 25,517.78 during early trade.

Airtel buys Aircel's 4G spectrum in 8 cities

Bharti Airtel is willing to pay Rs. 35,00 crores for acquiring the rights to use the 4G spectrum of Aircel in eight different telecom circles. This is Airtel’s second deal in less than a month’s time and the same will definitely make the firm a pan-India operator for offering high speed mobile data services. The eight circles for which Airtel will be buying the 4G spectrum of Aircel include Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, the North-East, West Bengal and Orissa.

US Think Tank believes passage of GST Bill key to joining APEC

With Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying India is open to join APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), US-based think-tank Asia Society Policy Institute said that joining of India into APEC will not only help the country attract more FDI and accelerate reform agenda but also brighten prospect of joining Free Trade Area of Asia Pacific (FTAAP) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Former Australian PM, Kevin Rudd, who headed the think-tank in creating the report said that Jaitley’s recent statement raised hope of India joining APEC after years of hesitation.

Moody's lauds PM Modi's Make in India initiative for boosting FDI

PM Modi's 'Make in India' initiative got a shot in the arm after a report published by Moody's Investors Service said that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India increased significantly due to the adoption of the initiative for transforming India into a manufacturing hub. Moody’s lauded the initiative as it reduces Indian economy’s dependence on portfolio investment and also helps government in covering current account deficit. Reports say that net FDI inflows in January 2016 increased to an all-time high to $3 billion.

SC dismisses NGO's plea for cancelling Reliance Jio's 4G licence

The Supreme Court today dismissed the plea raised by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) that sought cancellation of Reliance Jio’s 4G licence on multiple grounds. The decision was taken by an apex court comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi. The NGO CPIL has stated that Reliance Jio was offered 4G licence for data services and not for voice telephony which it received permission for, at a later point of time.

BSE Sensex slips by over 50 points

Today, BSE Sensex fell as much as 60 points to hit a low of Rs. 24,625 with Nifty falling by 16 points to close at Rs. 7,530. Reliance Communications was the top loser with its stocks falling by 1.5 per cent to close at Rs. 49.45. Other losers include Container Corp, Bank of India, Mphasis, JP Associated, Divis Labs and Amara Raja Batteries. Additionally, metal, oil & gas, banking, IT, auto and consumer durable stocks experienced maximum selling pressure.

Tata Steel UK unit sale starts from 11 April 2016

Tata Steel will be initiating the formal process to sell its UK unit by 11 April 2016. The announcement was made by the British business minister Sajid Javid who attended a two-hour meeting with Tata Steel’s chairman Cyrus Mistry at the Bombay House- the Tata Group’s headquarters yesterday. Javed also informed about the multiple parties that would be coming forward for the assets once the official process of selling the UK unit starts.

PF withdrawal norms to be effective from May 2016

The EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organisation) had sent a notification wherein it has stated that only partial withdrawal (restricted to the share of employee’s own contribution to the EPF account plus the interest earned on the same) from an EPFO account was permitted prior to retirement and the balance (employee’s contribution plus interest earned on the same) would remain locked up till the EPF account holder attained the age of 58 years. Though the EPFO has originally set the date of applicability for the norm as 1 April 2016, the same has been extended to 1 May 2016.