Acknowledging the strategic importance of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the central government plans to invest Rs 15,000 crore for various developmental projects. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that out of this, projects worth Rs 10,000 crore have already commenced.
The government is likely to raise import duty on wheat to 20-25 per cent from 10 per cent to curb cheap shipments and give positive price signal to farmers who will start sowing winter crop after the Diwali festival.
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The government has approved a new scheme to provide budgetary support to industrial units in hilly states including Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh under the GST regime, Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has notified guidelines for the excise free zone scheme for eligible manufacturing units in Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern States including Sikkim. Companies who have units operating in these states will get reimbursement of 58% on the Central Goods and Service Tax.
India’s winter crops may be at risk this year as insufficient showers in some key regions reduced dam levels. The country’s 91 main reservoirs held 103.43 billion cubic meters of water as of Sept. 28, down 13 per cent from the 10-year average, according to the Central Water Commission.
The government’s demonetisation-led digital push may be bearing fruit. For the first time in more than a decade, the amount of currency in the hands of people has shown a contraction during the festive season, according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data. Currency in circulation has dipped in three weeks out of the five to September 22.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is actively processing USD 500 million (about Rs 3,275 crore) as debt and equity funding for private infrastructure projects in countries, including India and Pakistan. Further, the ADB said it has approved two projects worth over USD 210 million in debt financing from the co-financing arm Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) in its first year of operation.
Farm loan waiver could cost the exchequer upto Rs 2.5 lakh crore or 0.5% of GDP: Crisil
If all affected states also announce farm loan waivers the Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab did, then the total cost the exchequer could be upto Rs 2.5 lakh crore or 0.5% of GDP, estimates ratings firm Crisil. Terming farm loan waivers as a “paradox” in a year of normal monsoon, Crisil said, “We estimate that if other states also announce loan waiver schemes the way Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Punjab did, the collective cost to the exchequer ~Rs 2.5 lakh crore – or 0.5% of GDP – per year, assuming the waiver gets equally staggered over three years.”
The price of basmati paddy — the premier long grain rice in its unshelled form — has increased 30-45% from last year as farmers harvest a lower output in India, the largest producer and exporter, even as demand remains steady globally. Traders expect the price to remain firm through this season. Unshelled basmati is trading between Rs 26 and 45 per kilogram in Punjab during the ongoing harvesting season.
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The government said about 6,000 companies had been caught in what looked like attempts to launder money in the wake of demonetisation, calling it the “tip of the iceberg,” making it clear that more such wrongdoing would soon be unearthed. “This data is only 2.5% of the total number of suspect companies that have been struck off by the government,” the corporate affairs ministry said in a press release.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves fell by USD 2.590 billion to USD 399.656 billion in the week ended September 29 due to decline in foreign currency assets, RBI data showed. In the previous week, the reserves decreased by USD 262.3 million to USD 402.246 billion, after touching a lifetime high of USD 402.509 billion in the week to September 15.
Apple Inc said its general counsel, Bruce Sewell, will retire and be succeeded by former Honeywell International Inc executive Katherine Adams, who will take over Apple’s multinational legal battle against Qualcomm Inc. Adams, who will also be senior vice president of legal and global security, will report to Chief Executive Tim Cook, the company said.
Amazon.com Inc is experimenting with a new delivery service intended to make more products available for free two-day delivery and relieve overcrowding in its warehouses, which will push the online retailer deeper into functions handled by long time partners United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp.
US private equity firm Bain Capital LP said it aims to list Toshiba Corp’s chip unit on the Tokyo Stock Exchange within three years, to cash in its investment after leading an $18 billion acquisition of the business. Bain, whose consortium signed the purchase deal last week, also said it hopes to settle legal disputes over the transaction at an early stage with Western Digital Corp, Toshiba’s joint venture partner.
Uber’s board of directors approved a plan that reins in the influence of ousted CEO Travis Kalanick and opens the door to a colossal investment by Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank. The proposal adopted by Uber’s board also promised to put an end to in-fighting between Kalanick supporters and investors who suspected the cofounder was plotting a wily return to the head of the company.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc bought a stake in Pilot Travel Centers LLC, owner of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain, and detailed plans to become the company’s biggest shareholder in six years. Berkshire Hathaway agreed to acquire 38.6 per cent of Pilot Flying J, a closely held company based in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Citing huge losses, flagship carrier Pakistan International Airlines will be discontinuing flights to the US from October 31, airline officials said. According to the officials, PIA had been incurring losses of up to Rs 1.25 billion annually due to its US operations — a concern which prompted the management to discontinue the flights, Geo News reported.
The manufacturing jobs are coming back to America, President Donald Trump has said, asserting that his administration has already created tens of thousands of new jobs and is working to improve US’ business climate. Proclaiming October 6 as the national day of manufacturing, Trump said American manufacturers were consistently finding new ways to incorporate advanced technology into the traditional assembly line to produce previously unfathomable breakthroughs in areas like aerospace.
Pakistan said that the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is for development and it aims at the betterment of the people in the region. The CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking southern Pakistan, and the Gwadar Port, to China’s restive Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that the long-awaited global recovery is taking root and asked the global community to seize this opportunity of the upswing to create a more inclusive economy that works for all. Referring to IMF research which has shown that reforms are more potent and easier to implement when economies are healthier, Lagarde said that the international community needs to use this time frame to lift incomes, create jobs, invest in people’s futures.
President Donald Trump is allowing more employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections, issuing new rules that take another step in rolling back the Obama health care law. The new policy is a long-expected revision to federal rules that require most companies to cover birth control as preventive care for women, at no additional cost. Preventive services are supposed to be free of charge to employees and their dependent.
President Donald Trump is planning to decertify the landmark Iran nuclear pact negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, paving the way for potentially reopening sanctions, two leading US dailies said. Trump will argue that the agreement is not in the interest of the United States, the Washington Post reported.
China has played down the US criticism of the Belt and Road project, especially the controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor artery, and denied that Beijing is trying to foist the project. The Chinese Foreign Ministry told IANS that the CPEC, which goes through Pakistan-administered Kashmir that is claimed by India, was an economic project that does not target New Delhi.
US severe poverty worsens in 2016: Study
A study has shown that severe poverty in the US has worsened in 2016, rising to almost half of all those living in poverty. Severe poverty, which is defined as those with income below half of the poverty level, makes up 45.6 per cent of all those impoverished population, the highest point in 20 years, the study by the Pew Research Centre revealed.
Theresa May has come under fresh pressure from within her own party to step down as British prime minister as it emerged today that a former Conservative party chairman is leading an attempted coup against her. Grant Shapps, co-chair of Britain’s ruling Tory party between 2012 and 2015, claims having the backing of nearly 30 party MPs including former Cabinet ministers.