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The IMF has suggested a three- pronged approach for structural reform in India that includes addressing the corporate and banking sector weaknesses, continued fiscal consolidation through revenue measure, and improving the efficiency of labour and product markets.
Agricultural growth rate will be more than 3% in 2017-18, according to Ramesh Chand, a member of the government’s premier think-tank Niti Aayog. He said agricultural growth rate in 2016-17 might be revised upwards to 5% from earlier 4.1%.
The government’s net direct tax collections rose 15.8% to Rs 3.86 lakh crore for April-September, buoyed by healthy growth in advance tax mop-up, the finance ministry said. Personal advance tax climbed over 30%, according to provisional data. The net direct tax collections for the first six months of the financial year constituted 39.4% of the budget estimate of Rs 9.8 lakh crore, the finance ministry said.
India’s merchandise exports rose sharply in September, belying fears of a slump due to disruption and working capital issues brought on by the introduction of the goods and services tax. Exports climbed 25.67 per cent in September, exceeding an 18.1 per cent increase in imports, helping to narrow the trade deficit to $8.98 billion from $9.07 billion in September 2016.
To ensure seamless trade of Bhutan with India and other third parties, India is further widening its door for Bhutan. Development and upgradation of new Indo-Bhutan cross border trade routes are expected to give a quantum jump to the commercial strata of economically backward Himalayan foothills region in northern West Bengal .
The tax department has sought explanations from banks and financial institutions, including multinationals, on transitional credit claimed by them in July under the goods and services tax (GST) regime, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
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Banks are likely to need nearly Rs 3.3 lakh crore this fiscal as provisioning for large NPA accounts in the current financial year, said a Crisil report. The report said with the economic value of assets underlying NPAs eroding with time, and resolutions are hard to come by, banks would need to step up on provisioning, mainly for large corporate NPAs. It will facilitate faster clean-up of their balance sheets.
Shareholders of Idea Cellular approved the merger of the company’s mobile business with Vodafone, with almost all of the votes going in favour of the alliance. Idea Cellular and Vodafone India have approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for a nod, which had earlier ordered the companies to get shareholder approval, before the companies go to the telecom department to get a final approval to the merger.
Online retail major Flipkart has committed $500 million to its payment arm PhonePe, as the Bengaluru-based company prepares to take on Noida-based rival Paytm, which has become the largest mobile wallet player. The first tranche of $180-200 million is expected to come in by December-January, said PhonePe’s chief executive Sameer Nigam. The newly-committed amount adds to the $75-million worth of infusion Flipkart has made in PhonePe since the acquisition.
Shares of Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra), the listed unit of Tata Teleservices, surged Friday, a day after India’s biggest telco announced its decision to take over the consumer mobile business of Tata Teleservices. Bharti Airtel rose 7.9% to close at Rs 431.60 on the BSE, while those of Tata Tele (Maharashtra) shot up nearly 10% to close at Rs 4.86.
HSBC has appointed John Flint as its next chief executive the bank said, sticking with a tradition of promoting company insiders to run the firm. Flint, who currently runs HSBC’s retail and wealth management business, will start in his new role on Feb 21 2018, taking over from current chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who is retiring after seven years in the job.
India-born Google CEO Sundar Pichai has pledged $1 billion in new initiatives to prepare people for the next generation technology jobs. At an event in Pittsburgh, Pichai said Google will spend the money over the next five years to fund grants to non-profits globally, CNET reported.
Luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc fired about 400 employees this week, including associates, team leaders and supervisors, a former employee told Reuters. The dismissals were a result of a company-wide annual review, Tesla said in an emailed statement, without confirming the number of employees leaving the company.
Qualcomm Inc. filed lawsuits in China seeking to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country, the chipmaker’s biggest shot at Apple Inc. so far in a sprawling and bitter legal fight. The San Diego-based company aims to inflict pain on Apple in the world’s largest market for smartphones and cut off production in a country where most iPhones are made. The product provides almost two-thirds of Apple’s revenue. Qualcomm filed the suits in a Beijing intellectual property court.
UNESCO’s executive board has chosen former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay to be the UN cultural agency’s next leader over a Qatari candidate in an unusually heated race overshadowed by Mideast tensions. The US announcement this week that it’s quitting UNESCO rocked the multi-day election and heightened concerns about the agency’s funding and future direction.
Pakistan’s first Metro train rolled into Lahore, all thanks to its growing cooperation with China under CPEC, the controversial project of China’s Belt and Road initiative. The first set of coaches and engines were showcased in Lahore under the CPEC project, which comprises a network of railways, roads and pipelines that would connect Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar in the province of Balochistan, with the Chinese city of Kashgar in landlocked Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
President Donald Trump remained non-committal about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement as he welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House amid simmering disputes over trade between the two North American neighbors. Trudeau joined Trump in the Oval Office at the start of a new round of talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement, which the U.S. president has threatened to withdraw from if he can’t negotiate a better agreement with Canada and Mexico.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China rose the most in more than two years in September, likely boosted by strong growth in the country’s manufacturing and hi-tech sectors, the commerce ministry said on Friday. FDI rose 17.3 percent to 70.63 billion yuan ($10.73 billion) in September from a year earlier, compared with a 9.1 percent gain in August, marking its biggest percentage gain since August 2015.
Hillary Clinton says President Donald Trump’s threat to pull out of the Iran nuclear accord is “dangerous,” and she suggests her former campaign opponent is undermining the validity of the United States’ promises to other nations. Trump accused Iran of violating the landmark 2015 accord, blaming the Iranians for a litany of sinister behavior and hitting their main military wing with anti-terror penalties.
The Trump administration announced that it would withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, after years of the United States distancing itself because of what it saw as the group’s “anti-Israel bias.” “This decision was not taken lightly,” according to a State Department statement. The department also cited “the need for fundamental reform” and “mounting arrears” at the organization.