The Economic Times
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NEW DELHI: The flight path for Air India's future may be drawn as early as next month. With finance minister Arun Jaitley saying the government is open to disinvesting in the airline, the aviation ministry will this week begin internal deliberations on the issue. Apart from this, the Niti Aayog is also learnt to be in advance stages of finalising its recommendations for the debt-ridden Maharaja. “Internally within the ministry we will take a call on how to take the FM's statement forward. Once the ministry makes up its mind on the issue of disinvesting in AI, we will take the matter to the Cabinet for approval. If the Cabinet gives its nod, then the department of disinvestment will implement the same,“ said a top aviation ministry source. The doubt in everyone's mind is whether AI -with its debt burden of almost Rs 52,000 crore -will get a buyer.
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Army may be currently busy with the volatile situation along the 778-km Line of Control with Pakistan, but it is slowly and steadily also building requisite deterrence along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control with China. The 1.3-million strong Army has now kicked off the process to raise the second division of the new mountain strike corps for the "northern borders" with China despite an ongoing fund crunch, while it is also planning a high-altitude warfare exercise in Ladakh later this year. Defence sources say the new 72 Infantry Division, with its headquarters at Pathankot, will become "fully operational" in three years. "The division will now be being raised with one brigade in the beginning. But it will have three brigades when it is fully formed and operational in around three years," said a source. The Army had formally begun to raise the new 17 Mountain Strike Corps in January 2014 to acquire "quick-reaction ground offensive capabilities" for the first time against China because its existing three "strike corps" were largely geared towards Pakistan.
The Economic Times
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MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: The plight of Reliance Communications is more serious than what credit rating agencies believe. The Anil Ambani-owned mobile phone operator has defaulted on its loan servicing obligations with more than 10 local banks, some of whom have categorised the exposure as "special mention account" in their asset books. SMA assets are loans where the interest payment from a borrower is overdue: if a loan isn't serviced within 30 days after falling due, it's marked as SMA 1and if unpaid for 60 days or more, it's classified as SMA 2. The loan becomes non-performing asset (NPA) - which requires a bank to provide for the loan and take a knock on profitability - if interest is unpaid for 90 days. Loans to the telco have been redflagged as either SMA1 or SMA2 by at least 10 lenders in India, a bank official told ET. A few banks will have to treat the account as an NPA after a fortnight, said another banker.
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MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: The plight of Reliance Communications is more serious than what credit rating agencies believe. The Anil Ambani-owned mobile phone operator has defaulted on its loan servicing obligations with more than 10 local banks, some of whom have categorised the exposure as "special mention account" in their asset books. SMA assets are loans where the interest payment from a borrower is overdue: if a loan isn't serviced within 30 days after falling due, it's marked as SMA 1and if unpaid for 60 days or more, it's classified as SMA 2. The loan becomes non-performing asset (NPA) – which requires a bank to provide for the loan and take a knock on profitability – if interest is unpaid for 90 days. Loans to the telco have been redflagged as either SMA1 or SMA2 by at least 10 lenders in India, a bank official told ET. A few banks will have to treat the account as an NPA after a fortnight, said another banker.
The Economic Times
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NEW DELHI: It’s usually industry that complains about tardinessin decision making, execution and approvals. But the shoe seems to be on the other foot when it comes to customs clearance. The country’s leading port of Nhava Sheva recently saw protests against a new mechanismWharf to Warehouse — that provides for speedier clearance of goods. Such was the reluctance of companies to sign on that the local customs had to send letters to CEOs of 500 companies including multinationals to persuade them. Undeterred, the customs department plans to launch an SMS service informing importers about the arrival of ships carrying their goods at the country’s ports beforehand. “We are working towards a new system wherein if the bill of entry is filed in advance, trader will know in advance when his goods are arriving at the port and take delivery," a senior customs official told ET.
The Economic Times
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NEW DELHI: Disappointed over high GST rate on ayurvedic products that provide "care and cure to common man at affordable price", Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved has asked the government as to how can people feel and live 'Achchhe Din' without the right to good health. In a similar vein, industry body AMAM also said that while the government is aggressively promoting ayurveda globally, high tax incidence under GST will make the natural medicines costly and out of reach of the common people back home. GST rate for classical or generic range of ayurvedic medicines must be nil and 5 per cent for patented products instead of the proposed 12 per cent, the Association of Manufacturers of Ayurvedic Medicines (AMAM) has said. At present the ayurvedic medicines and products have a total tax incidence of 7 per cent, including VAT, depending on the items.
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NEW DELHI: Realty major DLF's net sales bookings fell sharply by 63 per cent to Rs 1,160 crore during the last fiscal due to demand slowdown in the property market. It did not provide any guidance to the market for the 2017-18 fiscal due to uncertainties in the market following implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 from May and GST law from July this year. DLF expects normalcy in the property market, which is facing a multi-year demand slowdown, to return in the next 4-6 quarters. "Gross sales booking of Rs 2,100 crore; Cancellation/ upgradation Rs 940 crore resulting in net sales booking of Rs 1,160 crore booked in FY17. This is in comparison to net sales booking of Rs 3,150 crore in FY16," the country's largest realty firm said in a presentation. The company completed 14.5 million sq ft of area in the last fiscal.
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Naidu said the Centre is formulating a new Metro Rail policy for future projects, in line with the government- approved National Policy on Transit Oriented Development (TOD). "The last decade has witnessed the development of metro projects across the country. However, with more and more cities aspiring for metro rail, it is the need of the hour to have a policy on the metro rail so that such systems are decided upon and implemented in the most sustainable manner," he said. Kejriwal said the Delhi Metro has today become the pride of not only the city but the entire India. There are many countries now which are looking up to Delhi Metro and DMRC is providing consultancy to many towns and cities. "From the point of view of environment protection, time management and economy, Delhi Metro has emerged as a very suitable mode of travel," he said.
The Economic Times
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The Economic Times
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NEW DELHI: From next year onwards if you ever lose your way in any part of the country or anywhere in the Arabian sea, 'NavIC' will come to your rescue and help you find your bearings. Yes, India's very own desi Global Positioning System (GPS) is operational and is set to hit the market for public use in early 2018. "The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) with an operational name of NavIC is currently being tested for its accuracy and is most likely to be available in the market for public use early next year," said Tapan Misra, the director of Ahmedabad-based Space Application Centre (SAC). India needed a constellation of seven satellites in space to complete its Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), a feat the country was able to achieve on April 28, 2016, when Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully launched IRNSS-1G, the seventh satellite in the series, and guided it to its orbit.
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There were even reports that Rajinikanth would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi this week. (They met in Chennai during the 2014 election campaign but Rajinikanth did not endorse the BJP.) Rajinikanth’s speech comes at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty in Tamil Nadu politics, caused by the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016 and Karunanidhi’s poor health. Jayalalithaa’s demise led to a split in the AIADMK, after her close aide VK Sasikala set eyes on the chief ministerial post. O Panneerselvam, the then interim CM, broke away from the party with a few MLAs, while the majority remained with Sasikala, who was jailed in a disproportionate assets case. Edappadi K Palaniswami was made chief minister. Now, Sasikala and her nephew, TTV Dhinakaran, who was running the party in her absence, have both been sidelined in the context of the latter’s arrest after he was accused of trying to bribe the Election Commission (EC) to get the party’s “two leavessymbol.
The Economic Times
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NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has favoured disinvestment of the loss-making Air India, saying the airline's market share is just around 14 per cent whereas the debt burden is Rs 50,000 crore. This is the clearest indication yet from the current NDA regime on possible stake sale in Air India, which is staying afloat on taxpayers' money. Air India's market share today is around 14 per cent while the debt is Rs 50,000 crore while the government has not put in money in private carriers, Jaitley said at Dialogue@DDNews programme. To run Air India, around Rs 50,000 crore have been put in and that money could have been used for promoting education, the minister added. "In this country, if 87 or 86 per cent flying can be handled by the private sector... then they can also do 100 per cent," Jaitley said. According to him, of the total debt, around Rs 20,000- 25,000 crore are related to aircraft valuation.
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NEW DELHI: Delhi University has shelved its decision to hold online entrance tests for its M Phil, PhD and PG programmes as it feels that conducting these along with the offline format won't be feasible. The standing committee in a meeting held on May 19 had given approval for holding both online and offline exams for M Phil, PhD and PG programmes. It had attracted criticism from student circles, including the Delhi Union Student Union and the ABVP, who claimed that the online test could disadvantage students from rural areas. The decision to stick to offline pattern was taken after a committee meeting today in which it was concluded that the dual mode was "unfeasible" . "Logistics involved in conducting both kind of examinations were not feasible. Several stakeholders were consulted and it was found that it needed a large exercise," a member of Standing Committee for Admissions told PTI.
The Economic Times
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NEW DELHI: The government will soon call companies from specific industry groups to explain how the goods and services tax (GST) will lead to a decrease in the taxes they’ll need to pay and hear them out. This comes after several companies complained about an increase in taxation and a consequent rise in prices when GST is rolled out as expected on July 1. A major outreach programme has also been drawn up to educate consumers about lower tax under GST. “A lot of effort has been made to keep tax rates neutral or lower them under GST,” a senior finance ministry official told ET. “We believe prices should come down... We would be calling companies in groups to understand if they have any issues.” The government made detailed calculations internally before arriving at the rates that were approved by the GST Council. A committee of officials, from state and central governments, examined the tariff structure of each item before the rates were taken to the council for its consideration, another official said.
The Economic Times
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The Economic Times
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NEW DELHI: In an attempt to make airport terminals ready for any eventuality, aviation security regulator Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), has asked all airports to get the floor plan of security restricted area (SRA) approved. This move will also help check encroachment of shops in the security area at airports in the country, which could have hampered safe evacuation of passengers in case of emergency. “Each airport shall submit floor-wise plan of the SRA depicting the area earmarked for pre-embarkation security checks, adequate movement area for screened passengers and their baggage and evacuation route/passage area and area for business establishments to get one-time approval from BCAS,” said an order from the security regulator that was seen by ET. Analysts feel that this would impact the revenues of airport companies. “Any reduction in retail area is set to impact non-aeronautical revenues of the airport companies, which would lead to spike in charges, as non-aeronautical revenues are used to cross subsidise airport charges,” said VP Agarwal, former chairman at Airports Authority of India.
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NEW DELHI: Government agencies purchased 29.26 million tonnes (MT) of wheat during the rabi marketing season this year and as buying continues in UP, MP and Rajasthan, officials are confident of procuring 30 MT this year, still short of target. “Till May 31, we will continue to buy from MP, followed by UP and Rajasthan till June 15. We will easily procure 30 MT of wheat this year for the central pool,” said an official of the Food Corporation of India. However, wheat purchases at this level will be lower than the target of 33 MT set earlier this year. In Uttar Pradesh, where chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced that 8 MT of wheat would be purchased from farmers when he took over, procurement had reached 2.4 MT as of May 25. That’s still a three-fold increase from 800,000 tonnes in the previous year. The Department of Food & Public Distribution had set a target of 3 million tonnes in the state.