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IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

News highlights of the day: Electronic platform must for private debt issues of Rs 200 cr

This blog will keep track of key global and local developments impacting business and markets through the day. Important local and global political developments will also find resonance here.

  • Jan 05, 09:05 PM (IST)

    Electronic platform must for private debt issues of Rs 200 cr: SEBI

    Markets regulator SEBI on Friday made electronic platform mandatory for all private placement issues on debt basis that have a threshold of Rs 200 crore.

    Currently, the mechanism is mandatory for all private placements of debt securities with an issue size of Rs 500 crore or more.

    The new norms are aimed at achieving better and transparent price discovery through the bidding process.

    In a circular, SEBI said, “all private placement of debt securities shall be required to be made through EBP (electronic book platform) if it is a single issue, inclusive of green shoe option, if any, of Rs 200 crore or more”.

  • Jan 05, 07:07 PM (IST)

    Top Headlines 

    >FY18 GDP growth estimated at 6.5%
    >Budget session to begin on January 29, Budget on February 1
    >Fortis Healthcare’ promoters aim to raise $790m via 34% stake sale, reports Bloomberg.
    >Lalu Prasad Yadav's sentencing on the fodder scam case to be announced tomorrow
    >Dangerous malware stealing data from HDFC, ICICI, SBI banking apps, reports International Business Times.
    >Apple says all Macs, iPhones and iPads exposed to chip security flaws, reports Bloomberg.
    > US job growth slows in December; wages increase
    >Parliamentary committee raps IndiGo in passenger assault case, reports Times Now
    >China Development Bank withdraws insolvency petition against RCom, reports Reuters

  • Jan 05, 09:44 PM (IST)

    That's all for today, readers. Thanks for staying on with our coverage of the day's action. Your enthusiasm encourages us to better our coverage every day. Do come back tomorrow for more news, views and insights.

  • Jan 05, 09:43 PM (IST)

    Tata Steel FY18′ Q3 production down marginally at 3.24 mt

    Tata Steel provisional India production in the Q3 period ending in December 2017 was marginally down at 3.24 million ton compared to 3.28 million ton in the corresponding quarter of 2016-17.

    But in the nine month period from April-December of FY 18, the company’s India production was higher by 10.6 per cent at 9.23 million ton against 8.34 million tonne production in previous comparable period, a Tata Steel release said on Friday.

    However, the company’s European operation production in the Q3 quarter was marginally higher at 2.68 million ton (provisional) against 2.64 million ton in the comparable period in the FY 17, it said.

  • Jan 05, 09:42 PM (IST)

    Revenue from passenger fare up by 5%, freight 8%: Railway

    The revenue of the railways from both passenger traffic as well as freight movement has gone up by more than five and eight percent respectively between April-December 2017 as compared to the same period previous year, a senior official of the railway board said on Friday.

    The revenue from passenger fare rose to Rs 37,134 crore in 2017 as compared to the revenue of Rs 35,295 crore generated in the corresponding period in 2016. This shows a growth of 5.2 percent, Mohd Jamshed, Member, Traffic, Railway Board, told reporters here.

  • Jan 05, 09:27 PM (IST)

    Mamata Banerjee expresses concern over easy availability of Aadhaar cards

    West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday expressed concern over reports that Aadhaar cards were easily vailable from fictitious agencies and asked the people to be more alert to prevent theft of data and violation of privacy.

    Banerjee in a Facebook post said she has been voicing her serious concern over the violation of privacy due to Aadhaar from the very beginning and had urged to ensure a "foolproof mechanism" to ensure security of data.

    She said a section of the press has reported that Aadhaar cards are now easily available from fictitious agencies upon payment of small amounts.

  • Jan 05, 09:16 PM (IST)

    Gajapathi Raju cautions capping airfares will backfire
    Capping airfares will push up ticket costs, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said today after a Parliamentary panel recommended: "fixing an upper limit" for air tickets and restricting cancellation charges to 50 per cent of the base fare.

    The report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture noted that "airlines are charging more than ten times of the advance booking fare" and that "deregulatory environment does not mean unlimited freedom of exploitation", while urging the government to intervene.

    "The Ministry of Civil Aviation, though aware of the rampant exploitation is not showing any proactive role in regulating the airfares. The committee therefore recommends that Ministry of Civil Aviation to consider fixing an upper limit of the air ticket for every sector," says the report which was tabled in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

  • Jan 05, 09:14 PM (IST)

    Courts shouldn't assume the role of 'super guardian': Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court on Friday acceded to the wish of a girl, for whose custody her estranged parents have been fighting legal battles, saying that she was now a major and entitled to enjoy her freedom and the courts should not assume the role of a "super guardian".

    A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud interacted with the 18-year-old girl in a packed courtroom during which she said that she has become a major and has been pursuing studies in Kuwait and wanted to live with her father.

    Trashing the plea of the Kerala-based mother, who was seeking her custody, the court said that the daughter of the couple "without any hesitation, clearly stated that she intends to go back to Kuwait to pursue her career".

  • Jan 05, 09:13 PM (IST)

    PETA asks Centre to tax meat, other animal derived foods

    Animal rights body PETA asked the government to levy a tax on meat and other animal derived foods for their damaging effects on environment and public health, on the lines of a similar tax imposed on tobacco.

    The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, in a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, requested him to consider taxing meat and other animal derived foods to discourage their consumption.

    “PETA India asks that India tax meat and other animal derived foods for their damaging effects on the environment and the public’s health the same way there are increased taxes in countries around the world on other unhealthy or damaging goods such as tobacco,” said Nikunj Sharma, Lead–Public Policy, PETA India.

  • Jan 05, 08:56 PM (IST)

    Five-fold increase in paddy procurement in Bihar: Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi 

    Bihar has witnessed a five-fold increase in paddy procurement compared to that of the previous year, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said here on Friday.

    Addressing a high-level meeting of the cooperative department, Sushil observed that paddy procurement for the current financial year so far stood at 1.76 lakh ton from 23,440 cultivators. For the corresponding period in the previous financial year, the procurement was at 31,169 ton from 4,495 paddy growers, he said.

  • Jan 05, 08:53 PM (IST)

    FPI inflows on course for a record, may jump 5-fold in FY18: ICRA

    On a day when the key indices scaled new life-time highs on strong inflows, an ICRA research report has said foreign portfolio investors are on course to pump in a record USD 28-35 billion by March, which is a four- five-fold spike over FY17.

    The benchmark indicies — Sensex and the Nifty — has scaled 28 percent in calendar year 2017 over 2016 and since then the markets scaled new peaks in the first week of the new year with both  the indices closing at new life-time peaks with on Friday being another record close. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) had pumped in Rs 48,400 crore or USD 7 billion into the domestic equities in FY17 and this is set to witness a four-five-fold increase in the year to March at USD 28-35 billion.

    "We expect net inflows to be Rs 1.8-2.2 trillion (USD 28-35 billion) for FY18. Already they have pumped in Rs 95,600 crore (USD 15 billion) in the first half of this fiscal, against Rs 48,400 crore (USD 7 billion) for the entire FY17," ICRA said.

  • Jan 05, 08:43 PM (IST)

  • Jan 05, 08:41 PM (IST)

    Govt trashes WHO report that 57% Indian doctors not qualified 

    The government today termed as "erroneous" a World Health Organisation (WHO) report which claimed that 57 per cent of allopathic doctors in India do not have medical qualification.

    "The report is erroneous since MBBS is the minimum qualification for enrolment as registered medical practitioner in a state medical register to practice medicine, and hence all registered doctors have medical qualifications," Union Minister JP Nadda told the Lok Sabha in a written reply to a question.

    He further said Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 prohibits a person other than medical practitioner enrolled on a state medical register to practice in the state.

  • Jan 05, 08:34 PM (IST)

    Builders under ‘tremendous’ stress: BAI 

    A three-day national convention of Builders’ Association of India beginning here from January 19 would address challenges faced by the builders, many of whom were on the verge of bankruptcy due to factors, including “lack of clarity” on GST, its office-bearers said on Friday.   

    Convention chairman Bhishma R Radhakrishnan said the meet will be themed around ‘Building India’ since it was close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission.

    Highlighting the problems faced by the builders, he said, “We are the only sector paying all the taxes starting from GST, sales tax, municipal taxes and so on. Yet, we are under tremendous stress. This convention will have a spiritual touch to de-stress the builders who face hurdles at every level.”  

  • Jan 05, 08:34 PM (IST)

    New Consumer Protection Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
    A new Consumer Protection Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday, seeking to set up an authority to safeguard consumer rights in view of current challenges posed by e-commerce, direct selling, telemarketing and misleading ads, among others.

    The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 was introduced by Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in the Lower House and it seeks to replace the 31-year-old law.

    The Bill has strong provisions to check adulteration and misleading ads and also provides for fine up to Rs 50 lakh and jail up to 5 years for manufacturers and service providers for false and misleading ads. Against adulteration, the Bill has provisions for fine up to Rs 10 lakh and life term imprisonment.

  • Jan 05, 08:26 PM (IST)

    US-Pakistan ties can no longer bear weight of contradictions: US NSA HR McMaster

    President Donald Trump is "frustrated" with Pakistan for supporting terror groups and using them as an arm of their foreign policy, US National Security Advisor (NSA) HR McMaster said, underlining that their relationship can no longer bear the weight of contradictions.

    The US and others have long complained that Pakistan offered safe haven to the Afghan Taliban and their allies, the Haqqani Network, allowing them to carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan denies allegations but Trump has escalated the criticism against the country since he took office last January.

  • Jan 05, 08:25 PM (IST)

    New Consumer Protection Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
    A new Consumer Protection Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday, seeking to set up an authority to safeguard consumer rights in view of current challenges posed by e-commerce, direct selling, telemarketing and misleading ads, among others.

    The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 was introduced by Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in the Lower House and it seeks to replace the 31-year-old law.

    The Bill has strong provisions to check adulteration and misleading ads and also provides for fine up to Rs 50 lakh and jail up to 5 years for manufacturers and service providers for false and misleading ads. Against adulteration, the Bill has provisions for fine up to Rs 10 lakh and life term imprisonment.

  • Jan 05, 08:19 PM (IST)

    Rupee mounts to 32-month high of Rs 63.37 against dollar
    The rupee continued its rise for the second day against the beleaguered dollar and ended at a 32- month high of Rs 63.37 on Friday, up 4 paise on steady unwinding of the American currency by exporters.

    A record-setting spree on local bourses too bolstered sentiment on the forex trading front.

    This is the highest finish for the home currency since April 29, 2015 when it had settled at 63.30.

    Overall forex sentiment got a leg-up ahead of the advanced gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimates for 2017-18, which was released after the market hours.

  • Jan 05, 08:13 PM (IST)

    New India Assurance premium for 9 months grew by 20%

    New India Assurance, the largest non-life insurer in India, has posted a 20 percent growth in its premium for the nine months ended December 31, 2017, to Rs 16,800 crore. The company’s premium was Rs 14,000 crore during the same period last year, a release issued here said.

    The New India Assurance profit after tax stood at Rs 1,248 crore in the first half of the current financial year, an increase of 161 percent over the same period during the previous year.

  • Jan 05, 08:02 PM (IST)

    Britain outlines plans for 2025 coal-power phase out

    Britain will set an emission limit on coal-fired power generators from October 1, 2025, forcing them to close unless they are fitted with carbon capture technology, the government said on Friday.

    As part of its efforts to meet the country’s climate targets, Britain in 2015 announced it would end “unabated” coal-fired power generation – plants without technology to capture and store carbon emissions – by 2025.

    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) fleshed out the plan on Friday, saying it would set an emission limit of up to 450 grams of CO2 for each kilowatt hour of electricity produced to make sure polluting plants close.

  • Jan 05, 07:55 PM (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi attacks govt over delay in appointing Lokpal

    Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday hit out at the Modi government over continued delay in appointment of Lokpal, even four years after the enactment of the law for setting up the institution, asking how long will it “blow the tune of falsehood”.

    “Four years have gone by, but the Lokpal has not come. The public is asking only one question, till when will you blow the tune of falsehood?"

    “Are the ‘defenders of democracy’ and ‘harbingers of accountability’ listening?” he asked in tweets using ‘#FindingLokpal’ as hashtag.

  • Jan 05, 07:50 PM (IST)

    North Korea agrees to talks after US, South Korea postpone military drills

    North Korea agreed on Friday to hold official talks with the South Korea next week, the first in more than two years, hours after the United States and South Korea delayed a military exercise amid a standoff over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes.

    South Korea said the North had sent its consent for the talks to be held on Tuesday. The last time the two Koreas engaged in official talks was in December 2015.

    The meeting will take place at the border truce village of Panmunjom where officials from both sides are expected to discuss the Winter Olympics, to be held in the South next month, and other inter-Korean relations, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told reporters. North Korea asked for further negotiations about the meeting to be carried out via documented exchanges, Baik said.

  • Jan 05, 07:48 PM (IST)

    Govt to push for Triple Talaq Bill in Budget Session

    Notwithstanding the Opposition stalling the passage of the contentious triple Talaq Bill, the government is set to push for its nod in the Rajya Sabha in the Budget Session, asserting that it is committed to it.

    Briefing reporters at the conclusion of the Winter Session, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar also attacked the Congress, which had not opposed the bill in Lok Sabha but voiced its strong opposition in the Upper House.

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi talks about woman empowerment but “runs away” when it comes to acting on this, Kumar said.

  • Jan 05, 07:43 PM (IST)

    US job growth slows in December; wages increase

    US job growth slowed more than expected in December amid a decline in retail employment, but a pick-up in monthly wage gains pointed to labor market strength that could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates in March

    Nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. Retail payrolls fell by 20,300 in December, the largest drop since March, despite a strong holiday shopping season.

    Employment data for October and November data were revised to show 9,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported.

  • Jan 05, 07:36 PM (IST)

    We are being targeted, say Jignesh Mevani and Umar Khalid

    Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani on Friday denied making any inflammatory speech in Pune and said he was being targeted by the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

    A day after an FIR was filed against him and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid for their alleged "provocative" speeches during an event in Pune on December 31, the Gujarat MLA said he smelt a "conspiracy".

    Khalid echoed Mevani and said he was being targeted in an attempt to exonerate the real accused who are closely associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • Jan 05, 07:32 PM (IST)
  • Jan 05, 07:26 PM (IST)

    Here's what Edward Snowden had to say about India's Aadhaar programme

    Here's what Edward Snowden had to say about India's Aadhaar programme

    Edward Snowden, the US whistleblower who leaked classified information from the NSA in 2013, has criticised the Aadhaar programme of India calling it 'government abuse', in a tweet earlier today.

  • Jan 05, 06:55 PM (IST)

    Google comes under scanner again for paying female teachers lesser

    Google has been accused of showing gender bias by a teacher who was earlier employed at the childcare centre in the company. The allegation comes not long after the tech giant was accused of underpaying female engineers.

    According to The Guardian report, a teacher named Heidi Lamar on Wednesday filed a complaint in San Francisco accusing that female teachers working with Google were paid lower salaries than men with fewer qualifications for the same job.  Lamar, alleged that two of the three male pre-school teachers in the company were given higher starting salaries than the remaining 147 female staff.

  • Jan 05, 06:46 PM (IST)

    JUST IN | Banking Secretary Rajiv Kumar told CNBC TV-18 recap bonds will not get an SLR status and that the coupon rate will be below G-Sec rates. He said that these bonds will be non-tradable.

  • Jan 05, 06:29 PM (IST)

    PM Modi bats for the upliftment of the society 

    PM Modi at the Conference on the Transformation of Aspirational Districts said that if India concentrates on uplifting the poor and bring in equal education of all citizens, only benefits lie in store for the nation. He said, "It is because I went to school, I am standing here in front of you today."

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