Focusing on rail funds from monetisation and not budget, says Piyush Goyal
Aiming to fund rail expenditure through asset monetisation, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said he would be "satisfied" with any amount of capital allocation to the transport behemoth in the upcoming budget, reports PTI. Without giving details on the budget allocation for Railways, Goyal said that he is "satisfied with whatever has been proposed (in the budget)".
"Frankly, I may may not even need all of that as we have aggressive plans on monetising some of the (Railways) assets," he said. The minister said his government is planning to change some of the existing guidelines on monetising land and station assets as well as contemplating on extending the lease period from 45 years to 99 years, among others.
1. IDFC Bank to merge with Capital First; V Vaidyanathan to be CEO of merged entity
2. HDFC finalises plan to raise Rs 13,200cr via QIP and preferential issue
3. Day after SC judges protest, Justice Ranjan Gogoi says there is no crisis
4. Jaguar-Land Rover to recall 8,952 cars over airbag defects in China
5. Enforcement Directorate raids Karti Chidambaram's premises in Delhi, Chennai
6. Shoppers Stop allots Rs 179.26cr shares to Amazon
7. Pawan Hans chopper crashes off Mumbai coast, 3 bodies found | Two students drown, 32 rescued after boat capsizes
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West Bengal tops DIPP's Business Reforms Action Plan 2017
West Bengal currently tops the list of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion's Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) 2017, comprising 36 states and Union Territories, reports PTI. The eastern state's 'implementation scorecard' stood at 86.18%, the same as neighbouring Jharkhand, followed by Gujarat at 82.38%, according to DIPP data. The development comes as a shot in the arm for West Bengal, days before it hosts the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS).
Passenger traffic grew by 0.7% in FY18 YTD: Railway official
The Railways saw an increase of 0.7% in the number of passengers in FY18 year-to-date as against last year, an official told PTI. "For the first time in the last five years, the figures of FY18 (April-November) indicate a 0.7% increase in passengers vis-a-vis last year and a 5.13% increase in revenues," Railway Board member (traffic) Mohd Jamshedpur, said at the National Rail Transport Seminar here.
He said the reserved segment recorded a growth of 6.36% during the period. Freight traffic too registered a growth. The Indian Railways has loaded 39 MT more this year up to December in all commodities - a growth of around 4.5%, he said.
Fortis, RHT Health extend discussion time by 30 days
Fortis Health Management and Singapore-listed RHT Health Trust have extended exclusivity period to finalise the proposed acquisition by 30 more days from January 12, reports PTI. Fortis' board had approved the proposed acquisition of entire portfolio of RHT Health Trust (RHT) for an enterprise value of around Rs 4,650 crore.
Both the parties as per the agreed term sheet between them had entered into an exclusivity period for 60 days which expired on January 12, 2018. "It is hereby further informed that, the parties to the Term Sheet have on January 12, 2018, mutually agreed to extend the Exclusivity Period by an additional period of 30 days from January 12, 2018.
Puri Shankaracharya welcomes Mamata's demand for treating Ganga Sagar at par with Kumbh Mela
The Shankarcharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati welcomed the demand of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that the annual Ganga Sagar Mela should be treated at par with Kumbh Mela, reports PTI.
Trump would make 'big mistake' by leaving Iran deal: Moscow
Russia said Washington would be making a grave mistake by pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, adding that Moscow would work hard to keep the landmark agreement alive, reports AFP. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov criticised remarks by US President Donald Trump, who on Friday said the US will not reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran for the moment, but would withdraw later this year unless the terms of the deal are changed.
A forest department employee tranquilises a leopard which entered a school in Lucknow on Saturday. PTI
NSG commandos demonstrate their terror-combat skills during the 8th All India Police Commando Competition on the NSG campus Manesar in Gurugram on Saturday. PTI
One of the students, injured in a boat tragedy, being treated at a hospital Dahanu in Palghar district of Maharashtra on Saturday. A boat carrying 40 students, who were on a school picnic, capsized off the Dahanu coast on Saturday morning. 32 students were rescued. PTI
Fire-fighters dousing a fire that broke out at the Santacruz domestic airport in Mumbai on Saturday. PTI
Girls dressed in their traditional attire dance around a bonfire as they celebrate Lohri in Jammu on Saturday. PTI
Rahul Gandhi to launch 1st leg of Karnataka poll campaign on Feb 10
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will launch the first leg of his party's poll campaign in Karnataka on February 10, the state unit chief of the party, G Parameshwara told PTI. The Karnataka polls are expected to be held in March-April. The dates for polling to the 225-member state Assembly are yet to be announced by the Election Commission (EC).
"Rahulji will visit Karnataka from February 10-12 for the first leg of the (poll) campaign," Parameshwara said. Gandhi would start his Karnataka tour from Bengaluru and also travel to the other parts of the state, he said, adding, "Various programmes have been lined up on all three days. Rahulji will address farmers, intellectuals and students among others."
ED abusing power at behest of govt, won't bow down: P Chidambaram
The Congress and its leader P Chidambaram accused the government of "unleashing vicious vendetta" against the opposition after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out raids at the residence of the former Union minister in New Delhi in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case, reports PTI.
P Chidambaram accused the ED of misusing its power at the behest of the government. He said he would not succumb to pressure and continue to speak and write. He spoke to reporters outside his Jorbagh residence, hours after the ED conducted searches at 10 premises linked to his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with the probe.
P Chidambaram termed the raids "a comedy of errors" and claimed the officers were left "embarrassed" and "apologetic" as they could not find anything at his house. "Since they had the search warrant, I did not object to the search but I said I will record my protest that there is no FIR in respect of the scheduled crime...there are obviously no proceeds of crime and the ED has no jurisdiction under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," he said.
Nizam's heirs demand 277 acres royal property in Aurangabad
The descendants of Nawab Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, the seventh and last Nizam of the princely state of Hyderabad, urged the government to hand over 277 acres of land in the city, which they claimed belonged to the royal family, reports PTI. Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of Nizam VII, said that he has urged the district collector to include his and his family members' name in the properties and give their physical possession or provide compensation.
Full bench of SC should resolve differences among judges: Bar Association
The Supreme Court Bar Association today passed a resolution saying the differences of four senior most judges with Chief Justice Dipak Misra should be considered by the full bench of the apex court. Expressing "grave concern" over the differences between the senior judges and the CJI, SCBA President and senior advocate Vikas Singh said that all PILs should be looked into either by the CJI or senior judges who form part of the apex court collegium.
Taking note of the concerns raised by four senior judges led by Justice J Chelameswar over assigning of cases, the bar body suggested that even the PILs listed for hearing on January 15 be transferred from other benches to either the bench headed by the CJI or benches led by the members of the collegium.
BCI formed a seven-member team to meet all judges of the Supreme Court, barring the five senior most judges, to discuss the present crisis in the apex court. It passed a resolution saying no political party or leaders should take undue advantage of the situation arising out of the press conference by four senior Supreme Court judges.
BCI chairperson Manan Kumar Misra said that the apex bar body has formed the seven-member team to meet all judges of the Supreme Court barring the five senior most judges to discuss the present crisis.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI
US ultimatum on nuclear deal, new sanctions draw Iran threat
Iran said on Saturday it would retaliate against new sanctions imposed by the United States after President Donald Trump set an ultimatum to fix “disastrous flaws” in a deal curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme, reports Reuters. Trump said on Friday he would waive nuclear sanctions on Iran for the last time to give the United States and European allies a final chance to amend the pact. Washington also imposed sanctions on the head of Iran’s judiciary and others.
While approving the waiver on US sanctions related to the nuclear deal, Washington announced other sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and people, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a close ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Describing sanctions against Larijani as “hostile action”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the move “crossed all red lines of conduct in the international community and is a violation of international law and will surely be answered by a serious reaction of the Islamic Republic,” state media reported. It did not specify what any retaliation might involve.
Iraq nears oil output capacity of 5 million bpd, committed to Opec cuts
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Saturday that the OPEC member’s oil output capacity is nearing 5 million barrels per day, but the country will remain in full compliance with its output target under a global pact to cut supplies, reports Reuters.
South and North Korea to hold working-level talks on January 15
North Korea and South Korea have agreed to hold working-level talks at the Tongil Pavilion on the North Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom on January 15, South Korea’s unification ministry said in a statement on Saturday. The delegation led by the unification minister Cho Myung-kyun, will be sent to hold talks on the prospects of North Korea sending its performance art group to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the ministry said in a statement.
Jaguar-Land Rover to recall 8,952 cars over airbag defects in China
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover will recall 8,952 imported vehicles in China due to defective airbags, authorities said today. The recall was filed by Jaguar Land Rover China to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the national quality watchdog has said. Starting from January 19, the company will recall 8,952 imported 2013 Jaguar XF vehicles manufactured between June 19, 2012 and October 1, 2013, reports PTI.
Need $300bn investment over 10yrs to double refinery capacity: Dharmendra Pradhan
India needs investment to the tune of $300 billion in the next 10 years to double its oil refining capacity, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told PTI. "Oil refining capacity in the country stands at over 247 million ton at present and demand for petro products, which is rising rapidly, will touch 600 million ton by the year 2040," Pradhan said.
Noting that the country has built a robust refining and petrochemicals sector over the years, the minister said several brownfield projects are already in the pipeline for creating capacities of around 142 million tons. Pradhan said two major greenfield projects are all set to be launched to add 69 million ton of new refining capacities soon.
Day after SC judges protest, Justice Ranjan Gogoi says there is no crisis
Justice Ranjan Gogoi, one of the four senior Supreme Court judges who virtually revolted against the country's chief justice over "selective" case allocation and certain judicial orders, today said "there is no crisis". "There is no crisis," he told PTI on the sidelines of a programme, when asked about the way forward to resolve the crisis. Asked whether their act had amounted to a violation of discipline, Gogoi refused to comment, saying, "I have to catch a flight to Lucknow. I cannot talk."
TV visuals show PM's principal secretary turning up at CJI's residence
TV visuals today showed prime minister's Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra turning up at the residence of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, a day after four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court virtually revolted against the CJI, raising questions over "selective" case allocation, reports PTI. The visuals showed Nripendra Misra driving to the CJI's official residence in New Delhi. However, the gates were not opened and after waiting for a while, the principal secretary to the prime minister was seen driving back.
In an unprecedented move, the four judges launched a public attack against the CJI's alleged arbitrary way of assigning important cases, including the case linked with justice BH Loya's mysterious death. Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. After the TV visuals were aired, the Congress was quick to criticise the government, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi must give an answer as to why a "special messenger" was sent to the CJI.
Magnitude 6.0 quake hits southeast of Solomon Islands: USGS
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 struck about 158 km southeast of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific on Saturday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
Five wrestlers among six killed as a tractor rams into their SUV at Sangli district in western Maharashtra. PTI
Hardik Patel booked for 'political' speech at educational event
An FIR was lodged in Jamnagar against Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel for allegedly delivering a "political" speech at an educational and farmers' welfare event at a village in this district over two months ago, the police said today. The complaint, filed by Jamnagar (rural) Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) RK Patel, says that although permission was granted for organising an educational and farmers' welfare event at Dhutarpar village, it turned out to be a "political" programme with Hardik delivering the speech.
Russia deploys more surface-to-air missiles in Crimean build-up
Russia deployed a new division of S-400 surface-to-air missiles in Crimea on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported, in an escalation of military tensions on the Crimean peninsula, reports Reuters. Russian annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, triggering economic sanctions by the European Union and United States and a tense stand-off in the region.
Moscow’s latest deployment represents the second division armed with S-400 air defence systems on the peninsula, after the first in the spring of 2017 near the port town of Fedosia. The new division will be based next to the town of Sevastopol and will control the airspace over the border with Ukraine, the RIA news agency reported.
The new air defence system, designed to defend Russia’s borders, can be turned into combat mode in less than five minutes, Interfax news agency quoted Viktor Sevostyanov, a commander with Russia’s air forces, as saying. Russia’s defence ministry says the S-400 systems, known as “Triumph”, can bring down airborne targets at a range of 400 kms and ballistic missiles at a range of 60 kms.
Govt amends housing scheme guidelines
The Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry has amended the guidelines of housing scheme for urban areas under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to enhance its coverage, reports PTI. Areas falling within notified planning or development area under the jurisdiction of an industrial development authority or special area development authority or urban development authority or any such body under state legislation which is entrusted with the functions of urban planning and regulations shall also be included for coverage under PMAY(U), according to the amended guidelines.
The housing scheme is being implemented by the Rural Development Ministry in rural areas under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) and by HUA ministry in urban areas under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). "The beneficiaries in the permanent wait list of PMAY (G) will have the flexibility for opting for a house under PMAY(G) or PMAY (U)," it said. The benefits of all existing and future rural schemes will not be denied to a beneficiary who would avail a house under this amendment, it added.
What the markets looked like this week
After a positive start to 2018, global stock markets sustained the momentum in the week gone by. Majority of the global indices ended in the positive territory. The US markets were the biggest gainers, rising by 2%, on the back of a stable economy and prospects of a good earnings season. US retail sales rose 0.4% in December, the fourth straight monthly gain. The consumer-price index rose 0.1% in December.
The euro firmed up, hitting a three-year high against the dollar after German lawmakers reached an agreement on a blueprint for a ruling coalition between Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the opposing Social Democrats. A weaker greenback is expected to boost the profits of the multinational companies in the US.
Also in Europe, the British pound moved to its highest level since the UK's vote to leave the European Union as reports indicated that Netherlands and Spain want to work toward a "soft" Brexit. Barring Germany, equity markets in France and UK ended on a strong footing.
In the Asian markets, barring the Japanese index, all the others ended in the green in the week gone by. The Indian markets continued to remain on a firm wicket with indices scaling fresh highs. Positive trade in global market and expectation of revival in domestic earnings propelled the markets to record levels. This was the sixth weekly gain in a row for the benchmark.
In the commodity markets, oil prices resumed their climb, trading near three-year highs, as Trump extended temporary waivers on US sanctions against Iran. In cryptocurrencies, the bitcoin spot price rose 2.7% to $13,640. Back home, realty, IT and oil & gas led the rally for the week. Only, telecom, auto and power stocks ended in the red.