ADVERTISEMENT

Mumbai

OGPL, IL&FS to evaluate merging of wind businesses

ADVERTISEMENT
Orient Green Power Company Limited (OGPL) today said its Board of Directors had approved entering into exclusive discussions with IL&FS Wind Energy to evaluate a potential merger of the wind energy generation businesses of both entities.  
 
The resultant merged entity will have 1.2 GW of operating wind capacity, and will be by far the largest listed renewable energy company in India, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said OGPL is in the process of demerging its wind and biomass entities into two separate companies -- OGPL (Wind) and Bio-bijlee Green Power Limited (Biomass), respectively. 
 
Subsequent to the demerger, OGPL will have an operating wind capacity of 425 MW in FY 17 with an additional 43 MW under construction which will augment capacity of the combined entity in FY 18.  
 
IL&FS Wind has an operating capacity of 775 MW in FY 17. IL&FS is also developing an additional 228 MW which the merged entity will be in a strong position to acquire.
 
Both companies have entered into a non–binding agreement with an exclusivity period of 90 days. 
 
"At this stage, the companies would like to clarify that any potential outcome is subject to due diligence, definitive documentation and approvals by regulators, creditors, shareholders and other third parties," the release said.
 
Arpwood Capital has been engaged as the transaction adviser, it added.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Mr. T. Shivaraman, Managing Director of SVL Limited and Vice- Chairman, OGPL, said, “We believe combining the resources and capabilities of both companies into a single organization will provide significant benefits to all stakeholders. This collaboration will result in the creation of a wind power generation company with a truly pan–India presence, and with the benefit of scale. The combined entity will benefit from an enhanced financial position, geographic diversity of wind projects and a variety of Power Purchase Agreements. It will also enjoy a strong pipeline of new projects."
 
"This transaction provides OGPL a platform to substantially grow its foot print. As the pioneering pure-play listed renewable energy company in India, this transaction will enable OGPL to set new industry benchmarks," he added.
 
Mr. Vibhav Kapoor, Group CIO of IL&FS said “This transaction will be value accretive for both parties. The combined entity will emerge as a market leading renewable energy company with a presence across all significant wind markets in the country."
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering wins orders worth Rs. 1700 crore

ADVERTISEMENT
L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited (LTHE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T), has won orders worth Rs. 1700 crore in its Construction Services business vertical.
 
A press release from L&T said the business had secured three new orders, with a combined value of Rs. 1200 crore, for pipelines and associated works in the western region of India, and also received an order for additional work, worth Rs. 500 crores, from an existing
contract.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Reliance Industries reports 3.6% rise in net profit to Rs. 7,506 crore in Q3

ADVERTISEMENT
Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a 3.6 percent rise in its net profit to Rs. 7,506 crore in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016-17 as compared to Rs. 7245 crore in the same period of the  previous year.
 
On a standalone basis, the company reported a 10% increase in its net profit to Rs. 8,022 crore in Q3.
 
A press release from the company on the highlights of its unaudited financial results for Q3 said its revenue (turnover) increased by 16.1% to Rs. 84,189 crore in the quarter. In its refining business, the company achieved a gross refining margin (GRM) of $ 10.8/bbl for the quarter.
 
“Our robust integrated platform, sound operational processes and business portfolio aligned to the needs of emerging India enabled us to deliver another record performance in challenging market conditions. The refining business has delivered eight consecutive quarters of double-digit GRMs, benefiting from the global demand for transportation fuels and improved product cracks," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani said.
 
"We successfully commissioned the first phase of Paraxylene plant during the quarter, further deepening the linkage between our refining and petrochemicals operations. Our growth strategy focuses on creating sustainable returns for our shareholders through value-enhancing, high-return projects. We are executing well on our projects under construction and remain confident on delivering on our growth plans.
 
"I am also delighted by our country’s eagerness to adopt to a digital life as witnessed by the record-breaking launch of Jio. Its comprehensive ecosystem has enabled millions of Indians to lead a richer life through its offerings," Mr. Ambani added.
 
The release said the growth in turnover in the quarter was primarily on account of  increase in prices of refining and petrochemical products, led by 13% increasein Brent crude prices. Revenue was also boosted by robust growth in retail business, it said.
 
Exports from the company's India operations were higher by 4.0% at Rs. 38,038 crore ($ 5.6 billion) as against Rs. 36,564 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
 
The company's outstanding debt as on 31st December 2016 was Rs. 194,381 crore ($ 28.6 billion) compared to Rs. 180,388 crore as on 31st March 2016.
 
Cash and cash equivalents as on 31st December 2016 were at Rs.  76,339 crore ($ 11.2 billion) compared to Rs. 89,966 crore as on 31st March 2016. These were in bank deposits, mutual funds, CDs and Government Bonds and other marketable securities, the release said.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Demonetisation: RBI enhances ATM withdrawal limit to Rs. 10,000 per day

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday enhanced the limits placed on withdrawals from automated teller machines (ATMs) and current accounts in the wake of the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 bank notes.

RBI logo
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today enhanced the limits placed on withdrawals from automated teller machines (ATMs) and current accounts in the wake of the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 bank notes.
 
A circular from the central bank to all banks said that, with immediate effect, the limit on withdrawals from ATMs had been enhanced from current limit of Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 10,000 per day per card. This will beoperative within the existing overall weekly limit of Rs. 24,000.
 
The limit on withdrawal from current accounts has been enhanced from the current limit of Rs. 50,000 per week to Rs. 1,00,000 per week and it extends to overdraft and cash credit accounts also, the circular added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

India’s forex reserves dip by $1.142 billion to $359.155 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 1.142 billion to $ 359.155 billion in the week ended January  6, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had risen by $ 625.5 million to $ 360.297 billion in the previous week, reversing a seven-week downtrend.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 241.8 million  to $ 336.824 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves decreased by $ 1.399 billion to $ 18.584 billion during the week, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) rose by $ 5.7 million to $ 1.438 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 9.4 million to $ 2.308 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

N Chandrasekaran appointed Chairman of Tata Sons

The Board of Directors of Tata Sons, at its meeting on Thursday, appointed Mr. N. Chandrasekaran, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), as its new Executive Chairman.

N Chandrasekaran
N Chandrasekaran
The Board of Directors of Tata Sons, at its meeting today, appointed Mr. N. Chandrasekaran, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), as its new Executive Chairman. 
 
"This is as per the unanimous recommendation of the Selection Committee. Mr. Chandrasekaran shall take charge from February 21, 2017," a press release from the Tata Group said.
 
The Board of Tata Sons said Mr. Chandrasekaran, 53, had demonstrated exemplary leadership as the CEO and MD of TCS.
 
"We believe he will now inspire the entire Tata group to realise its potential acting as leaders in their respective businesses, always in keeping with our value system and ethics and adhering with the practices of the Tata group which have stood it in good stead.”
 
Mr. Chandrasekaran has been the CEO and MD of TCS since 2009. A Tata lifer, he had joined the company in 1987. He was appointed as a Director on the board of Tata Sons on October 25, 2016.
 
On October 24, 2016, Tata Sons had, in a surprise move, announced the removal of Mr. Cyrus P. Mistry as its Chairman and named former Chairman Ratan Tata as Interim Chairman of the company.
 
The Board had also constituted a Selection Committee to choose a new Chairman. The committee comprised Mr. Ratan Tata, Mr. Venu Srinivasan, Mr. Amit Chandra, Mr. Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, as per the criteria in the Articles of Association of Tata Sons. 
 
The committee had been manadated to complete the selection process in four months.
 
Tata Sons is the promoter of all key Tata companies and holds the bulk of shareholding in these companies. The chairman of Tata Sons has traditionally been the chairman of the Tata group.
 
About 66 per cent of the equity capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts endowed by members of the Tata family. The biggest of these trusts are the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, which were created by the families of the sons of Jamsetji Tata.
 
The Tata Group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. .
 
Mr. Mistry is the younger son of Mr. Pallonji Mistry, the largest individual shareholder in Tata Sons. 
 
Born in 1963, Mr. Chandrasekaran, or Chandra, as is known, has a Master's degree in Computer Applications from Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.
 
Beyond the office, he is an avid photographer, and a passionate long-distance runner who has completed several marathons around the world including Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Berlin, Mumbai, New York, Prague, Stockholm, Salzburg and Tokyo.
 
Mr. Chandrasekaran was also appointed as a Director on the board of the Reserve Bank of India in 2016.
 
Under his leadership, TCS has generated consolidated revenues of US $16.5 billion in 2015-16. 
 
He has served as the Chairperson of the IT Industry Governors’ at the World Economic Forum, Davos in 2015-16. He has been playing an active role in the India-US and India-UK CEO Forums. He is also part of India’s business taskforces for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan and Malaysia. He served as the chairman of NASSCOM, the apex trade body for IT services firms in India in 2012-13 and continues to be a member of its governing Executive Council.
 
“I am humbled and honoured to be chosen to lead a truly great institution that occupies a unique position in hearts of the people in India and the world. I am proud to have been part of the Tata family for over 30 years and assuming this position is a great privilege," Mr. Chandrasekaran said.
 
“I want to thank the Tata Sons board and Mr Ratan N Tata for their confidence in me to lead this trusted institution that has a rich heritage.   
 
“At the Tata group, we are at an inflection point. I am aware that this role comes with huge responsibilities. It will be my endeavour to help progress the group with the ethos, ethics and values that the Tata group has been built on," he added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Khanderi, second of Navy's Scorpene class stealth submarines, launched

ADVERTISEMENT
Khanderi, the second of the Indian Navy’s Scorpene class stealth submarines, was launched here today by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, paving the way for her sea trials.
 
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion at Mazagon Dock Shipyard Limited (MDL).
 
The submarine is expected to be delivered to Navy by the year end. She has been christened after her illustrious predecessor, an erstwhile ‘Foxtrot’ class submarine decommissioned in 1989, which is as per the traditions of Indian Navy, an official press release said.
 
The construction of six Scorpene submarines is presently being progressed at MDL under Project 75 with Transfer of Technology from DCNS, France as the collaborator. The first of the six  submarines, Kalvari, is presently undergoing sea trials and likely to be commissioned into Navy by mid-2017. 
 
These submarines, post induction, would form the core of the Navy’s conventional Submarine Arm, the release said.
 
Dr. Bhamre said that Project 75 Kalvari is a key milestone in self- reliance and indigenisation for the country. Admiral Lanba said that the fact that ‘’Khanderi” compares with the best in the world speaks highly of the experience and expertise Indian shipbuilders have gained over the years. 
 
He added that as Indian Navy celebrates Golden Jubilee of the submarine arm in 2017, the induction of Project 75 submarines would mark the beginning of a new chapter in the country's submarine capabilities.
 
The launching of Khanderi also marks a critical milestone event for the shipyard which earlier has delivered two Shishumar class submarines in the 1990s and has now strengthened its position as a submarine building yard for Indian Navy. Started as a small dry dock facility for East India Company, MDL has established itself as a frontline defence public sector undertaking, with indigenous construction of several ships and submarines for Navy such as P 15 B destroyers and P 17 A class stealth frigates being the latest.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

India's forex reserves go up by $ 625.5 million to $ 360.297 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
Reversing a seven-week downtrend, India’s foreign exchange reserves  rose by$ 625.5 million dollars to $ 360.297 billion in the week ended December 30, 2016, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had dipped by $ 935.2 million to $359.671 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 612.4 million to $ 336.582 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.983 billion while its special drawing rights (SDRS) increased by $ 4.9 million to $ 1.432 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 8.2 million to $ 2.299 billion, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Veteran actor Om Puri passes away after cardiac arrest

Om Puri
Om Puri
Veteran actor Om Puri, one of the most versatile and intense artistes in Indian cinema, passed away at his residence here in the early hours of today after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.
 
He was 66.
 
The actor's friends, who reached his residence after hearing the news, said he appeared to have suffered a heart attack this morning. 
 
According to various sources, Puri had returned home last evening after a shoot. This morning, his driver raised an alarm when he got no response after repeatedly ringing the door bell. The actor was found dead when the door was forced open, they said.
 
Born on October 18, 1950, at Ambala in Haryana to a Punjabi family, Puri had earned an enviable reputation with his work, first in art cinema and later in mainstream commercial Indian, British, Hollywood and Pakistani films as well as in independent films.
 
Puri graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune and was also an alumnus of the National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, from where he passed out in 1973 and had the well-known actor Naseeruddin Shah as a co-student.
 
He made his film debut in 1976 in Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal, based on the play of the same name by Vijay Tendulkar.
 
Puri was one of the leading lights, along with Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, in the so-called "art films" of those years such as Bhavni Bhavai (1980), Sadgati (1981), Ardh Satya (1982), Mirch Masala (1986) and Dharavi (1992).
 
He won critical acclaim for his performances in films such as Aakrosh (1980), Disco Dancer (1982) and Ardh Satya. He got the National Award for Best Actor for Ardh Satya for his role as a police inspector.
 
He also acted in movies such as Maachis in 1996, Gupt (1997) and Dhoop (2003).
 
ADVERTISEMENT
In 1999, he acted in Kannada movie AK 47 and also in British comedy East is East, in which he played a first generation Pakistani immigrant in the north of England, struggling to come to terms with his far more westernised children.
 
He had a cameo in Richard Attenborough's highly-acclaimed film Gandhi (1982).
 
By the mid-1990s, Puri began appearing in character roles in mainstream Hindi cinema, which won him a following among the masses. He also appeared in British films such as My son the Fanatic (1997) and The Parole Officer (2001).
 
In Hollywood, he appeared in films such as City of Joy (1992) with Patrick Swayze; Wolf (1994) with Jack Nicholson; and The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) with Val Kilmer. In 2007, he appeared as General Zia-ul-Haq in Charlie Wilson's War, which starred Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
 
Puri also appeared in Hindi television serials such as Kakkaji Kaheen (1988) as a paan-chewing 'Kakkaji', which was a parody on politicians, and Mr. Yogi (1989) as a suave 'sutradhaar' who enjoys pulling the protagonist's leg. These two serials underlined the actor's abilities as a comedian.
 
He received critical acclaim for his performance in Govind Nihalani's television film Tamas (1987) based on a Hindi novel of the same name. 
 
He played comic roles in Hindi films like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro which attained a cult status, followed by Chachi 420 (1997), Hera Pheri (2000), Chor Machaye Shor (2002) and Malamaal Weekly (2006).
 
In recent years, he appeared in Hindi films such as Singh Is Kinng, Mere Baap Pehle Aap and Billu. He was seen in the role of Mohammad Ali Kasuri in Road to Sangam (2009). In 2010, he appeared in The Hangman. In 2011 he was in the Indian action movie Don 2.
 
In 2014, he appeared opposite Helen Mirren in the comedy-drama The Hundred-Foot Journey.
 
Puri married Seema Kapoor in 1991 but they separated some months later. In 1993, he married Nandita Puri, with whom he had a son. The couple separated in 2013.
 
The Government honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1990. 
 
He had won the National Award for Best Actor for Arohan in 1982 and the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Aakrosh in 1981, for Ghayal in 1990, Maachis in 1997, gupta in 1998 and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha in 1999.
 
He was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

India’s forex reserves fall by $ 2.381 billion to $ 360.606 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
Going down for the sixth consecutive week, India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $ 2.381 billion to $ 360.606 billion in the week ended December 16, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had dipped by $ 887.2 million to $ 362.987 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone down by $ 2.355 billion to $ 3.369 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.983 billion while its special drawing rights (SDRS) declined by $ 9.9 million to $ 1.428 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 15.9 million to $ 2.292 billion, the bulletin added.
 
NNN 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Sun Pharma to acquire branded oncology product Odomzo for global markets

ADVERTISEMENT
Pharmaceuticals major Sun Pharma today announced its plans to acquire a branded oncology product, Odomzo, from Novartis.
 
"The agreement has been signed between subsidiaries of both the companies and will close following anti-trust clearance and further closing conditions. The agreement has been signed for an upfront payment of US$ 175 million and additional milestone payments," a press release said.
 
Odomzo (Sonidegib) was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2015. It is a hedgehog pathway inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC) that has recurred following surgery or radiation therapy, or those who are not candidates for surgery or radiation therapy. 
 
Approximately 70% of the prescribers are dermatologists and rests are oncologists for this class of drug, the release said.
 
According to IMS Health, the hedgehog inhibitor class grew by 40% in the year to October 2016 as compared to the same period in the previous year.
 
"New data supporting the use of Odomzo were presented at ASCO in June 2016. Data from the BOLT trial showed continued antitumor activity for more than 26 months in patients treated with Odomzo with no new safety concerns.  At the 30-month follow-up, patients with locally advanced BCC had an overall response rate (ORR) as per central review of 56% with  Odomzo® 200 mg.1 The most frequent grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions occurring in more than 2% of patients were fatigue, decreased weight and muscle spasms," the release said.
 
Mr. Kirti Ganorkar, Global Head – Business Development – Sun Pharma, said, “Odomzo gives us an opportunity to meaningfully expand our already established branded dermatology business and support our expansion into Branded Oncology with a launched brand.  We see meaningful global potential for Odomzo by leveraging Sun Pharma’s existing dermatology and oncology infrastructure to provide an innovative product to BCC patients worldwide.”
 
Mr. Jesper Jensen, Head – Biologics and Dermatology, Sun Pharma, said, ”We look forward to collaborating with the medical community to bring this novel therapy to the market to patients suffering from locally advanced basal cell carcinoma.  Odomzo complements and enhances our existing dermatology franchise.  This acquisition has the potential to leverage and expand the relationships that our Levulan sales team have with the dermatologists that treat common pre-cancerous skin conditions.”
 
The release said non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer globally. BCC accounts for approximately 80% of non-melanoma skin cancers, accounting for over 2 million estimated cases in the US alone. BCC consists of abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin's basal cells, which line the outermost layer of the skin. It occurs most frequently on the head and neck, with the nose being the most common site. BCC that spreads from where it started to nearby tissue is called locally advanced and can be highly disfiguring. Advanced BCC is thought to represent roughly 1-10% of all cases of BCC. Worldwide incidence of BCC is rising by 10% each year due to factors such as an aging population and increased ultraviolet exposure. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Deposits of old notes in excess of Rs. 5000 can be made only once till Dec. 30: RBI

ADVERTISEMENT
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today modified the rules regarding deposit of demonetised Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 bank notes, specifying that deposits exceeding Rs. 5000 can only be made once before December 30, 2016.
 
In a notification sent to all banks, the RBI said that, on a review of the provisions ii, iii and iv at C of Para 3 dealing with credit of the value of specified bank notes (SBNs) into bank accounts, it has been decided to place certain restrictions on deposits of SBNs into bank accounts while encouraging the deposits of the same under the Taxation and Investment Regime for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016.
 
Tenders of such bank notes in excess of Rs. 5000 into a bank account will be received for credit only once during the remaining period till December 30. The credit in such cases shall be afforded only after questioning tenderer, on record, in the presence of at least two officials of the bank, as to why this could not be deposited earlier and receiving a satisfactory explanation.
 
The explanation should be kept on record to facilitate an audit trail at a later stage. An appropriate flag also should be raised in CBS to that effect so that no more tenders are allowed, it said.
 
Tenders of SBNs up to Rs. 5000 in value received across the counter will allowed to be credited to bank accounts in the normal course until December 30.
 
Even when tenders smaller than Rs. 5000 are made in an account and such tenders taken together on cumulative basis exceed Rs. 5000 they may be subject to the procedure to be followed in case of tenders above Rs. 5000, with no more tenders being allowed thereafter until December 30.
 
"It may also be ensured that full value of tenders of SBNs in excess of Rs. 5000 shall be credited to only KYC compliant accounts and if the accounts are not KYC compliant credits may be restricted up to Rs. 50,000 subject to the conditions governing the conduct of such accounts," the notification said.
 
The above restrictions shall not apply to tenders of SBNs for the purpose of deposits under the Taxation and Investment Regime for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016, it added.
 
The equivalent value of specified bank notes tendered may be credited to an account maintained by the tenderer at any bank in accordance with standard banking procedure and on production of valid proof of identity.
 
The equivalent value of specified bank notes tendered may be credited to a third party account, provided specific authorisation therefore accorded by the third party is presented to the bank, following standard banking procedure and on production of valid proof of identity of the person actually tendering.
 
A press release from the Ministry of Finance noted that more than five weeks had elapsed since the time of the November 8 announcement on demonetisation. 
 
"It is expected that, by now, most of the people would have deposited such old notes in their possession," it said.
 
"Further, an opportunity has been given to the public to make the payments towards tax, penalty, cess/surcharge and deposit under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) 2016 with the old bank notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denomination upto 30th December, 2016," it said.
 
The release also said that a number of representations had been received from District Cooperative Central Banks (DCCBs) to allow them to deposit with their linked currency chests the old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes that had been collected by them between the 10th of November and 14th of November, 2016. An enabling notification to this effect has been issued. NABARD which supervises the DCCBs will conduct complete audit check of the Know Your Customer (KYC) documents of the individual customers who have deposited these notes or of the members of the Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) who have deposited these notes. The details in this regard will be notified by RBI, the release said.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

India’s forex reserves dip by $ 887.2 million to $ 362.987 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
Falling for the fifth consecutive week, India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 887.2 million to $ 362.987 billion in the week ended December 9, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had fallen by $ 1.431 billion to $ 363.874 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone down by $ 873 million to $339.258 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.983 billion while its special drawing rights (SDRS) declined by $ 5.4 million to $ 1.438 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 8.8 million to $ 2.307 billion, the bulletin added.
 
NNN 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

India’s forex reserves dip by $ 1.431 billion to $ 363.874 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
Declining for the fourth consecutive week, India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 1.431 billion to $ 363.874 billion in the week ended December 2, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had fallen by $ 193.8 million to $ 365.306 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone down by $ 957.9 million to $ 340.131 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves decreased by $ 477.9 million to $ 19.983 billion while its special drawing rights (SDRS) grew by $ 1.7 million to $ 1.444 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 2.8 million to $ 2.316 billion, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

SBI okays sale of 3.9% stake in SBI Life to KKR and Temasek for Rs. 1,794 crore

ADVERTISEMENT
State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, today said it had approved the sale of 3.9 crore shares of Rs. 10 each, equalling a 3.9% stake in its subsidiary SBI Life Insurance Company Limited (SBI Life) for Rs. 1,794 crore ($ 264 million). 
 
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Executive Committee of its Board and is subject to the regulatory approvals, a press release from the bank said.
 
 An investment vehicle affiliated with KKR-managed funds and an affiliate of Temasek, the Singapore based Investment Company, will each purchase 1.95 crore shares from SBI. The proposed transaction values SBI Life at Rs. 46,000 crores (at Rs. 460 per share). 
 
"The transaction completion is subject to regulatory approvals," the release said.
 
Upon completion of the transaction, SBI will hold 70.1% stake in SBI Life while its joint venture partner, BNP Paribas Cardif, will continue to hold 26.0%.
 
Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Limited and SBI Capital Markets Limited acted as the exclusive financial advisors for the transaction, the release said.
 
“State Bank of India is happy to welcome KKR and Temasek as our incoming partners in SBI Life. The partnership with KKR and Temasek is a recognition of the efforts of SBI Life’s commitment to create a high quality institution which is a leader in the private Indian Life Insurance space. Moreover, this transaction values SBI Life at Rs. 46,000 crores, reflecting significant value creation since its inception in 2001," SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said.
 
Mr. Arijit Basu, MD & CEO, SBI Life said, “SBI Life is a leader in an attractive industry with strong underlying growth drivers and this transaction particularly reflects investor conviction in the business strength of our franchise. We are delighted to partner with KKR and Temasek and look forward to an enriching association to support SBI Life’s continued growth, sustainable profitability and contribution to our policyholders’ progress.”
 
Mr. Sanjay Nayar, Member & CEO of KKR India, said, “We see exciting growth opportunities for Indian insurers stemming from increasing savings, a rising middle class and rapid urbanization. We look forward to supporting SBI Life’s long-term growth alongside these high-caliber partners, and are excited to enhance financial access for citizens across the country and promote the development of a more inclusive financial services industry.”
 
Mr. Rohit Sipahimalini, Joint Head, Temasek India, said, “We are positive on the long term potential of insurance in India which is a play on growing middle income, rising household financial savings and supportive demographics. SBI Life stands well-positioned to benefit from these long term trends and we look forward to supporting SBI Life in its growth plans.”
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

RBI keeps key policy repo rate unchanged at 6.25%

 
In a surprise move, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.25 percent.
 
In the RBI's Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17, a resolution adopted by the MPC had taken the decision on the basis of its assessment of the current and evolving macro-economic situation at its meeting today.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains unchanged at 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.75 per cent, it said.
 
"The decision of the MPC is consistent with an accommodative stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving consumer price index (CPI) inflation at 5 per cent by Q4 of 2016-17 and the medium-term target of 4 percent within a band of +/- 2 percent, while supporting growth," it said.
 
The statement said the MPC took note of the upturn in the prices of several items that is masked by the easing of inflation on base effects during October.
 
Despite some supply disruptions, the abrupt compression of demand in November due to the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 100 banknotes (specified bank notes or SBN) could push down the prices of perishables in the reading that becomes available in December, it said.
 
On the other hand, prices of wheat, gram and sugar have been firming up. While discretionary spending on goods and services in the CPI excluding food and fuel – constituting 16 per cent of the CPI basket – could have been affected by restricted access to cash, the prices of these items may weather these transitory effects as they are normally revised according to pre-set cycles, it said.
 
The statement said pices of housing, fuel and light, health, transport and communication, pan, tobacco and intoxicants, and education – together accounting for 38 per cent of the CPI basket – may remain largely unaffected. Going forward, base effects are expected to reverse and turn unfavourable in December and February. If the usual winter moderation in food prices does not materialise due to the disruptions, food inflation pressures could re-emerge. Furthermore, CPI inflation excluding food and fuel has been resistant to downward impulses and could set a floor to headline inflation, it said.
 
"With the OPEC’s agreement to cut production, crude prices may firm up in the coming months. Global developments, especially as financial markets factor in the future stance of US monetary and fiscal policy, could impart volatility to the exchange rate thereby feeding into inflation. The withdrawal of SBNs could result in a possible temporary reduction in inflation of the order of 10-15 basis points in Q3. Taking these factors into account, headline inflation is projected at 5 per cent in Q4 of 2016-17 with risks tilted to the upside but lower than in the October policy review. The fuller effects of the house rent allowances under the 7th CPC award are yet to be assessed, pending implementation, and have not been reckoned in this baseline inflation path," it said.
 
The statement said the outlook for gross value added (GVA) growth for 2016-17 had turned uncertain after the unexpected loss of momentum by 50 basis points in Q2 and the effects of the withdrawal of SBNs which are still playing out.
 
The MPC revised downwards its estimate for GVA growth for 2016-17 from 7.6 percent to 7.1 percent.
 
"Downside risks in the near term could travel through two major channels: (a) short-run disruptions in economic activity in cash-intensive sectors such as retail trade, hotels & restaurants and transportation, and in the unorganised sector; (b) aggregate demand compression associated with adverse wealth effects. The impact of the first channel should, however, ebb with the progressive increase in the circulation of new currency notes and greater usage of non-cash based payment instruments in the economy, while the impact of the second channel is likely to be limited. In October 2016, GVA growth in H2 was projected at 7.7 per cent and for the full year at 7.6 per cent. Incorporating the expected loss of growth momentum in Q3 and waning effects in Q4 alongside the boost to consumption demand from higher agricultural output and the implementation of the 7th CPC award, GVA growth for 2016-17 is revised down from 7.6 per cent to 7.1 per cent, with evenly balanced risks," it said.
 
The statement said that, in Q3 upto early November, liquidity conditions remained in mild surplus mode. The Reserve Bank injected liquidity of Rs. 1.1 trillion through OMO purchases during the fiscal year so far, including an OMO purchase auction of Rs. 100 billion in October. 
 
"Although the replacement of SBNs has engendered large surplus liquidity warranting exceptional operations, this needs to be seen as transitory. The Reserve Bank is committed to conducting liquidity operations in pursuit of the objectives of the revised framework put in place in April to restore system level liquidity to a position of neutrality as the surplus liquidity pressures abate.
 
"In the view of the Committee, this bi-monthly review is set against the backdrop of heightened uncertainty. Globally, the imminent tightening of monetary policy in the US is triggering bouts of high volatility in financial markets, with the possibility of large spillovers that could have macroeconomic implications for EMEs. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"In India, while supply disruptions in the backwash of currency replacement may drag down growth this year, it is important to analyse more information and experience before judging their full effects and their persistence – short-term developments that influence the outlook disproportionately warrant caution with respect to setting the monetary policy stance. If the impact is transient as widely expected, growth should rebound strongly. 
 
"Turning to inflation, food prices other than vegetables are exhibiting sustained firmness and a pick-up in momentum. Another disconcerting feature of recent developments is the downward inflexibility in inflation excluding food and fuel which could set a resistance level for future downward movements in the headline.
 
"Moreover, volatility in crude prices and the surge in financial market turbulence could put the inflation target for Q4 of 2016-17 at some risk. Given these indicators of underlying inflation, it is appropriate to look through the transitory but unclear effects of the withdrawal of SBNs while setting the monetary policy stance. On balance, therefore, it is prudent to wait and watch how these factors play out and impinge upon the outlook. 
 
"Accordingly, the policy repo rate has been kept on hold in this review, while retaining an accommodative policy stance," the statement said.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

RBI to issue new Rs. 100 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005

ADVERTISEMENT
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said it would shortly issue new Rs. 100 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005, without inset letter in both the numbering panels, bearing the signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel, Governor, RBI, and the year of printing '2016' printed on the reverse of the banknote.
 
A press release from the RBI said the design of these banknotes to be issued now is similar in all respects to the Rs. 100 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi Series- 2005 issued earlier, having ascending size of numerals in the number panels, bleed lines, and enlarged identification mark, on the obverse. 
 
Reserve Bank of India had also issued Rs. 100 denomination banknotes with the ascending size of numerals in the number panels but without bleed lines and enlarged identification mark. These banknotes will remain in circulation concomitantly with the banknotes being issued now, it said.
 
"All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs. 100 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender," the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Exercise Konkan 16 between Indian Navy, Royal Navy begins

ADVERTISEMENT
Konkan 16, the 2016 edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy, is being held from today till December 16 in Mumbai and Goa as part of efforts to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and the United Kingdom.
 
The exercise will also enhance the capability of the two navies to work together to contribute towards maritime security in the global commons, an official press release said.
 
The exercise, named Konkan after the Western coastal region of India, was institutionalised in 2004. Since then, it has been hosted in rotation by both the navies and has grown in complexity, scale and intensity.
 
The release said the exercise would be conducted in two phases in Mumbai and Goa. The first phase from December 5-9 would be a Command Planning exercise involving the two navies in Mumbai, where planners from both sides will undertake planning for combined maritime operations. 
 
The second phase is a live exercise to be held from December 12-16 in Goa, which involves interaction between the IN Marine Commandos (MARCOs) and the Royal Marines.
 
Both phases will involve sharing of best practices and lessons learnt from recent operations, especially in the field of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO).
 
"Konkan 16 will be an important chapter in the maritime interactions under the aegis of Konkan series as it will familiarise both forces with each other’s planning processes and further enhance synergy and inter-operability. In addition, participation of IN MARCOs and Royal Marines would add another dimension to this exercise and provide valuable opportunity for both navies to interact and cooperate in the field of Maritime Security Operations," the release said.
 
"Successive editions of Konkan have built on past experiences and have enhanced operational inter-operability between the two navies. This cooperation between the two navies is a positive and tangible symbol of commitment in ensuring a positive climate for maritime security and economic development," it added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

RBI to issue new Rs. 50 and Rs. 20 banknotes, old ones will continue to be legal tender

ADVERTISEMENT
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said it would shortly issue new Rs. 50 and Rs. 20 banknotes but made it clear that all the notes issued in these denominations in the past would continue to be legal tender.
 
The new Rs. 50 banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi series-2005 would be without inset letter in both the number panels, with numerals in ascending size in number panels, and without intaglio printing, a press release from the central bank said.
 
The new Rs. 20 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005 woud have inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels, it said.
 
The notes will bear the signature of RBI Governor Urijit Patel and have the year of printing '2016' printed on the reverse, the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Govt. acts against 33 bank officials for irregular transactions after demonetisation

ADVERTISEMENT
The Government today said action had been taken against 33 officials of various public sector banks so far for carrying out irregular transactions in violation of the instructions of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) following the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes with effect from the midnight of November 8.
 
An official press release said 27 bank officials had ben placed under suspension and six had been transferred to non-sensitite posts.
 
According to the release, pursuant to the demonetisation decision, banks had done commendable work by putting in long hours of untiring effort in managing banking transactions.
 
"Some cases have come to notice, however, of officials involved in carrying out transactions which were irregular and violative of RBI’s instructions," it said.
 
"While all efforts are being made to facilitate genuine transactions, illegalities will not be tolerated and appropriate action will be taken against individuals involved in irregular and unauthorised activities," the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

India's forex reserves fall by $ 193.8 million to $ 365.306 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
Falling for the third consecutive week, India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 193.8 million to $ 365.306 billion in the week ended November 25, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone down by $ 1.542 billion to $ 365.5 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone down by $ 187.1 million to $ 341.089 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 20.461 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) decreased by $ 2.7 million to $ 1.442 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 4 million to $ 2.314 billion, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Reliance Jio extends free data, voice, video, content for another three months

Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) on Thursday extended freebies such as free data, voice, video, applications and content to its subscribers for another three months upto March 31, 2017.

 
Reliance Jio to provide free services till March 2017: Mukesh Ambani
Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) today extended freebies such as free data, voice, video, applications and content to its subscribers for another three months upto March 31, 2017.
 
RJIL is a subsidiary of energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and had launched its services on September 5 this year with a three-month Jio Wecome Offer with the free services for subscribers. During this period, the company has enrolled 52 million subscribers.
 
"The benefits will be available to all subscribers signing up for Jio services up to 3 March 2017. The existing Jio Welcome Offer users will continue to enjoy the unlimited benefits under JWO up to 31 December 2016, following which they would be automatically signed-up for the JNO as well," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, considering 80% of Jio subscribers use upto 1 GB of data daily, while the remaining 20% use disproportionately more data, Jio has limited the high-speed-data quantity to 1 GB per day per user, following which the speed will be reduced to 128 Kbps. This step has been taken to ensure that all the Jio users get superior data experience, he said.
 
Attractive tariff options have been offered for subscribers wishing to consume additional data beyond 1 GB per day at regular speed as part of the JNO, he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, in the past three months, Reliance Jio had come the fastest growing technology company ever in the world.
 
"In the first three months since its birth, Jio has grown faster than Facebook, WhatsApp or Skype. In 83 days, Jio has crossed 50 million customers on its 4G LTE all-IP wireles broadband network," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, on average, a Jio customer is using 25 times more data than the average Indian broadband user. "A Jio customer today is consuming data on par with, and in many cases more than, sophisticated users anywhere in the world," he said.
 
He said Jio had signed up more than six lakh customers every single day for the past three months. He said the company had fast-tracked Aadhaar-based e-KYC roll-out nationall, allowing SIM activation in under five minutes.
 
"Today, Jio has successfully rolled out eKYC across two lakh outlets in India. To put this in perspective, this is nearly equal to the total number of ATMs in India. We are in the process of doubling this network, to four lakh digitally enabled outlets, by March of 2017.
 
"Every Jio store and retailer in every neighborhood can not only activate Jio customers via eKYC, but is also equipped to provide unmatched customer service and new Aadhar-based services because of this digital infrastructure," he said.
 
On voice interconnection with existing telecom operators, Mr. Ambani said Jio had not received the required support from them.
 
"In the last 3 months, nearly 900 crore voice calls from Jio customers to the networks of our three largest competitors were blocked. The benefits of Jio's superior voice technology have been denied to Indian customers due to such anti-competitive behavior of incumbent operators.
 
"Given the gravity of the situation, the authorities have intervened and instructed all the operators to provide sufficient interconnection capacity. We thank the Government and the regulator for enforcing the licence conditions," he said.
 
"Over the past months, the call block rates has come down from over 90% to nearly 20% as of yesterday. We are working with all our fellow operators to ensure that in the coming weeks, this will come below the specified grade of service, which is 0.2%," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said Jio now fully supported mobile number portability and customers can retain their existing number when they migrate to Jio.
 
He said the company had introduced home delivery of Jio SIMs, which can then be activated in five minutes through eKYC. "This feature is being progressively launched across India through the MyJio application and will be available in the top 100 cities by 31st December 2016," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani used the opportunity to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his decision to demonetise Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes.
 
"By doing this, our Prime Minister has given the strongest possible push to the growth of a digitally-enabled, optimal-cash economy in India. This decision is an important step in his ongoing efforts to change the mindset of the people of India. Digitally-enabling transactions will help to create a fair, just, transparent and strong India and Indian economy. It will bring unprecedented accountability at every level.
 
"I believe that the common people will be the biggest beneficiaries of this change. Every Indian will have a Digital ATM in their hands, which they can operate whenever and wherever they want. No more will they have to travel and stand in queue for train tickets, bus tickets, movie tickets, to pay bills for utilities, or to deposit and withdraw money from banks. Time saved is money earned.
 
"Therefore, I am absolutely confident that a digitally-enabled economy will help India become stronger – and every Indian becomes even stronger," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani sid that, with this one single step, Mr. Modi had brought all the unproductive money into productive use. 
 
"This will enhance credit flow in the economy and legitimate credit is the fuel that powers the engine of economic growth. So far, credit in our country has mostly been high value and low volume. Digital enablement has laid the groundwork for broad availability of low value, high volume credit. This will provide credit to our farmers, small shopkeepers, traders and daily wage earners. Again, the biggest benefit of this goes to the ordinary Indian.
 
"All of us at Jio are enthusiastically committed to making this transition smooth for every Indian across the country," he said, announcing the JioMoney application which will give customers access to a digital money wallet that is linked to their bank account.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"One of the key drivers for adoption of digital money and the cashless way of living is people's ability to convert physical cash into digital gash and vice-versa. In order to make this possible, JioMoney is rapidly expanding its reach to millions of touch points where Aadhar based micro-ATMs will be deployed," he said.
 
Mr. Ambani said that, to enable digital transactions, merchants, especially small merchants, are an important component of the economy.
 
"To fuel their transactions, Jio is working to empower Indian merchants by building a digital retail ecosystem, which we are calling Jio-Money Merchant Soltions.
 
"This will enable digital transactions of all types, whether they be at mandis, small shops, restaurants, railway ticket counters, for bus and mass transit and even for person-to-person money transfers.
 
"Starting 5th of December, every merchant can download the Jio-Money Merchant Application. Customers use their JioMoney Wallets to pay merchants from their bank accounts, and merchants can use the JioMoney Merchant App to accept these payments directly into their bank accounts.
 
"Using the JioMoney Merchant App, merchants can also make supplier payments, transfer money between his bank account and use digital petty cash. JioMoney is focused on signing up over 10 million small merchant retailers in the coming weeks across 17,000 towns and 4 lakh villages," he added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Cabinet approves Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-Phase III

ADVERTISEMENT
The Union Cabinet today approved the Mumbai Urban Transport Project Phase-III with an estimated cost of Rs. 8,679 crore and a completion cost of Rs. 10,947 crore.
 
The project is expected to be completed in the next five years during the 13th Plan period, an official press release said.
 
Western Railway is running suburban services on the existing busy double line between Virar and Dahanu Road, which is a part of the main line Mumbai-Ahmedabad/Delhi route. 
 
The release said the main line is already saturated and there is no scope for supplementing suburban services on it. Construction of an additional double line between Virar and Dahanu Road will address the demand of commuters in this region. It will provide extension of suburban services from Churchgate to Dahanu Road. 
 
The Panvel-Karjat double line suburban corridor will cater to the significant urbanization and population growth in recent years in the area. It will also provide an alternate route from Karjat to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSTM) via  Panvel, which will be shorter by 23 km than the existing route via Kalyan and will reduce travel time between CSTM and Karjat by 35 to 40 minutes by slow trains. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Presently, passengers commuting from Kalyan to Vashi/ Panvel or in reverse direction, have to get down at Thane and take Trans Harbour link. This results in congestion at Thane which is already a busy station on Central Railway. The Airoli-Kalwa corridor will reduce congestion at Thane station and will also save time as these passengers can travel bypassing Thane. Procurement of new coaches will enhance the quality of service and reduce congestion. The works proposed under trespass control at 22 locations shall significantly reduce trespass and will provide safer environment for the public, the release said.
 
The Mumbai suburban railway network on Central and Western Railways has 376 route kms. There are five corridors, two on Western Railway, two on Central Railway and one on Harbour Line of Central Railway. Everyday approximately 8 million people travel in suburban section in more than 2900 train services. There is severe overcrowding in the suburban trains specially during peak hours. Due to geographical constraints, spread of the population and location of business areas, the rail network will continue to be the principal mode of mass transport in Mumbai. To meet the demands of the ever growing commuter traffic, new suburban corridor between Panvel-Karjat (28 route km), new elevated corridor between Airoli-Kalwa( 3 route km ), quadrupling of Virar-Dahanu Road (63 route km), procurement of 565 new coaches and trespass control measures in mid sections have been included in Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)- Phase III.  
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

RBI places cap of Rs. 10,000 a month on withdrawal from PMJDY accounts

ADVERTISEMENT
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has placed a limit of Rs.10,000 on monthly withdrawals from the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) bank accounts in a move that it said was aimed at protecting "innocent farmers and rural account holders" of PMJDY from activities of money launders and legal consequences under the Benami Property Transaction & Money Laundering laws.
 
"...it has been decided to place certain limits, as a matter of precaution, on the operations in the PMJDY accounts funded through deposits of Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) after November 09, 2016," a circular from RBI to all banks said yesterday.
 
As a temporary measure, the banks have been advised that fully Know Your Customer (KYC)-compliant account holders may be allowed to withdraw Rs. 10,000 from their account in a month.
 
The circular said that branch managers may allow further withdrawals beyond Rs. 10,000 within the current applicable limits only after ascertaining the genuineness of such withdrawals and duly documenting the same on bank’s record.
 
Limited or non-KYC compliant account holders may be allowed to withdraw Rs. 5,000 per month from the amount deposited through SBNs after November 9, 2016 within the overall ceiling of Rs. 10,000, the circular added.
 
The Government had, in a sudden move, demonetised Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes from midnight of November 8-9 as part of its efforts to fight black money, corruption and terror financing.
 
People who held such notes are required to deposit them in their bank accounts before December 30. For some days, they were also allowed to exchange old notes worth Rs. 2000 and later Rs. 4000, across the counter at banks.
 
With new Rs. 2000 and Rs. 500 notes still being printed, people across the country have experienced  severe shortages of cash in hand and there have been long queues outside banks and ATMs everywhere. Most ATMs are not working because they are yet to be calibrated for the new notes, and the ones that are run out of cash quickly, given the huge demand. The Government has placed temporary restrictions on the total withdrawals of cash that can be made from ATMs and from bank accounts.
 
Meanwhile, there has been a sudden surge in deposits in thousands of PMJDY accounts, most of which were lying dormant with zero or low balances. The Government suspects that those with black money are making use of these accounts to launder unaccounted income.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

RBI announces measures to manage liquidity conditions

ADVERTISEMENT
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said a part of the suprplus liquidity in the banking system, due to the surge in deposits in banks after the demonetisation of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes on November 8, wuld be absorbed by appying an incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) as a purely temporary measure.
 
With the withdrawal of the legal tender status of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denomination bank notes (hereafter referred to as Specified Bank Notes - SBNs) beginning November 9, 2016, there has been a surge in deposits relative to the expansion in bank credit, leading to large excess liquidity in the system," a press release from the central bank said.
 
"The magnitude of surplus liquidity available with the banking system is expected to increase further in the fortnights ahead. In view of this, it has been decided to absorb a part of this surplus liquidity by applying an incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) as a purely temporary measure...," it said.
 
The release said the CRR remained unchanged at 4 per cent of outstanding net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).
 
ADVERTISEMENT
On the increase in NDTL between September 16, 2016 and November 11, 2016, scheduled banks shall maintain an incremental CRR of 100 per cent, effective the fortnight beginning November 26, 2016. 
 
"This is intended to absorb a part of the surplus liquidity arising from the return of SBNs to the banking system, while leaving adequate liquidity with banks to meet the credit needs of the productive sectors of the economy. As the incremental CRR is intended to be a temporary measure within the Reserve Bank’s liquidity management framework to drain excess liquidity in the system, it shall be reviewed on December 9, 2016 or even earlier.
 
"The Reserve Bank has separately revived the Guarantee Scheme to enable deposit of SBN balances at the Reserve Bank or at currency chests and get immediate value. This measure should also facilitate banks’ compliance with the incremental CRR," the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.