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Tata Power completes commissioning of 32MW wind project in Maharashtra

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Tata Power, India's largest integrated power company, today said it had commissioned the final 8 MW of the 32 MW wind farm at Girijashankarwadi in Maharashtra.
 
The wind farm uses the 2 MW wind turbine from Kenersys India, a press release from the company said.
 
With this, Tata Power’s total wind generation capacity stands at 470.6 MW, with wind farms located across five states - Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, it said.
 
Tata Power has developed this project through its wholly owned subsidiary, Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL). TPREL also has a further 300 MW of wind capacity under development and construction in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
 
The wind farm is expected to generate approximately 62 MUs per year which will be procured by Tata Power-Distribution towards fulfilment of its Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO). With this commissioning, Tata Power’s total generation capacity stands at 8623 MW.
 
Anil Sardana, managing director, Tata Power stated, “We are delighted to announce the commissioning of our wind project at Girijashankarwadi. Wind energy is an important part of our renewable energy portfolio and we aim to add 150-200 MW annually. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint through the generation of 20- 25 % of our total capacity through clean and renewable energy sources."
 
According to the release, Tata Power’s 470 MW wind portfolio and its 56 MW solar portfolio make it the largest renewable utility player in India.
 
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Railways to run Winter Specials from Mumbai to Ernakulam/Tirunelveli, Pune to Ernakulam

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The Railways will run 18 special trains between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Mumbai and Ernakulam in Kerala and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu as well as between Pune and Ernakulam to clear the extra rush of passengers during the holiday season.
 
A press release from Central Railway said the composition of all three specials would be one AC-2 tier, one AC-3 tier, ten sleeper class coaches and one pantry car.
 
The 02065 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Ernakulam Special will leave LTT at 1250 hours on December 22, December 29 and January 5 and reach Ernakulam at 1400 hours on the next day.
 
In the return direction, 02066 will run as Normal Special and will leave Ernakulam at 17.00 hrs on December 23, December 30 and January 6 and arrive at LTT at 1930 hours the next day.
 
The halts for 02065 Premium Special are Panvel, Ratnagiri, Madgaon, Mangalore Jn., and Kozhikode.
 
The halts for 02066 Normal Special are Aluva, Thrissur, Shoranur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalasseri, Kannur, Payyanur, Kanhangad, Kasaragod, Mangalore Junction, Udupi, Kundapura, Mookambika Road Byndoor, Bhatkal, Murdeshwar, Karwar, Madgaon, Karmali, Thivim, Sawantwadi Road, Kudal, Kanakvali, Ratnagiri, Sangameshwar, Chiplun, Khed, Roha, Panvel and Thane.
 
The 02057 LTT-Tirunelveli Premium Special will leave LTT at 13.20 hrs on December 25, January 1 and January 8 and reach Tirunelveli at 22.00 hrs next day. In the return direction, 02058 will run as Normal Special and will leave Tirunelveli at 07.55 hrs on December 27, January 3 and January 10 and arrive at LTT at 1620 hours on the next day.
 
The halts for 02057 Premium Special are Panvel, Madgaon, Mangalore Jn., Ernakulam Jn. and Nagercoil Town.
 
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The halts for 02058 Normal Special are Valliyur, Nagercoil Town, Eraniel, Kulitturai, Neyyantinkara, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kayankulam, Chengannur, Tiruvalla, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Aluva, Thrissur, Shoranur, Kuttipuram, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalasseri, Kannur, Payyanur, Kanhangad, Kasaragod, Mangalore Junction, Udupi, Kundapura, Mookambika Road Byndoor, Bhatkal, Kumta, Karwar, Madgaon, Karmali, Thivim, Sawantwadi Road, Kanakvali, Ratnagiri, Chiplun, Roha, Panvel and Thane.
 
The 02059 Pune-Ernakulam Premium Special will leave Pune at 18.45 hrs on December 25, January 1 and January 8 and reach Ernakulam at 2005 hours on the next day.
 
In the return direction, 02060 will run as Normal Special and will leave Ernakulam at 05.15 hrs on December 27 and reach Pune at 07.10 hrs next day.
 
The halts for 02059 Premium Special are Panvel, Ratnagiri, Madgaon, Mangalore Jn and Kozhikode.
 
The halts for 02060 Normal Special are Aluva, Thrissur, Shoranur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Thalasseri, Kannur, Kasaragod, Mangalore Junction, Udupi, Karwar, Madgaon, Karmali, Kanakvali, Ratnagiri, Chiplun, Roha, Panvel and Lonavala
 
The release said bookings would open today through Internet only for train numbers 02065 leaving on December 22 and for trains 02057 and 02059 leaving on December 25.
 
For subsequent services, reservation will open 10 days in advance excluding the day of journey, the release added.
 
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Reliance Mediaworks to sell multiplexes business to Carnival Cinemas

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Reliance MediaWorks Ltd (RMW), a part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) today said it had decide to sell its multiplexes business to Carnival Cinemas Ltd in the largest ever deal in the sector in India.
 
The proposed transaction will catapult Carnival to the ranks of the top three multiplex operators in the country, with over 300 screens nationwide, and set the company firmly on its path to achieve leadership in the business, a press release from the company said.
 
Shrikant Bhasi, Chairman, Carnival Group, said “I am thankful to Mr. Anil D. Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Group, for his support to a first generation entrepreneur like me, and in facilitating this transaction with Carnival Cinemas in preference to other leading cinema chains."
 
"We are targeting to achieve 1,000 screens by the year 2017, and look forward to the continued support of Reliance Group in our future growth," he said.
 
Sam Ghosh, CEO, Reliance Capital Ltd., stated, "We are delighted to begin a long term relationship with the rapidly growing Carnival Group, through the sale of the multiplexes business of Reliance MediaWorks to them. We look forward to supporting the group in their future growth initiatives in India and overseas."
 
He said the proposed transaction was in furtherance of Reliance Capital's stated objective of focusing purely on its core financial services businesses, significantly reducing exposure to non-core investments in the media and entertainment sector, and reducing overall debt.
 
The release said the transaction would reduce Reliance Capital's leverage by approximately Rs. 700 crore, through a combination of transfer of debt of RMW and infusion of cash proceeds.
 
The deal excludes real estate owned by RMW at IMAX Wadala and other properties, which are intended to be separately monetized for an approximate value of Rs. 200 crore.
 
Reliance Capital will have the option to acquire a pre-IPO minority stake in Carnival Cinemas at an appropriate discount, upon eventual listing of the company, the release said.
 
“We are very serious about exhibition business and are moving in an organic way also. Carnival Cinemas will not only make their presence in Tier I but would lay emphasis for strong presence across tier II & III cities. We want to make Cinemas synonymous to Carnival," Mr. Bhasi said.
 
The proposed transaction is subject to necessary statutory and other approvals and is expected to be closed within the current financial year.
 
EY are deal advisers to Reliance Group, and KPMG are acting as deal advisers for Carnival Group.
 
RMW has a presence across several businesses including film and media services, theatrical exhibition of films & and television content production and distribution. It operates one of India’s largest cinema chains, under the brand ‘BIG Cinemas’, with over 250 screens across India.
 
The Mumbai-based Carnival Group has diversified business in hospitality, media, real estate, entertainment and multiplexes. It operates cinema chains under the brand "Carnival Cinemas" with over 50 operational screens while 75 screens are to come on stream in the next two months taking the total portfolio to 125 screens. With the acquisition, Carnival Cinemas will reach 400 plus screens by this fiscal. Carnival Cinemas is currently present in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Prardesh and West Bengal. 
 
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Suresh Prabhu flags off three new trains from Mumbai

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Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu today flagged off three new trains frm Mumbai to Azamgarh via Allahabad and Jaunpur, Jaipur and Lucknow.
 
The trains are the 11053 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Azamgarh Weekly Express via Allahabad, Jaunpur; the 22933 Bandra Terminus-Jaipur Weekly Superfast Express and the 19021 Bandra Terminus-Lucknow Weekly Express.
 
Mr Prabhu also inducted the new rake of DEMU on Vasai Road-Diva-Roha section at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Mumbai).
 
He also declared the commencement of 11073 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Chennai Central Weekly Express from December 15 and 22115 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Karmali Weekly AC Superfast Express from December 18.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prabhu underlined the need for the Railways to improve the travelling experience of railway passengers. He said expansion of tracks, signaling equipment, security and safety were areas which needed improvement.
 
He emphasised the need for cleanliness of stations, trains and coaches. He said base kitchens for quality meals and laundry for linen used in coaches must be set up so that users get the best amenities.
 
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Mr Justice Shiavax Vazifdar to perform duties of CJ of Punjab & Haryana HC

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The President has appointed Mr Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar, Judge of the Bombay High Court, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
 
The appointment will be with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office in that High Court, an official press release said.
 
Mr Justice Vazifdar, who has been transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has been directed to assume charge of his office there on or before December 16.
 
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India’s forex reserves dip by $1.65 billion to $ 314.662 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 1.65 billion to $ 314.662 billion in the week ended December 5, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had climbed by $ 1.433 billion to $ 316.312 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, went down by 867.4 million to $ 289.955 million 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 fell by $ 753.2 million to $ 18.985 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) declined by $ 21.6 million to $ 4.208 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 7.7 million to $ 1.513 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Tyeb Mehta's Falling Bull sells for Rs 17.54 crore at Christie's auction in Mumbai

Tyeb Mehta's 'Falling Bull'
Tyeb Mehta's 'Falling Bull'
Tyeb Mehta's Untitled (Falling Bull) sold well above the estimate for Rs 17.54 crore ($ 2,818,072) to top fine arts auction house Christie's second auction in India here yesterday.
 
Francis Newton Souza's Untitled (Indian Family), an oil on board, went for Rs 9,02,25,000 ($1,449,398), while Vasudeo S. Gaitonde's Untitled 1998 oil on canvas ws sold for Rs 6,62,25,000 ($1,063,855).
 
Overall the auction totaled Rs 75,27,45,000 ($12,092,289), selling 90% by lot and 97% by value. This is the highest total for any auction of modern and contemporary Indian Art in 2014. 
 
Christie’s said they had a multitude of new clients, both online and in the room, and said it was an indication of its continuing success in India following a decade of market leadership in Indian art through international sales held in New York, London and Mumbai. 
 
More than 70% of the lots sold above their high estimates, a press release from the auction house said.
 
The evening’s auction buying came from India, Asia, the United States and Europe, with the top lot of the sale, Tyeb Mehta’s Untitled selling online against competitive bidding in the saleroom.
 
"This result confirms the international appeal of top quality Indian art and the power of online bidding. The pre-sale events in New Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai attracted a high number of collectors and interest from both new and existing clients.
 
A group of 10 contemporary works donated by the artists to benefit the New Delhi based Khoj International Artists’ Association, sold for a collective total of Rs 1.9 crore.
 
Sonal Singh, Head of Department, at Christie's Mumbai said: “Tonight’s results are an indication of the strong level of interest from clients who wish to buy exceptional works. The auction was sold 97% by value, mirroring the results from our inaugural sale in India."
 
She said the list of the top ten reflected the interest from clients for works by the modern masters.
 
"I was particularly delighted to see the interest in the Tagore pocket book, which sold for four times its pre-sale estimate, the highest price for a manuscript sold in India.”
 

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Actor Dilip Kumar discharged from hospital on 92nd birthday

 
Dilip Kumar discharged from hospital on his 92nd birthday
Renowned actor Dilip Kumar, who turned 92 today, was discharged this morning from the Lilavati Hospital here where he was admitted on December 6 for treatment of a chest infection.
 
Scores of his fans greeted the actor as he and his actress-wife Saira Banu as he stepped out of the hospital.
 
Later, he had a quiet birthday at home with members of his family and friends.
 
Pulmonologist Jalil Parkar, who was among those who treated the actor at the hospital, said, "Dilip Saab is feeling great now and does not require to be in hospital. So we have discharged him."
 
He said the actor would only be required to continue with his routine medication at home.
 
Dilip Kumar was taken to hospital after he complained of cold and breathlessness. He was later diagnosed with bronchopneumonia.
 
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Mumbai Indians appoint Ricky Ponting as head coach

File photo of Ricky Ponting
File photo of Ricky Ponting
Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Mumbai Indians (MI) today announced the appointment of former Australian captain Ricky Ponting as its head coach ahead of IPL season 8.
 
The most successful captain and is one of the most celebrated cricketers in cricketing history, Ponting was associated with Mumbai Indians as a captain and player in IPL 6. He continues his association in an enlarged role from the upcoming season.
 
John Wright, who was the team’s coach for season 6 and 7 is now tasked with evaluating and establishing a youth development organisation and will be working closely with the MI management on talent scouting for the team.
 
Meanwhile, Anil Kumble is elevated to the Owners Group and shall oversee the implementation of the Vision for Reliance Sports that currently has interests across multiple sports including football, basketball and cricket.
 
Kumble said, "We are delighted to have Ricky back with us and look forward to his contribution based on his experience and expertise. John Wright will continue his association with MI and will look after talent scouting and youth development, which is one of the areas that we would like to build a stronger base in years to come".
 
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Tata Power to acquire Ideal Energy Projects Limited

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Tata Power, India's largest integrated power company, today said it had signed a share purchase agreement (SPA) for acquisition of 100% shareholding in Ideal Energy Projects Limited (IEPL).
 
IEPL owns a 540 MW coal-based thermal power project near village Bela in Nagpur district of Maharashtra, out of which 270 MW was commissioned in May 2013 and is based on domestic coal.
 
"An agreement was reached between Tata Power and IEPL for sale of 100% stake in IEPL. The acquisition is subject to statutory approvals and certain conditions precedent," a press release from the company said.
 
"We are happy to announce our intent to acquire this project in Maharashtra. It is our constant endeavour to maximize stakeholder value in line with our vision," Mr. Anil Sardana MD and CEO, Tata Power, said.
 
With this acquisition, Tata Power's total generating capacity will increase to 8885 MW. This project will help Tata Power service its customers in Maharashtra competitively and also give opportunity to the company to work closely with the local communities in the vicinity to improve their quality of life, the release added.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 2008 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 2008 crore, including two new international contracts, in November-December 2014.
 
A press release from the company said these included new orders worth Rs 1058 crore in the Power Transmission & Distribution Business.
 
Among these are an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order from an Algerian transmission utility company, Sonelgaz-GRTE (National Society for Electricity and Gas). The order is for engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of a 220/60 kV EHV sub-station at Bougzoul. 
 
The scope includes the construction of an air insulated sub-station comprising 220/60 kV bays, protection and substation automation systems, a DC system and auxiliaries. The contract encompasses design and construction of civil buildings with a complete set of utilities such as air-conditioning, fire protection and lighting systems.
 
This is a second order in Algeria after a breakthrough award of a 400kV sub-station.
 
At home, the business bagged an order in Jammu & Kashmir from the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited for the supply and erection of transmission lines as part of tower packages 2 & 3. The order involves setting up 220 kV single circuit and 66 kV double circuit transmission lines with associated transmission & interconnection systems.
 
Another transmission line order has been received from the Bihar Grid Company Limited for the supply and erection of 132 kV and 220 kV double and single circuit transmission lines. This is a part of tower packages which are associated with strengthening Bihar’s electric transmission system.
 
The business has also received an order from Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited for rural electrification works to be carried out under RGGVY -12th Plan on turnkey basis in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh.
 
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Additional orders worth Rs 319 crores have been received for various transmission line and sub-station works of various ongoing jobs.
 
The release said the Buildings & Factories Business had secured contracts worth Rs 920 crore, including one for the construction of a midfield airport terminal building and car park at Abu Dhabi.
 
The scope involves the construction of a multi-storey structure with extended at-grade parking to accommodate approximately 3,400 parking spaces with provisions for future development. The project also includes overall MEP systems comprising HVAC, MV, LV, plumbing, fire-protection, IT, security systems and a decorative PTFE facade with associated framework.
 
On the domestic front, an order has been secured from a two-wheeler manufacturer for the construction of various buildings for their upcoming manufacturing plant in Gujarat. The scope involves civil, structural and other associated works.
 
Orders worth Rs 30 crores have also been received from various ongoing jobs of Heavy Civil Infrastructure and Water & Renewable Energy Businesses, the release added.
 
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ISL: Injured Freddie Ljungberg to miss remaining Mumbai City FC games

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Mumbai City FC today said that an injury has forced marquee player Freddie Ljungberg to miss the team's remaining matches in the inaugural season of Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament.
 
The former Arsenal star will return to Europe for treatment, the team said.
 
Speaking about his exit, Ljungberg said, "I'd like to thank Mumbai City Football Club for the great welcome and support they have given me. I'm sad to leave earlier than planned due to injury and that I won't be able to help my team in the last few games. I have enjoyed every moment and fallen in love with India and its people, a beautiful experience which I won't forget."
 
Ljungberg is recognised the world over for his skill and contribution to the sport when he was part of Arsenal's feared line-up. For several seasons, he played a major role for the club and was part of the unbeaten 49-game run for the team.
 
In 2008, Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger placed Ljungberg 11th in Gunners' Greatest 50 Players. For his home country of Sweden, Ljungberg has earned 75 caps scoring 14 times.
 
Mumbai City FC COO Arunava Choudhary said, "Due to an injury from which Freddie Ljungberg will not recover in time for the remainder of the season, we've agreed to let Freddie go back to Europe and follow the rest of his treatment there."
 
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Reliance enters into JV with China's Shandong Ruyi Group for textile business

Reliance logo
Reliance logo
Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it had signed an agreement with Shandong Ruyi Science and Technology Group Co. Ltd of China, through its wholly owned subsidiary, for a joint venture (JV) in textiles.
 
Under the agreements, RIL will transfer its existing textile business into a newly incorporated company, the JV, for which RIL will receive cash consideration.
 
RIL will own a majority 51% in the proposed JV, with the balance 49% owned by Ruyi. The proposed transaction is subject to obtaining requisite approvals, a press release from RIL said.
 
RIL’s existing textile business is the founding business of RIL and operates under the well-known brand ‘Vimal’. It has a prominent presence in the Indian textile market, especially in the worsted and synthetic suiting fabric segments. 
 
Ruyi, a leading textile company in China with revenues in excess of $ 3 billion, has a global presence including in America, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China. It has a portfolio of world renowned brands such as ‘Taylor & Lodge’, ‘Harris Tweed’, ‘Royal Ruyi China’, ‘Nogara Italy’ and ‘Indios Italy’.  
 
The Ruyi group includes Renown Inc (founded in 1902 and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange) which owns or operates several leading global brands such as ‘Aquascutum’, ‘Simple Life’, ‘Ensuite’, ‘Mano’, ‘addenda’, ‘CHARGE’, ‘next eye’, ‘D’urban’ and ‘Intermezzo’. 
 
Ruyi also operates in India under the ‘Georgia Gullini’ brand in the worsted suiting segment of the market. These business operation and activities would get realigned to strengthen the JV, the release said.
 
According to the release, the JV will build on RIL’s existing textile business and wide distribution network in India as well as Ruyi’s state-of-the-art technology and its global reach. The JV will benefit from the strength of the ‘Vimal’ and ‘Georgia Gullini’ brands and plans to introduce some of the well-known global brands of Ruyi.
 
Mr Nikhil R. Meswani, Executive Director, Reliance Industries Ltd., said: “Our joint venture with Ruyi Group will help Reliance reposition its textile business on a high growth path. Our partner’s deep commitment and global reach in textile business will enable this JV to harness the growth potential of the Indian market and emerge as a global textile player”.
 
Mr Qiu Yafu, Chairman, Shandong Ruyi Group, said: “With closer economic relations between China and India and Shandong Ruyi Group’s expanding global presence in the textile sector, we see our joint venture with Reliance as a significant event for the group. To enter the Indian market with Reliance we truly believe in the bright future of this joint venture business."
 
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ISL: Mumbai City FC edge out Atlético de Kolkata 2-1 in thriller

Mumbai City FC players celebrate after going 2-1 up against Atletico de Kolkata in the Hero Indian Super League in Navi Mumbai on December 7, 2014. Photo courtesy ISL
Mumbai City FC players celebrate after going 2-1 up against Atletico de Kolkata in the Hero Indian Super League in Navi Mumbai on December 7, 2014. Photo courtesy ISL
Mumbai City FC picked up a long-awaited win after they trumped Atlético de Kolkata 2-1 in a riveting encounter in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the DY Patil Stadium at Navi Mumbai tonight.
 
Lalrindika Ralte opened the scoring in the first half with Baljit Sahni equalising for Kolkata. Former German international Manuel Friedrich scored the winner for the home side to keep their hopes of a semi-final berth alive.
 
It was a frantic first half with both teams threatening in equal measure. The home side kept possession of the ball for longer spells and directed their attacks forward through returning forward Nicolas Anelka. 
 
Kolkata keeper Apoula Edel Bete was forced into making some good saves, but opposite number Subrata Paul was also kept busy throughout the half. 
 
The first real chance of the match came in the 3rd minute as Rafi cut the ball back for Borja Fernández, who fired a shot from the edge of the area that went just wide.
 
Mumbai City’s pressure finally told in the 40th minute when Tiago Ribeiro collected a ball over the top, ran down the right and cut back beautifully for Lalrindika Ralte. The Mumbai City’s composed finish gave his side a vital lead. Kolkata pushed hard for the remainder of the half but were unable to equalise before half time.
 
Mumbai certainly looked the stronger of the two teams in the second half as they looked to double their lead. It was short-lived however, when a clever set piece from Luis Garcia saw the away side equalise. A free kick on the right just outside the box was rolled to Borja on the edge of the area, who played the ball into the box. Substitute Baljit Sahni stepped in and smashed home to level the scores.
 
The home side knew that even a draw would knock them out of the tournament, and they pushed forward looking for the goal to restore their lead. Abhishek Yadav had a glorious chance when substitute Subhash Singh burst through the defence and put in a superb low ball, but the veteran striker’s first touch was off and the chance was missed. 
 
Less than four minutes later, however, Mumbai went back in front. Ralte’s floated a free kick into the box, and Manuel Friedrich lost his marker and headed past Edel to send the DY Patil crowd into a frenzy.
 
Kolkata pushed hard in the dying minutes to equalise again, and Arnal Llibert had the ball back in the net right at the end, but it was rightly disallowed for offside, and Mumbai City held on for a nervy win.
 
The loss leaves the away side in a precarious position as they travel back home to face a rampaging FC Goa side on December 10. A victory against Goa will see them through. Mumbai City play NorthEast United FC in Guwahati on the same day and will also require a big win to have hopes of going through.
 
Match Awards:
Hero of the Match: Lalrindika Ralte (Mumbai City FC) 
Swift Moment of the Match: Subrata Paul (Mumbai City FC) 
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Borja Fernández (Atlético de Kolkata)
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Asif Kottayil (Mumbai City FC)
 
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Maharashtra: Fadnavis inducts 20 new Ministers, including 10 from Shiv Sena

Maharashtra Cabinet Expansion: Ministers take oath
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today carried out the first expansion of his five-week-old Council of Ministers by inducting 20 new Ministers, including ten from the Shiv Sena, a day after the two parties patched up their differences.
 
The new Ministers were sworn in by Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao at a ceremony in Raj Bhavan and included 10 of Cabinet rank -- five each from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena. With this, the strength of the Ministry has risen to 30, including 18 Cabinet Ministers.
 
Mr Fadnavis had announced yesterday that the two parties, who had broken off their 25-year-old alliance just before the October 15 Assembly elections because of differences over power sharing, had decided to work together again.
 
Mr Fadnavis, who had met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi on Wednesday, told journalists that he had called up Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray over the telephone yesterday morning and told him that they should carry forward their discussions on power sharing and settle the differences between the two parties.
 
He said Mr Thackeray agreed to this and, accordingly, a team of BJP leaders, including state BJP President Chandrakant Patil and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, deputed by the central leadership, met Shiv Sena leaders and worked out the details of the agreement.
 
The new Cabinet Ministers sworn in today are: Girish Bapat, Girish Mahajan,  Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Babanrao Lonikar, Rajkumar Sudam Badole (all BJP), Diwakar Raote, Subash Desai, Ramdas Kadam, Eknath Shinde and Deepak Sawant (all Shiv Sena).
 
The new Ministers of State are: Ram Shinde, Vijay Deshmukh, Amrish Atram  Raje, Ranjit Patil, Praveen Pote (all BJP), Sanjay Rathod, Dadaji Dagdu Bhuse, Vijay Shivtare, Deepak Kesarkar and Ravindra Waikar (all Shiv Sena).
 
Mr Fadnavis and nine others, including two Ministers of State, had taken oath of office on October 31.
 
The two parties have previously been together in government in Maharashtra, with the BJP as a junior partner, but the latest elections saw the equations changing.
 
The BJP emerged as the single largest party in the elections, winning 122 seats in the 288-member house. The Shiv Sena finished second with 63 seats. 
 
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which ruled the state for the past 15 years and had also called off their alliance ahead of the elections, ended up in third and fourth places, with 42 and 41 seats, respectively.
 
After the election results were out, the Shiv Sena had made conciliatory noises and indicated that it was prepared to be part of the government if given an honourable offer, but the BJP did not respond to it openly, though the two sides were said to be in touch with each other informally. One of the key demands of the Shiv Sena was for the deputy chief minister's post, which the BJP firmly turned down.
 
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The BJP government got unconditional support from the outside from the NCP, which voted in its favour in the vote of confidence early last month. The Shiv Sena had voted against the motion. Now that the Shiv Sena is back as an ally of the BJP, the NCP has said that it would play the role of a "constructive opposition".
 
"The people's mandate is for us to come together for running the government. We honour the sentiments of the people, workers of both Sena and BJP," Mr Fadnavis said at Thursday's press conference at which Sena leader Subhash Desai was also present. He said there were other parties also which could join the alliance later.
 
Mr Fadnavis said the two parties had also agreed to fight elections to local bodies in the state and a coordination committee would be set up to work out the modalities.
 
With the Sena joining it, the Fadnavis government has acquired a clear majority of 184 in the Assembly.
 
Mr Thackeray and members of his family were amongst those present at the ceremony.
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 1.433 billion to $ 316.312 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves climbed by $ 1.433 billion to $ 316.312 billion in the week ended November 28, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had fallen by $ 672.4 million to $ 314.879 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, went up by $ 1.424 billion to $ 290.822 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 $ 19.738 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) rose by $ 6.4 million to $ 4.23 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 2.5 million to $ 1.521 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Western Union signs up actor Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassador

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan
Global payment services provider Western Union Company today said that it had signed up popular Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador.
 
"With a massive fan following across the world, Shah Rukh Khan will now represent Western Union and its quick, convenient and reliable money transfer services, offered across 200 countries and territories," a press release from the company said.
 
The release said many of the people who cross borders to work and live use Western Union services to send money to their families. 
 
"According to research carried out by Western Union, watching movies from their native country is one of most common things that connect migrants to their homeland. The survey also revealed that for Indian diaspora who are living and working outside the country, Bollywood ranked second in terms of platforms helping them to remain connected to their homeland.
 
"Shah Rukh Khan’s popularity, his remarkable ability to connect with his audiences across all age groups around the world, especially the connections he builds for the South Asian diaspora to their home countries, resonates with the Western Union brand promise of bringing families closer to their loved ones," it said.
 
Mr Kiran Shetty, Regional Vice President & Managing Director- India & South Asia, Western Union said, “We are very excited to have Shah Rukh Khan as a Western Union ambassador, as he truly symbolizes our ability to create connections for families around the world with their loved ones back home. We are certain, that with this association, our consumers across the globe will feel even closer to home.”
 
“I am extremely thrilled to be part of the Western Union family. Via their services they connect people around the world with their loved ones, like I do with my films. Western Union’s reliable, fast and convenient service is what makes Western Union popular amongst consumers across the globe – Transferring money, is fat-a-fat, or quick and easy,” said Shah Rukh Khan.
 
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Reliance, Pemex sign MoU to explore oil, gas opportunities in Mexico

Reliance logo
Reliance logo
Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Mexican state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate for assessment of potential upstream oil and gas business opportunities in Mexico.
 
The two companies will also jointly evaluate value added opportunities in international markets, a press release from the Mukesh Ambani-led RIL said here today.
 
It said RIL and Pemex would also share expertise and skills in the relevant areas of oil and gas industry including for deep-water oil and gas exploration and production.
 
The MOU envisages sharing of RIL’s pioneering expertise in deepwater development and best practices in East Coast of India and RIL’s experience in shale gas in United States. RIL will also provide technical support and share experience with Pemex for refining value maximisation and other technical optimization strategies. 
 
The two companies will also collaborate to exchange experiences on environmental and social responsibility front.
 
"The signing of the MOU marks further strengthening of the long standing relationship between RIL and Pemex," the release said.
 
"RIL’s cooperation with Pemex is in line with its growth strategy to explore opportunities to expand its international asset base in regimes having internationally attractive competitive terms. The company hopes to leverage its organizational capabilities and expertise to create long term value for Exploration and Production Business and for RIL on the whole," it added.
 
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Shiv Sena to join BJP govt. in Maharashtra as both parties end their differences

 
BJP and Shiv Sena come together in Maharashtra
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena, its erstwhile ally in Maharashtra, patched up their differences today with the latter agreeing to join the Devendra Fadnavis government in the state when it is expanded tomorrow.
 
About 20 new ministers are expected to take oath at the swearing-in ceremony, including 12 from the Shiv Sena.
 
Mr Fadnavis, who had met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi yesterday, told journalists that the 12 Shiv Sena ministers would include five of Cabinet rank and seven Ministers of State.
 
He said he had called up Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray over the telephone this morning and told him that they should carry forward their discussions on power sharing and settle the differences between the two parties.
 
He said Mr Thackeray agreed to his and, accordingly, a team of BJP leaders, including Mr Chandrakant Patil and Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, deputed by the central leadership, met Shiv Sena leaders and worked out the details of the agreement.
 
Mr Fadnavis and nine others, including two Ministers of State, had taken oath of office on October 31.
 
The two parties had called off their 25-year-old alliance in the state days before the October 15 elections to the state legislative assembly after failing to reach an agreement on seat sharing.
 
The two parties have previously been together in government in Maharashtra, with the BJP as a junior partner, but the latest elections saw the equations changing.
 
The BJP emerged as the single largest party in the elections, winning 122 seats in the 288-member house. The Shiv Sena finished second with 63 seats. 
 
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The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which ruled the state for the past 15 years and had also called off their alliance ahead of the elections, ended up in third and fourth places, with 42 and 41 seats, respectively.
 
After the election results were out, the Shiv Sena had made conciliatory noises and indicated that it was prepared to be part of the government if given an honourable offer, but the BJP did not respond to it openly, though the two sides were said to be in touch with each other informally.
 
Unhappy with the BJP's cold response, the Shiv Sena had indicated that it would stay away from the October 31 swearing-n ceremony. But Mr Shah and Mr Fadnavis reached out to Mr Thackeray by calling him up and on the telephone and inviting him to the ceremony. Mr Thackeray relented and attended the function, in a sign of improving ties between the two parties.
 
The BJP government got unconditional support from the outside from the NCP, which voted in its favour in the vote of confidence early last month. The Shiv Sena had voted against the motion.
 
"The people's mandate is for us to come together for running the government. We honour the sentiments of the people, workers of both Sena and BJP," Mr Fadnavis said at the press conference at which Sena leader Subhash Desai was also present. He said there were other parties also which could join the alliance later.
 
Mr Fadnavis said the two parties had also agreed to fight elections to local bodies in the state and a coordination committee would be set up to work out the modalities.
 
With the Sena joining it, the Fadnavis government will acquire a clear majority of 184 in the Assembly.
 
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Sehwag, Gambhir, Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Zaheer dropped as India names 30 World Cup probables

 
Senior players Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan did not figure in the list of 30 probables named by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the Indian team that will play in the ICC Cricket World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand in February-March 2015.
 
Apart from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the list includes players like Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey and Kuldeep Yadav.
 
The list also includes Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Parvez Rasool and Ishant Sharma.
 
The following is the list of 30 probables picked by the All India Senior Selection Committee which met here today:
 
MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Sanju Samson, R Ashwin, Parvez Rasool, Karn Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Ashoke Dinda, Kuldeep Yadav and Murali Vijay.
.
 
2015 ICC World Cup: 2011 heroes fail to make the cut
The list will be pruned down to the final 15 in the coming weeks.
 
The five seniors who have been dropped have been out of international cricket for various reasons for some time now and have been hoping to make a comeback into the Indian side. Zaheer, for instance, had suffered an injury during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 and has been unable to make his way back into the Indian team.
 
The ICC World Cup will be played frm February 14 to March 29. The two semi-finals will be played in Auckland, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia while the final will be held at the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia.
 
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RBI releases Charter of Customer Rights for bank customers

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a Charter of Customer Rights, which enshrines broad, overarching principles for protection of bank customers and enunciates the five basic rights of bank customers.
 
These are: (i) Right to Fair Treatment; (ii) Right to Transparency; Fair and Honest Dealing; (iii) Right to Suitability; (iv) Right to Privacy; and (v) Right to Grievance Redress and Compensation.
 
The Reserve Bank has also advised the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) to formulate a “Model Customer Rights Policy” encapsulating the principles enshrined in the Charter.
 
Initially, all the scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks and urban co-operative banks are expected to prepare their own Board approved policy incorporating the five basic rights of the Charter which, among other things, would contain a monitoring and oversight mechanism for ensuring adherence, a press release from the central bank said here yesterday.
 
The policy, if needed, would have to be suitably dovetailed with the “Model Customer Rights Policy” proposed to be formulated by IBA/BCSBI.
 
The Reserve Bank would monitor the progress and oversee the adherence by banks over a period of time, the release added.
 
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Journalist Allwyn Fernandes passes away in Mumbai

Allwyn Fernandes
Allwyn Fernandes
Well-known journalist Allwyn Fernandes, who had moved to corporate communications in the later years of his career, passed away at his home in Marol, Andheri here last night after battling cancer for more than two years.
 
He was 66. He is survived by his  wife Enid, son Rohan and daughter Rohini.His funeral will be held here later today, his family said.
 
Fernandes had been suffering from sarcoma, an aggressive cancer, and his condition took a turn for the worse around the end of September.
 
The news of his death stunned his large number of friends in the media, civil society and the corporate world as well as the hundreds of students he had taught and mentored over the years.
 
Born on June 1, 1948, Fernandes graduated in Physics and Mathematics from St Xavier's College here and did courses in journalism at the Bhavan's College of Mass Communication here as well as the International Institute for Journalism in Berlin.
 
He began his career as a teacher before joining The Times of India, where he earned a name for himself with his investigative stories. After about 25 years with the newspaper, he became Director, Media Practice at public relations firm Edelman India and conducted training sessions in media and crisis management there for corporate executives.
 
He also taught at journalism schools and wrote books, including one on the late consumer activist M R Pai.
 
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Jet Airways commences roll out of full service product across domestic network

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Private sector carrier Jet Airways today commenced the roll out of a full service product on all flights across its domestic network in keeping with its Master Brand Plan, announced in August, as part of which it has phased out the low-cost services offered by JetLite under the JetKonnect brand, for a return to profitability.
 
Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal had said on August 11 that the airline would "streamline and align its domestic operation, creating a strong, uniform Jet Airways master brand, simultaneously revitalising its product and service offering."
 
A press release from the airline said that, starting today, Jet Airways’ would offer guests a two class, full service product with a complimentary dining experience onboard all domestic flights. 
 
"Apart from the enhanced service quality levels, the airline will offer easy convenient connections on its domestic network to over 51 destinations across India with over 450 daily domestic flights," it said.
 
The release said passengers would  also be able to access 22 international destinations on Jet Airways network and also offer connectivity to over 135 international destinations across the world with its strategic alliance partner Etihad Airways.
 
Cramer Ball, CEO of Jet Airways, said “We hope that our move to a full service brand, across all flights demonstrates our commitment to continually enhance the service and hospitality we offer our guests. I firmly believe that this move to a full service carrier, delivered in our inimitable style with the warmth and graciousness of Indian hospitality will help Jet Airways redefine the service paradigm in Indian skies. We are all committed to delivering the best domestic full service product in India.”
 
JetPrivilege members will also earn JPMiles in line with the accrual structure of full service flights. The programmewill offer guests easy tier retention, faster tier upgrades, improved tier benefits, easy redemptions, a minimum of 500 JPMiles on every flight, and a wide range of 150 partners to choose from.
 
Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 115 aircraft, which include 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, 8 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 4 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, 75 Boeing 737-700/800/900/900ER aircraft and 15 ATR 72-500 and 3 ATR72-600. 
 
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RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 8% despite pressure from govt.

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday kept its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility unchanged at 8.0% and the cash reserve ratio of scheduled banks at 4.0% net demand and time liabilities, citing the durability of the current upturn, especially the fall in inflation rates, as the key uncertainty.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today kept its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 8.0 per cent and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL), citing the durability of the current upturn, especially the fall in inflation rates, as the key uncertainty.
 
In its Fifth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2014-15, the RBI said this was done on the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation.
 
"A change in the monetary policy stance at the current juncture is premature. However, if the current inflation momentum and changes in inflationary expectations continue, and fiscal developments are encouraging, a change in the monetary policy stance is likely early next year, including outside the policy review cycle," RBI Governor Raghuram G. Rajan said.
 
Dr Rajan said the central bank would continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25 per cent of bank-wise NDTL at the LAF repo rate and liquidity under 7-day and 14-day term repos of up to 0.75 per cent of NDTL of the banking system through auctions and continue with daily one-day term repos and reverse repos to smooth liquidity.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 7.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 9.0 per cent, the statement said.
 
The RBI has not reduced the rates since May 2013 though retail inflation has eased to a record low of 5.5 per cent in October this year.
 
Today's decision is in keeping with general expectations though there was pressure from both the government and the industry for a cut in interest rates to help boost demand and growth.
 
Dr Rajan said that, consistent with the balance of risks set out in the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement of September, headline inflation had been receding steadily and current readings are below the January 2015 target of 8 per cent as well as the January 2016 target of 6 per cent. 
 
"The inflation reading for November – which will become available by mid-December – is expected to show a further softening. Thereafter, however, the favourable base effect that is driving down headline inflation will likely dissipate and inflation for December (data release in mid-January) may well rise above current levels," he said.
 
Dr Rajan said the key uncertainty was the durability of this upturn. "The full outcome of the north-east monsoon will determine the intensity of price pressures relating to cereals, oilseeds and pulses, but it is reasonable to expect some firming up of these prices in view of the monsoon’s performance so far and the shortfall estimated for kharif production. Risks from imported inflation appear to be retreating, given the softening of international commodity prices, especially crude, and reasonable stability in the foreign exchange market. Accordingly, the central forecast for CPI inflation is revised down to 6 per cent for March 2015," he said.
 
Turning to the outlook for inflation in the medium-term, the statement said projections at this stage would be contingent upon expectations of a normal south-west monsoon in 2015, international crude prices broadly around current levels and no change in administered prices in the fuel group, barring electricity. 
 
"Over the next 12-month period, inflation is expected to retain some momentum and hover around 6 per cent, except for seasonal movements, as the disinflation momentum works through. Accordingly, the risks to the January 2016 target of 6 per cent appear evenly balanced under the current policy stance," it said.
 
Dr Rajan said some easing of monetary conditions had already taken place. "The weighted average call rates as well as long term yields for government and high-quality corporate issuances have moderated substantially since end-August. However, these interest rate impulses have yet to be transmitted by banks into lower lending rates. Indeed, slow bank credit growth is mirrored by increasing reliance of large corporations on commercial paper and domestic as well as external public issuances," he said.
 
"Still weak demand and the rapid pace of recent disinflation are factors supporting monetary accommodation. However, the weak transmission by banks of the recent fall in money market rates into lending rates suggests monetary policy shifts will primarily have signaling effects for a while. Nevertheless, these signaling effects are likely to be large because the Reserve Bank has repeatedly indicated that once the monetary policy stance shifts, subsequent policy actions will be consistent with the changed stance. There is still some uncertainty about the evolution of base effects in inflation, the strength of the on-going disinflationary impulses, the pace of change of the public’s inflationary expectations, as well as the success of the government’s efforts to hit deficit targets.
 
The statement said that, while activity appeared to have lost some momentum in the second quarter (Q2), probably extending into Q3, conditions congenial for a turnaround – the softening of inflation; easing of commodity prices and input costs; comfortable liquidity conditions; and rising business confidence as well as purchasing activity – were gathering. 
 
"These conditions could enable a pick-up in Q4 if coordinated policy efforts fructify in dispelling the drag on the economy emanating from structural constraints.
 
"A durable revival of investment demand continues to be held back by infrastructural constraints and lack of assured supply of key inputs, in particular coal, power, land and minerals. The success of ongoing government actions in these areas will be key to reviving growth and offsetting downside risks emanating from agriculture – in view of weaker-than-expected rabi sowing – and exports – given the sluggishness in external demand. Anticipating such success, the central estimate of projected growth for 2014-15 has been retained at 5.5 per cent, with a gradual pick-up in momentum through 2015-16 on the assumption of a normal monsoon and no adverse supply/financial shocks," it said.
 
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India scraps 20:80 gold import rule in surprise move

India today scrapped a rule that required traders to export 20 per cent of the gold imported by them as part of the government's efforts to bring down the current account deficit.
 
"It has been decided by the Government of India to withdraw the 20:80 scheme and restrictions placed on import of gold. Accordingly, all instructions issued about the scheme from time to time starting with A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.25 dated August 14, 2013 stand withdrawn with immediate effect," a notification issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.
 
The government had on July 22 last year impsoed some restrictions on the import of various forms of gold by nominated banks and agencies, premier and star trading houses, special economic zone (SEZ) units and export-oriented units (EOUs) which are permitted to import gold for use in the domestic sector.
 
Through the circular of August 14, 2013, the government prohibited the import of gold in the form of coins and medallions.
 
It also said that it would be incumbent on all nominated banks/nominated agencies and other entities to ensure that at least 20%, of every lot of import of gold imported to the country is exclusively made available for the purpose of exports and the balance for domestic use. 
 
Further, nominated banks/ nominated agencies and other entities could make available gold for domestic use only to the entities engaged in jewellery business/bullion dealers and to banks authorised to administer the Gold Deposit Scheme against full upfront payment. In other words, supply of gold in any form to the domestic users other than against full payment upfront was not permitted.
 
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At the same time, as part of the measures to contain the current account deficit (CAD), the Government had hiked the customs duty on gold and platinum to 10 per cent from eight per cent.
 
Thus, additional duty of customs (CVD) on gold dore bars and on gold ore/concentrate was increased from 6% to 8%. In recent months, some of these provisions were eased.
 
Today's announcement is expected to come as a relief to jewellers who faced difficulties in sourcing gold during the peak festival and wedding season that began last month. The restrictions had also led to a spurt in smuggling of gold.
 
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