IndUS Business Journal

India warns traders in dealing with Chinese businessmen

Jul 29, 2016 0

By Gaurav Sharma

Beijing– India has warned its traders to be wary in dealings with their Chinese counterparts who could supply stones, bricks, mud, salt among other things in place of genuine orders.

Chinese Flag“It is to enhance the commercial cooperation between India and China by drawing attention to some of the risks faced by Indian traders/SMEs to take preventive and/or mitigating action,” the advisory issued by the Indian consulate in Shanghai said this week.

It said the traders could be duped with “sand, stones, salt, bricks, mud etc. in place of chemicals, Silicon Carbide, Aluminium and Zinc ingots, shellac, plastics, polymers etc.”

In the past, such advisories have been put up on the website of the Indian embassy.

An official in the Indian embassy described the advisory as a “routine thing”.

“The bilateral trade is increasing. The advisory is to encourage (traders) to follow due diligence to avoid trade dispute,” an official at the Indian embassy told IANS.

“It’s a routine thing. Don’t read too much into it,” the official added.

Ties between both nations have taken a hit after a string of issues in the past few months, the latest being India’s refusal to renew the visas of three Chinese journalists based in India.

Beijing’s opposition to New Delhi’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group is also one of the irritants.

Trade deficit between the two countries increased to $44.7 billion during April-January period of 2015-16. (IANS)

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Delhi HC orders SpiceJet to deposit around Rs 580 crore

Jul 29, 2016 0

New Delhi– The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the original promoter of budget carrier SpiceJet Ajay Singh to deposit around Rs 580 crore in an alleged dispute over the transfer of ownership accord of the airline with the Marans of Sun Group.

According to the court’s order, the amount has to be deposited with it, in five equal installments.

SpiceJet-logoThe Marans, who had acquired controlling stake in SpiceJet from Ajay Singh have contended that under the transfer of ownership deal entered in early 2015, Singh had to issue them redeemable warrants.

The warrants were in lieu of Rs 690 crore that the Marans’ had invested in the budget passenger carrier.

The court ordered both the parties to form an arbitral tribunal which has to give a final decision on the matter within 12 months of its formation. Until the final decision is received, the amount worth around Rs 580 crore would remain in the court’s custody.

When asked to comment, an official with the airline’s chairman’s office said while Singh was out of town, a comment would not be appropriate at this point of time.

The official elaborated that the matter was sub judice and that the order was yet to be received and read out for any further observation.

The alleged dispute dates back to early 2015, when Marans transferred their entire share holding in the budget carrier to Singh. (IANS)

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Army takes possession of Adarsh Society building

Jul 29, 2016 0

Mumbai– Complying with the Supreme Court order, the Indian Army on Friday took possession of the controversial 31-storied Adarsh Society building, an official said here.

A team of army officials along with the registrar of the Bombay High Court went to the skyscraper in Colaba, took it over from the Adarsh Society and secured it against any encroachments or demolition during pendency of the society’s SLP in the apex court.

Adarsh Society building (Photo courtesy: NDTV)

Adarsh Society building (Photo courtesy: NDTV)

“The Supreme Court has ordered the central government to take over possession of the Adarsh building, during the pendency of a Special Leave Petition filed by the Adarsh society in the Supreme Court.

“On behalf of Government of India, the Indian Army is taking over the possession of the building from Adarsh society to ensure its security and prevent any encroachment,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

The army team made an inventory and handed over all records and documents of the building to the Soceity.

Last week, the Supreme Court had ordered the central government to take possession of the building before August 5 with the entire process supervised by either the Bombay High Court registrar or his nominee.

It had also ordered the Society to refrain from dealing in the matter any more and hand over to the government all responsibility of the building, situated in the vicinity of sensitive defence installations in Mumbai.

The development came after the Bombay High Court, on April 29 ordered the building to be demolished, upholding the January 2011 order of the Ministry of Environment. This was challenged by the Society in the apex court and is currently pending disposal.

The Adarsh Society scam in which the prime flats meant for Kargil war widows or war heroes were doled out to politicians, bureaucrats and army personnel, came to light in 2010 and claimed the scalp of then Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. (IANS)

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Telangana cancels exam for medical admissions, manipulators received Rs. 15 crores

Jul 29, 2016 0

Hyderabad–The Telangana government on Friday decided to cancel TS EAMCET-II 2016 in the wake of leakage of the question paper and hold fresh exam for admission to the medical courses in the state.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao

The decision was taken by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao after the CID submitted its report.

The chief minister took the decision at a meeting with some cabinet colleagues, Director General of Police Anurag Sharma and other top officials.

More than 50,000 students had appeared in TS EAMCET-II held on July 9 but doubts about the leakage of question paper were raised with average students bagging top ranks.

Following persistent demands by a section of students and their parents, the government ordered a CID inquiry.

The CID so far arrested three brokers, who allegedly conducted practice for some students in Pune, Bengaluru and other cities with leaked question papers.

The investigators believe 100 students benefited from the leakage of question papers and the persons involved collected Rs 15 crore from these students. (IANS)

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Finance Minister Jaitley urges investors to consider alternative instruments

Jul 29, 2016 0

New Delhi–Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday made a case for investment into alternative instruments instead of bank deposits for better returns.

“The conventional deposit rate, the lending rates, are very low, but you have very powerful alternative instruments, in which if you invest, you can earn a lot higher,” he said here at the launch of state-run State Bank of India’s wealth management offering SBI Exclusif.

Jaitley-US“That is how pension funds and sovereign funds are surviving and doing extremely well the world over,” he added.

Noting the convention was that that bank deposits or other government schemes were probably the safest and best investment, Jaitley said: “It was certainly safe, but then the whole concept of economic system, banking system paid high rate of interest for those deposits were no longer relevant. And world over people have successfully experimented it.”

Over the last few years as Indian economy expanded and India realised that wealth generation is a good thing, he said.

“In India now as that opportunity expands, as a number of people with additional resources increases, you need a set of competent managers to manage the resources,” he added.

The activity of wealth management products was long overdue and in fact delayed as India did not have many high net worth individuals, Jaitley said.

There is an additional section of people who no longer are in active service but they are trying to live a respectable future on the strength of strength of savings, he said. (IANS)

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Bharat Petroleum acquires 21 percent stake in Fino PayTech for Rs. 251 crore

Jul 29, 2016 0

Kolkata– State-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on Friday said it has acquired 21 percent stake of Fino PayTech Limited for a consideration of Rs 251 crore in an all cash deal.

“BPCL has entered into an agreement for acquiring a 21 percent stake (on a fully diluted basis) in the share capital of Fino PayTech Limited for a consideration of Rs 251 crore in an all cash deal,” the petroleum company said in a statement.

The payments technology solution provider which got in principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for setting up a payments bank had a networth of Rs 276.59 crore by end of 2014-15. Its major shareholders include ICICI, IFC, The Blackstone Group, Intel Capial and HAV3 Holdings.

BPCL plans to leverage its marketing network to participate in the financial inclusion initiative in the country even as it offers convenience to the customers based on the evolving trends in the payments arena, it said.

“This partnership coupled with the ultimate launch of the payments bank by the Fino PayTech offers an excellent platform for providing customised offerings to different segments of customers and thereby the business of fuel and non-fuel offerings,” said the company. (IANS)

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With 10,000 NGO registrations cancelled in India, foreign aid set to drop

Jul 29, 2016 0

By Abhishek Waghmare

Foreign funding for Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) doubled in 2014-15 over the previous year, but with 10,000 NGO registrations cancelled in 2015, foreign contributions are likely to drop, according the latest data on foreign contributions.

Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh (unified), Karnataka and Kerala together got 65 per cent of foreign aid coming to India, the data, tabled in the Lok Sabha on July 26, 2016, revealed.

Prof. Trilochan Sastry

Prof. Trilochan Sastry

Of Rs 45,300 crore ($7 billion) in foreign funding to Indian NGOs over four years — 2011-12 to 2014-15 — Rs 29,000 crore($ 4.5 billion) was received by organisations in the national capital and these four (five after Telangana) states, an IndiaSpend analysis reveals.

Organisations in Delhi received Rs 10,500 crore ($ 1.6 billion), while each of the five states received close to Rs 5,000 crore ($770 million) over the past four years.

There are 33,091 NGOs registered to receive foreign funds-under the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA) — after the registrations of 10,000 NGOs were cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2015.

Among the reasons for cancellation: Not filing returns, misutilisation of funds and accepting funds for “prohibited activities”, which include funding legal costs of bail, writ petitions of Indian NGOs and their activists, and undisclosed payment of salaries by foreign NGOs to foreign activists.

Foreign funding doubled in 2014-15 to Rs 22,137 crore ($ 3.4 billion) compared to Rs 12,000 crore ($ 1.8 billion) in 2013-14.

Foreign funds to Indian NGOs from 165 countries, most for social sector

India receives foreign contributions from 165 countries, of roughly 200 countries identified by the World Bank.

Health, education and child-welfare together received Rs 4,500 crore ($ 690 million) of the Rs 12,000 crore received in 2011-12, according to our analysis of the 2011-12 annual report of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, the latest available.

While NGOs associated with religious activities collected Rs 870 crore, NGOs with research activities got Rs 539 crore in 2011-12.

International NGOs free to fund in India but only to govt

As many as 109 international organisations, including various branches of the United Nations, World Bank, World Health Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation and Asian Development Bank, are not treated as a foreign source while funding projects in India.

“The World Bank funding in 2013-14 was $5.2 billion (Rs 33000 crore).This funding goes to the government and not to any NGO,”, wrote Prof. Trilochan Sastry of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an advocacy, in a blog post.

A writ petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court by ADR to constitute an independent body to administer enforcement of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. The case is currently being heard.

(In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform, with whom Abhishek Waghmare is an analyst. The views expressed are those of IndiaSpend.) IANS

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Smartphone shipments in India grew 15 percent in Q2

Jul 29, 2016 0

New Delhi– Smartphone shipments in India grew a healthy 15 per cent in the second quarter this year compared to the global smartphone market which grew a mere three per cent, market research firm Counterpoint Research reported on Friday.

“LTE smartphones which grew 264 per cent, Chinese brands 80 per cent and devices in the $100-$150 price band 48 per cent year-on-year were the key major growth drivers for the smartphone market,” said Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst, Counterpoint Research.

Smart Phones-EmbassyChinese brands’ capture almost 27 per cent combined share of the total smartphone market driven by brands such Lenovo, Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and LeEco in the country, added Chauhan.

This was a great quarter for “Make in India” initiative as number of brands manufacturing/assembling domestically jumped from 10 brands to 35 brands — contributing to almost 70 per cent of the total smartphones production volume in the second quarter.

But lack of component ecosystem is still a barrier to increase local value addition, the report noted.

Samsung headed the smartphone market during the quarter. Micromax maintained the second position while Intex stood third.

Lava and Lenovo (also Motorola) maintained the fourth spot. (IANS)

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Hillary Clinton hits Donald Trump for picture frames made in India

Jul 29, 2016 0

By Arul Louis

Philadelphia– “Made in India” versus “Make in America” has emerged an election issue in the US.

Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday night criticized her Republican rival Donald Trump for making in India the picture frames he sells under his brand.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

In her speech accepting the party nomination on Thursday night here, one of her many criticisms of Trump was that while he has said he would bring back jobs to the US through a policy of Make in America, his own products were made abroad.

One of the products she cited were Trump picture frames made in India.

Her campaign has identified them as the “Donald Trump Park Avenue Collection” – four inches by six inches (about 10 cm X 15 cm) picture frames. They are supplied by IMAX Corporation in Tulsa, Oklahoma state, which says on its website that it sources products from India and China.

Another South Asian element in her speech was a tribute to Army Captain Humayun Khan, a 27-year-old Pakistani-American army man killed in 2004 in Iraq trying to save his soldiers from a car bomb.

Clinton cited Khan to hit out against Trump’s threats to temporarily suspend Muslim immigration while determining how to vet them.

Earlier in the closing programme, Humayun Khan’s father, Khizr Khan, was one of the speakers.

“You are asking Americans to trust you with their future,” he challenged Trump. “Let me ask you, if you have read the US Constitution?”

He said that his son would never have been able to serve the US had Trump been the President. “We will become stronger when Clinton becomes President.”

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Over 700,000 school teachers equipped with IT skills in India: Microsoft

Jul 29, 2016 0

New Delhi– Microsoft has so far equipped more than 7.7 lakh government school teachers with IT skills across 12 states in India under its Project Shiksha programme launched in 2003, the tech giant said on Friday.

The “Microsoft India Citizenship Report 2015-16” highlights the achievements of Microsoft’s citizenship initiatives that include Project Shiksha, Project Saksham, Project Jyoti and YouthSpark programme.

“Project Saksham has reached out to 81 state/central universities across 24 states training over 3,800 faculty members, since its launch in 2011,” the report said.

Aimed at developing skills among youth from under-privileged communities to drive employability and entrepreneurship, Project Jyoti helped establish over 1700 enterprises run by youth in the country.

“In 2015-16, over 30,000 young adults received training, 70 per cent of who got gainful employment or are self-employed and over 900 youth enterprises were established,” the report added.

Microsoft is also running digital literacy initiatives under the YouthSpark programme for marginalised communities, with a special focus on girls and young women.

The company also partnered with several institutions of higher education in the country towards skilling youth for employment.

“Programmes like BizSpark, DreamSpark and Imagine Cup have been immensely successful in driving entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth,” Microsoft said.

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