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Top Stories

  • Blue Economy is a catalyst in India’s progress: Nitin Gadkari

    09.11.2017 | The Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari reviewed the work of all ports in Goa this week. He interacted with stakeholders including PPP operators, port users and other private sector service providers. In his address Shri Gadkari said that as per the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Blue Economy is proving to be a catalyst in India’s progress and the performance of ports is a clear pointer towards the same.The review meeting was aimed at serving the industry needs in a better way, identifying issues holding up new projects and understanding ways to improve efficiency. The meeting provided a platform to all officials and stakeholders to communicate with each other and with the Ministry of Shipping, breaking the conventional tight silo – bound approach and expediting decision making processes. Promoting coastal shipping and improving port infrastructure are high up on the Ministry’s agenda. The Minister recently flagged off consignments of trucks to Bangladesh from Chennai and Steel from Vizag.The major ports in India have recorded a growth of 3.27% during the period April to September, 2017 and together handled 383 Million Tonnes of cargo as against 371 Million Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of previous year.The Eight Ports i.e. Kolkata, Paradip, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai, JNPT and Kandla registered positive growth in traffic during the period April to October, 2017.Cargo traffic handled at Major Ports:The highest growth was registered by Cochin Port (17.66%), followed by Kolkata [incl. Haldia], New Mangalore, Paradip with growth of about 12%. The Cochin Port growth was mainly due to increase in traffic of POL (24.56%) and Containers (11.12%). In Kolkata Port, overall growth was positive i.e. 12.39%. Kolkata Dock System (KDS) registered traffic growth of 3.80%. Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) registered positive growth of 16.66%.During the period April to September 2017, Kandla Port handled the highest volume of traffic i.e. 63.13 Million tonnes (16.49% share), followed by Paradip with 55.78 Million Tonnes (14.57% share), JNPT with 37.90 Million Tonnes (9.90% share), Mumbai with 36.72 Million Tonnes (9.59% share), and Visakhapatnam with 35.74 Million Tonnes (9.33% share). Together, these five ports handled around 60% of Major Port Traffic.Commodity wise Share % in Traffic in October 2017Commodity-wise percentage share of POL was maximum i.e. 34.07%, followed by Container (20.01%), Thermal & Steam Coal (12.81%), Other Misc. Cargo (12.24%), Coking & Other Coal (7.57%), Iron Ore & Pellets (6.61%), Other Liquid (4.30%), Finished Fertilizer (1.29%) and FRM (1.10%).

  • Brics nations play key role in global economy: OECD

    01.08.2017 | The Brics countries will continue to play a key role in the global economy although they reported slower growth in recent years, said an expert with the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).Federico Bonaglia, deputy director of OECD Development Centre, told  that slowdown in the growth of the Brics economies will not have a significant impact on their joint share in the world economy."China and India continue to maintain a very sustained growth, a situation that both Russia and Brazil are expected to reach next year," Bonaglia said.Latest OECD economic outlook expected a return to growth in Brazil and Russia. Meanwhile, China and India are projected to expand their GDP by more than 6 per cent.He said India is the only Brics country that has not experienced a slowdown in the past few years, with a growth rate of around 8 per cent in 2015 and 7.7 per cent projected for 2018.Brazil and Russia are poised for economic recovery, Bonaglia said.The Brazilian economy contracted 4 per cent in 2015 and 3.6 per cent in 2016. "The good news is that (it) is expected to return to a positive growth in 2017 and reach a growth rate between 1.5 and 1.6 per cent in 2018," he estimated.Russia, which has experienced "a very complicated situation", will be able to shake off recession in 2017 and reach a growth rate around 1.4 per cent, he said.However, the outlook for South Africa remains clouded, said the expert, who put the country's growth rate for 2017-2018 at 1 per cent.Bonaglia told Xinhua that Brics economies play a very important role by injecting dynamism into the world economy."In 2000, the Brics represented 40 per cent of the GDP. In 2010, they represented over 50 per cent and in 2015 they reached 54.7 per cent of world GDP," he recalled.However, despite this strong progress, the Brics face challenges in terms of productivity growth and innovation, the OECD expert noted.

  • Person criticising you, cares the most: Big B

    09.07.2017 | Megastar Amitabh Bachchan believes that criticism and caring go hand in hand."When someone criticises you, you must understand that he is the one person that cares for you the most -- you must honour and celebrate him. These words are not mine, though I do sincerely admire and respect them. These words are some of the expressions picked up from my most learned and efficient...," the 74-year-old posted on his blog on Sunday. Amitabh, who was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan in 2015, has been in the Hindi film industry for over four decades. He opined that traits like valour, knowledge and maturity come with time."Valour, knowledge and maturity are elements of human nature that take generations to be imbibed. To find them among my extended family is the highest regard I shall ever have for them. Thank you all that live and harbour such sentiment," he posted.On the work front, Amitabh is busy working on "Thugs of Hindostan" and "102 Not Out".

  • Diane Kruger to star in Robert Zemeckis' next

    18.06.2017 | Actress Diane Kruger is set to star in filmmaker Robert Zemeckis' upcoming movie, which is yet to be named.Kruger will feature alongside "The Other Women" star Janelle Monae, "George of the Jungle" star Leslie Mann and actor Steve Carell, who featured in film "Despicable Me", The movie will explore the life of a man who is recovering from an assault and takes to his garden to build a miniature World War II village to help him overcome the horrific ordeal.Kruger will talk on the role of the Belgian witch of Marwencol named Deja Thoris, who resides in the world of fictional village. 

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  • Blue Economy is a catalyst in India’s progress: Nitin Gadkari
    Blue Economy is a catalyst in India’s progress: Nitin Gadkari

    09.11.2017 |The Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari reviewed the work of all ports in Goa this week. He interacted with stakeholders including PPP operators, port users and other private sector service providers. In his address Shri Gadkari said that as per the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Blue Economy is proving to be a catalyst in India’s progress and the performance of ports is a clear pointer towards the same.The review meeting was aimed at serving the industry needs in a better way, identifying issues holding up new projects and understanding ways to improve efficiency. The meeting provided a platform to all officials and stakeholders to communicate with each other and with the Ministry of Shipping, breaking the conventional tight silo – bound approach and expediting decision making processes. Promoting coastal shipping and improving port infrastructure are high up on the Ministry’s agenda. The Minister recently flagged off consignments of trucks to Bangladesh from Chennai and Steel from Vizag.The major ports in India have recorded a growth of 3.27% during the period April to September, 2017 and together handled 383 Million Tonnes of cargo as against 371 Million Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of previous year.The Eight Ports i.e. Kolkata, Paradip, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai, JNPT and Kandla registered positive growth in traffic during the period April to October, 2017.Cargo traffic handled at Major Ports:The highest growth was registered by Cochin Port (17.66%), followed by Kolkata [incl. Haldia], New Mangalore, Paradip with growth of about 12%. The Cochin Port growth was mainly due to increase in traffic of POL (24.56%) and Containers (11.12%). In Kolkata Port, overall growth was positive i.e. 12.39%. Kolkata Dock System (KDS) registered traffic growth of 3.80%. Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) registered positive growth of 16.66%.During the period April to September 2017, Kandla Port handled the highest volume of traffic i.e. 63.13 Million tonnes (16.49% share), followed by Paradip with 55.78 Million Tonnes (14.57% share), JNPT with 37.90 Million Tonnes (9.90% share), Mumbai with 36.72 Million Tonnes (9.59% share), and Visakhapatnam with 35.74 Million Tonnes (9.33% share). Together, these five ports handled around 60% of Major Port Traffic.Commodity wise Share % in Traffic in October 2017Commodity-wise percentage share of POL was maximum i.e. 34.07%, followed by Container (20.01%), Thermal & Steam Coal (12.81%), Other Misc. Cargo (12.24%), Coking & Other Coal (7.57%), Iron Ore & Pellets (6.61%), Other Liquid (4.30%), Finished Fertilizer (1.29%) and FRM (1.10%).

  • Brics nations play key role in global economy: OECD
    Brics nations play key role in global economy: OECD

    01.08.2017 |The Brics countries will continue to play a key role in the global economy although they reported slower growth in recent years, said an expert with the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).Federico Bonaglia, deputy director of OECD Development Centre, told  that slowdown in the growth of the Brics economies will not have a significant impact on their joint share in the world economy."China and India continue to maintain a very sustained growth, a situation that both Russia and Brazil are expected to reach next year," Bonaglia said.Latest OECD economic outlook expected a return to growth in Brazil and Russia. Meanwhile, China and India are projected to expand their GDP by more than 6 per cent.He said India is the only Brics country that has not experienced a slowdown in the past few years, with a growth rate of around 8 per cent in 2015 and 7.7 per cent projected for 2018.Brazil and Russia are poised for economic recovery, Bonaglia said.The Brazilian economy contracted 4 per cent in 2015 and 3.6 per cent in 2016. "The good news is that (it) is expected to return to a positive growth in 2017 and reach a growth rate between 1.5 and 1.6 per cent in 2018," he estimated.Russia, which has experienced "a very complicated situation", will be able to shake off recession in 2017 and reach a growth rate around 1.4 per cent, he said.However, the outlook for South Africa remains clouded, said the expert, who put the country's growth rate for 2017-2018 at 1 per cent.Bonaglia told Xinhua that Brics economies play a very important role by injecting dynamism into the world economy."In 2000, the Brics represented 40 per cent of the GDP. In 2010, they represented over 50 per cent and in 2015 they reached 54.7 per cent of world GDP," he recalled.However, despite this strong progress, the Brics face challenges in terms of productivity growth and innovation, the OECD expert noted.

  • Person criticising you, cares the most: Big B
    Person criticising you, cares the most: Big B

    09.07.2017 |Megastar Amitabh Bachchan believes that criticism and caring go hand in hand."When someone criticises you, you must understand that he is the one person that cares for you the most -- you must honour and celebrate him. These words are not mine, though I do sincerely admire and respect them. These words are some of the expressions picked up from my most learned and efficient...," the 74-year-old posted on his blog on Sunday. Amitabh, who was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan in 2015, has been in the Hindi film industry for over four decades. He opined that traits like valour, knowledge and maturity come with time."Valour, knowledge and maturity are elements of human nature that take generations to be imbibed. To find them among my extended family is the highest regard I shall ever have for them. Thank you all that live and harbour such sentiment," he posted.On the work front, Amitabh is busy working on "Thugs of Hindostan" and "102 Not Out".

  • Diane Kruger to star in Robert Zemeckis' next
    Diane Kruger to star in Robert Zemeckis' next

    18.06.2017 |Actress Diane Kruger is set to star in filmmaker Robert Zemeckis' upcoming movie, which is yet to be named.Kruger will feature alongside "The Other Women" star Janelle Monae, "George of the Jungle" star Leslie Mann and actor Steve Carell, who featured in film "Despicable Me", The movie will explore the life of a man who is recovering from an assault and takes to his garden to build a miniature World War II village to help him overcome the horrific ordeal.Kruger will talk on the role of the Belgian witch of Marwencol named Deja Thoris, who resides in the world of fictional village. 

  • Arvind Subramainan to conduct course on Indian economy
    Arvind Subramainan to conduct course on Indian economy

    11.06.2017 |The Finance Ministry on Sunday launched a seven-day course on Indian economics designed by Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Delhi here.The course -- Contemporary Themes in India's Economic Development and Economic Survey -- aims to update and educate faculty and students alike on the changes in the economy over a period of time. It would conclude on June 17.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar jointly opened the course at the IIT-Delhi. "I am glad that Arvind Subramanian donned his robe back of academic (for the course) and has created the architecture of the course that will benefit all. It will be a great help to the teachers and students," Jaitley said on the occasion.The classes would be conducted between noon and 5.30 p.m. by Subramanian.History of Indian and global economics, fiscal policy and Goods and Services Tax (GST), are two of the many topics which would be taught to the students.

  • Vivek looking to do powerful, intense love story
    Vivek looking to do powerful, intense love story

    01.06.2017 | He gave serious love goals to women when he portrayed Aditya in the 2002 film "Saathiya". Actor Vivek Anand Oberoi, who is now mostly seen in actioners and comedy movies, says he is looking for intense love stories.Has the romantic genre taken a back seat for Vivek?"No, it hasn't. I am actually looking to do powerful and beautiful romance," Vivek told  over phone from Mumbai. The 40-year-old says he is looking for "something age appropriate" in the romantic genre. "I'm seriously looking for a good love story that is kind and of my age. Something which is more age appropriate that I can play with a little more maturity. Something honest, real, intense and powerful love story. I'd love to do that," he added. Vivek is currently busy promoting his forthcoming film "Bank Chor", directed by Bumpy. The film also stars Riteish Deshmukh. 

  • Aamir prepping for 'big action sequence' in 'Thugs...'
    Aamir prepping for 'big action sequence' in 'Thugs...'

    31.05.2017 | Superstar Aamir Khan says the first sequence of the "very exciting" film "Thugs of Hindostan" is a big action one for which preparations are going on in Malta."'Thugs...' is a very exciting project. The first sequence is a big action sequence. Right now, prep is going for that," Aamir told  over phone from Malta, a European island nation in the Mediterranean.The Yash Raj Films' project, which promises to have action on sea and a dose of history, brings together megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir for the first time."I am most excited to work with Amitabh Bachchan for the first time. It is a dream come true. I've always been his huge fan. It will be a great memorable moment for me to share screen space with him," said Aamir.The film, which also stars Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh, will go on floors on June 5 on specially-built ships.The shooting will begin aboard two massive specially-constructed ships -- built over two months -- that are currently docked in a Maltese sea port. Writer-director Vijay Krishna Acharya said in a statement: "The set of the film is in a high security water zone, with restricted access. Both these ships have been built in the early 18th century style, when vessels would carry cannons and other weapons.""An international crew has been hard at work creating these elaborate ships in Malta. Most of the portions to be filmed on board these ships involve high octane action."

  • Paris Jackson mistaken as homeless
    Paris Jackson mistaken as homeless

    27.05.2017 |Late King of Pop Michael Jackson's daughter Paris was referred to as a "homeless person" ahead of a photo shoot here.The model shared the experience on Twitter."One of the first people on set, sitting in the parking lot and this dude comes up to me and says, 'Homeless people aren't allowed in this area'," Paris wrote on Twitter, She didn't open up about what happened after the incident and instead retweeted musician Nahko's reply to her, which read: "You're home free, not homeless."Paris has signed a contract with IMG Models, and she also made her acting debut by guest starring on Fox's "Star".

  • 'Hunter's Prayer' to release in India on June 16
    'Hunter's Prayer' to release in India on June 16

    22.05.2017 |Sam Worthington starrer "Hunter's Prayer", based on a novel by Kevin Wignall, will hit the Indian theatres on June 16.Worthington, who is also producing the modern action thriller, will be seen as an assassin in "Hunter's Prayer". "In my opinion the best thrillers are the ones where the audience is thinking, no matter what the character does,'Yeah I could do that, in that situation, I'd do that'. They seem to be doing the smartest thing every step of the way," director Jonathan Mostow said in a statement.Talking about the film, Worthington said: "Action movies are normally stand there, blow shit up, shoot the gun, run. It's never about would you really want to pull your gun out at this point? What's the emotional state you're in? I've never experienced that in any action movie I've done."When all the bombs and the bells and whistles are going off, what's going on in these two people's hearts?"The film also features Allen Leech, Amy Landecker, Martin Compston and Verónica Echegui as part of the cast. It is written by John Brancato, Michael Ferris, Paul Leyden and Oren Moverman.

  • Indian economy to improve in Q1, funds' cost may rise: CII-IBA
    Indian economy to improve in Q1, funds' cost may rise: CII-IBA

    22.05.2017 |The Indian economy is poised to experience improvement in overall conditions during the ongoing first quarter owing to better external financial linkages, and growth in both funds available as well as domestic economic activity, industry chamber CII said on Sunday citing its survey."The CII-IBA Financial Conditions Index at 56.9 for Q1 (April-June) FY 2017-18 reflects positive outlook in the overall financial condition in the Indian economy as compared to the previous quarter (48) owing to the expectation of improvement in the overall financial conditions in the economy on account of growth of External Financial Linkages, Funding Liquidity Index and Economic Activity Index," a statement here said. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Indian Banks Association (IBA) joint survey of 31 banks and financial institutions, however, also anticipates the cost of funds to rise due to tightening of liquidity in the near future."The Cost of Funds Index with a standing at 40.3 witnessed deterioration from 66 in the previous quarter. Majority of the respondents expected increase in the interest rate," CII said. "The improvement of Financial Conditions Index projects overall optimism in the Indian financial sector on the back of increase in consumption, infrastructure spending amplified by slew of landmark reforms as evidenced by roll out of GST and formulation of the stressed loans resolution package through an ordinance by amending the Banking Regulation Act," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.The Reserve Bank of India has recently been empowered to issue directions to commercial banks to initiate insolvency proceedings for recovering bad loans. The non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, of state-run banks at the end of last September rose to Rs 6.3 lakh crore (almost $100 billion), as compared to Rs 5.5 lakh crore at the end of June 2016.The 31 major banks and financial institutions surveyed have combined total assets of more than Rs 60 lakh crore.The industry body's survey said the marginal cost of funds lending rates (MCLR) have seen minimal reduction across banks even though there is surplus liquidity in the market and rate cuts on deposits.The external financial linkages index was recorded at 59.3, the second highest value among the sub-indices, registering significant improvement from the previous quarter (35.3), that shows the Indian financial sector remained "unperturbed" from the effects of the US Federal Reserve's latest interest rate hike, CII said.The funding liquidity index was recorded at 72.2, third highest value among the sub-indices, recording improvement from the previous quarter (59.3), it added. The number is significantly higher than the 50 mark, signalling a strong expectation of improvement in the funding liquidity in the Indian financial system. "Funding liquidity index has shown the maximum upward movement indicating the liquidity position would be comfortable and banks are in a position to meet the credit demands of the productive and needy sectors," Indian Banks Association Chairman Rajeev Rishi said in the statement. 

  • China's retail sales up 10.7% in April
    China's retail sales up 10.7% in April

    15.05.2017 |China's retail sales, a key indicator of consumption, grew 10.7 per cent year on year in April, 0.2 percentage points slower than the March level, official data showed on Monday.Total retail sales of consumer goods hit 2.73 trillion yuan ($395.4 billion) last month, cited the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as saying. It increased 0.79 per cent month on month.In the first four months, total retail sales of consumer goods rose 10.2 per cent year on year, 0.2 percentage points faster than the growth in the first quarter, according to Xing Zhihong, a spokesperson with the NBS.Consumption activities were relatively stronger in rural areas, with retail sales expanding 12.6 per cent in April, outpacing urban areas, where retail sales climbed 10.4 per cent year on year.Online spending was robust. From January to April, online retail sales surged 32 per cent year on year to 1.92 trillion yuan.Xing said the April figure indicates continued expansion of domestic consumer demand, which was partly driven by consumption upgrades and new business patterns such as online sales.China is trying to shift its economy toward a growth model driven by consumer spending, innovation and services, while weaning it off reliance on exports and investment.China's economy expanded at a 6.9 per cent pace in the first quarter, accelerating from 6.8 per cent in the previous quarter, and 77.2 per cent of it was driven by consumption, 12.6 percentage points higher than the 2016 level.

  • Great potential for India Inc. to develop blue economy linkages: Ficci
    Great potential for India Inc. to develop blue economy linkages: Ficci

    11.05.2017 |The Indian industry has great potential to develop 'blue economy' linkages with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) members, a Ficci study said on Thursday."The study highlights the need for a balanced approach, combining imperatives for growth and sustainability. It stresses the value of public-private partnership for generating additional investment and deploying technology for optimal development of blue economic opportunities for India Inc and its international partners," Ficci said in a statement.Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policy initiative on blue economy in the form of 'SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region), Ficci presented its latest publication -- Blue Economy - Vision 2025 -- at the 2nd IORA Ministerial Conference underway here.Blue economy refers to the use of the sea and its resources for sustainable economic development.The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has established a task force on blue economy for a detailed study to develop a business model based on it. Ficci President Pankaj P. Patel said it is a master document "that synthesises the knowledge and insights of academia and policy community with the perspective of Indian industry". Referring to the study during his address at the ministerial conference, Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar said: "We are happy that the task force on blue economy set up by Ficci has submitted its report, which is not just India-specific but significant for all member-states."

  • 'Blue economy needs to be measured to tap its potential'
    'Blue economy needs to be measured to tap its potential'

    26.04.2017 |An integrated and holistic approach to measure the blue economy of each nation is required to gain access to the untapped potential of this sector, a US researcher has said.Charles Colgan, from National Ocean Economics Programme (NCEP), US, in a talk here on Tuesday evening said there were five different dimensions to this, namely, customers, capital, management, innovation and measurement. He was speaking on the subject 'Blue Economy Framework for Sustainable Development and Economic Prosperity', organised by Research and Information System For Developing Countries (RIS) jointly with the Ministry of Earth Sciences at the India Habitat Centre.In his presentation, titled ‘A Practical Guide to the Blue Economy', Colgan highlighted the crucial issue concerning the accounting of blue economy. He said data collection is a "cooperative between day to day managers and researchers", as a result of which policy formulation for promoting blue economy and exploring cooperation at the regional levels becomes difficult.He said understanding and analysing the Net Ocean Product as a "measure of sustainability" is very much needed to study the size and sectoral differences in Blue Economy among countries. It would require convergence and cooperation of technology among different countries to optimise the Blue Economy. Colgan said that "a break from organisational and integrational silos" is needed to accept and adapt the dynamic nature of the blue economy paradigm. The lecture was held prior to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) summit which will take place on May 10-12 in Jakarta.Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated the "Blue Economy Imperative" during his visits to the Seychelles and Mauritius in March 2015. Through this, Blue Economy holds the mandate of integrating the twin objectives of growth and sustainability for fostering development with countries in the realm of Ocean development.

  • Chinese banks face profitability pressure: Moody's
    Chinese banks face profitability pressure: Moody's

    24.04.2017 |Chinese listed banks were confronted with profitability pressure from the country's slowing economic growth, despite the absence of any significant deterioration in asset performance, said Moody's Investors Service."At the same time, the banks' capitalisation and liquidity positions remained stable overall, but weakened among the smaller entities due to their faster rate of asset growth," The 11 state-owned and joint-stock commercial banks including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China reported average loan growth of 12 per cent in 2016, faster than the 10 per cent in 2015, while the national joint-stock commercial banks continued to grow their loans faster than the major state-owned peers.The reported asset performance for these 11 banks remained largely stable last year, it said."The banks' stable reported asset performance came despite our view that current asset risks remain biased to the downside because of rising corporate leverage and strong mortgage growth amid rapid house price appreciation," Moody's said.Profitability remained under pressure throughout the year, as reflected in a continued decline in the banks' return on average assets (RoA), due to factors including a further narrowing in net interest margins, with the RoA for the 11 banks dropping to 1.05 per cent in 2016 from 1.15 per cent a year ago, it said.The Chinese economy expanded 6.7 per cent in 2016, its slowest growth in a quarter of a century.

  • Passage of GST Bills a milestone in economic history: FinMin
    Passage of GST Bills a milestone in economic history: FinMin

    30.03.2017 |Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other officials hailed the passage of four Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills in the Lok Sabha as a milestone in economic history of the country, congratulating the Council members for their efforts."I congratulate everyone on the passage of GST Laws by Lok Sabha. It is a landmark tax reform since independence. A historic day for all of us. Congratulations to every trader, producer and consumer of goods and services in the country on the passage of historic GST Laws," Jaitley said here in a tweet.The four GST Bills - Central Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Integrated GST Bill, Compensation GST Bill and Union Territory GST Bill 2017 - were passed in the Lower House on Wednesday - clearing the decks for the roll-out of the new indirect tax regime from July 1."Historic occasion in Lok Sabha. Four GST bills passed. Fortunate to witness this transformative moment," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das tweeted."The hard work put in by GST Council members and officers bore fruits today in terms of four classic pieces of legislation passed by Lok Sabha. My compliments to all those who worked hard in the last 10 years to arrive at this historic milestone in economic history of this country," Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said in a tweet.

  • China's economy ranked strongest: Report
    China's economy ranked strongest: Report

    23.03.2017 |China's economy has been ranked the top performing in terms of overall strength and vitality in a report released at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.The Asia Competitiveness Annual Report 2017 acknowledged that China maintained a growth rate of 6.7 per cent last year while contributing 30 per cent to the world economic growth, In terms of overall competitiveness, China ranked ninth out of all Asian economies in 2016, for the fourth consecutive year.The report noted China's increased investment in scientific fields and allocation of national financial education expenditure equivalent to over 4 per cent of the total GDP as it aims to be an innovation-driven economy.As a result, China ranked number one in terms of the number of international patent applications for five consecutive years and witnessed a stable growth in terms of applications per capita.The report also pointed out that China still needs to improve its social development level with the accelerated advancement of its urbanisation process.

  • Cruise spent a year training for a sequence in 'Mission: Impossible 6'
    Cruise spent a year training for a sequence in 'Mission: Impossible 6'

    21.03.2017 | Actor Tom Cruise spent a year training for a sequence in the upcoming action spy thriller film "Mission: Impossible 6", says producer David Ellison.Ellison said it was "the most impressive" thing Cruise had done in the movie franchise, "What Tom is doing in this movie I believe will top anything that's come before," Ellison told news portal Collider. "It is absolutely unbelievable - he's been training for a year. It is going to be, I believe, the most impressive and unbelievable thing that Tom Cruise has done in a movie, and he has been working on it since right after 'Rogue Nation' came out. It's gonna be mind-blowing," he added. Explaining the reason behind Cruise's willingness to undergo the extensive training and many practical stunts by himself, Ellison said: "It all comes from the best place. It is all about entertaining an audience".The filming of "Mission: Impossible 6" will begin on April 10 in Paris, London and New Zealand. "Mission: Impossible 6" is set to release on July 27, 2018. 

  • Snapdeal appoints Jason Kothari as the FreeCharge CEO
    Snapdeal appoints Jason Kothari as the FreeCharge CEO

    21.03.2017 |E-commerce major Snapdeal on Monday announced the appointment of Jason Kothari as the CEO of its digital payments platform FreeCharge."In addition to taking on the role of the CEO, Jason will continue his key leadership role as Chief Strategy and Investment Officer at Snapdeal. He will also join the Board of Directors of FreeCharge," a company statement said here."We remain committed to the success and vision of FreeCharge. Jason is a strong, strategic and versatile business leader and entrepreneur who has already been the CEO of two successful companies," said Kunal Bahl, Co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal.Kothari was CEO of Softbank-backed online real estate company Housing.com and character-based entertainment company Valiant Entertainment."The digital payments space in India is forecasted to be over $1 trillion by 2025. I'm excited to join the talented team at FreeCharge at such a high-growth and dynamic time in the industry and expect FreeCharge to continue to play a key role in this digital payments revolution," Kothari said.

  • Gandhian model may address weak economy issues: President
    Gandhian model may address weak economy issues: President

    04.03.2017 |President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said the Gandhian model of innovation-based enterprises was possibly a solution to address issues arising out of a weak global economy."The global economy continued to remain weak and industrial growth has become more jobless in nature, even in emerging economies. In such a scenario, the Gandhian model of decentralised, distributed and diversified innovation-based enterprises is perhaps the best way forward to solve the problems," Mukherjee said, after inaugurating the week-long innovation exhibition at Rashtrapati Bhavan.He added that Mahatma Gandhi had always wanted to blend modern science and technology with community knowledge and institutions."His message has become extremely relevant in today's context," he said.The President added that there was a need that all public and private systems around grassroots innovations become empathetic enablers to further enrich the eco-system around inclusive innovations.And we need to do it, not just for India, but for the whole world. The emergence of an inclusive innovation eco-system uniquely suited to India requires several more steps than what has already been taken by the government and civil society," he said.The President also said that the nation must help children to let them discover the fascination of creating something new.Mukherjee said that India is poised to take the fruits of development through initiatives such as "Start-up India", "Digital India" and "Swachh Bharat".Later, Mukherjee met the innovation scholars, artists and writers, who are staying in Rashtrapati Bhavan as part of an in-house programme.

  • Quality of fiscal deficit matters: Jaitley
    Quality of fiscal deficit matters: Jaitley

    09.02.2017 |Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said not only was it important to meet the fiscal deficit target but also to maintain its quality so that the economy's growth is not affected."What matters is not only fiscal deficit, but also the quality of fiscal deficit. You can contain it by earning more and cutting down on expenditure. But cutting expenditure is a fallout for the economy because the growth goes down," Jaitley said in the Lok Sabha. "The quality of fiscal deficit is better when we have maximum possible public expenditure, while maintaining fiscal consolidation. And also have resources come in from wherever possible like foreign direct investment (FDI)," he added. "In Budget 2017-18, I have maintained the path of fiscal consolidation without compromising on expenditure. No tax refunds have been held, but I have not cut any expenditure at the same time," Jaitley had said earlier.He pointed out that in this regard, both for the current and last fiscals, the revised Estimates of Expenditure have come in higher than the Budget Estimates.In a move to support higher government spendings in the coming fiscal, Jaitley has pegged the fiscal deficit target at 3.2 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product in his Budget 2017-18 presented in Parliament on February 1.The figure is higher than the earlier targeted figure of 3 per cent of the GDP for 2017-18. The fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal is 3.5 per cent, and 3 per cent for 2018-19.On the festering issue of non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of public-sector banks, Jaitley on Thursday said these are substantially a result of overmanagement of banks."NPAs are a result of loans given during 2007-09. NPAs are partially because of the slowdown but substantially because of overmanagement of the banking system," he said in the Lok Sabha.The banks' capacity to lend and bring interest rates down has increased as an outcome of demonetisation, he added.

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