NIIF in talks with 3-4 investors, may finalise pacts by March: Shaktikanta Das

The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is talking to 3-4 global investors and is likely to finalise agreements for funding projects by March-end, a top government official said as per the PTI report. "Discussions are in very advanced stage with a few investors. That is what NIIF informed us," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das told PTI in an interview.

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P. Chidambaram asks FM Jaitley to cut indirect taxes immediately

Former finance minister P Chidambaram, who feels the Union Budget for 2017-18 is "aimless and directionless", has said that the government should immediately cut indirect taxes across the board to revive the sagging economy.

Demonetisation, he said, damaged India's GDP growth in 2016-17. Further, he fears that its shadow will fall on 2017-18 and some parts of 2018-19.

Expected RBI to cut interest rates: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that he expected the RBI to cut interest rate but respect its decision to hold status quo. Commenting on the issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the media, "All finance ministers have a perpetual desire (of lower rate) but at the end of the day we all respect the decision that the RBI takes."

"One of the board members did ask

IIP growth to see a rise in January 2017: Kotak

A report has said that Industrial activity in the country, is expected to see an uptick in January as the overall economic scenario has improved since December. As per reports, Industrial production contracted to a four-month low of 0.4 per cent in December, largely due to decline in production of capital goods and consumer goods.

Commenting on the issue, Kotak Institutional Equities

Government to make ration shops under PDS Aadhaar-enabled: Minister

The Indian Government has said that it is planning to make all ration shops under the public distribution system in the country Aadhaar-enabled by June 30 this year. Commenting on the issue, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the media, "We will make all 5.58 lakh ration shops Aadhar-enabled by June 30. We are in discussion with Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry for this.

Our

UBI scheme should have cut off income limit: Kaushik Basu

Former Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu has said that the Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme, mooted in the government's Economic Survey this year, should have a cut off income limit and those above it should be encouraged to give up the scheme up voluntarily. Commenting on the issue, former Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu told the media, "The Universal Basic Income scheme shou

Lots need to be done to boost exports: Minister

The Indian Government has said that Indian businesses are facing multiple challenges in overseas markets due to the globally competitive environment and a lot needs to be done to boost the country's shipments. Commenting on the issue, Union Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Anant Geete told the media, `"We need to do a lot in the direction of increasing exports. In this

Government provides Rs 2,845 cr aid for ERM projects: Reports

The Indian Government has said that the central assistance worth over Rs 2,845 crore has been released for various Extension, Renovation and Modernisation (ERM) irrigation projects under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) till December 2016.

Commenting on the issue, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti told the media, "42 approved ERM projects have been included

Government aims merger of commodity boards to improve prod, export

To improve production and exports of plantation crops like tea, coffee and spices, the Commerce Ministry is planning the merger of the commodity boards and to form one specialized body with different verticals, as per the media reports.

These 5 commodity boards are responsible for production, development and export of tea, coffee, rubber, spices and tobacco. Commenting on the developm

Diff tax in GST good for beverages sec, says Coca-Cola India

Atlanta-headquartered Coca-Cola India said that it will be beneficial for the beverages sector if government differentiates products within new indirect tax regime based on sugar/calorie content to promote public health, as per the media reports.

The beverages giant said that differentiated tax structure will be an opportunity for it to expand its products range in India, said the PTI

Fuel, cooking gas to be airlifted to Manipur

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday announced that the Centre will soon airlift fuel and cooking gas for the people who have been facing hard times under an economic blockade since November 1 last year.

The United Naga Council (UNC) has imposed an indefinite blockade in protest against the state government's plan to create seven new districts which, it

Rs 5 lakh crore worth of orders signed for roads, ports: Gadkari

 The government's road and highway building programme has enough cash to build the crucial infrastructure, Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.

"We have signed contracts worth Rs 5 lakh crore for infrastructure, roads, ports. It is a remarkable contribution from our investors. We do not have any problem, we are receiving public, private investment

I-T department gives 5 more days to 18 lakh assessees

The income tax department on Saturday said it has extended the time limit for the 18 lakh taxpayers, who have been asked to explain the large deposits made post-demonetisation, to respond till February 15.

"Time limit for filing of online response to cash deposit data extended. Now you can file your details by February 15, 2017 - Operation Clean Money," the I-T department sa

SEBI evolving as per the economy's needs: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday credited securities markets' regulator SEBI for being a professional organisation which has been evolving as per the needs of the economy and the markets.

Jaitley's comments on the evolution of SEBI's role came after he addressed its board at a post-Budget meet.

"SEBI is a professional organisation with considerable

RBI to declare 'verified' figure on post-demonetisation deposits

The Reserve Bank of India on Saturday said it needs to be careful on divulging the post-demonetisation deposit amount as the figure needs to be verified first and should not be just an estimate.

"The number that we should now divulge should be a verified number and congruent with the complex accounting," Governor Urjit Patel said here post the RBI Board meet with Finance Min

Himachal rail line gets mere Rs 1 crore provision in rail budget

The central government has made a provision of only Rs 1 crore for constructing the Una-Hamirpur rail line in Himachal Pradesh in the 2017-18 Budget, an official said on Friday.

"The Railway Ministry has approved construction of Una-Hamirpur railway line. For this, a token provision of Rs 1 crore has been made for the project that will cost Rs 2,850 crore," a government spok

Direct tax collection up 10.79%, indirect tax up 23.9% in April-January

Direct tax collection was up by 10.79 per cent to Rs 5.82 lakh crore while indirect tax collection jumped by 23.9 per cent to Rs 7.03 lakh crore during the April-January period of the current fiscal, an official said on Friday.

"The figures for direct tax collections up to January, 2017 show that net collections are at Rs 5.82 lakh crore which is 10.79 per cent more than the net

BHIM app registration crossed 140 lakh: Ravi Shankar Prasad

 The recently launched Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app has seen more than 140 lakh registration, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Friday.

"The recently launched BHIM app by the government of India will unleash the power of mobile phones for digital payments and financial inclusion. So far, over 140 lakh people have adopted the BHIM app," Prasad said.

India's December factory output falls post-note ban

A month after the government went in for demonetisation, India's factory output contracted by (-)0.4 per cent during December, official data showed on Friday.

The factory output, as per the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had risen by 5.7 per cent in November 2016. Earlier, it encountered a (-)0.9 per cent slide in the corresponding month of the previous year.

As p

Fake currency smuggling halted post note ban: FinMin to PAC

Finance Ministry informed a Parliamentary Committee that smuggling of fake currency has totally stopped post demonetisation and the tax department has seized Rs 515 crore in cash, including Rs 114 crore of new currency notes, up to January 10, reported PTI.

According to the media reports, in its response to the Public Accounts Committee over queries on demonetisation, the Finance Mini

Centre appoints 3 directors to RBI local boards

The central government has appointed three members on the local boards of the Reserve Bank of India, the apex bank announced on Friday.

"The central government has appointed Prasnna Kumar Mohanty, Vallabh Roopchand Bhansali and Sunil Mitra as members on the Southern, Western and Eastern Local Area Boards of Reserve Bank of India, respectively, for a period of four years with effe

RBI's next rate cut in Aug, prospect hinges on monsoon: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Reserve Bank may finally go for a 25 basis points rate cut in August if a good monsoon contains core inflation at a moderate 4-5 per cent, says a Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) report. BofAML had expected a 25 bps rate cut in the February 8 policy meet taking into account the demonetisation shock, low inflation, lower fiscal deficit and a stabilising US dollar.

"We have p

GST to reduce disparities among state: CEA

Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian has said that implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) will reduce disparities among the states leading to more "convergence". Commenting on the issue, Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian told the media, "It is true that people have not fully understood GST.

Under GST regime, no state can offer incent

Government appoints 3 non-official directors on RBI central board

Government has appointed three part-time non-official directors on the all powerful Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India for a four-year term. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Ashok Gulati, Manish Sabharwal and Rajiv Kumar as part-time non-official directors on the Central Board. Stating this, the Department of Personnel and Training said the appointments are

Protectionist tendencies will shrink GDP: Finance Minister

With protectionist trend emerging in developed economies, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley warned that economies will become more inefficient and GDP will shrink if such a move were to impact trade and movement of goods and people, reported PTI. He said demonetisation has forced "extraordinary large" amount of cash into the banking system which will not just increase ability of banks to