Increased customs duty a statutory industry-wise hike: Apple

 The government's decision to hike the customs duty from 10 per cent to 15 per cent for mobile handsets is a statutory industry-wise hike, Apple India said on Saturday.

"There is no comment on this as it's a statutory industry-wise duty hike," an Apple official told IANS.

The notification issued by the Department of Revenue under the Finance Ministry s

Shriram Properties to take over stressed TN real estate assets

The Shriram Properties Ltd -- part of the Shriram Group -- is in the process of concluding a deal to take over couple of stressed real estate projects in Tamil Nadu, a top company official said here on Saturday.

He said the company would soon be raising around Rs 1,600 crore ($250 million) from investors to be used in developing residential and commercial properties in Chennai, Bengal

Land most sought asset of Salem Steel Plant: K.Palaniswami

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to advise Union Steel Ministry and the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) not to privatise the Salem Steel Plant, saying its land is the most valuable and sought after asset.

"The Government of Tamil Nadu had acquired about 15.5. square km of land in nine villages four decades ago in the foot hills of

Creating facilities to double farmers income: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday the government has been creating "instrumentalities" like providing agricultural inputs at lower cost and making cheap credit available to farmers so as to double their income.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Forum here, Jaitley said the government is trying to improve infrastructur

Equity indices cheered by exit polls, rise amid volatility

Taking a cue from the exit polls which predicted a BJP win in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, investors engaged in intense buying during the last two sessions of the trading week, which led to an upward rally in the key Indian equity indices.

Although broadly weak global cues, along with rising crude oil prices and poor domestic macro-data, infused volatility in the bourses, a strong ru

Centre has 15 new rail projects for Northeast: Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday the Centre is committed to put all the state capitals of the northeast on the rail map and is executing 15 new projects in the region.

"We are committed to bring all the state capitals of the northeast region on the rail map. The government of India is executing 15 new rail line projects of 1,385 km length, at a cost of over Rs 47,000

GST Council nod for mandatory e-Way Bill for inter-state goods movement

For a seamless movement of goods across states, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday decided to go for early implementation of e-Way Bill for inter-state movement of items from February 1 and uniform mandatory compliance from June one next year.

"The rules for implementation of nationwide e-way Bill system for inter-State movement of goods on a compulsory basis wi

Cabinet approves forming `circle office` to monitor safety in railways

The government on Friday approved the creation of one circle office of Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) to carry out the functions of rail safety -- which includes inspecting new railway lines and safety of passengers.

The decision was taken as envisaged in the "Metro Railways (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2002", under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and was ap

Global investors` summit: Assam expects investments from Asean nations

Assam expects investments in Tourism, Information Technology, Agriculture, Food Processing, Energy and Pharmaceutical sectors from across the globe, especially Asean member-nations, in the state's first global investors' summit on February 3-4, 2018.

At a press conference here, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday also announced allocation of Rs 100 crore for impr

HCL conferred award for investments, services in Sweden

Global IT services giant HCL Technologies announced that it has been conferred "The Key to the Heart of Gothenburg" award by Gothenburg City in Sweden for being one of the most important international businesses established in 2016-2017.

The recognition comes after HCL announced significant investments in the region, including the launch of its new delivery centre in central

Britain` Swindon, hub of expat Goans `highly polluted`, says Parrikar

Britain is the most polluted country in Europe and its Swindon town, which has a sizeable population of Goan expats, is also "highly polluted", Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday.

He was speaking during a discussion in the assembly on a private members' resolution moved by former Congress Chief Minister Ravi Naik, seeking action against those responsible

RBI imposes Rs 5 cr penalty on Syndicate Bank

 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Syndicate Bank for non-compliance with its directions on "Cheque Purchase or Discounting, Bill Discounting, and Know Your Customer (KYC)" norms.

According to the RBI, the penalty was imposed on December 12, 2017 after "considering the bank's reply and oral submissions made in the personal h

Railways to discuss structural, cultural reforms

The Indian Railways will hold a conclave on Saturday to discuss structural and cultural reforms and ways to increase its market share and revenue, a Railway Ministry official said on Friday.

The day-long event, titled Sampark-Samanvay-Samvad (connection, coordination and conversation), will also see discussions on changes in processes and ways to increase market share and revenue of t

Tobacco industry trumps as India court cancels stringent health labelling rules

NEW DELHI - An Indian court on Friday quashed federal rules that mandated stringent graphic health warnings on tobacco products, lawyers involved in the case said, in a decision seen as a major victory for the tobacco industry and a setback for health advocates.

India's Supreme Court last year ordered enforcement of the government's 2014 federal rules that req

India`s trade deficit narrows to $13.83 billion in November

NEW DELHI  - India's trade deficit narrowed to $13.83 billion from $14.02 billion in the previous month, government data showed on Friday.  Merchandise exports for November rose 30.55 percent from a year ago to $26.20 billion. 

Goods imports last month were $40.02 billion, a gain of 19.61 percent from a year ago, data from the commerce and industry

Oil prices edge higher on Forties outage, falling stocks

SINGAPORE/LONDON - Oil prices rose on Friday, supported by the continuing outage of the Forties pipeline in the North Sea and falling inventories due to OPEC-led production cuts, but climbing U.S. output kept a lid on gains.

Brent crude futures , the international benchmark for oil prices, were up 29 cents at $63.60 a barrel at 1400 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (

Bitcoin hits new record high as warnings grow louder

LONDON  - Bitcoin blasted to another all-time high of almost $18,000 on the Bitstamp exchange on Friday, up 9 percent on the day, as warnings grew over the risks of investing in the highly volatile and speculative instrument.

The cryptocurrency's staggering recent price rises -- more than 1,700 percent since the start of the year -- have driven worries that t

Government to reimburse MDR charges on small transactions

In a bid to encourage electronic payments, the central government will now reimburse the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) applicable on transactions worth Rs 2,000.

According to the Minister of Electronics, IT and Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, the government will reimburse the MDR on conducted via debit cards, UPI and Adahar-based transactions.

The decision was taken by t

Railways to explore if a Rajdhani train can make round trip daily

The railways will explore if it is possible for a Rajdhani Express train to make a round trip within 24 hours with half-an-hour gaps for inspection at either end, to maximise utilisation of such rakes. This is one of the ideas that will be discussed at a day-long conclave -- 'Sampark, Samanvay evam Samvad' (connection, coordination and conversation) -- here on December 16.

The

Government ignored warnings over GST rollout: sources

MUMBAI  - The Indian government ignored several warnings from private companies that the complex technology required for a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) to work smoothly was not ready for launch, several people who worked on the project said.

Weeks before the July 1 start of India's biggest tax overhaul in decades, the government declared itself rea

Equity indices extend gains, exit polls outcome uplift sentiments

Riding on the exit polls outcome which predicted a BJP win in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, the two key indices of the domestic markets extended gains for the second consecutive session on Friday.

According to market observers, the key equity indices -- which surged to higher levels supported by healthy buying in metals, consumer durables and auto stocks and a stron

`Goa exported 17.64mn tonnes iron ore in two years`

 While 32.29 million tonnes of iron ore was extracted from the 44 operational mining leases in Goa over the last two years, only 17.64 million was exported during the period, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the state legislative assembly on Friday.

Parrikar, who is also the Goa's mines minister, said that leases of several mines were not being operated by their respectiv

India raises import tax on cellphones, move to hurt Apple

NEW DELHI - India has increased the import tax on dozens of electronic products such as mobile phones and television sets, a government statement said, to help curb supplies from overseas and build up the domestic industry.

The rise in tax from 10 percent to 15 percent on handsets will make imports of phones - including most of Apple's iPhone models - more expensi

Most Asian FX restrained by cautious sentiment, rupee rallies

 Most emerging Asian currencies traded in narrow ranges on Friday, restrained by weak equity markets and a lack of fresh catalysts though the Indian rupee rose on signs the country's ruling party could win a key state election.

The Indian rupee climbed nearly half a percent against the dollar, after exit polls showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (

ArcelorMittal extends conversion date for USD 1bn bonds

The world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal today said it has extended conversion date for USD 1 billion mandatory convertible bonds. "ArcelorMittal announces the extension of the conversion date for the USD 1 billion privately placed mandatory convertible bond (MCB) issued on December 28, 2009 by one of its wholly-owned Luxembourg subsidiaries," the steel giant said in a stateme