1. EU Leaders Seal Brexit Deal, Urge Britons to Back PM May
European Union leaders formally agreed a Brexit deal at a Brussels summit on Sunday, 25 November, urging Britons to back Prime Minister Theresa May’s package, which faces furious opposition in the British parliament. The 27 leaders took barely half an hour to rubber-stamp a 600-page treaty setting terms for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union on March 29 and a 26-page declaration outlining a future free trading relationship. May joined them shortly afterwards for what will be a brief meeting to seal the accord.
“This is the deal,” European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters on his way in to the meeting, saying he believed May would get it through parliament and ruling out big new concessions.
2. Govt Wants to Discuss ‘Governance Issues’ with Central Bank
India’s government wants to discuss changes to the Reserve Bank of India’s governance structure at a board meeting next month, including setting up some oversight panels, Economic Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg told ET Now.
Garg, who is a government nominee for the RBI board, told another television channel, CNBC-TV18, that the administration will ask for more interim dividends from the central bank as it seeks to plug gaps in its budget before a General election next year.
The proposals to discuss governance at the RBI’s 14 December board meeting may further inflame tensions between the finance ministry and central bank. The two have been at loggerheads over issues including the transfer of surplus funds, easing of bad-loan rules and providing liquidity to the shadow-banking sector.
3. IL&FS Crisis: 10 Group Firms to Be Up for Sale
Eight to 10 subsidiaries of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) will be up for sale shortly as its state-appointed board of directors explores a turnaround scheme involving the sale of group companies.
The planned sale indicates IL&FS is now going full steam in monetising key group entities, which are not able to service debt as part of the revival strategy. Injeti Srinivas, secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, said the response to the offer for sale of two entities made earlier this month was overwhelming.
“I understand that expressions of interest for another 8-10 companies will be called for shortly. We are well into the process of sale of subsidiaries as going concerns and (we) will ensure maximum possible realisation (of value) and then meet repayment obligations,” Srinivas told reporters.
4. Don’t Need Extra Funds From RBI To Meet Fiscal Deficit Target, Says Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government doesn’t need any extra funds from the Reserve Bank of India or any other institution to meet the fiscal deficit target.
He, however, said the extra funds, which may accrue from the new capital framework of the RBI, can always be used for poverty alleviation programmes over the years by future governments.
“We don’t need any extra funds from any other institution to finance our fiscal deficit. Let’s be very clear that’s not the intention of the government. We are not saying that in the next six months give me some money. I don’t need it,” the minister said in an interview to television channel Times Now.
5. Reliance Jio Makes Inroads In Non-Metro Cities
Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. has been gaining revenue market share in non-metro cities, aided by increasing traction of its 4G-enabled feature phone JioPhone.
Adjusted gross revenue of Reliance Jio, which started a tariff war in the world’s second-biggest telecom market, rose 18 percent in non-metro cities, while growth remained stagnant in the three metro cities—Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata—data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India show.
The trend, however, was reverse for other two private operators— Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd.
6. No Complimentary Lounge Services For JetPrivilege Members Travelling Economy
Cash-starved Jet Airways (India) Ltd. temporarily suspended its complimentary lounge services to JetPrivilege platinum and gold members travelling in economy class, as it battles high operations cost due to increased jet fuel prices and falling rupee.
The revised complimentary lounge access policy, which is not applicable for flights operated by its code share partner carrier, will come into effect from 1 December, the private carrier said in a communication to customers on its website.
“Effective 1 December, we have revised our complimentary lounge access policy for guests travelling in economy. Complimentary lounge access for JetPrivilege platinum and gold members travelling in economy will be temporarily suspended,” it said.
7. Televisions, Home Appliances May Get Costlier From Next Month
Televisions and home appliance are set to become costlier as consumer durable makers are reviewing prices after the festive season sales.
In order to ensure smooth festive season sales, manufacturers had temporarily absorbed impact of higher input costs, following the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the dollar, and increase in customs duty.
Panasonic India is set to increase the prices of its products by up to 7 percent, while some others players have already increased them.
“Over the last few months, the rupee has continually risen which in turn is impacting our inputs costs,” Panasonic India President and Chief Executive Officer Manish Sharma told PTI.
8. IndiGo To Charge For Web Check-In Of All Seats
India’s largest airline IndiGo will now charge for web check-in of all seats as carriers continue to look for ways to make up for higher costs.
The budget carrier, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., said it has revised its policies since 14 November to make all seats selected online chargeable, according to a series to tweets by the airline. That will cost between Rs 100 and Rs 800 depending on the preference.
Earlier, passengers paid extra only for some seats including those along the aisle, window-facing or offering additional legroom if they checked in online. IndiGo will continue to allocate seats without the extra charge to flyers checking in at the airport and those with corporate bookings.
9. I-T Department Sells Cairn Energy's Shares in Vedanta to Recover Tax
Weeks before an international arbitration tribunal rules on retrospective tax levied by India, the income tax (I-T) department has sold almost all of Cairn Energy’s attached shares to recover a part of the Rs 102.47 billion retrospective tax demand, regulatory filings showed.
While India had used a 2012 legislation to tax certain past income of at least half a dozen foreign companies such as Vodafone, Cairn Energy of the UK remains the only company against whom the demand has been enforced and it remains to be seen if an arbitration award against it will be honoured.
(Source: Business Standard)
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