QBiz: UK Court Allows Mallya to Appeal Against Extradition & More

1. Reprieve for Vijay Mallya as UK Court Allows Extradition Appeal

Controversial businessman Vijay Mallya was handed a lifeline by the England and Wales high court on Tuesday when it permitted him to appeal against the 3 February order of Home Secretary Sajid Javid to extradite him to India.

Facing charges of financial offences running into over Rs 9,000 crore, Mallya, who lost in the Westminster Magistrates Court after a year-long trial in December 2018, will now not be immediately extradited but will be able to mount further legal challenges in the high court.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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2. Nirmala Sitharaman Assures Steps Being Taken to Revive Growth

The government will take immediate steps to arrest the slowdown in economic growth and encourage manufacturing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to questions by lawmakers on Tuesday, just days before she presents the Union budget.

Sitharaman’s statement indicates the National Democratic Alliance government is likely to announce measures to boost business confidence and attract private investments that the economy needs to accelerate growth in the budget to be presented on Friday. She may also offer incentives that will encourage job creation, especially in labour-oriented sectors such as textiles and real estate.

(Source: Livemint)

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3. Ola Electric Races to Unicorn Status With $250-Million Fundraise From Softbank

Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd has raised about $250 million from SoftBank Group Corp, thus becoming the second company founded by Bhavish Aggarwal to join the coveted unicorn club of startups valued at more than $1 billion.

Ola Electric raised the funds as part of its Series B round, according to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies.

This investment also merits attention as Aggarwal had earlier opposed SoftBank’s efforts to increase its stake in Ola, the ride-hailing service run by ANI Technologies Ltd.

(Source: Livemint)

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4. Calling E-Cigarettes Drugs, Centre All Set to Ban Them in India

E -cigarettes are set to be banned in India on the grounds that they are “drugs".

Recognising their harmful effects, the health ministry has decided to ban the nicotine inhalers, also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), that are popular among smokers.

A notification to this effect is likely to be issued soon, two health ministry officials aware of the matter said, requesting anonymity.

The proposal to ban the battery-operated products is part of the “first 100 days’ agenda" of the Narendra Modi government.

(Source: Livemint)

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5. ED Summons Chief Rating Officers of ICRA and CARE in IL&Fs Probe

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is keeping an eye on rating agencies, has issued a summons to the chief rating officers of ICRA and CARE Ratings in connection with the money-laundering probe into the activities of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS). The officers have been asked to appear before the agency on Thursday in its Mumbai office.

According to sources, the officers have to explain why IL&FS got the highest level of creditworthiness.

(Source: Business Standard)

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6. Demonetisation Had No Effect on Indian Economy: Nirmala Sitharaman

India still continues to be the fastest growing economy and demonetisation has had no effect on the Indian economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The minister, while responding to supplementaries during the Question Hour, said the manufacturing sector has had a certain fall, but it is not attributable to demonetisation.

She said economic growth is high on the agenda of the Government and various reforms are being undertaken in many spheres to improve GDP growth.

(Source: PTI)

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7. RBI May Get Regulatory Powers Over HFCs; NHB to Be in Charge of Supervision

The government is considering shifting the regulation of housing finance companies (HFCs) from the National Housing Board (NHB) to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), according to sources familiar with the development. The NHB, which has an RBI executive director as its board member, will, however, continue to supervise the HFCs, the sources added.

There are 82 HFCs in India, but more than 90 percent of the housing finance market is controlled by the top five companies.

(Source: Business Standard)

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8. Rural Job Scheme to Pump Rs 15,000 Crore Into 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan'

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) will drive the Jal Shakti Abhiyan in the rural sector, pumping in Rs 15,000 crore in the first phase of the campaign between July and September, said a senior government official.

The flagship rural development scheme has drawn up a detailed plan of over 200,000 works to be taken up for water conservation in nearly 1,100 water-stressed districts. From this month, villages in all the water-stressed areas would also hold a special pani panchayat to identify and find solutions to water problems.

(Source: Business Standard)

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9. PNB, Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, Corporation Bank Fined for Violation of KYC Norms

The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of Rs 1.75 crore on four public-sector banks, including PNB and UCO Bank, for non-compliance with KYC requirement and norms for opening of current accounts. While PNB, Allahabad Bank and UCO Bank have been fined Rs 50 lakh each, a Rs 25-lakh penalty has been imposed on Corporation Bank.

Giving details, the RBI said the penalty has been imposed for non-compliance with certain provisions of directions issued by it on know your customer norms or anti-money laundering standards and opening of current accounts. The action, however, is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the banks with their customers, the RBI added.

(Source: Financial Express)

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