LIVE: Russians agree to extend Putin's rule till 2036, predicts poll

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. File Photo: Shutterstock
Indian Railways would expand its suburban services in Mumbai from today and run 350 trains each in the Central and Western Railway Zones, Minister Piyush Goyal had said on Tuesday. The trains would, however, only carry essential services personnel identified by the state government.

Meanwhile, the European Union plans to open its borders to non-essential travellers, such as tourists and most business people. from a limited number of countries outside the bloc from today. The 27 EU governments agreed on an initial "safe list" of 14 countries, which excludes the United States, Brazil, India, Russia and Turkey.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution by virtual vote today, calling on countries to adopt a halt in hostilities to focus on the Covid-19 virus.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day

1:27 AM IST CBI books GVK Group chairman GVK Reddy, son GV Sanjay Reddy for siphoning off Rs 705 cr from Mumbai International Airport Ltd: Officials — Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) July 1, 2020

1:19 AM IST Australia will be armed with long-range missiles under a 10-year plan to upgrade the capability and potency of the Australian Defence Force, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.   At the Australian Defence Force Academy on Wednesday, Morrison revealed the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, and warned of a "poorer, more dangerous and more disorderly" world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported.   He committed to spending 270 billion Australian dollars (about US $186 billion) over the next decade, which will expand the plans to acquire sophisticated maritime long-range missiles, air-launched strike and anti-ship weapons, as well as additional land-based weapons.

1:14 AM IST Russian voters approved changes to the constitution that will allow President Vladimir Putin to hold power until 2036, but the weeklong plebiscite that concluded Wednesday was tarnished by widespread reports of pressure on voters and other irregularities.   With most of the nation's polls closed and 20 per cent of precincts counted, 72 per cent voted for the constitutional amendments, according to election officials.   For the first time in Russia, polls were kept open for a week to bolster turnout without increasing crowds casting ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic a provision that Kremlin critics denounced as an extra tool to manipulate the outcome.   A massive propaganda campaign and the opposition's failure to mount a coordinated challenge helped Putin get the result he wanted, but the plebiscite could end up eroding his position because of the unconventional methods used to boost participation and the dubious legal basis for the balloting.

1:12 AM IST Shipments to Bangladesh from the Petrapole border were halted for several hours on Wednesday following protests by exporters in the neighbouring country, which demanded that India allow import of their goods.   However, some trucks entered Bangladesh through the Benapole border in the evening following a meeting with stakeholders from both sides, an official said.   "Bangladesh had stopped imports this morning on grounds that exports from that country were not accepted in India. But, the stalemate seems to have ended after the meeting, as 50 trucks from the Indian side crossed the border," Federation of Indian Export Organisations Chairman (East) Sushil Patwari told PTI.

9:00 PM IST Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday as rising hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine reversed premarket losses, overshadowing fears of another round of lockdowns following a record surge in coronavirus cases in the United States. A Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German biotech firm BioNTech showed promise and was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials.   Pfizer's shares jumped 4.1% on the news, while BioNTech gained 3%, helping improve the mood on Wall Street after the United States registered 47,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.   Updates on the progress in various Covid-19 vaccine programs are being closely watched by investors, and have been partly responsible for Wall Street's recent rally. The S&P 500 closed its best quarter since 1998 on Tuesday. READ MORE...  

8:51 PM IST Apple has reportedly stopped updating thousands of mobile games on the China App Store under the pressure from the Chinese government to comply with the law of the land, the media reported on Wednesday. According to a report in The Financial Times, Apple has blocked updates on tens of thousands of revenue-generating iPhone games on its App Store in China, news agency IANS reported.   "Apple has frozen updates for tens of thousands of mobile games on its App Store in China, as it faces increasing government pressure to comply with local regulations," said the report.   China is Apple's biggest App Store market, with sales of $16.4 billion a year, according to data from Sensor Tower. In the US, the figures are $15.4 billion a year. Apple currently hosts roughly 60,000 games in China that are paid for or have in-app purchases.   "Apple told mobile game developers in February that their games would need an official license from Chinese regulators from June 30," said the report.   According to CNBC, China is the world's largest gaming market. According to market research firm Newzoo, iOS may generate 53 per cent of total mobile game revenue in China which is around $13 billion. The App Store generates more revenue in China than it does in any other country, with the majority of it coming from gaming.

8:38 PM IST MGNREGA continues to attract rural labourers pushed into distress due to the Covid-19 crisis triggering calls for increasing the mandatory workdays to 200 and raising the minimum wages under the scheme to Rs 600 per day.   Presently, under MGNREGA, the Law guarantees 100 days of work, though the actual days of work provided is much less, while the minimum wages for 2020-21 is around Rs 200 per day. Data sourced from the MGNREGA website till June 30, shows that in June, around 43.7 million households sought work under the scheme that was the highest in last seven years, maintaining a trend seen in May as well.   This was, 21 per cent more than the number of households who demanded work under the scheme in May 2020. In May 2020, 36.1 million households demanded work, which was highest for that month in last seven years. Interestingly, in contrast the provisional data showed that in June 2020, MGNREGA provided 382.9 million personday of work which was almost 32 per cent less than last month (May 2020). READ MORE...

8:31 PM IST Delhi reports 2442 new #COVID19 cases and 61 deaths today. Total number of cases rise to 89802 including 27007 active cases, 59992 recovered/discharged/migrated cases and 2803 deaths: Delhi Govt pic.twitter.com/4ASzs6xHxM — ANI (@ANI) July 1, 2020

LIVE UPDATES

CBI books GVK Group chairman, son for siphoning off Rs 705 cr from Mumbai airport

Australian PM announces US $186-bln plan to expand military

Australia will be armed with long-range missiles under a 10-year plan to upgrade the capability and potency of the Australian Defence Force, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
 
At the Australian Defence Force Academy on Wednesday, Morrison revealed the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, and warned of a "poorer, more dangerous and more disorderly" world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
He committed to spending 270 billion Australian dollars (about US $186 billion) over the next decade, which will expand the plans to acquire sophisticated maritime long-range missiles, air-launched strike and anti-ship weapons, as well as additional land-based weapons.

Russian voters agree to extend Putin's rule to 2036

Russian voters approved changes to the constitution that will allow President Vladimir Putin to hold power until 2036, but the weeklong plebiscite that concluded Wednesday was tarnished by widespread reports of pressure on voters and other irregularities.
 
With most of the nation's polls closed and 20 per cent of precincts counted, 72 per cent voted for the constitutional amendments, according to election officials.
 
For the first time in Russia, polls were kept open for a week to bolster turnout without increasing crowds casting ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic a provision that Kremlin critics denounced as an extra tool to manipulate the outcome.
 
A massive propaganda campaign and the opposition's failure to mount a coordinated challenge helped Putin get the result he wanted, but the plebiscite could end up eroding his position because of the unconventional methods used to boost participation and the dubious legal basis for the balloting.

Protests threaten exports to Bangladesh from Petrapole border

Shipments to Bangladesh from the Petrapole border were halted for several hours on Wednesday following protests by exporters in the neighbouring country, which demanded that India allow import of their goods.
 
However, some trucks entered Bangladesh through the Benapole border in the evening following a meeting with stakeholders from both sides, an official said.
 
"Bangladesh had stopped imports this morning on grounds that exports from that country were not accepted in India. But, the stalemate seems to have ended after the meeting, as 50 trucks from the Indian side crossed the border," Federation of Indian Export Organisations Chairman (East) Sushil Patwari told PTI.

Wall Street gains on Covid-19 vaccine hopes, improving economic data

Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday as rising hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine reversed premarket losses, overshadowing fears of another round of lockdowns following a record surge in coronavirus cases in the United States. A Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German biotech firm BioNTech showed promise and was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials.
 
Pfizer's shares jumped 4.1% on the news, while BioNTech gained 3%, helping improve the mood on Wall Street after the United States registered 47,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.
 
Updates on the progress in various Covid-19 vaccine programs are being closely watched by investors, and have been partly responsible for Wall Street's recent rally. The S&P 500 closed its best quarter since 1998 on Tuesday. READ MORE...
 

Apple blocks updates on thousands of iPhone games on China App Store

Apple has reportedly stopped updating thousands of mobile games on the China App Store under the pressure from the Chinese government to comply with the law of the land, the media reported on Wednesday. According to a report in The Financial Times, Apple has blocked updates on tens of thousands of revenue-generating iPhone games on its App Store in China, news agency IANS reported.
 
"Apple has frozen updates for tens of thousands of mobile games on its App Store in China, as it faces increasing government pressure to comply with local regulations," said the report.
 
China is Apple's biggest App Store market, with sales of $16.4 billion a year, according to data from Sensor Tower. In the US, the figures are $15.4 billion a year. Apple currently hosts roughly 60,000 games in China that are paid for or have in-app purchases.
 
"Apple told mobile game developers in February that their games would need an official license from Chinese regulators from June 30," said the report.
 
According to CNBC, China is the world's largest gaming market. According to market research firm Newzoo, iOS may generate 53 per cent of total mobile game revenue in China which is around $13 billion. The App Store generates more revenue in China than it does in any other country, with the majority of it coming from gaming.

21% rise in households demanding MGNREGA work in June over May

MGNREGA continues to attract rural labourers pushed into distress due to the Covid-19 crisis triggering calls for increasing the mandatory workdays to 200 and raising the minimum wages under the scheme to Rs 600 per day.
 
Presently, under MGNREGA, the Law guarantees 100 days of work, though the actual days of work provided is much less, while the minimum wages for 2020-21 is around Rs 200 per day. Data sourced from the MGNREGA website till June 30, shows that in June, around 43.7 million households sought work under the scheme that was the highest in last seven years, maintaining a trend seen in May as well.
 
This was, 21 per cent more than the number of households who demanded work under the scheme in May 2020. In May 2020, 36.1 million households demanded work, which was highest for that month in last seven years. Interestingly, in contrast the provisional data showed that in June 2020, MGNREGA provided 382.9 million personday of work which was almost 32 per cent less than last month (May 2020). READ MORE...

Delhi reported 2,442 new Covid-19 cases and 61 deaths today; tally rises to 89,802

Fuel demand gradually returning to pre-Covid levels: Govt

India's fuel sales in June reached 88 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 levels as easing of lockdown restrictions is reviving economic activities, the government said on Wednesday.
 
"The sales of petroleum products in India, the world's third-biggest oil consuming nation, had in April fallen to the lowest since 2007, due to the nationwide lockdown, necessitated to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic," an official statement said.
 
Demand, however, began to revive in May and in June reached 88 per cent of pre-COVID levels, news agency PTI reported.
 
"India's overall petroleum products consumption, which had nosedived in last week of March and April this year, is now steadily getting to its pre-lockdown levels in June, as emanating from the PSUs' (IOC, BPCL, and HPCL) sales figures," it said.
 
At 11.8 million tonnes of consumption, fuel demand in June was 88 per cent of 13.4 million tonnes consumption in June 2019. Petrol consumption of 2 million tonnes in June was 85 per cent of last year's levels, while diesel at 5.5 million tonnes was 82 per cent of normal levels during this month.
 
"With the timely arrival of monsoon and pick-up in agricultural activities during Kharif season, there was marked acceleration in diesel consumption and gained 96 per cent on April volumes of 2.8 million tonnes," the statement said. Demand for LPG fuel continues to rise, with robust growth of 16.6 per cent in June over last year. ATF consumption registered 4-times volume increase from April levels.

Vacate bungalow by August, govt tells Priyanka as SPG cover is withdrawn

The government on Wednesday asked Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to vacate her bungalow in Lutyens' Delhi within a month following withdrawal of her SPG protection, according to a PTI report.
 
According to an order issued by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, Gandhi was asked to vacate her bungalow on or before August 1 failing which "it will attract damage charges/penal rent as per rules".

The government had in November last year replaced the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, with Z-plus security by the CRPF. The Z-plus security does not entail such a facility and she has to vacate 35 Lodhi Estate bungalow, officials said.
 

Latest News LIVE update: Tata Motors reports 82% dip in sales in Q1

Tata Motors on Wednesday reported 81.78 per cent dip in its total sales at 25,047 units in the first quarter ended June 30, 2020, news agency PTI reported.
 
The company had sold 1,37,545 units in the April-June quarter of 2019-20. Domestic sales of the company stood at 23,845 units in the first quarter of the current fiscal, down 82 per cent from 1,31,879 units in same period of 2019-20, Tata Motors said in a statement.
 
Amidst subdued demand environment, first quarter was marked by successful transition to BS-VI across the range of commercial vehicles," Tata Motors President, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit Girish Wagh said.
 
There are early recovery signs in a few sectors, and the company looks forward to a gradual pickup in demand on the back of overall economic recovery while continuing to address the challenges of intermittent demand and supply disruptions from COVID-19, he added. The company's commercial vehicle sales during the quarter declined by 90 per cent to 10,476 units as compared with 1,00,357 units in same period of 2019-20.

Union Home Ministry declares nine individuals as designated terrorists under provisions of UAPA Act

Coronavirus LIVE: 101 fresh Covid-19 cases in Punjab in last 24 hours

Shashank Manohar steps down from ICC's chairman post; Khwaja interim head

Shashank Manohar's tenure as the International Cricket Council's first independent chairman came to an end on Wednesday. According to a media release sent by the ICC, Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja will take over as interim chairman till the election process is set in motion.
 
"ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar has stepped down after two, two-year tenures at its helm. The ICC Board met today and agreed that Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja will assume the responsibilities of the Chairperson until a successor is elected," ICC stated in a release.
 
Manohar, as per ICC rules, could have stayed for another two-year term as a maximum of three terms are allowed. The process for the election of the next chairperson is expected to be approved by the ICC Board within the next week.
 

Latest News LIVE: 6 killed, 17 injured in boiler explosion in Tamil Nadu

A boiler exploded at NLC India's thermal plant here killing six people and leaving 17 others injured on Wednesday and it has been shut for safety audit, the company said. An official has been suspended and a high level inquiry and an internal probe has been ordered, the company, a 'navratna' public enterprise, said. Home Minister Amit Shah, expressing anguish over the loss of lives, spoke to Chief Minister K Palaniswami and assured him of all possible help.
 
Governor Banwarilal Purhoit and Chief Minister K Palaniswami condoled the deaths and wished the injured a speedy recovery. The six deceased men were aged between 25 and 42, and at least seven injured men have sustained over 50 per cent burns according to an initial assessment, an official told PTI.
 
Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 3 lakh to the families of each of the six workers who were killed and an assistance of Rs one lakh and Rs 50,000 to those who suffered serious and mild injuries respectively.
 
The mishap occurred at the fifth unit of the thermal power station-II when workers were in the process of resuming operations which includes maintenance work following a shutdown, the official said. A fire broke out in the boiler area subsequent to the explosion resulting in injuries to a maintenance team, comprising an executive, two supervisors, three non-executive employees and 17 contract workers, NLC India, formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited, said in a statement.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked to vacate govt-allotted accommodation within one month: Govt

Coronavirus LIVE update: India's Covid-19 recovery rate increases to 59.43%


Moving towards rationalisation of gas transportation tariff to make gas available at affordable price: Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Hong Kong police arrest nearly 200 people in first protest under new security law: Reuters

Latest News LIVE: Hero MotoCorp posts 27% dip in June sales, dispatches jump four-fold

The country's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp on Wednesday reported 26.88 per cent dip in sales last month at 4,50,744 units as compared to the same period of last year. The company's dispatches last month, however, grew four-fold when compared to May this year. The company had sold 6,16,526 units in June 2019 while it has despatched 1,12,682 units in May 2020.
 
We have demonstrated phenomenal leadership quality and tenacity to clock a sharp vertical growth in our sales at a time of massive disruption and uncertainty," Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal said in a statement. Sales of over 450,000 two-wheelers in a highly disrupted month is also a clear signal of the resilience of the Indian economy to be able to revive in the face of any adversity, he added. READ MORE...

High-level enquiry ordered into cause of NLC thermal power plant boiler explosion accident

Latest News LIVE: PM Modi deletes Weibo account as country bans 59 Chinese apps

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday deleted his account on Chinese social media app Weibo that had nearly 2.44 lakh followers, after the country banned 59 Chinese apps over national security concerns. Reliable government sources told IANS that Modi decided to quit Weibo the moment the country announced the ban on 59 Chinese apps.
 
For VIP accounts, Weibo has a more complex procedure to quit which is why the official process was initiated, according to sources who added that for reasons best known to the Chinese, there was great delay in granting this basic permission, news agency IANS reported.
 
"After the government's move of banning 59 Chinese apps, PM Modi exits from Chinese social media platform Weibo also... Strong message at the border, on the economic front & at personal level too," tweeted B.L. Santosh, BJP's General Secretary, Organisation).
 
All posts, images and comments on the Prime Mnister's Weibo account have been deleted, including two posts where he had photos with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
 
Last month, known for government control and censorship, Chinese social media platforms removed Narendra Modi's speech and India's official statements on the border row. Modi's June 18 remarks about the country's border situation became inaccessible to users on social media app WeChat. The Prime Minister's remarks came in the aftermath of the bloody faceoff in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives on June 15. The Chinese side has not yet revealed the number of casualties on its side.

Latest News LIVE update: Gold zooms Rs 647; silver jumps Rs 1,611

Gold in the national capital zoomed Rs 647 to Rs 49,908 per 10 grams on Wednesday in line with gains in the international prices of the precious metal, according to HDFC Securities. In the previous trade, the precious metal had closed at Rs 49,261 per 10 gram. Silver also jumped Rs 1,611 to Rs 51,870 per kg, from Rs 50,259 per kg on Tuesday, news agency PTI reported.
 
"Spot gold prices for 24 karat gold in Delhi recorded hefty gains by Rs 647 reflecting gains in international gold prices," HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.
 
In the international market, gold was trading with gains at USD 1,788 per ounce and silver at USD 18.34 per ounce. Gold prices extended rally on Wednesday as growing coronavirus cases boosted buying in gold on safe-haven demand, he added.

Tamil Nadu reports 3,882 new Covid-19 positive cases and 63 deaths today; state tally rises to 94,049

Latest News LIVE: ShareChat, other homegrown apps log strong growth after ban on Chinese apps

Homegrown apps like ShareChat, Roposo and Chingari have seen a significant growth in downloads and user signups on their platforms after the government banned 59 Chinese apps earlier this week, news agency PTI reported.
 
ShareChat, India's largest regional language social media platform, said it has witnessed an "exponential growth" in the last two days. The platform claimed to have recorded 5 lakh downloads on an hourly basis, and over 15 million downloads since the ban was announced on Monday evening.
 
"We are excited to see the way people are exploring ShareChat for the endless possibilities it offers to the people and making it the preferred Indian social media platform...enabling us to emerge as the leader in the Indian social media landscape. We are confident that this sets up the foundation of another success for ShareChat," ShareChat COO and co-founder Farid Ahsan told PTI.
 
The company said it has already seen more than one lakh posts supporting the government move towards banning Chinese applications. The posts were liked by over one million users, with over half a million shares on WhatsApp. ShareChat has over 150 million registered users and 60 million monthly active users across 15 Indian languages.
 
Another homegrown app, Roposo - which describes itself as a 'Made in India' short video app with over 65 million downloads - said many TikTok users, including influencers have moved to its platform following the ban.

Latest News LIVE: NBFCs' bad loans to rise to 5-7% in current fiscal, says Icra

Non-banking financial companies' (NBFCs) asset quality is likely to worsen to 5-7 per cent in the current financial year due to weak economic growth on account of disruptions caused by coronavirus-related lockdown, according to a report by rating agency Icra.
 
The lockdown has significantly impacted the cash flow position of NBFCs' borrowers, it said in the report. While the moratorium extended by the NBFCs to their borrowers is likely to give them the much-needed breathing space, their asset quality performance is likely to see sizeable dislocation from the recent trends, news agency PTI reported.
 
"Assuming a slippage of 5-10 per cent of the asset under management (AUM) under moratorium, non-bank NPAs could increase to 5-7 per cent by March 2021 from about 3.3-3.4 per cent in March 2020," the rating agency said.
 
Asset quality of NBFCs is likely to be more impacted than housing finance companies (HFCs), with the segmental NPA touching around 7-9.5 per cent by March 2021, the report said. Mortgage players, on the other hand, could witness NPAs of about 3.4-4.8 per cent in the current financial year, it said.
 
The rating agency's Vice-President and Sector Head (Financial Sector Ratings) A M Karthik said the portfolio under moratorium for some large NBFCs is as high as 70-80 per cent, with the sectoral average of about 52 per cent, while for housing finance companies (HFCs), the average is about 28 per cent. The additional coronavirus-related provision carried by NBFCs is about 0.7 per cent of the AUM, while for HFCs, it is about 0.2 per cent.

We have started an investigation in Tuticorin custodial death case: CB-CID Inspector

Rupee drops 9 paise to 75.60 on weak economic data, Covid-19 concerns

The rupee on Wednesday settled 9 paise lower at 75.60 against the US currency due to dollar buying by oil importers and concerns over rising COVID-19 cases. Foreign fund outflows and firming crude oil prices weighed on the local unit, news agency PTI reported.
 
At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened higher at 75.49 against the US dollar. The unit later lost ground to end at the day's low level of 75.60 against the US dollar, down 9 paise over its last close. It had settled at 75.51 against the US dollar on Tuesday.
 
"Rupee ended lower on Wednesday on weakening risk appetite amid rising COVID-19 cases across the world, while dollar demand from oil importers further aided dollar buying," said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst (Commodity & Currency) at LKP Securities.
 
Poor risk appetite due to rising coronavirus cases helped dollar demand in the market, he said. The number of cases around the world linked to the disease has crossed 1.04 crore and the death toll has topped 5.11 lakh. In India, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 17,400 and the number of infections rose to 5,85,493, according to the health ministry.
 
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 2.64 per cent to USD 42.36 per barrel. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell by 0.14 per cent to 97.25.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army Chief General Naravane to visit Leh on Friday to review security situation in Eastern Ladakh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane to visit Leh on Friday to review the security situation in Eastern Ladakh in view of the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control. (ANI)

Narendra Modi decides to quit Chinese app Weibo: ANI

As soon as the decision was taken to disallow Chinese 59 Apps in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided that he would be quitting Weibo, which he had joined a few years ago: Sources accroding to ANI.

Govt approves scheme for providing liquidity to non-bank lenders: RBI

The government has approved a scheme under which the eligible non-bank lenders will be provided short-term liquidity through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up by the SBICAP securities, a subsidiary of the State Bank of India, the RBI said on Wednesday.
 
Under the special liquidity scheme, the SPV will purchase the short-term papers from eligible non-banking financial companies (NBFCs)/housing finance companies (HFCs), which will utilise the proceeds under this scheme solely for the purpose of extinguishing existing liabilities, news agency PTI reported.
 
"The Government of India has approved a scheme to improve the liquidity position of NBFCs/HFCs through a SPV to avoid any potential systemic risks to the financial sector," the Reserve Bank said.
 
The instruments will be commercial papers (CPs) and non-convertible debentures (NCDs) with a residual maturity of not more than three months and rated as investment grade, the RBI said.
 

Carlyle Group to acquire 25% stake in Airtel's data centre business for $235 mn

US-based Carlyle Group on Wednesday said it will invest $235 million (approximately Rs 1770 crore) for approximately 25 per cent stake in Nxtra Data Ltd, an arm of Bharti Airtel engaged in the data centre business.
 
The post-money enterprise valuation (or valuation immediately after investment) of Nxtra is approximately $1.2 billion and Carlyle will hold a stake of approximately 25% in the business upon completion of the transaction, with Airtel continuing to hold the remaining stake of approximately 75%, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
 
The transaction is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, including approval from the Competition Commission of India. Experts feel that the companies have begun unlocking the valuations of their internal assets and it is a step in the right direction. READ MORE...

BSNL cancels 4G tender after DoT asks it to avoid Chinese equipment: Report

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd's (BSNL) tender for 4G upgrade has been cancelled after the Department of Telecom (DoT) asked the state-run firm not to use Chinese telecom gear, according to a source.
 
The source privy to the development said that a new tender will be floated which will have emphasis on preference to Make in India. The source said that the government had told BSNL not to use Chinese equipment in 4G upgrade, and that implementation of the direction meant that the company had to issue a new tender.
 
Keeping in view the developing Indian capacity and in-house technology, a new tender will be floated, the source said adding this will have emphasis on preference to Make in India.

Latest News LIVE: India among five nations to express interest to host AFC Asian Cup 2027

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday confirmed that it has received expressions of interest from five Member Associations including India to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027, news agency ANI reported.
 
According to the AFC, June 30 was the last date for the countries to express their interest in hosting the AFC Asian Cup 2027. Apart from India, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have sent their proposal for hosting the pinnacle of Asian football in 2027.
 
"The five Member Associations who have signalled their intentions to stage Asia's premier football tournament are (in alphabetical order by country): All India Football Federation, Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran, Qatar Football Association, Saudi Arabian Football Federation and Uzbekistan Football Association," read a statement from AFC.
 
Of the five Member Associations expressing an interest, two nations have already hosted the tournament twice since its inception in 1956. Reigning champions Qatar staged the competition in 1988 and 2011, as well as Iran, who are the only nation in Asian football history to have won the coveted crown twice on home soil in 1968 and 1976.

Tamil Nadu govt announces ex-gratia of Rs 300,000 each to families of those who dies in boiler explosion

Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami announces an ex-gratia of Rs 300,000 each to families of those who lost their lives in a boiler explosion at Neyveli Lignite Plant. Rs 100,000 and Rs 50,000 have been announced for those who have sustained severe and minor injuries, respectively: Tamil Nadu CMO (ANI)

Indian Railways starts constructing the first pillar in the sea of a vertical bridge in Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram

Latest News LIVE: India to ban Chinese cos from highway projects, says Nitin Gadkari

India will not allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects, including those through joint ventures, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday amid border standoff with China. Gadakri also said the government will ensure that Chinese investors are not entertained in various sectors like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), news agency PTI reported.
 
The senior minister's assertions assume significance against the backdrop of border standoff between India and China in Ladakh that also saw the death of 20 Indian Army personnel last month. Amid escalating tensions, the government on Monday banned 59 apps, mostly having Chinese links, citing threats to national security.
 
"We will not give permission to joint ventures that have Chinese partners for road construction. We have taken a firm stand that if they (Chinese companies) come via joint venture in our country, we will not allow it," Gadkari told PTI in an interview.
 
The Road Transport, Highways and MSME minister said a policy will be out soon banning Chinese firms and relaxing norms for Indian companies to expand their eligibility criteria for participation in highway projects.
 
Currently only a few projects which were undertaken much earlier involve some Chinese partners. When asked about this, the Minister said that the new decision will be implemented in current and future tenders. With respect to existing tenders and future bids, Gadkari said rebidding would be done if there are any Chinese joint ventures.

It was very challenging as terrorists were firing upon us: Cop on terrorist attack in Sopore of J&K

People will suffer like demonetisation: Nusrat Jahan on Chinese apps' ban

World Bank grants India $750 mn emergency funding to help small businesses

The World Bank will give $ 750 million as loan to India for strengthening small businesses that form the backbone of the country’s economy and were devastated in the coronavirus pandemic.
 
The emergency lending will ensure liquidity for some 1.5 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and protect millions of jobs, said the Bank in a statement, referring to how India’s government small businesses. The money will help government’s efforts to channel liquidity to MSME through a range of instruments, including credit guarantees, and de-risk lending from banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
 
It would improve the funding capacity of funding channels such as the NBFCs and Small Finance Bank (SFBs) and help them respond to the urgent and varied needs of the MSMEs. This will cover support for government’s refinance facility for NBFCs. The International Finance Corporation is separately providing direct support to SFBs through loans and equity. READ MORE...
 

Rs 90,917 crore gross GST revenue collected in the month of June: Govt

Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue collection in June stood at Rs 90,917 crore, up from Rs 62,009 crore mopped up in May and Rs 32,294 crore in April on Wednesday, news agency PTI reported.
 
"The gross GST revenue collected in the month of June, 2020 is Rs 90,917 crore, of which CGST is Rs 18,980 crore, State Goods and Service Tax (SGST) is Rs 23,970 crore, Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) is Rs 40,302 crore (including Rs 15,709 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs 7,665 crore," an official statement from the Finance Ministry said.
 
"The government has settled Rs 13,325 crore to Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) and Rs 11,117 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement. The total revenue earned by Central government and the state governments after regular settlement in the month of June 2020 is Rs 32,305 crore for CGST and Rs 35,087 crore for the SGST," the statement added.
 
According to the statement, the revenues for the month are 91 per cent of the GST revenues in the same month last year. During the month, the revenues from import of goods were 71 per cent and the revenues from domestic transaction (including import of services) were 97 per cent of the revenues from these sources during the same month last year.
 
The government had allowed a relaxed time schedule for filing of Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns. Returns of the month of April, March as well as February got filed during June 2020.

Rs 90,917 crore gross GST revenue collected in the month of June: Govt

Latest News LIVE update: At least six killed in boiler explosion in Tamil Nadu

Six men were killed and 16 others injured when a boiler exploded at the NLC India's thermal plant here on Wednesday, an NLC official said. Home Minister Amit Shah, expressing anguish over the loss of lives, spoke to Chief Minister K Palaniswami and assured all possible help. While preliminary inputs from the explosion site said two people died, the toll has gone up to six now, news agency ANI reported.
 
"Six men have died. Sixteen people who sustained injuries have been rushed to a hospital in Chennai," he said.
 
The six deceased men, aged between 25 and 42 years, were contract workers. The injured include employees who have sustained at least 40 per cent burn injuries according to an initial assessment, the official said. The mishap occurred at the fifth unit of the thermal power station-II (210 MW x 7) when workers were in the process of resuming operations this morning, according to a ANI report.

Let the dependence on foreign apps, with their own agenda for a variety of reasons, stop: Ravi Shankar Prasad

PLA has deployed over 20,000 troops along LAC, India wary of third division in Xinjiang

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has deployed more than 20,000 of its troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) near the Eastern Ladakh sector even as India is closely watching the activities of another 10,000-12,000 Chinese troops deployed in Xinjiang with high mobility vehicles and weaponry in the rear positions with the capability to reach the Indian front in 48 hours time, news agency ANI reported.
 
"The Chinese Army has deployed around two divisions worth of troops (around 20,000) along the LAC in the Eastern Ladakh sector. There is another division (10,000 troops) which has been stationed by it in the Northern Xinjiang province almost a 1,000 kilometres from the front but they can be mobilised to reach our frontiers in maximum 48 hours time due to the flat terrain on the Chinese side," top government sources told ANI.
 
"We are keeping a close eye on the movement of these troops along with the ones which have been deployed close to the Indian territory," the sources said.
 
The sources said that even though India and China have been talking at the diplomatic and the military level for over six weeks now, there has been no thinning down in troop numbers or equipment by the Chinese side on this front, they said.
 
Sources according to ANI said the Chinese normally also have two divisions deployed in the Tibet region but this time, they have brought in close to two divisions extra from locations as far as 2,000 kilometres from mainland China for deployment against the Indian positions.
 

Tamil Nadu boiler explosion: Amit Shah assures all possible help to CM Palaniswami

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that he has spoken to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and assured all possible help to control the situation in the aftermath of the boiler explosion that broke out in Tamil Nadu. Shah said that the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is already on the spot to assist the relief work, news agency ANI reported.
 
At least six people have been found dead and 17 injured in the boiler explosion that broke out in Tamil Nadu earlier on Wednesday. The incident occurred in stage 2 of Tamil Nadu's Neyveli Lignite Power Plant. The injured were taken to the NLC Lignite Hospital.

Latest News LIVE: Power consumption dips 9.74% to 106.48 bn units in June due to lockdown

Power consumption in June declined 9.74 per cent to 106.48 billion units (BU) as compared to 117.98 BU a year ago, mainly due to low demand amid Covid-19-related restrictions in the country.
 
However, the slump in power consumption has narrowed in June to 9.74 per cent from 14.86 per cent registered in May and 23.21 per cent recorded in April this year. The latest data of the Ministry of Power shows that power consumption has improved after government started giving relaxations for economic activities.
 
The months of April, May and June this year witnessed low power consumption on account of lower commercial and industrial activities due to Covid-19-related restrictions. According to power ministry data, the total electricity consumption was 106.48 billion units in June this year compared to 117.98 BU in same month year ago. Power consumption in May stood at 102.18 billion units (BU). READ MORE...

IPL's Chinese sponsors: Call to be in best interest of cricket, says BCCI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) decision regarding Chinese sponsorship in the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be made keeping in mind the 'best interest of cricket and country', a source within the board said while confirming that no date has been decided for the IPL review meeting yet, news agency ANI reported.
 
"As of now, no date has been decided for the IPL review meeting. There are other issues that BCCI is looking into. The franchises are entitled to their opinion. We will make a decision which will be in the best interest of cricket and country. The meeting will take place once we work on all surrounding issues of IPL," the source told news agency ANI. READ MORE...
 

Latest News LIVE update: Four killed, 17 injured in NLC India boiler blast in Tamil Nadu

Four workers were killed and 17 others injured when a boiler in a thermal power unit (TPS II) of NLC India Ltd exploded on Wednesday, officials said. The NLC India's integrated mining-cum-power plant is located in Neyveli in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu, news agency ANI reported.
 
 
The injured have been admitted to NLC India hospital. It is the second major boiler blast in NLC India. In May, four persons were killed when a boiler in the TPS II exploded. The company's TPS II consists of seven units of 210 MW each. The cause of the boiler blast is yet to be ascertained, according to ANI report.
 

Coronavirus LIVE update: Police imposed Section 144 in Mumbai till July 15

Internet users advised to exercise caution while installing Google Chrome extensions

Computer Emergency Response Team of India advises internet users to exercise caution while installing Google Chrome extensions as the company has removed over 100 malicious extensions after they were found collecting sensitive user data

Bombay High Court allows a minor rape survivor to undergo medical termination of her 25-week pregnancy


Gross GST revenue collected in June 2020 is Rs 90,917 cr of which CGST is Rs 18,980 cr, SGST is Rs 23,970 cr, IGST is Rs 40,302 cr

Gross GST revenue collected in June 2020 is Rs 90,917 cr of which CGST is Rs 18,980 cr, SGST is Rs 23,970 cr, IGST is Rs 40,302 cr (including Rs 15,709 cr collected on import of goods) & Cess is Rs 7,665 cr (including Rs 607 cr collected on import of goods): Union Finance Ministry

Nepal party leaders tell PM Oli to prove India charge wrong or resign

Two days after Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli claimed that India was trying to topple his government with support from some politicians at home, party leaders, including three former prime ministers, Tuesday asked him to prove his allegations or quit.
 
Speaking at a closed-door standing committee meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalnath Khanal, as well as former deputy PM Bamdeb Gautam, demanded that Oli resign, having failed on every count.
 
Prachanda said at the outset that Oli’s allegation against India was wrong. “Not India, it is me who is demanding your resignation. You must furnish proof of such irresponsible remarks,” Dahal is believed to have said.

Tamil Nadu: Explosion at a boiler in stage -2 of the Neyveli lignite plant. 17 injured persons taken to NLC lignite hospital

More details awaited.

PM Modi says country's industrious Chartered Accountant community has major role to play in ensuring healthy and transparent economy

Terrorists attacked a naka party at Model town in Sopore: Dilbag Singh, DGP Jammu & Kashmir Police

Terrorists attacked a naka party at Model town in Sopore. Injuries to some Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans and a civilian reported. Area cordoned off and search operation started: Dilbag Singh, DGP Jammu & Kashmir Police

Encounter broke out at Bilalabad area of Tral last night, between J&K Police-security forces & terrorists.

Rajasthan: Drones being used to spray chemicals as swarms of locusts arrive in Jaisalmer


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