News digest: L&T-Schneider deal, GST collections, Air India sale, and more

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L&T to sell electrical and automation business to Schneider for Rs 140 bn

In its biggest divestment so far, engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on Tuesday said it would sell its electrical and automation business (E&A) to France-headquartered Schneider Electric for a cash consideration of Rs 140 billion. The divestment plan, which was first discussed in the summer of 2015, took three years to mature, it is learnt. Read More 

GST surpasses Rs 1 trn in April, FM says this confirms upswing in economy

The goods and services tax (GST) revenue collection crossed Rs 1 trillion in April, the highest in a month since the new indirect tax was rolled out in July last year. As many as 69.5 per cent of assessees filed summary input-output returns in April, against 64.61 per cent in the previous month. The mop-up at Rs 1.03 trillion far exceeded the Rs 898.8 billion average monthly collections for the first eight months after the GST was introduced, prompting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to say that it mirrored enhanced economic activity. Read More

Air India sale: Centre eases bid conditions, extends deadline to May 31

The civil aviation ministry has extended the deadline for submitting expressions of interest (EoIs) for Air India by a fortnight to May 31 and has decided to allow shortlisted bidders to change partners in the consortium before submission of final offers. 

The revision in bid conditions was announced on Tuesday following requests from prospective suitors. Also the selected bidder will be allowed to have operational synergies in areas of human resources, operations, sales and procurement, while keeping other businesses at arm’s length. Read More

Essar lenders to meet ArcelorMittal, Numetal on May 2 to discuss offers

The Indian lenders will have several meetings with the representatives of ArcelorMittal and Numetal on Wednesday to discuss the offers made by both companies for Essar Steel.

While ArcelorMittal has made a conditional offer to repay the debt of Uttam Galva Steels to become eligible, Numetal has offered to remove the trust where Rewant Ruia, son of Essar Steel's co-founder, is the beneficiary. Read More 

Soon, you'll be able to make calls, surf the internet while flying

Your next vacation may well be quite different as the government has decided to let you use your phone for calls and messaging while you are in the skies. In all likelihood, within the next three to four months, service providers and aviation companies will make calling possible while flying, officials said on Tuesday.

Typically, on any flight a passenger will be able to buy data packs for use during a journey. According to Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan, service providers can provide internet as well as voice service on domestic and international flights over the Indian airspace. Read More 

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