News digest: M&M-Ford pact, PM to review economic situation today, and more

M&M partners Ford in drive for e-cars

Homegrown utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Ford have decided to collaborate again, after a 1995 tie-up to facilitate the American carmaker’s entry into India ended in 2005. This time, the firms would explore joint development of products, especially electric and connected vehicles. The partnership will look to expand Ford’s reach in the fast-growing Indian market and improve M&M’s access to global markets. At present, both have a single-digit share in a market dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor. Read more

PM looks for solutions to perk up economy

The topmost rungs of the Narendra Modi government are looking for solutions to arrest the slide in gross domestic product growth. The PM is expected to meet Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and top finance ministry officials on Tuesday evening to discuss possible measures to boost growth. Meanwhile, former PM Manmohan Singh reiterated his warning of demonetisation and “hasty” implementation of the GST adversely impacting GDP growth. In November last year, Singh had said in Parliament that Modi’s note ban was a “monumental mismanagement”, “organised loot” and “legalised plunder”, which would cause GDP growth to fall by 2 per cent. Read more

Will use artificial intelligence to nab shell companies: P P Chaudhary

P P Chaudhary, the newly-appointed minister of state for corporate affairs, is monitoring and coordinating actions against shell companies. He tells Veena Mani & Indivjal Dhasmana that the government is trying to find the beneficiaries of the 209,0000 companies that have not filed statutory returns. Chaudhary says there may be cases where “even domestic help could be part of the board of directors”. Read more 

Oppose Tata Sons' plan to go private: Mistry family to group companies

The Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry family has written to listed Tata group companies holding stakes in Tata Sons to oppose the company’s bid to go private and vote against the proposal in the annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders on Thursday. The Mistry family said the proposed move would not only be “detrimental to the interests of the minority shareholders”, but also dilute the governance standards at Tata Sons. Read more

Google’s payments app not so ‘Tez’

Tez (fast), the India-specific payments app built by Google, turned slow on the first day of its launch on Monday, and this angered users, who complained that they could not sign up on the service. Hundreds of users took to Twitter and other social networks to vent their displeasure, with a few of them even offering Tez a one-star rating on Google’s Play Store. Read more