Top headlines: Govt plans spending boost, international flight ban extended

Government spending is key to staving off a prolonged crisis in the nation that’s home to the world’s second-largest coronavirus outbreak.
India plans spending boost as govt tries to revive Covid-19 hit economy

India is set to swing from being a cautious spender in 2020 to opening the fiscal floodgates as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to pull Asia’s third-biggest economy bank from the worst of the pandemic. Curbs imposed by the finance ministry on more than 80 government departments and ministries earlier in the year to preserve cash were relaxed this quarter. In addition, this year’s budget will be increased from its current 30 trillion rupees ($407 billion) when new spending plans are announced Feb. 1, according to people familiar with discussions, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public and subject to change. Read more

Govt extends suspension of international passenger flights till Jan 31

The coronavirus-induced suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till January 31, aviation regulator DGCA said on Wednesday. "However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation added. Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Reliance Jio writes to Punjab CM, DGP over 'vandalism' at network sites

Reliance Jio Infocomm has written to Punjab Chief Minister and Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) seeking their intervention into "incidents of sabotage and vandalism at Jio Network sites" in the state by unknown persons. The letter alleges that police personnel at local level are not taking action or filing FIRs against vandalsism and that is why such incidents are not stopping. Jio has requested the DGP to take action. Read more

Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai most affordable housing markets of 2020: Report

The latest affordability index of Knight Frank India on Wednesday cited Ahmedabad as the most affordable housing market in the country with an affordability ratio of 24 per cent followed by Pune and Chennai at 26 per cent each this year. Knight Frank's proprietary affordability index, which tracks the equated monthly installment (EMI) to income ratio for an average household, shows meaningful improvement in affordability over the last decade. Read more

Prosecutors seek 9-year prison term for Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong

South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday requested a nine-year prison term for Samsung's de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong, during a retrial of his bribery charges. The case is a key element in an explosive 2016 scandal that triggered months of public protests and toppled the country's president. The development comes as Lee faces immense pressure to navigate Samsung's transition after his father and Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-Hee died in October at age 78 after years of hospitalisation. Read more

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