Evening digest: India to allow Pak probe team to visit Pathankot

GN Bureau | January 14, 2016



India has accepted Pakistan's request to send a Special Investigation Team to probe the Pathankot air base attack. "We look forward to the visit of Pakistan SIT and our investigative agencies will extend all necessary cooperation," said Vikas Swarup, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.
Govt of Pak has taken some steps which we have welcomed, he said, adding that Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue with Pakistan was not on hold.
"Both Foreign Secretaries agreed to meet in very near future," Mr. Swarup said without mentioning the date. Pakistani security forces undertook several law and order initiatives in the last 72 hours against Jaish E Mohammed, which is accused by India of carrying out the terror strike in Pathankot. However the reported detention of Jaish’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar has not elicited a warm response from India.

No deal on Rafale jets yet, says French defence minister
French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said that the Rafale jets deal with India has not been done yet. On Monday, India's defence minister had said that the two countries were closing in on a deal to buy 36 combat planes from Dassault, after months of wrangling over price and other terms of the sale. French President Francois Hollande is due in New Delhi this month as a guest of honour at a military parade and the two sides are expected to seal the pact for the Rafale fighters either just before he arrives or during the visit. "It's closer to completion," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters. He didn't give any details. The defence ministry had originally cleared the purchase of 126 Rafale planes, estimated at the time to be worth $12 billion. Last year the number of planes was scaled back to 36 after the two sides could not agree on the unit price and local assembly of the aircraft.

Protests in Kashmir’s Budgam after missing man found dead
Protests erupted in Jammu and Kashmir’s central district of Budgam on Thursday after the mutilated body of a 22-year-old man was found near his home in Peerbagh. Owais Bashir Malik, a student of a polytechnic college, had left home on Tuesday. His family had filed a missing report in Humhama after he did not return home. Police said Malik’s body was found near a railway track on Thursday morning. “He had injury marks on his neck and chest. His arm was also dislocated,” a police official at Humhama police station said. As soon as the news of Malik’s death spread in the area, people, including women, came out protesting on the streets in Peerbagh which borders the Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar. A spontaneous shutdown is also being observed in the area. Eyewitnesses said that people hurled rocks at the police headquarters building on the Airport Road. They also threw stones at the policemen manning the streets.

Separate transport department for auto sector likely
To oversee the automobile sector, including emission norms and safety issues, government will set up a separate Transport Department in the Highways Ministry, union minister Nitin Gadkari said today. "We had requested the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister Narenadra Modi for a separate transport department. Cabinet Secretary has approved the proposal. After obtaining Expenditure Finance Committee approval we will go to the Cabinet soon," the Road Transport and Highways Minister said. He said the department will not only oversee the automobile sector requirements like emission norms and safety issues but would also look at exports and other aspects. "Exports worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore are done by automobile industry... Mumbai Port Trust alone has exported 1.5 lakh car. Manufactures will export Euro VI compliant cars also from here," he said.

SBI enters into wealth management space; opens branch for start-ups

State Bank of India today became the first public sector lender to launch wealth management service, a space dominated by private and foreign players, to cater to fast-growing affluent segment of the country. The bank also inaugurated a dedicated branch for start-ups which will provide advisory services to the budding entrepreneurs. The wealth management offering - 'SBI Exclusif' and the start-up branch - 'SBI InCube' were rolled out in Bengaluru today.
'SBI Exclusif' will offer many firsts in wealth banking like the first 'e-Wealth Center' that can deliver quality relationship management services remotely for extended hours. Its customers will be able to transact and invest on digital channels such as internet and mobile.

FIPB clears 5 FDI proposals worth Rs 6,050 crore
Government today approved five foreign investment proposals involving an inflow of Rs 6,050 crore including a Rs 5,000-crore plan of CadilaBSE -1.41 % Healthcare for fresh equity infusion. Cadila will infuse equity of up to Rs 5,000 crore through issue of shares to QIBs through Qualified Institutional Placement for expansion. "Based on the recommendations of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in its meeting held on December 21, the government has approved five proposals of FDI amounting to Rs 6,050.10 crore," an official statement said here.

Base salaries likely to increase by 10.5%: Survey
Companies in India are likely to increase base salaries by 10.5% this year and 48% of them plan to increase headcount, according to a survey by consulting firm Mercer. In 2016, one in two companies is planning to increase headcount with hi-tech, shared services and life sciences leading the pack. The salary increase forecast for 2016 is quite similar to the actual salary increase for 2015.

Among the industries surveyed, the projected salary increase ranges from 10% to 11% overall, with relatively higher increases for the life sciences, IT and chemical industries. Over the years, salary increase differentiation across industries has narrowed down,  but there is considerable pressure on talent retention, as budgets remain tight, according to a statement issued by Mercer. With regard to variable pay, the survey's findings reveal that there is an increase in variable bonus pay across industries, from the actual payout of 14.7% in 2014 to a projection of 15.4% in 2015.

24 hours after TMC leader’s car ran over Air Force official, no arrests yet
Over 24 hours after TMC leader Mohammad Sohrab’s son Ambia Sohrab’s car ran over Airman Corporal Abhimanyu Gaud during a Republic Day parade rehearsal on Red Road, Kolkata Police have made no arrests so far. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had condemned the incident and said the guilty will be punished and charges of murder will be slapped. But till now, not a single person has been interrogated or examined in connection with the case. Ambia Sohrab's house and office remain locked from the outside. Police say they are facing difficulty in tracking down the accused as his mobile phones are switched off, so the nearest tower location could not be traced for his location. Police also claim that it is difficult to identify the person behind the wheels as the CCTV footage is not clear.

Activists ransack Pakistan airline office in Delhi
Activists belonging to a right-wing group on Thursday indulged in vandalism at a Pakistani airline office in New Delhi. As per reports, five to six men belonging to Hindu Mahasabha ransacked the office of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in Connaught Place. It was not clear whey the men took the extreme step. Reports did not say whether the men have been arrested for the act. The development comes in the wake of the terror attack on Pathankot airbase believed to be carried out by Pakistani terrorists.

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