Evening digest: Industries tell govt to allow rupee to fall for exports edge

GN Bureau | September 8, 2015



Industry leaders today told the government on the need for greater monetary easing at least to the extent of 75 basis points and that the rupee must be allowed to depreciate to preserve domestic price competitiveness in global trade. At a meeting attended by prime minister Narendra Modi along with finance minister Arun Jaitley and other Cabinet ministers met India Inc. The contours of the meeting primarily included deliberating on the recent global developments and the opportunities it presents for India.

Global market turmoil as well as domestic issues such as the Greece crisis, ongoing China crisis, Sensex at 15-month low, rupee at 2-year low perhaps prompted this meeting.

Sumit Mazumdar, president, CII said the government in fact wanted India Inc to suggest ways to speed up progress on various fronts. According to him, the three key takeaways that were discussed are: India has strong fundamentals that has protected it from the China-led turmoil. Second, was what further needs to be done for ease of doing business and third, a discussion on specific industry-related issues and a lot of talk on agriculture. None of the legislative issues were discussed except some discussion on GST, said Mazumdar.
Assocham chief Rana Kapoor said the main focus was on the government improving the quality of spending in growth sectors like soft infrastructure and core infrastructure development. So infrastructure investments could be one of the key takeaways from the meeting, he said.

Jyotsna Suri, president, FICCI, said they had put forth some points to the prime minister that along with focus on foreign investment into India, domestic investment also needs to be looked at and both need to go hand-in-hand. She said FICCI suggested a need for more access to capital at a reasonable cost to boost domestic investments.

Meanwhile,  Jaitley said that India will be among the lesser impacted economies because of the global economic turmoil. The finance minister was speaking to media after a meeting of Modi with industry leaders. The PM's meeting with industry leaders lasted for over three hours, Jaitley said.

Australia committee puts tough condition on uranium sale to India
Australia should not sell uranium to India until it sets up an independent nuclear regulator, separate its civil and military nuclear facilities and allow safety inspections, a multi-party committee recommended today. The Treaties Committee tabled a report in parliament into the uranium deal with India, carefully favouring it but with few recommendations including that India should be encouraged to become a party to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Sensex up over 500 points, Nifty above 7,700
HI: The S&P BSE Sensex surged over 500 points and traded comfortably above the psychological level of 25,000 on a late surge in other Asian markets.The 50-share Nifty index managed to reclaim the technically crucial 7,700 level.
Bank Nifty rallied over 600 points

Babus may lose job for overstaying on foreign assignments
IAS and IPS officers may lose their job if they overstay on foreign assignments for more than a month without permission, as per the new rules being finalised by the government. If an officer of all India service--Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS), remains unauthorisedly absent after the sanctioned period of leave, study leave or tenure of foreign assignment, there shall be a one month waiting period, as per the draft rules. After that, the state government concerned under whose cadre the officer hails from, shall issue a show cause notice, thereby giving him an opportunity to explain.

Mumbai police commissioner Maria shifted
In a sudden decision in the midst of the Sheena Bora murder probe, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria was today promoted and posted as the Director General of Police (Home Guards) while DG-rank officer Ahmed Javed was made the police chief of the metro. The Maharashtra government has said that the changes were made taking into account the law and order factor ahead of the Ganapati festival, dismissing suggestions that that it has some links with the ongoing investigation in the high-profile murder case.

Infosys cleared of visa violations charge by US
Infosys said on Tuesday that the US department of labor had cleared the company of charges of visa violations, months after the US government launched an investigation into an outsourcing contract involving utility f irm Southern California Edison and Indian software exporters TCS and Infosys. India's second largest outsourcing firm Infosys said that the US department of labor had concluded its investigation into labor condition applications filed in the Southern California Edison outsourcing contract and found no visa violations, after reviewing over 145 files.

Toilet cleaner sales double due to swachh Bharat abhiyan
Consumer product sales may be going down the toilet but toilet cleaner sales growth has more than doubled since the launch of PM Modi's pet project Swachh Bharat, latest IMRB consumption data shows.The toilet cleaners segment, which was growing at 3-6% in the past few years, has seen a sudden surge of 10-12% growth in quarterly sales since October last year when the sanitation programme was launched. The government claims to have constructed around 80 lakh countryside toilets across India under Modi's Swachh Bharat mission, which aims to make India "open defecation-free" by 2019 by building 12 crore toilets in rural India. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Education Fund ( UNICEF) estimate that there are more than 620 million people engaged in open defecation due to lack of access to proper sanitation and 60% of all open defecation is in India.

Air ticket discount again on domestic, international routes
The Indian arm of Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia announced a 'Big Sale' on Monday, offering a slew of promotional schemes on select domestic and international routes. Under the scheme, the carrier is offering all-inclusive fare as low as Rs 890  for travel period of March 1 to October 29, 2016 and tickets to avail the scheme can be booked till September 13. Budget carrier GoAir has also come up with a scheme 'Happy Tuesdays ', under which it is offering 20 per cent discounts to passengers flying on Tuesdays. Rival Jet Airways has announced tickets from Rs 1,248 on select routes.

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