SBI Credit card for e-commerce transactions
Simply Click credit cards aim to cash in on the e-commerce revolution. The new payment gateway, which was launched digitally, has partnered with seven of India’s biggest e-commerce entities to offer value for online shopping to its customers. The e-commerce revolution has changed the way consumers are shopping today. The ease of shopping and availability of multiple payment options, powered and secured by technology, has led to more and more people adopting the online route for most of their shopping needs. Leveraging the opportunity, SBI Card has launched a credit card called Simply Click meant for transactions on e-commerce websites.
Flipkart’s co-founders invest in Plabro Networks
E-commerce player Flipkart’s co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, along with other investors, have invested $3,50,000 (about Rs 2.3 crore) in a real estate startup named Plabro Networks. Flipkart co-founders have invested in their personal capacity
Plabro Networks has launched a mobile application ‘Plabro’ which will connect property brokers enabling them to close the property deals quickly. Currently, the app is available in Gurgaon and Noida and the company has plans to take it to the other cities. The funds would be used to create a stronger networking ecosystem and expansion.
JV BBC worldwide & MSM to launch Sony BBC Earth India
BBC has inked a deal with MSM to launch Sony BBC Earth in India, positioned as a premium factual television channel. MSM will own majority stake in the venture. The channel will be broadcasted in HD and will be available in Tamil, English and Hindi across India.
BBC Worldwide will draw on its extensive catalogue of programming and reputation for excellence in the premium factual, while MSM which runs the Sony network of television channels in the country has extensive experience and expertise not only in programming but also in operating and distributing televised entertainment across the globe.
BBC Earth is BBC’s award-winning factual programmes and the work of some of the world’s foremost factual fi lm makers. It showcases the incredible wonders of our universe, from the smallest creature under the microscope to the limitless expanses of space.
Both the formation of the JV as well as the launch of Sony BBC Earth is subject to necessary regulatory approvals in India, for which the process is currently underway.
Green nod to the UltraTech, for the expansion of Maharashtra plant
Aditya Birla Group fl agship UltraTech Cement has got clearance by the Environment Ministry to expand capacity at its Awarpur plant in Maharashtra. The company has proposed to raise production of clinker, a raw material for cement manufacture, to 4.5 million tonnes per annum from the existing 3.30 million tonnes, and increase cement output to six million tonnes from 4.48 million tonnes.
The company has been asked to comply with specifi c conditions such as developing green belt over 33 per cent of the total project area, installing air monitoring devices to monitor air emission, continuous stack monitoring of facilities to monitor gaseous emissions, among others.
The company has also been asked to earmark at least fi ve per cent of the total cost of the project towards enterprise social commitment and prepare a detailed CSR plan for every fi ve years for the existing-cum-expansion project.
The expansion will be carried out within the existing plant area of 307.35 hectare. The additional power required for the proposed expansion will be 5.1 MW. The company has 12 integrated cement manufacturing plants in India and is the single largest cement maker in the country with an annual capacity of 63 million tonnes.
Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp hitched itself on to the Make in India bandwagon
The company is getting back to manufacturing in India, after nearly a decade with plans fi rmed up for two models of the Bravia brand of television sets to be made at Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur plant.
The India arm of the company started manufacturing in India last month with two 43-inch models of its Bravia line televisions. The manufacturing is being done by Taiwanese company Foxconn at the company’s Sriperumbudur plant. At the same campus, Foxconn is also assembling products for Chinese smart phone manufacturer Xiaomi.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had made provisions in the Union Budget this year to incentivise local manufacturing in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. To encourage manufacturing, the central government had announced extension of the Modifi ed Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) for fi ve years, streamlining the process and covering more product categories. First introduced in 2012 as part of a National Policy on Electronics, it provides for 20-25 per cent subsidy on capital expenditure for manufacturers of electronics and consumer durables.
795 low-capacity cell-phone towers in Red Corridor
In the past three months, 795 mobilephone towers have been set up in the Maoist-affected districts of the country, known as the Red Corridor.
Mobile-phone connectivity is one of many development projects being taken up in the Maoist-affected states.
The National Democratic Alliance government aims to erode the infl uence of Maoists with connectivity and a faster mode of communication. There is a glitch though. These towers can handle only 20 calls at a time.
India’s dream of borderless trade grinds to a halt at checkpoints
The rollout of a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) from April was supposed to sweep away hundreds of checkpoints on India’s state borders, paving the way for the seamless movement of goods from the tropical south to the Himalayas in the north.
But political opposition and the dilution of some of the tax’s key tenets mean hopes are fading that the checkposts will be demolished any time soon, a major blow for India’s economy.
The rollout of the long-delayed GST regularly tops the list of demands made by CEOs of Indian and foreign companies.
At the Walayar checkpoint in south India, lines of idle trucks stretch as far as the eye can see in both directions along the tree-lined interstate highway, waiting for clearance from tax inspectors that can take days to complete.
Due to delays entrepreneurs have stopped sending their trucks to the international container terminal at nearby Cochin, instead diverting them hundreds of kilometres to a smaller regional port and onwards via Sri Lanka.
Germany’s DWTV launched in India
DWTV is a 24-hour channel that will focus on news from Europe, as well as regional issues from Asia. Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s public service broadcaster, upped its South Asian presence with the launch of DWTV in India. The news channel will feature 24 hours of programming in English with a focus on news, lifestyle and regional content for Asia. It was launched on September 17th by the German ambassador to India, Martin Ney and Prasar Bharati CEO Jawahar Sircar in Delhi.DWTV
DWTV will mainly have news from Europe and the world, along with a programming focus on regional news and events from Asia. It will also feature documentaries, talk shows and programmes covering culture and lifestyle. Some of these include Euromaxx, Arts.21, Tomorrow Today and Discover Germany.
Last year, Prasar Bharati had signed an MoU with Deutsche Welle, to make DD India available on the Hotbird 13B satellite. The latter covers the whole of Europe, Central Asia and the Arab world of West Asia and North Africa. The reciprocal distribution of DWTV on DD’s Freedish stems from this agreement. The channel will also be available on platforms such as Dish TV and Airtel and on cable networks like Asianet, Hathway, DEN Networks, InCable Network, Ortel and GTPL.
India raises import taxes on vegetable oils
India has raised import taxes on crude and refi ned vegetable oils by 5 percentage points, government and trade sources said, as the world’s largest buyer seeks to curb surging supplies from Malaysia and Indonesia. Duty on crude edible oil has been increased from 7.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent and on refi ned edible oil from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.
Imports of vegetable oils, which include both edible and non-edible oils, rose by 23 per cent to 11.72 million tonnes during November- August period as against 9.52 million tonnes in the same period last year.
The cost of the edible oils imports are expected to rise about 40 percent this fi scal year, driving several Indian mills out of business and forcing some farmers to switch to crops other than oilseeds such as soybeans.
Indian PM favours junking of 5/20 rule for Indian airlines
Vistara and AirAsia India may soon be able to fl y international, as Indian Prime Minister has favoured scrapping of the 5/20 eligibility rule that bars Indian carriers from fl ying overseas until they complete fi ve years of domestic service and have a fl eet of 20 aircraft.
Removal of the regulation is set to widen the divide between the newand old carriers. Jet Airways, the nation’s oldest private airline, as well as IndiGo and Spice- Jet, which had to meet the conditions under the 5/20 rule before they were allowed to fl y overseas, are against its abolition. According to them, scrapping of the rule would give new entrants an unfair advantage.
Tata Steel to sell shares of Tata Motors
Tata Steel Limited, as part of its portfolio restructuring, sold 385.21 lakh shares (1.33 per cent stake) of Tata Motors Ltd. to institutional investors for Rs.1,250.69 crores. The sale of shares with a face value of Rs.2 each at Rs.324.67 per share was executed over the stock exchange following a price discovery through book building process.
With this, Tata Steel’s stake in Tata Motors has come down from 5.54 per cent to 4.21 per cent.
The company has also decided to sell Tata Motors’ shares worth Rs.1,250 crores to Tata Sons Ltd., the holding company of the Tata Group. This transaction will be at market price through an off-market transaction, Tata Steel said.
Tata Steel did not reveal where it will deploy the funds mobilised from the sale of Tata Motors’ shares.
Hero Cycles buys Firefox
Hero Cycles, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer by volume, has acquired Delhi-based premium bicycle brand Firefox Bike.
This is part of its strategy to further cement its position in the fast-growing premium cycling segment in India. As part of the deal, the companies have agreed that Firefox Bikes will continue to have its distinct brand identity and remain a separate business entity post the acquisition.
The deal includes Firefox brand of cycles, accessories, and spares, along with exclusive distribution rights of Trek and other global brands that the Delhi-based premium cycle maker distributes in the country.
Bank of Maharashtra’s Mudra debit card
Bank of Maharashtra launched the Mudra card in Nashik under the Prime Minister Mudra Scheme, with an aim to fulfi ll the needs of micro/small entrepreneurs engaged in all non-farm sector income- generating activities such as manufacturing, trading and services whose credit needs are up to Rs. 10 lakh.
The card was launched by the Chairman- cum-Managing Director, S Muhnot, on the occasion of the bank’s 81st foundation day celebrations today.
Issued as a Rupay debit card, the Mudra card is a fl exible credit product that meets the working capital needs of micro and small entrepreneurs as cash can be withdrawn from any ATM or merchandise purchased using POS machine.
Moreover, the bank is planning to open fully automated fi ve branches in Nashik under the title of Utkarsha during the 2015-16 fi nancial year. The bank already has such three modernised branches operational in Pune.