Around the Globe

Around the Globe

Govt orders safety audit for 418 coalmines

The central government has ordered safety audit of all 418 coalmines following the Jharkhand mine disaster that claimed 18 lives, said minister of state for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines Piyush Goyal, here on Tuesday.
The audit would be carried out by directorate general of mining safety on a priority basis, based on size of mines, Goyal told reporters after addressing the CII national council meeting.

Home loans: HDFC equals ICICI rates

Much to the joy of prospective borrowers, a home loan rate cut war has started. Close on the heels of leading banks, including SBI, cutting their lending rates, housing finance companies on Tuesday announced a reduction in home loan rates. Two top housing finance companies — Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and Indiabulls Housing Finance Company — cut home loan rates by 40-45 basis points, matching them with ICICI Bank home loan rates.

Shift to Airtel 4G, get free data for 1 year

India’s number one telecom venture Bharti Airtel hit back in the price warrior battle with newbie Reliance Jio by offering free data to woo new and existing 4G customers. The move has intensified the price war in the sector, sending share prices tumbling.

GST jumble States demand tax on high sea sales

The goods and services tax (GST) on Tuesday hit a fresh hurdle with states demanding taxation rights for sales in high seas and also increasing the number of items on which cess is to be levied to compensate for revenue loss in the new indirect tax regime.
The GST council, joint forum of Centre and states, did not even discuss the most vexed issue of dual-control on the first day of the two-day meeting, suggesting April 1 deadline to roll out the ‘one nation, one tax’ is a distant possibility. The contentious issue would now be discussed on Wednesday.

Ambitious strategic sale programme remains on paper

The strategic sale programme pursued enthusiastically by the previous NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was put in the cold storage by the UPA soon after it came into power in 2004.
The Modi government has revived the strategic sale idea after 12 years. However, it still remains on paper despite the big talk of Niti Aayog, which is tasked to do the groundwork.

Cane shortage brings down sugar rush

Sugar mills have been able to produce higher volume of the sweetener in the first quarter of the season due to better yield of sugarcane in Uttar Pradesh, but the euphoria of beating a lower output estimate may soon be over with factories in Maharashtra closing down one after another, earlier than the regular schedule.
As much as 25 mills in the top sugar-producing state of Maharashtra have closed factories due to a severe shortage of sugarcane.

Basmati prices up but production set to fall 30 pc

Farmers are now realising 50 per cent more than the price they got by selling basmati rice, simply because they reduced the area. But exporters may not benefit from this as their returns have slumped compared to last year.
Pusa 1509 paddy is currently being sold at Rs 21 a kg whereas it was sold at Rs 14-15 a kg during January last year, Mahender Jain, a rice trader from Karnal said. Similarly, the Pusa 1121 variety in paddy form commands Rs 28-30 a kg, up from Rs 20 a kg last year, he said.

BJP to weed out negativity from UP poll campaign, unlike Bihar

Wary of making mistakes for which it paid heavy price in Bihar, the BJP is going to weed out “negativity” from its campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
Party sources said that development will be the primary focus of BJP’s high-voltage campaign in Uttar Pradesh, where it is locked in a multi-cornered contest. The strategy has been devised following inputs from the Bihar debacle where the party leaders felt that the campaign had turned negative sending wrong signal to the electorate.
The BJP sources said that it will return to power in Lucknow after 15 years riding on the positive wave.

Agri stocks rise on speculation over budget sops

The stock prices of the companies engaged in agriculture-related activities have started moving up following reports that the farm sector has not been dented by demonetisation and that the government is going to announce further sops for the sector in the upcoming Budget. Stocks of sugar companies have been on the rise ever since the Centre reduced its production estimates to about 22 million tonnes for 2016-17 (October-September), as against 25.1 million tonnes produced in the previous year.

SP break-up formalised; Akhilesh lays claim to ‘cycle’

The split in the Samajwadi Party was formalised on Tuesday, with the Akhilesh Yadav camp approaching the Election Commission to assert that the party is “actually” headed by the chief minister now and not its founder Mulayam Singh, who had knocked at the doors of the poll panel on Monday to lay claim on ‘cycle’ symbol.