Miscellany

Miscellany

Banking sector pay gap flabbergasting

Bank of India (SBI), one of the world’s 50 largest banks, pays only a small fraction to its top management compared with private sector players like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.
Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan had flagged the low remuneration issue last August saying it makes difficult for state-owned banks to “attract top talent, especially a lateral entry”.

Will NASA-ISRO satellite pass the Trump test?

Space scientists in India and America are on tenterhooks as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald J Trump meet for the first bilateral in Washington on Monday.
At stake is the world's most expensive earth-imaging satellite till date being jointly made by the NASA and the ISRO.
Climate change seems to be a red rag for the current American administration. If there is one thing that divides India and America big-time today, it is climate change. In all likelihood climate change would be a point that would figure in the Trump-Modi discussions.

Leniency in GST laws for genuine mistakes initially: Adhia

With the countdown to GST rollout underway, government today promised leniency in enforcing penal laws for violations during the initial period of implementation of the new national sales tax regime.
Revenue Secretary Hashmukh Adhia said a distinction would be made between genuine mistakes in filing of returns and deliberate attempts to evade taxes.
"Our intention is to have a smooth landing of GST. Intention is not to harass everyone in the first month," he said at a GST Town Hall.

India eyes breakthrough on U.S. surveillance drones ahead of Modi trip

India is pushing for U.S. approval of its request to buy a naval variant of the Predator drone, officials said, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to revitalise relations with Washington when he meets President Donald Trump for the first time.

Securing agreement on the purchase of 22 unarmed drones is seen in New Delhi as a key test of defence ties that flourished under former President Barack Obama but have drifted under Trump, who has courted Asian rival China as he seeks Beijing's help to contain North Korea's nuclear programme.

SEBI tightens rules for offshore derivatives

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Wednesday tightened regulations on offshore derivatives by increasing fees and banning the sale of certain products, while at the same time easing registration rules for foreign portfolio investors.

SEBI said its board had decided to impose a fee of $1,000 every three years, starting from April 1 this year, on each offshore derivative instrument (ODI) subscriber to be collected by the issuer.

GST enforcement not to be harsh during initial period: Teaotia

To allay the fears of the exporting community, the commerce ministry today said that enforcement would not be harsh during the initial period of GST implementation from July 1.
"Any transition will require some adjustment. Exporters will get an extended two months time for filing returns under the new tax regime. And also enforcement will not be harsh during the initial period," commerce secretary Rita Teaotia told exporters at a session organised by EEPC, FIEO and GJEPC here.

Media companies are getting sick of Facebook

When Facebook Inc wants to try som- ething new, one of its first calls is to CNN. It was a key partner when Facebook introduced its news-reading app, Paper, in 2014. When the social network shuttered Paper soon after, transmogrifying it into a series of fast-­loading News Feed stories called Instant Articles, CNN remained on board. And last year, when Facebook began focusing on hosting live video, CNN was one of the few parties to which it paid a nominal fee to produce clips of, say, election results being projected on the Empire State Building.

Govt notifies 18 sections, 2 rules for GST

Days ahead of the rollout of Goods and Service Tax), the government today notified sections in the GST Act dealing with mandatory registration of current indirect tax payers
in the new regime.
As many as 18 sections relating to registration of current central excise, service tax and VAT payers with the GST-Network (GSTN) as well as transitional provisions were notified today.
As a precursor to GST, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has also notified two rules -- registration and composition levy.
All the notifications would be effective from June 22.

India asks Qatar to invest in power plants as condition for LNG deals

India on Tuesday said it would sign future long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase deals with Qatar if only Doha agrees to acquire stakes in the South Asian nation's power plants, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

India is the latest major LNG buyer to seek concessions from Qatar, the world's biggest LNG exporter, in order to re-sign long-term supply contracts. Amid a global glut of LNG and a slump in prices, other buyers have sought more flexible contracts, including clauses that would allow them to resell gas they do not consume.

Silicon Valley giants outrank many nations

The top firms in California’s Silicon Valley carry more weight on the global stage than many countries, which makes building diplomatic relations with them increasingly important, the world’s first national technology ambassador said.
Chosen to fill what his country's foreign ministry has dubbed the first “techplomacy” posting on the US. West Coast, Denmark’s Casper Klynge will be tasked with building direct ties between his country and the likes of Facebook, Apple and Alphabet's Google.

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