Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

India risks landing on currency manipulator watch list

India and Thailand may have to give freer rein to the rupee and baht this year to avoid triggering US accusations that they’re manipulating their currencies to support exports. The Reserve Bank of India has already exceeded a key threshold on how much it can intervene to curb the rupee’s gains that the US monitors, according to Nomura Holdings Inc.

Policymakers in Thailand have also passed this level with the baht, said Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Maharashtra bandh turns violent; rail, road traffic hit

The day-long Maharashtra bandh to protest the violence post an event to mark 200th anniversary of Bhima Koregaon battle, was called off on Wednesday evening. Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader and Dalit icon BR Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar, who had called the bandh, told reporters that nearly 50 per cent of the state’s population took part in the shut-down. Road blockades, arson and stone-pelting incidents were reported in Mumbai and elsewhere during the day. However, Ambedkar, claimed that the bandh was peaceful. 

Revised concession pact for PPP projects at ports gets cabinet nod

In an attempt to spur private investment in the port sector, the government has cleared changes in the PPP (public-private partnership) framework allowing developers to exit a project after two years of commercial operation. The revenue sharing provisions have also been relaxed to make the sector more investor-friendly. The move, seen as a big po­sitive for the sector, will allow developers to monetise assets by diluting stake in projects. It will bring new cl­a­ss of investors such as pension and sovereign funds.

RS nominees: AAP war in open as Kejriwal sides with outsiders

With the Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday nominating senior party leader Sanjay Singh and two little-known faces, a Delhi-based businessman with past links with the Congress and a veteran chartered accountant, as its Rajya Sabha nominees ignoring senior party leader Kumar Vishwas, the rifts in the party were out in the open.

H-1B visa changes will hit US too: Nasscom

Any disruptive move on the visa front will be detrimental for both India and the US, with reports suggesting that Washington may be mulling new rules to prevent H-1B visa extensions, software body Nasscom has said.

Zojila Pass tunnel project gets green light

The Narendra Modi-led cabinet on Wednesday approved the construction of Asia’s longest bi-directional Zojila Pass tunnel at an estimated cost of Rs 6,089 crore, which will reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh to 15 minutes from the current 3.5 hours.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs gave its go-ahead to the 14.2-km-long tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir to provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh, which remains cut-off from the rest of the country during winters due to heavy snowfall.

Bihar urges Centre to sort out issues before e-way bill rollout

The Bihar government has urged the Centre to sort out all issues around the e-way bill, before rolling out the digital system aimed at containing tax evasion in the new indirect tax regime. The move comes weeks after the all-powerful GST Council decided to introduce the electronic-way or e-way bill for movement of goods.

The Bihar government has asked for a 24-hour troubleshooting mechanism and setting up a helpdesk to address issues that could crop up in the midst of implementing the e-way bill.

Budget relief likely on property investment and rental income

If you are a homeowner get ready for a slew of goodies when the Union budget is presented this year.

On that day, finance minister Arun Jaitley may be preparing a Union Budget to lower your interest burden on home loans, while nudging you to buy a second home or first home where your rental earnings would see higher deductions from taxes. The budget this year may provide relief on property investments.

Banks face mounting criticism

Facing public ire for levying hefty penalty from customers for not maintaining monthly average balance (MAB) in savings accounts, bankers have come out justifying the heavy fine.