Economy Current Affairs
Economy Current Affairs April 4th Week 2016
Category : Economy Current Affairs
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1) Licious raises $3 million from Mayfield India.

  • Bengaluru-based consumer food brand start-up Licious has raised $3 million in Series A funding from Mayfield India II Management, a global fund that has made investments in start-ups like Simplilearn and Amagi.
  • The money will be used to spur product innovations by partnering with Executive Chefs with over 30 years of experience in five-star hotels, and to expand reach to other parts of the country. The start-had up raised seed funding of $1 million last year from marquee investors.
  • Licious was conceived with the idea of building India’s largest meat brand that delivers fresh meat to consumers, thereby solving the perennial problem of finding safe, hygienic and high quality fresh meat.
Expansion plans:
  1. The start-up began operations in Bengaluru, with a range of fresh chicken, lamb, and seafood products. It is grossing 15,000 orders a month at an average order value of Rs. 600.
  2. It targets 1, 00,000 orders a month. Plans are on to take the brand to Delhi-NCR over the next six months.

2) Rs. 30 crore Series B to juice up RAW Pressery expansion.
  • Cold-pressed fresh juice company RAW Pressery will launch its largest plant in Mumbai in mid-May.
  • The Mumbai-based company, which produces a range of high nutrition juices, also plans to reach out to 1,500 points of sale by the end of this fiscal, from 450 at present.
  • Armed with a recent Rs. 30 crore Series B funding from Sequoia India, Saama Capital and DSG Partners, the company expects to strengthen its management team and step up brand building and digital marketing exercises, along with expanding its capacity increasing the range of flavours.
  1. The clean label company, with a production plant in Thane, near Mumbai, has entered Hyderabad with trade retail outlets. It plans to enter the direct home delivery and corporate segments in the city. It will add eight juices and smoothies to its range and expand to 12 cities by end of the year, from seven at present. The company’s prime target groups are 18-49-year-olds, urban, health conscious people on the move. It is eyeing a 300 per cent growth in turnover this fiscal, from Rs. 7.5 crore last year.
  2. What’s fuelling the confidence is a perceptible preference shift from carbonated drinks, growth in health consciousness and the product’s stated advantages of being nutritious with no added sugars, chemicals, preservatives, etc. It is also an early entrant in the sector.

3) Government to sell its 11.36% stake in NHPC.

  • In the first disinvestment of current fiscal, the government will tomorrow sell 11.36 per cent equity shares in electricity generator NHPCLtd at Rs. 21.75 apiece to raise about Rs. 2,700 crore.
  • The issue price of Rs. 21.75 a share is at a discount of 5.6 per cent to NHPC`s closing price of Rs. 23.05 on BSE.
  • The government holds 85.96 per cent in NHPC and selling of over 125 crore shares or 11.36 per cent stake would help it comply with the minimum public shareholding norm.
  • A minimum of 20 per cent of the shares on offer have been reserved for allocation to retail investors.
  • No single bidder other than mutual funds and insurance companies shall be allocated more than 25 per cent of the offer size.
4) Patanjali to invest Rs. 1,150 crore in 2017.
  • Patanjali Ayurved, the FMCG venture promoted by yoga guru Ramdev, will invest over Rs. 1,150 crore in the current fiscal to set up six processing units and one R&D center as it chases a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore this year.
  • These units will come up in Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Patanjali Ayurved, which reported a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore in the last fiscal, is also looking at entering the highly competitive dairy segment this year.
  • It has a network of over 4,000 distributors, 10,000 stores and 100 Patanjali mega marts pan India.
  • He further added Patanjali would spend around Rs. 500 crore on cow protection and research center and setting up world class universities for vaidik education.
5) Videocon d2h Ties-up With Vodafone m-pesa.
  • NASDAQ-listed Indian direct-to-home (DTH) player Videocon d2h has partnered with Vodafone, a move that will its subscribers recharge their d2h service using Vodafone m-pesa.
  • The 120,000+ Vodafone m-pesa cash in points will also accept recharge for Videocon d2h.
  • Videocon d2h, which claims to be India`s fastest growing DTH service provider, offers over 550 channels and services.
  • It is soon going to launch HD Smart Connect Set top Box (connected STB), which converts existing normal TV into a Smart TV. The Connected set top box allows one to browse content from Facebook, Twitter, Daily Motion, video on demand sites, news sites, weather sites, etc through applications residing on STB.
6) Union Railway Ministry to set up Rs. 1 lakh crore Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh.
  • The Union Railway Ministry has decided to create a 1 lakh crore rupees safety fund named Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh to strengthen safety measures on the rail network to prevent accidents.
  • It was announced by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh will be a non-lapsable fund which will be utilized for safety measures. The fund will help Indian Railways to accomplish its zero-accident mission by strengthening the safety measures on the rail network in a comprehensive way.
  • Under this fund, envisaged works like track renewal and upgradation, bridge rehabilitation, elimination of level-crossings, construction of road over bridges/road under bridges will be under taken. It will be also used for replacement and improvement of signaling system, improvement and upgradation of rolling stock, replacement of electrical assets and human resource development.
7) India may surpass China in attracting FDI: Nomura.
  • India may surpass China this year in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), as the gap in inflows between the two has been narrowing with the reforms being implemented by India, according to Japanese financial services firm Nomura.
  • FDI inflows to India (as a percentage of GDP) can surpass those into China in 2016, as India already has large investment commitments from MNCs in sectors like electronics, solar energy, auto, defence and railways.
  • The trend of rising inflows to India and moderating inflows to China are likely driven by a mix of pull and push factors like divergent growth outlooks, ongoing FDI liberalization and economic reforms in India, compared to rising labour costs in China.
  • Rising FDI inflows not only provide a stable source of financing the current account deficit (CAD), but also bring in technical know-how, which can boost India`s productivity growth in the near future.
  • FDI inflows to India touched a record level of $51 billion during the April-February period of the last financial year.

8) Government approves BPCL`s Rs. 3000 crore investment in Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd.

  • The Cabinet has given its approval to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) to enhance its investment in Bharat Oman Refineries Limited (BORL) - a joint venture between Oman Oil Company Limited (OOCL) and BPCL – to Rs. 3000 crore. The investment amount could be enhanced upto a maximum of Rs. 3000 crore by way of subscription of convertible warrants/ other instruments giving right to convert it into equity shares to be issued by BORL, beyond DPE guidelines.
  • The infusion of funds by the BPCLs will enable BORL to overcome the implications on account of the erosion of the net worth. Besides, it will enhance the availability of petroleum products in the Northern and Central parts of the country, industrial development of Madhya Pradesh and substantial increase in employment and tax earnings in the state.
  • The BORL commissioned the 6 million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA) or 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery at Bina in Madhya Pradesh. At a project cost of about Rs. 12,754 crore. Currently, the refinery is operating at 100 percent of its installed capacity.
  • BORL is now planning to undertake a debottlenecking project at the refinery to further increase the capacity from 6 MMTPA to 7.8 MMTPA. The estimated project cost is Rs. 3,072 crore, with an overall implementation schedule of 36 months from date of receipt of environmental clearances (Zero Date).
  • BPCL board has decided to infuse funds to the tune of Rs. 3,000 crore for funding the debottlenecking project and for meeting the extraordinary losses suffered on account of the sharp fall in the prices of crude oil and finished products.
9) BSE inks pact with Korea Exchange to list Sensex-based derivatives.
  • BSE Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Korea Exchange (KRX) of South Korea, for listing S&P BSE Sensex-based derivatives contracts on the latter.
  • The agreement is expected to further the development of derivatives markets in India and South Korea. It will encourage the sharing of information, and foster new opportunities for the exchanges and their respective issuers.
  • The MoU also includes information sharing by both parties to promote each other’s understanding of a product’s listing process and the market’s functioning.
  • The two exchanges will also support each other for investor relations activities of cross-listed products and assist with cross-border supervision and enforcement.
  • BSE and KRX have also agreed to conduct joint research in the area of derivatives markets and to support the development of new products, experience sharing and cooperation on IT system.
10) First time direct tax details published by CBDT.
  • In a first, CBDT has made public a host of hard data on the total number of taxpayers in the country, income disclosed in IT returns by various categories of taxpayers and number of PAN holders in the country for a chosen period of time.
  • The objective of publishing these statistics was to encourage wider use and analysis of Income Tax data by departmental personnel and academicians.
  • Under the `time series` data, between 2000-01 to 2014-15 financial years, discloses the actual direct taxes collection made by the department, direct tax to GDP ratio, the cost of collecting the revenue for the government kitty, number of effective assesses and workload and disposal of IT cases.
  • The department has also published statistics filed by taxpayers in their return of income for Assessment year 2012-13.
  • It also discloses the Permanent Account Number (PAN) allocation across various categories and gender by the end of 2013-14 fiscal.

11) SBT Q4 net shrinks 67.6%.
  • A 217 per cent rise in provisions over the year-ago quarter brought down the Q4 net profit of State Bank of Travancore (SBT) by 67.63 per cent to Rs. 62.13 crore. This is despite the good control on total expenditure, which helped it post a 16.91 per cent growth in operating profit to Rs. 547.47 crore.
  • A 11.57 per cent growth in other income partially compensated for the muted (2.3 per cent) growth in interest earnings.
  • The mega provisioning also took away the gains made in tax expenditure (-73.51 per cent) and distorted the rest of the figures, leading to the significant slide in net profit.
  • The bank has provided additional prudential provisions over and above RBI stipulations.
  • This resulted in a 92 per cent increase in provisions during the year. Thus, the provision-coverage ratio has improved to 61.49 per cent.
Annual figures:
  • The operating profit for the full year rose 31 per cent to Rs. 1,798 crore (Rs. 1,372 crore in FY15), while net profit growth was almost flat at Rs. 337.73 crore. The operating profit was driven by a 12 per cent hike in net interest income and a 28 per cent surge in fee income.
  • The board of directors declared 50 per cent dividend (Rs. 5 per share of face value Rs. 10). The bank has been consistently replacing high-cost and bulk deposits with retail deposits to cut interest costs.
12) Centre approves Rs. 9,005 crore investment for affordable housing in three states.
  • Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has approved an investment of Rs. 9,005 crore for construction of 73,205 more houses for Economically Weaker Sections in urban under Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana in the States of Maharashtra, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.
  • An inter-ministerial Central Screening & Monitoring Committee chaired by Dr. Nandita Chatterjee, Secretary (HUPA) approved the first batch of housing proposals during the current financial year. These were also the first affordable housing proposals of these three States sanctioned under PMAY (Urban).
  • Maharashtra has been sanctioned a total of 71,701 houses in 10 cities at a total project cost of Rs. 8,932 crore with Central Assistance of Rs. 1,064 crore. Houses sanctioned include -61,946 under Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP), 7,399 for Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) and 2,356 for In-situ Slum Redevelopment.
Houses sanctioned city-wise in Maharashtra are:
  1. Virar - 61,946, Kalyan - 30,378, Thane - 8,184, Gothegar - 3,822 and the rest in Mumbai Metropolitan Region areas of Wave, Palghar, Pen, Nilaje Pada, Raygad and Kelawali.
  2. For Punjab, construction of 1,280 houses for In-Situ Slum Redevelopment in Bhatinda was approved with a total investment of Rs. 57 crore for which central assistance of Rs. 12.80 crore was sanctioned.
  3. For Jammu & Kashmir, construction of 224 houses under Beneficiary Led Construction component of PMAY (Urban) has been approved with a total investment of Rs. 16.07 crore with central assistance of Rs. 3.36 crore. This includes construction of 141 houses in Udhampur and 83 in Baramullah.
13) Cigna to hike stake in insurance JV with TTK to 49%.
  • The US-based global health-service leader Cigna Corporation has initiated the process of increasing its stake in CignaTTK Health Insurance (CignaTTK).
  • Cigna is committed to increasing its stake to 49 per cent from 26 per cent now. The process has started.
  • This standalone health insurer, which started its journey two years back, is now aiming at cash-flow breakeven by 2019.
  • Currently, CignaTTK is capitalised at close to Rs. 400 crore. In 2015-16, the health insurer had recorded new business premium of Rs. 144 crore.
  • Online business accounts for 9-10 per cent of new business premium.
  • Insurance regulator IRDAI had recently amended bancassurance regulations to allow banks to expand the number of tie-ups with insurers.
14) IndiGo profit soars 53% in fiscal 2016.
  • IndiGo, the Gurgaon-based low-cost airline, has reported a profit after tax of Rs. 1989.72 crore for the fiscal 2016, an increase of 52.6 per cent. The board has recommended a final dividend of Rs. 15 per share.
  • This is the eighth consecutive year of profitability with highest-ever yearly profits.
  • The airline reported a profit after tax of Rs. 579.31 crore for the quarter ended 2016 against Rs. 577.33 crore. The total income from operations during the quarter ended 2016 stood at Rs. 4090.67 crore an increase of 7 per cent.
  • Total revenues for the quarter ended 2016 were Rs. 4247.58 crore an increase of 7.5 per cent over the same period in the previous year, while passenger revenues were Rs. 3534.56 crore an increase of 5.4 per cent. During the quarter ended March 2016, ancillary revenues increased 17.6 per cent to Rs. 532.17 crore.
  • For the full year the total revenues saw an increase of 15.9 per cent at Rs. 16601.30 crore, while passenger revenues for the full year were up 14.4 per cent at Rs. 14062.42 crore and ancillary revenues grew by 27.3 per cent to touch Rs. 2001.99 crore.