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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

economic news of india - world economic news - economics news for students - indian economy news

economic news of india - world economic news - economics news for students - indian economy news


Testing times ahead for India's new foreign minister

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It's good that India's new foreign minister S Jaishankar embraces change & tries to read the world as is — not as it was or should be. Sticking to dogma can be dangerous, especially in these turbulent times. The US is changing the rules of engagement with friends and foes alike. China's rise is no longer 'peaceful' as promised. Russia is maximising its clout, and Europe is struggling.The existing world order is breaking down in front of our eyes. Few 'set plays' can be deployed in this minefield of competing interests, rising tensions, tariff wars and diminished international institutions. The new normal demands new responses.India will position itself by optimising ties with all major players, said Jaishankar two weeks before being named external affairs minister. It means 'cultivating America, steadying Russia, managing China, enthusing Japan and attending to Europe' while increasing India's footprint in the neighbourhood. "Every relationship will have to be leveraged." "Playing safe" is passé because it can easily become an "opportunity-denial exercise". Let that sink in, especially for the perennially risk-averse.As foreign secretary, Jaishankar saw US President Donald Trump's 'disruptive' policies as an opportunity to increase India's options. As foreign minister, he faces a Trump-sized disruption on trade issues. Things are getting tetchy by the day. His ingenuity and savvy will be tested.The first high-level US visitor in Modi 2.0 will be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later this month. Both sides will give each other a sense of what's on their mind as they prepare for the India-US-Japan trilateral on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, when Modi will meet Trump for the first time since his election victory.Officials will try to contain the interaction within predictable parameters. But with Trump, that's a limited exercise. Pompeo and Jaishankar are likely to engage in a free-flowing discussion on the regional situation — Pakistan, Afghanistan and, of course, China. Pompeo is expected to make a case against India going to China for 5G technology. Both sides are acutely aware that unresolved trade issues should not be allowed to rock the larger India-US relationship. It would help if the easy issues were resolved first to put some goodwill in the bank, which stands depleted, and go on to tackle bigger ones. Why should airlines' ground handling be allowed to become a dispute? It frazzles the mind.It's good to keep in mind that India is not being uniquely targeted because Trump has pushed all US friends and allies to demand 'reciprocal' relationships. Japan, Germany, Canada, South Korea and Mexico are all under pressure and their flagship industries affected. They are negotiating despite extraordinary 'Trumpian' demands. Last week, he threatened to raise tariffs on all Mexican imports unless Mexico curbed the surge in migration on the border. An agreement reached in the nick of time.India will have to be imaginative on trade disputes — give some, take some and absorb some. The Trump administration is reportedly getting ready to launch a full-blown 'investigation' into India's trade practices under Section 301of the US Trade Act.The issue of Iran oil sanctions is over. India has stopped its imports from Iran and increased imports from the US. Incidentally, China's State-owned oil companies have done the same, despite all the sabre-rattling from Beijing. Any attempt to set up a separate payment line and continue imports could invite sanctions on the Indian entity and could jeopardise the waiver for Chabahar Port in Iran. This is a sanctions-happy administration.But make noise India must, not just to get satisfaction but because there's alimit to becoming collateral damage in US policy obsessions. It makes hedging appear much more attractive and undermines relations. The challenge of India potentially coming under Russia sanctions because of the S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft air defence system is far more complex and could see areal confrontation between Washington and New Delhi down the line.But shouldn't the US be equally worried about the fallout of any precipitous action under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (Caatsa)? Will it punish India, a 'major defence partner', and be prepared to drive a hole into its own Indo-Pacific strategy?Any sanctions will impact US arms sales and, consequently, the diversification towards which New Delhi has been moving. That will help Russia instead of punishing it. Trump's former defence secretary, Jim Mattis, had warned of such a scenario. But Trump listens mostly to himself. From all accounts, the new 'adults' in the room are less prone to trying to change his mind on issues than their predecessors.

IL&FS probe unearths new trail of fishy deals

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NEW DELHI: Investigation into the high-profile IL&FS fraud has showed that the then CEO of the group's financial services arm IFIN helped a senior director of a leading rating agency buy a duplex villa worth crores at a discount when an important circuitous transaction with a defaulter borrower was underway in 2012-13.The probe by the government's white-collar crime probe agency SFIO has already unearthed connivance of auditors and independent directors with the then top management of IFIN (IL&FS Financial Services Ltd) in defrauding the company.IFIN & several other group companies have been found to have indulged in multiple circuitous transactions involving several illegalities including fast disbursals to some borrowers despite their bad track record in servicing existing loans and also delayed recoveries.As per the investigation report, which is part of the first chargesheet filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), IFIN and other entities from the IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services) group continued to enjoy high ratings from various rating agencies, including due to window-dressing of the company books.As per the report, a part of a loan disbursed to SIVA Group was used by the borrower to pay IFIN for the liabilities arising out of a debt syndication fee.This fee was paid by SIVA group to IFIN for services rendered by IFIN for debt restructuring carried out by the company.The probe showed that in the year 2012-13, SIVA Ventures had an outstanding liability against Unitech, while an outstanding loan of IFIN to Unitech was also overdue.The SFIO probe has revealed that the IFIN top management decided to bail out SIVA group by funding the repayment of the liabilities of Unitech towards SIVA Ventures. Accordingly, sanction and disbursal of Rs 125 crore was done to Unitech group to help them clear their dues to Siva of approximately Rs 80 crore and consecutively Siva to clear the loans of IFIN.In this transaction, IFIN not only self-funded their advisory income of Rs 8 crore but also granted additional loans of approximately Rs 45 crore.However, post completion of transaction, on Siva group's request, it was allowed to utilise a major portion of the loan, approximately Rs 40 crore, to close a loan of Union Bank of India. This was done in consideration of a mandate of restructuring from Siva group to IFIN with a fee of Rs 12.5 crore."Further, in the interim of this transaction, Ramesh Bawa (who was then CEO and MD of IFIN) also assisted a senior director in Fitch Ratings, Singapore, who appears to be involved in rating of ILFS in buying a duplex villa of Rs 4.25 crore at a discounted price of Rs 3.25 crore," as per the probe report.When contacted, a Fitch Ratings spokesperson said, "We are unable to comment on it."According to the website of IFIN, its borrowing programme was rated by the renowned rating agencies - Credit Analysis and Research Ltd (CARE), Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Ltd (ICRA) and India Ratings & Research Pvt Ltd (FITCH).It also said IFIN enjoyed "the top notch credit rating for its long term and short term borrowing programme".The website further mentions FITCH had assigned a national rating of 'AAA(ind)' to Long Term Borrowing programme and 'F1+(ind)' to Short Term Borrowing Programme of the company, which denotes the highest degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations and carry lowest credit risk.It also lists various rating reports given to it by Fitch Ratings till 2011 and by India Ratings, as a Fitch Group company, for 2013-2014 period.The website also lists high ratings assigned to it by CARE and ICRA.The SFIO probe has also flagged that auditors of debt-laden IL&FS not only connived with the top management in their fraudulent activities, but also sought to sell them certain products and services.While the government has appointed a new board at IL&FS as part of its efforts to revive the sprawling group, the SFIO has filed its first chargesheet after taking into consideration details about 400 entities and data collected from various sources, including computers and laptops, among other sources.There was window-dressing of the asset book, ever-greening of loans and delayed recoveries for several years in connivance with the top brass.Despite an end-use policy being in place, the investigation found, loans were not monitored for their proper end-use.The massive scam came to light last year after various IL&FS group entities defaulted on debt repayments. The group owed more than Rs 90,000 crore as of March 2018. In October, the government superseded the board of IL&FS and appointed a new board.In the chargesheet, the SFIO has accused 30 entities/individuals of various violations and offences, including of financial fraud. Some of the accused persons, including Bawa, are already in judicial custody.

New labour law soon to boost economy

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NEW DELHI: Aimed at helping investors and accelerating growth, the Modi government is planning a new labour legislation that would merge 44 labour laws under four categories-- wages, social security, industrial safety & welfare, and industrial relations.The decision has been taken at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah and attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal among others."A new Labour Bill will be introduced in the coming session of the Parliament," Gangwar told reporters Tuesday after the hour-long meeting.Gangwar said the draft bill will be placed before the Union Cabinet after which it will be introduced in Lok Sabha, possibly in the second week of the coming Parliament session."All major labour unions in the country were consulted by the government for the new labour laws," he said.The four categories will deal with wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare, and industrial relations, an official said.It is expected that the laws related to social security, including the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, Employees' State Insurance Corporation Act, Maternity Benefits Act, Building and Other Construction Workers Act and the Employees' Compensation Act will be merged to create a single social security law or code.Several industrial safety and welfare laws such as the Factories Act, the Mines Act and the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, will be merged to create a single category on industrial safety and welfare.The Minimum Wages Act, the Payment of Wages Act, the Payment of Bonus Act, the Equal Remuneration Act and a few others are likely to be merged.The Labour Code on Industrial Relations will combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.The proposed new labour law will help investors and is expected to accelerate growth, another official said.

India to rein in China's gift horse

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NEW DELHI: Beware of Chinese bearing gifts, or rather Chinese ecommerce companies bearing gifts. India's government, worried that many of China's online merchants are in effect abusing this country's no-cap rule on duty-free gifts, is considering setting an upper limit on the number of overseas gifts any citizen can receive in a year. Officials, who spoke off record, told ET that the government has begun a review of customs norms governing gifts, and that changes may be introduced in the upcoming budget, which is to be presented on July 5. "Norms are being reviewed… There is a growing view that a tighter framework is needed," said a government official. A cap on the number of overseas gifts can be enforced by linking receipts to a citizen's Aadhaar or passport number. Under current customs norms, free samples as well as gifts from overseas persons up to the value of Rs 5,000 can be received duty-free in India via couriers. There is, however, no cap on how many gifts an individual can receive annually. And it's this provision that's being exploited by overseas ecommerce outfits, especially those from China.There have been reports of individuals receiving packages on a daily basis, said the official quoted above. Using the gift route allows overseas ecommerce players to avoid import duties, giving them an unfair advantage over firms that follow customs norms. Local ecommerce companies had earlier sent representations to the government on the issue.COURIER COS IGNORE NORMSCourier service providers are required to carry out know-your-customer checks of the recipients. But smaller courier companies frequently ignore these norms, officials said. Therefore, the government may also look at tightening the KYC norms.The need for a broader policy, officials said, stems from the limited impact of the narrow-focussed regulatory action undertaken so far. In January, one zone of the Mumbai customs commissionerate cancelled registrations of courier companies that did not comply with KYC norms. It also ruled that the Rs 5,000 limit on the gift value will include the courier charge. But the result was rerouting of such packages via other points of entry.

Another exit at Yes Bank over Rana Kapoor's re-entry bid

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MUMBAI: Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor's demand for a seat on the board and compensation for lost payment has thrown the private sector lender's board into a tizzy, forcing the resignation of a second independent director in two days, three people familiar with the development said. Mukesh Sabharwal, chairman of the nomination and remuneration committee, quit on Tuesday citing personal reasons. Former interim CEO Ajai Kumar had quit on Monday, also on personal grounds.Rana Kapoor had sent two letters in early May seeking re-induction on the board as well as crores of rupees in compensation for lost remuneration. Many board members found this demand unreasonable, these people said."The two letters from Kapoor set off the bitter battle in the boardroom," said one of the persons.BOARD SPLIT OVER DEMAND"There were some sympathetic to his demands. Others believed that it could go against the spirit of the RBI decision not to give him another term as CEO. If someone is unfit to be a CEO, how is he good to be on the board of the same bank," the person said. 69749182 The RBI had refused to approve the renewal of Kapoor's tenure as chief executive of the bank last year, citing governance and accounting lapses, forcing it to hire a new CEO.The board is split over Kapoor's demand to be re-admitted as director, said the persons. Following the resignations, it is down to 11 directors, including chairman Brahm Dutt. The development comes as the bank is in the process of raising funds and is in talks with private equity firms such as Advent International and Apax Partners. TPG and T Rowe Price, a portfolio investor, are also looking at investing in the bank. An annual shareholder meet is scheduled for Wednesday."Sabharwal has mentioned that he wants to devote quality time on his academic pursuits and hence has tendered his resignation," Yes Bank said in an exchange filing.Kapoor denied there was any controversy over his appointment."No such issues whatsoever," he told ET in an email. "We have two board representatives and nothing else whatsoever please." He didn't elaborate.The RBI had first turned down a three-year term for Kapoor, one of the bank's co-founders. Kapoor's bid to continue for a shorter term of two years was also turned down by the regulator, which led to the hiring of Ravneet Gill from Deutsche Bank as CEO.Yes Bank did not respond to queries and Gill couldn't be reached for comment.After the RBI rejected Kapoor's continuation as CEO, at least five directors have quit the board, including former finance secretary Ashok Chawla. The hunt for Kapoor's successor was marked by the abrupt resignation of the search committee's head, OP Bhatt, former chairman of the State Bank of India. The latest boardroom tussle could leave the bank vulnerable, with potential shareholders turning wary about corporate governance issues.The resignations may have been sparked in part by social media chatter about remuneration and whether they could fulfil their roles."They said that why should they take all this nonsense at this stage of their lives," said the second person cited above. "They could have performed their roles, but if some forces are against it, why should they go out of their way."The RBI had nominated retired deputy governor R Gandhi to the board of Yes Bank last month to make sure that the lender adhered to prudential norms and ensured checks and balances were in place.The resignation of the two directors will leave key committees without their chairmen. These include the nomination and remuneration committee that decides on bank personnel and the credit committee that was headed by Kumar.

Subsidy proposals this week to set up 5,000 e-charging stations

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NEW DELHI: The government will within this week float two large proposals offering subsidy to states for deployment of 5,000 electric charging stations in cities and highways. This is the pilot electric infrastructure layout plan by the government and aims at promoting India's plan to shift 40% fleet to battery-operated vehicles. Presently, there are 150 charging stations in India. Setting up stations in cities will be open to all companies while only central utilities will be eligible to deploy such infrastructure on highways.Two separate expressions of interest for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in cities and on highways will be floated by the department of heavy industries this week, an official said.For securing subsidy for deployment of charging stations within cities, states through their nodal agencies, mostly electricity distribution companies, will have to submit their proposals to the department.Interestingly, for setting up electric charging points at highways, proposals can be submitted only by central public sector enterprises. For deployment of charging stations at highways 100% subsidy will be given on cost of charger and transformer, the official said.The government has de-licensed public charging stations business for electric vehicles enabling individuals to extend such facilities, but at a regulated tariff.Companies like ABB, Acme Industries, Fortum India and a few Dutch firms are actively considering setting up vehicle charging stations. State-run companies like NTPC, GAIL India, Indian Oil Corp and Power Grid Corp have been exploring diversification into electric vehicle charging infrastructure business.India has recently approved phase-II of FAME India Scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India), for a period of three years commencing from April 1, 2019 with total budgetary support of Rs 10,000 crore. The main focus of this phase of the scheme is the electrification of public and shared transportation and laying of electric vehicles charging infrastructure.The government targets setting up of one charging station every three km in cities and every 25 km on both sides of highways.

Moody’s places YES Bank rating under review for a downgrade

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Moody's Investors Service has placed Yes Bank's ratings under review for a downgrade citing its large exposure to debt-laden nonbanking financial companies (NBFC) and the possibility that the bank's loans under watch list could slip into non-performing assets (NPAs). In a note on Tuesday, the rating agency arm said it had placed the bank's foreign currency issuer rating, long-term foreign and local currency bank deposit ratings, medium-term note issuer rating under review for a possible downgrade."The review for downgrade takes into account Moody's expectation that the ongoing liquidity pressures on Indian finance companies will negatively impact the credit profile of Yes Bank, given the bank's sizeable exposure to weaker companies in the sector. At the end of March 2019, Yes Bank's exposure to Indian housing finance companies (HFC) and non-bank finance companies (NBFC) represented 6.4 per cent of its total exposure. In addition, Yes Bank had a 7 per cent direct exposure to the commercial and residential real estate sector as of the same date, which is also under pressure, because liquidity conditions have worsened for the real estate sector, just like with the HFCs and NBFCs," Moody's said.Moody's pointed out that the bank had classified about Rs 10,000 crore of its exposure, representing about 4.1 per cent of its total loan book, under a watch list after its results for the quarter ended March 2019.These loans could slip into NPAs in the next 12 months, Moody's said. The bank had made a 20 per cent provision for these loans under watch list during the quarter ended March."The bank's weak performance in fiscal 2019 led to its capital, as measured by the common equity tier 1 ratio, falling to 8.4 per cent from 9.7 per cent in fiscal 2018… If Yes Bank cannot raise the capital, its loss absorbing capacity and therefore financial profile will be under pressure," said Moody's.The rating agency has maintained a negative adjustment for corporate behaviour for Yes Bank, because of the account management's aggressive strategy, which has translated into rapid loan growth in the past 4-5 years and large concentrations to some of the Indian conglomerate groups."The adjustment also takes into account the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) identification of several lapses and regulatory breaches in the various areas of the bank's functioning. In Moody's opinion, given the recent changes at the bank, its corporate behaviour can gradually improve. Nevertheless, Moody's continues to make the negative adjustment to reflect the fact that the changes are fairly new and our expectation that the impactof the previous actions will continue to negatively impact the financial performance of the bank," Moody's said.

Xi has few good options after Trump’s ultimatum on G-20 meeting

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By now, Xi Jinping is used to Donald Trump's tariff threats. But the U.S. president's latest ultimatum is personal, and the Chinese leader's response could have far-reaching consequences for his political future.Trump on Monday said he could impose tariffs "much higher than 25%" on $300 billion in Chinese goods if Xi doesn't meet him at the upcoming Group of 20 summit in Japan. China's foreign ministry -- which usually refuses to provide details of meetings until the very last minute -- declined Tuesday to say whether the meeting would take place.The brinkmanship puts Xi -- China's strongest leader in decades -- in perhaps the toughest spot of his six-year presidency. If Xi caves to Trump's threats, he risks looking weak at home. If he declines the meeting, he must accept the economic costs that come with Trump possibly extending the trade conflict through the 2020 presidential elections."Whether they meet or not, none of the possible scenarios are good for President Xi or the economy in the long run," said Zhang Jian, an associate professor at Peking University. "You don't have a good choice which can meet the needs of the Chinese economy or Mr. Xi's political calculations."69745646 Prodded by hawks in Washington to take a "whole of government" approach toward China, Trump may make it harder for Xi to compromise at the negotiating table. The U.S. administration's efforts to sell arms to Taiwan and criticize China's mass-detention of ethnic Uighurs in the remote far west of the country are fueling nationalist fears in Beijing that the U.S. wants to weaken and contain its biggest rival.The G-20 in late June is one of the last chances for Trump and Xi to head off a conflict between the world's biggest economies that appears to be worsening by the day. Besides tit-for-tat tariff increases, the U.S. has blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co. and threatened other major Chinese tech companies, while Beijing is drawing up a list of "unreliable entities" that could face restrictions.At the last meeting between Trump and Xi at the G-20 in Argentina last year, they emerged with a 90-day truce that opened space for more talks. Those collapsed last month after Trump accused China of reneging on parts of the agreement, leading to an increase in tariffs and stronger actions against Huawei.The arguments for Xi to meet Trump mostly revolve around the need to prevent greater economic damage. China's imports tumbled in May, underscoring domestic economic weakness that could hurt global growth. For China, 25% tariffs could result in a drag of nearly 1% on growth by 2021 if they remain in place, according to Bloomberg Economics.Stalled TalksWhat's more, Chinese officials increasingly feel like working-level talks aren't leading anywhere. One Chinese trade official said discussions with the U.S. had reached a point where no further progress could be made without the intervention of the two presidents.And besides, Trump has a track record of escalating tensions dramatically before cutting a deal in a personal meeting."The best approach for China is to not reply to Trump's words, but wait a few days and then announce that Xi will attend the G-20," said Wang Peng, associate research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. "Meeting Trump is risky for everybody, but Xi can manage and control that risk."Xi, however, also has reasons to avoid a meeting with Trump. China has repeatedly said it won't be bullied or pressured into negotiating, and Xi could look as if he's giving Trump a win by meeting him after an explicit threat.Since talks collapsed, China's state media has ramped up nationalist rhetoric. The Communist Party's flagship People's Daily newspaper ran a commentary last month saying China will never make decisions that "give up power and humiliate the country," a phrase used in school textbooks to describe the treaties China signed mostly in the 19th century.Ignoring Threats"I don't think the threat will work," said He Weiwen, a former commerce ministry official who is now a senior research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization. "China will reiterate that the U.S. side must have sincerity if they want the talks to continue."Previous interactions with Trump don't help much in making the decision. When Trump flirted with a more formalized relationship with Taiwan early on in his presidency, China refused any contact until he reaffirmed the U.S.'s "one-China" policy. Within weeks, Trump caved.For More on U.S.-China Trade:Trump Says He'll Raise China Tariffs If Xi Won't Meet at G-20 China's Grip on Rare Earths Began With Decision 30 Years Ago U.S. Bulks Up Coast Guard in Pacific to Counter China's Fleet China Sets Yuan Fixing Stronger Than Expected in Sign of Defense China Expands Use of Local Government Debt in Stimulus Push Still, Xi has also watched as Trump repeatedly escalated a trade war despite hailing a personal friendship between the two men. And even assuming they do meet, the best outcome could be another temporary truce that only prolongs the uncertainty.Either way, Xi has a lot riding on the decision. He became China's most powerful leader possibly since Mao Zedong after scrapping term limits last year, a move that could backfire if the economy tanks."You can hardly blame anyone else for the conflict between China and the United States -- he is the ultimate decision-maker," said Zhang from Peking University. "Remember that we believe he wants a third or fourth term. If in 2020 you see the Chinese economy suffer, then his road to a third term looks less rosy."

Handset companies look beyond the basics in game of Pros

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It's a Pro, bro.That seems to be the flavour of the season for smartphone brands in India, with the likes of Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Realme, OnePlus and Huawei launching Pro — short for professional — versions of their base models.The Pro versions, which brands claim to offer better features for a higher price, have created a separate segment for the companies to capitalise on. But analysts say many of the Pro versions launched so far in India have only cosmetic changes from the base ones — for instance, a better camera — but are priced as much as 50% higher, a strategy that they cautioned could backfire and hurt brand value.Market leader Xiaomi, however, justified the launch of Pro versions, saying changing the nomenclature allowed consumers to better understand the difference between variants and make their selections easier.On analyst views that the Pro strategy by brands could be misleading customers to pay a premium for not that many features, a Xiaomi spokesperson said: "A lot is dependent on the industry trend — if camera is the biggest trend in the market, then the brands are more likely to make that as their biggest USP."Others like OnePlus and Vivo also backed the Pro strategy, and downplayed analyst concerns. Oppo and Realme didn't comment. Among other major players, Samsung doesn't have any Pro models."The dual flagship strategy will allow us to deepen the bond with our core user base while also expanding the brand among a new set of premium users," said Vikas Agarwal, the India head for OnePlus.Nipun Marya, director of brand strategy at Vivo India, said its non-Pro version was aimed at consumers who wanted flagship device-like innovations at slightly lower prices. 69749255 Huawei said its innovations were dictated by consumer demands. "However, consumer demands are forever changing and it is difficult to accurately forecast the permanence of this," the Chinese company said.Till date, at least 94 Pro versions have been launched by as many as 31 brands. In 2019 so far, 10 Pro versions have been launched, data from research firm techARC showed.techARC said for most Pro phones, parameters like OS, RAM, ROM, display size, battery capacity and processor clock rate did not show any definite trend that would differentiate a Pro version from its base model. However, there are also exceptions, it said."Unfortunately, there is nothing such to indicate in the Pro variants launched so far by the smartphone brands, which could qualify them to be seen as the smartphones for professionals," said Faisal Kawoosa, founder of research firm techARC.The price variation is also stark, the techARC data suggested. The Pro version's average price was Rs 20,668, almost 50% more compared with the base model's average price of Rs 13,902. The disparity in the prices between brands was also wide: Pro versions launched in 2019 are priced in the range of Rs 7,000 to Rs 48,000. The costliest Pro version available is priced at nearly Rs 72,000."The pro version should have relevant and clear differentiation from the normal upgrade, otherwise consumers might lose faith in the brand, which can then affect its place in the market amid high competition," said Tarun Pathak, associate research director at Counterpoint Research.

Only 13% employers in India have hiring plans July-September quarter: Survey

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With India's job market undergoing a transition, only 13 per cent of employers across the country indicate upbeat hiring plans for the next three months, while 61 per cent anticipate no change in their payrolls, a survey said Monday.According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, while 13 per cent of employers expect to increase payrolls, none forecast a decrease, 61 per cent anticipate no change and 26 per cent were unsure about any change in payrolls, resulting in a net employment outlook of 13 per cent.Hiring intentions marginally declined by four percentage points when compared with the year ago period (July-September quarter of 2018)."According to ManpowerGroup's survey, India's job market, overall, looks consistent, although it is still going through the transition with a slight slowdown in employment," ManpowerGroup India Associate Director Marketing Cynthia Gokhale said.Sector-wise, the services sector is expected to drive the third quarter job markets with a net employment outlook of 16 per cent, followed by the mining and construction, wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing sectors with outlooks of 11 per cent.Gokhale further said that some of the major trends that will drive recruitment in 2019 in India, are diversity, automated recruitment, virtual reality, and remote working options among others."Over the last few months, the landscape of the recruitment industry in India has changed. The HR field is also going through an automation revamp," Gokhale said.In a regional comparison, employers in the southern and western regions lead hiring expectations.Gokhale further noted that "with more than a million unemployable graduates that the Indian universities are churning out every year and thousands of jobs disappearing each year, India now must prioritise investing in education to bridge the skill gap between the requirements in the market and job seekers skill sets".ManpowerGroup interviewed over 59,000 employers in 44 countries and territories to forecast labour market activity in the third quarter of 2019, including 4,951 employers in India.Globally, employers expect workforce gains in 43 of 44 countries and territories surveyed in the period up to the end of September.In a comparison with the same period last year, hiring intentions strengthen in 12 countries and territories, but weaken in 26 and are unchanged in six, the survey said.The strongest hiring sentiment is reported in Japan, Croatia, Taiwan, the US, Greece and Slovenia, while the weakest hiring prospects are reported for Hungary, Argentina, Italy and Spain, it added.

Litterbugs to be booked under Bombay Police Act

Litterbugs to be booked under Bombay Police Act
According to BMC officials, each of the 24 wards across Mumbai will have one dedicated- Nuisance Detection Squad.

Source: DI

Sharad Kumar is interim CVC



Source: FPJ

Ahmedabad: 24-year-old girl molested in Himalaya mall multiplex

Ahmedabad: 24-year-old girl molested in Himalaya mall multiplex
A case of molestation was lodged with the Vastrapur police station after a 24-year-old girl was harassed inside a movie theatre.

Source: DI

Minority leaders endorse PM's sentiment on vote bank politics

Minority leaders endorse PM's sentiment on vote bank politics
The outreach is significant as the Opposition has claimed that the BJP will never be able to bridge the trust deficit between them and the minority communities

Source: DI

Mumbai: 2 kids electrocuted near Kandivali, bystanders watch

Mumbai: 2 kids electrocuted near Kandivali, bystanders watch
As pre-monsoon showers lashed the city, the deceased duo identified as Rushabh Tiwari (10) and Tushar Jha (11) were playing in the water-logged lane near their house when they came in contact with a live wire.

Source: DI

Yuva Sena leader Varun Sardesai says party will share CM's post with BJP

Yuva Sena leader Varun Sardesai says party will share CM's post with BJP
Sardesai, is a core committee member of the Yuva Sena, and the maternal cousin of Aaditya Thackeray, who heads the Sena's youth wing.

Source: DI

Ahmedabad: Unidentified, burnt body of man found dumped on Ellisbridge

Ahmedabad: Unidentified, burnt body of man found dumped on Ellisbridge
Cops yet to identify deceased; crime branch also investigating

Source: DI

BEST passenger strength falls due to closed bridges

BEST passenger strength falls due to closed bridges
The BEST administration has realised that with the closure of bridges at Ghatkopar, Juhu, Oshiwara and Andheri, the Undertaking is suffering losses to the tune of Rs 6-7 lakh per day per depot.

Source: DI

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to expand his Cabinet this week

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to expand his Cabinet this week
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is expected to expand his Cabinet on June 14 or 15.

Source: DI

Violence kills 2 in North 24 Parganas



Source: FPJ

Gujarat put on alert as it braces for Cyclone Vayu

Gujarat put on alert as it braces for Cyclone Vayu
State to begin evacuation from coastal areas today; looks to Odisha for some lessons, 36 NDRF teams to be deployed

Source: DI

IT sleuths raid 10 premises of Srinagar-based business group

IT sleuths raid 10 premises of Srinagar-based business group
None of the members of the group is regular in filing their Income Tax Returns

Source: DI

Mumbai: BEST buses may ply on dedicated lanes

Mumbai: BEST buses may ply on dedicated lanes
Traffic dept and BEST has identify stretches between Byculla and Sion

Source: DI

Mumbai University gets 6.79 lakh forms for pre-admission enrolment in undergraduate courses

Mumbai University gets 6.79 lakh forms for pre-admission enrolment in undergraduate courses
As many as 1.87 lakh applications for BCom and 1.31 lakh for BMS

Source: DI

Cyclone Vayu: Nearly three lakh to be evacuated in Gujarat

Cyclone Vayu: Nearly three lakh to be evacuated in Gujarat
Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a high-level meeting and directed officials concerned to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated

Source: DI

Forced to admit Kathua charges: Vishal Jangotra

Forced to admit Kathua charges: Vishal Jangotra
After getting released, Vishal claimed that he was ruthlessly tortured by the police to own up to an offence he did not commit

Source: DI

Enforcement Directorate grills Praful Patel again, he remains 'evasive'

Enforcement Directorate grills Praful Patel again, he remains 'evasive'
The ED is recording Patel's statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act at the agency's headquarters here in the multi-crore airline seat sharing scam

Source: DI

As cyclone Vayu nears, 10 columns of Army deployed in Gujarat

As cyclone Vayu nears, 10 columns of Army deployed in Gujarat


Source: TIE

3 killed in post-poll violence in West Bengal

3 killed in post-poll violence in West Bengal
Both the ruling TMC and BJP trade barbs, put blame on the other for deaths of 'supporters'

Source: DI