Business & Economy Current Affairs 2017 - Current Affairs Today

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  • Toyota and Suzuki partners together to bring electric vehicles to India by 2020

    India’s leading car companies Toyota and Suzuki have joined their hands to make an electric car for our country. Both the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see both companies working together for introducing electric vehicles (EVs) in the Indian market by around 2020. Suzuki is to produce Electronic Vehicle (EVs) for the Indian market and will supply some to Toyota, while Toyota is to provide technical support. Additionally, Toyota and Suzuki intend to conduct a comprehensive study of activities for the widespread acceptance and popular use of EVs in India. The companies will also undertake a comprehensive study of activities for widespread acceptance and use of electric vehicles in India. These activities will include setting up of charging infrastructure, training of personnel for after-sales service and systems for appropriate treatment of end-of-life batteries.

    India earns Rs. 14,354 crore by foreign tourist arrivals in October 2017

    Tourism sector of India continues to flourish immensely. Notably, Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during the month of October 2017 was Rs.14,354 crore as compared to Rs.12,100 crore in October 2016 and Rs.10,549 crore in October 2015. The Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) have registered whopping growth of 18.1% in October 2017 in the country. The FEEs during the month of October 2017 were Rs.14,354 crore as compared to Rs.12,100 crore in October 2016 and Rs.10,549 crore in October 2015.

    Bill Gates lauds India for becoming a Leader in Digital Financial Inclusion

    Andhra Agtech Summit was underway when the Microsoft Corporation Co-Founder Bill Gates praised Andhra Pradesh for using technology to help farmers. Better seeds, improved livestock breeds, access to markets and tech-based Agri services could hold the key for improving a lot of smallholder farmers and dairy farmers. Around More than half of India’s population engaged in agriculture, and three-fourths of rural women are engaged in agriculture. Apart from gender equality, research has shown that having more women also increases production by 20 to 30%, The Government had received 259 innovative ideas during the three-day Agtech summit in Visakhapatnam. India faces challenges of population, malnutrition and climate change. In AP, you have a great believer (Naidu) in smart technology. It is a pivotal moment for the state, and agricultural transformation here can be a model for India.

    Indias First Mega Coastal Economic Zone to Come up in Maharashtra

    The Union Government has given the go-ahead for setting up India’s first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra as part of a plan to develop 14 such industrial clusters to spur manufacturing and generate jobs. About 45 companies across telecom, auto and IT sectors will soon bid for 200 hectares of land to set up manufacturing units in the zone. The plan envisages a total investment of Rs 15,000 crore in the first phase and creation of more than 1.5 lakh jobs.

    Telangana and Patanjali Group join hands together to establish Food Park

    Telangana government inked an MoU with the Patanjali group with an aim to set up ‘Food Park’. The Patanjali Group will set up a large food park in Telangana with units for processing edible oil, fruit pulp and spices. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Telangana government. Patanjali Group also expressed interest in developing indigenous seed varieties and animal feed value chain in the state. The MoU between the Group and Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) was signed at Haridwar in the presence of Baba Ramdev and Telangana Rashtra Samithi Member of Parliament K Kavitha.

    Chakravarthi appointed as ambassador of World Packaging Organisation (WPO)

    Chakravarthi AVPS, Managing Director, Ecobliss India appointed as global ambassador of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). He is the first Asian to be appointed as ambassador of World Packaging Organisation (WPO). The honorary appointment was made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the 99th board meeting of WPO. He has won Worldstar award for packaging excellence for five consecutive years. Before establishing Ecobliss India, he has worked with companies like International paper, Ballarpur Industries, Akerlaund Rausing, Huhtamaki, and Pragati.

    Union Government to introduce BS-VI grade auto fuels in National capital Territory in 2018 instead of 2020

    The Petroleum Ministry in consultation with Public Oil Marketing Companies has decided for preponement of BS-VI grade auto fuels in National Capital Territory of Delhi from 1st April next year instead of 1st April 2020.  This is part of government's concerted efforts to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency with an aim to reduce the carbon footprints and keep a healthy environment. India has followed the regulatory pathway for fuel quality and vehicle emissions standards termed as Bharat Stage or BS.

    Mukesh Ambani Topped Forbes List of Asia's Richest Families

    India’s Ambani family topped the Forbes list of Asia’s Richest Families for the first time with a net worth of $44.8 billion, up $19 billion from the previous year. The collective wealth of Asia’s 50 richest families on the list is a record $699 billion, according to the Forbes. The Top 3 Families in Asia- 1. India's Ambani Family- $44.8 billion 2. Korea’s Lee family- $40.8 billion 3. Hong Kong’s Kwok family-  The Top 3 Families in India- 1. India's Ambani Family- (Rank 1; $44.8 billion 2. Premji family (Rank 11; $19.2 billion net worth) 3. Mittal family (Rank 14; $17.2 billion).

    Thirty Seventh India International Trade Fair Begins in New Delhi

    The  37th India International Trade Fair (IITF) has begun at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The 14-day annual event has been organized by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. This year the theme of the fair is “Startup India Standup India”. Vietnam is the Partner Country, while Kyrgyzstan is the Focus Country. Jharkhand is participating as a Partner State in the event.

    GST rate on 178 items which are used daily, reduced from 28 percent tax to 18 percent or less

    At the 23rd GST council meeting in Guwahati, the GST Council decided to drop 178 items used by common man and middle class from the highest tax slab of 28% to 18% or less. Detergents, chocolates, beauty products, marble, flooring, toiletries have been moved from 28% to 18%. Armoured fighting vehicles along with one more item have been shifted from 28% to 12%. Thirteen items have been moved from 18% to 12%. Six items have been shifted from 18% to 5%. Eight items from 12% to 8% and 6 items 5% to nil. The new rates will be applicable from November 15, 2017.

    GST on AC, non AC restaurants reduced to 5 percent

    The GST Council had previously pegged GST rates for air-conditioned eateries and those with liquor licences at 18%, and non-air-conditioned restaurants at 12%. During 23rd GST Council meeting held on November 10, 2017 at Guwahati, Assam, the GST Council slashed rates for both air conditioned and non-air-conditioned restaurants to 5% without input tax credit (ITC). Background Fact:- Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) - President- Garish Oberoi requested the GST council members to either bring down the GST rate on restaurants to 12% with input credit or 5% without input credit.

    Uber joins forces with NASA to develop flying taxis

    Uber unveiled a partnership with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to develop flying taxis priced competitively with standard Uber journeys. The first demonstration flights are expected in 2020 and will move into commercial operations by 2023, with plenty of time for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. An Uber Air journey would take three times less time than the same journey by car.

    US President Donald Trump to address key Apec summit in Vietnam

    US President Donald Trump and other world leaders are to address the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Vietnam, with trade and growth high on the agenda. He vowed to correct a huge trade imbalance with China and Japan. The Apec Summit brings together 21 economies - the equivalent of about 60% of the world's GDP. 

    ICEX completes first diamond futures contract of Rs 173.32 crore

    Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) successfully completed first-ever diamond futures contracts settlement with the total traded quantity in November expiry for 5,382.08 carats valued at Rs 173.32 crores. The total traded quantity in November expiry since the launch of the contracts is 5,382.08 carats, valuing at Rs 173.32 crore. Percentage of delivery of the total traded quantity is 0.53 %.

    Tata Steel sets up countrys largest coke dry quenching facility in Odisha plant

    Tata Steel set up India’s largest Coke Dry Quenching (CDQ) facility at its steel plant located in Kalinganagar, Odisha. Project for setting up CDQ facility at Tata Steel’s Kalinganagar plant has been executed by Essar Projects whereas Nippon Steel and Sumkin Engineering (NSENGI) of Japan were the supplier and technology partner.

    Ola inks partnership with Microsoft for enhanced passenger experience

    The transportation network company Ola announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft company and thereby choosing the Microsoft as its preferred cloud provider. Ola Play customers will be able to use productivity tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as voice-assisted controls built using Microsoft Cognitive Services and bot framework, in-car during their rides. It helps transform the car into a high-performing, intelligent vehicle, capable of assessing fuel efficiency, engine performance, and driver performance.

    Guinea Becomes New Member Of International Solar Alliance

    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with Guinea’s Foreign Minister, Mamady Toure, during the course of which the latter handed over his country’s instrument accession to the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA). According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, Sushma Swaraj and Toure exchanged views on a broad range of subjects covering bilateral friendship and cooperation.

    Paytm introduces BHIM UPI for seamless money transfer

    Paytm introduced payments using BHIM UPI through which users can create their own Paytm BHIM UPI ID on the app, using which customers can transfer money. Using BHIM UPI users can create their own Paytm BHIM UPI ID on the app, which will be issued by Paytm Payments Bank. As per the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) guidelines, users can send up to Rs. 1 lakh a day using BHIM UPI and there is no receiving limit.

    Three-day mega food fair attracts investment worth 19 billion dollars

    Investment of around 19 billion dollars was committed during the three-day mega food event- World Food India. The event achieved a resounding success and saw participation from 60 countries and over 50 global CEOs.  It was the first time that India hosted such an event for the food processing sector to strengthen its position as a global food factory.

    India’s Largest CDQ Facility at Tata Steel Kalinganagar

    Tata Steel established India’s largest Coke Dry Quenching (CDQ) facility, capable of handling 200 metric tonnes per hour, at its state-of-the-art steel plant at Kalinganagar Industrial Complex in Jajpur district of Odisha. CDQ is a heat recovery system to cool hot coke from coke ovens. It is one of the best energy-efficient and environment-friendly facility in steel production where hot coke removed from coke ovens at a temperature of around 1,000 degree Celsius is cooled and kept dry with the inert gas.

    Ferrari may quit Formula 1 from 2020

    Ferrari team would consider quitting Formula 1 from 2020 if changes proposed by new owners Liberty Media were implemented. Ferrari is the only team to have participated in all F1 world championships. Ferrari president - Sergio Marchionne.

    Swedens IKEA Group buys 10 acres of Gurgaon land for Rs.842 crore

    The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), in its single largest property e-auction, sold 9.82 acres of commercial land in Sector 47 of Gurgaon for a whopping Rs 842 crore to Swedish furniture maker IKEA. HUDA earned around ₹1,260 crore this fiscal through e-auctions.  

    ONGC gets government nod for acquiring HPCL

    ONGC has received the Information Memorandum from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management for acquiring majority stake in fellow public sector undertaking HPCL. ONGC’s acquisition of 51.11 per cent stake in HPCL is in line with the government’s plan to create an integrated energy major with businesses spread across the hydrocarbon value chain. The government has set the deadline to complete the ONGC-HPCL deal in the current financial year.

    Central Government allocated Rs 109 crores to promote tourism projects in Puducherry

    Central Government earmarked Rs 109 crores to promote heritage and spiritual tourism projects under ‘Swadesh Darshan’ Scheme in Puducherry. The main focuses on integrated development of tourist circuits around specific themes.

    Tata Steel elevates T V Narendran as global CEO, MD

    Tata Steel Limited promoted T V Narendran as chief executive officer and managing director globally.  He joined the Tata Steel in 1988. He was serving as Managing Director (India and South East Asia) for the past four years.

    Reliance Industries Limited is First Indian Company to Cross Rs 6 Trillion Market Capital

    Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) became the first Indian company to cross Rs 6 trillion market capitalization after its shares surged over 75% so far this year and hit a fresh lifetime high. Currently, its market cap is at Rs 6.02 trillion. The recent rally in the stock was due to tariff hike by its telecom arm Reliance Jio which, analysts expect, will improve the company’s profitability. Jio increased its tariff by 15% for its popular 84-day plan at Rs 459, under which subscribers get 1GB 4G data at high speed per day.

    Jeff Bezos Replaces Gates as World's Richest Person with $90.6-bn Fortune

    According to Forbes magazine, Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates as the richest person in the world. The fortune of Amazon's founder reached some $90.6 billion, compared with the $90.1 billion that the online edition of the magazine attributes to Gates. This is not the first time that Bezos has outpaced Gates it previously happened in the month of July 2017.

    Qatar Introduces Minimum Wage for First Time

    The tiny Gulf state host of the 2022 football World Cup Qatar committed that it will introduce a minimum wage for workers in the country. The announcement was made by labour and social affairs minister Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi. The announcement came a day before a meeting of the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO).

    India has 3rd Highest Number of Family-Owned Businesses

    India has 108 publicly-listed family-owned businesses, third highest in the world, while China tops the tally with 167 such companies followed by the US which has 121, according to the Credit Suisse report. As per the Credit Suisse Research Institute's (CSRI) latest "CS Family 1000" report, with an average market capitalisation of USD 6.5 billion, India ranks 5th in Asia Pacific excluding Japan, and 22nd globally, in terms of average m-cap.

    Tesla signs deal to set up manufacturing factory in China

    Electric carmaker Tesla signed a deal with the Shanghai government to set up its own manufacturing facility in the city's free-trade zone in China.  The agreement could enable Tesla to slash production costs while incurring China's 25% import tarif. China recently worked to encourage the development of a robust market for EVs.  

    GSTN Launches excel-based offline tool to file initial GSTR-3B Returns

    Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) launched an Excel-based offline tool for businesses to file initial GSTR- 3B returns.  They stated that taxpayers can download the offline utility from the GSTN portal and after fill in the data the file can be uploaded on GST portal.  After uploading of the return to the GST Portal, the taxpayer has to preview the form, complete formalities like submit, offset the liability and file their GSTR-3B Return using a digital signature or electronic verification code.

    Zimbabwe bans Fruit, Vegetable imports as Forex Crunch Deepens

    The east African landlocked country Zimbabwe, with immediate effect, banned the import of fruits and vegetables to preserve the scarce foreign currencies. Last year Zimbabwe spent more than $80 million on fruit and vegetables which included tomatoes, onions, carrots, grapes, apples and oranges. Many of the Zimbabweans are keeping U.S. dollars at home or they are spending in buying Hard Currency on the black market. This same situation was prevailing during the period of hyperinflation a decade ago.

    Google Viewed as Most Authentic Brand in India: Survey

    Indian consumers regard Google as the most authentic brand, even though tops the list globally, reveal results of the 2017 "Authentic Brands Study" by the new survey of global communications agency Cohn & Wolfe. In India, Google is followed by Microsoft,, Maruti Suzuki and Apple. Globally, Apple takes the second spot after Amazon in the authenticity race.

    Mahindra launches ‘Prerna’ project for women farmers

    Auto manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra celebrated ‘Mahila Kisan Diwas’ and launched a programme, ‘Prerna’ to empower women working in the agriculture sector. Prerna’ project is aimed at promoting the use of efficient and ergonomic farm tools and equipment by women who work long hours in the fields. It is first launched in Odisha, with an aim to positively impact the lives of over 1,500 families across 30-plus villages.

    Indian Airports need $45 billion investment to improve capacity by 2030

    India must invest around $45 billion to generate an additional capacity of handling 500- 600 million passengers at its airports by 2030. As per the estimation of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) the country’s top 17 airports current capacity is 298-316.5 million passengers per annum approximately. The ten airports namely Pune, Jaipur, Srinagar, Lucknow, Dehradun, Agartala, Guwahati, Kozhikode, Mangalore, and Trichy are managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), are already operating “beyond their design capacity”.

    HPCL becomes first Indian Oil Marketing Company to launch lubricants in Myanmar

    HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd) has become the first Oil Marketing Company (OMC) from India to mark its presence in the lubricant market in Myanmar. HPCL has chosen commercial hubs of Yangon and Mandalay.

    Reliance Commercial Finance Inks Agreement with IREDA for Rs 300 cr Loan

    Reliance Commercial Finance Limited signed an agreement with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) for Rs.300 crore loan, in Mumbai. RCFL finances wind and solar energy projects besides providing assistance for developing infrastructure and projects in renewable energy space backed by the government.

    GoM Set Up to Review Composition Scheme

    A Group of ministers (GoM) set up under Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to make the composition scheme more attractive and also revisit GST rates on restaurants. With only 15.50 lakh businesses out of the total 98 lakh registered under the goods and services tax (GST) regime opting for the composition scheme, the GST Council has decided to set up the GoM to examine measures to make it more attractive.

    Rajesh Nath Gets Germany's Highest Civilian Honour

    Rajesh Nath  Managing Director of The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) India conferred as the ‘Cross of the Order of Merit’, the highest civilian honor awarded to individuals for their services to Germany. The award, also known as Bundesverdienstkreuz or Federal Cross of Merit was instituted in 1951 and is Germany’s only honor that is awarded to both Germans and foreigners for achievements in the economic, social, political or intellectual realms.  

    PAN, Aadhaar card not mandatory for jewellery purchase above Rs 50,000

    The Finance Ministry announced that PAN (Permanent Account Number) card and Aadhaar card details will not be mandatory for jewellery purchases above Rs. 50,000. Any entity dealing in gems, jewellery that has a turnover of Rs. 2 crore or more in a financial year will not be covered under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002) This decision was taken at the 22nd GST Council meeting.

    Madhya Pradesh Government approves Rs 2,195 crores for infrastructure schemes

    The cabinet meeting held under the Chairmanship of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan gave its approval for continuation of infrastructure related schemes being implemented by the Directorate of Industry and Employment from 2017-18. In order to undertake works for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, integrating all the schemes, the state government has given its approval in the form of a grant for Rs. 699 crore 20 lakh, Rs. 895 crore 70 lakh and Rs. 600 crore 50 lakh respectively, total Rs. 2195 crore towards infrastructure works. The approval 40 percent grant of the project cost from the government, a loan from the financial institutions under the 50 percent government guarantee and to ensure 10 percent share of implementation agency for the establishment of new industrial areas and development of industrial areas under state-level corridor.

    Bharati Airtel Gets Approval for Tigo Merger

    Bharti Airtel received Ghana’s National Communications Authority’s approval for the merger between Bharti Ghana (Airtel) and Millicom Ghana (Tigo), subject to certain conditions. This merger will result in an entity which will be the second largest mobile network operations in the country. Based on agreements which have been accepted by the merging entities and the payment of relevant fees a supplementary agreement to the licenses of the merging entities will be signed between the NCA and the merging entities.

    First US Crude Oil Shipment Arrives in Paradip

    The first United States crude oil cargo of 1(point)6 million barrels bought by Indian Oil Corporation from the US reached Paradip Port, Odisha. Indian Oil became the first Indian public sector refiner to source US crude has placed a cumulative order 3.9 million barrel from the US. They will process the crude at its East-Coast base refineries, located at Paradip, Haldia, Barauni and Bongaigaon. 

    Hyundai India Join Hands With FIFA U17 World Cup Tournament As Official Partners

    Hyundai India announced that it will be official transportation partner for the upcoming FIFA U17 World Cup Tournament which starts from October 6, 2017, in India. They will be offering a fleet of 63 premium cars, which includes the recently launched Verna, Tucson, and the Elite i20. The cars will be used for the movement of the players and the FIFA management during the sports event.

    GIFT City's IFSC Bags 10th Place in Global Financial Centres Index

    Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City)'s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) bagged the 10th spot in the latest edition of Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), London. The rank is tenth ahead of Luxembourg, Seoul, Abu Dhabi, Toronto and Beijing in the list of the GFCI report, which has 15 centers that are likely to become more significant in the next few years. GIFT is operational with approximately 10 leading banks, 8 insurance companies, and participating brokers, and 2 International Exchanges (India INX and NSE IFSC) along with around 100 capital market players have established their base at GIFT IFSC.

    Indian Entrepreneur wins UK Business Award for Innovative IT Solutions

    Birendra Sasmal, CEO of Subah won the International Business Person of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards in London for turning the company into a thriving IT, telecoms and manufacturing success story with operations across West Africa.

    Aeris Communications partners BSNL for IOT solutions

    Aeris Communications entered into a partnership with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to provide packaged Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and services to small, medium businesses and public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India. The company will leverage BSNL's wide network coverage, to provide a comprehensive, end-to-end IoT services platform for enterprises, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited was incorporated on 15th September 2000. Anupam Shrivastava is present Chairman & Managing Director of BSNL.

    VNL Signs Pact with BSNL for Disaster Management

    Telecom equipment and solutions provider VNL signed a MoU with BSNL to provide solutions for disaster management. The 'Relief 123' service will restore connectivity at disaster sites, help locate the affected and integrate information across platforms to enable informed decision-making for quick relief. It is service which is an integrated disaster response solution for first responders and public safety agencies.

    Shashi Shanker appointed as ONGC Chairman

    Shashi Shanker appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of India’s biggest oil and gas producer Oil natural Gas and Corporation (ONGC)till March 2021. He is currently Director (Technical and Field Services) at ONGC.  

    BDL Signs Contract for Supply of MRSAM to Indian Army

    Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) signed a contract with Research Centre Imarat (RCI) for the supply of Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (MRSAM) to Indian Army. The contract was signed to facilitate production, deliveries and product support of MRSAM system for the Indian Army. Directors and senior officials from BDL and senior scientists from DRDO were present on the occasion. It is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana.

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