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QBiz: DoT Approves Tata-Airtel Merger; Cognizant CEO Steps Down

1. Govt Approves Merger of Tata Teleservices' Mobile Business With Airtel

Telecom operator Tata Teleservices on Thursday, 6 February, said the Department of Telecom (DoT) has approved the merger of its consumer mobile business with Bharti Airtel.

Tata Teleservices listed arm said in a regulatory filing said the DoT through its letter dated 6 February 2020 has conveyed approval of the competent authority in DoT for taking on record demerger of consumer mobile business undertaking of the company into Bharti Airtel Limited (BAL).

(Source: Business Standard)

2. Cognizant’s Co-Founder to Step Down From Board

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp Vice Chairman and co-founder Francisco D’Souza will exit the board on 31 March. D’Souza, who co-founded the company in 1994, was the longest-serving chief executive of the IT services firm from January 2007 through March 2019 when Brian Humphries took over.

Cognizant has also appointed Vinita Bali to its board as an independent director, effective 24 February. Bali was the managing director and chief executive officer of Britannia Industries from 2005 to 2014.

(Source: Mint)

3. RBI Extends Debt Recast Window for Small Borrowers by 9 Months

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday, 6 February, extended the deadline for a one-time restructuring scheme of small business loans by another nine months to 31 December.

“The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector plays an important role in the growth of the Indian economy, contributing over 28% of the gross domestic product (GDP), more than 40% of exports, while creating employment for about 110 million people," said RBI.

According to the central bank, it decided to extend the benefit of one-time restructuring because the process of formalisation of the MSME sector has a positive impact on financial stability and this process is still underway.

(Source: Mint)

4. RBI Sets Deadline for Non-CTS Cheque Book

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies on Thursday, 6 February, informed that the Cheque Truncation System (CTS), which is currently operational at the major clearing houses of the country will be made operational pan India by September 2020. This means if you are still holding a non-CTS cheque book, your cheques will not get cleared by the banks after that.

Most banks have already stopped clearing non- CTS cheques since 1 February 2019. if you are still holding a non-CTS cheque book, it is better you get it replaced from your banker. If the cheque book is not with CTS-2010 cheque leafs, they are referred to as non-CTS cheque books.

(Source: The Financial Express)

5. Saudi to Evaluate Kalyani Group's Artillery Guns: Bharat 52, Garuda V2

The Pune-based Kalyani Group, which has made a major foray into the field of artillery gun systems, has made strong pitching for supplying these heavy weapons to the Saudi Arabian military. It has been learnt that two types of gun systems — both designed and developed by Kalyani Group — are being sent later this year to Saudi Arabia for trial evaluation by the Royal Saudi Army in the forbidding Arabian desert.

The guns include the Bharat 52, a 155 mm, 52 calibre towed howitzer — the first gun that Kalyani Group produced.

(Source: Business Standard)

6. RBI Holds Rates, Keeps Door Open for Cuts in Future

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy of 2019-20 on Thursday, 6 February, kept its policy rates and stance unchanged but adopted unconventional measures to lower banks’ cost of funds so that they could reduce their lending rates further and boost retail advances to revive consumption demand.

The six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) voted unanimously to keep the rates unchanged because the inflation outlook remained “highly uncertain.”

While the repo rate remained at 5.15 percent and the stance “accommodative”, the central bank said there would be rate cuts as and when opportunity came.

(Source: Business Standard)

7. Emami to Sell Cement Business to Nirma Group Arm for ₹5,500 Crore

Emami Group agreed to sell its cement business to Nuvoco Vistas Corp Ltd, a Nirma group company, for an enterprise value of ₹5,500 crore on Thursday, 6 February, as the founders of the Kolkata-based company seek to pare debt.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the next 3-4 months, Emami said in a statement on Thursday.

The sale of the cement business is part of Emami group’s plan to become debt-free. Last year, the group’s founders sold 20% in their flagship household goods company, Emami Ltd, for ₹2,830 crore as part of the plan.

(Source: Mint)

8. India's Auto Industry Has Leapfrogged to BSVI in Record Time: Gadkari

In his address to industry leaders at the AutoExpo in Greater Noida on Thursday, 6 February, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, who has often pulled up automakers for showing resistance in complying with the government’s regulations on emission and sustainable mobility solution, was all praise for the industry.

“I would like to thank the industry for its efforts in leapfrogging to BSVI in record time. I was tough on you. Many of you had reservations. But all of you cooperated. I can see you are about to succeed in a very challenging mission,” he said.

Amid a dawdling economy that has put India’s auto sales in reverse gear, automakers are ready to take the leap from April 1 and transition to the strict emission regime.

(Source: Business Standard)

9. $5 Trillion Economy Is Possible If We Work Together: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 6 February, underlined the need for working together to make India a USD 5 trillion economy, while stressing that the government has been able to maintain macro-economic stability amid tough global environment.

In the Lok Sabha, he also exhorted all the members to give suggestions on ways to take advantage of opportunities thrown up by the current global economic situation.

“Let’s move ahead with the resolve to make India a USD 5 trillion economy,” he said while replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks to President for his address to Parliament.

(Source: The Financial Express)

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