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QBiz: FM Says Economy Showing Signs of Revival; CBI Books Educomp

1. Economy Showing Signs of Revival, Green Shoots Visible: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday, 11 February that the economy was showing signs of coming out of a deep slowdown and that “green shoots” were visible in some sectors.

In replies to the Budget discussion in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Sitharaman also said the Modi government would not repeat the “mistakes” of the Manmohan Singh regime in the aftermath of the 2008-09 slowdown.

“There are seven important indicators which show that there are green shoots in the economy,” she said in the Lok Sabha. In both the Houses, first in the Lok Sabha and then in the Rajya Sabha, she listed these indicators.

(Source: Business Standard)

Also Read: Laid Foundation for $5 Trillion Economy in Budget: Sitharaman

2. CBI Books Educomp Solutions for Defrauding Banks of ₹1,955 Cr

The CBI booked Educomp Solutions, its subsidiary and directors for allegedly defrauding an SBI-led consortium of 13 banks to the tune of ₹1,955 crore and carried out searches at eight locations on Tuesday, officials said.

The agency booked Educomp Solutions Ltd, its managing director Shantanu Prakash, guarantor Jagdish Prakash, its subsidiary Edu Smart Services Pvt Ltd and directors Vijay Kumar Choudhary and Vinod Kumar Dandona, they said.

After filing the FIR, the agency carried out searches at eight locations in Delhi, Dehradun and Gurgaon on the premises of Educomp Solutions, Edu Smart and its directors, the officials said.

(Source: Livemint)

3. NABARD Seeks Help of CSR ARMS to Support Farmer Produce Organisations in Gujarat

With a view to further extend support to farmer produce organisations (FPOs) in Gujarat, the Ahmedabad branch of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is in talks with CSR arms of major industrial houses including Reliance, Tata and Ambuja.

Nabard is already giving financial assistance of up to `16 lakh to FPOs that includes training to FPO members, business plans to sell their agriculture produce and others things, said Dinesh Raina, general manager, Nabard, Ahmedabad, adding that to provide bigger platforms to FPOs in the state the bank is in advance stages of talk with Reliance Foundation managed by Reliance Industries, Ambuja Cement as well as Tata Consultancy Services for Rural Development (TCSRD).

“With the help of these conglomerates, the members (farmers) of FPOs can sell their produce in bigger markets. Their products can be sold in retail chains of Reliance,” said Raina.

(Source: Financial Express)

Also Read: RBI divests entire share in NABARD, NHB

4. Coronavirus Adds Risk to India’s Nascent Recovery: Krishnamurthy Subramanian

A nascent recovery in India’s economy faces "unknown" risks from the coronavirus outbreak, according to a top government adviser.

“There are some green shoots, but I would be cautiously optimistic," Krishnamurthy Subramanian, the chief economic adviser said in an interview in New Delhi on Monday, 10 February. “There are known unknowns and unknown unknowns. It’s hard to model unknown unknowns.“

The virus epidemic is seen curbing growth in China and the global economy, which will weigh on India’s outlook at a time when the government is forecasting a rebound. Asia’s third-largest economy will likely expand at 6%-6.5% in the year beginning April, an improvement from an estimated 5% this year, Subramanian wrote in a report last month.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Amidst Tepid Consumer Spends, Retail-Focused PE Inflows Touch $970 Mn in 2019

Amidst tepid consumer spends in India, retail real estate, which includes properties such as malls, saw focussed Private Equity (PE) inflows touching $970 million in 2019 — accounting for 19 percent of the $5 billion invested in the overall Indian real estate sector.

“PE inflows into Indian retail hit a new high in 2019, in the five years between 2015 to 2019,” said Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO – Anarock Capital.

“Back in 2018, retail inflows stood at a mere $355 million, comprising just 7 percent share of total PE funds. Before 2019, year 2017 saw the second-highest PE inflows in retail at $890 million. Interestingly, in 2019, Delhi-NCR received the maximum PE inflows of about $610 million — a massive 63 percent share of the total retail funds into Indian realty during this period,” explained Agarwal.

(Source: BusinessLine)

6. Lower Duties for Agri Goods on Cards as US Confirms Donald Trump Visit

As White House confirms US President Donald Trump’s two-day maiden visit to India starting 24 February, spotlight will be on soothing fractured trade ties with the country’s largest export destination.

A short release made by the White House late on Monday night said Trump will visit Ahmedabad and along with his wife Melania, apart from New Delhi. Ahmedabad made the cut due to the city being Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state and playing “an important role in Mahatma Gandhi’s life and the Indian independence movement”.

While PM Modi will be looking to cement defence ties through a deal to purchase an Integrated Air Defence Weapon System from the US, the government hopes to give an assurance to reduce duties on US agriculture products as well as provide concessions in medical devices, officials said.

(Source: Business Standard)

Also Read: ‘Will Strengthen Partnership’: Trump to Visit India on 24-25 Feb

7. India Inc Increasingly Turning to ECB for Its Capex Needs, Says RBI

India Inc has significantly increased raising capital through External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) in 2019-20. Total loans taken for capital expenditure (capex) through the ECB channel increased 55% y-o-y to Rs 61,833 crore in the first half of financial year 2019-20, said a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) article.

This trend of corporates borrowing through ECBs was visible during FY19 as well, when banks and financial institutions sanctioned 414 proposals of private companies, with a total cost of Rs 1.76 lakh crore, but a larger number of companies accessed funds through ECBs.

(Source: Financial Express)

8. SC Stays Extension of Deadline for Filing Annual GST Returns

The Supreme Court has made it clear that the deadline for submitting GST annual return forms — GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C — will not be extended.

GSTR 9 is an annual return form for all assesses (except composition scheme assesses) while GSTR 9C is an audit report to be submitted by assesses with annual turnover of Rs 2 crore or more. The due date for filing these returns for fiscal 2017-18 was extended in a staggered manner for various States until 12 February.

The Government approached the apex court after the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan, Jodhpur extended the deadline for submitting the GST returns GSTR 9/9C.

(Source: BusinessLine)

9. Amazon Looks to Set up Two Data Centres in Telangana With Rs 11,624 Cr Investment

Amazon Data Services India proposes to construct two data centers in Telangana with an estimated investment of Rs 11,624 crore. The company has submitted its application to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and is awaiting legal and environmental clearances. If the proposals get the EC, it would be the second major investment by Amazon in Hyderabad as it already has the largest fulfillment centre in the city.

According to the application submitted to the State Environment Impact Assessment Council (SEAC), the total cost of the project for two centres is envisaged to be around Rs 5,821 crore and Rs 5,803 crore, respectively. A data centre is a building, dedicated space within a building, or a group of buildings used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. However, when contacted, the company didn’t give any additional details.

(Source: Financial Express)

Also Read: Sony, Amazon Back Out from MWC 2020 Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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