Donald Trump suspended the entry into the United States of certain foreign workers, a move the White House said would help the coronavirus-battered economy, but which business groups strongly oppose. A letter signed by the four Hinduja brothers is at the centre of a legal dispute over the future of the family’s $11.2 billion fortune. The government is set to update its e-commerce policy, proposing to tighten rules on how companies price products and store customer data. Investigators charged Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot for alleged corruption. Here is more on what made news this week.
- The UK-based Hinduja brothers are locked in a legal dispute in the High Court in England over their billionaire family assets, it emerged in a ruling in London. The four brothers are seeking control of Switzerland-based Hinduja Bank and have relied on a 2014 letter signed by all of them that said the group’s assets were owned by them and each would appoint the others as their executors.
- Investigators charged Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot for alleged corruption in the financing of the company's oil and gas assets in Mozambique in connivance with unidentified officials of a State Bank of India-led consortium. Dhoot was earlier charged in the Videocon-ICICI bank loan case.
- The government is set to release the second draft of a proposed e-commerce policy that focuses on alleged predatory pricing, Business Standard reported. The government is considering proposing an annual review of discounts given by e-marketplaces and tighten rules on how customer data is stored.
- Reliance Industries Ltd said it is working to complete contours of a $15-billion deal with Saudi Aramco but did not give a timeline for its completion. Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani in August last year announced talks for sale of 20 per cent stake in the oil-to-chemical (O2C) business to the world's largest oil exporter. The deal was to be concluded by March 2020 but has been delayed.
- US President Donald Trump issued a proclamation to suspend issuing of H-1B visas, which is popular among Indian IT professionals, along with other foreign work visas for the rest of the year. The move will hitthe information technology (IT) industry: in both India and the US, said analysts.
- The government said it would issue an ordinance to give more powers to the Reserve Bank of India to supervise co-operative banks, akin to commercial banks. The RBI will get more auditory and managerial powers over 1,482 urban co-operative banks and 58 multi-state co-operative banks after the ordinance becomes a law.
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India has given listed companies time till July 31, 2020 to disclose their financial results for the quarter and year-ended March 31, 2020. This is the second time the market regulator has extended the deadline for filing results due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A few links for further reading
Hard path to growth
The signals for the economy are not positive: overall demand is yet to pick up; the share of total exports in India’s GDP is declining, and industrial output pattern remains worrying.
Small savings scheme
Investors breathed a sigh of relief when the government announced that interest rates on these instruments would not be revised for the fourth quarter of the calendar year.
Invest and emigrate
The great Indian dream of settling abroad is achievable if one has a few crores to invest. Rich nations offer a variety of investment options in a quid pro quo arrangement: immigrants get a better quality of life and revenue from them helps these countries’ finances. Wealthy Indians, troubled by polluted cities and the red tape holding up entrepreneurship, may want a quick ticket out of the country. Sanjay Kumar Singh lists a range of options: from a Canadian province’s investor programme to America’s US EB-5 plan.