News Digest

Business Standard
14th December

  • The US House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress, the culmination of an effort by Democrats that further inflamed partisan tensions in Washington. Tata Sons Ltd. suffered a shock defeat as a tribunal ordered it to reinstate the chairman it fired in 2016, a ruling that may paralyse the $110 billion conglomerate’s plan to revive growth by selling assets, finding new partners, and cutting costs. There is scope for cutting interest rates further, said Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das, speaking a week after the central bank surprisingly announced it was keeping rates unchanged.
  • Donald Trump became the third US president to be impeached as the House of Representatives formally charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in a historic step that will inflame partisan tensions across a deeply divided America. The historic votes, which won the support of almost all Democrats in the House chamber but not a single Republican, leave Trump as only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached -- and the only impeached president likely to win his party’s nomination for re-election.
  • Cyrus Mistry has won backing from a tribunal to be reinstated as executive chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company behind Indian conglomerate Tata Group. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal also held the appointment of N Chandrasekaran, the current chairman of Tata Sons, as executive chairman as "illegal". Mistry has been embroiled in a legal battle with Tata Group since being ousted in 2016 over charges of shareholder oppression and mismanagement.
  • Infosys has settled a case relating to allegations of non-payment of payroll taxes for some employees by agreeing to pay $800,000 (Rs 5.6 crore) to the American state of California. An employee called, Jack Palmer has alleged the company classified employees under B-1 visas, instead of on H-1B, to avoid payroll taxes under the state’s labour laws, including unemployment and disability insurance, and employment training.
  • There is scope for cutting interest rates further and the central bank will use it when required after studying the growth and inflation data, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said The monetary policy committee (MPC) of the central bank surprised markets and analysts this month by holding rates steady after trimming the key interest rate by 135 basis points since the beginning of the current rate reduction cycle in February.
  • It is mandatory to link your PAN with Aadhaar by the end of this year, the Income Tax Department said. The deadline to link the permanent account number (PAN) with Aadhaar was extended till December 31 by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) through an order issued in September this year. Earlier, the deadline for this linkage was September 30.
  • Uber is reportedly in talks with Zomato to sell its food delivery business UberEats, reports said this week. Uber may invest between $150 to $200 million in Zomato, according to reports. UberEats was launched in India has not made enough inroads in India's online food delivery business, which is led by Zomato and Swiggy.

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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.

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