Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) has removed the name of Congress from its logo. "TMC is now called Trinamool and after 21 years, it was time for change," a party leader said. The Congress name has been dropped from party banners, posters and all communication material. However, it will remain registered with the Election Commission as Trinamool Congress. Present West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee had separated from the Congress in 1998 and formed the TMC over differences of opinion on dealing with the then ruling CPI(M).
India has been one of the fastest growing large economies in the world, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said, asserting that the country has carried out several key reforms in the last five years, but more needs to be done. IMF communications director Gerry Rice Thursday said, "India has of course been one of the world's fastest growing large economies of late, with growth averaging about 7% over the past five years."
The Election Commission of India on Friday joined the micro-blogging site Twitter ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Twitter also launched a special election emoji aimed at encouraging participation in election-related discussions, encouraging more people to go and vote. Available in 12 languages, the election emoji would feature an image of the Parliament of India.
India's foreign exchange reserves surged by a whopping $3.602 billion to $405.638 billion in the week to March 15, driven by rise in foreign currency assets. Forex reserves had increased by $258.8 million to $402.035 billion in the previous week. In the reporting week, foreign currency assets (FCA), a major component of the overall forex reserves, increased by a healthy $3.546 billion to $377.77 billion.
The Government on Friday said it has exceeded its disinvestment target for the current fiscal by Rs 5,000 crore and the proceeds have touched Rs 85,000 crore. "As against a target of Rs 80,000 crore for disinvestment for the current year, the divestment receipts have touched Rs 85,000 crores today," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted. For the next fiscal the disinvestment target has been fixed at Rs 90,000 crore.
According to the latest EPFO payroll data, net employment generation in the formal sector touched a 17-month high of 8.96 lakh in January. The addition in January was 131% higher as compared with 3.87 lakh EPFO subscribers added in the year-ago month. In September 2017, a net of 2.75 lakh jobs were created. Around 76.48 lakh new subscribers have been added to social security schemes of the EPFO from September 2017 to January 2019.
The United States imposed sanctions on Thursday on two Chinese shipping companies, the first such steps since the failed US-North Korean summit last month. The US alleged that the two companies, Dalian Haibo International Freight Co Ltd and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co Ltd, helped North Korea evade sanctions over its nuclear weapons program. The move prohibits US dealings with the designated companies and freezes any assets they have in the United States.
Indonesia on Friday announced a set of anti-dumping import duties of up to 20% for a number of flat-rolled iron and steel products from seven countries, including India, China and Russia. The duties will take effect for five years starting 14 days from March 19, when the government signed the regulation for the anti-dumping tax. Indonesia also imposed the tax on imports from Taiwan, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
India has been co-operating with the United States on the Venezuelan sanctions to safeguard its strategic partnership. A senior Trump administration official said: "My understanding is that Indian private companies, who were importing Venezuelan oil, have stopped". These companies, which also have business interest in the US, are unlikely to ignore the US sanctions, he told reporters on Wednesday. Venezuela is the third largest supplier of oil to India which is the world's third-biggest oil consumer.
Fitch Ratings on Friday cut India's GDP growth forecast for the next fiscal to 6.8% from 7% estimated earlier due to higher economic slowdown. The slowdown in manufacturing activity and to some extent in agriculture has slowed the economic momentum. In its latest Global Economic Outlook, Fitch also slashed GDP growth forecast for current fiscal ending March 2019 to 6.9% from 7.2% projected in the December edition.
NBFCs could hire about 15,000 people in FY20, an estimate by recruitment firm TeamLease showed. Among those hiring are Mahindra Finance, Shriram Transport Finance, Piramal Capital, Aditya Birla Finance, IIFL, Magma FinCorp, and Ugro Capital. According to TeamLease, NBFCs have hired around 10,000 employees in FY19. The NBFCs would add jobs across various functions such as sales, collections and credit assessments. Underwriters (who assess borrowers’ repayment ability) and risk management professionals are in demand.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), a fully-owned subsidiary of German automaker Daimler AG, plans to launch about 52 products this year in the domestic and export markets, its MD, Satyakam Arya said. Last year, DICV produced 30,000 units, of which 7,000 were exported to over 50 countries. DICV exports trucks for its Bharat-Benz, Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner and Fuso brands. On electric vehicles, Arya said the company will bring them at the right time.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse will make India its hub for technological innovations. It’s back office at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Pune, started in 2007, provides technological support to the bank’s finance and operations. The back office will now expand its scope to Credit Suisse’s wealth management businesses, markets and investment banking businesses in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Switzerland and in the United States. India is the second largest home for Credit Suisse staff after Switzerland.
The food ministry has asked all the states to abide by the Sugar Price (Control) Order, 2018, and ensure sugar mills are not selling sugar below the minimum selling price (MSP). The government had raised the MSP to Rs 31 a kilogram from Rs 29 per kg in February. The higher MSP would provide more liquidity to sugar mills, which can then be able to pay arrears on sugarcane to farmers which as on February 13 amounted to Rs 20,167 crore.
Cash circulation in the economy has reportedly risen nearly 20% since demonetization. Even though the government and the RBI are pushing towards a cashless society, the volume of currency in the system is on the rise. Currency in circulation has jumped by 19.14% to a record high of Rs 21.41 lakh crore as on March 15, 2019 when compared to Rs 17.97 lakh crore on November 4, 2016.