Slumping sales of cars and motorcycles are triggering massive job cuts in India's auto sector, with many companies forced to shut down factories for days and axe shifts, multiple sources said. Initial estimates suggest that automakers, parts manufacturers and dealers have laid off about 350,000 workers since April. Reuters was able to identify at least five companies that have recently cut or plan to cut hundreds of jobs, mainly from their temporary labour force.
Amazon exclusive consumer electronics maker, BPL India has decided to sell through Flipkart in a bid to reach out to newer consumers and also accelerate growth rate at a time when consumer spending on white goods is slowing down. With this, BPL will now sell through both Amazon and Flipkart who together control over 80% of online sales of consumer electronics in India. BPL has just listed its television and washing machine on Flipkart.
Reliance Industries and BP have agreed to set up a 51:49 joint venture to operate their fuel retailing business, targeting setting up 5,500 filling stations in five years and offer home delivery of fuel. Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and BP group chief executive Bob Dudley signed heads of agreement for the venture in Mumbai on Tuesday. BP obtained a licence to market transportation fuel in India three years ago but didn’t begin. BP already has stake in RIL’s upstream business.
Users of payment app BHIM will be able to access and operate multiple bank accounts in the next version of the platform planned to be launched by October. "BHIM is being upgraded. It will allow users to access multiple bank accounts from the app in the next version which will be launched by October," said an official of the Ministry of Electronics and IT. In June, over 1.5 crore transactions worth Rs 6,202 crore were carried on the BHIM platform.
Jaipur-based AU Small Finance Bank has announced the rollout of their Savings Bank Account opening process initiated with WhatsApp. This service is powered by Karix Mobile using an advanced multi-channel conversational and compute platform. AU Bank’s interested customers will be able to initiate the opening of their savings account in less than 5 minutes using an interactive chat-like interface on WhatsApp. AU Bank will now be able to drive two-way conversations, automate and enhance customer experience processes and create micro engagements with their customers using the WhatsApp Business solution.
Real estate sector is passing through 'tough times' because of liquidity crunch and solution has been found to address the issue, HDFC Managing Director Renu Sood Karnad said. However, addressing realtors' body CREDAI conference here, she said it is a 'passing phase' and the sector will only improve from the current cycle of low growth. She pointed out that developers have been facing cash crunch following the liquidity crisis in non-banking finance companies (NBFC) sector.
The NCLT, Kolkata Bench has approved issuance of bonus debentures by the Britannia Industries Ltd to its shareholders. The company had last year announced issuance of secured redeemable non-convertible debentures as bonus debentures of Rs 60 in the ratio of one such debenture for every equity share at an interest rate not exceeding 8% to be paid annually for a period of three years. The company had total free reserves and securities premium of Rs 3,196 crore as on March 2018.
Just eight months after it signed a deal with China's HBIS Group to sell stake in its South-East Asian business, Tata Steel has been forced to call it off. "The completion of transaction was subject to regulatory approvals. We have been informed by HBIS that they have not been able to procure the requisite approvals from the Hebei government, one of the key conditions precedent for the proposed transaction." Tata Steel said. This is the second such deal that has gone awry for Tata Steel. Earlier this year, its proposed JV with thyssenkrupp was blocked by the European Commission.
To promote Jammu & Kashmir as an attractive destination for investments, the state department of Industry and commerce has reached out to several corporates including ITC, Tata Group, Suzlon Energy, Mahindra Agrotech, UltraTech Cement, and Radisson Hotels to participate in its first Investors Summit likely to be held in October-November. The department, along with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is also planning roadshows and interactions with officials and investors from countries of the Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore to attract investments into J&K.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has asked the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to freeze the assets of the former auditors, including Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP and BSR Associates LLP, of an Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) subsidiary, arguing that the step is needed to stop fund diversion. “We are seeking an order to freeze assets of audit firms, its partners as well as the erstwhile directors of IFIN,” argued Sanjay Shorey, director — legal prosecution, MCA.
Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday after suffering a cardiac arrest. Swaraj, 67, had been rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi earlier this evening. The senior BJP leader, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2016, had opted out of contesting in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing ill health. In 1977, Swaraj was the youngest cabinet minister at 25.
Companies may soon have to geotag and furnish pictures of projects undertaken under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to the government. Parliament last week approved amendments to the Companies Act, adding provisions that make companies criminally liable for CSR violations. Companies with a minimum net worth of Rs 500 crore, turnover of Rs 1,000 crore, or net profit of Rs 5 crore are required every year to spend at least 2% of their average profit for the previous three years on CSR activities.
HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh exuded optimism that the slowdown, driven by lower consumption, is "temporary" in nature as there is adequate demand for assets across the country. There has been a distinct slowdown in the economy which was reflected in the lower GDP growth of 6.8% in FY19, he said. There remains adequate demand for affordable housing across the country, which is supported by the government flagship credit-linked subsidy scheme and incentives provided to developers to increase the supply of affordable homes.
The government is planning to fast-track the implementation of ‘one nation, one ration card’ scheme, which allows beneficiaries to purchase subsidised grain at any fair price shop in the country. Food minister Ram Vilas Paswan is scheduled to hold a high-level review meeting on August 9 to assess the scheme’s progress. The government has announced that it will implement this scheme across the country by June 2020. At present, the scheme is being run in four states — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana — on a pilot basis.
The government is seeking suggestions from industry on ways to revive the economy, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, suggesting that a stimulus plan could be in the works. Measures to do so could be implemented “fairly quickly” thereafter, she said. She was responding to queries about the government’s response to the slowdown after meeting officials of public and private sector banks. She’s meeting representatives of the automobile, capital markets, real estate, and small and medium enterprises sectors this week.