Launched in 2010, photo-sharing app Instagram has gained immense popularity in India, ranking second in terms of the number of app users today. Celebrities and travel enthusiasts have flocked to the app in large numbers gaining thousands of followers. But ever thought who has the most number of followers on Instagram? Well, it is Instagram itself! Instagram has 277.55 million followers worldwide, as of January followed by footballer Christiano Ronaldo with 152.62 million followers. Singer Selena Gomez is at the third spot with 144.75 million followers. Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Brazilian footballer Neymar are among the other top followed celebrities.
Airfares have shot up drastically due to the runway closure at the Mumbai airport which has led to cancellations of many flights. The ticket-booking website MakeMyTrip.com shows flight tickets from Mumbai to Delhi are costing anywhere in the range of Rs 9,000 to Rs 40,0000 for economy class for this Sunday. While Air India’s AI-9649 flight to Delhi costs about Rs 9,242 one-way, Jet Airways' 9W-2929 is priced at Rs 40,139, the list shows. The airport, which is recarpeting a runway, has restricted flight movements between 11 AM to 5 PM every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday till March 30.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering to revive the public sector telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). The government had reportedly met top officials of the telco asking them to consider all options including a possible shutdown. The DoT is in the process of finalising a proposal before it is forwarded to the Digital Communications Commission for consideration. Digital Communications Commission, formerly Telecom Commission, is the highest decision-making body of the government in the telecom sector. However, BSNL has strongly denied the reports of government considering a closure proposal.
The Finance Ministry has asked the six remaining public sector banks, currently under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA), to improve on seven parameters to secure government's support for a possible bail out. "We have told these banks to improve upon net interest margins (NIMs), CASA (current account savings account), RWA (Risk Weighted Assets), NPA recognition, divergence (disparity in loan recognition), operating profit and non-core asset selling to get support for coming out of the PCA framework.” official sources said. Out of 11 PSBs under PCA framework, 3 have already moved out while another two will merge with a stronger entity.
The NCLT ruling in the case of Sterling SEZ and Infrastructure Ltd has raised hopes of lenders who are unable to sell properties of defaulting borrowers attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering law. The NCLT held the ED’s attachment order as invalid and directed it to release the assets. It held that the resolution professional can take charge of the properties and deal with them as per the insolvency law. Sterling SEZ is part of the Vadodara-based Sterling Biotech group, with total credit facilities of Rs 8,100 crore and whose promoters have fled India.
The economic growth is likely to accelerate to 7.5% in 2019-20, from 7.2% projected for the current fiscal, Chief Economic Adviser K V Subramanian has said. While the nominal rate is targeted at 11.5%, inflation rate is expected at about 4%," he told PTI. The RBI, in its latest monetary policy review released last week, too projected an economic growth rate of 7.4% for the next fiscal. He said that the average GDP growth rate in the last four years stood at 7.3%, the highest across all government since liberalisation
Brent prices rallied on Friday to cross $65 per barrel, hitting fresh 2019 highs. The surge in oil prices was led by US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran and supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The international benchmark for oil prices is at a near 3-month high. OPEC and some non-affiliated suppliers including Russia are withholding supply in order to tighten the market and push up prices. While OPEC has agreed to curtail supply by a joint 1.2 million barrels per day, Russia has cut its oil production by 80,000-90,000 barrels per day.
India, on February 15, withdrew the 'Most Favoured Nation' (MFN) status granted to Pakistan in 1996. The decision follows the heinous terrorist attack in Pulwama district of J&K on February 14, which left over 40 CRPF personnel dead. The MFN clause forms part of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This clause requires countries to extend any concessions or privilege granted to one nation, to all other WTO member countries. Even though the term suggests favouring one particular nation, it stands for equal treatment of all countries with regard to trade.
The Election Commission of India suggested to make declaration of PAN, Income-tax returns of the last five years (of self, spouse and Hindu Undivided Family), and disclosure of foreign assets details compulsory for electoral candidates. The EC has written to the Union Law ministry for the suggestion. The Election Commission sought changes to Form 26 “at the earliest” so that the regulatory body can notify the amended documents to all the stakeholders ahead of the next elections due in May, said ET.
Dairy major Amul is all set to enter the Rs 1,100 crore Indian packaged juices market, sources told CNBC-TV18. The company will launch its fruit juices under the brand 'Tru' by the end of February. The product is likely to be in four flavours - Mango, Orange, Litchi and Apple and will be competitively priced at of Rs 10. Other FMCG companies like Dabur, ITC and PepsiCo are scaling up presence in the category by launching new variants. Dabur's Real juice is the market leader, followed by PepsiCo's Tropicana and ITC's B Natural, according to Euromonitor International.
PM Narendra Modi will formally launch the Rs 75,000 crore PM-KISAN scheme at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh with the transfer of the first installment of Rs 2,000 to about one crore beneficiaries. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) was announced in the interim Budget 2019-20, under which Rs 6,000 will be given in three installments to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land upto 2 hectare. The data uploaded on the PM-KISAN portal till February 24, will be considered for transfer of the first installment at the launch event. Second installment will be given from April 1.
Funding to political parties through electoral bonds in January has seen a sharp uptick. Political parties raised Rs 350 crore through electoral bonds in January, nearly double the Rs 184 crore raised in November 2018. This is the second-highest amount raised through electoral bonds since October 2018, when Rs 401 crore were raised just before five state assembly elections. 937 bonds were issued in the January as compared to 733 in October. 99% of the funds raised came from high-denomination bonds of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore, indicating the major share of funding is being done by corporates.
Banks have upped their lending to NBFCs after mutual funds turned their back following the repeated defaults made by IL&FS on its debt obligations. Bank funding to NBFCs rose 4.4% to Rs 24,200 crores in the quarter ended December. “Banks are comfortable lending to PSU backed NBFCs or even some top rated established NBFCs” said C Venkat Nageswar, deputy MD, SBI. PSU backed NBFCs like Power Finance Corporation are perceived to be safe. Even some larger NBFCs like Mahindra Finance, HDFC or even L&T Finance are some top rated NBFCs, to whom bankers are more comfortable to lend.
The Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has dismissed two court masters — Manav Sharma and Tapan Kumar Chakraborty — for tampering with a court order. The Supreme Court bench in its order clearly stated that RCom’s chairman Anil Ambani’s “personal appearance was not dispensed with” in a contempt case filed by Ericsson. However, the order uploaded on the website (by the two court masters) read “personal appearance of the alleged contemnor(s) dispensed with”. Enquiry revealed the word “not” was deliberately omitted to suggest that Ambani was not required to appear in person.
The overwhelming response to the additional offering of Bharat-22 ETF has spurred the government to increase the ETF offer size by 2.8 times to Rs 10,000 crore. The offering received bids worth Rs 40,000 crore from investors against the Bharat 22 ETF’s base offer size of Rs 3,500 crore in the one-day subscription which opened on Thursday. Including the latest Bharat ETF tranche, the government has garnered Rs 35,325 crore from ETFs out of the total disinvestment receipts of about Rs 50,000 crore so far in FY19. The government has targeted Rs 80,000 crore disinvestment receipts for FY19.