Disinvestment in LIC, Air India, BSNL will unlock lakhs of crores of rupees: Deepak Parekh

Deepak Parekh

Mumbai - Pitching for disinvestment in public sector behemoths like LIC, Air India and BSNL, top industry leader Deepak Parekh has said it can unlock huge funds worth "lakhs of crores of rupees" and shares should be given to retail investors without depending on the overseas entities.

However, one of the major requirements for such large- scale disinvestments is a government thinking on those lines, as lack of political will and union pressure have been halting such proposals for a long time including during the tenure of the previous UPA government, he said.

Giving examples from during the UPA regime, Parekh said 'he has been part of many important government panels,' including those on BSNL and Indian Railways, but nothing moved on the suggestions made by those committees.

Mumbai civic body demolishes ramp outside actor Shah Rukh Khan's house

Mumbai civic body demolishes ramp outside actor Shah Rukh Khan's house

Mumbai, Feb 14 : Residents living near Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's residence in Mumbai rejoiced after the city's main civic body demolished an illegal ramp outside his house, which was causing inconvenience to commuters.

As per reports, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) workers and police reached Khan's residence, known as 'Mannat', in Bandra early on Saturday morning to raze the ramp.

The illegal ramp was constructed by Khan and closed off access to the lane adjoining the house, causing hindrance to residents.

Residents were perturbed as they were not being allowed to use that lane to go to Mount Mary's Church.

Tech Mahindra net down 20% to Rs 805 crore on currency loss, wage hikes

Tech MahindraMumbai : Tech Mahindra on Friday reported a 20.25 percent drop in its December quarter net at Rs 805.3 crore due to currency losses and wage hikes.

The IT services provider had posted a post-tax profit of Rs 1,009 crore in the year ago period.

Overall revenue grew to Rs 5,751.17 crore in the third quarter under review, up from Rs 4,898.5 crore in the year-ago period. The operating profit was also up at Rs 1,160 crore as against Rs 1,136 crore last year.

Rupee ends higher by 28 paise at 61.42 Vs USD

RupeeMumbai: The rupee ended higher by 28 paise at 61.42 against the US currency Friday on fresh selling of dollars by banks and exporters on persistent foreign capital inflows into equity market.

Banks and exporters preferred to reduce their dollar position on hopes of further capital inflows as foreign portfolio investors infused USD 107.22 million yesterday as per the SEBI's record.

The rupee opened higher at 61.45 per dollar as against the last closing level of 61.70 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market and hovered in a range of 61.3650 and 61.6050 during the day.

It closed at 61.42 per dollar, showing a gain of 28 paise of 0.45 percent.

Vikram took five hours a day for his 'Ogre' look in 'I'

VikramMumbai: Tamil star Vikram took almost five hours everyday to transform himself into a man-like monster in his upcoming film 'I'.

Vikram, 48, plays two characters in the film-- one of a normal man and other of a creature, which closely looks like an Ogre. His makeup was done by Hollywood's Weta workshop, who have done make up for films 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings'.

'I', also starring Amy Jackson, is being dubbed in Telugu, Hindi and many other foreign languages.

The movie has been shot mainly in China. Further schedules were filmed in locations in Chennai, Bangkok, Jodhpur, Bangalore and Mysore.

RBI calls for protector for bankers to fast-track financial decision making

Raghuram RajanPune, Jan 5 : Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan called for the government to afford greater protection to bankers, stating that such a step will be necessary in order to fast-track financial decision making.

"If officers are hauled up for [fast-track financial] decisions, it will lead to delay in good decisions because of avoidance of risk on the part of the banker," Rajan said while addressing a two-day bankers ' retreat here.

Rajan further called for the cleaning up of bad debts of banks and the restructuring of other possible non-performing assets (NPAs) within a year in order to put the economy back on track.

'Banking sector of a country mirrors its economic rise': PM Modi

Narendra ModiPune, Jan 3 : Asserting that the banking sector of a country mirrors its economic rise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said Japan and China had the top ten banks of the world during their economic rise.

He said banks would be run professionally and there would be no interference but accountability was essential. He said the government had no vested interest, and public sector banks can derive strength from this fact.

Prime Minister Modi said he is against political interference but supports political intervention in the interest of the people. He said political intervention will enable the voice of the common man to reach such institutions.

Jaitley calls for reforms in banking sector

Arun JaitleyPune (Maharashtra), Jan 3 : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday called for reforms in the banking sector while pitching for greater autonomy in government-controlled banks.

"Public sector banks and financial institutions have performed very important role. There is a need to get the best talent into the system. There is a need for far greater autonomy to them. And, we also need to understand the problems that these banks themselves are confronting," Jaitley told reporters on the sidelines of a meet with officials of public sector banks.

RBI directs payment firms to display company name in products

RBIMumbai: Reserve Bank has directed entities offering services such as e-wallets, smart cards and White Label ATMs to prominently display their company name in products to ensure transparency.

"All the information available to the public regarding the product, whether as advertisements, on website, application form, etc. Should prominently carry the name of the entity/company authorised by RBI," Reserve Bank said in a notification.

RBI said it came to its notice that many authorised entities using specific brand names for their products like e-wallets, smart cards, WLAs were not disclosing their own company name in the information available to the users.

Need to rethink strategy for PSU banks: Banking Secretary

Pune - There is a need to rethink strategies for public sector banks in the country and the efforts for their consolidation would not be limited to merger and acquisitions, a senior finance ministry official said on Friday.

Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia also said that it was absolutely essential to implement banking reforms and making the banks stronger was necessary for the economic growth.

Speaking to reporters at a pre-event briefing on two-day financial sector retreat 'Gyan Sangam' here, Adhia also said that asset quality was a problem for many PSU banks, while low credit offtake was also an area of concern.

Rupee at over 13-month low of 63.77

Mumbai - Continuing its slide for the fifth consecutive day, the rupee lost 10 paise to over 13-month low of 63.77 against the US dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market due to sustained year-end demand for the American currency from importers.

Forex dealers said the dollar's strength against other currencies in the global market also put pressure on the rupee but sustained rise in domestic equities capped the fall.

The domestic currency had closed lower by 10 paise to 63.67 against the Greenback following sustained dollar demand from importers.

RBI pitches for structural reforms; sees 6% inflation in 2015

RBIMumbai: Pitching for structural reforms to reinforce investor confidence, RBI on Monday said falling inflation and political stability have helped check the macroeconomic vulnerabilities, while retail inflation is expected to stabilise near 6 percent level in 2015.

The central bank, however, flagged lower revenue mobilisation this fiscal as a "major concern" and said that the asset quality remains a grey area in the banking sector.

It also sounded caution over the recent phenomenon of FIIs showing greater interest in the Indian debt markets, saying this trend can turn volatile in the wake of changes in global markets, especially in the US, the world's largest economy.

Amitabh Bachchan plans to start campaign for Hepatitis B

Mumbai - Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is planning to start a new campaign for infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

The 72-year-old actor, who is also a UNICEF Global Ambassador for polio eradication, met doctors recently to strategies the plan.

"Wish to start a campaign on awareness of Hepatitis B... Met some committed doctors and shall strategise... Detect and cured asap!," Bachchan posted on Twitter.

Apart from his social works, Bachchan is also excited to release the first song of his upcoming release 'Shamitabh' after unveiling the film's first audio poster.

Right-wing outfit seeks ban on `PK' for "provocative" content

Thane - Aamir Khan-starrer 'PK', which has received rave reviews and set the box-office on fire, has earned the ire of right-wing groups who claim the film hurts the sentiments of the majority community.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) has sought an immediate ban on the movie, saying its content is "highly provocative" and hurts the religious sentiments of the community.

Maharashtra Coordinator of HJS Sunil Dhanvat today said the outfit has filed police complaints against the film and its makers in Navi Mumbai, Nagpur and Sangli.

PM Modi's 'Mann Ki Baat' inspires youth to make India drug-free

pm modi's mann ki baatNagpur, Dec 14 : With Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing serious concern over the growing menace of drugs among the youth in the country through his 'Mann ki Baat' programme, the youngsters from various states on Sunday pledged to make India drug-free.

"Whatever Modiji has said, in simple language, is apt for the future of children. The drug slogan that he has accepted for the nation is very important. For that, the youth needs to support him and also help in improvising the drug- rehabilitation centers," said a youth from Nagpur.

India names World Cup probable list, five big names dropped

India names World Cup probable listMumbai, Dec 4 : The national selection committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday named its 30-member probable squad for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

On the recommendation of the selection committee, the board has dropped senior players Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, all of whom were part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad.

The emphasis was on selecting young talent.

The other players who have been dropped include Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla and Ashish Nehra.

Interest rates to remain unchanged, says RBI

RBIMumbai, Dec 2 : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday decided to keep interest rates unchanged and to stay focussed on containing inflation.

The RBI kept the repo rate at 8 per cent at its policy review, and there was no reduction.

The reason for the interest rates being unchanged was because of the less than positive economic growth that was expected during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first six months in power.

RBI Governor Dr. Raghuram Rajan has reportedly kept the rates same, as a slowdown in economic growth was not as bad as earlier feared.

Army Chief urges new cadets to gear up for national challenges and crisis

Dalbir Singh SuhagPune (Maharashtra), Nov 30 : Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag urged new cadets to gear up for the national crisis and challenges, while addressing passing out parade here on Saturday.

The cadets rejoiced as they successfully passed out from premier training institute National Defence Academy (NDA).

"You will be called upon to respond to national crisis and challenges both external and internal," said Suhag.

Among those present were the parents and guardians of cadets as well as top brass of defence and other dignitaries stationed at various units based in and around Pune.

Sachin's autobiography 'Playing it my Way' released

Playing it my WayMumbai, Nov 5 : Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography ' Playing it my Way' was officially released in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Many former cricketers graced the ceremony, including Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri, Vasu Paranjape, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Saurav Ganguly.

"You will not get a more cricketing evening than this, and it is appropriate that someone who stands for cricket in India should have brought such an audience like this," said commentator and journalist Harsha Bhogle.

Boria Majumdar, who co-authored the book, said the book was a 'three-and a half years long pregnancy'.

Fadnavis takes over as first BJP CM of Maharashtra

Devendra FadnavisMumbai, Oct 31 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis on Friday took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He took the oath of office in Marathi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other BJP stalwarts at a grand function in Wankhede Stadium here.

The 44-year-old Fadnavis, a four-term MLA from Nagpur, exchanged pleasantries with Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao after taking the oath of office. Fadnavis today became the first leader from the BJP to head the state government.

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