Current and corporate news 9 september 2020
Cabinet approves asset monetization of subsidiaries of PGCIL through Infrastructure Trust: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Asset Monetization of subsidiaries of Power Grid Corporation of India LimitedPOWERGRID through Infrastructure Investment Trust. It has given approval to POWERGRID to undertake monetization of its Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) assets, held in existing Special Purpose Vehicle (SPVs), through Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT). The approval would facilitate POWERGRID, to undertake asset monetization of its identified TBCB transmission assets through InvIT, so that the proceeds from the asset monetization could be utilized for fresh investment in the transmission network expansion and other capital schemes of the company. In the first block, POWERGRID would be able to monetize 5 TBCB assets of gross block of 7164 crore rupees. Based on the experience gained, further monetization shall be carried out in future. Asset recycling is a key strategy of the Government to release the capital invested in operational assets and the proposed InvIT of POWERGRID would attract both domestic as well as global investors including Sovereign Wealth Funds. Sale of assets to InvIT is a way of accessing long term relatively cheap finance required to fund infrastructure projects in Transmission Sector. The CAPEX Plan of POWERGRID for next two years 2020-21 and 2021-22 is 20 thousand 500 crore rupees. The government has enacted an enabling regulatory and taxation framework for InvITs and the proposed InvIT by POWERGRID would deepen this market.
India, ADB sign 500 million US dollar loan for DelhiMeerut RRTS corridor: India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a 500 million US dollar loan for Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor.The first tranche of a total one billion dollar facility, to build a modern, high-speed 82-kilometer Delhi-Meerut RRTS corridor will improve regional connectivity and mobility in India’s national capital region (NCR). The signatories to the loan agreement for the Delhi-Meerut RRTS Investment Project were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission who signed for ADB. The first tranche loan will support construction of the first of three priority rail corridors planned under the NCR Regional Plan 2021 to connect Delhi to other cities in adjoining states.
Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurates 22 bamboo clusters
in nine states: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today inaugurated 22 bamboo clusters in nine states by virtual mode. These States are Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka. A logo for the National Bamboo Mission was also released. The Agriculture Minister stressed that the Government’s goal in the bamboo sector is being achieved with the concerted efforts of all stakeholders of the Bamboo Mission. He said, keeping in consideration the importance of bamboo, the Indian Forest Act 1927 was amended in the year 2017 to remove bamboo for the category of trees. Mr Tomar said, as a result now anyone can undertake cultivation and business in bamboo and its products.
Five PSUs under Petroleum Ministry to join International Solar Alliance Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action: Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradahan today said that five Public Sector Undertakings under his Ministry will be joining International Solar Alliance (ISA) Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (ISA-CSCA) as Corporate Partners. In his inaugural Speech at the First World Solar Technology Summit organized by ISA, Mr Pradhan said that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and GAIL (India) Limited will be contributing to ISA’s Corpus Fund.
NCB arrests Rhea Chakraborty in drug case related to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death probe: The Narcotics Control Bureau, NCB has arrested Rhea Chakraborty in a drug case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death probe. Confirming her arrest, NCB’s Deputy Director, KPS Malhotra said the actress will be produced before a magistrate via video conferencing by 7.30 pm. The arrest comes after three days of questioning. Her brother Showik Chakraborty, Sushant’s house manager Samuel Miranda and house help Dipesh Sawant, were arrested last week in the case. NCB is likely to seek her remand so that she can be confronted with them as the agency tries to break the alleged drugs cartel operating in Mumbai’s film industry.
CIPET to establish two new Centres for Skilling and Technical Support at Bhagalpur & Varanasi: Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET) under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers will be shortly establishing two new Centres for Skilling and Technical Support- CSTS at Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Varanasi (UP) . Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Shri R.K Chaturvedi said that every year 1000 youths will be trained in each centre through Diploma & Skill Development programmes for gainful employment in petrochemicals & allied industries. Technical Support Services offered by these centres will act as a catalyst for development and growth of new and existing industries in the region.
HC stays law to provide 25% reservation for Karnataka students in NLSIU: The Karnataka High Court has stayed the new law to provide a reservation of 25 percent of the total seats to the students of Karnataka in the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru. A Division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice Ravi V Hosmani passed the interim order today. In March, the state legislative Assembly had passed the NLSIU Amendment Act to give 25 percent horizontal reservation to those who studied for a minimum of 10 years in Karnataka. The interim order was passed by the Division bench after an application was filed by the University about its decision to conduct its own entrance test on September 12 for selection of students for the current academic year. Hence the bench issued an interim order today subject to its final verdict on the reservation issue. The bench also issued certain directions on preparing the merit list based on the Law University’s Aptitude test.
Shiv Sena’s Neelam Gorhe elected unopposed as Deputy Chairperson of Maharashtra Legislative Council: Amidst high drama, Shiv Sena’s Dr. Neelam Gorhe was elected unopposed as the deputy chairperson of the Maharashtra Legislative Council today. The Opposition BJP had moved the Bombay High Court to cancel the election stating many of its legislators have tested Covid positive and so they cannot attend the House proceedings. However, Chairman, Ramraje NaikNimbalkar did not accept the demand and went ahead with the House proceedings to conduct the election.
Shiv Sena appoints MP Sanjay Raut as party’s chief spokesperson: The Shiv Sena today said it has appointed its Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut as the chief spokesperson of the party. Raut, is also the executive editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. A statement was issued regarding the appointment. The statement further said, besides Raut, Lok Sabha members Arvind Sawant and Dhairyasheel Mane, Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi, Maharashtra ministers Uday Samant, Anil Parab, Gulabrao Patil, MLAs Sunil Prabhu and Pratap Sarnaik, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar and senior leader Neelam Gorhe have been nominated as the party’s spokespersons.
Telangana Assembly passes resolution demanding Centre to honour PV Narasimha Rao with Bharat Ratna: The Telangana State Legislative Assembly today passed an unanimous resolution demanding the Centre to honor former Prime Minister, PV Narasimha Rao with the country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna posthumously. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao introduced the resolution in the Assembly, demanding that the Centre make the announcement in this regard during the upcoming Parliament session.
Telangana to scrap posts of VROs as part of major reforms in Revenue System: Telangana Government has decided to scrap posts of Village Revenue Officers as part of major reforms under proposal in the Revenue Department. The registrations of properties and other documents have been stopped across the state from today onwards till further orders. State Cabinet meeting held late in the evening yesterday in Hyderabad has sanctioned approval to many draft bills to bring in reforms in this regard. Later the authorities in the Chief Minister’s Office have revealed that the Cabinet has approved over half a dozen proposed laws during its meeting and all the bills will be introduced in the current Monsoon Session of the Assembly. The Assembly Session began yesterday and will continue till 28th of this month. In a major reform aimed at streamlining the Revenue System in the state, the Telangana Government has proposed scrapping the posts of Village Revenue Officers (VROs). They are the officials who hold all major land records at the ground level. A draft bill in this regard was approved by the State Cabinet yesterday.
International Literacy Day being celebrated across globe: Today is International Literacy Day. This Day is celebrated on the 8th of September every year to remind everyone of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies. This year, the focus is on – “Literacy, teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”. The theme highlights literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective. The recent Covid-19 crisis has been a stark reminder of the existing gap between policy discourse and reality. During this pandemic, in many countries, adult literacy programmes were absent in the initial education response plans. During the initial phase of the pandemic, schools were closed disrupting the education of 62.3 per cent of the world’s student population of 1.09 billion. World over, around 773 million adults and young people lack basic literacy skills. 617 million children and adolescents are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
RBI paves way for loan recasts; 26 sectors identified: The Reserve Bank yesterday specified five financial ratios and sectorspecific thresholds for resolution of COVID-19-related stressed assets in 26 sectors, including auto components, aviation and tourism. The circular issued by the Reserve Bank for resolution of the stressed assets is based on the recommendations of the K.V. Kamath Committee, which submitted its report on 4th of September. The 26 sectors specified by the RBI include automobiles, power, tourism, cement, chemicals, gems and jewellery, logistics, mining, manufacturing, real estate, and shipping among others. The RBI said, the ratios prescribed are intended as floors or ceilings, as the case may be, but the resolution plans shall take into account the pre-COVID19 operating and financial performance of the borrower and impact of COVID-19 on its operating and financial performance at the time of finalizing the resolution plan, to assess the cash flows in subsequent years, while stipulating appropriate ratios in each case. RBI also said, given the differential impact of the pandemic on various sectors/entities, the lending institutions may, at their discretion, adopt a graded approach depending on the severity of the impact on the borrowers, while preparing or implementing the resolution plan.
Prez Kovind, PM Modi express anguish over passing away of Prof Govind Swarup: President Ramnath Kovind has said the world has lost an astronomy legend with the demise of Professor Govind Swarup. In a tweet, Mr Kovind said he contributed to fundamental developments in radio astronomy and created two of the world’s largest radio telescopes in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish at the passing away of scientist Professor Govind Swarup. In a tweet, Mr Modi said his pioneering works in radio astronomy have attained global commendation.
Tennis: Indo-Canadian pair Rohan Bopanna-Denis Shapovalov crashes out of US Open: In the US Open Tennis, the Indo-Canadian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov went down fighting their men’s doubles quarterfinal to the DutchRomanian duo of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in straight sets 7-5, 7- 5. Rojer and Tecau will now play Brazilian-Croatia pair of B. Soares and M. Pavić in the second Semi Final tomorrow. The first Semi Final will be played between the British American duo of J. Salisbury and R. Ram and CroatianDutch pair of N. Mektić and W. Koolhof. In Women’s Singles fourth round matches, Serena Williams defeated Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. Naomi Osaka of Japan defeated Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. Williams will play Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria in the quarter final tomorrow, while Osaka will take on Shelby Rogers of US.
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Compiled By : CS Surbhi Saxena
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