India's GDP projected to slow to 6.6% post-demonetisation, says IMF

NEW DELHI: Cash shortages and payment disruptions caused by the demonetisation have undermined consumption and business activity, posing a new challenge to sustaining the growth momentum, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.The GDP growth is projected to slow to 6.6 per cent in FY17, largely due to a disruption in private consumption from demonetisation, IMF said in its annual Chapter IV assessment of India. It expects growth to rebound to 7.2 per cent in FY18. "Continued progress in reforms bodes well for a marked improvement in medium-term prospects, with the adoption of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) poised to raise India’s medium-term GDP growth to above 8 per cent," IMF said.The IMF’s executive board called on the Indian government to "quickly restore the availability of cash to avoid further payment disruptions, and encourage prudent monitoring of the potential side-effects of the initiative on financial stability and growth," IMF said in its report released on Wednesday.It said gauging the near-term adverse economic impact of cash shortages remains difficult, but admitted it may have a positive economic impact in the medium term. Sustained period of continued low global energy prices would also help.The IMF’s executive board took note of India’s robust growth and ‘strong policy action’ by the government, which included continued fiscal consolidation and an anti-inflationary monetary policy, measures that have underpinned macroeconomic stability.The board recommended “continued vigilance to potential domestic and external shocks, and urged the authorities to further advance economic and structural reforms to address supply bottlenecks, raise potential output, create jobs and ensure inclusive growth”.The board called for augmenting capital buffers and continued governance reform of state-run banks and strengthening the resolution regime for distressed bank assets while pointing out the risks to banks from high NPAs and stressed corporates.The Reserve Bank of India should be ready to raise rates should inflationary pressures gather pace, the IMF said, flagging elevated household inflation expectations and food supply constraints as key risks.More agricultural reforms to boost food supplies as well as maintaining fiscal adjustment to support monetary policy in achieving low and stable inflation were other suggestions. IMF also asked the government to push labour reforms at both the Centre and state levels.

February 22, 2017 14:34 UTC

ABVP-AISA clash at DU college over invite to JNU students; many injured

Violent clashes broke out between Left-affiliated AISA and RSS-backed ABVP at DU's Ramjas college today over a seminar invite to JNU students Omar Khalid and Shehla Rashid which left "several students and three teachers injured". Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad had on Tuesday locked down the colleges seminar room and pelted stones in protest against the invitation to the JNU students who were to address a seminar calling them "anti-nationals." There is plenty police presence on campus but nobody from ABVP has been detained yet," alleged Shehla Rashid, who was formerly JNU Students Union vice president. The two JNU students were invited to take part in a session during a two-day seminar on Culture of Protest organised by Wordcraft, Ramjas colleges Literary Society. ALSO READ:Delhi's Ramjas College cancels invite to Umar Khalid, Shehla Rashid after ABVP protestJNU row: Not a terrorist, stand my ground, says Umar KhalidWATCH

February 22, 2017 14:11 UTC

Pakistan orders AgustaWestland helicopters from Italy

Photo: BloombergIslamabad: Pakistan has ordered an undisclosed number of AgustaWestland intermediate helicopters from Italy to perform utility and transport operations. “The Pakistan Government has placed orders for an undisclosed number of additional AgustaWestland AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters,” Leonardo, the Rome- based multinational aerospace, defence and security firm said. Meanwhile, the Dawn newspaper reported that an agreement on the AW139 helicopters was signed and an initial order for the helicopter was placed in May 2016. A total of 11 AW139s are already in service in Pakistan, with 5 aircraft operated for civil protection and transport tasks. On 1 January 2016, the Helicopter Division of Leonardo had absorbed the activities of AgustaWestland.

February 22, 2017 14:05 UTC

Unilever to review strategy after fending off Kraft Heinz

London: Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever said it was reviewing its options to drive shareholder value, just days after it swiftly rejected a surprise $143 billion takeover bid from Kraft Heinz. “We expect the review to be completed by early April, after which we will communicate further.”ALSO READ: Unilever’s boldest defence? But investors have called on the firm to review its costs and structures to see if it could do more to deliver the profit that Kraft had seen. Unilever’s operating profit margin falls well short of Kraft Heinz and other rivals. Unilever’s London-listed shares were up 2.8% at 1330 GMT, just 3% below where they were trading on Friday when news of the Kraft approach broke.

February 22, 2017 14:05 UTC

SC to hear former Arunachal CM Kalikho Pul's wife's plea tomorrow seeking probe into his suicide

Highlights 1 The SC has decided to give an open court hearing tomorrow to Kalikho Pul's wife's plea seeking CBI probe. 2 Pul's wife has contended that the state police did a shoddy investigation. In a fresh twist to the ongoing political controversy around the alleged suicide note of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul, the Supreme Court has decided to give an open court hearing tomorrow to his wife's plea seeking CBI probe. Also read: Ex-Arunachal chief minister Kalikho Pul's widow seeks CBI probe into his suicideSpeaking to India Today, Pul's wife expressed hope that the judiciary will take action and justice will be served. "It is going to be a tough long battle, but I am determined to take it forward," said Dangwimsai Pul, wife of the former CM Kalikho Pul.

February 22, 2017 14:04 UTC

Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl admits to mistakes, to take 100% salary cut

Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl (left) and Rohit Bansal, who drew a compensation of Rs40 crore each last year, will now take a 100% salary cut. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/MintBengaluru/New Delhi: Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl on Wednesday accepted that the start-up had made errors in execution at a time when the e-commerce firm is in dire need of funds. In an email to employees, a copy of which was seen by Mint, Bahl said on Wednesday that co-founder Rohit Bansal and he will take a “100% salary cut”. Bahl wrote to Snapdeal employees after the company said that it will cut jobs without specifying a number. As with Snapdeal’s Bahl, he was trying to placate his employees after Flipkart announced a few weeks prior that it cut some 600 jobs.

February 22, 2017 14:03 UTC

India v Australia​: Sehwag predicts 3-0 or 3-1 series win for India over Australia

PUNE: The former India opener Virender Sehwag on Wednesday described the current national cricket team as the strongest he had seen and predicted a 3-0 or 3-1 win in the upcoming Test series against Australia. "The balance that this team has, the quality of their fast bowlers and spinners accompanied by the batting firepower makes this the best Indian team. This team has the capability of winning a Test series abroad," Sehwag said at the 'SporTale', sports-themed literary festival.Sehwag, however, warned the Indian team against the law of averages catching up. "I am happy that he isn't captain because maybe now my team, Kings XI Punjab, can beat this Pune team. On a serious note, I believe that this is an internal decision of the franchise but he is one of the best ever captains India has ever had," he said.

February 22, 2017 13:57 UTC

Sutlej Yamuna Link canal has to be constructed: SC tells Punjab govt

The court said that it would pass order on execution of its decree if warring states of Punjab and Haryana failed to come to an agreeable solution. "There are two orders by the court earlier and also a reference on the issue. The decree has to be executed either through legal process or parties themselves sit together and find out a solution. "Centre is duty bound to play the role of a mediator in the inter-state water dispute to uphold the spirit of federalism. It said that its status quo order on the project would continue and posted the case to March 2.

February 22, 2017 13:44 UTC

Delhi: SBI ATM dispenses Rs 2000 notes by 'Children Bank of India', culprits identified

An SBI ATM here dispensed fake 2,000 rupee notes, and police said on Wednesday that they had identified the culprits. The incident was reported in south Delhi where a State Bank of India ATM dispensed the fake notes on February 6, with "Children Bank of India" printed in place of Reserve Bank of India, according to the FIR. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajiv Ranjan Singh said that the vendor who supplied the cash to the ATM and the persons who inserted the fake notes have been identified. The officer put the number of fake notes dispensed by the ATM at three. Also Read Rs 2000 notes from Children Bank of India: Row over SBI ATM dispensing fake cashFake Rs 2,000 note: Counterfeiters copy 11 out 17 security featuresBusted: Fake Indian Currency Notes worth Rs 6 lakh recovered

February 22, 2017 13:41 UTC

Stalin holds Sasikala responsible for Jayalalithaa’s death

MK Stalin addressing media MK Stalin addressing mediaHolding Sasikala responsible for the death of Jayalalithaa, DMK leader MK Stalin on Thursday said that if the death of the former CM is probed, she will be sentenced to life imprisonment. “If proper probe takes place into Jayalalithaa’s death, the person who’s in jail for four years now will be awarded lifetime imprisonment,” said Stalin implying Sasikala’s role in Jayalalithaa’s death. Stalin was addressing party workers who were on a day-long hunger strike to protest against the eviction of its MLAs from the Assembly and demand a fresh trust vote. Party’s working president MK Stalin was leading the strike from Trichy. Meanwhile, the Madras High Court adjourned till Monday the party’s petition challenging the vote of confidence won by Palanisamy in the Assembly.

February 22, 2017 13:30 UTC

Ola, Uber drivers begin cab strike in Bengaluru

“Over one lakh drivers attached to Ola and Uber have gone on an indefinite strike, demanding better incentives and stopping of attachment of new cabs, which affects their bookings,” Uber, TaxiForSure and Ola (UTO) Drivers and Owners Association President Tanveer Pasha told PTI here. Police said the protesters ransacked the Uber office at HSR Layout here. ALSO READ: Ola, Uber restart services in Delhi, cab union claims strike still onFurniture and some office equipment at the office were damaged, they said. The drivers also want Ola and Uber to stop attachment of new cabs as it affects their bookings, as also immediate stoppage of penalising drivers, based on customer ratings. The pricing strategies adopted by Ola and Uber have not only affected their drivers, but also those from other unions, Pasha said.

February 22, 2017 13:07 UTC

HTC U Ultra vs Google Pixel: Is HTC finally back in the game?

DisplayThe Google Pixel has a 5' 1080p AMOLED display with a pixel density of 441 ppi. Where the HTC U Ultra pulls ahead of the Google Pixel is the fact the Ultra supports microSD cards of upto 2TB while the Pixel doesn't come with expandable storage at all. Other featuresGoogle Pixel:Google AssistantThe Google Pixel comes with Google Assistant, Google's answer to the Siris and Cortanas of the world. It also replaces Google Now with Google Assistant. While we are yet to review the HTC U Ultra extensively, the U Ultra looks to be an evolution of the Google Pixel.

February 22, 2017 13:07 UTC

Confident Snap brushes off concerns on second day of IPO roadshow

Still, they acknowledged that Snap has built momentum as this year’s biggest technology IPO and the darling of millennials. In the Q&A with management that took up the entire session, not one attendee asked about the company’s first-of-its kind share structure that offers IPO investors no voting rights. Investors seeking clear answers to concerns around metrics, particularly the company’s long-touted new user growth, were disappointed. New user growth slowed in the second half of 2016, and just this week Facebook’s WhatsApp introduced a disappearing photo-messaging service similar to Snapchat’s. In a recent update of its IPO registration document, the company also pointed to technical issues facing Android devices that have hindered new user growth outside the US.

February 22, 2017 13:06 UTC

Full text: In email, Snapdeal founders say mistakes made as company cuts 600 jobs

Today we heard that the company cut 600 jobs and that there is a lot of confusion and chaos in its offices. The gravity of the situation can be ascertained from the email that Snapdeal founders have presumably written to the company employees. We are combining teams, reducing layers, eliminating non-core projects and strengthening the focus on profitable growth. And that point, we will be a self sufficient, profitable company. I am glad that we have picked our path clearly - of building a profitable business over the next two years.

February 22, 2017 13:04 UTC

Masood Azhar ban: 'Burden of proof' not on India, foreign secretary tells China

So the proof is in (the) 1267 Committee action. It is not that the burden of proof is on India to convince. The 1267 Committee is not for public. Our understanding (is that) there is overwhelming support in the 1267 (Committee). "On the, (the) Chinese side underlined that they are open to India's application for membership.

February 22, 2017 12:59 UTC

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