Trump abandons trade deal

President Trump Washington, Jan. 23: President Trump formally abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership today, pulling away from Asia and scrapping his predecessor's most significant trade deal on his first full weekday in office, administration officials said. Trump sharply criticised the partnership agreement during last year's campaign, calling it a bad deal for American workers. The enormous trade deal became a flashpoint in American politics this year, inflaming a debate over international commerce and lost jobs. The withdrawal from the trade pact, he added, is a "great thing for the American worker". Aides signaled that Trump may also move quickly on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

January 23, 2017 21:27 UTC

Machine-man debate cloud on sand mining

Earlier, sand mining rights were awarded by the administration on a first-come-first-served basis, making the process vulnerable to political influence. Mining used to be largely labour-intensive. However, the National Green Tribunal, hearing a case of pollution last year, banned sand mining in Bengal and ordered fresh distribution of mining rights through e-auction. That is why they forcibly tried to prevent mechanised sand mining," an official said. Sources said that often local politicians used to back illegal mining at legal sand pits besides controlling the entire cash-rich trade.

January 23, 2017 21:27 UTC

State push for eggs-tra income

The campaign aims to increase egg production in Bihar. "Starting egg production units will not only make state egg-sufficient but also generate employment opportunities apart from ensuring the availability of quality eggs. Each egg production unit would have an entrepreneur. We have fixed a target of creating employment opportunities for around four people through egg production units and its allied sectors," said Vijoy. Sanjeev Srivastava, a member of the Bihar State Innovation Council, said the council has submitted 100 loan applications of the 2,021 people to Nabard.

January 23, 2017 21:27 UTC

Building India’s digital highway

The next few years will be definitive for the evolution of India’s digital infrastructure and the role it can play in the country’s growth. *******While the story of the potential value that India’s digital infrastructure can add, has been told many times, developments in this sector have so far lagged expectations. The next few years could see unprecedented changes in the ‘quantity’ and ‘quality’ of digital access. Creating broadband infrastructure: Let us turn our attention to the resources required for the creation of broadband infrastructure. Over the next few years, we need to prevent market failures in digital infrastructure creation—failures that are borne out of unfavourable economics and lead to suboptimal development of digital infrastructure and issues in both ‘quantity’ and ‘quality’ of digital access.

January 23, 2017 21:27 UTC

Bengal opens app-cab door for 'baxi' debut

The transport department has received two applications for the New Town-Rajarhat project and is awaiting proposals for other neighbourhoods of Calcutta, officials said. Like app-cab aggregators Uber and Ola, bike-taxi operators would be free to use the surge pricing method when demand is high. Officials in the transport department said the plan was to allow bike-taxis to ply mainly in the lanes and bylanes of large neighbourhoods. Bike-taxi operators are required to check the antecedents of anyone they choose to appoint as a driver or partner. "The basic idea is to provide last-mile connectivity from the thoroughfares," transport secretary Bandyopadhyay said.

January 23, 2017 21:27 UTC

Vodafone to invest Rs 3,000cr in east

Calcutta, Jan. 23: Vodafone India will invest Rs 3,000 crore over the next three years to expand its network in Calcutta and the rest of Bengal. "At Vodafone, we are enthused with the government's vision of creating Bengal as a business hub and are keen to be a partner in its delivery. Vodafone India serves more than 2 crore customers in Calcutta and the rest of Bengal circles. At present, Vodafone provides direct and indirect employment to over 1,500 people in the state. Rakesh Mittal, vice-chairman of Bharti Enterprises, had also said at the Bengal Global Business Summit that Airtel will invest around Rs 3,500 crore in Bengal over the next three years.

January 23, 2017 20:57 UTC

Note ban discolours Asian Paints

Calcutta, Jan 23: Demonetisation has taken a toll on the financial results of Asian Paints in the October-December quarter. Consolidated net profit during the quarter was Rs 489.31 crore against Rs 482.02 crore in the corresponding year-ago period. Consolidated net sales was Rs 4,353.99 crore, recording a growth of 2.56 per cent over the previous year. The Asian Paints scrip closed at Rs 964.25, down 0.16 per cent, on the BSE. Asian Paints will invest Rs 650 crore to expand its facilities in Gujarat.

January 23, 2017 20:57 UTC

Portfolio rejig at RBI

Mumbai, Jan. 23: RBI governor Urjit Patel has re-allocated the portfolios of deputy governors after Viral V Acharya assumed charge today. The RBI has a provision for four deputy governors, two of whom are appointed from outside while the other two are generally appointed from within. Acharya will oversee eight functions and prominent among them include monetary policy department, department of economic policy & research, financial markets regulation department and the financial markets operations department. Vishwanathan will look after the departments of banking regulation, co-operative banking regulation, non-banking regulation, deposit insurance and credit guarantee corporation and the financial stability unit. Since Acharya will be handling the monetary policy department, he will also be a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which decides on interest rates.

January 23, 2017 20:57 UTC

BigBasket sets lofty revenue targets

"From a revenue perspective, we would reach around Rs 1,500 crore by the end of the year and in 2017-18 we are eyeing a revenue of Rs 2,500 crore. The aim is to hit billion dollars (Rs 6,800 crore) by 2019-20," said Hari Menon, co-founder and CEO of Big Basket. The company has started a farmer connect programme to source fruits and vegetables directly from farmers at the local collection centres. "We were sceptical about what was going to happen here from a people perspective or from an operational perspective. BigBasket offers services in locations such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Delhi, Noida, Mysore, Coimbatore and Vijayawada-Guntur.

January 23, 2017 20:57 UTC

Fiscal leeway cue in panel report

New Delhi, Jan. 23: The NK Singh panel on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, which submitted its report to finance minister Arun Jaitley today, is believed to have recommended a fiscal deficit range instead of a fixed target. India plans to shift to a target range from its present practice of having a fixed deficit target. The government had set a fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP for 2016-17 in that budget. The aim of the act was to progressively bring down the fiscal deficit to zero over a number of years. The first volume of the report addresses the issue of the fiscal policy, fiscal road map, international experience and recommendations therein.

January 23, 2017 20:57 UTC

USFDA notice to Hetero over conditions at Telangana unit

MUMBAI: The US Food and Drug Administration has sent a notice to Hetero Labs, a supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients, about possible manufacturing deficiencies at its unit located in Telangana. “A document shredder was introduced into your firm’s document storage area… days prior to the current US FDA inspection. After introduction of the document shredder we observed extensive shredding of what appears to be controlled documents and extensive signing of documents by QA,” the FDA investigators noted. The company failed to maintain a record of what had been shredded before the current inspection, the FDA said. Hetero is .`400 crore drug company that makes range of drugs, including anti-retrovirals, which are used in HIV treatment.

January 23, 2017 20:29 UTC

crime news: 20 years on, man to be tried for kidnap and rape of girl he wed

MUMBAI: Twenty years after he eloped with a girl belonging to another religion, a Pune resident will now have to face trial for the offences of kidnap and rape . Deepa was 17 years and 11 months old—one month short of turning an adult and marriageable age as per law—when she eloped with Khan. The police booked Khan for kidnap and rape. In August 1998, Khan managed to obtain bail and as Deepa had turned 18, they got married. (Names changed to protect the family's identity)SUCH A LONG ORDEALOct 1997: An FIR is lodged by Deepa's father after she elopes with Sameer Khan.

January 23, 2017 20:27 UTC

Complete e-KYC of mobile subscribers: Trai asks DoT

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January 23, 2017 20:27 UTC

60% of vehicles on Indian roads don’t have insurance

MUMBAI: Nearly 60% of the vehicles plying on Indian roads are uninsured, most of them motorcycles and scooters. The data has been complied by General Insurance Council (GIC), which represents the country's general insurers.In 2015-16, India had around 19 crore registered vehicles; of these, only 8.26 crore were insured, said GIC secretary general R Chandrasekaran on Monday.The situation was similar in 2012-13, when the total number of vehicles, including two-wheelers, cars and heavy vehicles, registered in the country stood at 15 crore, of which only 6.02 crore were insured. The figures are alarming since India's roads are notorious for their high accident rate, with 2015 alone recording over 5 lakh road crashes.Two-wheelers were involved in 29% of the accidents in 2015, cars and jeeps in 23%, and buses in 8.3%. Transport experts point out the need for every vehicle to be insured as those without an insurance cause "huge liability to mishap victims".

January 23, 2017 20:15 UTC

A narrower vision

What direction will its foreign policy take? During the eight years of Obama administration, Republicans criticized his foreign policy bitterly and its Tea Party segment attacked it aggressively. Those durable interests will doubtless be the principal anvils to form the future of US foreign policy. In short, we are likely to see in the coming years a US foreign policy of restraint. The Trump administration is yet to find its feet, and trying to prognosticate its foreign policy moves is almost like reading tea leaves.

January 23, 2017 20:14 UTC

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