1. RBI issues draft norms on rupee-linked bonds overseas
ii. Corporates which are, at present, permitted to access ECB, under the approval route, will require prior permission of the RBI to issue such bonds and those coming under the automatic route can do so without prior permission of the RBI.
iii. The RBI proposed that the subscription, coupon payments and redemption might be settled in foreign currency.
iv. It also stipulated the coupon on the bonds should not be more than 500 basis points above the sovereign yield of the Government of India security of corresponding maturity as per the FIMMDA yield curve prevailing on the date of issue.
2. Government to Give Rs 6,000 Crore Interest-Free Loans to Sugar Mills
i. The government has approved interest-free loans for cash-strapped sugar mills to help them pay nearly 30 per cent of the record Rs 21,000 crore they owe to cane farmers, many of whom are struggling with huge debts as the first country-wide drought in six years looms.
ii. Sugar cane prices, meanwhile, have jumped over the years due to the populist policies of state governments to raise minimum support prices for farmers.
iii. Mills in India, the world’s biggest sugar producer after Brazil, have been lobbying the government for months seeking relief as prices of the sweetener have fallen below the cost of production due to ample supplies.
iv. The federal government earlier this year approved a subsidy to export raw sugar, although that failed to boost shipments amid a global glut.
3. Small traders’ body CAIT to launch ecommerce platform
i. After fighting tooth and nail with online retailers, the apex body of small traders, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), has decided to launch its own ecommerce portal in the next three months.
ii. Named ‘e-Lala’, the proposed portal will provide a direct interface between sellers and consumers and there will be no third agency which will be involved in any transaction, thereby eliminating the commission component which the sellers need to pay.
iii. The proposal was recently discussed at the national governing council meeting of CAIT. The body has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of its national president BC Bhartia to implement the plan.
iv. It will be the first ecommerce portal in the country by the traders for the traders. It will be a location-based portal wherein traders from different cities will be registered under their respective category of items.
v. Consumers will have the option to buy either online or from the physical store of the chosen seller
4. Microsoft begins rebranding of Nokia Priority Stores
i. In order to increase its presence in emerging markets like India, Microsoft on Wednesday kick-started rebranding of Nokia Priority Stores as Microsoft Priority Resellers.
ii. India is the first country among Microsoft’s global markets to roll out the new look for its retail outlets.
iii. This is perhaps one of the biggest rebranding exercises undertaken by a mobile manufacturer and we wanted India to lead the way being a priority market for us. For many consumers, the rebranded shops will be their first experience of Microsoft as a consumer hardware manufacturer.
iv. While existing Nokia stores would transform into Microsoft Priority Resellers, housing only Microsoft products, the multi-branded retail stores will be rechristened as Microsoft Mobile Resellers.
5. Kapil Mishra to Succeed Jitender Tomar as Delhi’s Law Minister
i. Delhi Jal Board vice chairman Kapil Mishra will succeed Jitender Tomar as Delhi’s law minister. A letter has been sent to the president in this regard.
ii. Mr Tomar had stepped down on Tuesday after being arrested over allegations that he had faked his law degree.
iii. Mr Mishra, the legislator from northeast Delhi’s Karawal Nagar, was placed in the crucial Jal Board to help realise the Aam Aadmi Party’s election promise of providing cheap water to Delhiites.
6. SEBI cracks down on 200 illicit fund-raising activities in 1 year
i. Stepping up action against illicit fund-raising in a big way, SEBI has cracked down on nearly 200 such activities in last one year relating to fraud against gullible investors and recovered Rs. 25 crore.
ii. SEBI has passed close to 200 orders in last one year against illegal fund-raising activities and barred individuals and companies from mobilising money from public.
iii. The Securities Laws Amendment Act, which was notified by the government in August 2014, empowers SEBI to pass orders for attachment of properties, arrest of defaulters and to access call data records.
iv. A majority of orders against deemed public issues were in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. The same for CIS activities are in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
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