Sunday, March 7

Business

EPFO liquidates equity outlay, retains 8.5% payout for FY21
Business

EPFO liquidates equity outlay, retains 8.5% payout for FY21

Amid falling interest rate, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has managed to hold on to 8.5% rate for the current financial year, providing relief to its nearly five crore active subscribers. Many will be hit hard by the government’s move to tax returns if contributions top Rs 2.5 lakh annually. The decision was taken at a meeting of the EPFO’s central board of trustees headed by labour minister Santosh Gangwar. It will need to be endorsed by the finance ministry, which is known to raise the red flag almost every year before holding itself back. EPFO to be left with Rs 300 crore surplus after equity liquidation The retirement savings agency has relied on the stock market to offer higher returns. “For FY 2021 (2020-21), EPFO decided to liquidate investment and the i...
Covid-19 accelerates shift towards digitalisation: Infosys-Milken report
Business

Covid-19 accelerates shift towards digitalisation: Infosys-Milken report

A new report by digital services major Infosys shows that American employees like working remotely, employers cite greater workforce productivity but how to increase diversity remains a top concern. The Milken Institute and Infosys report titled 'Future of Work: Insights for 2021 and Beyond' highlights insights about remote work based on original research. It examines the pandemic's impact on the workforce and offers recommendations for employers and employees moving forward. The report, based upon surveys of employees and managers of large US-based companies, found that 80 percent of respondents are very or somewhat satisfied with remote work despite higher workloads and a lack of social interactions with colleagues. Nearly 82 percent of managers said their employees are working ...
FAO food price index rises for 9th consecutive month in Feb
Business

FAO food price index rises for 9th consecutive month in Feb

Global rices">food commodity prices rose for the ninth consecutive month in February with quotations for sugar and vegetable oils increasing the most, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. The FAO food price index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 116 points in February, 2.4 percent higher than the previous month and up 26.5 percent from a year ago. The FAO sugar price index rose by 6.4 percent from January as production declines in key producing countries together with strong import demand from Asia prompted ongoing concerns over tighter global supplies. Expectations of a production recovery in Thailand and a bumper crop in India dampened the increase. The FAO veget...
PNB Housing Finance, Yes Bank in co-lending partnership
Business

PNB Housing Finance, Yes Bank in co-lending partnership

PNB Housing Finance and Yes Bank said on Friday they have entered into a strategic co-lending agreement to offer customised retail loans for homebuyers at competitive interest rates. Both organisations will jointly do due diligence and co-originate the loan at an agreed ratio. PNB Housing will service customers through the entire loan lifecycle including sourcing, documentation, and collection with an information sharing arrangement with Yes Bank. In 2020, the Reserve Bank of India allowed the co-origination of housing finance companies with banks to enable non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and other banking institutions to provide mutually-beneficial risk assessment services. The revised co-lending model introduced in November last year gives lenders greater flexibility vis-a...
WhatsApp launches voice and video calling from desktop
Business, Highlights, Technology

WhatsApp launches voice and video calling from desktop

Facebook-owned messaging platform Whatsapp has launched voice and video calling from the desktop. WhatsApp’s latest update comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the importance of services like Zoom, to hold meetings, group calls between employees during work from home. “To make desktop calling more useful, we made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation, appears in a resizable standalone window on your computer screen and is set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows,” said the company in a blog. WhatsApp, which was subject to controversies in India over its updated privacy policy, emphasized that its voice and video calls on the desktop are end-to-end encrypted. The company also said that i...
Tata Tiago XTA variant launched with AMT gearbox at ₹5.99 lakh
Automobile, Business

Tata Tiago XTA variant launched with AMT gearbox at ₹5.99 lakh

Tata Motors on Thursday announced the launch of the new Tiago XTA variant. The new variant of Tata's popular hatchback has been introduced at a starting price of ₹5.99 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom, Delhi). The key highlight of the new Tiago XTA variant includes its AMT gearbox and as per Tata, the new launch strengthens its automatic line up with four AMT options. Commenting on the introduction of this new variant, Mr. Vivek Srivatsa, Head Marketing, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit (PVBU), Tata Motors said, “Fulfilling our brand promise of staying New Forever, we are constantly listening and gathering feedback from the market. The Tiago has received tremendous market response from across regions." The Tiago was originally launched in India in 2016. The BS 6-spec version of the same hatchback ...
TCS debuts solution for Covid-19 testing and vaccine management
Business

TCS debuts solution for Covid-19 testing and vaccine management

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Thursday announced the launch of a Covid-19 testing and vaccine management software solution to streamline every stage of the journey, enabling more individuals to return to normal life experiences. The product leverages artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as the company's network of technology partners. TCS said the suite transforms all five stages of testing and vaccination journeys: research and manufacture, allocate and transport, store and distribute, schedule and administer, and monitor and re-open. "It enables ecosystem participants at each of these stages to seamlessly share critical information among themselves while complying with privacy and consent regulations, and to scale up their ...
One million customers of other banks are using ICICI Bank’s ‘iMobile Pay’
Business, India

One million customers of other banks are using ICICI Bank’s ‘iMobile Pay’

 ICICI Bank today announced that as many as one million customers of other banks have started using the new avatar of its app, ’iMobile Pay’. The Bank has achieved the feat in a shade over three months after it made ‘iMobile Pay’ open for all to use, including those who are not its customers. Going by the encouraging response received by this unique initiative that offers interoperability to bank customers, ICICI Bank anticipates that the number is likely to double in two months. To start using ‘iMobile Pay’, customers of any bank can link their bank account with the app, generate a UPI ID and start paying to any UPI ID or merchants, pay bills, do online recharges, and transfer money to any bank account, payment app and digital wallet. In addition, they can open a savings accoun...
Equity indices plunge on weak global cues, metal stocks hit badly
Business

Equity indices plunge on weak global cues, metal stocks hit badly

Equity benchmark indices fell sharply during early hours on Thursday as traders booked profit on weak global cues. At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 650 points or 1.26 percent at 50,795 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 194 points or 1.27 percent to 15,052. All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative terrain with Nifty metal down by 2.9 percent, PSU bank and financial service by 2.3 percent each, and auto by 1.3 percent. Among stocks, JSW Steel dropped by 3.4 percent to Rs 413.65 per share while Tata Steel was down by 3.2 percent to Rs 752.25. Hindalco too dipped by 2.6 percent to Rs 349.80 per share. Banking and financial stocks too fell with HDFC down by 3 percent, Bajaj Finserv by 2.8 percent, HDFC Bank by 2.7 percent, Axis Bank by 2....
Income Tax searches continue at KWAN Talent Management Agency in Mumbai
Business, Cities, Highlights, India

Income Tax searches continue at KWAN Talent Management Agency in Mumbai

Searches by the Income Tax Department at the commerce centre of KWAN Talent Management Agency in Mumbai continued for the second day. The raids had started on Wednesday. Earlier on Wednesday, Income Tax officials conducted raids at the properties of film director Anurag Kashyap, film producer Vikas Bahl and actor Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai, sources said. Offices and residences of Kashyap, Bahl, and Pannu were searched in the raids, sources in the Income Tax Department added.
Air passenger demand globally falls further: IATA
Business

Air passenger demand globally falls further: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said air passenger traffic fell in January, both compared to pre-Covid levels (January 2019) and compared to the immediate month prior (December 2020). Total demand in January 2021 measured in revenue passenger kilometres was down by 72 percent compared to January 2019. That was worse than the 69.7 percent year-over-year decline recorded in December 2020. Total domestic demand was down 47.4 percent versus pre-crisis (January 2019) levels. In December it was down by 42.9 percent on the previous year. IATA said this weakening is largely driven by stricter domestic travel controls in China over the Lunar New Year holiday period. International passenger demand in January was 85.6 percent below January 2019, a further drop compa...
Nanosafe all set to launch copper-based technology that kills bacteria, viruses and fungi
Business

Nanosafe all set to launch copper-based technology that kills bacteria, viruses and fungi

With the COVID-19 pandemic still largely looming, and a whopping 11,000 new cases reported daily in India, the demand for microbe killing objects and materials are surging. A Delhi based technology start-up called Nanosafe Solutions has come up with a copper-based technology that can kill all types of microbes including SARS-CoV-2. The technology called AqCure (Cu being an abbreviation of element copper) is based on nanotechnology and active copper. According to different types of materials, Nanosafe Solutions offer active copper products to various polymer and textiles manufacturers as well as cosmetic, paints, and packaging firms. Actipart Cu and Actisol Cu are their flagship products in powder form and liquid form respectively which can be used while formulating paint and cosmetic...
Wipro joins WEF initiative to advance racial justice, social equality
Business

Wipro joins WEF initiative to advance racial justice, social equality

IT software major Wipro Ltd has joined the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative launched by the World Economic Forum to promote a culture of diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice for people of all racial backgrounds in the workplace. The initiative is aimed towards driving action and accountability for companies to confront racism at a systemic level, set new global standards for racial justice in business, and accomplish necessary policy changes for the inclusion and advancement of professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities. "As a global brand that influences millions of lives across the world, it is our responsibility to accelerate every attempt towards equity and justice," said Thierry Delaporte, Wipro's Chief Executive Officer, and Manag...
Quess Corp separates Chairman and MD roles, appoints new CFO
Business

Quess Corp separates Chairman and MD roles, appoints new CFO

Business services provider Quess Corp has announced the separation of its Chairman and Managing Director roles as it seeks to scale up operations and reduce the debt burden. Suraj Moraje, currently Group CEO and Executive Director, will be elevated to Group CEO and Managing Director from April 1. Ajit Isaac, currently Executive Chairman and MD, will continue in the role of Executive Chairman. The company also appointed N Ravi Vishwanath as Chief Financial Officer of the company effective April 1. Vishwanath was previously CFO of Teamlease and Finance Director at Sun Microsystems. Subramanian Ramakrishnan, the current CFO, is stepping down from the company on March 31 to pursue an entrepreneurial venture. Moraje welcomed Vishwanath to the team. "His vast experience in the staffi...
Asia Pacific central government borrowings to remain high this year: S&P
Business

Asia Pacific central government borrowings to remain high this year: S&P

S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday projected that Asia Pacific central government borrowings will remain high by historical standards in 2021 after a pandemic-driven surge in 2020. Long-term commercial borrowing for the region is likely to be 4.1 trillion dollars this year after reaching a record 4.6 trillion dollars in 2020, it said in a report. Although it is a reduction from last year, sovereign commercial borrowing in 2021 will still be well above the sub-3 trillion-dollar annual levels recorded in the few years leading up to 2019. "We expect reduced issuances out of China and Japan to account for the bulk of the decline." Although the fighting against Covid-19 continues, its burden on government finances is likely to be lower. For one, vaccines being rolled out in many countri...