India today announced a credit line of $1 billion to Mongolia to expand its economic capacity and infrastructure, as they decided to upgrade their relationship from Comprehensive to “Strategic Partnership”.
Narendra Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Mongolia, held wide ranging talks with his counterpart Chimed Saikhanbileg here following which the two sides inked 14 agreements covering defence, cyber security, agriculture, renewable energy and health sector.
Asserting that Mongolia is an integral part of India’s Act East Policy, he said the destinies of the two countries are closely linked with the future of Asia Pacific Region.
The nation’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has created a separate company, SBI Foundation, to carry out its massive CSR initiatives and hopes to get it “running” from July. Incidentally, July 1 is the foundation day of the bank, which was started as Bank of Calcutta in June 1806.
In fiscal 2104, the bank had spent Rs 115 crore on CSR, on a profit of Rs 10,891 crore, which was Rs 6 crore more than its 1 per cent profit. The SBI Foundation has already been registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013, which applies to non-profit companies or organisations and will be headquartered in Mumbai.
The bank chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya will be the chairman of the foundation and will have a full-time managing director and chief executive. That apart, SBI has eight foreign banking subsidiaries — State Bank of India California, SBI Canada, SBI Mauritius, Nepal SBI Bank, State Bank of India Botswana, Bank SBI Indonesia, Bank of Bhutan, and Commercial Indo Bank.
Except the associate banks, all of these subsidiaries will have to spend 2 per cent of their profits on CSR as they are governed by the Companies Act, he said, adding that the bank has already received approval from the Reserve Bank for setting up the company.
The new Companies Act mandates firms to mandatorily spend or set aside 2 per cent of their net profit for CSR. But this is not applicable to other commercial banks as they are under the Banking Regulation Act, which does not mandate this.
Bettering its own financial targets, the government has contained the fiscal deficit at 4 per cent of GDP for 2014-15 at Rs 5,01,880 crore.
The revenue deficit has also been confined to 2.8 per cent, beating the budget target of 2.9 per cent for the last fiscal, the Finance Ministry said in a statement today.
The gross tax collection registered a growth of 9 per cent in 2014-15 and stood at Rs 12,45,037 crore.
The fiscal deficit target was set at 4.1 per cent by the the UPA government, but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said he was taking it as a “challenge” to meet this ambitious and “daunting target” set up by his predecessor P Chidambaram.
Fiscal deficit, the gap between the government’s expenditure and revenue, is lower than the downwardly revised estimate of 4.1 per cent provided by the Modi government’s first full Budget announced in February.
Giving the Modi Government 7 out of 10 for its first year’s performance, industry body Assocham today said it still needs to cover some ground on tax issues and a lot more needs to be done on improving the ease of doing business.
The country’s macro-economic situation has improved in the past one year with decline in inflation, stability in currency and attractive financial markets, it said.
“The industry and the commentators must realise that an economy of two trillion dollars, well integrated with the world, can’t be catapulted into high growth, just with the change of the government.
“However much the government is sincere, policy tweaking, legislative changes and revival of investment appetite need to be followed by increase in consumer demand, and would take time of say, 24-30 months.
“And then, a lot would also depend on the global markets which are subdued,” Assocham said.
The government, it said, has made a good beginning, though it now needs to move faster on things like goods and services tax and send a new signal of confidence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said mineral-rich Mongolia could benefit from India’s expertise and high growth while praising the Buddhist country as the new bright light of democracy in the world.
Modi, who was given a rare honour by Mongolia to address its Parliament on Sunday, a holiday, said: “I bring the greetings of your 1.25 billion spiritual neighbours. There is no higher form of a relationship; no bonds more sacred than this. We in India are honoured that you think of us this way.”
The Prime Minister said India and Mongolia are at important juncture because the two countries are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations and Mongolia is celebrating 25 years of democracy.
The Prime Minister said the 14 agreements signed between two sides today would enhance bilateral cooperation in areas including border security and cyber security.
He said a cyber security centre will be established for Mongolia’s defence sector and announced the establishment of ‘India Mongolia Joint School’ in Ulan Bator.
Modi, dressed in traditional Mongolian attire and sporting a hat, attended the festival with Premier Chimed Saikhanbileg.
Prime Minister Modi drove to an open area in Chinggis Khuree near the airport here and spent about an hour watching horse racing, traditional wrestling and archery. He also tried his hand at archery.
Mongolian Premier Saikhanbileg also gifted a race horce to Prime Minister Modi.
The Naadam festival is also locally termed “eriin gurvan naadam” (the three games of men). The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during midsummer.
Women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling.
In 2010, Naadam was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.
According to a detailed analysis of the 2011 census, Indians are the most successful ethnic minority group with 15.4 per cent found in class 1 of eight occupational groups, comprising higher managerial, administrative roles as well as professions like doctors and lawyers.
They are followed by those of Chinese origin at 12.8 percent, ‘The Sunday Times’ reported.
Australia’s wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has decided to make March’s World Cup final his last one-day international and announced his retirement from the format on Sunday.
The 37-year-old, who will leave Australia for the two-test tour of West Indies and Ashes campaign in England on Monday, played every match in the triumphant World Cup campaign earlier this year to take his tally to 126 ODIs for his country.
He took 170 catches, 11 stumpings and scored 3,122 runs at an average of 31.53 with a top score of 110 against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2010.
The Indo-Swiss tennis combine of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis did not live up to expectations as the top seeds were upset by Hungarian-French pair of Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets in the women’s doubles final of the $2,428,490 Rome Masters here on Sunday.
The third seeds took just an hour and 13 minutes to come out on top with a 6—4, 6—3 win on the outdoor clay courts of Foro Italico in the first ever match between the two pairs. This was Sania and Martina’s, ranked World No.1 and 2 respectively, fourth final together, having won at Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston earlier in the year.
Within no time, Timea and Kritina had two matchpoints. The first was saved by the top seeds but the Hungarian-French pair converted the second to earn the vital crown.
Bharti Airtel on Saturday said it has received financing commitment of up to $2.5 billion from two Chinese banks to primarily diversify its global portfolio and invest in the growth of data networks across its operations that now span to 20 countries. Subject to final agreements and requisite approvals, Bharti Airtel can draw the funds from China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China over a long term, depending on its financing requirements.
“This is the single largest bilateral commitment by China Development Bank to any telecom firm globally and the largest bilateral commitment to a private Indian company,” Bharti Airtel said, after the pact was signed in Beijing, coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.
“Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has committed $500 million with an average life of about nine years, making it the largest and longest bilateral commitment to an Indian telecom operator.”
“It is an endorsement of the long term potential of the Indian telecom sector. Given the availability period of three years, these financings shall further add to the financial flexibility that the company already has,” said Rajan Bharti Mittal, vice chairman.
“These shall further extend tenors, enabling investments for furtherance of the Digital India initiative.”
In March 2015, Bharti Airtel had announced a strategic collaboration with China Mobile, under which the two companies will work towards growth of long term evolution (LTE) ecosystem and evolve mobile technology standards. Bharti Airtel also has network equipment sourcing agreements with ZTE and Huawei. “These financings further complement the strong collaboration with Chinese partners,” the statement said.
The financing will help the telecom company with its aggressive plans to roll out the 4G network across the country ahead of the launch byReliance Jio.
Airtel also faces a large pay-out for spectrum allocation. Bharti Airtel can draw these funds over a long availability period, depending on its financing requirements. These shall further extend tenors, enabling investments for furtherance of the Digital India initiative.
In March 2015, Bharti Airtel had announced a strategic collaboration with China Mobile. Bharti Airtel also has network equipment sourcing agreements with ZTE and Huawei.
Founder – Sunil Bharti Mittal
Headquarters – New Delhi
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