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Bank staff to protest outside Parliament against mergers

AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS that the UFBU has decided to a national dharna before Parliament on Sep 20 at 10.30 a.m.

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Chennai, Sep 11 : The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella body of nine banking sector trade unions, will hold demonstration before the Parliament next week to protest against the mega bank merger plan announced by the government, a top banking union leader said.

All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS that the UFBU has decided to a national dharna before Parliament on Sep 20 at 10.30 a.m.

The UFBU has also decided to give a memorandum to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

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India’s April-August FDI inflow rises 13%

“FDI equity inflow also increased by 57 per cent from $160.46 billion during 2008-14 to $252.42 billion (2014-20).”

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FDI

New Delhi, Oct 21 : FDI inflows into India have increased by 13 per cent during April to August 2020 on a year-on-year basis, official data showed on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, $35.73 billion has been received during the period under review.

“It is the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 13 per cent higher as compared to first five months of 2019-20 ($31.60 billion),” the ministry said in a statement.

“FDI equity inflow received during F.Y. 2020-21 (April to August, 2020) is $27.10 billion. It is also the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 16 per cent more compared to first five months of 2019-20 ($23.35 billion).”

Besides, the ministry’s data showed that FDI inflows have risen by 55 per cent during the last 6 years.

“Total FDI inflow grew by 55 per cent, i.e. from $231.37 billion in 2008-14 to $358.29 billion in 2014-20,” the statement said.

“FDI equity inflow also increased by 57 per cent from $160.46 billion during 2008-14 to $252.42 billion (2014-20).”

The ministry said that measures taken regarding FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased inflows into the country.

“Continuing on the path of FDI liberalisation and simplification, Government has carried out FDI reforms across various sectors,” the statement said.

FDI is a major driver of economic growth and an important source of non-debt finance for the economic development of India, it added.

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Gadkari lays foundation for India’s first multi-modal logistic park in Assam

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Nitin Gadkari

Guwahati, Oct 21 : Indias first Rs 694 crore international Multi-Modal Logistic Park (MMLP) would be set up at Jogighopa in western Assam under the Bharatmala Project of the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.

According to the officials, the first MMLP at Jogighopa, which would be connected to road, rail, air and waterways, would be developed in 317-acre land along the Brahmaputra River, and would provide direct or indirect employment to nearly 20 lakh youth in Assam.

While laying the foundation stone for the project virtually from Delhi on Tuesday, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari, said that his ministry envisages to develop 35 MMLPs in the country, of which work on preparing DPR (detailed project report) and feasibility report is underway.

Gadkari said that Assam’s MMLP is being made by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDC), and the first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed by 2023 and the work would begin next month.

He informed that works worth Rs 280 crore have already been awarded, including Rs 171 crore for road construction, Rs 87 crore for erecting the structure, and Rs 23 crore for rail lines.

The minister said that the distance of 154 km between Jogighopa and Guwahati would be covered by making a four-lane road on this stretch, while a 3 km rail line would connect Jogighopa station with the MMLP. Another 3 km rail link would connect it to the Inland Water Transport and the road to newly developed Rupsi airport would be upgraded to four lanes for better connectivity.

He said the MMLP would have all the necessary facilities including warehouse, railway siding, cold storage, customs clearance house, yard facility, workshops, petrol pumps, truck parking, administrative building, boarding and lodging, eating joints, water treatment plant etc.

The minister further informed that his ministry has plans for national highway works worth Rs 80,000 crore in Assam.

He said, NH works for 575 km worth Rs 3,545 crore are going to be completed within this financial year and NH works of nearly Rs 15,000 crore would be awarded by next year, while DPRs will be completed for works of Rs 21,000 crore for the state.

Union DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Jitendra Singh said that more than 10 waterways are being developed in the northeast, bringing down the logistic cost by one fourth.

He said this cost effective mode of transport would be a cheaper option for trade, business and transportation and would boost trade across the borders, especially with the eastern neighbours by leaps and bounds.

He said that MMLP is a novel idea, and would be replicated by other states soon.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Ministers Gen (Retd) V.K. Singh, Rameshwar Teli, and Assam Ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chandra Mohan Potwary and Phani Bhushan Choudhury also addressed the event.

Historically, Assam and the northeastern region used to have a very vibrant trade activity with the neighbouring countries.

The region had multi-modal transportation networks, roadways, railways and riverine waterways through the territories along Bangladesh and Myanmar.

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Qualcomm, Reliance Jio light up India’s first 5G trials, top 1000 MB speeds

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Ericsson showcases 5G

New York, Oct 21 : Inching closer to its 5G rollout, India’s Reliance Jio, which counts 400 million subscribers on its 4G network in India, achieved a 1000 Mbps throughput milestone for its first round of 5G trials in partnership with US wireless-communication chip giant Qualcomm Inc.

“The product is already tested and validated by a Tier One carrier in the US,” Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio, said at the Qualcomm 5G Summit Tuesday. IANS was at the event.

The two companies announced that they have achieved over a 1 Gbps (1,000 MBPS) speed on the Reliance Jio 5GNR solution and the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platform.

Two standout features – phenomenal speed and stunning reduction in latency – will separate current 4G/LTEA networks from fifth generation (5G) networks. The new technology is drummed up to transport us into a world where entire movies can be downloaded in seconds and the time between command and execution is nearly wiped out, leading to exciting new applications in the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Oommen pointed to the combined muscle of Qualcomm’s chips that are crucial for superfast 5G networks and smartphones and Jio Platforms’ scale to deliver a homegrown 5G solution.

At the RIL AGM 2020, Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced plans for a 100 percent “homegrown 5G” network in India.

Currently, only the US, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland and Germany are able to offer 1GBPS speeds to 5G customers, RIL said.

Qualcomm’s 5G thrust comes at a time of escalating US and China tensions over tech leadership.

Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf has described as a “mortal sin” the scenario that the company is not prepared for the 5G opportunity riding on the back of geopolitical tensions.

“We’ve really got a great opportunity with where 5G goes. Let’s not blow it. When the pandemic struck my view was that the mortal sin is to not be prepared for the opportunity on the back side of this,” Mollenkopf told The Wall Street Journal, earlier this month.

5G has emerged as a new frontier for US-China rivalry, with the most dramatic escalation coming in the summer of 2020. Starting from within its own borders, the US is leading a worldwide campaign to convince foreign governments, particularly those in allied nations, to bar Chinese 5G from their advanced telecommunications networks, arguing that allowing them into those systems would lead to violations of their citizens’ privacy.

The US sees Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment company, as an arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state, and therefore a conduit to sabotage.

On July 12 this year, Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Inc, committed to invest upto Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms which translated into a 0.15 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis. Jio Platforms Ltd is a majority-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, with a consolidated turnover of Rs 659,205 crore ($87.1 billion) and net profit of Rs 39,880 crore ($5.3 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2020.

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