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Jeff Bezos: Gandhi’s teachings still relevant

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Jeff Bezos Amazon CEO

Mumbai, Jan 17 : Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos feels his trip to India started off on the right note with kites, and says he felt honoured to be able to lay a wreath on the memorial of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi.

From dressing in ‘desi’ attire to spending time with some kids to showing off his kite-flying skills on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Bezos made the most of his India trip. He looked back at the time spent in the country during a conversation with superstar Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Zoya Akhtar at a glitzy Amazo Prime Video event here.

“Kite flying was fun… Any day when you get fly kite is a good day.. My trip to India started off on the right note with kites,” Bezos said.

Asked about his experience at the Raj Ghat, he said: “It was very peaceful. He truly changed the world and taught us the principle of non-violence. It was a great honour to be there and lay a wreath.”

When SRK asked if Mahatma Gandhi’s teaching still relevant, Bezos said: “It will be relevant forever..They are true but somehow very hard to achieve.”

Bezos, who is ranked amongst top most global billionaires, was on a three-day India visit starting from Tuesday. He has been to India several times, and has noticed one thing about the country.

“I noticed certain things that seem to me to be the same. There is so much energy, colour, full of life, and everywhere you go, there is so much diversity…Every time I come here, I find that the people that I talked to, are focused on and interested in being better tomorrow than they are today. Everybody here seems to be focused on self improvement. So, when I come here I get a boost of energy,” he said.

Be in its India slate or global line-up, Amazon has diverse projects added to its library. Bezos says the aim is to make it a ‘talent friendly” studio.

“I think this is a golden age of television. There are really good TV series in terms of quality of the very best movies. Now, the best storytellers are coming to TV. You’re getting the best actors in television. This is one of those businesses where the viewer always look for something a little fresh, so you can never find formula. As soon as you find a formula, it’s not fresh,” he said.

Bezos continued: “I want us to be known as the most talent friendly studio in the world. And the reason at the end of the day is that it is the talent that makes those stories. Storytelling is the oldest thing that we’ve been doing it.”

“It is one of the hardest things that humans do is tell riveting inspiring stories,” he added.

Bezos also announced that they have decided to double down the investment for the streaming service in the country. The evening wrapped up with a soulful Sufi performance by music maestro AR Rahman.

(Sugandha Rawal is in Mumbai on an invitation by Amazon Prime Video. She can be contacted at [email protected])

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Sensex crashes 1,100 points; Rs 5 lakh crore gone in 5 minutes over Coronavirus

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Sensex down

Mumbai, Feb 28 The Indian stocks market crashed early on Friday, with the Sensex falling 1,100 points as coronavirus fears deepened.

At 9.50 a.m., the BSE Sensex was trading at 38,597.53, lower by 1,148.13 points or 2.89 per cent from the previous close of 39,745.66.

It had opened at the intra-day high of 39,087.47 and has so far touched a low of 38,587.51 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 11,297.45, lower by 335.85 points or 2.89 per cent from its previous close.

Concerns of coronavirus turning into a pandemic and spreading into countries outside China have off late impacted investor sentiments both in the global and domestic markets.

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Vodafone Idea seeks Rs 35 per GB as minimum floor price

According to the source, Vodafone Idea wants minimum price of outgoing calls should be fixed at 6 paise per minute.

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Vodafone, Idea

New Delhi, Feb 27 : Vodafone Idea has sought fixing minimum tariffs for mobile data at Rs 35 per GB, which is about 7 time the current rate, and for calls at 6 paise per minute along with monthly charges from April 1, to help it pay statutory dues.

Struggling to clear adjusted gross revenue dues of Rs 53,000 crore to comply with a Supreme Court order, the loss-making telco has sought 18 years time to clear the dues, including a three-year moratorium on payment of interest and penalty, according to official sources.

In a letter to the Department of Telecommunications, the company said it wants minimum price of data should be fixed at Rs 35 per gigabyte and minimum monthly connection charge at Rs 50 from April 1, 2020. Current mobile internet prices are in the range of Rs 4-5 per GB.

According to the source, Vodafone Idea wants minimum price of outgoing calls should be fixed at 6 paise per minute.

The demand to raise call and internet rates from Vodafone Idea comes within three months of the company raising rates by up to 50 per cent.

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No impact of Delhi violence on investor confidence: Sitharaman

“But that shouldn’t cause worries, because FDI flows were steady and coming in good numbers while the forex is also doing very well,” she said.

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Nirmala Sitharaman

Guwahati, Feb 27: Claiming green shoots were visible in the Indian economy, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday denied any adverse impact on investor sentiments due to the Delhi violence and the ongoing anti-CAA protests in various parts of the country.

“The sentiments of foreign investors have not been dampened,” she told a media meet when asked whether investor confidence has taken a hit due to the agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the violence in the national capital that has left at least 37 dead and over 200 injured.

Referring to her experiences at the recent Ministerial Conference on International Taxes in Riyadh, she said: “Nowhere was there a concern on something happening in India. On the contrary, there were very prominent investors who said they are now even open to open up a representation office in India, which they don’t have till now.”

The minister said she in fact saw lot of interest on India’s announcement of a national infrastructure pipeline.

“There is interest in India. It continues. And there is more interest in India for investors,” she said.

On whether the Indian companies were apprehensive of a raw material scarcity due to the coronavirus outbreak in China and elsewhere, Sitharaman said she held a meeting with 20-23 industries before leaving for Saudi Arabia, but none of them expressed any anxiety on that count.

“They didn’t express any anxiety about raw material supply, nor did they express any anxiety about exports being disturbed.

“However, of course, some of them felt after two months if the situation did not move, as regards containing the virus, they may start having problems of raw material availability, for which we are trying to see how best we can help them,” Sitharaman said.

To a query on the sluggish economy, the minister said following concrete steps by the government and the Reserve Bank of India, the mood was gradually turning positive.

“There are green shoots visible. Many of them are sustained, even if one or two are weakening. We are very clear that they will also revive,” she said, adding there were monthly ups and owns of some indicators.

“But that shouldn’t cause worries, because FDI flows were steady and coming in good numbers while the forex is also doing very well,” she said.

The minister conceded that there was inflationary pressure when due to climate change issues, prices of crops like onions went up.

“But now, India has lifted ban on exports of onion. That shows there is sufficient quantity of onions in the market, and indicates inflationary pressures are coming down,” said Sitharaman.

“The mood is gradually changing. There is every positive sign,” she said.

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