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Johnson launches drive to win support for Brexit deal

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Boris Johnson in Parliament

London, Oct 18 : British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday launched a drive to win over more support ahead of a crucial vote on his Brexit deal in the House of Commons on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister said he along with his team were reaching to the MPs from across the House of Commons to win support for the deal, BBC reported.

Johnson will also conduct a cabinet meeting in No 10 later.

Major British news organisations estimate that Johnson, at present, is just a handful short of the 320 votes needed to guarantee success for the deal agreed by the European Union (EU) on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

The Financial Times says its arithmetic gives Johnson 318 votes.

Sky News predicted Johnson’s tally could reach 316, just four short of the number needed to cross the winning line.

The Times said the decision Saturday hinges on how 55 undeclared or undecided MPs decide when they go into the voting lobbies on Saturday.

Downing Street told the Times that Johnson would focus the next 24 hours on “selling a great deal and importantly selling the opportunity to parliament to get Brexit done”.

The House of Commons has passed a law requiring Johnson to seek an extension of Britain’s membership of the EU if no deal is agreed by the end of Saturday.

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RBI seen holding rates in the remainder of FY20

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Reserve Bank of India RBI

New Delhi, Dec 10 : Notwithstanding growth pangs, the Reserve Bank is expected to maintain the accommodative monetary easing pause till the end of FY20 to contain retail inflation levels, say industry observers.

Economists and industry experts pointed out that an imminent rise in retail food inflation over the next two months will override growth concerns and deter RBI to go in for a rate cut during the final monetary policy review for FY20 in Februray.

“In our view, the CPI inflation will rise sharply in the next two prints. So, we expect a pause in the February 2020 policy review,” said ICRA Principal Economist Aditi Nayar.

“Further monetary easing may not be sufficient to trigger a rapid revival in economic growth in the current situation.”

Recently, RBI’s monetary policy committee in its fifth review of the current fiscal maintained the repo, or short-term lending rate for commercial banks at 5.15 per cent.

The apex bank had reduced key lending rates during the last five policy reviews to reverse the current consumption slowdown that has plagued the country’s economy.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das defended the decision by recalling the “primary objective” of the central bank was inflation targeting and price control.

He pointed out that headline inflation is currently high, largely due to rise in food inflation. Das added that food inflation will remain “very high” during January-March, which prompted the RBI to hit the pause button on rate cuts.

Last month, macro-economic data showed that a substantial rise in food prices had lifted India’s October retail inflation to 4.62 per cent from 3.99 per cent in September.

The National Statistics Office is slated to release the macro-economic data point of Consumer Price Index for November on December 12, followed a day later by Wholesale Price Index.

Besides, RBI reduced the country’s FY20 GDP growth forecast from 6.1 per cent in the October policy to 5 per cent.

“Interestingly, the RBI seemed content with the pace of transmission and no longer sees the transmission as staggered and incomplete,” Edelweiss Securities’ Economist Madhavi Arora.

“We think that this easing pause is temporary. Even so, our estimates suggest inflation will likely remain above 5 per cent in 4QFY20 and could constrain a rate cut in February.”

Furthermore, RBI may await the budgetary announcements and the fiscal measures thereof before any decision to revise the rates.

According to Acuite Ratings & Research Lead Economist Karan Mehrishi: “At this point, an accommodative policy in pause mode appears likely till Q1 FY21.

“While there may be a potential risk of a rate hike if the inflation print remains persistently elevated along with a comfortable liquidity scenario, it is likely that the MPC will abstain from such action unless there is a modest revival in growth rate.”

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])

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Slowdown Saga: Nov auto sales decline by 12 %

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Auto sector slowdown

New Delhi, Dec 10 : Domestic automobile sales continued to decline in November with the overall sectoral off-take plunging 12.05 per cent on a year-on-year basis, data showed on Tuesday.

According to the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the sector’s total sales declined to 17,92,415 units in November from 20,38,007 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

In October the overall sectoral off-take had declined by 12.76 per cent to 21,76,136 units.

Segment wise, the off-take of passenger vehicle sales during the month under review slipped by 0.84 per cent to 2,63,773 units this November on a year-on-year basis.

In terms of passenger cars’ sales de-grew by 10.83 per cent to 1,60,306 units from 1,79,783 units sold during November 2018.

But the utility vehicle sales grew by 32.70 per cent to 92,739 units, whereas vans’ off-take went down by 34.32 per cent to 10,728 units against that in the same month a year ago.

On the other hand, the key indicator of economic activity — commercial vehicle — segment’s sales were down by 14.98 per cent to 61,907 units.

The sale of three-wheelers in November rose by 4.45 per cent to 55,778 units.

In the case of two-wheelers, which include scooters, motorcycles and mopeds, the sale edged lower by 14.27 per cent to 14,10,939 units.

However, exports across categories were higher by 17.60 per cent at 4,11,470 units.

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Bothered by big businesses killing another company: Ratan Tata

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Ratan-Tata

New Delhi, Dec 9 : Ratan Naval Tata, the Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons and Chairman of Tata Trusts, has said that he has always been bothered by big businesses and corporations killing another organisation.

In an interview with YourStory, Tata said that it is important to work for the benefit of others and buying other companies just to bury them has bothered him. Tata added that one should be happy about another company or person’s prosperity which he called, “the closest definition of happiness.”

“Big businesses and corporations think nothing of killing another organisation because it’s competing with their business. Companies are known to buy out other companies just to bury them in a drawer. That has always bothered me. So, if you can live with feeling happy about another company or another person’s prosperity, then that would be the closest definition of happiness,” he said.

Elaborating on the point, Tata said that while some people are good at causing misery, he feels happy by seeing someone else’s happiness.

“Some people excel in seeing or causing misery. I get euphoric in seeing somebody’s happiness. Even if it’s a person selling vegetables on the side of the road, if there’s humour or happiness on their faces, that makes me happy,” he said.

Tata’s advice to the young is that they do the right thing against all odds. “Doing the right thing may be the more difficult option, but it’s still the better option,” he said.

Tata also added in the interview with YourStory that he is worried about the disappointment he might cause by shutting the door on people.

“I just have a problem shutting the door on people. I would like to see them happy. So, to say that I don’t have the time to see someone and think about the disappointment that that might cause, bothers me,” he said.

Tata also gave himself low scores on treating employees fairly because sometimes compromises were required for the organsiation.

On his legacy, Tata said, “It’s been more than a job. It’s been a lifetime because the job has many attributes. One is the job itself and the performance you have for your shareholders and others, and the other is how you treat your employees. How fair (you’ve been).

“I would have a lower score than I would like to have on how fair you’ve been with your employees consciously because there are so many times you have to compromise something in the broader interest of the organisation. It would have been harder, but it would have been the right thing,” he said.

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