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Money raised from note ban given to 15 people by Modi: Rahul

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Rahul Gandhi

Ranchi, May 7 IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of giving away money raised after demonetization to 15 industrialists of the country.

“The Modi government brought demonetization and took away money of the tribal, poor people and others in the society and gave it to 15 people. You put your hand in your pocket and you will find the wallet is empty. In the last five years money is being stolen from your wallet,” Gandhi told an election rally at Chaibsasa in Jharkhand.

Gandhi addressed the rally in favour of Congress candidate Geeta Koda.

“Modi claimed to have become the Chowkidar five years ago. People elected him as Prime Minister. In last five years, he left Chowkidari and started Chori. Poor people do not need Chowkidar,” he said.

“The Modi government tried to steal land by trying to amend the Land Acquisition Act thrice in Parliament. The Congress and its allies prevented this… The land rights of tribals and poor people cannot be snatched as long as the Congress exists in Parliament.

“In Chhattisgarh, the Congress government took back land from Tata as it was not used for five years. The land taken back from Tata was returned to tribal people. No one can take away the land if tribals and poor people do not wish to part with it.”

Gandhi also spoke about the benefits the Congress’ Nyay scheme. “Nyay scheme is a surgical strike on poverty.”

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India’s core industrial output crashes by over 38% in April

The eight core industries include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity.

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New Delhi, May 29 : The output of India’s eight major industries’ crashed in April 2020 by over 38 per cent on account of the national lockdown implemented to curb the Covid-19 outbreak.

On a sequential basis, the Index of Eight Core Industries had declined by 9 per cent in March 2020.

The eight core industries include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity.

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Govt ‘shrinking’ savings, income of common man: Congress

Middle class and lower middle class is in “economic grief”. The decision to reduce interest rates and discontinue RBI Bonds during lockdown is “brainless, heartless and shameless”.

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surjewala modi

New Delhi, May 29 : The Congress has alleged that the economy is “sinking” but the government is consistently “shrinking” the savings and income of the common man by reducing the savings bank deposit and fixed deposit rates of public sector banks.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a statement that “The impact of interest rate cut decision on March 31 amounts to loss of Rs 19,000 crore income per year for the depositors”.

Middle class and lower middle class is in “economic grief”. The decision to reduce interest rates and discontinue RBI Bonds during lockdown is “brainless, heartless and shameless”. Due to the already existing economic crisis worsened by COVID-19 the income of the people is down, added the Congress spokesperson.

The interest rate cuts in PPF, KVP, NSC and other saving instruments further hit the already shrinking savings of approximately 30 crore depositors, who have deposited Rs 14 lakh crore in various savings schemes, he said.

The latest blow for middles class, farmers, pensioners and women is discontinuation of 7.75 per cent RBI bonds and further reduction of interest rates by SBI, said Surjewala.

In the last two months, the total combined reduction in income of 30 crore depositors in saving schemes (PPF, NSC, KVP etc) and 44.51 crore account holders of State Bank of India (SBI) depositors is Rs 44,670 crore annually (from reduction in interest rates on savings scheme and reduction in SBI savings, fixed deposit interest rates), he claimed.

“Rs 44,670 crore is 24 per cent of actual fiscal stimulus measures announced (Rs 186,650 crore) by the government. So around one-fourth of whatever is announced is already taken back by the government by reduction in interest rates. If we include other Public Sector Banks this figure will increase by at least 3 times,” he said.

The Congress demanded that interest rates on all small saving schemes, fixed deposits (FD) and savings bank deposits must be restored immediately to pre-March 12 level.

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Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala in talks on $1 billion stake in Reliance’s Jio Platforms: sources

Reliance is looking to sell roughly 20% of Jio Platforms through all the private placement deals, the source added.

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NEW DELHI/DUBAI/HONG KONG : Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala is in talks with Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) about investing around $1 billion in the Indian conglomerate’s Jio platforms, three sources told Reuters.

Twitter (TWTR.N) is separately also in talks with Mumbai-based Reliance to invest more than $1 billion in the digital start-up, which houses music and movie apps as well its telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, another source added on Thursday.

“Clearly Jio’s platform is attracting a wide range of world-class investors, given its enormous potential to serve one of the world’s largest marketplaces,” Mubadala said in an email, without confirming whether or not talks were taking place.

Due diligence on a potential transaction with Reliance was already underway, one of the sources said.

If it goes ahead, the Jio Platforms investment would be the largest in an Indian firm by Mubadala, which is the second-biggest state investor in Abu Dhabi after Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), managing about $240 billion in assets.

Reliance and Twitter did not respond.

Jio Platforms has so far already agreed to sell a combined stake of just over 17% through five separate deals with Facebook (FB.O), which spent $5.7 billion on 9.99%, the first to announce its investment in April.

While talks may be taking place with multiple parties, deals may not necessarily materialize and any terms may change, a fourth source, who is familiar with Reliance’s strategy, said.

All four sources declined to be identified because the talks are private.

Reliance plans to wrap up a bulk of the private fundraising by the third quarter of 2020 and then explore a potential public listing in the United States in 2021, one of the sources said.

Both Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) are in talks with Reliance about a possible Jio Platforms IPO mandate, the source added.

Reliance executives visited the United States in February to meet potential investors and bankers and it was looking for a valuation of $90 billion to $95 billion, the source said.

However, the source familiar with Reliance’s strategy said that an overseas listing could still be a long way off and that the company had no immediate need for funds after the recent investments in Jio Platforms.

Before making any decision Reliance would also need to have clarity on rules governing direct overseas listings for Indian companies, which are still being formulated by the government.

Global tech firms prefer listing in the U.S. as it provides companies with greater liquidity and wider access to capital.

Such a deal would help boost Jio Platform’s credentials and provide an exit for some of the big investors that have agreed to invest in it, including private equity firms KKR (KKR.N), General Atlantic, Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners.

India’s Mint newspaper reported on Thursday that Microsoft is also in talks to buy 2.5% of Jio Platforms for $2 billion.

Talks between Reliance and Microsoft had been on since the two companies announced a cloud computing tie-up last year, a fifth source told Reuters.

Reliance is looking to sell roughly 20% of Jio Platforms through all the private placement deals, the source added.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while Microsoft, Goldman Sachs did not respond to requests for comment.

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