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Tax sops to boost stock market for Modi’s US trip: Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi, Sep 20 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday took a swipe at the tax incentives announced by the Centre, saying it was aimed to push up the stock market ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US tour when he is expected to meet many foreign investors.

Taking a pot shot at the Rs 1,45,000 crore revenue that the government will have to forego due to the reduction in corporate tax rate and other relief, Rahul Gandhi said that the Prime Minister’s trip is proving to be the world’s most expensive event ever.

“Amazing what PM is ready to do for a stock market bump during his #HowdyIndianEconomy jamboree. At + 1.4 Lakh crore Rs the Houston event is the world’s most expensive event, ever! But, no event can hide the reality of the economic mess ‘HowdyModi’ has driven India into,” he tweeted.

Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced slashing of the corporate tax rate to 22 per cent for domestic companies and 15 per cent for new domestic manufacturing companies, besides other fiscal relief.

The effective tax rate for these companies would now be 25.17 per cent, inclusive of surcharge and cess. Also, such companies shall not be required to pay Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT).

The total revenue loss for the reduction in corporate tax rate and other relief is estimated at Rs 1,45,000 crore.

This is the biggest announcement so far by the Modi 2.0 government to fight the slowdown, which dragged down the GDP growth to a six-year low of 5 per cent in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal.

During his September 21-27 US visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi, besides holding talks with US President Donald Trump, would be meeting corporate honchos from across industries.

Sources said Modi will hold a CEOs roundtable at Houston on September 21 where the top bosses of over a dozen companies like BP, Exxonmobil, Emerson Electric Company, Vinmar International and IHS Markit would join the discussion. He is also expected to meet top executives of various start-ups and encourage them to have a wide presence in India.

Prime Minister Modi will be in the US from September 21 to 27. He will participate in a rally of Indian-Americans in Houston besides addressing the UN General Assembly in New York.

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French Amundi threatens to sell-off SBI bonds over proposed Rs 5,000 cr Adani coal mine loan

Protesters were wearing a t-shirt which read slogans such as “#StopAdani”, “Stop Coal” and “#StopAdani”. Several anti-Adani protesters also gathered outside the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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Ind Aus SBI Adani protest

New Delhi: France-based Amundi, which is one of the largest investors in India’s State Bank of India (SBI), threatened to sell off SBI green bonds held by it unless it stops its scheduled Rs 5,000 crore loan to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Australia.

“We consider SBI should not finance this project. Ultimately it’s their decision but we’ve been extremely clear on the fact that if they decide to do it, we would immediately disinvest,” Director of the Institutional Corporate Clients Division & ESG, Jean Jacques Barberis, was quoted as saying by a global wire service.

“Financing the mine would be in “total contradiction” to the SBI activities financed through its green bond, he added.

“We have engaged SBI asking them not to participate (in the loan) and now we are waiting for their answer”, he was quoted as saying.

Amundi, which holds the SBI green bonds as part of its Amundi Planet Green Emerging Fund, said it learnt recently that the public lender is slated to fund the controversial coal mine project in Australia.

Adani’s billion-dollar Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland, Australia, has been the centre of many controversies ever since its inception as activists owing to environmental problems posed by it.

The development comes within days of Samsung Securities, the investment arm of South Korean conglomerate, announcement that it won’t back the project after it was targetted by protesters for having links to the coal miner.
Earlier this week, the first One-Day International (ODI) match between India and Australia in Sydney was halted briefly after two protesters appeared on the field holding placards against SBI and Adani Carmichael coal mine project.

Six overs into Australia’s innings, protestors walked to the center of the ground holding placards which read ‘No $1b Adani loan’ signs.

Protesters were wearing a t-shirt which read slogans such as “#StopAdani”, “Stop Coal” and “#StopAdani”. Several anti-Adani protesters also gathered outside the Sydney Cricket Ground.



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Manufacturing GVA growth in Q2 ‘surprising’: SBI Report

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Manufacturing

New Delhi, Nov 28 : The manufacturing sector played a major role in narrowing down the India’s GDP contraction in Q2 of FY21. An SBI Ecowrap report, however, dubbed the growth in manufacturing GVA as “astonishing” as the IIP manufacturing for the same period declined by 6.7 per cent.

India’s GDP in the July-September period contracted 7.5 per cent, compared with 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

The GVA in Q2 2020-21 from the manufacturing sector grew 0.6 per cent, as compared with a degrowth of 0.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The report by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India, said: “Though the whole press release is full of surprising numbers, the most astonishing number is the positive growth in manufacturing in Q2.”

He noted that despite being the worst affected sector in Q1 (due to lockdown), it is quite puzzling how manufacturing turned itself around.

The IIP manufacturing and manufacturing GVA growth are highly correlated (almost more than 0.90) and this correlation collapsed in Q2 when IIP manufacturing declined by 6.7 per cent (average of July/August/September) while manufacturing GVA grew by 0.6 per cent.

He said that one possible reason for this could be stellar corporate GVA numbers in Q2 on the back of massive purge in costs.

Further, he said that small companies, with turnover of up to Rs 500 crore, are more aggressive in cutting cost, displaying reduction in employee cost by 10-12 per cent.

“This could turn a potential headwind in future in terms of a drag on consumption. Additionally, there is evidence of inventory build-up that could act as a drag on future manufacturing growth,” said the report.

“Interestingly, government consumption expenditure has also nosedived in Q2, that is difficult to explain, as such expenditures are typically pro cyclical.”

During the July-September period, agriculture sector continued to perform well with its growth pegged at 3.4 per cent. Services remained in the negative territory, although the decline was contained as trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting showed recovery.

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Apple patents new MacBook Touch Bar with Force Touch technology

It was also made available on iPhones and it was known as 3D Touch. Later with iPhone XR, Apple decided to replace 3D Touch with Haptic Touch for a better experience.

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San Francisco: Apple is reportedly planning to add Force Touch sensors to the OLED Touch Bar on a future MacBook Pro.

A new patent published by the US Patent And Trademark Office, suggests Force Touch could have an expanded role in the future on the Mac, with the development of a new pressure-sensitive Touch Bar, reports MacRumors.

The patent offers visual examples of how force-sensing technology would be implemented in a MacBook Touch Bar, with Force Touch circuitry surrounding the touch-sensitive OLED strip.

“The secondary display and force-sensing circuitry may be encapsulated between two glass layers that are bonded to one another by a frit. In some embodiments, the force-sensing circuitry is formed from or constitutes part of, the frit,” reads the abstract of the patent application

Force Touch sensors were introduced for the first time with the first-generation Apple Watch and they allow the screen to identify the touch pressure in order to perform different actions based on touch intensity.

This technology was then introduced to the MacBook trackpad in 2015.

It was also made available on iPhones and it was known as 3D Touch. Later with iPhone XR, Apple decided to replace 3D Touch with Haptic Touch for a better experience.

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