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PMO Awaits Panel Report on Overlap in Job Numbers

 PMO Awaits Panel Report on Overlap in Job Numbers
Min told to assess quarterly survey & payroll data The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the labour ministry to assess the recently launched payroll data and figure out the extent of overlap with its own quarterly employment survey (QES) that presented a vastly different picture of employment generation in the country. As a result, the labour bureau’s eighth QES, which was due in May, has been put on hold, said officials. “The PMO has set up a technical committee with a mandate to present its recommendations on employment numbers,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified. “Based on the recommendations of the committee, the PMO will take a call on whether to suspend one of these exercises or to publish both sets of data while keeping in mind the overlap between the two.”The four-member committee, led by former chief statistician of India TCA Anant, is expected to submit its report by month-end. The c…
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Serious Fraud Investigation Office to hire 13 consultants

 Serious Fraud Investigation Office to hire 13 consultants 
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is looking to hire 13 consultants in various fields on a contractual basis. As per a public notice, the probe agency plans to recruit four people each as consultants in the areas of law and financial analysis as well as five more in other fields. The consultants would be engaged at two levels -- consultant-I and consultant-II -- depending on their experience in the respective areas. The hiring plans also come at a time when the agency is probing a significant number of cases related to financial irregularities, including the nearly Rs 13,000 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank allegedly involving diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his associates.  The posting of consultants could be at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad offices of the SFIO. "Expression of interest is invited from eligible applicants for engagement as consultant-I/ consultant-II purely on short-term cont…

Centre Plans to Set Up National Discom

Centre Plans to Set Up National Discom
The Union government plans to set up a national power distribution company that will handhold state discoms in electricity distribution activities and ensure time-bound implementation of central schemes.The proposed company will compete with private firms and contractors to bag contracts of state-run distribution companies for appointing franchisees or engineering tenders, officials said. Apart from small distribution consultancy wings in Rural Electrification Corporation, Power Grid Corporation and NTPC, the central government has no presence in electricity distribution sector.“The Union government has presence in all the power sector segments, be it financing, generation or transmission, but power distribution has always been out of focus and a laggard in the entire system,” said a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There has been demand from sections of society to have a national level distribution corporation that m…

Jaitley Shuns Demand for Sharp Cut in Tax on Fuel

Jaitley Shuns Demand for Sharp Cut in Tax on Fuel Minister says suggestion is a ‘trap’ that will burden India with ‘unmanageable debt’ Finance minister Arun Jaitley rejected the demand for a sharp cut in taxes on fuel, saying the suggestion was a “trap” that would burden India with “unmanageable debt,” as he highlighted the macroeconomic stability achieved by the government India has firmly established itself as the world’s fastest-growing major economy with “phenomenal” 7.7% growth in the March quarter, Jaitley said in a Facebook post on Monday. This followed two challenging quarters due to structural reforms including demonetisation, the goods and services tax (GST) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). “The future looks much brighter than the past. This trend is likely to continue for some years,” said Jaitley, who is recuperating after a kidney transplant. Railway minister Piyush Goyal is handling the portfolio in his absence.On the issue of employment, Jaitley said job-creati…

ePayment Cos Want KYC Norms Eased for Now

ePayment Cos Want KYC Norms Eased for Now Write to Reserve Bank to delay implementation of its stringent customer verification rules The digital payments industry has written to the Reserve Bank of India to delay implementation of its stringent customer verification rules until mobile wallet providers are allowed to access the Aadhaar database for user authentication, said three people aware of the matter.“The (prepaid payments instrument) industry is in a precarious situation right now and therefore we request you to keep the (know-your-customer) regulations in abeyance till the time these concerns are resolved,” Payments Council of India (PCI) wrote in a letter to RBI, which ET has reviewed. The industry body said payment companies would be committed to the KYC guidelines once they receive global authentication agency (AUA) licences that will enable them to authenticate customers using Aadhaar.RBI did not respond to ET’s queries on if and how it plans to resolve the industry’s demands. …

Working capital loans to now come with withdrawal commitment & fees

Working capital loans to now come with withdrawal commitment & fees  The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday tightened norms for firms seeking working capital loans by ordering them to pay a fee and commit on withdrawal of sanctioned funds in an attempt to shore up bank treasuries to handle surplus funds from now on. The RBI said large borrowers will have to stipulate a minimum level of ‘loan component’ in fundbased working capital finance to promote greater credit discipline among borrowers. RBI said that a draft norm on this will be released soon.  “The working capital requirements of borrowing entities are met by banks through a cash credit limit which is a revolving facility. The cash credit facility places undue burden on the banks in managing their liquidity requirements. Currently banks do not charge any commitment fee and do not maintain any capital on the undrawn portion of the cash credit because it is classified as an unconditionally cancellable facility,” said RBI deputy go…

For mid-cap stocks, optimism may be priced in, but not the uncertainties

For mid-cap stocks, optimism may be priced in, but not the uncertainties
The rosy mid-caps bull story is pretty much over for now. So far this calendar year, the Nifty Midcap 100 index has shed 11%. On the other hand, the Nifty index (comprising of 50 large cap firms) has gone up 2.7%. Its sharp outperformance earlier had resulted in soaring valuations for mid-caps and a correction was overdue. Ritesh Jain, chief investment officer at BNP Paribas Asset Management India Pvt. Ltd says mutual funds (MFs) had to rebalance their portfolio in keeping with Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) norms, which defined categories such as large caps, mid-caps and small caps. “This put many mid-cap stocks out of favour with the MFs. Secondly, global liquidity has vanished from emerging markets,” added Jain. A combination of these two accentuated the problem.Nonetheless, valuations of midcaps are at a premium to their large cap peers. Have a look at Chart 1. Even as the one-year forward price-t…