Adani Power net loss widens to Rs 825 cr in Apr-Jun qtr

Adani Power net loss widens to Rs 825 cr in Apr-Jun qtr

New Delh : (PTI) Adani Power today said its consolidated net loss widened by 82 per cent to Rs 825.15 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2018.


The company's consolidated net loss stood at Rs 452.84 crore in the quarter ended June of the previous fiscal, a BSE filing said.

According to the statement, the company's total income in the quarter under review declined to Rs 3,959.40 crore from Rs 5,601.25 crore a year ago.

The company said that this reduction in income was due to lower PLFs and billed availability.

The Average Plant Load Factor (PLF) or capacity utilisation achieved during the first quarter of 2018-19 fiscal was 38 per cent, compared to 63 per cent achieved in Q1 of 2017-18 financial year. The drop was on account of lower domestic coal availability at Tirada and Kawai, as well as commercial shutdowns due to high imported coal prices, it added.

Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group in the statement said, "The government's commendable efforts in providing power connectivity to each household under the SAUBHAGYA Scheme and 100 per cent village electrification will help the power sector by expanding the addressable market and growing base demand. Meeting this demand will require timely assurance of key enablers such as domestic fuel availability, power offtake by DISCOMs and distribution reforms through focused action." 

"We are enthused by rapid progress in regulatory outcomes that will help us get compensated for increase in the cost of generation. With the constitution of the High Powered Committee by the Government of Gujarat. we are hopeful of finding a lasting and sustainable solution to the cost under-recovery issue of the Mundra power plant soon," he further said.

Vneet S. Jaain, CEO, Adani Power, said, "Sustained economic growth continues to drive electricity demand in India as well as significant changes in the Power sector. We are confident of improving PLFs owing to improved availability of domestic coal. With the constitution of the high powered committee. We are confident of determining a sustainable roadmap to profitability for the Mundra power plant.

Sensex turns choppy after hitting all-time high in opening trade

Sensex turns choppy after hitting all-time high in opening trade

Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex turned volatile after hitting a new high of 36,928.06 in early session as investors turned cautious ahead of July futures and options (F&O) expiry amid mixed quarterly earnings.

The 30-share index rose by 201.97 points, or 0.27 per cent, to hit a new high of 36,928.06, bettering its previous intra-day record of 36,902.06 hit yesterday. However, the index soon turned choppy and was trading 16.05 points, or 0.04 per cent, higher at 36,841.15 at 0940 hrs. The gauge had rallied 473.87 points in the previous three sessions. The 50-share NSE Nifty too turned cautious and was trading 4.40 points, or 0.04 per cent, lower at 11,129.90.

Sentiment remained cautious ahead of July series F&O expiry scheduled tomorrow amid mixed quarterly earnings, brokers said. Prominent gainers were Vedanta, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel, Adani Ports, ONGC, Sn Pharma, SBI, Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, HDFC, Wipro, L&T and PowerGrid, rising up to 1.92 per cent. Top losers include Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, NTPC, Coal India, Maruti and TCS falling up to 2 per cent.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign funds bought shares worth Rs 104.34 crore, while domestic institutional investors made purchases worth Rs 513.78 crore yesterday, provisional data showed. Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.09 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.85 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.54 per cent in early deals. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.79 per cent yesterday.

Arohan Financial Services MD Manoj Nambiar: Beyond financial requirements, we try to cater to customers’ core needs

Arohan Financial Services MD Manoj Nambiar: Beyond financial requirements, we try to cater to customers’ core needs

Kolkata-headquartered Arohan Financial Services is a rapidly growing player in the microfinance space. Manoj Nambiar, MD of the company, talks about the focus of the group and how the same is an enabler for Arohan to grow as rapidly as it has done in the past. He talks about all this in a chat with Pankaj Joshi.

What is the reason behind two entities in the NBFC space?
Our lending business is split between two entities, Arohan and Intellegrow. Arohan has been in existence since 2006 and was acquired by the Avishkar-Intellecap group in September 2012. Arohan is into the standard non-banking financial company-micro finance institution (NBFC-MFI) space. This is aimed at the bottom of the pyramid clientele and is highly regulated. It is defined in terms of products, pricing, the target segment, tenure and other things. The other business looks at the institutional lending, by which I mean the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) clients. This is not so much regulated.
When we acquired Arohan, it had a net worth of Rs 13 crore and a portfolio of around Rs 25 crore. Today, the portfolio is around Rs 2,500 crore and the net worth has correspondingly grown to Rs 400 crore. The footprint is across ten states with 490 branches, 20 regional offices and 3,800 employees catering to around 13 lakh end-customers. The promoter group has around 24 per cent of equity and institutional investors hold 71 per cent, with the rest divided among high net-worth individuals (HNIs), employees and the ESOP trust.

FY2014 FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018
Gross disbursements (in Rs mn)
2,608.29 5,139.49 8,465.42 13,356.06 26,935.90
Disbursement growth (%)
160.12% 97.04% 64.71% 57.77% 101.68%

How does this fit into the group focus?
Let us have some perspective about the group. The Avishkaar-Intellecap group has interests in equity investment, advisory services and NBFC businesses. The total assets under management would be around Rs 3,000 crore. Equity investment is under Avishkaar, which looks at early-stage businesses with a social sector focus, such as water management, green energy, healthcare, education and so on.

The advisory business is under the Intellecap brand, which provides business consulting to developmental financial institutions, as well as small private businesses. Here again, the focus is on socially-relevant businesses. The investment banking activity helps raise capital for the same, and beyond that are initiatives like Sankalp, which is a platform where entrepreneurs can showcase their ideas and vision in an ecosystem of investors, lenders, industry observers, regulators and growth facilitators. Basically, enterprises in the developmental social space get a convening platform and attract investment and growth opportunities and scale up better. Today through Intellecap, we are facilitating building of businesses in Africa and the Far East as well. We also have a fintech business, Tribe Tech, which looks at machine scrutiny of credit proposals and credit approval and recommendations to banks and NBFCs.

As of March 2018, Arohan was the seventh-largest NBFC MFI in India and the largest in Eastern India. Our footprint in Central, Eastern and North-Eastern India –we start from Madhya Pradesh and go up to Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura – encompasses 10 out of the 14-15 low-income states of India. When you look at states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal, you can see they have a good population and good demand but MFI penetration is very low. This signifies good potential.

Where this fits into the group vision is that Arohan goes beyond credit to focus on financial inclusion. Be it bank accounts, pension accounts, insurance needs, remittances, even investments, Arohan tries to play a part. We are corporate insurance agents, both in life and non-life categories. We are banking correspondents for IndusInd Bank and have a tie-up with Paytm. Once the customer gets a bank account, savings and remittances and other things become easier.

Going beyond financial requirements, we try to cater to certain core needs of our customers. Things like a solar lamp, mobiles across different budgets, bicycles, water purifiers, cooking products – we have an Arohan e-bazaar app which offers such a curated range of products. We believe that such an offering would deepen our relationship and make it stronger and multi-dimensional.

Given that your space is so much regulated, how do you create differentiation?
We have quite a few tech-based differentiators. At the front end, all our 2,500 loan officers are tab-enabled. This ensures the loan process – KYC, Aadhaar-based linking, credit bureau report access – is paperless and the feedback (again algorithm-based) is instant. The tab reports sync into profile, a core banking system of FIS. Our quality control hub, apart from checks on the KYC and documents, also focuses on incremental disbursements being cashless. Our post-disbursement file storage is again in hard and soft form.
The call centre is trained in customer relationship management. The HR platform, Adrenalin, is again state-of-the-art. It takes care of complete personnel requirements. Our risk management model goes beyond individual checks to a regional geography check. We can zero on into a location and check the quality of credit demand there. We can benchmark ourselves vis-a-vis the geography and find out how we are growing against the benchmark. We have a real-time internal audit process which does online monitoring of the field work programme.

Business-wise another USP we have is that we are perhaps the only NBFC which has a ticket from Rs 10,000 – Rs 1,00,000 (the MFI vertical) and then from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore (MSME vertical). Typically our average ticket sizes across both verticals are Rs 20,000 and Rs 25 lakh respectively.

In our MFI business, we also use the business correspondent model which is a tie-up with smaller players who are our agents. It helps our penetration to improve at lower cost and the credibility and customer connect of the local players is used to our advantage. We provide liquidity and the end-user gets funding, so it benefits all.

What is the strategic importance of the MSME business and how are you looking at it?
Both our businesses have separate sourcing and processing functions, but ultimately it is about using the infrastructure investment to optimum levels. We understand the MSME market is highly under-penetrated and that is the opportunity. We started in mid-2015 with a merchant cash advance product, based on POS receipts. As of March, we have a portfolio of Rs 76 crore in this segment.
Here the key factor is risk mitigation, which we achieved through repayment innovation – an automated clearing house link set to the customer’s bank account which gives us a percentage on the borrower’s revenues. So when the customer receives revenues in his bank accounts, we generate our repayments side by side. This also reduces his obligation on a regular basis rather than through the end-of-month procedure. We grow without undue risk and can broaden our portfolio and help us penetrate more in our chosen territories.
MSME penetration is roughly one-third of what is needed and penetration is now needed into interiors and rural areas because the urban areas are well-serviced. Therefore, greater penetration and lower overheads is our focus.

How does Arohan stand in terms of pricing which is a key factor?
Pricing today, under regulation, is a function of the cost of funds. At 20.75 per cent, we are the second lowest in India. Most of our contemporaries operate in the 23-25 per cent range.

Pricing again is one factor in our favour. We believe that under the community programme, which is mostly women-oriented, we are an exception in that as we have introduced a bazaar for men. Beyond these basic products, we have the premium segment which caters to borrowers in the Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh segment. We firmly believe that we have the building blocks in place and like you have seen in the past, we will continue to grow at an excellent pace.

RBI may not get more teeth to fix NPA mess

RBI may not get more teeth to fix NPA mess

Apex bank has wide-ranging powers to deal with various situations: Govt.

New Delhi : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has “wide-ranging and comprehensive” powers to address various situations in banks, the government said on Tuesday against the backdrop of RBI Governor Urjit Patel seeking more powers to deal with the problem of bad loans at public sector banks.

Listing out RBI’s powers to deal with banks, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said the central bank can inspect the lenders, examine on oath any officer, direct special audit and give directions to banks.

Also, whole-time directors of nationalised banks and State Bank of India are appointed in consultation with the RBI, he said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

“… the powers of RBI are wide-ranging and comprehensive to deal with various situations that may emerge in all banks, including public sector banks,” he said.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel in his presentation before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance had last month (rpt) month pitched for more powers saying that the central bank has “inadequate” control over state-owned lenders.

Replying to another question on whether less money was being put in ATMs after the demonetisation, Shukla replied in the negative.

RBI has informed that the total amount of Notes in Circulation (NIC) as on July 18, 2018 was Rs 19.28 lakh crore as compared to Rs 17.74 lakh crore as on November 4, 2016, he said.

“RBI has ensured adequate supply of notes to meet the cash requirement of public and the currency supply is monitored continuously to ensure distribution of adequate currency to various parts of the country,” he said. The government, he added, has requested all banks to efficiently manage the cash to ensure that adequate cash is available for ATMs and people do not face any problems.

No proposal before panel on PSB merger

New Delhi: There is currently no proposal before the ministerial panel for merger of public sector banks, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“No timeline has been fixed for merger of public sector banks,” Shukla added. The government, in November, had formed a three-member panel, led by Arun Jaitley, to examine and clear merger proposals of public sector banks. Besides taking up plans sent by banks, the panel was empowered to direct state-owned lenders to examine proposals for mergers. The other members of the panel on banks’ consolidation are Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman.

He said the government had sought comments from states and sponsor banks on its roadmap for consolidation of regional rural banks within a state.

“The roadmap has been prepared in consultation with NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) and proposes to bring down the number of RRBs (regional rural banks) to 38 from the present 56,” Shukla said.

Sensex opens 100 points higher after GST Council cuts rates

Sensex opens 100 points higher after GST Council cuts rates

Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex advanced over 100 points in early trade today led by gains in FMCG stocks after the GST Council on Saturday cut rates on over 100 items, amid fresh capital inflows by foreign funds and strengthening rupee.

The 30-share index was trading higher by 114.10 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 36,610.47. All the sectoral indices, led by FMCG, consumer durables and power stocks were trading in the positive zone, rising up to 1.21 per cent. The gauge had gained 145.14 points in the previous session. The NSE Nifty too rose by 42.60 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 11,052.80. Top gainers include Asian Paint, ITC, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Adani Ports, Coal India, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma, L&T, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, SBI and Vedanta, gaining up to 3.77 per cent.

Brokers said investor sentiment got a boost after the GST Council, on Saturday, cut rates on over 100 items, including footwear, refrigerator, washing machine and small screen TV, while the widely demanded sanitary napkins have been exempted from the levy. The revised tax rates will come into effect from July 27. Meanwhile, the rupee surged by 19 paise to quote at 68.65 against the dollar at the forex market in early trade today.

However, other Asian markets were trading mixed after the Bank of Japan offered to buy bonds at the first fixed-rate operation since February, in a sign the central bank was trying to rein yields. Japan’s Nikkei was down 1.27 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.09 per cent in early trade today, while Shanghai Composite edged 0.37 per cent higher. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.03 per cent down on Friday.

JBM group to bet on Electric Vehicles business to boost revenues, says Nishant Arya, Executive Director

JBM group to bet on Electric Vehicles business to boost revenues, says Nishant Arya, Executive Director

There is no doubt about the JBM group being a significant player in the auto components sector with a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore. Like most in the auto sector, the group is also interested in evolving areas like green energy and transportation through electric vehicles (EV). The EV business of the group runs under the name JBM-Solaris (a joint venture). Nishant Arya, Executive Director of the group, shares his thoughts with The Free Press Journal’s Pankaj Joshi on the EV space and why it is set to grow at a rapid pace.

Edited excerpts:

It is estimated that EV could see the kind of strong growth that solar power witnessed in the last five years. What is the reason for this optimism?
We really believe that EV could see a similar growth pattern as solar power in India or even bigger. Solar is a source of green energy, where there are other options like bio-fuels or wind. EV today represents a breakthrough in transportation, which represents a significant part of the GDP and also is a status symbol. Both factors signify growth.

Automobile technology today can be broken into well to tank (fuel technology) and tank to wheel (car technology). EV represents the latter. As the charging concept get acceptance, the efficiency levels will only rise, because we will need the well-to-tank technology to be greener too. Today the regulatory environment is also getting friendlier. Recently the sale of electricity for EVs has been taken out of the purview of the energy market constraints. EV manufacturing also dovetails into the Make-in-India and Skill India initiatives.

For the user, apart from environmental factors, important considerations would be safety, comfort and most of all, the operating cost. Now an EV has 18 moving parts against 1,800 in a conventional vehicle, so you can gauge the maintenance cost difference. Other benefits would become apparent over the life cycle, but till then some kind of regulatory mandate is needed to push the concept, as has been seen in many countries.

What kind of regulatory moves do you anticipate and how will industry players need to respond?
For instance in Delhi, there was a decision taken 20 years ago that all public transport vehicles and commercial vehicles would shift to CNG. We will have similar mandated moves towards EV. JBM-Solaris today is in talks with state transport bodies, municipalities, even smart cities for catering to their requirements through EV solutions.

India sees around 70,000 new buses each year where 50 per cent ply intra-city and 50 per cent between cities. I believe that the intra-city segment should move entirely to EV over the next five years and inter-city would follow later.

Regarding the industry players, they will need to understand that this disruption is both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenges are the changes needed in product portfolio, the periodic evaluation and absorption of technology and lastly the workforce requirement modifications. The evolution coming up is massive. Today EV is a choice and tomorrow it will be a need. Companies must understand that huge demand is on the way and must get ready to service it.

Is there a threat that the equipment/ component market would be captured by overseas players?
There have been reports that companies are resorting to aggressive bidding in order to capture the initial orders and wipe out the competitors. Recent tenders have also shown that products from neighbouring countries are being preferred because of low price. Such intense market grabbing can prove to be a deterrent to the whole ecosystem, also going against government’s Make-in-India initiative by creating more employment opportunities for these neighbouring countries. One should look at the reasons and sustainability for these low prices to ensure that the EV market matures in a desired fashion with room for all players. That said, the pattern of costs coming down drastically on rising volumes, which was seen in the solar power industry, will play out here again and will benefit the industry and consumers.Independent players will face more difficulties but some level of technology independence is necessary, at least in the design department.

This independence is needed if indigenisation has to be successful and local players are to capture any significant market share. A transition period is coming up, which may be unpleasant but is unavoidable if we are to contribute to society.

Do you think ecosystem is formed?
India is promisingly advancing towards graduating to a non-fossil fuel-based public transportation ecosystem. This is in line with the vision that we are aiming for innovation in the EV space. Our first offering is our electric bus, named Eco-Life. This vehicle has been developed in partnership with renowned European bus manufacturer Solaris Bus & Coach, which has a track record in transportation technology across 30 nations.

When we talk of EV, we talk of an ecosystem including battery technology, vehicle technology, charging technology as well as the operating patterns. We aim to be a one-stop solution provider in the EV segment by providing a complete ecosystem solution for e-mobility i.e. electric bus, key aggregates like battery, charging infrastructure and a well-structured operating pattern. The EV business shall contribute substantially to group revenues in the next three-four years.

We have planned an investment of Rs 300 crore in the EV business over the next three years. This includes beyond development and manufacturing of EVs, areas like engineering, design & development, supply chain development for the electric mobility project.

We are offering two charging solutions for Eco-Life. The first one is the regular plug-in charging system wherein energy can be supplied through external chargers. The other is an over-head pantograph for opportunity charging. India reportedly has only 350 charging points at present compared to 2,15,000 installed in China at the end of 2016, as per a recent report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Till the current regulations on sale of power are modified, charging stations cannot be currently built in petrol pumps or parking lots. However, as discussed, changes are underway.

Today, for the common man, an electric vehicle is more expensive than any vehicle with an internal combustion engine, but that is because he looks at the front-end investment only. Our analysis of the life-cycle cost benefits suggests that both will be even at five-six years and, from thereon, all benefits accrue to the vehicle buyer, both in operation and maintenance costs. This means EV is an optimum long-term usage solution and institutional customers will be the first to appreciate this.

Lenders told to prepare road map to fix NPA woes

Lenders told to prepare road map to fix NPA woes

Parliament panel enquires about ‘nepotism’ in ICICI Bank-Videocon deal

New Delhi : A parliamentary panel on Monday asked the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to prepare a road map for addressing the issue of mounting bad loans and also posed queries on the alleged “nepotism” by ICICI MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar in a loan to Videocon Group.

During a meeting between the bankers and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, headed by Lok Sabha MP Verappa Moily, it was emphasised that corporates should not be painted with a same brush as all are not wilful defaulters, said sources.

Non-performing assets (NPAs) touched Rs 8.31 lakh crore at end-December 2017.

Among others, IBA Deputy Chairman and SBI chief Rajnish Kumar and PNB MD Sunil Mehta briefed the panel on various aspects of non-performing assets (NPAs) and banking frauds.

Senior advisor of IBA Alok Gautam was also present in the meeting, sources added.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel too will brief the committee later this month.

Sources said that some of the members had questions on allegations against Kochhar. One of the member wanted to know if “nepotism” was also going on in private sector banks.

Sources further said TMC MP and member of the panel Dinesh Trivedi wondered why pubic money was being used to recapitalise the state-owned banks which are losing money due to frauds and defaults by corporates.

Some members quizzed the bank officials whether “aggressive lending” during the successive UPA governments was the reason for the mounting NPAs in the banking system, especially in state-owned lenders.

Gross NPAs of state-owned banks had crossed Rs 7.77 lakh crore at the end of December 2017, according to official data.

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey said Indian banks need not adhere to international capital adequacy norms (Basel-III) as it is leading to more provisioning of capital, sources said. The committee was earlier briefed by Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar about issues related to the banking sector.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also attended the meeting.

Sources said the issue of merger of banks also came up at the meeting with some members suggesting the need to be extra careful as it involved “different cultures” besides “chemistry”.

They said the proposal of merger of different banks was not the same as merger of associates of State Bank of India.

Sources said the PNB chief was asked about the multi-crore fraud involving jeweller Nirav Modi.

The sources said that bank officials told the members that scams were being dealt with separately and did not represent a systems failure.

Fitch lowers PNB viability rating on weak credit profile

New Delhi: Fitch Ratings on Monday lowered viability rating of fraud-hit Punjab National Bank, citing significant deterioration in its credit profile and oversight gaps. The viability rating (VR) has been downgraded to ‘b’ from ‘bb-‘ and maintained on ‘rating watch negative’ (RWN).

“The two-notch downgrade to PNB’s VR is a reflection of the significant deterioration in its standalone credit profile, mainly due to a drop in its core capital ratio that was bigger than Fitch’s expectation,” the global rating agency said. VRs represent the capacity of the bank to maintain ongoing operations and to avoid failure. The deterioration in its core capitalisation was caused by a sharp increase in its non-performing loans (NPLs), including the $2.2 billion in fraudulent transactions reported in February 2018, and the related increase in credit costs, which resulted in large losses in the financial year ended March 2018 (FY18).

Banking majors hike MCLR rate for one-year loan, making loans costlier for consumers

Banking majors hike MCLR rate for one-year loan, making loans costlier for consumers

New Delhi: Days ahead of RBI’s monetary policy review, India’s three major banks SBI, PNB and ICICI Bank on Friday increased their benchmark lending rates or MCLR by up to 0.1 per cent, making loans costlier for consumers. The new rates are effective from Friday.

India’s largest lender SBI has increased the lending rate by 10 basis points across all tenors up to three years. Now SBI’s overnight and one-month tenors’ Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate (MCLR) stands at 7.9 per cent as against 7.8 per cent, as per the SBI’s website. The MCLR for a three-year tenor increased to 8.45 per cent from 8.35 per cent earlier.

The state-owned Punjab National (PNB), the country’s second largest lender, raised the MCLR for three-year and five-year tenors to 8.55 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively. Country’s second largest private bank ICICI Bank too said it has raised five-year tenor MCLR by 10 bps to 8.70 per cent. It has also raised the MCLR by 10 bps in loans with tenor of one year and three years.

However, lending rate remains unchanged in case of loans up to three months. PNB has also increased the base rate to 9.25 per cent from the earlier 9.15 per cent. Private sector bank ICICI Bank too has raised one-year MCLR by 10 bps to 8.40 per cent from Friday. Other banks, sources said, were also likely to follow suit.

Most of home and auto loans are linked to MCLR. Meanwhile, mortage lender HDFC said that it has increased its retail prime lending rate (RPLR), on which its adjustable rate home loans (ARHL) are benchmarked, by 10 basis points, effective tomorrow. Karnataka Bank has raised its interest rates on deposits. Interest on domestic and NRE rupee term deposits for a period of one year to two years stands revised to 7.25 per cent from 7.10 (for deposits up to Rs 10 crore) representing a hike of 15 basis points, it said in a regulatory filing. The revised rates are effective from yesterday, it added.

Telangana government, NASSCOM ink pact for cyber security centre

Telangana government, NASSCOM ink pact for cyber security centre

Hyderabad: Telangana government today announced its partnership with Data Security Council of India (DSCI), an initiative of Nasscom, to set up a cyber security centre of excellence here. A press release from the National Association of Software and Services Companies said the aim is to accelerate the momentum of cyber security and make the state one of the leading cyber security hubs in the country over the next five years.

The centre of excellence, based on a public-private partnership model, would strengthen the eco system by focusing on strategic areas including, innovation, entrepreneurship and capability building, the release said.

The DSCI would facilitate partnership with industry, academia and government and foster cyber security and privacy policy enablement, spur innovation and explore investment opportunities, it said. The data Security Council would help establish technical infrastructure to enable innovation, product development and testing, and build capacity to meet the skills and talent requirement of the country, it added.

RBI’s monetary policy committee to hold 3-day meeting in June

RBI’s monetary policy committee to hold 3-day meeting in June

Mumbai: In a first, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that its monetary policy committee (MPC) will hold a three-day meeting in June, as opposed to the usual two-day schedule.

In a statement, the RBI stated that the meeting would be held from June 4 to 6, instead of the scheduled dates of June 5 and 6. “Owing to certain administrative exigencies, the Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy meeting for 2018-19 will now be held on June 4-6, 2018 instead of on June 5-6. There is no change in the dates of all other MPC meetings for the year 2018-19,” the statement read.

For those unversed, the RBI’s six-member committee has been entrusted with the task of setting the benchmark interest rate after an amendment was passed through the Finance Act, 2016. Prior to the establishment of the MPC, the RBI Governor was responsible for setting the interest rate.

In the previous Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy statement announced in April, the MPC had kept the repo rate and reverse repo rate unchanged at 6 percent and 5.75 percent respectively.   The Committee also projected real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 7.4 percent in FY19, as against 6.6 percent in FY18. On a related note, the second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy statement of this fiscal will be announced on June 6.