BT Podcast: GST Council slashes rates, HDFC Bank scales Rs 5 lakh crore market cap

Private sector lender HDFC Bank became the first Indian bank to cross the Rs 5-lakh crore market capitalisation

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GST Council slashes rates for 29 goods, 53 services
The 25th GST Council meet took place yesterday. The Council has cut tax rate on several goods and services. Fitment committee recommendations on new rates for 29 goods and 53 services were accepted by the Council. New rates on these will come into force from January 25, the Finance Minister said. The issue of bringing petrol, diesel and other items exempted from GST did not appear before the GST Council, but they will be taken up during the next meeting. Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Modi said the GST Council will take up bringing real estate, electric duty, petroleum products under GST in its next meeting.
HDFC Bank scales Rs 5 lakh crore market cap mark

Private sector lender HDFC Bank on Thursday became the first Indian bank to cross the Rs 5-lakh crore market capitalisation, a day ahead of announcement of its Q3 earnings. The bank has become only the third Indian company to achieve this milestone. With this feat, the bank has entered the coveted league of top five firms by market capitalisation on BSE. The bank stands at third position in terms of market cap on BSE. Reliance Industries (RIL) and TCS are the only two firms above the private lender in the ranking.
Modi's reform measures to draw attention at the WEF
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump would be the two most important leaders to watch out for at this year's World Economic Forum - the 48th annual meeting of rich and power in the world - from January 23-26. In line of their favourite themes, 'Make in India' and 'Make America Great Again', both the leaders will present commitment towards protecting businesses in their respective countries. Prime Minister Modi will lead the largest Indian contingent of over 100 delegates, including six union ministers and CEOs of top Indian companies, for the four-day World Economic Forum. PM Modi will deliver a keynote address on January 23 before holding a bilateral meeting with Swiss Confederation president Alain Berset.
70 percent of bullet train's parts to be made in Japan
Japanese steel and engineering companies are in the driver's seat to bag major supply contracts for a $17 billion Indian bullet train, several sources said, undermining a key component of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic policy - a push to 'Make in India'. Japan is funding most of the project, and Japanese companies are likely to supply at least 70 percent of the core components of the rail line.
Biocon collaborates with Sandoz for biosimilars
Biopharma major Biocon has said it has formed a global partnership with Sandoz, a Novartis division, to develop, manufacture and commercialise several biosimilars in immunology and oncology. As per a regulatory filing, both the companies will share responsibility for end-to-end development, manufacturing and global regulatory approvals for various products and will have a cost and profit share arrangement globally.
Amazon India increases adoption of machine learning
One of the global leaders in artificial intelligence and machine learning, Inc is fast increasing the adoption of machine learning in its operations as reported by business daily Mint. It specifically helps in quick and accurate product deliveries and improve efficiency. The technology also helps in standardizing sizes in fashion products. The firm also plans to introduce chatbots in the future.

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