Daily News Podcast: MSP hike draws mixed reactions from experts : Bulletin: Business Today
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Daily News Podcast: MSP hike draws mixed reactions from experts

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BusinessToday.in | July 5, 2018

Arun Jaitley calls for amendments in graft law, says it's anarchic and hurts decision making
Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday called for amendments in the Prevention of Corruption Act -- a graft law that the Minister described as anarchic and one of the most badly drafted pieces of legislations. His statement came weeks after the Pune police on June 21 arrested the entire top management of the state-run Bank of Maharashtra for a loan of Rs 94.5 crore to the scam-tainted developer DSK Group allegedly in violation of its lending rules. Coming down heavily on the Pune Police for the arrest, the Minister said that nobody should overlook the federal structure of the nation. Jaitley further said that if the country wants an effective decision making process, it needs to put this entire relationship between investigation, who to investigate, when to investigate, what constitutes a crime, really in its place.

NCLT verdict in Tata-Mistry case to be pronounced on July 9
The Mumbai bench of NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) on Wednesday deferred its judgement on ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry's petitions against the Tata Group. The NCLT order in the Tata-Mistry case will now be pronounced on July 9 at 10:30 am. Ahead of the verdict, Mistry had filed fresh salvo at Tata Sons management. The former chairman questioned the rationale behind some actions like the free sale of its telecom arm to Airtel, and massive debt-driven acquisitions by Tata Steel. Mistry has sought accountability and information from the board of Tata Sons in which his family owns 18.34 per cent.

MSP hike draws mixed reaction from agri-experts, farm bodies  
Agri experts and farm bodies today said the hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of 2018-19 kharif crops would lead to inflation, widen fiscal deficit and hit badly the export of commodities like cotton, while others felt the raise in support price was insufficient. In absolute numbers, the paddy MSP hike by Rs 200/quintal to Rs 1,750 for this year is a record but not in percentage terms, said agriculture expert Ashok Gulati . Gulati cautioned that the sharp rise in cotton and rice MSP will hit exports badly and lead to increase in government procurement.
Merkel warns Trump against trade war  
German Chancellor Angela Merkel today warned US President Donald Trump against unleashing an all-out trade war after he threatened to impose steep tariffs on cars from the European Union. Merkel said both sides were effectively locked in a "trade conflict" since Trump's decision to slap punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. "It is worthwhile to prevent this conflict from becoming a real war," she said. Trump charged that Europe is "possibly as bad as China" on trade, as he reiterated that he is mulling import taxes of 20 percent on EU cars. The EU has slapped tariffs on iconic US products including bourbon, jeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, as a symbolic tit-for-tat response to the metals duties.

FM to meet heads of banks today to discuss NPA resolution structure  
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will meet heads of banks today to discuss an inter-lender structure suggested under the 'Project Sashakat' that intends to fastrack resolution of stressed assets in the banking system. The meeting is likely to formalise the inter-creditor agreement structure as suggested in the five-pronged 'Project Sashakat', sources said. The meeting has been organised by Indian Banks Association (IBA) and inter creditor agreement would be the framework under which the consortium would take up NPA cases.

SBI Card launches AI powered virtual assistant ELA  
SBI Card, the country's second largest credit card issuer, today announced the launch of 'ELA' (Electronic Live Assistant), a virtual assistant for customer support and services. Driven by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, ELA is designed to enhance customer experience by providing relevant and instant responses to customer queries, SBI Card said. Customers can communicate with ELA in conversational language, enabling easy interface along with prompt query resolution, SBI Card managing director Hardayal Prasad said. The virtual assistant is currently hosted on the SBI Card website and will soon be integrated on the mobile app as well.
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