Bhadrachalam: A large number of tribals attended the Grievance Day programme held at the Integrated Tribal Development Agency Office in Bhadrachalam on Monday. Agency Project Officer VP Goutham received pleas from the tribals and interacted with them and sought to know their issues. A majority of applications received were related to podu land pattas and sanctioning of Kalyana Lakshmi benefits. The Project Officer, on the occasion, directed the officials to clear all the grievances immediately besides mentioning the reasons for rejecting the pleas, if any. The official directed the medical officer concerned to take all measures for prevention of viral fevers in agency villages and suggested them to conduct awareness camps in villages and extend help to those in need. Also Read – JIH organises Eid Milap for sanitary workers Advertise With Us Directing the panchayat staff to conduct sanitation programme in villages immediately, the PO informed that over 20 members have applied for the post of ANM in the ashram schools. Executive Engineer (Tribal Welfare) Koti Reddy, Assistant Project Officer (General) Nago Rao, Administrative Officer Bheem Rao, Assistant Project Officer (Power) Anuradha, Manager Surender, Additional District Medical and Health Officer Singa Raju and others attended the programme.
The fate of some Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India hangs in balance as government officials discuss proposals to shut down some loss-making state-owned companies.With the total net loss recorded at ₹245 billion ($4 billion) in 2012, which has only worsened, cabinet secretary Ajit Seth on Tuesday called a meeting of top officials to discuss the fate of 10 firms which have been making biggest losses.Some of these PSUs, including Air India, BSNL, ONGC, SAIL, Hindustan Photofilms, Hindustan Fertilisers Corporation and HMT have been consistently bleeding cash and have survived only on budgetary allocations.The Central government runs around 260 PSUs besides thousands of state-government owned firms which manufacture various types of consumer goods.HMT: Last week, the government ordered to shut down HMT Watches and HMT Chinar Watches due to their continued losses since 2000. The company posted a loss of ₹242 crore in 2012-13. At the end of March 2012, the company was deep in debt worth ₹694.52 crore.ONGC: In May, ONGC accused Reliance of ‘stealing gases’ and claimed a loss of ₹30,000 crore within less than a year of signing a memorandum with Reliance Industries. Following the loss ONGC took Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance to court over gas theft, reported TOI. ONGC worried that Reliance drew gas secretly from its Krishna Godavari-D6 block.BSNL: State-run telecom company incurred a loss of ₹14,979 crore in landline services during 2013-14, where as its overall loss was recorded at ₹7,085 crore.Air India: This airline has been incurring losses and is trying to refuel its pockets via heavy discounts on fare prices. The state-run carrier halved its operating loss in the financial year. It suffered a loss of ₹2,120 crore in 2013-14, down from ₹3,800 crore in 2012.Hindustan Photofilms: Incorporated in 1960, the company was well-known for making film rolls with Kodak as one of its brands. It was recommended for shut down in 2003 as it could not compete with other private players. The company approached the courts which gave a stay order on its closure. Its overall losses are around ₹82.33 billion rupees which is about 40 times its paid-up capital.”There is no future for this company in the current environment. It is a fit case for winding down,” an official from the Department of Public Enterprises told Reuters on conditions of anonymity.PSU Employees Fate:Before winning the Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi in April voiced his opinion on not closing down the PSUs citing example of his home state Gujarat. Modi said that the Gujarat state electricity board had an annual deficit of ₹2,500 crore, but by deploying professional and technological upgradations, the firm improved its efficiency and stopped incurring losses, reported Niti Central.Employees have opposed the shutting down of state firms and Bhartiya Mazadoor Sangh (BMS) said it would join other unions in blocking the move.”We are co-ordinating with all central trade unions on the matter. We are fortunate that all trade unions are on the same page when it comes to these issues,” Vrijesh Upadhyaya, general secretary of the BMS said.
Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani. REUTERS/Shailesh AndradeThe Depart of Telecommunication’s (DoT) show-cause notice to Reliance Communications (RCom) for yet another default of license fee payment does not move the needle for resolving the crisis that the Anil Ambani-led telecom provider is facing. RCom’s dues for spectrum fees alone already amount to Rs 281 crore, according to reports.There are on-going cases in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) and the Supreme Court that have added to the travails of the company. It is already in trouble after the Rs 7,300-crore deal with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio for spectrum sales could not go through as DoT refused to give the go-ahead for the deal. DoT wants Jio to guarantee the payment of the historical dues that RCom owes DoT before it can give the go ahead.Though the spectrum deal has been scrapped, Jio will continue to share the spectrum with RCom as long as it is available, according to a Jio official. “RCom continues to be a licensed operator. They have not paid, but that does not disqualify them (as a license holder) and DoT is looking into it. DoT has sent show-cause notices for not paying (dues) but the company is in a peculiar situation where there are court cases going on in NCLAT and Supreme Court,” said Anshuman Thakur, strategy head of Jio at a recent function where Reliance Industries announced its FY19 Q4 results, according to reports.”Today they are eligible to share spectrum and use that network to service enterprise customers. If there are any changes, we will get to know, because it’s between the courts and DoT,” Thakur added. Jio shares RCom’s airwaves in the 850 MHz band in 21 circles, including Mumbai, and industry experts say the scrapping of airwaves by DoT could disrupt Jio’s services. The spectrum deal for selling 122.4 MHz of spectrum in the 850 MHz band to Jio would have helped ease RCom’s debt burden. File photo of Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd Mukesh Ambani speaking as his brother Anil Ambani watches in 2004. Reliance Communications is in limbo with the court cases and trouble with DoT over spectrum payments.ReutersAs the bankruptcy proceedings of RCom continue in NCLAT, their effect is already putting a strain on the other companies of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADG). RCom shares have hit the bottom while group companies like Reliance Power and Reliance Capital have been plunging. RCom share fell 4 per cent on Thursday to reach Rs 2.40. Reliance Capital fell 11.77 per cent to Rs 151.45 on National Stock Exchange (NSE). Reliance Power plunged 13.23 per cent to Rs 8.20. Reliance Infrastructure skidded 7.99 per cent to Rs 121.50. The Anil Ambani Group companies have been in trouble since the controversy erupted over his company’s involvement in the Rafale fighter jet. Rahul Gandhi-led opposition Congress party has made Rafale Defence’s role as an offset partner in the deal with French company Dassault a campaign point in the ongoing general elections against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Anil Ambani almost landed in jail after the Supreme Court convicted him of contempt of court for failure to pay Swedish telecom equipment vendor Ericsson. Mukesh Ambani had to step in to save the younger sibling jail time. Close Mukesh Ambani helped his younger brother Anil Ambani to pay off debt owed to Sweden’s Ericsson IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:02/0:51Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:49?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …
YouTube has announced that it would open itself up to external entities that would verify or measure its advertising for viewer impact.Among the vendors approved by YouYube are comScore, DoubleVerify, Integral AdScience and Moat. The latter will begin measurement first, early next year.’Viewability verification’ refers to measurement of how ads are being used or where they are being placed. Viewability is a measure of whether or not an ad had a chance to be seen by a user. Marketeers want to know how and when their ads are being viewed and want metrics around the actual number of times an ad appeared in front of a user.Google had created the Active View solution two years ago which enabled advertisers to buy ads on a “viewable” rather than a “served-impression” basis.Though YouTube, which was bought up by Google in 2006, has now opened up to outside measurement vendors, advertisers will still be able to use Active View.”Advertisers will still be able to use Active View as anticipated. Having Google as partners helps in addressing challenges. It pushes the entire industry forward. This move will generate better industry standards across third party verification practices. It will keep the momentum in the right direction,” said Keith Weed, Chief marketing and communications officer of Unilever, was quoted as saying in marketingland.com.Companies like Unilever have been advocating third-party viewability verification. Weed was quoted by Facebook in September that it would begin offering third-party viewability verification on video ads. “Viewability verification would extend beyond ads on the social media,” Facebook said, having tied with Moat for the same.Recently, advertisement networks Millennial Media and 33Across announced a partnership with Integral Ad Science to offer viewability verification and to guarantee that advertisers only paid for ad impressions that were seen by the viewers and not otherwise, marketingland. com said.
Marriott International Inc announced an agreement to buy competitor Starwood Hotels and Resorts in a $12.2-billion transaction that will create the world’s largest hotel chain.Starwood stockholders would receive 0.92 Marriott Class A share and $2 in cash for each share, Efe cited the companies as saying in a joint statement.The combined company will be the world’s largest hotelier, with 1.1 million rooms in more than 5,500 facilities across over 100 countries and an annual turnover of $2.7 billion.The deal, subject to approval from both companies’ shareholders and regulators, is expected to close by mid-2016, said the statement.Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson will head the combined company, whose headquarters will remain in Bethesda, Maryland. Three Starwood directors will join an expanded 14-member board.
Game of ThronesGame of Thrones Official YoutubeGame of Thorns season 8 episode 4 “The Last of the Starks” aired earlier today and it featured several heartbreaking sequences which fans were not prepared to see after “The Long Night” episode. The episode featured Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow coming together to end Cersei Lannister’s reign.Major spoilers ahead:The latest episode of Game of Thrones season 8 started after the aftermath of the battle of Winterfell. We saw Daenerys, Jon, Sansa, Tormund, Samwell, and others burning the pyre of the dead warriors. In this very first sequence, there were several heart-touching moments which surely made our eyes teary. For instance, the opening shot where we saw the lifeless body of Ser Jorah Mormont, lying on the pyre and Daenerys crying over his body. Before returning to her place, she whispered something to him, which I definitely believe will give birth to several theories.In the same sequence, we saw Sansa Stark offering her House Stark sigil to Theon Greyjoy. By doing this, she ultimately made him a Stark and gave him the respect which he lost in recent years.The next major chunk of the episode dealt in showing the celebration of living. We saw Wildlings, Jaime Lannister, Brienne, Gendry, and others celebrating the win at the Winterfell castle. It was around the same time when Daenerys made Gendry the legitimate son of Robert Baratheon and made him a Lord. The over-the-moon Gendry approached Arya Stark and asked her to marry him, which she denied by offering him a passionate kiss. Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4Game of Thrones (@gameofthrones/Instagram)We saw how Tormund got heartbroken after he saw Jaime Lannister following Brienne to her room, where he would later get intimate with her. For Jaime, it was the second woman he ever got a chance to be in this sort of relationship, whereas, as Brienne described, it was her first.Winterfell was deep into celebration when Daenerys Targaryen approached Jon Snow and told him how much she loves him. But in a very subtle yet menacing way, she made it clear that Jon is not allowed to tell anyone that he is Aegon Targaryen — the true heir to the Iron Throne. Although Jon promised her but instantly disclosed this secret to Arya and Sansa. The latter in return told the secret to Tyrion Lannister and as we all know, Tyrion is now filled with several doubts in his head.Along with Ser Davos, Jon Snow headed for the North but before saying goodbyes to everyone, he gave away his direwolf Ghost to Tormund and told him that Ghost will enjoy and will stay happy in the North. It was around the same time when Samwell told him that he is going to be a father and if he is going to be a boy, they are going to name him Jon. Again, Samwell’s son can give us several theories, which we are going to discuss in our future articles.Along with her handful Unsullied, Daenerys Targaryen marched towards King’s Landing. On the ship, we learned that Lord Varys knew about Jon’s parentage for a long time and chose to hide the facts from everyone. But after learning how Daenerys is going to destroy everyone in the Red Keep, he immediately changed his allegiance and revealed to Tyrion that Jon Snow will make a better ruler.When Daenerys’ army was half way through King’s Landing, their army was attacked by Euron Greyjoy and Golden Company. Dany’s Rhaegal was brutally killed — it was surely a heartbreaking moment and it will take a long time for us to comprehend this fact that Daenerys now has only one dragon left. Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 leakGame of Thrones (@gameofthrones/Instagram)In the very last scene, we saw Tyrion’s last attempt to avoid the war and the bloodshed but in return Cersei killed Missandei. However, this particular scene is very important for future episodes as before all this, Cersei told Euron that she is carrying his child but now since Tyrion has stated otherwise, chances are that she will lose the support of Euron and the Golden Company.Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4 “The Last of the Starks” was filled with several heart-wrenching episodes which were more brutal than Night King and his attack. The entire episode dealt in the human drama and it made it one of the best episodes so far in the ongoing season.Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5 will return next Sunday.
PM Modi addressed a rally in Kurukshetra in Haryana.Twitter/ANIPrime Minister Narendra Modi has virtually no fight in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, a fact even his worst critics will agree to. However, a look at his rivals in the electoral contest reveals interesting facts.In 2014, PM Modi had 41 candidates pitted against him. The number has gone down to 25 this year but he still has a ‘mini India’ contesting against him.These ‘Special 25’ candidates belong to various states including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Kerala and Uttarakhand and each one of them is here to ‘make a point’.Manohar Anand Rao Patil, a farmer from Maharashtra, dresses up as Mahatma Gandhi and even wears a photograph of the latter around his neck.”I have not come here to defeat Modi. I want to draw his attention to the plight of farmers and the growing corruption,” he says.Manav Vishwamanav, also from Andhra Pradesh, is another candidate who wants to draw the Prime Minister’s attention towards the plight of farmers. His father, a farmer, passed away and his mother works as a coolie in Vishakhapatanam.Hina Shahid is the daughter of Olympian (late) Mohammad Shahid and says that she wants to reach Parliament so that she can raise women’s issues. “I know I cannot defeat Modi but then one should not sit at home just because he is a strong candidate,” she says.Manish Srivastava has come from Raipur in Chhattisgarh to contest against the Prime Minister. He wants the government to make it compulsory for all government employees to send their children to government schools and avail medical treatment in government hospitals.”This will go a long way in improving these sectors and checking corruption,” he feels.From Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Sunil Kumar has come to contest the Varanasi seat and seek the status of a national river for Ganga. “Like Modi, I am also a ‘Ganga Putra’ because I live on the banks of Ganga,” he says.Sheikh Siraj Baba from Malihabad in Lucknow says he will focus on declaring cow as the national animal. His main issue is conservation of the cow and ban on cow slaughter.Apart from these candidates, there is an agriculture scientist, Ram Sharan Rajput, from Kanpur, Prem Nath Sharma, a lawyer from Varanasi itself, Tribhuvan Sharma from Bareilly who says he will expose the anti-upper caste stance of Modi and writer Amresh Misra.Then there is Ajay Rai of the Congress and Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party who are also determined to make their presence felt in the electoral area.
Asian share markets extended early gains Wednesday after upbeat Chinese trade data offered hope the economy was stabilising, underpinning both risk sentiment and commodity prices.China reported exports rose 18.7 percent in yuan terms in March, compared to a year earlier, while imports dipped only a slight 1.7 percent. That was a huge improvement on February, even though data at this time of year tends to be distorted by the new year holidays.The early investor reaction was to take the improvement on trust and push up China-sensitive assets such as the Australian dollar which climbed above 77 U.S. cents.Shanghai stocks gained 1.9 percent while Japan’s Nikkei rose 2.4 percent to its highest in eight sessions. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1.4 percent and Australia gained 1.1 percent.Oil prices pared some of their early losses, having run into profit-taking after a barnstorming performance on Tuesday. Brent crude eased 27 cents at $44.432 barrel, while U.S. crude lost 38 cents to $41.79.Prices had hit four-month highs overnight on reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia may have reached consensus on an oil output cap.Analysts at Citi noted U.S. crude finished above its 200-day moving average since its long downtrend first started in 2014. “It suggests that the low is in and higher levels should continue to be seen in 2016,” wrote Citi.A rally in energy stocks helped the Dow end Tuesday 0.94 percent firmer, while the S&P 500 gained 0.97 percent and the Nasdaq 0.8 percent. The S&P 500 energy sector jumped 2.8 percent.All 10 S&P sectors closed higher and the Dow industries posted their best day in about a month.The lift in energy boosted the oil-sensitive Canadian dollar to near a nine-month peak while nudging the safe-haven yen back from recent highs.Canada’s loonie stood at C$1.2765 per USD, not far from the overnight top of C$1.2750 – a level last seen in July.The greenback was up at 108.81 yen, having climbed from a near 18-month trough around 107.63 set on Monday. The euro rose to 123.73 yen, putting further distance from a three-year low of 122.085 set last month.Against the dollar, the euro eased to $1.1375 after turning around from a six-month peak of $1.1465. That helped the dollar index climb back above 94.141, from a near eight-month low of 93.627.In commodity markets, copper and iron ore sat on large gains while gold held firm at $1,253.55 an ounce, having climbed to a three-week high of $1,262.60 on Tuesday.
Actor-turned-politician RajnikanthARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty ImagesSiruthai Siva has become one of the most wanted filmmakers following his string of successful movies in the recent years. Recently, there were reports that he was getting ready to collaborate with Suriya and Sivakarthikeyan in different movies after the massive success of his 2019 Pongal release, Viswasam.Rumours are rife that Siruthai Siva has met Rajinikanth on Tuesday morning, 28 May with a bound script. The story narration is underway at the superstar’s house at the Poes Garden, in Chennai, as per Tamil TV reports.However, there is no official word on the development although the discussions are in an initial stage, say rumour mills. Siruthai Siva directed Ajith Kumar in four movies – Veeram, Vedalam, Vivegam and Viswasam – in a row. Except for Vivegam, three movies turned profitable venture for the distributors and producers, thus increasing his trust on him among the Kollywood producers.After Viswasam turned out to be a successful venture, producers started making a beeline to find out whether he has good scripts in hand. In recent weeks, it was reported that he was collaborating with Suriya following which he would direct a film starring Sivakarthikeyan.On the other hand, Rajinikanth is busy with AR Murugadoss-directorial Darbar in which the Tamil superstar plays the role of an IPS officer.Interestingly, Viswasam had clashed with Rajinikanth’s Petta at the box office earlier this year. While Ajith’s film performed well in Tamil Nadu, Rajini’s film did well in other parts of India and the world.
Nirva Modi during the inauguration of Nirav Modi Jewellry shop in Mumbai on March 14, 2015.IANSThe remand hearing of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi will be held via videolink from prison before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Thursday. The hearing will be his first appearance after his bail application was rejected for the fourth time by the Royal Courts of Justice in London on June 12. Nirav Modi is wanted for the Rs 13,400 crore Punjab National Bank scam by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).Justice Ingrid Simler had commented on the strong design of Nirav Modi’s legal team in the last hearing. She concluded that reasonable evidence, such as the increasing value of cash securities offered to avail bail (from £500,000 to £2 million) and other influences, suggest that he may not surrender to Indian officials.The case edged forward after Judge Emma Arbuthnot directed the Indian government on May 30 to confirm which prison Nirav Modi will be held in if he is extradited to India, reported PTI. Since his arrest in March, the 48-year-old has lodged at Wandsworth prison in London.The recent developments include the July 11 deadline given to the UK Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) representing the Indian government. The next case management hearing is scheduled for July 29. A timeline for the extradition is also expected to be announced, reported PTI.
‘The Winds of Winter’ release date might come as a surprise to the fansReutersGame of Thrones season 8 was heavily criticised by millions of fans. The creators tried their best to give the world a mesmerizing end to this saga but fans were disappointed when HBO’s highly acclaimed fantasy drama ended. As of now, no one from the crew has commented on the online reactions other than George RR Martin, who has called ‘internet is toxic’ over the season 8 remarks.When Game of Thrones season 8 premiered on HBO, millions of fans from around the world set in front of their TV screens in a hope to see something which they would never forget. However, all the six-episodes divided the viewers. The outage was so grave that an online petition to remake season 8 went viral with over 1.5 million signatures. Urging HBO to remake season 8 does not sound practical but fans are hoping that HBO won’t repeat the same mistake when they start the production of Game of Thrones prequel series.During a recent appearance on a podcast, George RR Martin — whose acclaimed books inspired Game of Thrones — said that he has never seen anything like the madness that runs across the internet.”The Internet is toxic in a way that old fanzine culture and fandoms — comics fans, science fiction fans — in those days, was not,” Martin said. “There were disagreements. There were feuds, but nothing like the madness that you see on the internet.”George RR Martin even talked about showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and how neither of them had any experience in television when Martin signed up to adapt his work with them.”Maybe it was because they had no experience in television, they didn’t know what was possible, so they reached for the impossible and achieved it. They put together a sensational team,” Martin added.The world is eagerly waiting to read the next two books by George RR Martin. There were several speculations that Martin’s ending will be different from the show’s ending. Some even suggested that after the failure of season 8, Martin may change the ending. But Martin knows very well how he wishes to end the saga. That being said, he added that “what you don’t know is all the details. You don’t know where the road is gonna be closed and you have to take a detour.”
In the wake of the Shiv Sena MP controversy, Air India on Monday laid down fresh rules to handle unruly passengers. The national carrier will press legal action and impose fine/charges on troublemakers.Watch: FIR against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad for hitting Air India staffer ’25 times’ with slippers [VIDEO]The airlines will impose a fine of Rs 5 lakh for delay up to 1 hour, Rs10 lakh for more than 1 hour and 15 lakh for more than 2 hours.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered an embarrassing setback as her Conservative Party has lost their overall majority off the back of a close general election, resulting in a hung parliament. Whilst the Conservatives hold the most seats, they do not have enough to establish outright control. Conservatives lose overall majority as UK election results in hung parliament Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:40Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:39?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …
An employee speaks on his mobile phone as he walks inside Axis Bank’s corporate headquarters in Mumbai July 17, 2012.ReutersIt looks like Axis Bank’s joy of acquiring digital payments platform Freecharge may be short lived as the latter’s current and former employees are said to be planning to get in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office to halt the sale of the brand to India’s third-largest private sector bank.It was earlier reported that Axis Bank was nearing a deal to buy Freecharge for about Rs 385 crore ($60 million). While Snapdeal and Freecharge remained tight lipped on the deal, Axis Bank is said to have sent out invites for an event during which it said that a “strategic announcement” would be made. However, the employees are clearly not looking forward to the acquisition.In a letter accessed by Business Standard, the employees have said that they would soon approach the PMO with their issues and also blamed co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal for the bleeding state of Snapdeal, which also owned Freecharge.The employees, in the letter, even said that the Snapdeal 2.0 plan was executed, despite the employees believing that Snapdeal’s sale to Flipkart was a better idea. They also tagged the plan as “misleading.”However, a Snapdeal spokesperson refuted these allegations and said: “The company cannot comment on unsubstantiated allegations made by unidentified sources. The board has made no decision with regard to the team composition for Snapdeal 2.0.”Jasper Infotech, a firm based in Gurgaon that also owns online marketplace Snapdeal, had been looking to sell Freecharge for two years.When Axis Bank acquired Freecharge, it was said that the firm would also acquire the latter’s about 200 employees, but its CEO Jason Kothari was likely to leave after the deal formalities are completed. PR handoutAxis Bank would also get access to about 20 million Freecharge customers and well as a million online and offline sellers.It was also being said that two private banks — one of them being Bank of Baroda — and a few other private equity firms had expressed an interest in acquiring Freecharge. Paytm too had reportedly made a bid of $10-15 million for the platform and Amazon was also said to have bid for Freecharge in the range of Rs 500 crore ($70-$80 million), according to The Economic Times.
Traders and investors keep a close track after Indian government’s de-monetisation move at Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai.IANSSGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50’s trend in India, signals a weak start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex lost 150 points or 0.44 percent to close at 33,685 on Thursday.Here are some of the stock recommendations by analysts for Thursday:1. Berger PaintsEdelweiss recommends ‘Buy’Target Price: Rs 293Current stock price: Rs 250About the company: Berger Paints manufactures and distributes paints, enamels, varnishes, and synthetic resins. The company’s products are used in home, office, factory, interiors, exteriors, metal, wood, plastic, and others.Stock Performance: The stock has gained 9 percent in an year and has a P/E ratio of 51 times forward earnings. Berger Paints has a market capitalization of Rs 242 billion.2. Sun TV NetworkIIFL recommends ‘Buy’Target Price: Rs 975Current stock price: Rs 920About the company: Sun TV Network offers television channels. The company operates Tamil and Malayalam language channels in southern India.Stock Performance: The stock has gained 22 percent in an year and has a P/E ratio of 35 times forward earnings. Sun TV Network has a market capitalization of Rs 362 billion.3. Power Finance CorpDeutsche Bank recommends ‘Buy’Target Price: Rs 140Current stock price: Rs 88About the company: Power Finance power projects in India. The company serves state power utilities, central power sector utilities, power departments, private power sector utilities, joint sector power utilities, power equipment manufacturers, and municipal power utilities.Stock Performance: The stock has lost 29 percent in an year and has a P/E ratio of 10 times forward earnings. Power Finance Corp has a market capitalization of Rs 232 billion.4. Dish TVCiti recommends ‘Buy’Target Price: Rs 90Current stock price: Rs 69About the company: Dish TV India offers direct broadcast satellite subscription television service in India.Stock Performance: The stock has dropped 36 percent in an year and has a P/E ratio of 67 times forward earnings. Dish TV has a market capitalization of Rs 74 billion.5. Bajaj FinanceIIFL recommends ‘Buy’Target Price: Rs 1,780Current stock price: Rs 1,726About the company: Bajaj Finance is a financial services company that operates branches in India, which provide an assortment of financial services.Stock Performance: The stock has jumped 49 percent in an year and has a P/E ratio of 51 times forward earnings. Bajaj Finance has a market capitalization of Rs 998 billion.Disclaimer: The recommendations provided by the research analysts are their own, and not that of the website or its management.
Vodafone Idea Limited plans to raise to raise Rs 15,000 crore fundThe telecom industry is all geared up to see the biggest merger in the industry as the two companies have deposited a total of Rs 72 billion in cash and bank guarantee to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The deal is expected to get a final approval from the DoT within next week. After many rounds of deliberations, the DoT was adamant on its demand of Rs. 72 billion which was eventually paid by the two telcos.The amount paid to the DoT is deposited under protest from two entities to avoid any further delays after the DoT ignored their request of recalculation of dues. Any further delays could have added an additional cost burden to the already debt-ridden firms.The companies paid a sum of Rs 33.22 billion as one-time spectrum charges and Rs. 39.26 billion cash for spectrum liberalisation. A DoT source informed the Business Standard that the merged entity has all the freedom to challenge the dues. Idea Cellular’s Managing Director Himanshu Kapania speaks during a news conference to announce the company’s quarterly results in MumbaiReuters fileThe merged entities will India’s largest telecom operators company with more than 438 million subscribers and approx. 37.4 per cent of the revenue market share. To counter Reliance Jio, UK based telco giant, Vodafone and India based Idea Cellular had decided to merge its operations.The two companies were expecting to complete all the modalities by June end this year but it got delayed due to deliberations over the demand made by DoT. The merger calls for the transfer of licenses of Vodafone India and its subsidiary Vodafone Mobile Services Ltd (VMSL) to Idea Cellular which will be the listed entity.Investors of the Idea cellular responded positively to the news as its share rose by almost 7 per cent to close at 56.23 as against 54. “The payments will now ensure that the merger goes through. It will have its own economies of scale, it will have a lot of tax benefits, claim much more depreciation, and so the accounting positives will come in. Given that (Idea) stock was trading at an all-time low of Rs. 50, this will be a shot in the arm in the near term,” told Sanjiv Bhasin, executive VP, markets and corporate affairs, at brokerage IIFL to the Economic Times.The merger of Vodafone Idea is likely to alter the Indian telecom market, making it a three-player universe of two big incumbents and a new entrant Reliance Jio.
Twitter/GettyWhat is it about Pusarla Venkat Sindhu? No matter how much she struggles in other tournaments, come the big stage and she rises to the occasion in a most amazing manner. In her quarter-final clash of the ongoing BWF World Championships in Basel, Switzerland, the 24-year old produced a superlative performance to defeat one of the big favourites Tai Tzu Ying.But it’s not just the women’s singles category in which India have a great interest. B Sai Praneeth has become the first male Indian shuttler since Prakash Padukone in 1983 to win a World Championship medal. He achieved this feat by going through two highly-capable Indonesians – Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Jonatan Christie in the pre-quarters and quarters respectively.On Saturday, August 24, both will try and take their achievements to the next level. Sindhu, by winning her semi-final, could secure her second consecutive silver while Praneeth could end up where no Indian man has – in the final of this event. Let’s look at the previews of the matches that these two players will be involved in. Chen Yufei stands in Sindhu’s wayANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty ImagesPV Sindhu vs Chen Yufei (China)The last year has seen Chen Yufei of China emerging as one of the new stars of women’s badminton. She has brought China back to the center of women’s singles badminton and has been recording some big victories. This year, she already has four World Tour titles including the All England Open and one Super 500 event.But Sindhu won’t be easy to beat. Her victory against Tai in the quarter-final was achieved thanks to sheer hard work and dogged tenacity. Despite the Taiwanese player looking in great form, Sindhu persevered and used her power to barge her way into the semis.This contest too would be a clash of styles as the Indian shuttler will try to use her power again, this time to outgun Yufei’s shotmaking. What has made the lady from Hyderabad so good in this tournament is her willingness to fight hard for points, something that was missing earlier in the year. She would need all that fighting spirit in this match.Considering she doesn’t have her nemesis Carolina Marin in the tournament and has conquered the other foe, Tai, plus the top seed Akane Yamaguchi (who defeated Sindhu in two tournaments in the run up to this event) is already out, this could be her best opportunity to win the title and become the first World Champion in badminton from India. Kento Momota will be a tough contest for PraneethLintao Zhang/Getty ImagesB Sai Praneeth vs Kento Momota (Japan)Sai Praneeth will have a very tough match against the best male badminton player in the world today – Kento Momota. Momota likes to test his opponent’s stamina and prefers playing long rallies. If Praneeth has to win, he will have to be at his fittest and dig deep to overcome Momota’s unending rallies.What makes the Japanese dangerous is that while he usually coasts along at a steady pace, when under pressure, he can increase his speed to trouble his opponents. His main weapon – the crosscourt forehand smash is deadly and the Indian will have to watch out for that.Schedule and where to watchPV Sindhu’s match would be the first contest of the day and would begin at 2:30 PM IST. Praneeth’s match against Momota is third on the list and can be expected to begin around 4:30-5 PM IST. The live coverage of these contests would be provided on TV by Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD. For those who want to watch online, Hotstar is the platform for live streaming.
Shahidul HaqueValiant Freedom Fighter and commander of Liberation War time guerilla group Mama Bahini, Shahidul Haque Mama died at Al Waker Hospital in Doha, Qatar, last night. He was 67.“He suffered a cardiac arrest on a Qatar Airlines flight from Dhaka to Stockholm on April 28 and was taken to the hospital once the flight landed. Haque was immediately put on life support and breathed his last there around 12 am on Friday,” Mohammad Harunur Rashid Jamaddar, his brother-in-law, told BSS.Haque is survived by wife Syeda Aktarunnesa, son Syed Khalid Bin Haque Shuvo and daughter Syeda Shayla Haque.Rashid said the family is trying to take the body back to Sweden.Haque played an important role in freeing Mirpur of Dhaka city from the occupation of Biharis, the cohorts of the anti-liberation forces, on 31 Jan in 1971.Mama Bahini, the fearless guerrilla group, was constituted under his leadership during the war of liberation to free Mirpur and Mohammadpur areas of Dhaka city from the occupation forces.Haque was the second witness of the war crime case against Abdul Quader Molla, the butcher of Mirpur.He gave sensational but true revelations to the International Crimes Tribunal for passing their verdict of capital punishment for Quader Molla.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at the death of valiant freedom fighter Shahidul Haque.In a condolence message, the prime minister recalled with profound respect the contributions of Shahidul Haque to the great Liberation War.Sheikh Hasina said he played an important role in the anti-autocracy movement and building public opinion for the trial of war criminals.The prime minister prayed for salvation of the departed soul and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family.
Atiqul Islam, Tabith AwalThe ruling Awami League has started preparations to select a mayoral candidate for the next Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) by-polls. The party reportedly aims at selecting a businessperson and former BGMEA (Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exports Association) chairman Md. Atiqul Islam is a possible candidate. He has been given a thumbs up, according to top level policy makers of Awami League (AL).On the other hand, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is uncertain as to whether there are legal complications concerning the DNCC election and also whether the government is actually interested in these polls.BNP is not that openly active. Leaders from the party said, BNP would start its election activities after the election commission announced the election schedule and also after observing AL’s activities.BNP had participated in all the local government polls before and it will take part in the DNCC polls too, said the leaders.They also added that the last BNP mayoral candidate Tabith Awal was the most likely candidate this time too.Former mayor Annisul Huq had been elected with a total of 460,000 votes. His nearest contestant Tabith Awal bagged as high as 325,000 votes, though BNP boycotted the polls halfway, alleging rigging and manipulation.Mayor Annisul Huq died in London on 30 November while undergoing medical treatment there. On 4 December the mayoral post was declared vacant compelling a by-poll to be held within 90 days.According to AL high-ups, a meeting of AL presidium members held at the Ganabhaban in Saturday discussed the DNCC polls. Presidium member Faruk Khan told the meeting a number of interested candidates for the post contacted him. Certain names appeared in the media. He also came up with a number of names.Among the proposed mayoral candidates for AL were, former BGMEA president Atiqul Islam, another former BGMEA president AK Azad, businessman Abdus Salam Murshedy, AL Dhaka (North) committee president and businessman AKM Rahmatullah, film actress Sarah Begum Kobori, AL Dhaka (North) committee general secretary Sadek Khan, former MP HBM Iqbal, and others.AL president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting said it was important to select the candidate who will win. A survey is being conducted in the issue, she added.Party leaders said they took it as a green signal from the party chief when PM in the meeting asked about Atiqul Islam and whether the party should select him or not.AL official sources said, Atiq met the PM at her official residence last week. Several posters demanding Atiqul as DNCC mayor were seen in Farmgate, Bijoy Sarani, and Mirpur. Atiqul Islam does not have any political identity despite being a business leader. Directives were issued to make him familiar within the party.Speaking about candidate selection, AL presidium member and also member of the local government nominee board, Faruk Khan, said political leaders, business leaders and members of the civil society are among the possible candidates of the party. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina gave directives to start primary work for candidate selection. Official procedures will start as soon as EC announces the schedule of the election, he added.Concerning legal complications regarding the mayoral election, Faruk Khan said, “The ministry of the local government announced the post vacant. Now the election commission will announce the schedule. Awami League has nothing to do with the legal complications. All we can do is to prepare for the election. That is exactly what we are doing.”According to some potential party insiders, senior leaders have selected Atiqul as a candidate because he has a clean public image. He also belongs to a well-to-do family. His brother, former chief justice Tofazzal Islam, led the five-member bench that gave the verdict of Bangabandhu murder case. Another of his brothers, Mainul Islam, was the chief of the armed force division. Mainul became the director general of Bangladesh Border Guard after the BDR mutiny. It will be prudent to select a well-known businessman for the city corporation comprising posh areas like Gulshan and Baridhara.Atiqul Islam told Prothom Alo, he has been a business leader for years. He is honoured that the prime minister has considered him as a candidate for the mayoral election.“The late mayor Annisul Huq has taken many initiatives by identifying many problems of the city. I will complete his unfinished work, if I get the opportunity. I will work for the development of the city” Atiqul said.EC is moving ahead with plans for election in February. The schedule will be announced next month. But there have been speculations that the election can be help up due to the legal complications stemming from the addition of 18 wards to the city corporation. The term for the mayor will be three years after the by-election of DNCC and the term for the city corporation council is five years. Annisul Huq has served as the mayor for two years. So there are legal complications on the term of councillors in the new wards.A senior AL leader seeking anonymity told Prothom Alo, Awami League started preparations for the election so that no one can blame them if the poll is halted. Besides, if they don’t have the preparation, BNP will get the chance to say that AL is scared of losing the election.Many AL leaders do not want the polls to be held. They think defeat in the city corporation election may affect their position in upcoming national election. Moreover, primary evaluation of some government agencies indicates that the election may not take place.On the other hand, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, the standing committee has decided to participate in the DNCC election. They are working on the selection of the possible candidates. They will announce the nominee later.When asked about the legal complications, Mirza Fakhrul said, “I have heard about it. It does not matter whether the election is held or not.”
Road Accident logoTwo persons were killed in a head-on collision between two vehicles on the Syedpur Road in Fultala area of Nilphamari Sadar upazila on Wednesday night, reports UNB.The deceased are Mosharaf Hossain, 38, son of Abdul Miah and Bashir, 35, son of Mokles, both of Balapara village of the upazila.The accident occurred around 9:30pm, leaving the duo dead on the spot.On information, police rushed in and sent the bodies to Nilphamari modern government hospital for autopsy.Necessary steps would be taken in this connection, said Nilphamari Sadar police station sub Inspector Harij Miah.