India's salary growth at 0.2 per cent, GDP gain of 63.8 per cent since 2008
Since the recession eight years ago, salaries in India have grown just 0.2 per cent while in China it has grown 10.6 per cent. Even Indonesia and Mexico saw high growth rates, at 9.3 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively. Other emerging markets like Turkey, Russia and Brazil had negative growth rates. India is right in the middle, along with other mature markets, but there seems to be an oversupply of people. People at the bottom are 30 per cent worse off while people at the top are 30 per cent better off.
RBI will keep low inflation in mind while deciding rates
FM ArunJaitley said that RBI’s monetary policy should take into account the drop in retail inflation, implying that Governor Urjit Patel needs to cut rates to boost the economy. A six-member panel will set interest rates and not just the RBI Governor, although he has the casting vote. Retail inflation was at a five-month low of 5.05 per cent but GDP growth slowed down to 7.1 per cent in Q2. YOY credit growth saw a very small increase, at 9.8 per cent. Experts expect a rate cut of 25 basis points.
India approves $1-billion connectivity project
India has approved a $1.04-billion project for constructing and upgrading 558 km of roads to link with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. This will ease movement of passengers and cargo and increase trade with South Asia by 60 per cent and with the rest of the world by over 30 per cent. 50 per cent funding will come from the Asian Development Bank and the project is to be completed in two years.
India Inc gets ready for mandatory audit rotation
With the audit rotation mandated by the Companies Act set to kick in on 1 April 2017, leading companies, including the Tata and Mahindra Groups, are in the process of hiring new auditors. One of the key issues that a set of large companies are dealing with are the conflict norms of auditing firms, especially the Big Four. The big fight is being fought between the Big Four firms that have the cream of the large company audits. Some companies have taken a middle path, and opted for joint audit for at least a year, before they replace the old auditor.
Gender diversity: Big consultants far from being fair
Only 8-10 per cent of partners at top seven audit and strategy firms in the country are women, almost half of the share of women in top management in other companies in the country. Industry average for women in top management in companies in India, including multinationals, is 15-18 per cent. Some experts are of the view that working as partners at Big Four audit firms and top strategy companies could be challenging for women as it involves extensive travel and long working hours. PwC India recently became the first audit firm in India to appoint a woman at the CXO level when SatyavatiBerera joined the firm as COO in January.
Now pay highway toll throughPaytm account
The online payments platform and the NHAI have signed a partnership that allows cashless transactions for highway toll using the road ministry's existing radio frequency FASTags. The device, fixed to the windscreen of vehicles, enables people to drive through toll plazas. The PaytmFASTag will allow commuters to pass through 350 toll plazas dotting 55,000 km of roads without having to stop. This will come as a relief to both commuters and toll plaza attendants and help towards the national cause of saving fuel.
India ranked 143rd among 188 countries in healthcare
India is facing health challenges like mortality rates, malaria hygiene and air pollution, resulting in a ranking on 143 among 188 countries, below Sri Lanka, Syria, and Ghana, but slightly ahead of Pakistan and Bangladesh. For malaria, India scored only 10 points and remained in the red and for hygiene, just 8 points. Top scoring areas were neglected tropical diseases, overweight population and harmful alcohol consumption. Worldwide, there have been only minimal improvements in Hepatitis B incidence rates and domestic violence.
BhartiAirtel to deploy e-KYC solution in 500,000 stores
Airtel has rolled out 20,000 units of Aadhaar-based e-KYC solutions, and plans to deploy it in over 500,000 retail outlets across India. Over 50,000 subscribers activate their Airtel SIMs using AadhaareKYC every day. This secure digital verification eliminates paperwork and is environment-friendly. It employs an instant biometric verification. Airtel expects the number of customers using Aadhaar e-KYC to grow.
BSNL plans free voice, cheaper package than Reliance Jio
BSNL is planning to follow Jio in offering free voice calling on its network that will be cheaper than the new entrant's. Unlike Jio's offer for 4G subscribers, BSNL will be open to 2G and 3G users, who constitute the majority of mobile customers. They plan to be even lower than the Jio plan. The company expects to absorb the revenue-hit from loss of voice tariffs through new customer additions.
Vodafone India gets Rs. 47,700-cr fresh equity
Vodafone Group Plc pumped a record Rs. 47,700 crore into its Indian operation, in preparation for the upcoming spectrum auction and to increase its competitiveness in the fight for market share against Jio. This is the largest FDI in India in rupees. This move cuts the debt-equity ratio by half. The company is expected to spend about Rs. 11,300 crore in the upcoming spectrum auction. The conversion frees up borrowing capacity and boosts credibility in terms of the parent's firm backing for its Indian unit, said a banker.