Tender for Sela pass tunnel expected this year


Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu has said that tenders will be floated this year for the construction of tunnel through Sela Pass.  The tunnel at Sela Pass, located on the border between the Tawang and West Kameng districts at an elevation of 13,700 ft will ensure faster movement of troops in the strategically located parts of the state bordering China.   The plan for the tunnel was made amid concerns in the defence establishment over China’s growing assertiveness along the nearly 4,000 km-long Sino-India border  Khandu held a review meeting with all heads of departments and other officers to discuss the status of all centrally sponsored schemes being implemented in the district. He also informed that state’s medical college will begin its session from this year with a total of 50 seats.   He said the centre under the leadership of Prime minister Narendra Modi has been helpful to the state on every occasion. Khandu said the state government has been working earnestly to implement a pan Arunachal movement on development by decentralizing all the activities of the government. Deputy commissioners are being given more powers and roles in the formulation of schemes and will also have the final authority on disbursing of loans such as under the Deen Dayal Swavalamban Yojana. 
“The Swavalamban Yojana has faced setback due to cumbersome formalities. Therefore instead of following the usual procedure of it being sent for approval at the state level, the DCs have been given the authority to make the final call,” said Khandu. 

He said the shorter route will enable more unemployed youths to take part in the Swavalamban Yojana scheme.

India’s Fortis Healthcare quarterly loss widens on impairment charges

Fortis Healthcare Ltd, which is embroiled in a takeover battle that has drawn international bidders, on Wednesday said loss for the March quarter ballooned to 9.32 billion rupees ($136.3 million) hurt by impairment charges.

Fortis, which delayed reporting results for the quarter as it completed an internal probe, said the goodwill impairment charges and write-offs were related to inter-corporate deposits and advances.

Net loss for the year-ago quarter was 638 million rupees.

Fortis detailed the findings of its internal investigation and said it was in the process of taking “suitable legal measures” against former Executive Chairman Malvinder Singh to recover payments and company assets held by him.

Fortis has become the target of a bidding war by suitors seeking to get a share of a boom in India’s private healthcare market. Its board is looking at bids from parties including Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd  and a consortium of Manipal Health Enterprises and private equity firm TPG Capital.

Despite the significant interest, no suitor has gone all out on the offer price mainly due to regulatory investigations into allegations that Fortis’ founders, Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, siphoned off funds from the company.

They quit as directors in February but have denied any wrongdoing.

Fortis said it will appoint an external agency to investigate its internal controls and also evaluate its organisational structure, including the delegation of powers of the board

The bad loan ratio could rise up to 13.3 percent by the end of FY19: Reports

The Reserve Bank of India said in its Financial Stability Report that the gross non-performing asset of scheduled commercial banks could rise up to 12.2 per cent by March 2019 rising from the previous benchmark of 11.6 per cent in March 2018.

The estimated report is based on the baseline which is further based on the assumption of continuation of the current economic situation. The worst that can happen this year would be a rise in the bad loan ratio up to 13.3 per cent by the end of the current financial year.

The increase in bad loans is estimated to be the highest for public sector banks. In the base case, the banking regulator expects the gross NPA ratio for state-owned banks to rise to 16.3 percent by March 2019 from 15.6 percent in March 2018. In the worst case scenario, the bad loan ratio could go up to 17.3 percent.

In the baseline scenario, the capital adequacy ratio of six PSU banks under RBI’s prompt corrective action framework may be below the minimum regulatory level of 9 percent by March 2019. That’s without taking into account any further planned recapitalisation by the government.

However, if macroeconomic conditions deteriorate, ten banks may record capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio below 9 percent. Under such a severe stress scenario, the system level CRAR may decline to 11.5 percent by March 2019 from 13.5 percent in the year ago period. In the baseline scenario, CRAR of SCBs may decline to 12.8 percent.

The industry segment, which covers large, medium and small corporate loans, reported a gross NPA ratio of 22.8 percent in March 2018, as compared with 19.4 percent in September 2017. Within that, the stressed advances ratio of sub sectors such as gems and jewellery, infrastructure, paper and paper products, cement and cement products and engineering registered an increase in March 2018 from the levels seen in September 2017.

As part of its assessment, RBI also measured the performance of state-owned banks under PCA and those outside the framework. Banks under PCA saw their gross bad loan ratios rise to 21 percent of total loans, while non-PCA banks reported a gross NPA ratio of more than 13.5 percent. These numbers could worsen to 22.3 percent and 14.1 percent by March 2019, respectively, the RBI noted.

Banks under PCA face restrictions on distributing dividends, remitting profits and even on accepting certain kinds of deposits. Besides, there are restrictions on the expansion of branch network, and lenders need to maintain higher provisions, along with caps on management compensation and directors’ fees.

If the government were not to infuse any further capital into public sector banks, the capital adequacy ratio of PCA banks could drop to 6.5 percent by the end of the current financial year from 10.8 percent last year. For non-PCA banks, the capital adequacy ratio could drop to 10.6 percent, from 12 percent in the same period. These estimates are based on the baseline scenario and could worsen if the macroeconomic situation deteriorates.

India’s banking system saw total gross NPAs rise above Rs 10 lakh crore in March 2018, after the RBI’s new stressed asset guidelines issued on Feb. 12, which subsumed all restructuring tools the regulator had introduced in the past.

Accordingly, loans under special mention account category have seen a reduction, the regulator noted in its report. In March 2018, loans under SMA-2, where repayment is due between 60-90 days, fell by nearly 60 percent year-on-year.

The share of large borrowers to total gross NPAs of scheduled commercial banks dropped marginally to 85.6 percent in March 2018. The RBI defines large borrowers as those with aggregate fund and non-fund based exposure worth Rs 5 crore and above.As part of its report, the RBI also conducted sectoral risk analysis and found that the power sector could add 68 basis points (1 basis point is equal to one-hundredth of a percentage point) to gross bad loans of the banking industry in the event of a severe shock to the sector. Similarly, textile and engineering also reported a high transmission of stress to bad loans of state-owned lenders.

Speaking about the progress made under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the regulator pointed out that of the 701 cases that were admitted by the National Company Law Tribunal, 525 were still undergoing resolution. Of the 176 cases which were closed by the NCLT, 67 were closed on appeal or review, 22 were resolved and 87 yielded to liquidations.

The RBI also pointed out that while the share of cases filed by operational creditors had been high, those filed by financial creditors have seen a recent spike. Since most of the financial creditors are banks, this points to higher utilisation of the code to resolve balance sheet stress, the RBI said.

7th Pay Commission; Central government employees will not get overtime allowance anymore: Personnel Ministry

According to an order issued by the personnel ministry, the government has decided to break off overtime allowance given to central government employees except operational staff and industrial employees as per the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission.

Accordingly, it has been decided to implement this decision across all the ministries/departments and attached and subordinate office of the Government of India. The operational staff are all non-ministerial non-gazetted central government servants directly involved in smooth operation of the office including those tasked with operation of some electrical or mechanical equipment.

The administration wing of the ministries/departments concerned have been asked to prepare a list of operational staff with full justification for inclusion of a particular category of staff in the list of operational staff, the ministry said. It has also been decided to link grant of overtime allowance with biometric attendance.

The government has also decided not to revise the rate of overtime allowance for the operational staff and they would continue to get the amount as per its order issued in 1991. “Overtime allowance should be paid only when his/her senior officer directs the concerned employee(s) in writing for staying back in office to attend urgent nature of work,” the personnel ministry.

Live heart transported via ‘green corridor’ within 23 mins

A 53-year-old woman got live heart transplant from Mumbai to Delhi covering 1,178 kms in 2.30 hours. According to the statement of the official, a 42 year old male donor suffered serious injuries in a road accident and was declared brain dead despite best efforts in Mumbai. The family members of the patient were given informed counselling about the organ donation before they agreed. The live heart was airlifted at 03.15 pm from Mumbai to reach at Delhi airport at 5.05 pm, another green corridor from Delhi airport to FEHI at Okhla was created that covered 23 kms in 23 minutes. The patient was suffering from dialted cardiomyopathy that required a heart transplant. She was undergoing treatment under Dr Z S Meherwal at the hospital and was put on the waiting list.

Ayodhya temple; build as soon as possible, says Uma Bharti

Union Minister Uma Bharti while turning up the heat in the state declared that she wants the temple to be built on the disputed site in Ayodhya “ as soon as possible”. She said so, a day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sought patience that the Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya.

With the 2019 general elections about to commence, she said that “Ram Bhakti” should not be linked with winning or losing. The construction of such a ‘magnificent temple’ in Ayodhya is a ‘matter of national pride’.

Speaking to reporters in Ayodhya Tuesday, Bharti said: “Main unmein se hoon jo dhairya dharan nahi karte, hum toh chahte hain ki jaldi se jaldi Ram Mandir ka nirman ho (I am not among those who have patience. I want the Ram temple to be built as soon as possible).”

Bharti said that since the BJP enjoys “absolute majority” in the state and Centre, she expects “a courageous decision” so that the temple can be built on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site. Yogiji purna bahumat se mukhyamantri hain, aur Modiji purna bahumat se pradhan mantri hai. Kitne pracharak, swayamsewak, Ram bhakt, har party line se jude log iss ghadi ki pratiksha kar rahe hain ki hum koi sahasik nirnay lein aur hum rashtriya sankalpa ko sakaar karein (Yogiji is Chief Minister with absolute majority, Modiji is Prime Minister with absolute majority, so many pracharaks, swayamsewaks, Ram bhakts, and all connected with the party line are waiting for the moment that we take some courageous decision and make the national resolve a reality),” said Bharti, adding that her message was for Adityanath and BJP president Amit Shah.

With the 2019 general elections around the corner, Bharti said that “Ram bhakti” should not be linked with winning and losing, and that the construction of a “magnificent temple” in Ayodhya is “a matter of national pride”.

While addressing a sant sammelan in Ayodhya Monday, Adityanath had said that “there should be no doubt” that a temple will be built. Assuring the gathering that he was one among them, Adityanath had said: “You have shown so much patience so far, you should show patience for some more time.” This was the first time in the recent past that he has spoken so strongly in favour of the temple’s construction.

Bharti was in Ayodhya to attend the birthday celebrations of Nritya Gopal Das, who heads the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, a trust formed to oversee the construction of the temple.

Maintaining that the “Ram movement” was bigger than coming to power, Bharti said: “This should not be linked with 2019, this should be separated from the politics of elections… When the incident of December 6 (the Babri Masjid demolition of 1992) took place, Kalyan Singh lost his government and so did (chief ministers) Shanta Kumar, Sundar Lal Patwa, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. We never came with the greed for power, we never came with the pressure that we have to rule.”

The Union Minister said: “Elections are a common thing, to govern is a common thing, it comes and goes… so many kings came on this earth. But if a magnificent temple is built in Ram Janmabhoomi, it would be a matter of national pride and a rare heritage for the coming gener

‘Instagram;live video chat’ option is now live

As promised at Facebook’s F8 conference last month, Instagram’s received an update with a group video calling feature. It lets you chat with up to three more pals at the same time; you can minimize the video screens to a thumbnail if you’d like to continue browsing your messages and feed. In my brief test, I found it to work just fine – albeit with a few seconds’ delay in initially connecting and starting up video streams. You can only call people you’re connected to, i.e. you follow them and they follow you back. That keeps things a bit more private than what I’d feared when I wrote about a rumor about this feature back in March.

you can mute video chats if you’re not interested, by toggling the option in the Details screen for any conversation you’re a part of. To try video calls for yourself, you’ll need to head to your inbox in the app, open up a conversation, and then click on the camera button at the top right of the screen. You can also join ongoing calls, which you can identify in your conversation by the blue camera icon. What trips me up is the limit to four people at a time – if your group is larger than that, it still rings everyone, and I understand that it’ll simply allow in only the first four respondents. Surely there’s a better way to handle this. The new video calling functionality is available now on Android and iOS; you’ll want to make sure you’ve upgraded to the latest version of Instagram’s app for it to work.

75% funds after 30 days of job loss to members ; EPFO

Retirement fund body EPFO  on Tuesday decided to give its members an option to withdraw 75 per cent of their funds after one month of unemployment and keep their PF account with the body.The members would also have an option to withdraw remaining 25 per cent of their funds and go for final settlement of account after completion of two months of unemployment under the new provision in the Employee provident fund Scheme 1952.

“We have decided to amend the scheme to allow members to take advance from its account on one month of unemployment. He can withdraw 75 per cent of its funds as an advance from its account after one month of unemployment and keep its account with the EPFO,” Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, who is also the Chairman of EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees, told reporters after the trustees meet here.

At present, in case of unemployment, a subscriber can withdraw his or her funds after two months of unemployment and settle the account in one go.The minister was of the view that this new provision would give an option to members to keep their account with the EPFO, which he can use after regaining employment again.