Tag: Business Standard News

No new Rs 1,000 notes are being printed: Shaktikanta Das

After reports surfaced of new Rs 1,000 and higher denomination notes coming into circulation, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das has refuted it.

Earlier on Wednesday, Das took to Twitter to issue a clarification on the aforementioned matter. “We have no plans of introducing new Rs 1,000 notes,” stated Das.

“The focus will be on increasing production and supply of Rs 500 and other notes of lower denomination,” Das further clarified. In a tweet that followed, Das assured India Economy News that the request to monitor the withdrawal of cash is being assessed.

“I request everyone to withdraw only the amount that is required, since excessive withdrawal of cash deprives cash for others,” Das urged. In December 2016, new Rs 500 notes were released for circulation, aiming to ease the situation post demonetisation, the initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in order to curb circulation of black money in the economy.

After circulation of Rs 500 and 1,000 notes came to a standstill, rumours surfaced regarding a possibility of the introduction of completely new notes.

Trump plans to deport Mexico immigrants, regardless of nationality

Buried deep in the Trump administration’s plans to round up undocumented immigrants is a provision certain to enrage Mexico – new authority for federal agents to deport anyone caught crossing the southern border to Mexico, regardless of where they are from.

If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico. Currently, such people are detained in the U.S. and allowed to request asylum.

President Trump wants them to do so from Mexico, communicating via video conference calls with U.S. immigration officials from facilities that Mexico would presumably be forced to build.

“This would say if you want to make a claim for asylum or whatever we’ll hear your case but you are going to wait in Mexico,” a DHS official said. “Those are details that are being worked out both within the department and between the US government and the government of Mexico … there are elements that still need to be worked out in detail.

Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Mexico later this week to meet with representatives of the Mexican government. It remains unclear if they will discuss this issue.

The new authority for immigration agents is among the dramatic, some would say untenable, tactics the Trump administration is preparing to deploy as it upends President Obama’s policies on illegal immigration.

A pair of memos signed by John Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, and publicly released on Tuesday outline the plans for what present and former government officials say will be a massive roundup of undocumented immigrants. Near final drafts of the memos had leaked over the weekend and had been first reported by McClatchy.

Officials disclosed that two former Senate aides to Attorney General Jeff Sessions drafted the plan without input from career DHS policy staffers. The ideas aren’t new. Many of the approaches described in the memos come from a 1996 law that policy makers and law enforcement agents had disregarded as either unenforceable or absurd.

“Most of these provisions of law have been there for decades,” the DHS official said. “We are simply trying to execute what Congress has asked us to do.”

Among them was the Mexico part of the plan, for example, which calls for returning undocumented immigrants “to the foreign contiguous territory from which they arrived.” The memo goes on to point out how foisting the immigrants onto Mexico would benefit DHS’s budget, saying that it would, “save the Department’s detention and adjudication resources for other priority aliens.”

However, former senior Mexican and American immigration officials said it could very well create new security problems along the border, as authorities in each country push unwanted migrants back and forth.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association said that the proposal would violate U.S. law and international treaty obligations. Mexico is as likely to embrace the plan as it did the notion of paying for a wall. “I would expect Mexico to respond with an emphatic ‘No,'” said Gustavo Mohar, a former senior Mexican immigration and national security policy official.

Whether viable or not, the Trump administration’s deportation plans mark a dramatic departure from decades of policy and practice. Current and former immigration policy officials say that while the details of how the administration intends to carry out the plans remain unclear – if not insurmountable – the administration’s overall message to enforcement agents across the country is clear: the limits have been lifted.

President Obama attempted to focus enforcement efforts on immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes, and on those who were caught while or shortly after illegally entering the country. Still, his administration deported record numbers of immigrants, most of whom had only been accused of minor crimes and immigration violations.

The Trump administration says it, too, is focused on deporting criminals, but it has redefined crimes to include any activity that might bring a conviction, including entering the U.S. without permission. Effectively, that makes virtually everyone in the U.S. without a proper visa subject to roundup at their workplace or home.

“If you are present in the U.S. without being admitted or paroled or having overstayed your visa, the immigration laws of the U.S. subject you to removal,” the DHS official said. “Everyone who is in violation of the laws is theoretically subject to enforcement. The Department has limited resources and we will, to the extent that we can, focus on folks who have committed serious crimes.”

The only clear exception, according to the enforcement plan and the DHS briefing, is for immigrants who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers.

“Anyone who complained about Obama as the deporter-in-chief,” said David Martin, formerly DHS’s principal deputy general counsel, “is unfortunately going to get a taste of what it’s like when someone is really gung-ho.”

Greg Chen, the policy director at AILA, said the Trump plan would “effectively unleash a massive deportation force with extremely broad authority to use detention as the default mechanism for anyone suspected of violating immigration law.”

The question looming over the proposals is how many of them, with all their legal and logistical obstacles, will the president actually be able to carry out.

The memos, for example, authorize the Border Patrol to hire 5,000 new agents, even though the force has never been able to fill the slots it has already been allotted. Some 60 percent of applicants to the Border H-1B visas Patrol fail the required polygraph, and those who pass take 18 months to get sent out into the field.

The Trump plan calls for the expansion of a George W. Bush-era program, known as 287g, which allows DHS to deputize state and local police as immigration agents. It was touted after 9/11 as a critical “force-multiplier.” But by 2010, some of the country’s largest police departments were refusing to participate because they believed it would shatter the trust between their officers and the communities they were sworn to protect. Meanwhile, participating agencies, which foot the bill for the program, were suddenly saddled with new debts and hounded by accusations of racial profiling and other abuse, forcing the Obama administration to suspend expansion of the program.

Until now, the enforcement of summary deportation laws, known as “expedited removal,” have been limited to those apprehended within 14 days of illegally entering the country and within 100 miles of Canada or Mexico. The memos signed by Kelly would allow use of those laws anywhere in the country against anyone who entered illegally within the past two years.

Lucas Guttentag, a former DHS adviser and Stanford law professor, said this would “unleash chaos,” violate due process, and meet challenges in court, similar to those that scuttled the administration’s travel ban.

There would also be aggressive challenges, lawyers said, to plans that would allow immigration agents to deport unaccompanied minor children who crossed the border illegally, rather than uniting them with parents or other relatives in the U.S.

The reason for discussing unaccompanied minors is ” that they have been abandoned by their parents or legal guardians,” the DHS official said. If it is “determined that there is a parent or guardian in the U.S. that they can be handed over to, then DHS needs to take a hard look over whether that person is actually” an unaccompanied minor.

“There will be a renewed focus on ensuring that folks don’t abuse the system,” the DHS official added.

They also expect legal opposition to a proposal that would strip undocumented immigrants of existing privacy protections, allowing personal information such as asylum cases or immigration violations to be publicly disclosed.

“We want to ensure that our privacy policies are consistent with the law,” the DHS official said. “The Privacy Act applies by statute to citizens” and green card holders. “The President has asked us to align our laws with what congress has directed.”

“The Trump people have clearly bought into the model of harsh enforcement. They apparently think, ‘we’ll be tough, and a lot of people will leave on their own,'” said Martin, an immigration law professor at the University of Virginia. “They believe they’ll win in the court of public opinion. I’m not sure about that. A lot of Americans know hard-working undocumented immigrants. The kind of enforcement Trump’s people are talking about will visibly create many more sympathetic cases than unsympathetic ones.”

Some of the provisions explicitly acknowledge that it could take years before DHS has the manpower and money to pull off what the president has ordered. Immigration enforcement agents, however, have already begun filling the policy void by launching raids and deportations, including some that advocates worry are meant to test the limits. Meanwhile panic has taken hold in many immigrant communities.

“The level of fear is more than anything we’ve ever seen,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. She said the plan’s sweep, “sent a chill to my bones,” because it threatens to do irreparable harm to millions of families. She added, “This all seems aimed at changing who we are as a nation.”

Reliance Industries hits over 7-year high as Jio promises to end freebies

Reliance Industries (RIL) hit an over seven-year high of Rs 1,172, up 8% on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), recording its sharpest rally in intra-day trade in past 21 months.

The stock hit its highest level since June 2009. Earlier, on May 16, 2014, it rallied 8.7% during intra-day trade. On the BSE, the stock hit high of Rs 1,187 on November 1, 2010, during intra-day trade.

In past two trading sessions, the stock surged 9% from Rs 1,075 on February 20, 2017 after Reliance Jio Infocomm (“Jio”), a subsidiary of RIL, announced that its tariff plans will become applicable from April 1, 2017.

The new offerings will no longer be free but Jio has priced its services attractively to retain its 100 million customers, who have signed up since September 5, when the services were first offered. Jio is seeking to retain them through special prime memberships at a one-time fee of Rs 99 and Rs 303 a month for unlimited voice, data and content. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REPORT.

“Consolidation within incumbents effectively improves their financial position and allows them to match JIO on pricing for longer, and this would be negative for JIO as it would India Company News bring down the industry ARPUs (average revenue per users) and lower margins. However, if JIO sticks to its stated or ARPUs where the actual base pack starts at Rs 499, it would be positive for JIO in the long term,” analysts at JP Morgan said in report dated January 31, 2017.

In brokerage view, JIO’s investment case depends on higher paying ARPU subs. 50 million subscribers paying Rs 400 APRU would likely be far more profitable than 100 million subs paying Rs 200 per month. RJio needs the higher paying ARPU subs as only they would be able to pay for more of the services that RJio plans to offer eventually.

At 10:13 am; the stock was up 7% at Rs 1,165, the top gainer from Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex. The trading volumes on the counter jumped more than five-fold with a combined 10.23 million shares changed hands on the BSE and NSE.

Meanwhile, RIL is back into number two position in overall market capitalization (m-cap) ranking with m-cap of Rs 377,423 crore. The market valuation of RIL increased by Rs 24,410 crore from Rs 353,013 crore on Monday, the BSE data shows.

Modi urges US to keep an open mind on H-1B visas for skilled Indians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the United States on Tuesday to keep an open mind on admitting skilled Indian workers, in comments that pushed back against Republican President Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric on jobs.

Modi’s comments reflected concern that India’s $150 billion IT services industry would suffer if the United States curbs the visas, known as H-1B, it relies on to send its software experts to the United States on project work.

“The prime minister referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society,” Modi’s office said in a statement after he met a bipartisan delegation of 26 members of the U.S. Congress.

“He urged developing a reflective, balanced and far-sighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals.”

Indian nationals are by far the largest group of recipients of the 65,000 H-1B visas issued each year to new applicants under a cap mandated by Congress. Exemptions on the H-1B cap are available to up to 20,000 further applicants who have obtained a U.S. master’s degree.

The actual number of Indian nationals working in the United States under the H-1B programme is significantly higher, however, because many visas are rolled over.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, India Business News who was born in India, also met Modi on Tuesday. He told the Economic Times earlier that his own career had been made possible by “an enlightened immigration policy”.

Initial confidence that Asia’s third-largest economy would benefit from Trump’s election victory has given way to concern that his isolationist rhetoric and hostility to free trade would hurt India’s hi-tech and outsourcing industry.

The sector, led by Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd, employs 3.5 million people and is lobbying against proposed U.S. visa curbs – including increases on salaries that H-1B visa holders must earn.

Part of the delegation led by Congressman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, met Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s minister in charge of electronics and IT.

Goodlatte, speaking at the meeting with Prasad, declined to answer a question on visa restrictions, saying it was up to the president to reassess his policies on immigration.

A senior Indian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said India hoped to resolve the visa issue with the United States but declined to be drawn on the details.

The government supported a move by NASSCOM, India’s high-tech industry association, to lobby U.S. lawmakers and companies to urge the administration not to crack down on allowing its skilled workers into the United States, the source said.

Biggest US takeover in China in decade hangs on board spat

Air Products & Chemicals has hit a bump as it attempts the largest US takeover of a Chinese firm in more than a decade, stymied by an extended boardroom battle at Yingde Gases Group.

A divided board of the Hong Kong-listed firm failed to agree on a panel needed to review the offer, but has asked Air Products to proceed with due diligence to avoid further delays, Yingde said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The world’s biggest producer of hydrogen offered International News to pay at least HK$5.50 a share, valuing Yingde’s equity at about $1.3 billion.

The success of the bid now hinges on the speed at which Yingde proceeds with further talks on the back of the prolonged boardroom struggle. A former chief executive officer and chief operating officer, who were stripped of their executive powers but are still on the board, have been fighting to regain management control of Yingde. The two factions have called for a special meeting on March 8 to vote on the removal of the other group.

“Yingde’s current management seems united against the two dissident directors,” said Justin Tang, a director of global special situations at Religare Capital Markets in Singapore. “Air Products’ possible bid may be delayed by the board fighting.”

Reflecting shareholder anxiety over the situation, Yingde’s stock closed at HK$4.72 on Friday in Hong Kong, 14 per cent below Air Products’ offer. It has rallied 21 per cent since the details of the preliminary bid were announced on January 20.

How the Oracle of Omaha decides on his breakfast

Every morning, billionaire Warren Buffett drives down to his office in Omaha, Nebraska, in his 2014 Cadillac XTC. “One of the good things” of the five-minute-trip is the McDonald’s where he has breakfasts.

This is one of the opening scenes in HBO’s feature-length (90 minutes) documentary on 84-year-old Buffett, often called the “Oracle of Omaha” because of the crowds of Berkshire Hathaway investors who come to listen to him talk on money.

The documentary, Becoming Warren Buffett, directed by Peter Kunhardt, will debut on 30 January. A trailer can be seen on YouTube, featuring the scene of Buffett getting his breakfast from McDonald’s.

Kunhardt has made a hand-off film, writes CNN, letting the billionaire tell his own tale, while including voices from his life and extraordinary career.

Buffett, now worth about $67 billion, “took control of a small, struggling textile maker in 1965 and created a conglomerate now valued at over $400 billion – behind only Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft. The stock is up more than 12,000-fold on his watch,” according to Barron’s.

The man is no less fascinating than the businessman – and the documentary is more personal than business, reports Reuters. Both Buffett and his siblings recall the influence of their parents. Their mother was mathematically inclined and troubled by chronic headaches, at times, lashing out at the children. Their father was idealistic and served in the US Congress.

One of the matters on which Trump seems quite forthcoming is “love”, claiming, according to the Reuters report: “If you try to give it out, you get more back. If you try to hang onto it, you lose it.”

The report also provides an insight into his relationship with his first wife, Susan. “Susie really put me together,” he says in the film. Kunhardt relies on Susan’s only televised interview, in 2004 with TV host Charlie Rose, to provide nuggets of information that only a spouse can provide. “Physical proximity with Warren doesn’t mean he’s there with you,” says Susan in that interview. His current wife, Astrid Menks, 60, also plays an important role in his life every day. The Latvian, who once worked as a cocktail waitress, decides what her husband will have for breakfast. She “puts $2.61, $2.95, or $3.17 into a dashboard cup for him every day, and that determines what he orders at the [McDonald’s] drive-through,” reports Barron’s. “On that day, it’s $2.95, which means a Sausage McMuffin with egg and cheese. ‘The market is not doing so well today,” he says, ‘so I’ll pass on the $3.17 bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit.’ When he gets to the office, he washes it down with his favourite beverage, a Coke.”

‘America first’ divides Trump, Silicon Valley

Facebook Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg and his Google counterpart, Sundar Pichai, have slammed US President Donald Trump over his executive order to ban refugees and immigrants from some Muslim-majority countries.

“Like many of you, I’m concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. “We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat… We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help.”

In a note to employees on Friday, Pichai said more than 100 Google staff were affected by the order. “It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues,” he wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. “We’ve always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so.”

Alphabet Inc’s Google delivered a sharp message to staff travelling overseas who may be impacted by a new executive order on immigration from President Donald Trump: Get back to the US now.

The comments underscore a growing rift between the Trump administration and several large US technology companies, which include many immigrants in their ranks and have lobbied for fewer immigration restrictions. Trump signed an executive order Friday prohibiting entry by people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya the period, while the government determines what information it needs to safely admit visitors.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a directive on Friday afternoon ordering the Customs and Border Control agency to enforce the order, the New York Daily News reported. Late Friday, some green card and visa holders were already being blocked from boarding flights to the US, the newspaper said.

Zuckerberg, referring to his wife Priscilla Chan, whose family were refugees from China and Vietnam, wrote, “We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help. That’s who we are. Had we turned away refugees a few decades ago, Priscilla’s family wouldn’t be here today,”

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“These issues are personal for me even beyond my family. A few years ago, I taught a class at a local middle school where some of my best students were undocumented. They are our future too. We are a nation of immigrants, and we all benefit when the best and brightest from around the world can live Mark Zukerberg, work and contribute here. I hope we find the courage and compassion to bring people together and make this world a better place for everyone,” he said.

Zuckerberg, who has long championed immigration, wrote that his great grandparents came from Germany, Austria and Poland.

Some Google employees were travelling abroad and were trying to get back to the US before the order took effect. The company asked them to reach out to Google’s security, travel, and immigration teams for assistance, according to one of the people familiar with the situation.

The people asked not to be identified talking about internal company communications.

The employees in question normally work in the US but just happened to be abroad either on work assignments or vacations. The concern is that even if Google staff have valid visas, they may still be at risk if they’re from one of the seven countries and they’re outside the US when the order kicks in, the person also said.

“We are advising our clients from those seven countries who have green cards or any type of H-1B visa not to travel outside the US,” said Ava Benach, a partner at immigration law firm Benach Collopy LLP, while noting that the order takes effect immediately.

“No one is really sure whether a green card holder from these seven countries can return to the US now. It’s fairly clear that an H-1B visa holder can’t,” Benach said.

The H-1B lets US companies employ graduate-level workers from other countries in technical occupations such as technology, engineering and science source Press trust of india.