The Economic Times Daily Review | 27th October 2018

♠Economics times♠

♦Wipro appoints former SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya as independent director 

  • Wipro said it had appointed former State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya as an independent director beginning January 1, 2019. 
  • “I am delighted and privileged to be invited to join the Board of Wipro Ltd., an organization which is globally respected both for its technology leadership and its unflinching commitment to values. I look forward to contributing to the company’s growth charter,” Bhattacharya, the first woman chair of SBI, said in statement.
  • Bhattacharya’s appointment is for a period of five years and is subject to shareholder approval, the company said. 
  • “I am confident that her deep repository of knowledge spanning across the financial services sector combined with her understanding of technology and proven expertise in driving operational transformation will immensely benefit Wipro,” Wipro chairman Azim Premji said. 

India, Bangladesh to start cruise services; Kolaghatin & Chilmari new Ports of Call 

  • To augment water transport, India and Bangladesh Wednesday agreed to consider inclusion of Rupnarayan river in the protocol route besides declaring Kolaghatin in West Bengal and Chilmari in Bangladesh as new Ports of Call. 
  • The decision was taken in a meeting pertaining to protocol arrangements and improvement of Inland Water Transportation here. 
  • India and Bangladesh discussed various issues pertaining to the protocol arrangements and improvement of inland water transportation between the two countries in the 19th Standing Committee meeting under ‘Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade’ (PIWTT),” Ministry of Shipping said in a statement. 
  • The two sides agreed to consider inclusion of Rupnarayan river (National Waterway-86) from Geonkhali to Kolaghatin West Bengal in the protocol route. They also agreed to declare Kolaghatin West Bengal and Chilmari in Bangladesh as new Ports of Call,” the statement said. 
  • Ports of call are places where ships make a stop during a journey. 
    The new arrangement will facilitate movement of flyash, cement, construction materials etc from India to Bangladesh through IWT on Rupnarayan river. 

Indian banks’ profitability weaker than BRICS peers, to improve next fiscal: Moody’s 

  • Moody’s Investors Service Monday said the profitability of Indian banks is “distinctively weak” compared to those in BRICS nations, but it will improve from next fiscal as asset quality stabilises. On capitalisation, Moody’s said it is the “weakest” for Indian banks with a tangible common equity ratio of 8.7 per cent at the end of 2017. 
  • “System wide asset quality in India is weak due to stressed public sector banks, which dominate the sector. Government capital infusions will boost weak public sector banks’ capital ratios,” it said. 
  • “The system as a whole is unprofitable due to high credit costs at dominant state-owned (Indian) banks,” Moody’s said, adding the profitability is “distinctively weak” for Indian banks than others in the five-nation BRICS bloc. 
  • By contrast, Brazilian and South African banks have the highest return on assets (ROA). 
  • “Indian banks, despite having a similar level of pre-provisioning profitability to Chinese banks, have a negative ROA because of high credit costs at public sector banks, which dominate the system. Their profitability will remain under pressure for the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2019, as provisions for credit losses will remain large. Indian bank’s profitability will improve from the next fiscal year as asset quality stabilizes,” it said.

Odisha government clears Hindalco’s Rs 5000 crore investment proposal 

  • The Odisha government on Thursday cleared a big ticket project proposal of Hindalco Industries Ltd worth Rs 5,000 crore.
  • The State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) in its meeting on Thursday recommended a proposal of Hindalco Industries Limited to set up an aluminum flat rolled product unit of 0.375 MTPA at Sambalpur, an official statement said. 
  • his proposal is to set up the unit in the premises of existing aluminium smelter plant of Hindalco at Lapanga in Sambalpur district. The land requirement will be 300 acres for the downstream unit. 
  • The project has been recommended to High Level Clearance Authority headed by CM Naveen Patnaik. Four other investment proposals have also been cleared by the authority 

Government frees spectrum for wifi, 5G services in 5 Ghz band from licence 

  • The government has freed a set of spectrum in the 5 Ghz band from licensing for providing Wifi and partially 5G services by telecom companies. No permits would be required for the spectrum in the range of 5150-5250 megahertz band, 5250-5350 Mhz and 5725-5875 Mhz, according to an official notification. 
  • “No licence shall be required under indoor and outdoor environment to establish, maintain, work, possess or deal in any wireless equipment for the purpose of low power wireless access systems, including radio local area networks operating in the frequency band 5150-5250 MHz; 5250-5350 MHz; 5470-5725 MHz; and 5725-5875 MHz,” the government notification said. 
  • The move is seen to push setting up of Wifi services in the country and facilitate development of 5G ecosystem. ‘
  • “The frequency range 5.1-5.3 Gigahertz and 5.7-5.8 Ghz is used for wifi services all over the world. It is a highly appreciable move from government to de-licence these bands. The frequency range between 5.3-5.7 Ghz can be used for 5G services,” SN Gupta, secretary general, APT foundation of India under International Telecommunication Union told . 

India’s digital economy likely to cross $1 trillion by 2022, says KPMG

  • India’s digital economy is likely to cross $1 trillion by the financial year 2022, a KPMG report said here on Thursday.
  • The report launched at the India Mobile Congress 2018 also forecasts that mobile data usage in the country is likely to surge five times by 2023.
  • “In a sign of the country’s ascendancy and as a testimony to the telecom sector’s blistering pace of growth, India became the world’s second-largest telecom market in 2018 with over a billion subscribers,” said the report. “With the given trends, the digital economy is expected to cross $1 trillion by FY22.”
  • According to the report, the total mobile subscriber base is expected to reach 1.28 billion in FY 2022 and data consumption is expected to reach 7 GB (giga bit) per subscriber per month.
  • The expansion will “further witness digital diversity in the online audience taking it from the current 225 million in FY18 to 550 million by FY23,” the report noted.
  • Speaking on the findings of the report Purushothaman KG, Partner-TMT Advisory, KPMG in India said, “Our studies globally, across 15 countries including India, ranks India in the top three on tech leadership and shows most promise for disruptive technological breakthroughs that will have a global impact.”


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