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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rs. 141.13 Crore Worth Of New Rs. 2,000, Rs. 500 Notes Seized: Arun Jaitley

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New Delhi: The Income Tax department, Enforcement Directorate and other agencies have seized Rs. 141.13 crore worth of new currency notes of Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 500 crore while acting in different parts of the country, Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.

Of this amount, Rs. 110 crore was seized by the IT Department, Rs. 4.54 crore seized by ED, Rs. 26.21 crore by the CBI and Rs. 38 lakh by the DRI, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said during Question Hour.

“All new Indian currency notes of Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 500 denominations seized by the ED are deposited in SBI or any nationalised banks so that they come back in circulation,” he said.

Jaitley said all government agencies including ED, CBI, IT Department and Department of Revenue Intelligence have pan-India presence with requisite officials posted in headquarters, various zonal and regional units to conduct actions against black money hoarders.

Rupee erases early gains, trades lower against US dollar

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Monday erased all the morning gains and was trading marginally lower against the US dollar.

At 2pm, the rupee was trading at 64.93, down 0.14% from its Friday’s close of 64.85. The rupee opened at 64.79 a dollar and touched a high of 64.76, a level last seen on 19 October 2015.

Traders are cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) bi-monthly two-day policy meeting on 5-6 April. According to a Mint poll, RBI is likely to hold rates and retain its neutral stance in the policy.

Traders are likely to take more cues from the meeting between China’s president Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump on Thursday and US non-farm payrolls data on Friday.

So far this year, foreign institutional investors have bought $6.16 billion and $4.40 billion from local equity and debt markets, respectively.

The 10-year bond yield was trading at 6.59%, compared to its previous close of 6.68%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

The benchmark Sensex index rose 0.87% or 257.33 points to 29,877.83. So far this year, it has risen 12%.

Asian currencies were trading higher. South Korean won was up 0.56%, Thai baht 0.16%, Taiwan dollar 0.1%, Singapore dollar 0.08%, Philippines peso 0.06% and Japanese yen 0.05%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 100.39, up 0.05% from its previous close of 100.35.

Rupee strengthens further against US dollar in opening trade

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Friday strengthened further against the US dollar ahead of the end of the financial year 2017.

The rupee opened at 64.92 a dollar and touched a high of 64.83. At 9.15am, the home currency was trading at 64.84—up 0.10% from its Thursday’s close of 64.92.

Rupee, the third best-performing Asian currencies this year, surged nearly 4.63% in the March quarter, its best quarterly gains since September 2012, on better domestic and global developments.

On the domestic front, foreign investors are bullish about local equity and bond markets on hopes for faster reforms after the Bhartiya Janata Party, or BJP, won Uttar Pradesh assembly polls with a thumping majority. Traders also welcomed the clearance of Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Recently, the government has said that it would make a policy announcement on tackling bad loans shortly. All these factors will help extract more inflows in the country.

Globally, US Federal Reserve’s soft guidance and US President Donald Trump’s inability to pass health reform bill boosted speculation that he may struggle to push through economic stimulus programmes.

So far this year, foreign institutional investors have bought $6.09 billion and $4.32 billion from local equity and debt markets, respectively.

The 10-year bond yield was trading at 6.678%, compared to its previous close of 6.698%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

The benchmark Sensex index rose 0.05% or 16.22 points to 29,631.20. So far this year, it has risen 10%.

Asian currencies were trading lower. South Korean won was down 0.23%, Taiwan dollar 0.2%, Philippines peso 0.16%, Japanese yen 0.15%, Malaysian ringgit 0.14%, China renminbi 0.13%, Indonesian rupiah 0.05%.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 100.54—up 0.13% from its previous close of 100.41

Microsoft Philanthropies contributes $10 million in India in 2016

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BENGALURU: Microsoft Philanthropies today said it has contributed a total of over $10 million towards community development in India during 2016.

It said the contribution includes both cash and technology investments to transform the way nonprofits deliver impact in India, offer educational opportunities to empower the next generation and extend support during humanitarian crises.

Globally, Microsoft Philanthropies has committed more than $650 million in 2016 and impacted lives of more than 15 million youth across 58 countries, it said in a release.

“As India moves on the path of becoming a digitally empowered society, at Microsoft, we believe technology is a powerful force for improving people’s lives and solving India’s key challenges,” Microsoft India Associate General Counsel Madhu Khatri said.

Microsoft Philanthropies said it was created with a commitment to bring the benefits of technology to people who need them the most, as well as to nonprofit organizations that are working to address humanity’s most pressing issues.

It invests its strongest assets – the latest technology, dedicated and talented employees, its voice in advocacy, and financial resources – to advance a future that is for everyone, including – technology for good, employee giving, empowering the next generation and humanitarian action, it added.

7th Pay Commission: Who is responsible for the delay?

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With the financial year coming to an end, the central government employees are still waiting for an answer. When will we get higher allowance under the 7th Pay Commission? The committee which was formed by the government on higher allowance has failed to meet its deadline to submit the report.

There are more than 56 lakh employees who will be getting higher allowances under 7th Pay Commission.

Its been more than nine months since the government has formed 7th Pay Commission recommendation committee on higher allowance. In June last year, after the implementation of 7th Pay Commission, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the formation of Lavasa panel under the chairmanship of Ashok Lavasa, to examine the suggestions on allowance.

According to a India.com report, a Finance Ministry official has said that “Neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor Jaitley responsible for the delay in implementation of higher allowance.”

The members of the allowance committee along with National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) leaders will be meeting next week where Lavasa committee is expected to submit the report after discussion with employee representatives, the report said.

NJCA is a joint body of unions representing central government employees.

Earlier, the Lavasa committee was expected to submit the report in October, but since then it got delayed.

The committee is yet to submit the report on House Rent Allowance (HRA) to the government. As reported by Zeebiz earlier, under the 7th Pay Commission, HRA should be paid at the rate of 24%, 16% and 8% of the new Basic Pay, depending on the type of cities while unions demanded HRA at 30, 20 and 10%.

In a reply to a question Lok Sabha, on March 10, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal, said that the committee has not submitted its report to the government but the deliberations of the committee are in the final stages.

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