China blocks moves to list Masood Azhar as global terrorist
China today for the fourth time blocked India, the US and other nations’ bid to list Pakistan-based JeM chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, saying “there is no consensus” within the members of the sanctions committee.
A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN’s list of banned terror outfits.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today ridiculed the Congress as a “laughing club”, and launched a blistering attack on the party’s government in Himachal Pradesh, accusing it of looting public money. Corruption was the leitmotif and Congress the target as the prime minister made a strong pitch for the BJP on his first campaign tour since the election was announced. Modi, who addressed rallies in Kangra and Paonta Sahib, touched on various issues, including the Dokalam crisis with China, Kashmir and the Army, as he lashed out at the Congress ahead of the November 9 assembly election. He accused the Congress of plundering public money and said his government had taken on the responsibility of ending corruption. “Khazane par ab koi panja nahin mar sakega”(Nobody can loot the coffers now),” he said in Paonta Sahib.
Start-ups in India may be coming up at the fastest pace anywhere in the world but they’re going down equally fast. Nasscom on Thursday pegged the mortality rate for the country’s start-up ecosystem, believed to be the third largest in the world, at 35%. The high death rate was attributed by the IT lobby body to the relative lack of angel funding, resulting from tax-related issues. Angel funding into start-ups dropped 53% in H1CY17, the Nasscom Start-up Report said. In contrast, the total funding (venture capital plus angel) grew 167% to $6.4 billion in H1CY 2017. R Chandrashekhar, president, Nasscom, pointed out angel tax was an impediment. “The Centre and Sebi have both agreed changes need to be made but this has not happened,” Chandrashekhar said. He red-flagged the visible shift in funding from the seed stage where the funding has fallen fairly sharply.
The Centre clarified in the Bombay High Court that homebuyers who had previously filed cases in the consumer forum against builders for the delay in possession can also approach the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. The Centre added they will be entitled to interest and compensation as determined by the adjudicating officer as mentioned in the Act. “The government counsel said these homebuyers are also liable for compensation as per the RERA rules, They are not out of the ambit of RERA but a part of it… The Union of India had a very reasonable stand,” Abhay Upadhyay, national convenor of Fight For RERA and president of Forum for People’s Collective Efforts, said.
The growth rate in employee addition has fallen below 5% for the top tier Indian IT services companies — Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro — at the end of the second quarter of FY18, impacted by factors such as lower demand, increased automation and the focus on healthy bottom line. In case of TCS, the employee headcount at the end of second quarter of FY18 stood at 3,89,213, as compared to 3,71,519 in the same period of FY17, recording a growth of 4.7%. In comparison, during the period between FY17 and FY16 in the second quarter, the growth rate in employee addition at the company was 10.6%. Infosys’ employee strength at the end of second quarter of FY18 was 1,98,440, as compared to 1,99,829 in the same period a year ago, recording a de-growth of 0.6%. In comparison, the IT major saw a 6.3% rise in employee addition between FY17 and FY16 comparing the second quarter period. Wipro, which had an employee strength of 1,78,639 at the end of second quarter of FY18 as compared to 1,74,238 a year ago, recorded a growth of only 2.5%. In comparison, for the second quarter period between FY17 and FY16, the growth rate was 3.4%. For the first time, these three IT majors have recorded the employee addition growth rate of below 5% in the second quarter in the last four fiscals. Employee addition by the top tier companies was healthy at least two years ago hovering around double-digit growth rate. But since then, it has steadily been declining with no visible signs of any strong uptick in recruitment.
There are two important global reports that have been published this month—by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the World Bank—which present two different economic frames. The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Report’, which focuses on the ease of doing business, is essentially a reflection of what governments do to lessen red tape and make it more convenient for one to do business. This holds not just in terms of starting a business, but also links the chain with credit, markets, trade, insolvency, etc. The Global Hunger Index of IFPRI, which is more a concern of just societies that have a proclivity towards socialism, looks at the level of relative deprivation and highlights the responsibility of the government in alleviating the same. The government needs to be applauded for doing everything that is required to make doing business easy and the improvement by 30 ranks vindicates this effort. A low rank on the doing business scale has been a concern for the multilateral agencies as well as rating companies, where the low rank is often used as a reason to be critical of the policy framework. By relentlessly focusing on the lacunae with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) being the big bang reform that has come in, investors should be more confident about investing in India.