Ashwani Lohani has been reappointed as Air India chairman. The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet issued an order appointing Lohani as CMD for “a period of one year or until further order”. The AI chairman's post had fallen vacant on January 31, 2019, when then CMD P S Kharola was made aviation secretary. First appointed as AI CMD in September 2015, Lohani was moved as Railway Board chairman in November, 2017. He retired as Railway Board chairman on December 31, 2018, and has now been brought back to head AI after the government's plan to sell off the airline came a cropper last year.
RBI to pay £2.8 bn as interim dividend to govt
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it would give £2.8 billion to the Union government as interim dividend. The decision was taken at a meeting of the RBI’s Central Board in New Delhi. “Based on a limited audit review and after applying the extant economic capital framework, the Board decided to transfer an interim surplus of £2.8 billion to the Central government for the half-year ended December 31, 2018,” the RBI said in a statement. This is the second successive year that the RBI will be transferring an interim surplus. Earlier, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed a post Budget meeting of the Central Board. He broadly outlined the various reforms and policy measures taken by the government over the last four years and the effects thereof.
Penalty imposed on 7 banks
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed monetary penalty on seven banks for non-compliance with various directions issued by the RBI, including monitoring of end use of funds. The banks are: Allahabad Bank (£150,000), Andhra Bank (£100,000), Bank of Maharashtra (£150,000), Indian Overseas Bank (£150,000), HDFC Bank (Rs 20,00,000), IDBI Bank (Rs 20,00,000) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (Rs 20,00,000). “This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the banks with their customers,” the RBI said. The RBI has not, however, spelt out the exact nature of the violations in its brief statements. On February 7, the RBI slapped £100,000 penalty on State Bank of India for violating norms. The penalty was levied on the bank for not monitoring the end use of funds in respect of one of its borrowers. On February 5, the RBI had imposed a penalty of £220,000 on Axis Bank in two separate cases, £200,000 on UCO Bank and £100,000 on Syndicate Bank for violation of norms.
Wholesale inflation eases to 10-month low in January
Wholesale price inflation slowed to a 10-month low in January on the back of sliding fuel, manufactured products and some food prices. The annual rate of inflation, based on the monthly wholesale price index (WPI), was 2.8% in January compared to 3.8% for the previous month and 3% during the corresponding month of the previous year, data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed. The easing in WPI comes on the heels of retail inflation slowing to a 19-month low of 2.1% in January, which once again justified the central bank’s move to cut interest rates by 25 basis points earlier this month.
Airbus to stop production of A380 superjumbo
Lack of demand is forcing Airbus to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo. The world’s largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins and room for 544 people in standard layout, was designed to challenge Boeing’s legendary 747 but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets. Airbus said the last A380 would be delivered in 2021. The shake-up came after Emirates - the largest A380 customer - decided to reduce its orders for the iconic superjumbo and order a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo instead. “It was a painful decision for us. We have invested a lot of effort, a lot of resources and a lot of sweat...but we need to be realistic,” Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said.