The Supreme Court has summoned Sahara group chief Subrata Roy to appear before it on February 28 for failing to deposit £2.57 billion in the SEBI-Sahara fund for returning investors' money. The apex court had give six months to Sahara to arrange the money but it failed to clear the dues. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi noted that the group has deposited only £1.5 billion so far. The bench declined to give any further chance to Roy and other directors to comply with its previous orders. It said it had decided to proceed with the matter so that the law takes its own course and directed Roy and other directors to appear before it personally on next date of hearing. Roy, who has spent almost two years in jail, has been on parole since May 6, 2017. Besides Roy, two other directors - Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary - were arrested for failure of the group's two companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd - to comply with the court's August 31, 2012 order to return over £2.4 billion to their investors.
Govt aims to raise £9 bn from 2019-20 disinvestments
The government of India has set a target of raising £9 billion from disinvestment in state-run companies in 2019-2020, slightly higher than the target of £8 billion set in the current financial year, which ends in March. “We have pursued the public enterprises asset management agenda to make these enterprises accountable to the people. As many as 57 CPSEs are now listed with total market capitalisation of over £130 billion,” finance minister Suresh Goyal said in his budget speech.
“The government received over £10 billion from disinvestment proceeds during 2017-18. We are confident of crossing the target of £8 billion this year,” he said. Officials said 36 transactions are expected to be completed in the current financial year. The government also expects to complete the strategic sale of Air India, one of the big ticket disinvestments, which can fetch a substantial amount. As on January 29, the government has raised £3.55 billion as disinvestment proceeds against the budget estimate of £8 billion during the current financial year.
RBI to distribute £2.8 bn interim dividend to govt
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is understood to have made record profits from selling dollars in the foreign exchange market when the rupee came under pressure. These profits are likely to be distributed to the government in the form of an interim dividend, which will be considered in the next board meeting of the central bank. Economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said that the government expects an interim dividend of £2.8 billion from the RBI. This is in addition to the £4 billion already received from the central bank during FY19, Garg said. The £2.8 billion interim dividend will be transferred by the RBI before end March 2019. The interim dividend will help the government ease fiscal pressure as the money will come within the current financial year. The RBI, which follows a July-June financial year, paid about 63% higher dividend than the previous year (2016-17).
SBI comes out of red due to lower provision
A healthy improvement in asset quality and a drastic dip in loan loss provisions helped SBI to register a net profit of £395.5 million compared to a net loss of £241.6 million in the year-ago period. “The December quarter performance shows excellent improvement in all parameters, including profit, business growth and asset quality,” chairman Rajnish Kumar said. Showing better asset quality, the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) ratio came down to 8.71% from 10.35%, while the net NPA ratio also improved to 3.95% from 5.61%. Total provisions fell 39% to £867 million in the quarter from £1.42 billion in the same period last year. Accordingly, loan loss provisions came down to £1.39 billion, down 21.3% from £1.77 billion. Reflecting the overall improvement in credit offtake, net interest income grew at a healthy 21.4% to £2.26 billion year-on-year, helping the bank report an improved domestic margin at 2.9% from 2.7%.