A sordid political struggle for power is underway in Bangaluru, Karnataka. Defections, money laundering and much else feature in this set piece drama. The saving grace is the integrity of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, who has refused, thus far, to recognise the validity of floor crossings and tailored MLA majorities thereof (Hindu, Times of India, TV channels July 6-10).
Gujarat leads in urban housing
Gujarat is only one among India’s large states to have completed construction of over 50 per cent of the housing sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban. Gujarat also heads the chart with the highest number of houses under construction. Gujarat leads other states in implementation (Business Line, July 9).
Mumbai leads in homes sold
Residential launches have gone up 21 per cent, while sales increased 4 per cent in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period last year, according to according to a report by real estate consulting firm Knight Frank. The report said that 51 cent of the launches in the residential sector were in the Rs 50 lakh segment and 28 per cent under Rs 1 crore.
Among the eight major cities, the report covers, Ahmedabad registered growth of 157 per cent in new launches to 3,398 residential units in the first half of 2019, from 3123 in the same period last year. Hyderabad and Pune are other cities which have performed well in the housing sector (Business Line, July 10)
Monsoon enters Gujarat
The monsoon having hit Mumbai and much of Mahrashtra with a bang, has gained traction over most of Gujarat including Saurashtra, and southern districts of the state. The Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river has received huge inflows of water from the catchment area in Madhya Pradesh. The Met Office has forecast further heavy rain across Gujarat during the coming weeks (Business Line, July 9).
RIL tie-up with Turkish firm
Reliance Industries Ltd, the world’s largest integrated polyester manufacturer has joined forces with Turkey’s textile giant Kivanc Tekstil to produce sustainable fabric R1Elan Green Gold fibres to leading global apparel brands. Kivanc will also distribute Recon Green Gold fibre for spinners, yarn manufacturers and knitters across Turkey. The company also caters to major European and American fashion brands and retailers (Business Line, July 9).
Mumbai India-Russia deals
India and Russia have arrived at a long-term solution to their financial transactions by avoiding payments for goods in US dollars, and hence in a bid to circumvent US sanctions. Their agreement is confidential, but it opens up vast areas of economic cooperation, including trade and investment. India will be acquiring Russia’s highly prized S-400f missile defence system in phases, which should be completed by 2024. Of more immediate significance, the new payments system opens up new vistas of Indian acquisitions of around 114 frontline Russian fighter aircraft and conventional submarines, all of which will be built in India under the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme (Economic Times, July 10).
Pakistan’s fake news
In this context, Pakistan media reports stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan had been invited by Moscow to be Chief Guest at the Vladivostok Economic Forum in September, received a polite rebuttal by the Russian government. Pakistan has just received an IMF bailout of $6 billion - which reflects its global standing.
The Chief Guest at Vladivostok will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will partner President Vladimir Putin at the annual Indo-Russian summit (Statesman, July 10).
Enhancing bilateral ties in agriculture
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, discussed ways and means to deepen India-Russia cooperation in agriculture, agro-processing small and medium scale industries, digital economy, trade, banking finance, transport infrastructure, with Russian Deputy Minister for Economic Development Timur Maksimov in New Delhi . These exchanges occurred under the India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue launched earlier this year to enhance non-military ties between the two countries (Business Line, July 11).
TCS keeps rolling
Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest software services provider has reported a 10.8 per cent gowth in consolidated net profit at Rs 8.131 crore for the first quarter of the current financial year ending June 30. Revenue grew by 11.4 per cent to Rs 38. 173 crore.
‘We have had a steady start to the new fiscal year. We see customers continuing to spend their growth and transformation initiatives, and that is showing in our strong order book and deal pipeline this quarter,’ said TCS CEO and Managing Director Rajesh Gopinathan (Statesman, July 10).
ASEAN for speedier Indian market access
The Association of South East Asian Nations [ASEAN] have urged India to end its stalemate with China on access to the Indian market in order to facilitate formation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Trade ministers of Thailand, Indonesia and ASEAN Secretary-General met with Indian Commerce Minister Piyus Goyal to speed up negotiations to finalise the pact by the end of the year. Indian manufacturing industry reprtesentatives had pressed Commerce Minister Goyal not offer zero duties on more than 42 traded items to China as most domestic producers would unable to handle the competition thereof (Business Line, July 10).
Andrabi’s house attached
The National Investigation Agency has attached the house of woman jihadi Asiya Andrabi under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (Section 25). Dukhtaran Millat, the organisation, she heads and leads, is committed to the formation of an Islamist entity conjoined with Pakistan (Times of India, July 11).
Nepal bans celebrations of Dalai Lama’s birthday
Kowtowing to their Chinese overlord, the Nepalese government has banned Tibetan refugees celebrating the birthday of the Dalai Lama. Nepal has also prevented Tibetans fleeing their country from travelling to India. (Times of India, July 8).
New DRDO base on Andhra coast
A new missile test base is coming up on the Andhra Pradesh coast off the Bay of Bengal, and a supporting Technical Facility nearby in the Krishna district. Work for this project has been cleared for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) by the Ministry of the Environment, Forests and Climate Change. All the necessary procedures for the construction work to begin have been completed (Hindu, July 10).
India, US trade talks underway
Trade talks between India have commenced to sort out differences over tariffs and related issues on market access. US President Donald Trump has been increasing his pitch against what he perceives as Indian barriers to US goods seeking entry into India. With the goal of achieving an amicable solution India offered negotiations (Hindu, July 11).