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India Business Briefs for April 19: At 71, India’s 16th Finance Commission chief to vote for first time

Arvind Panagariya (Picture: Arvind Panagariya X account/@APanagariya)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief for Indian economy and business for Friday, April 19, 2024:

Arvind Panagariya, chairman of India’s Sixteenth Finance Commission, on Friday said he would be casting his vote for the first time when Delhi goes to the national polls on May 25. “The young are not the only first-time voters. 50 years after becoming eligible, I am excited to be voting for the first time this election season. Can’t wait for the day Delhi votes!!” the 71-year-old said in a post on X. Panagariya, an economic professor and the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University (USA), served as the first vice chairman of India’s government think-tank NITI Aayog between January 2015 and August 2017.

Rana Kapoor, founder of India’s private sector Yes Bank, was released from a prison in New Delhi on Friday evening, hours after being granted bail by a court in an alleged loan fraud case. Kapoor was first arrested in March 2020 in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the economic crime-fighting agency. The ED and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have registered a total of eight cases against him related to alleged frauds at Yes Bank. He was lodged at the Taloja jail in neighboring Navi Mumbai while the trials in these cases are yet to start. He had got bail in seven cases earlier.

Air India will soon have a new crew management system that will help strengthen rostering rules and enable faster recovery from scheduled disruptions. In a message to the staff on Friday, Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson said that in the next two weeks, there will be the CAE Crew Management System that will “strengthen our systems’ adherence to rostering rules, improving the tracking of training & qualifications, and enabling faster recovery from schedule disruptions”. The new system also comes against the backdrop of concerns flagged by pilots’ unions about rostering issues. Wilson also said that Air India is now placing the ‘AI’ code on Air India Express (IX) operated flights, allowing AIX to benefit from its global sales and distribution.

In response to India’s urgent healthcare challenges, IIT Bombay and Bengaluru-based Blockchain for Impact (BFI) have established a strategic partnership to catalyse transformative projects and revolutionize the public health landscape in the country, ANI reported. Given India’s large population and complex public health issues, challenges to India’s burdened healthcare system are mounting. The collaboration is expected to address these challenges head-on and advance healthcare innovation and research to benefit millions across India. The coming together of IIT Bombay and BFI is highly synergistic: IIT Bombay’s reputation for cutting-edge research and product development complements BFI’s mission to enhance the healthcare ecosystem by making medical facilities and essentials more accessible for all.

Inflation continues to remain the main concern for the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy committee members before it goes ahead and loosens its stance on key interest rates. As per the minutes of the latest monetary policy meeting released on Friday, there have been several mentions of uncertainties around inflation. Going ahead, food price uncertainties would continue to weigh on the inflation outlook, it said. The increasing incidence of climate shocks remains a key upside risk to food prices. “Low reservoir levels, especially in the southern states and outlook of above normal temperatures during April-June, also pose concern. Tight demand-supply conditions in certain pulses and the prices of key vegetables need close monitoring,” as per the minutes.

(With agencies)

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