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India economy & business news in brief for Feb 12: RBI rules out review of action taken against Paytm Payments Bank

Mumbai, Sept 6 (ANI): Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das addresses at the Global Fintech Festival 2023, in Mumbai on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Monday, February 12, 2024:

The governor of Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das, on Monday ruled out any review of the central bank’s action against Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL), saying that its decisions are well thought out. The RBI, he said, is not against any fintech but its prime objective is to protect the interest of customers and depositors. Observing that the central bank is always supportive of the fintech sector, Das said it is its endeavour to ensure rapid growth of the sector. With regard to action taken against PPBL, he said directives against any regulated entities are taken whenever it finds that they don’t take any action even after they are told to comply with the regulations.

Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Monday announced that it has initiated steps to reduce its workforce in a bid to save Rs 1 billion (£9.5 million) annually. Earlier in the day, local business daily Economic Times reported that the financially strained airline plans to lay off around 1,400 employees, constituting roughly 15 per cent of its 9,000-strong workforce. However, SpiceJet did not confirm the exact number of job cuts, Reuters reported. The airline stated that these measures are part of its turnaround and cost-cutting strategy, which follows fund infusion aimed at reviving its grounded aircraft. Once India’s second-largest airline, SpiceJet has raised Rs 7.44 billion (£71 million) so far as part of a fundraising effort totaling Rs 22.5 billion (£215 million) through the sale of shares and warrants.

India’s industrial production growth slowed to 3.8 per cent in December 2023, mainly due to poor performance of mining and power generation segments, according to official data released on Monday. The factory output growth measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was at 5.1 per cent in December 2022. In November last year, IIP growth stood at 2.4 per cent. During the April-December period of this fiscal, IIP growth touched 6.1 per cent, up from 5.5 per cent in the corresponding period a year ago. “India’s Index of Industrial Production grows by 3.8 per cent in December 2023,” the ministry of statistics & programme implementation said in a release.

India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Monday disclosed a nine per cent surge in third-quarter profit, buoyed by robust demand for aircraft from the defence sector and a gain related to inventory, Reuters reported. The state-owned aerospace and defence firm reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 12.61 billion (£120 million) for the quarter ended December 31. HAL’s revenue increased by seven per cent to Rs 60.61 billion (£578 million) during the October-December period, with total expenses decreasing by over 2%, attributed to inventory-related gains worth Rs 1.11 billion (£10.5 million). Capital goods and manufacturing companies have benefited from the Indian government’s push for higher capital expenditure in its last full budget announced in February 2023, ahead of the next general elections due this year.

Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at the Narendra Modi government while claiming that people in the country were not getting employment and were facing the wrath of inflation. Addressing a gathering in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh during his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ (a movement from eastern to western end of India), the opposition leader asked the people to wake up. The MP reiterated his party’s demand for a caste census and said it will be done with the people’s support. The backward classes, Dalits and Adivasis (tribals) comprise 74 per cent of the country’s population, but not a single person from these communities is the owner or in the management of India’s top 200 companies which are being given “all the money of the country”, he said.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday said his government has given 1.5 times more jobs in its 10 years than the previous dispensation did in the same duration. Handing over recruitment letters to government jobs to more than 100,000 youngsters via video conference during a Rozgar Mela (Employment Fair) programme, Modi castigated the previous government led by the Indian National Congress for taking an inordinately “long time” to complete recruitment exercises and said it bred bribery. The prime minister said his government has brought transparency and is working to ensure that recruitment is done in a time-bound manner.

(With agencies)

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