By: Shubham Ghosh
Here are news in brief related to Indian economy and business for Tuesday, February 21, 2023:
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday said travellers from G-20 countries arriving at the airports in the three Indian cities of Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi can get Prepaid Payment Instruments wallets linked to Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for making payments to over five crore (50 million) merchant outlets across the country, PTI reported. Earlier this month, the central bank made an announcement regarding allowing access to UPI to foreign nationals and NRIs visiting India. To start with, the RBI said, the facility is available to travellers from G-20 countries, at the three select international airports. Eligible travellers would be issued Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) wallets linked to UPI for making payments at merchant outlets.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Masatsugu Asakawa on Tuesday called on Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and conveyed the organisation’s intention to provide $20-£25 billion (£16.5-£20.6 billion) resources over five years to advance India’s aspirations for fast, inclusive, and green growth, PTI reported. In a release, the Manila-based multilateral lending agency said its head in his meeting with Modi discussed a range of issues, including ADB support to India’s infrastructure and social development and climate actions. ADB is now finalising the new five-year country partnership strategy (CPS) for India following a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process.
The Australian government on Tuesday launched the inaugural Maitri Cultural Partnerships, which will encompass a series of partnerships and grants to help the island country’s creative sector collaborate with India’s thriving cultural industries, ANI reported. The Australian minister for foreign affairs, Penny Wong, tweeted, “Australian Govt is launching inaugural Maitri Cultural Partnerships. Maitri – friendship – will underpin a series of partnerships & grants to help our creative sector collaborate with India’s thriving cultural industries.” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar retweeted the post of Penny Wong and wrote, “Welcome the launch of Maitri Cultural Partnerships. Another initiative that will deepen understanding and promote cooperation.”
An OTP (one-time password)-based digital locking system will soon be introduced in the Indian Railways to guard against theft on board its freight and parcel trains, a senior official said Tuesday, PTI reported. This system is commonly used by trucks where a smart lock is provided which is GPS (global positioning system)-enabled allowing live tracking of the vehicle to reduce pilferage and thefts. Officials said that the system will be completely based on secure OTP which will be used to both open and close carriages. “The goods will not be accessible while on its journey. It will be opened through an OTP and closed by another without any interference in between. Now, all we do is seal the trains and ensure at every station that the seal is untouched. This will reduce a lot of issues while the train is on run,” said an official.
Indian carrier Spicejet Ltd on Tuesday said it will consider options to raise fresh capital by issuing securities to qualified institutional buyers amid a string of quarterly losses as competition grows in the aviation industry, Reuters reported. The plan comes as the airline’s cash reserves dwindle and new entrant Akasa Air competes for a share of the market and rival Air India works on revamp plans with mammoth orders for new planes. Spicejet’s market share slumped to 7.3 per cent in January from 7.7 per cent in December, while IndiGo retained the lion’s share of 56.3 per cent. Akasa grabbed 2.8 per cent, while Air India’s share was steady at 9.2 per cent, data from the country’s aviation regulator showed.
Longer trading hours in the Indian stock markets can potentially decrease the overnight risk arising from global information flow, experts said on Tuesday, PTI reported. The remarks came amid media reports that the National Stock Exchange (NSE) is looking to extend the trading hours in the equity segment till 5 pm. This is not the first time, when discussion over extended trading hours has created a lot of buzz. At present, the domestic stock markets are open between 9:15 am and 3:30 pm. “In today’s world, economies are highly connected and the integration of the global markets is gradually increasing. The Indian stock market reacts to the developments in other major economies and markets in the US and Europe. Therefore, markets which have longer trading hours can hedge the risk arising due to the global information flow in a more efficient way,” A Balakrishnan, executive director at Geojit Financial Services, said.