• Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Air India unveils special fares for Singapore, Bangkok routes

Representational Image (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Wednesday, October 18, 2023:

Air India, which is undergoing an overhaul under its new owner Tata Group, on Wednesday (19) came up with a special sale on its India-Singapore and India-Bangkok routes, offering travellers lucrative fares in both economy and business class for travel till March 2024, the Times of India reported. According to the report, on bookings made from India, economy round-trip fares (all inclusive) on select India-Singapore routes begin from Rs 13,330 (£132) and on select India-Bangkok routes from Rs 17,045 (£168). Business-class round-fare trips on the India-Singapore route begin from Rs 70,290 (£695) and on the India-Bangkok routes from Rs 49,120 (£486). The special sale fares are also on offer for bookings from Singapore or Thailand. The bookings under the sale are open from 0001 hours of October 18 to 2359 hours on October 21, for travel until March 31 next year, the Times report added.

India’s ministry of electronics and information technology and US tech giant IBM have partnered to advance quantum, AI, and semiconductor technologies, guiding the future. IBM recently formalised memorandums of understanding with the Indian government regarding semiconductors, AI and Quantum initiatives in the presence of Indian minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar. This collaboration is aligned with India’s comprehensive national AI strategy, aiming to bolster semiconductor self-sufficiency and propel the National Quantum Mission. The partnership comes four months after the historic India-US joint declaration on strengthening semiconductor supply chains.

The Narendra Modi government has not yet taken any decision on the issue of India joining the trade pillar of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a 14-member grouping, a senior official said. The IPEF was launched jointly by the US and other partner countries of the Indo-Pacific region on May 23 in Tokyo. The 14 IPEF partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP and 28 per cent of global goods and services trade. The framework is structured around four pillars relating to trade, supply chains, clean economy and fair economy (issues like tax and anti-corruption). India has joined the three pillars except the trade part. The member countries are holding negotiations to sign separate agreements on these subjects.

The Indian income-tax department has seized unaccounted cash of Rs 32 crore (£3.1 million) and gold bullion worth Rs 28 crore (£2.7 million) after its recent searches against two business groups in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry, the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) said on Wednesday. The raids were initiated on October 5 at about 100 premises of the two groups — one of them running educational institutions that offer professional courses and the other is involved in distillery, pharmaceuticals, hospitals and hotels and others. The same day the tax sleuths had raided the house of S Jagathrakshakan, a parliamentarian from Tamil Nadu’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazagham and some of those linked to him. Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin called it vindictive politics of the Narendra Modi government in New Delhi.

India’s Infosys, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, on Wednesday announced that it is expanding its alliance with Google Cloud to help enterprises build AI-powered experiences leveraging Infosys Topaz offerings and Google Cloud’s generative AI solutions. As part of the expansion, Infosys will create the new global Generative AI Labs to develop industry-specific AI solutions and platforms, which will help enterprises infuse generative AI into their business processes. Infosys will also train 20,000 practitioners on Google Cloud’s gen AI solutions, including Vertex AI and Duet AI in Google Workspace, to ensure organizations have the professional services expertise and resources to successfully develop, implement, and manage any type of generative AI project.

India has decided to increase the price at which it buys locally produced new-season wheat by Rs 150 (£1.4) or seven per cent to encourage farmers to expand the growing area as New Delhi tries to raise production, Reuters reported. The South Asian country, which is the world’s second biggest wheat producer, sets a price each year to protect domestic farmers from distress sales and stock grain for emergency needs. It also uses grain to sell food to the poor at low prices. The revised purchase price of Rs 2,275 (£22.4) per 100 kilograms for 2024 compares with Rs 2,125 (£21) a year ago, India’s information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur told reporters on Wednesday.

(With agencies inputs)

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