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News in Short

News in Short - 25-October-2020

Flipkart to buy stake in Birla fashion

Date: 25 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Walmart’s Flipkart is set to acquire a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. (ABFRL) for ?1,500 crore, intensifying the battle in fashion e-commerce with Amazon.com and Reliance Industries’ retail arm.
  • The promoter group of ABFRL would hold about 55.13% upon completion of the issuance. ABFRL plans to use this capital to strengthen its balance sheet and accelerate its growth trajectory..
  • Flipkart Group would strengthen the range of brands offered on its e-commerce platforms Flipkart and Myntra, deepening its partnership with ABFRL.

Israel and Sudan sign deal to normalize relations

Date: 25 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Israel and Sudan agreed to take steps to normalize relations in a deal brokered with the help of the United States.
  • Mr. Trump's decision this week to remove Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism paved the way for the accord with Israel, marking a foreign policy achievement for President Trump.
  • Israel and Sudan plan to begin by opening economic and trade relations, with an initial focus on agriculture.
  • Palestinian leaders have condemned recent Arab diplomatic outreach to Israel as a betrayal of their nationalist cause and have refused to engage with the Trump administration, seeing it as heavily biased in favour of Israel.

Northern Railways to launch bags on wheels to carry passenger luggage

Date: 25 October 2020 Tags: Railways
  • The Northern Railways’ Delhi Division has announced the ‘App-Based Bags on Wheels’, a first of its kind service available for railway passengers in India.
  • Initially, the firm to which the contract is awarded will provide its services for the passengers boarding trains from New Delhi, Delhi Jn., Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi Cantt., Delhi Sarai Rohilla, Ghaziabad, and Gurgaon railway stations.
  • The firm will provide door-to-door service to railway passengers on a nominal fee for hassle-free and smooth handling and transportation of luggage from the passenger’s home to the passenger’s coach in the train and vice-versa.
  • Using BOW APP (will be available for Android & iPhone users), passengers will raise their demand for carrying their luggage to railway station or to their home. Luggage will be picked up by the contractor in a secured manner and will be delivered to the coach/home as per booking preference of passenger.

Centre borrows Rs. 6000 crore for GST compensation

Date: 25 October 2020 Tags: Basics of Economics
  • The Centre has borrowed and transferred ?6,000 crore to 16 States as well as the Union Territories of Delhi and J&K to meet the GST compensation shortfalls faced by States.
  • The government indicated that it planned to release ?6,000 crore every week to the States till the approved borrowings to meet the shortfall are met. At this rate, it could take about 13 weeks or about three months to complete the envisaged borrowing.
  • As of now, 21 States had selected the Centre’s option to borrow ?1.1 lakh crore out of the total ?2.35 lakh crore GST compensation shortfall estimated for 2020-21.
  • The interest on these borrowings, as well as the principal, is to be repaid from future GST cess collections, with the GST Council extending the applicability of the cess levied on sin or luxury goods over and above the highest GST rate of 28%, beyond the original deadline of June 2022.

FATF keeps Pakistan on Grey List till February 2021

Date: 25 October 2020 Tags: International Organizations
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan on the “greylist” till the next review of its compliance to the recommendations in February next year.
  • At the FATF Plenary, Turkey proposed that the members should consider Pakistan’s good work, and instead of waiting for completion of the remaining six of the 27 parameters, an FATF on-site team should visit Pakistan to finalise its assessment.
  • On-site teams are permitted only after jurisdictions complete their Action Plans. Normally such a visit is a signal for exit from the grey or black list.
  • The FATF finally decided to keep Pakistan in the “greylist”, as was earlier reported by The Hindu. Pakistan has now almost four months to comply with the recommendations as its performance will now be put to scrutiny in the next Plenary in February 2021.