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Jaiprakash Associates gets Rs 2,850-cr contract in J&K from Chenab Valley Power Projects

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New Delhi: Crisis-hit Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL) has bagged a Rs 2,850-crore contract from Chenab Valley Power Projects to construct diversion tunnel and concrete face dam for a hydro-electric project in Jammu and Kashmir, taking its order book to about Rs 14,000 crore.

According to sources, JAL — the flagship firm of debt-ridden Jaypee group — has secured Rs 2,853 crore contract from Chenab Valley Power Projects for certain works in 1,000 MW-Pakal Dul hydroelectric project.

The scope of work in the contracts includes construction of diversion tunnel, concrete face rockfill dam, surface and tunnel spillway, intake structure, head race tunnel and other allied structures of Pakal Dul hydroelectric project, they added.

 

After bagging this contract, JAL’s order book from EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) business has gone up to Rs 14,000 crore from Rs 5,500 crore a year-ago.

Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Ltd is a joint venture company of NHPC Ltd, JKSPDC Ltd and PTC (India) Ltd.

Prime Minister, had in May, laid the foundation stone for construction of the Pakal Dul hydroelectric project. The proposed power project on Marusadar River, a tributary of Chenab River, in J&K will be completed in 66 months and will provide 12 percent free power to the state.

JAL has been involved in the construction of Salal, Dulhasti and Baglihar hydroelectric projects in the state.

The company is focusing on the EPC business to boost cash flow and reduce debt, apart from selling assets.

JAL has sold many cement and power assets to reduce its huge debt, which has come down to Rs 26,401 crore in March 2018 from Rs 61,101 crore four years ago. The company plans to sell its residual cement business to cut the debt further.

Jaypee group is facing a huge crisis because of significant delay in completion of its real estate projects that forced buyers to approach courts seeking either flats or refund of their hard-earned money.

JAL’s subsidiary firm Jaypee Infratech is facing bankruptcy proceedings after it defaulted on Rs 526 crore loan to IDBI.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had in August last year admitted IDBI Bank’s plea to initiate insolvency proceedings and appointed Anuj Jain as Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) to mange the company’s business.

Later, the IRP invited bids from investors interested in acquiring Jaypee Infratech and completing the stuck real estate projects in Noida and Greater Noida.

Consequently, Lakshadweep — a joint venture between the Sudhir Valia-led Suraksha Asset Reconstruction Company and Mumbai-based Dosti Realty — emerged as a front-runner to acquire Jaypee Infratech with Rs 7,350 crore bid. But, lenders rejected this bid as they found it inadequate.

The lenders did not consider the bid of Jaypee’s promoter Manoj Gaur who gave an offer of over Rs 10,000 crore to revive the group company.

On the direction of the Supreme Court, JAL has already deposited Rs 750 crore in the court’s Registry and the amount would be used for making refunds to home buyers. In the last hearing on July 4, the Supreme Court suggested that JAL should pay Rs 600 crore more.

Jaypee Infratech, which is into road construction and real estate business, has constructed the Yamuna Expressway, connecting Delhi and Agra. In 2007, it started the development of 32,000 flats and plots in its township, Wish Town, in Noida.

So far, 9,500 apartments have been delivered and application for getting occupancy certificates for giving possession of another 4,500 flats has been filed. The remaining 18,000 flats are proposed to be delivered by 2021.


Business

RBI needs to ensure stability: Shaktikanta Das

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New Delhi: The head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said he would take the steps necessary to maintain financial stability in the country and help create favourable conditions for growth.

India’s economy has grown because of measures such as the nationwide goods and services tax and the insolvency and bankruptcy code that prevents wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets, Shaktikanta Das said in his address to an investor roundtable.

The country’s growth story is backed by its strong domestic fundamentals, he said, citing lower inflation.

 

Annual retail inflation rate dropped to an 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December, strengthening the views of some economists that the central bank could ease monetary policy next month.

India’s top business groups on Thursday urged the central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by at least half a percentage point and lower the cash reserve ratio it imposes on banks.

The country also needs to watch out for any sudden turbulence in the gloal financial market, Das said.

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Centre removes two PNB executive directors for lapses in Rs 13,500-cr fraud

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Chennai:The Central government has removed two Punjab National Bank (PNB) Executive Directors — Sanjiv Sharan and K.Veera Brahmaji Rao — for the lapses in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud allegedly perpetrated by absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The PNB has intimated the action to the stock exchanges.

“We welcome the Central government’s action to dismiss the two Executive Directors. The scam of such proportions could not have happened without the knowledge of the top management,” C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), told IANS.

 

“Perhaps for the first time, the Centra has removed the Executive Directors of a nationalised bank under the Nationalised Banks (Management and Miscellaneous Provision) Scheme, 1970. All these days it was said the top management of government-owned banks — Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors — are governed only by the contract of appointment.

“It is also good that the central government has followed the due process of giving the two PNB Executive Directors opportunity to put forth their views before dismissing them,” Venkatachalam added.

According to the Central government’s notification, on July 3, 2018, Sharan and Rao were issued a show cause notice as to why they could not be removed from office for having failed to exercise proper control over the functioning of PNB, thus enabling the fraud through the misuse of SWIFT at the bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.

After considering Sharan and Rao’s replies and the comments of the bank’s Board, the Centre removed them from office as it found it was expedient in the interests of PNB.

According to the notification, the dismissal of Rao is subject to the outcome of a plea in the Delhi High Court.

“We are happy to see some action being taken. Whether it is only the two Executive Directors and other officials are also involved in the scam has to be probed in full,” Venkatachalam said.

According to him, in the past, low-level officers would have been the scapegoats for such massive scams.

“With the action taken on the top management, people will be satisfied that public sector bank officials are answerable for their lapses,” Venkatachalam added.

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In this new world, data is the new wealth: Ambani

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Mumbai: Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps against ‘data colonisation’, specially by global corporations, stating that Indian data must be owned by Indians.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against political colonisation, Ambani said India now needs a new movement against data colonisation.

“Gandhiji led India’s movement against political colonisation. Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation,” he said Gandhinagar at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.

 

Stressing that, in this new world, data is the new wealth, Ambani said, “India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporate, especially global corporations.”

He further said, “For India to succeed in this data driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India. In other words, give Indian wealth back to every Indian.”

Stating that the “entire world has come to recognise” Modi “as a man of action”, Ambani said, “Honorable Prime Minister, am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your digital India mission.”

Later in the day, countering Ambani’s call, Governor – Commonwealth of Kentucky, Matthew Griswold, asked Modi “to think in the opposite” in order to realise the tremendous opportunity that lies in Indo-US partnership.

“Honorable prime minister you have been asked from this stage to think about limiting the amount of competition, limiting the exchange of ideas, information and goods. I would encourage you to think in the opposite,” he said.

While stating that it is important to put the people of India first, Griswold said, “It is also important to put their opportunity and our opportunity as citizens of the world to trade with one another and exchange ideas because iron sharpens iron.”

The greatest possibility comes from the exchange of these idea, he added.

“If we can cut the regulations, cut the bureaucracy, cut the red tape, the opportunity is enormous between our nations,” he added that India is now the 10th largest trading partner for the US and “climbing quickly”.

“The opportunity before us between India and the United States is incredible, but responsibility falls on each of one us, those of us in elected positions, those of you in the industry, those of you who represent various constituencies, we have much work to do…we must do this, ” Griswold said.

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