Travelling to Singapore? Here’s why you must know everything about Vaccinated Travel Lanes

2019年1月29日 0 Comments

Vaccinated Travel Lane: International travel was no longer an easy affair after covid-19 hit the world. Countries across the world experimented and came up with various concepts to ensure passengers safe movement and travel between different nations. Some of the common ones we know of are-air bubble, vaccine passports, traffic light system, and travel corridors. The latest one to add in the list is Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL). Introduced by Singapore, this process is still in its early stages but experts believe that this could become a pro forma for jurisdictions opening up for travellers who are vaccinated against the COVID-19. Let us dig deeper into the subject. Vaccinated Travel Lanes: Meaning VTLs are nothing but basically an extension of travel corridors but are only for fully vaccinated travellers. Singapore has established VTLs with two jurisdictions as of now, Germany and Brunei Darussalam. Which means fully vaccinated passengers from these two places are allowed to arrive in Singapore for any travel purpose that too without quarantine requirements, which are otherwise important for travellers flying to Singapore. How do VTLs work? In the simplest languages, Singapore will be designating specific flights for passengers having a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP). These flights will be on the other side of the lane. Fully vaccinated passengers can apply for a VTP from September 1 for travel from September 8 onwards on the designated flights. Citizens from Singapore and permanent residents, however, do not need to apply for the VTP to travel back home under the VTL. How to apply for VTLs First things first. In order to apply for a VTP, travellers must be fully vaccinated. An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after they received the full regimen of a vaccine authorised by World Health Organisation (WHO), which includes Serum Institutes Covishield, for emergency use. Applications must be submitted 7 to 30 calendar days before the intended date to enter Singapore. Although the quarantine will not be required for passengers having VTP, they must still get an RT-PCR test done 48 hours ahead of the departure time and prepay for their post-arrival Day 3 and Day 7 covid PCR tests when applying for the VTP. What about the passengers who are not fully-vaccinated? People without VTP will also be allowed to travel in the country but they will be subjected to stringent quarantine requirements upon arrival in Singapore. Lufthansa, a German carrier, will start operating its VTL flights between Frankfurt and Singapore from September 16. It will be flying twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. Singapore Airlines will operate its VTL flights between Frankfurt and Singapore on September 7 and between Munich and Singapore on September 8.

Meity Startup Hub, Paytm collaborate to launch programme to support deep-tech startups

2019年1月29日 0 Comments

Digital payments and financial services firm Paytm on Thursday said it has signed an agreement with IT ministry The collaboration also focuses on fostering partnerships with incubators, accelerators, investors, offering a startup toolkit to solve payments, distribution and growth challenges for early stage startups. Ministry of Electronics and IT senior director of Innovation and IPR AK Garg said Meity Startup Hub, through its association with Paytm, aims to build a strong deep-tech startup ecosystem by providing support for the path-breaking, solution-oriented innovators. The collaboration will also provide mentorship and guidance through a unicorn talk series which aims to inspire new entrepreneurs to build unicorns out of India, providing subsidised payment gateway services with a view to handhold the startups in the course of their business journey. It will aid India

Global markets: Asian shares on edge as day of Fed chair speech arrives

2019年1月29日 0 Comments

Asian shares were mixed on Friday morning as slight gains in China were balanced by declines elsewhere and investors globally turned cautious ahead of a long-awaited speech by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Remarks from the Federal Reserves more hawkish policy makers and a deadly attack in Afghanistan also subdued sentiment and helped the dollar gain against a basket of its peers. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.1% while Japans Nikkei shed 0.46%. Australian shares fell 0.18%, and Hong Kong and Korea were flat. However, in a reversal of recent weeks where Chinese stocks weighed on the region, Chinese blue chips gained 0.57% after Chinas central bank made its biggest weekly cash injection into the banking system since February. There are three things that are conspiring at the moment to sap sentiment, said Kyle Rodda, an analyst at IG markets, referencing a weak lead from Wall Street after the attack in Afghanistan, the fact Asian markets had been lagging this week because investors were nervous about the potential for future regulatory crackdowns in China, and caution ahead of the upcoming Jackson Hole Symposium. Powell is set to speak at 1400 GMT in the Kansas City Feds central banking conference, an event normally held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which has been often used by Fed policymakers in the past to provide guidance on their future policy. Traders will analyse Powells words for any hints about when the Fed will begin tapering its asset purchasing programme. Analysts at RBC said in a note that while much of the summer had been spent waiting for the event, there was skepticism that the Fed will provide more specific information around a timetable . amidst a rise in Delta variant COVID cases. Islamic State struck the crowded gates of Kabul airport in a suicide bomb attack on Thursday, killing scores of civilians and at least 13 U.S. troops.This, along with public remarks by the U.S. Federal Reserves hawkish wing urging the central bank to begin paring bond purchases contributed to Wall Street closing slightly lower, ending a streak of all-time closing highs.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.54%, the SP 500 lost 0.58%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.64%.Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he believed the progress of economic recovery warrants tapering of the Feds asset purchases to commence in October or shortly thereafter, following earlier comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who said the central bank was coalescing around a plan to begin tapering.Early in Asian hours, U.S. stock futures, the SP 500 e-minis, were flat. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was 1.3441% down from a two-week high of 1.375% set the day before, as traders were cautious ahead of Powells speech.The dollar when measured against a basket of currencies has gained a little from Thursdays lows. The euro traded at $1.1747, having eased from the previous days high of $1.1779 as a survey showed weaker consumer sentiment in Germany.U.S. crude ticked up 0.34% to $67.65 a barrel. Brent crude rose 0.25% to $71.27 per barrel, resuming this weeks rally after taking a rest on Thursday, as energy companies began shutting production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a potential hurricane forecast to hit on the weekend.

Monetisation pipeline: Coal mining assets worth Rs 28,747 cr to be monetised till FY25

2019年1月22日 0 Comments

The government has identified 160 coal mining assets worth an estimated at Rs 28,747 crore for monetisation over four years till FY25. The Ministry has identified more than 160 projects for private-sector participation towards improving efficiency as well as scaling up production. The projects are expected to be implemented over the next 2-3 years, according to the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) prepared by Niti Aayog and released by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday. These includes 17 projects on mine developer and operator (MDO) model, establishment of three washeries, one coal gasification plant, 35 identified first-mile connectivity projects for building coal silos\/ mechanised loading, operationalisation of four discontinued\/ abandoned projects and commercial auction of mines. The total indicative value of assets considered for monetisation is estimated at Rs 28,747 crore over FY 2022-25, it said. About Rs 22,625 crore of the assets are expected to be tendered out during FY 2022 itself. However, the actual capital expenditure (capex) will be phased out across the next three years. The monetisation value in the pipeline has been accordingly considered based on actual capex phasing assumed over 4-5 years. About 761 mineral blocks are expected to be put on auction during FY22-FY25. In FY22, auction of 138 mineral block assets will take place, followed by 253 mineral block assets in 2022-23, 210 in 2023-24 and 160 in 2024-25. For the.mineral blocks, monetisation value has not been determined. The premium amount that may accrue to auctioning authorities typically depends upon the quality and quantity of the resources, and the market prices during the lease period, it said. Reserve positions of many mines are not known at present and are yet to be ascertained by the state governments. Therefore, the information regarding estimated proceeds from auction of such mineral blocks can be discovered only after the auction process is completed and mining has commenced, it added.

From military to civil aircraft – HAL set to enter the civil aviation market

2019年1月22日 0 Comments

Last week, the state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) announced that it had successfully carried out ground run and low speed taxi trials of a commercial aircraft `Hindustan -228 This successful trial is for `Type Certification As has been reported earlier, after the 14 seater Saras aircraft development programme was shelved in 2009, this is the second attempt by HAL to develop civilian aircraft the 19 seater Hindustan-228 or the Do-228. Military Aircraft to Civilian Aircraft So far the company has been focusing on building aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) for almost six decades including the Hindustan Trainer-2 and its variant And most recently has successfully bagged a major contract for 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the IAF. Hindustan-228 or the Do-228 is for the first time ever that any company in India has produced an aircraft for the commercial market for civil transport. Why was Saras programme shelved? The National Aeronautics Laboratory (NAL) shelved the 14-seater Saras aircraft development program as there were multiple problems in its development. And it had to be shelved following a major crash which killed three test pilots in 2009. HAL Division in Kanpur Hindustan-228 (VT-KNR) aircraft The Kanpur based Transport Aircraft Division has been identified to work on the civil aircraft and has been working on Hindustan -228. This division has been responsible for the transport and trainer aircraft for its defence and security customers. According to the HAL officials, such small civil aircraft are going to be of immense help in the country This aircraft can be used both by the civil and state authorities can use this indigenous aircraft for their intra and inter-state connectivity. And all the training, logistics and maintenance will be provided by the HAL. This can also be used in many other roles including cloud seeding, adventure sports like Para jumping, air ambulance, passenger transport, aerial surveillance and much more. The aircraft which is capable of night flying will have a maximum cruise speed of 428 kmph and a range of 700 kmph. The company is also looking forward to exporting this civil aircraft to neighbouring countries like Nepal. According to reports under the UDAN scheme, there are plans to set up 1,000 new air routes and to also establish 100 new airports. And two civil demonstrators of the 19 seater Do-228 are expected to be deployed in the North East and UP. More about the Hindustan-228 This aircraft is based on the prevailing frame of the German Dornier 228 defence transport aircraft which is already used by the defence forces. Last year in February, on the sidelines of the DefExpo in Lucknow, HAL had received the modification document for the HAL Do-228 upgraded civil aircraft from DGCA. The two civil Do-228 which are expected to be deployed under the UDAN initiative have a maximum takeoff weight of 6200 kgs. This needs to be further modified to bring the weight down to around 5700 kgs for it to be flown under the Commercial Pilot License category. This upgraded civil aircraft is equipped with a digital cockpit. This is expected to provide precise information; ensure more accurate readings, and ergonomic data displays with feedback loops and capability for self-check to alert pilots in emergencies. This aircraft has already fulfilled the requirement of a Light Transport Aircraft (LTA) for the Indian armed forces. So far, the Kanpur Division of HAL has produced 125 Dornier 228 under license since 1983. And in 2017 on December 26, the DGCA cleared Do-228 to be used for civilian flights. Earlier this year in May, the first ground run of the first prototype of the aircraft was carried out and as part of 75th Independence Day anniversary celebrations, the ground trials and low speed taxi trials of the aircraft were done for type certification by the DGCA. These tests are important as, according to the HAL Chairman R Madhavan, the focus is on getting the international certification. And soon, we will be going for a high speed trial and certify the aircraft. What is the current status of Saras programme? In 2017, the government asked NAL to revive the 14-seater Saras Mk2 aircraft under the UDAN scheme. Why has the programme been revived? The analysis of the crash revealed that the accident happened not because of technical failure but procedural lapses. The twin turboprop aircraft which was started to feed the growing civil aviation market in India was first initiated in the 1990s. The first prototype of the Saras was flown on May 29, 2004 and was almost 993 kg over weight on a proposed 4125 kg. And at that time it had flown 125 flights. There was an engine change which had helped in minimizing the weight in the second prototype, and after further modifications the third prototype was closer to 4125 kg mark before it crashed.

Regulators feel high return on equity jacks up power tariffs

2019年1月22日 0 Comments

Higher return on equity (RoE) granted for power-sector units is proving to be a fixed-cost factor driving retail electricity tariffs up, according to analysts. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), guided by a policy objective to incentivise investments in the sector uses to provide RoE as high as 18% for gencos about two decades ago. This was in view of the fact that the cost of capital to set up the power infrastructure The ROEs have since come down, but continue to jack up tariffs. Now that the prime lending rate and the 10 year G-Secs rates have fallen substantially, there is a pressing need to lower the RoE build into tariff determination, the analysts feel. A recent study by the Forum of Indian Regulators of 12 discoms across India with RoE of 14-15.5%, said if RoE is reduced to 12% ,there would be reduction of 7 paisa per unit of retail tariffs. The regulators from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh who were part of the study, noted hat the RoE for generation and transmission must be linked to the 10-year G-Sec rate (average for previous 5 years), along with capping of the risk premium as decided by appropriate commission. Maharashtra, in its multi-year tariff for 2019-24, reduced the RoE by 1.5% for discoms over the previous tariff period to 14.15%. However, for the RoEs to reduce at the national level the decision will have to be made at the CERC level which can then be followed by State Electricity Regulatory Commissions. A senior UP regulatory officer on conditions of anonymity said, the RoEs effectively goes up to 20-21% if the tax reimbursement is added. The entire coal sector and railways are unregulated which have an impact on the overall tariff. They need to be bought under a regulator to address the issue of coal grading and billing as per the gross calorific value as received and not on as fired basis, which affect the tariff for retail consumers. The freight cost has also gone up substantially, which needs to be capped. Santosh Kamath, partner at KPMG India: The green energy cess that is collected and used for development of other sectors should be routed back to the power sector The clean energy cess has increased over time, from Rs 50 per tonne in June, 2010 to Rs 400 per tonne of coal since March 2016. The total impact of coal cess on the power sector is around Rs 25,000 crore per year during last 3 years. A reduction in clean energy cess of Rs 100 per metric tonne (MT) would lead to a saving of about 6 paisa per unit which would translate into a saving of 3% of the Average Cost of Supply (ACoS), the Forum of Regulators report stated. Dinesh Pardasani, Partner, DSK Legal, however has a counter view on linking RoE to discoms performance given their weak financial condition. With performance- linked ROE for discoms, there will be lower chances of discoms performing better, rather they could end defaulting more in payments to gencos with reduced RoE.\u201d

Edelweiss Total Protect Plus Term Life Insurance Plan offers cover up to 100 Years. Check key features

2019年1月22日 0 Comments

Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance recently launched a new term life insurance plan – Total Protect Plus, which has been designed to protect the financial future of the insured and his\/her family. The plan promises to provide all-around protection through additional optional benefits to meet goal-linked financial requirements. Commenting on the plan, Subhrajit Mukhopadhyay, Executive Director, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance told FE Online, Every income earning individual with financial dependents should consider buying this plan. Over the last decade, there has been a growing demand for insurance solutions that are all-encompassing and comprehensive in securing financial risks. The pandemic has brought this need into the spotlight. Total Protect Plus is a solution that enables the customer to manage their financial risks and addresses the need to secure their financial goals. The plan offers varied features which can be combined to create a holistic term plan. It offers protection for spouse, additional protection for parent during the child Key benefits – Cover till 100 years of age – Optional Better Half Benefit, which offers a cover to your spouse post your death – Optional Return of Premium benefit, allowing 100% of total paid premiums back when the policy matures – Option of either Regular Pay, or Limited Pay of premiums for 5 \/ 7\/ 10\/ 15\/ 20 years – 6% discount on first-year premium if medicals completed within 7 days of purchase Goal-linked financial requirements Mukhopadhyay said, With Total Protect Plus, we have attempted to create a product that is all-encompassing in nature and addresses the worries that weigh on every individual Especially when you are the sole income earner of the family, your spouse and child This product offers two optional offerings that allow you to enable financial continuity for your spouse and children in case of the policyholder He further said that the Better Half benefit option offers the policyholder an option to create a safety net for their spouse after their death in addition to a death benefit. Meaning, in case the policyholder dies then the nominee receives a death benefit and the Better Half Benefit option kickstarts a life cover for the spouse for the rest of the tenure of the policy. Through the Child Typically, an individual in India doesn So, this product creates a financial cushion for the child so that your absence doesn Another such important goal is your financial stability in your non-working years. The Live Long Benefit option works as a good income back-up, wherein the policyholder can determine an income payout option around the time of retirement (which is either 60 or 65 years of age). So, even if the policyholder outlives their income earning age, you have a robust income mechanism in place to tide you through non-working years, said Mukhopadhyay.

Group of doctors, academicians calls for immediate resumption of in-person classes in schools

2019年1月22日 0 Comments

A group of 56 academicians, doctors and other professionals have written an open letter to chief ministers and union territory administrators requesting them to urgently consider reopening schools and resuming in-person classes. In their letter which has also been marked to the Prime Ministers Office, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the National Disaster Management Authority Chairperson, the signatories said COVID-19 vaccination of children should not be a prerequisite for reopening schools. A number of governments have not yet reopened schools for all classes because of concerns including students are not vaccinated, schools appear to be super-spreaders, fear of a third wave and a rise in cases in areas where schools have been opened.. There is global evidence to support school opening and governments should urgently consider opening schools and resuming in-person classes, the letter reads. India is among only four to five countries across the world where schools have been closed for such a long time (one-and-half years), it said. There is an urgent need to bring children back to school. Since younger children are least at risk, we urge you to permit primary schools to open first, in line with ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) recommendations, and then higher classes. We look forward to leaders across political parties coming together for the sake of our children, the letter stated. The signatories said vaccination is not a prerequisite for reopening schools, stating the purpose of vaccination is to prevent severe illness and death and children are at relatively low risk of severe or fatal COVID-19. Therefore, the benefit of vaccinating children is limited, as they have a low rate of moderate to severe disease and mortality is already low, the letter said. The letter further highlighted the need for recognising the scale of costs of school closure. It said the issue of school reopening is played up as a life vs education issue which is a flawed perspective. It is well known that lack of education for students, particularly girls, affects the health and livelihood of the next generation too. These are extreme costs. Governments and task forces must strike a balance of risks, and such balance is overwhelmingly in favour of opening schools, the letter said. The signatories include epidemiologist Chandrakant Lahariya, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine national president and Lancet Commission COVID-19 India Task Force member Suneela Garg, former president of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics Naveen Thacker, and Teach For India CEO Shaheen Mistri.

GDP numbers: Showcasing a surge but not quite the strong positive leap out of the abyss

2019年1月22日 0 Comments

The much-awaited Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for the first quarter of the current year are out and as against the expectations among most that the economy may show signs of strong recovery, the numbers still do not seem to provide enough comfort to celebrate. At one level, one could argue philosophically as to how do numbers matter at a time when there is a pandemic that has yet to be contained and people suffering? Also, what can numbers mean if the views on the current state of the economy are undergird by perception of rich getting richer and the poor still struggling. But then, numbers are crucial to get a fix on what is right and wrong on where the economy is headed and how some of its co-morbidities that it had inherited even before the pandemic are playing out. The most significant among these was depressed demand and slipping consumer spending. First the headline number: the GDP at constant (11-12) prices in Q1 of 2021-22 is estimated at 38 lakh crore, as against 95 lakh crore in Q1 of 2020-21, showing a growth of 20.1 percent as compared to contraction of 24.4 percent in Q1 2020-21. Then, the GVA (which is the Gross Value Added) and a measure of output that is arrived at when the GDP number is adjusted for the impact of indirect taxes and subsidies: the quarterly GVA at basic price at constant (2011- 12) prices for Q1 of 2021-22 is estimated at 48 lakh crore, as against 66 lakh crore in Q1 of 2020-21, showing a growth of 18.8 percent. Financial Express Online spoke to some experts to get their immediate response to the numbers and what to make of the highest ever growth in the GDP numbers that India has posted in a quarter since the pandemic began unfolding. The But in the current context, it is the strength of the positive numbers that seem to matter more. Encapsulating both the hope and the concern, industry veteran Naushad Forbes, the co-chairman of Forbes Marshall and the former president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) says: The Plus 20 per cent growth over the last year We need to see continued strong positive growth to get us back to above where we ended 2019-20 and then on to positive territory. But then the way to look at these numbers is to compare them with the pre-pandemic picture in 2019-20, says Professor Biswajit Dhar, professor of economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and one who has been tracking the economy and the challenges it has been dealing with even before the virus, its variants and their sub-lineages upended our lives. He cautions that the 20.1 per cent growth posted in the first quarter should not lead us into any complacency that we are now on a high growth path for the various elements that make these numbers still show some concerns. While, it has improved from 2020-21 to 2021-22 that is up from Rs 14,94,524 crore to Rs 17,83,611 crore. It is still short of the Rs 20,24,421 crore in 2019-20. The problem of depressed demand continues and it is fundamental problem, he feels that needs to be addressed. This can only be with more jobs, higher incomes and greater consumer confidence. On manufacturing, a touchstone for many as one of the key indicators on recovery, again here, the numbers are less than in 2019-20 and it is not as if 2019-20 was an ideal growth year for manufacturing. It was already seeing slipping demand. Beyond The Base-Effect The key linknode across the GDP numbers released on Tuesday, is the low base effect. Compare 20.1 per cent growth in the first quarter to a 24.4 per cent contraction in the similar quarter of the previous year. Going by this count, Professor Dhar feels, if the economy had to correct what was lost and also regain lost ground then ideally, the growth this quarter ought to have been of the order of over 30 per cent and we are still way short of that. That cannot be a source of comfort for an economy that is nursing ambitions of getting to be 5 trillion dollar economy and an economic powerhouse in the next five to six years. Hurt Badly in April Global Supply Chains Still Hit But then, striking a positive tone to what has been achieved when seen from a global supply chain challenges, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson, Biocon, says, 1 per cent growth is a move in the right direction and to achieve this at a time when the global supply chains continue to be hit, is a good sign.

HDFC Bank aims to add 5 lakh cards per month, regain credit card market share in 1 year

2019年1月15日 0 Comments

HDFC Bank is looking at winning back the market share by number of cards in the next one year, a senior official said on Monday. The largest private sector lender by assets was allowed to issue new credit cards by the RBI last week, over eight months after being banned from doing so due to concerns over repeated technological outages. Parag Rao, its group head for payments and consumer finance, digital banking and IT told reporters that the bank has set some milestones for itself as it seeks to re-enter the market. The first is to achieve monthly new credit card sales to 3 lakh, the number right before the ban in November 2020, Rao said, adding that the same will be achieved in three months. Two quarters after that, it aims to take the monthly new card sales to 5 lakh a month, Rao said, adding that in three to four quarters from now, it plans to regain the market share by number of cards. Rao added that during the ban, the bank lost its market share by number of cards but was able to maintain the market share on initiatives taken to prod users to spend. It can be noted that as per data, the banks market share by number of cards had come down by around 2 percentage points to under 25 per cent, as smaller rivals including ICICI Bank and SBI Cards seized the opportunity to close the gap. After the lifting of the ban, HDFC Bank had spoken about coming back with a bang. Rao said spends on credit cards are 60 per cent higher in April-June quarter on its card portfolio. The bank will depend on its internal set of customers to grow the number of cards and is also looking at partnering with key players like Paytm announced earlier in the day, to increase its sourcing. Rao also said that the conservative approach on the credit front will continue for the bank even as it goes aggressively on the new business sourcing. The bank scrip was trading 0.57 per cent up at Rs 1,522.95 a piece on BSE at 1318 hrs as against gains of 0.43 per cent on the benchmark.