Top headlines: Future revs up JVs amid Amazon row, PSU privatisation list

revs up joint ventures as tussle with drags on

The is re-energising its joint ventures (JVs) with dairy major Fonterra and American food firm Hain Celestial as it prepares for life after a tough 2020. The Kishore Biyani-led group’s debt had spiralled out of control last year, forcing it to get into a nearly Rs 25,000-crore transaction with Reliance Retail. The deal, which includes sale of the retail, wholesale, and logistics assets of the Future group, has since been challenged by Read more

NITI Aayog submits first list of about 12 for privatisation

The government has kicked off its drive, with the NITI Aayog, a body headed by the prime minister, submitting its first list of about 12 public sector undertakings (PSUs) to be privatised. The organisation has submitted the list comprising in strategic sectors, which will be considered by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), and the Core Group of Secretaries on Divestment (CGD), headed by the cabinet secretary, said a top government official. Read more

Data privacy: Tension between big technology firms and govt boils over

Experts said governments across the world will have to aim for a fine balance between the regulation of big tech intermediaries and the protection of fundamental rights. This includes free speech, data privacy and protection and providing safe harbour to the social media intermediaries. Read more

India racing to outpace any surge in Covid-19 cases via inoculation drive

Over a year into the pandemic and just about two months into the vaccination drive, India is racing to outpace any surge in Covid cases through the nationwide inoculation drive. Second only to the US, India has administered more than 25 million doses, so far. But for a country the size of India, the pace of vaccination has to pick up significantly to cover a large chunk of population in a short span of time. Over 6.7 million people over 60 and 45 years of age with comorbidities have received their first dose. The target group is of around 270 million. Read more

As 6 pvt insurers set to increase term plan premiums, won’t raise rates

As many as six life insurance are set to increase their term plan premiums by 10-15 per cent from April, but Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), the largest life insurer in the country, will not raise rates for such schemes. While several big players had raised rates last year, following the outbreak of the Co­vid-19 pandemic, did not do so and it has no plans to do it now, sources in the company said. Read more

Biden signs $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law on US lockdown anniversary

The package provides $400 billion for $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, an expansion of the child tax credit and increased funding for Covid-19 vaccine distribution. “This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” Biden said before signing. Read more

Explained: Has actually broken e-commerce regulations in India?

Last November, a lawyer for Future Retail Limited (FRL) told Delhi High Court that Amazon is interfering with its lawful business and thousands may lose their jobs and FRL may go bankrupt. Senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for FRL, likened Amazon to East India Company. Legal experts suggest that the Seattle-headquartered giant has exploited policy loopholes, just like other retailers and online retail firms. Read more

Gold ‘failing’ as equity hedge, faces risks: Global money manager BlackRock

Global money manager BlackRock just delivered a double-barreled warning on the merits of holding traditional haven gold right now. Bullion is proving to be a less effective hedge against moves in other assets, such as stocks, as well as inflation, according to Russ Koesterich, portfolio manager for BlackRock’s Global Allocation Fund. Moreover, gold faces headwinds should the recovery pick up pace, he warned in a blog post. Read more

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