CCI imposes Rs 200 crore penalty on Maruti Suzuki over dealer discount policy

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 200 crore on Maruti Suzuki India Ltd for indulging in anti-competitive practices by restricting discounts offered by its dealers. It was revealed that the automaker had employed mystery shopping agencies to ensure no additional discount was offered to customers by its dealerships. 

In 2019, CCI launched an investigation into the allegations that Maruti Suzuki forced its dealers to limit their discounts. An order based on the investigation was released today (August 23), in which the CCI directed Maruti Suzuki to ‘cease and desist’ from indulging in such practices and asked the company to deposit the fine within 60 days.

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Infosys CEO meets FM Sitharaman amid persistent tech issues with IT portal 

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met with Infosys CEO Salil Parekh to discuss the critical issue of persistent glitches in the new Income Tax (IT) portal. Since June 8, taxpayers using the e-portal have faced technical glitches, errors, and challenges in accessing it or several functions within the website. According to reports, the FM has demanded that the issues faced by taxpayers on the current functionalities of the IT portal should be resolved by Infosys within September 15, 2021. 

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Jio adds 54 lakh subscribers in June; Vodafone Idea loses 43 lakh subscribers

Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel added 54.6 lakh and 38.12 lakh wireless subscribers, respectively, in June 2021. Jio’s total subscriber base rose to 43.6 crore during the same month. Bharti Airtel’s overall mobile user base stood at 35.2 crore at the end of June. Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea (Vi) lost 42.8 lakh subscribers in June, and its user base shrunk to 27.3 crore. The data was released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

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HDFC Bank partners with Paytm to offer digital banking services

HDFC Bank has entered into a strategic partnership with Paytm to expand its suite of digital banking services offered to individuals and merchants. The companies will build payment gateway and point-of-sale (PoS) solutions for merchants. Paytm and HDFC Bank will also launch a co-branded PoS product in the retail segment, which Paytm will have the option to offer to its own customer base. They will also look to offer credit products such as Paytm’s Buy Now-Pay Later solution Paytm Postpaid, Eazy EMI, and Flexi Pay.

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HCL Tech signs contract with Munich Re for digital workplace services in 40 countries

HCL Technologies Ltd has signed a contract with Germany-based insurer Munich Re to create a next-generation digital workplace for its workforce. The IT major will modernize and standardize workplace services for more than 16,000 employees across 40 countries. HCL Tech will adopt a “glocal” strategy to support Munich Re’s global workforce in multiple languages from near-shore locations.

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SSWL signs MoU with Western Hemisphere for $105 million deal

Steel Strips Wheels Ltd (SSWL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Western Hemisphere for an order worth nearly $105 million (~Rs 778 crore). The order includes the supply of steel and aluminium wheels for a minimum period of three years. The supplies of steel wheels will begin from SSWL’s Chennai and Dappar plants by September 2021. Supplies of aluminium wheels from its Mehsana plant will commence from the end of December 2021.

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Indian Hotels to raise Rs 3,000 crore via rights issue to meet financing needs

The Board of Directors of Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) has approved a proposal to raise Rs 3,000 crore through a rights issue. The objective of the issue is to meet the company’s financing needs for capital expenditure, growth plans, and debt repayment. IHCL’s board has also approved the formation of a Committee of Directors to decide the terms and conditions of the rights issue, including details of the issue price, record date, etc. Mumbai-based IHCL is the parent company of Taj Hotels.

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Eicher Motors reappoints Siddhartha Lal as Managing Director

Amidst a tussle over remuneration, the Board of Directors of Eicher Motors Ltd has decided to re-appoint Siddhartha Lal as Managing Director (MD) with effect from May 1, 2021. As per reports, Lal’s reappointment as MD was voted down earlier by the shareholders over a 10% hike in his salary proposed amid the Covid-19 pandemic— when the revenue and profit growth of the company has been slow. Eicher Motors’ board will now go back to shareholders for approval through a postal ballot.

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RattanIndia Enterprises forms subsidiary for drone business in India

RattanIndia Enterprises will incorporate a wholly-owned subsidiary to kickstart its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drone business operations in India. The company had recently announced a strategic investment in the US-based urban drone logistics platform Matternet. Drone systems have a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications in healthcare and e-commerce logistics, infrastructure monitoring, agriculture, weather monitoring, surveying, etc.

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Centre announces Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Plan

The Central government has announced a Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Plan (NMP) for monetising infrastructure assets across key sectors. The plan would cover a wide range of sectors, including road and railway assets, airports, power transmission lines, and gas pipelines. FM Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the assets would not be sold to the private sector but will only be given to them for their better utilisation. 

NMP is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategic divestment policy, under which the state will retain its presence in only a few identified sectors and the rest will be privatized. 

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