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Exports shrink 0.3% on weak global demand

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  • The country’s merchandise exports in August shrank 0.3 percent year-on-year to $21.5 billion due to weak global demand and a fall in exports of petroleum product.
  • Moved slightly to the positive territory in June with marginal 0.92 per cent growth because of a low base.
  • However, it quickly slipped back to the red in July when it shrank 6.86 percent.
  • Imports in August contracted by 14.09 per cent to $29.19 billion Gold imports contracted 77.45 percent to $1.1 billion.
  • Oil imports during the month were 8.47 percent lower at $6.7 billion, while non-oil imports were 15.65 percent lower at $22.45 billion.

Flights to 2 airports may be hit

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  • Air passenger services to and from Mumbai and Bengaluru could be significantly hit early next year with the two cities’ airport operators proposing a runway shutdown to improve airside infrastructure.
  • While the Mumbai airport’s main runway is proposed to be shut for operations for eight hours a day between February 2017 and April 2017.
  • Bengaluru airport’s solitary runway will be closed for about six hours a day for 75 days from February to April.
  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) subsequently held a meeting with airline operators.
  • Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) and Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) earlier this month to “sort the issue”.

Telcos violating portablility norms, says Jio

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  • Reliance Jio has alleged that the incumbent telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea were refusing to allow porting of their subscribers to the Jio network.
  • Disregarding licensing norms, and has sought the intervention of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
  • “In spite of being under legal and contractual obligation to port the numbers after a valid request is made.
  • The incumbent dominant operators have rejected all the requests made for porting between Sep 5 to Sep 12,” said.
  • Reliance Jio in letter to the TRAI..

Tube Investments in JV to set up bicycle cafes

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  • Tube Investments of India Ltd., a Murugappa Group company, and Absolute Speciality Foods Chennai Pvt. Ltd., promoted by Ashish Thadani, have come together to float an equal joint venture company to set up bicycle cafes in select locations across the country.
  • These cafes will be operated under the brand name of Ciclo Cafe.
  • There is already a Ciclo Café outlet in Chennai.
  • At the moment, TII owns and operates the bicycles business and Absolute Speciality the café food and beverages business.
  • This outlet would now become part of the new enterprise. The new company is planning to take Ciclo Café to two other metros  Gurgaon and Hyderabad by the end of this financial year.

BCCI to invite former captains for 500th Test

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  • The BCCI has decided to invite all the former India captains to celebrate the occasion of the country’s 500th Test match that will be played against New Zealand in Kanpur from September 22.
  • A specially minted silver coin with ‘500th Test’ embossed on it is being prepared for the toss.
  • Senior BCCI official and UPCA supremo Rajeev Shukla said a host of events are being organised by the BCCI to make the event memorable.
  • “The BCCI wants to felicitate all former captains during the Test match. Green Park is one of the first four Test venues in India along with Chepauk, Wankhede and Eden Gardens.
  • “It will be a fitting tribute to all those former captains present on the occasion.”

APPLE

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  • Apple cuts iPhone 6S, 6S Plus prices in India.
  • Weeks ahead of the impending India launch of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple has slashed prices of the previous generation handsets  iPhone 6S and 6S Plus  by up to Rs. 22,000.
  • The iPhone 6S (128GB variant) will now be available at Rs.60,000.
  • The iPhone 6s Plus (128GB variant) will be available for Rs.70,000.
  • The 64GB version of iPhone SE will now be available for Rs.44,000, down from Rs.49,000.

Gold key to lower GST rate

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  • The Centre is set to propose that the rate of tax on gold consumption be doubled.
  • Under the Goods & Services Tax (GST) regime so as to allow the GST council the elbow room to set a lower standard GST rate.
  • The government’s main argument in the GST Council, which will start meeting from Thursday.
  • It will be that the increase in revenue from gold consumption will provide the necessary cushion for the standard GST rate to be fixed at a level lower than 20 percent.
  • The panel had suggested taxing gold and other precious metals at rates ranging between 2 per cent and 6 percent.

Uber partners with Maruti, NSDC to train 1 million

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  • Uber has announced a new initiative  UberSHAAN  in partnership with Maruti Suzuki and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), to create job opportunities for one million people by 2018.
  • Under the pan-India programme, the partners will work on skill development and driver-training programmes to provide micro-entrepreneurship opportunities to drivers under the Uber platform.
  • The initiative will also help trained drivers receive commercial licences, vehicle financing and leasing solutions, according to a statement from the company.
  • “With UberSHAAN, our plan is to rapidly scale India’s entrepreneurial base.
  • Generate one million livelihood opportunities on the Uber platform by 2018,” Amit Jain, President.