GK Update: April 16th & 18th, 2016.

Time ripe for re-evaluation of fiscal policy: Jaitley at G20.

Emphasising the need for globally coordinated policy decisions to remedy the global economic turbulence, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the time is ripe for a re-evaluation of the fiscal policy space.

Foreign Ministry suspends Mallya’s diplomatic passport.

Within days of a request from the Enforcement Directorate, in connection with a money laundering probe in the over Rs. 900 crore IDBI Bank loan fraud case, the Ministry of External Affairs suspended liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s diplomatic passport. It has also threatened to revoke it if he doesn’t appear before the Indian High Commission in London within a week.

SEBI may soon revisit start-up listing norms.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India may soon review its framework for listing of start-ups, including e-commerce firms, while incorporating suggestions from various stakeholders to make this platform more vibrant. The Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) is yet to see any start-up listing even after an easier set of compliance and disclosure requirements was notified in August 2015.

PF norms may be eased on pressure from trade unions.

The Provident Fund office, following protest from trade unions, is considering to amend its new rules that restrict employees from taking out their entire PF balance till they turn 58, according to an official. A senior Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) official said subscribers could be allowed to withdraw their entire savings in specific cases such as their own marriage, studying professional courses and illness.

FSS to provide UPI solution for 6 banks.

Financial Software & Systems Pvt. Ltd. (FSS), a Chennai-based payments technology and transaction processing company, has inked agreements with six banks to provide UPI (Unified Payment Interface) solution across the country on a hosted platform. UPI facilitates easy and seamless person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions for end-customers. Suresh Rajagopalan, President (Software Products), FSS, said UPI supported all transactions. Typically, it will see FSS develop custom-built UPI app for each bank. A bank customer can download this app in his/her mobile devise, register the account number and take a virtual address.

Next IMF chief should be from emerging economy: India.

India has told the IMF that the next managing director of the top global financial body should be from an emerging economy and not from Europe, which traditionally has been the case.

Google, Oracle CEOs meet but fail to settle lawsuit.

The CEOs of global software major Oracle and search engine giant Google failed to reach a deal to end their copyright lawsuit over software copyrights infringement. Oracle CEO Safra Catz and Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai attended the talks in a court for six hours and discussed the lawsuit that Oracle filed seeking $9.3 billion in damages from Google for use of Java in Android, computerworld.com reported, citing IDG News Service.

US jury slaps $940 million fine on TCS, firm denies wrong doing.

An US grand jury has slapped a $940 million fine on two Tata group firms Tata Consultancy Services and Tata America International Corp in a trade secret lawsuit filed against them by Epic Systems, news agency PTI reported.

G20 worried by ‘modest’ global growth.

Financial leaders from the Group of 20 nations said they were heartened by a recent recovery in financial markets, but warned that global growth was “modest and uneven” and threatened by weakness in commodities-based economies. In a communique issued after their meeting in Washington, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors repeated their pledge to refrain from competitive currency devaluations, but offered no new initiatives to keep growth from stalling.

Government’s good work not publicised: PMO’s Misra.

The government’s good work is not getting adequately publicised but ‘negatives’ are being played up, Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Nripendra Misra told leaders of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). Labour reforms will only be taken forward after taking into account the concerns of employee representatives, Mr Misra said adding that the government will prove it is ‘most pro-labour,’ according to statement from RSS-affiliated trade union, BMS, general secretary, Virjesh Upadhyay.

U.S. must open up services trade to India: Mukesh Aghi.

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) recently sent a delegation led by former U.S. Ambassador to India, Frank G Wisner, to New Delhi to discuss strategies that could boost bilateral trade and investment. USIBC President Mukesh Aghi spoke on issues including the recent controversy over the patent-disabling compulsory licensing and the visa fee dispute.

Government to introduce ‘Twitter Seva’ for start-ups.

As part of its steps to support budding entrepreneurs, the government on April 21 will launch a new service, Twitter Seva, to address various queries of start-ups in a timebound manner.

To push mineral hunt, Govt. to tweak 1967 data-sharing curbs.

The government will modify the almost five-decade-old guidelines prohibiting sharing of geological data and facilitate quicker green clearances in a bid to boost mining in the country, according to a top official. The Ministry of Defence has decided to alter the guidelines issued in 1967 that bar putting in public domain geological and geospatial data related to 40 per cent of India’s landmass, in order to enable faster exploration of mineral riches, Union Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar said.

WB’s green norms must not compromise on development: Jaitley.

India has demanded continuation of concessional financing until 2030 from the World Bank Group and increasing the overall development financing, including non-concessional loans, to $ 100 billion over the next five years. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made these suggestions at various interactions at the International Monitory Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, called the Spring Meetings.

Government revives talks to revamp Factories Act.

The government is reviving talks on revamping the Factories Act of 1948 and has called a meeting of all state governments, central ministries, trade unions and industry representatives to discuss a new legislation.

Kronos to increase India R&D strength.

In a bid to strengthen India presence, the U.S.-based workforce management solution provider Kronos will increase its India headcount by around 25 per cent over the next four years. India R&D centre is the second largest centre outside the U.S. The company has around 700 people and aims to increase the number to 1,000.