Business in bitesizes

1. Modi Sarkar’s Change Of Plan   

Is the Narendra Modi government turning, gasp, leftwards? There have been many signals that indicate the government is keen to shed the corporate-friendly tag. Modi personally castigated corporates at the recent ET Global Business Summit, saying an “incentive” or “subvention” was just another word for a subsidy. In particular, he signalled out dividends and long term capital gains from the sale of shares—both are tax exempt. The government has also brought back the NREGA with a bang, and is putting more money into the implementation of the Food Security Act. Going by the flurry of  rec­ent announcements, the state-run enterprises may soon be pressed into creation of massive projects. Insiders say there’s eevn more to come.

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2. Warnings From The Weather Gods

At a time when it is clear that the rural economy will drive the upcoming budget, one can expect more talk around the monsoon and disruptive changes in weather. Unfortunately, the news isn’t encouraging. Jatin Singh, the head of Skymet, an independent private weather forecaster, suggests that we might be facing a “premature warm regime by February” that could affect the winter crops. Worse still, there is a possibility of unseasonal rains in April disrupting wheat and paddy harvest. Yet, given the frailties of the weather, one can simply no longer bet on a definitive forecast, leaving us all simply hoping for the best.

3. A Matter Of Honour

Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s latest twitter-spat with CNBC journalists who alleged an official “U-turn” over the Trans-Pacific Partnership shows the pressure she is under. BJP insiders don’t hide their dislike for her aloof ways. Now the US-led merging of Pacific countries under TPP has her sallying forth against those who criticise the government’s. Maybe the government should start talking about the other trade alliances that excludes India—like the TTIP, an emerging alliance between the Eurozone and the US.

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Social cinema debuts on Instagram

Instagram is getting its first original TV show, called Shield 5, which will be released in 28 episodes, each of 15 seconds’  duration. Every episode is labelled with the number followed by the title and a small description.

Contributed by Arushi Bedi, Pragya Singh and Sunit Arora

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This week we remembered INS Vikrant

The light fleet aircraft carrier has had an afterlife—as Bajaj motorcycles. INS Vikrant was sent to the scrapyard two years ago. Bajaj Auto had the brainwave of re-­using the iron and steel on a range of 150cc motorcycles, branded “V”. The motorcycles—which will go on sale soon —will bear a stamp affirming that they have been “made with the invincible steel of INS Vikrant”. The aircraft carrier became a household name during the 1971 war with Pakistan. It was decommissioned in 1997 after 36 years of thrilling, action packed service. Then it served as a maritime mus­eum till 2012. Legal battles and lack of funds foiled plans to turn it into a permanent museum.

Contributed by Arushi Bedi, Pragya Singh and Sunit Arora


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Why on earth did Uber change its logo?



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