Biztro

Business in bitesizes
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outlookindia.com
2016-07-24T10:03:59+0530
Conflicts and Cabinet reshuffles

The chatter around Jayant Sinha losing his perch in the ministry of finance isn’t dying down. According to a source, the conflict of int­erest charge against Sinha’s wife Punita Kumar Sinha centres on the Canadian investment firm Fairfax India Holding. In September 2015, Mrs Sinha was appointed as an independent director at Fairfax. Promoted by India-born Prem Watsa, Fairfax has invested a whopping $1 billion in India post 2014. It spent a pretty package upping its stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance to 35 per cent, among other firms. Intriguingly, Fairfax also recently picked up a 33 per cent stake in Bangalore Airport—which now comes under Jayant Sinha’s charge as MoS civil aviation.

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Industry out of favour

Gone are the days when Mamata Banerjee would hold private discussions with industrialists in what has been dubbed the vain hope of getting investments for West Bengal. According to sources, she has decided to distance herself from Calcutta Inc. Earlier, the likes of Sanjeev Goenka would often be spotted travelling in Mamata’s car to talk matters of commerce, but it is evident that she has cut them off completely. What has also stopped is her habit of SMSing them when she wanted to meet them. Now that’s what one might call real poriborton.

A house for the governor

The top perk of the RBI governor isn’t setting repo and reverse repo rates. No sir, it’s staying at the heritage Governor’s Bungalow in M.L. Dahanukar Marg, formerly known as Carmichael Road. Former governor Duvvuri Subbarao devoted a few pages to this house in his book Who Moved My Interest Rate. “On occasional Sunday mornings,” Subbarao would sneak downstairs and stretch out on the leather couch, ostensibly to do some serious reading. “But the soothing strains of the interminable rain…sent me into an almost comatose state far removed from the ‘fever and fret’ of real life,” he writes. Oh my, a lyrical central banker!

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Mojo

Scizza takes on the Pizza Wheel

Please welcome scissors, dubbed as Scizza, to tackle the holy grail of junk food—how to carve topped flatbreads (a fancy way to describe pizza).

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This week we remembered  The Antrix-Devas deal

Five years after the UPA government pulled the plug on its agreement with Devas, the chickens have come home to roost. The verdict of an arbitration case between Antrix and Devas’s investors is likely to be announced on July 25. It is expected to go in Devas’s favour, putting a significant financial burden on the government. Already, the government has been fined $672 million for cancelling its agreement to lease two ISRO satellites to Devas. That’s not all: an award on another arbitration  by a Devas investor is due later this year. The scam that wasn’t has ended up proving expensive for the Government of India.

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