FM Sitharaman gives infrastructure sector Rs 16,200-crore liquidity shot

The Union government has provided another push to the sector by announcing measures that could infuse liquidity both in companies and lenders.

While the government has relaxed earnest money deposit (EMD) and performance security on government and public sector tenders, it will also put in Rs 6,000 crore as equity in the National Investment and Fund (NIIF), which will be used to create a debt platform for financing. This platform will help NIIF provide a debt of Rs 1.1 trillion for infrastructure projects by 2025, Union Finance Minister said on Thursday.

Apart from that, Rs 10,200 crore will be given as direct support for infrastructure creation. According to CARE Ratings, the government spoke of spending Rs 25,000 crore on capital expenses in the earlier stimulus, so the total spending on this head would be around Rs 4.45 trillion.

Another Rs 3,000 crore has been announced for financing projects set up by Indian companies overseas.

Raghav Chandra, former chairman, National Highways Authority of India, however, said more companies might not invest despite the liquidity infusion. “Infrastructure is necessary and spending has to go

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Punjab & Sind Bank narrows net loss at Rs 401 cr in Q2 FY21

on Thursday reported narrowing of its net loss at Rs 401.27 crore in the second quarter ended September 2020.

The state-owned lender had posted a net loss of Rs 468.73 crore in the same period a year ago. The loss, however, widened sequentially from Rs 116.89 crore in the June quarter of FY2020-21.

Total income of the bank fell to Rs 1,999.19 crore in July-September of 2020-21 from Rs 2,222.57 crore in the same period of 2019-20, said in a regulatory filing.

Bank’s provisioning for bad loans and contingencies were down at Rs 863.82 crore for Q2FY21 from Rs 972.62 crore in Q2FY20.

Of this, bad loans or NPAs provisioning were Rs 845 crore, as against Rs 949.36 crore a year earlier.

Asset quality impaired with gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rising to 14.06 per cent by end of September 2020 from 13.64 per cent at end of September 2019.

Value wise, the gross NPAs stood at Rs 8,673.16 crore, lower than Rs 9,218.22 crore.

Net NPAs, however, improved at 5.87 per cent (Rs

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Obama Likens India Opposition Figure To Inept Student

Former US president Barack Obama in his memoir has likened Indian opposition figure Rahul Gandhi to a hapless student, in biting commentary on the dynastic scion who twice led his party to crushing defeats.

In the book, “Promised Land,” which comes out Tuesday, Obama writes that Gandhi has “a nervous, unformed quality about him, as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject,” according to a review in The New York Times.

Gandhi led the Indian National Congress party in 2014 and 2019 general elections, which both resulted in decisive victories by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Gandhi, 50, has long struggled to combat perceptions that he is not interested in becoming prime minister, a position held by his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi, both of whom were assassinated.

He spent his younger years studying and working in the United States and Britain before returning to India with expectations of guiding Congress, the party that has led India through most of its years since independence.

Former US president Barack Obama, seen speaking

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