India Overpass Collapses, Killing at Least 24 People

MUMBAI—At least 24 people were killed and 80 others injured when an under-construction overpass collapsed in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, officials said.

We have recovered 18 dead bodies,” Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the state of West Bengal, of which Kolkata is the capital, told reporters Thursday. At least 78 people were known to be trapped under the debris, while 16 more had been hospitalized, she added. Some 5,000 personnel were engaged in rescue work, Ms. Banerjee said.

Vehicles are trapped under the partially collapsed overpass, which was being built over a congested road in a northern part of Kolkata.

Vehicles are trapped under the partially collapsed overpass, which was being built over a congested road in a northern part of Kolkata.

The number of casualties could rise as officials try to lift a large metal truss that fell onto people and passing cars, a police official said. Some police personnel were also suspected to be trapped under the debris, an official at the Kolkata police control room said by telephone.

The overpass was being built in the city’s densely populated Bara Bazar neighborhood.

Maj. Gen. Anurag Gupta, an adviser for operations at India’s federal rescue agency, the National Disaster Management Authority, said five teams had reached the site. Rescue operations were continuing, with 63 people pulled from the debris, he said. The Indian Army is assisting, Gen. Gupta said.

Footage on local TV channels showed the bridge collapsing, with people and cars on the busy road beneath it disappearing beneath the rubble.

It is an act of God,” K. Panduranga Rao, head of human resources and administration at contractor IVRCL Ltd., the company that was building the overpass, told reporters. “We are shocked to know how this instance has happened.

India’s efforts to rapidly build critical infrastructure, including overpasses over existing, crowded roads, means construction is often undertaken without adequate precautions to isolate sites.

The overpass was being built by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, a government agency tasked with building infrastructure in the city, said Soumitra Bhattacharya, director general of Kolkata’s Roads Department, a separate government agency. The road underneath the overpass was always densely crowded, he said. He declined to comment on whether regulations were followed. Officials at the development authority weren’t immediately available for comment.

The project’s construction was checked by third-party consultants as well as the government commissioning agency, the KMDA, Mr. Rao said. Some 40 employees of the firm were working on the project at the time of collapse, and two were still missing, he said.

Late Thursday, Ms. Banerjee said Kolkata police had filed a complaint against IVRCL. The police also raided and sealed three company in the city offices but didn’t find any employees there. An inquiry has been set up under the state’s top bureaucrat to investigate the accident, Ms. Banerjee said.

IVRCL grieves the loss of precious lives and injuries to people and will cooperate with the authorities in investigating this accident,” the company said in a filing to local stock exchanges. In the filing, the company said it is awaiting details on the cause of the accident and it will do “its utmost to find the causes.”

The bridge construction was the toughest of all projects undertaken by the KMDA under a federal grants program, according to information about the project on the website of contractor IVRCL. The website of the engineering and construction company, based in the southern city of Hyderabad, said construction took place in a “very congested area” that hampered the movement of heavy equipment.

Shocked & saddened by collapse of under construction flyover in Kolkata. Took stock of the situation & rescue operations,” a tweet on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s account said.

Monumental tragedy. Rescue ops on. Many feared dead,” said a tweet from the verified account of local lawmaker Derek O’Brien, a member of Parliament for West Bengal.


Manohar Parrikar understands defence sector, but should ensure short proposal process: Punj Lloyd

QUEPEM (GOA): While crediting Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with understanding the defence industry very well, Ashok Wadhawan, President of Punj Lloyd said that the ministry should ensure that the process of defence proposal is shortened. “Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar needs to look at continuity of the forces who are involved in the procurement process. Today, there is a different person from the forces to look at the request for proposal (RFP) and a different one to look at continuity of the forces who are involved in the procurement process. Today, there is a different person from the forces to look at the request for proposal (RFP) and a different one to look into the trials, which prolongs a deal,” he told at Defence Expo 2016.artilery

Confident of getting Indian Army’s project to upgrade its ageing Zu 23 2B air defence guns, Wadhawan said,” Replacement of air defence guns is something which we will feel very confident about, as we are the only private sector which has experience in this. So, the process of both upgradation and replacement becomes very easy for us.” Wadhawan said that Punj Lloyd has already been declared as L1 (lowest number 1) in the tender and is in the last stage of signing the contract which is likely to get finalised in the month of April.

What is the size of the export potential Punj Lloyd is eyeing? Wadhawan says, huge. “Once we get clearance to upgrade Zu guns for Government of India, I think our export prospects get better,” says Wadhawan. He also said that the company is looking at exporting components for small arms, which is reason it has signed a joint venture with Israel Weapon Industries. The company will also go ahead with the production of small arms which will be pitched to export as well, he said.

Giving thumbs up to the new defence procurement policy (DPP), Wadhawan said,”The new DPP is very good and forward looking. The Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) category under the new policy will be a game changer.

Jewellery stocks glitter as 18-day strike ends

Over 3 lakh jewellers from more than 300 associations kept their establishments closed across the country since March 2.

Jewellery stocks on Monday rose sharply by up to 8 per cent after jewellers called off their 18-day old strike demanding rollback of proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

The 18-day long strike by jewellers is estimated to have caused loss of Rs. 60,000-70,000 crore to the industry

Shares of Shree Ganesh Jewellery House jumped 7.85 per cent, Gitanjali Gems zoomed 6.62 per cent, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri surged 5.56 per cent, PC Jeweller climbed 5.3 per cent and Titan Company rose 2.1 per cent on BSE.


Jewellers on Saturday called off their 18-day old strike demanding rollback of proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery after government assured them that there will be no harassment by excise officials.

Over 3 lakh jewellers from more than 300 associations kept their establishments closed across the country since March 2 after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the budget for 2016-17 announced one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

The 18-day long strike by jewellers is estimated to have caused loss of Rs. 60,000-70,000 crore to the industry.

Tata Group’s defence business will cross $400 million in FY 16

MUMBAI: The Tata Group‘s defence play started in 1958 with Tata Motors supplying vehicles to the country’s armed forces. But over the years, the conglomerate’s defence interests remained limited mainly because of government policies and also revenues from this business were nothing home to write about. The scenario is changing now. With the government intending to turn India, which is the world’s largest arms importer, into a heavyweight manufacturer, the group is betting big on defence and aerospace and is expecting the business to become worth a billion-dollar in the next five to six years. This fiscal, the group’s revenues from the segment, which chairman Cyrus Mistry has identified as the enterprise’s new growth engine, will cross Rs 2,600 crore ($411 million).
In the last five years, revenue from defence and aerospace has grown at a compound rate of 18%. It should continue to grow at a compound rate of at least 12%, said a top Tata executive.

Tata Group defence business expected to have 7.5% growth

Tata Group defence business expected to have 7.5% growth

The conglomerate through group companies_Tata Advanced Systems, Tata Motors, Tata Power- strategic engineering division, Tata Consultancy Services and Titan-precision engineering division_has an order book of Rs 10,000 crore ($1.6 billion) for fiscal 2017. “With the government aiming to procure 70% of defence equipment locally, the opportunities are immense” said VS Noronha, VP-defence and government business, Tata Motors. Defence contributes 3% to Tata Motors’ India revenues and the company currently has an order book of Rs 900 crore from defence.
India plans to spend $100 billion towards modernizing its military and it wants to spend this amount in the domestic market, and not on importing surveillance planes, combat ships and ground vehicles. The aim is to end the country’s reliance on imports that have made it the world’s top buyer of weapons.
Over two dozen Tata entities have a presence in defence and for certain contracts, they join hands to form consortium, leveraging on in-house expertise in various fields. They have also allied with top foreign names like Sikorsy and Lockheed Martin to increase their know-how in the defence and aerospace sector. Besides, to up its skill set, they have been hiring expats with technical experience in the field. “We have brought on board people with domain expertise from US and Europe and have put Indian leadership under their shadow to get them trained” said Sukaran Singh, CEO & MD, Tata Advanced Systems, the group’s flagship defence company, which currently has an order book of Rs 4,500 crore.

Flight tickets all sold out? Don’t sweat, simply book a business jet

Getting a flight ticket is dependably a bother for a minute ago voyagers with occupied timetables. Not any more. Business explorers can now book seats on corporate planes from real urban communities such as Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru through an application dispatched by startup JetSetGof.

With Jetsteals, you can book a seat on the move on business jets for roughly between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000.

With Jetsteals, you can book a seat on the move on business jets for roughly between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000.

With Jetsteals, you can book a seat progressing on business planes for generally between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000. The organization has procured business planes claimed by people and organizations to offer the administration.

A Mumbai-Delhi one-way ticket cost Rs 4,500 on Thursday . Popularity cuts down ticket passages on, say , a seven-seater business fly and prepare to have your mind blown. The plan of action of what is basically a private plane attendant service shows up for the time being, in any event, to be strong and monetarily practical.

The thought is to interface urban communities not to which there are no non-stop flights,” JetSetGo prime supporter and CEO Kanika Tekriwal said. “There is an awesome interest for flights from Chennai to littler towns furthermore to Mumbai and Delhi. Business explorers are our greatest customers now. Be that as it may, recreation and family explorers can likewise utilize the choice as admissions are once in a while lower than on booked business flights.”

We are presently steering flies that travel toward the south through Chennai,” Tekriwal said.

She said around 30% of private planes fly with unfilled seats. “The thought came up as we considered approaches to fill these seats. Corporates likewise needs to utilize their flying machine to create income furthermore to make ideal utilization of them.

Abhijit Singh, who maintains an exchanging business, flew on a corporate fly as of late .

My least expensive private plane ride was awesome,” he said.”It cost Rs 8,000 for the flight from Bengaluru to Mumbai.The plane could situate eight travelers. I had six co-travelers and there were two lodge team individuals.

JetSetGo has tied up with six organizations including Bajaj, GMR, Orbit and ACS and utilizations their planes.

The Vijay Mallya story:17 banks made bakras by the King of Good Times

The ostentatious alcohol nobleman, Vijay Mallya, once hailed as the King of Good Times and Indian rendition of Richard Branson, is being pursued by verging on each foundation in the nation — the banks, controllers and, at last, the legal — for the Rs 9,000 crores he owes to the loan specialists. How did Mallya tumble to his present situation, where he is by and by considered responsible for the disappointment of the carrier business Kingfisher Airlines and postponed reimbursement of advances? The answer lies in a choice constrained on him by loan specialists in 2010 to give a second rent of life to the carrier that was then on the precarious edge of a breakdown.

Kingfisher“Mallya had his luck run dry. Banks demanded him to offer individual insurances for any further loaning,” said a resigned investor, who was beforehand with State Bank of India (SBI), on state of obscurity.

“Something else, there was no motivation behind why Mallya is actually considered in charge of the reimbursement of the credit (Rs 9,000 crore now including the accumulated interest sum). There are greater focused on borrowers (organizations) around,” the financier said, giving cases like Bhushan Steel and Winsome Diamonds.

The Kingfisher Airline, grounded in 2012, never made benefit in its eight years of operations. At the point when Mallya drew closer the gathering of loan specialists for further loaning in 2010, there was not kidding contrasts of conclusion among the gathering of senior investors in SBI, and different banks in the consortium, on why if they loan to the carrier once more. Be that as it may, the dominant part choice was to go for broke again and loan to Mallya.

“It was, as it were, tossing great cash after awful (since the KFA presentation was at that point focused on),” the broker cited prior said. “In any case, on the off chance that we didn’t do that by then, the introduction till then would have turned sour in a split second. Nobody needed that to happen. There was no alternative before us,” said the authority. Be that as it may, everybody realized what was in the store, however nobody said anything in the examination room. “The inclination was somewhat that of defenselessness and mostly confidence,” the broker said.

Financiers were idealistic in light of the fact that Vijay Mallya himself was cheerful of pivoting the aircraft, despite the fact that the whole flight industry was grabbing in murkiness. Incidentally, be that as it may, notwithstanding Mallya’s good faith, everybody saw the written work on the divider.

In March 2012, Kingsiher stopped its global operations to Europe and Asian nations and chop down nearby flights to 110-125 a day with an armada of 20 planes from 340 flights prior to spare cash. By October 2012, the flying creature fluttered its wings for the last time. From that point forward, it hasn’t seen the skies.

Kingfisher, once the second-biggest aircraft in India, had little odds of continuing its operations since the essential administrative endorsements were not in sight and its monetary record was dying. The organization’s misfortunes had broadened to Rs 2,142 crore for its monetary final quarter finishing in March 2013, contrasted and a net loss of Rs 1,150 crores a year prior. The aggregated misfortunes as of March 2013 remained at an incredible Rs 16,023 crore.

Its duty had mounted to over Rs 15,000 –Rs 16,000 crore to banks, air terminals and others and its flying licenses terminated toward the end of a year ago. The passing chimes were begining to ring. In his edginess to resuscitate the aircraft, Mallya twice submitted recovery arrangements to the avionics controller, with guardian UB Group conferring beginning subsidizing, however with no good fortune. In its eight-year life, the aircraft never made benefit even once.

Mallya stayed idealistic however not to lose the carrier’s permit. “We have not presented an aggressive arrangement. We have presented a holding arrangement,” Mallya told columnists, while the legislature wasn’t persuaded. “The issue is in the last a few months, he’s given such a large number of arrangements and he’s not stuck to any of them,” the then Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told journalists in New Delhi.

Alarm grasps banks

Frenzy was starting to set in the saving money industry, particularly state-run banks, which were the larger part in the managing an account consortium. All things considered, banks needed to answer a ton to shareholders not only for further loaning to Mallya in 2010, yet to offer liberal credit recast offices and changing over the obligation of Kingfisher to value at a colossal premium.

Bank advance introduction to Kingfisher AirlinesIn mid 2011, the bank consortium including SBI had changed over obligation adding up to Rs 1,400 crore into value at a 60 percent premium to the predominant business sector cost. Passing by the stock trade information, on March 31, there was particular portion to SBI and ICICI Bank due for change of necessarily convertible inclination offers into value offers at a cost of Rs 64.48 each. Keep in mind, on that day, KFA offers shut at Rs 39.90 on the BSE.

“Inside of a couple of months, the offer quality had dissolved so much that banks were placed in a troublesome position,” said the investor cited before. Kingfisher last exchanged at Rs 1.36 on the BSE on 22 June 2015. The whole advance rebuilding activity to Kingfisher was done with no unique regulation from the RBI, which implies that banks needed to make substantial provisioning on their books, trusting that the carrier will restore at some point or another and pay back the cash. That never happened.

At last, Kingfisher, was pronounced a NPA by most banks, including SBI, towards the end of 2011 and start of 2012. The dominant part weight of Kingfisher credits was on government-claimed banks. The most intelligent in the part was ICICI Bank, which figured out how to offer its whole Rs 430 crore Kingfisher advance introduction to an obligation reserve oversaw by the Kolkata-based Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd in mid-2012. The sarkari banks were the genuine bakaras in the whole story.

So what lies ahead?

Banks’ odds of recovering their cash from Mallya are less since Kingfisher barely has any advantages left for banks. Regardless of the possibility that banks simply ahead and offer Kingfisher resources, for example, the Kingfisher House in Mumbai, it will bring just a small amount of what is in question. The main trust in banks is if Mallya himself have a change of brain and chooses to pay back banks from his own riches (Mallya has offers worth Rs7000 crore in different organizations and part more in altered resources).

“Yet, all that will happen on the off chance that he comes back to the nation and say he will pay back,” the broker said, including that financiers are more rankled by Mallya displaying his riches openly even now when a large number of crores are in question. As indicated by reports Mallya effectively got $40 million of his severance pay from Diageo before he traveled to UK. Can the last fight between banks, drove by SBI, and Mallya in Supreme Court and Bangalore DRT result in moneylenders recovering their cash. Odds are less.

Budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawn

Jaitley had in his Budget proposed to tax withdrawal of 60 per cent of accumulations in the employee provident fund after April 1, 2016.

Bowing to all round attack, especially from the salaried middle class, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday announced the withdrawal of Budget proposal on the controversial Employee Provident Fund (EPF) tax.

Making a suo-motu statement in Lok Sabha, Jaitley said that the Government would like to do a comprehensive review of the proposal in view of the representations received. “Therefore, I withdraw the proposal,” Jaitley said at the lower house.

Jaitley however said that the 40 per cent exemption accorded to National Pension System (NPS) in this year’s Budget at withdrawal stage would remain.

The 2016-17 Budget had proposed to bring 60 per cent of the EPF monies to tax at the withdrawal stage if the subscriber opts not to invest these monies in annuity plan.

This had stirred a controversy with many among the salaried class contending that such a proposal was a harsh one given that EPF monies were currently tax exempt at all three stages of contribution, accumulation and withdrawal.