TN governor meets Rajnath amid political churning


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0:51 HRS IST
New Delhi, Sep 19 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao today met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, a day after 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs loyal to sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran were disqualified under the anti-defection law.

During the 20-minute meeting, the governor is believed to have apprised the home minister about the current political developments in the southern state, officials said.

The disqualified MLAs had yesterday told the governor that they had no confidence in Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami, and accused him of being corrupt.

Rao, who is governor of Maharashtra, is holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu.

Nifty hits fresh high of 10,178.95, Sensex up 100 points


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9:49 HRS IST
Mumbai, Sep 19 (PTI) The Nifty advanced by around 26 points or 0.25 per cent to scale a new high of 10,178.95 while the Sensex rallied over 100 points in opening today on the back of persistent buying by domestic institutional investors amid positive Asian cues.

The Nifty rallied 25.85 points, or 0.25 per cent, to a new record high of 10,178.95, surpassing its previous intra- day high of 10,171.70 it touched yesterday.

Rising for the ninth day, the 30-share Sensex advanced by 100.35 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 32,524.11. The gauge had risen 761.79 points in the previous eight straight sessions.

Sectoral indices of auto, realty, healthcare, consumer durables and oil & gas were in the positive space, rising up to 0.69 per cent.

Brokers said continuous buying by DIIs coupled with short-covering by speculators and a firming trend at other Asian markets in line with another record performance on the Wall Street overnight buoyed trading sentiments here.

Prominent gainers were Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank, Lupin, Kotak Bank, M&M, Hero MotoCorp, Dr Reddy’s, Bharti Airtel and Bajaj Auto, helping the broader Nifty to trade at fresh life high.

Among Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.14 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.47 per cent in early trade today. Shanghai Composite was slightly down.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.28 per cent higher yesterday.

Fuel prices may come down by Diwali: Pradhan


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Amritsar, Sep 18 (PTI) Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said today that fuel prices may come down by Diwali, which falls (rpt) falls next month.

The comments come amid criticism by opposition parties of a sharp rise in oil prices after the daily rate revision mechanism was introduced by the government recently.

“Fuel prices may come down by Diwali festival,” said the minister who was on a brief visit here.

Pradhan, who has been elevated as Cabinet minister this month and given additional charge of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said prices of refinery oil went up because production of oil dropped by 13 per cent in the US due to floods.

On being asked about margin of the oil companies, he said they are being run by the government.

“And everything is crystal clear,” he said, ruling out “higher margins” for the companies.

When asked about bringing oil under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Pradhan said that he hoped that it might be brought under the GST. “It will extend enormous benefit to customers.

Rupee down 5 paise against USD in late morning trade


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11:52 HRS IST
Mumbai, Sep 19 (PTI) The rupee dropped by 5 paise to 64.18 against the American currency in late morning deals on sustained bouts of dollar demand from importers and banks amid choppy domestic equities.

The rupee resumed lower at 64.18 per dollar as against yesterday’s closing level of 64.13 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market.

It hovered in a range of 64.21 per dollar and 64.13 per dollar before quoting at 64.18 per dollar at 1135 hrs.

Overseas, the US dollar was largely lower against basket of currencies in early Asian trade, while hovered near an eight-week high against the yen.

Nifty scales fresh peak of 10,167.15, Sensex climbs 235 pts


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Mumbai, Sep 18 (PTI) The benchmark Nifty today climbed to new life high of 10,167.15 and the Sensex surged over 235 points in the opening session on fresh capital inflows by foreign funds amid positive global cues.

The rally came on the back of buying in capital goods, auto, power, PSU and banking stocks, rising by up to 1.44 per cent.

The 50-share NSE Nifty jumped 81.75 points, or 0.81 per cent, to scale a life high of 10,167.15, breaking its previous intra-day record of 10,137.85 hit on August 2.

In sync with general trend, the NSE Bank Nifty breached the 25,000 mark to hit all-time time of 25,062.70.

The 30-share Sensex too was in bullish form, rising 235.45 points, or 0.72 per cent, at 32,508.06. The gauge had gained 610.64 points in the previous seven sessions.

Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 125.55 crore while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought equities of Rs 418.86 crore on Friday, showed provisional data.

Major gainers were L&T, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, Kotak Bank, Power Grid, HDFC Bank and SBI.

Continued buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and fresh fund inflows by foreign investors, which had been on selling spree, bolstered the trading sentiment, traders said.

Besides, a firming trend at other Asian markets following another record finish on Wall Street influenced the sentiment, they added.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was trading higher by 1.07 per cent, while Shanghai Composite rose 0.25 per cent in late morning trade. Japanese financial markets are closed for a public holiday today.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at new highs in Friday’s trade.

Air India plans to rationalise some routes, says Bansal


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Copenhagen, Sep 17 (PTI) Air India plans to rationalise some routes operated by the airline and its subsidiaries, including in the Gulf region, as part of cost saving efforts, according to the airline’s chief Rajiv Bansal.

The disinvestment-bound national carrier is discussing the possible routes that can be rationalised starting from the winter schedule next month.

Two of the airline’s subsidiaries — low-cost arm Air India Express and Alliance Air — have significant operations.

Air India Express mainly caters to the Gulf region while Alliance Air operates smaller aircraft for regional flights.

In an interview to PTI onboard the inaugural flight from New Delhi to Copenhagen on Saturday, Bansal said the airline would be rationalising some routes as part of “chipping at costs”.

“There are some routes in which Air India and Air India Express are competing. We have to ensure that we don’t compete which means that it is not that Air India or Air India Express withdraws but we can work with the timings. Wherever the passenger loads are not justified, either Air India or its subsidiaries can withdraw,” he said.

In this regard, Bansal said he has already held a series of meetings with Air India Express and Alliance Air.

He noted that there are some overlaps with Air India Express in the Gulf region and it is also looking to rationalise operations in smaller routes where the journey is for less than an hour and “concede space to Alliance Air in the short haul space”.

“I think we should be able to rationalise five flights. I am not saying that we are withdrawing the flights, we are rationalising. May be I was operating seven days a week, may be I will bring it down to three or four days for Air India Express to operate. In some cases, Alliance Air is adding capacity,” he said.

Elaborating on the idea behind rationalising routes, the Chairman and Managing Director said the airline is looking at how much passenger load is likely in a particular route and what is the paying capacity of that passenger.

Then a decision would be taken on whether to operate full service carrier Air India, low-cost carrier Air India Express or Alliance Air’s turbo prop aircraft, he added.

“We are an integrated company and that is my strength over my competitors. As a full service carrier with about 110 aircraft, I have a low cost carrier (Air India Express) with 23 aircraft and Alliance Air with 15 aircraft. It is around 150 total. There are four jumbos also. It is 152,” Bansal said.

Amid the government working on the modalities for the strategic disinvestment of Air India, the airline is looking to trim costs. The loss-making airline has huge debt burden and there is a significant outgo towards servicing the loans.

On expected cost savings from route rationalisation, he said these are all “chipping” at costs.

Adityanath, deputy CMs take oath as MLCs


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11:38 HRS IST
Lucknow, Sep 18 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today took oath as a member of the state Legislative Council.

Two deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma were also administered oath by chairman of the Legislative Council Ramesh Yadav at a function at the Tilak Hall of the imposing Legislative Building here.

Two other ministers Swantradev Singh and Mohsin Raza also took oath.

All of them were recently declared elected unopposed to the Legislative Council in by-elections to five seats that fell vacant when sitting members resigned.

All of them had to get elected to either the Assembly or the Legislative Council before September 19 in order to continue as ministers.

Army foils infiltration bid in Kashmir, 2 militants killed


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10:19 HRS IST
Srinagar, Sep 16 (PTI) Two militants were killed today as the Indian Army foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Machhil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, defence officials said here.

“An infiltration bid has been foiled in Machhil sector and two terrorists have been killed,” defence spokesman Col.

Rajesh Kalia said.

He said troops noticed suspicious movement along the LoC and challenged the intruders, leading to a gunfight in which the two militants were killed.

Weapons have been recovered from the slain militants, the spokesman said.

CM thanks PM Modi for Japanese industrial township to TN


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20:50 HRS IST
Chennai, Sep 15 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for finalising a location in the state for developing a Japanese industrial township and a human resource development institute.

Tamil Nadu was among the states which had been finalised for the projects, Modi had announced at the India-Japan Business Leaders meet in Gujarat yesterday, which was also attended by his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe.

Referring to the proposed township and establishment of the Japan-India Institute of Manufacturing for HRD in Tamil Nadu, Palaniswami thanked the prime minister for it.

“On behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu and on my behalf, I express my heartfelt thanks to you for your announcements,” Palaniswami said in a letter to the prime minister.

The chief minister said the initiatives “will not only enhance the industrial growth of Tamil Nadu, but will also contribute to the nation’s development”.

The prime minister had yesterday said four locations had been finalised for developing Japanese industrial townships in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Salman Khan receives Global Diversity Award


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10:16 HRS IST
London, Sep 16 (PTI) Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been honoured with the Global Diversity Award 2017 in the British Parliament House.

The actor was honoured for his contribution to the Indian film industry as an actor, producer, television personality, singer and philanthropist.

Presenting the award, Keith Vaz, the longest serving Indian-origin MP in Parliament, said, “Salman Khan is a role model and a hero to millions of people worldwide.

“Besides his Indian cinema success, Salman is a well- known philanthropist and his NGO ‘Being Human’ has done life changing work supporting the underprivileged in India. It is a tremendous honour to present him with the award. I am proud that young Asians worldwide have role models like Salman Khan.”

Calling the award a tremendous honour, Salman said, “My father would never have believed that I would make it here. I would like to thank the fans for the respect that they have shown me.

“Although I have received many film awards, this is the first I have received personally so I am incredibly humbled.

Previous recipients of the award include Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, actor Aishwarya Rai, Chinese action icon Jackie Chan, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, American Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.