Top headlines: Rupee-rouble trade to get a boost, freight rates may rise

Rupee-rouble deal with Russia likely to be fortified after SWIFT freeze

The central government is planning to strengthen the rupee-rouble trade arrangement with Russia after the European Union, the US, and other Western partners decided to cut off several Russian banks from the global Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) payment system. SWIFT is a secure messaging system that facilitates rapid cross-border payments and is the principal mechanism for financing international trade. Read more

NPS to include assured returns; new products likely to come in August

Amid a debate on the pension systems, old and new, the sector regulator is likely to allow minimum assured-return products around August. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has appointed E&Y Actuarial Services LLP to design the scheme under the New Pension Scheme (NPS). Read more

FDI in IPO-bound LIC likely to open up fresh scope for disinvestment

Allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) of up to 20 per cent in Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) may open up divestment opportunities in other “bodies corporate” in the government such as National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), which are not registered as companies. The Union Cabinet on Saturday amended the FDI policy ahead of the big-ticket LIC IPO scheduled for March as the current policy only allowed FDI in Indian companies and not bodies corporate. Read more

Freight rates may see more hike in India amid Russia-Ukraine crisis

The invasion of Russian forces into Ukraine has triggered panic among Indian exporters, coming as it does after over a year of high freight rates and container shortages. Freight rates to several ports in India had jumped eight to tenfold last year and are already on a rise in the last one week. Read more

Review of RERA rules likely to save home buyers from errant builders

If homebuyers are forced to do even more extensive due diligence for an under-construction project than earlier, one reason is that states have diluted the 2016 Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act or RERA, allowing developers to flout the rules.

With each state having diluted the rules differently, the task has become even more complex for home buyers. This is why the Supreme Court recently asked the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to undertake a detailed scrutiny of RERA rules in every state. Read more

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