A rocket from Jeff Bezos' space company Blue Origin failed mid-flight shortly after liftoff on Monday, aborting its cargo capsule to safety before crashing into the Texas desert, according to the company and a live video stream of the mission. The booster crashed within a designated hazard area, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees and regulates launchsite safety.
India's fiscal deficit reached 82.8% of the full-year target by the end of February, according to data from the Controller General of Accounts. The deficit, which represents the gap between expenditure and revenue collection during the April-February period, amounted to INR14.53tn ($193bn). The government set a target of INR17.55tn or 6.4% of GDP for the full year 2022-23.
Over 226 crore (2.26 billion) Aadhaar authentication transactions have been carried out across a range of sectors in India, according to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which manages the country's biometric ID system. UIDAI said that more than 10.97 million numbers have been added to Aadhaar this month, indicating that residents are willing to keep their mobile numbers updated to access services. UIDAI has been requesting people link their Aadhaar number with their mobiles for communications purposes, and to access welfare services and voluntary services.
Virgin Orbit is to cut 675 jobs, or 85% of its workforce, as the space launch company struggles to secure funding three months after a failed launch. The company, founded by Richard Branson, expects to face $15.5m in charges related to the job cuts, with the majority taking place in Q1. In January, a mission by Virgin Orbit to launch the first satellites into orbit from Europe failed after a rocket's upper stage prematurely shut down.
India's Ministry of Finance has increased interest rates on several small savings schemes, such as the National Savings Certificate, by 70 basis points from the next quarter of the financial year starting 1 April. The revision does not apply to the Public Provident Fund. Interest on Senior Citizens Savings Scheme will rise from 8% to 8.2%, for Kisan Vikas Patra it will increase from 7% to 7.2%, and the monthly income account scheme will rise from 7.1% to 7.4%. Interest rates for one through five-year time deposit, excluding four-year term, are also increasing.
The Sensex surged over 1,000 points to close at 59,000 while the Nifty ended in the green at 17,360. The rally was driven by gains in banking, financial, and realty stocks, with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank among the top gainers. The positive sentiment was also boosted by strong global cues and a decline in COVID-19 cases in India.
Starting April 1, India will only permit the sale of gold jewellery and artefacts with a 6-digit alphanumeric Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number, meaning that the existing system which allows for the sale of jewellery bearing four marks will no longer be used. HUID is a traceable code that is assigned to each item of jewellery at the time of hallmarking, and the new rule has been introduced to avoid confusion among customers. The sale of jewellery items both with and without HUID will continue to be permitted under the soon-to-expire norm, and the hallmarked jewellery already with customers will remain valid.
Recoveries in developing Asian economies have stalled due to low productivity, despite regaining ground lost during the pandemic, according to a World Bank report. The report stated that growth in the region, including China, will accelerate in 2023 after pandemic restrictions have been relaxed. However, the recoveries of other Asian economies, excluding China, will moderate due to rising inflationary pressures and growing household debt. The report stated that countries must boost innovation, productivity and set foundations for a greener recovery to spur sustainable growth.
Huawei's net profits for 2022 fell almost 69% to CNY35.6bn ($5.2bn), down from CNY113.7bn the previous year. The Chinese tech giant, which has been hit by US sanctions and global economic uncertainty, has moved to diversify revenue streams after sanctions hit its telecoms and smartphone businesses. Its 5G gear has been blocked in major markets including the US, the UK and Japan over security concerns. Huawei has denied allegations of sabotage and spying.
Google employees in Ireland who were laid off earlier this year as part of the company's cost-cutting measures could receive a severance package worth over $320,000. Of the 240 impacted employees in Ireland, 85 were in sales, 80 in tech and 75 in support services. Staff who have been with the company since it launched in 2003 are likely to receive the package. The company has cut 4.3% of its 5,500-strong workforce in Ireland.
India's new Foreign Trade Policy 2023 aims to push for the internationalisation of the rupee in foreign trades. The policy marks a departure from the tradition of setting five-year goals and focusing on the long-term. Instead, the policy will be updated as needed with no end date. The internationalisation of the rupee refers to the process of increasing cross-border transactions of Indian currency, particularly in import-export trades. It would allow for the international settlement of trade in Indian rupees in foreign trades, reducing India's dependency on the US dollar and increasing its bargaining power in international business.
India has launched a "dynamic and responsive" Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) that will be effective from April 1, without any sunset clause. The new FTP aims to achieve $2tn goods and services exports by 2030 while encouraging trade settlements in rupee and adhering to global principles that duties should not be exported. The policy will continue to adopt a consultative approach to resolve issues of trade and industry, with wider participation of states and districts in promoting exports from grassroots. The focus is on simplifying policies to facilitate exports of dual-use high-end goods and technology.
Several new financial rules come into effect for Indian taxpayers in April. The new income tax regime becomes the default for those who do not declare their choice, while non-government staff can now claim an encashment limit of INR25 lakh ($34,000) for leave travel allowance. Other changes include a removal of the 6% fee on National Stock Exchange equity trades, a replacement of the individual cap on commission payments for insurers with an overall cap on expenses and the increase of turnover limits for certain businesses from INR2 crore to INR3 crore.
The price of gold increased on Friday, with 22-carat gold up by ₹30 to ₹5,500 per gram, and 24-carat gold up by ₹33 to ₹6,000 per gram, according to Goodreturns. The rates do not include additional levies, and buyers should contact local jewellers for the exact cost.
The Indian stock market opened on a positive note on September 13, with the Sensex climbing to over 58,500 and the Nifty reaching 17,246. This was driven by gains in IT, metal, and banking stocks.