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BSNL has launched Rs 144 unlimited calling plan to take on Reliance Jio

BSNL has launched Rs 144 unlimited calling plan to take on Reliance Jio

Unlimited offerings is the new trend in the telecom space in India. Ever since Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio launched with the offer of free unlimited calls and data, other players have been scrambling to offer the same. The latest among the rivals to go the Jio way is BSNL with an offer of unlimited phone calls to any network for a jaw-dropping tariff of Rs 144 per month.

The Rs 144 plan being rolled by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be valid for six months. It comes with unlimited local and STD calls to any network. In addition, it comes with 300MB of data.
This is the third in a series of lucrative offers rolled out by BSNL to its subscribers. The new pack ensures calls are free and unlimited for both prepaid and postpaid customers. The previous plans launched as part of the Jio effect was for Rs 99 and Rs 399 where prepaid customers can also avail unlimited calls and free bundled data. Although, only BSNL to BSNL calls are unlimited in the previous two plans.
The company has also rolled out over 4,400 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.
We have 4,400 Wi-Fi hotspots launched country wide. I think in Mahabalipuram near Chennai has a similar Wi-Fi hotspot. Our immediate strategy is to expand this. In next one year, we will be having around 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country,” BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Srivastava told a press gathering.
Reliance Jio launched with its ‘Welcome Offer’ in August last year which offered unlimited calls and 4GB of 4G data every day. The move shook up the industry with players like Airtel and Vodafone following up with similar plans. Airtel launched its ‘Infinity Plans’ that offer free 4G data along with included services like the Wynk music App, unlimited local and STD calls. Vodafone too stepped up its game and offered 10GB of data for the price of 1GB with three-month validity.

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Property Prices Will Not Crash, Good Time To Buy: HDFC

Property Prices Will Not Crash, Good Time To Buy: HDFC
Ms Karnad of HDFC says the interest of people to buy homes or locate a property still continues to be very good.
It is a good time to buy property if you are going to live in it – this is the message from Renu Sud Karnad, managing director of HDFC Ltd, the biggest housing finance company in India. In conversation with NDTV Profit, she said that the interest of people to buy homes or locate a property “continues to be very good”.
Here’s an edited transcript of the interaction:

How long do you expect the sector to recover from denomination?
Honestly, it is very difficult to say. I think the positive of it is that…you know, we get calls of people for loans, we get calls every month, we get people coming to our site… Nothing has changed there. As far as the interest of people to buy homes or locate a property still continues to be very good. Yes, definitely for the time being, there is a lull.
You must always know that whenever there is a talk of property prices or interest rates coming down, every buyer waits. I don’t think property prices are going to crash. At the high-end, yes, you might see some rationalisation. People are waiting for the interest rates to come down, but having said that, most of the loans today are on a variable rate basis. So, even if the rates do come down 2 or 3 months later, the customers get the benefit of it.

So, I think, it is a short-term phenomenon. Our need, our requirement, our (housing) shortage is so high that I don’t think people will wait more than 3-4 months before they start coming back to it.
If the RBI cuts interest rate, will banks pass on the benefit to customers?

I can talk about HDFC and I can say is that we have in the past – always whenever it was possible – passed any benefit that we were getting through interest rate rationalisation to the customer and we would certainly do that. It’s really dependent on your cost of funds. As the cost of funds comes down, we are able to pass it on and I think we will certainly continue to do that.

What is your message to home buyers who are uncertain after demonetisation?
If you are going to live in a property, I think there is no time better than today. I think if you look at India’s population…if you look at the rate at which urbanisation is happening, if you are going to be a real user of the property, I don’t think you should ever put back your decision by years… a couple of months maybe, but certainly not by years. And I’m very convinced that the middle income India and the low income India has a long way to go, and the sooner you buy the property the sooner you save your rent the better.

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Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017

New Year is always so magnificent time of our life, it’s when we celebrate the new upcoming year and say good bye to the previous year 2016. Let us all welcome the coming New Year 2017 with open hearts and remember all the moments in our lives that were memorable from the previous year.

New Year’s Day, which according to the Gregorian calendar falls on January 1, is one of the most popular occasions around the globe. Beyond religion, ethnicity, caste and creed it’s a common festivity enjoyed by all. The culmination of the long holiday season, it marks a new beginning, symbolising new hope and a fresh start.

With amazing parties and fanfare, we are all ready to welcome 2017 and leave behind the bygones. From sad memories to shocking incidents, from heartbreaks to failures – there’s a belief that we will slip into the coming year with replenished soul and vigour. To conquer the best and defeat the worst.

Around the world to mark the new year there are many unusual traditions that people follow. While in Latin American countries believes something as bizarre as the colour of your underwear may affect the coming year, British folklores believe sweeping your house of the New Year’s day will sweep away all the good luck out of the door! No matter what you choose to believe and follow, everyone just hopes the next year is always happier and better than the last one.So, to celebrate the coming new year, here are few messages and greeting to wish your loved ones and friends a very Happy New Year 2017.
* A Happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and laboured here,
And made of it a happy year.

* Nights will be dark
But days will be light,
wish your life to be always bright
Happy New Year 2017

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Never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second chance.

If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.

Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.

Never test the depth of a river with both feet.
Do not put all eggs in one basket.

Honesty is a very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people.

*7. Past* is a waste paper, present is a newspaper, and future is a question paper. Come out of your past, control the present, and secure the future.
*8. When bad things happen* in your life, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you.

*9. Our eyes are in the front* because it is more important to look ahead than to look backwards.

*10. We use pencil when we were young, but now we use pens. Do you know why? Because mistakes in childhood can easily be erased, unlike now.

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PM Narendra Modi set to face fallout from his 50-day cash promise to India

PM Narendra Modi set to face fallout from his 50-day cash promise to India
Short of a miracle, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi will fail to meet his own 50-day deadline to restore order to the country’s economy and ease the hardship faced by ordinary citizens following the chaos of his sudden currency ban.
In an emotional plea to citizens following the withdrawal of 86 percent of the currency in circulation in a bid to target corruption, Modi promised the inconvenience would all be over by December 30.

But demonetization’s trail of devastation — on farmers, workers, small shopkeepers, low-income households and businesses — is yet to ease. There continues to be queues spilling out of banks and newspapers are carrying daily stories of rural distress.

Credibility on the line
Although Modi’s credibility is at risk as his deadline passes, the jury is out on the long-term economic and political fallout. So far his public support remains strong, with some standing in queues waiting to access cash still voicing their approval of the prime minister’s decision to target unaccounted wealth.

Add to that, India’s fractured opposition has not been able to generate a backlash against the strife triggered by the world’s most sweeping currency policy change in decades.
Still, Modi faces the risk of stiff political opposition and losing state elections in coming weeks.

“Now people will ask him what is the gain after suffering so much pain?,” said Ajoy Bose, a Delhi-based author and political analyst. “He will try somehow to give a good spin to it. But he has to prove how the country is gaining. Otherwise he will be in trouble.”
The next real test of the cash shortage fallout will be held through the five assembly elections, including including most populous state Uttar Pradesh, expected by April. “If he loses the ability to win elections and fails to gain public trust, his ability to push hard reforms will be reduced,” said Bose.

Growth forecast slashed On the economic side, experts are slashing India’s growth forecast after the cash ban dented demand. The e conomy is projected to grow 6.5 percent in October-December instead of the 7.8 percent economists had predicted earlier.All eyes will be on the government’s forecast for the year through March — due January 6.

In Haryana, farmer Harpreet Singh had to destroy his coriander field and sow his wheat crop when price of the herb dropped to as low as one rupee per kilogram compared to about 20 rupees before Nov. 8, when Modi announced the banning of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

“There is a slump in demand,” said Singh, explaining he had suffered a loss of 12,000 rupees because the traders who usually bought his produce were unable to access enough cash for the purchase. “There was already a delay in wheat sowing and I didn’t want to waste further time.”

Another farmer, Charanjeet Singh, is nervous that he will not get a good price for his potato harvest. “The situation is grim and there is no hope of an early revival,” he said. Since the currency ban, many have found illegal ways to convert the so-called black money into genuine wealth. In response, the government has amended or clarified its rules more than 60 times to plug the loopholes. Of the 15.4 trillion rupees of junked currency, about 13 trillion rupees of bills have been deposited in banks, as of the first week of December.
Improvements to come
Seeking to reassure the public, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday the currency availability will improve in the coming weeks. Economists have warned it could be months before the situation stabilizes.

While defending his move as an important step in fighting against black money and corruption, Modi on Nov. 13 sought time from people to end their hardship.
“I have asked for just 50 days,” Modi said in his emotional speech. “If after December 30, there are shortcomings in my work or there are mistakes or bad intentions found in my work, I will be prepared for any punishment at any crossroad of the county that you decide for me.” Modi’s political rivals have stepped up the pressure against him. This demonetization move “is for 50 families and for the country’s one percent super rich,” said Rahul Gandhi, the vice president of the Congress party. “It is the poor, farmers, laborers, middle class and small shopkeepers who are being sacrificed.”
Modi is likely to speak about his road map after the demonetization period is over in his address to the nation on Dec. 31.

But as the hardships continue into the new year, “it is difficult to expect people not to respond negatively,” said Sandeep Shastri, an author and pro-vice chancellor at Jain University in Bengaluru.

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Betterment fee from April 1 if house prices are up

Betterment fee from April 1 if house prices are up
NEW DELHI: From the next financial year, you may have to shell out extra to municipal bodies or local development authorities if you are buying or selling a property or going for new construction.
The government plans to to collect special charges or “betterment fee”, if any major infrastructure project with public investment such as Metro rail, expressway, industrial corridor or special export zone has pushed property prices in that locality. Sources said this scheme known as Value Capture Finance (VCF) would be rolled out in 2017-18.

Though the Centre will come out with the scheme offering options of how betterment fee can be tapped, these will be collected by municipal or development authorities.
Already, the government levies a variety of cesses on petrol purchases to finance large projects apart from charging toll for highway construction and their maintenance. The government has justified these levies on the grounds that users need to pay a fee even if there are no toll-free options, which is the norm in developed countries.

The latest weapon for raising funds, the “betterment fee” or impact fee on land sale will be in addition to the stamp duty paid by buyers. The government has justified the proposal on the ground that infrastructure development results in increase in the value of land.
Officials claimed it would be a non-budgetary source to fund major infrastructure projects. “The value capture assessment for each city or urban body can be project specific or for an area. While preparing the feasibility of projects such as Metro, speed rail or a highway, the possible impact of that infrastructure on property prices will be assessed. A part of the fund for these projects can come from the additional charge that will be collected from property owners when they sell a property or seek construction permission,” a central government official said.

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Dangal Box Office Collection Day 3: Aamir Khan’s Film Made Over Rs 100 Crore In First Weekend

Dangal Box Office Collection Day 3: Aamir Khan’s Film Made Over Rs 100 Crore In First Weekend
Dangal Box Office Collection Day 3: Rs 42.35 crore on Sunday bring the total to Rs 106 crores

Aamir Khan’s film made Rs 42 crore on Sunday aloneDangal’s Sunday figures are the highest ever for a single dayDangal is directed by Nitesh Tiwari

Dangal Box Office Collection Day 3: Aamir’s film broke the record for highest single day earnings
Aamir Khan’s Dangal, which released on Friday, has collected above Rs 100 crores in its weekend, report trade analysts. Dangal’s collections rose substantially day-wise and over the weekend, box office receipts totalled up to Rs 106.95 crore in India. The film released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu and the collection is from all three languages. Aamir’s tryst with Christmas has been successful yet again after Ghajini (2008), 3 Idiots (2009), Dhoom: 3 (2013) and PK (2014). On Monday, trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted: “Dangal hits century, crosses Rs 100 crore mark. Suday’s business was humongous. Smashing records and setting new benchmarks.”

As predicted by trade pundits, records have been broken. Dangal’s Sunday collection alone was Rs 42.35 crore, which is reportedly the biggest single day collection of any film. Salman Khan’s Sultan held the previous record at Rs 39 crores.

Aamir Khan’s Dangal is a biopic of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who hoped to win gold for India. He coached his daughters Geeta and Babita in the sport against all odds and finally Geeta fulfilled Mahavir Phogat’s dream in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Dangalopened to fabulous reviews and top ratings on December 23. Film critics, movie-goers and Aamir’s colleagues unanimously agree that Dangal is Aamir’s career’s #1 film.

The Nitesh Tiwari-directed Dangal stars Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra as Geeta and Babita Phogat while television star Sakshi Tanwar plays Mahavir Phogat’s wife Daya.

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Beyond Dangal reviews: Decoding Aamir Khan’s success formula

Beyond Dangal reviews: Decoding Aamir Khan’s success formula
Call him sanctimonious saint, India’s conscience keeper, Mr Perfectionist or ruthless media strategist, the truth is Aamir Khan is a risk-taker who has discovered a magic formula for box-office gold. Dangal is yet another proof.

This week’s big release, Dangal revolves around female wrestling but its commercial prospects hinge entirely on its male star Aamir Khan’s broad – maybe not so broad after all, what with all the extra beef on the bone gone – shoulders. Aamir’s reputation as ruthless media strategist is an open secret.

Dangal movie review

Whether an over-bloated foil in a film (CC: Taare Zameen Par and Dhobi Ghat) or an item song eye-candy (Delhi Belly), he overshadows everyone in media outreach. Even in a Raju Hirani film, Aamir Khan is Raju Hirani. An Aamir film may not always belong to Aamir but is still pitched as an Aamir Khan vehicle. As anyone even remotely familiar with Hindi cinema would know, contrary to other stars who are on media radar 24/7 Aamir gets active on the limelight circuit barely weeks before the crucial release and withdraws in short order once he has ensured the film’s dash to the 300 crore-dom. It is this absence between the films that feeds and sustains the audience’s interest in Aamir.

Of the three Khans, including Shah Rukh and Salman Khan who have ruled Bollywood for more than two decades, Aamir is physically unremarkable (though he retains his youthful boyishness) and the least star-like. When Salman walks into a room, he once remarked, heads turn. “I lack that star quality,” he admitted, sounding genuinely self-deprecatory than ironical. It is why you’ll always find a throng of SRK-stalkers outside Mannat, the superstar’s palatial mansion in suburban Mumbai and fans who stand for hours in the heat outside Galaxy Apartment to get a glimpse of Salman Khan but with Aamir, you’ll struggle to even locate his home on a fanzine map – forget mobbing his building. Why is it like this when, in fact, the Khan triumvirate are bona fide A-listers in their own right? The truth is, the Khans occupy different slots in the audience’s mind space. They represent different aspects of the Indian desire machine. What people want in SRK and Salman is different from what they expect from Aamir. SRK exists to fulfil their romantic fantasies. Salman has a Peter Pan appeal –a bad boy with golden heart, a misunderstood man-child whose transgressions are eventually forgotten and forgiven by a motherly India.
Aamir, on the other hand, speaks to our minds. If SRK has made a career out of playing SRK, Aamir has made a career out of playing on-Aamir Khan. Over the years, he has distanced himself from the other Khans and built a legacy as a discerning man’s superstar. He’s an every-man, not a star. What sets him further apart from other stars is that when you watch a film starring him, you come back intrigued not of his performance or starry aura but of the singular power of the story. (Though, as we go into print, critics are raving about his performance calling it significant and extraordinary.) With Aamir, you get a feeling that every Bollywood film would be slightly tolerable if he was in it and it may be so not because of his acting or performance but due to his overall involvement.

Many are expecting the eagerly-awaited Dangal to be a monster hit. It is Aamir’s return to the screen after a gap of two years. His last, PK, was a controversial blockbuster but left the critics wanting for more. Based on the first family of Indian wrestling, the Phogats, Dangal, his latest film features a lesser-known star cast and is in line with themes we have come to associate Aamir with in recent years. Relevant storylines, edgier ideas, fresh cast and lesser-known directors. The star reveals a talent for plucking stories that are either topical or have the capacity to become a conversation-starter. Ever since the film’s trailer was released, comparisons with Salman Khan’s Sultanbecame inevitable. Both films are about wrestling set in a Haryanvi milieu. But being an Aamir Khan film, Dangal obviously looks credibly well-researched and more realistic than the masala Sultan.
Aamir, who can work with any director he desires, has a tendency to hire filmmakers no one has heard of. Dangal is directed by Nitesh Tiwari, an award winning but little-known filmmaker whose previous credits read such smaller films as Chillar Party and Bhoothnath Returns. Another trend established over the years is that he never works with a director twice, except Raju Hirani. This adds to a growing perception that he ghost-directs his films. Which self-respecting filmmaker would want to work with an obsessive star whose involvement in the film is – as rumours go – like that of an absolute monarch?

Talking admiringly of Aamir to Tehelka magazine a few years ago, the usually caustic Naseeruddin Shah noted, “Aamir is the only star I can think of who is not producing films only to make money. And the same directors have fallen flat when they have attempted similar films without him. That says a lot about him.” One part of Shah’s statement rings true but the other is wide off the mark. Commercial success matters to Aamir, just as much as critical hosannas. The box-office has been kinder to him than most stars because of his promise of something new each time he returns to the marquee. Unlike Salman Khan whose glory run at the box-office is a recent phenomenon, Aamir has been a consistently successful star for years. Highly competitive, he tops the numbers race.
Call it competitiveness or insecurity, Aamir rarely shares screen space with another Khan or a Kumar. In Dangal, he has once again teamed up with an ensemble of small-time actors who appear in key roles. If it’s in the interest of the film, he even lets them steal his thunder. Think: Rang De Basanti, his biggest cultural moment. How he stepped back and allowed Siddharth to deliver the climax. Or, Satyamev Jayate, his apology for corporate social responsibility, which put journalism and social issues at the forefront with AK as the maudlin host taking a backseat.

From his media interviews, Aamir emerges as a man whose mind works like a filmmaker or scriptwriter. He speaks repeatedly of the need for simplicity in storytelling. In the Fat to Fit promotional video for Dangal, he said he didn’t want to wear prosthetics to look fat because, “maza nahin aayega.” No interview of Aamir is complete without him using the term ‘maza’ (entertainment) as a point of reference. It is tempting to wonder if his understanding of ‘what is entertainment’ owes in part to his influential uncle Nasir Hussain, the maker of such frothy money-spinners as Dil Deke Dekho, Caravan and Yaadon Ki Baraat.

Mr Hussain was committed to the service of entertainment. Aamir is following in his footsteps. At least in the last decade, Aamir’s dedication towards turning boring subjects into something interesting and engaging for the masses has become his signature. Who would have thought a satire on education (3 Idiots) would become one of the highest grossing Hindi hits of all time? He takes an underground film like Delhi Belly and turns it into box-office gold. Look at some of the subjects he has tackled as an actor, producer and director in recent years – media circus over farmer suicides in Peepli [Live], a complex, intersecting narrative set in Mumbai (Dhobi Ghat), dyslexia in children (Taare Zameen Par) and Bombay noir (Talaash). Aamir makes “social issues” entertaining to watch. Those who know the 51-year-old star say he trusts his instincts above everything else. Several media reports call him a risk-taker who is equally smart at reading the pulse of the audience. Is this magical connect with the audience the secret to his success? One guess could be that Aamir is the First Audience of his films and it is in this ability to put himself in place of the viewer that helps him strike a chord with moviegoers. The other guess, though, is simpler. That he makes movies only to make them a hit.

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ED raids Axis Bank’s Ahmedabad branch, detects Rs 89 cr worth illegal transactions

ED raids Axis Bank’s Ahmedabad branch, detects Rs 89 cr worth illegal transactions

There seems to be no end in sight to the woes of private sector Axis Bank. According to a report in India Today, the bank’s Ahmedabad branch has now been raided and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has put transactions worth Rs 89 crore under scanner.
The raid was conducted at Mayamnagar branch of the bank and the ED scrutinised 19 accounts, the report said.Axis Bank logo. ReutersAxis Bank logo. Reuters
According to I-T officials quoted in the report, these accounts, which allegedly have lax KYC compliance, saw Rs 89 crore worth of investment after the demonetisation announcement, and the amount was later transferred to beneficiary accounts. Four bank officials are also under the scanner, said the report.
The bank had been in the news in the last few days after authorities found certain branches had opened fake accounts to help tax cheats to launder their ill-gotten wealth.The ED has already registered a money laundering case in the alleged forging of a customer’s identity to conduct huge illegal transactions in the branch of Noida for conversion of black money into white post demonetisation.
The individual, identified as N Paswan, in his complaint filed with the police has claimed that his identity has been forged and a current and a savings account was opened in his name in the said branch which was allegedly used to launder crores of rupees post demonetisation.The bank branch, in sector 51 of Noida, is also under scanner of the income tax department owing to alleged dubious transactions using shell companies.
In the Noida case, the ED probe involves a laundering of Rs 60 crore. The officials of the agency had told PTI that they are probing more than two dozen accounts in the bank there which could have been used to perpetrate the crime of money laundering.
The bank, according to a PTI report, had suspended 24 employees and 50 accounts after the I-T raids unearthed such illegal activities.
“We are embarrassed that this has happened, but these are isolated incidents given that we have more than 3,000 branches and 50,000 employees.We have had many of our customers writing to us that the bank has done a great job and, therefore, it is disappointing that a handful of people have let us down,” MD and CEO Shikha Sharma had told The Economic Times in an earlier interview.