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Dearness Allowance Hike for Central Government Employees and Pensioners Revoked



Dearness Allowance

The Government has decided to abort the disbursal of the Dearness Allowance (DA) benefits for the Central Government employees and pensioners due to the cash crunch over COVID-19. The April salary will be due within a week’s time along with the revised Dearness Allowance. However, the salary will not carry an enhanced Dearness Allowance of over 21 percent.

The COVID-19 has created huge havoc among the economic front of the country. With the announcement of the lockdown, the business has come to an utter standstill. Hence, Tax revenues have declined considerably. The DA pause is for one year with the possibility to provide all the arrears after that.

The main reason for the suspension of Dearness Allowance benefits is due to the steep decline in the overall tax revenues. The Government has decided to delay the implementation of the recent decision to raise DA for 1.13 crore employees and pensioners.

The Cabinet gave its approval to increase the Dearness Allowance by 21 percent from the previous 4 percent on March 13 with retrospective effect from January 1, 2020. The estimated cost of the DA payment amounts to Rs 14510 crore in FY21. The employees and pensioners were supposed to receive DA arrears from January to March in April. The interesting point to note is that the DA changes haven’t yet notified, which created a rumor about the imminent suspension of DA.

The Government also announced a series of cost-cutting measures, which include slashing of the Budget allocation of departments by 40 percent. The Government also asked its staff to donate one day’s pay in April towards the PM-CARES fund voluntarily.


PhonePe faces the heat over Yes Bank fiasco




Yes Bank

India’s Yes Bank is under deep trouble. The company is facing a huge crisis and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has capped the withdrawal limit to Rs 50000. However, the cap can be relaxed for emergency situations. The RBI has placed Yes Bank under moratorium for a period of one month. The bank will be controlled by an RBI appointed administrator after one month. Hence, digital payment services companies like PhonePe could not operate from Thursday evening.

The RBI has superseded the Yes Bank board because of the serious problems with the bank financials. The PhonePe could not operate because the service makes use of the Yes Bank for the transactions. Moreover, the net banking facility of the Yes Bank is not working since Thursday evening. In addition to PhonePe, Flipkart, Myntra, Swiggy are unable to use Yes Bank UPI.

Commenting on the development, PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam disclosed that the company sincerely regrets the long outage. Their partner bank Yes Bank was placed under moratorium by RBI. The team has been working all night to get the services restored at the earliest. PhonePe depends upon Yes Bank for the transactions.

The company will find it difficult to operate if the RBI continues the moratorium. Moreover, PhonePe’s money has been struck inside their bank account. Even if PhonePe continues to operate by switching over to another bank, they will be able to recover the locked amount only after several months.

Going forward, the popular private bank in India will not be able to grant or renew any loan or advance. They can’t make any investment or incur any liability. The bank will be managed by the RBI-appointed administrator Prashant Kumar, who previously worked with SBI. That said, you need not have to panic because RBI has taken a decision before the bank collapses. The reports indicate that RBI is currently looking for an infusion of equity and revival of the bank.

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Thomas Cook India safe despite the collapse of the UK business




Thomas Cook

It seems that the economy is not in good shape worldwide. Thomas Cook UK has closed its operation since the company was unable to garner the required funds from investors for the continuation. However, Thomas Cook India has disclosed that their operations will not be affected in any manner since they are part of a different entity.

The last-minute talks failed and the 178-year old Thomas Cook UK has cancelled over 600,000 bookings. There are reports that as many as 1.5 million British tourists are left stranded at various destinations across the country. The collapse of Thomas Cook UK has caused 22000 job losses including 9000 in the UK. The company took to Twitter and revealed that they won’t be monitoring the account and have ceased to exist.

The closure of Thomas Cook UK won’t affect Thomas Cook India operations in any manner. THis is because Thomas Cook India was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings with a 77 percent stake in 2012. It is to be noted that Thomas Cook UK doesn’t have any stake in the Indian entity. The new turned out to be a sigh of relief for not only travellers but also staffs.

Commenting on the development, Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director of Thomas Cook India revealed that the company was acquired by FairFax Holdings in 2012. The balance sheet is separate from Thomas Cook Uk and very sound. The developments happened in the UK is specific to that country and the operations of India are not affected in any manner.

After the transfer of the entire stake to FairFax, Thomas Cook India has no business to do with its UK counterpart. The India operations are being carried out as a separate entity. The Indian operations are not affected in any manner.

The Government will have a sigh of relief since the abrupt forced closure of Thomas Cook India will have a hard impact on the economy. The closure of Jet airways had triggered panic with no other company coming forward to take over the assets.

Thomas Cook India provides a wide range of services ranging from foreign exchange, insurance, passport, corporate travel including visa services. The company operates B2C and B2B brands and companies across 29 countries.

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Full Text Of Speech Delivered By Mukesh Ambani at the 40th Annual General Body Meeting




Mukesh Ambani

Here is the full text of the speech centering towards digital segment delivered by Mukesh D Ambani at the 40th Annual General Meeting of the company held today in Mumbai.

Dear Friends,

Let me begin with Reliance Jio.
It has been only 10 months since the launch of Jio.
And what an incredible journey it has been!
Jio has broken one world record after another.
First, nobody believed that we could acquire customers fast enough to justify our ` 200,000 crore investment in the world’s largest greenfield 4G LTE all-IP network.
Team Jio stunned the world.
They over-delivered on the 100 million target that I had set for them at our last AGM.
In less than 170 days, more than 100 million customers signed up for Jio’s services.
On an average, Jio added 7 customers per second every single day.
This was the fastest adoption of any technology service, anywhere in the world.
Faster than even Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype.
This is a testament to the unwavering trust that Indians have placed in us and their love for the Jio brand.
Today, Jio has over 125 million customers.
I sincerely thank each and every one of our customers.
Aap Sab Ko, Main, Mere Dil Se, Dhanyavaad Deta Hoon !
Second, before the launch of Jio, sceptics said that Voice over LTE is a globally unproven technology.
But, we proved them wrong!
We enabled Jio users to make unlimited voice calls from anywhere to everywhere in India – absolutely free.
Jio users consistently make more than 250 crore minutes of voice and video calls every single day.
We are grateful to our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Digital India vision, which allows the benefits of technology
to be passed on, directly to Indian customers.
Third, many analysts believed that India can never be the largest mobile data market in the world.
Again, Jio proved them wrong.
In just 6 months of Jio’s launch, data consumption in India went from 20 crore GB to 120 crore GB per month and has been multiplying ever since.
Now, Jio customers alone are consuming over 125 crore GB of data every month, including 165 crore hours of highspeed video every month, making Jio the largest mobile video network.
Indeed, India has overtaken USA and China in mobile data usage.
Before Jio’s launch, India was 155th in the world in mobile broadband penetration.
Now India is number 1 in mobile data consumption and well on its way to becoming number 1 in mobile
broadband penetration, in the coming months.
Fourth, sceptics said India being India, free users will never convert to paid users.
Once again, Jio’s customers proved them wrong.
Starting March of this year, Jio successfully undertook the largest migration from free to paid services in history.
And we have converted majority of our free customers to paid customers.
Today, Jio has more than 100 million paying Jio Prime customers.
Most of them have recharged on Jio’s ` 309 or higher plans.
Jio Prime members will continue to get tariff benefits with Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan and Every Day More Value plans.
Additionally, they will get many attractive surprises.
Jio Prime members have a special place in our hearts.
We thank them for their trust in Jio and I want to commit that Jio is a customer-obsessed organization and will always walk the extra mile in serving them every single day.

Dear Shareholders,

There are 78 crore mobile phones in India.
However, let us not forget that in this 78 crore, there are more than 50 crore feature phone users who have been left out of the digital revolution.
They cannot avail any benefits of a smart phone, much less the benefits of a 4G LTE smartphone.
They can neither afford the cheapest 4G LTE smartphone, nor the exorbitant cost of data charged by existing 2G operators.
At last year’s AGM, I had said that data is the oxygen of digital life, and no Indian should suffer because of data scarcity and unaffordability.
Sadly, a vast majority of mobile users in India are starved of data.
This digital disempowerment and unfairness must end.
Jio is committing to end it today.
We shall achieve this in three ways – Connectivity, Data Affordability and Device Affordability.

First, connectivity:

Jio is a data strong network built for the internet from the ground up with the highest speeds and the best coverage.
This is a significant advantage we have over all other Indian operators.
For the past 5 months, the TRAI SpeedTest portal, which officially monitors the quality of telecom networks in India, has consistently ranked Jio as the clear 4G network leader in coverage, usage and data speeds.
Our network continues to rapidly expand across the country.
And in the next 12 months, Jio services will cover 99% of our country’s population.
Because of Jio, India’s 4G coverage will be more than its 2G coverage.
It took 25 years for our competitors to build their 2G network.
Jio will have created a larger 4G network in just three years.
To support the enhanced coverage, we are also expanding our physical distribution network across India.
We will soon have over 10,000 Jio offices, across every city and tehsil town of India.
These offices will service our sales channel partners and over ten lakh physical retail outlets that sell Jio services.
In addition we will integrate with all major e-commerce platforms.

Second, Data Affordability:


It is both unjust and ironic that 50 crore Indians who have feature phones pay more for voice calls and sms than those with smartphones.
They end up spending their entire month’s telecom budget of 150 – 200 only to get 150 minutes of voice – while their smartphone counterparts on Jio network get voice for free.
Even today, they have to pay between 4,000 to 8,000 for every GB of data – while their smartphone counterparts on Jio get data for 10 to 20 per GB.
If these feature phone users were to consume a similar quantity of data as smartphone users, they would spend over 4000 per month at the prevailing 2G data rates.
This makes it impossible for them to even think of using data, let alone avail advanced data services like video calling, mobile video and mobile applications.

Third, device affordability:

Even an entry-level smart phone costs between 3,000 to 4,500 making it unaffordable for feature phone users to upgrade to a smartphone.
We simply cannot idly stand by when such a large proportion of our fellow citizens are unable to participate in the digital revolution sweeping the nation.
This is the most critical problem in bridging the digital divide.

And I had challenged our young engineers at Jio to find a disruptive Indian solution to this problem.
What they came up with, stunned me. And it will stun you.
Today, Jio is going to reinvent the conventional feature phone.
With a revolutionary device, an unmatched Indian innovation, Made in India, by young Indians and for all Indians.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me introduce India ka Intelligent SmartPhone – Presenting Jio Phone.

Dear Shareowners,
As you just saw, JioPhone is a truly revolutionary phone that will transform the lives of 50 Cr feature phone users.

Now, let me announce the tariffs for the JioPhone.
On the JioPhone, voice will ALWAYS be free.
Currently, the 50 Cr feature phone users are charged Re 1.2 to 1.5 per min for basic voice calling.
They end up spending their entire month’s telecom budget of ` 150 – 200 only to get 150 minutes of basic voice.
With Jio’s network coverage reaching 99% of India’s population, and by making voice calls free, this potentially empowers each and every Indian to make FREE VOICE CALLS… to any operator… anywhere in India…

The 50 Cr feature phone users don’t even have access to basic internet and apps.
To enable a Digital Life, they need access to DATA at affordable rates.
Starting 15th of August this year, I am declaring DIGITAL FREEDOM for all feature phone users.
Jio will give them access to UNLIMITED DATA on the JioPhone.
If these feature phone users were to consume a similar quantity of data on other operator’s network, they would spend over 4,000 – 5,000 per month at prevailing 2G data rates.
Jio will provide this at ONLY 153 per month..that is one-thirtieth the price.
I am putting an end to UNAFFORDABLE DATA, with this ALL UNLIMITED, Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan plan of 153 per month for the JioPhone!
There will be a fair usage policy of half a GB per day, to ensure that bandwidth is fairly apportioned for every user.


Many JioPhone users might like to view their favorite content such as live TV, movies, education on the big screen of their television sets.
This is especially true in many remote parts of India where even cable TV and high speed internet have not reached.
Our young Jio engineers have created an innovation to help them – a special and affordable “JioPhone TV cable” that connects JioPhone with any TV, not just a smart TV, so that all JioPhone users can enjoy viewing on the big screen
of their existing television sets.
Along with this accessory, users can opt for the existing Jio Dhan Dhan Dhan 309 pack that would allow users to watch almost 3-4 hours of videos daily, of their choice, on a large screen.


We are well aware that many of these users find it difficult to commit 153 upfront.
In order to fit every pocket, we are also introducing 2 sachets – a weekly plan for 53 and a 2-day plan for 23, that provide similar value.
To sum it up, this breakthrough and revolutionary device named JioPhone along with Jio’s disruptive tariff will unleash the power of Digital Life in the hands of 1.3 billion citizens of the largest democracy in the world.

Now, let’s do a quick recap of today’s highlights:

1. Jio redefined technology service adoption and became the fastest growing company in the world, with more than 125 million customers.
2. Jio revolutionized data consumption and made India the number 1 data-consuming nation, globally 3. In terms of Jio’s network rollout, Jio will ensure that India’s 4G coverage will be more than its 2G coverage in the next 12 months
4. Jio reinvented the conventional feature phone and launched a breakthrough device called the JioPhone that will unleash a Digital Life for every Indian.
5. Jio once again disrupted market tariffs by:

A. Making voice free for 50 Cr feature phone users
B. Introducing an unlimited data plan for JioPhone users at only 153 per month
C. Introducing an innovative JioPhone TV-Cable to help connect the JioPhone to ANY TV for watching your favorite internet content
D. Announcing affordable ALL UNLIMITED sachets at 53 for a week and 23 for 2 days

These are truly five path-breaking and revolutionary announcements from Jio.
But that’s not all. There is ONE MORE THING.

You may want to know how much the JioPhone cost.
Remember that even an entry-level 4G smart phone will cost between 3,000 – 4,500.
Today, I am delighted to announce that JioPhone will be available to all Indians for an effective price of – 0.
Yes, you have heard it right …for an effective price of 0!
JioPhone is effectively free for Jio customers.
We know that anything free can potentially be misused.
To protect against misuse of the free JioPhone offer, we plan to collect a fully refundable, one-time, security deposit of ` 1,500 with every JioPhone.
A JioPhone user can use the JioPhone for 36 months, and can get a full refund of the security deposit of ` 1,500 by returning the used JioPhone.
Net-net, you pay nothing for the JioPhone.
It is free!!

Dear Shareowners,
All Indians – without exception – will not only be free from voice charges, from SMS charges, from extortionist data charges.
From 15th August, 2017, they will have access to the highest quality, highest quantity, most affordable and unlimited data.
This is how Jio will end the digital exclusion in India.
And this is what I call true digital freedom.
Reliance dedicates JioPhone to the nation on the joyous occasion of India@70 – the 70th anniversary of India’s Freedom and offers it to over 50 crore data-deprived mobile feature phone users in India.
Digital Life will no longer be the privilege of the affluent few.
This is the most powerful digital tool ever created in India to empower every Indian.

Technological limitations and inefficiencies of some operators will no longer become an excuse to perpetuate digital deprivation to over 50 crore Indians.
Reliance democratized the equity culture in the past.

Now, Jio will democratize the digital culture in India.
Jio will be the greatest accelerator of the Bharat-India connectivity.
Indians even in the remotest villages will now have the same access to digital entertainment, digital learning, e- Healthcare, e-banking, e-Governance and real-time information that is enjoyed by those in cities like Mumbai or Delhi.
The launch of the JioPhone will fulfill the dream of our Founder, Shri. Dhirubhai Ambani and the Digital India vision of our Prime Minister Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi.

So… when will the JioPhone be available?
The JioPhone will be available for user testing in beta from 15th August and for pre-booking from 24th August.
And JioPhone will be physically available to those who have pre-booked, on a first come first serve basis, September onwards.
So, I encourage all of you to pre-book a JioPhone as quickly as possible, starting 24th August.
And from the last quarter of this year, all JioPhones will be made in India.
We are targeting to have 5 million JioPhones available every week.

Dear Shareholders,
I have always set impossible goals and targets for my colleagues at Jio.
And they have unfailingly made the impossible, possible.
Today, I am mandating the Jio Team to help a majority of feature phone users in India to migrate to JioPhone.
JioPhone will make the 2G feature phone obsolete.
With this, I am sure Jio will set a new world record.
Creating fixed-line high-speed broadband services is the next leap forward for our country.
Jio remains well on track to bring world-class optic-fiber connectivity to enterprises, small businesses, homes and public spaces.
Most of Jio’s infrastructure for providing these services is already in place.
This is the next big monetization opportunity for Jio.
I will regularly apprise you of the progress we make in each of these areas.

For Jio’s spectacular success, I am ever grateful to all our trade and retail partners for their support and commitment.
And most of all, Jio’s success belongs to the tireless efforts of 100,000 people of Jio across India.
Jio is a young organization and Akash and Isha, our Directors at Jio, both 25, lead a large contingent of success-hungry and highly talented professionals.
I want to publicly recognize and thank each and every one of the Jio employees and applaud their contribution to our company, and our nation.

Our motto at Jio is that while we are the best today we will strive to be better tomorrow.
Once again, I thank you for being a part of our growing Jio family!
We are grateful for your trust, and we are obsessed, 24×7, with providing you a superior customer and service experience.
It is an honor for me to be a part of this amazing journey… I am confident that with Jio and on this fortieth anniversary of Reliance…

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