Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani, during his visit to Nagpur few years back, had shared how his father late Dhirubhai Ambani for the first time in life lost a bet that too against Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Anil Ambani revealed Nitin Gadkari, a long standing friend of the Ambani family, is the only person to win a bet against his father.
Speaking about the bet, Gadkari said, “I remember Dhirubhai once challenged me to construct Mumbai-Pune Expressway. In fact, he had even warned me that it would be difficult to get the expressway constructed so, it’s better to assign the construction of the same to a private firm.”
Gadkari further said, “Dhirubhai and me discussed at great length about the same. Finally, I accepted his challenge and got the expressway completed in two and a half years that too in just ₹1600 crores!”
Read more: THROWBACK: World’s most sophisticated fighter jet Rafale to be manufactured in MIHAN: Anil Ambani
Tata Sons, Singapore Airlines to merge Vistara, Air India by March 2024
Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Tata Sons have coincided to merge Air India and Vistara. SIA will be investing ₹2,058.5 Cr in Air India as part of the transaction. This will give SIA 25.1 percent stake in an enlarged Air India group.
SIA said, “Based on SIA’s 25.1 per cent stake post-completion, its share of any additional capital injection could be up to ₹50,2000 lakh, payable only after the completion of the merger.”
Tata group owns 51 percent stake in Vistara, whereas 49 percent is held by SIA. With Vistara and Air India’s merger, Tata Sons is aiming to keep only one airline brand under its ambit.
Over past few months, Air India and Vistara have been competing for the number two spot in India. After the merger, Air India will become country’s largest airline behind IndiGo.
Around a year ago, Since Tata bought Air India for ₹18,000 Cr as part of a government disinvestment. The company is also planning to merge other airlines under one brand. That would include Air Asia India and Air India Express.
Chairman of Tata Sons N Chandrasekaran while commenting on the merger said, ‘the merger of Vistara and Air India is an important milestone in the journey to make Air India a truly world-class airline.’
The CEO of SIA Goh Choon Phong said, “We will work together to support Air India’s transformation program, unlock its significant potential, and restore it to its position as a leading airline on the global stage.”
Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan said, “Air India is a legendary brand with a rich legacy that pioneered civil aviation in India. There is enormous potential for an airline group with the scale and network of the combined entity.”
The proposed deal is expected to be complete by March 2024.
Former YES bank CEO Rana Kapoor’s money laundering case | Explained
Delhi High Court granted bail to Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor on November 25, in a ₹466.51-crore money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Kapoor was arrested in 2020 by the federal investigating agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He was held in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail.
On March 31, 2014, YES Bank had a loan book worth ₹55,633 crore and a deposit book at ₹74,192 crore. As of September 30, 2019, the loan book had increased to over four times its original size which would be from ₹ 55,633 crore to ₹2.25 trillion. The bank’s asset quality also deteriorated, following which RBI’s regulator began to investigate it.
According to the investigation agency, Kapoor, his family, and other individuals received perks worth hundreds of crores through businesses run by his family as a kind of payment for approving large loans. According to ED, Kapoor and family ran a byzantine collection of 101 companies from Samudra Mahal through three holding firms including Morgan Credits (MCPL), Yes Capital India (YCPL) and RAB Enterprises.
Rana Kapoor is also accused of accepting bribes for going easy on loans given to a few big corporate groups, which turned into non-performing assets.
In an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), allegations of criminal breach of trust, cheating, criminal conspiracy, and forgery were made against Avantha Group promoter Gautam Thapar, Oyster Buildwell Pvt. Ltd., and others for diverting and misappropriating public funds from 2017 to 2019, resulting in losses ₹466.51 crore to YES bank.
A trial court’s special judge bench had denied Kapoor’s request for bail and ruled that the banker was the target of severe and serious accusations. However, the court had granted bail to 15 of the co-accused. The Enforcement Directorate rejected the bail request in front of the trial court on the grounds that Kapoor had a key role in the creation of criminal proceeds.
However, the attorney for Kapoor stated that since the agency did not detain him while conducting the investigation and the charge sheet had already been submitted, detaining him would be useless.
When denying Kapoor’s request for bail, the special judge noted that the 15 defendants were merely hands and that, according to the allegations in the complaint, they appeared to have been acting or failing to act in accordance with orders from either Gautam Thapar or Rana Kapoor as their agents or employees.
Rana Kapoor, was granted regular bail by the Delhi High Court by Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain Bench on Friday November 25 in the ₹466.51 crore money laundering case brought by the ED.
Delhi bought 48 lakh liquor bottles worth over ₹100 crore on weekend before Diwali
On the weekend before Diwali this year, more than 48 lakh bottles of alcohol worth over ₹100 crore were sold in Delhi. After two years of subdued festivities because of the COVID-19 outbreak, people celebrated Diwali with much fanfare, which was a dry day in the city.
A senior excise department officer claimed, “That (dry day) led to a rush on the weekend from Friday to Sunday with heavy liquor sales across the city. More than 48 lakh bottles were sold on Friday-Sunday, worth over Rs 100 crore, ahead of Diwali on October 24,” he added.
According to the officer, Delhi sells about 12.50 lakh bottles of alcohol on a daily basis. The officials stated, on Friday, 13.56 lakh bottles were sold for over ₹30 lakh and on Saturday, 15.09 lakh bottles were sold for about ₹32 lakh.
A major sale of more than 19.42 lakh bottles worth over ₹42 lakh was made on Diwali eve on October 23 this year. Due to the attention given to Arvind Kejriwal government’s alcohol policy and the continuing CBI investigation into an alleged ‘scam’ in its execution, the excise industry in Delhi has been severely impacted.
The Excise Policy 2021–22 was cancelled by the Kejriwal government administration after Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena suggested a CBI investigation into alleged rules violations and procedural errors in its execution beginning on November 17, 2021.
From August 31 of this year, the retail licences provided to private parties for 849 liquor vends under the policy ceased to exist. The decision was made to go back to the excise system, which was in place before November 17, 2021. Over 460 alcohol vending machines are operated by Delhi government undertakings under the previous excise system.
By the end of the year, officials stated, the four companies should operate 700 liquor vends.