Union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran has resigned from his post. His resignation came a day after the CBI told the Supreme Court it was investigating Maran over alleged telecom irregularities between 2004-07. It also comes ahead of a cabinet reshuffle that could take place next week. Maran, has of course, denied the charges against him.
The government is finally moving to bring MFIs under the purview of the RBI. It has released the draft of a bill to regulate the industry. Under the proposed legislation, MFIs would have to register with RBI before starting business. It will also allow any existing MFI to apply for registration within three months of the law coming into effect. What’s more, the Reserve Bank will be able to place caps on margins and interest rates and set repayment schedules. One other implication of the MFI bill is that it would reduce the ability of state governments to impose their own rules on micro-lenders. Not surprisingly, the Andhra government, which introduced legislation on MFIs, has told finance minister Pranab Mukherjee about its concerns. Shares of industry leader SKS Microfinance rocketed up 20% on the BSE to 411.
There’s good news for FM radio stations. On Thursday, the cabinet increased the FDI cap in the industry. Foreign outfits will now be able to own up to 26% of Indian radio companies instead of the earlier 20%. The cabinet also approved the auction of additional radio spectrum notionally worth more than Rs1,733 crore.
Indian markets surged on Thursday, dramatically ending a two-day losing streak in which investors appeared to be consolidated. The Sensex shot up 351.33 points to 19078.30 and the Nifty climbed 103.50 to 5728.95