Photo: HT
Photo: HT

GST Bill, fresh IPOs, new IPL teams on watchlist for the week

Govt lists GST bill in Rajya Sabha for this week; BCCI will unveil two new IPL teams

GST Bill listed for discussion this week

The government has listed the goods and services tax (GST) bill in the Rajya Sabha for this week, but it’s unlikely that it can get the bill passed without tedious negotiations with the Congress-led Opposition. The manner in which Congress and a group of Opposition parties have formed “a committed bloc of above 90 members" will force the government to continue negotiating with them, as without this bloc it is impossible to get the required two-thirds support in the Upper House.

2 IPOs open on 8 December

The initial public offering (IPO) of Dr Lal PathLabs, which is planning to raise about 638 crore, will open for subscription on 8 December in the price band of 540-550 per equity share. The issue will close for subscription on 10 December.

Mumbai-based drugmaker Alkem Laboratories is making its 1,344-crore public offer from 8-10 December. The company is placing over 1.28 crore shares on the block through an offer-for-sale by its selling shareholders, the company said in a public advertisement. Each equity share has a face value of 2 and is priced at 1,0201,050.

Largest issue of tax-free bonds likely

Get ready for the largest issue of tax-free bonds this financial year. The Indian Railway Finance Corp. is said to be launching its tax-free bond issue worth 4,532 crore on 8 December. It is about 6.5 times the size of earlier issues of tax-free bonds from companies like National Thermal Power Corp., Power Finance Corp. and Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd, which were of 700 crore each.

Chinese data this week

With the US jobs report data out of the way, this week the focus will switch to a bevy of Chinese data which are expected to show a sluggish economy. Trade figures are due on Tuesday, followed by inflation on Wednesday and industrial output and retail sales on Saturday.

2 new IPL teams

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has said it will unveil two new Indian Premier League and Rajasthan Royals (RR) which were suspended for two years due to betting charges against their owner/official. Both CSK and RR will return to the league in 2018 after serving their bans.

The Chennai crisis

The closure of Chennai airport has been extended till 8 December, Air India said on Saturday even as the Airports Authority of India was monitoring the situation to take a decision on resuming normal operations.

Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit flood-affected parts of Chennai on 8 December. The flood-ravaged city was struggling to return to normalcy with partial restoration of telecommunication and train services, besides many roads also becoming fairly motorable even as water logging woes continued in several areas.

Swaraj’s Pakistan visit

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Islamabad on 8 December to attend the Heart of Asia security conference being held there, reported The Times of India. She will be accompanied by foreign secretary S. Jaishankar. This will be the first significant engagement between the two countries since the meeting between PM Narendra Modi and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa in July this year as Swaraj is expected to call on Sharif and also his adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz on the sidelines of the conference.

Bank, power strikes

A body of power sector employees and engineers has said that a day-long strike on 8 December to protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014 is unavoidable as negotiations remained deadlocked.

The All-India Bank Officers’ Confederation (Aiboc) has given a call for a nationwide strike on 11 December in support of its various demands. The notice of strike has been served by mail to all concerned, said Harvinder Singh, general secretary, Aiboc.

Deals lined up as Japanese PM visits this week

India and Japan are set to firm up an agreement on high speed train services, widely referred to as ‘Bullet Trains’, during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit this week. Abe is expected to arrive on 11 December, and the finalization of the Bullet Train agreement is likely to happen the next day. The first train is planned between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Further, Japan is likely to agree to finance the 90,000 crore-plus railway project through a soft loan at 0.5% interest with a repayment tenure of 50 years, reported The Economic Times.

TAPI gas pipeline project to start from 13 December

The ground-breaking ceremony of the proposed multi-billion dollar 1,735-km gas pipeline connecting Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India will start from 13 December, Turkmenistan Ambassador to Pakistan has said. The trans-national gas pipeline project known as TAPI, is intended to carry 33 billion cubic meters of gas annually through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar and terminate in Fazilka, a border town in India’s Punjab state.

Rains likely by 10 December

The current prolonged dry spell over much of northern and central parts of the country might end by 10 December, as a result of a confluence of a western disturbance coming from the hills and wet trough emanating from the Gujarat coast, reported Business Standard.

The confluence will lead to fairly widespread rains over the plains of north India comprising Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and also in central India including states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and east Rajasthan.

MLTR performs in India

Marking 25 years of its unison, rock band Michael Learns To Rock (MLTR) will be on a tour to India this December, reports India Today. The Danish band which has sold over 11 million records worldwide, has gigs lined up at New Delhi, Guwahati, Dimapur and finally Kolkata. The first leg of the MLTR India Tour 2015 will kick off from Delhi on 11 December. The Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon, will play host to the band.