Tata, Godrej, Adani,
Patanjali show interest in buying Sahara group properties
New Delhi, Apr 19: A large number of corporates,
including Tatas, Godrej, Adani and Patanjali, have shown interest in
buying embattled Sahara group’s 30 properties estimated to be worth
about R 7,400 crore. The properties, mostly land parcels being
auctioned by real estate consultant Knight Frank India, have also
generated interest from several real estate developers including
Omaxe and Eldeco, as also from HNIs and at least one public sector
firm Indian Oil, sources familiar with the process said.
Besides, Chennai-based Apollo Hospital has shown interest in
acquiring Sahara Hospital in Lucknow. Sources, however, said that
the sale process and the valuation could get impacted due to a hurry
in getting the deals closed within a short time because of an
urgency on part of Saharas to get the money and deposit the same
with the regulator Sebi as per Supreme Court directions.
All prospective buyers are asking for 2-3 months for due diligence,
which is considered to be normal period of time in the high-value
real estate transactions, sources added.
When contacted, a Sahara group spokesperson declined to disclose the
names of prospective buyers, saying “deals are in process and will
materialise soon”. He also said the details have been submitted to
the Supreme Court.
Godrej Properties’ Executive Chairman Pirojsha Godrej said, “We are
looking at part of one of the Pune land parcels for which Knight
Frank is running the bidding process. It is still at a preliminary
stage.” Omaxe’s CMD Rohtas Goel also confirmed that his company was
interested in some properties. “As a prudent business organisation,
we always keep exploring growth opportunities,” he said. (PTI)
Nasscom says Trump
order on H-1B visa to hurt US economy
Bengaluru, Apr 19: The National Association of Software and Services
Companies (Nasscom) in this country says American President Donald
Trump’s new order to restrict H-1B visas is a big mistake for that
It has said there is a campaign to discredit the Indian services
sector and the move would hurt the American economy, as the US faces
a shortage of computer engineers.
“Regarding the concept of reorienting the H-1B lottery to be a
system that prioritises the “most-skilled or highest-paid” visa
applicants, the (US) Administration needs to be careful about
unintended consequences,” it stated.
“Using salary levels as the metric is not necessarily the best
indicator of benefits to the US economy. And, unless such a system
reflects variations in wages in all parts of the US, it could
advantage certain regions such as Silicon Valley over other regions
of the US.”
The move by Trump will help Silicon Valley-based entities such as
Google, Facebook and Oracle to take advantage of the programme to
get more engineers from India to work on projects back home. At the
same time, it is expected to hurt outsourcing companies majors here,
such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro, which
traditionally have used the H-1B visa programme to send engineers to
work on projects at customer locations in America.
The US has not changed the quota of 85,000 H-1B visas issued
annually, which includes 20,000 visas for holders of a Master’s
Nasscom says it has no problem with measures aimed at protecting
Ameri-can workers. (Agencies)
India In Touch With US And
Australia, Making 'Full Assessment' Of The Visa Issue
NEW DELHI, Apr 19: Amid concerns over the US'
changed H1B visa programme, India said on Wednesday it was in touch
with the Trump administration and making "full assessment" of its
impact on Indian professionals.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Gopal Baglay said India was also
in touch with the Australian government regarding the changes in
that country's work visa programme. "The government is in touch with
the governments of the United States and Australia on these matters
and is also making full assessment of impact of these recent
changes, in consultation with all stakeholders," he said. Baglay
also downplayed criticism of the government's foreign policy
vis-a-vis job creation, saying the government has facilitated
expansion of workforce through its flagship programmes such as 'Make
in India' and 'Skill India' as also by delivering large
technological partnerships and enhanced Foreign Direct Investment.
"Insofar as H1-B visas are concerned, the cap has remained at 65,000
since December 2004 when the H1-B Visa Reform Act of 2004 was
enacted by the US Congress," he said.
Referring to Australia replacing its popular 457 work visa programme
with another programme, he said senior Australian officials have
conveyed to India that "the impact of the changes will be negligible
on Indian workers, most of whom fall in high skill category." The
MEA spokesperson recalled that the government had agreed with the
government of France last year to allow Indian students at Masters
level and above to extend their stay in that country for two years.
In a blow to Indian IT industry and professionals, US President
Donald Trump has signed an executive order for tightening the rules
of the H-1B visa programme to stop its "abuse" and ensure that the
visas are given to the "most- skilled or highest paid" petitioners.
'States can borrow directly
from foreign agencies for infra projects'
New Delhi, Apr 19: The government on Wednesday
allowed state entities to borrow directly from bilateral overseas
lending agencies like JICA to fund infrastructure projects.
The decision would directly benefit important projects such as
Mumbai trans-harbour link (MTHL), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told
The decision was taken by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi.
The government "has approved the policy guidelines to allow
financially sound state government entities to borrow directly from
bilateral ODA (Official development Assistance) partners for
implementation of vital infrastructure projects," an official
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), a
state government entity, has also been allowed to borrow directly
from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for
implementation of MTHL project. (PTI)
Vijay Mallya could fight
extradition on political grounds
London, Apr 19: Vijay Mallya, who has been
declared a proclaimed offender, is likely to challenge his
extradition to India from the UK on the grounds that the charges
against him are politically motivated, a legal expert said today.
The 61-year-old liquor baron, who has been living in self-imposed
exile in Britain since last year, was arrested by Scotland Yard
yesterday on fraud allegations, triggering an official extradition
process in the British courts.
Mallya was released on conditional bail a few hours later after
providing a bail bond worth 650,000 pounds and assuring the court of
abiding by all conditions associated with extradition proceedings,
such as the surrender of his passport and a ban on him possessing
any travel documents.
The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will now argue the case on
behalf of the Indian authorities. “The Crown Prosecution Service,
acting on behalf of the Indian authorities, will need to demonstrate
a prima facie case ie. produce some evidence to show that the
criminal charges against Mallya, for which his extradition is
sought, are justified,” said Javinder Nakhwal, partner at Peters and
Peters Solicitors LLP and member of the UK’s Extradition Lawyers
“There are a number of grounds on which it is possible to contest
extradition, some of which might not be relevant to Mallya’s case.
Mallya may seek to challenge extradition on the basis that the
request for his extradition is politically motivated, and that any
extradition would constitute a breach of certain human rights,” she
The precise grounds on which Mallya contests his extradition remains
to be seen. His legal team will seek to support their arguments with
factual and/or expert evidence and can claim he won’t get a fair
trial in India and can also raise the condition of Indian prisons as
a factor behind the extradition request being declined. (PTI)