PVR widens its reach, buys SPI Cinemas for ₹ 633 crore

download (1).jpgSource: LiveMint.com, Aug 13, 2018

PVR Ltd on Sunday said it has agreed to buy a 71.7% stake in SPI Cinemas Pvt. Ltd for ₹ 633 crore—a move that will help India’s largest multiplex operator boost its presence in the lucrative south Indian market. The acquisition of SPI, the largest cinema exhibitor in south India, will make PVR the seventh largest cinema exhibitor in the world. On completion of the acquisition, PVR’s total screen count will increase to 706 across 152 properties and 60 cities.

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India and Nepal step up efforts to ease cross-border trade stress

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 12, 2018

India and Nepal are stepping up efforts to streamline the flow of goods across the border into the Himalayan nation that has been till now marred by restrictive routes and logistical hurdles.

The solutions being considered are India-funded integrated checkposts and even new rail routes to beat the kilometre-long lines of trucks at the India-Nepal border. The need for better access will grow with the Nepalese government recently announcing a forward-looking vision to phase out the sale of petrol/diesel-run vehicles by 2030.

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Facebook aims for a bigger play in movie marketing

download.jpgSource: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 12, 2018

Mumbai: With social media becoming one of the key mediums for viewers to discover content and the film industry increasingly leveraging it to engage their audience through original content, Facebook is looking to sink its teeth further into movie marketing.

Over the years, movie marketing itself has undergone a massive shift with the advent of the internet and digital media. Given the changing consumption patterns of film goers and rapid internet and smartphone penetration, digital media is pivoting large box- office results for Hindi movies.

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Vehicle-scrapping policy may not roll out until after 2019 polls

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 12, 2018

New Delhi: The 2019 general elections seem to have cast a shadow over the much-talked-about new scrapping policy for commercial vehicles.

The proposal, which was to be sent to the Union Cabinet, is seeing fresh round of discussions.

The Road Ministry is engaging with States to make the policy more effective, sources in the know said adding that the Ministry is also considering offering interest rate subvention for buying new vehicles. “Bringing such a policy in an election year is difficult,” a senior official told BusinessLine.

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Auto industry raises concerns over proposed changes in import regulations

Source: Financial Express, Aug 12, 2018

The automobile industry is concerned over a proposal by the government to allow imports of up to 2,500 units without the need for adapting to Indian regulations, according to sources in the sector. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in June had sought feedback from stakeholders to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules for allowing import of right-hand drive vehicles with compliance certificate from the country of origin.

The move would allow import of maximum of 2,500 completely-built units or semi-knocked down kits each year. The vehicles could be shipped in by the manufacturers or their authorised representatives.

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Govt announces ₹10,000-crore connectivity plan for NE states

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 12, 2018

With parliamentary polls just a year away, the Centre on Saturday announced a mega investment and connectivity programme for the northeastern states, entailing inflow of nearly Rs 10,000 crore through over 400 programmes expected to be rolled out in the next four years.

“This is the first time that the central government has conducted an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the various states in the northeastern region before finalising a comprehensive investment programme as part of the ‘Digital North-East Vision 2022’,” IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here, adding that the idea was to bring the states on a par with other regions of the country.

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RCEP trade ministers to meet on Aug 30-31 in Singapore

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 12, 2018

Trade ministers of RCEP member countries, including India and China, will hold a crucial meeting in Singapore on August 30-31, an official said. The meeting is important as the 16-member bloc now needs specific political guidance to move the negotiations further, the official added.

RCEP mega trade pact aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) bloc comprises 10 Asean members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The meeting also assumes significance as the member countries are not moving at a healthy pace even as the negotiation for the deal started in November 2012. The 23rd round of the negotiation was recently concluded without much progress in Bangkok.

India is also holding comprehensive stakeholder consultations with industry as well as different ministries and departments on the pact as the grouping includes China, with which India has a huge trade deficit.

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