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Padmavati’s makers in quandary after change of film’s release schedule

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The most controvertial magnum opus of the most talked about Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, PADMAVATI made with a humongous budget of Rupees 180 crores is in a real fix as the movie has been stalled for now after so much of national protests with political overtones blaming Bhansali for twisting and concocting the historical facts putting highly reverred 16th century Queen Padmavati in poor light as the admirer or keep of the then cruel emperor Allauddun Khiljee which the former outrightly denied as completely baseless and beyond facts.

Now even the chief ministers of Punjab Captain Amrinder Singh, CM UP Yogi Aadityanath and CM Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia and even Shiv Sena has come out in the open in support of the Rajput Community and the KARNI SENA by writing to the Union I&B Minister Smiriti Irani to not let the fim be released unless the objectionable sections from the movie are taken out. Similarly, the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification has also come out in the open against Sanjay Leela Bhansali raising strong objections of showing the film to few journalists of repute before being cleared by the CBFC.

The film was earlier slated for the release in the month of December in the first week but since now the release has been deferred due to the ongoing controversy which has now adopted added proportions the film’s postponement is likely to see the cascading affect on the release scheduled for other films, besides spelling huge losses for the exhibitors as well as the distributors. Now since Salman Khan’s film Tiger Zinda hai is all set to be released in the last week of December, Padmavati’s release has been held up till for December. Since the movie has been madeon huge budget of 180 crores the makers can’t take the risk of releasing it one weak before or after of any other good film’s release as it may ruin the chances of Padmavati in the box office.

In view of the December release date going off, the makers are working on fresh strategy to ensure that the film becomes a huge hit and no other film comes in the way of its release. But for this the makersof the fim will have to reframe its entire strategy by taking other film makers into confidence. The experts say that now a release date is very critical and once the makers miss the date earlier fixed as per planning, the whole strategy goes into jeopardy.
SUNIL NEGI

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Pulwama attack: Reliance Foundation offers to take responsibility of families of slain jawans

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Reliance Foundation on Saturday expressed readiness to take on the responsibility of education and employment of the children of the 40 CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack.

“As a mark of our gratitude to the martyrs, Reliance Foundation expresses its readiness to assume full responsibility for the education and employment of their children, and the livelihood of their families,” said the company in a statement.”If necessary, our hospital is ready to provide the best possible treatment to the injured jawans. We shall also deem it to be our duty to shoulder any other responsibility the government may place upon us in service to our beloved Armed Forces.”

“The entire Reliance Parivar fully shares the outrage of 1.3 billion Indians at the barbaric terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on Thursday, in which 40 brave jawans were martyred. “No evil power in this world can break India’s unity or our resolve to defeat terrorism, which is an enemy of humanity,” said the foundation.

“Our hearts go out to the bereaved members of the martyrs’ families. The nation will never forget the brave hearts and their sacrifice. We pray for the recovery of the injured jawans. As citizens, as well as a Corporate Citizen, we stand fully behind our Armed Forces and our Government in this hour of national solidarity.”Reliance Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited. It undertakes social initiatives in areas of rural transformation, education, health, sports for development, disaster response, urban renewal, and arts, culture, and heritage.

The foundation has touched the lives of more than 20 million people across India, in more than 13,500 villages and several urban locations.

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Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts set to cross Rs 90,000 crore: Finance Ministry

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Total deposits in Jan Dhan accounts are set to cross Rs 90,000 crore with the government making the flagship financial inclusion programme more attractive especially by doubling accident insurance cover to Rs 2 lakh.

According to data from the finance ministry, the deposits, which have been steadily rising since March 2017, have already reached Rs 89,257.57 crore as on January 30, and are steadily rising.

The deposits stood at Rs 88,566.92 crore on January 23.

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was launched on August 28, 2014, with an aim to provide universal access to banking facilities for all households.

Enthused by the success of the scheme, the government has enhanced the accident insurance cover to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh for new accounts opened after August 28, 2018.

The overdraft limit has also been doubled to Rs 10,000.

The government has also shifted the focus on accounts from ‘every household’ to ‘every unbanked adult’.

According to the latest data, there were 34.14 crore account holders under the PMJDY.

An average deposit in these accounts was about Rs 2,615, compared with Rs 1,065 on March 25, 2015.

Over 53 per cent of the Jan Dhan account holders are women, 59 per cent accounts are in rural and semi-urban areas.

As per the data, 27.26 crore accounts holders have been issued RuPay debit cards with an inbuilt accident insurance cover.

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Centre to decide on start-ups to be exempted from angel tax

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The government will soon decide on the controversial angel tax, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra said on Thursday.

He said that the government was examining the issues faced by startups on the angel tax issue.”Very shortly we will find out a solution on the basis of the suggestions we have received. We will have to decide which startups are real startups and how they can be exempted from Section 56(2) of the Income Tax Act,” he said.

Last week, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), along with tax officials, had met several representatives of the start-up industry.

Chandra said that several suggestions have been received from start-ups on exempting them from the angel tax.

A decision will soon be taken on the kind of start-ups that can be exempted from angel tax by the I-T Department, he said.

Various start-ups have raised concerns about the notices sent to them under Section 56(2) of the I-T Act to pay taxes on angel funds. The law provides that the amount raised by a start-up in excess of its fair market value would be deemed as income from other sources and would be taxed at 30%.

Introduced in 2012, the provision of angel tax deals with the premium paid by the angel investors when they invest in the companies.

Last month, the government eased the procedure for seeking income tax exemption by start-ups on investments from angel funds and prescribed a 45-day deadline for a decision on such applications.

The new procedure says that to seek an exemption, a startup should apply with all documents to DPIIT. The application of the recognised start-up shall then be moved to CBDT. A startup recognised by DPIIT would be eligible to seek an exemption, subject to certain conditions.

(more…)

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Consumer electronics co Hyundai Corp to re-enter India

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Hyundai Corporation has re-entered the Indian consumer electronics and appliance space after exiting the market over a decade ago. The South Korean multinational has partnered Akshay Rajkumar Dhoot who acquired the brand licence rights for India region, which is renewable every five years.

His venture Hyundai Electronics India is an independent Indian company and not a subsidiary of the Korean multinational.

Dhoot earlier was chief technology officer of Videocon Group’s consumer electronics vertical and had joined the family business back in 2015. The partnership with Hyundai Corp is Dhoot’s own venture and has no connection with the family business.

Speaking with DNA Money, Dhoot said the Hyundai Electronics India business has no association or connection with Videocon. “I have been planning to start my own consumer electronics brand since over a year now. I connected with Hyundai Corporation who were planning to venture into the Indian market and were on the lookout for a partner. Post initial discussions, they agreed to offer the Indian entity brand licence and together we’ll be launching Hyundai branded electronics and appliances in India,” Dhoot, who is the CEO of Hyundai Electronics India.

While Hyundai Corp will be responsible for quality control, research and development (R&D), product selection and market research, the India unit will focus on marketing, distribution, after-sales service and other related activities. “The ownership of the India unit is with me and the understanding with Hyundai Corporation in the brand licensing agreement is that we will market and distribute all of Hyundai’s electronics and appliances. This includes television, refrigerator, washing machines, air conditioners, kitchen appliances and personal care products like shavers, trimmers, blow dryers, etc,” said Dhoot.

Dhoot said the new India unit will bring a lot of R&D and product differentiation to the table. “We are targeting 3% market share in every state that we are going to be present in, in the first year of operations. This will be across television, refrigerator, washing machines and air conditioner products,” he said.

Catering to the mid and upper segment of consumers, the products will be high on features and advanced technology. The pricing strategy adopted by the company will position Hyundai along the lines of LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony, among others, he said.

“All the existing re-entrants are mainly playing the pricing game. Our pricing strategy will be in line with the market positioning and the competitive set. In the initial stages, we will adopt a slightly competitive pricing, but will be at par with them in 15 months or so. We will focus on product innovations and feature-rich offerings. For instance, the television (TV) we will launch will have artificial intelligence (AI) with the ability to control any set-top box, internet of things (IoT)-enabled features, control through voice or mobile phone and so on,” he said.

Over the last few years, many defunct consumer electronics brands such as BPL, Thomson, Akai, Sharp and Philips have re-entered the India market. In fact, the segment has become crowded with international and Indian – national/ regional brands vying for a share of the Indian appliance and consumer electronics (ACE) market.

According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), ACE market reached Rs 2.05 lakh crore in 2017 and is expected to increase at a 9% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach Rs 3.15 lakh crore in 2022.

Adopting the start-up approach, the India unit currently houses a lean team of 75 employees across functional areas and does not intend to set up manufacturing facilities for the products going forward. It has outsourced production to third-party manufacturers in the country.

“We have already started production in Maharashtra and Uttarakhand/ Uttar Pradesh. The categories being offered currently include television, refrigerator, washing machines and air conditioners. By the end of January, we will be present in towns and cities across five states viz. West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, that constitute 40% of India,” Dhoot said, adding that the other product categories will be introduced gradually on a quarterly basis and the complete range within 12-15 months when the company will cover 80% of the India market in terms of distribution.

Interestingly, Dhoot will be banking on distributor partners to make Hyundai branded products available across a few thousand retail outlets in the five states. The company has already on board 1,800 so far and another 1,100 will get added over the coming months. The retailing strategy comprises partnering with strong regional chains across various states to sell the products.

“For instance in West Bengal, we are with Khosla Electronics, while it’s Naveen Electronics in the Delhi market. For the Mumbai market, we are going with a distribution house called Jumbo with over 150 counters across the city. The reason for going with these players is that they have a much better market share. We will also be selling through a lot of standalone stores across the country to ensure maximum distribution reach. We will also not sell online mainly owing to discounting issues on that channel,” Dhoot said, adding that over 300 franchisees have been appointed to offer after-sales services for the Hyundai product range.

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Income support expansion may hit fiscal consolidation path

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The 2019-20 Budget gives an opportunity to assess the basic thrust of NDA government’s fiscal policy over the five-year period from 2014-15 to 2019-20. Comparing 2013-14, the last year of the previous regime, with 2018-19 (RE), it becomes clear that the NDA government prioritised expansion of the tax-GDP ratio enabling fiscal consolidation in line with the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBMA) targets. It did succeed in substantially augmenting the gross tax revenues to GDP ratio by a margin of 1.8% points over this period. This was due to both improvement in the direct and indirect tax revenues to GDP ratios which increased by margins of 0.7% points and 1.1% points, respectively.

However, Centre could not access much of this increase in tax-GDP ratio because of the sharp increase in the share of states in the sharable pool of central taxes following the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission. As a result, Centre’s net tax revenue to GDP ratio could increase over this period only by a margin of 0.6% points. This gain was further reduced by a fall in non-tax revenues relative to GDP by a little less than 0.5% points. Thus, in the revenue receipts to GDP ratio, the gain was limited only to 0.1% points.

Most of the reduction in fiscal deficit therefore had to be achieved by a reduction in revenue expenditures relative to GDP, which fell by a margin of 0.9% points. This in turn was due largely to a fall in the subsidies to GDP ratio of 0.7% points during this period. After all these adjustments, the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio could be reduced by 1.1% points from a level of 4.5% in 2013-14 to 3.4% in 2018-19 (RE) as well as in 2019-20 (BE). There was a marginal improvement in the quality of fiscal deficit measured as the ratio of revenue deficit to fiscal deficit which fell from 71% in 2013-14 to 65% in 2018-19 (RE).

The thrust of fiscal reforms over the five-year period therefore has all been in the right direction, namely increase in the tax-GDP ratio, fall in subsidies and revenue expenditures relative to GDP and improvement in the quality of fiscal deficit. In the case of capital expenditure to GDP ratio, there was some improvement, although marginal.

These fiscal reforms however, appear to have been stalled as we move from 2018-19 (RE) to 2019-20 (BE). Between these two years, the reduction in fiscal deficit to GDP ratio has become zero. The revenue expenditure to GDP ratio has increased by 0.3% points and capital expenditure to GDP ratio has fallen by about 0.1% points. The quality of fiscal deficit has also deteriorated by 2% points.

In the short run however, the government has aimed to provide a stimulus to growth mainly through three channels. First, it puts additional disposable income in the hands of the farmers, the budgeted cost of which for 2019-20 is Rs 75,000 crore i.e. 0.4% of GDP. The second channel comes from the relief in income tax given to middle-income groups up to the limit of Rs 5 lakh. Although the budgetary cost of this is Rs 18,500 crore, this will directly boost private final consumption expenditure. The third channel comes from the relief given in terms of capital gains linked to ownership of a second house. This should have a short to medium term impact on the real estate sector.

It is only the regular full year 2019-20 Budget which would come after four months that may indicate whether the fiscal reform path to consolidation will be restored. The risk factors include further increase in the income support commitments for the farmers which may even be expanded to include broader segments of population below the poverty line. The target of reducing fiscal deficit to 3% of GDP in 2020-21 in one stroke from 2019-20 (BE) also appears difficult in view of the stickiness of fiscal deficit at levels of 3.4% to 3.5% of GDP for three years in a row.

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Mediclaim can’t be rejected if original bills are lost: Here’s why

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a relevant order, a consumer forum has held that if an individual has lost their original bills but can provide the duplicate bills, their mediclaim then cannot be rejected by the insurance company.
According to a report in Times of India, A Mumbai doctor, Satyapriya Dhabuwala suffered from brain haemorrhage in 2012 the district forum has ordered New India Assurance Co Lt and Health India TPA Services (I) Ltd, to pay Rs 2.21 lakh compensation (reimbursement of Rs 1.71 lakh and rest as interest and costs.
The forum observed that Dhabuwala had been purchasing the insurance policy since 2004 and also renewing it by paying the annual premium.
Over the order of the consumer forum, Rupam Asthana, CEO, Liberty General Insurance Firm has said, “In absence of an original bill the consumer should not suffer in the era of technology, the insurance firm should investigate the case with the hospital bills itself.”
INSURANCE: Critical illness cover can add to mediclaim
Critical illness health insurance pays a fixed amount if you get any of the diseases listed in the insurance. This benefit amount is not linked to the costs you incur. The diseases are defined in the policy wordings and buyers should take comfort from the fact that these definitions are supervised and standardised by the insurance regulator. The insurance is terminated once a claim is paid and cannot be renewed. These insurances may be bought as standalone individual plans or as riders to life insurance.
Critical illness differs from standard mediclaim in three ways. The critical illness benefit is fixed per illness, whereas mediclaim covers actual hospitalisation expenses. Critical illness pays if you suffer a specified disease, whereas mediclaim covers hospitalisation costs for any illness. Critical illness terminates when you claim whereas mediclaim can be renewed life-long even if you make a claim. For these reasons I suggest buying critical illness as a second, supplementary insurance, once you have your basic health insurance in place.

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UK orders liquor baron Vijaya Mallya’s extradition to India

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  • In a much-awaited move, UK Home Secretary has ordered liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India. Earlier he was deemed as economic offender in India and a British Court had given verdict in favour

in favour of his extradition to India. However Mallya can appeal against this extradition order which he intends to do. He has 14 days to appeal against this extradition order.

A Home Office spokesperson told WION,”On 3 February the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India.”

He added, “Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences.”

Mallya has 14 days from today to apply for leave to appeal. The Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 10 December had ordered Mallya’s extradition and the UK home secretary had to sign the orders within 2 months–The deadline for which finishes on 10th February.

India has been pressing United Kingdom on extradition of Nirav Modi. India in August of 2018 sent 2 extradition request to London– one from CBI and the other from the Enforcement Directorate on Nirav Modi. According to the Ministry of external affairs, the “requests are presently under the consideration of the concerned UK authorities.”

Taking note of the development, Govt sources told WION, “While we welcome the UK Government’s decision in the matter, we await the early completion of the legal process for his extradition.”Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Tweeted, “Modi Government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while Opposition rallies around the Saradha Scamsters.”

In the last four years, 16  fugitive criminals have been extradited back to India. In 2018 New Delhi brought back 5 fugitives. Out of these 5 fugitives, 3 were Indian, one was Romanian, one British–Christian Michael James.

Mallya is wanted in India for alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crores.

Vijay Mallya last week slammed the Indian authorites in a series of tweets. Mallya who has been declared economic fugitive and is accused of committing fraud of Rs 9,000 crore protested dogged persual of Indian government in several legal cases against him.

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Interim budget expected to be populist one, with sops for all

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As the budget presented on February 1 will be the last one by the Modi government in this term, it will be termed, as per the existing convention of an outgoing government, an interim budget.
The caveat lies in whether the budget will follow the norms of an interim budget or whether it will have ingredients of a full-fledged budget, sans the economic survey that will be presented by the freshly-elected government in July.
Before leaving for the US for medical treatment, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had indicated the possibility of the latter, and that the budget may not merely be a vote-on-account one.
“The convention has always been that the election year budget is an interim budget,” Jaitley said on January 17, adding, “and ordinarily, there should be no reason why we should move away from the convention. But the larger interest of the economy always dictates what goes into the interim budget and that’s something which cannot be discussed or disclosed at this stage.”
The government grapevine suggests that the budget will be loaded with big-ticket announcements, with a little bit of something for people belonging to different economic strata, across sectors. With the Lok Sabha elections looming on the horizon, it is expected to border on populist measures.
A major challenge is to leave very little room from criticism from opposition to seep in. The big questions are: How strong a blow is the government ready to endure on the fiscal deficit front? Will it allow it to gallop from the current 3.3 per cent of the GDP to 4 per cent or above?
Given the distress in the agriculture sector, sops for farmers are expected. The budget is also expected to reflect the recent Cabinet note by the Agriculture ministry that addressed income deficit syndrome of small and marginal farmers. It proposed various steps, including a financial package and interest waiver for timely crop loan re-payers.
It is speculated that — on the lines Raythu Bandhu Scheme of Telangana — the government will offer relief between Rs 4,500 to Rs 8,000 per acre annually to small and marginal farmers who have up to 5 acres of land.
Grievances of the salaried class are also expected to be addressed. The 2014 budget allowed for an additional tax-free income of Rs 50,000, but last year’s budget reintroduced standard deduction of Rs 40,000 in place of existing exemption for transport allowance and reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses.
The traders’ lobby has been demanding several sops, including Accidental Insurance of Rs 10 lakhs to those registered under GST, subsidy for the purchase of computers and allied goods to upgrade existing business formats, etc.

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Bank of India posts Rs 4,738 crore loss as IL&FS adds to provisions

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Bank of India (BoI) on Monday reported one of its highest quarterly losses of Rs 4,737.56 crore in the third quarter ended December 31, 2018, driven by accelerated provisioning on its stressed accounts, including fresh hit due to exposure to IL&FS.
The loss in the year-ago period was Rs 2,341.20 crore. Its provisions for bad loans rose to Rs 9,179.48 crore in the December quarter, up from Rs 4,373.06 crore a year ago.
The bank has Rs 3,500 crore exposure to IL&FS Group.
“Going ahead, the main area of focus will be to reduce bad loans and get back to a profit in the January-March quarter,” said Dinabandhu Mohapatra, CEO, at a post-earnings press conference, adding the bank expected Rs 2,600 crore to be recovered from bankruptcy cases in the current quarter.
The bank has also been referring all its stressed accounts of Rs 1 crore and above where the provisioning is 50% to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and also increasing the provisioning on all the large accounts which are in the NCLT. This has raised the total provisioning cover of the bank to 76.76%.
BoI said its profit was affected by additional provisions for certain NPA accounts. This includes 100% provisions of Rs 4,335 crore and Rs 2,604 crore, respectively, for the two lists of NPAs that Reserve Bank of India had asked banks to refer to NCLT. Total income rose to Rs 11,839.53 crore at the end of the third quarter, as against Rs 10,376.03 crore a year ago. The bank improved its asset quality, trimming its net non-performing assets (NPAs) to 5.87% of the net advances as on December 31, 2018, as against 10.29% by the end of December 2017.
Gross NPAs came from from Rs 62,328 crore in March 2018 and to Rs 60,797 crore in December 2018 as the bank wrote off bad loans and auctioned others besides strong recoveries.
The bank’s operating profit increased 68% from Rs 1,354 crore in December 2017 to Rs 2,273 crore in December 2018 bolstered by both rise and net interest income (NII) and non-income interest income. Net interest income of the bank rose 33.23% to Rs 3,332 crore while the non-interest income increased by 60.25% to Rs 1,688 crore.
There has also been a marked improvement in recovery in the written-off account, which went up sharply to Rs 262 crore.

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CBI officer probing Chanda Kochhar case transferred after suspected leaks, say sources

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The CBI officer-in-charge who lodged FIR in the alleged irregularities pertaining to the sanctioning of loans by the ICICI bank has been transferred out. The development took place a day after CBI booked former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar, her husband and others in the case.

Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra, who was Superintendent of Police (SP) of Banking and Securities Fraud Cell of CBI, Delhi, was transferred to CBI’s Economic Offences Branch in Ranchi, Jharkhand.He had signed FIR against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot and others on January 22 in connection with ICICI-Videocon case.

After the case was registered, searches were proposed to be conducted immediately. However, the possibility of information about searches being leaked was suspected, ANI reported quoting sources in the agency. According to the sources, a discreet inquiry was conducted and the role of Mishra was strongly suspected.

After he was transferred out, searches were conducted under the supervision of Mohit Gupta, SP (CBI).  A detailed inquiry into the matter is pending. The role of Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra in keeping the case pending and other persons if any is also been looked into, according to the sources.

On January 24, CBI booked former Chanda Kochhar, her businessman husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon MD Venugopal Dhoot in a case of alleged irregularities in the sanctioning of loans by the ICICI bank.

Kochhar had quit the ICICI on October 4 last year in the wake of allegations that she had favoured Videocon in the lending processes because the consumer electronics company’s founders had invested in a company of her husband Deepak Kochhar.

The CBI filed cases against the three along with some others after conducting raids at four premises in Maharashtra, the investigating agency had said.

The preliminary enquiry apparently showed that from June 2009 to October 2011, ICICI Bank had allegedly sanctioned six high-value loans to various Videocon Group companies, CBI sources said.

Chanda Kochhar had taken over the post of the Managing Director of the ICICI Bank on May 1, 2009.

The companies M/S Nupower Renewables Limited (NRL) and M/S Supreme Energy Private Limited (SEPL) have also been named in the case registered by CBI.

It is alleged that SEPL was initially incorporated by Dhoot and his associate Vasant Kakade and the ownership of the company was later transferred to Deepak Kochhar by selling the shares of the company to Pinnacle Energy Trust (PET) which was owned by Kochhar.

It was also alleged that Dhoot had invested a large amount of funds in Deepak Kochhar-owned Nupower months after the Videocon group received Rs 3,250 crore as loan from the ICICI Bank in 2012.

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