Indian Railways News

Tejashwi Yadav Grilled For 9 Hours In Money Laundering Case By Enforcement Directorate

Tejashwi Yadav, son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, was grilled for about nine hours by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday in connection with its money laundering probe in the railway hotels allotment corruption case.

The former Bihar deputy chief minister arrived at the central probe agency’s office in New Delhi at about 12 noon and left after 9 pm, officials said.

They said at least 40 questions were put across Tejashwi Yadav and that the investigating officer recorded his answers.

The agency is expected to record the statement of Tejashwi Yadav’s mother and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi on Wednesday.

The CBI had recently recorded the statement of Tejashwi and Lalu Prasad in the case.

The Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case against Lalu Prasad’s family members and others under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), sometime back.

It had earlier questioned a few people in this case, including the wife of former UPA minister P C Gupta.

The agency had taken cognisance of a CBI FIR in this regard to initiate its own criminal complaint.

In July, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a criminal FIR and conducted multiple searches against Lalu Prasad and others.

The Enforcement Directorate will investigate the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies, officials had said.

Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav, and others will be probed by the agency under charges filed in the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR.

The case dates back to the time when Lalu Yadav was the railway minister in the UPA government.

in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.

The FIR alleges that Lalu Prasad, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta.

The FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with favours allegedly extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as ‘quid pro quo’.

The Enforcement Directorate, under the PMLA, has powers to attach and confiscate tainted assets and it is expected that the agency will initiate such a move once it makes progress in the case.

Avoid Lavish Parties And Farewells, Railway Officers’ Wives Told

Not just railway officials but their wives too have now been asked to avoid ostentation.

The Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation (RWWO) president, Arunima Lohani, the wife of Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, has issued an advisory to RWWO members to avoid splurging, days after railway officials were asked to put an end to the VIP culture.

Ms Arunima Lohani, in the October 3 letter, asked members of the RWWO to avoid floral decorations during meetings and barred the presentation of mementos and gifts to anyone using the organisation’s funds.

She has also said that expenditure incurred towards refreshments served during such meetings should be met from the subscription collected by the RWWO.

“Farewell may be given to RWWO volunteers on the occasion of retirement only and not transfers. In case of president or senior members or executive members, the expenditure towards souvenir should not exceed Rs. 2,000. RWWO’s money should not be spent on celebration of birthdays and anniversaries of any member,” the letter reads.

An official in the know of the working of the organisation said that it was for the first time that such a letter had been issued by any president.

“For the first time, there will be some kind of accounting of the finances of the organisation. Huge amount of money was spent on farewell and parties previously,” the official said.

In an order on September 28, the Railway Board chairman brought to an end a 36-year-old protocol where it was mandatory for general managers to present themselves on arrival and departure of the Railway Board chairman and other board members during zonal visits.

Mr Ashwani Lohani also said no official would accept bouquets and gifts.

The RWWO president called for a level of accountability from office-bearers and stated that all funds collected through subscription should be deposited in the organisation’s bank account. She also stated that except for the limited cash required for day-to-day expenses, money belonging to the organisation should not be kept with any office-bearer.

She also said that a maximum tenure of three years for holding the posts of treasurer and secretary of the organisation should be strictly adhered to.

The RWWO functioning at zonal and divisional levels of the Indian Railways is engaged in various activities related to the welfare of railwaymen and their families. The organisation also runs creches, schools and training centres.

Woman Gives Birth On Mumbai Local, Doctor Boarded Train For Delivery

It was no ordinary train ride for a 26-year-old pregnant woman. She delivered a baby inside a ladies’ coach last night. The fast local, headed for Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, was somewhere near Dadar when Salma Shaikh went into labour. On seeing her condition, fellow passengers tried to calm her down and informed the railway police. A doctor and support staff from One Rupee Clinic on Dadar station rushed to help her.

A quick examination revealed that the baby was crowning so there was no time to take Salma to a hospital. Dr Prajwaleet Kambli then decided to perform the delivery inside the ladies compartment. The mother and her newborn girl were shifted to the nearby KEM hospital. Both are stable now.

Nurse Sanjeevani Padwal, who assisted the doctor, said she had never seen anything of this sort. “We thought we will just help her get to the platform so that she can be taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but by then it was too late.”

Two months ago, another woman delivered a baby in a local train with the help of One Rupee Clinic staff at Ghatkopar Station.

To provide prompt and affordable medical assistance, the Central Railways in Mumbai had started “One Rupee Clinics” at many stations across Mumbai. The first clinic was opened at Ghatkopar railway station on May 10, 2017. Officials say that the move is benefiting passengers during medical exigencies. While the consultation fee at these clinics is Re 1, a blood pressure check-up is done free of cost. The charges for other tests are affordable.

Railway Hotel Scam Case: Tejaswi Yadav Appears Before CBI

RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son Tejaswi Yadav today appeared before the CBI in connection with the ongoing probe into the 2006 IRCTC hotel case.

CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal told IANS that Tejaswi was being questioned at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi.

The questioning comes a day after Lalu Prasad was questioned for seven hours in connection with the case.

The CBI had on September 26 issued fresh summons — the third in a month — to the RJD chief and his son in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) contract case.

 Tejaswi appeared before the CBI after skipping two earlier summons.
 The CBI on July 5 filed a corruption case against Lalu, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts for IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister.

The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar allegedly in lieu of bribe in the form of a plot of prime land in Bihar, the CBI said.

 A preliminary CBI inquiry found that the said land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing and payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia.

The Enforcement Directorate had on July 27 registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR and was probing Lalu Prasad, Tejaswi and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.

Trains To Smell Of Lemongrass, Pine, After Complaint From Rail Minister

Railway offices and trains will now smell like pine and lemongrass as Minister Piyush Goyal’s objection to the “unpleasant peculiar smell” there has prompted the railway board to change the deodoriser-cum- disinfectant used by the national carrier.

The railway board on Thursday said that the need to use better odour-cum-disinfectant fluids in railway offices and trains was stressed by the railway minister.

 “The need for use of better odour-cum-disinfectant fluid, in place of phenolic type disinfectant fluid currently being used in railway offices and trains, to avoid unpleasant peculiar smell was stressed by Minister of Railways during meetings held on September 11 and October 3, 2017,” it said.

The circular also suggested that an alternative material deodorising-cum-disinfectant fluid having some pure strained “absolute essential oil like pine, lemongrass or any other essential oil having pleasant odour”, which was being used in some sections of the railways, should be considered.

The board said that it has decided that all fresh procurement of disinfectant should be of the alternative kind for all railway locations requiring such disinfectants. So, railway offices, hospitals, stations, coaching depots and trains are likely to soon smell of pine and lemongrass.

‘No Gifts, Give Up Travel Privileges’: Piyush Goyal To Railway Officials

The railway ministry has asked its senior staff to slug it out — at home and at work — as part of steps to end the VIP culture in India’s national transporter. The ministry has brought to an end a 36-year-old protocol where it was mandatory for general managers to be present on arrival and departure of the Railway Board chairman and other board members during zonal visits.

In an order on September 28, the ministry said that the guidelines regarding the protocol to be observed at airports and railway stations stand withdrawn with immediate effect.

 Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani said no official will offer or receive bouquets and gifts at any time. Senior officials will also have to exercise restraint at home, he said. They will have to relieve the railway staff engaged as domestic help at their homes.

Officials say that around 30,000 trackmen work at the homes of senior officials. They have been asked to resume duties. Sources in the ministry say that in the past one month around 6,000-7,000 personnel have reported back to work.

“No one will be exempt from the directive to rejoin work except under very special circumstances. We are hoping that all the staff will join work shortly,” a senior official of the ministry said.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has also asked senior officials to give up travelling in cosy saloons and executive class travel privileges and start travelling in Sleeper and AC Three-tier classes and mingle with passengers. These include members of the Railway Board, general managers of railway zones and divisional railway managers in each of the 50 divisions.

“I believe that when these protocols were in place, people drafting them would have seen some reasoning behind them. It is difficult for me to say what they were though. However, now, these have no logic,” said a former railway board member.

Gujarat’s Vadnagar Comes Alive As Its Boy Returns As Prime Minister

A small dilapidated tea kiosk has now been spruced up and decked up with flowers. Right next to it a small photography exhibition and a coffee shop lookalike have been set up. Welcome to Vadnagar railway station, some 100 kilometres from Ahmedabad.

 The reason for this festive look? The man born in Vadnagar and who went on to become the country’s Prime Minister is visiting his hometown for first time after being elected.

While the entire town has got a facelift for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, the main attraction is the railway station where PM Modi helped his father sell tea when he was a child.

The railway station, till a few months back, was just a small metre gauge station but the work on broad gauge conversion has started. At the platform, ahead of PM Modi’s visit, a photography exhibition giving insight into the life of a young PM Modi when he sold tea has been put up.

Outside the railway station, a chai pe charcha halting point to highlight PM Modi’s campaign with the same name has been set up.

Barely a kilometre away is a multi-speciality hospital which the Prime Minister will inaugurate. It was built at a cost of Rs. 400 crore.

 The streets are lined up with hoardings detailing the rise of PM Modi from a child assisting his father to becoming the Prime Minister. PM Modi will hold a roadshow and inaugurate the hospital before addressing a rally.

Yesterday, back in Gujarat where he had laid the foundation stone for the bullet train last month, PM Modi also took a quick swipe at te many critics of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed train being built.

Speaking at a function to formally dedicate the IIT Gandhinagar building to the nation, PM Modi recalled that he had, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, allotted 400 acres in the state capital for its campus in 2011.

Had this decision to allot land been announced during elections, “some people would have gone all out to criticise me… the way they criticise bullet trains these days”, PM Modi said, suggesting that much of the criticism that he had faced over the high-speed train was linked the Gujarat elections scheduled for last this year.

Railway Train Ticket Cancellation, Refund Rules: Sleeper, AC, RAC, Waiting List

IRCTC or Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, the e-ticket service provider for Indian Railways, says e-tickets – or tickets booked online – can be cancelled online till chart preparation. E-ticket cancellations are not allowed at railway counters. For trains starting up to 12 noon, chart preparation is usually done the previous night, according to the IRCTC website – irctc.co.in. Cancellation would be confirmed online and the refund would be credited back to the account used for booking online tickets. If there is any partial cancellation of ticket, please ensure that a fresh e-reservation slip (electronic reservation slip) is printed separately as done for the original ticket, the IRCTC website adds.

Train Ticket Cancellation, Refund Rules:

1) If a confirmed ticket is cancelled up to 48 hours before the scheduled departure of train, ticket cancellation charges will be deducted – Rs. 240 for AC First Class/Executive Class, Rs. 200 for AC 2 Tier/First Class, Rs. 180 for AC 3 Tier/AC Chair car/ AC 3 Economy, Rs.120 for Sleeper Class and Rs.60 for Second Class. Cancellation charges are levied on a per passenger basis.

2) If a confirmed ticket is cancelled within 48 hours and up to 12 hours before the scheduled departure of train, ticket cancellation charges will be 25 per cent of the fare subject to the minimum flat rate mentioned above.

 3) Between 12 hours and up to four hours before the scheduled departure, ticket cancellation charges will be 50 per cent of the fare paid subject to the minimum cancellation rate. E-tickets cannot be cancelled after chart preparation. No refund of fare shall be admissible on the ticket having confirmed reservation in case ticket is not cancelled or TDR (ticket deposit receipt) not filed online up to four hours before the scheduled departure of the train, according to the IRCTC website.

Cancellation of Wait-Listed, RAC Tickets

4) A refund will be granted on an RAC (reservation against cancellation) ticket or wait-listed tickets up to 30 minutes before the departure of train.

5) The e-tickets should be cancelled through internet and the refund of fare will be credited to the account from which the booking transaction took place, after deducting the applicable ticket cancellation charges.

6) No cancellation charge is levied and full fare is refunded to passengers holding confirmed, RAC and wait-listed tickets if the journey is not undertaken due to late running of train by more than three hours of scheduled departure, subject to the condition that the ticket is surrendered prior to actual departure of train.

7) In case of cancellation of trains, for e-tickets, an automatic refund is granted. Filing of TDR or ticket deposit receipt is not required.

8) For a PRS (Passenger Reservation System) counter ticket, in case of train cancellation, a refund is permissible within three days excluding the scheduled day of departure of train.

Cancellation Of Tatkal Ticket

9) Under the existing rules, no refund is granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets. If a train is running late by more than 3 hours or train is cancelled, you can file TDR with proper reason for claiming refund, says the IRCTC website.

10) In case of e-ticket issued for travel of more than one passenger, some passengers have confirmed reservation and others are on RAC or waiting list, full refund of fare less clerkage, shall be admissible for confirmed passengers, subject to the condition that the ticket shall be cancelled online or online TDR shall be filed for all the passengers up to thirty minutes before the scheduled departure of the train, says IRCTC website. Other details about rules on railway cancellation and refund can be checked in this notification.

Calling For Innovation In Railway Safety, Piyush Goyal Says Money No Bar

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today called for innovation in making the railways safer while stressing that enough money is available for the purpose.

Speaking at the International Conference on Technological Advancements in Railway and Metro Projects which was also attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Mr Goyal also said that budget allocations are a limitation and tend to hold back research and innovation.

“Personally, I believe a budget is a limitation, it holds you back. Allocation of a budget doesn’t allow scientists to flourish as he wants to. Budgets restrict innovation,” said Mr Goyal as he called for out-of-the-box thinking to improve rail safety features like as signaling systems and fog vision for locomotive pilots.

 The railways is embarking on a massive programme to ensure safety of the entire network, he said. “As much money as required is available for safety.

“I am not even saying it will be made available, I am saying it is available,” he said, adding that he cannot make the railways safe without new ideas and he hoped that the conference will help generate innovations.

After a September 30 high-level meeting on Railways safety in Mumbai, it was decided that foot overbridges, platforms and pathways on platform ends will have the highest priority as safety items with no budgetary restriction.

This follows the furore raised after the stampede on a foot overbridge in Mumbai last month.

The rail minister also pointed to Vice President Naidu’s speech on September 27 at the IISc Bengaluru where he said that innovation plays a key role in driving the knowledge-based economy.

To highlight his point, Mr Goyal said that the last time a train with additional speed, comfort and safety features was introduced was way back in 1969 — the Rajdhani Express.

“From 1969 to 2017 we have not embarked on any major new technological initiative that will take us to international standards of passenger safety, comfort, convenience and speed,” he said.

Japan, he said, has progressed technologically as it has managed to create an ecosystem where scientists and researchers can think out-of-the-box.

“Our plan for the future is to create an ecosystem where the scientific community will choose to stay in India and not go to NASA,” the minister said.

He said the railways is open to engaging with experts in improving the environment, stations and passenger convenience.

Enumerating his expectations from the scientific community, the Railway Minister said he needs technology and know-how to improve driver vision during foggy weather, make the signaling system better, manufacture tracks faster and more efficiently, and predict track failures or fractures.

“I do believe that the time has come for us to aggressively go in for newer technologies and better ways of doing work. We will have to work collectively to see what can be done faster and smarter,” he said.

His comments come in the wake of serious questions being raised on railway safety following a string of accidents over the last few months.

Ten coaches of the Kaifiyat Express derailed in August, injuring more that 20 people. This was the second rail accident, coming only days after 23 people were killed in another derailment in Uttar Pradesh.

In the same month, nine coaches of the Duronto Express derailed in Mumbai, although no casualties or injuries were reported.

The Rajdhani Express traveling from Jammu Tawi derailed in New Delhi in September, a week after the Shaktikunj Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh.

Most Flood-Hit Train Services In Northeast Restored: Official

2:10 pm Buzzing Stock: Ratnamani Metals and Tubes gained over 5 percent intraday as investors cheered a ratings coverage on the stock.

ICICI Direct initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating and a target price of Rs 1,050.

The brokerage house said that Ratnamani is perfectly positioned to cater upcoming demand. In fact, it added that a revival in capex in key industries could provide requisite demand push.

1:55 pm Europe mixed: European equities hovered around the flatline on Wednesday morning as investors kept a close eye on events in Catalonia, where the leader of the region’s separatist government has said he will declare independence “in a matter of days.”

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.05 percent higher with most sectors moving in positive territory. Auto stocks led the gains in early deals, up by more than 1 percent. The sector was pushed higher by positive car sales data out of the U.S. on Tuesday.

1:45 pm Market View: Indian market which rose to a fresh record high last month saw some profit booking at higher levels. Meanwhile, the Nifty50 which rose a little over 7 percent in the first half of 2018 starting from April 1 to September 29, 2017.

According to CLSA a cut in auto fuel taxes will impact government revenues by 16 bps of GDP on a yearly basis.

The firm believes that revenue reduction and uncertainties with respect to GST collections could raise fiscal concerns. Meanwhile, the FPI sentiment on the equity could be weak until corporate earnings recovery sets in.

1:25 pm Market Check: Investors continued buying ahead of the RBI MPC’s outcome announcement, with the Nifty trading above 9900-mark.

The Sensex was up 211.24 points at 31708.62, while the Nifty was up 63.95 points at 9923.45. The market breadth was positive as 1,470 shares advanced against a decline of 946 shares, while 111 shares were unchanged.

Sun Pharma, ITC, and Aurobindo Pharma gained the most, while Bharti Airtel and Axis Bank were the top losers.

12:40 pm Gold update: Gold prices were higher by Rs 61 to Rs 29,416 per 10 gram in futures trade as speculators widened their bets taking positive cues from the global market.

At Multi Commodity Exchange, gold for delivery in October was up by Rs 61 or 0.21 percent to Rs 29,416 per 10 gram in business turnover of 28 lots.

The metal for delivery in far-month December also moved up by Rs 44 or 0.15 percent to Rs 29,553 per 10 gram in a turnover of 516 lots.

12:20 pm Market Check: Investors continued buying activity hours before the RBI’s monetary policy committee (MPC) announces its decision on key interest rates.

The Sensex was up 185.09 points at 31682.47, while the Nifty was up 59.50 points at 9919.00. The market breadth was positive as 1,449 shares advanced against a delcine of 887 shares, while 97 shares were unchanged.

Sun Pharmaceuticals, ITC and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories gained the most on both indices, while Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and Coal India lost the most.

11:59 am Rate expectations: The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy committee is set to announce its decision later today. A CNBC-TV18 poll shows that the RBI may hold the repo rate at 6 percent.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Deepali Bhargava, Economist at Credit Suisse spoke at length about the same. Not expecting any rate cut today, said Bhargava.

She further said that it will be important to see what RBI says about the growth of the economy.

11:35 am Market Outlook: The Centre has cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre and now CNBC-TV18 learns that states have also been asked to review the value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.

In an interview, Harshvardhan Dole, Vice President-Institutional Equities, IIFL shared his readings and outlook on the same.

The government has taken a very proactive step and in a way they have supported their own reforms agenda in a big way, he said.

We like all the three oil marketing companies (OMCs), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and among the three HPCL is our top pick, he added.

11:20 am Full fledged internet telephony soon? Shortly after cutting local mobile-to-mobile termination charges to 6 paise per minute from 14 paise, the telecom regulator is set to shake up the market further.

This time, the impact could be wider and deeper as the regulator gets ready to issue recommendations on allowing full-fledged Internet telephony in the country. Internet telephony exists in India but in a very limited manner.

“TRAI should be issuing the recommendations in two to three weeks. The framework for Internet telephony (interconnect charges) will be same as that of regular mobile and landline calls,” an official familiar with the development said.

11:00 am Market Check: Benchmark indices are trading higher ahead of outcome from Reserve Bank of India’s policy meet later in the day.

The Sensex was up 139.33 points at 31636.71, and the Nifty was up 46.05 points at 9905.55. About 1428 shares have advanced, 747 shares declined, and 95 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma, Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, Dr Reddy’s Labs, ITC, Aurobindo Pharma, Indiabulls Housing and Power Grid Corp are the top gainers on the indices, while top losers include Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Coal India, Tata Steel and TCS.

10:55 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of Greaves Cotton rose 4.6 percent intraday Wednesday as it has entered into strategic partnership with Altigreen Propulsion Labs.

The partnership aims to provide a range of clean energy powertrain solutions for 3-wheeler and micro 4-wheeler commercial vehicles.

10:48 am Market Outlook: The excise duty cut by the government might come as a good news for consumers, but it is seen as more of a political alignment, HDFC Securities Research Head Dipen Sheth said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

The government on Tuesday reduced the basic excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre. The finance ministry said that the decision was taken in a bid to cushion the impact of the rise in global crude oil prices and to protect the interests of the common man.

“The excise duty cut should be taken by the government positively by the markets but if you ask me personally – I am not in favour of the cut. The government should have been more hawkish in its diffidence in passing on price cuts,” said Sheth.
10:35 am RBI MPC meet outcome: Here’s what bankers have to say about the likely announcements from the central bank.

 

RBI’s #MonetaryPolicy Committee announces policy decision @2:30 PM.Will MPC give in to noise or maintain status quo? Here’s what bankers say pic.twitter.com/A5Q87duANP

— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) October 4, 2017

 

10:21 am Buzzing Stock: Share price of Cyient gained 2.4 percent intraday Wednesday as the company has signed global software licensing agreement with Elpis Squared, a startup software company from Portland.

Cyient and Elpis will jointly pursue utility business opportunities, by leveraging their complementing solutions and technology respectively,” company said in press release.

The partnership will combine Cyient’s data governance management solution – Intelligent Data Management Solution (iDMS) with Elpis’ innovative RE|Grid platform to enhance the role of data in supporting electric utilities’ Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) and Asset Management programs, it added.

10:03 am Market Check: Benchmark indices extended gains from the opening tick, with the Nifty inching towards 9900-mark.

The Sensex was up 113.46 points at 31610.84, while the Nifty was up 32.20 points at 9891.70. The market breadth was positive as 1,281 shares advanced against a decline of 608 shares, while 69 shares were unchanged.

Midcaps were trading at high points of the day and outperformed the frontline indices. Energy, FMCG and pharmaceutical stocks gained during the hour.

Sun Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, HPCL and Indiabulls Housing Finance gained the most, while Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors DVR and Coal India were the top losers.

9:45 am Godrej Agrovet IPO opens: The initial public offering of Godrej Agrovet opened on Wednesday. The company raised a little over Rs 341 crore from anchor investors ahead of its initial public offer on Tuesday.

Over 74.17 lakh shares would be alloted to 25 anchor investors at Rs 460 apiece, which is the upper end of the price band, the company informed stock exchanges.

At this price, the total amount works out to be Rs 341.19 crore.

Reliance Capital Trustee Company, SBI Life Insurance Company, Nomura, Goldman Sachs, Government of Singapore and Birla Sunlife Trustee Company are among the anchor investors.

9:30 am Buzzing Stocks: Shares of major oil marketing companies (OMCs) opened positively in the opening tick on Wednesday after the government reduced the basic excise duty on petrol and diesel (both branded and unbranded) by Rs 2 a litre with effect from October 4, 2017.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) jumped 3.42 percent at opening on Wednesday, while Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) jumped 1.76 percent. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) also gained 2.26 percent.

Late on Tuesday, the finance ministry said that the decision was taken in a bid to cushion the impact of the rise in global crude oil prices and to protect the interests of the common man.

“(The) government has reduced the basic excise duty on petrol and diesel (both branded and unbranded) by Rs 2 a litre with effect from October 4, 2017. The revenue loss on account of these reductions will be about Rs 26,000 crore in a full year and Rs 13,000 crore in the remaining part of the current financial year,” the finance ministry announced on Twitter.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmark indices opened on a mildly positive note as the Street is seen waiting for the Reserve Bank of India’s MPC meet outcome later in the day.

The Sensex was up 23.25 points at 31520.63, while the Nifty was up 12.45 points at 9871.95. The market breadth was positive as 555 shares advanced against a decline of 186 shares, while 37 shares were unchanged.

Midcaps outperformed the frontline indices, while on the sectoral front, metals took a hit. Positive moves were seen in auto, FMCG and energy stocks.

ITC, Hero MotoCorp, HPCL and IOC were the top gainers, while Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors DVR and Coal India lost the most.

The Indian rupee opened higher by 14 paise at 65.36 per dollar on Wednesday versus previous close 65.50.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, “After consolidation, the rupee will trade with a neutral to negative bias. I expect the USD-INR pair to trade in a range of 65.20-65.80.”

Dollar eased in trade as the rally triggered by strong US data fizzled on speculation that US president Donald Trump’s choice for the next Fed chair may be a less hawkish candidate than previously thought.

In global markets, Asia is set for a mixed trading day on Wednesday, even after US equities closed higher overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.23 percent at 20,662.48 in early trade and the Topix index advanced 0.1 percent.

US stocks closed higher on Tuesday, building on strong gains from their previous session.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 84.07 points to 22,641.67, setting intraday and closing records, with 3M contributing the most to the gains. The 30-stock index also posted a five-day winning streak.

The S&P 500 finished 0.2 percent higher at 2,534.58 and notched a record close; it also rose for the sixth straight session. Airline stocks Delta and United Continental were the best performers in the S&P, advancing 6.6 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively.
The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.2 percent to close at 6,531.71, and also hit a record high.