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Railways got environmental clearances for Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train

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The Indian Railways has got all the requisite wildlife, forestry and coastal regulation zone clearances in Gujarat and Maharashtra for the 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail Corridor, officials said on Tuesday.

Addressing a virtual press conference here, Railway Board Chairman and CEO, V.K. Yadav said, “Requisite Wildlife, Forestry and Coastal Regulation Zone clearances in the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra have been obtained.”

He said that out of 1,651 utilities, 1,070 have been shifted for the High Speed Train Corridor.

Yadav further said that railways have got 67 per cent of the land required for the Bullet train project. Giving the break up of land acquired in Gujarat, he said, 825 hectare out of 956 hectare have been acquired, which is 86 per cent.

While in Maharashtra, the 97 hectare out of the 432 hectare of land has been acquired, which is only 22 per cent of the total land required and seven hectare out of eight hectare land has been acquired in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Yadav said.

Yadav further said that railways has floated the tenders worth Rs 32,000 crore in Gujarat for the ambitious project covering 325 km length of viaduct and five stations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Japan’s Premier Shinzo Abe had on September 14, 2017 laid the foundation stone for the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) project.

The initial deadline to complete the ambitious project was December 2023. The bullet trains are expected to run at 350 km per hour covering the 508-km stretch in about two hours. In comparison, trains currently plying on the route take over seven hours to travel the distance, whereas flights take about an hour.

Commenting on the progress of the Dedicated Freight Corridor, Yadav said that by June 2022 the DFC will be complete.

The DFC is one of the largest rail infrastructure projects undertaken by the government. The overall cost is pegged at Rs 81,459 crore. DFCCIL has been set up as a special purpose vehicle to undertake planning, development, mobilisation of financial resources, construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors.

In the first phase, the organisation is constructing the Western DFC (1,504 route km) and Eastern DFC (1,856 route km) spanning a total length of 3,360 route km.

Yadav said that in the EDFC the 353 km long Khurja-Bhaupur section is readuy for commissioning while 48 km-long Khurja-Dadri section will be ready by June 2021, 401 km-long Ludhiana-Khurja section and 402 km-long Bhaupur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay section will be ready by June 2022 and 137 km long Deen Dayal Upadhyay-Sonnagar section will be ready by December 2021.

He said on the WDFC, the 306 km-long Rewari-Madar section is ready for commissioning while 335 km-long Madar-Palanpur section will be ready by March 2021, 122 km-long Rewari-Dadri by December 2021 and 738 km-long Palanpur-Makarpura-JNPT section by June 2022.

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Cryptocurrency Hyper Fund under govt scanner

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The government is keeping a close eye on cryptocurrency floating in the market based out of the country folowing alert that agencies responsible to check financial fraud are watching a company called Hyper Fund.

Sources said Hyper Fund, a DEFI by Hyper Tech Group has come under the radar recently. The Group claims to have launched the Hyper Fund to provide a decentralized financial infrastructure. Hyper Fund was announced in mid-2020.

As per the company website it is led by Ryan Xu, however, with the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) model Hyper Fund has been luring investors with higher returns and such offerings, a common practice under Ponzi Schemes, that got the authorities alerted in the first place.

According to sources, complaints against such Funds have started pouring in several states. In India, the RBI, Union Finance Ministry and SEBI had warned people against cryptocurrency trading. The RBI is planning to launch India’s official digital currency- E Rupee soon.

The Finance Ministry has clarified that Virtual currencies are also not legal tender. Hence, VCs are not currencies. The RBI has also clarified that it has not given any licence/ authorization to any entity/ company to operate or deal with Bitcoin or any virtual currency.

In June 2018, Amit Bhardwaj was arrested at the Delhi Airport by Pune police along with his brother Vivek Bhardwaj in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme. Bhardwaj, started his own bitcoin mining operations and allegedly cheated more than 8,000 people to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore from across the country.

He has lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police special cell, alleging that he received an extortion call and was asked to pay protection money on September 6, 2021. He had setup multi-level marketing (MLM) scam by luring investors to give him Bitcoins in return for promised higher returns, police had alleged.

Regulators in UK have issued warning against such fund and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have warnings issued for both Hyper Fund and Fund Advisor.

On its website, which was first published on in March 23 ,2021 and later updated on August 31, the FCA said, “We believe this firm may be providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK.”

Warning investors about such fund, it further said: “You will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so you are unlikely to get your money back if things go wrong.”

The Website used by these companies as per FCA ar http://thehyperfund.online, https://thehyperfund.com/

Decentralised Finance (DEFI) offering through blockchain technology by HyperTech Group, which is said to be based out from Hong Kong, as sources said Indian Regulators and Authorities have started monitoring the situation.

Following the measures taken by financial regulators such as the US Security and Exchange Commission and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, Indian regulators and enforcement authorities have started monitoring investment in Hyper Fund — a Decentralised Finance offering through blockchain technology by HyperTech Group.

Globally, Financial regulators acknowledge the fact that Ponzi scheme organizers often use the latest innovation, technology, product or growth industry to entice investors and give their scheme the promise of high returns. Potential investors are often less skeptical of an investment opportunity when assessing something novel, new or “cutting-edge.” On its website, Hyper Fund claims to be �The Strongest Rocket in Blockchain Finance’

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Greed & Fear: Profit booking, global volatility to impact stock moves

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Sky-high valuations along with global tapering fears will impact stock market movements during the upcoming week.

Accordingly, market observers, pointed out high possibility of profit booking led slide on the back premium valuations and likely absence of positive domestic triggers.

Nonetheless, key indices — S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 — are expected to reach new intra-day record highs of 60,000 points and 18,000-mark, respectively.

Last Friday, the Sensex closed at 59,015.89 points after making an intra-day record high of 59,700, while Nifty ended the day’s trade at 17,585.15 points.

It had breached the 17,790 level intra-day on last Friday.

“Broad market correction amidst high volumes gives the first hint of distribution,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

“An adverse US Fed meet outcome next week could accelerate the correction that is typical in September, especially in the US markets.”

According to Motilal Oswal Financial Services’ Retail Research Head Siddhartha Khemka: “Valuations are not comfortable and hence could lead to bouts of profit booking. The weak global cues on account of worry over slower economic growth and rising Delta variant cases globally would keep market oscillating between greed and fear.”

“Nervousness would be seen in the market next week ahead of Federal Reserve and ECB meeting, which could provide some indications on when the central banks will start withdrawing their monetary stimulus and start raising interest rates eventually.”

Any timelines for tapering measures in the US can potentially drive FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India.

Significantly, the recent sizeable inflow of FPI funds has been credited to have lifted the domestic markets to record high levels.

In addition, Geojit Financial Services’ Research Head Vinod Nair said: “In the coming week, the global focus will be on the policy meetings of a few central banks including the Fed.”

“With weak US job data and inflation increasing at a slower pace, Fed is not expected to hint on taper plans in the upcoming meeting.”

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Covid might shift India’s growth model

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 The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India’s growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led.

In its Ecoscope report, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: “With Covid-19 hurting India’s ‘Household’ (HH) and ‘Government’ sectors adversely, the continuity of strong consumption growth is in question.”

“On the contrary, with listed companies’ financial positions improving and an uptick in household investments in the Real Estate sector (called physical savings), the narrative of investment-led recovery is gaining momentum.”

The report prescribed that various economic participants – households, governments, listed companies, and unlisted corporates — to increase their fixed asset investments in the immediate future based on their financial position.

At present, the listed and unlisted corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments in India.

The ‘HH’ sector including unincorporated enterprises accounts for 35-40 per cent in India’s investments, while the remaining 12-13 per cent is contributed by centre and states governments.

Besides, the report cited that demand environment is expected to remain subdued due to weak financial position of ‘HH’ and government sector.

“Despite household investments picking up strongly in 2HFY21, given that Indian households bore the maximum brunt of Covid-led losses in CY20 (and CY21), we believe household spending would remain subdued over the next few years.”

It further pointed out that unless ‘HH’, ‘Unlisted Corporate’, and government sectors can improve their financial positions — leading to a demand uptick — a strong revival in investments seems challenging.

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