India hasn’t been this unequal since the 1920s; 300,000 banned from boards

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Sound smarter today: Here’s the news professionals are talking about on LinkedIn right now.  Join the conversation in the comments. 

India is tightening the noose around black money hoarders by going after directors of shell companies. A day after de-registering 200,000 companies, the government decided to bar about 300,000 directors associated with these companies from sitting on the boards of other firms. The blacklisted directors could also face up to 10 years in prison if they siphon off money from the de-rostered firms’ bank accounts. The government is in the process of identifying more shell companies so that it can find “actual beneficiaries and persons” that have benefited from these entities. These moves are in line with PM Narendra Modi’s pre-poll promise of clamping down on illegal transactions and tax evasion.

India’s GDP will bounce back over the next two quarters as GST-related disruptions start to ease out, predicts a Morgan Stanley report. “We believe that June 2017 likely marked the trough in growth in this cycle and we expect GDP growth to accelerate by almost 200 bps to 7.5%year-on-year in March 2018 quarter,” it said. Though India’s economic growth recently tanked to a three-year low of 5.7%, the global financial services firm does not read this as a sign of general slowdown in aggregate demand. In fact, Morgan Stanley believes that India’s GDP numbers do not reflect the underlying growth trends of her economy.

Income inequality in India may be at its highest since the income tax was introduced in 1922, a recent study suggests.  “The top 1% of earners captured less than 21% of total income in the late 1930s, before dropping to 6% in the early 1980s and rising to 22% today,” the paper says. Remember, Credit Suisse Research Institute reported last year that the top 1% of the country’s population held more than 58% of its entire wealth.

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Adidas may lay off 25% of its India staff in the coming months, according to the Times of India. Terming the report “speculative,” the company said it will continue to strategically increase focus and investments in India. The news comes just days after rival Nike fired 20% of its India employees as part of global restructuring. While Nike gave the fired employees an option to join its operations in Southeast Asia, it is not clear what Adidas might do.

Reliance Jio has created another record — 130 million global customers in one year. While announcing the news, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said that the development shows that Indians are “ready to adopt advanced technology.”India’s telecom subscriber base crossed the 1.1 billion mark in October and the exponential growth in 4G usage has “become a case study for quantum technology leaps.”

Idea of the day: What life lessons can you learn from Julius Caesar? Influencer Yoshito Hori says it boils down to two investment avenues: education and network.

“Ultimately, your biggest asset is never financial. Your biggest asset consists of your skills (derived from your education) and the size of the networkyou enjoy (based on trust).”

What’s your take? Share your thoughts on today’s stories in the comments.

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