Budget 2018: From digitisation to NPAs, a lot expected for banking sector

PwC and Business Standard look at the current scenario in India’s banking sector, the issues facing it and what the industry expects from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in upcoming Union Budget 2018-19


While there has been a lot of push lately on digital transactions from the Narendra Modi-led central government, it is expected that the coming Union Budget 2018-19 will see Finance Minister Arun Jaitley renewing the thrust by announcing some incentives for small businesses to increasingly go digital in so far as banking transactions are concerned.

Also, against the backdrop of the government’s plan to recapitalise public-sector banks, which have been suffering because of their ballooning non-performing assets, Budget 2018 will be keenly watched for any announcement towards that end.


Digitisation push
Various measures and app-based services have been introduced to promote digitization
Cabinet has approved the proposal that the govt would bear merchant discount rate (MDR) charges on digital transactions up to Rs 2,000 for two years.

In Budget 2018, the government might introduce additional incentives like tax rebates of, say, 0.2% on digital transactions up to a threshold for small businesses

Capital infusion in PSU banks
The govt has announced a recapitalisation scheme to infuse capital in the banking system.

Additional capital may be infused based on banks’ governance structure, bad debt recovery plan, capital planning & budgeting and HR strategy.


Bankruptcy code: It is still evolving. It needs to be strengthened and the objective and spirit have to be adequately demonstrated

Home loan benefits: Considering higher unit prices in metros, higher tax deduction is needed on principal repayment of housing loan under section 80C

Insurance penetration: Currently, a high GST rate of 18% is applicable on insurance premium. That is a drag, especially given a weak life insurance penetration of under 4%.

Regulatory timelines: Various regulations like IFRS, margining of non- centrally cleared trades, New Basel III norms are under way, but clearer timelines need to be defined.

Pension plans not tax-friendly: The pension from annuity is currently treated as income and taxed accordingly which is unfavourable when compared with PF, PPF, etc.

LTCG tax benefits: The MF industry and brokerages expect long-term capital gains tax benefits for equities/equity-oriented funds to continue.

Dividend distribution tax: There is no dividend distribution tax applicable on equity-oriented mutual funds but debt mutual funds, AMCs pay DDT at the rate of 28.33%. Industry expects removal of this dividend distribution tax to improve investor sentiment.

Click here to read → Budget 2018


Indu Malhotra to be 1st woman lawyer to directly become Supreme Court judge

Indu Malhotra will be the first women lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the apex court

Indu Malhotra

The Supreme Court collegium has recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the apex court, sources said on Thursday. | Today’s Paper

9Along with her, Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph, who was part of the bench which in 2016 had quashed the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, has also been cleared for elevation to the apex court.

Malhotra, who was designated as a senior advocate in 2007, would be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the top court, instead of being elevated from a high court.

She will be the seventh woman judge since independence to make it to the Supreme Court. At present, Justice R Banumathi is the lone woman judge in the apex court.
The first woman to be appointed as a judge of the apex court was Justice M Fathima Beevi in 1989.

Thereafter, Justice Sujata V Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai made it to the top court as judges.

Click here to read → Indu Malhotra


India to launch 100th satellite into orbit today: All you should know

The Cartosat-2 series satellite launch is a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high-resolution, scene-specific spot imagery


India is set to launch its 100th satellite into orbit. The countdown of the PSLV-C40/Cartosat-2 series satellite mission started on Thursday morning. Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) officials said that they are ready for the historic 100th mission, which is scheduled for Friday morning. | Today’s Paper 

The 42nd flight of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) carrying the 710-kg Cartosat-2 series satellite is expected to take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, at 0930 hours IST on Friday, January 12, 2018.

The Cartosat-2 series satellite launch is a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high-resolution, scene-specific spot imagery. It carries panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras operating in time delay integration mode and is capable of delivering high-resolution data. This will be the third satellite in the Cartosat-2 series.

ALSO READ: After many gains & an unexpected loss in 2017, Isro ready for a better 2018

Isro officials said that after the PSLV-C39 failure, the organisation conducted repeated tests to ensure that such problems did not occur again, which is why Isro took slightly more time for the PSLV-C40 launch.

On August 31, following a perfect launch, India’s mission to put its backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in orbit onboard PSLV-C39 failed after a technical fault in the final leg.
The officials added that the launch of three Indian satellites during the mission would mark the rollout of the 100th satellite from Isro.

The 28-hour countdown activity for the mission started at 05:29 hours IST on Thursday, January 11, 2018, after the Mission Readiness Review committee and Launch Authorisation Board cleared the countdown on Wednesday. After the countdown began, the propellant filling operation of the fourth stage (PS4) of PSLV-C40 was carried out.

ALSO READ: Isro banks on private players as it plans series of satellite launches

The rocket will carry a Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passenger satellites. Together, the 30 other satellites will weigh about 613 kg at lift-off.
The co-passenger satellites comprise one microsatellite and one nanosatellite from India as well as three microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites from six countries — Canada, Finland, France, the Republic of Korea, UK, and the US. The total weight of all the 31 satellites carried onboard PSLV-C40 is about 1,323 kg.

ALSO READ: Isro looks to return to Mars, eyes Venus

The 28 international customer satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), a Government of India company under the Department of Space, the commercial arm of ISRO and the international customers.

The co-passenger satellite comprises one microsatellite and one nanosatellite from India as well as three microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites from six countries including Canada, Finland, France, Korea, UK and USA.

Primary Satellite The Cartosat-2 Series Satellite is the primary satellite being carried by PSLV-C40.

This remote sensing satellite is similar to the earlier six satellites of the Cartosat-2 series and is intended to augment data services to the users. After its injection into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit by PSLV-C40, the satellite will be brought to an operational configuration, following which it will begin providing regular remote sensing services using its Panchromatic and Multispectral cameras.

The imagery sent by the satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) as well as Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.

Click here to read → ISRO


TDP says BJP means ‘Break Janata Promise’, quits NDA; top 10 developments

Congress will support the no-confidence motion moved against the Centre by Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party and the Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party

N Chandrababu Naidu

N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday formally decided to exit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), days after two of its ministers quit the Narendra Modi government protesting the denial of a special-category status to Andhra Pradesh. Further, the TDP moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi government over what it sees as injustice meted out to Andhra Pradesh.
The decision to pull out of the NDA was taken after Chandrababu Naidu’s teleconference with TDP members. TDP’s politburo unanimously took the decision to exit the alliance. The Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party also issued the notice to move a no-trust motion on Friday.

TDP’s pullout comes on a day when its rival in the state, the Y S Jagnamohan Reddy-led Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSR Congress), moved a motion of no-confidence against the council of ministers in the Lok Sabha.

On March 8, after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the TDP’s Union ministers — P Ashok Gajapati Raju and Y S Chowdary — had quit the Cabinet. Raju had held the Union civil aviation ministry while Chowdary was the Minister of State for Science and Technology.

With the decision made, the TDP will write to BJP President Amit Shah and the other constituents of the NDA, informing them of its decision and the reasons for it, a TDP communique added. The decision comes against the backdrop of the Centre not only refusing to grant a special-category status to Andhra Pradesh, but Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley going on to categorically rule out any such possibility.

Here are the top 10 developments in the TDP’s exit from the NDA:
1) In unanimous decision, TDP walks out of NDA: Andhra Pradesh’s TDP on Friday pulled out of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, a party leader said. TDP Rajya Sabha MP Y S Chowdary told news agencies: “Yes, our party (TDP) has pulled out of the alliance with the NDA.”

The TDP politburo unanimously took the decision to walk out of the alliance during a teleconference with party supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday morning. While the party politburo meeting to decide about snapping ties with the NDA was planned for Friday evening, the formality was completed during the daily teleconference Chandrababu holds with party leaders in the morning.

ALSO READ: TDP pulling out of Modi govt harks back to permafrost problem of coalitions

2) TDP moves no-confidence motion against Modi govt: The TDP on Friday moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi government over what it sees as injustice meted out to Andhra Pradesh over the special-status category demand.

Naidu directed TDP MP Thota Narasimham to submit a notice to the Lok Sabha Secretariat in this regard, informed sources said. “This House expresses No-Confidence in the Council of Ministers,” Narsimhan later said in a letter to the Lok Sabha Secretary Snehlata Shrivastava. He also wrote: “Under Rule 198 (B) of Chapter XVII of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, I hereby give notice to move the following motion in the House on today dated March 16.”

Click here to read → Chandrababu Naidu


No deadline for linking Aadhaar card to services says SC: Top developments

The government cannot insist for mandatory Aadhaar even for issuance of Tatkal passport,’ the Supreme Court said

Aadhaar Linking Mandatory

Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar card: The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the March 31 deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes run by the government till its constitution bench delivered its verdict on the validity of the 12-digit biometric number and its enabling law.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra extended the deadline after the Centre said it had already submitted that they were ready to extend the March 31 deadline for linking of the national biometric identifier with all services and welfare schemes.

“We direct that the March 31, 2018, deadline for linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes stand extended till the matter is heard and judgement is pronounced by the constitution bench,” the bench also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan said.

The extension of deadline would also apply on the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with the bank accounts and mobile phone numbers.

The constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions which have challenged the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling Act.

Also read : Aadhaar Must For Tatkal Passport, No Linking Deadline: Top 10 Developments

On March 6, Attorney General K K Venugopal had indicated to the bench that the Centre was willing to extend the March 31 deadline in the wake of prolonged hearing of the matter.

On December 15 last year, the apex court had extended till March 31 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes.
If you haven’t linked your Aadhaar to your mobile number or bank account yet, this might come as a relief.

The Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, hearing a bunch of petitions against the Aadhaar law, was informed by Attorney General K K Venugopal that the Centre had extended the deadline in the past, too, and that it could do so again.
“If required, we can do it again,” Venugopal said, after petitioners challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme sought an extension of the deadline to link the 12-digit unique identity number with various government schemes and services.

The petitioners, for their part, said that the deadline was approaching and the case was unlikely to be decided by March 31.

On December 15, 2017, the apex court had directed that the deadline for the linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones be extended until March 31.

The Constitution Bench is hearing challenges to the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the touchstone of the fundamental right to privacy on a bunch of petitions by former Karnataka High Court Judge K S Puttuswamy, Magsaysay awardee Shanta Sinha, feminist researcher Kalyani Sen Menon, and others.

The UIDAI, however, has said the requirement of Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts or applying for Tatkal passports will continue, while the deadline for linking it to existing bank accounts and PAN has been extended by the Supreme Court.

“As per the Supreme Court’s order dated 13th March 2018, the requirement of Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts and applying for Tatkal passports under the relevant laws continues,” the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).


UP, Bihar bypolls: Gorakhpur loss start of BJP’s worry? Top 10 developments

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said over-confidence and inability to understand the understanding between SP and BSP were the prime reasons for the BJP’s shocking loss

akhilesh yadav

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received a severe setback in the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections, losing four of the five seats in the bypolls, including the all-important Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats in Uttar Pradesh. Especially worrisome for the BJP was the fact that it was trounced by the BSP-backed Samajwadi Party in the high-stakes Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls which could boost the chances of a ‘mahagathbandhan’ of anti-BJP parties before the 2019 general elections.
After sweeping the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections last year, the BJP faced a last-minute alliance stitched by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the bypolls. BSP supremo Mayawati had announced her party’s backing for SP candidates in both Gorakhpur and Phulpur in return for the SP’s support for her party’s candidate in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections.
The BJP lost the Gorakhpur seat to the SP by a margin of 21,961 votes. SP candidate Pravin Kumar Nishad got 456,437 more votes than his nearest rival, BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla, who secured 434,476 votes. In the Phulpur constituency, SP candidate Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeated BJP candidate Kaushalendra Singh by a margin of 59,613 votes. The winner polled 342,796 votes, while the BJP candidate secured 283,183.
Significantly, Gorakhpur was earlier held by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had held the Phulpur seat.
Meanwhile, in Bihar, the BJP also lost the Araria Lok Sabha constituency and the Jehanabad Assembly seat while scoring a consolation win in the Bhabua Assembly seat. The results in both the states triggered calls for a Grand Alliance — a la Bihar — all across India to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. |Phulpur bypolls results
Once the outcome of the Uttar Pradesh 2018 bypolls was known, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that “over-confidence and the inability to understand the understanding between SP and BSP” were the prime reasons for the BJP’s defeat.
Here are the top 10 developments in the shock defeat for BJP in UP and Bihar bypolls:
1) SP victory boosts chances of an anti-BJP coalition in UP: With the tacit understanding between the Samajwadi Party and the BSP in the Lok Sabha bye-elections for two seats paying off, chances of a ‘mahagathbandhan’ of anti-BJP parties before the 2019 general elections got a boost in Uttar Pradesh. These results are the beginning of the formation of a broadest possible alliance of Opposition forces before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, senior political analyst and retired head of the political science department of the Lucknow University Ramesh Dixit said.
“The Congress will also be forced to come into this fold with all the major players,” Dixit said, adding that all these parties were working to oust the BJP. “This showing has come as a silver lining for all the other parties and, notwithstanding their inner contradictions, their major concern of maintaining their political relevance, which is under challenge, will guide them to fall in line,” Dixit said.
Click here to read → Gorakhpur bypoll results

Aadhaar must for tatkal passport, no linking deadline: Top 10 developments

The Aadhaar linking deadline has been extended till the apex court delivers its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the biometric identification scheme

Link your Aadhaar to your mobile phone number and bank account as soon as possible. If these persistent messages from telecom service providers and banks have been bothering you, you can safely ignore them — at least for some more time. The Supreme Court has indefinitely extended the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with existing bank accounts, PAN, mobile phone numbers, and various other services. However, the relief was not absolute as, according to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), your Aadhaar would still be required for opening new bank accounts or applying for Tatkal passports.
The apex court also ruled that the government could continue to seek beneficiaries’ Aadhaar, the 12-digit national biometric identifier number, for the transfer of benefits under schemes funded from the consolidated fund of India. “We direct that the interim order passed on December 15, 2017, shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced,” a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said. The judgment provided relief to hundreds or thousands of people who have not yet linked their bank accounts or mobile phones with Aadhaar.
The Aadhaar linking deadline has been extended till the apex court delivers its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the biometric identification scheme. The current deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, and other services was March 31, after it had been extended by the apex court on December 15 last year.
As Chief Justice Deepak Misra said their interim order stood extended, the Attorney General told the court that the government was prepared to extend the deadline in the last week of March because arguments in the matter would have concluded by then. “We were prepared for extension in last week of March,” he told the court in a bid to stall the extension.
The Constitution Bench, which also includes Justice A K Sikri, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud, and Justice Ashok Bhushan, had on March 7 ruled that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) would not insist on Aadhaar-only identification for NEET and other all-India examinations.
Here are the new rules regarding Aadhaar linking with mobile phone numbers, bank accounts, and services, and the top 10 developments regarding the Aadhaar biometric identification scheme:
1) COAI lauds order on Aadhaar linking deadline: The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) lauded the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the deadline for linking various services, including mobile phone numbers, with Aadhaar. The COAI said that the move would provide customers and telecom service providers (TSPs) enough time to carry out Aadhaar linking.
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s order on extending the timeline for linking mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar numbers, till the pronouncement of the judgment on the matter. This will provide adequate time to both the customers and TSPs to conduct the exercise in an orderly manner,” COAI Director General Rajan Mathews said in a statement. “We will await further instructions from the Department of Telecom in this regard,” he added.
2) Aadhaar must for opening bank accounts: The requirement of Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts will continue, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said on Tuesday.
The UIDAI, however, added that “for those who do not have Aadhaar, they are required to apply for Aadhaar and provide the Aadhaar application number while applying for availing the aforesaid services”.

UP, Bihar bypoll results 2018 LIVE: SP leading in Adityanath’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur

Lok Sabha by-elections 2018 in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Bihar’s Araria being viewed as yet another test for BJP ahead of 2019 general elections

Uttar Pradesh Lok sabha bypolls 2018

The Samajwadi Party was leading in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-polls late in the morning. The counting of votes for the Lok Sabha by-election 2018 for the two Assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh — Gorakhpur and Phulpur — and Bihar’s Jahanabad and Bhabua, besides the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, commenced on Wednesday amid tight security arrangements. The results are expected to be declared by Thursday afternoon, according to an Election Commission official.

Meanwhile, the initial counting of votes today showed that the BJP-led NDA was leading in the Araria Lok Sabha and Jahanabad and Bhabua Assembly by-elections in Bihar. The candidates of the Grand Alliance of RJD, Congress and HAM were trailing in all three seats.

Uttar Pradesh by-elections 2018

The voter turnout was 47.45 per cent in Gorakhpur and 37.39 per cent in Phulpur in Sunday’s polling. Ten candidates were in the fray from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates contested from Phulpur. According to the Election Commission, there are 1.96 million (19.61 lakh) voters in Phulpur parliamentary constituency, while the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat has a 1.95 million (19.49 lakh) electorate.

Uttar Pradesh by-polls 2018 were necessitated after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, respectively, following their election to the state legislative council.

Bihar by-elections 2018

Fifty-seven per cent polling was registered in Araria, Bihar’s Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak said. In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies in Bihar, where by-polls were also held, the voter turnout was 54.03 per cent and 50.06 per cent respectively, he said.

Bihar by-polls 2018 for the Araria seat was necessitated by the death of RJD MP Mohd Taslimuddin.

Click here to read → Phulpur by poll results


INX Media case: ED opposes relief to Karti Chidambaram; top 10 developments

Delhi High Court’s Justice Indermeet Kaur recused herself from hearing Karti Chidambaram’s bail plea in the INX Media corruption case

Karti Chidambaram

The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order that granted relief to Karti Chidambaram, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the INX Media corruption case, in the money laundering case registered against him.

The Delhi High Court on March 10 had restrained the central probe agency from arresting Karti Chidambaram till March 20.

Meanwhile, Delhi High Court Justice Indermeet Kaur recused from hearing Karti Chidambaram’s bail plea. The matter has now been referred to another Bench.

Karti Chidambaram, businessman and son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail in connection with the INX media case. The high court will hear his petition on March 13. Currently, Karti has been sent to judicial custody till March 25 in the INX Media Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance case.

On Monday it was reported that the court refused Karti’s plea for a separate cell in the jail in view of threat perception, as during his father’s tenure as Union Home Minister, several terrorists were kept in Tihar jail. The court said that while the social status of the Chidambaram family could not be ignored, Karti could not be treated differently from the other accused persons.

“However, only keeping in view the fact of social status of accused and his father, he cannot be treated differently from other accused persons and cannot be allowed to be kept in separate prison. However, lock up in-charge and jail superintendent are directed to provide and ensure proper security and safety to accused during judicial custody, as per rules,” the court said.

Karti was arrested by the CBI on his return from the United Kingdom in connection with an FIR lodged on May 15 last year. The probe agency alleged irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to a media house, INX Media, for receiving funds of about Rs 3.05 billion (Rs 305 crore) from overseas in 2007 when his father was the Union finance minister.

Initially, the CBI had alleged that Karti Chidambaram received Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakh) as a bribe for facilitating the FIPB clearance to INX Media. It, however, later revised the figure to $1 million (about Rs 6.50 crore at the current exchange rate and Rs 4.50 crore in 2007). The fresh evidence in the case, which triggered Karti’s arrest, was based on a statement by Indrani Mukerjea, former director of INX Media (P) Ltd, who recorded it under Section 164 of the CrPC before a magistrate on February 17.

Here are the top 10 developments around the Karti Chidambaram INX Media corruption case:
1) ED moves SC against HC order giving relief to Karti: The Supreme Court will hear the ED’s plea against the Delhi High Court order on Karti Chidambaram in the money laundering case arising out of the INX Media matter on March 15.
On Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate approached the apex court against the Delhi High Court order, which had granted relief to Karti Chidambaram.

Click here to read → INX Media case


Nepal plane crash: Airport blames US-Bangla pilot; top 10 developments

Expressing shock over the US-Bangla Airlines crash in Kathmandu that killed 49, Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli tweeted that his government would ‘investigate the incident immediately’

Kathmandu: Nepalese rescuers work after a passenger plane from Bangladesh crashed at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal

A passenger plane of the US-Bangla Airlines, flying to Kathmandu from Dhaka, crash-landed and exploded into a ball of flame on Monday at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, authorities said. Of the 71 people on board, as many as 49 were killed and 22 injured in the crash.

The death toll in the crash was confirmed by Nepal Police spokesperson Manoj Neupane. The aircraft caught fire after it skidded off the runway at TIA while landing.

Subsequently, the plane crashed in a field, apparently due to technical glitches. The crash is being described as Nepal’s worst aviation disaster in over 25 years.

Condoling the bereaved families, Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli tweeted that his government would “investigate the incident immediately”.

Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Sanjiv Gautam, said that the plane lost control when it attempted to land on the runway. “The aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side of the runway flying over Koteshwor but it landed from the northern side,” said Gautam. He added that the aircraft might have sustained technical glitches. “We are yet to ascertain the reason behind the unusual landing,” he said.

On Monday, India condoled the loss of lives in the Nepal airplane crash and offered any assistance required. The US, too, offered its sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims who were killed in the plane crash at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.

Also Read : Nepal Plane Crash: 50 Dead On US-Bangla Flight; Oli Assures Probe; Updates

The victims of the Kathmandu plane crash were citizens of Nepal, Bangladesh, China, and the Maldives, according to a TIA spokesperson.

After the crash, all flights in and out of the Tribhuvan International Airport were cancelled. The airport was reopened later.

Here are the top 10 developments around the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport plane crash, which is Nepal’s worst aviation disaster in over 25 years:

1) Death toll confirmed: According to updated figures, 49 people were killed and 22 injured when the US-Bangla Airlines passenger plane crash-landed and exploded at Nepal’s main airport on Monday. Nepal Police spokesperson Manoj Neupane confirmed the death toll.
According to Neupane’s statement, 31 bodies were recovered from the wreckage of the crashed plane while 18 others died in hospitals.

2) Nationalities of the deceased: The 78-seater Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, which caught fire after it skidded off the runway at the Tribhuvan International Airport, was carrying 71 people.

 Click here to read → Nepal Plane crash