India's central bank cut the key policy rate to its lowest levels in nearly a decade, but trimmed its 2019-20 growth forecast. India's services sector slipped into contraction in September as new business orders fell for the first time since early 2018, said a private survey. The Reserve Bank of India's decision to put Lakshmi Vilas Bank under corrective action doesn't mean it has made up its mind about the private lender's proposed merger with Indiabulls Housing, said governor Shaktikanta Das. The United States, Britain and Australia have called on Facebook to give authorities the ability to circumvent encryption used in its messaging services. Here is what made news on Friday.
RBI cuts lending rate
The Reserve Bank of India cut the key policy rate to its lowest levels in nearly a decade, stepping up its efforts to revive an economy growing at its slowest pace in six years. The central bank, while trimming its 2019-20 growth forecast, said that it will maintain its "accommodative" policy stance "as long as it is necessary" to revive growth, and ensure inflation remains within target.
India's services sector slips
India's dominant services sector slipped into contraction in September as new business orders fell for the first time since early 2018, according to a private survey which also found business optimism at its lowest in 2-1/2 years.
RBI explains stance on LVB, Indiabulls Housing merger
Placing Lakshmi Vilas Bank under the prompt corrective action framework cannot be construed as RBI having made up its mind on the lender's merger proposal with Indiabulls Housing, governor Shaktikanta Das said. He also advised stakeholders not to draw any inferences now based on the punitive action on the South-based mid-sized lender.
Shooting down own helicopter 'big mistake': IAF
The Indian Air Force (IAF) made a "big mistake" when it shot down its own helicopter in Kashmir on February 27, said Air Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria as he explained a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani forces that day. Action is being taken against two officers. Six IAF personnel and a civilian were killed in the incident.
Facebook asked to give access to encryption
The United States, Britain and Australia have called on Facebook to give authorities the ability to circumvent encryption used in its messaging services -- a measure opposed by the social media giant. Facebook has been dogged by several privacy scandals in recent years and has pledged to boost user protections by rolling out end-to-end encryption across all of its social media platforms.