OPINION, P2 MIND & GAMES For healthcare, Budget gifts a jumla IDEA EXCHANGE THE MEN WHO WANT TO LIVE FOREVER Nirupama Rao & Richard Verma ‘China has resources... But India has weight in the region. How we use smart diplomacy is key’ Page 4 Some very wealthy people around the world are serious about outsmarting mortality Page 10 ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM Vol II No. 354 Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM LEISURE ART MATTERS MUMBAI SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2018 18 Pages, `8 SPOTLIGHT PLAYING IT THEIRWAY FINANCIALEXPRESS ON SUNDAY Jagdip Jagpal on her vision for the India Art Fair Page 9 READ TO LEAD PUBLISHED FROM:AHMEDABAD, BENGALURU, CHANDIGARH, CHENNAI, HYDERABAD, KOCHI, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, PUNE FUND RAISING New rules on corporate bonds by Sept: Sebi chief Need to be cognisant of market bubble risk: Patel ● FM hopes uptrend in IPOs will help meet disinvestment targets Achievements of sportspersons involved in sports like kayaking, fencing, surfing, etc, more often than not go unnoticed. And yet, they are soldiering on, fighting hard to make these sports a prominent part of the Indian sporting culture... Page 7 WORDSWORTH SUJATHA GIDLA ‘Nobody notices caste operating in society,’ says the author of Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India Page 5 LEISURE EATLIKE AGOAN Why is it that in Goa, most visitors eat food that’s nowhere close to what the state has the potential to offer? Page 9 ODD & EVEN FINANCE MINISTER ARUN Jait- leyonSaturdayaskedSecurities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to take more measures to deepen the corporate bond market. The regulator responded by announcing the release of detailed rules bySeptemberonaBudgetproposalto mandate listed firms to raise a quarteroftheirfundsviabonds. Sebi is also examining alleged lapses byFortis Healthcare in transferring funds to some promoter-linked firms, chairman Ajay Tyagi told reporters at a briefing afterthe board meeting of the regulator in the national capital, attended bythe finance minister. Media reports claimed on FridaythatFortis’promoters— the Singh bothers — took around `500 crore at the current exchange rate out of the publicly-traded hospital company without board approval about a year ago. The news prompted stock exchanges to issue notices to the company. TYAGISPEAK ■ Sebi is examining alleged lapses by Fortis Healthcare in transferring funds to some promoter-linked firms ■ Market volatility may continue for some time; no concern for investors ■ Wrong to say LTCG tax to have no impact, but global factors pose bigger risk to markets ■ Small investors need not panic but markets can't be as risk-free as deposits SpeakingaboutthedeliberationsattheSebimeeting,Jaitley later said: “One of the factors that stood out from the regulator’s(Sebi's)presentation is that there is an increased reliance on corporate bonds as far as credit is concerned.”The Budget has made‘A’grade corporatebondseligibleforinvestments, which will result in a Ajay Tyagi, Sebi chief larger pool of investmentgrade bonds, as the governmentwantedtonudgefirmsto diversifytheirsources of funding.“In India, most regulators permitonlybondswiththe‘AA’ rating as eligible for investment,” Jaitley had said in his Budget speech, adding, “It is now time to move from ‘AA’ to ‘A’ grade ratings.” Over 80% of bond issuances come from the ‘AAA’and‘AA’-rated companies and the top 10 issuers make up for almost 40% of issuances, according to ICRA. At Saturday’s Sebi meeting, Jaitley is also learnt to have expressedhopethatmoreIPOs willhelpthegovernmentmeet its disinvestment target of `80,000croreforthisfiscal.He also impressed upon Sebi to focus on monetisation of assets through InVITs. Commenting on recent fall in stock markets, Tyagi said smallinvestorsneednotpanic, as they are doing the right thing by investing through mutual funds. But getting returnsthroughthisroutecan't beasrisk-freeasbankdeposits. Asked if the Budget proposal on a long-term capital gains (LTCG) is causing the stocks markets to crash, Tyagi saidwhile itwould be incorrect to totally discount the impact of such a tax,but global factors pose much biggerrisks to markets at this moment. Continued on Page 11 Palestine seeks India’s role in peace process PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Ramallah (West Bank), February 10 PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA Modi on Saturday met MahmoudAbbas on a historic visit to Palestine, during which the Palestinian President sought India's role in achieving a “just and desired peace” with Israel in accordance with the two-state solution. President Abbas received Modi, the first Indian PM to make an official visit to Palestine,in an official ceremony at the presidential compound, also known as Muqata’a, in Ramallah,the Palestinian seat of government. They discussed the full range of India-Palestine ties, following which the two sides signed six agreements worth ROHNIT PHORE around $50 million that includes setting up of a $30 millionsuper-specialityhospital in Beit Sahur. Three agreements in the educationsectorworth$5million,oneMoUforprocurement of equipment and machinery for the National Printing Press and one for construction of a centreforempoweringwomen were also signed. In a joint press statement with Modi, President Abbas acknowledged that the Indian leadership has always stood by peace in Palestine. Abbas said he had“fruitfull and constructive” talks with Prime Minister Modi and he updated the Indian leader on the overall developing situation in Palestine and in the region. Continued on Page 11 Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives the Grand Collar, the highest order given to foreign dignitaries, by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after the conclusion of their meeting in Ramallah on Saturday PTI Finance minister Arun Jaitley and RBI governor Urjit Patel (centre) at the central board meeting of RBI in New Delhi on Saturday ● Says monetary policy decisions have to be forward-looking FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 10 RESERVE BANK OF India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel on Saturday said the recent stock market crash is unlikely to cause any“majorproblem”,but regulators must still continue to be cognisant of associated risks. Patel defended maintaining a “tight” monetary policy even when inflation was low, saying policydecisions have to be forward-looking rather than just a reflection of short-term movement of inflation rates. He added that suggestions by some people last year to trim rates on the ground that oil prices were unlikely to bounce back sharply were later proven wrong. Speaking to the media after a customary post-Budget address by finance minister Arun Jaitleyto the RBI board in Delhi,Patel said the recent correction in stock markets across the world and in India underscores “how capital markets can change direction”. “So far neither globally,nor in India, have we felt that this bubble could lead to a very major problem. However, as financial market regulators, both RBI and Sebi need to be cognisant of the risk going for- Car makers take the digital highway MEGHNA SHARMA Mumbai, February 10 THE ONGOING AUTO Expo in Mumbai has seen numerous launches by automobile companies. But the innovation journeydoesn't end here foran auto company. With 89% of Indian car purchases being digitally influenced, up from 75% in 2016, as per The Drive to Decide report by Google India and KantarTNS in 2017, companieshavetofireuptheir digital routes. Today, research has moved online where feedback and comments are shared and read on social media,and videos on car reviews and car interiors arewatched to help one decide which model to buy. Thus, car makers are effectively going digital by upgrading car showrooms to include ON TUESDAY 'VROOMING AHEAD IN THE DIGITAL LANE' touchscreen product pods, ebrochures and giving online options for customising engines. As per experts, India has over 400 million mobile subscribers with data plans who get their everyday tasks done through the web. Of these, 63% of Indian internet users are over 25 years of age and 45% consideration for brands is influenced digitallydue to access to owner feedback, expert reviews and competition comparisons. Continued on Page 11 PTI FM: Fiscal situation to be comfortable in FY19 FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 10 FINANCE MINISTER ARUN Jaitley on Saturday expressed confidence over comfortable revenue collectionin2018-19,seeking to remove doubts about any likely slippage in fiscal deficitfromtherevisedtarget of 3.3% of GDP ahead of the general elections in 2019. Asked about the possibility of high oil prices worsening fiscal deficit, Jaitley said an assessment should not be made on a hypothetical situation, as oil prices have fallen in the past three days. The government is targeting a 14.6% rise in revenue next fiscal. Analysts have said ward,”Patel said. “I think the good thing in this cycle of high equity prices is that almost everyone who has been part of this has talked about a possibility that this cannot go on too long. I think that is good so that there is enough risk aversion that is endogenous, built up by the investors themselves,”he said. Barring one session, stock markets havewitnessed a slide thisweek,amid a rout in global equitymarkets.While the Sensex managed to gain 330 points on Thursday, it lost ❝ I cannot see at this stage that there would be any fiscal slippage in FY19 ❝ ❝ FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 10 — ARUN JAITLEY, FINANCE MINISTER while this seems possible given the budgeted nominal GDP growth of 11.5%, the 10.1% increase in expenditure ahead of the elections runs the risk of exceeding the target yet again. Continued on Page 11 more than 2,200 points in the preceding seven sessions.Even the Economic Survey of 2017-18 recently flagged potential risks of elevated stocks prices correcting sharply, provoking a “sudden stall”in capital flows. Patel said global oil price fluctuationsaredifficulttopredict and prices have witnessed atwo-waymovementrecently, while stressing on the need to be prepared forboth rising and falling rates scenario. Continued on Page 11 QuickPicks India Posts’ payments bank to begin operations from April INDIA POSTS Payments Bank (IPPB) is all set to roll out operations on a pan-India level from April this year, which will also include digital transactions. The payments bank will leverage India Posts' around 1.55 lakh post offices, almost 70% of which are in rural areas, to cover around 650 districts. The bank will have multiple customer access points in all districts to reach out to the un-banked. It will begin with around 3,500 personnel, most ofwhom will be from the banking and related sectors. PAGE 3 Ease of doing biz: 18 states claim perfect score in reforms ● No state has ever scored 100% since the ranking was started in 2015 BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, February 10 FORTHE FIRSTTIME, asmanyas 18 states have staked claim to a perfect 100% score in implementing a 372-point reforms agenda on ease of doing business, submitting voluminous documents to back up their assertion, official sources told FE. Interestingly, no state has ever scored 100% since the ranking was started in 2015 to foster competition among states and improve their business environment. The longer-than-usual time required for the verification of documents and the Centre’s decision this time to include stakeholders’ feedback (along with states’ claims) on actual reformsongroundhavedelayed the final ranking of states beyond the usual time in SeptemberorOctobereveryyear. Thestatesthathaveclaimed the perfect score this time includeWestBengal,Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Haryana. In 2016, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana jointly topped the list, with a 98.78% score on a 340-point reforms agenda, closely followed by Gujarat. In 2015, Gujarat had grabbed the first position,with a 71.14% score. States are ranked on a dozen parameters on ease of doing business, such as inspection enablers, single-window system,land availability and allotment, labour regulations, obtainingutilitypermits,access to information and trans- Ranking doesn't accurately reflect the level of business-conducive nature of the states. It reflects the willingness of states to reform and attract investments parency enablers,construction permits, registering property, paying taxes and contract enforcement. The World Bank has been tasked with ranking states since 2016 to lend objectivity to the exercise, while the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) has been overseeing the process and often acting as facilitator between the World Bank and states. The reforms agenda is fixed by the DIPP after extensive consultations with states. Whiletheevaluationofdocuments is learnt to be almost over, the process of gathering stakeholders'feedbackwilltake some time,said sources.So the ranking might finally come around April. “However, with actual users' feedback, the delivery of reforms on various parameters of ease of doing business will be better tracked this time than earlier,”said one of the sources. The World Bank is seeking feedback on 78 questions coveringvarious aspects of ease of doing business. So far, four states — Haryana, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Karnataka — have secured the first position with a 90.79% score. However, the scores might change and final rankingwillbeannouncedonly after the entire process is over. The ranking in ease of doing business is an assessment of how the states fare in implementing an action plan adopted bythemwith the help of the Centre within a particular time-frame. So it doesn't accurately reflect the level of business-conducive nature of the states, as states with lower ranksmightalsoattracthigher investments than the ones with higher ranks. Nevertheless, it reflects the willingness of states to reform and attract investments.
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