OPINION, P8 BACK PAGE, P18 RAJAT KATHURIA Little justification for Trai’s order on predatory pricing INTERNATIONAL, P16 EDITORIAL FORBES LIST ALLEGED AFFAIR Firing NPPA chief OK, but fixing pharma policy needs govt to relook its assumptions Jeff Bezos world’s first ‘centi-billionaire’ with over $100 bn worth Stormy Daniels sues Trump over ‘hush agreement’ MUMBAI, THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2018 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOLUME XXXXXV NO. 300, 18 PAGES, `6.00 P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 33,033.09 ▼ 284.11 NIFTY: 10,154.20 ▼ 95.05 NIKKEI 225: 21,252.72 ▼ 165.04 HANG SENG: 30,196.92 ▼ 313.81 `/$: 64.89 ▲ 0.07 `/€: 80.63 ▼ 0.21 BRENT: $65.68 ▼ $0.11 GOLD: `30,565.00 ▲ `127.00 BHUSHAN STEEL TAKEOVER Tata Steel bids the most, IRP confirms WINGS INDIA All-cash offer gave it an edge over rival bidder JSW Steel; if successful would be IN THE NEWS the first large deal Govt may amend under IBC IBC norms TO MINIMISE the possibility of a deadlock or delay in decision-making in the insolvency resolution process, the government is contemplating a reduction in the share of votes required for approving a resolution plan by the committee of creditors, sources aware of the development told FE, reports Shamik Paul in Mumbai. Gadgets 15 Like a notebook, like an ultrabook SHAMIK PAULAND SHUBHRATANDON Mumbai, March 7 TATA STEELANNOUNCED on Wednesday it has been declared the highest bidderfor the bankrupt Bhushan Steel, saying it had received a formal communication from the resolution professional (RP) to this effect. The other prominent bidder in the fraywas the Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Steel. FE learnt from senior bankers Tata Steel has committed as much as `35,000 crore, all of it in cash, which gave it an edge over rival JSW Steel. Koushik Chatterjee, ED and CFO, Tata Steel, refrained from commenting on the size of the deal as also the manner in which it would be funded. Chatterjee indicated several approvals would be needed THE ROAD AHEAD ■ Clearances from NCLT, CCI key to completion of the transaction ■ Value of the Tata Steel bid pegged at `35,000 crore ■ Tata Steel has also bid for Bhushan Power & Steel ■ Company is understood to be preparing its war chest ■ Recently completed a rights issue of `12,800 crore before the acquisition could be declared a done deal. Shouldthedealgothrough, itwouldbethefirstlargetransaction to be completed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016, and a feather in the cap of the government which is attempting to find takers for stressed assets. A consummation of the deal would also boost the moraleofbeleagueredbankers looking for resolutions for nearlytwo dozen large companies that have been unable to pay their dues. Although the banks may need to take haircuts, the government believes that the clean-up would strengthen their balance sheets and they will be better placed to lend. BhushanSteeloweslenders approximately `46,263 crore and was referred by lenders to theNationalCompanyLawTribunal(NCLT)undertheIBClast year. It reported a net loss of `3,614.8 crore in FY17 on revenues of `15,027 crore. The resolution plan to revive Bhushan Steel will now be refined after consultations between Tata Steel, the committee of creditors representing the lenders and the RP. Once the discussions are over and the plan finalised, it would be filed with the NCLT, which would need to pass its order by end-April. Continued on Page 2 STATE OF PLAY Centre says no to AP’s plea for special tag Given a 3-day ultimatum by CM Naidu, FM promises ‘monetary equivalent’ of title FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 7 AS ANDHRA PRADESH (AP) chief minister N Chandrababu NaiduissuedathreattotheCentre saying his Telugu Desam Partywouldwalk out of the rul- WHATANDHRA PRADESH WANTS ■ Special category status, akin to 11 NE/hill states ■ An extra revenue-deficit grant of `12,100 crore for June 2014-March 2015 ■ Nabard funds for specific centrally sponsored projects with the Centre taking fiscal hit ing NDA coalition unless special-category status (SCS) and a host of attendant and other WHAT CENTRE SAYS ■ Special-category tag will open a Pandora's box ■ All commitments under AP Act, 2014, to be met ■ Extra revenue deficit grant of `1,600 cr for June 2014-March 2015 ■ Open to Nabard facility, but via SPV, to avoid fiscal impact financialsuccoursareextended to the resource-starved state, financeministerArunJaitleyon ● DROPPED CALL Bleeding telcos get a band-aid for now FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 7 BLEEDING TELCOS, HOPING to get respite from crippling government levies, got a mere band-aid solution for now. Wednesday’s Cabinet decisions were more aimed at ensuring better government revenues ratherthanaddressingindustry issues.That,if it happens at all, willhavetowaittilltheNational Telecom Policy is announced, possiblynext month. Even before Reliance Jio’s entry caused telecom tariffs to collapse, beleaguered telcos were finding it difficult to servicedebtsandmanywereonthe ON HOLD ■ Easing spectrum caps will help M&As ■ More time to pay for spectrum will ease cash flow ■ No change in levies, critical for telco health verge of shutting down — the industry collectively owes banks/others `4.6 lakh crore and has deferred payment liabilities to the government of `3.1 lakh crore.Much of this is due to the fact that the share of revenue going to the government by way of recurring licence/spectrum charges and auction bids rose from 11% in FY07to32.4%inFY17—ifservice taxes are included, the number rose from 23.2% to 47.4%. Wednesday’s measures will, of course, help consolidation andallowtelcoswithstrongbalancesheetstobuythespectrum assetsoffirmsthathavealready shut or are in the process of doing so. So, the Cabinet approvedvariousrecommendations of an inter-ministerial group that dealtwith this. Continued on Page 2 Wednesday sought to avert a political rupture. Though the ministerdeniedSCStoAP—this tagispracticallyconfinedtothe eightstatesinnortheastandthe hillystatesofJammuandKashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand—hepromisedAP “monetary equivalent”of what the titlewould entail. Speakingatthestateassembly earlier in the day,Naidu had demanded “the Centre come out with a clear stand on the state’sdemandsinthenexttwothree days”. Continued on Page 2 OTHER CABINET DECISIONS COMMERCIAL COURTS ■ Threshold for admission of disputes in commercial courts lowered to `3 lakh from `1 crore ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION BILL ■ Allows parties to directly approach SC-designated arbitral bodies for international commercial arbitration DEARNESS ALLOWANCE ■ DA for central govt staff hiked from 5% to 7%; both DA and dearness relief to cost `6,077.72 cr a year Detailed story on Page 2
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