OPINION, P8 ECONOMY, P2 KIDNEY TRANSPLANT EDITORIAL India Inc back on track, expect 15% sales growth in Q4 To fight fake news, have to begin by calling out politicians indulging in this INTERNATIONAL, P14 CORRUPTION CHARGES FM Jaitley admitted to AIIMS, to undergo surgery today South Korean court jails former president Park for 24 years NEW DELHI, SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2018 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL.XLIV NO. 31, 22 PAGES, `10.00 (PATNA `9.00, RAIPUR `10.00) 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: 33,626.97 ▲ 30.17 NIFTY: 10,331.60 ▲ 6.45 NIKKEI 225: 21,567.52 ▼ 77.90 HANG SENG: 29,844.94 ▲ 326.25 `/$: 64.98 ▼ 0.01 `/€: 79.52 ▲ 0.15 BRENT: $68.38 ▲ $0.05 GOLD: `30,396 ▼ `95 DISINVESTMENT-BOUND AIR INDIA has approached aviation regulator DGCA for renewal of its flying permit, expiring in June, amid the government scouting for potential buyer for the lossmaking carrier, reports PTI. A senior airline official said the DGCA has already renewed the scheduled operator permit of the ailing carrier's international budget arm Air India Express recently. Forex reserves hit lifetime high of $424.36 billion INDIA'S FOREIGN EXCHANGE reserves hit a lifetime high of $424.361 billion on March 30, data from the RBI showed, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. Reserves rose by $1.828 billion last week compared with the week before. Foreign currency assets, which form a key component of reserves, rose by $1.823 billion from the previous week to $399.118 billion. Walmart nears deal to acquire Flipkart WALMART COMPLETED A thorough due diligence process on e-commerce firm Flipkart this week, sources said, as the US retail giant looks to take a controlling stake of 51% or more, reports Reuters. Walmart is looking to shell out up to $12 billion for the stake that would value Flipkart at roughly $20 billion. TARIFF TANGLE US, China continue to trade threats UP’s power distribution reform plan scrapped DEEPA JAINANI Lucknow, April 6 Trump threatens additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods; China says to fight back ‘resolutely’ ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE REUTERS Beijing/Washington, April 6 CHINAWARNED ON Friday it would fight back “at any cost” with fresh trade measures if the United States continues on its path of protectionism, hours after President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods. Trump said the United States has already lost any trade war, as he defended his proposed tariffs, saying the move might cause “a little pain”but the United Stateswill be better off in the long run. “We'vealreadylostthetrade war.We don't have a trade war, we'velostthetradewar,”Trump said in a radio interview with NewYorkradioshow,77WABC’s “Bernie&Sid”earlyonFriday.In a Twitter message on Wednesday, he had said:“That war was lost manyyears ago bythe foolish,orincompetent,peoplewho represented the US.” In light of China’s “unfair retaliation” against earlier US trade actions, Trump upped the ante onThursdaybyordering US officials to identify extra tariffs, escalating a high ● PULLING THE PLUG IN NATIONAL DUTY ■ Trump says move might cause 'a little pain' but US will be better off in the long run ■ On Wednesday, China unveiled a list of 106 US goods targetted for tariffs ■ US proposed duties on some 1,300 Chinese industrial, technology, transport and medical products ■ Trump administration had earlier called for $50 billion in extra duties ■ Washington says Beijing's policies designed to transfer US intellectual property to Chinese companies stakestit-for-tatconfrontation with potentially damaging consequences for the world’s two biggest economies. On Wednesday, China unveiled a list of 106 US goods — from soya beans and whisky to frozen beef and aircraft — targeted for tariffs, inaswiftretaliatorymoveonly hours after the Trump administration proposed duties on some 1,300 Chinese industrial,technology,transportand medical products. Washington has called for the $50 billion in extra duties after it said a probe determined Chinese government policies are designed to transfer US intellectual property to Chinese companies and allow them to seize leadership in key high-technology industries of the future. Responding toTrump’s latest comments, the Chinese commerce ministry reiterated that China was not afraid of a trade war even though it did not seek one, and accused the US of provoking the conflict. “If the United States disregards the objections of China and the international community and persists in unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will follow through to the end,at anycost, and definitely fight back resolutely,” a spokesperson was quotedassayinginastatement on the ministry’s website. DOING A VOLTE-FACE on its power-sector reform agenda, the Uttar Pradesh government has dropped a plan to implement the franchise model for privatisation of electricity distribution in the state’s five cities, including capital Lucknow,andwithdrewthetender documentsinvitingbidsunder theintegratedserviceprovider scheme (ISPS) for seven districts.Under ISPS,the idea was to hand over the work of electricity billing, meter installation and reading, revenue collection, etc, to private service providerstoimproveefficiency and reduce pilferage. The state government’s move,announcedlateonThursday,cameaftera20-dayboycott ofwork bythe employees of the statepowerdepartmentUPPCL in protest against the moves. Continued on Page 2 BOND BOOST RBI raises debt investment limits for FPIs across board Cap in G-secs at 5.5% for FY19, 6% for FY20; move seen lowering yields 10-year bond yield (%) 7.80 7.55 7.337 7.30 7.05 FE BUREAU Mumbai, April 6 6.80 THE RESERVE BANK of India (RBI) on Friday raised the debt investment limits for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) across all segments,including central government securities (G-secs), allowing cumulative increase of over `1 lakh crore through FY19. Though the hike in limit for G-secs — 0.5% each year to 5.5% of the outstanding stock in FY19 and 6% of the stock in FY20 — was a bit lower than market expectations, analysts felt the move would help bring down the yields further at least in the short term. The RBI’s decision could also ease pressure on local banks to support the govern- 7.175 Jan 1, ‘18 Apr 6, ‘18 Cambridge Analytica knew how to sell... Cambridge Analytica Even if Facebook improves its security and protects information, there’s plenty of publicly available information to target us for the marketing of cars, candy and presidents ■ Science & Tech, P13 QuickPicks IAF issues RFI for $15-bn deal to procure 110 fighter jets THE GOVERNMENT has begun the process to acquire a fleet of around 110 fighter jets, reports Huma Siddiqui in New Delhi. The Indian Air Force has issued a request for information (RFI) for the $15-billion deal which would be in sync with the Make in India initiative. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Saab and Dassault are among the competitors that are likely to vie for the mega deal. The RFI document states that “the procurement should have a maximum of 15% aircraft in flyaway state and the remaining 85% aircraft will have to be made in India by a strategic partner/Indian production agency”. PAGE 3 NCLAT allows RCom to execute its `25,000-cr asset sale plan RELIANCE COMMUNICATIONS (RCom) said on Friday that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has passed an interim order to allow the company to execute its `25,000-crore asset monetisation programme, reports PTI. The development comes a day after the Supreme Court vacated a Bombay HC order, which had stayed the sale of assets of RCom. “The NCLAT has allowed execution of sale deeds and deposit of the proceeds with SBI in an escrow account. RCom can now proceed with completion of its entire asset monetisation plan,” an RCom spokesperson said. PAGE 6 Wind prices firm up to `2.51 a unit, bringing relief to industry ELECTRICITYTARIFFS discovered in the latest reverse auctions conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for 2,000 MW of wind power have brought relief to the industry, reports Anupam Chatterjee in New Delhi. The lowest price quoted in the bidding which concluded late on Thursday was `2.51 a unit — 16% higher than the previous low of `2.44 per unit. The `2.44 a unit tariff was discovered in February 2018, which was about 30% lower than the tariff discovered in the first SECI wind power auction in February 2017. PAGE 2 SHAMIK PAUL & MITHUN DASGUPTA Mumbai, April 6 THE RACE FOR Binani Cementsisslowlyinchingcloser to the finish line with Binani IndustriesonFridaysubmitting its revised out-of-court settlementplanalongwithasecurity depositof`750croreinsupport ofitsproposaltothecommittee of creditors (CoC) of Binani Cement, sources close to the development told FE. This comes days ahead of a hearing on the resolution onApril 9. The Kolkata bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had placed the responsibilityofconsideringan out-of-tribunal settlement on the lenders of Binani Cement andhadaskedthemtoarriveat a decision byApril 9.The CoC is expectedtomeetonSaturdayto finalise its decision that will need to be conveyed to the tribunal on Monday,sources said. “Binani Industries has agreed to pay `8,000 crore to REVISED PLAN ■ Binani Cement CoC to dues to operational creditors, interest due to financial creditors ■ Bankers said SC approval required for out-of-court settlement thelenders.Ithasalreadymade a security deposit payment of `750 crore. It has placed the remaining amount in a separate account especially created forthispurpose,andhasshared details of the account with the CoCasaproofofitsreadinessto make the full payment within 10 days of acceptance of their proposal,” one of the sources quotedabovesaidoncondition of anonymity. Apr 6, ‘18 Corporate bonds Total debt* 1,91,300 65,100 2,44,323 5,45,823 2,07,300^ 78,700 2,66,700 5,94,600 Revised limit for the HY Oct 2018-Mar, 2019 2,23,300^ 92,300 2,89,100 6,49,900 Current limit Revised limit for the HYApr-Sept, 2018 *Total debt including SDL ^Includes `4,760 crore one-time addition to limit to provide for inclusion of coupon investment amount in utilisation. Source: RBI ment’s borrowing programme andfreeupliquiditytosupport an incipient investment cycle. Currently, the FPI limit for general category G-sec investors stands at `1.91 lakh crore; this has been raised to `2.07 lakh crore for the first half of FY19 and further to `2.23 lakh crore for H2FY19. Continued on Page 2 ● PNB SCAM CBI grills former RBI deputy governor HR Khan PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, April 6 Elvis still in the building A painting by Andy Warhol called 'Double Elvis [Ferus Type]' (1963) is displayed at Christie's auction rooms in London. The painting will be offered in an auction in New York on May 17, with an estimated price tag of around $30 million AP meet on Saturday to review revised plan ■ New plan includes Jan 1, ‘18 G-sec— long-term Continued on Page 2 Binani’s final play for cement arm 200 100 0 -100 -200 -300 -400 G-sec— general ` crore `750 CR AS SECURITY Special Feature FPI flows to debt ($ m) 95.95 300 18.52 Revised limits for FPI investment in debt — 2018-19 Undue extravagance The cost of each hour of Lok Sabha proceeding was as high as `2 cr in FY18, while that of Rajya Sabha was `1.33 cr. Almost 245 hours were lost in the Budget session to disruptions, which remained the worst Budget session since 2000. Costs* (FY18) Each hour of Lok Sabha `2 cr BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK Each hour of Rajya Sabha `1.33 cr 21% *Based on establishment costs of both the houses in FY18 and salaries and other facilities enjoyed by MPs for the period when Parliament was in session Perks of MPs rise ` `277.50 cr `123.29 cr Salaries, other perks of Lok Sabha MPs in FY18, up from `207.49 cr in FY11 Budget session productivity Lok Rajya Sabha Sabha Salaries, other perks of Rajya Sabha MPs in FY18, up from `98.72 cr in FY11 31% Overall expenses shoot up `656 cr Establishment expenditure of Lok Sabha, including salaries and allowances of MPs, up from `366.90 crore in FY11 `384.11 cr Establishment expenditure of Rajya Sabha, including salaries and allowances of MPs, up from `190.20 crore in FY11 Source: PRS; FE analysis THE CENTRAL BUREAU of Investigation (CBI) on Friday questioned former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Harun Rashid Khan in connection with bank scams involving jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and relaxation of gold import rules in 2014 by the erstwhile UPA government allegedly to the benefit of private traders. Khan is the senior-most former official of the RBI to be questioned by the CBI in connection with the $2-billion scam in Punjab National Bank (PNB), considered the biggest in the financial history of the country,they said. The sources said the former RBI official’s questioning revolved around the policy framework of the time when fraudulent letters of undertaking were issued by PNB to the firms of Modi and Choksi. He was also questioned on the ‘20:80’ gold import scheme, which was cleared by then finance minister P Chidambaram on May 13, 2014, barely three days before the counting of votes of the general election, they said. The scheme had allegedly helped Choksi’s company and a few other make windfall gains. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 VISA CRACKDOWN Thousands of Indian women find their American dreams in jeopardy NEW YORK TIMES Livermore, California FOR SEVEN YEARS, Deepika Jalakam sat at home. Bored, unfulfilled and dependent on herhusbandforeverydime,she struggled with the notion that her professional life was doomed in the land of opportunity. So when the employment card arrived in the mail in 2015, Jalakam did what she often does when good fortune comes her way: She placed it before the gods in the Hindu shrine mounted in herkitchen cabinet,blessed itwith a dab of red “kum kum” powder and recited a prayer of gratitude. Withinweeks,Jalakam,who has a degree in biotechnology, landed a job as an analyst at an insurance company. The next year, she and her husband, Vinay Kumar, a software engineer,bought a house.In 2017, the finances of the Indian immigrant couplewere secure enough that they decided to have a second child. Allthatplanning,though,is in jeopardy.Jalakam and thousands of other spouses of skilled workers have been told that theirspecialwork permits ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE IN THE NEWS Ailing Air India looks to renew flying permit —authorisationthatcanmean the difference between struggling and thriving in their adoptedhomeland—arelikely to be revoked. The Trump administration announcedlastfallthat,aspart of a crackdown on H-1B visas issued for skilled workers to enterthe United States,it plans to rescind an Obama-era programme that allowed spouses towork.Thechange,expectedin June,would force thousands of mainlyIndianwomenwho followed their husbands to the United States to give up their jobs — even though many are highly educated workers with sought-after skills. “We were happily working and feeling settled down with the life we wanted. Suddenly, this announcement came and there is instability,” said Jalakam, 32, whonowfindsherselfworrying about everything from day-todayspendingtovacationplans. Across the country, thousands of Indian families are caught in a similar dilemma because of the out-sized role that they play in the H-1B visa programme. Continued on Page 2
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