OPINION, P2 MIND & GAMES Abig ask in electionyear IDEA EXCHANGE WHEN YOUR CHILD BELIEVES MEAT IS MURDER HN Singh ‘Housing, schools, jobs... What’s our children’s future? This should be on Parliament agenda’ Page 4 Advice about health and dinner-table diplomacy for parents of vegetarian kids Page 10 ACROSSTHEAISLE, P CHIDAMBARAM Vol XVII No 47 Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM LEISURE MIX ITLIKE THE MEXICANS NEW DELHI SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2018 16 Pages, `10 (Patna `11, Raipur `10) FINANCIALEXPRESS ON SUNDAY Chocolate in curry and onions in desserts—Mexican food beyond tacos and salsa Page 9 READ TO LEAD PUBLISHED FROM:AHMEDABAD, BENGALURU, CHANDIGARH, CHENNAI, HYDERABAD, KOCHI, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, PUNE REVIEW OF ECONOMY Disinvestment gets leg-up, no cuts in expenditure A RED initiative appears in today’s edition of Financial Express. This page is an initiative of the marketing solutions team of The Indian Express Group and contains content paid for by advertisers. This page should be read as an advertisement. SPOTLIGHT NOWLOADING: REGIONALREADS India has more regional language users on the internet than in English. But content does not match the demand, a gap being filled by a slew of start-ups Page 7 WORDSWORTH FE BUREAU New Delhi, September 15 AFTER UNVEILING A clutch of steps on Friday to control the rising current account deficit (CAD) and spurcapital inflows, the government on Saturday decided to keep the pace of budgetary expenditure, especially capex, to prop up economic growth. It also decided to be more aggressive on the disinvestment front and aim at surpassing the `80,000crore target for the fiscal year with renewed focus on strate- gic sales, though only a paltry sum has so far been collected. Emerging from a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister toreviewtheeconomy,finance ministerArunJaitleyreiterated the government’s commitment to meet this year’s fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of the ❝ The government is confident and will strictly maintain the 3.3% fiscal deficit target — ARUN JAITLEY, Finance minister ODD & EVEN ROHNIT PHORE ACAPTAIN & COACH STORY gross domestic product (GDP), even as he pinned hopes on the overalltaxcollections“meeting or even surpassing”the target. GiventhatAirIndiasalehas been put on the backburner to garner funds “in excess of target from disinvestment,” the government will have to sell large portions of its “SUUTI stakes” in private firms, sell stakes of maharatna PSUs like ONGC and Coal India and prompt cash-rich PSUs to buy back their shares. Referring to detailed presentations made by various departments of his ministryto the Prime Minister, who undertook a review of the economy for the second consecutive day, Jaitley said steps against black money like demonestiation and the GST have had salutaryeffect on the direct tax base, number of tax filers and advance tax receipts. According to an FE estimate, the number of income tax assessees (all categories including individuals and corporates) in FY18 could turn out to be 13.76 crore or QuickPicks NTPC plans boosting utilisation of low-cost power plants Intertwined Lives:PN Haksar and Indira Gandhi is a fascinating account of PN Haksar’s role in shaping India’s history during Indira Gandhi’s regime Page 5 Cleanliness mission Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes up a broom to clean a school in Delhi after launching the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign on Saturday. Report on P15 PTI NTPC HAS decided to put power stations operating at lower cost to optimum use, keeping the power plants operating at comparatively higher cost at reserve shutdown, reports Indronil Roychowdhury in Kolkata. This could help ailing discoms in getting power at rates a little above `3 at a time when they are trying to buy spot power at rates below `3. While the power ministry is exerting pressure on the coal ministry to relax fuel and regulatory issues, the PSU power producer wants to operate its pit head plants at higher plant load factor, keeping the plants away from pit heads at reserve shutdown. NTPC felt that even though the demand for power has risen 12%, this can be done if pit head plants are operated at near 100% capacity instead of the general 70-75%. PAGE 15 Shutting shop new retail strategy Retail firms focus on cutting losses, to open new stores in profitable locations JHARNA MAZUMDAR Mumbai, September 15 MORE THAN 500 stores have been shut in the last couple of yearsbybrickandmortarretailersacrossformats,astheyfocus on improving profitability,cutting rental costs and cautious expansion. Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail closed 189 exclusive brandoutlets;CoffeeDayGlobal shut 120 stores; Trent Hypermarket,ajointventurebetween theTataGroupandTescowhich operates three formats — Star Bazaar Hypermarket,Star Market and Star Daily — shut all its 20 loss-making Star Daily stores; Benetton India rationaliseditsnetworkofstoresand closed down 56 stores; Raymond shut 30 loss-making stores, Shoppers Stop shut five stores; Costa Coffee shut 35 stores and Barista shut 40 stores,among others. Experts say in most cases, shuttingdownstoreshashelped companies cut losses.Says Anil Talreja,partner,Deloitte:“Focus on online expansion and omnichannel presence has also resulted in brick and mortar retailers shutting stores and focusing on online presence. Retailersarefocusingoncutting expensive real estate costs and want to sell more online.Going forward, we would see more consolidation in the sector in terms of store rationalisation and also acquisitions.” As per a Jefferies report, the journey for organised retail in India, especially departmental and grocery formats, so far has beenmorebumpythansmooth. Sharp store expansion, lower same-store sales growth, high rentals, advent of competitive threat from online players and highcostofdoingbusinesshave been some of the key problems facing the sector. Continued on Page 11 Effect of announcements to be minimal, to the extent currency depreciation is due to weak fundamentals. Measures will take time to work through, especially capital flows like external commercial borrowing, foreign portfolio investments and masala bonds — MADAN SABNAVIS, chief economist, CARE Ratings (A rising) CAD and slowing capital inflows are a problem; could lead to (adverse) cyclic impact. If reserves are drawn down, RBI would resort to open market operations to pump in liquidity. This would cut its surplus and transfers to government — R GOPALAN, ex-secy, economic affairs ❝ ❝ INSTITUTE OF RURAL MANAGEMENT ANAND ● Economists hail fiscal prudence, call for dynamic policy-making to address CAD, rupee worries Since NPA-hit banks are not in a position to lend adequately, the latest steps will enable at least some large players to raise money from overseas with ease — KARTHIK SRINIVASAN, group head (financial sector ratings), ICRA thereabouts, up 66% over the previous year. Though there is a shortfall in GST revenue (Central GST collections are roughly a quarter below the target), the minister said with consumption pickingupandthemulti-point tax value addition settling down,evasions would become more difficult and collections would improve. Continued on Page 11 LIC to rescue of IL&FS; revival plan approved ● SB Mathur to be new chairman, to replace Hemant Bhargava FE BUREAU Mumbai, September 15 THE BOARD OF the cash strappedInfrastructureLeasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) met on Saturday to approve a resolution plan and discuss strategies for the company to raise funds to tide overthe cash crunch.Attheemergencymeeting,IL&FS’slargestshareholder, LIC, which holds 25.34%, is believed to have agreed to subscribetotheforthcomingrights issueandextendsomeimmediateworking capital loan. Meanwhile, LIC managing director Hemant Bhargava who wasthenon-executivechairman of ILFS,has stepped down from the position with immediate effect,butwillcontinuetobeon theboardasadirector.Thecompany has appointed SB Mathur, a past chairman of LIC, as the newnon-executivechairman. In a separate notice late Sat- SB Mathur Hemant Bhargava urday,IL&FS said it was unable to repay debt on certain commercialpapersthatweredueon September 14 and that it has received notices for delays and defaultsinservicingsomeintercorporate deposits,resulting in a downgrade in ratings. Continued on Page 11
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