OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 STEEL GIANT IN MAKING? RBI needs a lot more OMOs for yields to remain low Nobel for cancer immunotherapy must put the focus on its high costs POLITICAL PRESSURE Govt to examine steel min proposal to merge SAIL, RINL & NINL EDITORIAL INTERNATIONAL, P8 Bezos-led Amazon to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour in US NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2018 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL.XLIV NO. 184, 14 PAGES, `6.00 (PATNA `6.00, RAIPUR `7.00) 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 IL&FS RISK Leverage rose to 13, but risk panel met just once in 4 years! Arun K Saha, joint MD & CEO, IL&FS SMOKE ‘N’ MIRRORS 584.3 IL&FS standalone net profit, ` cr *govt petition puts this at `2,400 crore What IL&FS didn’t IL&FS group net loss, ` cr -1,886.9* 87% 91,091.3 What IL&FS reported 43% 2014 2018 Operating profit ( ` cr) 2014 2018 Debt ( ` cr) As corporate watchers point out, the committee needed to be all the more vigilant since since no one on the Lookout notice to be issued for Ravi Parthasarathy, Ramesh Bawa, Hari Sankaran and K Ramchand as govt thinks they might flee the country IL&FS raised `75 crore inAugust by masking the reality Based on group’s equity capital and reserves, the debt means a leverage ratio of 13 times vs a safe level of 3 or 4 times Source: IL&FS annual report, govt petition to NCLT, Nomura present board is a promoter or holds any equity. In its limited review report the statutory auditor SRBC & funds, as recently as in August when it picked up `50 crore from its debt investors with a greenshoeoptionof`25crore. The prospectus put on record a profit of `584 crore, but“gave no hint on its consolidated losses of `2,400 crore”. Although IL&FS reported a consolidated loss of `2,400 crore in the year to March, 2018, the rating agencies downgraded the company’s debt only in September. Continued on Page 2 CASH-STRAPPED Jet Airways is understood to have initiated talks with GECAS, the US and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing business of GE, seeking an extension for paying aircraft-leasing charges, multiple sources within the airline and industry told Manisha Singhal in Mumbai. The Jet Airways board held a meeting on Monday to discuss aircraft financing issues, the sources added. PAGE 4 Govt raises subsidised loan by 38% to boost ethanol capacity THE GOVERNMENT has decided to raise the amount of subsidised loans to sugar mills to expand their ethanol production to `6,139 crore, up 38% from `4,440 crore announced earlier, a source said, report Prabhudatta Mishra & Banikinkar Pattanayak in New Delhi. The lure of subsidised loans and a recent hike in prices of ethanol meant for blending with petrol have prompted several sugar firms to plan capacity expansion. PAGE 2 PM: India targeting 40% power from non-fossil fuels by 2030 INDIA IS targeting 40% electricity generation from non-fossil fuel-based resources by 2030 as it looks to tap vast solar and wind potential to replace reliance on polluting coal to meet its energy needs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, reports PTI. Modi also said he saw the 121-country International Solar Alliance as the future OPEC for meeting energy needs of the world. PAGE 2 of the US oldest ever to win Nobel at 96 DONNA STRICKLAND first woman to win for physics in 55 years GERARD MOUROU shares second half of the prize with Strickland on high-intensitylasers. Strickland,oftheUniversity of Waterloo, Canada, becomes only the third woman to win a Nobel prize for physics, after MarieCuriein1903andMaria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963. “Obviouslywe need to celebrate women physicists because we are out there and hopefullyin time itwill start to move forward at a faster rate,” she told news conference by telephone, shortly after learning of the prize. The Nobel prizes have long been dominated by male scientists, and none more so than physics. Strickland is the first female Nobel laureate in any field in three years.The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said last year it would seek to more activelyencouragenominations of women researchers to begin addressing the imbalance. Continued on Page 2 Police use water cannons to disperse farmers protesting at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border during 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra', in New Delhi on Tuesday EXPRESS PHOTO:GAJENDRAYADAV FARMERS’ PROTEST Thousands try to enter Delhi, demand loan waivers, more Police use water cannons, tear gas to stop them; govt announces panel but farmers stay put PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi/Ghaziabad, October 2 THOUSANDS OF FARMERS held fort at the Delhi-Uttar PradeshborderonTuesdayafter police stopped their protest march to the Capital with several including security personnel getting injured in sporadic violence, as the protesters refused to go back and rejected the government’s assurance to look into theirdemands. Seeking to convince the farmers to call off their protest, the government announced that a committee of chief ministers will look into their demands, but the protesting farmers stayed put,saying they were not “satisfied” with the assurance. Home minister Rajnath Singh held discussions with Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and a few others on the farmers’ issues, after which Union minister of state for agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat met the protesters to assure them that their demands will be looked into. Naresh Tikait, the chief of Oil prices FE BUREAU Bearing the Brent Crude oil price on Tuesday shot up to a new four-year high of $85 per barrel before falling to $84.61, but still remaining near its highest since November 2014 100 84.61* 84.78 80 0 FROM BEING voice-hungry, Indian mobile phone users have now turned data-hungry cutting across income and age profiles. According to market research firm Nielsen’s survey on handset consumers, the appetite fordata consumption has risen over the last 15-18 months. While earlier consumers were consuming 4 GB data a month,today their consumption is as high as 1 GB a day. Time spent in mins/day Entry level Mid-segment Premium segment Online activities Offline activities Calls & messaging Though Nielsen has not mentioned it, the period of data explosion coincides with the entry of Reliance Jio which changed the way telcos charge 7 Games for services — voice has become free and data is priced and here, too, rates have come down drastically. Today, every mobile operatorprovides bun- dled voice and data packs and the 1 GB-a-day offer has become standard. With so much of data at their disposal, what are the consumers watching? Nielsen’s findings showthat as far as the usage of apps goes, chat, video-streaming, browsers, social networking and image apps are the most engaging and account for more than 50% of the total time spent on smartphones. A comparison across price bands reveals that except for browsers, the time spent on these categories is much Number of NCLT members to be doubled BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, October 2 Continued on Page 2 *12 GMT Oct 02, 2018 Data-hungry subscribers use WhatsApp the most FE BUREAU Kolkata, October 2 ● RISING WORKLOAD Continued on Page 2 Brent ($/bbl) Nov 03, 2014 Continued on Page 2 ■ Related report on Page 11 higher among users of smartphones priced over `15,000. A striking difference in engagement levels is apparent for image and social networking apps where the time spent by premium handset users is higher by 4 times and 2 times, respectively, Nielsen has observed. When it comes to individualapps,WhatsAppmessenger is the most engaging app across users of all three price bands — entry level, middle level,and premium handsets. 40 20 Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which has given the protest call, however, said the farmers were “not satisfied” with the government’s assurance. “We will discuss this and thendecideonthefuturecourse ofaction.Ican’tdecideanything alone, our committee will take the decision,” he added. Some of the protesting farmers claimed that a few Delhi Police personnel had resorted to lathicharge against someofthem.TheDelhiPolice, however,denied the charge. A posse of security personnel has been deployed,including from Delhi Police and the paramilitary forces. WITH CREDITORS DRAGGING defaulters to the National Company Law Tribunals (NCLT) more aggressively than ever to recover dues, the government is planning to more than double the number of NCLT members (judges, in common parlance) to speed up case disposal and strengthen the ecosystem, official sources told FE.Efforts are on to appoint 36 more members, on top of the existing 33, to various benches, sources said. The government also recently set up three more NCLTbenches(oneeachinCuttack, Kochi and Jaipur), taking the total number of benches to 14. “The government is fully consciousoftheexistingcapacity of the NCLT and is working towards strengthening it further,”saidoneofthesources.So far, over 1,100 insolvency applications have been admitted by various benches (of which around 750 are still live cases) while NCLT is yet to take a view on hundreds of applicationsfiledbybothfinancialand operational creditors. 60 MOBILE PHONES Source: Nielsen smartphone panel Jet Air in talks with GE to seek extension to pay lease charges A TRIO OF American, French and Canadian scientists won the 2018 Nobel Prize for physics on Tuesday for breakthroughs in laser technology that have turned light beams into precision tools for everything from eye surgery to micro-machining. They include the first female physics prize winner in 55 years. Arthur Ashkin of Bell Laboratories in the United States wonhalfoftheprizeforinventing “optical tweezers” while Frenchman Gerard Mourou, whoalsohasUScitizenship,and Canada’s Donna Strickland shared the other half for work ARTHUR ASHKIN 12 16 QuickPicks REUTERS Stockholm/London, October 2 14 17 19 Unless bond yields continue to move up next year, returns from bond funds will be better over next year. So don’t get rattled by current market movements ■ Personal Finance, P9 Laser pioneers awarded physics Nobel; third female winner ever 25 27 32 Why you should hold on to your debt fund investments ` Co had drawn the company’s board of directors’attention to the “existence of material uncertainty on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern” and the “management plan to raise funds”. The petition, filed in the Mumbai NCLT,points out that IL&FS“relied on good ratings from CARE and Icra to raise LIGHTING IT UP Special Feature BOND Michael Pinto, ex-shipping secretary 91 116 130 UK ON Tuesday unveiled a major post-Brexit overhaul of its immigration system, under which Indians may benefit as the new rules focus on highly-skilled migration as opposed to low-skilled workers. But an added obligation on firms being required to sponsor staff families may prove a hurdle in the long term. RC Bhargava, Maruti Suzuki chairman 48,671.3 Post-Brexit UK immigration rules may help Indians IN A SERIOUS dereliction of duty, the risk management committee of the now bankrupt IL&FS met just once between 2015 and 2018, in July 2015,the petition filed by the ministry of corporate affairs in the Mumbai bench of the NCLT,notes. Hemant Bhargava, managing director, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC),which has a 25.3% equity stake in IL&FS, was the chairman of the committee. The other members included Arun K Saha, joint MD and CEO, RC Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki, and Michael Pinto, former shipping secretary. It was during 2014 and 2018 that the infrastructure financier’s loans ballooned with the consolidated debt climbing to `91,091.3 crore from `48,671.3 crore. Hemant Bhargava, LIC MD 7,267.3 INDRAPRASTHA GAS, India's biggest city gas retailer, is looking at setting up CNG dispensing stations within residential housing complexes to ease queues at CNG pumps, its managing director ES Ranganathan said, reports PTI. SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, October 2 Risk committee that didn’t look at risk 5,087.4 IN THE NEWS IGL may set up CNG stations in housing societies In August, IL&FS raised money citing a `584-cr profit, but didn’t mention group-level losses of `2,400 cr
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