OPINION, P8 COMPANIES, P7 PRANJUL BHANDARI Weak rural wage growth caused rural inflation to fall COMPANIES, P6 SUNIL JAIN PAYBACK PROMISE RESCUE FLIGHT ‘India’s self-sufficiency’ logic used to ban crude exports by Cairn puts all exports under a cloud Vijay Mallya offers to repay 100% of ‘public money’ Etihad in discussions with bankers for Goyal-led Jet Airways MUMBAI, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2018 VOL. 58 NO. 287, 18 PAGES, `7.00 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD 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: 35884.41 ▼ 249.90 NIFTY: 10782.90 ▼ 86.60 NIKKEI 225: 21919.33 ▼ 116.72 HANG SENG: 26819.68 ▼ 440.76 `/$: 70.47 ▲ 0.04 `/€: 80.03 ▲ 0.33 BRENT: $61.70 ▼ $0.38 GOLD: `30855.00 ▼ `90.00 PROLONGED PAUSE? RBI retains rate & stance, for now IN THE NEWS HC Gupta gets 3 years in jail in coal scam case A DELHI court on Wednesday sentenced former coal secretary HC Gupta to three years in prison in a coal block allocation scam case which occurred during the previous UPA rule at the Centre, reports PTI. Two other bureaucrats — KS Kropha and KC Samria — were also awarded three-year jail terms. All three were also fined `50,000 each. Attach Amrapali’s 5-star hotel, malls, cinema, orders SC CONTINUING ITS crackdown on Amrapali Group, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered attachment and sale of the realty firm’s five-star hotel, cinema hall, malls and factories across India, calling it "a worst kind of cheater" and "a perfect liar" for not complying with the court’s direction, reports PTI. VVIP copter case: CBI gets Michel’s custody for 5 days BRITISH BUSINESSMAN Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the `3,600crore AgustaWestland VVIP copter deal during the UPA rule, was on Wednesday sent to five-day CBI custody by a Delhi court, a day after he was extradited to India from the UAE, reports PTI. SLR to be cut 25 bps each for 6 quarters from Q4, increased OMO frequency in Q4, new retail/MSME loans linked to external benchmark FE BUREAUS Mumbai/New Delhi, Dec 5 THE RESERVE BANK of India (RBI) on Wednesday left the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% and stayed the course to ease the systemic liquidity as most analysts expected, but refused to open a special liquiditywindow for non-banking finance companies. It however, surprised some by not changing the policy stance from ‘calibrated tightening’ to ‘neutral’ althoughtheassortedrisksthat prevailed during the previous policyreviewhavelargelydissipated and the latest datapoints have rather abruptly thrown up a new mix of more benign inflation and slower economic expansion. In the fifth bi-monthlypolicystatementforthisfiscal,the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)substantiallyloweredits retail inflation projection to the range of 2.7-3.2% for the second half of the current fiscal from 4% previously, but it bode its time to assess the inflation outlook better. On growth, it retained the earlier Bank Nifty Intra-day, December 5 26,650 26,572.1 estimates, appearing more sanguine than most analysts. The MPC did not say it in as many words — even as it left a dovishtoneandsignalledaprolonged pause prompting analysts to rule out a rate hike this fiscal — but in his customary post-policyaddresstothemedia later,governorUrjitPatelhinted atthepossibilityofthenextrate actionbeingevenacut.He,however, stressed the call would be intentlydata-dependent. The MPC cited concerns over the durability of low food inflation that‘surprised on the downside’. High volatility in crude oil options which is at odds with a 30% drop in prices since last policywas also taken note of. The committee’s tone was positive for the bond market and so was deputy governor Viral Acharya’s assertion that the central bank will increase the frequency of open market operations(OMOs)thatwilltake place alongside long-term repo operationsintheMarchquarter. Continued on Page 2 ■ Related reports on P10 10-year bond yield (%) 26,519.6 Intra-day, December 5 7.600 7.555 26,600 7.550 26,550 7.500 26,500 26,450 26,400 7.441 7.450 Previous close 26,693.80 Open 7.400 Close 7.350 Previous close 7.573 Open Close Electronics & IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the chief guest at the awards function, with this year’s winners, in Mumbai on Wednesday EXPRESS IT AWARDS Digital India empowering masses: Prasad FE BUREAU Mumbai, December 5 ELECTRONICS AND IT MINISTER Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said the government’s Digital India initiative was aimed at bridging the digitaldividebyprovidingaccessto digital platform to the masses. “Frompaymentstoeducationto medical health,the digital platform provides low-cost, easy accesstoall,thusbringingabout ● WEAK US INDICES Global stocks plunge in sync WORLD STOCKS tumbled to one-week lows on Wednesday, as declines by long-dated US bond yields and a renewal of tradeconcernsstokedfearsofa downturn in the world’s biggest economy, the US, reports Reuters. US markets are shut to mark former President George HW Bush’s death, but the effect of Wall Street’s turmoilintheprevioussession. Detailed report on Page 11 PCA FRAMEWORK Special Feature Amazon’s cloud business gets a mega AI, ML push Amazon Web Services, the $27-billion cloud arm of Amazon, is pushing forward faster by investing in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning ■ eFE, P13 QuickPicks Services sector activity in Nov sees quickest growth since July THE COUNTRY’S services sector activity in November expanded at the quickest pace since July, driven by new work orders and favourable market conditions, which in turn led to a continued rise in jobs, a monthly survey said on Wednesday, reports PTI. The Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index rose to a four-month high of 53.7 in November from 52.2 in October. RBI panel may not revisit norms today BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, December 5 A CENTRAL BANK panel under governor Urjit Patel is unlikely to revisit the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework for weak banks in its much-awaited meeting on Thursday. Instead, it could just review the performance of 11 of the 21 state-run banks that are under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) corrective regime, a source close to the development told FE. Meanwhile, the government is planning to give priority to PCA-banks over relatively strong ones, as it gears up for the next round of capi- APPRAISAL ■ Govt to give priority to PCA banks over strong banks in next round of capital infusion in Dec ■ PCA banks will get capital only to meet regulatory norms, strong ones will get growth capital talisation in December.While the weak banks will get capital only to meet their regulatoryrequirement,strong ones will get growth capital as well. Continued on Page 2 JIO VS INCUMBENTS SC says CCI can’t probe telecom cartelisation yet INDU BHAN New Delhi, December 5 IN A SETBACK to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) as well as Reliance Jio, the Supreme Court has dismissed theformer’sappeal,towhichthe latterwasalsoaparty,challenging the Bombay High Court’s orderthat the competition regulatordid not have the jurisdiction to probe cartelisation charges against incumbents. A bench led by Justice AK WHY THE APEX COURT SAID NO ■ Charges of cartelisation ■ CCI can probe such ■ SC said the two bodies ■ Court says concurrent already being examined by Trai & DoT have the first right to examine the issues Sikriwhilerejectingtheappeals on Wednesday took a balanced view by stating that the sector regulator,Telecom Regulatory charges only once they finish their probe examinations may lead to conflicting views Authority(Trai),andtheadministrative ministry, the telecom department(DoT),havealready seizedofthematteranditwillbe EXPRESS PHOTO: NIRMALHARINDRAN premature fora CCI probe now. It said Trai issued recommendations on October 21, 2016, on the issue of interconnection and provisioning of points of interconnect (PoIs) to Jio. Trai had also recommended imposition of penalty of `50 crore per circle on the three incumbents forfailing to provide requisite number of PoIs to Jio,which is under consideration of the DoT. Continued on Page 2 the digital inclusion,” Prasad saidwhiledeliveringhisaddress at the Express ITAwards. He said the Express IT Awards honours and rewards innovations which go a long way in empowering ordinary Indians through technology. Prasad said the unique selling point of the government’s Digital India initiative is lowcostaccesstodigitaltechnology and gave examples of Aadhaar and digi locker systems,which arehassle-freeandaccessibleto people from the hinterland. He said the accessible digital system was unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit and passion fortechnologyof the rural population,whichwas responsible for a rapid increase in digital transactions and payments. This has enabled these areas to depend much less on traditional banking channels for their day-to-day needs. “Usage of digital services is rising from the hinterland, the semi-urban and semi-rural areas. People have forgotten going to the banks. They take theirpensionsfromcommunity service centres through digital payments.Thismetamorphosis is happening in rural India and needs to be studied carefully. Leaders of digital payments must commission a proper study,” Prasad said. Continued on Page 2
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