OPINION, P8 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P14 EDITORIAL GLOBAL GROWTH AIRBUS SUBSIDIES After Australia, UK too gets tough on social media: India is no longer an outlier Current economic atmosphere 'delicate', says IMF’s Gopinath US will slap $11-bn tariffs on EU products, says Prez Trump CHANDRA BHUSHAN Poll talk missing green issues as civil society couldn’t push these hard NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLV NO. 33, 18 PAGES, `6.00 (PATNA `6.00, RAIPUR `7.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 38,939.22 ▲ 238.69 NIFTY: 11,671.95 ▲ 67.45 NIKKEI 225: 21,802.59 ▲ 40.94 HANG SENG: 30,157.49 ▲ 80.34 `/$: 69.30 ▲ 0.38 `/€: 78.16 ▲ 0.20 BRENT: $70.61 ▼ $0.49 GOLD: `31,886.00 ▼ `44.00 IN THE NEWS Ford likely to end independent India biz with M&M deal FORD MOTOR is nearing a deal with Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) to form a new joint venture company in India, a move that will likely see the US automaker cease independent operations in the country, two sources with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters. The deal would make Ford the latest automaker to pare back its interests in India. L&T Finance raises `3,238 cr through bonds L&T FINANCE on Tuesday said it has raised `3,238.48 crore through nonconvertible debentures, reports PTI. The company raised a total of `3,238.48 crore worth of subscriptions, which is 6.48 times of the base issue size of `500 crore. The issue was oversubscribed on the first day of tranche 2 issue on April 8, it said in a release. Fortis seeks to sell holding in RHT Health Trust FORTIS HEALTHCARE has initiated the process to sell its 27.82% controlling stake in Singapore-listed RHT Health Trust, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. On January 15, this year RHT's entire asset portfolio was sold to Fortis Healthcare Limited. Currently, RHT's assets comprise mainly of cash. ESSAR STEEL CASE Keep `42k cr ready, NCLAT tells Mittal Amid dispute over distribution among creditors, appellate tribunal hints bidder may soon have to deposit the amount in escrow account SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, April 9 EVEN AS ARCELORMITTAL seems wary of the lack of a definitive and final word from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLT) on how its bid amount of `42,000crorewouldbedistributed among the creditors to Essar Steel, the tribunal on Tuesday asked the NRI billionaire LN Mittal-led firm to be ready for upfront payment of the promised amount without anyfurtherprocrastination. While the appellate tribunal’s directive displayed its impatience with the perceived delay on the part of the global steel giant in turning up with the promised amount, it also signalledthedealtosalvagethe debt-laden Indian steel companyisclosetobeingexecuted. NCLAT hinted that it might askArcelorMittaltodepositthe moneywith an escrowaccount of either the insolvency court (NCLT)ortheappellatetribunal itself in the next hearing, scheduled onApril 23. WhileArcelorMittal’scoun- CASE FILES March 8 NCLT, Ahmedabad approves ArcelorMittal's `42,000-cr plan for Essar Steel March 11 Essar Steel promoters move NCLAT challenging the order March 14 NCLAT asks Essar Steel promoters to first pay their entire group's dues NCLAT suggests CoC to revise its March plan for distribu27 tion of funds between financial & operational creditors CoC, led by SBI, moves SC against NCLAT's suggestion to revise distribution of funds between the two sets of creditors April 1 NCLAT gives approval to March ArcelorMittal's 19 plan subject to its final order on allegation of discrimination in distribution of funds between financial & operational creditors sel said though the firm was ready with the money,it could not deposit the same without lenders executing a debt assignment agreement in favour of the company. The counsel also alleged that there was some sort of reluctance on part of the lenders to put the debt assignment agreement into effect. However, despite this contention byArcelorMittal, the bench headed by NCLAT chairperson justice SJ Mukhopadhaya directed the company to submit an affidavit detailing the steps to be taken towards implementation of the resolution plan for the debt-laden steel firm. There is a dispute between POLL OF POLLS Modi’s alliance to win slim majority Average of 4 opinion polls shows NDA expected to win 273 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats WHO’S GOT THE NUMBERS ■ Total seats: 543 ■ Majority: 272 Polling agency India TV-CNX SUBRAT PATNAIK New Delhi, April 9 PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi’s ruling alliance will win a thin majority in a general election that starts on Thursday,an average of fouropinion polls showed, with a focus on national security appearing to trump concerns over jobs and farm prices. The coalition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected towin 273 of the 543 parliament seats at stake, one more than the halfway mark required to rule. In the last election,thealliancewonmore than 330 seats — the biggest mandate in three decades. BJP+ C-Voter CSDS Lokniti Times Now-VMR Poll of Polls 267 275 263-283 279 273.5 Cong+ PORTRAITS: SHYAM KUMAR PRASAD Most of the polling agencies that released surveys in the last fourdays said Modi got aboostfromtherecenttension with Pakistan after a militant group based there killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops in Kashmir in February. “In today’s India we have seen perhaps for the first time securityissuescompetingwith, and outdoing,a bread and butter issue like unemployment,” CVoter said in a statement. “Primarily,the BJPhas been unable to sufficiently distinguish itself from the Congress when it comes to making people feel the difference in terms of their livelihoods and economic interests. “However,when it comes to controlling and responding on terror the same set of respondents do feel a clearandvisible difference.” CVoter’s poll is the most conservative, predicting 267 seats for the ruling group, while the Times Now-VMR’s Why arbitrage funds are popular with investors Arbitrage funds can be a substitute for savings accounts, ultra-short term & short term debt funds for a horizon of 6-12 months due to liquidity provisions and higher returns ■ Personal Finance, P13 Clear salary dues by April 14, pilots warn Jet Airways FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 9 to get money under Kalia, the newest and most ambitious scheme that was rolled out by BJDsupremoandchiefminister NaveenPatnaikjustafewweeks before the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were declared.“If no one had got the money,itwould have been fine. Butwe feel left out,” saysTandi. Such is the divide, that on Tuesday, with just a day to go forvoting,Patnaik approached the state’s chief electoral officer to lodge a complaint against the Election Commission’s decision to stop disbursement of funds to farmers under the Kalia scheme. EVEN AS THE lenders wait for the last day, April 10, to see what kind of interest prospective bidders show in taking over the beleaguered Jet Airways,its 1,100-strong domestic pilots body, the National Aviators Guild (NAG),on Tuesday served a legal notice to the airline, setting April 14 as the deadline for the new management to cleartheirsalarydues. Jet Airways pilots,engineers and senior executives have not been paid for the last three monthsamidcashcrunchinthe airline that saw an ownership change last month with banks taking majorityshares. Along with these staff, the airline has defaulted on the payment of March salaries to other some employees as well. “My client calls upon the management of Jet Airways to pay their outstanding salaries for January, February and March, by April 14 (and future salaries by the first of every month,” NAG said in a legal notice.“Failingwhichmyclient shallbeconstrainedtoresortto all constitutional and legal means available with them to ensure payment of their salaries,”the notice stated. Late March, the guild had warned of a “no flying call” from April 1 over the delayed salaries, which they had deferred to April 14. On April 3, the Jet managementhadinformeditsemployees that salaries for the month of March were deferred due to thedelayinimplementationof the bank-led resolution plan. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 QuickPicks SBI cuts loan rates by 5 bps; most competitive among top lenders STATE BANK of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, on Tuesday cut the marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) across tenors by 5 basis points (bps), pegging the one-year MCLR at 8.50%, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. This makes it the most competitive among the top-tier lenders since HDFC Bank's one-year MCLR is 8.7%, while for ICICI Bank, it is slightly higher at 8.75%. Mid-sized public-sector lender Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) also cut its lending rates by 5 bps across tenors on Tuesday, the one-year MCLR being 8.65%. PAGE 10 Direct tax mop-up may fall short by `50,000 cr in FY19 THE GOVERNMENT is estimated to have witnessed a shortfall of `50,000 crore in the direct tax collection target of `12 lakh crore for 2018-19, a senior finance ministry official said on Tuesday, reports PTI. The shortfall in direct tax mop-up, coupled with lower GST realisation, may have implications on fiscal deficit, which the government has pegged at 3.4% of GDP. "Direct tax collection for 2018-19 is around `11.5 lakh crore...," the official said. The government had revised the direct tax collection target upwards to `12 lakh crore from the original budget estimate of `11.5 lakh crore for 2018-19. Rafale review pleas: SC order today on Centre’s preliminary objection THE SUPREME Court will on Wednesday pronounce its verdict on the preliminary objections raised by the Centre that the documents on which it was claiming "privilege" can’t be relied upon to reexamine the verdict in the Rafale jet deal with France, reports PTI. On March 14, the SC had reserved verdict on the preliminary objections raised by the Centre on admissibility of privileged documents annexed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and also activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan in their review pleas against the SC’s December 14 order that dismissed all petitions against the Rafale jet deal. I-T to EC: We know what impartial means Right off the bat FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 9 STRIKINGASTRIDENTnotein response to the Election Commission’s (EC) advice to maintain neutralityin enforcement action against the use of illicit money in elections, the revenue department has urged the constitutional body to advise its field officers to inform the taxmen if they come across specific information on the use of black money for electioneering. “We understand the words ‘neutrality’, ‘impartial’ and ‘non-discriminatory’meanthat we must act as andwhen informationisavailableagainstanyone, irrespective of political affiliation.This is precisely the practice that the department follows and will continue to do so,” the revenue department wrote to EC on Monday. After the I-T department raided locations in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi on Sunday, EC had written to the former, advising it to be neutral in its conduct. It further said the I-T department should keep the BJP candidate from Patna Sahib and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad plays cricket during his campaign for the coming Lok Sabha elections, in Patna on Tuesday WHAT I-T SAID ■ The revenue department stressed their work is ‘nondiscriminatory’ ■ Asked EC to advise its field officers to inform taxmen on use of black money for electioneering chief elections officers informed of such actions during the election period. The EC directive comes close on the heels of several I-T raids in the houses of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s close aides in Indore. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Monday said that searches in MP detected widespreadandwell-organised racket of collection of unaccounted cash amounting to nearly`281crorethroughvarious persons in different walks of life including business,politics and public service. Continued on Page 2 poll is the most bullish, with 279 seats. The main Opposition Congressanditsalliesare expected tomorethandoubletheirseats to about 141 on average. Pre-election opinion polls in India, with thousands of respondents, have proved unreliable several times in the past in a vast country of about 1.3 billion people, of whom about 900 million are eligible to vote. —REUTERS ● LEGAL NOTICE thefinancialcreditorsledbythe State Bank of India (SBI) and othercreditorsontheredistribution of the bid amount. The appellate tribunal,while refusing to stay the NCLT-Ahmedabad order approving ArcelorMittal’s bid to take over Essar Steel,haddirectedthelendersto “jointlyconsider”redistribution of the bid amount of `42,000 croreasperthetribunal’sMarch 8order,whichhadsuggestedan 85:15distributionbetweenthe financialandoperationalcreditorsagainstthe90:10ratioproposed in the resolution plan approved by the committee of creditors (CoC). RAIDS ON NATH'S AIDES Special Feature Others 142 134 147 121 115-135 130-160 149 115 140.75 128.75 STATE VS CENTRE Across Odisha, a battle rages over govt schemes CM Patnaik approaches state chief electoral officer to lodge complaint against EC decision to stop fund disbursement under Kalia scheme LIZ MATHEW Balangir/Paradip/Puri, April 9 IT’S 7 PM, DARKNESS has settled over Bahalpadar village. And Raju Tandi, a farmer, is a worried man. He’s not sure whether opening up about the elections would land him in trouble.“I hope it won’t affect the state government schemes that I benefit from,”he says. From the state’s Kalia scheme for direct transfer of cash assistance to poor farmers, rice at `1 and the Biju Pucca GharYojana,to the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme for subsidised LPG cylinders — all the talk this election across Balangir district in western Odisha to Puri in the east and the coastal tip in Paradip is about schemes.About howhave benefited,and who have not. In Balangir’s Bahalpadar, Tandiandhisneighboursareyet ON OWN TERMS Why Ola’s Bhavish turned down a $1.1-billion SoftBank deal SARITHA RAI Bengaluru, April 9 START-UPS, WHEN THEY raise venture money to build their businesses, begin with a Series A round and then proceed through Series E, F or maybe G before going public. Ride-hailing service Ola is a bit unusual: It just completed its Series J fundraising and is marching toward Series K, a letter almost unheard of by researchers that track such things. What’s going on here is about more than money. Ola co-founderBhavishAggarwalis fighting to maintain his independence against SoftBank Group. The Japanese conglomerate, led by Masayoshi Son, was an early backerofOla,butAggarwalhas grown concerned about its influence as SoftBank took a stake in his arch-rival, Uber Technologies,andthenencouraged the rivals to merge. Son struck a preliminary deal to put another $1.1 bil- (From left) Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal and SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son lion into Ola to boost his stake to more than 40%, according to people familiar with the matter.ButAggarwal tried to include terms to guarantee his own control over the start-up, and the deal ultimately fell apart,said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Instead,Aggarwalispiecing together smaller slices of funding from unaligned backers. This year alone, he picked up $300 million from Hyundai Motor and about $90 million investment from Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart. “Bhavish is spurning SoftBank money as he doesn’t want to get diluted out of Ola,” said Mohandas Pai, venture capitalist and former chief financial officer of Infosys. “Founders become employees when someone sits on your board and tells you how to run the show.” Continued on Page 2
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