OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 ARADHNA AGGARWAL India must support SEZs more instead of giving up on these COMPANIES, P4 EDITORIAL PM-SPEAK UPSIDE OF COVID States must revisit the 14% revenue growth guarantee, else, compensation issue will crop up next year too Experience and talent to help India be at centre of global healthcare effort Ola’s Aggarwal says new business models got pandemic push KOLKATA, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL.29 NO. 301, 16 PAGES, `6.00 (NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN `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 READ TO LEAD SENSEX: 40,431.60 ▲ 448.62 NIFTY: 11,873.05 ▲ 110.60 NIKKEI 225: 23,671.13 ▲ 260.50 HANG SENG: 24,542.26 ▲ 155.47 `/$: 73.37 ▼ 0.02 `/€: 86.08 ▼ 0.18 BRENT: $42.72 ▼ $0.21 GOLD: `50,828 ▲ `32 CAPEX TARGET Oil & gas, coal PSUs told to stick to FY21 plan FM says scaling up of AGAINSTALL ODDS CPSE capex in FY21-FY22 vital for revival At least eight PSUs asked to consider buybacks: Sources FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 19 AFTAB AHMED & NIDHI VERMA New Delhi, October 19 `1,15,934 cr Capex target of 14 CPSEs in petroleum and coal sectors in FY21 THE CENTREWOULDkeepthepressure on companies owned by it to arrest thefall in public capital expenditure, a stance that could scale up borrowings by these entities in the year, from a market where the government already has an unusually high presence. During a video conference on Monday, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked fourteen central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) in the petroleum and coal sectors to accelerate spending to achieve 75% of their annual (FY21) capex targets by the end of December quarter.This is daunting task forthese firms,since in April-September, they have met only 32% (`37,423 crore) of their FY21capextargetof`1.16lakhcrore. The achievement was lower, compared with 39% (`43,097 crore) of the relevant target achieved in the year ago period. In FY20, against the capex target of `1,11,672 crore for these 14 CPSEs,the achievementwas `1,16,323 crore or 104%. TheelevenCPSEs,whichattended Monday’s meeting, include biggies like ONGC, Indian Oil, BPCL, GAIL QuickPicks HC dismisses Kerala plea against airport lease to Adani THE KERALA HIGH Court on Monday dismissed the state government's petition against leasing out Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani Enterprises, reports fe Bureau in Kochi. The state government had filed the application in the court after an all-partymeeting in the state demanded withdrawal of the Union Cabinet's decision to lease out the airport. Bid deadline for Air India may be extended till Dec 15 TO ATTRACT SUITORS, the government will ease asset valuation norms for Air India by allowing bidders to put in offers on an enterprise value basis, reports PTI. To beging with, the deadline may be extended to December 15 for putting in a preliminary expression of interest for the loss-making carrier. Bonus issue: Rly unions threaten to strike on Thursday RAILWAY UNIONS HAVE threatened a pan-India strike on Thursday if the employees are not paid productivitylinked bonuses, an incentive they have been getting every year before Durga Puja, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Capex achieved by the firms in H1FY21 against annual target, comparedwith 39% of relevant target in the year-ago period 32% (India) and Coal India.As reported by FE earlier, the finance ministry has already told CPSEs/undertakings withanannualcapexbudgetof`500 crore and more that they must achieve150%oftheinitialcapextarget of `4.9 lakh crore in FY21. THE GOVERNMENT HAS asked at least eight state-run companies to consider share buybacks in the fiscal that runs through March 2021, two government officials said, as New Delhi scours forways ofraising funds to rein in its fiscal deficit. The firms asked include miner Coal India, power utility NTPC, minerals producer NMDC and Engineers India, said one ofthe sources, who sought anonymity as the discussions are private. “Buyback is an important tool in our strategy and it helps in building market price,” added the second official,who also spoke on condition of anonymity. The government is unlikely to be anywherenearitsfiscaldeficittarget of3.5% ofGDPfor 2020-21 as coronavirus curbs hit tax collections and delayed efforts to privatise energy firm Bharat Petroleum and flag carrierAirIndia.InFebruary,thegovernment had set itselfa target ofraising more than $27 billion from privatisations and sale of minority stakes in state-owned companies this fiscal. Continued on Page 2 DHFL CRISIS APATHY Kapil Wadhawan offers Is Bharti losing out by not `43,000-crore family countering Jio’s moves? The shares of the assets to repay lenders telecom company 550 500 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, October 19 THEJAILED PROMOTERofcrisis-hit mortgage lender DHFL, Kapil Wadhawan, has offered his personal and family properties, which he claims are worth `43,000 crore, for repaymentofoutstandingloansoflenders to the company. Wadhawan wrote to RBI-appointed administrator R SubramaniakumaronOctober17sayinghisoffer wouldensuremaximumvalueforthe assetsthathavebeenputontheblock to repay loans. Currently under judicialcustody,Wadhawanhasproposed have lost nearly 20% in the last one month Kapil Wadhawan to the transfer of the right, title and interest in various projects which formpartoftherealestateportfolioof his family to enable proper and complete resolution of DHFLand to maximise thevalue of the properties. FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 19 TELECOM STOCKS HAVEtaken a beating in the last one month as investors have been jittery that with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) abandoningthemovetofixfloor price for tariffs, price war may return to the sector. Shares of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (VIL) have fallen sharplyby19.58%and29.33%, respectively,overthelastmonth, while that of Reliance Industries,which owns market leader Jio,is down by 5.62%. While the fall in share price of VIL can be attributed to its inabilityto raise tariffs so that it can double its average revenue per user (Arpu) to complement its fund-raising efforts to payits adjusted gross revenue dues and 479 Bharti Airtel Share price on NSE (`) 450 400 397.70 350 300 Oct 19 Sept 17, 2020 Arpu (`) 128 135 154 157 Q4 Q1FY21 Q2FY20 Q3 Data usage Continued on Page 2 Capex target given by FM to these 14 companies for April-December 75% ■ Average achievement of capex by CPSEs and departmental undertakingswas about 30% in H1FY21 ■ Finance ministry asks CPSEswith capex budget of`500 cr and more to achieve 1.5 times capex target in FY21 Continued on Page 13 Puja pandals in Bengal no-entry zones: HC INABIG dampeneron Durga Puja revelery, the Calcutta High Court on Monday declared all pandals acrossWestBengalno-entryzones topreventthesurgeofCovidcases, reportsPTI.Forsmallpandals,barricadeswith ‘no-entry’boardswill havetobeputupfivemetresfrom the entrance,while for the bigger ones, the distance has to be 10 metres, the court said.Also, only 15-25 persons belonging to the organising committees will be allowed to enter. ■ Page 2 (per customer, MB) 13,116 13,928 14,972 16,655 Q2FY20 Q3 Q4 Q1FY21 Voice usage (per customer, minutes) 898 848 Q2FY20 965 994 Q3 Q4 Q1FY21 invest in network; what is surprising is the fall in Bharti’s shares.The companyhas consistently improved on its 4G user addition as well as Arpu and data volumes. Continued on Page 2 SAURABH KUMAR, FOUNDER, GROFERS 'On track to become ebitda, cash positive by FY21 end’ The pandemic has altered the way many Indian households shop relying on e-grocers for their purchases rather than their neighbourhoodkiranas.Thetransitionhas helpedGrofersgainsome18lakhnewcustomerssincelockdown,oftheseabout64% are first-time online grocery shoppers. Founder Saurabh Kumar tells Asmita Dey the company’s path to profitability has accelerated and that the firm aims to fileforanIPObytheendof2021.Excerpts: How many new customers have you acquired during the pandemic? Are they making monthly purchases or using the platform only for top-ups? Since the lockdown, we have acquired 18 lakh new customers and more than 70% of those who shopped with us in the first month of the pandemic are still there.About 64% of the new customers were buying groceries for the first time and 20% had never bought anything online before. We expect this trend to continue in the coming months as there seems to be a natural demand for groceries online. Customers are making planned monthly purchases instead of going for top-ups. We have also seen an increase indemandforourprivatelabel products as value-driven products have become highly relevant in the current scenario. How far has the average basket size increased compared to pre-Covid? Have you spotted any noticeable changes in consumer trends? Therehasbeena40%increaseinbasketsizecomparedtothepre-covidperiod and the average bill value is around `1,800,evenafterthenear30%discount that is usually available on Grofers. Peo- Since the lockdown, we have acquired 18 lakh new customers. More than 70% of those who shopped with us in the first month of the pandemic are still there. ● GST SHORTFALL Punjab, Bengal may choose Option 1, Kerala demurs FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 19 What is your view on analysts saying that the rise in order bookings from smallcitiesisduetothemigrationand it isyet to be seen if the trend persists? More households are gradually moving from shopping offline to buying online. THE OPPOSITION TO the Centre’s formula forbridgingthe states’estimated,largegoods andservicestax(GST)shortfallinFY21seems to be withering away. Following Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu and Delhi,Punjab is learnt to havedecidedtoaccepttheOption1proposed by the Centre in this regard. Another staunch critic of the both the options mooted by the Centre – West Bengal – has remained conspicuously silent on the matter,ever since an extended session of the 42ndGSTCouncilmeeting held lastMonday. More states are expected to convey their decision to adopt Option 1 to the Centre in the coming days. What has changed the mood among the dissenting states — nownot more than 5-6 — is the Centre’s decision to borrow under the proposed special window and its assurance thatalongwithadditionalunconditionalopen marketborrowing(OMB),atotalof`2.16lakh crorewill be available to states in FY21. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 13 ple are stocking up foressentials staples, laundry detergents, and snack items. Health,ayurvedicproductsandready-tocookmealshavealsoshownahigherpenetration than in the pre-Covid era. 25 YEARS OF DDLJ SRK-Kajol statue to be unveiled in London PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, October 19 A BRONZE STATUE of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol will be unveiled in London’s Leicester Squarein2021tocelebratethe silver jubilee of one of Hindi cinema’s most iconic love stories, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ). DDLJ, starring Khan and Kajoj as lovers Raj and Simran, released on October 20, 1995. The film,which marked Aditya Chopra’s foray into direction, wasproducedbyYashRajFilms. In an announcement on Monday,HeartofLondonBusiness Alliance said the DDLJ statue will be a part of film attraction “Scenes in the Square” in the heart of the UK capital.“Scenes in the Square” features highly recognisable classic and contemporary film characters, each immortalised in interactive and expressive bronze statues, with some brought to life in the evening through lighting. LeicesterSquareactedasthe settingforasceneinDDLJ whenRaj(ShahRukh)and Simran (Kajol) first cross paths, as strangers. The sequence features two of the square’s cinemas prominently, withRajseeninfrontoftheVue cinema, and Simran walking pasttheOdeonLeicesterSquare. According to a press release issued byYash Raj Films,the newstatuewillbepositioned along the eastern terrace, outside the Odeon cinema. Continued on Page 2 Kolkata
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