OPINION, P6 NATION, P5 SUSHIL MODI Insurance Amendment Act 2021 was the need of the hour for India INTERNATIONAL, P4 SUNIL JAIN EXTENDING HELP REFUGEE ISSUE India can't fight Covid with poor planning; the fiascos with vaccines and hospital beds suggest a last-minute approach Railways to run ‘Oxygen Express' trains: Goyal Biden says he will raise cap on admission KOLKATA, MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL. 30 NO. 143, 12 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 IN THE NEWS LIC listing seen challenging in FY22 too WHILE INVESTORS ARE looking forward to the proposed listing of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) in FY22, the government may still be racing against time to complete all the relevant processes, including restating the insurer's finances in an investor-friendly manner, sources told FE, reports Prasanta Sahu in New Delhi. JIL insolvency: Lenders seek improved bid JAYPEE INFRATECH'S LENDERS have asked stateowned NBCC and Suraksha group to improve their bid and offer more land parcels under an insolvency process to acquire debt-laden realty firm, reports PTI. NBFCs seek extension of MSME scheme NON-BANKING FINANCE COMPANIES (NBFCs) have requested the Reserve Bank to extend the onetime restructuring scheme of MSME advances till March 31, 2022, as these players are unable to revive their businesses, reports PTI. INSOLVENT TELCOS CORONA BATTLE PANDEMIC IMPACT Delhi and Gujarat face shortage of ICU beds SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, April18 Row overAGR As rising caseload stretches dues back in SC capacity, states raise alarm Court to take a call on dues of bankrupt operators Aircel & RCom and Videocon, which has shut shop What needs resolution: ■ NCLAT order says that in cases of IBC resolution govt dues need to be first cleared and in full ■ DoTwhich leases spectrum is an operational creditor FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 18 THE QUESTION AS to who should pay the adjusted gross revenue(AGR)duesofbankrupt telecom operators will now come back to the Supreme Court forresolution. Legal observers said that there will be primarily two issueswhich the apex courtwill have to look into – one relating to those insolvent telcos where the resolution plans have been approvedbutgovernmentdues have not been cleared,and second, where the company has sold all its spectrum and has closed down but the government dues are still unpaid. Thefirstcaserelatestooperators like Aircel and Reliance Communications and the second one concerns Videocon Telecommunications. Regardingthefirst,theNCLATruledlast week that spectrum can be transferredaspartofinsolvency resolutionplanbutonlyafterall ■ But NCLATsays dues need to be paid first because of spectrum trading guidelines & licence agreement ■ This will disrupt resolution of bankrupt telecom companies ■ In case where a company has sold spectrum and shut shop, it needs to be determined who pays its dues the government dues are cleared.TheNCLATmaintained that though the DoT which leasesspectrumtotheoperators is an operational creditor, still theclausesrelatingtospectrum trading guidelines and licence agreement stipulate that governmentduesneedtobecleared in full before spectrum is transferred and can be furtherused. Continued on Page 2 READ TO LEAD FE BUREAU/PTI New Delhi, April 18 A RECORD SINGLE-DAY rise of 2,61,500 coronavirus infections has taken India's total tally of Covid-19 cases to 1,47,88,109,whileactivecases have surpassed the 18-lakh mark, according to Union health ministry data updated on Sunday. The death toll increased to 1,77,150 with a record1,501newfatalities,the data updated at 8 am showed. As the daily coronavirus positivityrateinthecountryin the last 12 days has doubled to 16.69%, many states have raised an alarm over shortage of hospital beds and oxygen supplies, even as they ramped up measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, and Brokerages downgrade India’s GDP projections for FY22 amid Covid surge WITH THE resurgence of Covid-19casesposingrisks to economic recovery,leading brokerages have downgraded India's GDP growth projections for the current fiscal year to as low as 10% on local lockdowns threatening fragile recovery, reports PTI. While Nomura has downgraded projections of economic growth for the fiscal sought the Centre's support in assorted ways. Ten states -Maharashtra,UP,Delhi,Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh,Kerala,Gujarat,Tamil NaduandRajasthan--reported 78.56% of the new infections. Over 25,000 people have tested Covid-19 positive in the last 24 hours in Delhi and less than 100 ICU beds remain yearending March 2022 to 12.6% from 13.5% earlier, JP Morgan now projects GDP growth at 11% from 13% earlier.UBS sees 10% GDP growth, down from 11.5% earlier and Citi has downgraded growth to 12%. India's GDP growth had been on the decline even before the pandemic struck earlier last year. ■ Page 2 available in hospitals, CM ArvindKejriwalsaidonSunday. TheDelhigovernmentdirected all nursing homes and private hospitals providing Covidrelated treatment in the national capital to reserve at least 80% of their ICU & ward bedcapacityforCovidpatients. Continued on Page 2 Govt will respond with fiscal steps if required: Niti vice chairman THE COUNTRYneeds to prepare for"greateruncertainty" in terms of consumer as well as investorsentiments due to the second wave of coronavirus infections, and the government will respond with fiscal measures as and when required, Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Sunday,reports PTI. While acknowledging that the present situation has become far more difficult than it was in the past due to risingcoronavirusinfections, Kumar remained hopeful that the country's economy will grow 11% in the current fiscalendingMarch31,2022. ■ Page 5 Salaried jobs lost: 10 mn & counting WHILE THE NET number of jobs lost post the pandemic stood at about 5.5 million at March-end comparedwith the average in 2019-20,the number of salaried jobs lost is a staggering 10 million.According to Mahesh Vyas, CEO & MD, CMIE, 60% of these 10 million jobs were lost in the rural sector where workers have been hit because MSMEs and other industrial units are in trouble. In the absence of opportunities in companies and small establishments,therehasbeen a shift of the labourforce to the agriculture space, creating a fairbitofdisguisedunemployment. In some senses, this is the reverse of the trend seen when the economy was liberalised and people moved from farms into factories. However,with half the factories in Maharashtra either shut, or on the verge of shutting down,the strain on urban India is nowintensifying,Vyas told FE, adding we could see more livelihoods lost as states enforce more restrictions. CMIE’s 30-day moving average unemployment measure, which is drawn from a fairly large sample, indicates joblessness which was 7% on April 11,has gone up to 7.4%, Overall, there has been a 20% loss of household income. The stress is largely on salaried employees because it is harder for them to re-skill and find new jobs. — MAHESH VYAS CEO & MD, CMIE a fairly swift uptick in a short time. Vyas estimates that overall there has been a 20% loss of household income saying it’s unlikelytherewouldhavebeen any improvement in rural wages since the data was announced in October last year. Continued on Page 2 ● RESOLUTION PLAN Future Retail lenders approve debt restructuring PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, April 18 production lines of companies. LENDERS OFTHE debt-ridden Future Retail have approved a plantorestructuretheexisting financial debt of the company underan RBI announced resolutionframeworkforCovid-19 related stress. Therestructuringplannow would be forwarded for approval to an expert committee, formed by RBI under the chairmanship of K V Kamath, Future Retail (FRL) said in a late-night regulatory update on Saturday. As part of the resolution plan, the debt raised through the non-convertible debentures issued by FRL is also part of the existing debt and is proposed to be restructured, it added. The board of the company, which now expects to recover from the financial stress with the resolution timeframe, has also approved the restructuring plan in its meeting held on Saturday,it added. Thesaidresolutionplanhas been approved by the lenders totheexistingdebtofthecompany,the company said. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 HARD TIMES (Clockwise from left) Migrants board interstate buses in Gurugram, workers refill oxygen cylinders in Patna and isolation coaches at Nandurbar railway station in Maharashtra PHOTOS: PTI SECOND COVID WAVE Export hubs urge migrant workers not to leave BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, April 18 FEARING A POSSIBLE exodus ofmigrantlabourersinthewake ofthesecondwaveoftheCovid19pandemic,exportersatsome of the key hubs have started exhorting their workers to refrain from leaving the factories this time around,justwhen orderflows are improving. Large-scale migration followingapan-Indialockdownin Pre-emptive move ■ Exporters in biggest garment hub ofTirupur are promising migrant labourers, estimated at 3 lakh, all possible help ■ Some Surat diamond exporters have urged migrants not to leave, just when orders are picking up ■ Surat is home to about 42 lakh migrant labourers, who work in industries, including diamond and textiles March last year had not just wrought havoc on the workers themselvesbutalsocrippledthe NO SLOWDOWN Start-up funding touches new high in 2021 ASMITA DEY New Delhi, April 18 INVESTORS INFUSEDAwhopping $4.4 billion into Indian start-ups in the January-March quarter, according to data sourced from market research firm Venture Intelligence.This is a decent 26% increase over thesameperiodlastyear.Firms had last raised $4.1 billion in funding in Q4 2019 calendar year and $4.2 billion in Q3 2018, the data showed. The momentum continued well into April with as many as six companies joining the ranks of the unicorn in a week after col- ($) billion 4.2 3.8 3.4 4.4 4.1 3.5 2.9 2.9 2.6 2.6 2 Soonicorns BlackBuck CarTrade Rebel Foods Bookmyshow OfBusiness Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Grofers 2018 2019 2020 2021 CureFit 1.7 1.9 Source: Venture Intelligence lectivelybaggingfreshfunding worthabout$1.5billion.Barely four months into the current calendaryearandthesectorhas already birthed 10 unicorns, with the pandemic-led digital push continuing to support tech businesses and a clutch of ‘soonicorns’ in the queue. Industryexpertsestimatemore start-upstoattainavaluationof $1 billion and beyond.The segment added a total of about 11 unicorns in 2020,nine in 2019 and eight in 2018. As more consumers across the countrysigned up fordigital services adding significantlyto companies’userbase, it became relatively easy for start-ups with bankable businesses to get investor backing. The spate of investments is also due to availability of a wider pool of capital. Continued on Page 2 Kolkata
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