OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 ASHOK GULATI Cooperation ministry must iron out subsidyrelated distortions BACK PAGE, P18 EDITORIAL ORGANISATIONAL REJIG U-TURN Scope of proposed changes to Electricity Act promising; states must end their populist power subsidies Adani group rejigs airport business leadership Johnson to quarantine after Covid contact, reverses earlier call NEW DELHI, MONDAY, JULY 19, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 119, 18 PAGES, `8.00 (PATNA `8.00, RAIPUR `8.00) 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 NEW ROADS OF EDUCATION A RED initiative appears in today’s edition of Financial Express. This page is an initiative of the marketing solutions team of The Indian Express Group and contains content paid for by advertisers. This page should be read as an advertisement. IN THE NEWS India records 41,157 fresh Covid cases INDIA LOGGED 41,157 new coronavirus cases, which took the infection tally to 3,11,06,065, while the death toll climbed to 4,13,609 with 518 more fatalities, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Sunday, reports PTI. Rainfall in July 26% deficient so far, says IMD RAINFALL IN JULY has been 26% deficient over the country, IMD director general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra informed earth sciences minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday, reports PTI. PEGASUS PROJECT COOPERATION MINISTRY Financial heft seen behind Centre’s bid for greater control Leaked database includes 300 Indian phone numbers Indian. Without subjecting a phone to this technical analysis, it is not possible to conclusively state whether it witnessed an attack attempt or wassuccessfullycompromised, FE BUREAU The Wire reported. New Delhi, July 18 The Indian Telegraph Act and Information Technology ONLINE NEWS PLATFORM The Act prescribe procedures that WirereportedonSunday,aleaked must be followed for lawful database of thousands of tele- interception. Different counphonenumbers,believedtohave tries have different laws but the been listed by multiple govern- useofhackingtodeliversurveilment clients of an Israeli surveil- lance spyware in India by any lance technology firm,includes individual,private or official,is over 300 verified Indian mobile an offence underthe ITAct. telephone numbers, including TheWireobserveditwould be those used by revealing the ministers, oppo- The Wire said it would namesithasbeen sition leaders, be revealing the names able to verify journalists, the it has been able to verify under different legalcommunity, over the next few days categories, in businessmen, a step by step government officials,scientists, fashionwithitspartnersoverthe rights activists and others. The next few days. The numbers of websitesaidthefindingsfollowed thoseinthedatabaseincludeover an investigation by The Wire and 40 journalists,three majoroppo16mediapartners. sition figures,one constitutional The website said forensic authority,twoservingministersin tests conducted as part of this the Narendra Modi government, projectonasmallcross-section current and former heads and ofphonesassociatedwiththese officialsofsecurityorganisations numbersrevealedclearsignsof andscoresofbusinesspersons. targeting by Pegasus spyware in 37 phones, of which 10 are Continued on Page 2 New Delhi says committed to privacy rights FE SPECIALS Used and improved There has been an uptick in demand for pre-owned and refurbished smartphones in the past year ■ eFE, P17 Teaming up with Microsoft Teams LEGISLATIVE AGENDA Monsoon session may witness disruption Govt lists 26 Bills and may bring in more, though just 19 sittings planned FE BUREAU New Delhi, July 18 THE MONSOON SESSION of Parliament will kick off on Monday with a rather heavy legislative agenda, even as the BHARTI TO DOT 5G devices should support all bands KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, July 18 ■ BRANDWAGON, P9 Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his cabinet colleagues and Opposition leaders at a meting ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament which begins today. PHOTO: PREM NATH PANDEY WITHTHEGOVERNMENTallotting 5G spectrum to telecom operators for conducting trials, Bharti Airtel has written to the department of telecommunications(DoT)tobringaboutguidelinesstipulatingthatanynew5G handsetlaunchedorsoldinIndia musthavethenecessaryfeatures to support all existing bands in India for 5G.It is understood to have highlighted that since around 50% of smartphone usersinIndiachangeorupgrade their handsets at least after two years of usage,anymore delayin creating the device ecosystem would hamper India’s ambition tobealeaderin5Gtechnology. Continued on Page 2 Why guidelines are necessary Once 5G is launched, services can be provided via all existing spectrum bands Independent software vendors are enhancing employee productivity with Microsoft Teams Like today 2100 MHz is used for 4G whereas it was earlier for providing 3G services ■ PERSONAL FINANCE, P8 Cover for vector-borne diseases The 4G spectrum bands of today would also be used for 5G services tomorrow But current 5G handsets support only spectrum in 3.5 GHz which is inhibiting Formulation of early standardised guidelines would help develop handset ecosystem A disease specific cover like vector-borne policy can be helpful if you don’t have a comprehensive health cover QuickPicks Probe shouldn’t treat it the same as Amazon, says Flipkart WALMART'S FLIPKART should not be treated the same as rival Amazon in an Indian antitrust probe as the evidence against the two firms was "qualitatively different", Flipkart argued in a court filing seen by Reuters. Both Amazon and Flipkart have challenged the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in court as they seek revocation of an Indian court's June decision to allow an antitrust probe against them to continue. PAGE 4 Discoms’ dues to gencos fall to `82,305 crore in May TOTAL OUTSTANDING dues owed by electricity distribution utilities or discoms to power producers fell 15.25% to `82,305 crore in May 2021 from a year ago. Distribution companies owed a total `97,111 crore to power generation firms in May 2020. PAGE 4 Bills referred to parliamentary committee for scrutiny (%) Lok Sabha 14th 60 15th 71 27 16th 11 17th *Till now; Source: PRS Legislative Opposition is determined to putthegovernmentinthedock over a clutch of issues ranging from price rise to alleged mis- handling of the second Covid wave. In the session scheduled tohavejust19sittings,asmany as 26 Bills are listed forconsideration and passing, while morecouldbetabledincluding key amendments to the relevantlawstofacilitateprivatisation ofa coupleof publicsector banksandonegeneralinsurers in the current financial year, according to sources. Continued on Page 2 Nearly 8.5 lakh cooperatives in the country have 38 crore members; UCBs and RCBs have combined asset size of `18 lakh crore FE BUREAU New Delhi, July 18 FROM ATINY wing of the agricultureministrywithlessthana dozen employees in a nondescript corner of Krishi Bhawan, thedepartmentofcooperation’s morphing into a full-fledged ministry last week, with Amit Shah at its helm,is seen as having not just political but economic ramifications. There are about 8.5 lakh cooperatives in the country with roughly 38 crore members. Of these,1,539areurbancooperative banks (UCBs) and 97,006 rural ones with a combined asset size of `17-18 lakh crore, an official source told FE.These cooperative banks, both urban and rural, account for an over- Duopoly FE BUREAU Gains for Bharti & Jio as Vodafone Idea lags Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio continue to consolidate their position while Vodafone Idea continues to lag Total wireless subscriber market share (%) Bharti Voda Idea Jio Others 100 80 60 40 20 0 VLR subscriber market share (%) Bharti Voda Idea Jio 10.6 10.6 10.6 10.5 10.4 10.3 10.2 100 35.3 35.3 35.4 35.4 35.5 35.8 36.1 80 25.4 25.1 24.6 24.3 24.2 24.0 23.8 28.7 29 Oct Nov 2020 29.4 29.7 29.8 29.8 29.8 Dec Jan Feb 2021 Mar Apr 60 40 6.4 6.3 6.4 6.3 6.2 Others 6.2 6.1 33.2 33.5 33.6 33.3 33.0 33.4 33.6 27.1 26.7 26.3 26.3 26.1 25.7 25.4 Source: TRAI, Kotak Institutional Equities LARGE CENTRAL PUBLICSECTOR entities — companies and undertakings — achieved 16% of their aggregate capital expenditure target for FY22 in the first three months of the currentfinancialyear,byspending `93,000 crore,according to In Q1FY22 NHAI Railways ONGC NTPC IOC 30,000 28,000 5,000 4,500 4,700 25 13 17 19 16 Investments (` crore) Q1 capex as % of FY22 target Critics say the new ministry must not be used to usurp states' power over co-operatives Congress and NCP known to have clout over cooperatives in Maharashtra, BJP in Gujarat and the Left in Kerala whelmingly huge share of the cooperative sectors’ finances. Whilemanyofthemarestarved ofcapitalandriddledwithmanagementwoes,theco-operative banking sector, as a whole, still retainsmuchfinancialaswellas political clout overvoters at the grassroots level. Continued on Page 2 ● OIL Opec, allies agree to boost production SALMA EL WARDANY, GRANT SMITH, JAVIER BLAS & DINA KHRENNIKOVA July 18 Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 Dec Jan 2021 Feb Mar Apr Central PSEs achieve 16% of annual capex target in Q1 Top state-run investors Co-operatives' fiscal prowess and large member base draw political parties towards them official sources. Given the second Covid wave that disrupted an incipient economic revival, this is a decent number; these entitiesachieved justabout7% oftheannualcapextargetinthe year-ago period when nationwide lock-down brought economic activitiesto a standstill. Oct Nov 2020 ● ASSET CREATION PRASANTA SAHU New Delhi, July 18 UCBs alone had deposits of `5 lakh crore as of March 2020, cash reserves of `5,812 crore and bank balances of `66,212 crore OPEC AND ITS allies agreed to gradually add more oil supplies to the market after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates resolved a dispute. The cartel will boost output by as much as 400,000 barrels a day each month from August until all of its halted output has been revived. The deal will also give Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq, Kuwait and Russia higher baselines against which their production cuts are measured from May 2022, according to a statement from the group. The truce will ease a looming supply squeeze and reduce the risk of an inflationary oil price spike. 20 33.3 33.4 33.7 34.4 34.6 34.6 34.8 0 Beyond just cooperation DIGITAL RELEASES Film-makers continue to call the shots as OTTs starved of new content ASMITA DEY New Delhi, July 18 SHORT ON CONTENT, overthe-top (OTT) platforms continue to acquire films at handsome prices and are even willing to share releases.Since January, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+Hotstar have, between them, streamed over 20 direct-toOTT films across languages. That’s not surprising given they need to keep the viewership rates up; one estimate by Ormax Media says the OTT audience, which grew an estimated 35% year-on-year in 2020 has so, far in 2021, risen at a much slower 8%. That said, makers of midsized films, who don’t have much of choice,will continue to prefer the direct to digital route forthe next three to four months,according to Shailesh Kapoor, CEO at Ormax Media. Right now, however, it would appear the platforms are a lot more keen to get their hands on content, than film-makers are on digital releases. Prime Video is understood to have paid over `50 crore to acquire Farhan Akhtar’s Toofan made on a budget of `25-30 crore. Sherni, pro- duced at a cost of nearly `20 crore,was sold at around `35 crore to the streaming platform. Kapoor observed the jump in OTT viewership in 2020 could be attributed partly to the lack of fresh content on television channels for a good three months.This time around, the slate of TV shows has not been impacted significantly.Also, there have not been too many web series releases on OTT platforms barring the second season of The Family Man. New Delhi “In fact, most of the films that platforms acquired had been completed before the pandemic or were completed between September and January,”Kapoor said. The makers of Mimi have announced that they will opt for a simultaneous OTT release on Jio Cinema and Netflix on July 30.The family entertainer has been jointly produced by Jio Studios and Dinesh Vijan. Continued on Page 2
The Financial Express (FE) is a business paper that’s closest to the people who are in the business of business. From business policies to market trends to new developments, The Financial Express comes packed with incisive news on every relevant issue.