OPINION, P6 MARKETS, P9 UDAYA K HEBBAR New microfinance norms can erode the social collateral model INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL MARKET PLAY THE 2022 LINE-UP Govt must ensure new labour laws don't saddle industry with onerous compliance burdens Bajaj Finserv to enter asset management business: Sanjiv Bajaj Apple to upgrade budget handset to 5G, drop iPhone Mini CHENNAI/KOCHI, THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL XLIII NO. 64, 16 PAGES, `6.00 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: 52,198.51 ▼ 354.89 NIFTY: 15,632.10 ▼ 120.30 NIKKEI 225: 27,388.16 ▼ 264.58 HANG SENG: 27,259.25 ▼ 230.53 `/$: 74.62 ▲ 0.26 `/€: 88.04 ▲ 0.16 BRENT: $68.43 ▼ $0.19 GOLD: `48,033 ▲ `102 QuickPicks Vax trade: WTO flags absence of standard norms THE WTO has flagged an absence of standardised procedures to expedite the supply of vaccine inputs and differences in the regulatory regime of various countries for registration of jabs, as it presented a list of ‘bottlenecks’ plaguing the global vaccine trade, reports Banikinkar Pattanayak in New Delhi. Inflation index reset: Wages under key schemes to rise THE CENTRE’S decision to revise the base year to 20182019 from 1986-87 and expansion of the consumption basket for CPI for agri and rural labourers is likely to result in upward revisions in nominal terms ofwages for millions ofworkers under MGNREGS, Anganwadi and Asha from September, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. GAIL issues swap tender for LNG for Aug-Dec GAIL (INDIA) has issued a swap tender offering LNG cargoes for loading in the US and seeking cargoes for delivery into India over August to December, three industry sources said, reports PTI. CHANGE OF LAW Plans to bring co-ops under Concurrent List PRABHUDATTA MISHRA New Delhi, July 21 THE UNION GOVERNMENT will likely propose a Constitutional amendment soon in ordertobringcooperativesocieties under the Concurrent List, not being dissuaded by Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling that state-level societies are within the exclusive remit of the state legislatures while Parliament can make laws pertainingtomulti-statecooperatives.The move is seen as a prerequisite for the newlyformed ministry of cooperatives to meet its ambitious objectives. A senior official in the know told FE: “Now that a separate Gross bad loans* District central State cooperative cooperative banks : banks : 12.6% 6.7% Scheduled commercial banks**: 7.5% *As of March 2020; **As of March 2021 ministry of cooperation has been created, its primary focus will be to find a solution to the question whether cooperatives should remain in the State List. There are several state-level cooperatives,whichwillbewilling toregisterwiththeCentralRegistrarunderthe Government of India, that currently regulates onlymulti-statecooperatives,if anoptionisgiventothem.There are instances of unwarranted interferencesbystateofficialsin the functioning of co-operative societies.Suchcooperativesmay get freedom of choice once the subjectisplacedundertheConcurrent List.” Continued on Page 2 `6.5 lakh cr `8.8 lakh cr Asset ofUCBs as ofMarch 2021; loan portfolio wasworth `3.1 lakh cr Combined assets of state cooperative banks and DCCBs as ofMarch 2020, loan portfolio stood at `4.8 lakh cr ■ 28 UCBs are placed under the all-inclusive directions of RBI, meaning they can't discharge liabilities without the approval of the central bank NEW CHAPTER ● AIRPORTS’ BUY Byju’s pays $500 m for Epic purchase Acquisition of the US-based kids reading platform its second-biggest ASMITA DEY New Delhi, July 21 ED-TECH MAJOR BYJU’S on Wednesdaysaidithasacquired US-based kids digital reading platform Epic in a $500-million deal as it looks to make deeper inroads into the key overseas market. The transaction comes a little over three months after the Bengaluru-based start-up acquiredIndianbrick-and-mortar test prep service provider Aakash Educational Services in anear$1-billiondeal,oneofthe biggest in the local ed-tech space.The dealwith Epic marks Byju’ssecond-biggestpurchase. Byju’ssaidtheacquisitionof Epic that caters to kids aged 12 and under will help broaden its footprint in the US as the firm will get access to Epic’s rich global user base that is said to have doubled over the last year andnowcomprisesmorethan2 millionteachersand50million kids. Epic CEO and co-founder Suren Markosian and other cofounder Kevin Donahue will, however,remain in theirroles. The US-based platform’s BYJU'S MAJOR PURCHASES Adani group violated branding, logo norms: AAI panels DEEPAK PATEL New Delhi, July 21 interactive reading model for kids is in sync with the longterm growth strategy of Byju’s thatcountstheK-12segmentas a focus area. Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said the partnership with Epic will enable it to create engaging and interactive reading and learning experiences forchildren globally. THREE COMMITTEES OF the Centre-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) in Januaryfound the Adani group to be in violation of branding norms, prescribed in the concession agreements, at the airports in Ahmedabad, Mangaluru and Lucknow that the conglomerate took over last year. Consequently, the Adani group companies — which are operating these three airports — have started making changes in brandings and displays in order to bring them in accordance with the concession agreements that theyhad signed with the AAI. As on June 29, the changes in brandings and displayswere in process at Lucknow and Manglauru airports and had been completed attheAhmedabad airport,the AAI stated. PTI has accessed various documentsrelatedtothismatter, including details received in response to the RTI queries. The Adani group won the bids to run the aforementioned three airports in February 2019. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 April 2021 ■ Aakash Educational Services Nearly $1 billion 2021 ■ Toppr* An estimated over $100 million August 2020 ■ WhiteHat Jr $300 million January 2019 ■ Osmo $120 million *The Toppr deal is yet to be officially announced by the firm *All as on July 20 TOP GEAR Maruti sells over 5 m cars in rural markets PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, July 21 MARUTI SUZUKI INDIA on Wednesday said it has crossed the 50 lakh cumulative sales milestone in the rural markets of India. With over 1,700 customised outlets in rural parts of the country, nearly 40% of the total MSILsalescome from rural markets today, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) said in a statement. The company’s total sales in the April-June period of this fiscal stood at 3,53,614 units. In fiscal 2020-21,it had sold a total of 14,57,861 units,down from the 15,63,297 units sold in 2019-20. Commenting on the feat, MSILseniorexecutive director (marketing & sales) Shashank Srivastava said,“We are proud to announce thatwith the sup- 1,700 40% customised Maruti outlets in rural parts of the country of the total MSIL sales come from rural markets 3,53,614 total units sold by the company in April-June this fiscal port from our customers and local dealer partners, we have achieved 50 lakh sales in rural India cumulatively.” Continued on Page 2 Infy tells staff they can return to office INFOSYS TOLD EMPLOYEES last week they could resume work from offices, accordingtoamemoseenby Reuters that offers an early sign of the country’s $190billion technology services sectormoving to get back on track, reports Reuters. The Bengaluru-based IT services company stopped short of calling all employees back to work, reflecting wider caution across the sector as Indian officials warn about the looming threat of a third wave of Covid-19 infections. In its memo,Infosys said the country’s safety situation seems to be improving,with growingvaccinationcoverage. ■ Report on Page 4 CHENNAI/KOCHI
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