OPINION, P6 NATION, P5 ASHOK GULATI & RITIKA JUNEJA India @75 must implement the pending agriculture reforms NATION, P5 EDITORIAL NO SALE OF EUROPE BIZ YOUNG DEMOGRAPHY Minority shareholders assert themselves at Vedanta Limited; but tighter rules for promoters needed too Upsides of price hike in steel to reflect in subsequent quarters Over 50 lakh investors added into equity fold since April 2021 NEW DELHI, MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 143, 12 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 IBC RESOLUTION Peer economies should be our benchmark: Sinha BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, August 15 INDIANEEDSTObenchmarkits recovery from the resolution of insolvent firms against that of peereconomies,andnotagainst the low liquidation value of the toxic assets,Jayant Sinha,chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance,toldFEinaninterview. The committee,which submitted a report on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) this month, cautioned that the five-year-old law might have strayed from its original objectives, thanks to inordinate delay in resolution and large haircuts for lenders. Sinhasaidit’sincumbenton the National Company LawTribunal (NCLT) and insolvency professionals (IPs) to prevent defaulting promoters or their surrogates,whoareineligibleto bid under section 29-A of the IBC, from delaying resolution processthroughfrivolouslitigation,whichareoftenblamedfor the erosion of assetvalue. Jayant Sinha, chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance Continued on Page 2 REPORT CARD ● POWER PLAY Eco growth nascent, faces mixed prospects High frequency indicators like GST, exports & imports, auto sales suggest recovery in July, but chief economic agents ambivalent; monetary stimulus can’t last too long ❚ Credit growth ❚ Factory output (% chg, y-o-y) 8 75 6.29 6.18 7 6 Feb 14, 2020 Source: RBI 60 49.3 45 45.4 FE BUREAU New Delhi, August 15 15 DESPERATE ATTEMPTS BY some economic actors to come out of a crisis that lasted for a frustratingly long period enabled some indicators to move up in July after being trammelled by the second Covid wave in May-June. However, since the principal economic agents — private investors, lenders and consumers — don't yet seem to have overcome an extreme risk aversion and the government-sector doesn't appear to be living up to its task, the pace of recovery in the second half of FY22 could be lower than predicted by government managers. As it happens, credit growth continues to be subdued and industrial output is below the pre-Covid level. PMI reading below 50 suggests contraction and above it indicates expansion Source: IHS Markit March 2020 pressure and the MSMEs are in graver crisis. Rising commodity prices and shipping costs could continue to impact the larger industry through the current quarter and beyond, and slow the momentum of recovery. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 Mar 2020 0 -100 July 2021 ❚ Investments (Value of new investment, ` lakh cr) 1.79 1.24 Passenger vehicles June 1.55 Sept Dec March June Source: CMIE ❚ E-way bills (million) (% chg, y-o-y) 62.9 80 64.2 60 40 -87 -88.8 May 2020 27.6 2-wheelers July 2021 Note: April & May 21 compared with April & May 2019; Source FADA Also, the services sector that constitutes much of the aggregate demand, is weak. Though a section of Corporate India reported decent operating margins even in Q1 by reining in costs, that hardly reflects the state of the economy; profits of most firms remain under AHMAD SEIR, RAHIM FAIEZ, TAMEEM AKHGAR & JON GAMBRELL Kabul, August 15 TALIBAN FIGHTERS ENTERED Kabul on Sunday and sought unconditional surrender of the central government, officials said, as Afghans and foreigners alike raced for the exit, signalling the end of 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan. The beleaguered central government, meanwhile, hope for an interim administration, but increasingly had few cards to play. Civilians fearing that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women's rights rushed to leave the country, lining up at cash machines to withdraw their life savings. Helicopters buzzed overhead, some apparently evacuating personnel at the US Embassy. Several other Western missions were also preparing to get staff out. In a stunning rout,the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week,despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the US and NATO over nearly two decades to build up Afghan security forces. -70 July 2021 ❚ Retail auto sales -50 55.3 -35 -18.67 1 50 0 (% chg, y-o-y) RHS 1.85 30 100 35 13.6 Note: PMI reading below 50 suggests contraction and above it indicates expansion; IIP for April & July 30, 2021 May 21 compared with April & May 2019; Source: IHS Markit, MoSPI ❚ Services PMI 0 June ‘21 IIP 25 0 5 4 50 PMI 51.8 Taliban in Kabul, power transition awaited 20 0 8.6 April 2020 July 2021 Source: GSTN GATISHAKTI `100 lakh-crore infra plan to boost employment: PM The national master plan will give an integrated and holistic path to the economy PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, August 15 PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA ModionSundayannouncedan ambitious `100 lakh crore holisticinfrastructuredevelopment programme 'Gatishakti', which is aimed at boosting employment opportunities and productivityof industries. "India needs a holistic and integrated approach in infrastructure construction along with modern infrastructure.In thenearfuture,Indiaisgoingto come outwith Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti National Plan and launch it,"he said in his address tothenationfromtheramparts of the Red Fort on India's 75th Independence Day. Modi said the over `100 lakh crore scheme will bring new employment opportunities for lakhs of youth. Gatishakti, he said,will be a nationalmasterplanwhichwill lay the foundation of the overallinfrastructureinthecountry and give an integrated and holistic path to the economy. Modi said as of nowthere is noharmonyin modes of transport in the country. Continued on Page 2 ● GOING GREEN Ola launches e-scooter at `99,999 FE BUREAU Chennai, August 15 Ola e-scooter ex-showroom prices post state & FAME subsidy OLA ELECTRIC ON Sunday launched its much-awaited e-scooter,christened S1,priced at `99,999 and S1 Pro at `1,29,999.However,the prices will be lesser than the one announced by the company across states depending upon the subsidyunderFAME II. Forinstance,in Delhi,the S1 willcost`85,099andS1Prowill come for `110,149.With this launch, Ola Electric comes in direct competition with other (in `) S1 S1 Pro Delhi Gujarat Maharashtra Rajasthan All other states electrictwo-wheelermakerslike Hero Electric,TVS Motor Company,andAtherEnergy. The company said that the deliverieswill begin in October. New Delhi 85,099 1,10,149 79,999 1,09,999 94,999 1,24,999 89,968 1,19,138 99,999 1,29,999 As is known, Ola Electric had started taking bookings in July at a price of `499. Continued on Page 2
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