OPINION, P6 SIDDHARTH PAI ECONOMY, P2 The US’ struggle with gig worker rights is important for the world COMPANIES, P4 EDITORIAL FARM FACTOR IN DRIVER’S SEAT Don't protect retail investors; not the regulator's job to advise them on fluffy valuations Agri exports play key role in doubling farmers' income, says Goyal Ola's GMV crosses levels before Covid on robust rebound post 2nd wave NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 163, 34 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 SENSEX: 58,279.48 ▼ 17.43 NIFTY: 17,362.10 ▼ 15.70 NIKKEI 225: 29,916.14 ▲ 256.25 HANG SENG: 26,353.63 ▲ 190 `/$: 73.43 ▼ 0.32 `/€: 87.12 ▼ 0.40 BRENT: $71.95 ▼ $0.27 GOLD: `47,224 ▼ `113 NAV Equity Debt Gold Buy ETFs ` pany. Of VIL’s net debt of `1.8 lakh crore,government dues in the form of deferred spectrum payment (`96,300 crore) and AGRdues(`61,000crore)come to around `1.57 lakh crore. Continued on Page 2 UK-BASED CAIRN ENERGY PLConTuesdaysaiditwilldrop litigations to seize Indian properties in countries ranging from France to the US, within a couple of days of getting a $1-billion refund resultingfrom thescrappingofaretrospective tax law. The firm, which gave India itsbiggestonlandoildiscovery, termed “bold” the legislation passed last month to cancel a 2012 policy that gave the tax department power to go back to shareholders upon the refund Due only to Cairn It will mean we will forego interest and penalty in terms of the original arbitration award. The important thing for us is it (govt) returns the value that was taken from us. From our perspective it is the right thing to do, be pragmatic, put this behind us, move on. — SIMON THOMSON, CEO, CAIRN ENERGY 50 years and slap capital gains levieswhereverownershiphad changed hands overseas but business assets were in India. The offer to return money seized to enforce retrospective taxdemandinlieu ofdropping all litigations against the government “is acceptable to us”, Cairn chief executive officer SimonThomson told PTI in an interview from London. Continued on Page 2 VODAFONE IDEA IS hopeful that the government will respond favourably to its call for support and help the industrytideoverthecrisis,reports feBureau in Mumbai. “...yourcompanyis hope- THE YIELDS ON commercial papers (CPs) maturing in three months have eased nearly 10bpsinthelastfewweeksowingtohugesurplus liquidityin the banking system and improved demand from MFs,reports Manish M Suvarna in Mumbai.Similarly,yields on the 91-dayT-billalsomoderated10bpsinAugust. ful that the government will provide the necessary support to address all structural issues faced by the sector,” VIL chairman Himanshu Kapania said in a letter to shareholders. ■ Page 4 EXPANDING COVER The multiple benefits offered by an exchange traded fund (ETF)—ranging from liquidity and flexibility to diversification and transparency— make it a valuable addition to your investment portfolio ■ Personal Finance, P7 ‘E-visits to doctors will be the preferred option soon’ The hospital is no longer the epicentre of care delivery. Providers now care for patients in multiple settings along a lengthy care continuum, says Bob Monteverdi of Lenovo Health ■ eFE, P7 QuickPicks Hyundai Motor bets big on hydrogen fuel cell tech HYUNDAI MOTOR Group has rolled out plans to become a major hydrogen energy player by 2040, providing hydrogen-based mobility solutions for automotive and industrial sectors and launching a range of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, reports Vikram Chaudhary in New Delhi. At the Hydrogen Wave global online forum on Tuesday, the South Korean automaker said that by 2028, all its new CVs will run either on batteries or fuel cells. It’s the first automaker to announce such a goal. PAGE 4 Daily generation of e-way bills gathers pace in early Sept DAILY E-WAY bill generation for goods transportation under the GST system came in at 20.97 lakh in the first five days of September, 7.5% higher than the daily average for the first eight days of August, indicating continued momentum in economic recovery, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The daily average e-way bills for the first five days of September were, however, marginally lower (1.4%) than the daily average of 21.26 lakh for the full month of August. PAGE 2 CDPQ becomes a sponsor of Edelweiss ARC, holds 20% stake EDELWEISS ASSET Reconstruction Company (EARC) on Tuesday said CDPQ Private Equity Asia Pte (CDPQ ) has become one of its sponsors with 20% of the total paid-up equity share capital of the company, reports PTI. This is post the conversion of 3.32 crore compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) held by CDPQ into 5.26 crore equity shares of `10 each of the company, valued at around `97.25 each, the company said in a release. PAGE 9 ‘NPS base to jump by a quarter in FY22’ SURYA SARATHI RAY & PRASANTA SAHU New Delhi, September 7 AS MANYAS 52 CPSEs,including biggies IOC, ONGC, NTPC, BPCL, GAIL (India), PFC and various railway companies, have come aboard the Nation Pension System (NPS) with over one lakh employees over the last few years, helping expand the cover,even as there has been a stagnation in new jobcreationbytheCentreanda slowing of the pace of recruitment by many state governments. Helped by distribution partners — mainly banks and banking correspondents —, the NPS subscriberbase,which stood at 4.24 crore at the end of FY21,will get to expand bya record one crore in the current financial year, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) chairman Supratim Bandyopadhyaytold FE in an interview. Nearly 30 lakh people were NPS is getting broadbased. Our distribution channels comprising mainly bank partners, are doing excellent work. In August, we added a record one million customers. About 35,000 people are joining per day. While SBI is the leading intermediary, small finance banks and RRBs are also doing well. —SUPRATIM BANDYOPADHYAY, CHAIRMAN, PFRDA 26,851 67,999 FE BUREAU Chennai, September 7 16,923 AUTO DEALERS ON Tuesday said that retail sales during the festival season is going to be lacklustre because the shortage of semiconductors has slowed down the supply of popular models, especially in thepassengervehiclesegment. The dealers said that the inventoryofvariantswhichare in demand like Baleno, Ertiga, Brezza,Creta,etc,continues to dip — it is the lowest this time compared to other years — because of supply side problems. Normally, dealers stock huge inventories,of more than a month in the run-up to the festival months. “Auto dealers are facing the most challenging phase of their business career as Covid19 after-effect continues to playspoilsport.While until last year,when demandwas a challenge, supply is becoming a bigger problem currently due toshortageofsemiconductors, even though there is high demand for passenger vehi- Detailed report on Page 4 added to the NPS fold till late Augustthisfiscal,including28 lakh under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY). 2020 6.1% Continued on Page 2 fe Bureau in Pune. The second jab of the Sputnik vaccine comprises human adenovirus serotype 5. Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots of the vaccine. ■ Page 4 EVEN AS THE turmoil in Afghanistancontinuestoworry Indian exporters, a worsening foreign exchange crisis in Sri Lanka — a larger market with imports of $3.5 billion from thiscountryinFY21—hasmultiplied theirchallenges. Exporters that FE spoke to said they could soon represent to the government to explore various options to address any paymentissuethatmayemerge fromtheSriLankancrisis.These 30,410 5.5 TRAC 38.7 PV 79.7 9,15,126 3W 9,76,051 6.66 2W Aug 2020 Aug 2021 Source: FADA Research cles,” the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (Fada) said in a statement. As reported, so far Maruti Suzuki India,Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra have announced production cuts during the current month becauseoftheshortageofelectronic components. Continued on Page 20 FE BUREAU New Delhi, September 7 theexporterssaid.However,the problemwithsuchaplanisthat Indiahasadecenttradesurplus ($2.9 billion in FY21) with Sri Lanka,an official source said. BYJU’S ONTUESDAY said that it has acquired online exam preparationplatformGradeup, theed-techmajor’sfifthacquisition deal so far this year. Gradeuphasbeenrebrandedas Byju’sExamPrep.Byju’sdidnot disclose the financial details of the transaction. Byju’s will tap into Gradeup’s student reach with theacquisitionwhilestrengthening its presence in the growing online competitive examination preparation category. Through the Byju’s Exam Prep offering, the Bengaluru-based startup will cater to students preparing for more than 150 exams across over 25 exam categories, including government jobs and PG Entrance exams like GATE and CAT. In a bid to gain access to the testprepmarket,Byju’s already acquiredbrick-and-mortartest prep service provider Aakash Educational Services in a near $1-billion deal earlierthisyear, one of the biggest in the local edtech space. In July, Byju’s acquired edtech start-up Great Learningina$600-milliondeal andspentanother$500million toacquireUS-basedkidsdigital reading platform Epic. Continued on Page 20 Continued on Page 20 2021 8.8% 2022 9.4% Sri Lankan forex crisis worries exporters BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, September 7 2,53,363 Byju’s buys online test prep platform Gradeup Companies likely to hand out better salary hikes INDIA INC EMPLOYEES can look forward to better pay chequesnextyear,asthereisa projectionofanaverage9.4% salaryincreasein2022,which willbeupfrom8.8%increase rolled out in 2021 and 6.1% in 2020.According to global professional services firm Aon’s‘Salary Increase Survey in India’, the increase is a sign of strong economic recovery and improved consumersentiment. 53,150 71,737 ● EDTECH BOOM COME 2022 FE BUREAU Mumbai, September 7 97.9 CV 1,82,651 ● TRADE RISKS Panacea Biotec starts supplying second component of Sputnik V Covid vaccine RUSSIA’S SOVEREIGN WEALTH fund RDIF and Panacea Biotec on Tuesday announced the shipment of the second component of Sputnik V vaccine produced in India by Panacea, reports As of September 7, yields on CPs issued by NBFCsmaturinginthreemonthswerehovering between 3.50% and 3.65%,and those on papers issued by manufacturing companies weretradingbetween3.35%and3.50%.This is lowerthan 3.65-70% and 3.40-55%yields traded on papers in mid-August. ■ Page 9 12,09,550 « GOLD ETF moratorium on deferred spectrum payments ■ Movewill help financiallyweak company likeVodafone Idea ($1.06 bn) 13,84,711 14.48 « Sell ■ Extension of AMMAR ZAIDI New Delhi, September 7 to firms ifthey drop litigations Surplus liquidity, firm MF demand drive down yields on CPs Why ETF is a must in your mutual fund portfolio Ratio No bank guarantees for AGR and deferred spectrum payments `8,100 cr `7,900 cr Cairnwants to return $700 mn Indian govt to refund Vodafone Idea hopeful of govt support Special Features ` Expense StreamliningAGR calculation prospectively be segregating telecom and non-telecom revenues To drop litigations to seize Indian assets overseas in a couple of days after receiving tax award y-o-y (%) « MULLAH MOHAMMAD HASAN Akhund, the chief of the Taliban's powerful decisionmaking body 'Rehbari Shura', has been named as Afghanistan's new head of state by the insurgent group's top leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada, reports PTI. THE UNION CABINET is expected to take up the department of telecommunications’ (DoT’s) proposal for offering a relief package to the telecom industry at its meeting on Wednesday,officialsourcessaid. Thoughfinancially-troubled Vodafone Idea (VIL) has been at the forefront of demanding a relief package,sources said that it would not be tailor-made for anyspecificcompanybutwould be forthe entire sector. Still,anyreliefpackageatthis point of timewould benefitVIL the most. It would also protect government’s revenues and exposure of banks to the com- Reduction oflicence fee to 6% ofAGR of the operators from the current 8% AUGUST SALES Dealers say inventory of popular models in the PV segment lowest this year « Mohammad Hasan to lead Taliban's interim govt KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, September 7 THE PROPOSAL: Chip shortage to hit festive auto sales « SEBI ON TUESDAY introduced T+1 settlement cycle for completion of share transactions on optional basis in a move to enhance market liquidity, reports PTI. Currently, trades on the stock exchanges are settled in two working days after the transaction is done (T+2). Package to also protect govt revenue and viability of banks Cairn accepts India’s $1-bn refund offer DULL DIWALI « Sebi introduces T+1 settlement on optional basis Cabinet may take call on relief package today RETRO TAX « IN ORDER TO provide relief to the taxpayers who were eligible to file application as on January 31, 2021, but could not file the same due to cessation of the the I-T Settlement Commission via the Finance Act, 2021, the CBDT has allowed them to file applications for settlement till September 30, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. TELECOM SOS ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE IN THE NEWS Application for tax settlement can be filed till Sept 30 Fresh challenges Exporters favour a mechanism underwhich Lankan importers can pay in their domestic currency ■ Payment of`700-1,000 cr owed to Indian exporters is stuck following theAfghan crisis ■ Sri Lankan forex crisis poses graver risks, as its annual imports from India stood at $3.5-4 bn options include a temporary mechanism under which Lankanimportersmaybeallowedto pay up in their local currency. This can then be used byIndian importers to buy merchandise from the island nation,some of CASHING OUT Chinese firms divesting overseas assets at near-record pace VINICY CHAN September 7 JUSTAFEWyears ago,Chinese firms spent lavishly overseas on everything from luxury hotels to soccer clubs. Now they are heading for the exit amid rising demand for anything that throws off cash. Companies in China announceddivestmentplansof their overseas assets worth $10.5billionsofarthisyear,the second-highest total since at least 1998, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.At the current pace, 2021 could surpasslastyear’s$15-billionsum. “ThesedaysChinesecompanies are proactively looking at their asset portfolios, rather than simply buying,” Bagrin Angelov, head of China crossbordermergersandacquisitions at China International Capital Corp., said in an interview. “Whenthereisagoodoffer,they are open to at least evaluate it.” Some of the areas seeing renewed interest include waste treatment businesses, with Chinese companies announced divestment plans of overseas assetsworth $10.5 billion so far this year ■ Chinese firms raising cash from such sales would find it difficult to plow that money back into other overseas assets ■ This is given the increased scrutiny from foreign governments since the start ofthe pandemic At the current pace, divestments in 2021 could surpass last year’s $15-billion sum Infrastructure and utilities are among the types ofassets that Chinese firms are considering divesting state-run Beijing Capital Group andBeijingEnterprisesareconsidering sales of their overseas holdings.ChinaTianyinginJune agreed to sell its Spanish waste managementcompanyUrbaser for$1.8 billion. Unlikeonce-acquisitiveconglomerates such as China Evergrande Group and HNA Group, which are now busy shedding assets to reduce debt, the current crop of Chinese sellers mostly aren’t in financial distress.Instead,theyaredisposing ofholdings—particularlythose New Delhi withstrongcashflows—whose valuations have surged as investors sift through the wreckage left behind by Covid,searching for profitable assets amid low interest rates. Infrastructure and utilities are among the types of assets that Chinese firms are considering divesting. BeijingCapitalisseeking$1billion from a sale of its New Zealand businessthatitboughtforabout $667 million in 2014, Bloomberg News reported earlier. Continued on Page 2
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