OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 ROHIN GARG VPN ban can address real dangers, but will enfeeble privacy COMPANIES, P4 EDITORIAL FM-SPEAK FY22 TARGET No recovery for labour till services sector is out of the woods; govt must go full steam on reforms, welfare Disinvestment plan on track, DFI to be operational soon Vedanta cuts net debt by $300 m in H1, aims to pare $500 m in H2 NEW DELHI, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 168, 20 PAGES, `8.00 (PATNA `8.00, RAIPUR `8.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 58,177.76 ▼ 127.31 NIFTY: 17,355.3 ▼ 13.95 NIKKEI 225: 30,447.37 ▲ 65.53 HANG SENG: 25,813.81 ▼ 392.10 `/$: 73.68 ▼ 0.18 `/€: 86.88 ▲ 0.08 BRENT: $73.70 ▲ $0.78 GOLD: `46,841 ▼ `57 ` ` ` Liquid Fund ■ Eligible firms may get cashback up to 20% of their turnover for electric and hydrogenpowered vehicles After its relaunch, it will be headquartered in DelhiNCR It has hired over 150 full-time employees; another 1,000 will likely be hired in FY22 requiredairportinfrastructure and night parking. Continued on Page 12 Women in command at Ola e-scooter unit OLA CO-FOUNDER Bhavish Aggarwal on Monday said its electricscooterfactorywillbe run entirely by women and employ over 10,000 women atfullscale,reportsPTI.“Aatmanirbhar Bharat requires Aatmanirbharwomen!Proud its bid to push for only clean technologyvehicles for now. Continued on Page 12 to share that the Ola Futurefactory will be run ENTIRELY by women, 10,000+ at full scale! It’ll be thelargestall-womenfactory intheworld!!Slightlysmiling face,”he said in a tweet. ■ Report on Page 4 RETAIL INFLATION EASED to a four-month low of 5.30% in August, having remained within the central bank’s target band (2-6%) for a second straight month, as food inflation moderated further and base effect remained conducive, showed official data released on Monday. Thefallwill likelyease pressure on the central bank for any calibrated liquidity normalisation early, and its accommodative stance may continue for a longer time, despite external headwinds. The global commodity prices, especially of oil, have been on the rise and the US Federal Reservehassignalleditsintent to start scaling back its $120 billion-a-month quantitative easing later this year. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month said the economy had not so far reached the levelwhere liquiditysupportcouldberolledback by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Of course, while retaining the repo rate lastweek,RBI raised its inflation forecasts. Continued on Page 12 Late payment surcharge and ‘Change in Law’ dues become as high as unpaid power bills 110 Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) 100 98.1 90.3 101.3 ANUPAM CHATTERJEE New Delhi, September 13 RECEIVABLES OF PRIVATE power plants from state-run power distribution companies (discoms) as late payment surcharges (LPS) and unpaid payments in lieu of various passthrough costs approved by regulatorsunderthe‘change-nlaw’(CIL)clausehavepiledupto become as large as the unpaid bills forpowersupplied. According to the government’s ‘Praapti’ portal, overdues — pending receivables of 45 days or more — of `49,560 crore were owed by discoms to private powerplants at the end of May 2021. However, over and above this, there was also LPS of `24,722 crore and CIL dues of `24,000 crore which remained unpaid to independent power producers. The issue was highlighted by the 101.9 90 69.2 68.0 80 63.2 70 60 45.1 Sep 12 Aug 22 Jul 11 Aug 1 Jun 20 May 9 May 30 Apr 18 Mar 7 Mar 28 Feb 14 Jan 3 Jan 24 Dec 13 Nov 1 Nov 22 Oct 11 Sep 20 Aug 30 Jul 19 50 40 Source: Nomura Global Economics CREDIT PICK-UP Systematic Transfer Plan suits mutual fund investors who have a lumpsum amount in their hand and like to take advantage of cost averaging and volatility ■ Personal Finance, P7 QuickPicks Edible oil import duty relief not fully passed on to consumers RETAIL PRICES of edible oils continued to rise after the recent cuts in import duty, indicating the benefits have not been fully received by consumers and may have been appropriated by palm oil sellers in Indonesia and Malaysia, reports Prabhudatta Mishra in New Delhi. This is even as the government claims that revenue of as much as `4,600 crore will be foregone in FY22 due to the duty reductions. Along with the agri cress and social welfare cess, the effective duty on crude palm oil was cut by 5.5% to 30.5%, effective June 30, and was in force until September 10 when it was further reduced. PAGE 3 Pegasus row: SC gives Centre last chance to rethink on filing affidavit EVEN AS the Centre refused to file an affidavit on whether Pegasus software was used to snoop on journalists, politicians, activists and court staff, the Supreme Court on Monday asked it “not to beat around the bush” and inform it if it changed its mind in 2-3 days as it will pass interim directions in the next few days, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Reserving its order on interim directions to be issued on a batch of pleas for independent probe into use of Pegasus spyware, the SC bench told SG Tushar Mehta it will take "2-3 days" to write the order and the government has that much time to rethink. PAGE 12 Non-food credit grows fastest in over a year FE BUREAU Mumbai, September 13 THE RATE OF growth in nonfood credit rose to 6.68%yearon-year(y-o-y)forthefortnight ended August 27 from 6.61% in the previous fortnight.This is the fastest growth in bank lending in 16 months. However,growthcontinues toremainbelowpre-Covidlevels.The recent pick-up is aided partly by the effect of a low base and partly by the onset of the festive season in August, when credit growth typically picks up.As onAugust 27,outstanding non-food credit stood at `108.29 lakh crore, showed data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Lenders are trying to cash in on the festive season, drawing retail borrowers with lower interest rates. On Thursday,Kotak Mahindra Bank said that it wouldpricehomeloansat6.5% per annum for a section of borrowersforthenexttwomonths. Ambuj Chandna,president 14 %, y-o-y 12 10 Deposit growth 8.64 10.93 8 6 4 5.48 Credit growth 6.68 2 0 Aug 28, 2020 Aug 27, 2021 Source: RBI — consumer assets, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said the lender wanted to offer a good deal to its customers during the festive season and an environmentofabundantliquidity helps do that. Continued on Page 12 BetterPlace raises fresh $24 million BETTERPLACE, a technology platform for blue-collar workforce management, has raised a fresh $24 million in funding jointlyled by Delhi-basedCXPartnersand Singapore-based Jungle Ventures,reports fe Bureau Total receivables of gencos `96,317 cr Pending dues to IPPs on electricity supplied `49,560 cr Additional dues to IPPs* The Nomura India Business Resumption Index rose to 101.9 for the week ended September 12, marking the second-highest reading after the record high of 102.8 at end-August. A recovery in consumption and services is likely to be aided by lower daily Covid cases and improved vaccination numbers, even as a third wave remains a risk. Know when STP is a better investment strategy ` ` and bikemakers TVS Motor, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto may also benefit as they focus on EVs Jet Airways plans to have 50+ aircraft in three years and 100+ in five years FE BUREAU New Delhi, September 13 Legacy dues to private gencos hit `49,000 crore FE BUREAU Special Feature ` ■ Tata Motors and M&M, Aug 9 AS THE second and more virulent wave of Covid-19 gripped the country, India Inc responded to the challenge with over 350 public-listed companies spending over `1,600 crore on CSR initiatives between March and May this year to check the deadly pandemic, CSRBOX said in Monday, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. JET AIRWAYS WILL resume domestic operations in the first quarter of 2022, the Jalan-Kalrock consortium,the successful resolution applicant for the grounded airline, said on Monday. The process of reviving the carrier is on track, with the existingairoperatorcertificate (AOC) already under process for revalidation, the consortium said, adding that it is working closely with the relevant authorities and airport coordinatorsonslotallocation, SPREADING WINGS CPI inflation hits 4-month low of 5.30% in August RISING BILLS Business improves as daily Covid count falls Jun 7 India Inc spent `1,600 cr on Covid relief in March-May FE BUREAU Mumbai, September 13 could be good news for foreign firms like Tesla that are planning to enter India On the mend Jun 28 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE fell to its lowest in seven weeks to 7.35% on a 211 basis points decline in rural joblessness to 6.51% for the week ended September 12, 2021 over the previous week, data compiled by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. ■ Move reportedly cut outlay for auto PLI to $3.5 bn from $8 bn to push for only clean auto tech THECABINETWILLonWednesday take up a proposal on the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the auto and auto components sector, a top government official told FE. This will be the last and the biggest of the 13 PLI schemes to be cleared by the Cabinet close to a year after they were announced tolurelargecorporations to boost domestic manufacturing and bolster India’s integration with the global value chain. While the proposed allocation for the auto PLI was `57,042 crore over five years, thegovernmentwillreportedly slashtheoutlaybyoverahalfin May 17 Unemployment drops to lowest in seven weeks To start domestic operations in Q1; short international flights in Q3 or Q4 BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, September 13 Apr 5 IT SERVICES major Infosys on Monday said it has bought back over 5.58 crore equity shares as part of its about `9,200-crore buyback offer, reports PTI. The shares were bought back at a volume weighted average price of `1,648.53 per equity share, according to a public notice. ■ Govt will ● PRICE RELIEF Jet ready to take off in early 2022 GREEN PUSH Cabinet nod likely tomorrow; sops to benefit Tesla,Tata Motors, M&M, TVS Motor & Hero MotoCorp Apr 26 Infy completes `9,200-crore share buyback `26K-cr auto PLI plan to power up EVs Mar 15 FOODGRAIN PRODUCTION is likely to touch a new record of over 150 million tonne in the Kharif season of the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) due to good rains, agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal said on Monday, reports PTI. Sowing of Kharif crops like paddy, which begins with the onset of the southwest monsoon from June, will get over by the end of this month. FLIGHT PLAN CLEAN TECH Feb 23 IN THE NEWS Kharif output may hit record 150 m tonne this year in New Delhi. The investment, part of the Series C financial round, has also been backed by CDC Group, Capria Ventures and existing investors Unitus Ventures and 3one4 Capital. ■ Page 4 New Delhi `44,722 cr *Including late payment surcharge and 'Change in Law' dues, At May-end. Other figures are of August-end AssociationofPowerProducers (APP) in its latest meeting with Unionpowerminister RKSingh held earlierin the month. Irregular payments against LPS led to the accumulation of these dues to rise to `24,722 croreinMay2021from`5,753 crore inAugust 2019. Continued on Page 12
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