OPINION, P6 NATION, P5 RAMEESH KAILASAM App stores’ payment lock-in mandates hurt start-ups INTERNATIONAL, P4 EDITORIAL GADKARI-SPEAK SECURITY DEAL Compensation-cess unlikely to get a longer term, but the Centre must support states for a couple of more years ‘Delhi-Mumbai e-way to fetch `1,000-1,500 cr in revenues per month’ UK to be 'hard-headed' in defending interests, says foreign minister CHENNAI/KOCHI, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 VOL XLIII NO. 115, 12 PAGES, `6.00 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD 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 IN THE NEWS Foreign tourists may be allowed to visit India soon AMID A decline in Covid cases, India may soon reopen its doors for foreign tourists for the first time in one-and-a-half years, officials said, reports PTI. First 5 lakh foreign tourists will be issued visas free of cost, in an attempt to revive the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors. A formal announcement on this may come within the next 10 days, a home ministry official said. Voda Idea claims to record peak 5G speed in trials VODAFONE IDEA on Sunday claimed to have recorded a peak speed of 3.7 gigabit per second (Gbps), highest by any operator, during 5G trials in Pune, reports PTI. It also claimed to have recorded 1.5 Gbps download speed in the mid-band spectrum in Gandhinagar and Pune. Seller registration: Amazon adds 3 more languages CAUTIOUS PUSH ● DALIT FACE Finance secy tempers stimulus expectations Current spending pledges exceed Budget by `2L cr; tax revenue to cross BE too, says Somanathan FE BUREAU New Delhi, September 19 THE CENTRE’S EXPENDITURE commitments have exceededthebudgetedlevelby about `2 lakh crore only half way through the fiscal, owing to the announcement of a raft of steps, including free grains to the poor, elevated fertiliser subsidy and clearance of dues to exporters,finance secretary TV Somanathan has said. The Centre had budgeted its FY22 expenditure at `34.83 lakh crore. AMAZON ON Sunday said sellers will now be able to register on the Amazon.in marketplace and manage their online business in three more languages — Malayalam, Telugu and Bengali, report PTI. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Chandigarh, September 19 The problem with stimulus in a vibrant democracy is that it is easier to start a spending programme than to stop it. It may lead to a situation where the government will spend even when there is no need to spend. —TV SOMANATHAN, FINANCE SECRETARY NREGA, food & fertiliser subsidy and capex will be fully funded; don’t want arrears in export benefits However, tax collections — both direct and indirect — will also cross the FY22 budgetary goals (`15.45 lakh crore), he said at the Idea Exchange programme of the Indian Express Group.The secretaryconceded that the government’s recent Capex growth is trailing budgeted target; any slowdown in capex pace isn't due to any curbs package for the crisis-ridden telecom sector could pressure its non-tax receipts this fiscal. Still, some analysts peg the extra revenue mop-up at `2 lakh crore in FY22. Continued on Page 2 Labour codes unlikely to be implemented this fiscal THE FOUR LABOUR codes are unlikelyto be implemented this fiscal in view of slow progress on drafting of rules by states and also forpolitical reasons such as the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh, a source told PTI.Once these laws are implemented,there would be reduction in the take-home pay of employees, and firms have to bear higher FE SPECIALS provident fund liability. “The ministry of labour is ready with the rules under the four labourcodes.Butthestateshavebeenslowin drafting and finalising those under new codes. Besides, the government is not keen...due to political reasons, which are mainly elections in Uttar Pradesh (due in February2022),”the source said. ■ Page 5 Direct selling quandary Why direct selling companies continue to be wary of e-commerce channels ■ eFE, P8 App development made simple Software providers are racing to offer platforms that let a layperson build apps with minimal or no coding ■ PERSONAL FINANCE, P9 Use your surplus money optimally As and when you have surplus money, prepay debts such as credit card dues, personal, vehicle and housing loans ■ INFRASTRUCTURE, P11 Pune aspires to be India’s top city Its draft development plan proposes to develop city sustainably over next 20 years, marrying liveability with economic growth ■ SCIENCE & TECH, P7 Heating and warming Almost a third of energy consumption goes into heating, a major source of GHG emissions QuickPicks IDBI Bank sale: Most merchant bankers give 1-year time frame MOST OF the merchant bankers who had submitted bids for facilitating the strategic sale of LICcontrolled IDBI Bank indicated a time frame of one year to complete the process, sources told PTI. During a presentation before the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, most eligible transaction advisers gave a time frame of 50-52 weeks. PAGE 5 Notice to remove directors: Dish TV seeks more time for AGM DIRECT-TO-HOME service provider Dish TV, which is facing a special notice from its shareholder Yes Bank to remove its managing director Jawahar Goel along with four other directors, has sought an extension of time for holding the annual general meeting (AGM) of the company, reports PTI. The AGM of Dish TV was scheduled to be held on September 27. THE CONGRESS PICKED Charanjit Singh Channi as the next chief minister of Punjab on Sunday, a day after AmarinderSingh resigned following a bitter power tussle in the party. Channi, 58, will be the first Dalit to hold the post in the state. AICC general secretary Harish Rawat said in a tweet,“Itgives me immense pleasure to Charanjit Singh Channi announce thatSh.#CharanjitSinghChanni has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress LegislaturePartyofPunjab”.Aminister in the outgoing Amarinder Singh Cabinet, Channi’s selectionassumessignificanceasthe dissension-rivenCongressfaces the Assembly polls in less than five months. “Theoath-takingceremony will take place at 11 am on Monday,” Channi said after meeting the governor later in the day. ‘Forced formalisation behind the surge in tax collections’ A ROBUST TAX collection in recent months has lent some credence to the notion that the expansion of the formal sector of the economy, which got a leg-up from demonetisation and the GST rollout, has gathered steam with the Covid-19 outbreak. Gross tax revenue in the first quarter of this fiscal shot up by an impressive 33% even over the same period in FY20 (before the pandemic struck).Instarkcontrast,nominal GDP in the June quarter grew only 2.4% from the prepandemic level. Industry executives in some of the labour-intensive sectors FE spoke to lamented that the formalisation may The pandemic has forced many small units to shut shop. So, their market share is captured by larger firms. Ideally, the informal should graduate to the formal level, but that's not happening here. —PRONAB SEN, FORMER CHAIRMAN, NSC have been a “forced” process, driven mostly by the Covidinduced extinction of several unorganised sector entities, rather than an organic one. This has led to greater consumer reliance on the formal sector, even though overall consumption demand remains sticky due to large- Gross tax revenue in Q1FY22 jumped 33% from the prepandemic level but nominal GDP grew only 2.4% Wealth redistribution in favour of the more privileged boosts I-T mop-up, as the tax regime is progressive It also boosts GST revenue, as more luxury goods are consumed, though broader consumption falls scale income losses. This seemingly-accelerated shift towards formalisation, coupled with cost-cutting by India Inc, have boosted the profitabilityoflargecompanies, leading to strong growth in the corporation tax collection. Continued on Page 2 Over 1 cr informal workers register on e-Shram portal OVER 1 CRORE unorganised workers have registeredthemselvesonthee-Shramportal, the labour ministry said on Sunday, reports PTI.More than 1 crore unorganised workers registered on the e-Shram portal, which is India’s first national database on unorganisedworkers,theministrysaidinastatement. Spectrum charges: DoT to abolish 3% floor rate Move to help telcos pay nil SUC on their entire spectrum holding in the long run KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, September 19 THE DEPARTMENT OF Telecommunications (DoT) will remove the floor rate of 3% of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for operators to pay their spectrum usage charge (SUC), a move which would in the long run make such payments zero for operators for their entire spectrum holding. THE NEXT STEP Telecom relief package has provided zero SUC for spectrum in future auctions Currently, Bharti, Vodafone Idea have a mix of administrative & auctioned spectrum ■ So they pay SUC based on weighted average formula which comes to 4.5-5% ■ Jio has the entire spectrum through auctions, so pays flat 3% “We will remove the 3% floor and progressively the SUC charges will continue to come down, effectively becoming zero in the long As quantum of auctioned spectrum rises, SUC rate declines, so a floor was fixed Removal of floor required as segregating revenues from different bands not possible as all used to provide similar services run as operators keep on buying more spectrum,” a DoT official said. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 DRAG ON GROWTH? BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK, RAJESH RAVI & NAYAN DAVE New Delhi/Kochi/Surat, September 19 ■ BRANDWAGON, P10 Charanjit Singh Channi to be next Punjab CM TELECOM REFORMS Thisisthefirst-everconcentratedsteptowards generating a comprehensive database of the unorganised workers from different sectors likeconstruction,apparelmanufacturing,fishing, gig and platform work, street vending, domestic work, agriculture and allied, transport sectorand so on. ■ Page 5 FESTIVE FRENZY A sea of devotees during the 'visarjan' procession of a 40-ft-tall Lord Ganesha idol, in Hyderabad on Sunday ● FARM LAWS SC panel member wants tribunal for disputes NANDA KASABE Pune, September 19 PROMINENTFARMERLEADER Anil Ghanwat, who is on an expert panel appointed by the SupremeCourtonthenewfarm laws, has suggested that a tribunal be set up to resolve any dispute between a farmerand a trader under the contentious laws,insteadofthe“flawed”provisionoflettingthebureaucracy sort out the issue.The tribunal, with sitting and retired judges, should focus only on such disputes, Ghanwat, leader of the Shetkari Sanghatana,said. Though he was non-committal onwhetherthisviewwas taken by the panel, such a proposal could address one of the main concerns of the farmers. ProtestingfarmersfromPunjab andHaryanahaveflayedthedispute settlement provisions underthe newlaws,saying they seek to replace role of judiciary withbureaucracy,amongothers. Continued on Page 2 PARING DEBT SP Group sells Eureka Forbes to Advent in `4,400-crore deal FE BUREAU Mumbai, September 19 THE SHAPOORJI PALLONJI Group on Sunday announced the sale of its consumer durables business under the Eureka Forbes label to American private equityfundAdvent International.Undera`4,400crore deal, the PE firm will acquire a controlling stake of 72.56% in the business, whichwillcomeunderastandalone company. The sale will help the 156-year-old Shapoorji Pallonji Group pare its debt, which currently stands at `10,900 crore, as it intends to focus on its core businesses of construction and real estate. According to the contours of the deal, Eureka Forbes will be demerged into a standalone companyand then will be listed on the BSE. Upon its listing, Advent will acquire the majority stake from SP Group, following which the PE firmwill make an open offer as per the Sebi takeover code. The valuation of `4,400 crore for a 72.56% stake is at an enterprise level and subject to closing adjustments, the SP Group said. Eureka Forbes, a whollyowned subsidiary of SP Group firm Forbes & Company, has presence inwaterpurification, vacuum cleaning and health and safety solutions space. Continued on Page 2 PLI BOOST Auto sector hiring to pick up pace with EV push; 1L jobs seen in a year SHUBHRATANDON Mumbai, September 19 WITHTHERECENTannouncement by the government of a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for new automotive technologies in the auto sector and several companies drawing up plans to foray into this emerging area,the electric vehicle (EV) segment is expected to register a boom in hiring.Someestimatessuggest there will be 1 lakh jobs on the horizon in the next one year. With companies like Ola Electric, Mahindra Electric, Tata Motors, TVS, Hero and 30-40% increase in hiring in EV sector over the last 1 year Momentum in EV segment to boost hiring for auto sector ■ Lack of production expansion plans limits hiring in traditional auto firms 1 lakh jobs on the cards over the next 1 year in the EV segment other automakers having aggressive launch pipelines, hiring forroles in research and development, supply chain, SHYAM KUMAR PRASAD HR,finance,sales and marketing is on the rise. Aditya Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services, told FE that hir- ■ Festive season launches to boost hiring at auto dealerships ing has gone up by 30-40% in the e-mobilityspace in the last one year.“It is not just the EV makers but also the connected ecosystem — battery and charging segments forthe EVs that is generating a lot of demand for manpower,” he said.According to Mishra,this pace of hiring in the EV segment will be sustained for at least the next two years. “Though the base is small for the electric vehicle segment compared with the overall auto sector,it maynot be as big in terms of absolute numbers, but definitely something positive, favourable and encouraging to report,”he said. KamalKaranth,co-founder, Xpheno,saidunliketechnology sector where demand is fungi- bleandgoesupcrazily,hiringin auto sector is little more resilient and not linear.“Auto companies typically hire from a long-term point of view, and since sales have been less over the last two years, the hiring momentumhasremainedsubdued. Even now, though the demand has increased, clear hiringdemandisontheEVsegment. Much of the hiring on the front-end side or even production is on the EVside.In the EVspacealonetherewill1lakh jobs on the horizon in the next one year,”he said. Continued on Page 2 CHENNAI/KOCHI
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