OPINION, P6 COMPANIES, P4 SIDDHARTH PAI Entrepreneurs looking to monetise Git-platform code-respositories INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL COMBATTING COVID JANUARY EXIT Make railways PPP meaningful; Indian Railways having a say in everything will discourage pvt players India close to turning the pandemic tide, says Adar Poonawalla IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath to quit, return to Harvard AHMEDABAD, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOLUME XVI 121, 18 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: 61,259.96 ▼ 456.09 NIFTY: 18,266.60 ▼ 152.15 NIKKEI 225: 29,255.55 ▲ 40.03 HANG SENG: 26,136.02 ▲ 348.81 `/$: 74.88 ▲ 0.47 `/€: 87.05 ▲ 0.22 BRENT: $84.26 ▼ $0.82 GOLD: `47,363 ▼ `25 LITTLE PROGRESS ARBITRATION PANEL NTPC threatens to end pact with Tata Power over delays Says company hasn’t Missing deadlines initiated any activity No significant progress seen regarding in 8 months despite land acquisition regular follow-ups Rejects FRL’s stand that Amazon’s contract was with FCPL and so cannot be invoked in case of deal with RIL Only 3 RBI fines Paytm Payments Bank, Western Union THE RESERVE Bank of India has imposed a penalty of `1 crore on Paytm Payments Bank (PPBL) and `27.78 lakh on Western Union Financial Services for non-compliance with certain directions, reports PTI. Special Features ‘We aim to be a 100% digitally-ready workforce’ The digital transformation journey of clients around the world consists of recasting their business across infrastructure (both IT/OT), data and digital talent, says GlobalLogic’s Sumit Sood ■ eFE, P7 Foxin Foxpods F9 & C5: Good sound quality & battery life These two pocket-friendly but premium looking earbuds are beautifully designed and balanced, and do a fine job in producing quality sound and music. Perfect for calling, music, gaming & sports ■ Gadgets, P7 QuickPicks Jio gains 6.49 lakh mobile users in August,Airtel adds 1.38 lakh RELIANCE JIO continued to add maximum wireless subscribers among mobile firms for seven straight months, but the momentum slowed down in August, reports Kiran Rathee in New Delhi. It added 6.49 lakh users during the month, or about 0.65 million, against 6.52 million in July. Bharti Airtel also saw decline in additions, adding 1.38 lakh subscribers in August against 1.94 million in July. Vodafone Idea continued its losing spree, though the rate has declined. PAGE 4 WTO meet: Fishery subsidy, patent waiver to fight Covid on agenda THE NEXT ministerial of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will likely consider a raft of critical issues such as fishery subsidies, WTO reforms, public procurement programmes for food security and the multilateral body’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, including the fate of a patent waiver proposal floated by India and South Africa to better fight the pandemic, an official source said on Wednesday, reports Banikinkar Pattanayak in New Delhi. PAGE 2 RK Singh: Developed world should help ISA provide clean energy access CALLING UPON developed economies to invest in corpus fund of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Union power minister RK Singh said on Wednesday “it is incumbent upon the entire developed world to enable the ISA provide energy access in a clean manner,” adding that “if we don’t do this, then the development will take up the fossil fuel route”, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The minister was addressing the fourth general assembly of ISA. PAGE 2 NTPC has no “reasonable assurance” of timely completion Contract to be terminated ifTata doesn’t firm up recovery plan INDU BHAN New Delhi, October 20 INWHATCAN be seen as a setback for Future Retail (FRL), the Singapore arbitration tribunal on Wednesday rejected its contention that it be excluded from the ongoing commercialdisputewithAmazon Inc with regard to its `24,713-crore merger deal with Reliance Retail. This stance of the arbitration panel further bolsters Singapore tribunal has now said all agreements linked and it has jurisdiction to hear the matter In Feb 2021, Delhi HC single judge upheld EA's award & directed FRL to maintain status quo Amazon’s stand that FRL violated contractual agreement by signing a merger deal with RelianceRetail.Onitspart,FRL has been opposing this stand of Amazon stating that it did not commit any wrong as Amazon’s contract was not with FRL but with group firm Future Coupons (FCPL). Continued on Page 2 Mid & smallcap indices slide after sharp run-up since 2020 Whilethecontractstatesthat 50% of land for the project should be transferred to NREL withinMay,andthebalanceland by September,the sources said Tata Power Solar has not transferredanylandtoNRELtilldate. Continued on Page 2 THE NIFTYMidcap and Smallcap indices continued to slide for the second consecutive day onprofitbookingasvaluationssoared,reports feBureauinMumbai.TheNiftyMidcapiscurrently trading at 25.5x its one-year forward earnings,which is awhopping 35% premium to its five-year average.This is lower than the recordvaluationof29.3xseeninAugust2020, Bloomberg data showed. Both these indices, whichyieldednegativereturnsfortwoconsecutive years before 2020, have bounced back smartlysincethenwitheachgaining84%and 92%, respectively. In contrast, Nifty50 and Sensexhavegained50.1%and48.5%,respectively,during the sameperiod. ■ Detailed report on Page 9 Voda Idea accepts 4-yr moratorium on spectrum payments Says will decide on AGR and payment of interest via equity within time frame provided by govt FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 20 VODAFONE IDEAON Wednesday informed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) of its acceptance of the fouryear moratorium for payment of its spectrum dues. Thecompanyisthefirsttelecom operator to have sent its acceptancetotheDoTfollowing the government’s revival packageforthesectorwhichinvolves deferring the payment of spectrum instalments with the net presentvalue intact. Vodafone Idea said the company's board will consider the otheroptions in the revival package such as deferring the payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues fora period of four years and offering equity to the government in lieu of interest accrued, and confirm its acceptance within the stipulated time frame. The company has time till IMPROVED SPENDS SHRITAMA BOSE Mumbai, October 20 PhonePe said offline merchant payments grew faster than online merchant payments at 65% q-o-q inJul-Sep ■ Overall deferred amount over 4-year period to be `92,000 crore ■ Can also fund annual licence fee & spectrum usage charges of `4,000 crore at MCLR+2% now without any penalty October29toconfirmtheAGR paymentmoratorium and further 90 days for confirming payment of interest accrued by way of offering equity to the government. Continued on Page 2 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, October 20 The number ofQR-enabled storefronts has risen by 22-23%, said PayNearby Offline transactions grew due to improved sentiment and easing ofmobility restrictions ■ Low cost of offering QRs also pushing offline merchant transactions nearly four out of five merchant payments are now offline payment transactions,” PhonePe said in the report. Continued on Page 11 NARCL: First set of NPA transfers likely by Jan THENATIONALAssetReconstruction Company (NARCL), or the so-called bad bank, is expectedtowitnessthetransfer of the first batch of toxic assets worth about `90,000 crore by January 2022,banking sources said, reports annual cash flow relief if it accepts both AGR & spectrum moratorium BSNL set to offer in-flight connectivity in India with Inmarsat Offline merchant transactions surge OFFLINE MERCHANTTRANSACTIONS, driven by storefront quick response (QR) codes, grew faster than online merchant transactions during the quarter ended September, according to a report by PhonePe. Industry players attributed the pick-up in offline digital transactions to the pandemic-era habit of minimising cash usage as also the unlocking of businesses after the second Covid-19 wave receded. In its report on digital payment trends in July-September, PhonePe said that offline merchant payments — such as paying at kiranas in store — grew faster than online merchantpaymentsatasequential rate of 65%.“In a clear indicatorof recoverypost the second wave of the pandemic, and stores rapidly opening up, VIL to get `23,000-cr ● ON BOARD Banikinkar Pattanayak in New Delhi. Earlier this month, NARCL got RBI licence to start operations.“It isintheprocessofformingits board. Large stressed assets havealreadybeenidentified,” a top bankersaid. ■ Page 2 TO THE RESCUE Stranded tourists are evacuated by personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from a landslide-affected area in Khairna, following heavy rains, in Nainital, Uttarakhand EPFO subscribers FE BUREAU Smart recovery since June bears out rise in jobs While there had been a near 13% rise in net addition to EPFO’s subscriber base in August against the July number, new subscribers (potentially new jobs) fell by almost 4% on month. September numbers, scheduled to be out on November 20, may show a better picture as unemployment rate fell to 6.86% during the month against 8.32% in August, according to CMIE. EPFO payroll (in 2021) April Source: EPFO New subscribers May June July Members exited August 10,88,726 7,43,045 9,03,335 1,03,3832 9,54,565 FULLYVACCINATED travellers coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance ofWHO-approved Covid vaccines need not undergo home quarantine and testing from October 25, revised guidelines for international arrivals state, reports PTI. But they will have to give a negative RT-PCR report. project scheduled to be completed byAugust 2023 7,52,818 6,71,994 3,92,518 STATE-RUN NTPC has threatened to terminate the contract withTata PowerSolarfora 320 megawatt (MW) project at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, alleging lack of significant progress on the site eight months after the agreement was signed. NTPCisamajorclientofTata Power Solar with a significant portfolio of EPC projects from the CPSE ongoing at sites in Gujarat,Kerala andelsewhere. According to sources, in a notice to the contractor,NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd (NREL) — the developer of the project — said it does not have “reasonable assurance” that the project“can attain completion of the facilities by the scheduled time”.As per the contract, Tata Power Solar is required to complete the project worth around`1,200crorewithin17 months from when the contract was signed. 320 MW Future contended Amazon misusing interim order passed by SIAC Future Retail said it wasn't party to agreement under which Amazon.com Inc invoked arbitration proceedings 10,34,488 7,79,697 ANUPAM CHATTERJEE New Delhi, October 20 out of 178 engineering drawings submitted In Oct 2020, Singapore tribunal's emergency arbitrator restrained Future Retail from going ahead with its deal with Reliance Retail 7,84,977 6,36,421 8,69,086 9,53,198 9,18,871 Govt revises norms for international passengers CONTOURS OFTHE DISPUTE Members rejoined Net addition INMARSAT ON Wednesday said its strategic partner BSNL has secured necessary licences todeliveritsGlobalXpress(GX) mobile broadband services in India,thatwouldenableIndian domestic airlines and international airlines flying over the country to provide high-speed in-flight connectivity. Under BSNL’s Inflight and Maritime Connectivity(IFMC) licence from the telecom department, GX will be available to Indian customers across government, aviation andmaritime,Inmarsatsaidin a statement. The announcement assumes significance as it means that India’s airlines will be able to deploy GX for in-flight connectivity within Indiaandacrosstheworld,while India’s commercial maritime companies will be able to enhance significantly the digitalisation of their vessels for more effective ship operations andcrewwelfare services. According to the statement, state-owned BSNL’s licencewill alsoseetheGXserviceofferedto government and otherusers. Continued on Page 11 ● INTERVIEW: SANJAY GUPTA, country head & vice-president, Google India ‘We are giving minors more control to request removing their images’ As per its latest YouTube transparency report,inAugust Google received 35,191 complaints fromusersacrossIndia.Basedon this,93,550 pieces of content or information were removed.Further, 6,51,933 pieces of content were removed post automatic detectionthroughartificialintelligence(AI)andmachinelearning (ML).Overtheyears,thetechfirm seemstohaverampedupitsability to detectfraudulent and abusive content. Sanjay Gupta, countryheadandvice-president, Google India tells FE Online’s Anushree Bhattacharyya cookies will end as a step to ensure that users’ safety comes first.Edited excerpts: What steps are you taking to ensure safety and privacy for users especially across products like YouTube? Firstly,thecontrolmustbewith users in terms of what they do and as a result what shows up. Wearegivingminorsmorecontrol by enabling anyone under the age of 18,or their parent or guardian,to request removal of ❝ "We’re expanding safeguards to prevent agesensitive ad categories from being shown to teens and blocking ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under the age of 18 years...Brands need to start building their own infrastructure around first-party data which is privacy-safe." ❝ ❝ INDIA, THE world's thirdlargest energy consumer and importer, on Wednesday warned of high oil prices hurting the nascent and fragile global economic recovery and floated an idea of long-term supply contracts that provide predictable and stable pricing, reports PTI. ‘Future Retail party to dispute with Amazon’ SPEED DIAL 8,39,215 5,99,769 10,19,603 13,15,036 14,80,918 IN THE NEWS High oil prices may hit global economic recovery: India theirimagesfromGoogleimage results. On YouTube, we’re defaultingtheuploadsettingto the most private option availableforusersbetweentheageof 13-17years;we have turned on SafeSearch for existing users undertheageof18yearsandare making this the default setting for teens setting up new accounts.Secondly,we have inbuilt security checks in everythingsuchasemails,inthecontent on a phone with Android andChrome.Wearelaunchinga new safety section on Google Play for apps that follow our Families policy, and making it easier for administrators to tailor experiences for their users based on age using Google Workspace for Education.The thirdareaistoenableremovalof harmful content. We issue a transparencyreport on content on the Internet, this includes platforms like YouTube besides user complaints among others. Wehavebeefedupourresponse time to act on a complaint. Continued on Page 11 Ahmedabad
The Financial Express (FE) is a business paper that’s closest to the people who are in the business of business. From business policies to market trends to new developments, The Financial Express comes packed with incisive news on every relevant issue.