OPINION, P6 COMPANIES, P4 ANWARUL HODA Expect modest outcomes from WTO’s upcoming ministerial INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL GROCERY LIST SHARE SALE GoM likely to propose GST rate hikes that prop up states’ finances; processes, too, must be made simpler BigBasket enters offline retail, plans to open 800 'Fresho' stores Elon Musk sells more than half the Tesla stock he vowed on Twitter CHANDIGARH, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOLUME XXI NO. 206, 18 PAGES, `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: 58,340.99 ▼ 323.34 NIFTY: 17,415.05 ▼ 88.30 NIKKEI 225: 29,302.66 ▼ 471.45 HANG SENG: 24,685.50 ▲ 33.92 `/$: 74.40 ▲ 0.03 `/€: 83.37 ▲ 0.42 BRENT: $82.21 ▼ $0.10 GOLD: `47,447 ▼ `222 LATE SELL-OFF IN THE NEWS India, US strike agreement on digital tax Markets tumble as auto, IT drag INDIAAND the US have agreed for a transitional approach on equalisation levy or digital tax on e-commerce supplies beginning April 1, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, reports PTI. AGENCIES Mumbai, November 24 ERASING EARLY GAINS, marketsendedloweronWednesday asauto,ITandconsumerstocks fell.AjitterybroaderAsianmarketalsodentedsentimentasoil prices remained volatile in the face of price-cooling moves by theUSandothercountries,and amid concerns the US Federal Reserve could speed up tapering of stimulus. Aftertradinginthegreenfor mostpartofthesession,Sensex settled323.34pointsor0.55% lower at 58,340.99 — marking its fifth decline in the last six days. Likewise, Nifty fell 88.30 points or 0.5% to end at 17,415.05.Therupee,however, recovered its initial losses and settled 2 paise up at 74.40 against the greenback on Wednesday as exporters’dollar sales helped offset elevated crudeoilprices.Attheinterbank Smartphones may become ‘universal authenticator’ THE UNIQUE Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is looking at using smartphones as "universal authenticator" to establish a resident's identity, a top official said on Wednesday, reports PTI. At present, fingerprints, iris and OTP are used for authentication. RBI slaps `2-cr penalty on Tata Comm arm THE RESERVE Bank of India has imposed penalties on Tata Communications Payment Solutions (TCPSL) and Appnit Technologies Private Limited (ATPL) for deficiencies in regulatory compliance, reports PTI. A penalty of `2 crore has been imposed on TCPSL and `54.93 lakh on ATPL, the central bank said in a statement on Wednesday. Nifty IT 35,627.95 35,500 59,000 58,839.32 58,400 58,100 57,800 Previous close : 58,664.33 Open Close forex market, the local unit openedonaweaknoteat74.53 against the US dollar and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.31 and a lowof 74.54. The Nifty IT index fell 1.52%,led by losses in Infosys, LarsenandToubroInfotechand MindTree, all down between 2.3% and 3.4%. Continued on Page 11 `/$ 74.25 34,966.25 58,340.99 58,700 Intra-day, Nov 24 Intra-day, Nov 24 35,800 SENSEX Intra-day, Nov 24 59,300 Inverted scale 74.40 74.32 74.39 35,200 74.46 34,900 34,600 74.53 Previous close: 35,504.40 Open Close 74.60 74.53 Open Previous close: 74.42 Close EYE ON POLLS Free ration scheme to stay through FY22 BUDGETARY COST Cabinet decision to cost exchequer `53,345 cr; move not to upset fiscal math, given savings, revenue jump FY21 PMGKAY (in ` lakh cr) 1.47 (May-Mar) 1.34 (Apr-Nov) PM Kisan FE BUREAU New Delhi, November 24 EVEN THOUGH THE Covid-19 pandemic seems abated at least for now,the Centre has decided to continue with the free ration scheme,Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), till the end of the current fiscal. It will require an additional `53,345croretorunthescheme through March,taking its total budgetarycostinFY22toaconsiderable`1.47lakhcrore. FY22 (in cr) 65,000 (BE) 61,912 *`44,093 crore spent in Apr-Nov Opposition parties have been demanding extension of the succour; elections in five states,including Uttar Pradesh, UttarakhandandPunjab,which are due in February-March,are alsobelievedtohaveweighedon the government’s mind. The PMGKAYwas first rolled out as a comprehensive relief package in March 2020“to reach out to the poorest of the poor” and “help them fight the battle against Covid-19”. Continued on Page 11 Cabinet approves Bill to repeal controversial farm laws THE UNION CABINET on Wednesday approved a Bill to repeal the three contentiousfarmlaws,whichtriggeredyear-long protests at Delhi borders by thousands of farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 19 announced the laws would be annulledinthewintersessionofParliament, reports fe Bureau in NewDelhi. The repeal of these three legislations has been one of the key demands of around 40 farmer unions protesting against these reforms,whiletheirotherkeydemandsinclude minimumsupportpricefortheircropsaslegal right.The Modi government had been firmly resisting the demand for withdrawal of the three reformistlaws. ■ Report on Page 2 $840-M FUNDRAISE Dream Sports valued at $8 bn SALMAN SH Bengaluru, November 24 DREAM SPORTS, THE parent company of fantasy gaming unicornDream11,onWednesdayannounced its largest-ever funding of $840 million led by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, Redbird Capital and Tiger Global. The current round also saw participation from existing investors such as TPG and Footpath Ventures, making it amongthelargestinvestments in India in the sports and gaming tech sector. Dream Sports, which also owns and operates multiple gaming and sports brands including Dream Capital,FanCode,Dream11,DreamSetGo, Dream Game Studios and DreamPay, was valued at $8 billion in the current round. The start-upwas earliervalued at $5 billionwhen it last raised GAME ON ■ The start-up was earlier valued at the latest round include Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, Redbird Capital and Tiger Global when it last raised $400 million in a funding round in March ■ Investors in $5 billion ■ Dream Sports owns brands such as Dream Capital, FanCode, Dream11, DreamSetGo, Dream Game Studios and DreamPay $400 million in a funding round in March. Continued on Page 11 Govt may allow some crypto trading THE CENTRE IS considering aproposaltotreatcryptocurrencies as a financial asset while safeguarding small investors,accordingtopeople familiar with the matter, reports Bloomberg.The discussions come as authorities racetofinaliseabilltobepresented in Parliament in the session starting November 29.Thelegislationmaystipulate a minimum amount for investmentsindigitalcurrencies,while banning their use as legal tender. CHARGING AHEAD Special Feature Lava Agni 5G: This phone will keep you happy for a long time Lava Agni 5G is a good-looking, nice-feeling phone with latest specs and fast performance. Available for `19,999, this designed and made in India phone can give its overseas rivals a run for their money ■ Gadgets, P7 QuickPicks People hoarded less cash during second Covid-19 wave PEOPLE SEEM to have hoarded less cash during the more severe second Covid wave than the first one, as the growth in the currency in circulation (CIC) has started slowing down this fiscal after a spurt in FY21, reports Banikinkar Pattanayak in New Delhi. Analysts attributed the surge in cash hoardings/precautionary savings in the wake of the first wave to heightened uncertainties around medical expenditure and income losses, triggered by several “unknown unknowns”. But by the time the second wave hit the country, the level of uncertainties had eased, as people were more or less anticipating it. PAGE 2 Paytm rallies for second day, market cap crosses `1 lakh cr SHARES OF Paytm's parent company One97 Communications continued to rally for the second consecutive day on Wednesday and further jumped over 17%, reports PTI. Paytm, a digital payments and financial services platform, has made a comeback in the stock market as it crossed the `1,700 mark in Wednesday morning trade. The stock zoomed 17.27% to close at `1,753.15 on the BSE. During the day, the stock jumped 19.73% to `1,790. On the NSE, it gained 17.28% to close at `1,753. With the rally, the company's market valuation also went past `1-lakh-crore mark on the BSE. PAGE 9 Hero Electric reports bumper festive sales PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, November 24 HERO ELECTRIC ON Wednesday reported an over twofold jump in festive season retail sales at 24,000 units during October 1 to November 15. It hadclocked11,339unitsinthe sameperiodayearago,thecompanysaid in a statement. The recent amendment in FAME II policy (faster adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles in India),which offers increasedupfrontincentivesfor electrictwo-wheelersandrising fuel prices has propelled the demand for electric vehicles resulting in heightened demand,the companysaid. Commenting on the sales performance,HeroElectricCEO Sohinder Gill said,“We saw two clear indicators in our showrooms this festive season.Asignificant percentage of customers chose Hero E bikes over petrol bikes and many factored "...A significant percentage of customers chose Hero E bikes over petrol bikes and many factored in environment and sustainability in their purchase. This is a good indicator for Hero and the E2W industry to step into exponential growth." —SOHINDER GILL, CEO, HERO ELECTRIC environmentandsustainability as influencing factors in their purchase.This is a good indicatorforHeroandtheE2Windustry to step into exponential growth and bring around an EV revolution thatwill help reduce airpollution,he added. Star Health looks to raise `7K cr from IPO STAR HEALTH AND Allied Insurance Company,backed byace investorRakesh Jhunjhunwala, will open its IPO on November 30 and the issue will close for subscription on December 2,reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Thefirmproposestoraise `7,249 crore and the price band for the IPO has been fixed at `870-900 apiece. StarHealth’spublicofferwill be the third-largest in 2021 after Paytm and Zomato. ■ Report on Page 9 TRENDING NOW BNPL here to stay if risks reined in INDIA'S BNPL OR Buy Now Pay Later market is estimated at $3-3.5 billion today but could potentiallygrowto $4550 billion by 2026, according to consultancy firm RedSeer. The firm also estimates that the number of BNPL users in the country may touch 80-100 million by 2026 from the 10-15 million estimated currently. Fintechshavebeendisrupt- ■ BNPLproducts are turning out to be the first exposure to credit for customers in the age group of 18-25. ■ BNPLproducts like Simpl, LazyPay, PostPe and others have an average transaction size ofjust between `300-600 ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE SALMAN SH Bengaluru, November 24 with zero interest charges ■ BNPLservices depend on alternative customer and transaction data to underwrite users rather than depending only on credit bureau scores ing consumer lending in ways that private banks usually stayed away from. Traditionallyconsumerloans are largely focused on three use cases — personal loans, home loans andsalaryoverdrafts—offered by banks. A new breed of fintech-based lenders are now taking this a step further by offering credit forsmall-ticket purchases like online grocery and food delivery,and other ecommerce categories. Continued on Page 11 Chandigarh
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