BACK PAGE, P18 MARKETS, P11 INTERNATIONAL, P10 PERKS COVER NANNY PAY, CAB RIDES TIGHT SUPPLY EXPECTATIONS ALSO WANTS STARLINK Global banks expand maternity benefits to retain women in India Will oil hit $100 a barrel? It already did in some markets Erdogan meets Musk, bats for Tesla factory in Turkey KOLKATA, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2023 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL 32 NO. 273, 18 PAGES, `12.00 (NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN `12.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 67,596.88 ▼ 241.75 NIFTY: 20,133.30 ▼ 59.05 NIKKEI 225: 33,533.09 ▲ 364.99 HANG SENG: 17,930.55 ▼ 252.34 `/$: 83.27 ▼ 0.09 `/€: 88.87 ▼ 0.17 BRENT: $94.65 ▲ $0.72 GOLD: `59,095 ▲ `305 IN THE NEWS DIRECTTAX MOP-UP UP 23.5%, GROWTH TARGETAT 11.6% THE CENTRE'S DIRECT tax collections in April 1-September 16 stood at `8.65 trillion, 23.5% higher on year, reports Priyansh Verma. Direct tax receipts (before devolution to states) in FY24 are budgeted at `18.23 trillion, 11.6% higher than FY23 collections. ■ PAGE 3 JSW INFRA PLACES `2,000-CRORE BIDS FOR THREE PORTS JSW INFRASTRUCTURE, the ports business of Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group, has placed bids worth `2,000 crore to acquire three ports under the government’s privatisation move, reports Rajesh Kurup. ■ PAGE 6 STATES GET MORE TIME TO MEET CAPEX LOAN CONDITIONS Telecom Bill loses IBC, fee waiver provisions JATIN GROVER New Delhi, September 18 OVERLAP FEARS IN THE FACE of objections from the ministries of finance, corporate affairs, and commerce and industry, the department of telecommunications (DoT) has decided todropprovisionsrelatingtoinsolvencyof telecomoperatorsanddefaultsinpayment of licence fee,from the draftTelecom Bill. The ministries had said DoT cannot make laws on subjects which do not fall solely in its domain and have revenue implications for the government. A provision in the draft Bill had said thatintheeventofinsolvencyproceedings against a telecom service provider, the company needs to pay dues owed to the government,orelse spectrum assigned to it will be taken back. Though this has been DoT’s stated position,due to which the insolvency resolution of Aircel and Reliance Communications has been stuck in litigation since 2018, putting it in the form of a statute drew objections from the ministries of finance, corporate affairs and commerce and industry,sources said. make laws on subjects that are not solely in its domain & have revenue implications ■ Ministries said DoT cannot ■ One contentious issue was related to insolvency proceedings and taking back of spectrum ■ Earlier, I&B ministry had objected to inclusion of broadcasting, OTT services as telecom services HIGHER CRUDE COULD soon become a point of concern for top fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, as it will result in a spike in crude-linked derivatives, forcing them to consider price hikes to protect margins, reports Viveat Susan Pinto. ■ PAGE 6 FE S P E C I A L S Tata Steel: Improved outlook Recent developments to boost profitability & ESG considerations ■ INVESTOR, P9 has raised objections related to communication apps In the Aircel and Reliance Communications insolvency cases, DoT has raised objections to the transfer of spectrum to the successful resolution applicant until spectrumduesare cleared.Spectrumdues totalling `37,588 crore (Aircel: `12,389 crore and Rcomm: `25,199) are owed to the government. The DoT’s contention is that once the company defaults on spectrum payment, as per licence agreement, The WTO recently listed the EU’s carbon-tax measure as a ‘concern’, among other unilateral trade measures ■ EXPLAINER, P9 the government has the right to take it back from the defaulting company. Spectrum is not the property of the defaulting company, but is a leased asset. However, spectrum is also key to the functioning of a telecom services firm and if it is taken away, no resolution process can go ahead. Continued on Page 10 Adani probe panel faces conflict of interest claims PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, September 18 the Manmohan Singh government. He also took a swipe at the Opposition fornot thumping the desk for his “praise” of Nehru, saying despite the solemn mood, “politics comes in between”. From Tuesday,on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will start functioning from the triangle-shaped new building, described by Modi as the reflection of the aspirations and dreams of 140 crore Indians.The buildingwas inaugurated in May. “Todaywe have an opportunity to connect with the past. We are leaving this buildingwithhopeforthefuture.Iamconfident that aswe enterthe newParliament building, we will go there with new hope and confidence,” the Prime Minister said, initiating the discussion in Lok Sabha on ‘ParliamentaryJourneyof75yearsstarting from Samvidhan Sabha – Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings’ during the five-day special session. Continued on Page 11 Continued on Page 10 PTI PM bids adieu to old Parliament building LIZ MATHEW New Delhi, September 18 LEADINGTHE HOUSE in bidding farewell to the existing Parliament building before members move to the new building on Tuesday for its first session, Prime MinisterNarendraModitoldLokSabhaonMonday“weareleavingthisbuildingwithhope for the future”. In a speech in which he largely refrained from political attacks or criticism, the Prime Minister hailed the contributions made by Jawaharlal Nehru and other Prime Ministers, the collective efforts of every MP since Independence andtheevolutionofIndiandemocracy.He underlined that the common man’s faith in Parliament and democracy has increased over the years. Mentioning the names of most of his predecessors — he did not name Rajiv Gandhi — to appreciate their work, Modi, however, reminded the House that it had witnessed the cash-for-vote scam during NETFINANCIALSAVINGS of households fell to a nearly five-decade low of 5.1% of GDP in FY23,down from 7.2% in FY22,a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) bulletin said on Monday. The numbers suggest a severe income crunch and likely transience of the post-pandemic rise in consumption. Worryingly, annual financial liabilities of householdsrosesharplyby5.8%ofGDPcompared with 3.8% in FY22, indicating largerthan-usual resort to loans for consumption purposes,and purchase of real estate. The rate of increase in financial liabilities last fiscal was the second highest since Independence; only in FY07, the the flow was sharper (6.7%). In absolute terms, net household assets droppedsharplyfrom`22.8trillioninFY21,the pandemicyearwhichsawahugedropinspending, to `16.96 trillion in FY22, and further to `13.76 trillion in FY23. Household debt, in termsofthestockoffinancialliabilities,consequentlyremainedsharplyelevatedat37.6%of GDPin FY23,as against 36.9% in FY22. Falling or stagnant household and SME incomes,at a time of raging inflation,is probablythe main reason forthe subdued savings and higher borrowings. The latest RBI data on household assets and liabilities also raise worries about the immediate growth potential of the economy. The support to growth from private consumption may turn out to be weaker than anticipated, even as a private capex cycle appears to be delayed. Continued on Page 11 AN EXPERT COMMITTEE, set up by the Supreme Court to probe allegations againsttheAdanigroup,hasmemberswith potential conflict of interest, a fresh petitionfiledintheapexcourtonMondaysaid. The six-memberpanel,formed following allegations by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research, in an interim report in Mayfound no regulatoryfailure or signs of price manipulation in the rise and fall of the Adani Group’s stocks. This was a reprieve for the embattled conglomerate that lost close to $150 billion in market value following the Hindenburg report. Petitioner Anamika Jaiswal claimed that former State Bank of India chairman OP Bhatt, who is part of the expert committee, is conflicted as he is also the head of renewable energy firm Greenko,which hascommercialdealingswithAdanigroup. ThepetitioncitedGreenko’sMarch14, 2022, press statement announcing the supplyofupto1,000megawattsofrenewable electricity to Adani’s proposed industrial complex. It also cited news of a partnershipformedbetweenthetwoinDavos. “The above shows a clear conflict of interest of Mr OP Bhatt which... ought to have been pointed out by Mr Bhatt himself,”it said. The petitioner claimed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also examined Bhatt in March 2018 in a case of allegedwrongdoing in disbursing loans to former liquor baron, who is accused of defrauding banks, including SBI, of $1.2 billion. Bhatt was the chairman of SBI between 2006 and 2011 when a majority ofloanswereadvancedtoMallya’scompanies,the petitioner claimed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses Lok Sabha on Monday IN FREE FALL Household net financial savings (% GDP) 11.5 8.1 7.9 7.2 5.1 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23 Source: RBI Share of loans with higher interest up WITH A RISE IN benchmark policy rates, the share of loans below 8% interest rate has come down from 53% in March 2022 to 18% in June 2023, whereas share of loans with interest rate of over 10% has increased from 22% to 34% during the same period, the RBI’s monthly bulletin said on Monday. ■ Page 5 ■ MORE REPORTS ON PAGES 4, 5 New power plan: India to burn 38% more coal MANISH GUPTA New Delhi, September 18 GOING BY POWER minister RK Singh’s announcement that India will add another 25-30 giga watt (GW) thermal power on top of 49 GW coal-based units under construction, the country is set to burn 292 million tonne(MT)morecoalannuallyoncompletion of these projects. About 3.5-4 MT of coal is used to generate 1,000 mega watt (MW) power at 65%-75% plant load factor,which is the Indian average. Considering3.7MTcoalconsumptionforeach GW,thenewplanwillmeanthattotalcoalusage will increase38% from the current levels. As of March 2023, the country’s coalbasedpowergenerationcapacitywas212GW. It is set to reach 260 GW by 2030.If the additional 30 GW capacity announced is brought underconstruction,Indiawillhaveabout290 GW coal power by 2030. The 180 thermal power plants across the countryconsumed 777 MTof coal,including 55 MTimported coal,in FY23.This is likelyto go upto about1,069MTcoalifthe coalpower projects, which have five to seven years’ gestation,come up. The power minister’s announcement came as a surprise as less than aweek ago,the India-led G20declaration talked big on green energygoals.However,G20 had failed to set a timeline to end the use of fossil fuels, the biggest contributor to global warming. As for the commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate COAL-BASED POWER Coal-based capacity (GW) As on March 2023 Under construction Proposed Annual coal consumption (MT) 212 (in FY23) 777 49 181 25-30 111 Nationally determined contributions Target by 2030 Already achieved 50% 45% 44% 33% Non-fossil installed power capacity Emission intensity reduction from 2005 level by 2019 Sources: Central Electricity Authority, Press Information Bureau, Govt sources, FE calculations Change, India is well on its way to meet all of them, and has pledged bigger targets than someofthemoredevelopedcountrieslikeUS, Russia and China. Continued on Page 11 ENTERTAINMENT GIANT HOLDS PRIMARY TALKS FOR DEAL Reliance among potential suitors for Disney India assets BAIJU KALESH, PREETI SINGH & PR SANJAI September 18 The CBAM cloud on India’s exports to the EU FE BUREAU New Delhi, September 18 ■ Meity PSU BANKS RALLY ON HOPES OF BOND INCLUSION CRUDE OIL SPIKE WORRIES FMCG COMPANIES Liabilities increase at second fastest rate since Independence Relief measures to telcos on the lines of 2021 AGR moratorium had also drawn objections THE CENTRE WILL likely relax norms to help states utilise the last instalment of `33,000 crore from the `1 trillion untied interest-free capex loan facility, reports Prasanta Sahu. The relaxation is aimed to ensure that the states' spending capacity is not hit. ■ PAGE 4 ON A DAY WHEN the performance of benchmark indices was subdued, stateowned lenders were a bright spot, reports Siddhant Mishra. The Nifty PSU Bank index jumped 3.4% on Monday, on the back of reports that government bonds may be included in global bond indices. ■ PAGE 5 Household savings fall to nearly 50-year low MOVE FOLLOWS FINMIN, MCA OBJECTIONS WALT DISNEY HAS held preliminary talks with potential buyers for its India streaming and television business including billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, according to people familiar with the matter. The US entertainment giant has discussed a range of options with would-be suitors,from a deal for the entire Disney Star business to a piecemeal transaction that may include some combination of its assets including sports rights and regional streaming service GAME PLAN ■ Sale may include entire Disney Star business or combination of assets like sports rights and Hotstar ■ Disney has been weighing options such as an outright sale or a joint venture Disney+ Hotstar, the people said. Disney has been weighing strategic options for the business including an outright sale or setting up a joint venture,Bloomberg ■ Disney Star subscriber numbers have fallen after it lost IPL streaming rights to JioCinema ■ It has, however, secured TV rights for cricket through 2027 News reported in July after the Indian unit lost its streaming rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament to Viacom18 Media, a tie-up between ■ It has also agreed to license TV rights for ICC men’s matches to Zee for four years Paramount Global and Reliance. Disney had approached Reliance about potentially buying a stake in the business, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. Discussions are ongoing and may not lead to any deal, the people said,asking not to be identified as the information is private. Disney could decide to hold onto the assets for longer, they added. A representative for Disney declined to comment. A spokesperson for Reliance said the company “evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis” and will make the required disclosures when necessary, declining to comment further. Though Disney Star has seen declining subscriber numbers after losing the IPL streaming rights, it hasn’t ceded the entire cricket business,securing the tele- vision rights through 2027. Last year it agreed to license the TV rights for International Cricket Council men’s matches to ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.for four years, with Disney+ Hotstar retaining the digital rights. JioCinema, the streaming service backed by Reliance, netted a record 32 million concurrent viewers in May for the IPL final, which was free to watch on the platform. The venture has begun charging for some of the content on the platform after signing a multi-year pact to stream Warner Bros Discovery’s exclusive content in India. — BLOOMBERG Kolkata
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