QBiz: Air India Board to Discuss Asset Sale at July Meet & More
Top business stories of the day.
1. Air India Board to Discuss Asset Sale at July Meeting
Directors of Air India Ltd will meet early next month to discuss selling the airline’s properties across the country and transferring the non-operational assets to a government-approved special purpose vehicle (SPV), said two senior officials of the national carrier.
“We missed the target of ₹500 crore that was to be raised through the sale of land assets in FY19. During FY20, we have a similar target and we are hoping to achieve it this time," said one of the persons cited above, who requested anonymity.
2. National E-Commerce Policy After a Year
The wait for an e-commerce policy will get much longer now with the government setting a 12-month deadline for it.
After an e-commerce policy draft in February had drawn industry flak, the government was in the process of reviewing it.
While a comprehensive policy is expected around the middle of 2020, the government has made clear that there would be no changes in the foreign direct investment (FDI) rules in the sector.
3. DHFL Delays Payment on Outstanding Bonds for the Second Time
Mortgage lender Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) said it is yet to repay ₹225 crore out of the total ₹375 crore of commercial paper to a dozen investors.
In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, the company said it has repaid ₹150 crore so far.
This is the second time this month that the company has missed the repayment deadline on a set of outstanding bonds.
4. RBI’s Panel on MSMEs Bats for Rs 5,000 Cr Stressed Asset Fund
A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee has recommended doubling collateral-free loans for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), self-help groups, and borrowers falling under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana to Rs 20 lakh.
The eight-member expert panel, headed by former Securities and Exchange Board of India chairman UK Sinha, has also suggested creating a stressed asset fund of Rs 5,000 crore to protect the sector from distress caused by external circumstances.
The RBI had constituted the committee in January to review the current framework for MSMEs and suggest long-term solutions for their economic and financial sustainability.
5. Reliance Industries Raises $1.85 Billion in Long-Term Loan
Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. said it has signed pacts with overseas lenders to avail long-term loans of $1.85 billion (about Rs 12,900 crore) to finance its capital expenditure.
The fund raising comes amid reports of the company planning to infuse as much as Rs 20,000 crore into its telecom unit Jio to bolster broadband and e-commerce play ahead of a potential entry into 5G mobile telephony services in future.
"The company has entered into agreements with offshore lenders for availing long-term loans aggregating $1.85 billion, primarily for meeting a part of its planned capital expenditure, in the normal course of its business," the company said in a regulatory filing.
Without giving details of the loans such as tenure and the interest rate, it went on to say that
6. Kerala Tops NITI Aayog’s Health Index Again, UP Fares Worst
Kerala retained its spot as the healthiest state on the NITI Aayog’s state-wise healthcare rankings while Uttar Pradesh stood at the bottom.
Kerala was followed by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra in terms of overall performance in the health sector, according to a NITI Aayog’s report titled ‘Healthy States Progressive India: Report on Rank of States and UTs.
While Gujarat, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh stood at fourth, fifth and sixth spots, the report ranked Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand as the top three states in terms of incremental performance.
7. Govt, RBI Closely Monitoring Rupee Exchange Rate: Sitharaman
The government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are closely monitoring the rupee exchange rate against the dollar on an on-going basis, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tuesday.
The rupee has depreciated from Rs 60.50 to a dollar in 2013-14 to Rs 69.74 to a dollar in April-December of 2018-19, the minister said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
"The government and Reserve Bank of India are closely monitoring the emerging external position including exchange rate of the rupee on an on-going basis and are calibrating policies or regulations to support robust macroeconomic outcome," she said.
8. Govt Likely to Use Rs 3-Trillion RBI Windfall to Pay Regular Bills: Report
The Bimal Jalan committee report, which is delayed, will lead to transfer of under Rs 3 trillion of excess capital from the Reserve Bank to the government, which will most likely use the money for meeting regular expenses, says a report.
The money will come in over three years and is most likely used for regular government spending, Japanese brokerage Nomura said in report Tuesday.
The Bimal Jalan committee on the appropriate economic capital framework for RBI was formed last December, and has sought a third extension to present its report which will now be next month.
9. Madras HC Dismisses Cognizant's Plea over Rs 2,800 Cr Tax Demand
The Madras High Court (HC) has dismissed Cognizant Technology Solutions India’s (CTSIPL’s) petition challenging the recovery proceedings initiated by the income tax department for non-payment of Rs 2,800 crore in dividend distribution tax (DDT).
The court has dismissed another plea by Cognizant (Mauritius) and Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (US), against the department.
Justice K Kalyanasundaram directed the firm to approach the respective authorities for remedy.
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