Business http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech.rss en Thu Oct 01 13:31:11 IST 2020 https://www.theweek.in/privacy-an-settlement.html print-money-if-needed-to-prevent-deprivation-at-bottom-of-pyramid-mahindra <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/print-money-if-needed-to-prevent-deprivation-at-bottom-of-pyramid-mahindra.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/india/images/2019/5/17/anand-mahindra-twitter.jpg" /> <p>Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra on Thursday cautioned that unless the government "loosens the purse strings to support those at the bottom of the pyramid" India is going to have social issues in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.<br> </p> <p>Speaking at the India Invest 2020 forum organised the Canada-India Business council, he said the sufferings of the people at the bottom of the pyramid due to the COVID-19 cannot be wished away even though the current economic recovery in terms of good "numbers from large companies, auto and tractor sales looks wonderful".<br> </p> <p>"... in an unforeseen once-in-a-lifetime occurrence like this, people's lives, their livelihood, their survival becomes important. If you have to print money, to use a crude word, the government is going to have to do it to prevent enormous deprivation," he said.<br> </p> <p>He further said due to the coronavirus induced lockdown, many social issues have cropped up and crime rates such as abuse of women in household as people being locked in have gone up. Also number of suicides are going up.<br> </p> <p>"Those things will have to be looked at. I am shifting my hat from being a business head to saying I worry unless the government loosens the purse strings to support those at the bottom at the pyramid we are going to have some social issues," Mahindra added.&nbsp;</p> <p>Stressing that people at the lower strata of the society have been the worst hit, he said daily wage earners working in small and medium enterprises have been impacted the most as those small firms cut jobs and consolidate supply sources.&nbsp;</p> <p>"There is enormous pain that is going to be felt around this. We cannot wish that away. The government needs to understand that, even though these figures of large companies, auto and tractor looks good and that's wonderful...," he added.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>Mahindra suggested "deficit financing" through local route if the government has budgetary constraints to support those who have been hit the most.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>He, however, said after one of the strictest lockdowns in the world India has seen good economic recovery and it can be seen in good tractor and automobile sales.<br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/print-money-if-needed-to-prevent-deprivation-at-bottom-of-pyramid-mahindra.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/print-money-if-needed-to-prevent-deprivation-at-bottom-of-pyramid-mahindra.html Thu Oct 08 22:49:33 IST 2020 trp-case-hansa-research-says-fir-filed-against-ex-employee <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/trp-case-hansa-research-says-fir-filed-against-ex-employee.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2019/October/TV-channels-broadcasters-broadcasting-television-shut.jpg" /> <p>After the Mumbai Police announced that they were investigating allegations that TRPs had been manipulated by three television channels including Republic TV, Hansa-Research has issued a statement.<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“This is with reference to the media reports regarding TRP ratings being manipulated. Hansa Research and BARC conducted an investigation into the matter over the last few weeks, the conclusion of which resulted in Hansa Research filing an FIR against an ex-employee who was engaged in some wrongdoing,” Hansa Research CEO Praveen Nijhara said in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Hansa Research has always been vigilant about these issues and has been proactive in informing BARC and the law enforcement agencies as and when such cases have come to our notice. We would continue to cooperate with BARC and with the authorities as and when called upon to do so,” Nijhara said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>TRP (television rating point) is a tool to judge which TV programmes and channels are viewed the most.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As per Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, the police allegedly busted a fake TRP racket involving Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema and Republic TV, wherein the accused asked households to continuously run some channels even when they were not being watched in exchange for a bribe. The police have arrested four persons so far including a former employee of Hansa Research.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) said it is committed to report a true picture of television viewership and welcomed the Mumbai Police's investigation into the case.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"As in all our previous cases of suspected panel homes intrusions, BARC India continues to follow its established vigilance and disciplinary guidelines...BARC India appreciates the efforts of the Mumbai Police and will provide the support asked of it," a BARC India spokesperson said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The body added that it remains "steadfastly true" to its purpose to accurately and faithfully report "what India watches".</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a statement, the city police said BARC functions under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and it has installed 30,000 barometers in homes to monitor TV consumption and come out with the TRP numbers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is based on these TRPs that marketers place advertisements and manipulation of the numbers may have resulted in losses, the police said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh told reporters that Republic TV channel, facing flak over its attack on the city police and Maharashtra government in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, was also involved in the "false TRP" racket.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Republic TV, in a statement, rubbished Singh's claims.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>With inputs from PTI</b></p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/trp-case-hansa-research-says-fir-filed-against-ex-employee.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/trp-case-hansa-research-says-fir-filed-against-ex-employee.html Thu Oct 08 22:36:28 IST 2020 amazon-drags-reliance-future-group-deal-to-international-arbitration-court <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/amazon-drags-reliance-future-group-deal-to-international-arbitration-court.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/biz-tech/images/2019/8/13/amazon-future.jpg" /> <p>Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) will soon become a battlefield for the world's richest man and Asia's richest individual. US online retailer Amazon.com, which has slapped a legal notice on Future Group against the latter's deal with Reliance, has now approached SIAC, claiming that the Kishore Biyani-led firm breached the contract under which the US online giant took an indirect stake in their retail business. Jeff Bezos-led Amazon demanded that Mukesh Ambani's RIL deal to acquire Future Group's retail assets should be called off, <i>Economic Times </i>reported.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SIAC, a non-profit body is an alternative method of dispute resolution arising from cross-border transactions involving foreign’ companies beyond the traditional forum of court. Amazon alleged that Future Group's Rs 24,713 crore asset sale to Reliance Industries violated an agreement with the e-commerce giant.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Amazon last year bought a 49 per cent stake in one of Future's unlisted firms, Future Coupons Ltd, with the right to buy into flagship Future Retail after a period between 3 and 10 years. Future Coupons owns a 7.3 per cent stake in Future Retail.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In August this year, Future reached an agreement to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units to Reliance. The deal is awaiting regulatory approvals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On Wednesday, it was reported that <a title="Amazon sends legal notice to Future Coupons over Reliance deal: Report" href="https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/07/amazon-sends-legal-notice-to-future-group-over-reliance-deal.html" target="_blank">Amazon has sent a legal notice to Future Coupon</a>, the promoter entity where it bought 49 per cent stake, claiming that the contract stipulated that Future cannot sell any shares to Reliance or any other competitor and that Amazon had the right of first refusal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Seattle-based retailer has raised objections to Future Coupons not seeking approval from it even when the US company had the first right for any stake sale. The agreement also had a clause restricting them from selling their shares to any third party or competitor without their consent. It also clearly mentioned Reliance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, according to various media reports citing sources, the Kishore Biyani-led group intends to settle this matter amicably, either through mediation or arbitration. The source also pointed out that Future Group had made an offer to Amazon, along with other potential buyers, and the deal with RIL was signed only after the e-commerce behemoth declined it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moreover, as per Amazon's contract with Future Coupons, the US entity has first right to invest in Future Retail after three years and before ten years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The deal with Amazon was also conditional based on the government's FDI policy permitting foreign multi-brand retailing firm. Given that there is no policy, they can't invest, the source said adding Amazon is raising this issue almost a month after the announcement of the deal with Reliance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Future Enterprises will subsequently sell by way of a slump sale the retail and wholesale business that includes key formats such as Big Bazaar, fbb, Foodhall, Easyday, Nilgiris, Central and Brand Factory to Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited (RRFLL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RRVL, a Future Group statement had said on August 29.</p> <p><br> <br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/amazon-drags-reliance-future-group-deal-to-international-arbitration-court.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/amazon-drags-reliance-future-group-deal-to-international-arbitration-court.html Thu Oct 08 16:53:18 IST 2020 combined-fy21-fiscal-deficit-of-centre-states-may-reach-14-warns-former-rbi-governor <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/combined-fy21-fiscal-deficit-of-centre-states-may-reach-14-warns-former-rbi-governor.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/biz-tech/images/2019/11/22/c-rangarajan.jpg" /> <p>The combined fiscal deficit of states and the Centre during the current year may go up to 14 per cent against the mandated level of six per cent, former Reserve Bank Governor C. Rangarajan said on Thursday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking at a programme organised by the ICFAI Business School in Hyderabad, the former Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister said banks should neither be timid nor adventurous while lending as the loans of today should not become NPAs of tomorrow.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"So therefore we are essentially talking about 13.8 per cent or 14 per cent of the GDP (gross domestic product) as the overall fiscal deficit of the states and the Centre. It is obvious this is twice the mandated level. The mandated level for both the Centre and state is 6 per cent of the GDP. It is twice or even more than twice of the estimated figure," he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to him, the fiscal deficit may further go if the government decides to go in for additional borrowings to meet GST compensation part. Rangarajan said RBI's monetary policy is "consistent" under the present circumstances and as a result banks have adequate liquidity for more lending.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He opined that governments need to spend more when the economy is in slump and it is essential to spend on healthcare, relief and rehabilitation and on stimulus to spur the economy. "There are three types of expenditure required. One- expenditure on healthcare second is the expenditure on relief and rehabilitation. Third is expenditure on stimulus. And it appears that the government both at the Centre and states are somewhat slow in increasing expenditures," he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He said the economic growth of the country and othernations has come to a grinding halt due to lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. However, he said capital flows into India was encouraging during the last three months.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/combined-fy21-fiscal-deficit-of-centre-states-may-reach-14-warns-former-rbi-governor.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/combined-fy21-fiscal-deficit-of-centre-states-may-reach-14-warns-former-rbi-governor.html Thu Oct 08 16:17:23 IST 2020 housing-office-market-sees-sharp-sequential-rebound-in-sept-quarter <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/housing-office-market-sees-sharp-sequential-rebound-in-sept-quarter.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/biz-tech/images/2019/6/27/real-estate-mumbai-amey.jpg" /> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent nationwide lockdown hit the economy hard. However, as India unlocks, many key indicators suggest that the economy is on the mend. Real estate is no exception and both the housing as well as the office market are seeing a strong sequential rebound in launches and sales.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Data from real estate consulting firm Knight Frank shows new home launches in the July-September quarter touched 31,106 units in India’s top eight cities, compared with 5,584 units launched in the April-June quarter; that’s a 457 per cent quarter-on-quarter jump.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While year-on-year launches were still down over 47 per cent, residential launches in the third quarter had touched 56 per cent of the pre-COVID levels (quarterly average of 2019).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“In the third quarter, there has been a significant improvement compared to the second quarter, which was actually a complete washout quarter. How close are we in terms of normalcy, then in terms of sales and launches, we are already at around 50 per cent of the pre-COVID levels,” said Rajani Sinha, chief economist and national director—research at Knight Frank India.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Residential sales also saw a sharp sequential improvement with sales touching 33,403 units in the September quarter, compared with just 9,632 units in June. The third quarter sales numbers are 54 per cent of the pre-COVID levels, according to Knight Frank.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The consulting firm’s data shows that five out of the eight cities had recovered more than half of the lost ground, in terms of sales, with Kolkata and Chennai showing 139 per cent and 73 per cent growth compared with the quarterly average in 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The residential market is currently in a “sweet spot” say analysts. Except Hyderabad and Bengaluru, prices in other top metros have corrected 2 per cent to 7 per cent. Furthermore, many developers are also offering attractive promotions and freebies to clear out their inventory. Also, home loan interest rates have fallen sharply. All this means, it could be an opportune time for people, especially those who had been waiting on the sidelines, to buy a house.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“A part of this demand revival is pent up demand, but as the economy starts unlocking further and economic activities resume further, we feel that this growth will be sustained, because going forward, people are going to get more confident about their future income streams,” Sinha added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Maharashtra last month announced a 300 basis points cut in stamp duty as a part of stimulus measures for the real estate sector. That seems to have had a big impact with Rs 9,000 crore worth home sales estimated to have been registered in Mumbai in September, compared with just Rs 3,500 crore in August and Rs 5,800 crore in September 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The data from Mumbai shows that other states should also follow up and announce similar stimulus measures to give a boost to the housing sector there, say Knight Frank officials.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The office market in India had seen strong demand before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. While the lockdown forced most offices to shift to a work-from-home environment, people have begun to go back to offices as the lockdowns ease across the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Office leasing across India’s top eight cities in the July-September quarter surged 80 per cent over the April-June quarter to 0.44 million square meters. New office completion during the same period jumped 126 per cent sequentially to 0.33 million square meters, data from Knight Frank showed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The total office transactions of the eight markets in the third quarter of 2020 have improved and reached 33 per cent of the 2019 quarterly average level. Chennai, National Capital Region, and Mumbai recorded higher recovery in the September quarter with transactions reaching the level of 57 per cent, 43 per cent, and 42 per cent respectively of the quarterly average of 2019.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“While work from home as a concept has proved to be an effective business continuity measure, we expect occupiers to look at office space usage more strategically. This will lead to further innovation in effective (ways) to include aspects like social distancing, health benefits, sustainability as well as preparedness for future contingencies. We expect the momentum of the transaction to accelerate in the near future,” said Sinha.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/housing-office-market-sees-sharp-sequential-rebound-in-sept-quarter.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/housing-office-market-sees-sharp-sequential-rebound-in-sept-quarter.html Thu Oct 08 16:02:16 IST 2020 life-insurance-segment-shows-rebound-as-premium-collections-normalise <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/life-insurance-segment-shows-rebound-as-premium-collections-normalise.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/biz-tech/images/2018/6/11/insurance-rep-file.jpg" /> <p>After hitting a rough patch in Q1 of the FY 2021, the life insurance segment in India is expected to rebound in Q2. Sharp declines have been observed in the overall premium collections during Q1 FY21, and the revival is expected by most insurers during Q2 FY21. Though companies are now familiarising themselves with the new normal, the traction in retail Annual Premium Equivalents (APE) still remains weak. With a decline in demand for unit linked insurance plans (ULIPs), a decline in the share of private life insurance companies is expected in Q2 of FY21. The overall insurance segment is expected to normalise towards Q4 of FY 21 as per a report by Emkay Global Financial Services.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Emkay Global report states that life insurance firms such as SBI Life and Max Life could surprise positively, while HDFC Life may see some deterioration. An analysis of the monthly insurance data by Emkay Global suggests relatively better growth momentum for SBI Life and Max Life, mainly supported by group insurance policies, whereas HDFC Life is expected to struggle on the growth front throughout the quarter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As per a report by the firm Motilal Oswal private players individual Weighted Received Premium (WRP) in the life insurance segment is back to normal with a 4.4 per cent year-over-year growth posted in September 2020. For LIC, there was a growth of 5 per cent YoY, and its market share increased to 44 per cent in the first half of FY21. The report observes that the life insurance industry also posted a growth of 4.1 per cent YoY verses 2.3 per cent YoY in August 2020. The overall life insurance industry, which has reported decline since the COVID-19 outbreak, has thus reverted to the positive trajectory for the first time since January 2020.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Motilal Oswal report further points out that HDFC Life reported robust growth of 43 per cent YoY, followed by Max Life with 16 per cent whereas SBI Life posted 4 per cent decline. The report highlights that on the other hand, mid-sized players reported healthy trends with Birla Sun Life, Tata AIA, Bajaj Allianz reporting YoY growth. Only Kotak Life saw a decline of 6 per cent YoY. LIC, however, continued to report a positive trend with a growth of 4.8 per cent YoY in individual WRP versus 2.1 per cent YoY in August 2020. Private players individual WRP market share expanded to 63 per cent for September 2020 in contrast to 57 per cent as of the first half of FY21.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The report further states that in the first half FY21, SBI Life with 11.7 per cent remained the largest private insurer in terms of individual WRP, followed by HDFC Life 9.9 per cent and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance 6.6 per cent. On an unweighted basis SBI Life was the largest private insurer with a market share of 7.2 per cent, followed by HDFC Life with 6.9 per cent and ICICI Prudential Life with 3.6 per cent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It needs to be observed that the business volumes of all the life insurance players in India were hit in Q1 of FY21 on account of the lockdown impact leading to reported declines in their total APE since March 2020. It has also been observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the importance of life insurance as a risk cover rather than a savings linked investment product and due to that there has been an increase in demand for protection from life insurers and is expected to gain momentum in the coming months. Protection products from life insurers has also gained in further momentum as they are simple products rather than market linked products and can be comfortably bought digitally. Such products also have an advantage of being compared and bought through digital channels, especially in a world with social distancing norms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This trend is expected to further drive the margin expansion of many of the life insurance players. It is expected that insurers may gain in market expansion through term-linked insurance products by increasing the pricing of such products and also by launching new products to neutralize the impact of the re-insurance hike.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/life-insurance-segment-shows-rebound-as-premium-collections-normalise.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/life-insurance-segment-shows-rebound-as-premium-collections-normalise.html Thu Oct 08 15:53:07 IST 2020 airlines-may-soon-be-permitted-to-operate-75-of-pre-covid-domestic-flights-puri <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/airlines-may-soon-be-permitted-to-operate-75-of-pre-covid-domestic-flights-puri.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/gallery/slideshow/2020/september/delhi-airport/1-Airport-social-distancing-unlock-empty-seats-Aayush.jpg" /> <p>Airlines may be permitted to operate maximum 75 per cent of their pre-COVID scheduled domestic flights if the passenger numbers continue to remain healthy during the next 7-10 days, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.</p> <p>The government on September 2 had said Indian airlines can operate up to 60 per cent of their pre-COVID services within the country.</p> <p>On June 26, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had allowed the airlines to operate a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.<br> </p> <p>The ministry had restarted domestic passenger services from May 25, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. However, the airlines were allowed to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights at that time.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>"Our internal thinking is that we will watch it for another week or 10 days....If the figures (of passengers travelling) continue to be healthy, we would open domestic civil aviation to 75 per cent of the pre-COVID levels," Puri said at a press conference on Thursday.<br> </p> <p>Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 23 due to the pandemic.<br> </p> <p>However, special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble pacts signed with various countries since July.&nbsp;<br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/airlines-may-soon-be-permitted-to-operate-75-of-pre-covid-domestic-flights-puri.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/airlines-may-soon-be-permitted-to-operate-75-of-pre-covid-domestic-flights-puri.html Thu Oct 08 18:20:18 IST 2020 mg-gloster-luxury-suv-launched-at-rs-2898-lakh-details-here <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/mg-gloster-luxury-suv-launched-at-rs-2898-lakh-details-here.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/biz-tech/images/2020/10/8/mg-gloster.jpg" /> <p>MG Motor India on Thursday launched its premium SUV Gloster at an inaugural price of Rs 28.98 lakh (ex-showroom). This is MG Motor's fourth offering in little over a year since the company made its India debut. At the introductory price range, MG Gloster has waged an open war on Endeavour from Ford and Toyota Fortuner.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is equipped with first level of autonomous driving features such as advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), adaptive cruise control (ACC), front collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW), blind spot detection (BSD) and automatic parking assistant (APA) which help driver of the vehicle during the driving journey.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It will be available in 4 feature-intensive variants in India—Super, Smart, Sharp and Savvy. The variations offer multiple combinations such as luxurious bucket seats (6-seater and 7-seater), Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) and Four -Wheel Drive (4WD), and two engine choices including Twin Turbocharged Diesel engine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We believe that Gloster will establish a new benchmark while combining matchless luxury, technology, and off-roading experience in its segment," said Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The MG Gloster also has MG i-SMART technology that includes features such as critical tyre pressure voice alert, Shortpedia App that gives short news summaries in English and Hindi, and anti-theft immobilisation via smartphone that remotely halts the engine ignition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"It comes with 3D maps from MapMyIndia which includes COVID testing centre locations in maps apart from various alerts like potholes and speed alerts.," the company said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition to these, Gloster customers will also get Apple Watch Connectivity and can operate their Gaana app with voice control, alongside personalized welcome and greeting messages, it added.&nbsp;</p> <p><br> <br> <br> <br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/mg-gloster-luxury-suv-launched-at-rs-2898-lakh-details-here.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/mg-gloster-luxury-suv-launched-at-rs-2898-lakh-details-here.html Thu Oct 08 13:46:58 IST 2020 indias-economic-situation-is-much-worse-than-ever-seen-before-world-bank <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/indias-economic-situation-is-much-worse-than-ever-seen-before-world-bank.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/biztech/2020/india-gdp-man-sleep-reu.jpg" /> <p>The World Bank on Thursday said India’s GDP is expected to contract by 9.6 per cent this fiscal which is reflective of the national lockdown and the income shock experienced by households and firms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the country's economic situation is “much worse” than ever seen before.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Washington-based global lender, in its latest South Asia Economic Focus report ahead of the annual meeting of the World bank and International Monetary Fund, forecasts a sharper than expected economic slump across the region, with regional growth expected to contract by 7.7 per cent in 2020, after topping six per cent annually in the past five years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“India’s GDP is expected to contract by 9.6 per cent in the fiscal year that started in March,” the World Bank said in the report released in Washington. Regional growth is projected to rebound to 4.5 per cent in 2021, it said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Factoring in population growth, however, income-per-capita in the region will remain 6 per cent below 2019 estimates, indicating that the expected rebound will not offset the lasting economic damage caused by the pandemic, it said. “The situation is much worse in India than we have ever seen before,” Hans Timmer, World Bank Chief Economist for South Asia told reporters during a conference call.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“It is an exceptional situation in India. A very dire outlook,” he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There was a 25 per cent decline in GDP in the second quarter of the year, which is the first quarter of the current fiscal year in India. In the report, the World bank said that the spread of the coronavirus and containment measures have severely disrupted supply and demand conditions in India.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With the intent to contain the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with effect from March 25, announced a nationwide complete lockdown that brought as much as 70 per cent of economic activity, investment, exports and discretionary consumption to a standstill. Only essential goods and services such as agriculture, mining, utility services, some financial and IT services and public services were allowed to operate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dubbed as the world's biggest lockdown, it shut a majority of the factories and businesses, suspended flights, stopped trains and restricted movement of vehicles and people.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the World Bank, monetary policy has been deployed aggressively and fiscal resources have been channeled to public health and social protection, but additional counter-cyclical measures will be needed, within a revised medium-term fiscal framework.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite measures to shield vulnerable households and firms, the trajectory of poverty reduction has slowed, if not reversed, it said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We have seen from the rapid survey that many people have lost their jobs,” Timmer said, adding that this is happening against a background when India's economy was already slowing down before the pandemic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;“We had seen a rise in non-performing loans. Those are all vulnerabilities that India has to deal with,” he said. Responding to a question, Timmer said what the Indian government has done with limited resources and limited fiscal space is very impressive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We have seen a loosening of monetary policy. You have seen attempts to increase credit to the private sector to help a company survive,” he said, adding that there have been big efforts in the health sector and expansion of a social safety net.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“But with every big crisis, I think, we have to realise that this will not go over anytime soon. And it will actually change the longer-term future also. What this reveals is really as good as federal policies, especially the policies related to the informal sector. There's a big problem that the informal sector has no coverage in social insurance. What we see now is that especially the informal workers in the middle of the income distribution have lost their jobs. There are no systems in place to support those people,” Timmer said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Responding to another question, Timmer said that as a result of COVID-19, the World Bank estimates that in one year, the number of people living below the poverty line has increased by 33 per cent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In its report, the World Bank said that the response of the government of India to the COVID-19 outbreak was swift and comprehensive. A strict lockdown was implemented to contain the health emergency.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To mitigate its impact on the poorest, it was complemented by social protection measures; to ensure that businesses could maintain their operations, the Reserve Bank of India and the government also provided liquidity and other regulatory support, it said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Nonetheless, there was a massive contraction in output and poor and vulnerable households experienced significant social hardships—specifically urban migrants and workers in the informal economy,” the bank said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After fiscal 2017, during which the economy grew at 8.3 per cent, growth decelerated in each subsequent year to 7.0, 6.1 and 4.2 per cent. This was on account of two mutually reinforcing dynamics: emerging weaknesses in non-bank financial companies (a major source of credit growth, making up for risk aversion from banks) and slowing private consumption growth, the bank added.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/indias-economic-situation-is-much-worse-than-ever-seen-before-world-bank.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/indias-economic-situation-is-much-worse-than-ever-seen-before-world-bank.html Thu Oct 08 13:10:01 IST 2020 jet-airways-lenders-select-kalrock-capital-murari-lal-jalan-as-new-owners-report <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/jet-airways-lenders-select-kalrock-capital-murari-lal-jalan-as-new-owners-report.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/biz-tech/images/2019/5/8/jet-airways-080519-reuters.jpg" /> <p>UK-based asset management company Kalrock Capital and UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan are likely to become the new owners of Jet Airways. Unconfirmed reports since Wednesday evening indicate that the lenders to Jet Airways have reportedly chosen Kalrock Capital and Jalan as the new owners of the bankrupt airline.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Reportedly, the consortium got the required percentage of votes—over 60 per cent—from Jet Airways lenders to come on top. It is up against the consortium led by Flight Simulation Technique Centre Pvt Ltd, Big Charter Pvt Ltd along with Imperial Capital Investments LLC (ICIL).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Our consortium was chosen by the committee of creditors in a meeting that concluded this evening,” Igor Starha, managing partner at Kalrock, was quoted in an <i>Economic Times </i>report.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The debt-ridden company had to wind up operations in April last year and became the first domestic airline to go into bankruptcy after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an insolvency plea filed by State Bank of India (SBI) on behalf of 26 lenders in June 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to earlier media reports, the offer made by Kalrock Capital was around Rs 475 crore in equity and NCDs in addition to approximately Rs 400 crore to meet the costs related to the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP). This includes the fees for the resolution professional and other costs to manage Jet Airways assets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The carrier owes banks Rs 8,000 crore and faces total claims of Rs 40,000 crore. October 21 is the deadline for Jet Airways' insolvency process to be completed.</p> <p><br> <br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/jet-airways-lenders-select-kalrock-capital-murari-lal-jalan-as-new-owners-report.html http://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/10/08/jet-airways-lenders-select-kalrock-capital-murari-lal-jalan-as-new-owners-report.html Thu Oct 08 12:03:36 IST 2020