Episode 279

Business News at 09:30 am on 9th December 2022

Listen to the latest business and finance news by the Financial Express where today we talk about the Draft Digital India Bill, draft report on Competition Bill, PLI schemes, and Air India’s plan for a full makeover of cabin interiors. We also highlight the wealth generators in the period of 2017-22.

Today’s Latest Business News at 09:30 am on 9th December 2022.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

Let’s begin. The government will extend production-linked incentive schemes to more sectors, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. Delivering a speech at a CII event, Goyal said such schemes have found “good acceptance and traction” and have helped draw investments. The government has already rolled out 14 PLI schemes since 2020, which are estimated to lead to an incremental manufacturing of more than $500 billion over five years. The initial outlay for these programmes were to the tune of Rs 1.97 trillion over a five-year period. The schemes cover a broad range of sectors, including mobile & specified electronic components, pharma, telecom & networking products, auto and auto parts, food products, white goods, advance chemistry cell battery and textiles. However, the sector-wise allocation was later tweaked, based on re-assessed priorities, which generated some savings. Meanwhile, Reliance Industries and Adani Enterprises were the top wealth creators from 2017 to 2022, according to Motilal Oswal’s Annual Wealth Creation Study 2022. The report said that the technology sector was the largest wealth-generating sector during the five-year period under review. The study by MOFS, titled ‘Consistents & Volatiles: The Two Dimensions of Wealth Creation’, categorises companies into two classes — the ‘consistents’ that continuously outperform, and ‘volatiles’ that continuously underperform. Consistents are defined as firms whose annual profit after tax does not fall by over 10% more than thrice over a 15-year period (twice if the period is 10 years), with no fall in PAT being greater than 50%. The terminal year’s PAT should not be lower than the initial year’s PAT. Others fall into the volatile category. In some more industry news, Tata Group-owned Air India will give a full makeover to the cabin interiors of more than a third of its fleet starting with the long-haul Boeing planes, committing a spend of $400 million. This refurbishment will see the addition of ‘latest generation seats and best in-class inflight entertainment’, the airline said in a media release. The company, however, did not specify the source of the funding. The overhaul exercise will also see the introduction of a premium economy cabin on the B787-8 and the B777. Air India never had premium economy but offered first, business and economy classes. Vistara, which is set to merge into Air India, offers premium economy. Air India has engaged London-based product design companies JPA Design and TrendWorks to assist with the cabin interior design elements under this refurbishment programme. The two have produced design works for Taj Hotels and the Orient Express. Moving on. The government will release the draft Digital India bill for public consultation by the end of this month, minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Thursday. The Digital India Act will subsume the Information Technology Act 2020, which according to experts and government officials need a revamp owing to changing internet scenarios. Speaking at the CII Global Economic Policy Summit, Chandrasekhar said, “we expect both the bills (Digital Personal Data Protection bill and Digital India Bill) to be taken to parliament together”. The government plans to introduce the data protection bill in the upcoming Budget session. While the data protection bill lays rights and duties of the citizen and obligations for data fiduciaries to use collected data lawfully, the Digital India bill is expected to focus on openness of internet, safety, trust, and accountability as basic principles in detail. Speaking of bills, The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance is learnt to have adopted the draft report on the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022 on Thursday and it is expected to be tabled in Parliament in the coming days. The Standing Committee, chaired by Jayant Sinha, is learnt to have accepted the Rs 2,000 crore threshold for merger and acquisitions, beyond which they will require approval from the Competition Commission of India. The exact nuances of the recommendations are not clear. It is also learnt to have recommended that the Competition Commission of India should have at least one judicial member. In its meeting on Thursday, the panel was also briefed by the representatives of Department of Legal Affairs (Ministry of Law and Justice) on the provisions of the Bill. Lastly, One97 Communications, the parent entity of Paytm, has said in a filing to the stock exchanges that the company is considering a buyback of the fully paid-up equity shares. The board will take up the matter in a meeting on December 13. The management believes that given the prevailing liquidity/financial position of the company, a buyback is likely to benefit shareholders. Further, the outcome of the board meeting will be communicated to the stock exchanges, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the SEBI Listing Regulations, the company stated in the filing.

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Business News at 09:30 am on 9th December 2022