Top headlines: Import curbs on Chinese goods, SC on loan moratorium, & more

The Department of Telecommunications is learnt to have directed state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) to exclude Chinese gearmakers from supplying 4G telecom equipment
From toys and plastic goods to sports items, and furniture - Chinese goods worth $127 billion - could be placed under restrictions. The government is learnt to have directed state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) to exclude Chinese gearmakers from supplying 4G telecom equipment. Here are the top headlines on Thursday morning:

Govt likely to fast-track import restrictions on 371 Chinese goods

The commerce ministry is fast-tracking measures to cut down on Chinese imports and the findings will be presented to the Prime Minister's Office soon. According to official sources, the government has been gearing up to place tighter restrictions on the import of 371 items — ranging from toys and plastic goods to sports items, and furniture — which worth $127 billion. “A large chunk of these originate in China and for those goods, we will pursue import substitution,” a senior official said. Read More...

Indian start-ups funded by Chinese investors hit Great Wall of uncertainty

Chinese investment in Indian start-ups is expected to face major hurdles as Sino-India tension escalates. With both countries locked in a stand-off, India is expected to increase the level of scrutiny of investments coming from China — both directly and indirectly. According to experts and industry insiders, this will have major impact on new investments by Chinese players in companies, such as Paytm, Ola, BigBasket, Byju’s, Dream11, MakeMyTrip, and Swiggy, when they go for follow-up funding. Read More...

Loan moratorium: SC sees 'no merit' in charging interest on unpaid interest

The Supreme Court has observed that there’s "no merit” in charging interest on unpaid interest for deferred loan payment instalments during the six-month Covid-19 moratorium period. The top court has, however, asked the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to firm up their views on the issue, while setting the next hearing for the first week of August. The court also asked Indian Banks Association (IBA) to see if new guidelines can be brought in force for the moratorium. The hearing, on a petition filed against charging of interest on loans during the moratorium period, had representation from the Centre/Finance Ministry, RBI, State Bank of India, and the IBA. Read More...

Franklin Templeton trustees call EGM to consider indemnity for directors

Franklin Templeton Trustee Services has called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Thursday. A resolution will be considered to grant indemnity to directors of the trustee company, in relation to any liability with the decision to wind up six debt schemes of the mutual fund (MF) arm. The notice for the EGM read, “… in accordance with the articles of association of FT Trustee Services (the company), the company shall indemnify all directors to the fullest extent permitted by such articles and applicable law, in connection with liability that any of them may incur in connection with the decision to wind up six debt schemes of FT MF…” It is also being proposed to widen the scope of indemnity. Read More...

Covid-19 impact: Sebi relaxes capital raising norms for listed companies

To tide over the liquidity crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has eased capital raising norms for listed companies. The markets regulator has amended the takeover code to allow promoters to acquire up to 10 per cent in a financial year without triggering an open offer. However, such an acquisition can be done only through the preferential issue of equity shares. In other words, promoters will have to infuse fresh capital into their company and not simply acquire shares from the secondary market. In the normal course, promoters are allowed to increase their stake by up to 5 per cent — referred to as creeping acquisition — in a financial year without having to make an open offer. Read More...

Telcos told to stop sourcing 4G telecom equipment from Chinese firms

The Department of Telecommunications is learnt to have directed state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) to exclude Chinese gearmakers from supplying 4G telecom equipment. Private telecom operators have been asked to consider staying away from such Chinese firms. The decision was taken during a meeting of the telecom department, late on Wednesday evening, sources said. It is learnt that BSNL and MTNL representatives were not part of the meeting, but have been informed about the decision. When contacted, the private operators said they were unaware of any such decision by the DoT. Read More...

Plan for Unlock 2.0, PM Modi tells CMs on the second day of interaction

Warning that as monsoon approaches, managing the Covid-19 pandemic could become harder, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said businesses and offices must prepare for the second phase of the lifting of restrictions and adhere scrupulously to social distancing to control the spread of the contagion. He said India’s health capacities had been augmented but needed to be strengthened further to defeat the infection. On the second day of the interaction with chief ministers (CMs) of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Odisha, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka, Modi said when the health crisis first hit India, the country was short of almost all equipment needed to fight the infection. Read More...

Radhakishan Damani looks to acquire controlling stake in India Cements

Radhakishan Damani, the Indian tycoon who built a fortune rolling out his supermarkets across the country, is considering acquiring a controlling stake in India Cements, according to people familiar with the matter. Damani, the owner of Avenue Supermarts, has informally reached out to the cement manufacturer’s controlling shareholder, N Srinivasan, to explore a takeover, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public. Srinivasan, who controls about 29 per cent of the Chennai-based cement maker, is also exploring other investors to ward off any hostile bids, the people said, adding Damani has promised a friendly change in management and isn’t seeking a hostile takeover. Read More...

FPI investments from China at Rs 3,257 cr, still behind other nations

Foreign portfolio investments from China in Indian equities stood at Rs 3,257 crore as on March 31. This is four times the amount of Rs 774 crore invested at the end of the previous quarter, data from PRIME Database shows. This includes investments where shareholding is greater than 1 per cent of the total share capital. The largest share of investment was in HDFC by the People’s Bank of China, to the tune of Rs 2,857 crore. So, actual investments from China could roughly be in the range of Rs 12,000-13,000 crore. Despite the increase, the overall investments still remain small. Read More...

DoT to launch dashboard to track national broadband progress targets

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is set to operationalise a central dashboard for tracking progress of all states and union territories on meeting of national broadband growth targets across key metrics, including data speeds, optic fibre rollouts, tower installations and their fiberisation amid an upsurge in internet consumption in the times of Covid. The matter will be discussed at a DoT meeting with IT secretaries of all states on Friday. The DoT is targeting a combination of 100% broadband connectivity in the villages, 55% fiberisation of mobile towers, average broadband speeds of 25 mbps and 30 lakh kms of optic fibre rollouts by December 2022. By December 2024, it is looking at 70% fiberisation of towers, average broadband speeds of 50 Mbps and 50 lakh kms of optic fibre rollouts at a pan-India level, according to government documents seen by Economic Times.


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel