Top headlines: Q1 earnings shrink, telcos await SC verdict on AGR and more

The combined profit before tax (PBT) of 748 companies, which have declared their results for Q1FY21, is down 46 per cent year-on-year (YoY).
Covid-19 impact: Earnings shrink as more firms post results for Q1

The exuberance of early bird results has given way to a sense of worry as more companies have declared their results for the April-June quarter (Q1FY21). The combined profit before tax (PBT) of 748 companies, which have declared their results for Q1FY21, is down 46 per cent year-on-year (YoY). Their net sales went down by a quarter as the Covid-19 lockdown led to a sharp fall in economic activity. The numbers are, however, far worse for manufacturers, who bore the brunt of the lockdown. The combined PBT of 632 companies, excluding banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), insurance and oil & gas, were down 91.4 per cent YoY while their net sales was down 25.2 per cent YoY during the quarter. Read More...

Auto firms brace up for the festive season with slew of new launches

Close to 12 models of cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), including facelifts, are likely to hit the road this festive season, which starts with Ganesh Chaturthi on August 22. While the festive season has always been important for cars and two-wheelers, this year is more crucial because it comes on the back of pent-up demand and pandemic-led disruption. Companies are hoping to make up for the loss of sales in previous months. But they are cautious. Intermittent, localised lockdown has been disrupting production. Read More...

Invoking self-reliant India, govt bans import of 101 defence items

Invoking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) initiative, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Sunday a phased, year-wise embargo on the import of 101 items of defence equipment. As an equipment type comes under the import embargo, the military will be required to buy it from Indian defence manufacturers. “This decision will offer great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture items on the negative list by using its own design and development capabilities or adopting the technologies designed and developed by the Defence R&D Organisation to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces,” tweeted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Read More...

81% SMEs confident of recovery post Covid, 57% have no cash reserve: Survey

Despite several businesses remaining closed during the lockdown, 81 per cent of micro-enterprises polled are confident of a recovery post Covid-19 whereas 57 per cent reported not having any cash reserves to survive, according to a survey. Initial results of a six-month survey that is underway by GAME (Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship) in association with LEAD at Krea University covering 1,500 micro-enterprises also reveal that 40 per cent tried to borrow money to cover expenses. However, only 14 per cent of the overall borrowing was from formal borrowing sources. Read More...

Airtel, Vodafone Idea await SC decision on staggered payment of AGR dues

The Supreme Court (SC) is expected to give its final verdict in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case on Monday. This will decide whether the telecom companies — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – will be allowed a relaxed payment structure for clearing the dues they owe to the Union government. Both the companies had sought 20 years to make their AGR payment to the government. Vodafone Idea has so far paid Rs 7,854 crore of its Rs 50,399 crore dues. The company had pleaded that it should be allowed to make the remaining payment in a staggered manner over 20 years as it was under tremendous financial stress and was also unable to pay salaries to its employees. Read More...

Don't want to launch Covid vaccine under pressure, says Bharat Biotech CMD

"The current pandemic is putting pressure on the company to come out with a vaccine quickly, but we cannot rush as safety and quality are paramount," said Krishna Ella, Chairman & MD, Bharat Biotech International. The Hyderabad-based pharma firm has completed phase-I clinical trials for its vaccine candidate against covid-19. "There is a tremendous pressure on us to develop the vaccine. But for us, safety and quality are paramount. We don't want to kill more people with the wrong vaccine," Ella said during an interaction with members of the Chennai International Centre on 'Covid-19 Endgame Scenarios' on Saturday. Read More...

India weighs options in debate on who gets first shot of Covid-19 vaccine

As the world races towards the coronavirus vaccine, the larger debate on who gets it first, how and for what price has also gathered pace, especially in the backdrop that unlike many rich countries that have invested and made advance payments for vaccine procurement and its development, no such move has yet been made by the Indian government. The Indian Council of Medical Research has said that the vaccine should be made available to the health workers first. Read More...

Coming soon: GST technological overhaul to ease compliance, plug leaks

Filing goods and services tax (GST) returns will be easier with technological changes set to be introduced over the next few months, while putting on hold the simplified return-filing system, which had been proposed earlier. Instead of completely changing the return forms, the effort is now to introduce, within the existing framework, changes in a staggered manner, so that taxpayers are not put out. Plugging tax evasion and preventing frauds in claiming input tax credit will come with the territory. Read More...

Defence minister Rajnath singh to launch 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Saptah' today

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will launch the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Saptah' on Monday, an official statement said. The event will be held at 3.30 pm, the defence minister's office tweeted on Sunday night. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) will be built which will be self-sufficient in terms of roti, kapda and makan as well as education and health," Singh said during an online event. He said the prime minister announced the creation of a new India in 2017 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Champaran Satyagraha. Read More...

Swiggy to join quick delivery race with InstaMart

Swiggy is preparing to launch a chain of virtual convenience stores to deliver grocery and household items within 45 minutes, sources told ET, a development that the food app delivery later confirmed. The launch of InstaMart comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has hastened consumer preference for doorstep deliveries, especially in metros, and as deep-pocketed entrants, including Flipkart Quick, as well as existing players Amazon, BigBasket and Dunzo have heightened focus on this category. The move has also come amid the entry of Reliance JioMart, which has expanded into 200 cities, a foray that is expected to give stiff competition to established players, according to The Economic Times.


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