Top headlines: Tata may sell JLR, UK steel biz, CBDT undergoing facelift

Topics Tata Steel UK | JLR UK Plant | CBDT

Tata Motors said with the European operations of both companies bleeding the finances of their parent companies, the group would have to come up with a solution soon
Tata may sell stake in JLR, UK steel plant as talks with British govt fail

With Tata Group’s talks with the British government on a financial rescue package failing, the conglomerate has to look for a strategic partner for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and sell its UK steel plant lock, stock, and barrel. A former director of Tata Steel and Tata Motors said with the European operations of both companies bleeding the finances of their parent companies, the group would have to come up with a solution soon. “I will not rule out a stake sale in JLR and selling the UK steel operations. Talks with ThyssenKrupp on the merger of Tata Steel’s European operations are taking a lot of time, which is bad news,” he said. Read More...

CBDT undergoing significant restructuring for faceless assessment

The income tax department is undergoing a complete restructuring exercise with regional e-assessment centres (ReAC) set up across 20 cities, apart from the national centre in Delhi. Some 4,224 officers have been diverted to the faceless assessment unit, leaving about 2,000 officers in the residual jurisdiction, which will no longer carry out any assessment exercise. Detailed guidelines have been issued on reallocation of roles and functions to do away with physical interface between the taxpayer and the tax authorities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the faceless assessment scheme, which eliminates territorial jurisdiction and substitutes individual discretion with team-based assessment, with the aim of bringing in transparency and objectivity to the process. Read More...

Covid-19 drug sales shine even as domestic pharma market slows down

Even as the domestic pharma market grows at a slow pace due to lower fresh prescription generation, the Covid-19 drug portfolio of major players here has seen a sharp rise. Take for instance, the new rage favipiravir, an oral antiviral from Japan first launched by Glenmark in India under its brand Fabiflu. Within a month or so, around a dozen brands have crowded the market. Data from market research firm AIOCD AWACS shows that FabiFlu sales have grown by 62 per cent in July. It was launched in June. This drug is being used by doctors for mild to moderate Covid patients even if they are in home isolation. Read More...

Private train operators allowed to choose halt stations: Indian Railways

Private operators who will be handed over 150 trains to ply on 109 routes by the Railways will have the freedom to choose halt stations of the trains they operate, documents released by the national transporter have shown. However, the private operators have to submit in advance to the Railways the list of such intermediate stations on the trains' paths where they are proposing halts in advance. The private operators also have to provide the time in and time out at the intermediate railway stations, which shall form part of the train operation plan. This has to be submitted in advance and will be in place for at least a year, after which it can be revised, a draft of the Concession Agreement has said. Read More...

Looking overseas: WhiteHat Jr making an aggressive bid to go global

WhiteHat Jr, which was recently acquired by online learning app Byju’s for $300 million, is making an aggressive bid to go global. Next month, the edtech start-up, that teaches coding to kids online, is launching operations in five new markets — the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. In the second phase, the company in November will launch its courses in Japan, Brazil, and Indonesia in the local dialect. Read More...

Malls, retailers begin talks again over rentals as business remains weak

Mall developers and retailers are at the negotiating table again as sluggish business is forcing the two to rework rent pacts. While mall owners gave full and, in some cases, half waivers to retailers on monthly rentals during the lockdown months of March, April, and May, retailers say this may not be enough. Some mall owners had agreed to short-term deferrals of rent, worked out a revenue-share pact, and even offered sharp discounts on existing rentals for the lockdown months, saying they remained sympathetic to retailers. Mall owners now appear willing to give a 20-30 per cent waiver on rentals. Discounts on fixed rent or minimum guarantee payments are also lower as distinct from the peak lockdown months, persons in the know said. Read More...

Covid-19 curbs make e-commerce viral: Amazon, Flipkart see record sales

If e-commerce and not the much-feared foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail turned out to be the real disruptor in the Indian shopping scene, as Arvind Singhal of Technopak Advisors had predicted some years ago, Covid-19 has come as an accelerator. The evidence is in the recent online events — Amazon Prime Day and Flipkart sales in the run-up to Independence Day. But, the record sales do not necessarily translate into a revival in consumer confidence, industry experts point out. Read More...

Myntra brings offline fashion stores to customers amid Covid-19 pandemic

Walmart-owned fashion retailer Myntra has come up with a new strategy to help brands and offline stores to reach the customers. This would enable them to scale up their businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company has built an omnichannel network where it has partnered with several brands to have their products delivered directly from their offline-stores, nearest to the customer’s residence. The aim is also to get the items delivered the same day or the next. Read More...

A bumpy road: Confusion clouds electric vehicles rollout sans batteries

The government’s move to allow companies to sell electric two- and three-wheelers without pre-fitted batteries has largely been hailed as a move towards reducing costs and creating a clean transport ecosystem but its execution may hit speed breakers. The transport ministry recently said the battery, which accounts for 30-40 per cent of the total cost of an electric vehicle (EV), could be provided separately by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or energy service providers. Read More...

Tata Realty plans to list 20-million-sq-ft commercial assets portfolio as REIT

Tata Realty & Infrastructure (TRIL) is planning to list its Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with around 20-million-sq-ft of commercial assets in the next couple of years. The real estate development arm of Tata Group is looking to expand the size of its commercial portfolio to over 20 million sq ft from current ready and fully leased 6.2 million sq. ft. through new developments and acquisitions. “Our existing land bank has potential of 20 million sq ft commercial property development in the next 3-4 years and we have additionally signed 3 term sheets that would give us 20 million sq ft more space,” Sanjay Dutt, MD & CEO, Tata Realty & Infrastructure, told the Economic Times.

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