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No-frills carrier SpiceJet on Thursday said it has entered into a settlement with a lessor of Boeing 737 Max planes – Avolon. The Gurugram-based airline, in a statement, said it hopes to see these MAX aircraft flying again soon. A senior official said, the aviation regulator DGCA is yet to take a final call on allowing 737 MAX planes to fly again. In the wake of two fatal crashes involving MAX planes, these aircraft were grounded in 2019. Joining many other regulators worldwide, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounded MAX aircraft in March 2019. SpiceJet has entered into a settlement with Avolon, a major lessor of Max aircraft, paving the way for the airlines 737 Max aircraft to start to return to service, the low-cost carrier said in the statement. SpiceJet, however, did not give details such as the nature of dispute it had with the lessor and the reasons that led to the settlement. Earlier this month, it was reported that DGCA is examining whether Boeing 737 Max planes should be allowed to fly again in the country and a decision on the same was expected in 2-3 months. Aviation regulators in the US and Europe have already approved the aircraft for flying with extensive fixes. The airline, in the statement on Thursday, also said it expects to start operations of Max planes around the end of September 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. I am delighted to share that our 737 MAXs will be back in the air soon. As India emerges from COVID and air traffic picks up again, the MAX aircraft will play a major role in our future expansion. With a better and a more efficient fleet back in operation we expect a significant reduction in our operating costs improving our bottom line, said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.
SpaceX Starlink: Elon Musk The project aims to provide high-speed satellite broadband connectivity across the globe, and for that, terminals are needed at the end of the customers. As per the Starlink website, each terminal is mapped to a satellite, which then beams down broadband connectivity directly to the terminal. The milestone was tweeted by tech mogul Elon Musk on Monday. The Starlink project is being managed by Musk 100k terminals shipped! This is especially considering the fact that the first batch of satellites for Starlink were launched in November 2019, and the beta programme to test the connectivity by users on a first-come-first-serve basis was launched a year later in November 2020. This means that within about 10 months, the company has been able to ship 1 lakh terminals, in the beta programme nonetheless, and has additional orders to the tune of over 5 lakh. This indicates that Elon Musk Also read | Starlink calling India: All your questions answered about Elon Musk This led to the company not having to rely on any third party institutions to launch the satellites, which is the key strategy that is used by the Elon Musk-owned SpaceX. Another reason behind the quick success of the service is that most of its users are located in remote or rural areas, which is also a key target audience for Starlink. These are the areas where conventional broadband connections fail to provide good access to the internet. People in these areas seem to be keen to get their hands on Starlink The service is still expanding however, and is expected to increase the number of users gradually. It is also expanding the number of countries it serves, and is expected to provide service in India in 2022.
The RBl on Monday said it has imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on the NE EC Railway Employees Multi-State Primary Co-operative Bank, Gorakhpur for contravention of certain norms. In a statement, the RBI said the inspection report of the bank based on its financial position as on March 31, 2019 revealed non-adherence\/violation of specific directions issued to it under the Supervisory Action Framework (SAF). Based on the report, a show cause notice was issued. After considering the banks reply and oral submissions made during the personal hearing, RBI came to the conclusion that the aforesaid charge of non-adherence\/violation of RBI directions was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty, the central bank said. It, however, added that the penalty is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.
Taking loans or buying things on credit creates a financial burden on the concerned person, but people need to take loans, especially for big-ticket purchases of capital assets like a house, car or for higher education. So, its better to maintain a good credit score, so that whenever needed, a loan may be taken easily at an attractive rate. Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL) is the organisation that maintains credit scores (CIBIL Score) on the basis of various criteria that affect credit worthiness. What is the ideal CIBIL score in India to apply for a personal loan? C. Financial Services Pvt Ltd.). How are CIBIL scores and loan approvals linked? The Cibil score may vary from 300 – 900. The closer your score is to 900, the higher are the chances of your loan application getting approved. It also reflects any DPD (payment due) or settlement if any happened in any of the past accounts. This report helps in evaluating the financial character of the customer, Can you get a personal loan if you have a low CIBIL score? CIBIL is one of the best way of assessing the credit worthiness of a customer. Since PL is an unsecured loan, CIBIL score becomes much more important for the lender, They may charge a higher rate of interest, offer the loan for a lower tenor lesser loan amount. There are many fintechs who are offering short term Personal loans in the range of 10k-50k. They may thus be a little more flexible in terms of accepting the low CIBIL score. These fintech companies also use some alternate data viz. reading the SMS of your mobile to assess your cash flow and credit behavior. A few fintech companies aim to offer personal loans to the consumers who are having low CIBIL score as they have specialized in this segment and have a robust credit evaluation method for such customers, Some tips on getting a personal loan for low CIBIL applicants? Usually traditional banks would not give another look to people who might be new to the borrowing market or might have had a bad score due to a singular incident but through digital lending one can, step-by-step, through the process of borrowing and timely repayment can raise their scores. At the same time one should always try to start doing this by taking small ticket-loans instead of taking on something the individual will feel a lot of pressure and this is especially true with digital lenders who tend to give unsecured cash loans but at higher interest rates than banks,
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday decided to raise the fair and remunerative price (FRP) of cane marginally by Rs 5 to Rs 290 a quintal for the next marketing year starting October 1. Still, as much as 91% of mills However, there is no plan yet to raise the minimum sale price of sugar from Rs 31\/kg, he added. The government has been seeking to balance the interest of producers with consumers, he said. Importantly, of the cane dues of Rs 90,959 crore in the current marketing year (2020-21), as much as Rs 86,238 crore have already been paid to farmers. This leaves arrears of only Rs 4,711 crore, which are way below the levels witnessed earlier when farmers had to resort to agitations to get their dues cleared, the minister said. The FRP for 2021-22 is 87% higher than the cost of production of cane, based on the so-called A2+FL formula, Goyal said, citing an estimate by the Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices. This is way above the government A surge in sugar exports, backed by government assistance, and policy supporting the diversion of excess cane to ethanol have improved mills Keeping the expected rise in production in 2021-22, about 308.8 million tonne of cane will likely be purchased by sugar mills, taking the total remittance to farmers to a record Rs 1 lakh crore, according to an official estimate. The minister also said mills have generated about Rs 15,000 crore in revenue in 2020-21 from ethanol sale to oil-marketing companies. The blending of ethanol with petrol has hit 8.5%, which is going to jump to 20% by 2025, he added, indicating that such a move will further help improve mills Similarly, sugar exports have surged in recent years following government support. Against a contracted volume of 7 million tonne, as much as 5.5 million tonne have been shipped out so far in the 2020-21 marketing year, against 5.96 million tonne in the whole of 2019-20, 3.8 million tonne in 2018-19 and 0.62 million tonne in 2017-18. In fact, exports will exceed the target of 6 million tonne for 2020-21. Abinash Verma, director general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association, said the latest move is unlikely to be a burden for mills. It will be necessary to help sugar mills accommodate the higher cane price payment to farmers in the current as well as the next season. The MSP of sugar has remained static for over 30 months, even though the cane FRP was increased by Rs 10\/quintal in 2020-21, Verma favoured hiking the sugar MSP to about Rs 35 a kg. The cane FRP of Rs 290 is linked to a basic recovery of 10%. A premium of Rs 2.90 per quintal will have to be paid to farmers in 2020-21 for every 0.1 percentage point increase in recovery beyond 10%. Similarly, the price will be cut by Rs 2.90 per quintal for every 0.1 percentage point drop in recovery from 10%. However, farmers will get at least Rs 275.50 per quintal even if the recovery is below 9.5%, against Rs 270.75 in 2020-21.
By Somit Dasgupta A lot has been written about the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021, but nothing has generated more discussion than the concept of having multiple distribution companies (discoms) in a given geographical area. The Bill states that anybody desirous of engaging in the distribution business has to The new discom(s) will use the network of any other discom for wheeling power to their consumers. The power purchase agreements (PPAs) of the original discom will get distributed amongst the new discom(s), and they would also be free to source power from other sources, such as electricity exchange(s). The Bill only states the intent of the legislation, i.e. to have more than one discom in an area so that consumers can choose their supplier. The nuts and bolts have not yet been spelt out, and as the clich Conceptually, having multiple discoms in an area is no different from the concept of separation of This will again throw open issues that were being hotly debated while considering separation of This new concept of using the wires of any other discom (as stated in the Bill of 2021) has brought in other challenges like how will non-discriminatory open access of the distribution wires be ensured, will the original discom still be interested in upgrading its distribution infrastructure if it has to share it with other discom(s) in the area, and so on. It is pertinent to note that two discoms operating in an area using each other Further, this obsession of giving choice to consumers to choose their supplier is also not understood because it has been seen in the UK (where such choice exists) that small consumers hardly change their suppliers as the transaction cost is very high. One crucial issue that seems to have been overlooked in this entire exercise is the effect of this Bill on the recent privatisation of discoms undertaken in Odisha and in Chandigarh. When the Odisha discoms were privatised, certain projections were made regarding their commercial losses in the years to come, which the privatised entities are expected to meet. These targets now may become difficult to meet if a part of the clientele shifts to some other discom(s). Their entire calculations will go awry because the consumer base and the consumer mix will undergo a change if more discoms jump into the fray. The same logic will apply to Chandigarh. The government may henceforth find it difficult to undertake privatisation of discoms because no potential investor will be able to project its revenue realistically and no regulatory commission can lay down a trajectory for reduction of commercial losses! Privatisation of discoms and having multiple discoms, therefore, will have to be treated as alternative models and it may no longer be practical to pursue both, assuming that the new Bill is passed. Although quite a few big consultancy firms are speaking in favour of the provisions of the new Bill, their views need to be taken with a pinch of salt since what they are visualising is a huge potential for consultancy assignments. After all, a roadmap for this entire exercise has to be made that would require revising existing regulations, preparing several reports touching various facets, enough to keep their coffers jingling for the next couple of years. The easiest solution on how to improve the distribution business is perhaps through privatisation of discoms on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode with transitional financial support from the government and a prescribed commercial loss reduction trajectory. This is exactly what was done in Delhi in 2002 and the results are there for us to see. The author is senior visiting fellow, ICRIER, and former member (Economic Commercial), CEA
By Arindam Gupta RBI The FI-Index is similar to Inclusix with regards to the scale of measurement, both ranging from 0 to 100. FI-Index covers financial services as a whole, with a total of 97 indicators weighing three parameters: ease of access to services (35% weight), availability and usage of services (45%), and quality of services (20%). As per a RBI release, it captures the quality aspect of financial inclusion Inclusix considered four parameters Only in 2018 Inclusix included insurance as a parameter. It covers 666 districts and evaluates financial inclusion at the national, regional, state and district levels, last available in 2018. Against the backdrop, RBI Across the world, bank account ownership was used as the sole indicator of financial inclusion for a long time. Credit emerged later as a more significant indicator, making bank account a prerequisite. In India, Inclusix considered microfinance since its first edition. It also took credit penetration into its fold. In a finer evaluation of financial inclusion, access to insurance was also considered important. The failure of the banking intermediary models like bank mitra has driven the government to take several measures. Turning post offices into Post Office banks is one such measure. The new FI-Index also considers people Retirement planning is gaining importance in the country with more pension schemes in play. Private sector, in which there is no pension, employs larger numbers than the public sector. Among the PSUs, the core government sector can only afford pension. State governments have almost stopped pension for new entrants and the Centre too stopped volunteering it alone since 2004. For the vast section of people who are either self-employed or are in the unorganised sector, pension is non-existent. Atal Pension Yojana (co-contributory). modified from the pre-existing Swavalamban Yojana, is a government-backed pension scheme primarily targeting the unorganised sector. LIC and other companies have already launched many pension products irrespective of economic strata, apart from the National Pension Scheme being in play. The FI-Index makes participation of people in these pension schemes a parameter of financial inclusion. The FI-Index, as proposed to be published every July, is constructed without any base year. Its value is said to be 53.9 for the financial year ended March 2021, as compared to 43.4 for the year ended March 2017. Bank account ownership has significantly increased with the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. DBT has brought bank accounts out of the dormancy technically (dormancy was 49% as per Findex data in 2017); Rs 5.53 lakh crore was transferred digitally under 319 government schemes in FY21 as DBT. Now, close to 96% of the bank accounts are claimed by the government to have been covered by at least one digital means of payment by March 2021. At the Financial Inclusion Summit on July 15, the RBI Governor claimed that about 425 million individuals have JDY accounts, 55% of whom are women. He attempted to address the criticism that one-third of poor women in India don But all these statistics fall short of explaining the value of the FI-Index crossing merely the halfway mark. The It also throws up questions on financial literacy, about the masses There is a long way to go. The author is Professor of commerce, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore
Moderna Inc. and its Japanese partner are recalling more than 1 million doses of the U.S. drug makers coronavirus vaccine after confirming that contamination reported last week was tiny particles of stainless steel. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is in charge of sale and distribution in Japan of the Moderna vaccine. The two companies said an investigation at a Spanish factory that produced the vials in question concluded the contamination occurred in the process of putting stops on the vials. The companies on Aug. 26 announced suspension of 1.63 million doses produced at the line after reports of contamination. Japanese officials said about a half million people had received shots from the Moderna vials before the problem surfaced. The trouble comes at a time Japan is pushing to accelerate vaccinations amid rising infections that are straining the Japanese health care system. Pharmaceutical and health ministry officials say they do not believe the high-grade stainless steel poses health risks.
The countrys gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at around 18.5 per cent with an upward bias in the first quarter of the current financial year, according to SBI research report Ecowrap. This estimate is lower than the Reserve Bank of Indias GDP growth projection of 21.4 per cent for the April-June quarter. Based on our Nowcasting model, the forecasted GDP growth for Q1 FY22 would be around 18.5 per cent (with upward bias), the report said. Higher growth in the second quarter of 2022, or Q1 FY22 is mainly on account of a low base. State Bank of India has developed the Nowcasting Model with 41 high-frequency indicators associated with industrial activity, service activity, and the global economy. The report expects gross value added (GVA) to be at 15 per cent in Q1FY22. The corporate results announced so far indicate that there is a substantial recovery in corporate GVA EBIDTA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) + employee cost) in Q1 FY22, it said. The report said the corporate GVA of 4,069 companies registered a growth of 28.4 per cent in Q1 FY22. However, this is lower than growth in Q4 FY21, thereby corroborating the lower GDP estimate than what was thought earlier, it said. The report further said it is globally noted that lower mobility leads to lower GDP and higher mobility to higher GDP, but the response is asymmetric. With the decline in mobility, the economic activity declines and thus GDP growth, however, with an increase in mobility the GDP growth does not increase in the same proportion, it said. The relationship between the two has become weaker as can be seen in Q1 FY22 when mobility has declined, however, GDP growth is high and positive. But higher y-o-y growth is mainly on account of the base effect, the report said. Meanwhile, the business activity index based on ultrahigh-frequency indicators show a further increase in August 2021, with the latest reading for the week ended August 16, 2021, at 103.3, it added. RTO (regional transport office) collection, electricity consumption along with mobility indicators have revived in Q2 FY22, indicating positive momentum in economic activity going forward, the report said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be an inflexion point for the Indian economy. Real estate forms the backbone of the economy and is the second-largest employer after agriculture. Home has become the central pivot of our lives, a place of belonging and a haven for our daily pursuit. Since antiquity, purchasing a dream home has been considered a milestone in an individuals life. In the past few decades, the average age of a homebuyer has reduced to 30 years compared to 50 earlier. COVID-19 has further elevated the significance of owning a home instead of living in uncertainties in rented properties. An Anarock consumer sentiment survey highlighted that at least 37 per cent of participants intending to buy homes fall in the age bracket of 35-45 years. Another Anarock survey points out that 85% of buyers in NCR purchased their first homes between July 2020 and March 2021. Real estate has also emerged as a stable asset class in the wake of diminishing lustre in alternative classes such as stocks, mutual funds, etc. Looking homewards, NRIs are increasingly seeking investment in realty in India owing to strong economic fundamentals. Amid work from home, people increasingly prefer spacious homes with a distinct workspace. It has inevitably prompted the rethinking of the existing ticket sizes and configurations to accommodate an extra room as a study, storeroom or puja room. The 3-BHK and 2-BHK+study in dwellings are poised to remain sought-after assets as the hybrid model becomes a norm in the post-pandemic world. Moreover, luxury housing catering to an affluent section of the society has remained resilient amid these unprecedented times. For a niche segment of society comprising corporate professionals, HNIs, UHNIs and NRIs, the benchmarks for sophistication remain unchanged despite economic volatility. This discerning segment of homebuyers seeks a luxurious lifestyle in meticulously crafted and aesthetically designed homes equipped with best-in-class amenities such as a gym, spa, clubhouse, tennis court, 24×7 security and surveillance, etc. Self-sustained gated townships and condominiums are gaining traction among homebuyers amid travel restrictions and transmission concerns of the disease. With health and wellness taking centre stage, sustainability has found a new meaning. Homes set amid verdant greenery exemplifying a provision of optimum sunlight and ventilation, eco-friendly amenities such as rainwater harvesting, use of solar energy have emerged as sought-after assets. Location, aesthetics, quality of construction and developers Amid the blurring of geographical barriers, spacious homes located on the peripheries of cities, way from the hustle-bustle of the city, are gaining currency. Micro-markets such as New Gurgaon, etc., have emerged as realty hotspots bolstered by excellent connectivity and rapid infrastructural developments. Digitisation, leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, etc., to maximise customer experience are also among the dominant trends. Furthermore, a Square Yards report points out that Gurugram has emerged as the most sustainable city to live in amid the pandemic due to low population density, high open area ratio, and higher number of healthcare institutions per unit area. The city is poised to dominate homebuyers The buoyant economic activity and economic stability prospects augur well for the quick rebound of real estate by the last quarter of 2021. Nevertheless, regaining the faith of consumers will be crucial to push sales to pre-COVID levels. Customer-centricity and personalised offerings are expected to become key priorities for developers to maintain a competitive edge over their peers. Organised players with sound credentials will be better placed to navigate uncertainties due to their agile business models. The upcoming festive season has already rekindled hopes of an upsurge in residential demand. Bolstered by the policy push and strong economic fundamentals, real estate is poised towards a V-shaped recovery by Q4 2021. (By Rahul Singla, Director, Mapsko Group)