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Top headlines: RIL's PBT dips 40%, battle to save jobs at Air India & more

From Reliance Industries reporting dip in profit-before tax, Tony Fernandes cutting AirAsia exit price to $50 mn to Air India pitching leave-without-pay scheme, here are the top news on Friday morning

Reliance Industries | RIL results | AirAsia

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Air India
A section of Air India employees (including pilots) says at least 202 retired staffers still on the payrolls and a potential 3,399 permanent workers on the cusp of retirement should be the ‘first targets’ for the proposed leave-without-pay (LWP) scheme.

RIL's pre-tax profit dips 40% as Covid-19 hits energy, retail businesses

Mukesh Ambani-promoted (RIL) reported a 40.5 per cent dip in profit before tax (PBT) and exceptional items as the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns hit the energy and retail businesses in the June quarter. Net profit, however, rose for the company, beating Street estimates. RIL’s net profit was aided by an exceptional item gain arising out of the sale of partial stake in the fuel retail business to BP, as well as rise in other income. For the April-June period, RIL reported a PBT of Rs 8,542 crore against Rs 14,366 crore reported during the same quarter last year. RIL’s net profit, however, rose about 31 per cent to Rs 13,233 crore during April-June 2020 against Rs 10,104 crore in the same quarter last year. Read More...

Tony Fernandes trims India exit price to $50 million amid Covid-19

The Tata group is in advanced talks to acquire Group’s 49 per cent stake in their Indian joint venture airline, after the Malaysian company toned down its exit price to $50 million. The sagging financial health of both Group Berhad and AirAsia India, worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, and falling airline valuations have brought down the expectations of the foreign partner, said a source close to the development. “Besides, the threat of action by Indian investigating agencies against AirAsia India and AirAsia’s promoter Tony Fernandes is another reason why the foreign partner wants to exit India,” said the source. Read More...

Before swinging the axe on jobs, retire the retired first: staff

As the battle to save jobs at the carrier gets turbulent, a section of employees (including pilots) says at least 202 retired staffers still on the payrolls and a potential 3,399 permanent workers on the cusp of retirement should be the ‘first targets’ for the proposed leave-without-pay (LWP) scheme. According to sources, if the idea of the new scheme is to only weed out around 600 employees and subsequently save the carrier Rs 10 crore a month, the management could have easily laid off the retired employees, who had an advantage over others by dint of having ‘connections’ internally and in the corridors of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Read More...

China's positive GDP growth rate may take a bite out of India's FPI flows

The IMF has projected a positive GDP growth rate for China in CY20, while estimating a 4.5 per cent contraction for India this financial year. China’s economy grew 3.2 per cent in the second quarter, following a slump of 6.8 per cent in the first, according to its Bureau of Statistics. This was driven by its success in controlling the outbreak and policy support from the government. Various agencies have pegged India’s FY21 growth between 1.3 per cent and -9.5 per cent. The difference in growth rates could have implications for foreign investment and skew emerging market (EM) portfolio flows towards China, thus impacting India, said experts. Read More...

Govt considers amnesty scheme for citizens hoarding gold illegally

The finance ministry is considering an amnesty programme for residents with illicit stash of gold, as part of an effort to crack down on tax evasion and cut its dependence on imports, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Under the proposition made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government plans to ask people with unaccounted holdings of the metal to declare it to tax authorities and pay levies, and penalty, the people said, asking not to be identified. The proposal is at an early stage and authorities are seeking feedback from officials concerned, they said. Read More...

rides hygiene wave to expand business amid Covid-19 pandemic

has taken pole position in India’s soap market, riding on the renewed surge in consumption of hygiene and sanitary products. Better availability and rationalisation of shelf-keeping units (SKUs) has helped its business during the pandemic. According to Laxman Narasimhan, group chief executive officer and ED of Reckitt Benck­iser (RB), the brand gained 430 basis points in market share during the first half of 2020, overtaking long-standing leaders Lifebuoy and Lux of Hindustan Unilever (HUL). Read More...

REC removes Chinese firm from J&K Smart Meter project over Ladakh impasse

Government agency REC Power Distribution Corporation (RECPDCL) has removed a Chinese company from the smart meter project in the Jammu and Kashmir region. This comes amidst heightened tension between the two countries post the clash in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. Last week, the government had restricted Chinese companies from participating in bids for government procurement without approval from relevant authorities on the ground of defence and security. The Rs 125-crore project was awarded by RECPDCL, an arm of the Rural Electrification Corporation under the ministry of power, in September 2019. The project entails setting up 100,000 smart meters each in Jammu and Srinagar city in two phases. It will also include allied communication and back-end infrastructure. Read More...

Herd immunity not an option in nation as big as India, says Centre

Given the size of India’s population, herd immunity “cannot be a strategic choice or option”, the health ministry said on Thursday as it urged people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour till a vaccine is developed. When asked if India was approaching herd immunity against the infection, Officer on Special Duty in the ministry Rajesh Bhushan said herd immunity happens only when a population becomes immune either through vaccination or immunity is developed through a previous infection. “In a country with the size of the population like India, herd immunity cannot be a strategic choice or option. It can only be an outcome, and that too at a very high cost as it means lakhs of people would have to be infected, get hospitalised and many would die in the process,” he said. Read More...

25 years of telecom: Boon for India's business tycoons, bane for MNCs

It was the best of times and the worst of times in telecom for business tycoons and multinationals. On one side were the smart boys like the Ruias of Essar, Ajay Piramal, Max India promoter Analjit Singh, the UK-based Hindujas, and Spice Group promoter B K Modi, who hit the jackpot by first investing and then moving out at the right time, from the mobile telecom services sweepstakes over the past 25 years. Read More...

Sellers flag Amazon's data policy, say firm pushing in-house brands

Third-party sellers have demanded transparency from ecommerce company on its data practices as well as alleged preferential treatment for in-house brands, reports The Economic Times.

First Published: Fri, July 31 2020. 07:04 IST