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More power to banks to deal with bad loans mooted: Jaitley



Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today hinted that some measures are likely to further empower state-run banks legally in dealing with the rising bad loans.

“Various suggestions have come up for empowering the banks, functioning in an environment, so that they can deal with the situation (bad loans). The government is fully committed to support the banks in this regard,” Jaitley said at a press conference after the quarterly performance review meeting with the heads of public sector banks here.



His remarks come a day ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s second bi-monthly monetary policy review on Tuesday and its Governor Raghuram Rajan recently being in a spate of controversies over failure to boost lending and credit growth.

“One of the key subjects obviously is the credit loan and expansion of banking activity. We must support the banks fully so that their ability to support growth remains,” Jaitley said at the conference.

“The focus of banks on NPAs (non-performing assets) must remain, but financial inclusion schemes must continue. We are supporting banks so that they can support lending and credit growth,” he added.

Jaitley said the banks have put forward suggestions to tackle the stress NPAs are creating. One key consideration is that the banks should be empowered and consequently protected so that they can bring about commercially prudent settlements, he said.

“I wouldn’t want to be specific at this stage. I have indicated that the discussions are with regard to empowerment of banks, protection of the banks and creating solutions,” he said.

Jaitley said that the meeting took up various topics like NPAs, or bad loans, position, inter-operability of financial inclusion schemes, credit flow and banks’ expansion.

Referring to the rising losses in the quarterly results of public sector banks, he said it is on account of the high provisioning that the PSBs declared a net loss of about Rs 18,000 crore.

“The government also firmly believes that the NPA situation has risen on account of certain sectoral stresses,” he said.

Ten state-run banks suffered losses of over Rs 15,000 crore in the fourth quarter ending in March, due to provisioning to cover for bad debt. Punjab National Bank, for instance, made an operational profit last year of Rs 12,000 crore, but has now declared record loss because of such provisioning.

However, the overall operational profit of public sector banks is significant, the minister said adding this actually amounted to Rs 1.40 lakh crore in 2015-16.

He also hoped that the bankruptcy code and debt recovery legislation will significantly help the banks deal with stressed assets.

The government has allocated Rs 25,000 crore in 2016-17 for revamp of public sector banks and Jaitley said they “stand by that commitment”.

Gross NPAs of PSBs rose from Rs 267,065 lakh crore in March 2015 to Rs 361,731 lakh crore in December. As a proportion, they increased from 5.43 per cent of advances in March 2015, to 7.3 per cent as on December-end.

Wefornews Bureau


TikTok threatens legal action against Trump executive order

The company said it will pursue ‘all remedies available’ including going to the U.S. courts.



Tik Tok

TikTok is threatening legal action against the US after Donald Trump ordered firms to stop doing business with the Chinese app within 45 days.

The company said it was “shocked” by an executive order from the US President outlining the ban.

TikTok said it would “pursue all remedies available” to “ensure the rule of law is not discarded”.

Mr Trump issued a similar order against China’s WeChat in a major escalation in Washington’s stand-off with Beijing.

WeChat’s owner, Tencent, said: “We are reviewing the executive order to get a full understanding.”

As well as WeChat, Tencent is also a leading gaming company and its investments include a 40% stake in Epic Games – the company behind the hugely popular Fortnite video game.

The president has already threatened to ban TikTok in the US, citing national security concerns, and the company is now in talks to sell its American business to Microsoft. They have until 15 September to reach a deal – a deadline set by Mr Trump.

The Trump administration claims that the Chinese government has access to user information gathered by TikTok, which the company has denied.

TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, said it had attempted to engage with the US government for nearly a year “in good faith”.

However, it said: “What we encountered instead was that the administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

The executive orders against the short-video sharing platform and the messaging service WeChat are the latest measure in an increasingly broad Trump administration campaign against China.

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Patanjali chasing profits, exploiting people’s fear: Madras HC



Baba Ramdev

Chennai, Aug 6 : Coming down heavily on yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd for “chasing profits by exploiting people’s fear and panic” to sell its immunity booster tablet Coronil, the Madras High Court on Thursday slapped a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on it.

The court also refused to vacate the interim injunction restraining Patanjali from using the name Coronil for its tablet in a trade mark infringement case.

The case was filed by city-based company Arudra Engineers Private Ltd that had registered the trademarks “Coronil-92 B and Coronil-213 SPL” in 1993 and holds rights over them till 2027.

The company sells an anti-corrosion product – a chemical agent that undertakes to sanitise and clean heavy industrial machinery and containment units at factories.

Apart from Patanjali, the other defendant in the case was Divya Yog Mandir Trust that makes the tablet.

The court order came in the petition filed by Patanjali and Divya Yog to vacate the interim injunction against the use of the name Coronil for its tablet.

The court said: “Insofar as costs are concerned, the defendants have repeatedly projected that they are Rs 10,000 crore company. However, they are still chasing further profits by exploiting the fear and panic among the general public by projecting a cure for the coronavirus, when actually their ‘Coronil Tablet’ is not a cure but rather an immunity booster for cough, cold and fever.”

“The defendants must realize that there are organisations which are helping the people in this critical period without seeking recognition and it would only be appropriate that they are made to pay costs to them,” it ruled.

The court ordered Patanjali and Divya Yog to pay jointly Rs 5 lakh each to the Dean, Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai and to the Dean, Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College & Hospital, Chennai.

In both the organisations, treatment are accorded free of cost without any claim to either trademark, trade name, patent or design, but only with service as a motto, the court said.

“Costs to be paid on or before 21.08.2020, and a memo in this regard, to be filed before the Registry, High Court Madras, on or before 25.08.2020,” it ordered.

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Q1FY21 results: Vodafone Idea loss widens by 422.37 per cent YoY to Rs 25,460 crore

Average Revenue per User (ARPU) dropped to Rs 114 in Q1FY21 as against Rs 121 in Q4FY20.



Vodafone, Idea

Vodafone Idea Ltd. announced its quarterly results on Thursday post market hours. The company posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 25,460 crore for Q1FY21, which increased by 422.37 per cent, as compared to Q1FY20 when it reported a consolidated loss of Rs 4873.9 crore.

The consolidated net sales reported in Q1FY21 came in at Rs 10,659.3 crore, which declined by 5.42 per cent YoY from Rs 11,269.9 crore in Q1FY20. At EBITDA level, the company stood at Rs 4,098.4 crore in Q1FY21 that increased by 10.28 per cent YoY. For Q1FY20, it posted an EBITDA of Rs 3,716.3 crore.

EBITDA margin as of Q1FY21 was at 38.45 per cent that increased by 5.47 per cent YoY. The net profit margin in Q1FY21 came in at -238.85 per cent, which declined by 195.60 per cent YoY. The net profit margin in Q1FY20 was at -43.25 per cent.

The company recorded exceptional cost of Rs 19,923.2 crore which includes merger related cost, licence fee, spectrum usage charges (SUC) on adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

Average Revenue per User (ARPU) dropped to Rs 114 in Q1FY21 as against Rs 121 in Q4FY20.

Q1FY21 was turned out to be a challenging quarter for the company as availability of recharges due to store closure due to lockdown and ability of customers to recharge on account of economic slowdown were affected.

The share closed with drop of 0.72 per cent at Rs 8.25 on BSE.

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