HYDERABAD THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION TATAS BID TO RE-ACQUIRE AIR INDIA 68 YEARS AFTER LOSING IT Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, on Wednesday submitted a ﬁnancial bid to acquire the loss-making carrier SPICEJET ALSO IN THE RACE, SAY REPORTS CABINET TO CLEAR THE WINNING BID If the bid by Tata Sons, the holding company of India’s largest conglomerate, is successful, it will mark the return of Air India to Tatas. The Tata Group founded Air India as Tata Airlines in October 1932 but lost it after the government nationalised the airline in 1953. SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh has also bid for the airline in his personal capacity, reports said ■ ■ The bid offering the highest price above the reserve price would be accepted. The winning bid will be examined by the transaction advisor before the recommendation is sent to the Cabinet Govt plans to sell 100% of its stake in AI, including AI’s 100% stake in AI Express Ltd and 50% in Air India SATS Airport Services Wednesday WAS THE LAST DAY FOR PUTTING IN FINANCIAL BIDS TO BUY AIR INDIA CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Stress-buster reforms for telecom sector 100% FDI through automatic route; 4-year moratorium on all government dues; non-telecom revenues out of AGR J O N AT H A N A N A N DA @ Chennai THE Centre on Wednesday opened up the telecom sector to 100% foreign direct investment through the automatic route and announced a slew of measures to lift the distressed industry. These include a four-year moratorium on government dues such as adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and spectrum payments, besides rationaisation of spectrum charges. The government also tweaked the definition of AGR to confine it to telecom revenues, seeking to ease the `1.52 lakh crore burden on telcos caused SURVEY I-T sleuths search actor Sonu Sood’s properties E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Mumbai THE income tax department on Wednesday searched the Mumbai properties of film actor Sonu Sood, who has earned wide acclaim for his charity work during the pandemic. According to officials, the recent deal between Sood’s company and a Lucknow-based real estate firm is under the scanner and there was a mismatch in the account book. Therefore, a ‘survey operation’ was initiated on Wednesday they added. , The 48-year-old is known for his humanitarian efforts. He had organised special flights and buses for migrants stranded during the lockdown. He also arranged oxygen supply for Covid patients during the peak of the second wave. R e c e n t l y, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared him the brand ambassador for his government’s mentorship programme for school students. The move created a buzz that Sood may join politics, though the actor denied this. Reacting sharply to the survey, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged political vendetta behind it. “An I-T raid on a man as upright as Sonu Sood, somebody who has been called a messiah by lakhs of people. If a man like him can be politically targeted in a well thought out witch-hunt, it shows that the current regime is insensitive and politically insecure,” said AAP leader Raghav Chaddha. Kejriwal tweeted, “Sonu Sood has the blessings of lakhs of families, whom he had helped during their difficult times.” by a 2019 Supreme Court order that held that the existing definition of AGR included nontelecom revenues. The moratorium on AGR dues provides an annual cash flow breather of around `14,000 crore for the industry, while the break on spectrum dues gives another `32,000 crore of annual cash flow relief, according to rating agency ICRA. Companies opting for moratorium need to pay interest on the amount and such firms will have the option to pay this interest by way of equity. Guidelines for the same will be finalised by the finance ministry . The relief on AGR and statutory dues will have a big impact on freeing up the telecom industry’s cash flow. Upcoming AGR due payments had placed serious financial constraints on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone `26,058 crore incentive scheme for auto sector The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Production Linked Incentive scheme for the auto sector to promote advance automotive technologies, including clean energy vehicles, with incentives worth `26,058 crore over a five-year period | P15 Goodbye WFH? IT employees reluctantly returning to offices R P R I D H V I R A J @ Hyderabad IT is now back to the salt mines for IT employees in the city. Albeit reluctantly, they are getting ready to switch back to the work from office culture, which they had almost forgotten. About 40 per cent of the six lakh employees working in more than 1,520 IT and ITES companies in Hyderabad, who had moved out to different places in the country, are now slowly returning to the capital as Covid-19 is on the wane. Leading IT firms, including HCL Tech, Wipro, TCS, Infosys and several others have either asked or are getting ready to ask their employees to bid adieu to WFH (work from home) and get back to the routine of working from the office. According to senior officials in the IT department, at present, about 20 per cent of employees are working from the office and the figure is gradually improving. “There India calls out Pak, OIC for K-anard at UNHRC session EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE INDIA on Wednesday gave the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) a piece of its mind for raising Kashmir at the UN Human Rights Commission, calling it out for allowing itself to be held hostage by Pakistan. Exercising its rights to respond to comments made by Pakistan and the OIC on Kashmir at the ongoing session, India said Pakistan has been globally recognised as a country openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists as a matter of state policy . The stinging response came from Pawan Badhe, first secretary in India’s permanent mission in Geneva. “India, as not only the world’s largest democracy but a robustly functional and vibrant one, does not need lessons from a failed state like Pakistan which is the epicentre of terrorism and worst abuser of human rights,” he acidly said. Pakistan, he added, has failed to protect the rights of its minorities, including Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Ahmadiyas. “Pakistan has been engaged in systematic persecution, forced conversions, targeted killings, sectarian violence and faithbased discrimination against its ethnic and religious minorities,” he said. Turning his attention to the OIC, Badhe said it has no locus to comment on Kashmir. “The OIC has helplessly allowed itself to be held hostage by Pakistan... It’s for the members of the OIC to decide if it is in their interest to allow Pakistan to do so.” CRÈME DE LA CRÈME 2 from TS get AIR 1 in JEE (Mains) EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad AFTER being delayed twice, the JEE (Mains) results for the fourth and last session were finally out on Wednesday, with two students from the State making it to the top positions. This year, 44 students have scored 100 percentile and 18 have shared the all India rank (AIR) 1. From Telangana, Komma Saranya and Josyula Venkata Aditya both secured AIR 1, while four students from And- Idea, which were struggling to arrange large-scale capital expenditure required for network upgradation and expansion. AGR dues of cash-strapped Vodafone Idea amounted to `58,000 crore and for Airtel, it Komma Saranya J Venkata Aditya hra Pradesh are also among the 18 toppers, as per a press release issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Till now, in the four sessions of exams, seven candidates from the State have scored 100 percentile. While six of them are boys, Komma Sharanya is the lone girl. The other five top rankers from the State are Madur Adarsh Reddy, Polu Lakshmi Reddy, Katikela Puneeth Kumar, Bannuru Rohit Kumar Reddy and Velavali Venkata Kharthikeya Sai Vydhik. While the results for BTech paper were announced on Tuesday, results for session 4 of BArch and BPlanning papers are still awaited. Links to check individual scores will be available soon on jeemain.nta.nic.in and ntaresults.nic.in. is no threat of Covid-19. It is now on the wane. A majority of the IT employee have been vaccinated at least once. The economy is up and running. It is time for them to return to offices,” an official said. The IT sector and the government had remained equally worried during the two phases of the pandemic over its impact on the dependent informal sector, that had almost died a natural death. As the Covid-19 graph began to nosedive, IT department officials began to breathe easy. They were more worried about the small and informal businesses that had taken a severe beating owing to the employP4 ees working from home. was `43,000 crore. Reliance Jio only had to pay `190 crore as AGR dues by virtue of being a late entrant to the market. Among the other reforms announced by Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw are an 80% reduction in bank guarantees against licence fees. From now on, there will be no need to produce multiple bank guarantees to secure licences, he said. Interest rates and penalties on delayed statutory payments have also been cut, while the tenure of spectrum licences for future auctions has been raised from 20 to 30 years. With the enhanced FDI limit, the Centre expects to attract fresh investment in the sector. NATIONWIDE SEP 14 SEP 15 Fresh cases 25,404 27,176 Recoveries 32,127 38,012 Deaths 339 284 TELANGANA SEP 14 SEP 15 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 336 306 1 JAB-O-METER 324 280 1 Sep 14 54,72,356 doses TAKE YOUR SHOT Sep 15 57,10,380 doses TOTAL DOSES 76,49,36,158 Cherry-picking names for tribunals angers SC this,” the CJI asked. ITAT appointments, too, were on simiT H E S u p r e m e C o u r t o n lar lines, the bench said. Wednesday came down heavily “As part of SCSC for NCLT, I on the Centre for cherry-pick- interviewed 534 candidates for ing names recommended by the judicial post and 400-odd for Search and Selection Commit- technical. Out of that we chose tees (SCSCs) for filling up tribu- 11 for judicial and 10 for techninal vacancies, adding it will cal. Of the judicial members, hold its hand for now on they selected four and hauling the government picked up three others up for contempt. from the waitlist. Same While the Centre with technical memclaimed it had notified b e r s. We t r ave l l e d 84 appointments in across the country for three different tributhis... But it seems to nals — National Com- Time sought be a waste of time,” pany Law Tribunal the CJI rued. “What is the (NCLT), Armed ForcVenugopal defended sanctity of the es Tribunal (AFT) and the government, citprocess if govt Income Tax Appellate ing a provision under has the last Tribunal (ITAT) — on the new Act. Justice word?” the bench September 12, a speChandrachud remindasked. The A-G cial bench led by Chief ed him that he was resaid, “Please Justice of India N V lying on a provision have it after a Ramana and comprisstruck down by the SC week. We’ll ing justices D Y Chanin July. When Justice reconsider nondrachud and L N Rao Rao emphasised the acceptance list.” took a swipe at it. government couldn’t The SCSC recomhave picked up people mended 11 judicial members from the list prepared for laterand 10 technical members for day vacancies, the A-G said the NCLT. But the appointment let- government was well within its ters suggest some members rights to do so. were cherry-picked. “We canVenugopal cited the The Trinot ignore selected candidates bunal Reforms Act, 2021, to asand go to waitlist. What type of sert the Centre’s dominance selection and appointment is over such appointments. K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi Tharoor a donkey, hope he is expelled: Revanth E X P R ESS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad CRITICAL of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s recent visit to Hyderabad, TPCC chief A Revanth Reddy, who did not have prior information of the MP’s visit, termed the MP a ‘donkey’ and hoped for his expulsion from the party . During a chit-chat with me- GOLD RUSH Malabar Group to invest `750 cr in TS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad TELANGANA has added another ‘jewel’ to its investment cap, quite literally Glo. bal jewellery retailer Malabar Gold and Diamonds will establish a gold and diamond jewellery manufacturing unit along with a refinery in Telangana at an estimated investment of `750 crore. This investment will create employment for 2,500 people in the State. Malabar Group chairman MP Ahmed and a team of representatives met Industries Minister KT Rama Rao on Wednesday . Malabar Group representatives said that the availability of quality human resources in the State a l o n g s i d e i nve s t m e n t friendly policies of the government had encouraged them to invest in Telangana. The Malabar Group already has 260 jewellery stores across the globe. Welcoming the Malabar Group, Rama Rao said the Telangana government would provide complete support to the firm. He expressed his happiness over jewellers getting employment in the region. He added that there were skilled jewellers in various districts of Telangana and requested the company heads to consider creating employment for them. EXPRESS READ Modi, Didi, Adar on Time’s list West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made her debut on the list of 100 most influential people put out by Time magazine this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi continued to stay on the list, in the leaders’ category. The surprise element was Taliban’s negotiator with the US and Afghanistan’s new deputy prime minister Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was injured in a brawl with the Haqqani group last week. The other Indian on the list is vaccine czar Adar Poonawalla, who heads the Serum Institute of India. diapersons on Wednesday, Revanth, who took exception to Tharoor praising IT Minister KT Rama Rao, said Tharoor and Rama Rao were of the same ilk and their fluency in English did not mean either of them was a knowledgeable person. Terming Tharoor a ‘gadha’ (donkey), he hoped that the party would expel him, as the MP was proving to be a liability . Referring to Rama Rao’s tweet on the Saidabad rape and murder case, Revanth said, “He who has praised the IT Minister should also know about the state of affairs here. That donkey should have been tagged (in the tweet). If both speak to each other in English, it won’t bring any change here,” he added.
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