Telcos seek cuts cheaper financing as budget sops, in levies

Telcos seek cuts cheaper financing as budget sops, in levies

NEW DELHI: Telecom firms in India, which are decreasing decreasing revenue streams in the hyper competitive industry, have sought from the authorities reduction in levies like licence fees, spectrum usage charges, besides ways to mobilize cheaper funds to improve infrastructure.

The department of telecommunications on Monday held consultations with industry bodies and representatives of all operators.

“Telecom companies have raised the issue of cut in licence fee, and have sought a credit line in the meeting. We have asked telecom companies to submit their response by tomorrow evening and we will take these issues with the Finance Ministry soon,” a DoT official said requesting anonymity.

Telecom operators are liable to pay around 3-6% and 8% of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) as spectrum usage charges and license fees, respectively, to DoT. Out of the 8% licence fee paid, 5% is USOF levy which government uses to improve connectivity and expand network in unconnected areas.

To be certain, these demands aren’t new and telecom companies have for long argued that these levies in India are among the highest in the world and have to be lowered.

In fact, in February 2018, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India too advocated the DoT, as part of its”Inputs for Formulation of National Telecom Policy- 2018″, to review the rates of levies paid by operators because access spectrum is now being assigned through auction, and telecommunication networks have been the underlying infrastructure for growth of the digital economy.

“Out of the 96,674 crore gathered for the USOF between 2003 and 2019, Rs50,554 crore remained unutilized. While service providers are going rural, they still need to pay the USOF levy. Thus USOF contribution should be put in abeyance till the entire existing amount of the corpus gets fully disbursed or it should be lowered immediately to 3% (instead of 5%),” COAI said in its presentation to DoT on Monday.

The industry body has also asked the authorities to ease funding at lower rate of interest in order to plough more funds for community upgradation, maintenance and growth.

The Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association has also sought the creation of a special working group to look into devising a credit line system to domestic manufacturers for distribution of’make in India’ equipment.

These requirements also come at a time when two from the 3 personal telcos have posted record losses after being struck by an unfavourable court verdict article a 14-year battle between telecom companies and the department of telecommunications on the definition of AGR from the industry.

Bharti Airtel swung to a Rs23,045 crore loss in the September quarter from a profit of $118 crore a year ago as it set aside money to pay the dues. Vodafone Idea’s loss for the September quarter increased to Rs50,922 crore from Rs4,874 crore in the year earlier.

A basic customs duty of 20% is levied on import of most telecom equipment including 4G/5G related network products, soft switches and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment, etc.. COAI has hunted abolishing these duties to bring down cost of equipment for rollout.

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Supreme Court asks Nusli Wadia, differences to be resolved by Ratan Tata in defamation case

Supreme Court asks Nusli Wadia, differences to be resolved by Ratan Tata in defamation case

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday asked Bombay Dyeing chairman Nusli Wadia and Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, to sit together and resolve their differences.

After he had been voted out of the boards of several Tata Group companies a defamation case filed against Ratan Tata and other directors of Tata Sons in 2016.

“You both are older folks. You both are leaders of industry. Why don’t you both settle the issue. Why don’t you resolve your differences and sit. Do you need to pursue litigation such as this?” , said a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde.

At the outset, Senior advocate A Sundaram said that he has nothing against Tata Group and not claimed any defamation caused by his removal from the board.

“I am not against the company, which eliminated me. I am against those people who requisitioned for the resolution, which was finally leaked to the press,” he said, adding that they ought to withdraw the allegations.

The seat told Wadia that others and Ratan Tata have some grievances against him and questioned as to how does that amount to defamation.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that Wadia has given a statutory notice looking for the answer.

The court should record this and he said there is a finding by the Bombay High Court that there was no intention and eliminate the request.

The moment the bench finished dictating the order, that it was upholding the findings of High Court, Sundaram stated he’s instruction from his client he would like to pursue the defamation lawsuit.

To this, the bench said that it doesn’t understand as why he (Wadia) is going to pursue the suit.

It asked Sundaram to seek instruction from his customer by January 13 and notify the court as to whether he wants to pursue the lawsuit filed in the matter.

Wadia has moved the apex court challenging the High Court order of last year, quashing proceedings initiated by a Mumbai local court against Tata Sons’ former chairman Ratan Tata, its current chief N Chandrasekaran and eight directors in a criminal defamation case filed by him.

On December 15, 2018, notices had been issued by a magistrate court in Mumbai to Ratan Tata and the others in the criminal defamation case filed by Wadia.

Wadia filed the defamation case in 2016 after he was voted out of the boards of some Tata Group companies, and claimed that Tata and others made defamatory statements against him after they removed Cyrus Mistry on October 24, 2016 as the group chairman of Tata Sons.

Tata and others had approached the court seeking to quash and set aside the proceedings initiated against them.

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Murugappa group rift: Hereditary board article not a legal right, say experts

Murugappa group rift: Hereditary board article not a legal right, say experts

Chennai: Even as the $37,000 crore Murugappa group is maintaining a studied silence on the allegation of sex bias in offering board membership, company law experts say the law doesn’t recognise any hereditary rights to a berth in any firm’s board.

They also said gender bias may not be the reason for denial of a plank berth.

“There can’t be any gender discrimination for board berth.

US-based Valli Arunachalam, the daughter of late M.V. Murugappan, has alleged that the band promoters have gender bias against girls getting into family business and hence she or her sister had been denied a board berth in Ambadi Investments Ltd following their father’s death in 2017.

“Company law does not recognise any hereditary rights for a board berth.

Varadarajan said that Valli Arunachalam should provide her candidature for appointment at the ensuing annual general meeting of the company by following the provisions of company law.

He said if there’s a shareholders’ agreement in this respect, she can enforce it.

Demanding a board berth for her or her sister, Arunachalam also said if the demand isn’t fulfilled, then the other branches of the family should pay a reasonable market value for approximately eight per cent stake held in Ambadi Investments.

According to Arunachalam, she is trying to apply her father’s will to procure a plank berth for the relative dependent on the shareholding in Ambadi Investments.

According to reports, she had broached the subject of board membership with the family seniors but didn’t get a decent reply and any affirmative action in that respect.

“The rift appears to be more to maintain the family’s right to get a board berth. The issue will be sorted out easily. This is the first time that the family tussle has come out into the open,” a long-timer from the group told IANS preferring anonymity.

“It has become the group’s practice not to bring in women into running the business, be it daughters or daughters-in-law. The female members of the Murugappa family are involved in running the schools owned by the group or come for other major functions,” the official added.

One of the respected and leading industrial conglomerates, the Murugappa group has 28 business including nine listed companies.

The major companies in the group are: Carborundum Universal Ltd, Cholamandalam Financial Holdings Ltd, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Ltd, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd, Coromandel International Ltd, Coromandel Engineering Company Ltd, E.I.D. Parry (India) Ltd, Parry Agro Industries Ltd, Shanthi Gears Ltd, Tube Investments of India Ltd, and Wendt (India) Ltd..

Except for two, all of the other listed group companies are run by professionals.

“There is the Murugappa Corporate Advisory Board. While the Board is led by a family member as Executive Chairman, the tenure ends when the individual attains 65 years old. The transition has always been smooth,” another senior official of the group told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

“Not all the male heirs of the family get to head a group firm. A relative enters the group company as a management trainee and goes up in the ladder purely on performance,” a group official pointed out.

Queried about Arunachalam’s demand of paying the household a fair market value for the stakes held, team officials said she or her family might not go the level of selling out to outsiders if the other members of the Murugappa household do not buy them out.

“It may not be worthwhile for an outsider to obtain the stakes held by Arunachalam’s family. The buyer will become only a minor stake and will have no major voice in running the group against the other household members,” the official said.

Officials are of the opinion that it may be the time for the Murugappa family on inducting the female members of their family to decide.

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Investors lose over 3 trillion as Sensex nosedives 787 points

Investors lose over 3 trillion as Sensex nosedives 787 points

NEW DELHI: Investors lost $ 3 trillion over on Monday, as the BSE Sensex nosedived 787 points, slipping below the 72-mark and monitoring spike in crude oil prices. This is Sensex’s biggest single-day fall since September 2019.

Oil prices hit a near high due to tensions between Iran and the US, after the US killed the top commander of Iran General Qassem Soleimani early on Friday.

“Indian market is reacting more negatively than other emerging markets because of crude oil impact. Since our reliance on crude imports as a proportion of consumption is the highest, the effect on market and markets is also higher,” said Rusmik Oza, senior vice president and head of basic research at Kotak Securities.

Owing to the negative market breath, 28 of 30-share Sensex closed in the red. While 1,944 shares declined on the BSE, overall, 603 shares advanced. Among sectoral indices, Metal Index was the biggest loser and slumped 3% followed by BSE Bankex, which slipped 2.4%.

The market witnessed a deep dip as a result of unexpected spike in India’s 10-year bond yield from 6.50 to 6.55% and sustained weakness in the rupee. The slump was due to negative flows, which is unlikely to escalate. The advance to decline ratio was steeply down in 1:4, suggesting the sell-off was broad based.

“Along with primitive, the negative impact of currency is also weighing on Indian markets. The tension has increased the chance of unknowns which is getting factored. India’s Nifty-50 index was trading in a new zone on the back of budget expectations, just before the event took place. But forward PE of Nifty-50 at 19x was close to its previous peak which made it vulnerable to any external shock,” Oza added.

The friction between the two countries started Friday after the US killed a top Iranian commander in an air strike. The situation further intensified after President Donald Trump threatened sanctions against Baghdad on Sunday, after which Iraq’s parliament called to leave the country. Trump also jeopardized”major retaliation” against Iran if Tehran were to retaliate for the killing.

“Escalating tensions may dent market risk appetite and weigh down on riskier assets such as international equity markets and commodities like base metals. But it may continue to lend support to safe haven like gold and silver and will also be supportive of crude oil prices amid worries over supply disruption from the area.

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Indian Entrepreneur getting global recognition

Indian Entrepreneur getting global recognition

Xenture Technologies is pleased to announce the international expansion plan. Xenture technology’ SaaS initiative is called Trabaajo-Smart recruitment. Trabaajo is a unique 4th generation job portal and application. It has been five months; the Trabaajo is currently going places and has been launched. We have stepped into territories with our branches in US and Singapore. Where we intend to open the offices of Trabaajo by end of the financial year some other regions like Paris, Bangkok, Hong Kong & California have been also been short listed.

Mr. Arun Kumar – CEO, Founder & of Trabaajo

Trabaajo the first of its kind, a recruiting application program for recruitment facilities and job search for all positions throughout the planet.

Trabaajo is a one stop solution for recruiting procedure. It’s a mechanism driving world’s largest industries, companies and student community . Applicant and recruiters will have the ability to finish tasks that are time-sensitive on the go that applicants and recruiters are not left or lost in the traffic or waiting for evaluations and approvals. The application empowers anyone to receive their job by making the recruitment process smooth. Trabaajo allows scheduling of interviews for the job seekers.

Trabaajo allows potential candidates to offer live video interviews based on their aptitude test anywhere at any time and in the nation. Recruiters can post job opening it provide document verification and resume structure according to the industry standards, analytics that are hiring and ability engagement module for its customers. Trabaajo also provides notifications that are automated.

Keeping in view the telecommunication infrastructure in India the platform has been optimized to run at bandwidth as low as 128 kbps i.e. 2G networks.

Speaking at the event, Xenture Technologies’ founder, CEO Arun Kumar said,’We are extremely happy to see our product growing in such timeframe. I think Xenture Technologies is the only startup That’s adhering to the Digital India and Made in India initiative of our PM Shri Narendra Modiji. Our product is native and we are currently taking this to the platform. The idea behind Trabaajo is to bridge the gap between an employer and an employee. Trabaajo as a smart recruiting program aims to be the only interface of recruitment through smartphones.”

Sunaina Agarwal, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Xenture Technologies Private Limited said,’The new offices will allow us to work with our clients and helps us build new clientele base. We are currently appointing local staff there and our staffs will ensure that clients have support from individuals. She said,’We already have number of customers in the channel, so we awaiting further leveraging our experience to help customers accelerate their hiring process and create engagement between HR the company and the applicant.

About Trabaajo

Trabaajo, a Xenture Technologies initiative, is a unique job program; the first of its kind mobile program for recruitment facilities and job search at all positions across the globe.

Trabaajo allows potential candidates to give live video interviews based on their aptitude test anywhere at any time and in the country. It also offers free job posting document verification, and detailed resume format for its clients as per the industry standards, hiring analytics and ability engagement module.

Automatic alarms are also provided by trabaajo. It functions as a first level screening tool for recruiters. The platform has been optimized to operate at bandwidth as low as 128 kbps i.e. 2G networks. This is done keeping in the view the telecommunication infrastructure in India.

What problems is it solving?

Trabaajo as an application is a time- effective tool helping to decrease the time consumed in the screening rounds. Trabaajo brings about improvement in conversion ratios and brings about efficiency in the recruitment process.

In the beta test, it has improved conversion ratios in face-to-face interviews from 15 percent to more than 73% for its clientele. It also solves the time-consuming problem of scheduling interviews (organizing calendars) between candidates and recruiters.

Other advantages include using an audit trail of interviews to ensure quality standards and reducing fraudulent interviews through a proctoring mechanism that is robust.

R Arun Kumar and Sunaina Agarwal founded in 2016 it. Trabaajo is the winner of recruitment application at the world HR Congress-2017.

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