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Updated: 30 min 9 sec ago

SBI boss on why RBI needs to pull the plug on loan moratoriums

30 min 9 sec ago
MUMBAI: State Bank of India chairman Rajnish Kumar on Friday said that across the board relief on payment of loan dues is not needed beyond August and he expects the Reserve Bank of India to take a more sectoral approach in the coming months.“The RBI has data from the entire financial system and they will take a call basis that, but if you ask me across the board moratorium is not required anymore,” Kumar said while speaking at a two-day virtual conclave organised by the State Bank of India. “Certain sectors require relief and basis the data that the RBI has access to, I expect a calibrated approach from the regulator.“SBI had recorded a moratorium book of roughly 20% at the end of May which is set to fall further in the second leg of moratorium.“If I go by my book and the analysis of that book, the people who have availed moratorium that number is not very significant,” Kumar added. “It is premature to predict that there will be extension of moratorium till December.”Some media reports had suggested that RBI could look at extending the moratorium till December.Kumar added that six months moratorium was a mini restructuring and relief for restructuring has to be given to company making losses.“Any relief has to be looked in three buckets, one is reassessing working capital loans, realigning cash flows through term loan payment relief and deep restructuring for those corporates who are making losses,” he said.The RBI announced a three-month moratorium in March to help borrowers hit by the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown. That was subsequently extended by another three months to August. In the first phase, the system-level moratorium covered about half the total loans which dropped to below 30% June onwards.Kumar also hinted towards a sharp rebound in business recovery from June onwards but sounded a note of caution on account of lower activity in large urban industrial hubs.“The month of May was better than April and in June we are seeing a smart recovery, the feedback that I get is that the impact on rural areas has been very scare, but the impact of Covid is much severe in large industrial belts like Maharashtra, Gujarat, NCR and Tamil Nadu,” Kumar said. “The recovery has been sharper than we expected but we have to wait for a few months to see if this is sustainable.”Bumper harvests, record sowing, good monsoons, robust farm income and high demand for goods will likely buttress the initiatives to bring the economy back on the rails. Tractor sales are already witnessing revival in rural pockets while other consumption activity has reached over 80% of pre-Covid levels, experts say.But, several growth related predictions show the Indian economy will contract in the current fiscal year. Predications range from a degrowth of minus 6% to minus 2%.
Categories: Business News

Did 2008 crisis make the world more equal?

30 min 9 sec ago
By Ferdinando GiuglianoThe “elephant chart” has been the most influential graph of the past decade in economics.It showed that in the 20 years before the financial crisis, global income growth largely benefitted two groups of people: the middle classes of emerging markets, such as China, and the ultra-rich around the world. Meanwhile, the middle and lower classes of Western Europe and North America saw their incomes stagnate.This work — produced in 2013 by economists Christoph Lakner and Branko Milanovic using World Bank and other data — incensed the left around the world, sparking a debate over income inequality and the failures of capitalism and globalization. The dramatic rise in earnings of the top 1%, seen from 1988 to 2008, has since been blamed for the return of populism and protectionism and resulted in calls for radical policies such as sweeping wealth taxes.A new paper from one of the authors of what’s become known as the “elephant chart” suggests that things changed in the years immediately following the financial crisis. Milanovic, an economist at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, has now looked at changes in income distribution from 2008 to 2013. His main finding is that global income inequality actually declined during this period.While the middle classes of the developing world continued to close the gap with the West, the ultra-rich across the globe saw a significant slowdown in income growth — particularly in the U.S. and Germany. Contrary to hundreds of articles and books, the world became a more equal place in the aftermath of Great Recession.Milanovic has assembled a gargantuan dataset of household surveys, covering more than 130 countries in the world and around 95% of the world population. The breadth of the data helps explain why his work stops in 2013: Not all countries have statistical offices able to assemble more recent information on the incomes and consumption patterns of individual families.Analyzing changes in the income distribution, the author finds that global disparities plummeted after 2008. The world’s Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, fell from 66.4 to 61.6 in just five years, when taking into account differences in purchasing power across countries — a significant drop.The main driver of this convergence was a steep fall in inequality between richer and poorer countries: In particular, Asia’s economies powered ahead as Europe and the U.S. stagnated, narrowing the gap between the Asian and Western middle classes. The median income in Asia rose by 76% between 2008 and 2013. In Western Europe, North America and Oceania, there was a mere 6% gain. And these figures are taking into account the differing costs of living.This trend of declining global inequality was already visible in the pre-2008 world. Yet, rather than celebrating the improvements in the lives of millions of Asians, left-leaning politicians and academics in Europe and the U.S. preferred to focus on the right-hand tail of the distribution — the “trunk” of the “elephant” — which showed that the very rich had done much better than the Western middle classes.According to Milanovic’s latest data, the trunk, and therefore the elephant, may be no more. Taking into account global purchasing power differences, the top 1% of earners saw the lowest increase in income per capita between 2008 and 2013: a mere 6%. Conversely, those around the top 90th percentile in terms of income — which includes much of the European and North American lower and middle classes — saw gains of about 15%. Those around the middle of the global distribution saw income gains of about 60% over the same period.When the author redrew his curves without adjusting for purchasing power, and correcting for how the rich may under-report their incomes, he saw a slightly higher growth rate of income of the top 1%, but it still remained relatively small. In all analyses, the proportion of global income going to the ultra-rich fell between 2008 and 2013.The other striking result relates to inequality within individual countries. In theory, it is possible that while global inequality fell, individual countries became more unequal. But this was not generally the case. Milanovic finds that the overall Gini coefficient remained broadly stable between 2008 and 2013 in around 60% of the countries in his sample, while the remaining 40% were split between those that saw a decrease in inequality and those that saw it rise.Maybe the top 1% in each country still did well compared with everyone else? The data here were mixed too. In India, the years after the Great Recession favored the super-rich, who saw the biggest gains in income. Conversely, in the U.S., they were the worst-off: While most of the population saw their incomes rise by 5% over this period, the top earners saw a reduction of about 5% — though obviously from a much higher base. Of course, we don’t have the data to know what has happened since 2013, and we probably won’t for some time. The original “elephant curve” has also been subject to methodological critiques — one being that its results were too dependent on the different rates of population growth around the world. The same problems could apply to Milanovic’s new study.The current paper also does not look at wealth inequality, which some consider a more important measure of economic disparities though it’s much harder to study. And one can still argue that although inequality overall has declined, it remains far too high and requires radical solutions.Yet, Milanovic’s new findings deserve the same kind of attention as his old ones. The narrative around the global financial crisis and the rise of the top 1% will require some rewriting.
Categories: Business News

India, China agree on complete disengagement

30 min 9 sec ago
NEW DELHI: India and China on Friday resolved to push ahead with "complete disengagement" of troops in eastern Ladakh in a timely manner for "full restoration" of peace and tranquility along the LAC even as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh undertook a comprehensive review of the situation following withdrawal of Chinese military from several friction points.As Chinese troops continued to withdraw from Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh, the two countries held another round of diplomatic talks, and decided that senior commanders of the two armies will meet "soon" to discuss further steps to "ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation in a timely manner."Rajnath Singh also held a telephonic conversation with his US counterpart Mark T Esper during which the border row with China figured prominently, sources said.China's aggressive posturing along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in eastern Ladakh was discussed, the sources said, adding Singh apprised the US defence secretary about India's position on the row.After the online diplomatic meeting under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China Border Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) said the two sides agreed that maintenance of "enduring peace" in the border areas was essential for overall development of bilateral ties.The MEA said the two sides reaffirmed to ensure complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC for "full restoration" of peace and tranquility in the border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols."They also agreed that for the overall development of bilateral relations it was essential to maintain enduring peace and tranquillity in the border areas. They reviewed the situation in the India-China border areas including the progress made in ongoing disengagement process along the LAC in the western sector," the MEA said in a statement.In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said both the sides affirmed the "positive progress" made by their troops in easing the situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh and agreed to continue the dialogue to further de-escalate the situation."They have agreed to continue to maintain dialogue and consultations on the military and diplomatic channels, promote further de-escalation of situation on the ground, and strengthen confidence-building measures in the border areas, properly handle border issues in a timely manner," the ministry said in a statement.The MEA in its statement said both sides agreed that it was necessary to sincerely implement the understandings reached between senior commanders.In line with the first phase of the disengagement process from friction points, Chinese military on Thursday completed moving back its troops from the face-off sites in Gogra and Hot Springs, days after withdrawing all its personnel from the Galwan Valley, people familiar with the development said.They said withdrawal of troops from Finger 4 area in Pangong Tso is also gaining traction, paving the way for holding of another round of Corps commander level talks in the next few days to further de-escalate tension in the region.The formal disengagement process began on Monday morning after a nearly two-hour telephonic conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday.In Friday's talks, both sides recalled the agreement reached between the foreign ministers of the two countries in their talks on June 17 as well as outcome of negotiations between Doval and Wang, the Special Representatives (SRs) on the boundary issue."As agreed by the two SRs, the senior commanders will meet soon to discuss further steps so as to ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation in a timely manner. The two sides also agreed to maintain the ongoing communication both at the diplomatic and military level to ensure early resolution of the situation," the MEA statement said.Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the External Affairs Ministry, led the Indian delegation at the talks while the Chinese side was headed by Wu Jianghao, Director General in the Chinese Foreign Ministry.Amid the talks, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong, in a video statement, said the two countries should build mutual trust and should not allow differences to interfere with bilateral relations, adding both sides should work together to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas. He also said China and India should be partners, rather than rivals.In its statement, the MEA said both sides agreed to hold another meeting of the WMCC in the near future.Defence Minister Singh carried out a review of the situation in eastern Ladakh at a meeting with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria besides several other senior military officials.Gen Naravane gave a detailed account of the implementation of the first phase of mutual disengagement of troops from Galwan Valley, Gogra, Hot Springs and Finger 4 areas in Pangong Tso, sources said.The Indian and Chinese armies were locked in the bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last eight weeks. The tension escalated manifold after the Galwan Valley clashes in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed.Both sides have held several rounds of diplomatic and military talks in the last few weeks to ease tension in the region. However, there was no visible sign of any end to the standoff till Sunday evening.On June 30, the Indian and Chinese armies held the third round of Lt General-level talks during which both sides agreed on an "expeditious, phased and step wise" de-escalation as a "priority" to end the standoff.The first round of the Lt General talks was held on June 6 during which both sides finalised an agreement to disengage gradually from all the standoff points beginning with Galwan Valley. However, the situation deteriorated following the Galwan Valley clashes as the two sides significantly bolstered their deployments in most areas along the LAC.Tensions had escalated in eastern Ladakh around two months back after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.
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Ladakh row figures in Rajnath's talks with Esper

30 min 9 sec ago
New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday held a telephonic conversation with his US counterpart Mark T Esper during which India's border row with China in eastern Ladakh and overall security scenario in the region figured prominently, people familiar with the development said.Singh and Esper also deliberated on ways to further boost bilateral defence and security cooperation, they said, adding the telephonic conversation took place at the request of the US side.China's aggressive posturing along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh was discussed and Singh apprised the US defence secretary about India's position on the row, they said.The border standoff between India and China had also figured during Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla's talks with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale on Tuesday.It is learnt that the US has been keenly monitoring the fast evolving sitiation in eastern Ladakh.On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Indians have done their best to respond to China's "incredibly aggressive actions", asserting that Beijing has a pattern of "instigating" territorial disputes and the world shouldn't allow this bullying to take place."I've spoken with Foreign (External Affairs) Minister (S) Jaishankar a number of times about this (Chinese aggressive actions). The Chinese took incredibly aggressive actions. The Indians have done their best to respond to that," Pompeo told reporters in Washington.Earlier this week, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the US military will continue to "stand strong in relationship to a conflict between India and China or anywhere else"."Our military might stands strong and will continue to stand strong, whether it's in relationship to a conflict between India and China or anywhere else," he told Fox News.Defence and security ties between India and the US have been on an upswing in the last six years. In June 2016, the US had designated India a "Major Defence Partner," intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with New Delhi to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.About Singh's telephonic talks with Esper, sources said the two sides have been in regular touch with each other."They have spoken several times on bilateral defence cooperation and issues of mutual interest. Today's conversation was in continuation of this exchange," said a source.The Indian and Chinese armies were locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last eight weeks. The tension escalated manifold after a violent clash in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed.In the last five days, Chinese military has withdrawn troops from three friction points in line with a disengagement understanding with Indian Army.Both sides have held several rounds of diplomatic and military talks in the last few weeks to ease tension in the region.
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IAF gets final batch of Apache attack helicopters

30 min 9 sec ago
NEW DELHI: Amid the ongoing standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, US aerospace giant, Boeing, on Friday said that it has delivered the final five of the 22 Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force. The attack helicopter fleet has already been deployed at key air bases along the LAC, especially in Eastern Ladakh. Boeing said that it has delivered all the 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF, while stressing that it is fully committed to working closely with India’s defence forces to meet their operational needs. The final five of the 22 Apaches were handed over at the Air Force Station in Hindan, the company added. In March, the last five of the Chinooks were handed to the IAF. Both the Apache and Chinook helicopters have been pressed into service by the IAF in view of the ongoing border standoff. The Apaches are being used for night sorties in Ladakh. It is an advanced multi-role combat helicopter and represents the backbone of the US Army attack helicopter fleet. The Chinook is a transport helicopter for carrying troops, artillery guns and other equipment. “With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defence forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs,” Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India said. India is one of 17 nations to select the Apache and has the most advanced variant, the AH-64E Apache that is also flown by the US and several other countries. The AH-64E Apache is equipped with the latest communications, navigation, sensor and weapon systems. It has an improved Modernized Target Acquisition Designation System that provides day, night and all-weather target information, as well as night vision navigation capability. “It is uniquely suited to meet a commander's needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack, across myriad environments - without reconfiguration,” Boeing said.The CH-47F(I) Chinook contains a modern machined airframe, a common avionics architecture system (CAAS) cockpit, and a digital automatic flight control system (DAFCS). “Those innovations and technologies will help the Indian Air Force meet evolving mission demands, maximize interoperability, and reduce lifecycle costs,” it said.In September 2015, the defence ministry had finalized its order with Boeing for the production, training and support of 22 AH-64E Apache and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook helicopters. Earlier this year, India and the US signed a contract for the acquisition of six Apaches for the Indian Army during US President Donald Trump’s visit to New Delhi.Boeing’s joint venture in Hyderabad, Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) has been producing aero-structures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter for both US Army and international customers. Boeing’s suppliers in India are manufacturing critical systems and components for the Chinooks, including the crown and tail cone assembly by Tata Advanced Systems and the ramp and aft pylon by Dynamatic Technologies.
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Chinese JV among six bidders for 44 Vande Bharat trains

30 min 9 sec ago
Chinese state-owned CRRC Corporation has emerged as the only foreign player for the Railways' global tender for its ambitious semi-high speed indigenous Train 18 project, officials revealed on Friday.CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited, whose bid for the project is a joint venture of the Chinese firm CRRC Corporation Ltd with a Gurugram-based company according to its website, is one of the six contenders for the tender for procuring propulsion systems or electric traction kits for 44 trains to function as the Vande Bharat Express or Train 18.The other contenders include Bharat Heavy Electricals, Hyderabad-based Medha Group, Electrowaves Electronic Pvt Ltd and Mumbai-based Powernetics Equipments Pvt Ltd.Officials said going by the cost of manufacturing the first Train 18 which was launched last year at an expense of Rs 100 crore out of which Rs 35 crore was for the propulsion system alone, the present tender for 44 such kits would be worth over Rs 1,500 crore."We have got bids from six players for the train set tender," said Vinod Kumar Yadav, chairman of the Railway Board.This current tender was floated on December 22 last year by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, and was opened on Friday. It is the third such tender floated for these trains.Floated under the Make in India initiative, the tender was for the supply of electrical equipment and other items for 44 train sets of 16 coaches each.The first one was for 43 sets. Orders for only three were given, including one for Spanish major CAF and Medha Group that supplied for the first Train 18 which was christened Vande Bharat Express.Then a second tender was floated for 37 Train 18 propulsion systems which was cancelled.Surprisingly, major players like Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens, CAF, Talgo and Mitsubishi did not participate in the bids.The emergence of a Chinese company for these train sets being promoted as indigenous products comes after a violent face-off between India and China in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh last month.Following a standoff with the neighbouring country, the national transporter cancelled a Rs 471-crore signalling and telecommunication work for a stretch of 417-km on the Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) section by a Chinese company and also scrapped a tender for thermal screening cameras after Indian vendors complained of the bid document favouring the Chinese.Officials say it might take at least two-and-a-half years for the next Train 18 to be manufactured, thus causing delay in the target set by Railways Minister Piyush Goyal who had said that the plan was to produce 160 coaches in 2019-20, 240 coaches in 2020-21 and 240 coaches in 2021-22 at the ICF in Chennai.All coaches in these trains will be Chair Car type for day travel. They will be provided with cab AC, fully air-conditioned passenger compartment with vestibule arrangement, automatic plug doors with retractable footsteps, automatic intercommunication door, in-coach displays, speakers, side destination boards, luggage racks with reading lamps, direct lighting and diffused lighting (for luggage racks), continuous LED light fixtures, modular pantry equipments and GPS antenna in all coaches, Mobile/laptop charging sockets in the passenger seats, CCTVs and Emergency talk back units with networking system in all coaches.
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Doctors advised to use Remdesivir on COVID-19 patients strictly under laid-down protocol

30 min 9 sec ago
New Delhi: Doctors in state hospitals are being advised to use antiviral Remdesivir on COVID-19 patients strictly as per protocol amid some reports of liver damage in such patients treated with the drug, official sources said. While the health ministry is reviewing the guidelines on the usage of the drug following the adverse reports, states and union territories are also being asked to orient doctors on the protocols of Remdesivir use and not to prescribe it indiscriminately. To prevent black-marketing and overcharging of the drug, India's drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has asked manufacturers to set up a helpline where the patients or their family members can contact in case the drug is not available in the market and also put on their websites details of distributors and supply chain. "AIIMS specialists tasked by the Centre to provide expert guidance are advising doctors in state hospitals to use the drug as mentioned in the protocols stating it has been approved for restricted emergency use purposes in moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 subject to a set of conditions under 'investigational therapies' and not as a mainstream treatment," a source said. Remdesivir has been included as an "investigational therapy" in the clinical management protocols for COVID-19 based on limited available evidence at present. "The drug is being increasingly prescribed in the absence of any proven treatment leading to a rise in demand. But then the data derived from the studies so far suggest that its use can cut down the duration of the hospital stay and does not have any effect on the mortality," an official explained. Responding to a question on whether Remdesivir will be dropped from COVID-19 treatment protocols after its negative impact on liver has been indicated, a senior Union Health Ministry official during a briefing on Thursday had said that they are aware of few studies which have indicated some adverse events. "We are aware of this and within the ministry also there is a technical group of domain knowledge experts headed by DGHS that is looking into the evidence as it comes up. "If there is a requirement to modify or refine our clinical treatment protocols we will definitely do it," Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty in the Union Health Ministry, said. He also said that the DCGI has written letters to companies manufacturing them with two specific suggestions to prevent the blackmarketing and overpricing of the drug. "First suggestion was that these companies must put in place a 24x7 helpline where the patients or their family members could contact in case the drug is not available in the market or is being overcharged. "Second suggestion given was that they must proactively put on their website the details of their distributors and their supply lines so that all confusion and anxiety in the market subside," Bhushan elaborated. In addition, he said, the DCGI has also directed state governments to instruct drug inspectors to ensure that there is no black marketing of drugs which is being used in treatment of COVID-19 patients. Three companies, Hetero, Cipla and Mylan have been given permission by India's drug regulator to manufacture and market the anti-viral drug remdesivir for "restricted emergency use" on hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Written informed consent of each patient is required before the use of the drug while active post-marketing surveillance data and reporting of serious adverse events have to be submitted. In the letters, Bhushan mentioned, DCGI told these firms to upload the information on their websites regarding the distributors and supply chain details along with quantities where Remdesivir has been made available, so as to prevent black marketing and overcharging of the drug. Considering the emergency and unmet medical need for COVID-19 disease, the drug controller said, the CDSCO has granted permission to companies to manufacture and market Remdesivir injectable formulation for restricted emergency use for the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 infection subject to various conditions and restrictions. "This office has received representation raising concerns regarding black-marketing and overcharging of the drug Remdesivir injectable formulation in the country," the DGCI wrote.
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IRB Infrastructure secures Rs 2,193 crore project in West Bengal under Bharatmala

30 min 9 sec ago
New Delhi: IRB Infrastructure on Friday said it has secured a Rs 2,193-crore highway project in West Bengal under the Bhartmala Pariyojna. The company said the project for widening of 63.83 km stretch on National Highways-19 is its first project in eastern India and marks its entry in the ninth state in the country. The section is part of the Golden Quadrilateral Project "The company has emerged as a preferred bidder for BOT (build, operate, transfer) project of 6 laning of the national corridor NH-19 from Dankuni to Palsit stretch of 63.83 kms in West Bengal, with a project cost of Rs 2,193.23 cr," IRB Infra said in a statement. The project is on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) pattern, and the concession period is 17 years, including construction period of 910 days, it added. "We continue to look for opportunities to expand and diversify our presence. With this win, we will enter the eastern jewel of India. We are committed to build world class highway infrastructure for the development of eastern region and to bring quality connectivity with the rest of the country," IRB Infra Chairman & Managing Director Virendra D Mhaiskar said. With the award of this project, the company's March 2020 order book stands updated at about Rs 14,600 crore, the statement said. IRB Infra had recently bagged India's largest TOT (toll operate transfer) project Mumbai-Pune Expressway of Rs 8,262 crore, and has already paid the first tranche of Rs 6,500 crore as upfront sub-concession fee to Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd. IRB Infra is the largest private highways infrastructure developer in India with an asset base of Rs 45,000 crore across the parent company and two InvITs. The company claims to have constructed over 12,300 lane kms across India in two decades.
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Top 5 private banks stare at NPAs doubling to 5% in FY21

30 min 9 sec ago
Top five private sector banks may see their slippages double to 5 per cent this fiscal due to the poor loan offtake and the moratorium-driven contraction in net interest margins, warns a report.These five banks -- HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and IndusInd Bank -- collectively control a quarter of the system and three-fourths of the private banking space, according to a report by India Ratings on Friday."We forecast FY21 slippages to nearly double to around 5 per cent for these banks from 2.3 per cent in FY19 and 2.7 per cent in FY20, even though net slippages would be lower if refinancing remains a challenge, resulting in a 4 per cent contraction in their net interest margin," says the report.As loan demand remains tepid, banks are parking their excess liquidity in low yielding alternatives such as government bonds and top-rated corporate securities due to their higher credit risk perception and widening duration spreads, even as deposit inflows have been robust.On the other hand, growth in deposits for these top five private banks in FY20 was 18.8 per cent which was 18.5 per cent in FY19, while loan growth declined to 15 per cent from 19.1 per cent during this period. Additionally, the Reserve Bank has injected Rs 1.7 lakh crore of liquidity into the system over the last six months through open market operations and secondary market purchases.Without quantifying, the report expects a significant spike in delinquent assets due to the deep troubles the economy is facing due to the impact of the GDP destruction on the banking sector in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic.Additionally, banks have moved a large amount of the surplus liquidity into reverse repo where the rates have declined by 215 bps in the last one year, yielding 3.35 per cent and with cost of funds falling to 5-6 per cent, this could result in a negative carry.Over FY17-FY20, net advances of these five private banks and bank credit grew at a CAGR of 15.7 per cent and 9.1 per cent, respectively, while the unsecured retail portfolio grew at a CAGR of 21.8 per cent, and these give banks have increased the proportion of unsecured retail portfolio over the same period.Analysts at the agency also expect pre-provisioning operating profit or operating buffers of these lenders to be about 80 bps lower than their steady state pre-provisioning operating profit, which in FY20 was 4.9 per cent which may curtail their ability to withstand credit costs without capital erosion, the report warned.Analysts at the agency attributed fall in operating buffers as outcomes of lower portfolio yields due to an increase in slippages; poor loan growth and transaction volumes and the resultant lower fee and other income; slower pace of repricing for deposits reflecting the falling interest rates; and higher liquidity deployed in low earning government securities or under reverse repos.Stating that the impact of the rising bad loans “will not be benign,” the report notes that this comes at a time when sector was putting its house in order after the last six painful years on the corporate side, even though retail, SME and agri loans were already showing up pain areas before the pandemic hit all of us.
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Default risk for Indian firms drops at fastest pace in decade

30 min 9 sec ago
By Anurag JoshiDefault risks for Indian firms are declining at the fastest pace in more than a decade as the nation’s government deploys huge stimulus to support local companies hit by the impact of the pandemic.The cost to insure against nonpayment by a basket of Indian companies including Reliance Industries Ltd. and State Bank of India dropped by 252 basis points in May and June combined, the most for any two-month period dating back to 2009, according to CMA prices. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government unveiled $277 billion of stimulus in May and the central bank cut benchmark borrowing rates to the lowest since at least 2000 to help an economy that’s facing a contraction after the world’s largest lockdown.“India’s economic package, though a delayed one, was a recognition of the critical state of the economy because of the pandemic,” said Ajay Marwaha, head of investment advisory for Sun Global Investments Ltd. in London. “This has brought relief to global investors and helped boost Indian asset prices, including easing of domestic firms’ default swaps.”With Modi gradually opening up the nation following an almost three-month nationwide lockdown to check the virus, the Indian economy may start expanding by the end of March 2021, DBS Group Holdings Ltd. said in a report on July 7. 76891669Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report earlier this month that investors shouldn’t adopt “a broad negative stance on India credit based on economic fundamentals.” The bank added longer-dated bonds of Indian issuers to its preferred sectors among Asian investment-grade debt, but said it saw little value in junk notes from the nation’s borrowers.
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Mukesh Ambani has just outdone Buffett, is now 7th richest

3 hours 30 min ago
Mumbai: India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani is now the world’s seventh richest, overtaking the likes of Warren Buffet, and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.Ambani, 63, who is the only Asian to make it in the list of Top 10 richest people in the world, has seen his net worth jump to $69.9 billion, according to Forbes real-time billionaires list. An e-mail sent to RIL seeking comments from the company and Ambani was not replied to at the time of filing this story.Ambani controls India’s most-valued firm Reliance Industries (RIL), and has set an example by riding against the tide, as he managed to raise funds for the company’s Jio Platforms unit from a clutch of marquee investors amid the worldwide Covid-19 disruption.Since April, RIL has raised more than Rs 170,000 crore, out of which Rs 117,588.45 crore was collected through as many as 11 deals to sell stakes in Jio Platforms to global investors, and another Rs 53,124.20 crore through a rights issue. The company achieved its net debt-free status much before its promised deadline of March 2021.Shares of oil-to-telecom conglomerate RIL have more than doubled from the lows of March, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic spread thick and fast, impacting most businesses across the globe.“Ambani is blessed with immaculate capabilities of perceiving and implementing large-sized businesses, which is resulting in global scale for his business. I will not be surprised if RIL finds a place among the leading companies in the world in terms of market capitalization,” said Deven Choksey, Group Managing Director, KR Choksey Investment Managers.Ambani is now just behind Larry Elison, who has a net worth of $73.4 billion.RankNameNet Worth (in billions)Country1Jeff Bezos$188.2US2Bill Gates$110.7US3Bernard Arnault & family$109.5France4Mark Zuckerberg$90US5Steve Ballmer$74.5US6Larry Ellison$73.4US7Mukesh Ambani$70.1India8Warren Buffett$67.8US9Larry Page$67.7 US10Sergey Brin$66 USSource: Forbes.comMeanwhile, it has been testing times for legendary investor Warren Buffet. Despite a more than 40 per cent rally in US markets, where the legendary investor has most of his investments, Buffett has been the biggest loser of wealth among the world’s biggest billionaires for Calendar 2020.The total wealth of Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has shrunk by about $28.7 billion this year, and making him the eighth richest person in the world. It is the lowest rank on the rich list he has held since at least 2000.Buffett, a proponent of value investing, encourages people to buy and hold stocks forever. However, he himself was forced to offload a number of his big investments in the first quarter of this financial year, when the market was in a free fall.Berkshire Hathaway sold its entire stakes in the four largest US airlines, as coronavirus stalled travel demand. Berkshire was among the largest investors in the four — American, Delta, Southwest and United.Berkshire posted a net loss of nearly $50 billion in the first three months of the year.The decline in Buffet’s net worth is also linked to his philanthropic activities. He donated $2.9 billion worth of Class B shares in his Berkshire Hathaway charity this week, taking his total philanthropic contributions to $37 billion in 14 years.Meanwhile, the surge in the pandemic has enhanced the fortunes of Jeff Bezos, who has been ruling at the top spot as the world’s richest man with a net worth of $188.2 billion, as people resorted to online shopping more than ever due to the lockdown, sending Amazon shares soaring.“New age digital platforms have been seeing a stupendous rise in valuations due to a favourable environment in these uncertain times. We have seen a rise in the fortunes of the tech titans. Ambani is in lockstep with the likes of Bezos, Zuckerberg and Gates,” said Ajay Bodke, CEO-PMS at Prabhudas Lilladher.Apart from Bezos, others who top the list include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Bernard Arnault & Family, Steve Ballmer and Larry Elison.
Categories: Business News

NIA takes up probe in Kerala gold smuggling case

3 hours 30 min ago
New Delhi: The NIA on Friday registered a case against four people, including a key woman suspect, for their alleged involvement in smuggling 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore in a diplomatic baggage in Kerala, an official said. The Centre on Thursday allowed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the case in view of the "serious implications for national security". The central agency registered the FIR under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, an NIA spokesperson said. Sarith, Swapna Prabha Suresh, and Sandeep Nair of Thiruvananthapuram and Fazil Fareed of Ernakulum have been named in the case which relates to the seizure of 30 kg of 24 carat gold worth Rs 14.82 crore at Trivandrum International Airport on July 5 by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Kochi, he said. The consignment was found camouflaged in diplomatic baggage from the UAE that is exempted from inspection as per the Vienna Convention, the official said. The consignment was to be received by Sarith, who had worked in the UAE consulate earlier as a public relations officer, the NIA spokesperson said. Initial investigation by the Customs department has revealed that Sarith had received multiple such consignments earlier as well, the official said. As the case pertains to smuggling of a large quantity of gold into India from offshore locations, threatening the economic stability and national security of the country, it amounts to a terrorist act as stated in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, he said. As the case has national and international linkages, and as the initial inquiries have revealed that the proceeds of the smuggled gold could be used for financing terrorism in India, the NIA has taken up the investigation, the official added. The Customs department has said that it suspected a smuggling syndicate misused the name of a person in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) consulate who enjoys diplomatic immunity. On Thursday, India said it was keeping the embassy of the UAE informed about the case and that the mission was extending all cooperation to the Customs authorities examining it.
Categories: Business News

Ola top executive Arun Srinivas quits

3 hours 30 min ago
Arun Srinivas, who until recently was Ola’s chief operating officer and global chief marketing officer, has resigned and is serving notice, according to three highly placed sources. He leaves the company exactly a year after he joined. A former vice president at Unilever, Srinivas had joined Ola after a stint at private equity firm Westbridge Capital leading its investments in consumer vertical. Sanjiv Saddy, senior vice president, policy and government affairs at Ola also quit.Ola confirmed these exits. “Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer and Sanjiv Saddy, SVP- Corporate Affairs, are moving on to pursue other opportunities outside of Ola. The organization wishes them well in their future endeavours.”Srinivas, who was introduced as chief operating officer, till two weeks ago in Ola’s press interactions including the latest with the ETBrandEquity, is however designated chief sales and marketing officer in its statement.Srinivas, the latest CXO-level exit from Ola, had an expanded role in the company. As COO he owned the P&L of the flagship cab-hailing business in India as Aggarwal positioned himself as the group CEO overseeing an array of businesses including the electric mobility, financial services, foods business and international expansion. Srinivas was also global chief marketing officer, His LinkedIn profile says he had led the recent London launch of Ola in February this year. Srinivas’s exit follows that of Nitin Gupta, CEO of Ola Financial Services and Sanjiv Saddy, senior vice president, policy and government affairs at Ola. The CEO Aggarwal had earlier said the company saw 95% decline in revenue following mobility restrictions in cities. Ola fired 1400 people on rolls. It also massively downsized contract jobs to the tune of around 2000 in the recent months. Also, the company enforced a sharp reduction in remuneration at the top level.
Categories: Business News

Government holds back full IIP data for May

3 hours 30 min ago
NEW DELHI: The pace of contraction of India’s factory output slowed in May, falling 34.7% on year from 57.6% contraction in April, calculations based on data released by the government on Friday showed. The government did not provide a number for the change in output from May 2020 but said the number of units responding has improved as compared to the earlier months of lockdown. The Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation also revised the contraction in April from 55.5% earlier. “In view of the preventive measures and announcement of nation-wide lockdown by the Government to contain spread of Covid-19 pandemic, majority of the industrial sector establishments were not operating from the end of March, 2020 onwards,” MoSPI said in a statement, adding that this has had an impact on the items being produced by the establishments during the period of lockdown and the subsequent periods of conditional relaxations in restrictions.Manufacturing, mining and electricity contracted by 39.3%, 21% and 15.4%, respectively in May.“Quite clearly the lockdown and limited opening up affected production of all industries. Different state rules on transport and labour further exacerbated the situation. While non-essential goods were permitted for production challenges remained in logistics and labour,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings, adding that a similar trend may be expected in June too.
Categories: Business News

Pfizer, BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine expected to be ready for approval by year end

3 hours 30 min ago
BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected to be ready to seek regulatory approval by the end of 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing the German biotech firm's chief executive officer.The experimental vaccine, which showed promise against the fast-spreading respiratory illness in early stage human testing, is expected to move into a large trial involving 30,000 healthy participants later this month, pending regulatory nod.If it receives marketing approval, the companies are preparing to make up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and another 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021 at sites in Germany and the United States, Reuters reported last week.Several hundred million doses could be produced even before the approval, according to the WSJ report BioNTech and Pfizer did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.
Categories: Business News

ABB-Hitachi venture wins big order from Railways

3 hours 30 min ago
NEW DELHI: Newly-formed Hitachi ABB Power Grids has won a Rs 120 crore order from the Indian Railways to deliver transformers to be used in 400 passenger and freight locomotive engines. It is the first such bid won by the entity.As part of the Indian Railways' (IR) initiative to reach 100% electrification of its broad gauge lines by 2023, Hitachi ABB will be delivering the transformers to the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works in West Bengal, which is India's nodal electric locomotive manufacturing unit.Currently, IR has commissioned about 37,237 kilometres of rail lines on electric traction, which forms 58% of its total broad gauge network.The Japanese-European entity will deliver two types of transformers- the 6,531 kVA for goods engines, and a 7,775 kVA for passenger locomotives. These devices will help the train in traction, lighting, brakes, signaling, and a variety of other essential train functions.On July 1, Hitachi and ABB combined to form a joint venture worth $11 billion. N. Venu, the entity's India MD, told ET that their focus in India would be on e-mobility in the near future, as they see a huge opportunity in that sphere.
Categories: Business News

Tech View: Nifty forms Spinning Top on weekly chart

3 hours 30 min ago
NEW DELHI: Nifty50 on Friday stayed in a range in line with the trend seen in the past four sessions, highlighting indecisiveness among the traders all through the week.It was quite visible in the ‘Doji’ candle formation on the daily scale and a similar indecisive ‘Spinning Top’ on the weekly scale. These signs are not in favour of the bulls, analysts said.A ‘Doji’ formation, especially a day after an ‘Inside Bar’, suggests the rally has lost steam on the upside, said Gaurav Ratnaparkhi of Sharekhan.“The index seems to be in the process of forming a distribution below the 200-DMA. The 10,676 and 10,850 levels will continue to act as key support and resistance, respectively. The lower end of the range is a swing low and is the critical level to keep a tab on,” Ratnaparkhi said.Sacchitanand Uttekar of Tradebulls Securities said the bullish sequence in Nifty50 since its recent swing low of 9,540 has developed into a 'Rising Wedge' formation, which is now witnessing lack of momentum.“This indicates that the index has entered its final stage ahead of a breakdown. On the daily scale, Nifty50 has been holding above its five-day EMA while its RSI has been showcasing a clear negative divergence, cutting its average line near the overbought zone,” Uttekar, who advised traders to refrain from building fresh longs, said.For the day, the index closed at 10,768, down 45.40 points or 0.42 per cent.Aditya Agarwala of YES Securities said Nifty50 faced stiff resistance around its 200-DMA during the week, which is now placed at 10,893.“A sustained trade beyond the upper end of the consolidation channel i.e. 10,850 will take it towards its 200-DMA at 10,893 and 11,035 levels. If the bears push the index below 10,700 level, profit booking may set in. In such a case, Nifty will trend lower towards 10,545 level,” Agarwala said.
Categories: Business News

Hindalco, JSW Steel and JSPL are top metal picks

3 hours 30 min ago
Within the auto space, we like rural plays like M&M and also two-wheelers like Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto, says Head of Retail Research, MOSL. Do you think TCS, irrespective of the run up in the stock, continues to be a buy?If you look at TCS, the numbers and the commentary represents two divergent pictures. The numbers show a marginal miss on the top line as well as on the margins front, but if you look at the granularity, the healthcare segment has done well. BFSI, which is the major segment for them, has outperformed within the sector. The fall there was much lesser compared to some of the other segments. Finally, the deal wins and pipelines have been pretty strong. The management commentary suggests that the worst of the Covid impact is over and from here you could look at further improvement. They have also worked on lowering the cost which is also supportive to some extent. Going forward, the view remains positive on TCS. We have seen in the past that the company managing business challenges across various cycles in terms of technology and business,has managed well and that comes out pretty well in this environment as well. I would say that given the pandemic environment, the numbers were not that bad and we expect TCS to benefit from the Covid related tech spends over the next few years. That should also help them remain a steady player in the medium to long term. Near term, valuations have caught up. In fact, we see limited upside in the near term. Given that valuations are at a high, it is a market leader and so it has always been trading at a good valuation which would continue. We do not expect a fall, may be a consolidation at these levels. It is a good stock for a medium to long term perspective. What is going on with metals? What a strong rebound one has seen in the entire metals pack! Today some of them may be taking a breather but it seems like something is afoot here across sectors -- ferrous as well as non-ferrous. Most of these stocks have showed a fair amount of traction. Is there any investment opportunity here or do you think there is only a trade?Metals has been reacting to various news flows right from the positive macro data coming in from China and US which had raised hopes of an economic revival of sorts. Then you had some news flows from the domestic market where there was some chatter about the government putting in some import and some access to promote the domestic market from the overall metals pack. Metals to some extent is linked directly with the global economic cycle and to that extent. At this juncture, we could think more of what metals are providing, rather than an investment opportunity. Metal cycles usually last much longer. The economic cycles have been shortening and that is something we are aware of and hence we keep evaluating the macro trend as well as the sector specific approach. One can definitely look at some of the companies like Hindalco, JSW Steel and Jindal Steel & Power. These could be our preferred picks in the metal space. What is the outlook when it comes to the auto sector? There was nearly a 15% decline in revenues in the Jan to March quarter and largely due to the Covid induces lockdown. You have seen a major impact in terms of low demand from customers within this space. Is there a lot more risk venturing within the auto basket? Is it going to be a very selective play here?Yes, within auto, one has to be very selective. It is not a sectoral play anymore. You have some of the exports focussed companies, you have the passenger vehicle, two-wheelers companies. What we like within the auto space is that the rural theme is playing out well.The rabi harvest was good. Then you had the normal monsoon arrival and forecast of a good monsoon. So far, we have seen the monsoon being better than last year and the government is spending on a lot of schemes including MNREGA. Finally, the migrant labourers are going back to the rural farm sector leading to higher demand for not only MNREGA but for the farm sector and rural consumption. In this entire thing, the rural demand has picked up and that is what corporates across sectors have been saying. Within the auto space, we like the rural plays like M&M, which is a play on the tractor business. On the the two-wheeler side, one can look at Hero MotoCorp which is more focussed on the domestic market and our larger play on the rural segment. Bajaj Auto also has a large part of exports and hence these two would be our preferred picks focussing on the rural theme within the auto space.What is your outlook on private sector lenders because you have seen a decent amount of recovery in some of these names? Select names like ICICI, Axis, HDFC Bank, Kotak seem to be leading the way in the long term. How have you read into the commentary that Uday Kotak has given for the rest of the year and managing in a post Covid world?Yes, so the financials bore the biggest impact of the pandemic when we saw the lockdown, the risk to increasing NPAs, the moratorium book. But as we are progressing, we are looking at the numbers that these companies are reporting. Month on month, the moratorium book is coming down. So, people are starting to pay back on the loans. Some of the numbers announced by the private lenders show much better than expected impact. Q1 was the quarter which felt the bulk of the impact of the lockdown for more than two months. A partial lockdown is still there. So I would agree with what Mr Uday Kotak is saying, that some of them have taken this pandemic as an opportunity, and are looking at other ways and means to lend. There are other entrepreneurs who are looking at opportunities for getting to do business online or digital and that is helping us to be up and running in this environment. So, not everyone will benefit. Some of the larger private corporate banks are gaining market share. Some of these larger banks also are benefitting from their subsidiary valuations. ICICI Bank, SBI, Kotak are all benefiting out of the valuation uptick that their subsidiaries are having. In case of ICICI, there is ICICI Securities, ICICI Pru and the general insurance. SBI has these insurance businesses; SBI Cards is moving back sharply in the last few days and is supporting the valuation. \The core business valuation had come down and to some extent, subsidiaries are also supporting the overall valuations for these larger banks. So overall, we continue to prefer some of these large market leaders within the private and in the PSU space. Our preferred picks are lead by HDFC Bank, which is the most diversified bank in the private space followed by an ICICI Bank which is a mix of largely corporate and the retail book and then within the PSU space SBI. We believe valuations are still comfortable given that the recovery in the economy which so far looks to be better and faster than expectations. Going by some of the quarterly business updates, things are not as bad as we were expecting them to be. So it is a gradual recovery. We will have to take things as and when they move and maybe one or two quarters hence, we will see the impact when the RBI relaxation goes, whether things become worse again. But at least for now, it looks like they have a grip on the situation. It is a slow and steady move and business growth should be back for some of these larger players.
Categories: Business News

Tech Mahindra CEO Gurnani earned Rs 28.57 crore, up 28% in FY20

3 hours 30 min ago
Tech Mahindra chief executive CP Gurnani earned 28% more in fiscal year 2020, with annual salary and exercise of stock options taking it to Rs 28.57 crore, the company said in its annual report.While his base salary was Rs 2.79 crore, 21% lower than the previous financial year, vesting of stock options worth Rs 25 crore during the year took Gurnani’s total salary higher, it said.The ratio of Gurnani’s remuneration to the median remuneration of employees was 618.46, it said, and 77.16 if compared with only gross salary.The company said the average increase in employee remuneration during the year was 12%.“An increase of 4.3% was given to the employees during the year under review as against an increase of 10% in the remuneration of Managerial Personnel. The increase in remuneration of Managerial Personnel is due to exercise of stock options granted over the years. While all managerial persons are India-based, about 25% employees are based overseas where inflation and consequent salary increase tends to be low,” it said.Top executives have had to steer IT services providers in an uncertain environment, growing their business amid disruption in technology and rising protectionism in their main markets.India's software exports grew 8.1% to $147 billion in fiscal year 2020, with nearly 40% of that coming from the top five companies -Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Wipro and Tech Mahindra.Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO of India's largest IT services firm TCS, saw income fall by 16.5% to Rs 13.3 crore as salaries of top executives were reduced due to the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.Wipro's former CEO, Abidali Neemuchwala, earned Rs 32 crore, an increase of 12%, while Salil Parekh, CEO of Infosys, saw his salary increase by 39% to Rs 34.27 crore in fiscal year 2020.During the year, Tech Mahindra announced net new deal wins worth $3.7 billion, significantly higher than $1.67 billion in the year before. It also signed the largest enterprise deal in history in the insurance and annuities space.Tech Mahindra expects the pandemic to accelerate technology adoption and is focusing on areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity, 5G and business by design to make the most of this.“Consumer-facing industries such as travel, transport and banking will see the emergence of contact-less solutions such as drone-based delivery, autonomous vehicles, contactless payments,” it said in the report.IT infrastructure will transform with more virtual call centres, cloud migrations or data centres in the cloud. The need for ever-faster access to data and automation will enhance the focus on network equipment and communications and speed up 5G network deployments, it said.While the company has put in place mitigation plans to minimise the adverse impact of the pandemic on revenue and profitability, it is hard to assess the overall impact on the economy and the company now, it said.Three mega trends are expected to provide it with increased opportunities – 20 billion IoT connected devices by 2023, 70% data consumption by video and enablement of 5G networks, it said.
Categories: Business News

Govt develops ASEEM portal for sustainable livelihood opportunities

3 hours 30 min ago
In a move aimed at bridging the demand-supply gap in the skilled workforce post the migration of workers to their villages and provide employment opportunities to millions of people who have lost their jobs, the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship has developed the Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM) portal that will help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities. The ASEEM portal, developed by the National Skill Development Corporation in collaboration with BetterPlace, will provide employers a platform to assess the availability of skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans and in turn open up massive job opportunities for the unemployed youth. The portal which has integrated all existing data of MSDC has added information of about 20 lakhs migrant workers under the GKRA (Garib Kalyan Rojgar Yojana). The ministry will soon add data of all the 1.2 crore candidates trained under PMKVY 2.0 to the portal and hope the number is likely to go up to 1.5 crore with more and more migrant workers being aligned to jobs in and around their hometowns using the portal.According to the ministry, more than 100 employers, staffing agencies and demand aggregators have aggregated approximately 2 lakh jobs despite the current COVID 19 situations since the trail launch of the portal in June. In a small span of three weeks we have offered 14,000 jobs out of which 2,718 candidates have already joined the workforce through the portal, it said.“The initiative aims to accelerate India’s journey towards recovery by mapping skilled workforceand connecting them with relevant livelihood opportunities in their local communities especially in the post COVID era,”skill development minister Mahendra Nath Pandey said.According to the minister, with the increasing use of technology and e-management systems which assist in bringing in processes and intelligent tools to drive demand driven and outcome-based skill development programs, this platform will bring in close convergence and coordination across various schemes and programs operating in the skill ecosystem. This will also ensure that we monitor any sort of duplication of data and further re-engineer the vocational training landscape in the country ensuring a skilling, up-skilling and re-skilling in amore organised set up, he added. The ASEEM portal aims at supporting decision and policymaking via trends and analytics generated by the system for programmatic purposes. It shall help in providing real-time data analytics to NSDC and its sector skill councils about the demand and supply patterns including industry requirements, skill gap analysis, demand per district, state and cluster, key workforce suppliers, key consumers, migration patterns and multiple potential career prospects for candidates.The portal will have all the data, trends and analytics which describe the workforce market and map demand of skilled workforce to supply. It will provide real-time granular information by identifying relevant skilling requirements and employment prospects.
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