Economy contracts 23.9%, SC gives telcos 10-year lifeline, Unacademy turns unicorn

The Adani group acquired a 74 per cent stake in the company that controls the Mumbai airport. Unacademy became the second unicorn in the country’s edtech space after Byju's. The Supreme Court allowed telecom companies to clear their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues in 10 years. India banned 118 mobile apps, including videogame PUBG, saying the Chinese platforms threatened its security.

Business Standard
5th September

  • India’s economy contracted by 23.9 per cent in April-June--the worst performance since quarterly measurement began in 1996 and probably the first contraction since 1980. The lockdown and the consequent suspension in economic activities due to the pandemic were so massive that among a mix of advanced and emerging economies, India’s GDP contraction in Q1 FY21 was the worst.
  • The Supreme Court allowed telecom companies to clear their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues in 10 years, ending an extended industry-versus-government dispute on the matter. Companies will have to make a 10 per cent upfront payment by March 31, and their instalments will begin from April 1.
  • India banned another 118 mobile apps, including Tencent Holdings' popular videogame PUBG, as it stepped up the pressure on Chinese technology companies following a military standoff with its neighbour at the border. “The decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of the Indian cyberspace," said the government.
  • The government has capped benefits under its biggest exports promotion scheme at Rs 2 crore for each business on trade done between September 1 and December 31, sparking protests against the "unilateral step". Benefits under the Merchandise Exports of India Scheme would stop from January 1, said the commerce department.
  • Edtech start-up Unacademy said it has raised $150 million in a round of funding led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank valuing it at $1.45 billion: a three-fold jump in just six months. This makes the Bengaluru-based firm the second unicorn in the country’s edtech space after Byju's.
  • The Gautam Adani-led Adani group has acquired a 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), a joint venture between the Airports Authority of India and GVK Industries. MIAL operates the Mumbai airport, the largest in the country after Delhi.
  • Facebook’s India head appeared before a parliamentary standing committee for information technology in the midst of a debate over the social networking platform’s perceived bias towards the BJP that the ruling party has sought to fight back with a counter allegations. A majority of the 30-member panel raised questions; mostly on hate speech, reports said.

Disclaimer: This information is from a third party—Business Standard—offered through a tie-up to Kotak Securities customers. Click here for complete disclaimer.

A few links for further reading

Hard path to growth

The signals for the economy are not positive: overall demand is yet to pick up; the share of total exports in India’s GDP is declining, and industrial output pattern remains worrying.

Small savings scheme

Investors breathed a sigh of relief when the government announced that interest rates on these instruments would not be revised for the fourth quarter of the calendar year.

Invest and emigrate

The great Indian dream of settling abroad is achievable if one has a few crores to invest. Rich nations offer a variety of investment options in a quid pro quo arrangement: immigrants get a better quality of life and revenue from them helps these countries’ finances. Wealthy Indians, troubled by polluted cities and the red tape holding up entrepreneurship, may want a quick ticket out of the country. Sanjay Kumar Singh lists a range of options: from a Canadian province’s investor programme to America’s US EB-5 plan.

Want to get this in your email?