Shapoorji Pallonji seeks Tata divorce, Parliament approves labour bills; KKR invests in Reliance Retail

Toyota Motor said it won’t expand further in India due to high taxes. The Supreme Court ruled that Vedanta is entitled to recover a $499 million arbitration award from the central government. Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said it will supply 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine to India's Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Tata Projects Ltd is likely to bag the government’s project to redevelop Parliament. Here is more on what made news this week.

Business Standard
26th September

Cash-strapped Shapoorji Pallonji group said its wants to sell its 18% stake in the holding firm of the Tata empire. Reliance Industries said private equity firm KKR will invest $755 million in its retail arm for a 1.28 per cent stake. Parliament approved labour legislations that aim to attract investment and make it easier for companies to do business in India. Telecom companies must pay 10 per cent of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by March 31 next year irrespective of what they have already paid, according to the government. Here is more on what made news this week.

  • Shapoorji Pallonji (SP), the largest minority shareholder in Tata Group, told the Supreme Court it is necessary to separate interests from the autos to steel conglomerate. The two groups have been embroiled in a legal battle since 2016 when Cyrus Mistry, scion of the family that controls the SP Group, was sacked as chairman of Tata Sons. The SP group has valued its stake in Tata Sons at close to Rs 1.78 trillion.
  • Private equity firm KKR & Co Inc will invest $755 million in the retail unit of Reliance Industries Ltd, the Indian conglomerate said, bringing the total funding in Reliance Retail to $1.78 billion within a month. KKR’s investment for a 1.28% stake in Reliance Retail values the company at Rs 4.21 trillion ($57 billion), Reliance said in a statement.
  • Shareholders of the Rs 38,100-crore Murugappa Group voted against a proposal to appoint Valli Arunachalam on the board of the holding company, prompting her to allege gender bias. “It is evident that the family cannot tolerate women in their boardrooms,” said Arunachalam, who is the daughter of the group's late executive chairman.
  • Parliament approved labour legislations that aim to attract investment and make it easier for companies to do business in India. The new bills include the industrial relations code that will allow companies with as many as 300 workers to fire them without seeking prior government approval, a three-fold jump from the current threshold. The other two bills approved are related to social security and occupational safety.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India said it would tweak norms for debt mutual funds to improve liquidity and help schemes meet redemption requests at a short notice. The guidelines could mandate all debt schemes to hold a certain percentage of their portfolios in liquid assets and conduct regular stress tests to assess their liquidity profile.
  • Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea must pay the government 10 per cent of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by March 31 next year irrespective of what they have already paid, according to the telecom department's view of a Supreme Court order. Operational telecom operators are expected to pay Rs 12,921 crore by March 31, of which close to 80 per cent has to be paid by Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel.
  • The government increased the minimum support price (MSP) of key rabi crops for the 2021-22 marketing season by 2-6 per cent, seeking to douse protests against legislation that it says will unshackle farmers from having to sell their produce only at regulated wholesale markets and make contract farming easier.

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