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Need more ease of doing business for self-reliant India: CII



Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). (Photo: Twitter/@FollowCII)

Steps for bringing further ease of doing business in the country will help bring more domestic and foreign investments, and help India in its aim of becoming self-reliant, a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) statement said on Sunday.

The industry body has identified immediate and medium term measures in terms of ease of doing business to boost the economy.

“While many policies have been announced for a facilitative investment climate, effective translation into ground-level outcomes will help investor perceptions and further boost confidence. We believe that taking the ease of doing business route can unlock huge potential at a time when the world is seeking new investment opportunities,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.

The statement noted that central and state governments have introduced a plethora of reforms across the various areas of doing business, which helped India leap to the 63rd rank in the latest Doing Business Report of the World Bank.

Sustaining this reform momentum can drive new investments including from overseas, CII said.

It has sought effective implementation of Online Single Window System as the first step towards strengthening ease of doing business. Regular monitoring by the Chief Secretary of a state, time bound approvals and single interface should be implemented in all states, it said.

Currently, only 21 states have implemented this system.

For a business entity, there should not be any other point of interface with the government, other than the single window system, it added.

CII noted that simplifying property registration and acquisition of land is critical. Industry should be permitted to buy land directly from farmers with deemed approval after 30 days. Digitisation and integration of land records and single online portal with integrated information can help in titling.

Compliances for labour regulations could be speeded up at lower costs, according to the industry body.

As per CII, enforcing contracts is a challenge due to insufficient commercial courts and infrastructure. It suggests major digital reforms such as virtual court proceedings, e-filing, and work from home to speed up court deliberations.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution institutions can be expanded in all parts of the country with arbitration and mediation centres, it said, adding that over the medium term, judicial capacity must be enhanced with specialized commercial courts at High Courts and District Courts.

It also said that MSMEs need a special helping hand and should be exempted from approvals and inspections for three years under state laws while following all rules. Self certification route can be used for renewal and approvals for MSMEs with a good track record.

India’s high logistics costs impact its competitiveness, said the statement. This will require medium term action such as increasing the share of railways and waterways in transport, improving first-mile and last-mile connectivity and reducing port dwell time.

Cross-subsidisation of freight should be rationalised, CII said among other suggestions.


Ford India closure: Compensation talks on with workers




A couple of rounds of talks on the compensation to be paid to the workers have been held between the representatives of Ford India Private Ltd’s workers and the management, said a worker union leader.

He said the company management wants to conclude the talks and arrive at a settlement by February 2022.

“Couple of rounds of talks have been held with the workers in Chennai. We have given our charter of demands and the management said it has to be negotiated,” the Chennai plant union official told IANS preferring anonymity.

According to him, talks with the workers in the Gujarat plant have also started.

“We have asked for compensation for completed and remaining years of service. The company is not agreeable for the same. The management has not indicated as to the compensation they are willing to pay to the workers,” the union official said.

Majority of the workers are young and have about 25 years of service remaining before they retire and the compensation calculated on that basis will be a sizeable sum, is the management’s view.

However, the parent company will be infusing funds in dollars and as per the exchange rate between dollar and the rupee the outgo for Ford India will not be much, the worker leader said.

Last September, Ford India announced its decision to wind down vehicle assembly in Sanand in Gujarat by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.

Ford India has four plants in the country — vehicle and engine plants in Chennai and Sanand.

Ford’s ‘quit India’ decision will result in an uncertain future for about 5,300 employees — workers and staff, the officials said last year.

The Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff.

“In Sanand, the number of workers will be about 2,000,” Sanand workers’ union General Secretary Nayan Kateshiya had told IANS.

Ford India had said more than 500 employees at the Sanand engine plant, which produces engines for export, and about 100 employees supporting parts distribution and customer service, also will continue to support Ford’s business in India.

According to Ford India, about 4,000 employees are expected to be affected by its decision.

The workers at Ford India want the prospective buyer of the car plants to hire them.

Meanwhile, Ford India has declared a holiday for majority workers till January 27.

About 100-200 workers have been asked to report for work to make the spares for the aftermarket, the union leader said.

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Equities decline in early trade on profit booking




 The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) and broader 50-scrip Nifty on National Stock Exchange declined on Tuesday due to profit booking.

Notably, indices had been gaining for the past six out of seven trading sessions.

At 10.10 a.m., Sensex traded at 61,099 points, down 0.4 per cent from the previous close of 61,308 points. It opened at 61,219 points.

Nifty traded at 18,233 points, down 0.4 per cent from the previous close of 18,308 points. It opened at 18,337 points.

Ambuja Cements, Maruti Suzuki, Eicher Motors, ACC, and Ultratech Cement were some of the top losers, NSE data showed.

Top gainers during the early trade were Adani Green Energy, Axis Bank, P&G, BPCL, and Godrej Consumers.

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ICICI Bank best performer in banking with 42% returns in FY22




ICICI Bank has been the best performer in the banking sector as it delivered 80 per cent/42 per cent returns over FY21/FY22 Year to date, Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities said in a report.

Its market capitalization ranking within the BFSI space has improved to two from five in FY18. Stability of the top management has helped improve its operational performance. Sandeep Bakhshi’s appointment as CEO has brought stability which enabled value creation and drove re-rating as the bank delivered 31 per cent CAGR in m-cap since FY18-21 v/s 7 per cent over FY10-18.

ICICI Bank reclaims the second slot after 7-8 years, overtaking Kotak Mahindra and HDFC Bank.

ICICIBC has delivered 34 per cent earnings CAGR over FY18-21 v/s a 15 per cent decline over FY15- 18. This has enabled 31 per cent CAGR in m-cap over FY18-21. During FY21/FY22 YTD, the stock has returned 80 per cent/42 per cent, making it one of the best performers in the Banking sector.

Consequently, its m-cap rankings within the BFSI space improved to second from fifth in FY18. ICICIBC’s share in total Private Banks’ m-cap under our coverage rose to 20 per cent from 11 per cent in FY18. We expect the bank to deliver 28 per cent earnings CAGR over FY21-24E. This will enable its continued outperformance vs. its peers and further raise its m-cap contribution in the Private Banking space, in our view, the report said.

It has reported strong progression in NIMs, narrowing the gap with sector leaders. With a higher mix of floating rate loans and our view on a reversal in the rate cycle, we expect portfolio yields to remain steady, driving 20 per cent CAGR in NII over FY21-24E. NNPA declined to sub-1 per cent — the lowest level since December 2014.

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