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Tuesday,03-August-2021

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Vodafone Idea to offer services under new brand name ‘Vi’

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Telecom operator Vodafone Idea will offer its services under a new brand name Vi, as merger and integration of Vodafone and Idea has been successfully completed.

In a statement, the company said that the coming together of the two brands has culminated into the largest telecom integration in the world.

Launching the new brand ‘Vi’, Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, said: “Vodafone Idea came together as a merged entity two years ago. We have, since then, focussed on integrating two large networks, our people and processes. And today, I am delighted to present ‘Vi’, a brand that will bring important meaning to the lives of our customers. Indians are optimistic and want to get ahead in life.”

VIL is now leaner and agile, and the deployment of many principles of 5G architecture has helped the company transform into a future-fit, digital network for the changing customer needs, Takkar added.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Ltd, said that with the new brand ‘Vi’, the company stands committed to partner the government to accelerate India’s progression towards a digital economy, enabling millions of citizens to connect to the digital revolution and build a better tomorrow.

“As the integration of the two businesses is now complete, it’s time for a fresh start. That’s why we believe that now is the perfect time to launch ‘Vi’, one company which combines the strengths of Vodafone India and Idea. Vi’s focus will be to deliver to the citizens and businesses in India a superior network experience, better customer service and leading products and services,” said Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group Plc.

Shares of Vodafone Idea surged after the announcement. At 12.34 pm, its share price was Rs 12.54, higher by 4.41 per cent from the previous close.

The rebranding comes at a crucial time when the company is fighting for its survival, amid financial stress and huge AGR dues.

On Friday, the Board of Directors of Vodafone Idea had approved a proposal to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through Global Depository Receipts(GDR), American Depository Receipts (ADR), non-convertible debentures, and other routes.

The development comes after the Supreme Court’s September 1 verdict on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) issue, wherein the top court gave a 10-year timeline to the telecom companies to repay their dues, with an upfront payment of 10 per cent by March 31, 2021.

Market analysts have time and again said that Vodafone Idea would require raising of funds and may also need government support for its survival as it is already under financial stress. The AGR dues have further burdened the company.

According to an assessment by the Department of Telecommunications, Vodafone Idea owed a total of Rs 58,254 crore. As per the government, the operator now owes balance AGR dues of around Rs 50,399 crore.

Business

Essar Oil UK announces appointment of Chief Executive Officer

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The Board of Directors of Essar Oil (UK) Limited on Monday announced the appointment of Deepak Maheshwari as its Chief Executive Officer.

EOUK’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex is a key strategic national facility, annually producing over 16 per cent of the UK’s road transport fuels.

Maheshwari joins EOUK at a transformative juncture as it accelerates its transition to a ‘Low Carbon Energy Provider’ of the future.

As CEO, Maheshwari will work closely with the EOUK Board on the delivery of a number of strategic energy transition projects which are aimed at making Stanlow a green refinery to meet the post-carbon needs of a progressive UK.

Amongst these are HyNet (a low carbon hydrogen energy and carbon capture project) which will transform the North West of England and North Wales into one of the world’s first low carbon industrial clusters, together with the building of a Biofuels business which will include production of both renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

With more than 25 years’ senior leadership experience, across the utilities, energy, and infrastructure sectors in Europe and Asia, Maheshwari will lead an experienced management team and further strengthen corporate governance within the ESG framework.

Most recently, Deepak was CFO and Head of Strategy at Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, India’s largest commercial multi-port operator. He was previously CFO of Essar Energy Limited.

EOUK Chairman, Prashant Ruia, said: “We are delighted to welcome Deepak to EOUK. His immense corporate experience will prove invaluable during such an important period of growth for the company, which is aiming to be a leading player in the transition towards a sustainable society by delivering cleaner energy solutions.”

“I am delighted to be joining EOUK as Chief Executive Officer and look forward to building on the impressive legacy that Essar colleagues have created. The UK’s green economy continues to develop and flourish and the Board and I will work hard to ensure EOUK sits at the fulcrum of the UK’s sustainable, low carbon future.”

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Odisha records 54% growth in GST collection in July

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Odisha recorded 54 per cent growth in Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in July as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, officials said on Monday.

According to an official statement issued by the office of the state GST commissioner, Odisha collected GST worth Rs 3,615 crore in July 2021 as against Rs 2,348 crore collected in July last year.

This growth rate of GST in Odisha is the second highest among all major states in India after Maharashtra, the statement said.

GST collection till July end of this financial year is Rs 13,661 crore, as against Rs 7,540 crore collected till July last year, thereby recording a growth of 81 per cent.

The state collected Rs 927 crore in CGST, Rs 1,028 crore in IGST and Rs 592 crore in cess in July. Moreover, the total collection of VAT (petrol and liquor) was Rs 824.53 crore in July as against Rs 611.36 crore collected in July 2020, recording a growth of 34.86 per cent.

The revenue collection from liquor recorded a growth of 36.36 per cent, officials said.

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Will Goa resume mining? Industry dependents seek clarity

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Days after the Goa assembly passed the Goa Mineral Development Corporation Bill 2021, paving way for setting up of the body to revive mining in the state, the Goa Mining People’s Front, an umbrella organisation for mining dependents in the state on Monday demanded a timeline for resumption of mining activity.

The Front, a collective of now-unemployed mining industry workers and owners of businesses linked to the industry, has also said that the bill passed in the state assembly to form the Corporation had no roadmap for revival of mining.

“There is transparency required on how this is going to enable early resumption of mining in Goa and restore the livelihood lost which is more vital in current circumstances. The bill does not spell out any intent about protecting the interest of local people by creating employment,” a statement issued by the Front’s president Puti Gaonkar said.

“The current bill does not mention about induction of workers or trucks directly by corporation so the interest of local people does not form a part of the bill. Goans have faced a lot of hardships because of repeated bans on mining in the last one decade and are now looking for stable and sustainable livelihoods,” the statement said.

Mining activity in Goa was banned by the apex court first in 2012, following the unearthing of a Rs 35,000 crore scam by a judicial commission appointed by the central government. But was resumed in 2015 with restrictions, before it stopped again after the apex court found irregularities in renewal of 88 mining leases and stopped all ore extraction activity from March 2018.

According to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, forming the Corporation would enable the state government to fast-track resumption of mining activity in the state.

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