Air India Sale
- GoI on 29th Oct, announced yet another round of changes to facilitate the sale of Air India.
- Earlier, the government had mandated a fixed level of debt to be bundled with the sale.
- This time the government will allow prospective bidders the flexibility to decide the level of debt they wish to take on while buying the debt-ridden airline.
- The last date for submission of expressions of interest has been extended from October 30 to December 14.
- The winning bidder will have to deposit at least 15% of the bid amount in cash with the government ahead of the share transfer.
- The government hopes that these changes would make Air India a more attractive proposition.
- Given the fact that aviation has been one of the worst-hit sectors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Most existing players, who would have made for the best bidders, are struggling to survive themselves.
- Moreover, air traffic in October, while distinctly better than May, is less than half of what it was before the pandemic hit.
- Further, with the second wave of COVID infections across the board, estimates suggest that most airlines may struggle to be financially viable even in 2021.
- The trouble is, since Air India losses money each year, it is difficult for the government to wait out this trough in the market — unless, of course, it can find ways to run the airline in such a manner that it doesn’t leak money.
- Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has crossed 2 billion transactions in October.
- UPI has registered nearly two-fold growth in monthly volumes in less than a year.
- RBI: UPI has emerged as the most used retail payments railroad in the country in recent months, processes higher volumes than debit and credit cards put together.
- A sudden surge in adoption of digital payments among first-time users because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- A sizable uptick in online shopping
- Festive season sales
- A gradual recovery of the consumer economy
Facts about UPI
- UPI first went live in April 2016
- It took the channel over three years to clock its first billion transactions per month in November 2019.
- UPI is an instant realtime payment system facilitating interbank transactions.
- There are over 174 banks live on the channel.
GST Collection – ₹1 Lcr
- Goods and services tax (GST) collections for October crossed the ₹1 lakh crore mark for the first time in the current fiscal year.
- GST collections in October added up to ₹1.05 lakh crore, 10.2% more than the year earlier.
- The growth in GST revenue was -14%, -12% and 4% in July, August and September, respectively.
- This indicates that economic recovery is underway.This will be big relief for states also.
- Experts attributed the recovery to festival-related consumption and said it needs to be seen if this will be sustained.
- Core sector data released on Friday showed the output of eight infrastructure industries down just 0.8% in September from a year ago and could bounce back into the black in October.
- India’s biggest car makers Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai reported strong sales growth in October at 18.9% and 13.2%, in that order.
- E-way bills for October are expected to be about 11% higher than September’s 57.4 million.
Govt to help Stressed Sectors
- FINANCE SECRETARY Ajay Bhushan Pandey: Stressed sectors are being identified and the government will make interventions at the right time.
- Hospitality, tourism and various other sectors that are being identified
- Pandey, also revenue secretary, supported a simpler, three-rate goods and services tax (GST) structure but cautioned against too much tinkering with the slabs.
- Stimulating the economy is a continuous exercise.
- He also said that if something sector-specific is required, this will have to be done in a direct manner, not through taxation measures.
- On India raising customs tariffs to protect local industry, he said this had to be done in a gradual manner with a clear vision that they would be phased out eventually.