Business Today

6 February 2022

A leading business magazine read by the business leaders for staying ahead and managing challenges that comes right away in the ever changing world of business.

Living Media India Limited
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the budget tightrope walk

In the best of times, preparing a Budget that pleases the majority of the population is a very difficult task. But when a finance minister has to do that in a completely unpredictable environment, it becomes several times more so. That’s what Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will have to do when she rises to present the Budget for 2022-23, as the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, driven by the Omicron variant, sweeps the country. Meanwhile, latest data shows retail inflation rose to 5.59 per cent in December 2021, up from 4.91 per cent the previous month, while growth in industrial output slipped to 1.4 per cent in November, the lowest in nine months. The silver lining, however, is that the ongoing Covid-19 wave is not seen to be as…

the buzz — briefings

REALTORS’ REALITY The country’s realtors are gaining some pricing power. Demand for homes surged 51 per cent in 2021 over 2020 following pandemic-induced disruptions, continuation of work from home, and low interest rates on home loans. Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru recorded decent price appreciation. Developers in micro markets close to infrastructure projects like Delhi-Mumbai corridor (Sohna, Haryana), and Jewar international airport (Noida) also hiked prices by mid-single digits. What’s keeping realtors jittery is steady cost escalation—25-30 per cent over the past one year—that is threatening their margins. estimates residential prices to rise steadily from mid-2022. —ARNAB DUTTA WHILE HOME sales have surged, there has been steady cost escalation over the past year All Stocked Up THE SUPPLIERS ARE IN POSITION. The Omicron wave has pushed fast moving consumer goods majors from ITC and Dabur…

the buzz — spotlight

GOODBYE SSANGYONG MAHINDRA AND Mahindra (M&M)-owned SsangYong Motor has been acquired by a consortium led by South Korean electric bus and truck maker Edison Motors for $254.56 million. In 2010, M&M had acquired a controlling 75 per cent stake in debt-ridden SsangYong and even retailed SUV Rexton in India, but failed to make a mark. Sridhar V., Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP, says despite M&M’s SsangYong and (earlier) Ford partnership failures, group Chairman Anand Mahindra may “still explore a partner as it makes sense for electric vehicles”. —PRERNA LIDHOO GROWW WITH SATYA Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella’s investment in stock trading platform Groww reinforces global investor bullishness on the Indian start-up story, especially on the burgeoning fintech sector. Founded in 2016, Groww was valued at $3 billion when it secured $251 million in a…

beps 2.0: how it impacts mncs

AS WE WITNESS CHANGE IN ALL SPHERES OF THE ECONOMY, the world of taxes is not far behind. The changes particularly impacting multinational companies began when Lehman Brothers happened and countries started staring at falling tax revenues. Two facts stood out. One, MNCs were able to park their profits in tax havens or low-tax jurisdictions; this was nothing new but started pinching in light of declining revenues. Second, with the dominance of the digital economy, old concepts of taxation like the existence of a permanent establishment (PE) to establish a taxable presence were no longer relevant. Also, unless global solutions were found to these issues, each country would evolve unilateral measures, which would result in chaos. The final thing was that some of the largest MNCs likely to be impacted by…

cometh the hour…

IT IS A TIME OF SHOCK. Of worry. Of change. As the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic rages, the relief is that it has had significantly lower impact than the second. At least for now. But the country is on edge. What’s the path ahead? For, make no mistake, India has several challenges beyond the pandemic—reviving private sector investment, kick-starting job creation and enhancing the purchasing power of consumers in the world’s fifth-largest economy. February 1 is the day we look forward to for answers, to understand the mind of the government. And one hopes that when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pulls out her nowfamous red bahi khata to read out the Union Budget proposals, she would have some, if not all the answers. To shore up its spending power…

the monetisation gamble

MID THE DOOM and gloom of the pandemic in 2021, two instances showed the government a way forward, financially speaking. In April, Power Grid Corporation of India became the first PSU to go public by floating an infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), which included mainly high-voltage transmission lines and substations, raising more than ₹7,700 crore. Then, in November, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, took to Twitter to announce that the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) first InvIT, which comprised five toll roads spanning over 390 km, has raised ₹5,000 crore. This success spawned a plan to raise another ₹3,000 crore. These two examples show that if the government wants to monetise assets, there is enough private sector interest in “viable, structured and investable projects”, says Manish Aggarwal, Partner…