In this week's wrapup, we talk about Delhi’s air quality, the Tata Nano, Baap of Chart and more.
For the markets edition this week, we tell you how Maruti Suzuki is fighting to win back its market share. Again. Click here to read it.
Meanwhile, here’s a recap of what we wrote over the week.
Delhi GRAPples with air pollution
Delhi’s bad air quality is back in the news. Every winter its Air Quality Index drops like a rock. Think of AQI as a yardstick that runs from 0 to 500. The higher the number, the greater the level of air pollution and hence greater the health concern. And the usual suspects for this phenomenon? Stubble burning, fireworks associated with the festive season and slower winter winds.
Now, the city has been dealing with this for a couple of winters using something called the Graded Response Action Plan or GRAP. It’s simply an action plan that would kick in when the air became unhealthy, prohibiting certain activities depending on the level of air quality. But has it really worked? We took a look at it in our Monday’s story. You can read it here.
Baap of Chart gets a call from SEBI
If you haven’t heard of Mohammad Nasiruddin Ansari or Baap of Chart (BOC), here’s an introduction. This man is a finfluencer who runs a YouTube channel called BOC, where he ‘educates’ people on how to trade stocks and become rich!
But if you’ve been a Finshots regular you know that market regulator SEBI is keeping a watchful eye on finfluencers, especially if they promise people sure shot returns in the stock market. And that’s exactly what BOC was doing. No wonder, it came under the SEBI radar and was suspended from trading activity, along with a hefty fine of ₹17 crores. Actually, this wasn’t even a fine. It was the money BOC pocketed by deceiving people to fund its own trading losses. So how did BOC do it? We spoke about it in our Tuesday’s newsletter here.
Tata vs West Bengal: The Nano Story
In 2008, Tata stunned everyone at the Delhi Motor Show. They’d just unveiled the world’s cheapest car — the Tata Nano which would be priced at just ₹1 lakh! It was the first look and everyone wanted to see it. Global media stormed the launch. And they even destroyed the stage in the frenzy.
Now, Tata hoped to produce 10 lakh Nanos a year. And since the hype was insane, every state was fighting tooth and nail to lure Tata to make these cars in their region. After all, it would bring economic progress, more jobs and all that. Finally, it was West Bengal that came out as a winner. The government handed over the needed land. And the factory began taking shape.
But soon there were protests. Farmers claimed that the West Bengal government had forcibly taken 1,000 acres of land from them to make way for this factory. Apparently, the government didn’t even own that land in the first place. And signs that “Atta not Tata” began to float around referring to forcibly acquired wheat flour farms.
The matter went to court and judges ordered that the land was to be returned to the rightful owners. But what about Tata? Well, it lost not just the factory that was nearly 85% complete, but also the land it had eventually taken over. That went to court too.
And a couple of days ago it sort of won. The West Bengal Industrial Development Corp. Ltd was ordered to cough up a sum of ₹766 crores plus interest to compensate for Tata’s capital investments in Singur, the place where Tata decided to set up shop. We broke it down for you in our Wednesday’s story here.
The government wants money from PSUs?
The Indian government makes money in different ways. There’s the income tax you pay or indirect taxes like GST (Goods and Services Tax), customs and excise duties. It’s their primary source of revenue. Then there’s also the money the government gets from divestments. Meaning, they might choose to sell a part of their stake in public sector undertakings (PSUs) in which they own a major stake.
And every year, they make a budget and set revenue targets. It helps them understand how much money they’d pool in for public development. But budgets don’t always hold up. There could be road bumps along the way and there’s a chance that the government misses the targets it set. So what does it do?
Well, it tries to balance it out with other revenue sources such as dividends from the stake it holds in PSUs. And time and again in the past, the government has tried to squeeze out more dividends from such companies mid-year when its calculations signalled that it might miss its revenue targets. But is that in the best interest of these PSUs? Find out in our Thursday’s story here.
SEBI’s commodity trading ban enters Year 3!
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently extended a ban on futures trading in certain commodities to fight price rise or inflation. But ever since the first ban in 2021, there isn’t concrete evidence that these bans actually work. Then why does the SEBI continue to impose them? We don’t have a clear answer. But we try to break it down in our Friday’s story here.
Finshots Weekly Quiz 🧩
Every week we run a quiz, where you get an opportunity to win some exclusive Finshots merch! We ask you 5 questions — one from each daily story — and if you answer all 5 correctly, you get a chance to win amazing prizes. Here’s your chance to grab the winner’s crown.
Click on this 👉🏽 link, answer all the questions correctly and tune in to our Sunday newsletter aka Sunny Side Up next week to check if you got lucky.
We hope you enjoyed our weekly wrapup. Have a great weekend!
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