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Paytm clarifies licensing process status amid speculations, says govt champions fintech

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New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Fintech major Paytm on Tuesday clarified the status of its licensing process amid recent speculations, saying it has not received any communication suggesting a deferral or penalties and any notion to the contrary is “completely unfounded and misleading”.

Recent media reports speculated on the deferral of Paytm Payment Services Limited’s (PPSL) license application and potential penalties.

A company spokesperson said that the information appears speculative as the government has consistently championed fintech initiatives.

“The ongoing application process has seen us promptly provide the requested information, with no indication of rejection or penalties involved. Aligning with the government’s vision, supporting Paytm as a homegrown entity is pivotal for empowering Indian companies to compete globally and drive technological advancements,” the company spokesperson said in a statement.

PPSL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of One 97 Communications Ltd (OCL) and it applied for an online Payment Aggregator (PA) license for online merchants.

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The formation of PPSL, transfer of online payments business from OCL to PPSL and investment of capital in PPSL was required by RBI’s guidelines, which mandated that the PA business should be housed in an independent legal entity.

Without such a requirement, the online payments business would have continued in OCL itself, according to the company.

“Paytm, an Indian company founded by an Indian citizen, with our Founder CEO as the largest shareholder and sole SBO (significant beneficial owner) of One 97 Communications Limited (OCL), underscores its commitment to indigenous entrepreneurship and innovation,” said the spokesperson.

“All KMPs (key managerial personnel) and board members of OCL are of Indian origin, with Antfin having no Board representation or special rights. As clarified, the formation of PPSL, transfer of online payments business, and the investment of Rs 500 million were undertaken to comply with RBI’s regulations,” the spokesperson further said.

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⁠The regulator subsequently requested PPSL to obtain necessary approvals for the investment of Rs 500 million in PPSL and resubmit the application.

“To clarify, the investment of Rs 500 million was made from the OCL’s existing cash reserves and no Chinese capital was raised by OCL after the introduction of Press Note 3 of 2020. Further to add, the Rs 500 million was the capital required to comply with RBI’s minimum net worth rules and fund the cash requirements of PPSL,” according to the company.

As per the company’s stock exchange filing dated March 26, 2023, the regulator granted PPSL an extension and requested a resubmission, to which PPSL complied promptly.

“During the pending process, PPSL was allowed to continue with its online payment aggregation business for existing partners without onboarding any new merchants,” it added.

–IANS

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Pine Labs partners Google India to enable Gift Cards integration with 'Wallet' app

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Fintech company Pine Labs on Thursday announced it partnered with Google India to enable Gift Cards integration with the tech giant’s ‘Wallet’ app.

According to the company, the Gift Cards usage experience enabled by this partnership will provide ease and convenience to existing and new users and will eliminate the complexity around usage.

Google Wallet users will be able to easily store and manage their gift card journey from within the app and will be seamlessly reminded to use it when making a purchase.

“Considering the huge Android user base in the country, we anticipate a sharp jump in the usage of Gift Cards as more retailers and brands will now look to leverage it in their omnichannel strategy to expand their customer base, improve customer experience, retention, and loyalty,” Navin Chandani, President – Issuing Business, Pine Labs, said in a statement.

According to a report by Research and Markets, the Gift Cards market in India is expected to grow from $7.6 billion in 2023 to $15.7 billion by 2028.

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“The arrival of Google Wallet in India marks an important milestone in Android’s India journey, bringing innovative and convenient experiences to simplify people’s daily lives,” said Ram Papatla, GM & India Engineering Lead, Android at Google.

–IANS

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RBI sees India as an emerging global hub for chips, electronics manufacturing

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Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) India’s emerging sectors like renewable energy and semiconductors are expected to make rapid advances on the back of the recent initiatives by the government, according to the RBI’s annual report released on Thursday.

The interim Union Budget 2024-25, with an allocation of ₹6,903 crore for semiconductor and display fabs, would contribute to making India a global hub for chip and electronics manufacturing, the report states.

Investments under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme are likely to gain further momentum going forward. These factors are expected to create new employment opportunities, improve labour incomes and strengthen domestic demand. Taking into account these factors, real GDP growth for 2024-25 is projected at 7.0 per cent, the report states.

The passage of ‘The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Bill, 2023’, has paved the way for establishing the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF), which would provide a boost to research and innovation in basic science, healthcare, and humanities.

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Furthermore, the National Quantum Mission (NQM), approved at a total cost of around ₹6,000 crore (2023-24 to 2030-31), would scale up scientific and industrial research and development (R&D) and innovative ecosystem in quantum technology (QT). It would propel national priorities like Digital India, Make in India, Skill India and Stand-up India, Start-up India, Self-reliant India and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

All these initiatives, along with government-led investment in the infrastructure sector and increasing adoption of digital technologies, are likely to boost productivity and potential growth in the medium term, the report states.

–IANS

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Hero Fincorp approves Rs 4,000 crore IPO

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Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing company Hero Motocorp’s financial arm Hero Fincorp approved a Rs 4,000 crore Initial Public Offering (IPO) of equity shares with a face value of Rs 10 each.

IPO will be a combination of a fresh issue and an offer for sale (OFS) by certain existing and eligible shareholders of the company.

“The company’s board of directors met on May 29, 2024. It has approved an IPO with shares having a face value of Rs 10 each,” Hero Fincorp said in a statement.

It further said, “The IPO comprises Equity Shares aggregating up to Rs 40,000 million and an Offer for Sale of Equity Shares by certain existing and eligible shareholders of the company.”

Hero Fincorp is an NBFC company. It provides loans for two-wheelers, affordable housing, education, small and medium industries, etc. The company is present in more than 4,000 cities and towns.

Hero MotoCorp holds about 40 per cent stake in Hero Fincorp. Around 30 to 35 per cent stake is owned by the Munjal family. The rest is held by investors like Apollo Global, ChrysCapital, Credit Suisse, and some dealers of Hero MotoCorp.

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At 1:00 p.m., Hero Motocorp was at Rs 5,146 per share, up 0.04 per cent. The market capitalisation of the company is nearly Rs 1.03 lakh crore.

–IANS

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Centre urges states to go for reforms in granite & marble mining sector

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Centre has urged states to take up reforms for enhancing transparency and efficiency in the minor minerals sector which includes granite and marble, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Mines on Thursday.

Mines Secretary, V. L. Kantha Rao, in a meeting with state government officials in Bengaluru, emphasised the various initiatives and reforms undertaken by the Government of India in the mining sector. He urged the State Governments to also take up such reforms in the minor mineral sector.

Further, he pointed out that the Central government has made comprehensive data and information on exploration available through the NGDR (National Geo-Data Repository) Portal, facilitating access to data for all stakeholders. This initiative, driven by data collected from Central agencies, aims to enhance transparency and efficiency in the mining sector.

Officials from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and PSUs were present at the workshop.

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Additional Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner, Government of Karnataka, Dr Shalini Rajneesh, emphasised the importance of collaboration between the government and industry to find solutions to administrative, technological, and other issues in the granite and marble mining sector.

She underscored that any economic activity, including mining, must be sustainable. Dr Shalini welcomed startup ideas and innovative contributions to address the sector’s challenges constructively and also stressed the use of IT platforms to manage critical areas of the mining sector, ensuring transparency and reducing grievances.

After the inaugural session, various stakeholders made presentations on the issues of granite and marble mining. Thereafter, Governments of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana gave presentations responding to the issues flagged by the industry association and also highlighted the Best Practices on the Regulation of Granite and Marble Minerals.

A presentation was also made by Joint Director, National Council for Cement and Building Material DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce Dr B. Panduranga Rao, regarding the role of granite and marble industry in India’s cement and construction sector. Chief controller of mines, IBM, Piyush Narayan Sharma, made presentation on sustainable development framework in the mining sector and star rating of mines.

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–IANS

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Awfis Space Solutions debuts at 13 per cent over issue price

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Mumbai, May 30 (IANS) The shares of office space provider company, Awfis Space Solutions, debuted with positive gains on exchanges on Thursday. The company’s shares opened at Rs 435, a 13.58 per cent premium over its issue price of Rs 383 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

Shares of Awfis Space Solutions were listed at Rs 432 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) with a premium of 12.86 per cent.

The IPO of Awifs Space Solutions received a good response from the market. According to BSE data, the IPO was subscribed 108.56 times. The reserved quota for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) was subscribed 116.95 times, the reserved quota for non-institutional investors 129.81 times, and the reserved quota for retail investors subscribed 54.58 times.

The reserved quota for employees was subscribed 25.20 times.

In the IPO, a 75 per cent quota was reserved for QIBs, 15 per cent for non-institutional investors and 10 per cent for retail investors.

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Awfis Space Solutions provides office space to startups, MSMEs, corporates and MNC companies. The company also runs several co-working spaces.

–IANS

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