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Interim Budget 2019 Disappoints Indian Startups, RCom Files for Bankruptcy, Govt Comes to Air India's Aid et a.

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Feb 2, 2019 2:25 PM 3 min read

Indian startup ecosystem disappointed post Budget announcement. Reliance Communications files for bankruptcy. Government allocates INR3,900cr to service Air India debt. Government to conduct new survey on employment.


Now to Today's Top Business News Stories in Our End Of Day Wrap Up:



Indian startup ecosystem disappointed post Budget announcement.

A Budget Which Sought to Please All Left Some Out...: The Indian startup ecosystem complained of lack of clarity on pressing issues such as angel tax, tax parity in private and public exits, and the newly implemented FDI in ecommerce policy following the announcement of the interim budget announcement yesterday. 

That Aside: Here are five things the government got right on the political economy in the last five years.  

In the run up to the General Elections later this year, opposition leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday hinted at the introduction of a “…Minimum Income Guarantee for every poor person, to help eradicate poverty & hunger.” if voted to power. 

A Little Fun Never Hurt Nobody: Have a look at some rather hilarious representations of Budget 2019 here.



Reliance Communications files for bankruptcy.

Unable to sell its spectrum assets to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, Anil Amabani’s Reliance Communications filed for insolvency.

To Refresh Our Memories: The insolvency petition comes weeks after the Supreme Court had issued a notice to Anil Ambani on a plea by Ericsson India seeking initiation of contempt proceedings for allegedly not complying with its order to clear dues of INR550cr. RCom has outstanding dues worth over INR46,000cr.

Read original press release here.



Government allocates INR3,900cr to service Air India debt. 


As per the Budget presented yesterday, the government will provide INR3,900cr for servicing Air India's loans transferred to a special purpose vehicle. Of the total amount, INR1,300cr will be allocated this fiscal year, while the remaining INR2,600cr will be provided in the next. The national carrier is estimated to have a debt burden of INR55,000cr.


Hawk-Eye View: Under its new revival strategy, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has asked Air India to share its business plan. While the Ministry notes that the airline has been doing "pretty well" with a revenue growth of 20% YoY in Q3, constant monitoring will ensure that it does not walk the path created by Jet Airways or Kingfisher Airlines.



US China trade talks see important progress.

“Candid, Specific and Fruitful”: After his meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US President Donald Trump said he was optimistic that the world’s two largest economies could reach “the biggest deal ever made” by early March, before he plans to increase tariffs after a 90-day truce. 

Highlights of the meeting include:

  • China would make a new, immediate commitment to buy more US soybeans
  • China will expand imports of US agricultural, energy, service and industrial products


After a rather fruitful round of negotiations with Chinese delegates, President Trump insisted that he might keep some tariffs on Chinese goods even if Beijing and Washington were to reach a trade agreement.



Government to conduct new survey on employment.


The government will conduct a new national sample survey on employment, which will show that there has been "substantial job creation", said Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chief Bibek Debroy. 

The news comes soon after a Business Standard report quoted an NSSO survey which has not been made public yet, reporting that the national unemployment rate had reached a 45-year high in 2017. 

The legitimacy of the unemployment data has been much debated upon, and government’s policy think tank, NITI Aayog’s refusal to accept the numbers or to comment on the report has further muddied the waters. (Tweet This)

Read this insightful piece by The New York Times which shows how any bad news on jobs is likely to hurt the incumbent government in the next elections.


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