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Pipe Dream
CLAIMING INDIAN has been `105 per quin- and paddy, government,
farmers would benefit tal, while safflower and agencies rarely lift other
to the tune of `62,635 lentil (masur) where FPI crops (such as pulses
crore, the Narendra sell-off intensifies were or oilseeds) in those JET AIRWAYS is a
Modi government raised by `845 and `225 quantities. Meanwhile ticking bomb. The airline
increased Minimum per quintal. the market price isn’t is perhaps one step away
Support Prices (MSP) If the entire quantity also on par with MSP. from being dragged to
for crops to be grown of crops produced this The higher MSP might the bankruptcy proceed-
this winter. These would winter is purchased at end up proving a cause ings by its lenders or trade
be sold in 2019 – when the government fixed of disagreement, and it partners. So far, Jet has
there is a general elec- MSP, farmers will indeed is high time the govern- managed to stave of
tion to be faced. The benefit; but this is un- ment realises this. insolvency proceedings
increase in wheat MSP likely. Except for wheat – Joe C Mathew by making timely pay-
ments to lenders, MROs,
OMCs, and lessors. Only
its employees – they have
not been paid for months
– are at the receiving end.
Recent reports sug-
gest that the airline is in
desperate need of working
AUTO capital loans. It has asked
banks for a moratorium

Out of Charge
and loan restructure. Jet
has also denied reports of
the Tata Group acquiring
substantial stake in the
airline, and is pursuing the
INDIA'S ELECTRIC vehicle story (EV) batteries. The bottom-line is clear. sale and-lease-back of 16
is unravelling fast. Electric car sales A proper policy with subsidies and a wide-body aircraft – Boe-
in fiscal 2018 declined 40 per cent – blue print for setting up charging in- ing 777 and Airbus A330
just 1,200 units, even as the govern- frastructure for electric vehicles may
– (that it owns) to generate
ment is pushing for at least a third of not be a prerequisite for two wheel-
all new car sales by 2030 to be EVs. ers but without that, the electric car funds. With external fac-
This is hardly a surprise for industry dream is a non-starter. tors turning hostile – rise
watchers. There’ve been many flip- – Sumant Banerji in ATF prices and rupee
flops and still no proper policy. depreciation – Jet needs
The only silver lining was the dou- to rapidly find an escape
bling in sale of electric two wheelers route to fend of bank-
in the fiscal to over 50,000 units ruptcy yet again.
– though this was largely due to the – Manu Kaushik
shift from the lead acid to lithium ion

18 I BUSINESS TODAY I November 18 I 2018