Uber, Ola surge price capped; 10-hour break must for taxi drivers


Ride-hailing aggregators such as and have been brought under the Centre’s regulation, implying greater scrutiny and stringent penalties for any non-compliance related to passenger fare and labour rules like working hours of drivers. Government control over the cab tariff structure tops the list of regulations. The new norms, as per the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020, have mandated a cap on surge price, preventing aggregators from charging more than 1.5 times of the base fare.

The new legal framework would also mean a driver working with Ola, or similar aggregator cannot be logged in for more than 12 hours in a day. There has to be a mandatory 10-hour break after working for 12 hours. For cancellation of bookings, either by the driver or the rider, the penalty has been fixed at 10 per cent of the fare, but it cannot exceed Rs 100.

The cab aggregator stares at suspension of licence on multiple grounds —if it fails to ensure safety of its riders, if it charges higher rates repeatedly and in case it fails to comply with the contractual obligations towards drivers. If the aggregator receives

Amazon, Flipkart, and others clock $8.3 billion in festive gross sales


E-commerce giants Amazon, Flipkart, and others witnessed blockbuster festive season sales this year. The pandemic accelerated the shift to e-commerce, with an increasing number of consumers shopping online at a higher frequency.

India’s online festive sale for a month — during October-November — raked in $8.3 billion in gross sales, including for brands and sellers, up by 65 per cent year-on-year, exceeding forecasts, according to a report by consulting firm RedSeer.

“The overall growth story has been very bullish this festive season,” said Mrigank Gutgutia, director at RedSeer. “We had forecast $7 billion in sales but the actual figures surpassed our expectations clearly, showing how comfortable consumers have become with shopping online even in a pandemic-hit year.”

The festive season this year saw 88 per cent customer growth from last year, which was driven by 40 million shoppers from tier-2 cities and beyond. Mobile phones continued to dominate across all the products, and with the rising share of users from tier-2 cities and beyond, GMV (gross merchandise value) per customer dropped to Rs 6,600 from Rs 7,450 in the last festive season.

Additionally, the gross

Amazon-Future tussle: Singapore’s arbitration court rejects Biyani’s plea


Ltd’s plea to be excluded from being a party to the Amazon-Future Coupons’ arbitration proceedings has been turned down and the Court of Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has ordered that the arbitration shall proceed, according to sources.

In October, a single-judge bench of V K Rajah had given an interim arbitration award, barring Ltd (FRL) from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party.

According to the sources close to the development, FRL had approached the Court of SIAC saying the arbitration proceedings were part of a contract to which the company is not a party. The company had pleaded that it be excluded from being a party on account of jurisdiction objection.

However, the Court of SIAC has decided that the arbitration process shall proceed and accordingly, a tribunal will be constituted in this matter.

Queries sent to and Ltd did not elicit any response.

In August last year, bought 49 per cent in one of Kishore Biyani-led Future Group’s unlisted

Huawei’s global smartphone market share to slump to 4% in 2021: Report


Huawei Technologies’s global smartphone market share is expected to fall to just 4 per cent in 2021, a precipitous drop for the company that this summer ranked as the world leader in shipments.

China’s telecommunications giant will account for 14 per cent of the market this year and then drop to less than a third of that, TrendForce researchers said Tuesday. A sustained campaign of sanctions against Huawei from the US government has resulted in the company losing access to key software, chip design and manufacturing partners, depriving it of its technological edge.

The Honor budget phone division that Huawei recently announced it is selling to a government-backed consortium in Shenzhen will take 2 per cent of the market next year, constrained by its own component shortages and uncertainty around sanctions, according to an article posted on TrendForce’s WeChat account.

The forecast points to other established Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Oppo stepping in to fill the void left by Huawei, benefiting along with Apple Inc.’s iPhone sales. Together with the newly independent Honor, the rest of China’s smartphone makers are likely to expand production targets and compete aggressively

Asset quality of Indiabulls Housing Fin, IIFL Finance vulnerable: Moody’s


Asset quality at non-bank lenders IIFL Finance and is “vulnerable” due to the economic contraction, global ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday.

The agency said Muthoot Finance the third non-bank finance company it rates is better positioned because of its focus on the gold loans business.

Loan collections have shown an improvement for all the three NBFCs despite the six-month loan repayments moratorium ending in August on a pick-up in economic activity, but “asset quality at IIFL Finance and Indiabulls is vulnerable to economic contraction”, it added.

Till now, various types of support measures for borrowers from authorities have prevented a sharp deterioration of asset quality at the lenders, it added.

“However, we expect delinquencies will eventually increase at IIFL Finance and Indiabulls once the support programs end given the severity of the pandemic’s impact on India’s economy,” the agency said.

A modest loan growth and loan sales will help IIFL and Indiabulls maintain capitalisation despite the weakening of profitability, which will be hurt by credit costs for the loan losses, it noted.

Funding to NBFCs, which had been impacted in the past after the

Tariff hike to depend on largest telco: Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal


Chairman Sunil Mittal believes India will be an important player in cutting-edge 5G technology but wants pricing to be investor-friendly. In a conversation with Business Standard, Mittal spoke about the urgent need to raise mobile tariffs, the industry’s interest in upcoming 4G spectrum auction, the company’s stand on 5G and the government move to bar Chinese equipment vendors in telecom.

When asked about Airtel’s plans to raise tariffs, Mittal said: “it will depend on the biggest player”. At present, Reliance Jio, with over 400 million mobile subscribers, is the largest telco in the country, having beaten the long-time market leader Airtel. Jio’s wireless market share is more than 35 per cent against Airtel’s 28 per cent, according to the latest data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

While stating that the current low tariffs in the sector were not sustainable, Mittal said “somebody has to take a call depending on market conditions”, while referring to industry rivals as well as Trai. He, however, added that the industry was not looking at a major tariff increase in one go.

The indications are that Airtel may not take the first step in hiking

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