OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P8 SHOBHANA SUBRAMANIAN COVID BLUES FIRST 1MDB GRAFT TRIAL Allowing restructuring of loans a bad idea, govt should recapitalise banks and remove IBC-freeze PM Modi to talk to chiefs of banks, NBFCs today to take stock of economy Former Malaysia PM Najib Razak sentenced to over a decade in jail STEPHEN S ROACH Euro may be heading towards an exceptional run of its own NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 128, 24 PAGES, `6.00 (PATNA `6.00, RAIPUR `7.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 38,492.95 ▲ 558.22 NIFTY: 11,300.55 ▲ 168.75 NIKKEI 225: 22657.38 ▼ 58.47 HANG SENG: 24772.76 ▲ 169.50 `/$: 74.84 < > 0.00 `/€: 87.62 ▲ 0.01 BRENT: $43.48 ▲ $0.07 GOLD: `52,078 ▼ `182 — Niti Aayog for govt purchase of 60k buses Covid exacerbates export slowdown (% change, y-o-y) -12.4 `27,000-30,000 cr -34.6 -36.5 FY21 budgetary allocation for MEIS/RoDTEP, industry sources say, but no official word on it -50 `40,000 cr -60 Jan Dec Oct 2019 Nov Sep Estimated MEIS outgo in FY19 -60.3 Jun -40 Apr -30 -70 2.9 May 2.25 Mar 3.93 -1.1 -1.8 -0.34 -1.7 -6.05 -10 0.64 -6.57 -9.71 -20 0 Feb 10 2020 Source: Ministry of commerce Continued on Page 2 THE NITI AAYOG may recommend that the government purchase60,000busesinorder to stimulate consumption demand in the economy. If implemented, the proposal would entail public expenditure of `20,000 crore and catalyse the revival of the faltering medium & heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) sales. Such auto sales declined 42% annually in FY20. Intheglobalfinancialmeltdown year 2008-09 and later, in 2014-15, the government had bought/sanctioned purchase of a total of over 22,500 buses under JNNURM (later renamed as AMRUT). These purchases were efficaciousfiscalstimuliandaided auto majors Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Volvo to boost their sales. Continued on Page 2 FY16 FY14 15 -42 FY20 30 -25 FY19 33 -33 FY10 40 20 0 -20 -40 -60 FY09 the outlay for the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) at `9,000 crore for the April-Decemberperiod,therevenue department has deprived exporters of over two-thirds of the duty remission benefits they are entitled to.The move could also have wider implications for exporters of assorted goodsasthedenialofthebenefit will suffice to blunt the already-narrowedgetheyenjoy in key markets over competitors,trade sources say. Fearing a shortage of funds following the revenue department’sdecision,thecommerce ministry has, for the time being,blockedtheonlinemodule for claiming MEIS benefits since July 23. Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)presidentSharadKumar Saraf cautioned that many liquidity-starved exporters,especially MSMEs, could go out of business.“Cashflowisbadlyhit and export recovery is in jeopardynow,”he said. Merchandise exports have been contracting since March. They witnessed a record 60% crash year-on-year in April, although the contraction narrowed to 37% in Mayand 12% inJune,aslockdowncurbswere lifted last month.However,the latest decision of the revenue departmentmaydashhopesfor asteadyrecoveryanytimesoon, exporterswarn.Sourcessaidthe FY21 budgetary allocation for benefits under the MEIS (or a new scheme that is now expected to replace it from January 2021) was about `27,00030,000 crore,although there is no officialword on it. Continued on Page 2 IF INDIA’S FOREIGN trade in goods and services have in recentquartersbeenacontinuous drag on the gross domestic product (GDP), the pull-down effect could be far stronger in the current fiscal. By capping Aug THIERRYBOLLORÉ HAS been appointed as the new chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover(JLR) effective September10,2020,the company saidinastatementonTuesday. He will succeed Ralph Speth, whowillcontinueasnon-executive chairman of JLR. Bollore hasworked in automotive and auto component companieslikeRenault,Faurecia and Michelin. He most recently was the CEO of Groupe Renault. Commenting on Bollore’s appointment, N Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Group,said,“I am delighted to welcome Thierry to Jaguar Land Rover. An established global business leader with a proven track record of implementingcomplex transformations, Thierry will bring a wealth of experience to one of the most revered positions in the industry.” BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, July 28 Jul FE BUREAU Mumbai, July 28 Keeping the outlay at just `9,000 crore will deny exporters of two-thirds of the duty remission they are entitled to Jun Thierry Bollore ● DEMAND REVIVAL Capping MEIS benefit to hit export recovery Apr Thierry Bollore to be new CEO of Jaguar Land Rover EXPORT BENEFITS May ● CHANGE OF GUARD Domestic truck and bus sales (Growth, %, y-o-y ) PRASANTA SAHU New Delhi, July 28 ON TRACK Special Features Filing ITR? Check your latest Form 26AS first The improved Form 26AS includes information on cash transactions, investment in shares & mutual funds, credit card bills, purchase of foreign currency and purchase/ sale of immovable property ■ Personal Finance, P9 Cloud interoperability is more critical now than ever before Cloud interoperability has become essential as firms seek to mitigate vendor lockins, ensure business continuity and navigate fluctuating workloads, saysAccenture Technology’s Kishore P Durg ■ eFE, P9 QuickPicks Flipkart to offer 90-minute deliveries of groceries, phones THE WALMART-OWNED Flipkart on Tuesday announced the 90-minute delivery for groceries as it looked to take on Amazon and JioMart in the fast-growing Indian market, reports PTI. The hyperlocal delivery service, 'Flipkart Quick', which will also offer 90-minute deliveries of fresh vegetables, meat and mobile phones, will initially be available at select locations in Bengaluru and would be gradually scaled up and expanded to six large cities by the end of the year. PAGE 4 ED raids multiple premises in case against GKV group, MIAL THE ENFORCEMENT Directorate (ED) on Tuesday raided multiple locations in connection with a PMLA case against GVK group, Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) and others to probe alleged irregularities of `705 crore in running the Mumbai airport, reports PTI. The raids were carried out at nine locations in Mumbai and Hyderabad. Offices of GVK group, MIAL and the premises of GVK group promoters were raided. PAGE 4 IndusInd Bank net plunges 64% on higher provisions INDUSIND BANK'S consolidated net profit plunged 64.37% y-o-y to `510 crore in the June quarter on higher provisions, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. Total provisions increased 425% y-o-y to `2,259 crore, compared to `431 crore a year ago. As per a stress test conducted by the lender, the slippages are likely to increase 92 basis points as a consequence of Covid. The pre-provision operating profit stood at `2,928 crore, up 13% y-o-y. PAGE 10 Freight loading improving, annual target to be exceeded: Railways FE BUREAU New Delhi, July 28 THE RAILWAYS’ FREIGHT loading in the first 27 days of thismonthstoodat81.3million tonne (MT), against 87.2 MT a yearago.Afterhittingalowof65 MT in April, the loading had improved to 82 MT in May and further to 93.3 MT in June. In fact,on July 27,the loading was 3.12MT,marginallyhigherthan achieved on the dayayearago. Of course,the freight earnings till July 27 this fiscal were Freight loading (million tonne) 100 80 82 93.3 81.3 65 60 40 20 0 April May June July* 2020 *Till July 27 `29,915 crore, 27% lower than the year-ago period. Railway Board chairmanVK Yadavsaidrailwaysisoptimistic of not only matching freight loading performance of July 2019 in the current month,but closing FY21 with higher than the target set for the year. “IndianRailwayshasachieveda significantmilestoneofpulling freighttrafficaheadoflastyear’s levelinspiteofCovid-19related challenges,”Yadavsaid. Continued on Page 2 RECORD VIEWERSHIP FUEL EFFICIENCY One of the five Rafale aircraft on the way to India getting refuelled mid-air. The aircraft took off from France on Monday SERO-SURVEY Infection levels at 40% in Mumbai, 57% in city slums Survey found 16% exposed in residential societies COVID-19 UPDATE 14,83,156 TOTAL CASES 33,425 DEATHS SO FAR 47,703 NEWCASES TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA Mumbai, July 28 A SERO-SURVEY CONDUCTED by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation with Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Niti Aayog on 6,936 people from threewards found that 57% in slums have been exposed to and developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus, as opposed to 16% exposed in residential societies. Those who conducted the survey said that shared facili- ties like toilets, high population density and lack of physical distancing may be the reasonswhythose living in slums were 3.5 times more exposed to the virus than people living in housing societies. Overall, the survey found that 40.5% had been exposed to coronavirus in Mumbai’s Matunga, Chembur and Dahisar areas where the serosurvey was conducted in the first fortnight of July. Matunga,which is close to Dharavi, had the highest exposure rate at 57.8%. Civic officers said the survey indicates that residential societies need to be careful even after lockdown is lifted as exposure rates remain low there, and intervention strategies like quarantining high risk slum population in covid care centres will have to continue. A surprise finding is that more women have developed antibodies than men. Data showed in slums 59.3%of2,297womentested, and 53.2% of 1,937 men had antibodies against Covid-19. In non-slum areas, 16.8% of women and 14.9% of total men tested had developed antibodies. Continued on Page 2 Moderna, Pfizer start vaccine trials, eye year-end launches MODERNA AND PFIZER launchedtwo30,000-subject trials of Covid-19 vaccines that could clear the way for regulatory approval and widespread use by the end of this year, the companies said on Monday,reports Reuters. Thetrials,bothannouncedon Monday, are the first late- stage studies supported by the Trump administration’s effort to speed development ofmeasuresagainstthecoronavirus, adding to hope that an effective vaccine will help end the pandemic. Both vaccine candidates rely on a new technology that allowsforfasterdevelopment and manufacturing than traditional vaccine production methodsbutdoesnothavean extensive track record. Socalled mRNA, or synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA), teaches the immune system to recognize and neutralise thecoronavirusbymimicking its surface. COVID-HIT Dil Bechara a huge hit on Disney+Hotstar GOP rolls out $1-trillion stimulus plan to bolster US economy uted to the fact that the film is not behind a paywall. Directed by Mukesh Chaabra,Dil Bechara premiered on Disney+Hotstar on July 24. It was Rajput’s last project. Shailesh Kapoor,CEO at Ormax Media, estimates the AVOD (advertisement-based video ondemand)segmentmakes upabout40%-60%ofHotstar’s userbase. ASMITA DEY New Delhi, July 28 SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT’S lastfilmDilBecharaisestimated to have garnered a record viewership of 50-100 million in the first three days of its premiere on Disney+Hotstar, according toindustryexperts.Whilethe actor’s sudden demise and the overwhelming sympathyhavebeenfactors, the surge inviewership can be also be attrib- Continued on Page 2 ERIK WASSON & LAURA LITVAN Washington, July 28 SENATE REPUBLICANS PRESENTEDtheir$1-trillionplanto bolster the pandemic-ravaged US economy in a series of Bills that would trim extra unemploymentbenefits,send$1,200 payments to most Americans and shield businesses, schools and other organisations from lawsuitsstemmingfromcoronavirus infections. The package was pulled togetherafterdays of negotiations between Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump’s emissaries that didn’t completely settle differences within the GOP over the size and scope of additional federal spending in response to the pandemic. “We have one foot in the pandemic and one foot in the recovery,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor, notingtherisingdeathtolland a fragile economic recovery. “The American people need more help, they need it to be comprehensive,and they need it to be carefullytailored to this crossroads.” Continued on Page 2 NEUTRALISING VIRUS Device to prevent coronavirus gets USFDA, EU clearance SRINATH SRINIVASAN Bengaluru, July 28 BENGALURU-BASED ORGANIZATION De Scalene has received clearancefrom theUS Foodand DrugAdministration (USFDA) and the European Unionto licence and manufacture Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon (Shycocan), a device that has the ability to neutralise 99.9% of the coronavirus that might be floating intheairinclosedspaces.Itcan be used to prevent infection and is not a medicine or an alternative to a vaccine that can cure infected people. Designed by a team led by DrRajahVijayKumar,who had earlier designed Cytotron, a machine to treat cancer more effectively, it does not emit anyharmful radiation.“Everyone, including the middle class,will be able to afford the device. It will be priced cheaper than a smartphone and will be launched at the stroke of midnight on August 15,”said Kumar. The device is effective in closed spaces of up to 1,000 sq ft or in places up to 10,000 cubic metres, such as waiting rooms,offices,malls and other public areas. “It will also be ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE effective in congested places and will bring down transmission drastically,” Kumar said. The device emits photons, which then collide with air particles to emit electrons that neutralise the Spike-protein or S-protein in coronavirus and was designed to mitigate common cold and flu at Scalene’s campus much before Covid struck. “Thevirus gets neutralised even before it enters the human body. So an individual New Delhi doesnotgetinfected.Sincethis is light we are talking about, the process is almost instantaneous,”explained Kumar. At the moment, the USFDA has given humanitarian licences to manufacturers and in India, about seven manufacturers have signed up to make the device. “The USFDA and the European union have their own standards and they have put the device through over 26 tests in some of the top labs of their region,”he said. “Currently, there are no competitors to this product,” Kumar observed.
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