OPINION, P6 COMPANIES, P4 M SABHARWAL & S KUMAR Encouraging apprenticeship key to new education vision NATION, P3 SUNIL JAIN EMPLOYMENT POTENTIAL ‘FRUITFUL MEETING’ Mission Karmayogi for bureaucrats is fine, but the real need is to fix political system & incentive structure India’s IT sector to keep generating jobs, says TCS CEO Rajnath, Iranian counterpart discuss regional security NEW DELHI, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 162, 22 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 IN THE NEWS Govt may set up EV charging kiosks at 69k petrol pumps PANDEMIC PROBLEM THE GOVERNMENT is mulling setting up at least one electric vehicle (EV) charging kiosk each at nearly 69,000 petrol pumps to woo people towards electric mobility, reports PTI. Besides, the government is also thinking of making it compulsory to install EV charging kiosks at all company-owned, company-operated petrol pumps of state refiners. Despite very low levels of testing, new infection levels remain high, so no curve flattening in sight for some time KESAVANANDA BHARATI, on whose petition the Supreme Court delivered the landmark judgment on the celebrated doctrine of the basic structure of the Constitution, died on Sunday, reports PTI. VicePresident Venkaiah Naidu and PM Narendra Modi condoled the Kerala seer’s demise. Jan 5, 2020 Sept 5, 2020 Testing levels are low (Tests per thousand people) 300 250 200 US Germany UK India India US UK Italy Mar 5, 2020 Sept 5, 2020 RAT tests are inefficient (Share of RAT tests as % of total tests on September 5) 90 75.4 Bihar (Aug 15) Delhi Tamil Nadu 0 Karnataka Kerala Chhattisgarh 150 100 50 0 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Mar 13, 2020 Sept 5, 2020 Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 Delhi govt data show RT-PCR detects 3 times as many infections 10 57 5 0 US Rise in tests India Rise in cases Number of times, from June 1 to September 5 March 23. In the US, while the peak positivity was 22.3% on April 7,this fell to 4.9% on June 1,rose to 7.6% on August 1 and then fell to 5.6% on September 5. In the case of Italy, once the worst in the world, positivity rateshadshotupto13%onApril 24butarenowdown to 2.1%. 2.2 Andhra 15 120 ‘000 on June 1 100 11.4 2.1 80 60 6.3 40 15.6 20 0 Kerala 20 2.9 Delhi & Mumbai did more tests initially, so their infections rose slower 6.9 4.4 140 Tests per Karnataka Tests per ‘000 on June 1 25 ISHAAN GERA New Delhi, September 6 While the number of tests Indiahasdonehasshotup,from 40 lakh on June 1 to 4.9 crore on September 5,this is very low compared with other countries, especially when seen relative to thelevelsofpopulation. 46.3 66.5 43.8 If initial levels of testing low, infections rise faster later US did more testing than India, so its infection rose slower later Infections growing most in states that tested too little THE STORY OF low testing levels leading to higher infection levels over time becomes even more evident when you look at individual states or cities, and even countries. On June 1, the US conducted 57 tests per thousand people compared with India’s 2.9. Between June 1 and September 5, while the number of tests in the US rose 4.8 times, the number of infections rose by a smaller 3.5 times. In other words, a high level of initial testing results in a lower rise in infections later. In the case of India, since the initial levels of testing were low, infection levels spread fasteronce the levels of testing were raised. As the number of tests rose by 12.3 times — from 2.9 per thousand on June 1 to 35.4 on September 5 — infections rose 21.1 times. TN IF INDIA OVERTOOK Brazil over the weekend to become the world’s second-ranked countryintermsoftotalCovid19 infections so far — India became the top-ranked in terms of new infections on August8—themainreasonfor this is poor levels/protocol for testing so far; this has allowed thosewithinfectionstoremain undetected and go around spreading the disease. Worse, in case of those that were diagnosed as Covidinfected,India’shealthauthoritiesdeclaredthattheyhadbeen cured without even testing them; once again, this allowed the infection to spread. While WHO guidelines say recovery takes place in 14 days,the average for India is 11 days and it is as lowaseight days in Bihar. As a result of this, positivity levels — fresh infections as a share of fresh tests — rose from 6.5% on June 1 (5-day rolling average) to 10.7 on August 1, before falling a bit to 7.6% on September5;attheirpeak,positivitylevelsinIndiawere17%on 15,000 0 Positivity rates remain high (New cases upon new tests, %) W Bengal Kesavananda, seer behind basic rights case in SC, dead ISHAAN GERA New Delhi, September 6 Infections are still rising (fresh infections) 90,000 Brazil France 75,000 India 60,000 UK 45,000 US 30,000 Delhi IN A bid to optimise its costs, the State Bank of India (SBI) has planned a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) under which about 30,190 employees are eligible, reports PTI. SBI’s total employee strength stood at 2.49 lakh at the end of March 2020. India’s Covid curve is still rising Builders use cash sops to Mumbai Cutting costs: SBI plans VRS scheme, 30,190 eligible REVIVING DEMAND woo buyers, drive sales SHUBHRATANDON Mumbai, September 6 STRESSED TO THE core, developers of all hues are rolling out incentives to clear their inventory.And this time around, the sops are more in the form of upfront cash benefits rather than freebies such as consumer durables, travel vouchers or discounts on interiors. The cash benefits include zero stamp duty,zero floorrise andzeromaintenancecharges. Homebuyers also have the option of paying just a fraction The cash benefits include zero stamp duty, zero floor rise and zero maintenance charges Homebuyers also have the option to pay just a fraction of the cost upfront and the remainder over several years As per Knight Frank, the sum of the sops is significant and has brought down prices by 8-12% in India’s top 8 cities Sanctions cross `10k cr,but offtake slow RISHI RANJAN KALA & BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, September 6 THOUGH A government-backed alternate investment fund (AIF) has sanctioned as much as `10,284 crore to help complete 101 stuck housing projects, only a fraction of the approved fund has been released. Industry sources told FE disbursement has been to the tune of only `1,000-1,500 crore, as a Covid-induced slowdown in construction has kept a lid on offtake. FUNDING FILE Against sanctioned funds of `10,284 cr, offtake is less than `1,500 crore Sanctioned funds, once disbursed, will enable the completion of 71,559 houses Some of the projects that have received final approval for the funds are Highland Park (Ansal Housing) in Gurgaon; Naman Premier(Naman APMC mandis seem to be losing trade share Losing grip *During Jun 6-Aug 31; all 3 Ordinances were issued on Jun 5 Onion Potato Cauliflower Brinjal Watermelon Orange Apple Paddy Wheat Masur Tur Urad APMC mandi arrivals, (% change, y-o-y) -56.9 -53.5 -54.4 -25.6 -48.1 -31.7 -48.7 -19.5 -22.3 -38.9 -44.5 -40.8 SIGNS OF A weakening of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) net- works are now evident across majorfarmproductioncentres inthecountry,heraldinganera of unfettered market access and bolstered bargaining strength for farmers. On June 5, the Centre promulgated three Ordinances reforming agriculture market- Source: Agmarknet portal Continued on Page 13 STUCK REALTY PROJECTS ● REFORMS IMPACT PRABHUDATTA MISHRA, NANDA KASABE & DEEPA JAINANI New Delhi/Pune/Lucknow, September 6 of the cost upfront and the remainderinastaggered manner over several years. The sum of the sops, according to Knight Frank India, is significant and has brought down home prices by 8-12% in India’s top eight cities. Customers, ANAROCK Property Consultants chairman Anuj Puri, believes are comfortable with paying 10% upfront rather than coughing up 50-70% only to discover the developeris not readywith the apartment. ing, and their impact on the trade has been rather sudden andmaterial:DuringtheJune6August 31 period, mandi arrivals of crops — from fruits and vegetables to cereals and pulses — have dropped dramatically. Continued on Page 2 ● SOLAR POWER Bundling to cushion tariff hit to consumers ANUPAM CHATTERJEE New Delhi, September 6 TO ADDRESS THE issue of solarpowernotfindingbuyers, the government will bundle projectsinordertocushionthe hittostate-runpowerdistributioncompanies(discoms)from high tariffs discovered under certain auctions, Union power minister RK Singh told FE. Tostartwith,projectswitha combined capacity of 3 gigawatt (GW) bid out under the manufacturing-linked solar scheme in January,will be bundledwith a total 3.2 GWcapacity awarded in the last two Seci auctions held in February and June.This means that the discoms concerned could buy power at a composite rate of `2.66perunit,againstahigher tariffof`2.92discoveredinthe manufacturing-linkedscheme. “Because the rates (under manufacturing-linked scheme) are high, the states have been reluctant (to buy), so standalone solar projects undertwootherroundsofauction have been identified and are being bundled with the manufacturing-linked solar projects,”Singh said. Continued on Page 13 New Delhi Projects that have got nod: Highland Park (Ansal Housing) in Gurgaon; Naman Premier (Naman Group) in Andheri East; Upper Thane project (Lodha); Primera (Ramprastha Group) in Gurgaon, and Asha Bahadurgarh (Essel) in NCR Group) in Mumbai’s Andheri East; and Upper Thane project (Lodha Developers). Continued on Page 2
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