OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL ‘NEW HISTORY’ STARTING SUNDAY PM inaugurates 12 railway projects in poll-bound Bihar US to ban WeChat, TikTok citing privacy, national security SC bats for ridding politics of crime, onus on parties now India must have a Covid-19 vaccine roll-out plan in place; could follow the US example on this NEW DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 173, 14 PAGES, `10.00 (PATNA `9.00, RAIPUR `10.00) 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: 38,845.82 ▼ 134.03 NIFTY: 11,504.95 ▼ 11.15 NIKKEI 225: 23,360.30 ▲ 40.93 HANG SENG: 24,455.41 ▲ 114.56 `/$: 73.46 ▲ 0.20 `/€: 87.08 ▼ 0.11 BRENT: $42.84 ▼ $0.46 GOLD: `51,619 ▲ `124 Paytm taken off Play Store,back on EXPRESSING SURPRISE at the Shapoorji Pallonji Group's notice for damages against Tata Sons board members for allegedly blocking the Cyrus Mistry family from raising funds, the Tata group termed the allegations ‘fertile imagination’ of the Mistry group, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. FE BUREAU New Delhi, September 18 HOURS AFTER GOOGLE pulledoutPaytmfromthePlay Store on Friday due to alleged violation of gambling policies, the app’s listing on the platform was restored. However, the Paytm First Games app, which also had been removed, had not been relisted at the time of going to press. Other apps like Paytm for Business, Paytm Mall and Paytm Money remained listed. The problems related to Paytm’s cashback campaign, whichwasviewed byGoogle to be in contravention of its gambling policies. For its part, Paytm said the Paytm Cricket League allows users to get playerstickersaftereachtransaction,collectthemandreceive a cashback. It is not clear if the cashback component that had been temporarily removed by the company to meet the Play Future Enterprises defaults on debt repayment FUTURE ENTERPRISES on Friday said it has defaulted on debt repayment towards commercial paper, reports PTI. It is unable to service its obligations in respect of the payment of commercial paper after its maturity and the gross principal amount on which the default has occurred on September 14, 2020, is `90 crore, it said. Moderna sees 20 m Covid-19 vaccine doses by year end ■ Problems related to Paytm’s cashback campaign ■ Google had found it to be in contravention of its gambling policies ■ Paytm spokesperson says these are standard cashback campaigns day before this year’s IPL kicks off in the UAE Store policy requirements has been reintroduced. A Paytm spokesperson told FEthesearestandardcashback campaigns, typically meant to promotedigitalpayments,and more like an engagement initiative.“Google believes this is in some way related to gambling,” the spokesperson had said prior to the restoration of the app services. Continued on Page 2 Thanks everyone for your support! Paytm App is back, live in Play Store. We launched a UPI CashBack campaign this morning. Our app got suspended by Google for this. ● SWEETER DEAL Special Features Royal Enfield: When motorcycling is an art Art of Motorcycling campaign has received 10,500 registrations (40% entries from tier-1 cities, and 60% from tier-2 and tier-3); most conversations around the Himalayan ■ Motobahn, P9 Shree Cement’s volumes likely to offset lower prices Market share gains are expected from demand recovery post monsoons; risk-reward is favourable after recent stock price correction; ‘Buy’ retained with TP of `25,800 ■ Investor, P9 QuickPicks Covid-positive passengers: Dubai suspends AI Express flights for a day AIR INDIA Express said its flights were suspended for 24 hours on Friday by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority for bringing two passengers with Covidpositive certificates on August 28 and September 4, reports PTI. As per the UAE government rules, each passenger travelling from India is required to bring an original Covidnegative certificate from the RT-PCR test done 96 hours prior to the journey. Last month, AI passenger flights were barred from landing in Hong Kong during August 18-31. Centre says rural jobs scheme won’t be starved of funds THE CENTRE on Friday reaffirmed its commitment of making funds available under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Schemes (MGNREGS) to states and union territories (UTs), keeping in view the rising demand for work, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. As per the MGNREGS dashboard, the Centre has released `61,071 crore to states so far in the current fiscal. PAGE 2 SAIL asked to divest non-core assets, focus on core activity THE STEEL ministry has directed Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to identify its idle assets and chalk out detail plans for monetising of such assets, reports Surya Sarathi Ray in New Delhi. The state-run company has also been asked to sell its investments in joint ventures and steel processing units. The move aimed at letting the company focus on its core activity to become a pure-play steel and mining company. PAGE 4 FM: Will not renege on pledges to states Lok Sabha clears extra spending of `2.36 lakh cr with net cash outgo of `1.67 lakh cr ■ Google’s move came a Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm founder & CEO @vijayshekhar MODERNA INC said on Friday it was on track to produce 20 million doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, while maintaining its goal of readying 500 million to 1 billion doses in 2021, reports Reuters. SUPPLEMENTARY DEMAND Govt mulls delayingAI divestment; may cut debt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, September 18 THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENTis considering reducing Air India’s debt further and delaying its disinvestment process in order to woo buyers, senior officials said on Friday. The debt of Air India as on March 31,2019,was `58,255 crore. Later in 2019, `29,464 crore of this debt was transferred from Air India to a government-owned special purpose vehicle called Air India Assets Holding Company (AIAHL). “The government is considering reducing the debt of the airline further in order to make it attractive for interested parties in the current economic scenario affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” a senior government official said. More time is likely to be given to bidders to submit their bids and it will delay the disinvestment process further, another government official said. The deadline to submit bids for the national carrier has already been extended four times this year. Continued on Page 2 FE BUREAU New Delhi, September 18 FINANCE MINISTER Nirmala Sitharaman on Fridayrejected the Opposition’s criticism that the Centre had blocked money meant for states,highlighting that while gross tax revenue dropped by close to 29.5% year on year in the April-July period, the Centre’s devolution to states dipped by only a fraction of the rate. Sitharamanwas replying to a debate on the first batch of supplementary demand for an additional spending of `2.36 lakh crore during the current fiscal, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha. The minister said despite the pandemic and the crash in the gross tax collection to `3,80,000 crore in the AprilJuly period from as much as `5,39,068 crore a year before, the tax devolution to states stoodat`1,76,009croreinthe first four months of this fiscal, The additional funds are meant for people-centric programmes, so that money can reach people directly, and for certain critical govt schemes. No outlook for medium term, but Centre vows to spend compared with `1,99,000 crore in the year-ago period. She also asserted that the Centre has transferred 7% more moneyto states than the level it has kept for itself. Commentingontheissueof shortfall in GST compensation cessfunds,theministersaidthe GSTCouncilwilltakeafinalcall onthisissuebutthelawdoesn’t allowthetransferoffundsfrom the Consolidated Fund of India to bridge the deficit. GIVENTHEABSENCE of plausible projections of gross domestic product (GDP) and revenues for FY21, the Centre has decided to not present the customary medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF)inParliament thisyear. However, a finance ministry note warned against the economy being “below its growth potential forlong” and stressed the need for governmental expenditure “substituting any slack in aggregate demand”at this juncture. The MTEF, an obligation underthe FiscalResponsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, is presented every year in Parliament, usually in the Winter Session. It is meant to give a general guidance on the government’s expenditure plans for three years,starting from theyearin which it is presented. Continued on Page 12 Continued on Page 12 NIRMALA SITHARAMAN FINANCE MINISTER Rules of origin: Stricter regime Covid-19: Govt’s liabilities soon to screen FTA benefits jump over 7% in June quarter THE CONCESSIONAL customs duties, including zero duty, under free trade agreements (FTAs) would be available to importers only if they can prove that products have undergone value addition of at least 35% in the countries of origin, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi, finance ministry sources said. With more stringent rules coming into effect from September 21, an exporters’ certificate for ‘country of origin’ alone, which was sufficient earlier, will not be admissible. ■ Report on Page 2 THE GOVERNMENT’S total liabilities rose by a steep 7.1%, or `6.73 lakh crore, in the April-June period to over `101.35 lakh crore, against a 0.8% increase in the previous quarter, a finance ministry report said on Friday, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi, reflecting the enormous pressure the Covid-19 pandemic exerted on government finances. As of March end, the total liabilities, which also include the liabilities under the ‘Public Account’, stood at `94.62 lakh crore. ■ Report on Page 2 FESTIVE SEASON Apple’s India online store opens next week SANKALP PHARTIYAL & AAKRITI BHALLA New Delhi, September 18 APPLEINCWILLlaunchitsfirst online store in India on September 23, the iPhone maker said on Friday, coinciding with the festive season that brings some of the biggest sales for retailers everyyear. Apple sells its products in India through third-party vendors and e-commerce operators such as Amazon’s India unit and Walmart Incowned Flipkart. The Cupertino, Californiabased tech giant’s iPhones are coveted by tens of millions of Indians but their price keeps them out of the reach of many. STRONG LINE-UP Rally in markets sets IPOs on fire 5,450 Bajaj Energy 3,000 UTI AMC Indian Railway Fin Corp 2,000 Samhi Hotels 2,000 Penna Cement Inds 1,550 Home First Finance 1,500 Shriram Properties In the pipeline Top companies by issue size (` crore) 1,250 Nu Vista 1,000 Burger King 1,000 Puranik Builders FE BUREAU New Delhi, September 18 1,000 URVASHI VALECHA Mumbai, September 18 INDIA’S PRIMARY MARKET has been reignited by the success of some recent issues, the latest being Happiest Minds, which clocked stellar listing day gains on Thursday. The initial public offerings (IPOs) market had dried up after secondary markets went into a tailspin in March. With the markets rallying 51.17% from their March lows and now just 7% short of their all-time highs — the Nifty Midcap and Nifty Smallcap are up by 58.3% and 79.4%, respectively, since March 23 — the IPO market is buzzing with Source: PRIME database a pipeline valued at `30,000 crore across 31 companies. So far in September, companies have raised `1,302 crore and nowAngel Broking, CAMS and Chemcon Specialty Chemicals are set to collectively raise another `3,160 crore. Companies from spaces such as IT, specialty chemicals and capital markets are likely to be the ones doing an IPO this year. Among others, Kalyan Jewellers, NCDEX, Barbeque Nation, Burger King, Bajaj Energy, Lodha Developers are some of the names that could do IPOs in 2020. Continued on Page 2 MP BIRLA FIRMS Calcutta HC orders Lodha’s removal FE BUREAU Kolkata, September 18 IN A SETBACK for Lodhas, the Calcutta High Court on Friday restrained Harsh Vardhan Lodha from holdinganyofficeinany of the entitiesof the MP Birla Group during pendency of the suit involving the contested will of late Priyamvada Devi Birla, the widowof MPBirla. Lodhaiscurrentlythechairman of MP Birla group compa- nies, including cement maker BirlaCorp,copperandfibreoptic cablesmanufacturerBirlaCable and telecommunication cables makerVindhyaTelelinks. Justice Sahidullah Munshi, in his order, saidLodhashallberestrained from drawing any benefit personally fromoutoftheassetsofthe estate of the deceased (Priyamvada Devi Birla) during pendencyoftheTestamentarySuit. Continued on Page 2 Brand value FE BUREAU HDFC Bank leads the pack for 7th year in a row HDFC Bank has topped the WPP-Kantar BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands rankings for the seventh consecutive year. The overall brand valuation of all the firms taken into account was $216 billion, a 6% fall over last year, driven largely by a value slowdown in banking and auto firms. 11 9 20 36 14 6 26 40 50 36 % chg (y-o-y) $20.2 bn 18.2 14.5 13.9 Chinese companies led by Xiaomidominateintheworld’s second-biggest smartphone market,withApple accounting for just 1% of shipments. Through its online retail platform, Apple plans to offer assistance to customers in EnglishandHindi,whileallowing users to personalise some devices, including iPads, with engravings,it said. 7.9 Rank GAMBLING POLICIES IN THE NEWS Shapoorji Pallonji notice: Tata group denies allegations 7.2 6.8 6.5 6.2 5.3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 HDFC Bank LIC TCS Airtel Asian Paints KMB Jio Flipkart Paytm SBI Source: BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands Ranking Continued on Page 2 BEST INTERESTS Temples look to use ‘god’s gold’ to pay mounting bills SWANSY AFONSO & PR SANJAI September 18 COLLECTIVELY, INDIANS OWN the biggest private stash of gold in the world, and religious adherents have long donated gold to temples, often to honour deities associated with individual temples. Over the centuries, that’s made the country’sthreemillionreligious houses some of the world’s largest holders of the precious metal. But now the country’s temples — shut for months becauseofthecoronaviruspandemic and deprived of donations are being forced to consider depositing some of their famed stashes of gold with banks to paymounting bills. Temples hold as much as 4,000 tonne of the precious metal, according to the World Gold Council, administered by trusts empowered by law to act on behalf of the deity.The Travancore Devaswom Board, a prominent temple association in Kerala, has for the first time `10 cr interest it expects to earn from the gold deposits 4,000 647 of the precious metal held by temples in India, according to World Gold Council gold imported by the country in 2019, WGC data show tonne 1,248 temples governed by Kerala's Travancore Trust, including Sabarimala shrine tonne decided to deposit some of its treasures with banks—which pay interest on gold deposits of varying terms— to raise funds and pay salaries, according to the board’s president,N Vasu.A businessdailyhasreportedthat the Travancore Trust spends about`50croreeachmonthon salaries and other costs.“There is some opposition against using God’s gold to pay wages,” Vasu says. “But we took this tough decision because this is one of the toughest periods we have everfaced.” New Delhi The Travancore Trust — which governs 1,248 temples including the Sabarimala shrine,amajorpilgrimagedestination—islookingatputting about a tonne of the metal in a government-sponsored gold plan.It expects to earn interest of about `10 crore. A final decision will be taken only after inventorying holdings and evaluating opinions from devotees and bankers,Vasu says. Continued on Page 2
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