OPINION, P2 WELL-BEING The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown across an array of tests at us. But what are these tests and how are they different from each other? Who needs them and when do you need to get them done? We clear the air...Page 8 Impunity,thy name is Uttar Pradesh FE LINES It’s high time we stepped up efforts to conserve and restore biodiversity Page 6 TESTING TIMES ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM A wake-up call LEISURE Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL .XVIII NO. 102 COTTAGECORE COCKTAIL FINANCIAL EXPRESS ON SUNDAY NEW DELHI SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2020, 16 Pages, `10 (Patna `11, Raipur `10) 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 , WHAT'S INSIDE ■ SPOTLIGHT, P7 Justice done or denied? When incidents like Hathras happen, public sentiment veers toward the strictest punishment for the culprits. The entire nation celebrated the execution of Nirbhaya’s rapists. However, is the death penalty achieving its objective? ■ WORDS WORTH, P4 Lessons from the past An attempt to analyse India’s failures misses the larger picture ODD & EVEN ROHNIT PHORE C H A N D I G A R H , THE CENTRE has issued a fresh advisory to states and UTs on mandotary action in cases of crimes against women, and said probe into rape cases must be completed within two months as per law and that dying declaration of a victim can't be discarded merely because it has not been recorded by a magistrate, reports PTI. The detailed three-page advisory of the Union Home Ministry came days after the alleged gangrape and murder of a woman at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh sparked nationwide outrage. PAGE 3 Second Trump-Biden presidential debate cancelled THE SECOND presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden set for October 15 has been cancelled, the organisers have announced, after the incumbent US President refused to do a virtual face-off with his Democratic challenger despite concerns over his Covid-19 diagnosis, reports PTI. In a statement, the nonpartisan (CPD) confirmed on Friday that the second version scheduled to be held in Miamai, Florida, would be scrapped. The CPD said it was preparing for the next debate to held on October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, less than two weeks ahead of the November 3 presidential election. PAGE 16 H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K A T A , L U C K N O W , LOAN MORATORIUM Jio rivals refuse to take bait on tariff ● With no churn in subscribers, Bharti,Voda-Idea unlikely to match Jio postpaid offers FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 10 INCUMBENT OPERATORS BHARTI Airtel and Vodafone Idea might be facing tough competition from Reliance Jio, but theyare unlikelyto rework theirpostpaid tariff plans anytime soon by either lowering rates, offering more data, or bundling them with free subscriptionofOTTslikeNetflixto match offers by Jio. There are valid reasons for the operators to have adopted such a stance, apart from avoiding an unnecessarytariff warthat mayadverselyimpact their realisations. Data relating to postpaid users of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea does not suggest any subscriber churn in the postpaid segment with rivals bundling free subscription of OTTslikeNetflixintotheirplans. China has 60k soldiers on India border, says Pompeo Rape case must be probed within 2 months: Centre READ TO LEAD TELCO WARS POST-QUAD MEET QuickPicks C H E N N A I , The internet aesthetic is inspiring many to ditch the hustle & cherish nature Page 5 Washington: China has amassed 60,000 troops on India’snorthernborder,USsecretary of state Mike Pompeo has said,as he hit out at Beijing for its ‘bad behaviour’ and the threats it poses to the Quad countries, reports PTI. “The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on theirnorthern border,” Pompeo told The Guy Benson Show in an interview on Friday after his return from Tokyowhereinheattendedthe second Quad ministerial with his counterparts from India, Japan andAustralia. “Iwaswithmyforeignminister counterparts from India, Australia, and Japan, a format that we call the Quad, four big democracies, four powerful economies, four nations, each of whom has real risk associatedwith the threats attempting to be imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. And they see it in their home countries too,” he said, adding,"We all slept on this fortoo long.For decades, the West allowed the Chinese Communist Party to walk all over us. They see that in their country too,"he said in the interview. FULL REPORT PAGE 15 ‘TIME TO ACCEPT TALKS USELESS’: P15 COVERAGE AREA `22,000cr estimated size ofpostpaid market in revenue terms FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 10 THE GOVERNMENT HAS told scriptionsareco-terminuswith the plans. However, in comparable plans of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, not only is the data offering less, there’s no Netflix and Disney-Hotstar subscription. The postpaid market is wortharound`22,000crorein revenue terms and forms 15% of the sector’s revenues and 5% of sector's active subscribers, according to estimates by Jefferies. the Supreme Court that it saw no possibility of giving any further broad-based debt relief to different sectors. It said the measures already announced, including compounding interest waiver for loans up to `2 crore for specified borrowers including MSMEs and individuals, are adequate enough. “There is no necessity for additional steps such as blanket loan moratoriums or interest waivers..” the government stated in a fresh affidavit. The apex court had earlier observed that the Centre’s offer to waive “interest on interest” on loans up to `2 crore was “not satisfactory”. It also asked the government and RBI to place on record the actions taken on KV Kamath committee’s report on debt restructuring and also urged the duo to consider the relevant “issues raised by the real estate associations and power producers”. Continued on Page 11 Continued on Page 11 therevenuecontributionby postpaidmarkettothetotal earningsofthetelecomesectorandpostpaid usersform5%ofthesector'sactivesubscribers 15% ofthe postpaid subscribers are enterprise customers 50-60% ofpostpaid subscribers are situated in the three metros and another 36% in urban centricA-circles 34% 43% is Vodafone Idea’s market share in postpaid segment, followed by BhartiAirtel's 28% Therewassomespeculation of a tariff warwith Reliance Jio whenitcameoutwitha host of postpaid plans on September 22. Jio, which earlier had only one postpaid plan (`199 per month),unveiledplansstarting from `399 and going up to `1,499.Allplanscomebundled with Netflix (mobile-only, single-device plan), Amazon Prime, Disney-Hotstar, and Jio TV/Saavn/Cinema.Alltheplans offer unlimited voice and data ranging between 75 and 300 GB per month. Netflix sub- ‘Any more relaxations will hurt economy’ GREEN SHOOTS Agri exports rise 43.4% in Apr-Sept PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, October 10 EXPORTS OFAGRI-COMMODITIES rose by 43.4% to `53,626.6croreinthefirsthalf of the current fiscal notwithstandingtheongoingCovid-19 crisis, the Union agriculture ministrysaid on Saturday. Farm exports stood at `37,397.3croreduringtheAprilSeptember period of the 201920 fiscal, it said. In September 2020,agriexportsroseby81.7% to `9,296 crore from `5,114 croreinSeptember2019. “The consistent and concerted efforts of the government to boost agricultural exports are bearing fruit despite the ongoing crisis,”the Exports of wheat and other products see a positive growth ministry said in a statement. Positivegrowthwasrecorded in export of groundnut (35%), refined sugar (104%), wheat (206%),basmatirice(13%)and non-basmatirice(105%)during theApril-Septemberofthisfiscal fromovertheyear-ago,itsaid. Furthermore, balance of trade during April-September 2020wassignificantlypositive at `9,002 crore as against trade deficit of `2,133 crore in the said period,it added. M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E AUTO SALES Experts put a brake on Motown cheer September trends Entry hatchback cars grew Compact sedans grew only 35% Compact hatchback cars grew 7% Executive sedans grew Compact SUVs grew 31% ● Say recent rising sales could be pent-up demand instead of true reflection of sector VIKRAM CHAUDHARY New Delhi, October 10 AUTO SALES HAVE bounced back in the past two months, leading to speculation that the sectoris back on track.Though manufacturers are still keeping their fingers crossed, higher dispatches of vehicles from factories to the dealers has led to some belief that the upcoming festival saleswould see a substantial rise in demand. However, analysts caution at such optimism, pointing that it is still early days and the rise in sales could be due to pent-up demand. According to them, a clearer picture would emerge only around January-March period. As per wholesales data shared by car makers, this year’s most recorded doubledigit growth was in September. Sales of Maruti Suzuki, for instance, grew 30.8% over the same period last year. Hyundai India, similarly,saw 23.6% sales growth in September 2020. “Sales increase in the last couple of months is due to the pent-up demand getting serviced; it could potentially also be due to commuters buying smaller cars instead of taking public transport and ridesharing, and some people upgrading from two-wheelers,”says Som Kapoor,partner, 48% Premium hatchback cars grew 51% 17% Subcompact SUVs grew 42% Premium SUVs sales fell 6% automotive sector, EY India. “The January to March 2021 quarter will be the true reflection of whether the automotive market has recovered or not,”he feels. While GDP did contract 24% in Q1, it is improving quarter-on-quarter. Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings,says the‘level of negativity’is decreasing bythe month. “With unlocking, as people move more, they will consume more,”he says.As far as pent-up demand in the auto sector is concerned, he adds it usually stays for a quarter, but because of the festive season it may continue. “Pent-up demand for cars, thistime,iscoincidingwithboth the festive and the harvesting season, as also hotels getting operational, so it will last for a while.Also,mostsectorswillsee better performance, because even single-digit negative growthisanimprovementover 24% GDP contraction (in Q1),” Sabnavis argues. Different segments of cars areseeingdifferentgrowthrates. According to data by PGA Labs, the market research arm of Praxis Global Alliance, while entry, compact and premium hatchback car sales grew 35%, 48% and 51%,respectively,in September 2020, compact sedans grew only 7% and executivesedans17%.InSUVs,while subcompact (under 4 metres in length) and compact SUVs grew 42%and31%,respectively,premiumSUVs(above`20lakh)saw salesfallingby6%. Sanjeev Garg, practice leader, automotive, Praxis Global Alliance, gives three morereasons forsales surge,in addition to pent-up demand. Continued on Page 11 LONG-TERM FEARS Commercial real estate at a crossroads as WFH here to stay RISHI RANJAN KALA New Delhi, October 10 AS COVID RAGES on and busi- nesses re-calibrate their operations to survive the downturn, commercial real estate (CRE)isstaringatalongroadto recoverywith remote working solutions likework from home (WFH) gaining prominence and employers strugglingwith safetyandbusinesscontinuity. Developers and market watchers suggest that CRE, a favoured investment option with institutional investors, needs to create sustainable strategies for the medium and long term as there are fears that behavioural changes unleashed by the pandemic could outlive the crisis. The industry is working with start-ups and tech firms to offer safety solutions like state-of-the-art filters for AC plants, contactless parking, entryand exit.Innovative conceptssuchasshort-termleases BITTER REALTY ■ Work-from-home prevalent in the IT-ITeS sector has reduced the occupancy levels in offices ■ IT sector has been the key driver of office space market, contributing 44% of demand from 2010-2019 ■ The industry spends around 4.3% of its operating income annually on real estate to help corporates better plan their operations and options like subscription-based office supplies to reduce expenses are being considered. India’s largest office space developer, DLF, feels it is not appropriate to look at longterm plan from the lens of the current situation.“This is the time to take care of tenant employees. Covid is an unprecedented event and I do not know whether in my lifetime it will occur again,” DLF's managing director (rental business), Sriram Khattar told FE. Khattar stressed on developers to deploy the best safety and wellness measures. These should be now built into their building designs and if possible to retrofit. “We would be spending around `35 crore in the next eight-10 months just on airqualityin ourbuildings,” he said. Continued on Page 11 Movie theatres set to open, but business unlikely to boom anytime soon ● Industry expected to rake in about `6,100 cr in FY21 against `18,300 crore in FY20 VENKATA SUSMITA BISWAS Mumbai, October 10 THE FILM FRATERNITY is gearing up to resume business on October 15, when theatres reopen across several parts of the country, but big budget films may stay away until Christmas. Cinema theatres have been shut since March 24, with the filming and production of several films hampered when India went into a lockdown. As per a recent KMPG study,the film industry is set to shrink by as much as 67% y-o-y in FY21 on account of thepandemicinducedshutdown of cinema theatres. Delhi, West Bengal, Gujarat,Goa,Karnataka and a Screen story Seating capacity of theatres 50% Most awaited films Sooryavanshi, 83 Over half of box office revenue from Delhi, Maha Decline due to pandemic in FY21 67% few other states have decided to allow cinema theatres to reopen in October with 50% seating capacity. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu will keep cinemas shut until October 31. Together, Delhi and Maharashtra account for more than half of a movie's box office collections. The limited opening may contribute little to the overall industry revenues. Girish Menon, partner and head, media and entertainment, KPMG,says,“Unlesstheatresin key revenue-contributing ter- ritories open up, it won’t be viable for Hindi films to go for atheatricalrelease.Whilethere will be some incremental revenues coming in from the opening of theatres, given the continued Covid-19 cases in the country, we do not see these to be meaningful.” The industry is expected to rake in about `6,100 crore in FY21 as opposed to `18,300 crore in FY20. KPMG’s estimates factored in a phased reopening, capping on seating capacity,limitedslateofmovies that will likely be released in New Delhi theatres over the next few months,aswellaspeople’saversion from going to crowded places in the nearfuture. Film producers are cautious about introducing big budget films before a panIndia distribution can be ensured. While exhibitors are hoping that Akshay Kumar starrer Sooryavanshi or Ranvir Singh’s 83 may hit theatres in time for Diwali, producers are not confident releasing these movies yet. Continued on Page 11
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