OPINION, P2 MIND & GAMES The world’s most productive mine has closed, so your next piece of inexpensive jewellery probably will feature a lab-grown gem Page 10 Reforms forwhat — growth or glory? FE LINES Why are some societies happier than others? Do emotions motivate and inspire us to be productive? Page 6 SHOPPING FOR A DIAMOND IS ABOUT TO CHANGE ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM Pursuit of happiness SPOTLIGHT Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL .XX NO. 3 YOUNG SOLDIERS ONTHE CLIMATE FRONT SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 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 ■ LEISURE, P5 Everything is a meme In a world run down by the pandemic, content creators are providing comic relief through memes, relieving people’s tension and breaking the monotony ■ WORDS WORTH, P4 50,and counting Interesting back stories on everyday mundane objects keep the reader hooked ODD & EVEN FINANCIAL EXPRESS ON SUNDAY ROHNIT PHORE C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , READ TO LEAD H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , WEB OF CONTROL Will social media be regulated by censor? CONTENT CONTROL ● With OTTs under ambit of I&B ministry, intermediaries like WhatsApp, FB could be next ■ Intermediaries like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, etc continue to be under the jurisdiction of ministry of electronics and information technology (Meity) ■ Lawwhich relates to blocking Internet sites, apps, etc, under Section 69Aofthe ITAct,would continue to be administered by Meity FE BUREAU New Delhi, November 21 ■ Experts say since WHILE OVER-THE-TOP (OTT) players like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+Hotstar, etc, have now come under the ambit of information and broadcastingministryforregulationpurposes,thereisnosimilar clarity with regard to the regulation of intermediaries like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,YouTube,WhatsApp,etc. Thisisbecausetheycontinueto be under the jurisdiction of ministry of electronics and informationtechnology(Meity) whichadministersthemunder the relevant sections of InformationTechnologyAct. However, experts say since intermediaries also have usergenerated content and since I&B has become a content regulatornowforOTTsapartfrom ILLUSTRATION: SHYAM NEW DELHI I&B has become a content regulator for OTTs, it is also empowered to make laws which can regulate content on the intermediaries ■ Measures on regulation of content, be it on OTTs or intermediaries, would be clear once the I&B ministry frames rules being one forcinema andTV,it is also empowered to make laws which can regulate content on the intermediaries. Just to illustrate, currently user-generatedcontenton any of the intermediaries is governed under Section 79 of the IT Act. This Act basically provides intermediaries certain exemptions from liabilities with regard to content, data and communication, since these are not generated or owned byit but are third-party ■ Certain fine-tuning of intermediary guidelines is also in the works generated.In such cases if anything unlawful is noticed, Meitydirectstheintermediary concerned to remove the unlawful content within a specified period of time. Only if the intermediary concerned fails to do the same expeditiouslyoritisfoundthat it has conspired, abetted or aided in the generation of such content, can the government take action against it. Continued on Page 12 FULL CART ● People spent more for Diwali, Durga Puja RETAILTALES Footwear retailer Metro Brands claims footfalls increased by more than 200% compared to the initial unlock months Covid-19 cases cross 90-lakh mark; 46,232 new infections INDIA'S COVID-19 caseload rose to 90.50 lakh, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to over 84.78 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 93.67 %, according to the Union health ministry data on Saturday, reports PTI. The total coronavirus cases mounted to 90,50,597 with 46,232 infections being reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 1,32,726 with 564 new fatalities. PAGE 16 Twitter to hand @POTUS account to Joe Biden on Jan 20 MICRO-BLOGGING SITE Twitter will hand control of the presidential @POTUS account to President-elect Joe Biden the moment he is sworn in on inauguration day on January 20, even if President Donald Trump has not conceded his election loss, the company has said, reports PTI. The @POTUS account is the official account of the President of the United States and is separate from the @realDonaldTrump account that Trump uses to tweet. PAGE 12 THE FESTIVE SEASON seemsto have lifted consumer sentiment. Shoppers increased theirbudgets to accommodate some discretionary expenses, looking beyond casual wear which had been the trend for the best part of the year. The upcoming wedding season and anticipated demand for winter clothing should also hold retailers in good stead. Deepak Bansal, director at Cantabil Retail India,said consumers preferred to buy formal wear during Diwali. The companydidbriskbusiness,particularlyinGujaratandRajasthan.In fact,consumersacrossthecountry also added winter wear to theirshoppingbags.“Thesecond quarter of the current financial year saw better than expected demandrecovery,”Bansalsaid. For ethnic wear brand Biba, easternandnorthernregionsled FLOP SHOW With low footfalls, multiplexes turn to other revenue generation sources ● These include food delivery and private screenings VENKATA SUSMITA BISWAS Mumbai, November 21 FOR MORETHAN a month,cin- ema theatres have been open to the public at 50% capacity, albeit not pan-India. In midOctober, several states like Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka allowed theatre owners to restart operations. In early November, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, two crucial mar- For ethnic wear brand Biba, eastern and northern regions led the festive sales Beauty retailer Nykaa aims to touch 100% of the preCovid revenue levels by December thefestivesales.Customersspent on semi-formals and formals. StateslikeMaharashtraandKerala,however,lagged in comparison and are yet to see recovery. Footwear retailer Metro Brands said consumption in metro and tier-I cities are witnessing a rebound.Diwalitriggeredheavy demand for its festive range of jootis,mojarisandkolhapuris. Continued on Page 12 M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E PARL PANEL ON COVID ‘Pvt hospitals fees exorbitant; spending on health very low’ ● Suggests more investment in public healthcare; achieving target of expenditure up to 2.5% of GDP within two years PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, November 21 AMID RISING COVID-19 cases, inadequate beds in government hospitals and absence of specific guidelines for treatment resulted in private hospitals charging exorbitant fees, a parliamentary panel on Saturday said, asserting that a sustainable pricing model could have averted many deaths. Chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on health Ram Gopal Yadav submitted the report on ‘Outbreak of Pandemic Covid-19 and its Management’, to Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. This is the first report by any parliamentary committee on the government’s handling of the pandemic. Underlining that health- People throng a Covid screening centre at the RML Hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday TASHI TOBGYAL care spending in the country with a population of 1.3 billion is “abysmally low”, the panel said fragility of Indian health ecosystem posed a big hurdle in generating an effective response against the pandemic. “The committee,therefore, stronglyrecommendsthe government to increase its investments in the public healthcare system and make consistent efforts to achieve the National Health Policytargets of expenditure up to 2.5% of GDP withintwoyearsasthesettime frame of year 2025 is far away and the public health cannot be jeopardised till that time schedule,”the report stated. The National Health Policy 2017 has set a target of government expenditure on healthcare up to 2.5% of GDP by 2025 from just 1.15% in 2017. Stating that the public had to undergo trauma and distress due to absence of a dedicated healthcare system, the committee observed that the number of government hospital beds in the country were not adequate to handle the increasing number of Covid and non-Covid patients. Continued on Page 12 Cinemas have seen some relief with new releases result,therevivaloftheindustry has been quite slow, leading to cinema owners eyeing alternate means of revenue generation. Even though some states have given the go ahead to screen movies,not all cinema theatres haveopenedinthesestates. Continued on Page 12 ‘India to reduce carbon footprint by 30-35%’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Gandhinagar, November 21 PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA Modi on Saturday said the country was moving forward with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30-35%. He said efforts were on to increase the use of natural gas by four times in this decade and to double the oil refining capacity in the next five years. The Prime Minister said this while addressing the eighth convocation of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) here via video conference. “Today, the country is moving forward with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30 to 35%. When I told this to the world, it expressed surprise and wondered if India could achieve this,” he said. He also expressed confidence that the country will PM Narendra Modi addresses the 8th convocation of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Saturday PTI GOAL POSTS ■ The target to generate 175 gigawatt renewable energy to be achieved before 2022 ■ Renewable energy target of 450 gigawatt by 2030 will be achieved before time achieve its renewable energy generation target ‘before time’.“Today, per unit cost (of solar power) has come down to less than `2 from `12-13 earlier.Today,solar power has become the country's priority. We have made a commitment to generate 175 ■ Efforts are on to increase the use of natural gas by four times in this decade gigawatt renewable energy and I am confident that we will achieve this before 2022,” he said. “Also, our renewable energy target of 450 gigawatt by 2030, a big aim, will be achieved before time...I am confident of that,” he said. Modi said that the oil and gas sector will see an investment of crores of rupees in this decade,which will create opportunities for the graduating students of the university in the fields of research, manufacturing and others. He also said work is underway to strengthen the start-ups ecosystem related to the energy security sector, and a special fund has been allocated for the purpose. “If you have any idea, product or any concept which you want to incubate, then this fund will be a good opportunity for you, and a gift from the government,” he said. He also recalled how his decision to segregate domestic and agriculture feeders made it possible for households to get 24-hour electricity in Gujarat. Modi inaugurated five state-of-the-art facilities to mark the eighth convocation of the PDPU, as well as an Indo-EU bilateral project under Horizon 2020 'Indiah2o' for industrial waste and desalination. Modi also suggested the state government to change the name of the Petroleum University to Energy University. Commercial real estate in dire straits with WFH RISHI RANJAN KALA New Delhi, November 21 NOT ONLY IS the commercial kets for the Indian film industry, joined other states in reopening cinema theatres. However,afewstatessuchas Kerala,Jharkhand,Telanganaand Rajasthancontinuetokeepmultiplexesandtheatresshut.Andin the absence of a pan-India reopening,producers are being cautiouswithmoviereleases.Asa L U C K N O W , ● PM Modi says natural gas use to quadruple; oil refining capacity to double ASMITA DEY New Delhi, November 21 K O L K A T A , GOING GREEN Retail sees uptick in festive season QuickPicks Young climate activists face many challenges Page 7 real estate (CRE) segment facing dampened demand, it seems there are tougher times ahead as raising funds from private equity (PE) players promises to be a big challenge. The work from home trend has led to weakened demand forlarge office spaces, and rentals have also moved southward. As per Savills India, in the January-June period, leasing activity stood at 1.8 million sq ft (MSF) in Delhi NCR, an annual decline of over 70% due to Covid-19 and consequential lockdown that acted as a dampener to the strong BITTER REALTY ■ DURING January-June 2020, ■ IN 2019, Delhi NCR ■ NCR OFFICE market is likely ■ DELAYED decision leasing activity stood at 1.8 million sqft in Delhi NCR, an annual decline of over 70% to see year-end absorption numbers go down by 55% over 2019 at around 4.5 million sqft registered demand of 10.9millon Sqft for office spaces by occupiers and lease cancellations led to slowdown in leasing activity ■ DEMAND FOR office spsce is expected to revive to pre-Covid levels over the next 9-12 months momentum in the first half of 2019.Onthesupplyfront,only 0.3 MSF came up (93% fall Y-o-Y), taking the total stock to 118 MSF. Savills in a recent report said Covid has opened conver- sations around contractual obligations, lock-in periods, exit notices, force majeure clauses,etc,from both a developerand occupierperspective. “In shortto mediumtermof612 months, there will be good quality stock available to occupiers and hence the market may lean towards being a tenant favourable market,”it added. Elaborating on the rental scenario in NCR over the next New Delhi one year, Savills India managing director (Delhi NCR), Shweta Sawhneytold FE,“NCR office market is likely to see year-end absorption numbers go down by 55% over 2019 at around 4.5 MSF and hence rents are likely to be under pressure in the short to medium term.” Most key micro-markets in NCR are likely to be tenant markets with quality supply available at competitive rates in short to medium term.The slowdown in leasing activity is attributed to delayed decision making by occupiers and lease cancellations across Gurgaon and Noida markets, she added. Continued on Page 12
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