OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 COMPANIES, P4 EDITORIAL GOING GREEN NO MORE PM hints at incentives for local production of solar equipment TCS founder and IT industry pioneer FC Kohli dead at 96 Unions have become labour aristocracy, backing interests of few Give LPG subsidies to a privately-owned BPCL, fraud difficult with Aadhaar & DBT KOLKATA, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL. 30 NO. 23, 18 PAGES, `6.00 (NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN `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 READ TO LEAD SENSEX: 44,259.74 ▲ 431.64 NIFTY: 12,987 ▲ 128.60 NIKKEI 225: 26,537.31 ▲ 240.45 HANG SENG: 26,819.45 ▲ 149.70 `/$: 73.89 ▲ 0.03 `/€: 87.94 ▲ 0.03 BRENT: $47.85 ▼ $0.76 GOLD: `48,965 ▲ `18 KISHORE BIYANI-led Future Retail on Thursday accused e-commerce giant Amazon of adopting a media strategy of "having every development reported and converted into a line of communication with stock exchanges" regarding the Amazon-Future Coupons' arbitration proceedings in Singapore, reports PTI. PSBs’ operations hit by trade unions’ strike BANKING SERVICES across the country were partially impacted on Thursday as some unions of public sector banks participated in a day-long nationwide strike called by central trade unions, reports PTI. Operations such as cash deposit and withdrawal and cheque clearances were hit. Vittal reiterates call for affordable spectrum Vedanta seeks debt tenure extension VEDANTA RESOURCES HAS begun sounding out debt holders aboutthepossibilityof extending maturities on some of its dollar bonds to reduce refinancing pressures. The mining giant started approaching the investors to discuss possible debt extensions after the company’s failed attempt to delist its India unit, Vedanta, people familiarwith the matter said. “Wewouldliketoclarifythat Vedanta Resources is not in talks with any bondholder for debt tenure extension,” a spokesman for Vedanta said in a statement, after the Bloombergstorywaspublished. The spokesman had earlier declined to comment. Thecompany’s$670million of bonds due June next year, (Cents on the dollars) 110 100 PRASANTA SAHU New Delhi, November 26 90 80 70 60 The protest goes on 50 0 Nov 2019 INDIA HAS the potential to surpass China in low-cost manufacturingifthegovernment and industry work in a cohesive manner, Maruti chairman RC Bhargava said on Thursday, reports PTI. He which are among the notes involved, slumped as much as 7.7 cents afterthe news. That left them set for the sharpest daily drop in more than six weeks, according to pricescompiledbyBloomberg. Continued on Page 2 ture projects thatrequire longterm finance and could serve as antidote to general investmentfamineduringeconomic downturns. It will work under an innovative framework, where private corporate funds and even global patientcapitalwillfind viabilityin India’s rural projects.Also, there will be practical solutions to the issue of asset-liability mismatches faced by banks as they lend to long-gestation projects. QuickPicks LVB told to write down Tier-2 bonds LAKSHMI VILAS Bank (LVB) on Thursday informed the exchanges RBI had advised it of the need to fully write down the series VIII, IX and X Basel-III compliant Tier-2 bonds worth `318.20 crore, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. This will be the second instance of bonds being written down after the AT1 bonds ofYes Bank were written down as per its reconstruction plan. PAGE 2 Thermax CEO on transformation IN THE coming few years, Thermax will not remain just a capital goods company, Thermax MD and CEO Ashish Bhandari told Shubhra Tandon, adding that the company is transforming itself from being just a supplier of equipment to providing products and solutions for the sustainability needs of its customers. He said the future is not just in large capital-intensive projects but several small projects for clean energy, water and air. PAGE 4 alsosaidthegovernmentshould focus on increasing competitiveness in the industry. “India can become a lowercost country than China if industry and government work together,” he said. ■ P5 ● SAFE PASSAGE Budget to unveil large DFI for infrastructure Members of various farmer organisations during ‘Delhi Chalo Andolan’ in protest against the farm reform Bills, at the Punjab-Haryana border in Patiala EXPRESS PHOTO: HARMEET SODHI Nov 2020 Source: Bloomberg-compiled prices Industry, govt can together beat China in low-cost manufacturing: Bhargava Continued on Page 2 No criminal trial for minor offences under 28 economic statutes Price of Vedanta resources 2021 dollar bonds IN THE WORKS A NEW, LARGE development financial institution (DFI) is being born under the partial ownership of the government and with considerably higher risk-tolerance than banks oreven state-run, sector-specificlenderslike PFC-RECorIRFC.Anannouncement in this regard is likely in the Budget FY22. The proposed entity will have the specific mandate to finance large rural infrastruc- More minor offences to be decriminalised Souring mood BIJOU GEORGE & LUCA CASIRAGHI November 26 BHARTI AIRTEL CEO Gopal Vittal on Thursday once again said spectrum prices should be affordable so that operators can invest in building networks and not just spend on buying airwaves, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. FE BUREAU New Delhi, November 26 EASE OF DOING BIZ DOLLAR BONDS HC refuses to stay LVB-DBS merger ASTRAZENECA VACCINE Manufacturing error clouds study results ASTRAZENECA AND OXFORD University have acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental Covid-19 vaccine. A statement describing the error on Wednesday came days after the company and the university described the shots as “highly effective” and made no mention of why some study participants didn’t receive as much vaccine in the first of two shots as expected. In a surprise, the group of volunteers that got a lower PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, November 26 THE BOMBAY HIGH Court on Thursday refused to stay Lakshmi Vilas Bank’s (LVB) merger withDBSBankIndiawhichwill beeffectivefromNovember27. Adivision bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Milind Jadhavwas hearing petitions filed by a group of promoters of the ailing Lakshmi Vilas Bank and Indiabulls Housing Finance, one of its shareholders, challenging the merger. "Wearerefusingtheinterim relief sought by the petitioners to stay the amalgamation.The petitions shall be placed for hearing on December 14 when the respondents (Reserve Bank of India, LVB and DBS Bank India) shall file their affidavits in reply,"the court said. On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet gave approval to the scheme of amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India to protect the interests of LVB’s depositors and employees.AspertheSchemeof Amalgamation,theentirepaidup share capital of LVB will be written off, resulting in shareholderslosingtheirinvestment. Continued on Page 2 PM to visit Serum in Pune tomorrow ASSOCIATED PRESS London, November 26 ■ In the low-dose group, the vaccine appeared to be 90% effective ■ In the group that got two full doses, the vaccine appeared to be 62% effective ■ Combined, the vaccine appeared to be 70% effective dose seemed to bemuch better protected than the volunteers who got two full doses. Continued on Page 2 PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi will on Saturday visit the Pune-based Serum Institute of India,whichhaspartneredwith global pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for Covid-19 vaccine, a seniorofficialsaidonThursday. The Central Drug Standard Control Organisation has granted permission for manufactureofthevaccineforpre-clinical test, examination and analysis to 7 firms, 2 of which are the Serum Institute and Gennova Biopharmaceuticals. Ph-3 trial of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin starts at AIIMS Suspension of int’l passenger flights extended till Dec 31 THE PHASE-3 human clinical trial of indigenously developed vaccine candidate Covaxin began at the AIIMS on Thursday with Dr MV Padma Srivastava,the chief of Neurosciences Centreatthepremierinstitute,andthreeother volunteers receiving the first dose. ■ P4 DGCAON Thursdayextended the suspension of scheduled international commercial passengerflightstoDecember31.Therestrictions, however,will not apply on international allcargo operations and flights specifically approved bythe DGCA,a circularsaid. ■ P3 Dollar rush FE BUREAU FPIs smitten by Indian stocks Investments by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in Indian equities could cross $15 billion in 2020 with the buying already at $14.64 billion, thanks to November’s $8 billion. The abundant liquidity unlocked by central banks globally has been finding its way into several emerging markets and India seems to be getting more than its fair share; 2020 flows have surpassed 2019's $14.23 billion. FPI flows into Indian equities are set for a six-year high 14.23 14.64 Net foreign flows ($ bn) ILLUSTRATION: SHYAM KUMAR PRASAD IN THE NEWS Future: Not every development needs disclosure $ $ 3.27 FPI 2.9 2015 2016 Source: Bloomberg provisions across 28 statutes being amended to decriminalise minor offences Aclutch ofministries including finance, labour, statistics, pharma, information & broadcasting have identified the provisions Disputes under economic matters in all tiers ofcourts in excess of4 crore, inordinate delays in resolution Govt hopes the legislative changes will help boost ease ofdoing business Sitharaman in the Union Budget2020speechmentionedthe government would look into making amendments to the CompaniesAct,2013,andother laws where certain provisions impose criminal penalties on actsessentiallycivilinnature.In this context, NITI Aayog has undertakenanexercisethewith ministriesconcernedtoidentify the specific provisions under different Acts where decriminalisationcan be attempted. Continued on Page 2 DAS-SPEAK ‘Need to watch out if demand sustains’ FE BUREAU Mumbai, November 26 THE SUSTAINABILITY OF demandafterthefestiveseason must be watched as downside risks to growth persist amid a surge in infections, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das cautioned on Thursday. Das also observed India’s capital account is now convertible to a large extent. The governor noted that even as the growth outlook has improved, downside risks to growth continue due to recent surge in infections in advanced economies and parts of India. “We need to be watchful about the sustainability of demand after festivals and a possible reassessment of market expectations surrounding the vaccine,” he cautioned. The governor was speaking ataneventorganisedbytheForeignExchangeDealers’Associa- We need to be watchful about the sustainability of demand after festivals and a possible reassessment of market expectations surrounding the vaccine. —SHAKTIKANTA DAS, RBI GOVERNOR tion of India (Fedai). The monetary policy guidance in October emphasised theneedtoseethroughtemporary inflation pressures and alsomaintaintheaccommodative stance at least during the current financial year and into the next. Continued on Page 2 Cash overflow: Short-term rates crash 8.01 $ AFTER DECRIMINALISING MINOR offences under the Companies Act, the Narendra Modi government has embarkedonreducingtheriskofimprisonment for omissions that aren’t necessarily mala fide, under 28 economic and financial sector statutes, including the income tax Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Sebi Act,RBIAct,BankingRegulation Act, SARFAESI Act and the Collection of StatisticsAct. Criminal penalties, including imprisonment for minor offences, are one of the major reasons for subdued business sentimentsandareseentohinder investments both from domesticandforeigninvestors. “The Cabinet secretary has instructed all the ministries to go through allActs undertheir jurisdictionandidentifyprovisions, which could be potentially decriminalised.As many as 128 provisions across 28 statutes could be considered over the next 2-3 months,” a government official said. Finance minister Nirmala 128 -4.56 2017 2018 2019 2020* * Up till November 24 A GLUT OF cash-chasing assets in India has caused short-term rates to plunge, reports Bloomberg.Athreemonth treasury bill was sold at a record lowyield onWednesday,whilethemarketrepo clockedatradeat0.01%.Key borrowing costs like the weighted interbank call rate and collateralised moneymarket rates are way below theRBI benchmarkinrecent days, indicating investors such as mutual funds are acceptingreturnslowerthan what RBI’s deposit window wouldofferbanks. ■ Page11 COVID BLOW Disney to lay off 32,000 at theme parks REUTERS November 26 WALT DISNEY SAID on Wednesday it would lay off about 32,000 workers, primarily at its theme parks, an increase from the 28,000 it announcedinSeptember,asthecompanystruggleswithlimitedcustomers due to the coronavirus pandemic. The layoffs will be in the first half of 2021, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A spokesperson for Disney confirmed that the latest figures include the28,000layoffsannouncedearlier. Earlier this month, Disney said it VIRUS WOES ■ Disney had in Sept said it will lay off 28,000 workers at its theme parks ■ Earlier this month, it said it was furloughing additional workers from its theme park in southern California Disneyland Paris was forced to close again late last month when France imposed a new lockdown to fight a second wave of Covid cases was furloughing additional workers from its theme park in Southern California due to uncertaintyoverwhen thestatewouldallowparkstoreopen. Disney’s theme parks in Florida and those outside the United States reopened earlier this year without seeing new major coronavirus outbreaks but with strict social distancing,testing and mask use. Disneyland Paris was forced to close again late last month when France imposed a new lockdown to fight a second wave of the coronavirus cases. The company’s theme parks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo remain open. Kolkata
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