OPINION, P2 MIND & GAMES Work,wealth and welfare THE WILDEST ANIMAL NEWS FROM 2020 NEW DELHI SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2020, 14 Pages, `10 (Patna `11, Raipur `10) F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , FINANCIAL EXPRESS ON SUNDAY B E N G A L U R U , WHAT'S INSIDE ■ LEISURE, P5 How 2020 changed our lives As the year of the pandemic draws to a close, we look back at how it changed everything we did. How we ate, how we worked and how we lived and how the trends will impact us in the years to come ■ WORDS WORTH, P4 The A to Z of a pandemic From reported narratives, doctors’ accounts to spiritual guides and poetry, there was a race to publish books on pandemic ROHNIT PHORE We need some sunshine in the new year, and Pantone's Color of the Year is just that Page 6 SPOTLIGHT Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL .XX NO. 8 ODD & EVEN Two shades of hope These are the stories about birds, bugs, fish and mammals that surprised and delighted readers the most this year Page 10 ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM P U B L I S H E D FE LINES C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , INTERCONNECT WARS Bharti, Vi may get DoT relief on penalties ● With AGR dues and auction soon, govt likely to go soft on anti-Jio stance FE BUREAU New Delhi, December 26 THE DEPARTMENTOF telecom- munications (DoT) is likely to finally reject the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) recommendation to levy acumulativepenaltyof`3,050 croreonBhartiAirtelandVodafone Idea for not providing points of interconnection to Reliance Jio in 2016 when it had commenced operations. OfficialstoldFEthattheview hasgainedcurrencythatthetime is not conducive for burdening the operators with financial penalty as they are financially stretched and have to pay their adjustedgrossrevenuedues.Further,since the government has now announced that the next round of auctionswill be held in March,itdoesn'twanttotakeany actionupsettingoperatorswhich mayconstrainthemfromparticipating in the auctions.Since a new chairman has taken charge at Trai,there is also feeling that theregulatorwillnotfeelslighted andissuecanbesafelyburied. Though on the insistence of the Trai,the Digital Communications Commission (DCC),the apex decision-making body of THE YEAR WOMEN WEAKENED Covid-19 hit women the hardest as they either lost jobs or had to juggle work & home Page 7 READ TO LEAD 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 , India to become 5th largest economy in 2025: Report INDIA, WHICH appears to have been pushed back to being the world’s sixth-biggest economy in 2020, will again overtake the UK to become the fifth-largest in 2025 and race to the third spot by 2030, a think tank said on Saturday, reports PTI. India had overtaken the UK in 2019 to become the fifthlargest economy in the world but has been relegated to sixth spot in 2020. PAGE 3 Hungary takes lead as Europe is ready for Covid vaccinations HUNGARY STOLE a march on its fellow EU nations as it started vaccinating its people against Covid-19 on Saturday, a day ahead of rollouts in countries including France and Germany as the pandemic surges across the continent, reports Reuters. Mass vaccination across the European Union, home to almost 450 million, would be a crucial step towards ending a pandemic that has killed more than 1.7 million around the world, crippled economies and destroyed businesses and jobs. down,while passenger vehicle (PV) and two-wheeler sales startedpickingup,salesofcommercial vehicles (CV) are still dampened.AsperH1FY21data by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), while PV sales were down 34% and those of two-wheelers 38.28%,CVsalesweredownby ● Farmers moot 4-point agenda for talks, stick to key demands FE BUREAU New Delhi, December 26 NETWORK CONGESTION In October 2016,Trai had recommended fine to be levied on BhartiAirtel and Vodafone each in 21 circles and on Idea Cellular in 19 circles The penalty for Bharti andVodafonewas `1,050 each,while for Idea itwas `950 crore ■ TheTrai had recommended fines after it had issued notices to the three operators over congestion in their networks, leading to call failures made to and fromJio network ■ The three incumbent firms had said they conformed to the 90-day deadline for providing demanded points of interconnect to new operator the department of telecommunications, had approved the penaltyinJulylastyear,thematterhas still not got the approval of the telecom minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad. The DoT also feels that if the demand notices raised,BhartiandVodafoneIdea are sure to challenge it in the Telecom Disputes Settlement andAppellateTribunal(TDSAT), andthegovernmentisnotkeen at this stage to enmesh itself in yet anotherlegal tussle. Continued on Page 14 Narendra Modi aggressively defended the new farm laws, agitating farmer unions on Saturday proposed to hold anotherroundoftalkswiththe government on December 29 to resolve thevexatious standoff.The unions have proposed a four-point agenda for the talks, sticking to their key demands, and indicating they are in mood to relent. “We have proposed discussion on four points — Farmers during their protest in New Delhi on Saturday modalities of repeal of the three farm laws, mechanism and procedure of providing legal guarantee to minimum support price (MSP) at C2 costs, insulating farmers from the ordinance on air pollution and necessary changes in draft electricity bill to keep farmers out of its ambit,” said Yogendra Yadav, member of all-India Kisan its positive impact on logistics New policies (PLI, NIP spend) & environmentrelated regulations 56.01%onayear-on-yearbasis. In fact, in September 2020, even as PV and two-wheeler sales grew17.02% and 0.17%, ASMITA DEY & RISHI RANJAN KALA New Delhi, December 26 EVEN AS THE retail sector is gradually picking up aided by pent-up demand and festival offers, retailers still expect recoverytostretchacross2021. Many in the industry fear the scenario could compel mall tenants to ask for more rental NEWTENET ■ Mall owners say rents already down by 25% in some places ■ Rentals & footfalls to depend on speed of vaccination ■ The uncertainty on rental negotiations in FY22 due to Covid, retail spends, job uncertainty waivers from developers and landlords post-March 2021. However,mallowners,many of whom have extended slabwise discounts till March, say thatrentsarealreadydownbyas ■ Movement restrictions likely to further impact consumer spending much as 25% in some places and rentals as well as footfalls would now be determined only after government rolls out the immunisation programme to checkthe pandemic. The uncertainty on rental negotiations in FY22 is due to Covid altering shopping decisions as job and income uncertainty and movement restrictions are feared to further impact consumer and household spending. BCG, in a December report onhowIndiashops,spendsand saves inthenewreality,said,“In apparel,purchase decision was primarily triggered by social/celebratory occasions (accountingfor42%oftriggers). However,due to social distancingnormsandanoverallreductioninphysicalinteractions,the social/celebratory occasions no longer hold much sway in purchasedecisions.Instead,thesingle largest trigger is now functional — clothes for home PTI Sangharsh Coordination Committee after three-hour joint meeting of over 35 farmer organisations. Continued on Page 14 GROUND REALTY Millennials and metros moving apart ● With WFH push, big houses, open spaces, lower costs attracting youngsters to city peripheries RISHI RANJAN KALA New Delhi, December 26 THE PANDEMIC AND work from home practice is leading the younger workforce to explore buying or renting houses outside city limits. Analystssaywithcompanies looking to have 15-25% of NEW HOME HUB Avg cost of 2-BHK/ 1,000 sq ft (` lakh) 88.2 185 69.8 37.5 55.35 43.5 City limits Periphery Delhi NCR Avg rent of 2-BHK/ 1,000 sq ft (`) 22,000 MMR* 45,800 Bengaluru MMR: Mumbai Metropolitan Region employees working remotely, future homebuyers or even those living on rentwill explore peripheral areas for a better lifestyleatlowercosts.Thetrend 18,500 9,500 12,500 9,500 Source: Anarock Property Consultants isgainingmorepopularitywith millennials,or essentiallythose in the agegroupof25-40years. Anarock Property ConsultantschairmanAnujPuripoints respectively, CV sales declined by20.13%. However,both analysts and automakers believe that with economic activity picking up pace and with expected GDP growth in Q3 and Q4, the CV turnaroundcouldberoundthe corner, albeit in varying degrees in different CV subsegments, such as M&HCVs (medium and heavy commercial vehicles), LCVs (light commercial vehicles), pick-ups, buses,etc. CVregistrationstendtofollow GDP growth, and over the last two decades CVs have typicallygrownataratemarginally higher than GDP growth on a CAGRbasis,despitewitnessing a couple of cyclical downtrends,said an auto analyst. Continued on Page 14 Despite vaccine, 2021 brings little hope for malls ● With meagre retail pick-up, tenants likely to bank on rental waivers P U N E A DAY AFTER Prime Minister Sales pick-up plan ● Analysts, Arobust scrappage automakers say policy could help accelerate new CVsales green shoots Green shoots ofrecovery in cyclical sectors like visible; pin hopes metals and mining on improved infra E-commerce growth and WITH EASING OF the lock- D E L H I , Proposal to resume talks Tuesday CV sales still in the slow lane VIKRAM CHAUDHARY New Delhi, December 26 N E W FARMERS’ PROTEST AUTO SECTOR QuickPicks M U M B A I , workouts, additional pair of jeansduetodailywashing,worn outinnerwearreplacement,etc.” For instance, though Biba hasstruckrevisedrentalagreements till March, the retailer fearsthatcompaniesmayneed an extension as Covid-induced disruptions are still a concern. “We are alreadyhaving discussions now to discuss and planfornextfinancialyear.The situation in metros is definitelyquitebadascomparedto small towns when it comes to mood and sentiment,” said Biba MD,Siddharth Bindra. Going ahead, the firm also does not rule out a rental correction—about15-20%lower than what it was pre-Covid. Continued on Page 14 New Delhi out that besides WFH, affordability is an enduring concern especially in the backdrop of a faltering economy and job uncertainty.Peripheralareasare more affordable both from a rentalandpurchaseperspective. The previous gold standard ofwalk-to-workorshort-driveto-work may shed much of its popularity for several prospective homebuyers, Puri feels, withmanypreferringtoshiftto townships, predominantly on theoutskirtsandself-sustained gated communities,where the entire family’s needs are sufficiently met.These offer a safe and secure environment,while providing amenities that reduce the need toventure out. Continued on Page 14
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