OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL FINMIN-SPEAK WEALTH CHECK GDP estimates point at sustained V-shaped economic recovery Musk surpasses Bezos to become world’s richest person SC must allow DoT to at least correct its AGR calculations Draft science research policy does well to talk of wider resource-access, greater inclusion NEW DELHI, FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 268, 16 PAGES, `6.00 (PATNA `6.00, RAIPUR `7.00) 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: 48,093.32 ▼ 80.74 NIFTY: 14,137.35 ▼ 8.90 NIKKEI 225: 27,490.13 ▲ 434.19 HANG SENG: 27,548.52 ▼ 143.78 `/$: 73.32 ▼ 0.21 `/€: 89.97 ▲ 0.24 BRENT: $54.35 ▲ $0.05 GOLD: `50,871 ▼ `668 Fashion designer Satya Paul dies at 89 GDP 5 4.2 How they stack up 7.2 Agriculture 4 3.4 0 -5 -4.2 Manufacturing -7.7 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21* -9.4 *First advance estimate 2020-21* 1.3 -12.6 Trade, hotels, transport, etc 3.6 -21.4 Public administration, etc -7.7 -5.2 -0.6 1979-80 -0.1 1972-73 1966-67 Data up to FY80 based on 2004-05 series, latest one on 2011-12 series 10 -3.7 *First advance estimate *First advance estimate hadbeganafewquartersearlier. The contraction estimated by the NSO is, however, narrower than prognosticated by various other agencies including the IMF (10.3%), World Bank (9.6%) and other prominentglobalratingagencies,but a bit worse than RBI’s latest forecast of 7.5%. Continued on Page 2 Govt may make it optional for states to implement farm laws AHEAD OF THE next round of talks with the protestingfarmersonFriday,thegovernment isconsideringmakingitoptionalforthestates toimplementthecontroversialfarmlaws.But afinalcallontheproposalwillhavetobetaken at the highest level,sources told fe Bureau in NewDelhi.BabaLakhhabalSinghofNanaksar Gurdwara of Punjab met agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar at his residence on Thursday,where the ministeris learnt to have discussedtheproposal.“Theproposaltomake thelawsoptionalhadcomeupfordiscussionin oneoftheinternalmeetingsintheagriculture ministryovera month ago,but itwas felt that by doing this, the laws’ relevance would be lost...” a source said. ■ Report on Page 3 Special Feature Oil turmoil ‘Tie-ups with salons erode our brand equity’ Brent may hit $60 by mid-year Shantanu Deshpande of Bombay Shaving Company on foraying into women's products, and competing with biggies Gillette and Nivea in the personal care space ■ BrandWagon, P9 Following Saudi Arabia's surprise unilateral production cut, UBS has raised its forecast for Brent oil prices to $60 per barrel by mid-year, reports Reuters. On Thursday, oil prices hit fresh 11-month highs. Brent crude was up at $54.35 a barrel after touching $54.90. 55 (Above) Vice-President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi read the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November's presidential election during a joint session of Congress after working through the night; (top left) an explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of US President Donald Trump gather in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington; (left) Trump supporters lay siege to the US Capitol 0.03 Construction (% change, y-o-y, in real GDP at market prices) 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 -10 CAPITOL HILL UNDER SIEGE (% change in GVA, y-o-y) FY20 FY21* The great setback INDIA’S REAL GROSS domesticproduct(GDP)inFY21could be 7.7% lower than in FY20 and 3.9% lower than even the FY19levelinabsoluteterm,the National Statistical Office (NSO) forecast on Thursday, releasingtheadvanceestimate for the benefit of the formulation of the Central Budget,due on February1. The sharpest annual GDP contraction in recorded history was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic spanning through theyear,thoughaslowingphase ACE FASHION designer Satya Paul, known for giving the Indian saree a contemporary touch, has passed away at the age of 79, his son Puneet Nanda said, reports PTI. Paul, who had suffered a stroke in December, breathed his last at Sadhguru's Isha Yoga Center on Wednesday. (% growth, y-o-y) Nominal 11.8 11.1 11 10 8.3 7 6.1 -10 FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 7 Real 15 1965-66 TATA SONS, the holding company of salt-to-software Tata Group, has raised about `10,000 crore from selling close to 1% holding in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in the IT firm's recently concluded share buyback, reports PTI. Nominal GDP to shrink 4.2%; NSO predicts resilient H2, robust govt spending -2.6 TCS buyback: Tata Sons sells `10k-cr shares Govt sees only 7.7% GDP fall in FY21 -0.4 THE INCOME tax department has conducted surveys on a subsidiary of e-commerce major Flipkart and food ordering platform Swiggy on charges of bogus input tax credit (ITC) claim and tax evasion by some vendors linked to them, official sources said on Thursday, reports PTI. GROWTH PANGS 1957-58 IN THE NEWS Income tax dept surveys Flipkart arm, Swiggy Brent ($/bbl) 54.21 54 PRESIDENTIAL RACE US Congress certifies Biden win after Trump supporters run riot at Capitol Trump repeats false claim that he won the elections, but promises ‘orderly transition’ to Biden presidency PATRICIA ZENGERLE, JONATHAN LANDAY & RICHARD COWAN Washington, January 7 HOURSAFTER HUNDREDS of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy, a shaken Congress on Thursday formally certified Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. Immediatelyafterward,the 53 ● AGR CASE 52 QuickPicks PNB fraud: Nirav Modi’s sister to help ED unearth `579-cr assets FUGITIVE DIAMANTAIRE Nirav Modi's sister and brother-in-law have "turned approvers" in the over $2-billion PNB fraud case against him and they will help the Enforcement Directorate confiscate assets worth `579 crore, including Swiss bank deposits, the agency said on Thursday, reports PTI. Nirav Modi, who is currently lodged in a London jail, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others are being probed by the ED in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) money laundering case since 2018. PAGE 3 Vi moves SC seeking correction in DoT's maths 51 50 50.08 49 48.79 48 47 Dec 7, 2020 Source: Bloomberg INDU BHAN New Delhi, January 7 Dec 22 ‘20 Jan 7, 2021 ● `555-CR INVESTMENT Oaktree provides unconditional, ADQ buys stake in Biocon arm implementable plan for DHFL US-BASED Oaktree Capital has said its revised bid for the debt-ridden DHFL is unconditional and comes with a commitment of fresh capital infusion of `1,000 crore for the revival of the company, reports PTI. According to sources, Oaktree in a letter dated January 6 to members of the Committee of Creditors (CoC) and administrator of DHFL said the resolution plan offers a clean structure for all stakeholders. Revised bids for DHFL were received last month with Oaktree and Piramal Enterprises jostling for the top spot. PAGE 10 BIOCON ON Thursday announced that its subsidiary Biocon Biologics has approved a primary equity investment by Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies,reports PTI. As per the terms of the proposed agreement, ADQ will invest `555 crore for a 1.80% minority stake in the biosimilar business, valuing Biocon Biologics at a post-money valuation of $4.17 billion,Biocon said in a statement. After the completion of this transaction, Biocon will hold 89.89% stake in Biocon Biologics on a fully diluted basis,it added. ■ Page 4 LIQUIDITY SURGE Firms off to a good start in dollar bond mkt ANURAG JOSHI January 7 THREE INDIAN BORROWERS have already sold dollar bonds so far this year, riding a strong wave of global dealsandmakingitthestrongeststart toayeareverforthecountry’sissuers. The firms have priced $2.1 billion of dollar bonds.They are joining borrowers globally that have been rushing to credit markets, after yields crashed following cash-boosting measures by authorities to keep economiesafloatamidthepandemic. State Bank of Indiasold$600million of notes. The state-run lender pricedthedealat140basispointsover USTreasuries,itstightestspreadsince ■ The 5.5-year The issue by SBI, oversubscribed by , is part of the bank's $10-billion medium term note programme 2.1 times issue denominated in US dollars was priced at 140 bps over the US treasury, its tightest spread since 2004 ■ Earlier this week, Exim Bank had sold $1 billion at a coupon of 2.25%, the lowest for any such issue 2004.Thanks to strong demand for debt globallyas investors put cash to work, Indian companies have been able to tap the market even amid an uneven rebound in Asia’s thirdlargest economy. Growth contracted 7.5% in the three months through September,afterarecord24%slump in the April-June period. For now, money managers have focused more on the signs that the economy may be putting the worst behind it, following unprecedented stimulus. Dollar-denominated bonds from Indian issuers returned 4.7% last quarter, the most among Asia’s majoreconomies,according to Bloomberg Barclays indexes. Other issuers from the country so far this month are Export-Import Bank of India and Shriram Transport Finance. —BLOOMBERG A DAY AFTER Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea also moved the SupremeCourtseekingmodification of its order so that the departmentoftelecommunications(DoT) canconsideritssubmissionsregardingarithmetical errorsinthecalculationsregarding its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. The company has statedinitspetitionthatthecalculations made by DoT had errors like double counting,not considering payments already made, not adjusting for interconnect payments etc. Full report on Page 4 Joe Biden White House released a statement from Trump in which he pledged an“orderlytransition” whenBidenisswornintooffice on January 20, though he repeated his false claim that he won the November election. The Republican president on Wednesday fired up his supporters to overturn the election result before a mob swarmed the Capitol. The destructive and shocking images at the Capitol of what other Republicans called an“insurrection”filled television screens in America and around the world, a deep stain on Trump’s presidency and legacy as his tenure nears its end. In certifying Biden’s win, longtime Trump allies such as Vice-PresidentMikePenceand Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell rejected his pleas for intervention, while the violence at the Capitol spurred several administration officials to quit. Among them was Mick Mulvaney, a former White House chief of staff who resigned his post as a special envoy to Northern Ireland. Continued on Page 2 Facebook, Snap, Twitter lock Trump’s accounts TWITTER,FACEBOOKand Snap have temporarily locked the accounts of US President Donald Trump, as tech giants scrambled to crack down on his baseless claims about the US presidential election amid riots in the capital, reportsReuters.Fourpeople died on Capitol grounds in the chaos, including a woman who was shot andkilledinside the building. ■ Page 8 CRYING FOUL USTR calls India’s digital services levy discriminatory BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, January 7 DIGITAL SERVICES TAXES (DST) imposed by India,Italy and Turkey discriminate against American companies and are out of syncwith established international tax principles, the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office has said, rejecting New Delhi’s contention of its equalisation levy, or the so-called ‘Google tax’, being non-discriminatory. Although the USTR held off potential retaliatorytariffs against the country for the time being, it warned it “will continue to evaluate all available options”. DIFFERENTSTROKES USTR probe: Indian official: India's digital services tax (DST) fromApr 2020 is ‘discriminatory’, as it targets only non-residents US probe ignores the 2016 levy on domestic firms; levy's scopewas onlywidened last year to level playing field DSTtaxes firms’ revenue rather than income, so it's inconsistentwith global tax principles Several global tax measures, including those on royalty and technical fees, are not levied on income Firms should not be subject to a country’s corporate tax absent a territorial connection to it Almost all US states have laws on remote sellers/marketplace facilitators,which tax even non-US resident entities The US Trade Representative’s “Section 301” investigation into the DST suggests that of the 119 companies that are likely liable under the tax regime, 86 or 72% were American companies. Continued on Page 2
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