OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P3 BIBEK DEBROY & ADITYA SINHA States must prepare to manage adverse events post-vaccination INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL EASE OF DOING BIZ CAPITOL ASSAULT Govt saying people can't choose between Covaxin and Covishield erodes trust in vaccine strategy Finmin allows Kerala to borrow additional `2,373 cr post reforms US House convenes to impeach President Trump for his role NEW DELHI, THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 273, 22 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: 49,492.32 ▼ 24.79 NIFTY: 14,564.85 ▲ 1.40 NIKKEI 225: 28,456.59 ▲ 292.25 HANG SENG: 28,235.60 ▼ 41.15 `/$: 73.15 ▲ 0.10 `/€: 89.17 ▼ 0.09 BRENT: $56.72 ▲ $0.14 GOLD: `49,337 ▼ `151 STRONG Q3 IN THE NEWS Farmers open to talks with govt, against panel Infosys ups FY21 revenue guidance THE FARMER ORGANISATIONS made it clear that they won't resort to the fourmember expert panel set up by the SC for a resolution of the stand-off with the Centre, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. They are, however, willing to attend the next round of talks with the Centre on Friday. The farmer groups also reiterated that they would continue and intensify their protest. FE BUREAU Bengaluru, January 13 INFOSYS ON WEDNESDAY upped revenue guidance for 2020-21, saying it could increase by 4.5-5.5% in constant currency terms, better thanthe2-3%projectedearlier. Theoptimismstemmedfroma strong Q3FY21 numbers in which revenues rose 5.5% sequentially to `25,927 crore and net profits rose to `5,197 crore, up 7.3% quarter-onquarter. Operating profit marginscameinatarobust25.4%. Infosys CEO and MD Salil Parekh said the company’s capabilities in areas of digital and cloud were enabling it to win clients, including global majors such as Vanguard, Daimler and Rolls-Royce. TCS had reported a stellar set of numbers forthe Decemberquarter,postinganetprofit of`8,701crore,up 3.2%quarter-on-quarterand strong Ebit IRFC IPO to fetch `3,100 cr for firm, `1,500 cr for govt THE IPO OF state-run Indian Railway Finance Corporation will hit the market on January 18 to mobilise about `4,600 crore for the company and the Centre, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The price band has been set at `25-26 per equity share and the issue will close on January 20. Petrol touches new high of `84.45 in Delhi Revenue (` cr) Operating Net proﬁt (` cr) margin (%) Q3 FY20 Q2 FY21 Q3 FY21 23,092 4,457 24,570 4,845 25,927 5,197 21.9 25.3 25.4 margins of 26.6%. Nilanjan Roy, CFO, Infosys, said the focus on optimising operationalcostsandsub-contract costs helped. “We definitely benefited from not having travel expenses,“Roy said. BANKRUPTCY CASE DEEP MINING Over 500 non-coal blocks up for grabs Cabinet okays clutch of steps to attract private investments SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, January 13 OVER 500 NON-COAL mineral blocks, partially or minimally explored under current leases, but are entangled in legacy issues and litigation, will be up for grabs as the Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to amend the relevant law for their re-allocations via competitive bidding. Also, the employment-intensive,buthighlyunder-invested sector,will get a fillip from thet nod to do away with end-use restrictions for miners. Those with captive leases will be allowed to sell the minerals in the open market. Vijay Mallya denied permission to appeal against UK court order ALONG WAYTO GO 0.2% India's share in global mineral* exploration expenditure, mainly on surficial deposits 1.75% Contribution of mineral sector in India's GDP `2.5 lakh crore India's annual mineral imports, domestic production only half this level Areawhere exploration has been done in the country's total obvious geological potential; mining carried out in just 1.5% ofOGP 10% All figures for non-coal, non-oil minerals Sources said the Cabinet alsogave thego-aheadforreallocationofseveralnon-producing blocks of PSUs,a move that could also enthuse the private playersasmanyof theseblocks have abundant proven resources.Themovesareinsyncwith 64% Effective tax rate on mining in India, the highest in the world, the average in other mineral-rich countries 34-38 %. the National Mineral Policy, whichaimstoraisethedomestic production of non-coal, non-fuel minerals by 200% in seven years with a greater private sector participation. Continued on Page 2 Wipro posts robust Q3 numbers WIPRO POSTED A strong set of numbers for the OctoberDecember quarter,reports fe Bureau in Bengaluru. Revenues stood at `15,670 crore whilenetprofitwasat`2,970 crore.Operating margin exp- PETROL PRICES ON Wednesday touched a new high of `84.45 per litre in the national capital after state-owned fuel retailers hiked prices after a five-day hiatus, reports PTI. Govt okays $6-bn purchase of locally-made combat jets INDIAWILLBUY83indigenouslymadefighters — theTejas Light CombatAircraft — manufactured by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics at an estimated cost of over$6 billion (`45,700crore),inasetbackforoverseascombat aircraft makers seeking business in the country,reports Bloomberg. anded sequentially by 243 bps to 21.7%, a significant growthinthelast22quarters. Wipro surpassed all market estimations and gave a revenue guidance of 1.5-3.5% forJanuary-March. ■ Page 4 JEE TUTORIAL Special Features Covid-19 has convinced the most stubborn to go digital The silver lining to the Covid-19 pandemic has been an accelerated demand for digital transformation, says Sunil Kanchi, chief investment officer & chief information officer, UST ■ eFE, P9 Track your fitness status 24/7, stay entertained too Oraimo Tempo 1S and Freepods 2 are two smart wearable devices intended for fitness tracking and entertainment respectively, and fit into our changing lifestyles perfectly ■ Gadgets, P9 QuickPicks Digital lending under lens, RBI sets up working group THE RBI on Wednesday announced the setting up of a working group on digital lending, including lending through online platforms and mobile apps, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. It will suggest specific regulatory measures. The move is the latest in the RBI’s attempt to tackle fly-by-night lending apps which have been offering digital loans to underserved customers. Of late, these platforms have come under the regulator’s glare for their adoption of coercive means of loan recovery. PAGE 10 Vietnam rises as an alternative to China, beating India: Report VIETNAM HAS emerged as a low-cost manufacturing base in Asian supply chains, beating India and even China in indicators, including foreign direct investment (FDI) policy and foreign trade and exchange controls, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. In fact, Vietnam’s rise as an alternative manufacturing hub to China predates a trade war between Washington and Beijing in recent years, it says in a report. PAGE 2 Centre to raise up to `2,644 cr via SAIL OFS; floor price at `64 THE CENTRE will sell up to 10% stake in SAILworth about `2,644 crore at the floor price of `64 per share, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The floor price for the offer for sale (OFS) is at a discount of 14.3% on the closing share price (`74.7) of SAIL on the BSE on Wednesday. "Offer for Sale (OFS) in SAIL opens on Thursday for non-retail investors. 15th January is for retail investors. GoI would divest 5% equity with a 5% greenshoe option," Dipam secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey tweeted. AMAZON INDIA ON Wednesday forayed into the growing ed-tech space by announcing thelaunchofAmazonAcademy whichwouldhelpstudentsprepare for the Joint Entrance Examination(JEE)forengineering colleges.The online preparation offering will equip studentswithin-depthknowledge and practice routines required for the JEE, through curated learning material, live lectures and comprehensive assessments in Math, Physics and Chemistry, Amazon said in a statement. In addition to the JEE, those preparing for other engineering entrance exams like BITSAT,VITEEE, SRMJEEE and MET can also benefit from theavailablecontentresources. The content is currently availableforfreeandwillcontinueto be for the next few months, the firm said. The ed-tech space is quite CLASSROOM ■ Amazon Academy is available as a website and an Android smartphone app ■ Itwill offer learning material, live lectures, assessments to help students prepare forJEE ■ India's ed- ■ Content currently free and to be free for 'next few months' tech market for grades 1 to 12 may expand six-fold to ■ Beyond by 2022 $1.8 billion $1.7 billion grade 12, ed-tech is set to nearly quadruple to competitive with players like Byju’s and Unacademy already havingcarvedanicheforthemselves.This segment has seen a furthertractionduringthepandemicwhichgaveanimpetusto online learning methods. Continued on Page 2 HC notice to Future, others onAmazon plea THE DELHI HIGH Court on Wednesday issued notices to FutureRetail,KishoreBiyani, RelianceRetailandotherson Amazon’s appeal, reports fe Bureau in NewDelhi. Amazonisseekingquashing of “certain prima facie LIQUOR TYCOON VIJAY Mallya was on Wednesday denied permission to appeal against a UK High Court order refusing to dismiss bankruptcy proceedings brought by a consortium of Indian banks led by State Bank of India (SBI), in its pursuit of debt related to his nowdefunct KingfisherAirlines. Mallya,whoremainsonbail in the UK, had filed a renewed application to appeal against the UK court orders in the case fromlastyear,whichhadallowedforanadjournmentofbankruptcy proceedings until the debt issue before India’s Supreme Courtwas decided upon. Hiscounsel,PhilipMarshall, argued that the banks’ bankruptcypleashouldbedismissed ratherthanjustadjournedasthe debt in question was disputed and being deliberated upon in the Indian courts.“While this was a new point (before the ■ Consortium of Indian banks is in pursuit of debt related to now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines ■ Mallya had filed a renewed application to appeal against UK court orders in the case from last year ■ UK court had allowed for an adjournment of bankruptcy proceedings Adjournment was until the debt issue before the Supreme Court in India was decided upon appellate court),I do not accept it as a reasonable ground for appealasthemattercanbedealt with during proceedings that arestillcontinuing,” saidjustice Colin Birss, during a remote hearingoftheChanceryAppeals Division of the HC in London. Continued on Page 2 observations” made by a single-judgeBenchinitsDecember 21 order which allowed Future Group to go ahead with its deal with Reliance Retail,subjecttoclearanceby the concerned regulatory authorities. ■ Page 4 Unacademy shares change hands in $50-m deal FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 13 UNACADEMY ON WEDNESDAYsaidithasconcludedafresh secondarytransaction round in which Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadview Capital and General Atlantic haveincreasedtheirstakeinthe company. The investors have collectivelyacquired additional shares worth $50 million from existingbackers. The infusion comes less than two months after the edtech firm raised fresh funds from Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment Group in a primary financing round at a post-money valuation of $2 billion. Unacademy is understood to have garnered anywhere between $75-100 million from the two firms. In September last year, SoftBank led a $150-million funding round in the company, giving it the status of a unicorn with a valuation of $1.45 billion. In all, the company has so far raised over $400 million from investors. Investor interest in the edtech sector has been heightened as students across the country have signed up for edtech services to make up for lost school hours. Continued on Page 2 UP IN SMOKE Farmers burn copies of the government’s new farm Bills at their protest site near Ghazipur border, in New Delhi on Wednesday EXPRESS PHOTO: PRAVEEN KHANNA Covid Paradox It wasn’t as if India handled the Covid pandemic better than OECD countries or that it had a less virulent strain, a CSIR study found that countries with better hygiene and sanitation standards tended to have higher deaths; the hypothesis is that citizens of countries with poorer hygiene tend to develop higher immunity. The same relationship, it turns out, holds for individual states within India. Two futuristic Cadillac concepts, an electric shuttle and an autonomous vertical take-off and landing drone, are seen in a still image presented by General Motors at the 2021 CES show 250 200 Average Covid-19 deaths per million population 147 150 100 223 64 50 0 50-70 70-80 85-100 % living in houses with improved sanitation (Range of population) Source: NFHS-5, MoHFW ● TOP GEAR GM unveils a futuristic flying Cadillac PAUL LIENERT & BEN KLAYMAN Detroit, January 13 ISHAAN GERA Poor hygiene equals less Covid deaths URBAN MOBILITY GENERAL MOTORS ON Tuesdaypresentedafuturisticflying Cadillac—aself-drivingvehicle whichtakesoffandlandsvertically and carries the passenger above the streets and through the air.A senior GM executive described the concept as “reimaginingthefutureofpersonal transportation”. The single-passengerCadillac—technically,averticaltake- PRESS TRUST OF INDIA London, January 13 Bankruptcy proceedingsbrought byaconsortiumof IndianbanksledbySBI ● ED-TECH BOOM Amazon forays into ed-tech segment FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 13 The purchase includes 73 LCA Tejas Mk1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Traineraircraft.Thelatestdecisionisablowto global defence majors, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Sweden’s Saab, who were waiting to supply 114 jets, the world’s largest deal in play. ■ Page 2 UK High Court had last year refused to dismiss bankruptcy proceedings offandlanding(VTOL)drone— willbeabletotravelfromurban rooftop to urban rooftop at speeds up to 55 miles perhour. It is fully fully autonomous and all-electric, with a 90kW motor,aGMUltiumbatterypack and an ultra-lightweight bodywith four pairs of rotors.The flyingCadillacwaspresentedin a video as part of a virtual keynote presentation by CEO MaryBarra,alongwithafamilyfriendlyCadillacelectricshuttle. Continued on Page 2 Geely, Foxconn to build cars for other automakers YILEI SUN & YIMOU LEE Beijing/Taipei, January 13 TAIWAN’S FOXCONN AND Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said on Wednesdaytheywill join hands to provide contract manufacturingforautomakers.Theywill eachhold50%ofaventurethat willalsoprovideconsultingservices on electric vehicle (EV) technologiestoautomakers,the companies said in a statement. It marks the latest move by New Delhi ■ Taiwan’s Foxconn and Chinese automaker Geely to hold 50% each ■ To also provide consulting services on EV tech to automakers ■ To provide contract manufacturing for automakers Foxconn, a major Apple supplier,into autos. Detailed report on Page 8
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