OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 TV MOHANDAS PAI & S KRISHNAN Remove tax hurdles to atmanirbharta in start-up investing INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL BUDGET SESSION JACK’S BACK Requiring RTI applicants to state motive behind query will weaken the cause of transparency PM to chair all-party meeting on January 30 Ma makes first public appearance in three months NEW DELHI, THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 279, 20 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: 49,792.12 ▲ 393.83 NIFTY: 14,644.70 ▲ 123.55 NIKKEI 225: 28,523.26 ▼ 110.20 HANG SENG: 29,962.47 ▲ 320.19 `/$: 73.03 ▲ 0.14 `/€: 88.56 ▲ 0.12 BRENT: $56.35 ▲ $0.45 GOLD: `49,086 ▲ `109 CURRENT STATUS IN THE NEWS Govt completes tripartite talks on labour codes Now, a battery that charges in 5 mins THE GOVERNMENT on Wednesday completed tripartite consultations for four new labour codes, moving a step closer to finalising the rules and their subsequent implementation, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. RACHEL MORISON January 20 Aadhaar verdict: SC junks pleas seeking review THE SUPREME Court has dismissed a batch of petitions seeking review of the Constitution Bench judgment that upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The Bench dismissed the review petitions against the apex court’s September 26, 2018 judgment in a 4:1 majority. Final day: IRFC IPO subscribed 3.49 times ISRAELI COMPANY STOREDOT has manufactured the first battery for electric vehicles that can be charged in just five minutes, a step toward making refuelling as fast as cars at a gas station. The lithium-ion samples were produced by StoreDot’s strategic partner in China, Eve Energy,andhavebeenusedasa demonstration in a twowheeled scooter. StoreDot said that rapid charging batteries could overcome range and charging anxiety,a critical barriertomainstreamEVadoption. However, batteries that charge this quickly may not be achievable at scale for years with existing plug-in infrastructure. Degradation relat- StoreDot said rapid charging batteries could overcome range and charging anxiety, a critical barrier to mainstream EVadoption ■ The lithium- ion samples were produced by its China strategic partner Eve Energy ■ The Israeli firm is aiming for a 2025 mass roll-out ifit can find the right strategic partners ing to use of fast-charging also is an under-appreciated issue. Continued on Page 2 Ola partners with Siemens to build its `2,400-cr EV manufacturing facility in TN OLA ON Wednesday announced that it has partnered with Siemens to build its `2,400-croreelectricvehicle (EV) manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The agreementwithSiemenswill equip Ola to digitise certain THE IPO of Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) was subscribed 3.49 times on the final day of bidding on Wednesday, reports PTI. The offer received bids for 4,35,22,57,225 shares against 1,24,75,05,993 on offer. operationsandallthemanufacturing processes in the plant, ensuring better productivity. The factory that Ola claims will be the largest scootermanufacturingfacility in the world will generate close to 10,000 jobs. ■ Report on Page 4 DAMAGE CONTROL Govt offers to stay farm laws for 18 months FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 20 CAVING INTO thepressureput on it by agitating farmers, the CentreonWednesdayproposed itwouldkeepthreecontentious farmlawsinabeyancefor12-18 months and also set up a joint committee to discuss the legislations in detail. Farmerleadersdidn’timmediatelyaccepttheoffer,refusing to settle for anything less than an outright repeal of the laws. Nonetheless,theyagreedtodiscuss the Centre’s proposal. Thegovernment’ssoftening stancewill not merelydelaythe radical and much-needed reformsrequiredtofreefarmers from the shackles of middlemen and ensure unhindered inter-state farm trade,it would alsobringtotheforeitsinability topushthroughhardreformsin the faceof stiff resistance. Both the panel of ministers and farmerleaders have agreed to meet again on Friday to discuss the proposals. After the 10th round of talks between agitating farmers and the government on Changing expectations Protecting the health and interest of society and the planet is the new expectation that consumers have CRAVING CONVENIENCE Consumers craving convenience of prepandemic world. Firms must ensure seamless shopping journey across channels 69% of professionals expect consumers to be more concerned about sustainability 68% of consumers over the age of 60 prefer speaking with humans K’taka is top state again, Delhi best among UTs FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 20 Wednesday,agriculture ministerNarendraSinghTomarsaid: “Wehaveproposedtowithhold the implementation for 1-1.5 years so that the protest ends andtheleaderssitwiththegovernment to discuss issues related to the protest.” DELHI HAS REMAINED the most innovative destination among Union Territories (UTs),while Karnataka has led the pack of major states in the Innovation Index for 2020 released by the NITI Aayog on Wednesday. Maharashtra has overtaken Tamil Nadu to grab the second spot among keystates. Himachal Pradesh remained the top performer among North-Eastern and hill states. Though the rankings are announced separately for the three categories, in terms of just the index score,Delhi tops the list, with a score of 46.6, followed by Karnataka (42.5). However, the average scores in innovation among major states and UTs are just 25.35 and 26.01,respectively, out of 100, suggesting a huge room for improvement. The north-eastern and hill states scored even less — an average of just 17.89. Himachal Pradesh scored only 25.This also brings to the fore the huge regional disparity in innovation. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 "We have proposed to withhold the implementation (of farm laws) for 1-1.5 years so that the protest ends..." —NARENDRA SINGH TOMAR , AGRICULTURE MINISTER "The government is running away from discussion on MSP even as we wanted it." —RAKESH TIKAIT, SPOKESPERSON, BHARATIYA KISAN UNION (BKU) Don’t worry about volatility, says Birla FE BUREAU Mumbai, January 20 ADITYA BIRLA GROUP chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has called on corporations and individualsnottobeundulydisturbedbytheexcessivevolatility after the pandemic but to remain focused on core economic and business variables, demographic drivers of market trends,technological drivers of supply chains while building reserves for the future. These fundamentalvariables,hewrote in an annual note on a website, don’tchangeasdiscontinuously as prices and indicessuggest. “Thepeople,companies,and nations who have emerged strongerhavebeentheoneswho had accumulated reserves of strengthandnotnecessarilythe ones who were sprinting the fastest,” hewrote. Continued on Page 2 Markets surge to record highs FE BUREAU Mumbai, January 20 Nifty50 AMID STRONG GLOBAL cues, Indianequitiesclosedatrecord highs on Wednesday with the 50-shareNiftyrallyingsmartly to close at 14,644.70.The Sensex ended the day just a few points shyof the 50,000-mark. Thoughthemarketistradingat near lifetime high valuations, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) continue to invest with inflows in January having alreadycrossed $2.50 billion. Strategists at Credit Suisse have observed the CAGR of 24% forthe NiftyEPS between FY20 and FY23 appears prima facie optimistic, given weak earnings growth in FY10-20. “However, growth is a more reasonable 16%, excluding banks and Tata Motors,” they pointed out. Nifty Midcap 100 14,644.70 14,650 14,600 14,550 14,500 14,450 14,538.30 Previous close: 14,521.15 Open Close The brokerage expects more meaningful upgrades to the consensus forecasts for earnings in FY22.“As the output level assumptions for FY22 GDP are reset, earnings estimates are likely to see upgrades too.While index EPS and GDP are only weakly linked,if at all,in most models the starting point forgrowth is the nominal GDP forecast,” they opined. Nifty Smallcap 100 Intra-day, Jan 20 Intra-day, Jan 20 22,197.40 22,250 Intra-day, Jan 20 14,700 7,485 22,180 22,110 7,439.20 7,465 7,445 22,040 21,970 21,900 7,405 Previous close: 21,969.20 Open 7,432 7,425 22,027.25 Close 7,385 Previous close: 7,395.65 Open Close Euromonitor International has identified the top trends that provide insights into changing consumer values and how they are disrupting businesses globally. OUTDOOR OASIS PHYGITAL REALITY PLAYING WITH TIME Businesses moved events outside, allowing consumers to reconnect out of home. Firms should pivot strategy to include outdoors Delivering virtually enabled at-home experiences will be imperative to drive ecommerce sales 64% $15.8 bn of professionals think work from home will become a longterm change global personal accessories e-commerce sales in 2020 Consumers are now both able to be more creative with their time. Businesses should offer increased flexibility. 51% of consumers chose “time for myself” amongst their top three life priorities I have made over 100 import payments online in last 1 year without visiting the branch. INSOLVENCY RESOLUTION ● PEP TALK GLOBAL RALLY FE BUREAU TOP 5 GLOBAL CONSUMER TRENDS IN 2021 BUILD BACK BETTER ● INNOVATION INDEX Market now getting ready for ultra-fast pre-pack, says Sahoo BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, January 20 THE PRE-PACK INSOLVENCY schemewillyield fasterresolution and help maximise the value of a stressed firm, the chief of the insolvency regulator said, refuting the notion that a shorter time frame for submission and clearance of a resolution plan under the proposed scheme may not draw the best bidder. “In fact, the market is getting ready for ‘ultra-fast prepack’,” MS Sahoo, chairman of theInsolvencyandBankruptcy Hiren Karia Jay Raj Fine Paper Co. The USP of pre-pack is that it takes less time for conclusion, increasing the probability of revival of a firm at a higher value. Longer time for resolution typically depletes the value of the firm and increases resolution costs." Scan to watch his story —MS SAHOO , CHAIRMAN, IBBI Board of India (IBBI) who headedanofficialpanelonprepack insolvency, told FE in an interview.Underthisapproach that envisages even faster resolution, two stressed firms in the US — Full Beauty Brands and Sungard Availability Services — emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcyin just 24 hours and 19 hours, respectively, he highlighted. Continued on Page 2 THE NUMBER of new subscribers joining the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) scheme dropped to its lowest in six months in November 2020, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. This suggests formal job creation is yet to gather pace despite businesses resuming operations following the lifting of Covid-induced lockdown restrictions. Only 6.4 lakh new subscribers joined the EPF scheme in November, far lower than 7.7 lakh in October. PAGE 2 A digital banking platform for all your foreign trade transactions. Digital QuickPicks EPF: No. of new subscribers hits lowest in 6 months Experience ICICI Bank Trade Online Paperless* Initiate round the clock Peak power demand scales new high of 1,85,280 MW PEAK POWER demand in the country touched a record 1,85,280 mega watt (MW) on Wednesday, signalling a spurt in commercial and industrial activities as businesses go through a “reset” phase after the lifting of lockdown curbs in recent months, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Wednesday’s demand breached the previous high of 1,82,888 MW recorded on December 30, 2020, power minister RK Singh said on Twitter. PAGE 2 Export Remittance & Import payments Export & Import Bill Regularisation Bank Guarantee & Letter of Credit Trade Finance & More *Scanned copy of documents is required to be submitted online. 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