OPINION, P6 S RAMADORAI MARKETS, P10 Invest in making persons with disabilities part of the mainstream INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL PYRAMID STRUCTURE COVID COMBAT Trying to wind up Devas through NCLT route to avoid payments is quite unfortunate RBI moots 4-layered framework for NBFC regulation Pfizer vaccine safe for elderly despite Norway scare, WHO says CHENNAI/KOCHI, SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOLUME XLII NO. 222, 16 PAGES, `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 SENSEX: 48,878.54 ▼ 746.22 NIFTY: 14,371.90 ▼ 218.45 NIKKEI 225: 28,631.45 ▼ 125.41 HANG SENG: 29,447.85 ▼ 479.91 `/$: 72.98 ▲ 0.02 `/€: 88.84 ▼ 0.19 BRENT: $54.66 ▼ $1.44 GOLD: `48,920 ▼ `522 AFTER NEARLY 18 months of preliminary enquiry, the CBI has booked the UK-based Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research for alleged illegal harvesting of data of 5.62 lakh Indian Facebook users for profiteering and manipulating elections, officials said Friday, reports PTI. RBI cancels benchmark bond sale RBI DIDN’T sell any benchmark notes at its weekly auction, highlighting weak demand ahead of the Budget that is widely expected to boost spending, reports Bloomberg. RBI rejected all bids for the `80,000-crore of 5.85% 2030 bonds it had sought to sell, according to a statement on Friday. FE BUREAU Mumbai, January 22 RELIANCE JIO ON Friday beat analysts estimates on most of the parameters byposting a net profitof`3,489crore,up15.5% quarter-on-quarter,during the October-Decemberperiod.Revenues during the quarter grew 5.3% at `19,475 crore, while Ebitda at `8,483 crore was up 6.4%. Operating margin rose 43.6% from the preceding quarter’s43.1%.Thecompany’s averagerevenueperuserduring the period was up 4% sequentially at `151. Still, Jio’s Arpu is well behind rival Bharti Airtel’s Arpu of `162 in the September DATA Usage per sub (MB) 14,000 12,000 11,000 10,000 Q3 Q4 FY20 VOICE 800 780 760 Q1 1,50,00,000 1,00,00,000 Usage per sub (mins) Arpu (`) Q3FY20 128 Q4FY20 130.6 0 Q1FY21 Volume (m mins, RHS) 9,74,960 8,26,400 50,00,000 Q2 Q3 FY21 10,40,000 9,60,000 140.3 Q2FY21 145 8,80,000 740 720 2,00,00,000 1,58,60,000 1,20,80,000 13,000 Volume (m MB, RHS) 12,900 Company’s Arpu increases by 4% at `151, data usage up 7.5% at 12.9 GB 796 CBI case against Cambridge Analytica, 1 other Jio beats estimates,net profit rises 16% at `3,489 crore 11,200 THE SUPREME Court on Friday refused to accord early hearing to the plea related to mining major Vedanta's Sterlite Copper unit at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu which is closed since May 2018 over pollution concerns, reports PTI. Q3 RESULTS 760 IN THE NEWS Vedanta’s Sterlite unit: SC no to early hearing on plea Q3 Q4 FY20 Q1 Q2 FY21 Q3 quarter. Bharti is yet to report theDecemberquarternumbers. Duetotheongoingfarmers’ agitation against the new farm laws inwhich the companywas targetedinPunjab,thecompany could not check its monthly churn which was at 1.63%. Though it was lower than pre- 8,00,000 Q3FY21 7,20,000 151 cedingquarter’s1.69%whenit was hit by the pandemic when migrantlabourershadmovedto their hometowns, it was much higherthan the company’s preCovid numbers — it stood at 0.46% in Q1. Continued on Page 2 Reliance Retail consolidated revenues drop 19% RELIANCE RETAILON Fridayreportednetrevenues of `33,018croreonaconsolidatedbasis inthethreemonthsendedDecember,adecline of nearly 19% compared with the year-ago period, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi.The numbersarenotcomparableduetothetransfer outofthefuelretailingbusinesstotheRIL-BPJV. Net revenues stood at `40,660 crore in Q3FY20,the companysaid in a presentation. Overall revenue was also impacted by the decision to convert Reliance Market stores to fulfilment centers to enable cityexpansion of new commerce. ■ Full report on Page 4 ● DRACONIAN Special Features Tata Altroz: A hatchback that got all things right, almost The Altroz iTurbo looks futuristic, drives well, has a fuel-efficient engine, has a spacious cabin, and is a ‘connected car’, but there is no automatic gearbox option as of now. ■ Motobahn, P9 Higher commissions pulled down ICICI Lombard’s PAT Normalisation of tie-up with ICICI Bank on health side is key; standalone EPS down 2-4% and TP revised to `1,780 from `1,850, factoring in tad slower premium; ‘Buy’ retained ■ Investor, P9 QuickPicks Govt amends CSR rules; allows cos to undertake multi-year projects THE GOVERNMENT on Friday amended various rules pertaining to the CSR regime, including allowing corporates to undertake multi-year projects and making registration compulsory for agencies implementing CSR activities on behalf of companies, reports PTI. Besides, companies have been permitted to set off the excess amount spent under CSR up to three succeeding FYs and they have also been allowed to create or acquire capital assets through CSR in the name of beneficiaries or a public authority or registered trust, among others. PAGE 2 Future Retail misses interest payment on dollar bonds FUTURE RETAIL has missed an interest payment on its dollar bond, just a day after surging in the credit and share markets on optimism over a potential takeover of the company, reports Bloomberg. The firm failed to meet a January 22 deadline to pay interest due on its 5.6% notes that mature in 2025, it said in an exchange filing. The company proposed to make the payment within a 30 day grace period. From February, IRCTC set to resume e-catering on trains THE INDIAN Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) — the catering and tourism arm of Indian Railways — is set to resume its e-catering services for passengers travelling in the currently operating special trains, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The service was suspended on March 22, 2020, due to the Covid19 pandemic and the lockdown. The service allows passengers to order an array of food of their choice from reputed brands as well as popular regional and local delicacies . PAGE 2 Anti-govt posts may land you in prison in Bihar PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Patna, January 22 OFFENSIVE SOCIAL MEDIA posts against the government, ministers,MPs,legislators and state officials will now be treated as cybercrime and invite penal action, a circular issued by a top Bihar police officer said, provoking the opposition to accuse chief minister (CM) Nitish Kumar of acting like the Nazi dictator,Hitler. Under the Information Technology Act, cybercrimes are punishablewith imprisonment up to seven years and fine or both. Continued on Page 2 RIL’s net profit rises 12.5% in Q3 FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 22 RELIANCE INDUSTRIES (RIL) onFridayreportedconsolidated net profits of `13,101 crore for the three months to December 2020,anincreaseof12.5%y-oy.The oil-to-retail conglomerate’sconsolidatedrevenuefrom operationsweredown22%y-oyto `1.23 lakhcrore. TheRILstock,whichistrading belowitsrecordSeptember highs, closed at `2,047.95 on Friday, down 2.45%, on a day when the markets were weak. In a quarter in which the economy was recovering from the disruption caused by the pandemic, RIL’s performance wa somewhat mixed. Jio Platformsfaredreasonablywell;the subsidiary received `1.52 lakh crore from investors for a combined stake of 32.88%.On Reliance Retail, the management saidwhile96%ofthestoreshad been opened only half of these were fullyoperational. INDIA’S FIRST INDIGENOUS vaccine against Covid-19,Covaxin, showed enhanced immune responsewithoutany serious side effects in the participantsenrolledforthephase 1trials,accordingtotheresults published inThe Lancet Infectious Disease journal. Developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, the vaccine has been granted emergency use authorisation in clinical trial mode by the government. 48,450 Sensex 32,300 Intra-day, Jan 22 NARENDRA SINGH TOMAR five-hour,11th round meeting with farmer leaders, in which confabulations actually occurred for just half an hour, agriculture minister Narendra SinghTomarsaid: “Thegovernment has been talking to farmerssinceOctoberandmadeseveral proposals (to resolve the impasse)with aviewto allaying 32,000 Covaxin, which is now undergoing phase-3trials,had raisedconcernsamongexperts over its emergency approval earlierthismonth bythecountry’s drug regulator. Continued on Page 2 ■ Fire at Serum: Loss estimated at `1,000 cr, Page 4 32,088 31,700 31,100 Previous close : 49,624.76 Continued on Page 12 30,800 Close Bank Nifty Intra-day, Jan 22 31,167.25 Previous close : 32,186.90 Open Close ● PRE-BUDGET MEMO PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, January 22 to Centre Don't cut Adani Total,Torrent pick transfers to 5% stake each in IGX states: Mitra ADANI TOTAL GAS and Torrent Gas have become the first strategic investors in IGX (Indian Gas Exchange) by acquiring 5% stake each, according tothe Indian Energy Exchange (IEX). The IGX is an arm of IEX and first authorised gas exchange in the country. The IGX partnership with the twoleading gasplayerswill go a long way in developing India’s gas markets, an IEX statement said. The IEX had on Friday announced the first strategic divestmentofsharesintheIGX. AdaniTotalGasandTorrent Gas,India’stwoleading energy ■ The IGX (Indian Gas Exchange), an arm ofthe IEX (Indian Energy Exchange), is the country's first authorised gas exchange ■ With 3 physical hubs at Hazira & Dahej in Gujarat and KG Basin inAndhra Pradesh, IGX has already traded 75,000 mmBtu since its launch inJune 2020 Australia is set to pass laws to make tech giants negotiate payments with local publishers and broadcasters for content Ifthey can't strike a deal, a govt-appointed arbitrator will decide the price Google has called the code overly broad, said without revisions, offering even limited search tool would be too risky People who want to work with that (nation's rules) in Australia, you're very welcome. But we don't respond to threats — SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PM'S RESPONSE TO GOOGLE warned that its 19 million Australian users would face degraded search andYouTube experiences if the new code were enforced. Australia is on course to pass laws that would make tech giants negotiate payments with local publishers and broadcasters for content included in search results or news feeds. If they cannot strike a deal, a governmentappointed arbitrator will decide the price. “Coupled with the unman- FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 22 ageable financial and operational risk if thisversion of the Code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” Mel Silva, managing director forAustralia and NewZealand, told a senate committee. Silva made no mention of YouTube in prepared remarks, as thevideo service is expected to be exempted under revisions to the code last month. STATE GOVERNMENTS, FACING acute resource constraints andconsequentsqueezeontheir investment expenditure,want the Centre to be liberal with the assortedtransferstothem. In a letter to the Union finance minister ahead of the Central Budget, West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, one of the most vocal among state finance ministers for the cause of cooperative fiscal federalism,hasdemandedthatthe Centre borrow an additional `72,000croreunderthespecial window to make good the states’estimated collective GST revenue shortfall in FY21, in additionto`1.1lakhcrorebeing raised already.Mitra also asked Sitharaman not to cut back on thetaxdevolutiontostatesfrom the divisible pool,and called for removal of the reforms conditions attached to the 1% (of GSDP)extraborrowingwindow accorded to states in FY21. Inreferencetohisownstate, Mitra pointed out that during April-December2020,thestate government has received only `27,944 crore as tax evolution against `37,905 crore due, a 26%shortfall.Hedemandedan amountof`20,961crore(including `11,000 crore for FY20) shouldbedisbursedtothestates “on an immediate basis”. Continued on Page 12 Continued on Page 2 players with stakes in both upstream and downstream hydrocarbonvalue chain,have acquired 5% equitystake each in the IGX. Continued on Page 2 Google threatens to block search engine in Australia ALPHABET’S GOOGLE ON Friday said it would block its search engine in Australia if the government proceedswith a new code that would force it and Facebook to pay media companies for the right to use their content. Google’s threat escalates a battle with publishers such as News Corp that is being closely watched around the world. The search giant had their fears and apprehensions. Wehaverequestedthemtoconsider the last proposal to hold backtheimplementationofthe lawsfor12-18months,whichis abetterproposal(thanallothers) andcontinuethediscussionsby forminga committee.” ENERGY BOOSTER ESCALATING ROW RENJU JOSE Sydney, January 22 Farmer unions to meet on Saturday to discuss their strategy and the way forward TRACTOR RALLY 31,400 Open Some farmer organisations ready to accept the offer, but others hesitant, says agriculture minister Farmers take out a tractor march in Patiala as part of preparations for their planned tractor rally in New Delhi on Republic Day, during their ongoing protest against the new farm laws AGENCIES 49,050 48,750 SEEMINGLY EXASPERATED OVER the obduracy displayed by the agitating farmer unions despitetheconciliatoryofferto put the three farm laws in abeyance for 18 months, the Centre on Friday hardened its stance and conveyed to the unions that it can't yield any more, causing further uncertainty over when and how the eight-week-longstrikewillend. With the farmer groups clingingtothemaximalistposition that nothing less than the abrogationofthelawswouldbe acceptable to them, both sides could not even decide on the date of the next round of talks. Addressingthemediaaftera Protest guided by "some forces" who want to continue it for political benefits, alleges govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, January 22 48,878.54 49,350 FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 22 Phase 1 trial results show good response A day after touching the record-high 50,000-mark, Sensex on Friday crashed 746 points to close at 48,878.54, thanks to widespread profit-booking. Nifty, too, slumped 218.45 points or 1.5% to 14,371.90. While bank Nifty fell 3.2%, the metals index dropped 3.9%. 49,650 Govt sends strong message to farmer leaders: Accept offer for suspension of the laws, or else no further talks Govt ‘disappointed’, says vested interests are torpedoing the discussions COVAXIN After 50-k high, markets take a tumble 49,594.95 Farmer-govt talks unravel as both sides harden stance Detailed report on Page 4 Crash course 49,950 FARM LAWS CHENNAI/KOCHI
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