OPINION, P6 MADAN SABNAVIS MARKETS, P10 Retail investors may not be enthused by proposed exposure to GSecs INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL DOUBLING PORTFOLIO CHARGING AHEAD Punjab CM rejecting Montek report exposes the political nature of the farm protests SBI targets `10-L-cr home loan book in next five years Musk's bitcoin bet fuels gains in firms already invested NEW DELHI, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 297, 32 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: 51309.39 ▼ 19.69 NIFTY: 15,106.50 ▼ 2.80 NIKKEI 225: 29,562.93 ▲ 57.00 HANG SENG: 30,038.72 ▲ 562.53 `/$: 72.85 ▲ 0.04 `/€: 88.30 ▼ 0.05 BRENT: $61.44 ▲ $0.35 GOLD: `47,778 ▼ `129 IN THE NEWS Hindalco Q3 PAT soars 77% to `1,877 crore HINDALCO INDUSTRIES on Wednesday reported a 76.74% growth in consolidated profit after tax (PAT) at `1,877 crore during the quarter ending December 31, 2020, compared with the same quarter of the previous financial year, mainly driven by strong performance by Novelis and the India aluminium business, reports PTI. Poonawalla’s firm buys majority stake in Magma Fincorp ADAR POONAWALLA-controlled Rising Sun Holdings is acquiring a majority stake in Magma Fincorp, an NBFC, and will be infusing fresh capital into the company, reports fe Bureau in Pune. This will be followed by an open offer. Fitch: Lowering debt-GDP ratio to be challenging INDIA’S ELEVATED deficit projections up to FY26 announced in the Budget will make it more challenging to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio, which could rise above 90% over the next five years, global rating agency Fitch said on Wednesday, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. ● BILL PASSED Major ports get more powers; pvt investors to get a leg-up Port Boards will now have the powers to fix reference tariffs for various port services In January 2018, Cabinet took steps to boost private investments via the PPP route in state-run ports FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 10 STATE-RUN PORTS in the country, termed ‘major ports’, will get to determine the tariffs for various portrelated services as well as the terms for private developers who team up with them, with Parliament on Wednesday passing the Major Ports Authority Bill,2020. The new lawwill supersede a 1963 Act governing the country’s 12 major ports. It will be curtains down for the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP); every port will now be governed by a Port Authority (board) which will have the powers to fix reference tariffs forvarious port services. Continued on Page 19 CALL FOR REFORM TRENDING NOW Cannot stick to status quo: PM Modi says farm laws to spur investments in agri value chain, boost employment After the farm Billswere passed by Parliament, no mandi has closed, procurement at MSPhas only risen; the lawswould enable small farmers to access big markets FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 10 Need to move out of status quo, need to frame policies keeping inview the larger interests ofthe nation ASSERTINGTHATINDIAcould no longer be content with status-quoist policies in agriculture and other sectors that are in desperate need of reforms, PrimeMinisterNarendraModi on Wednesday said the small farmers in the country would get access to the ‘big markets’ of agriculture produce,thanks to the new laws. Even as he repeated the offerfordialogue on any specific concerns the agitating farmers may have with regard to the laws, Modi hit out at the Opposition for Greater need for investment and modernisation in the farm sector; new lawswill promote investments in agriculturevalue chain and boost employment seeking to make political capital out of the situation. Continued on Page 2 Airfare price bands to go once flight services reach pre-Covid levels: Puri EMPHASISING THAT cappingofairfareswasan“extraordinary measure”, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said the price bands are expected to be done away with once flight services reach pre-Covid-19 levels, reports PTI.“It is our expectationthatwhenflights openuptopre-Covid levelsin this summer schedule, we wouldnothavetheneedfora priceband,”theministersaid in the Rajya Sabha. ■ Page 4 RoDTEP SCHEME THE GOVERNMENTHAS budgeted only `13,000 crore for a scheme that is supposed to reimburse embedded levies paid on inputs consumed in exports in FY22, drawing a sharp reaction from exporters whowarnofadelayinrecovery in outbound shipments in the wakeoftheCovid-19outbreak. TheoutlayfortheRemission ofDutiesandTaxesonExported Products (RoDTEP) scheme is waybelowtheannualallocation of `50,000 crore that the government had initially envisaged.Also,it’sonlyathirdofthe `39,097crorethegovernment approved forexporters in FY20 undertheMerchandiseExports from India Scheme (MEIS) that the RoDTEPhas replaced. Following a Covid-induced plunge in revenue mop-up, the government had drastically cut MEIS allocation to `15,555 crore in the first three quarters of the current fiscal, much to the consternation of exporters. Similarly, exporters said the latest finance Bill has proposed to amend the IGST Act, whichwould scrap an existing “seamless” refund facility for exporters (other than the designated ones) against their IGST payment on shipments. Any such change will force The microblogging platform refuses to block handles of activists, journalists FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 10 THE STAND-OFF BETWEEN Twitter and the government continueswith the microblogging platform saying on Wednesday it had complied in part with the government’s directive by suspending 500 accounts flagged byMeitY and blocking access to several others within India. Twitter,however,said it has not blocked handles of civil society activists, politicians and media as “it would violate theirfundamentalrighttofree expression”guaranteed by the country’s law. In a blog post, Twitter said it will continue to support the right to free expressionofitsusers;itadded it is actively exploring options under Indian law both for Twitter and the accounts that have been impacted. Legal experts believe the matter is headed to courts as Twitterbeing an intermediary is bound by the law of the land THE CONFLICT ■ It tells a OnJan 31, govt tells Twitter to block 257 govt panel the content was not inflammatory ■ Govt sends notice, says Twitter bound by Section 69A ofITActwhich hashtags/ a/cs/ tweets; governs interTwitter blocks mediaries, says them on Feb 1 it can’t decide but for only a for itselfon such matters few minutes Govt says Twitter to face penal action if a/cs not suspended On Feb 4, govt asks Twitter to take down 1,178 a/cs with Pakistan, Khalistan supporter links Twitter blocks some, refuses to block a/cs of journalists, activists, politicians citing freedom of speech and cannot interpret freedom of speech and expression on its own. “If every intermediary starts interpreting the law on its own, then there would be chaos,”cyberlawexpert,Pawan Duggal told FE. Continued on Page 2 Ministers, celebrities try out Koo FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 10 HOMEGROWN MICROBLOGGING PLATFORM Koo is cashing in on the stand-off between the government and Twitter. Koowaslaunched lastyear after it won the government’s Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge in August 2020 and now hostsseveralUnionministers — RS Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Giriraj Singh, Sanjay Dhotre — as also Shivraj Chouhan and BS Yediyurappa, CMs of Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka respectively,on its platform. Other prominent personalities to have joined this platform include former cricketers Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath, and actor Anupam Kher. Continued on Page 19 RBI signals lower yields in OMO SUBHADIP SIRCAR February 10 THE RESERVE BANK of India (RBI) picked up the bulk of the bonds in the 10-year segment at a higher than expected price in an open market purchase auction on Wednesday, highlightingitsfocusonkeepingthe benchmarkyields anchored. RBI bought `14,650 crore ofthemosttraded5.77%2030 bond at 6.0034% yield, way below the 6.06% estimated by traders in a Bloomberg poll. It also bought the 6.18% 2024 bond and6.19%2034 bond,at yields in linewith estimates. The central bank’s purchase at the higher than expected prices highlights its focus on keeping the benchmark yield anchored below 6%. The yield on the most traded 5.77% bond fell six basis points to 6.06% during the day. BHARAT FORGE has signed athree-yearwageagreement giving workers a hike of `14,500-15,600permonth, taking the average wage levels at the company to `45,000-80,000permonth, reports Geeta Nairin Pune. NITI asks for study on ‘economic impact’ of SC, NGT decisions TAXING TIMES PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, February 10 FY22 budgeted RoDTEP outlay is just a third of them to claim the IGSTrefund through the more time-consuming ITC (input tax credit) route.Exporters saywhile they currently get the refund as quickly as in 15 days, under the ITC route, it would take well beyond six months, in addition to a surge in paperwork forthem.Moreover,their working capital,to that extent, will remain blocked for a longer period. GOVERNMENT THINK TANK NITI Aayog has commissioned a study to assess the “unintended” economic impact of selectdecisionsoftheSupreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and to review if the stated objective behind the judicial pronouncements was met,according to a project brief document. Jaipur-based CUTS International has been asked to do the studyon the apex court rulings on halting consultation of Mopa Airport in Goa, stopping iron ore mining in Goa, and shuttingdownSterliteCopper’s Tuticorin plant inTamil Nadu. While an email sent to NITI Aayog spokesperson remained unanswered, CUTS International director Amol Kulkarni confirmed receiving the mandate.“This study will ex-post examine the unintended economic consequences of key judicial/quasi judicial decisions and review if the objective of the judicial decision was met,” according to the CUTS International project brief document. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 18 `39,097 cr approved under MEIS in FY20 MEIS outlay was cut to just `15,555 cr in Apr-Dec period of FY21 Finance Bill proposes to scrap a seamless IGST refund facility for many; refunds to be via timeconsuming ITC route HELLO KITTY! ‘I’m not a cat,’ says lawyer after Zoom filter gaffe REUTERS February 10 WHEN JUDGE ROY FERGUSON opened up virtual proceedings of the 394th Judicial District Court in Texas on Zoom on Tuesday, he was not expecting to see two lawyers and a kitten. The cute blue-eyed “cat” in the bottom right corner was actually county attorney Rod Ponton,covered by a filter. “Mr Ponton, I believe you have filter turned on in the video settings,”said the judge. Ponton said his assistant was trying to fix the settings. “I’m here live,I’m not a cat,” he said. “I can see that,” said the judge. As the video went viral on social media, Ferguson wrote in a tweet: “IMPORTANT ZOOMTIP: If a child usedyour computer, before you join a virtual hearing check the ZoomVideo Options to be sure filters are off.” Ascreenshot of the Zoom call hearing of aTexas court AP 10-yr bond yield (%) Intra-day, February 10 6.08 6.067 6.06 6.04 6.01 6.02 6.00 5.98 Previous close: 6.065 Open Close “The RBI is using 10-year point on the yield curve as an anchor and is trying to influence market expectation throughdisproportionatebuying”at that point,according to Pankaj Pathak, fixed income fund manager at Quantum Asset Management. Continued on Page 2 Bharat Forge hikes wages ● REVIEW Low outlay to hurt revival of exports FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 10 Twitter blocks some a/cs, govt unhappy BOND BUY Continued on Page 18 New Delhi The newwage agreement was signed with workers at the Mundhwa, Pune, plant and will benefit 1,331 permanent workers who are members oftheBharatForge KamgarSangh union. ■ Report on Page 5
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