OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 DAVID FICKLING & ANDY MUKHERJEE India’s farm protests have parallels in 18th century England INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL TARGET SET IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL PM's praise for private sector, rare in Indian politics, must translate into change in policies Trying to conclude BPCL strategic sale by June: DIPAM secy Prez Biden eyes more foreign workers while skirting H-1B visa row NEW DELHI, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 298, 40 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: 51,531.52 ▲ 222.13 NIFTY: 15,173.30 ▲ 66.80 NIKKEI 225: 29,562.93 ▲ 57.00 HANG SENG: 30,173.57 ▲ 134.85 `/$: 72.86 ▼ 0.01 `/€: 88.39 ▼ 0.09 BRENT: $61.04 ▼ $0.43 GOLD: `47,776 ▼ `2.00 ■ As part ofthe disengagement process, Chinese troops will pull back from Finger 4 to east ofFinger 8 on the Pangong north bank ■ Indian troops will be at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3; the stretch separating them to be no-patrolling zone under which “both sides will cease their forward deployments in a phased,coordinated andverified manner”. Continued on Page 2 Air travel set to get more expensive PASSENGERS WILL have to shell out more money for air travel from now as the civil aviation ministry on Thursday increased the lower and upperlimits on domestic airfares by 10-30%, reports PTI.The new limits would remain“in force up to March 31, 2021, or until further orders”, the ministry said its order on Thursday. It had placedlimitsonairfaresthroughsevenbandsclassifiedon the basis of flight duration in Maylastyear. FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 11 COMMUNICATIONS AND IT ministerRaviShankarPrasadon Thursday warned microblogging platform Twitter of strict actionifitfailedtocomplywith the government’s directives on blocking certain accounts with inflammatorycontent. SpeakingintheRajyaSabha, Prasad said social media platforms cannot indulge in differentialtreatmentwhileaddressingproblemsonCapitolHilland the Red Fort.The government, he said,was committed to freedomofmediaandrightsofindividuals but was equally concerned about safety, security, and law and order in the country.“Pleasedon’tspreadenmity, violence and misinformation. PleasefollowtheConstitutionof India and the law of the land, otherwisewewillbeverystrict,” Prasad said, replying to a question in the UpperHouse. OnWednesday,theministry of electronics and information Koo: Indian firms to take over Chinese investments We have immense respect for social media as it has empowered the citizens but today, I want to clearly state that be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or WhatsApp, they are free to work in India but they need to abide by the Constitution of India and laws of India. KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, February 11 —RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD COMMUNICATIONS & IT MINISTER technology (MeitY) told the senior management of Twitter thatwhileIndiavaluesandwelcomes freedom of speech and expression that are enunciated in its Constitution, the restrictions on itwere reasonable. The microblogging site is free to have its own policy on contentregulationbutithasto followthe laws of the land duly passed by Parliament. Continued on Page 2 HOMEGROWN MICROBLOGGING platform Koo on Thursday said Chinese VC Shunwei will be fully exiting the venture, and added that Indian entrepreneurs Ashish Hemrajani of BookMyShow, Vivekananda of Bounce, and Nithin Kamat of Zerodha, among others, will be investing in it. “It is a clear indication the company is getting more Indian money,” Koo said in a statement as it tried to address criticism over the Chinese ownership. The recent investment of $4.1 million into itsparentfirm,Bombinate Technologies, was led by 3one4 Capital, an Indianinvestor. FINANCE PANEL Ensured states get a good deal: Singh PRASANTA SAHU & KG NARENDRANATH New Delhi, February 11 THE 15TH FINANCE Commission (FC) has endeavoured to arrest a trend of concentration of fiscal powers with the Centre, its chairman NK Singh told FE. The commission also sought to mitigate an inevitable fall in the shares of some states in the divisible tax poolresultingfromitstermsof reference (ToR), by rewarding their creditable demographic performance and earmarking adequate revenue deficit grants,he added. Recent years have seen a shift towards more fiscal resources being at the disposal of the Centre. Even a liberal tax-devolu- FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 11 against the Singh brothers It alleges the duo disposed of their controlling stakes secretly in Fortis Healthcare to IHH Healthcare Auto sales FE BUREAU Wholesale despatches rise for 6th straight month Wholesale despatches of PVs rose for the sixth straight month in January against the same month last year, even as manufacturers faced supply chain challenges, unavailability of semiconductors and higher container charges. Vehicle sales across categories rose by 4.97%. Vans Passenger carrier 9,16,365 5.1 ArcelorMittal plans $1-bn cost cuts ARCELORMITTAL, THE WORLD’S largeststeelmaker,planstocut20%of its office staff in a $1-billion cost reduction plan, it said on Thursday after posting higher than expected fourth-quarterearnings and boosting returnstoshareholders.Thegroupalso announced that finance chief Aditya Mittalwill take overas chief executive officer(CEO) from his fatherLakshmi, who founded the company in 1976 andwill become executive chairman. “We have worked closely together ■ ArcelorMittal plans to cut 20% ofits office staff; it employs about 190,000 ■ The company's Q4 core profit almost doubled to $1.73 bn ■ Founder Lakshmi Mittal's son Aditya to take over as the new CEO, father to be executive chairman ■ The Mittal family owns more than 35% ofthe company since he joined the company in 1997, indeed in recent years we have effectively been managing the company 792.59 27 241 Scooter/ Motorcycle/ Mopeds Electric Scooterette step-throughs two-wheelers NEW CEO MARINE STRAUSS Brussels, February 11 12.34 59,007 -10.38 Goods carrier 13,41,005 14,29,928 52,525 -5.95 -66.17 TOTAL 6.63 « Utility vehicles 9.06 « Passenger cars TOTAL -56.76 60,903 26,335 « fe Bureau in NewDelhi. In doing so, the division bench had lifted the stay ordered by its single judge that status quo be maintained with regards to the deal till it pronounced its final order in the matter. ■ Report on Page 4 TOTAL 2,48,840 2,76,554 11.14 -1.16 37.26 % change Two-wheelers « AMAZON ON Thursday moved the Supreme Court in its bid to block the order passed by the Delhi High Court division bench,which said that regulatoryagencies can give their nod to the FutureGroup-RelianceRetail deal based on merits,reports Jan 2021 Three-wheelers « Amazon asks SC to block Future-RIL deal Jan 2020 Passenger vehicles (PVs) « Domestic sales (in numbers) 8,71,886 Continued on Page 21 An IIT technician flies a drone to survey and map the damage near Raini village, after Sunday's glacier burst in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, on Thursday 4,54,315 tions,including Yes Bank,ICICI Bank,Axis Bank,Kotak Mahindra Investment and Indiabulls, need to explain why they sold the shares pledged with them despite the SC and HC orders restraining the brothers from alienating or creating thirdpartyinterests in theirassets. AERIALASSESSMENT 4,16,567 This was despite giving several written assurances to Delhi HC that they will not alienate unencumbered shares « ONLINE GROCER Grofers is weighing a plan to go public in the US through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, people familiar with the matter said, reports Bloomberg. The SoftBank Vision Fund-backed company is working with an adviser, one of the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public. The grocer is seeking a deal that would value the firm at about $1 billion, another person said. Deliberations are at an early stage and the company could decide not to proceed with the plan, the people said. PAGE 4 `3,500 crore Singapore arbitration award « SoftBank-backed Grofers weighs listing through US SPAC deal THE SUPREME COURT on Thursday asked 17 lenders to MalvinderSingh and Shivinder Singh,formerpromotersofFortis Healthcare, to explain their role in the transfer of the company’s shares to Malaysian healthcare major IHH Healthcare Berhad despite directions fromitandtheDelhiHighCourt barring anysuch transfer. IHHhadinJuly2018bought a31%controllingstakeinFortis Healthcare for `4,000 crore through the bidding route. A bench led by Justice UU Lalit said it was deemed necessary,in the interest of clarity,to give lenders an opportunity to present their position. This would also help decide the nature of the sentence to be imposed on the Singh brothers for contempt of court.Around 17 banks and financial institu- Daiichi Sankyo is seeking enforcement of the 9,211 SEBI ON Thursday allowed Thomas Cook (India) to withdraw its buyback offer because of substantial deterioration in the company's financial position due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reports PTI. Sebi treated the case as "unique" and said the order is not intended to serve as a precedent. In February 2020, the board of directors of the firm had approved the proposal for a buyback of up to over 2.6 crore shares, representing 6.9% of the total paid-up equity share capital as on December 31, 2019, on a proportionate basis through the tender offer process. FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 11 10,278 « Sebi allows Thomas Cook India to withdraw buyback offer FM seeks House nod for extra spending of `6.3 lakh cr Explain Fortis share sale: SC to lenders 17,124 QuickPicks ● FRESH DEMAND « Rohan Mirchandani of Drums Food International on expanding Epigamia’s product portfolio beyond yoghurt, and selling niche products like almond milk in the small towns ■ BrandWagon, P9 Continued on Page 2 —NK SINGH, CHAIRMAN, FIFTEENTH FINANCE COMMISSION Continued on Page 2 50,625 « ‘E-commerce has replaced modern trade in our strategy’ tion award for states by the 14th Finance Commission or guaranteed GST revenue growth for states could not completely hold it back. Increased resort to cesses and surcharges by the Centretobolsteritsnon-shareable tax receipts and a redesigning of the centrally sponsored schemes fuelled the trend. While the terms of reference given to the 15th Finance Commission by the President raised the fears of furtherconcentration of fiscal powers at the Centre, the commission seems to have sought a slowing of the pace of erosion of the relative fiscal space with the state governments. “We have sought to compensate the rising incidence of cesses and surcharges by recommending deeper consolidation of the centrally sponsored schemes and calibrating the grants component of the transfers...Even though the trend (of Centre laying its hands on a higher share of fiscal resources) may not be fully neutralised, we are not looking at greater centralisation (of fiscal powers).” DAIICHI Special Feature 11,816 INDIA'S NATURAL gas production has risen above the pre-Covid level following the start of output from a KG-D6 field operated by Reliance Industries and its partner BP Plc, upstream regulator DGH said on Thursday, reports PTI. Defence minister Rajnath Singh told both Houses ofParliament that China & India have reached an agreement Warns Twitter of strict action if govt directives not complied with 12,563 « Gas production rises above pre-Covid level CHINESE AND INDIAN armoured units have started disengaging south of Pangong Tsoasafirststeptowardsresolving the nine-month military standoffalongtheLineofActual Control in eastern Ladakh. As part of the process, Chinese troops will pull back from Finger4toeastofFinger8onthe Pangongnorthbank—theyhad come in 8 km west of Finger 8 whichIndiasaysmarkstheLAC. Indiantroopswillbestationedat DhanSinghThapaPostnearFinger 3. For the time being, the stretchseparatingthemwillbea no-patrollingzone. Confirming the start of the process on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso, defence minister Rajnath Singh told both Houses of Parliament on Thursday that China and India have reached an agreement 1,11,494 TVS GROUP on Thursday said it has filed a composite scheme of amalgamation and arrangement with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Chennai bench, to implement a family arrangement reached last December aimed at aligning and synchronising ownership of various group firms, reports PTI. KRISHN KAUSHIK New Delhi, February 11 Follow law of the land or face action: Prasad 81,231 TVS files scheme of amalgamation with NCLT Disengagement at Pangong begins TWEETSTORM 1,53,244 FINTECH MAJOR BharatPe on Thursday said it has raised $108 million (over `786 crore) in funding, led by existing investor Coatue Management, at a valuation of $900 million (over `6,551 crore), reports PTI. The company has raised $90 million in primary fundraise. BORDER STANDOFF 1,55,046 « IN THE NEWS BharatPe raises `786 crore in funding together,” Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement. The Mittal family owns more than 35% of the company. ArcelorMittal, which employs about190,000,saiditwouldruna$1billion cost-cutting programme over the next two years which will include boosting productivity, cutting contractor numbers and reducing office staffbyafifth.ChairmanLakshmiMittal said market conditions had improvedinthefourthquarter,andthe company now forecasts 4.5-5.5% growth in steel demand thisyear. Continued on Page 21 New Delhi FINANCE MINISTER Nirmala SitharamanonThursdaysought Parliamentary approval for an additional spending of `6,28,380croreinFY21,thanks to the government’s roll-out of various stimulus measures to soften the Covid-19 blow despite a plunge in its revenue mop-up. This is the second batch of supplementary demands for the current fiscal, involving a net cash outgo of `4,12,653crore;therestwillbe met through savings or enhancedreceiptsofvariousministries and departments. The demands include a total of 79 grants and two appropriations. The biggest chunk of the additional expenditure — `3,04,558 crore — is meant for the ministry of food and consumeraffairs.Ofthis,asmuchas `2,50,209croreisonaccountof extra food subsidy to be paid to Food Corporation of India (FCI) under the National Food SecurityActandforfreegrainallocationintheaftermathofthepandemic, and the repayment of NSSFloansto FCI. Continued on Page 21
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