OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 BACK PAGE, P14 ASHOK GULATI & HARSH WARDHAN PM-SPEAK KILLING OF KHASHOGGI Atmanirbhar Bharat a national spirit, says PM Modi Biden says Saudi announcement to come today Needs to quickly launch the 10,000 FPOs that govt has talkd about The UK Supreme Cout's ruling deeming drivers Uber's emloyees sets the wrong precedet NEW DELHI, MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 312, 14 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 Deadliest day since coup in Myanmar leaves 18 dead MYANMAR SAW ITS deadliest day since the February 1 coup, with the United Nations saying at least 18 protesters were killed in a stark escalation of violence to quell persistent demonstrations against military rule, reports Bloomberg. FE SPECIALS Different trajectory (% change, y-o-y) 20 0 3 -20 -40 -60 Exports to China Q1FY21 Exports Total to US exports Q2 Q3FY21 Source: DGCIS border clash in mid-June (outbound shipments to the neighbour jumped almost 24% in July, compared with a near 10% contraction in overall goods exports). However, in the following months, export growth moderated, partly because China mostly sources raw materials or low value-added products (iron ore, certain steel and iron products, cotton, etc) from India where the scope for growth remains limited. Continued on Page 2 WiFi-enabled nostalgia Saregama looks to create additional revenue streams with the new versions of its music player Carvaan ■ eFE, P8 Why the right moves matter Similar to the game of chess, enterprises need to do their due diligence to get their cloud journey right ■ PERSONAL FINANCE, P9 Floater funds show promise With interest rates expected to go up, investors are flocking to floater funds. But keep in mind the credit risk ■ INFRASTRUCTURE, P11 Gas power a way out of RE woes Gas-based power, which can be ramped up and down quickly, offers good option for offsetting vagaries of renewable energy ■ SCIENCE & TECH, P12 Still on the sidelines An outright ban on cryptocurrencies may not be the most practical option ACLAUSERELATINGtophased localisation in the productionlinked incentive scheme for IT hardware,which includes laptops,tablets,all-in-one PCs,and servers,hasdividedtheindustry whether it is going to land the scheme in trouble with World TradeOrganizationrules,which prohibitdiscriminationagainst imported products. Some prominent global Win or lose ■ Localisation clause kicks in from the second year ofthe scheme for IThardware products ■ Printed circuit boards, battery packs, power adapters need to be made domestically ■ In the past, India has lost cases on this count ■ Companieswho do not have domestic production may not find the clause proper ■ WTO rules prohibit discrimination against imported products players who are into manufacture of such devices see it as not being compliant with the WTO asundertheorganisation'srules imports have to be treated on parwithdomesticallymanufactured products and in the past India has lost cases whenever it hasincorporatedsuchclausesin ■ Companies like HP, Lenovo, Dell,Acer, etcwho already have domestic manufacturing not expected to object to localisation clause ■ Govt feels that with some firms opting for the scheme there should not be a problem any of its schemes. However, severalotherglobalplayers,who already have domestic production in India of certain scale, don'tfindanyproblemwiththe localisation clause and seem to be readyto complywith it. Continued on Page 2 KM Birla hails PLI schemes as ‘pathbreaking’ and ‘interesting’ ADITYA BIRLA Group chairman,Kumar Mangalam Birla, onSundaytermedthe production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes designed by the government as pathbreaking and interesting as it sought to createglobalgiantsinchosensectors. This seems to be well thought out, long-term plan forencouraging industry out of India,he said. “We see the strong influx of investmentdollars,” Birla said, adding that it wasmoreimportanttogetthe private sector beginning to makecapexinvestmentsthan getting foreign investments into India. “India is much closer to becomingaglobalhubformanufacturingandithashadahistoryofbuildingglobalsizebusinesses in software, pharma, metals and auto and has track record of global excellence and scale,hesaid. ■ Page 3 INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS Three-fourths of CPSEs flout norm PRASANTA SAHU New Delhi, February 28 AS MANYAS 55 among the 72 listed central public sector undertakings(CPSEs),whichare part of the NIFTY 500 Index do nothavethestipulatednumber of independent directors (IDs) on their boards, despite the renewed policy emphasis on compliancewiththiskeycorporategovernancenorminrecent years.Among the state-owned companies that remain lax about the norm include biggies like ONGC and Indian Oil Corporation, and even top public sectorbanks such as State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Bank of India. Ten of these firms including Coal India, Nalco, REC, Hudco and Cochin Shipyard did not even have a single ID on their boards, as on December 31, 2020.Inall,these72firmswere required to have a total of 325 IDs, at the end of 2020, given their aggregate board strength of 601. However, according to an analysis by Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS),these firms had only184 IDs at that time, leaving a big shortfall of 141. The compliance with the relevant, much lenient ID norms — at least 2 independent directors on the board — among around 180 unlisted CPSEs is even more abysmal. As per the Regulation 17(1) DECEMBER 2020 Discoms’ dues to gencos rise 24% PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, February 28 ■ BRANDWAGON, P10 Under the organisation’s norms imports have to be treated on par with domestically manufactured products KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, February 28 -5.2 -4.4 40 5.5 THIS IS A tale of two markets. India's merchandise exports to China, its second-largest market, seems to be losing steam after an impressive 33% year-on-year jump in the April-June period in the face of Covid-19 pandemic. Growth in shipments to the neighbour slowed down considerably to 20% in September quarter and to just over 2% in December quarter. In contrast,India's exports to its biggest market — the US — reversed a 39% slide in the three months through June to inch up by 3% in the September quarter and 5.5% in the December quarter, according to the official data.Of course, at $36 billion, exports to the US until December were still way above those to China ($15 billion). While the US remains the worst victim of Covid-19, China, despite being the epicentre of the pandemic, seems to have weathered the crisis better than most. So, exports to Beijing didn’t falter in the first quarter, despite the Covid-induced disruptions in India, while those toWashingtonplunged. As FE had first reported on September 8, trade with China didn’t suffer immediately even after the deadly -36.4 RELIANCE STRATEGIC BUSINESS Ventures (RSBVL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), on Sunday said that it has acquired an additional equity stake in its investee company skyTran for $26.76 million increasing its shareholding to 54.46% on a fully diluted basis, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, February 28 -38.9 RIL subsidiary increases stake in skyTran Will laptop PLI run into trouble in WTO? Stellar growth begins to slow 2.3 JOHNSON & JOHNSON’S Covid-19 vaccine was granted emergency authorisation in the United States, reports Reuters. Results from a trial of about 44,000 participants show the J&J vaccine was 66% effective in preventing moderate-to-severe Covid19 globally. LOCALISATION CLAUSE EXPORTS TO CHINA 32.9 20.4 IN THE NEWS J&J Covid-19 vaccine cleared for use in US TOTAL DUES OWED by electricity distribution companies to power producers rose nearly 24% to `1,36,966 crore in December 2020 compared to the same month a year ago, reflecting stress in the sector. The distribution companies (discoms) owed a total of `1,10,660 crore to power generation firms in December 2019, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators). The portal was launched ■ In December 2020, the total overdue amount stood at `1,27,498 crore as against `97,835 crore in the year-ago period Power producers give 45 days to discoms to pay bills for electricity supply After that, outstanding dues become overdue and generators charge penal interest on that in most cases in May 2018 to bring in transparency in power purchase transactions between the generators and discoms. Continued on Page 2 Companies 'feel betrayed' due to capping of vaccine price: Shaw BIOCON CHAIRPERSON Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Sunday hit out at the government capping Covid-19 vaccine price at `250 at private hospitals, saying vaccine companies "feel betrayed" as it is too lowto sustain. Reacting to a report that the health ministry has fixed `250 per shot at private hospitals and health centres,she tweeted, "We r (sic) crushing instead of incentivising vaccine industry.” Mazumdar-Shaw asked, "If WHO has agreedto$3perdose, whybeatthemdown to $2?" ■ Page 2 POST-PANDEMIC Agri-tech: Slowly but steadily making gains ASMITA DEY New Delhi, February 28 ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE INDIA’SAGRI-TECHPLAYcould potentiallybeachunky$170billion but it’s been slow going. Entrepreneurs of all hues have beenworkinginthefieldforseveralyearsnowbuthaven’tmanaged to make too much headway.Nowthepaincausedbythe pandemic — a shortage of inputs, lack of transport and mobility — seems to have convincedsomefarmersoftheneed to use more technology. Also with consumers nowwilling to spend a lot more on healthy ■ Pain caused by foods that have less chemical content farmers too seem willingtotryouttechnologytomake the pandemic seems to have convinced some farmers of the need to use more technology ■ Consumers now willing to spend a lot more on healthy foods theirproducehealthier. Sateesh Nukala,co-founder &CEOatBigHaatpointsoutthat withinternetpenetrationinthe rural areas patchy,farmerswere initially reluctant to go digital. “But the lockdown necessitated farmers use our services and now they are clearly seeing the value proposition,”Nukala told FE.Transactionsontheplatform have increased five-fold post Covid.This company will soon helpfundfarmerswhopurchase agri inputs on the online marketplace.Nukalasaysaboutfour millionfarmerstodayareaccessing the blogs published by the firmforinformation. Continued on Page 2 New Delhi 55 of 72 major stateowned CPSEs, banks/ ﬁnancial institutions on NIFTY 500 are noncompliant* with Sebi rule on IDs strength of 601 Boardin NIFTY 500,72 PSUs as on December 31, 2020 325 Number of Independent Directors required to meet Sebi norm 184 Actual number of IDs on their boards * As on December 31, 2020 IDs on boards# (in %) Coal India 0 ONGC IOC PNB BoI 10 18 14 20 SBI 42 # Sebi rule requires 50% of board to be IDs, given these ﬁrms have executive chairpersons ofSebi'sListingObligationsand Disclosure Requirements, at least 50% of the Board should compriseindependentdirectors if a company has an executive chairperson; 33% of the board shouldbeIDsifthechairperson isnon-executive.Amongthe72 firms mentioned above, only one — Bank of Baroda — has a non-executivechairman,meaning all others are required to meet the 50% norm. Continued on Page 2
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