OPINION, P6 COMPANIES, P4 TV RAMACHANDRAN Atmanirbhar Bharat policies shouldn’t breed isolationism INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL `50K-CR STEEL PLANT FIVE-YEAR PLAN Don't force 'EWS quota up to Class 12' on pvt schools; focus on education DBT and building better govt schools Mittal's Odisha plan hinges on quick land acquisition China to build important 'passageway' to South Asia through Tibet HYDERABAD, SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2021 VOLUME XVII NO. 262, 14 PAGES, `10.00 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD 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: 50,405.32 ▼ 440.76 NIFTY: 14,938.10 ▼ 142.65 NIKKEI 225: 28,864.32 ▼ 65.79 HANG SENG: 29,098.29 ▼ 138.50 `/$: 73.03 ▼ 0.19 `/€: 87.11 ▲ 0.53 BRENT: $68.44 ▲ $1.70 GOLD: `44,310 ▼ `350 PLI PLAN IN THE NEWS IT sector sales up 5.2% in Q3: RBI data ● BOTTLENECKS Poonawalla warns of delays as US prioritises Pfizer vaccine India Inc tells PM it needs more action THE INFORMATION technology (IT) sector remained in the positive terrain throughout the Covid-19 pandemic period and its sales increased by 5.2% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020-21, according to the RBI data on performance of private sector corporate released on Friday, reports PTI. PM promises to do away with 6,000 compliances and to reduce logistics costs, among others Concor forays into container manufacturing FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 5 PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi on Friday said the 13production-linkedincentive (PLI) schemes rolled out in the aftermathoftheCovid-19pandemic could lead to an incremental manufacturing output of $520 billion and double the workforce in relevant sectors overthe next fiveyears. Addressingindustryleaders from the beneficiary-sectors through a webinar, the Prime IN A boost to the indigenous manufacturing of containers and to ease the container shortage in the country, Container Corporation of India, a public undertaking of the ministry of railways, has launched the process of manufacturing containers in India, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Muthoot Group chairman MG George dies at 71 India Inc to PM ■ Build policies to competewith countries, not companies ■ Ensure predictability and stability ofthe schemes ■ Keep export ■ Grant special status to ■ Allow flexibility in scheme, respond meaningfullywhen needed PLI companies, create singlewindow for EoDB ■ Ensure a stable tax regime, alignedwith PMP; avoid surprises CHRIS KAY March 4 focus, get into trade pacts and boost supply chain THE HEAD OF the world’s biggest vaccine maker and the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said manufacturersofcoronavirusshotsface a global shortage of the raw materials needed to churn out the inoculations. AdarPoonawalla,theCEOof Serum Institute of India — which is licensed to produce hundreds of millions of Covid19 vaccines from AstraZeneca andNovavax—hastoldaWorld Bank panel that a US law blocking the export of certain key items,includingbagsandfilters, will likely cause serious bottlenecks. Soumya Swaminathan fromtheWHOaddedthatthere were shortfalls of vials, glass, plasticandstoppersrequiredby those companies. “TheNovavaxvaccine,which we’reamajormanufacturerfor, needstheseitemsfromtheUS,” Poonawallasaid.“Ifwe’retalking about building capacity all over the world, the sharing of these criticalrawmaterialsisgoingto becomeacriticallimitingfactor — nobody has been able to address this so far.” ■ Align stakeholders, predefine budgetary implications for 4-5 years Industrial incentives used to be open-ended, input-based subsidies; now they have been made targeted and performance-based... Our effort is also to reduce over 6,000 compliance requirements. — NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER Minister promised to reduce the burden of India Inc drastically by doing away with as many as 6,000 compliance requirements,furtherimprove ease of doing business and createmulti-modalinfrastructure to trim logistics costs. Continued on Page 2 OTT regulation lacks teeth, make new law: SC to Centre MG GEORGE Muthoot, the chairman of Muthoot Group, died on Friday evening in Delhi, reports fe Bureau. He was 71. He became the MD of Muthoot Group in 1979 and its chairman in 1993. Muthoot Finance is India's largest gold loan company. THESUPREMECOURTonFridaysaidthenew laws notified by the government to regulate content streamed by over-the-top players like Netflix,AmazonPrimeVideoetc,lackedclauses relatingtopre-screeningofthecontentaswell asprosecutingtheoffenders,reportsfeBureau inNewDelhi.Itaccordinglyaskedthegovernment to frame a new law with stronger and stricter provisions to regulate content on OTT platforms,and also submit a copy of the draft legislationforitsconsiderationaftertwoweeks. The SC remarks and direction came while granting protection from arrest to Amazon PrimeVideo’sIndiaheadAparnaPurohitinthe ongoing probe againstweb seriesTandav. ■ Full report on Page 2 ● DIASPORA Special Features Vitara Brezza vs Urban Cruiser: Two of a kind Both SUVs are exactly the same, and have only subtle differences, Toyota’s Urban Cruiser has a standard 3-year/1-lakhkm warranty, and a wee bit of newness to it ■ Motobahn, P9 Downside risks to oil price a concern for ONGC Growth in oil output is likely to be subdued; gas segment will drive growth in profitability; stock is a good dividend play; TP raised to `130 from `70; ‘Hold’ maintained ■ Investor, P9 QuickPicks Four firms bid for BOT-toll highway project THE HIGHWAY sector seems to again witness investors’ interest in pure public-privatepartnership (PPP) projects, the share of which in new awards has declined precipitously for nearly a decade and drawn a blank in the last two financial years, reports Surya Sarathi Ray in New Delhi. At least four firms — IRB Infrastructure, Adani Group, GR Infraprojects and PNC Infratech — have submitted bids in both the national highway stretches totalling 132-km. PAGE 2 Saudi asks India to use cheap oil it bought last year to cool prices INTERNATIONAL OIL prices rose after Opec and its allies ignored India's plea to ease production control, with Saudi Arabia asking New Delhi to instead use oil it bought at rock bottom rates last year, reports PTI. Brent crude, the most widely used benchmark, on Friday rose nearly 1% to $67.44 a barrel after Opec and its allies agreed not to increase supplies in April awaiting more substantial recovery in demand. PAGE 2 ‘Irrational’: Shaw slams calls for free vaccines at pvt hospitals BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY veteran Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has slammed calls from some experts and politicians to provide Covid-19 vaccines at private hospitals for free, terming them irrational, reports PTI. The executive chairperson of biotech major Biocon noted that people have a choice to pay or get a free vaccine. "So if they want to opt for a private hospital they must agree to pay for the vaccine too", she said. "They are getting free vaccine at any government hospital". PAGE 4 ‘Incredible IndianAmericans’ taking over US: Biden LALIT K JHA Washington, March 5 INDIAN-AMERICANSARE“taking over the country”,US PresidentJoeBidensaidonThursday, referringtothelargenumberof “incredible”professionals from the community holding key positionsin hisadministration. In less than 50 days of his presidency, Biden has appointed at least 55 IndianAmericans to key leadership positionsinhisadministration ranging from his speechwriter to the Nasa, to almost every wing of the government. “Indian — of descent — Americans are taking overthe country: you Dr Swati Mohan); my Vice-President (Kamala Harris); my speech writer, Vinay (Reddy). I tell you what. But thankyou.Youguysareincredible,”President Biden said during a virtual interaction with scientists at Nasa who were involvedinthehistoriclanding of Perseverance rover on Mars on February 18. Indian-American scientist Swati Mohan leads the guidance, navigation, and control operations of Nasa’s Mars 2020 mission. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 FM-SPEAK GST Council will decide on oil-in-GST FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 5 Point by point Will appeal against arbitration award where it questions India's sovereign right to tax There is a case for a fuel tax cut but it should be a joint call of the Centre and states AMID A CLAMOUR for cut in taxesonautofuelstochecktheir skyrocketing retail prices, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday told a group of journalists at the Indian Women's Press Corps that the government was not yet ready withaplantobringthesepetroleum products underthe goods and services tax (GST) regime, but indicated that it might take a call on the issue closer to the GSTCouncil meeting. Sitharaman, however, was non-committal on whether the states would be compensated for any revenue shortfall arising out of inclusion of these fuels under GST. Since a majorpartoftheCentre’staxes onthefuelsarenotsharedwith states(GSTreceiptsareshareabale), it would also have to assess the revenue implications of the move. Some of the people (Kashyap, Pannu) were raided by taxmen in 2013 as well Will take a calibrated position on cryptocurrency ■ Want eco revival on pvt sector strength ■ Wish to implement maximum FY22 Budget proposals in Q1 itself Separately, speaking at an eventorganisedbyCNBCTV18, Sitharaman said the government would take a calibrated position on cryptocurrency. Continued on Page 2 POLL FEVER (Clockwise from top left) A poster ofWest Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Friday; a worker puts up an election campaign banner of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan; a vendor shows kites printed with symbols of various political parties, in Kolkata ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS Mamata releases TMC list, to contest from Nandigram PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Kolkata, March 5 ■ Party says emph- WEST BENGAL chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday confirmed her candidature from Nandigram seat as she released the list of Trinamool Congress candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls for 291 seats with emphasis on youth, minority, women and backward communities. Three candidates of the BimalGurungfactionofGorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM),an ally of the TMC,will be contesting from the remaining three seats in Darjeeling. Affirming her candidature from the high-profile Nandigram, Banerjee will vacate her traditionalBhowaniporeseatin Kolkata,asshethrewachallenge to her protege-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari,who crossed ALL NEW MODELS of vehicles manufactured on or after April 1 will have to be fitted with airbags for the passenger seated on the front seat of a vehicle, next to the driver, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Existing models will also adhere to the new norm by August 31, 2021, the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) said in a gazette notification. Detailed report on Page 3 291 seats ■ State finance minister Amit Mitra not to contest elections due to poor health ■ AIADMK releases its first list of six candidates for the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu ■ It had allotted 23 seats to ally PMK, but is yet to conclude seatsharing exercise with BJP, others over to the BJP in December.“I willcontestfromNandigramas I stick to mywords.” Continued on Page 2 Assam: BJP releases list of 70 candidates THE BJP on Friday released its first list of 70 candidates for the Assam Assembly polls and announced that allies Asom Gana Parishad and United People’s Party Liberal will contest on 26 and eight seats,respectively, reports PTI. Party general secretary Arun Singh told a press conference chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will contest from Majuli and minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from Jalukbari. AIADMK releases first list for polls PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Chennai, March 5 THERULINGAIADMKonFriday released its first list of six candidates for the April 6 Assembly electionsinTamilNaduaheadof arch-rival DMK and pending conclusion of seat-sharing with allies,includingtheBJP. The party’s star candidates, chief minister K Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam will contest from their respective home constituencies of Edappadi in Salem and Bodinayakanur in Theni districts. The AIADMK allotted 23 seats to ally PMK days ago, beforeDMKfinalisedseat-sharing with Indian Union Muslim League, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi.The ruling party, however, is yet to conclude the seat-sharing exercise with BJP and others.The IUML and MMK were allotted three and two seats respectively by the DMK and it gave six segments to theVCK. Friday fall FE BUREAU Markets take a tumble again Sensex fell over 440 points and Nifty slipped below the 15,000-mark in line with relentless sell-offs in global equities as fears of rising bond yields continued to weigh on the markets Sensex `/$ Intra-day, March 5 Dual airbags mandatory for front seats for cars manufactured from April 1 TMC releases its list for the upcoming Assembly polls for asis is on youth, minority,women and backward communities 51,000 50,517.36 50,405.32 50,800 10-year bond yield Intra-day, March 5 72.70 72.98 (Inverted scale) Intra-day (%), March 5 6.255 72.80 6.240 73.03 50,600 72.90 73.00 6.215 6.225 50,400 6.23 6.210 50,200 50,000 73.10 Previous close 50,846.08 Open Close 73.20 6.195 Previous close 72.84 Open Close 6.180 Previous close 6.215 Open Close HACK ATTACKS LIMITED OFFER ICICI Bank drops home loan rate to 6.7% Closely tracking Microsoft FE BUREAU Mumbai, March 5 AMID A RATE war in the home loan space, private sector lender ICICI Bank on Friday announced a reduction in interest rates to 6.7% forloans of up to `75 lakh. This is the lowest rate in 10 years at the bank and matches that of State Bank of India(SBI)which, on Monday, lowered the rate for borrowers with high credit scores. For loans above `75 lakh, ICICI Bank is charging a rate of 6.75% or more. Much KMB 6.65 SBI 6.7 ICICI Bank 6.7 HDFC 6.75 Axis Bank 6.9 LIC HFL 6.9 PNB Housing Minimum home loan rate (%) like SBI, ICICI Bank too is offering the revised rates till March 31. The fight for market share in the home loan segment 7.35 Source: Lenders isn’t surprising given tepid demand from industry for credit.While Kotak Mahindra Bank lowered its starting home loan rate to 6.65%, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) said it would charge rates starting at 6.75% for loans of any amount. Analysts believe the cut in rates is temporary and timed to attract customerswhile the benefit from the cuts in stamp duty are available.However,if demand from companies remains week in the quarters ahead, banks might be compelled to under-cut each other to grow market share, they point out. Continued on Page 2 emergency patch: US govt REUTERS Washington, March 4 THE WHITE HOUSE is closely tracking an emergencypatchMicrosofthas released,US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said,afteranunknownhacking grouprecentlybrokeintoorganisationsusingaflawinthecompany’s mail serversoftware. “We are closely tracking Microsoft’s emergency patch for previously unknown vul- nerabilitiesinExchangeServer software and reports of potential compromises of US think tanks and defense industrial base entities,” Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said on Twitter. “Weencouragenetworkowners to patch ASAP,” he said. His tweet included a link to a notice by Microsoft of the security update. Continued on Page 2 HYDERABAD
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