OPINION, P6 COMPANIES, P4 A BHATTACHARYA & A BIJAPURKAR Sub-scale agri/MSME units are a structural vulnerability INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL TUSSLE WITH TATAS TRUCK OUTPUT To avoid lockdown, states must step up RT-PCR testing; Centre must free up vaccine pricing My conscience is clear: Cyrus Mistry on SC ruling Battery cell constraints impact Tesla Semi production, says Musk NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 25, 20 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: 50,136.58 ▲ 1128.08 NIFTY: 14,845.10 ▲ 337.80 NIKKEI 225: 29,432.70 ▲ 48.18 HANG SENG: 28,577.50 ▲ 239.20 `/$: 73.38 ▼ 0.70 `/€: 86.15 ▼ 0.59 BRENT: $64 ▼ $0.98 GOLD: `44,331 ▼ `238 NO VIRUS FEARS ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` Knowledge Partner READ TO LEAD MARCH 2021 FE INDIA’S BEST BANKS MAGAZINE WITH TODAY’S ISSUE IN THE NEWS ‘Consider fines on those not wearing mask properly’ AVIATION REGULATOR DGCA on Tuesday told airports to increase surveillance to ensure Covid-19 norms are followed and consider imposing spot fines, with the help of police authorities, on passengers who are found not wearing masks properly and not maintaining social distancing, reports PTI. Auto recurring payment to comply with RBI direction STARTING APRIL 1, there will be no automatic recurring payment for various services, including recharge and utility bill, as the RBI has made Additional Factor of Authentication mandatory, reports PTI. Banks and payment gateways are seeking more time to comply with the directive. Global cues drive up Sensex by 1,128 pts Sensex PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, March 30 SENSEX RALLIED BY 1,128 points — its biggest single-day gaininnearlytwomonths—to close at a two-week high on Tuesday as financials, IT and energy stocks advanced amid positive global cues. Extending its gains to the second consecutive session, the 30-share BSE index ended 1,128.08 points or 2.30% higher at 50,136.58 — a level not seen since March 16. The broader NSE Nifty also logged its biggest single-day spike since February2 to settle at a nearly two-week high of 14,845.10, showing gains of 337.80 points or 2.33%. As many as 46 of its constituents closed in the green. Favourable cues from global markets supported domestic rallydespite the prevailing concern of sharp rise in Covid-19casesinvariousparts `/$ 72.6 72.8 Intra-day, March 30 Inverted scale 72.81 50,136.58 50,200 49,900 49,600 49,300 49,000 Previous close: 49,008.50 Open Bank Nifty Close Intra-day, March 30 34,150 33,875.10 34,000 33,850 33,700 33,615.90 33,550 33,400 Previous close: 33,318.20 Open Close of the country. The rupee, however, slumped by87 paise to close at nearly a one-month low of 73.38 against the US currency. 10-year bond yield (%) Intra-day, March 30 6.14 Previous close: 72.52 Open Close 6.12 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, March 30 THE CORONAVIRUS SITUATION is “turning from bad to worse” and is a huge cause of worryespeciallyforsomestates, the Centre said on Tuesday, stressingthatthewholecountry is at risk and nobody should be complacent.Itfurthersaideight of the top 10 Covid-19 highburdendistrictsarefromMaharashtra and that Delhi,taken as one district,is also on the list. NITIAayogmember(health) VK Paul said: “Covid-19 situation is turning from bad to worse. In last few weeks, espe- 6.147 100 60 40 20 6.14 0 Availability (%) 76.9 UNION HEALTH secretary RajeshBhushanonTuesday said 10 laboratories have done genome sequencing of 11,064 samples since December of which the UK variantwasdetectedin807 samples,SouthAfricanvariantin47andBrazilianvariant in one.” cially in some states,it is a huge causeforworry.Nostate,nopart of the country should be complacent.HospitalandICUpreparationshavetobereadied.Ifthe casesriserapidly,thehealthcare systemwouldbeoverwhelmed.” Continued on Page 2 General beds Close Rise in occupancy (%) 80.9 67 32.6 26.1 Rise in capacity (%) Previous close: 6.123 Open Strain from UK found to be most prevalent Feb 6 Mar 26 Mar 29 Declining availability of Covid facilities 80 6.13 73.4 Eight of top 10 Covid high-burden districts in Maha Mumbai mayhem Continued on Page 2 6.16 73.38 73.2 ICUs should be ready: Centre 49,331.68 6.15 73.0 73.6 Intra-day, March 30 50,500 CRISIS WORSENS 25.7 301.6 32.1 26.2 31.725 63.1 27.2 21.8 ICU beds Oxygen beds Ventilator beds 0.1 124 26.6 396.2 0.3 112.6 ● CRUDE CONTROL Oil drops as Suez opens, focus turns to Opec+ output cuts AHMAD GHADDAR London, March 30 OIL PRICES SLID on Tuesday as the Suez Canal reopened to traffic, while focus turned to an Opec+ meeting this week that is likely to agree an extension to supply curbs amid disappointing demand prospects. Brent crude was down 73 cents,or1.1%,at$64.25a barrel. US oil was off by 83 cents, or 1.4%,at $60.73 barrel. Ships were moving through the Suez Canal again on Tuesday after tugs refloated the giant Ever Given container carrier, which had been blocking a narrow section of the passage for almost a week,causing a huge build-up of vessels around the waterway. With concerns about a shortage of physical supplies abating,the market is turning its focus to Thursday’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and allies including Russia,collectivelyknown as Opec+. SaudiArabia is prepared to accept an extension of production cuts through June. Continued on Page 2 SCRAPPAGE POLICY Tax rebate of up to 25% on new cars FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 30 BUYERS OF NEW passenger and commercial vehicles could get concession on road tax at the rates of up to 25% and 15%, respectively, from October 1 against scrapping certificate for their old vehicles,as per a draft notification released by the ministry of road transport and highways. Though the prompt release of the draft showed the Centre’s keenness to roll out the policy announced recently, state governments’ concurrence is crucial for its implementation. Road tax rebate is one among the many incentives for scrapping of ‘old’ vehicles envisaged in the policy, requiring giveaways by the Centre, states and the automobile manufactures. Road transport is in the Constitution’s concurrent list States' concurrence is required for the road tax rebate; these taxes are levied typically at 10-14% of the vehicle price by states ■ Nomura estimates incremental benefit for vehicle buyers under the scrapping policy to be around ~2-3% ■ It believes a 5% discount by OEMs for new cars on scrapping oldvehicles is high, given that most OEMs make ~10% margin; industry might agree to only ~1% discount ofthe new vehicle’s price and road taxes are appropriated by the states; these are levied typically at 10-14% of the vehicle price. Continued on Page 2 FTSE inclusion: Indian bonds on watchlist FTSE RUSSELL HAS placed Indiangovernmentbondson the watchlist for possible inclusion in one of its major global debt indexes, a move thatmayusherbillionsofdollarsofinflowsintothesecurities, reports Bloomberg. Indian bonds will be consid- New Delhi ered for addition to the FTSE Emerging Markets Government Bond Index and their market accessibility will be reviewed for reclassification to “1” from “0,”which would put them at the minimum levelneededforinclusion,the index providersaid.
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