OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P8 SUNIL JAIN TILL JUNE 30 TEMPORARY WORKERS Allow carry-over of FY21’s PLI due to force majeure, and ensure PLI is WTO-compatible Finmin extends emergency credit line guarantee scheme Biden to let Trump’s H1-B visa ban expire in win for tech firms P BHANDARI & A CHAUDHARY MPC unlikely to change policy rate in April 7 meeting NEW DELHI, THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 26, 16 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: 49,509.15 ▼ 627.43 NIFTY: 14,690.70 ▼ 154.40 NIKKEI 225: 29,178.80 ▼ 253.90 HANG SENG: 28,378.35 ▼ 199.15 `/$: 73.11 ▲ 0.27 `/€: 85.78 ▲ 0.37 BRENT: $63.96 ▼ $0.18 GOLD: `43,994 ▼ `337 GRACE PERIOD IN THE NEWS SC panel on new farm laws submits report Auto debit rule: New deadline is Sept 30 THE SUPREME Courtappointed committee to study the three new controversial agricultural laws has submitted its report to the apex court on March 19 in a sealed cover, one of its members said on Wednesday, reports PTI. FE BUREAU Mumbai, March 31 AFTER MUCH HAND-WRINGING by banks and payment companies over the March 31 deadline for activating the additional factor of authentication (AFA) framework for auto debit transactions, the central bank relented on Wednesday. The new deadline for implementing the framework has been set at September 30, 2021. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)madeitsdispleasurewith system players clearand said it would issue a circular on penalties for non-compliance. “This non-compliance is noted with serious concern and will be dealt with separately.The delay in implementation by some stakeholders has given rise to a situation of possible large-scale customer India records current account deficit of 0.2% INDIA'S CURRENT account swung to a deficit for the first time in the current fiscal, with the gap coming at $1.7 billion or 0.2% of the GDP in the December quarter, reports PTI. In the current fiscal, the current account had been in surplus in the previous two quarters, at $15.1 billion and $19 billion, respectively, as per RBI data released on Wednesday. Non-food credit growth declines to 6.44% y-o-y RBI has extended the deadline for implementing the new framework by six months Non-compliance thus far will be dealtwith separately Framework for e-mandates originally issued inAug 2019 Deadline was extended to March 31, 2021 in December 2020 on IBArequest inconvenience and default,” the RBI said, adding that the deadline is being extended solely to prevent inconvenience to customers. Continued on Page 2 CABINET CLEARANCE Food processing: Nod to `11k-cr PLI scheme Incremental output of `33,500 cr, 2.5L jobs to be created; eligibility thresholds to be set later FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 31 THE CABINETON Wednesday cleared a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to promote processed food manufacturing, with an estimated cost of `10,900 crore to the exchequerover the next six years. The scheme would help expand the domestic capacity forfood processing and potentially generate additional `33,500 crore worth of processed foods with a poten- Incentives for the food processing sector } `10,900 CRORE ■ Duration of scheme: 2021-22 to 2026-27 ■ Jobs creation ■ Additional 2.5 lakh `33,494 crore targeted: SEGMENTS TO BENEFIT: Processed fruits & vegetables, mozzarella cheese, marine products, innovative/organic products (including poultry meat and egg) and ready to cook/ready to eat (RTC/RTE) products tial to create 2.5 lakh employment, according to an official estimate. The eligibility criteria — in terms of investment and turnover — for firms to avail of the incentives will be decided later in consultation with the industry. In all, 13 PLI schemes are 400 300 200 1,000 2,500 2,000 561 493 Public Oxygen beds 2,185 1,801 0 200 150 419 418 500 Public 192 169 CAMPAIGN TRAIL Public (Clockwise from above) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visits Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati; home minister Amit Shah campaigns in Ulubari, Assam; DMK chief MK Stalin during a poll campaign in Theni distrcit of Tamil Nadu Private Ventilators 100 1,000 155 100 Private 1,500 0 335 Private 162 81 109 ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS 89 All eyes on Nandigram as Bengal votes in second phase today 50 0 Public Private QuickPicks PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Nandigram, March 31 Moody’s revises outlook on Tata Steel to ‘stable’ THE OUTLOOK on Tata Steel has been revised to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’ by Moody's Investors Service, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. Moody's has also affirmed the company's Ba2 corporate family rating. The stable outlook also incorporates the expectation that Tata Steel will prioritise debt reduction over capex with an annual gross debt reduction of at least $1 billion. PAGE 4 THE STAGE IS set for the second phase of Assembly polls in WestBengalonThursdaywhen more than 75 lakh voters will decide the fate of 191 candidates in 30 seats as eyes are set onthehigh-profileNandigram constituencywhere chief ministerMamataBanerjeeispitted against her protege-turned- adversarySuvenduAdhikari. All 10,620 booths where polling will be held this phase have been declared sensitive by theElectionCommission,which has deployed around 651 companiesofcentralforces,officials said.Besides,thestatepolicewill also be deployed at strategic locations during polling which will begin at 7am,theysaid. A total 199 companies of Central Armed Police Force will be deployed in Purba Medinipur, 210 in Paschim Medinipur,170inSouth24Parganas and 72 in Bankura. TMCandBJParecontesting in all the 30 seats,whileCPI(M) is in the fray in 15 and its alliance partners of Sanjukta Morcha the Congress and ISF are competing in 13 and two seats respectively. Continued on Page 2 30 20 15.9 10 0 THE TERMS OF China’s loan deals withdevelopingcountriesareunusuallysecretiveandrequireborrowersto prioritiserepaymentofChinesestateownedbanksaheadofothercreditors, a study of a cache of such contracts showed onWednesday. Thedataset—compiledoverthree years byAidData,a US research lab at theCollegeofWilliam&Mary—comprises100Chineseloancontractswith 24low-andmiddle-incomecountries, a number of which are struggling under mounting debt burdens amid the economic fallout from the Covid19 pandemic. 65% of official bilateral debt worth hundreds of billions of dollars 15.9 WITH ITS 400,000-TONNE per annum,coppersmelterplantin Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu closed since May 2018 over pollution concerns and the Supreme Court dismissing its plea to reopen it,Vedanta is now planning to set up a new 500,000 tonneayearplant.Thecompany hasinvitedexpressionsofinterest from coastal states wishing to partnerit in this project. Vedanta said that the proposed plant would require around 1,000 acres of land in proximity to port alongwith logistics connectivitywith conveyor/corridorofrailandroadto handle 5 MTPAmaterial movement on both in-bound and out-bound side.The company said that the project would ■ The data comprises 100 Chinese loan contracts with 24 low- and middleincome countries Much focus has turned to the role of China,which is the world’s biggest creditor, accounting for 65% of official bilateral debt worth hundreds of billions of dollars across Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. “China is the world’s largest official include confidentiality clauses that prevent borrowers from revealing terms 11.1 2016-17 2020-21 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18 Individual who worked under MGNREGS (crore) Total labour force* (crore) MGNREGS workers as % of labour force ■ Smelting capacity: 500,000 tonne a year ■ Investment: `10,000 cr ■ Employment: 10,000 direct & indirect ■ Contribution to exchequer: `3,000 cr annually Old plant at Tuticorin: ■ Smelting capacity: 400,000 tonne per annum ■ Closed: Since May, 2018, over pollution concerns entail an investment of around `10,000 crore and provide directandindirectemployment to 10,000people. Continued on Page 2 which puts the pairahead of otherwesternvaccine developers in the quest to also protect children, will likely allow for the use of the vaccine in that group before the next school year, Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive,said in a statement. ■ Report on Page 8 The analysis by researchers uncovered several unusual features to the loan agreements ■ The features 7.9 23.6 7.6 Vaccine safe for 15-year-olds: Pfizer PFIZER AND BIONTECH SE said on Wednesday their Covid-19 vaccine was safe and effective and produced robustantibodyresponsesin 12 to 15-year olds, paving the way for them to seek approval in the US and Europe in weeks, reports Reuters. The read-out, 15.9 7.7 Proposal for new plant: China loans to poornations shrouded in secrecy ■ China is the world's biggest creditor, accounting for 15.7 7.8 * According to World Bank UNUSUAL TERMS REUTERS Dakar, March 31 47.2 40 FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 31 March 31 49.5 48.8 Vedanta plans new `10k-cr copper unit ICU beds 2,000 0 March 26 Continued on Page 2 48.5 48.1 50 TUTICORIN SHUTDOWN With Mumbai in the grip of its worst-ever Covid crisis, local authorities have promised to quickly ramp up hospital bed capacity and without cutting the number of non-Covid beds. Till this happens, though, availability of beds is falling, especially in private hospitals as more middle class/affluent people are getting infected. From just March 26 to 31, the number of ICU beds available fell from 527 to 324 and ventilators from 271 to 170. Vacant beds (numbers) IN THE PAST year ravaged by thepandemic,oneineveryfour personsinthecountry’slabour force worked under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). This compares with the scenario in the previous few years, when notevenoneinsixinthelabour forceresortedtotheschemefor sustenance. The data indicate thatmillionshavebeenpushed back into poverty by the pan60 yields at reasonable levels,amid concerns of supplies outstripping demand. Some analysts say the benchmark 10-year government bondyields,which have hardened over the past two months, could inch up by another20 basis points to 6.35% bythe end of the June quarter. ■ Detailed report on Page 2 Creating Covid capacity 3,000 Continued on Page 2 THE CENTRE will borrow `7.24 lakh crore from the market in the first half of FY22,or just over 60% of the budgeted full-year target, economic affairs secretary Tarun Bajaj said on Wednesday, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. He exuded confidence that the central bankwill take appropriate measures to keep FE BUREAU Normal beds 2,551 2,232 being rolled out, including those for automobiles, pharmaceuticals, IT hardware including laptops, mobile phones & telecom equipment, white goods, chemical cells and textiles. CHENNAI-BASED TVS Motor Company said on Wednesday two-wheeler exports hit one lakh units in March and added it will look to enter more markets in Europe and North America, reports fe Bureau Mumbai demic and also prove the popular job scheme’s high efficacy in addressing the exigency. The country has created 383.9 crore person days of work under MGNREGS in 2020-21,the highest everand up 45% over such work in the previous year. The budgetary spending on the scheme was at an all-time high of `1,07,459 crore in 2020-21 comparedwith `68,266 crore in 2019-10. Ineachofthelastfouryears, around16%ofthelabourforce worked under MGNREGS, but its reliance on the scheme rose to 23.6% in 2020-21 (see graph).Assuming a member of thelabourforcedoesabout200 days of work in a year, MGNREGSprovidedforabout4%of allperson(work)daysinthefiscal that ended onWednesday. In 2020-21, 383.9 crore person days of work created under rural jobs scheme, the highest ever SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, March 31 Govt to borrow `7.24 lakh cr in H1FY22 in Chennai. The flagship of the $8.5billionTVSGroup,attributed the achievement to higher sales in key markets. TVS Motor currently has a presence in over 60 countries. ■ Report on Page 4 One in 4 workers opted for NREGA production: TVS clocks exports of 1L units in March THE RATE of growth in nonfood credit shrank in March, falling to 6.44% year-on-year (y-o-y) for the fortnight ended March 12 from 6.58% in the previous fortnight, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. Only a month ago, non-food credit growth was at 6.61%. PANDEMIC WOES ■ The contracts also give substantial leeway for China to cancel loans or accelerate repayment creditor,but we lack basic facts about the terms and conditions of its lending,” the authors, including Anna Gelpern,alawprofessoratUS’Georgetown University,wrote in theirpaper. Continued on Page 2 New Delhi ● TAKING A TUMBLE Heavy profit booking pulls Sensex down by 627 points PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, March 31 EQUITY BENCHMARK SENSEX tanked 627 points to end below the 50,000 level on the last day of the 2020-21 fiscal due to heavy profit booking in HDFCtwins,RILandInfosysbut closed the financial year with a whopping68% rise. The 30-share BSE index endedlowerby627.43pointsor 1.25% at 49,509.15 with 19 of its constituents ending in the red onWednesday. The broader NSE Nifty slumped 154.40 points or 1.04% to close at 14,690.70. During the financial year 2020-21, Sensex zoomed a massive 20,040.66 points or 68% while Nifty skyrocketed 6,092.95 points or 70.86% despite Covid-19 blues. On the last day of FY21, HDFC Bank and HDFCwere the toplosersamongSensexstocks, a day after the private banking majoradmittedtosomeglitches in its online banking services. Amongothermajorlosers,PowerGrid fell 2.71%,Tech Mahindra by 2.5%, ICICI Bank by 1.71% and ONGC by1.59%.
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