OPINION, P6 INTERNATIONAL, P8 S BHATTACHARYA & S GUPTA Govt must tap into green bonds to fund climate action INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL UNDER SCRUTINY IN REMEMBRANCE Extending emission-compliance deadline for thermal power plants step backwards on the path to cleaner power China halts new enrolments at B-school backed by Jack Ma Britain's Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, dies aged 99 AHMEDABAD, SATURDAY, APRIL 10, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOLUME XV-262, 18 PAGES, `10.00 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: 49,591.32 ▼ 154.89 NIFTY: 14,834.85 ▼ 38.95 NIKKEI 225: 29,768.06 ▲ 59.08 HANG SENG: 28,698.80 ▼ 309.27 `/$: 74.75 ▼ 0.14 `/€: 88.89 ▼ 0.37 BRENT: $63.09 ▼ $0.11 GOLD: `46,340 ▲ `151 IBBI notifies regulations for MSME pre-pack THE IBBI ON Friday notified regulations for the so-called pre-pack scheme for MSMEs, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The regulations are based on an amendment to the IBC, effected through the promulgation of an ordinance on April 4. ‘Vibrant Kolkata can lead eastern India development’ NOTING THAT INDIA historically enjoyed its golden era when its eastern part led the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre has put maximum emphasis on developing this region and asserted that a vibrant Kolkata can lead its development, reports PTI. Direct tax receipts up `40k cr over RE Project awards to be close to 5,000 km; HAM expected to have largest share SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, April 9 THE NATIONAL HIGHWAYS Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to award projects worth around `2.25 lakh crore in the current fiscal. The authority awarded 141 projects (4,788 km) worth `1.71 lakh crore in 2020-21. The share of engineering procurement and construction (EPC) in the awards last fiscal was 50% followed by hybrid annuity model (HAM) at 49%. Onlytwoprojectswereawarded through the build, operate and transfer (BOT) model. NHAI sources said project awards in the current fiscal could be close 2013-14 2014-15 1,435 2015-16 4,344 2016-17 4,335 7,396 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2,222 3,211 2020-21 4,788 2021-22 ~5,000 to 5,000 km and HAM is expected to have the largest shareofawardsfollowedbyEPC. BOTislikelytogainmomentum toconstitutebetween5-10%of the award basket. Continued on Page 2 contain the outbreak of the coronavirus, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Petroleum sales have fallen for the first time since FY99, for which data is available with the PPAC. ■ Page 2 ● RELUCTANT STATES Special Features Road trip in India: Ocean on one side, hills on another Forget California 101 or South Africa’s Garden Route, India has so much to offer, as we found driving from Bangalore to Goa, via coffee estates and the Konkan coast. ■ Motobahn, P9 Britannia offers attractive investment prospects Strong structural outlook; second Covid wave could boost FY22 earnings; valuations are inexpensive; target price revised to `4,575 from `4,120; ‘Buy’ rating maintained ■ Investor, P9 QuickPicks McDonald’s to offer contactless delivery in Mumbai till 3 am WESTLIFE DEVELOPMENT, which operates McDonald's restaurants in southern and western India, on Friday said the quick service brand's restaurants will provide contactless delivery till 3 am from select stores in Mumbai, reports PTI. In a regulatory filing earlier in the day, the company had erroneously said it will operate 24/7 for contactless delivery from select stores in Mumbai. The brand will further be doubling up on its convenience channels of McDelivery, takeaway and On-the-Go. In a relief, govt proposes to relax rooftop solar norms TO PROVIDE relief to the rooftop solar industry, the government has proposed to allow rooftop solar installations with up to 500 kilowatt (kW) capacity to be billed under ‘net metering’, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. If the proposal is approved, those who have rooftop solar panels will receive higher tariffs from power distribution companies (discoms) for the surplus power sold to the discoms. The power ministry on Friday released a draft amendment to the Rights of Consumer rules. PAGE 3 Google-backed courier app Dunzo seeks $150 m funding DUNZO DIGITAL, a delivery start-up backed by Google and operating in eight Indian cities, aims to double the amount of capital it has raised so far to extend its reach across the country and become a $1-billion revenue business in the next two years, reports Bloomberg. The app connects low-cost couriers to thousands of individual merchants. The Bengaluru firm has so far raised about $140 million to date and aims to tap investors for roughly another $150 million in 2021. PAGE 4 FREAKY FRIDAY Project awards by NHAI (in km) Source: NHAI India's fuel consumption contracts 9.1% in FY21, first time since 1998-99 DOMESTICCONSUMPTION OF petroleum products in FY21fell9.1%y-o-yto194.7 MT, mainly on the back of low sales of transportation fuel in the fiscal amid the country-wide lockdown to Centre could have netted more in pandemic year, if refunds hadn’t risen by a steep `78k cr 3,067 For every e-NAM deal worth `100, just `1 routed through DBT PRABHUDATTA MISHRA New Delhi, April 9 IF THE ELECTRONIC national agriculture market (e-NAM) is under-performing, the picture is even more abysmal when it comes to direct transfer of the sale proceeds to the farmers' bank accountsvia the facility. Between e-NAM's early 2016 launch and May 2020, a measly `1,050 crore has been paidtofarmersthroughe-payment facility, even as e-NAM transactions during the period was over `1 lakh crore. Though the updated figuresarenotimmediatelyavailable, trade sources say e-payments continue to be at the same level even now. The principal reason for direct electronic transfer of funds to farmers’ bank accounts being low is the state government’s reluctance to implement the scheme. Although 100% direct transfers is integral to e-NAM and the Centre has been insisting on it, it is not mandatory on states to follow the policy. Cashless transaction is key to success of intra-state and inter-state trading among mandis on e-NAM portal. Continued on Page 2 A police officer informs people about the vaccine shortage in Mumbai; an empty vaccination centre; medics collect swab samples in Navi Mumbai and migrants board a train to leave for home states in Jalandhar on Friday COVID-19 India’s new cases hit record, again States complain of vaccine shortage; migrants start to flee cities NEHAARORA & FRANCIS MASCARENHAS New Delhi, April 9 INDIA REPORTED ANOTHER record number of new Covid19 infections on Friday and daily deaths hit their highest in more than five months, as it battles a second wave of infections and states complain of a persistent vaccine shortage. The country reported 131,968 new infections and Getting viral 1,31,968 new cases, highest single-day rise recorded so far in the country 83.29% of the new infections from 10 states 56,286 9,79,608 country's otal active caseload 9.43 cr cumulative daily new cases number of vaccine doses alone from administered Maharashtra 780 deaths on Friday — the biggest dailyincrease in fatalities since mid-October. Continued on Page 2 HOTSPOTS THE PUBLICWI-FI access network, christened as Prime Minister’s Wi-Fi access network interface (PM-WANI), which was announced by the government in December 2020 seems to be taking off. Since January 11,when the government started taking applications for setting up such networks, over 43,500 access points or hotspots have been deployed across the country,officials said. The basic model is that underitsmall shop ownerscan become re-sellers by buying bulk data from licensed telecom operators and selling it to subscribers who do not have Wi-Fi access. Officials said that this kind of service is like a sachet model where people not having regular connections can AMID INCREASING COVID cases and lockdown announcements in various parts of the country,railways has said it has no intent to stop or curtail train services in the country, reports fe Bureau in NewDelhi. A sudden surge in passenger movement at railway stations has been reported from across the countrywiththeriseinthe number of Covid-19 cases in several states. ■ Page 2 THE CENTRE COLLECTED a netamountof`9.45lakhcrore as direct taxes in 2020-21, up `40,000 crore or 4.4% from the revised estimate (RE) presented in the Budget on February 1, thanks to improved collections in the second half of the year, especially in the fourth quarter. Had the government not been liberal with refunds — up `78,000 crore or 42% on year at `2.61 lakh crore — the net collections would have been even higher. This, coupled with revenue from ‘Union excise duties’ likely being higher than the respective RE by `30,000 crore, would likely allow the Centre to rein in the fiscal deficit at a level slightly lower than the RE of 9.5% (RE) of the GDP,at the RE levels of expenditure and other revenue streams.The National Statistical Office in the second advance estimate predicted a narrower contraction in nom- (` lakh crore) BE RE Actuals (Provisional estimate) 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Corporation Personal tax income tax *net of refunds Direct tax collections (` lakh crore) 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 10.02 11.38 10.50 ` 9.45 FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21* *provisional estimate inal GDP of 3.8% in FY21, against a 4.2% fall estimated earlier; if this holds true, it would have a further salutary effect on the fiscal numbers. Robust GST collections in recent months have brightened the prospects of the Central GST collections being higher than the RE. Continued on Page 2 BENGAL POLLS Stage set for fourth phase in state today ● MAX PAIN Public Wi-Fi network gathers momentum KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, April 9 Railways rules out curbs on train services FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 9 FY21 direct tax mop-up* 6.38 4.59 4.88 NHAI plans projects worth `2.25 lakh cr 4.57 THE CENTRE ON Friday directed fertiliser firms not to increase the MRP of non-urea fertilisers and asked them to sell at old rates, reports PTI. A direction in this regard was issued in a high-level meeting on Thursday in the wake of an increase in domestic retail prices of nonurea soil nutrients in line with the global market. FY2020-21 FY22 ROAD MAP 6.81 4.46 IN THE NEWS Centre directs fertiliser firms not to hike MRP Certified PDOAs and number of access points installed Possible electrical issue in some 737s: Boeing MICHELLE CHAPMAN Chicago, April 9 buy data for limited time period as per their usage. Further, the service can be useful in areas where connectivity of some licensed operator is weak. BOEING HAS TOLD 16 of its customers to address a possible electrical issue in group of 737 Max aircraft before using them further. The Max was grounded worldwideinMarch2019after two crashes killed 346 people. Regulators in the US, Europe, Canada,Brazil and othercountries cleared the plane to resume flying after Boeing changed an automated flightcontrol system that played a role in the crashes. Boeing said on Friday that the recommendation was made“to allow forverification that a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system”. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 Microsense Networks: Omnia One Internet: 13,000 4,400 CSC wi-fi choupal services: 16,500 Railtel Corporation: Wifi dabba: 8,000 1,200 Home minister Amit Shah during his door-to-door campaign, in Kolkata on Friday PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Kolkata, April 9 THE ELECTORAL FATES of Union minister Babul Supriyo and West Bengal ministers Partha Chatterjee and Arup Biswas will be decided on Saturday when votes will be cast forthefourthphaseofthehigh octane poll in West Bengal, for which is stage is set. Two MPs of the BJP are also in the fray for the April 10 poll whenelectionswillbeheldin44 seats covering Cooch Beharand Alipurduar districts in north Bengal and parts of South 24 Parganas,HowrahandHooglyin the southern part of the state. The Election Commission has deployed at least 789 companies of central armed police force (CAPF) in 15,940 polling stationsspreadoverthe44constituencies. Each company of CAPFcomprisesof100person- Battleground ■ Union minister Babul Supriyowill lock hornswith sitting MLAArup Biswas at Tollygunj, known to be the heart ofthe Bengali film industry ■ Partha Chatterjee, who is also the TMC's secretary general, will take on film actor Srabanti Chatterjee of the BJP in Behala West seat nelincludingofficers.Thehighest deployment of 187 companies of CAPF will be in Cooch Behar, which has witnessed sporadicincidentsofviolencein the run up to the elections. Continued on Page 2 CHARGING UP First India EV battery plant takes shape to cut China dependence SWANSY AFONSO April 9 THE SON-IN-LAW OF India’s biggest steel tycoon is betting big on converting coal tar into graphiteanodesforelectric-car batteries in a bid to test China’s monopoly in the sector. Vikram Handa set up EpsilonAdvanced Materials — India’s first manufacturer of lithium-ion battery parts — in Karnataka in August,sourcing the raw material from the largeststeelmillinthecountry that’s owned by his father-inlaw, Sajjan Jindal. Handa plans to invest `6,000 crore ($807 million) to produce 100,000 tonne of synthetic graphite anode by 2030, or about 10% of estimated global demand. Anode materials are the negative electrode in lithiumion batteries and account for a quarterof a cell’s components. China has been producing more than 80% of the world’s supply of these anodes, importing raw materials from countries,including India. Plans to invest `6,000 cr to produce 100,000 tonne of synthetic graphite anode by 2030 Bets big on converting coal tar into graphite anodes for EV batteries in bid to test China’s monopoly China has been producing more than 80% of the world’s supply of these anodes Handa aims to transition India from a battery minerals centre to a battery materials hub Vikram Handa set up EpsilonAdvanced Materials in Karnataka inAugust Byproducing the anodes in India,Handaaimstotransition the South Asian nation from a battery minerals centre to a battery materials hub. Indiahasgreatscopeforthe production of electric-vehicle batteries locally because it has access to the raw materials, a $20-billion manufacturing incentive plan,a proposed battery materials policy and improving prospects for demand,Handa,40,said. “I’mquiteoptimisticonthe outlook for India’s battery space over the next decade,” Handa said. “It’s going to take another two to three years for really serious money to go into this space but after, you’ll see a lot of moneypouring into it.India is such a big auto market that one cannot ignore it.” Several Indian automakers have started producing orhave announced plans to make EVs. The latest is Bhavish Aggarwal’s Ola Electric Mobility. Continued on Page 2 Ahmedabad
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