OPINION, P2 MIND & GAMES The ghost of Rafale appears FE LINES THE MAIN REASON FOR YOUR PANDEMIC BOREDOM It comes down to lack of control Tackling vaccine waste Vaccine rollout is essential, but responsibly discarding syringes and needles is also important Page 6 Page 10 ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM VOL. XVII, NO. 31 WORDSWORTH Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM AJOURNEY THROUGHTHE MIND FINANCIAL EXPRESS ON SUNDAY KOLKATA SUNDAY, APRIL 11, 2021, 12 Pages, `10 (NE States & Andaman `13) 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 , WHAT'S INSIDE ■ SPOTLIGHT, P5 The fault in our stars The pandemic brought with it a sea of changes, leaving people to cope with a whole new paradigm of daily life. Unable to cope, many turned to astrology services to seek ‘answers’. In the process, the industry witnessed a boom, with many astro ventures mushrooming in the past year ■ LEISURE, P7 The cancel culture code Could cancel culture change contemporary culture? ODD & EVEN ROHNIT PHORE C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , Pentagon defends US Navy, asserts rights inside India’s EEZ THE PENTAGON has defended its Navy asserting its navigational rights within India’s exclusive economic zone without taking New Delhi’s permission, calling the move “consistent with international law”, reports PTI. In an unusual move, the US Navy announced that on Wednesday it conducted a freedom of navigation operation in Indian waters without prior consent to challenge India’s “excessive maritime claims”. K O C H I , K O L K A T A , L U C K N O W , ● Four fatalities as result of CISF firing in Cooch Behar INTHE FIRST majoroutbreak of BATTLE OF BALLOT Security personnel keep vigil at a polling station after Election Commission suspended the voting exercise at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district on Saturday after reports of violence. (Below) BCCI president Sourav Ganguly after casting his vote PTI 76.16% VOTER TURNOUTTILL 5 PM IN 44 SEATS oldvoter,Ananda Barman,was gunned down outside booth number 85 at Pathantuli, also in Sitalkuchi, after clashes broke out between activists of the ruling TMC and the BJP. West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh had come under attackinSitalkuchiareaearlier this week. ● Tally climbs to 1,32,05,926; curbs nationwide More restrictions 9,500 2,700 5,300 8,300 2019 2020 Source : FICCI-EY 2021E fresh cases, India’s Covid-19 tally has climbed to 1,32,05,926, the health ministry said on Saturday. The number of active cases has breached the 10-lakh mark again after around six-and-a-half months,while the death toll due to the viral disease has gone up to 1,68,436 with 794 more fatalities, the highest since October 18 last year, the ministry’s data updated at 8 am showed. Registering a steady increase for the 31st day in a row, the number of active coronavirus cases in the country has gone up to 10,46,631, accounting for 7.93% of its total caseload, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 90.80%. The active caseload was at its lowest at 1,35,926 on February 12, accounting for only 1.25% of the total number of cases in the country. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 1,19,90,859, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.28%, the data stated. against the central forces, sensing defeat. The CM demanded the resignation of home minister Amit Shah and a reply from him on the incident. Meanwhile, a TMC candidate and four BJP nominees were attacked in various constituencies across the state. ● Demand up for assisted living and ready to move in apartments Tier I Cities: Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Noida 2023E E: estimate the first to move offline with comics such as Vir Das and Abhishek Upmanyu doing shows in both open and closed spaces.“Comedyandmusic are slowly making a comeback with smaller venues in cities opening up. We saw events in music, comedy and theatre genres go offline,” said Shreyas Srinivasan, CEO, Paytm Insider. LOCKDOWN NOT AN OPTION: DELHI: Delhi CM ArvindKejriwalonSaturday said lockdown is “not an option” but some restrictions will be put in place in thenationalcapitalwhichis reeling under the fourth wave of the pandemic. K'TAKA GEARS UP FOR NIGHT CURFEW : The 11day ‘corona curfew' will comeintoeffectinsomedistricts of Karnataka, including the state capital, from Saturday night and only essential services, patients and passengers would be allowed to ply.—PTI P3 Top 12 senior living players have 55 ongoing/ completed projects -- 60% in Tier-II, 40% in Tier-I cities RISHI RANJAN KALA New Delhi, April 10 MAHACMHINTSATLOCKDOWN : Maharashtra CM UddhavThackerayonSaturday indicated the imposition of a strict lockdown in the state, as per ministers and a senior BJP leader who attended an all-partymeeting."Thoughnoformaldecision on a lockdown has arrivedattheall-partymeeting,the CM appears to be in favourof a strict lockdown,” state BJP president Chandrakant Patil told reporters. REALTY CHECK UNIONAGRICULTURE minister Revenue (` crore) P U N E With 1.45L cases, surge stronger Condoling the deaths in Cooch Behar, PM Narendra Modi requested the Election Commission to take stern action against those responsiblefortheincidentandblamed the ruling TMC for perpetrating violence during the polls. He also accused CM Mamata Banerjee of instigating people Ready for talks: Tomar LIVE EVENTS AND offline D E L H I , COVID FARMERS’ PROTEST Organised live events industry size brand activations, which were taking place on a small scale since late last year, have sufferedasetbackinsomepartsof the country due to the second wave of the pandemic, with partial lockdown initiatives hitting key cities like Mumbai and Delhi. According to the 2021 editionof the FICCI-EYmedia and entertainment report,the revenue from organised events fell 68% in 2020, due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns and implementation of social distancing norms. The industry clocked revenue of around `2,700 crore last year. It is estimated that the industry will recover to its pre-Covid levels by 2023. Among live events, standup comedy shows have been N E W WITH A RECORD 1,45,384 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Kolkata/Cooch Behar, Apr 10 violence during West Bengal assemblyelections,fivepersons were killed, including four in a firing by CISF personnel,while five candidates were attacked during the fourth phase of polling in 44 seats on Saturday, triggering a political firestorm. An estimated 76.16% of 1.15 crore voters exercised their franchise till 5 pm, an official said. Four people were killed as central forces opened fire allegedly after coming under attack from locals, who "attempted to snatch their rifles", in Cooch Behar district, police said. The Election Commission ordered stopping the voting exerciseatpollingstationnumber 126 of the Sitalkuchi constituency where the incident happened when polling was underway.The EC has sought a detailed report on the incident. The incident led toviolence in the area where bombs were hurled, prompting central forces to baton-charge tobring the situation under control.In another incident, an 18-year- M U M B A I , PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, April 10 VENKATA SUSMITA BISWAS Mumbai, April 10 ALIBABA GROUP, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, was fined 18.3 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) by Chinese regulators on Saturday for anti-competitive tactics, as the ruling Communist Party tightens control over fast-growing tech industries, reports AP. The party says anti-monopoly enforcement, especially in tech industries, is a priority this year. H Y D E R A B A D , 5 dead in Bengal; Mamata, Modi play the blame game The life goes out of live events Alibaba fined $2.8 billion on competition charge in China READ TO LEAD ASSEMBLY POLLS LOCKDOWN WOES QuickPicks Jhumpa Lahiri’s book takes readers on a tour of a woman’s mind Page 4 Narendra Singh Tomar Saturday appealed to the farmers protesting at Delhi borders to call off their long-running agitation, saying the government is ready for a discussion whenevertheycomewith a concrete proposal.Thousandsoffarmers have been protesting against the three new agri-marketing laws for nearly five months now. There has been no headwayinthelogjamovertheissue since January 22, when the 11th and the last round of formal talks happened between the Central government and the protesting farmer unions. "InthecurrentCovid-19situation, I urge them (agitating farmers)tocallofftheirprotest. The government is ready for a discussionwhenevertheycome with a proposal," he told reporters."Ours is a democratic country,beitfarmersorcitizens, if they have any doubt,the governmentbelievesitisitsresponsibilityistocleardoubtsandfind a solution,"he said. —PTI Senior living a young market COVID-19 AND ITS conse- quent challenges have accelerated the need for senior living facilities in India, with industry players experiencing high demand for residential units with assisted living features especially on outskirts of metros and tier I and II cities. Analysts are of the view that senior living market in India got a boost as the pandemic forced people to recalibrate their requirements. For senior citizens it meant choosing a location that offers Senior living snapshot PROJETCS & CITIES Tier II Cities: Coimbatore, Puducherry, Kodaikanal, Vadodara, Bhopal, Jaipur, Mysuru, Dehradun, Kasauli and Kanchipuram Region-wise, south Indian cities account for nearly 69% share of the projects. COST OF SENIOR LIVING Top players operate on either of two models – outright sale or rentals (with security deposit and monthly charges). Average monthly rentals in senior living residences across cities start from `30,000 and go up to `1 lakh, depending on facilities For outright sale, property prices vary depending on the city, facilities on offer, BHKconfiguration, size etc Source: Anarock Property Consultants them a holistic experience with round-the-clock medical care and other services. Market insiders stress that the segment has immense growth potential in India as it comprises less than 1% of the real estate market in India, compared to 12% in the US and 5-6% in Australia. Retail, hospitality enterprises face shutdown as lockdowns hit business ● Evening curfews particularly hurting sectors in Maharashtra and Delhi FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 10 MINI LOCKDOWNSAND night curfews imposed by several state governments to tame the sudden surge in Covid cases are impacting businesses that were gradually managing to get back on their feet after the pandemic-led disruption last year. The present set of restrictions,especially in Maharashtra, is impacting the overall retail industry and its ecosystem across the country.About 1.3 million retail stores employing about 5 million people in Maharashtra alone are getting impacted by the ‘retail lockdown’ implemented by the state government, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) said. “India will always be a consumption economyand strain on the retail industry cripples the entire value chain, which involves manufacturing and entertainment, right down to artisans and other microenterprises,leading to layoffs and downscaling or even RETAIL TALE About 1.3 million retail stores with 5 million staff in Maharashtra alone are getting impacted by the ‘retail lockdown’ Over 20% of the hospitality establishments across the country have not opened fully even after the first lockdown was lifted Mumbai and Delhi-NCR account for nearly 50% of the total organised restaurant market shutting down operations widely,”the association said in a statement. “While implementation of stricter rules to curb the spread of the pandemic is necessary, it is also important to calibrate a bal- At least 30% of hospitality businesses have shut down permanently due to financial losses The rest continue to operate in losses and revenues are below 50% of the pre-Covid level Malls have been witnessing significant decline in footfalls since the past two weeks with night curfew timings and random testing norms at place ance between lives and livelihood,”RAI added. Already footfalls had seen a significant decline since the past two weeks with night curfew timings and random testing norms at place, said Mukesh Kumar, CEO at Infiniti Malls that runs two properties in Malad and Andheri.“Customers who usually visit the mall for leisure activities were not confident to step out and some were hesi- tant to get themselves tested,” Kumar said. Basis the new guidelines issued by the state government, the malls will now be only operational for essentials and home deliveries of food till the end of the month. The hospitality industry is staring at another crisis. The Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI) said over 20% of the hospitality establishments across the countryhave not opened fully even after the first lockdown was lifted and 30% of them have shut down permanently due to financial losses. The rest continue to operate in losses and revenues are below 50% of the pre-Covid level. The new guidelines introduced by the state governmentwill force almost 90% of restaurants to shut down completely, the association said.“We request the government to eitherallowus to continue regular operations with the mandated SOPs or permanently shut us down, rather than keep us half alive and in a state of misery,” said Sherry Bhatia, president, HRAWI. As per analysts at Crisil Research,Mumbai and DelhiNCR account for nearly 50% of the total organised restaurant market. “My suggestion to the government is that if they are worried about people crowding at pubs and clubs to drink they should put the curfew timing at 11 or 11:30 pm. That way customers can still frequent restaurants for dinnerwhich would be a lifesaver for the industry,” AD Singh, founder and MD at Olive Group of Restaurants, said in a recent tweet. Kolkata
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