OPINION, P6 S VARMA & A NANDI COMPANIES, P4 Second wave more benign on economy than first wave INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL NILEKANI-SPEAK VEILED CRITIQUE Freeing up vax pricing, letting all adults get shots is good, but give more to raise supply, increase genome testing ‘Streamlined approach using tech can help India boost vaccine output’ Xi challenges US global leadership, warns against decoupling CHENNAI/KOCHI, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOLUME XLII NO. 297, 16 PAGES, `6.00 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: 47,705.80 ▼ 243.62 NIFTY: 14,296.40 ▼ 63.05 NIKKEI 225: 29,100.38 ▼ 584.99 HANG SENG: 29135.73 ▲ 29.58 `/$: 74.88 ▼ 0.01 `/€: 90.31 ▼ 0.17 BRENT: $67.49 ▲ $0.44 GOLD: `47,314 ▼ `161 DELAY TACTIC IN THE NEWS Domestic natural gas production falls 8.1% y-o-y Weaker the results, later the AGM US advises its citizens to avoid travelling to India THE US has advised its citizens to avoid travelling to India, even if they are fully vaccinated as there is a 'very high level' of Covid-19 in the country, reports PTI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's on Monday released travel recommendations by destination. The CDC has urged Americans to avoid all travel to India. Says govt taking steps to ensure economic activity is not disrupted FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 20 PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi on Tuesday appealed to statesnottoenforcelockdowns except as the last resort and insteadusemicrocontainment measures to curb the spread of Drug companies have increased production of medicines and we are speeding this up...We are taking the help from all companies. Also, we are increasing the number of beds in hospitals, in some cities we are making large Covid hospitals. “We have to stay away from lockdown. States should focus on micro containment zones. The mission of saving lives ought to have the least adverse effect on the economy." —NARENDRA MODI, PM thepandemic.ThePMexhorted the states to try and convince migrantworkerstostaybackin their workplaces.The workers should be reassured that they would be taken care of,he said. Addressing the nation late intheevening,thePMobserved that if protocol was followed therewouldbenoneedforlockdowns and the combination of medicine and discipline could help the nation combat the spreadofthevirus.Thegovern- ment, he said,was taking steps to ensure that economic activity is not disrupted and that livelihoods were impacted as little as possible. Continued on Page 2 Rahul Gandhi tests positive for Covid-19 `4,500-crore advance to Serum and Bharat Biotech Bharat Biotech to produce 700 m Covaxin doses a year CONGRESS LEADER Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he has tested positive for Covid-19andhasmildsymptoms,reports PTI.“After experiencing mild symptoms, I’ve just tested positive forCovid”the 50year-old posted on Twitter.PM Narendra Modiwishedhim a speedyrecovery. THE CENTRE will release `3,000 crore as advance payment to Covid-19 vaccine maker Serum Institute (SII) and another `1,500croretoBharatBiotechtowardsvaccinesuppliestillJulybyamendingprocurementnorms,afinanceministryofficialsaid. ■ Page 2 TO SUPPORT vaccination campaigns in Indiaandacrosstheglobe,BharatBiotech hasrampedupthemanufacturingcapacity of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, to 700milliondosesperannum,thevaccine maker said onTuesday. ■ Page 4 Virus woes Hybrid working is beneficial for employees as well as firms Covid curbs drag Sensex down Sensex fell 243.62 points on Tuesday to close at 47,705.80, an over two-month low, amid rising Covid cases and lockdowns. Brent hit a month-high of $68 a barrel, though rising coronavirus cases in Asia limited the gains. 48,700 Sensex 48,473.04 Intra-day, April 20 48,400 48,100 47,705.80 47,800 QuickPicks GST law: Taxman mustn’t proceed to attach property in haste, says SC THE SUPREME Court on Tuesday ruled that the power to order a provisional attachment of property, including a bank account, of an assessee under the GST law is “draconian in nature” and cannot be used as an “unguided subjective discretion” of the tax authorities, reports Indu Bhan in New Delhi. PAGE 2 EPFO net new enrolments grow nearly 20% to 12.37L in Feb NET NEW enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO grew by nearly 20% to 12.37 lakh in February compared with the same month in 2020, according to the payroll data released on Tuesday, providing a perspective on formal sector employment amid the pandemic, reports PTI. The provisional data highlights a growing trend with the addition of 12.37 lakh net subscribers during February 2021, a labour ministry statement said. PAGE 13 Chargebee in unicorn club with fresh $125-million funding SAAS START-UP Chargebee has raised a fresh $125 million in funding co-led by new investor Sapphire Ventures and existing backers Tiger Global and Insight Venture Partners at a valuation of $1.4 billion, joining the unicorn club, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Led by co-founder & CEO Krish Subramanian, the US and Chennai-based start-up automates revenue operations of subscription-based businesses. PAGE 4 47,500 47,200 Previous close: 47,949.42 Open Close 10-yr bond yield (%) Brent ($/bbl) Intra-day, April 20 6.11 Intra-day, April 20 68.5 6.10 68.1 6.074 6.09 67.7 6.08 6.087 66.9 67.2 67.46 67.3 6.07 6.06 Previous close: 6.079 Open 17 1 5 2017 30 28 J&J seeks drug regulator’s nod for clinical trial of its single-shot vaccine GLOBAL HEALTHCARE major Johnson &Johnson onTuesday said it has sought an approval fromtheIndia’sdrugregulator to conduct a bridging clinical trial of its single-dose Covid19 vaccine in the country, reports PTI. The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) had in February approved Johnson & Johnson’sCovid-19vaccinethat works with just one dose for emergency use. “Johnson & Johnson is partnering with health authorities and the world’sbestscientiststoprovide thesafetyandefficacydatanecessary to support worldwide emergency use of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine candidate,” the companysaid. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine can be stored at refrigerator temperatures. 2016 9 12 13 11 6 9 Close 66.5 Previous close: 67.05 Open @IST6.51 PM THE CABINET COMMITTEE on Economic Affairs on Tuesday approved subsidy for urea to be produced by state-run Talcher Fertilizers (TFL) at its soon-to-be-commissioned Odishafacility.Thiswillbeonly plant to produce the nitrogenoussoilnutrientthroughcoal gasification route. The Centre pays subsidy on urea to fertiliser manufacturers on the basis of cost of production at each plant and the units are required to sell the fertiliser at the government-set maximum retail price (MRP). Talcher Fertilizers — a joint venture of Coal India, GAIL (India), Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers and Fertilizer 2019 2020 24 10 9 11 17 13 8 6 17 9 1 3 Loss-making NIFTY 500 companies with AGMs between June & Sept Note: Four loss making companies held their AGMs in December 2020 Source: IiAS Research, ACE Equity Hero MotoCorp temporarily shuts all ops HERO MOTOCORP, the country’slargesttwo-wheeler manufacturer, on Tuesday said due to surging Covid-19 cases,itistemporarilyhalting operationsatallitsmanufacturing facilities across the country, including its global parts centre, reports fe Bureauin NewDelhi. Each plant and GPC will remain shut for four days in astaggeredmannerbetween April 22 to May 1 basis the local scenario. Hero said the shutdown will not impact its ability to meet the demand,which has been impacted due to localised shut-downs in many states and production loss will be compensated during the remainder of the quarter. ● LOCKDOWNS Cabinet okays subsidy for urea produced via coal gasification FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 20 2018 28 ODISHA PLANT Special Feature Ashift from pureAVsolutions to a comprehensive ITand collaboration strategy that can deal with uncertainties and cater to a workforce with different profiles is happening, says Poly’sAnkur Goel ■ eFE, P9 2015 June July Aug Sept Lockdown should be last resort: PM IiAS found that for the seventh straight year, the median return on equity (ROE) is typically the lowest for companies that hold their AGMs held towards the end of the season. The trend is accentuated if state-owned banks are excluded. In FY20, for example,of the 49 NIFTY 500 companies that reported losses,57% of them held their AGMs between September and December. The analysis reveals that as more mid-sized and smaller firms are added to the sample,the concentration of AGMs in September intensifies. As a consequence, meetings overlapped and several investors were forced to choose one over the other. June July Aug Sept CORONA CRISIS June July Aug Sept EXPRESS PHOTO: PRAVEEN KHANNA June July Aug Sept DEFENCE MINISTER Rajnath Singh on Tuesday asked defence public sector undertakings, DRDO and Ordnance Factory Board to work on a war footing to provide oxygen cylinders and extra beds to various state governments at the earliest besides extending all required help, reports PTI. At a virtual meet with defence brass, Singh also announced granting emergency financial powers to the three services and other agencies to make necessary procurement. Migrant labourers wait to board buses to their home towns, at Anand Vihar terminal in New Delhi on Tuesday IF THE NUMBERS aren’t too good, it’s best to put off meeting the shareholders for as long as possible. That has been India Inc’s strategy for many years now. Companies with relatively weakerfinancial performance wait till the last minute to hold their AGMs, a trend that continued into FY21. According to proxy advisory firm IiAS, despite an accommodative regulatory environment that allowed companies to hold theirAGMs virtually, those with weaker financial results preferred to wait till the very end of the season to interact with their investors. June July Aug Sept Provide oxygen, beds to states: Rajnath to DRDO FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 20 June July Aug Sept DOMESTIC NATURAL gas production fell 8.1% year-onyear (y-o-y) to 28,670.6 million standard cubic metre (mscm) in FY21, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Natural gas production of 2,683.9 mscm in March was, however, the highest monthly output recorded in 24 months. The 30.5 million tonne of crude oil produced in the country during the fiscal was also 5.2% lower than the production in the year-ago period. Indigenous natural gas production caters to about 51% of the country’s requirements. "The effort to convert coal to gas and then to urea will help India become Aatmanirbhar (selfreliant). Coal gasification plants are strategically important as coal prices are non-volatile and coal is abundantly available in the country.” SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, April 20 process has faced delays after the Covid 19 pandemic. Coal gasification plants are strategically important as coal pricesarenon-volatileandcoal is abundantly available in the country. THE CENTRE HAS no immediate plan to give any monetary compensationtomigrantworkers heading to their native villages amid the lockdowns imposed in major urban centres to arrest the spike in Covid-19 cases. Even the new Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Code that governs inter-state migrantworkers maynot come to theiraid,as therelevantrules are yet to be notified by the states. Though business and industry are yet to face labour crunch, the exodus of workers fromcitieslikeDelhiandMumbaihaveforcedthegovernment to sit back andtake note. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 —PIYUSH GOAL, COMMERCE MINISTER Corporation of India — is setting up the 1.27 million tonne per annum capacity urea plant basedoncoalgasificationtechnology in Odisha with an estimated investment of `13,277 crore.Theprojectisexpectedto be complete by September 2023, but the construction No immediate financial aid to migrant workers ● GLOBAL DATA LEAK ANTITRUST ALLEGATIONS CERT-In asks FB users Google,Apple execs to testify in app store hearing to enhance a/c privacy REUTERS Washington, April 20 SENIOR EXECUTIVES WITH Alphabet’s Google and Apple will testify on Wednesday about antitrust concerns related to their app stores along with executives of three companies which rely on those online stores, the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel has said. The hearing will include Google government affairs ■ App makers have long been complaining against rules on Apple'sApp Store and Google's Play Store, alleging anti-competitive behaviour ■ Music streaming service Spotify and dating app Match have been critical of both tech giants' app stores senior director Wilson White and Apple’s chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer as well as ■ Tile,whose app helps people find objects, has focused onApple ■ Apple,Amazon, Facebook and Google have been under tough scrutiny for more than a year overvaried concerns Spotify’s chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez, Match Group’s chief legal officer Jared Sine and Kirsten Daru, general counsel for Tile. The witness list was announced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, chair of the antitrust panel,and Mike Lee, its top Republican. Music streaming service Spotify and dating app Match have been critical of both tech giants’ app stores, while Tile, whose app helps people find objects, has focused on Apple. Continued on Page 2 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, April 20 THE COUNTRY'S CYBERsecurity agency CERT-In has advised Facebook userstostrengthentheir account privacysettings after a recent global‘data scraping’ incident in the social media platform affected about 61 lakh Indians. “As the Facebook platform evolves and grows, parts of your account could be public. Data could also be collected and shared in ways you don't know about,” the Indian ComputerEmergencyResponse Team or CERT-In said in a public advisoryissued on Monday.It is the federal technology arm to combat cyber attacks and guard the Indian cyber space against phishing and hacking assaults and similar online attacks. Continued on Page 2 CHENNAI/KOCHI
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