OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 SOMIT DASGUPTA Existing conditions limit execution of proposed energy auditing COMPANIES, P4 SHOBHANA SUBRAMANIAN NO MORE NEW ROLE Real fear of structural damage now, govt must deliver punchy stimulus to mitigate small businesses' pain Soli Sorabjee, former AG, passes away after contracting Covid Samir Seksaria to take charge as TCS CFO today NEW DELHI, SATURDAY, MAY 1, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 52, 16 PAGES, `10.00 (PATNA `10.00, RAIPUR `9.00) 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: 48,782.36 ▼ 983.58 NIFTY: 14,631.10 ▼ 263.80 NIKKEI 225: 28,812.63 ▼ 241.34 HANG SENG: 28,724.88 ▼ 578.38 `/$: 74.08 ▼ 0.04 `/€: 89.60 ▲ 0.13 BRENT: $67.24 ▼ $1.32 GOLD: `46,710 ▼ `16 Ashoka University. An email to the ICMR wasn’t immediately answered. The request for wider disseminationofthecoronavirusrelated data gains urgency because the countryis gripped byaferocioussecondwavethat risks creating new mutant strains if allowed to spread unchecked. The scientists also asked Modi to “adequately fund and widen the network of organisations” to collect large-scale surveillance data. “Without suchdatacollectionandtimely release, we will not be able to efficiently manage Covid-19,” they said. —BLOOMBERG Vaccination for 18-44 age group delayed in Delhi, other states DELHI WILL NOT join the national level rollout of Covid19vaccination forpeople aged 18-44 years on May 1, with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday saying that required vaccine doses have not been received yet for the drive, reports PTI. Others such as Karnataka, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir have also said the vaccination process for 18-44 age group will be delayed due to the shortage of vaccines. The third phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people aged 18years and above will roll out in the country on May 1. Kejriwal appealed to people in the targeted age group not to line up at vaccination centres in the city on May 1. In the next one-two days, around three lakh Covishield vaccines will be received and the drive for vaccinating people in the age group 18-44 years will commence, he said in an online briefing. Continued on Page 2 Govt to import 4.5Lvials of remdesivir FB to roll outvaccine finder tool on app THE GOVERNMENT has placedordersforimportof4.5 lakh vials of antiviral drug remdesivir with the first consignment of 75,000 vials expected to reach Indian shores on Friday, the chemicals and fertilisers ministry said in a statement, reports PTI. The government has started importing the vital drug from other countries to ease its shortage in the country, it said.The first consignmentof75,000vialswillreach India on Friday,it added. FACEBOOK ON Friday said it ispartneringwiththegovernment to roll out a vaccine findertoolonitsmobileappin India,which will help people identify places nearby to get inoculated, reports PTI. The social media giant had,earlier this week, announced a $10million grant for emergency response efforts for Covid-19 situationinthecountry.Inthis tool,vaccine centre locations and their hours of operation have been provided by the health ministry. ■ Page 4 Taking care of your cars and bikes during the lockdown The key is to move every moving part once every few days: Open and close all doors, roll up and down windows, move the seats back and forth, open and close ORVMs, and so on. ■ Motobahn, P7 QuickPicks Wipro raises IT services revenue guidance to 8-10% in June qtr WIPRO ON Friday revised upwards its IT services revenue outlook to 8-10% sequential growth in the June 2021 quarter, following the completion of its $1.45-billion buyout of Capco, reports PTI. While announcing its March quarter results earlier this month, Wipro had said it expects to log a sequential growth of 2-4% in its IT services revenues in the June 2021 quarter without including revenue from Capco and Ampion acquisitions. In March, Wipro had announced the acquisition of London-headquartered Capco in a $1.45-billion (over `10,500 crore) deal — its largest ever till date. PAGE 5 Core sector output rises 6.8% in March, contracts 7% in 2020-21 THE OUTPUT of eight core sectors grew by 6.8% in March, the highest in 32 months, driven by a base effect-led uptick in production of natural gas, steel, cement and electricity, official data showed on Friday, reports PTI. The growth rate of the eight infrastructure sectors — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — stood at (-)8.6% in March 2020. During 2020-21 (April-March), output of the eight sectors contracted by 7% as against a positive growth of 0.4% in 2019-20. In February, output of these sectors dipped by 3.8%. PAGE 3 INDIAONFRIDAYreceived the first Covid emergency aid supplies from the US amid a worsening Covid19situationinthecountry, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. India also received assistance from Romania delivered by a Romanian defence ministry aircraft earlyFridaycomprising80 oxygen concentrators, 75 oxygen cylinders and 20 high-flowoxygen therapy. The US consignment, which flew in from the TravismilitarybaseinCalifornia, following President Joe Biden’s pledge of help in a telephone call with Prime Minister NarendraModion26April, comprises 440 oxygen cylinders and regulators, 960,000 rapid diagnostic tests and 100,000 N95 masks. ■ Page 2 Curbing Covid info to be contempt: SC PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, April 30 TERMING THE SECOND wave of Covid-19 a“national crisis”, the Supreme Court on Friday warned authorities — from the Centre to police chiefs — against silencing people and their pleas for help on the presumption that they are raising false grievances on the internet. The top court made clear that any attempt to clampdown on free flow of information on social media including the call for help from people would be treated as the contempt of court. “There should be free flow ofinformation;weshouldhear voices of citizens. This is a national crisis. There should not be any presumption that the grievances raised on the internet are always false. Let a There should be free flow of information, we should hear voices of citizens. If any action is taken against such posts by citizens in distress, we will treat it as contempt of the court. —SUPREME COURT strong message be sent to all theDGPs thatthereshould not be any kind of clampdown,” a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said. Continued on Page 2 MGNREGA REPORT CARD Special Feature India gets first US aid shipment, Romania supplies Jio posts flat Q4 profit,revenue down April demand under rural jobs At `13,227 cr, RIL scheme highest in seven years FE BUREAU Mumbai, April 30 RELIANCE JIO’S Q4FY21 results were subdued as the company missed analysts’ estimates and the operating metrics came in below expectations. The biggest surprise was the net addition of 15.4 million subscribers, sequentially, which was way above analysts’ expectations of 7 million additions and which took the total subscriber base to 426.2 million. The company’s net profit remained flat at `3,508 crore while revenues declined 6.1% to `18,278 crore against the preceding quarter. Continued on Page 2 Reliance Retail profit up 45% in Q4 RELIANCE RETAIL on Friday reported a 45% y-o-y rise in netprofitsat`2,247crorein Q4FY21,reportsfeBureauin NewDelhi.Netprofitsforthe year stood at `5,481 crore, higher by a marginal 0.6%, the company said in a statement.Thecompanyreported revenuesof`41,296croreon a consolidated basis in Q4. ■ Full report on Page 4 Q4 profit more than doubles SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, April 30 RELIANCE INDUSTRIES (RIL) on Friday reported a consolidatednetprofitof`13,227crore for the three months to March against a profit of `6,348 crore inQ4FY20,reportsfeBureauin NewDelhi.Theprofitscomeoff alowbaseinQ4FY20butwerea shadebehindtheStreet’sexpectations; a Bloomberg survey pegged estimates at `13,704 crore. Revenues stood at `1,54,896 crore,up 11% y-o-y and and ahead of analysts estimates.TheRILstockendedlower 1.42%lowerat`1994.45. ■ Related report on Page 4 THE DEMAND FOR jobs in April under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MGNREGS), both at the household as well as the individual level, has been the highest compared with any previous April since 2013-14. The strain on rural livelihoods is possibly the result of the reverse migration which took place last March-April. The MGNREGS dashboard, maintained bythe rural development ministry, showed 2.6 crore households and 3.7 crore Demand for MGNREGA work in April Households 2013 2014 Persons 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2,56,62,357 3,69,61,185 NON-FOOD credit grew 4.9% in March 2021 against a growth of 6.7% in the yearago month, RBI data showed, reports PTI. Credit growth to agriculture and allied activities accelerated to 12.3% in March 2021 from 4.2% in March 2020. (Clockwise from above) A private security guard stands outside a vaccination centre with a notice showing no vaccines left, in Mumbai on Friday; relief supplies from the US arrive at Delhi airport; a long queue for refilling of oxygen cylinders in Agra 1,34,13,229 2,00,13,998 Non-food credit grows 4.9% in March: RBI data SHORT ON SUPPLIES 2,10,50,274 3,03,38,741 INDUSIND BANK on Friday reported a 190% year-onyear (y-o-y) jump in its net profit to `876 crore on the back of healthy interest income and reduced provisioning, reports . Provisions reduced 24% y-o-y to `1,866 crore, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. —ARVIND KEJRIWAL, DELHI CM 1,68,30,776 2,51,87,843 IndusInd Bank net zooms 190% in March quarter SCIENTISTS AND MEDICAL researchers are asking PrimeMinisterNarendraModi to allow them access to data that could help study, predict,and curb the spread of the coronavirus. While the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has granular data on all residents who’ve been tested so far, it restricts access and this database must be opened to outsideexpertsaswell,almost300 scientists from research and teaching institutions requested in an online appeal. “The ICMR database is inaccessible to anyone outside of the government and perhaps also to many within the government,” they wrote. “While new pandemics can have unpredictable features, our inability to adequately manage the spread of infections has, to a large extent, resulted from epidemiological data not being systematically collected and released in a timelymannerto thescientific community.” The signatories include Gagandeep Kang, professor of microbiology at Christian Medical College inVellore,who confirmed the letter to Bloomberg, and Gautam Menon,professor of biology at 1,77,60,144 2,65,18,517 TATA POWER is weighing an initial public offering for its renewable energy business that could raise about `3,500 crore, according to people familiar with the matter, reports Bloomberg. It has abandoned earlier plans to seek a partner to invest in its green assets via an investment trust, the people said. BIBHUDATTA PRADHAN & MUNEEZA NAQVI April 30 I appeal to all citizens to not queue up at vaccination centres before our announcement as this might lead to violation of social distancing and create a law and order situation. 1,86,70,109 2,81,57,008 Tata Power mulls `3,500-cr IPO for renewables unit Say data available with ICMR should be shared with outside experts 1,15,12,127 1,70,90,002 AFTER THE IMD predicted a ‘normal’ monsoon, the government has set a record target to raise foodgrain production by 2% y-o-y in the 2021-22 crop year, starting July, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. With prices of all rabi crops currently ruling around MSPs despite bumper harvest, the government can safely bet on the next kharif crops to increase the overall agriculture growth and boost the rural economy. Scientists urge PM to release key Covid data 1,53,00,905 2,35,32,401 Foodgrain output: Govt sets record target for 2021-22 STUDYING THE VIRUS 1,42,83,453 1,78,88,903 IN THE NEWS 2021 Source: Rural development ministry persons were looking for work in April this year, higher by 91% and 85%, respectively, overApril 2020.InApril 2019, 2 crore households and 3 crore individuals wanted work under the rural employment guarantee scheme. Continued on Page 2 ● WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SIDING WITH SPOTIFY Amid crackdown,Alibaba Apple distorts competition in music streaming: EU freezes pay of senior staff FOO YUN CHEE Brussels, April 30 EU REGULATORS ACCUSED Apple on Friday of distorting competition in the music streaming market, siding with Spotify in a case that could lead to a hefty fine and changes in the iPhone maker’s lucrative business practices. The preliminary findings are the first time Brussels has levelled anti-competitive charges against Apple, although the two sides have ANTITRUSTALLEGATIONS Spotify has accused Apple of unfairly restricting rivals to its own music streaming service Apple Music on iPhones If the case is pursued by other parties, EU can potentially impose a fine of up to 10% ofApple's global turnover European Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said there were clear signs Apple's App Store rules were affecting music streaming rivals' business development had bruising clashes in the past, most notably a multibillion-dollar tax dispute involving Ireland. Apple, Spotify and other parties can now respond. If the case is pursued, the EU could demand concessions and potentially impose a fine of up to 10% of Apple’s global turnover — as much as $27 billion, although it rarely levies the maximum penalty. Apple found itself in the European Commission’s crosshairs afterSweden-based Spotify complained two years ago that the US tech giant unfairly restricted rivals to its own music streaming service Apple Music on iPhones. Continued on Page 2 REUTERS Beijing, April 30 CHINESE E-COMMERCE GIANTAlibaba Group Holding has frozen pay for senior executives in 2021 and is instead giving junior staff bigger salary increases, sources said, in an effort to preserve its workforce amid a regulatory clampdown. Jack Ma, Alibaba founder New Delhi Hundreds of top-tier executives at Alibaba are not entitled to salary hikes this year, unless they performed extraordinarily, four sources familiar with the matter said. The Hangzhoubased company, though, has offered considerable wage increases to juniorstaff, they said. Continued on Page 2
The Financial Express (FE) is a business paper that’s closest to the people who are in the business of business. From business policies to market trends to new developments, The Financial Express comes packed with incisive news on every relevant issue.