OPINION, P2 MIND & GAMES New research is intensifying the debate — with profound implications for the future of the planet Page 10 From crisis to catastrophe FE LINES The ‘vaxxie’ has spread across social media, coming both as a source of hope, as well as FOMO Page 8 HOW LONG CAN WE LIVE? Age of vaccine selfie ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM SPOTLIGHT Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL. XX NO. 26 CREATIVE SELECTION SUNDAY, MAY 2, 2021, 14 Pages, `10 (Patna `10, Raipur `10) 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 C H A N D I G A R H , ■ WORDS WORTH, P4 The tallest tales Documenting attempts to scale mountains of the world brings forth passionate stories ODD & EVEN ROHNIT PHORE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, May 1 GST COLLECTIONS CROSSED the `1 lakh-crore-mark forthe seventh month in a row and touched a record high of over `1.41 lakh crore in April, indicating economic recovery, the financeministrysaidSaturday. The Goods and ServicesTax (GST) collections, which directlyreflect the state of economic activity, in April are 14% higher than `1.23 lakh crore mopped up in March. In April last year, the revenue had plummeted to a record low of `32,172 crore, afterthe government imposed a nationwide lockdownto curb the spread of coronavirus. Aseconomicactivitypicked up, GST collections started crossing the `1 lakh crore THE GOVERNMENT on Saturday extended timelines for various income tax compliances, including the filing of belated or revised return for the 2019-20 fiscal, till May 31, reports PTI. “In view of the adverse circumstances arising due to the severe Covid-19 pandemic and also in view of the several requests received from taxpayers, tax consultants & other stakeholders, requesting that various compliance dates may be relaxed, the government has extended certain timelines today,” an official statement said. PAGE 3 IP protection: US CBSE’s marking puts India on policy for Class 10 PriorityWatch List board exams THE US HAS placed India and 8 other countries on the Priority Watch List for IP protection and enforcement, reports PTI. Other countries on the list are Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela. THE CENTRAL Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Saturday announced a policy for tabulation of marks for class 10 board exams which have been cancelled in view of the pandemic, reports PTI. Sign of recovery? PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, May 1 The April month’s revenues are 14% higher than `1.23 lakh crore collected in March STATE BANK OF India (SBI) on Collection from domestic transaction (including import of services) are 21% higher over the last month Govt attributes higher collections to closer monitoring against fake-billing, deep data analytics and effective tax administration mark since October last year. The gross GST revenue collectedinthemonthofApril2021 is at a record high of `1,41,384 crore,ofwhich CGSTis `27,837 crore,SGST`35,621 crore,IGST `68,481 crore (including `29,599 crore collected on importofgoods)andcess`9,445 crore (including `981 crore collectedonimportofgoods). Continued on Page 11 Saturday said it has reduced home loan interest rate to 6.70%. The lender said home loan interest rates are now starting from 6.70% for loans up to `30 lakh and 6.95% for loans above `30 lakh to `75 lakh.The interest rate on home loansabove `75lakhis7.05%, the bank said in a release. “Theaffordabilityfortheconsumerincreasesimmenselywith the present home loan interest rate offerings which reduce the EMI (equated monthly instalment)amountssubstantially,”its managing director (retail and digitalbanking)CSSettysaid. To women borrowers, the bank is offering a special five basis points (bps) concession on home loan interest rates. Customers also apply for a loan through YONO app and get an additional interest concession of 5 basis points, the release said. The bank was offering home loans at an interest rate starting from 6.70% till March 31, 2021. From April 1, 2021, it restored the original interest rates starting from 6.95%. 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 COVID IMPACT Auto sales in slow lane as 2nd wave hits despatches ● Automakers foresee challenges to supply chain, dealership activity Maruti Suzuki April 2020* Nil Hyundai India Nil 52,600 M&M Nil 38,277 Tata Motors Nil Companies Nil Hero MotoCorp FE BUREAU Mumbai, May 1 Toyota Kirloskar March 2021 April 2021 1,37,151 1,49,518 49,002 7 34,432 10 39,530 66,609 15,001 Nil Chg (%) 8.3 41 9,622 5,44,340 36 3,42,614 37 *There were no auto sales last year due to nationwide lockdown WHOLESALE DESPATCHES OF automobiles have been impacted in April with all automakers reporting a decline compared to March. The numbers cannot be compared with those for April last year since a nationwide lockdown was in effect at the time. While companies say that the demand for vehicles remains strong, they foresee challenges to supply chain, dealership activity and customer movement in the comingmonths,giventhelocalised restrictions imposed by states in thewake of the secondwave of the Coronavirus infections. Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest passenger vehicle manufacturer, registered sales of 1.37 lakh units in April, a decline of 8.3% compared to March. While the sales increased marginally by 3% compared to April 2019, the recoverystill seems sometime awayas automobile sales fell nearly 17% compared to April 2018. Hyundai Motor India recorded sales of 49,002 units in April, which was a monthon-month decline of 7%. Tarun Garg, director (sales, marketing & service),Hyundai Motor India Ltd., said,"While ourefforts currentlyfocus primarily on supporting the lives and livelihood of people, we have also received positive sales results in April 2021.” Tata Motors saw sales of 39,530 units in the domestic market, a sharp 41% decline compared to March.The company’s passenger vehicles business witnessed an m-o-m decline of 15% with sales volumes coming in at 25,095 units.The fall in the commercial vehicles segment was much steeper at 61% compared to March with sales of 14,435 units registered. This is in sharp contrast to the gains that the company was seeing in its commercial vehicles business in the last two months as economic activity in industrials and mining etc was picking up. Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) also saw a decline of 10% in auto sales compared to March with 34,432 units sold in April, largely driven by a fall in the commercial vehicles segment.Its passengervehicle division,however,registered a 9.5% m-o-m increase with 18,285 vehicles sold. Continued on Page 11 First batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine arrives FE BUREAU New Delhi, May 1 Timelines for tax compliance, FY20 ITR extended till May 31 SBI cuts home loan interest rate to 6.70% K O L K A T A , FIGHT AGAINST COVID ● 3 m additional doses scheduled to arrive this month, another 5 m by June QuickPicks K O C H I , LOWER EMI GST mop-up hits new high ■ LEISURE, P5 From purpose-driven and political to lighthearted and comical, some online parody accounts might be ‘fake’, but the conversations they are stirring up are all real H Y D E R A B A D , `1.41 L-CR COLLECTION ● Of the total collections, CGST is `27,837 cr, SGST `35,621 cr and IGST `68,481 cr Barbie and Nehru fighting for a cause C H E N N A I , READ TO LEAD « « « « « « FINANCIAL EXPRESS ON SUNDAY NEW DELHI For many, Covid has resulted in a huge loss of creativity Pages 6-7 INDIA ON SATURDAY received the first batch of 1,50,000 dosesofRussia’sSputnikVvaccine even as the countryis battling a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Three million additional doses of the Russian vaccine are scheduled to arrive this month, and another five million by June. The vaccines will be delivered to Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which has joined hands with Russian Direct Investment Fund to produce the vaccine in India. The Drugs Controller General of India on April 13 had New arrival The vaccines will be delivered to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which has joined hands with Russian Direct Investment Fund to produce the jab in India Indian regulator DCGI had allowed Sputnik V for restricted use in emergency situations on April 13 granted permission to Sputnik V vaccine for restricted use in emergency situations. The ministry of external affairs said in a statement on Twitter: “Sputnik-V vaccine arrives in Hyderabad from Russia! Will add to arsenal to fight the pandemic.This third option will augment our vaccine capacity & accelerate our vaccination drive.” Delhi lockdown extended by a week AMID RISING Covid-19 cases in Delhi,chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced extension of the ongoing lockdown in the national capital by another week.“Lockdown in Delhi is A JAB FOR ALL The first consignment of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia arrived in Hyderabad on Saturday. (Right) People in queue at a vaccination centre in Ahmedabad NIRMAL HARINDRAN beingextendedbyoneweek,” Kejriwal said in a tweet. The ongoing lockdown that was scheduled to conclude at 5 am on May 3,now stands extended for another week. 12 die in Delhi hospital; irate HC tells Centre: ‘Enough is enough’ Everything falls on my shoulders, says SII CEO SERUM INSTITUTE of India CEO Adar Poonwalla on Saturday spoke out about the pressures he was under over the production of Covid-19 vaccines to meet the ever-increasing demand in India as the country battles through a devastating secondwave of the coronavirus pandemic. In his first comments Continued on Page 11 ANI since he was provided with ‘Y' category security by the Indian government earlier this week, Poonawalla told ‘The Times’in an interview about receiving aggressive calls from some of the most powerful people in India, demanding supplies of Covishield that the Serum Institute is producing in India. TWELVE PATIENTS at Delhi’s Batra Hospital, including a seniordoctor,diedonSaturday andatleasttwootherhospitals reported precipitous drops in their oxygen stocks, as the Delhi High Court stepped in and directed the Centre to providethecitywithoxygentoday itself or face contempt. With the death of the 12 patients in the south Delhi hospital — which announced at 12.30 pm that it had run out of oxygen — the number of hospi- tal patients who have lost their livesinthedeepeningcrisisinthe lasteightdayshasgoneupto57. “Water has gone above the head. Now we mean business. Enough is enough, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said and asked the Centre to supply 490 metric tonnes of allocated oxygen to the national capital on Saturdayitselforfacecontempt.“Do you meanwewill shut oureyes to people dying in Delhi,” the bench asked. ■ Page 3 Apple Vs Epic Games trial threatens to reveal App Store’s commission bounty ● Apple asks US judge to close the courtroom when Epic calls on an expert witness MALATHI NAYAK & MARK GURMAN San Francisco/Los Angeles, May 1 APPLE’S APP STORE has long been touted as a growth engine. Now, the world’s most valuable company is fighting in US court to not reveal in public just how lucrative it is. In a trial scheduled to start Monday, Epic Games is alleging that the iPhone maker’s 30% commission on app sales is a violation of antitrust law, cheating developers and consumers.Epic’s long-odds gambit to gain free access to the App Store,which has garnered support from mom-and-pop developers and giants like Microsoft, comes amid increasing global regulatory scrutinyofApple’sdomination of software on its ubiquitous phones. On Friday, the European Union issued a warning over the App store, saying it thinksApple abused its power. Apple has asked the judge in Californiato closethe courtroom when Epic calls on an expert witness to discuss the “thepurported‘profitability’of the App Store on a standalone basis.“Applesaid ina filinglate Wednesdaythat it isn’t object- TRUST DEFICIT In a trial scheduled to start Monday, Epic Games is alleging that the iPhone maker’s 30% commission on app sales is a violation of antitrust law, cheating developers and consumers Apple said in a filing it is “concerned that analysts, investors, reporters, and others in the marketplace could misinterpret the public disclosure of non-public, unaudited financial information The European Union issued a warning over the App store, saying it thinks Apple abused its power ing to the court considering such evidence brought byEpic, butis“concernedthatanalysts, investors,reporters,andothers in the marketplace could misinterpret the public disclosure of non-public, unaudited financial information.” Until now, the legal argument that the App Store amounts to a monopoly has rested in part on numerical guesswork.Apple says it can’t quantifythe store’s profit margins that Epic,the maker of the Fortnitegame,hascalled“extraordinarily high.” One of Apple’s executivestestifiedwhilebeing grilled in Congress this month that the company doesn’t report sales of individual business units, instead disclosing company-widerevenuefigures in linewith accounting rules. “As a result of Apple’s general philosophy that its products and services are part of an ecosystem, Apple views the New Delhi value of all of its products and services as awhole,”chief executive officerTim Cook said in a court filing. “Thus, Apple’s business is not structured that way that allows a person to push a button and obtain an App Store” profit and loss statement. US district judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland is expected to hear nearly three weeks of testimony from executives and economists without a jury. Continued on Page 11
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