OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL STALLED PROJECTS PENALTY SETBACK SWAMIH Fund to benefit 1.16 lakh homebuyers, says Sitharaman Jack Ma-led Alibaba records first quarterly operating loss since IPO IT hardware PLI scheme needs to get much more attractive AI has emerged as a significant tool for Covid response, need to build on AI adoption for future health NEW DELHI, FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 63, 14 PAGES, `6.00 (PATNA `6.00, RAIPUR `7.00) 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*: 48,690.80 ▼ 471.01 NIFTY*: 14,696.50 ▼ 154.25 NIKKEI 225: 27,448.01 ▼ 699.50 HANG SENG: 27,718.67 ▼ 512.37 `/$*: 73.43 ▼ 0.08 `/€: 88.75 ▲ 0.35 BRENT: $67.36 ▼ $1.96 GOLD FUTURE: `47,367 ▼ `115 *Prv close Sputnik V (DRL) 55 15.6 Nasal vaccine (SSI-Novavax) 20 Nasal Vaccine (Bharat Biotech) 10 rDNA vaccine (Bio E) ZyCoV-D (Zydus Cadila) mRNA vaccine (Gennova) 30 PANDEMIC HUES 6 People stand in a queue (top right) outside a college for vaccine dose in Prayagraj; an aircraft from Germany carrying 176 ventilators, 324 oxygen cylinders from Finland and 10 oxygen cylinders from Greece arrives at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi (top left); people buying sweets on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr at a market in Gurgaon on Thursday 6 Centre defended the policy in theapexcourt,satingitwasnot only“just and non-discriminatory” but would enure that all citizens have the option of gettingtheirshotsfree,uniformity inpricingforthestatesandthat the vaccine manufacturers do not unduly enrich themselves out of public money. It, however, is reluctant to invoke compulsory licensing provision under the Patents Act to allowmore local companies to start manufacturing the two vaccines — Covaxin andCovishield—alreadyavailable in the country. Continued on Page 2 DCGI approves Covaxin for phase 2/3 trials on children PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, May 13 INDIA'S APEX DRUG regulator hasgrantedpermissionforconducting the phase II/III clinical trialofBharatBiotech’sCovaxin intheagegroupof2to18years, the Union health ministry said on Thursday. The trial will be conducted on 525 healthy volunteers.“The National Regulator of the country, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), after careful examination, has accepted the recom- SC: Give ration, 2 free meals/day to migrant workers mendation of Subject Expert Committee (SEC) and accorded permission to conduct the Phase II/III clinical trial of Covaxin (COVID vaccine) in the age group2to18years,toitsmanufacturerBharat Biotech on May 12,” the ministrysaid. BharatBiotechhadproposed to carry out the clinical trial in theagegroupof2to18years.In thetrial,thevaccinewillbegiven by intramuscular route in two doses at day0 and day28. THE SUPREME COURT on Thursday asked the Centre, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments to provide dry ration and two meals a day to migrant workers hitbylockdown,andfacilititate their transport in the NCR, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The apex court asked the Centre and the two states and the UT to provide dry ration to migrantworkers in NCR under its Atma NirbharBharatSchemeor any other scheme utilising the PDS prevalent in each state with effect from May 2021. While providing dry ration, the state authorities should not insist on an identity card for those who do not have it. ■ Page 2 Continued on Page 2 Gold Funds Optimise your gold purchase Eli Lilly inks pacts for Baricitinib with Torrent Pharma, DRL and MSN Labs Gap between two doses of Covishield extended to 12-16 weeks from 6-8 weeks Most savvy investors go for digital gold, gold ETFs, gold funds and Sovereign Gold Bonds, which can be bought online ■ Personal Finance, P7 ELILILLYONThursdaysaidit hasinkedvoluntarylicensing agreements with three Indian drug firms — Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy’s and MSN Laboratories — to expediteavailabilityofBaric- THE CENTRE ON Thursday defended the decision to raise the interval between two Covishieldvaccine doses from the currentsixtoeightweeksto12 to16weeks,reportsPTI.There is, however, no change in the THE MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT on Thursday extendedthelockdown-likerestrictions in the state till June 1 to break the chain of Covid. Chief secretary Sitaram Kunte in an ordersaid the curbswill remain in force till 7amon June 1. As per the order, additional restrictions include mandatory negative RT-PCR test report for anypersonenteringthestateby any mode of transport.The test report will have to be issued within48hoursbeforethetime ofentryintothestate.Allrestrictions enforced as per earlier orders for people arriving from places of “sensitive origin”will beapplicabletoanyonearriving from any part of the country into the state,the ordersaid. In case of cargo carriers,not Continued on Page 2 INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS New mechanism in the works to aid exporters Indian companies slow to reshuffle boards: IiAS BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, May 13 WHILE INDIAN COMPANIES understand that they need to refresh their boards to meet the regulatory timelines, the pace of board refreshment continues to remainslow,InstitutionalInvestor AdvisoryServices (IiAS) has said in its latest study on the board compositionofNifty500companiesas on December 31,2020. The advisory firm has noted that a balance needs to be struck between board refreshment and board stability; yet Indian boards seem hesitant to let go of their tenured independent directors (IDs). “In this environment, though, the Tata Group has decided that none of its listed companies will While exporters have to bear interest costs, such a move could help them tide over current liquidity crunch Commerce ministry could soon submit a proposal on this with finance ministry for approval proposal, among others, and help resolve the issue at the earliest, said a source present in the meeting.Thecommerceministrycouldsoonfirmupaformal proposal to this effect and submit it with the finance ministryforclearance. 14 PSU Promoter owned haveanindependent directorwith atenureinexcessof10years–well ahead of the 2024 regulatory deadline. Corporate India needs more of such progressive thinking,”it has said. Board composition in India is driven by regulations — depending upon the chairperson, boards maycomprise one-third or half as independent directors. Globally though, the practice is to have at least half the board comprise independent directors, IiAS has said. According to its findings, the total number of IDs have decreased in 2020 compared to QuickPicks Intense bidding for KG-D6 gas in e-auction RELIANCE JIO topped the 4G speed chart with data download rate of 20.1 megabit per second, while Vodafone was ahead of others in upload speed at 6.7 Mbps in April, according to the latest data from Trai, reports PTI. Jio has almost three times higher download speed compared to its closest competitor Vodafone. 2,494 2018 2019 2020 December 31 Source: IiAS Research, PRIME Database Group Continued on Page 2 Jio tops in 4G download speed,Voda in upload 2,396 MNCs * 2,249 66 12 Non-executive directors* Trend over 3 years Independent directors (%) Executive directors* 231 8 Director mix 299 Banks could then be asked to lend to exporters against the undertaking at the repo rate Institutionally controlled & widely-held Nature of directorships of Nifty 500 companies on December 31, 2020 Others Government may give an undertaking to exporters against their MEIS entitlement of tens of thousands of crores Nifty 500 composition by ownership on Dec 31, 2020 Nominees THE COMMERCE MINISTRY is weighing a mechanism to help cash-strapped exporters, who have been awaiting the release of benefits worth tens of thousands of crores under a key official scheme, tide over the current Covidinduced liquidity crunch. As per the mechanism being explored,the government could give an undertaking to exporters against their entitlement under the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS). Banks could then be impressed upon to lend to exporters (up to theentitlement) against the undertaking at the repo rate of just 6%.While exporters have to bear the interest costs,such a move will help them cope with the liquiditywoes until the government finally clears the dues, sources told FE. The issue of MEIS dueswas raised by export bodies at a meeting chaired by commerceandindustryministerPiyush Goyal on Tuesday. Goyal asked senior officials of his ministry to explore the Relief plan FE BUREAU New Delhi, May 13 563 VEDANTA ON THURSDAY reported a consolidated profit of `6,432 crore for the March quarter on the back of various factors, including better volumesandlowercostofproduction.Ithadpostedaloss(attributable to owners ofVedanta) of `12,521 crore ayearago. The company’s income increased to `29,065 crore from `20,382 crore in the same period a year ago. Vedanta Group CEO Sunil Duggal said the company’s businesses delivered a record operational performance, maintaining the trajectory of cost and volumes, driven by structural integration and technology adoption. “Our businesses have shown resilience in uncertain market environment as we continue with our winning streak, reporting the highest ever quarterly Ebitda. We are fully supporting our employees, partners, and communities to navigate through these toughtimes.Wearewellonour path to execute on strategic priorities to maximise value for stakeholders,”he added. Revenue stood at `27,874 crore,higher24% quarter-onquarterand 43%year-on-year primarily due to higher volume at aluminium business, Zinc India and iron ore businesses, among others, the company said. more than two people will be allowed to travel in those vehicles.If the carriers are originating from outside Maharashtra,they will be allowed with a negative RT-PCR report issued within48hoursbeforethetime ofentryintothestateandwillbe valid forseven days,it said. The lockdown-like curbs were earlier imposed in the state onApril 5.The curbswere further tightened on April 15 with Section 144 of the CrPc, banning assembly of five or more people at one place, imposed in theentire state. As per the latest order, the Local DisasterManagementAuthority (DMA) will keep a special vigil on rural markets and APMCs (agriculture produce market committees) to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour. 2,249 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, May 13 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, May 13 Promoters Vedanta posts profit of `6,432 cr CASH CRUNCH dosage interval for Covaxin. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization also suggested that those who have tested positive should get the vaccine six months afterrecovery. ■ Page 2 Lockdown-like curbs in Maha till June 1 now ID ● Q4 EARNINGS itinib for treatment of Covid patientsinIndia,reportsPTI. The company has issued additional royalty-free, nonexclusivevoluntarylicencesto the three firms forBaricitinib collaboration. ■ Page 4 BREAK THE CHAIN 508 Digital gold Gold ETFs Covaxin (Bharat Biotech) 709 Special Feature 75 Promoter family A SPECIAL COURT has issued a public notice to fugitive Nirav Modi, wanted in India in the PNB scam case, asking why his properties should not be confiscated under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, reports PTI. THE CENTRE ONThursdaycameoutwithamuch-awaiteddefinitive calender for Covid-19 vaccination,whichindicatedthattheavailabilityoftheprophylactics would rise manifold by August,withsuppliesflowingin frommultipledomesticsources andimports.Aplannedstepping up of production by the two domestic manufacturers — Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech — and start of domestic manufacturing of Russian vaccine Sputnik V by Julywouldensurethat216crore doses would available in the country in the August-December period, VK Paul, memberhealth,NITIAayog,said. He said the country would liberally and quickly allow importsofanyvaccineapproved bytheWHO/USFDA,andadded that a limited Sputnik V consignment has already arrived and would hit the domestic market ‘next week’. “Vaccines would be available to all as we move forward,” he asserted. The Centre’s vaccine policy has been flayed by the Opposition parties and even the SupremeCourtforitsallegedlackof transparency,‘differentialpricing’ and shifting of a par of the burdenofpurchasesandcostto the states.Earlierthisweek,the Doses (crore) Covishield (SII) Professionals Nirav Modi issued show-cause notice in PNB scam case FE BUREAU Pune, May 13 JAB TARGET Likely domestic vaccine production in Aug-Dec 3,342 PRIVATE WEATHER FORECASTER Skymet on Thursday predicted that southwest monsoon would hit the Kerala coast on May 30, two days before the usual onset date, because of a possible storm in the Arabian sea, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. FDA/WHO-approved vaccine imports quick and liberal; talks on with Pfizer, Moderna and J&J Non-executive Monsoon to hit Kerala coast on May 30: Skymet Supply of 216 crore doses between Aug-Dec 1,217 PIRAMAL ENTERPRISES ON Thursday disclosed that its arm Piramal Capital and Housing Finance (PCHFL) has received a nod from the CCI to take over DHFL, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. This brings Piramal a step closer to acquire DHFL, after PCHFL’s `34,250-crore bid has already been approved by the RBI in February. COVID-19 Executive IN THE NEWS Piramal receives CCI approval for acquiring DHFL AS MANY as 14 users across sectors slugged it on a third party electronic platform for seven-andhalf hours to secure natural gas supplies from the eastern offshore KG-D6 block before the oil-tochemical unit of Reliance Industries bagged most of the supplies, sources said, reports PTI. PAGE 9 New Delhi 2019 and 2018. This reduction can mainly be attributed to the reduction in the number of IDs in PSU companies. The other reason for the decrease in IDs has been churn in the companies forming part of Nifty 500 over this period. Continued on Page 2
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