COMPANIES, P4 MARKETS, P6 LONG JUMP JSW Steel reports highest-ever profit at `4,198 cr in Q4 INTERNATIONAL, P8 JET SET GO POOLING IN CAPITAL EPIC BATTLE IndiGo selects CFM engines for 310 new aircraft to power up Airbus fleet Sebi doubles overseas investment limit ofAIFs, VC funds to $1.5 bn Apple brings CEO Tim Cook to court in defence of app store NEW DELHI, SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 70, 14 PAGES, `10.00 (PATNA `10.00, RAIPUR `9.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 50,540.48 ▲ 975.62 NIFTY: 15,175.30 ▲ 269.25 NIKKEI 225: 28,317.83 ▲ 219.58 HANG SENG: 28,458.44 ▲ 8.15 `/$: 72.84 ▲ 0.27 `/€: 89.06 ▲ 0.03 BRENT: $66.09 ▲ $0.98 GOLD: `48,425 ▼ `119 IN THE NEWS Second tranche: RBI sets gold bond issue price at `4,842/g THE ISSUE price for the second tranche of the sovereign gold bond issue has been fixed at `4,842 per g, the Reserve Bank of India said on Friday, reports PTI. The Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2021-22 - Series II, or the second tranche, will be open for subscription from May 24 to 28. KG basin: HC stays ONGC tender on natural gas THE DELHI High Court has put on hold state-run ONGC's notice inviting tender (NIT) and the consequent e-auction with regard to sale of natural gas from its block in the KrishnaGodavari (KG) basin in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, reports PTI. Forex reserves near record high at $590.028 bn THE COUNTRY'S foreign exchange reserves rose by $563 million to reach $590.028 billion in the week ended May 14, RBI data showed on Friday, reports PTI. The reserves had hit a lifetime high of $590.185 billion in the week ended January 29, 2021. Special Feature `99K-CR BOOSTER Bumper dividend for govt from RBI SHRITAMA BOSE Mumbai, May 21 THE RESERVE BANK of India (RBI) on Friday said it will transfer a surplus of `99,122 crore to the government for the nine-month period ended March31,2021,73.5%higher than the `57,128 crore transferred for 2019-20. With the change in the central bank’s accounting year to April-March from July-June earlier, its board discussed its functioning during the transition period of nine months (July 2020-March 2021) and approved the annualreportandaccountsfor the transition period. “The Board in its meeting reviewed the current economic situation, global and domestic challenges and recent policy measures taken by the Reserve Bank to mitigate the adverse impact of the second wave of Govt had budgeted a total `1L-cr earnings byway of total dividend from RBI and public-sector enterprises in FY22 The quantum of RBI’s surplus transfer to likely ensure the government exceeds its revenue target under this head Higher surplus transfer to offer a buffer to the Centre to absorb losses in indirect tax revenues anticipated in May-June 2021, say experts Covid-19 on the economy,”the RBIsaidinarelease.Thecentral board decided to maintain the contingencyriskbufferat5.5%. Continued on Page 2 Farmers seek resumption of talks with govt EVEN AS farmers’ protest against new laws governing agriculture marketing is set to complete six months, union leaders have urged prime minister Narendra Modi to resume the process of dialogue while reiterating theirdemandforrepealofthe three contentious laws and enactment of a new legislation to guarantee purchases of crops at minimum support prices (MSPs), reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. ■ Report on Page 3 MAKE IN INDIA? Half of manufacturing jobs lost in five years Shift towards agriculture as real estate, non-financial services also fail to generate jobs WHILE THE EMPLOYMENT scenario in the country has turnedbleakeroflateduetothe pandemic after a brief spell of moderate recovery from the fathomshitinMay2020,manufacturing,which has ostensibly received a lot of policy attention, has been losing out toothersectorsandthemostto agriculture as job creator over the past fewyears. According to an analysis by the Centre for Economic Data and Analysis (CEDA) based on the CMIE monthly time-series of employment by industry, manufacturingemploymentin 2020-21wasnearlyhalfofwhat itwasfiveyearsago.Thedecline was particularly sharper in 2020-21 owing to the pandemic—onayear-on-yearbasis, thesectoremployed32%fewer people in 2020-21 over 201920. Real estate & construction How Covid-19 hit the Indian auto sector The government can support the sector by taking steps towards helping reduce the cost of raw materials. ■ Motobahn, P7 QuickPicks Capex of petroleum CPSEs increases 25% in April EARLY INDICATIONS of capex performance by the most significant central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) in the energy sector indicate they made good start in 2021-22, reports Prasanta Sahu in New Delhi. Among them, a dozen CPSEs in the oil and gas sector recorded a capex of `5,610 crore in April, an increase of 25% over `4,475 crore reported in the corresponding month a year ago. These CPSEs achieved 5.4% of their FY22 capex target in April. PAGE 2 JIL: CoC rejected NBCC revised bid over proposal related to DFCs THE COMMITTEE of creditors (CoC) of Jaypee Infratech (JIL) rejected the revised bid of NBCC on Thursday as a major contention was the state-run firm’s proposal for paying liquidation value to dissenting financial creditors (DFCs) through enforcement of security interest, which sources said is not compliant with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The revised bids were submitted by both the resolution applicants on May 18. PAGE 4 Women just 23% of new EPF subscribers in 2020-21 THE NUMBER of women among new subscribers joining the social security scheme run by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) continued to languish at 23% in 2020-21, the same level as the previous fiscal, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. As per EPFO’s the latest payroll data, of the 85 lakh new subscribers’ addition in the 2020-21 fiscal, 19 lakh comprised women. In 2019-20, of the 110 lakh new additions to the EPFO’s subscribers’ base, 25 lakh were women. PAGE 2 50,750 50,540.48 Sensex Intra-day, May 21 50,000 `/$ 72.80 72.87 72.94 49,833.98 Previous close: 49,564.86 Open Intra-day, May 21 Inverted scale Close 72.84 72.97 Bank Nifty Intra-day, May 21 34,900 Previous 34,600 close: 34,300 33,334.55 73.01 73.08 33,700 34,606.90 34,000 Previous close: 73.11 73.15 Close Open 33,400 33,559.80 Close Open ● CONG TOOLKIT TWEETS Govt to Twitter: Remove ‘manipulated media’ tag FE BUREAU New Delhi, May 21 THE GOVERNMENT AND microbloggingsiteTwitterseem to be headed for a second confrontation,with the ministryof electronics and IT (MeitY) writing to the latter to remove the ‘manipulated media’ tag for tweets on an alleged Congress toolkitusedtotargettheCentre overits Covid-19 handling. According to sources, the government has asked Twitter Non-financial services 131.31 100 80 136.34 Real estate & construction 69.1 53.7 51 0 Manufacturing 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Agricultural employment Agriculture 27.39 2019-20 No. of people employed (in million) Linear (Agriculture) 155 150 2020-21 151.8 145.7 143.8 145 143.4 2017-18 2018-19 145.9 140 135 2016-17 2019-20 2020-21 Source: CEDA-CMIE Bulletin also also saw big fall in its share inemploymentin2020-21(see chart)andaseculardeclineover the five-years to 2020-21. Whiletherehasbeenasecular fall in manufacturing employment across all sub-sectors, except chemical industries, all sub-sectorsregisteredalongerterm drop.From employing 51 million people in 2016-17, employment in manufacturing,which accounts for17% of the country’s GDP, declined by 46% to reach 27.3 million in 2020-21, reflecting the severity of the employment crisis caused bythe pandemic. Continued on Page 2 SC: Banks can invoke personal guarantee INDU BHAN New Delhi, May 21 IN A MAJOR SETBACK to big industrialists, including Anil Ambani, Sanjay Singhal,Venugopal Dhoot and Atul Punj, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the government’s move to allow lenders to initiate insolvency proceedings against personal guarantors, usually promoters and the top brass of debt-laden companies. The judgment assumes significance as it will now provide the much-needed teeth to lenders to simultaneously invoke personal guarantees of promoters even while bankruptcy proceedings against the ailing firms are pending, thus speeding up the process for recoveryof dues.Upholding the government’s November 15, 2019, notification allowing banksandfinancialinstitutions to move against personal guar- to remove the tag as the matter ispendingbeforealawenforcement agency, and so, it wasn’t properforthesocialmediaplatformtopassjudgmentwhenthe issuewas underinvestigation. “Whilethelocallawenforcementagencyisundertakingthe investigation to determine the veracity of the toolkit, Twitter hasunilaterallydrawnaconclusion in the matter and arbitrarilytaggedit‘manipulatedmedia’. Continued on Page 2 Lenders can now invoke personal guarantees ofpromoters alongwith bankruptcy proceedings against corporate debtors for recovery ofdues ■ Approval ofa resolution plan does not mean discharge of liabilities of personal guarantors ■ Two separate insolvency processes would facilitate CoC in framing realistic plans, realising dues ■ AnilAmbani, KapilWadhawan, Atul Punj,Venugopal Dhoot and others had challenged Nov 2019 notification on initiation ofbankruptcy proceedings against them antors of firms facing insolvency, a Bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhatheld“theimpugnednotificationislegalandvalid. Continued on Page 2 SBI profit zooms 80% to `6,451 cr in Q4 STATEBANKofIndia(SBI)on Fridayreportedan80%y-o-y increase in its net profit during the March quarter (Q4FY21)to`6,451crore on thebackofhealthygrowthin interest income, improved assetqualityandlowerprovi- sioning,reportsfeBureauin Mumbai. The lender’s net interest income (NII) grew 19% y-o-y to `27,067 crore. On the back of this, SBI’s operatingprofitrose7%y-oy and 14% sequentially to `19,700 crore. ■ Page 6 A LONG SHOT Centre & Pfizer at loggerheads over vaccine indemnity demand Govt grants licence to 5 firms to make black fungus drug NEHAARORA & CARL O'DONNELL New Delhi/New York, May 21 50,250 49,500 120 151.79 Agriculture 20 Markets make merry, rupee rallies 49,750 145.66 140 40 SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, May 21 AGENCIES 50,500 160 No. of people employed (in million) 60 Fabulous Friday Benchmark indices rallied on Friday as financial stocks jumped after State Bank of India's (SBI) quarterly earnings, with the sentiment aided by a fall in daily Covid-19 infections. A strong recovery in the rupee and positive global cues added to the buying momentum. Sensex advanced 975.62 points or 1.97% to finish at 50,540.48, while Nifty soared 269.25 points or 1.81% to close at 15,175.30. The rupee ,too, rose to an eight-week high against the dollar, tracking positive domestic equities and upbeat Asian peers. Industry INSOLVENCY PFIZER AND THE Union government are at loggerheads overa demand bythe US drugmaker for legal protection from any claims linked to the use of its Covid-19 vaccine in one of theworld’s biggest markets,two sources told Reuters. India has not given any manufacturer of a Covid-19 vaccine indemnity against the costs of compensation for any severe side effects, which is a condition Pfizer has obtained in many countries where its shots have alreadybeenwidely rolled out, including Britain and the US. “The whole problem with Pfizer is the indemnity bond. Why should we sign it?” a government source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. FE BUREAU Pune, May 21 Adoctor performs diagnostic nasal endoscopy on a patient to detect black fungus at a government-run hospital in Hyderabad “If something happens, a patient dies,wewill not be able to question them (Pfizer). If somebody challenges in a court of law, the central governmentwillberesponsiblefor everything, not the company,” the source added. Pfizerand the Union health ministry did not reply to Reuters requests forcomment on Friday. The second source said Pfizer was not going to change its position on the indemnity issue. Continued on Page 2 Govt explores possibility of making Covaxin outside India Ending pandemic possible at cost of $50 billion, says IMF TO ADDRESS the shortage of Covid-19 jabs in the country, the government is exploring the possibility of boosting production of vaccines, including identifying manufacturing sites for indigenouslydeveloped Covaxin outside India, sources said,reports PTI.It also intends to take up the matterwith theWHO. ■ Page 2 THE INTERNATIONALMonetaryFund (IMF) on Friday unveiled a $50-billion proposal to end the Covid-19 pandemic by vaccinating at least 40% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60% by the first half of 2022, reports Reuters. ■ Page 8 WITH THE INCIDENCE of black fungus cases rising across the countryand patients facing a shortage of Amphotericin-B drug used to treat the disease,the governmenton Friday announced that five more manufacturers were being given the license to manufacture the drug. This is in addition to ramping up of production at the existing five manufacturers so that supply and availability of Amphotericin-B could be improved. These five companies to get the license are NATCO Pharmaceuticals, Hyderabad,Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Vadodara, Gufic Biosciences, Gujarat, Emcure Pharmaceuticals,Pune and Lyka,Gujarat. There are five existing manufacturersofAmphotericin-Bin thecountry—BharatSerums& Vaccines,BDRPharmaceuticals, SunPharma,CiplaandLifeCare Innovations.Inadditiontothis, there is Mylan Labs,which only importsthis drug. ■ Full report on Page 2 ● MUSK-SPEAK BYPASSING INDIAN LAW US defended Amazon after alleged antitrust acts Tesla eyeing Russia as a potential production hub REUTERS New Delhi, May 21 REUTERS Moscow, May 21 US OFFICIALS RUSHED to defend Amazon’s business practices in India afterReuters reported in February that the companyhad favoured certain sellers on its website and bypassed local law that requires foreign e-commerce companies to treat all vendors equally, documents obtained by the news agency show. Emails obtained through the US Freedom of Informa- Emails showed US officials prepared a note for John Kerry, a top envoy of President Joe Biden, about the February 17 Reuters report The Reuters report, based on internal Amazon documents, revealed it has for years given preferential treatment to a small group of sellers on its India platform tion Act from the Office of the United StatesTrade Representative (USTR) showed that US The note said India's antitrust watchdog had reviewed many such allegations against US e-commerce companies and found nothing wrong officials prepared a note for John Kerry,a top envoyof President Joe Biden,about the Feb- ruary 17 Reuters report. The note, contained in an email dated February 18, said India’s antitrustwatchdog had reviewed many such allegations against US e-commerce companies and found nothing wrong. Biden’s envoy, former US Secretary of State Kerry, is in charge of climate change policy. He was scheduled to speak that day with commerce minister Piyush Goyal. Continued on Page 2 ELON MUSK SAID on Friday Teslawas close to establishing a presenceinRussiaandwaslookingatwhetheritcouldopenfactoriesthere.Addressinganevent in Russia via video link, Tesla boss Musk said the company already had production sites in China and the US,butwas lookingatopeningproductionfacilities in otherparts of theworld. He also called for dialogue between Washington and New Delhi Moscow at a time when their ties are languishing at postColdWarlows.“There is a lot of talent and energy in Russia and I think there should be more dialogue and communication between Russia and the US,”Musk said.
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.