OPINION, P6 COMPANIES, P4 V SUBRAMANIAN & S KRISHNASWAMY Instead of RPOs, discoms should now have power decarbonisation targets INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL CRASH REPORT MONETARY POLICY Review of Covishield dose gap good, vax decisions must follow sound science Gautam Adani loses $9 bn in three days in worst wealth rout US Fed is about to shift gears; this time it may be different NEW DELHI, FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 93, 28 PAGES, `8.00 (PATNA `8.00, RAIPUR `8.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 52,323.33 ▼ 178.65 NIFTY: 15,691.40 ▼ 76.15 NIKKEI 225: 29,018.33 ▼ 272.68 HANG SENG: 28,558.59 ▲ 121.75 `/$: 74.08 ▼ 0.75 `/€: 88.53 ▲ 0.38 BRENT: $73.83 ▼ $0.56 GOLD: `47,393 ▼ `824 IN THE NEWS Pradhan: No plan to undermine Bengal SAIL units UNION STEEL MINISTER Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday rebutted West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra’s charge that the Centre was trying to undermine SAIL's two units — Durgapur steel plant and Burnpur steel plant — in the state by dismantling the raw material division in Kolkata, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Global funds invest in Acme Solar Raj project ACME SOLAR SAID on Thursday that it has signed an agreement with Danish investment firm IFU and UN’s operational arm UNOPS S3i for developing 250 MW solar power generation assets in Rajasthan, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Acme Solar said “the total value of the project is the equivalent of just under $200 million”. Microsoft names CEO Nadella as chairman MICROSOFT'S CEO SATYA Nadella has been appointed as the technology giant's new chairman, an additional role in which he will “lead the work to set the agenda for the board”, reports PTI. ● FRANC TALK Indians' funds in Swiss banks rise to over `20,000 crore PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi/Zurich, June 17 FUNDS PARKED BY Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks,includingviaIndia-based branches and other financial institutions,jumpedto2.55billion Swiss francs (over `20,700 crore) in 2020 on a sharp surge in holdings via securities and similar instruments, though customer deposits fell, annual data from Switzerland’s central bank showed onThursday. The increase in aggregate funds of Indian clients with Swiss banks, from 899 million Swiss francs (`6,625 crore) at theendof2019,reversesatwoyear declining trend and has taken the figure to the highest level in 13 years. It stood at a recordhighofnearly6.5billion Swiss francs in 2006, after which it has been mostly on a downward path, except for a few years including in 2011, 2013and2017,aspertheSwiss National Bank (SNB) data. These are official figures reported by banks to the SNB and do not indicate the quantum of the much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland. Continued on Page 2 AN ESTIMATE ● NO RENEWAL Govt’s bad bank guarantee seen costing `31k cr Though banks will EXTRA COMFORT Bankers say ■ IBA infuse capital into any govt zeroes in on proposed entity, govt guarantee on SRs consultants issued by the bad to set up is expected to give bank will boost NARCL and guarantee on the resolution an AMC security receipts SBI Cap and Oliver Wyman may be roped issued by the body THE INDIAN BANKS’Association (IBA) has estimated that the government may have to fork out not more than `30,600 crore if it offers guarantee on the security receipts (SRs) issued by the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL) while acquiring bad loans from lenders, a top banker told FE. “The prospects of recovery from some of the bad loans look promising. So, government guarantee on SRs, subject to its approval, may not cost more than this amount. Details are being worked out by the IBA, and NARCL will be operationalised soon,”he said. Although the Union gov- SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, June 17 ernment backed the setting up of NARCL, it wouldn’t infuse capital into it; instead, participating bankswould put in the equity. THE GOVERNMENT IS understood to have not renewed a long-term agreement (LTA) for supplying iron ore to Japanese steel mills and South Korean major Posco upon its March expiry,apparentlyinviewofthe uncertainty over investment plans of steel mills from these countries in India. Shortage of the key raw material for steelmaking in India is also seen to be a reason for the decision. Iron ore supply agreements withKoreaandJapanhavebeen in existence for around six decades;thesegotreneweduninterruptedlyas NewDelhi’s goodwill gesture to the two Asian countries. The Union cabinet last renewed the contract on April25,2018;thecontractwas effective till March 31,2021. State-owned miner NMDC, whichsuppliesironoretoJapan and Korea, has not dispatched any material to these countries so far in the current fiscal, sourcessaid.JapanandKoreaare theonlytwogeographieswhere NMDC exports the key steelmaking raw material while the rest is consumeddomestically. Continued on Page 2 Andhra’s solar plans hit HC roadblock Court cancels state’s 6,400 MW auctions ruling on Tata Power’s plea ANUPAM CHATTERJEE New Delhi, June 17 NTPC,Adani,Torrent Power among the winners in February auctions HC allows fresh auctions aligned with statutory norms Tender provisions of a novel dispute resolution body under state govt challenged by Tata Power New auctions likely to find higher tariffs with rise in solar equipment cost Continued on Page 2 in for advisory services, and E&Y for tax matters BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, June 17 India ends decades-old iron ore export pacts with Japan, Korea SUN SET ■ AZB may be hired for legal matters and AON for HR services ■ Banks have identified 22 NPA accounts worth `89,000 crore for transfer to NARCL in the first phase THE ANDHRA PRADESH High Courthascancelledtheauctions heldbythestategovernmentin February for creation of 6,400 MWsolarpowercapacity,denting the coastal state’s ambition toreducepowertariffsbybuilding low-cost renewable energy units.Ruling on a petition filed by Tata Power Renewable Energy, the court stated the whole tendering and auction process‘substantially deviated’ from the provisions of the ElectricityAct,2003,and the guide- lines forcompetitive bidding. The court allowed the state to invite fresh bids to build the capacity,afteraligning the bidding conditions with the Act andtherelevantterms.Analysts CCI PROBE Flipkart, Amazon knock on division bench’s door against HC’s order ASMITA DEY New Delhi, June 17 FLIPKARTAND AMAZON have movedthedivisionbenchofthe KarnatakaHighCourtchallenging the order of its single judge whichallowedtheCompetition Commission of India (CCI) to conductaprobeintoallegations that the e-commerce majors indulged in anti-competitive practices,predatorypricingand accordedpreferentialtreatment to some sellers. “Flipkartfileditspetitionon Wednesday,whileAmazonfiled itonThursday.Bothareseparate appeals. The bench is likely to take up the matter on Friday,” a JANUARY 2020 CCI directs DG to probe Amazon & Flipkart following a plea by DVM FEBRUARY 2020 Amazon moves Karnataka HC seeking stay on the probe; Court grants interim stay JUNE 2021 Single judge of Karnataka HC allows CCI to resume probe SEPTEMBER 2020 CCI files appeal in the SC against the interim stay order issued by Karnataka HC; hearing on the matter recommences in the HC following the development source aware of the developmenttoldFE.FlipkartandAmazondidn’t comment. The case saw several hearings and submissions made by thepartiesconcernedbeforethe single judge dismissed the plea of the e-commerce players last week,givingCCIthego-aheadto launch a probe against them. Continued on Page 2 QuickPicks HDFC Bank: Awaiting RBI directions on restrictions HDFC BANK is hoping the RBI will lift restrictions imposed on it for acquiring new customers, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. The country's largest private lender said on Thursday it was awaiting directions from the regulator on the temporary halt on acquiring new credit card customers as also digital launches. Chief information officer Ramesh Lakshminarayanan said the bank was hopeful they would be lifted soon. PAGE 9 Xiaomi tops second-hand smartphone market XIAOMI RETAINS its leadership position in the second-hand smartphone market with a 26% market share followed by Apple, which has a 20% share, reports Kiran Rathee in New Delhi. As per insights shared by Cashify, a used-smartphone marketplace, in 2020 due to Covid-19 induced lockdowns which led people to work from home and students attending classes through online mode, demand for smartphones increased. PAGE 4 SKILLED TALENT ‘Indian IT sector continues to be net hirer’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, June 17 IT INDUSTRY BODY Nasscom on Thursday said the sector continues to beanethirerofskilledtalent,andthat the top 5 Indian IT companies are planning to add over96,000 employees in 2021-22.The statement comes in the backdrop of a report by Bank of America that said domestic software firms are set to slash 3 million jobs by 2022asautomationgainspaceacross industries,especiallyinthetechspace. “With the evolution of technology and increasing automation, the natureoftraditionalITjobsand roles willevolveoverall leading tocreation ofnewerjobs.Theindustrycontinues + - Nasscom says top 5 Indian IT firms planning to add over In contrast, a BofA report says domestic IT firms to slash employees in 2021-22 jobs by 2022 96,000 3 million to be a net hirer of skilled talent, adding 1,38,000 people in FY21,” Nasscom said in a statement. It assertedthatplayershaverobusthiring plans for2021-22with the top 5 IndianITcompaniesplanningtoadd over 96,000 employees. “The industry is upskilling more than 250,000 employees in digital skillsandhashiredmorethan40,000 fresh digitally-trained talent,indicating at its commitment and investment towards rapid enhancement of workforce capabilities...With one of thestrongestdealpipeline,thesectoris ontracktomeetitsvisionof$300-350 billionrevenuesby2025,” it said. It added that the industry will continue to be a net creator of jobs and is“committed to people-centric innovation, relentless talent focus”, and delivering a superior transformative customer experience. Continued on Page 2 New Delhi feel that the new auctions, if any,will likely discover higher tariffs due to rise in price of solar modules and upcoming import restrictions which will drive up equipment costs. This is for the second time the state’s solar power plans hit thejudicialhurdle.Immediately after assuming power in 2019, theYSJaganMohanReddygovernment had sought to revise the solar and wind power purchaseagreementssignedbythe previous government, saying these were“abnormally priced” and might have been linked with“mala fide intentions”. Continued on Page 2
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