OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 RAJEEV DIMRI India must consider an early removal of the equalisation levy INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL NEW ROLE WAIVER REQUEST SC’s concern for right to privacy is seen in its insistence on independent probe of l'affaire Pegasus Govt appoints KV Kamath chairperson of `20,000-cr DFI Biden urged not to put sanctions on India over Russia missile deal AHMEDABAD, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOLUME XVI 127, 30 PAGES, `6.00 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: 61,143.33 ▼ 206.93 NIFTY: 18,210.95 ▼ 57.45 NIKKEI 225: 29,098.24 ▼ 7.77 HANG SENG: 25,628.74 ▼ 409.53 `/$: 75.03 ▼ 0.07 `/€: 86.99 ▲ 0.07 BRENT: $85.20 ▼ $1.20 GOLD: `47,697 ▼ `278 MORE THAN 90% of those covered under the sixth serological survey in Delhi have developed antibodies against coronavirus, according to a report submitted to the government on Wednesday, reports PTI. This means Delhi is unlikely to witness a Covid wave as destructive as the second one in April and May, a government official said. the actions taken by it” in the wakeoftheallegations,despite repeated persuasive remarks by the court. FUTURE RETAIL HAS asked the Delhi High Court to quash a decision by a Singapore arbitration panel that has kept the $3.4-billion sale of Future’s retail assets in limbo while the panel hears objections from Amazon. Amazon has mounted legal challenges against Future’s planned asset sale to market leader Reliance Industries since last year, accusing the company of violating certain contracts by doing so. Future denies anywrongdoing. A Singapore arbitrator last year put the Future-Reliance deal on hold,and the panel last week declined Future’s request to revoke that decision. OnWednesday,Futureasked the Delhi HC to intervene and quash the arbitrator’s decision accordingtoIndianlaw,itslegal filing seen by Reuters shows. “The Arbitral Tribunal erroneously rejected FRL’s (Future Retail) contention,” its filing stated. “FRL submits that the standardsappliedbytheArbitral Tribunal...are incorrect.” Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 ■ Doubts the Union/state govts are party to rights' deprivations of citizens ■ Mechanism for citizens to raise grievances on suspicion ofillegal surveillance oftheir devices FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 27 STATINGTHATTHE statedoesn’thaveabsolutepowertosnoop into the‘sacredprivatespace’of individuals,anditcan’tgetafree pass every time in the name of ‘nationalsecurity’,theSupreme CourtonWednesdayappointed athree-membertechnicalcommittee overseen by its former judge Justice RV Raveendran to conduct a thorough enquiry into allegations that the Centre usedIsraeli softwarePegasusto spy on a group of its citizens, including prominent journalists,activistsand politicians. The panel would also make recommendations regarding new surveillance laws/procedures or changes in the extant ones and the legal options to buttress the right to privacy, Ashok Kumar Yadav appointed Unitech’s new CEO REALTY FIRM Unitech on Wednesday said it has appointed Ashok Kumar Yadav as the CEO of the company, reports PTI. Yadav, 65, is a retired IAS officer of Haryana Cadre. Special Features We’re just in the dawn of the edge computing age: Dell Everything in the world is becoming intelligent and is now connected with 5G and low latency networks. The plot of any enterprise is to use all of that to create competitive advantage and success ■ eFE, P9 Portronics Pure Sound 101: Great listening experience Pure Sound 101 sound bar has style, power, quality and enhances the experience of watching movies, listening to music and even watching sports, and most importantly, at a great price of just `7,999 ■ Gadgets, P9 QuickPicks PNB profit soars by 78% to `1,105 crore in Sept quarter STATE-OWNED Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Wednesday reported a 78% rise in net profit to `1,105 crore for the second quarter ended on September 30 despite a fall in income, reports PTI. The country's second-largest lender had posted a net profit of `620.81 crore during the corresponding quarter a year ago. However, the bank's total income during the July-September quarter fell to `21,262.32 crore against `23,279.79 crore in the corresponding period last year, PNB said in a filing. PAGE 10 Pandemic effect: ILO raises estimate of working hours loss PROJECTING A slower recovery of the global labour market for 2021, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Wednesday upwardly revised its estimates of pandemic-induced working hours loss to an equivalent of 125 million full-time jobs compared with the June estimate of 100 million, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. At the equivalent of 125 million, the global working hours worked in the current year will be 4.3% below the pre-Covid levels (Q4 of 2019), ILO said in a report. PAGE 2 WHO seeks more data from Bharat Biotech for granting EUL THE WORLD Health Organization's (WHO) Emergency Use Licensing (EUL) for Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin has been delayed as the independent technical advisory group (TAG), which met on October 26 to consider the emergency licensing, has sought additional clarifications from the vaccine maker, reports fe Bureau in Pune. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan tweeted that TAG has asked for additional clarifications from the company. PAGE 7 ■ Independent THE COMMITTEE'S MANDATE To 'enquire, probe and determine'… Whether Pegasus was used on phones/other devices ofIndian citizens to access stored data, eavesdrop on conversations, intercept information... ■ Who all have been affected ■ What steps/actions have been taken by Union ofIndia ■ Whether Pegasus spywarewas acquired by Union ofIndia or any state govt, or any central or state agency for use against citizens the court said in a 46-page judgment. The top court’s move came as a jolt to the Union government, which, as per the court, hasn’t “taken a clear stand on procedures/change in extant ones, on surveillance & for securing improved right to privacy premier agency to probe cybersecurity vulnerabilities for threat assessment MARUTI SUZUKI INDIA, the country’s largest passengercar manufacturer, on Wednesday missed estimates on all the fronts barring revenue in its July-September earnings, as it was hit hard by the ongoing chip shortage and rising commodity prices. Net profit came in at `475 crore, down 65% on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis. Bloomberg consensus estimates had pegged the profit at `691 crore. Net sales at `19,298 crore % y-o-y Ebitda Operating margin (%) PAT 9.1 7,500 Maruti Suzuki (Intra-day on BSE, `), Oct 27 7,352.50 7,450 7,400 7,350 4.16 FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 27 55.8 10.32 615.3 bps 7,298 7,300 7,250 65.3 were up 9.1% y-o-y, while revenue increased 10% at `20,539 crore. At `855 crore, Ebitda was down 55.8% and margins came in at multi-year low of 4.2%, a decline of 615 basis points on a y-o-y basis. Thecompanysaidthequar- 7,200 7,150 Previous close: 7,296.15 Open Close terwas marked byan unprecedentedincrease in thepricesof commodities like steel, aluminium and precious metals within a span of one year. Continued on Page 2 ■ Maruti EVs only after 2025, says Bhargava, Page 4 L&T sales back to pre-Covid levels, operating PAT up 56% in Q2 INFRASTRUCTURE MAJOR Larsen & Toubro’s revenues in the first half of FY22 have reverted to pre-Covid levels on steady execution of infrastructure projects and steps taken to mitigate the productivityrisks that arose from the second wave, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. The company’s revenues for the quarter ended September 30 rose 12% to `34,773 crore,and in the first half of theyearsales rose 23%to`64,100crore.Internationalsalesduring the quarter at `12,318 crore constituted 35%ofthetotalrevenue.Thecompany’schief financial officer,R Shankar Raman,said there wasavisibleincreaseintenderingandordering activity in the September quarter. Excluding exceptional items and discontinued operations, L&T’s consolidated net profit after tax rose by56%year-on-yearat `1,723 crore. ■ Detailed report on Page 4 FIELD DAY ● BY JUNE Adani Ports to exit Myanmar investment DeHaat raises $115 m from Sofina, others PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, October 27 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, October 27 ADANI PORTS AND Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) on Wednesday said it has decided to exit its investment in Myanmar by June next year.APSEZ, the largest port developer in India, is part of the globally diversifiedAdani Group. “The Board has decided to activelywork on a plan on exiting Company’s investment in Myanmarincludingdivestment opportunities (expected to be concluded by March-June 2022),”APSEZsaidinnotestoits second quarterresults. InAugust,APSEZhadsaidits investment in a port in Myanmar was not in violation of any sanction guidelines issued by theOfficeofForeignAssetsControl(OFAC)ofUSDepartmentof Treasury. “APSEZ believes it is not in violation of any sanction guidelines issued by OFAC,and has,therefore,applied to OFAC for a general licence to operate the Port,” it said. Theprojecthadrunintocontroversy after it was reported APSEZ chief executive Karan AdanihadinJuly2019metSenior General Min Aung Hlaing, the army chief who led a coup againsttheelectedgovernment. Net sales (` crore) Q2FY22 1,372 stand taken by Union government ■ New law/ Q2FY21 475 ■ No clear ■ Possibility of some foreign authority/ agency or private entity involved ADITYA KALRA & ABHIRUP ROY New Delhi, October 27 Report card 1,934 Entire citizenry affected by charges of unauthorised surveillance due to 'potential chilling effect' PANELTO RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING Will not have double-digit growth this fiscal, says chairman Bhargava 855 Sero survey: More than 90% in Delhi have antibodies WHYTHE ORDER Chip crisis, input costs pull Maruti profit down 65% 19,298 State has no absolute power to snoop into sacred private space of individuals, can’t always get free pass citing national security, says SC Future moves HC to quash Singapore panel's block on RIL deal « SC sets up panel to probe Pegasus use DAYS AFTER Air India (AI) was privatised, the department of expenditure has advised all government departments to clear their pending dues to the airline and make only cash purchase of tickets until further orders, reports fe Bureau. AI has stopped credit facility for purchase of air tickets, it said. HARD DRIVE ● AMAZON FEUD 17,689 SNOOPGATE IN THE NEWS Clear all dues to AI, buy tickets in cash, govt depts told FOR A BRIGHTER DIWALI A potter and his family make diyas for sale ahead of Diwali, in Gurugram on Wednesday Low on supplies FE BUREAU A tenth of coal-based power under outage threat About 10% of the country’s coal-based power capacity remains vulnerable to outage amid surging demand for the fuel, Crisil noted. Over half of these capacities do not have fuel supply agreements which will increase their reliance on imports and/or e-auctions conducted by Coal India, raising the spectre of elevated costs. Vulnerable to outage 20 GW India's coal-based power plants 209 GW Plants where outages are unlikely Imported coal prices ($/tonne) 2019 62 September 2020 64 133 GW Plants that will run at lower PLFs 133 GW 2021 166 Coal India's e-auction prices (`/tonne)* Sept 2019 Sept 2021 80% 130% over notified price over notified price *Notified prices range between `460-`3,300, depending on quality Continued on Page 2 AGRITECH START-UP DEHAAT has raised $115 million (around `860 crore) from investors,includingSofinaand Lightrock India, in order to expand its operations and invest in new technology. Started in 2012 and based in Gurugram and Patna, DeHaat is a technology-based platform offering end-to-end agricultural services to farmers. It has been founded by IIT, IIM and NIT alumni Amrendra Singh, Shyam Sundar, Adarsh Srivastav and Shashank Kumar. “We have raised $115 million in Series D round of funding,” DeHaat co-founder and CEO Shashank Kumartold PTI in an interview. The round was led by Belgium-based investment firm Sofina and Lightrock India. Temasek co-invested in the round,withparticipationfrom existing investors Prosus, RTP ■ Temasek Latest round led by Belgiumbased investment firm Sofina & Lightrock India co-invested, while existing investors Prosus, RTP Global, Sequoia Capital India and FMO also participated ■ DeHaat is a tech-based business-tofarmers platform offering fullstack agri services to farmers Global, Sequoia Capital India and FMO. With the fresh round of funding, Kumar said the company has raised around $160 million (about `1,198 crore). Continued on Page 2 S&W Solar: Reliance offers `375/share RELIANCE GROUP firm Reliance New Energy Solar has offered `375 per share to acquire 4.91 crore shares of Sterling and Wilson Solar for over `1,840 crore, reports PTI. The 4.91 crore shares constitute 25.9% equity stake or the entire public holding in Sterling and Wilson Solar, Sterling and WilsonSolarsaidinaregulatory filing. ■ Page 5 ON THE AGENDA US Democrats unveil plan to tax billionaires’ unrealised capital gains REUTERS Washington, October 27 USBILLIONAIRESWOULDpay tax on unrealised gains from theirassetstohelpfinancePresident Joe Biden’s emerging social-policy and climatechangelegislation,accordingto aproposalunveiledonWednesdaybythetopSenateDemocrat for tax policy.The so-called billionairestax,announcedbySenate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, is part of a two-pronged legislative strat- egy that also includes a proposed 15% corporate minimumtaxonthemostprofitable US corporations, which was unveiled onTuesday. Wyden and other lawmakers,including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, saythelegislationisintendedto curtail tax avoidance by corporations and the wealthy and could generate hundreds of billionsofdollarstopayforBiden’s “Build Back Better”legislation, which is expected to cost between $1.5 trillion and $2 ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE trillion.The White House backs the corporate minimum tax, which would dovetail with a global corporate minimum tax recently agreed by 136 countries and aimed at corporations that pay little or no tax by gamingtheinternationaltaxsystem. Butthebillionairestaxfaces potential opposition from Democrats in the House of Representatives, who favour straightforward hikes in tax rates for companies and the wealthy as a way to fund the Biden agenda.The billionaires tax,whichwouldtakeeffectfor the 2022 taxyear,would affect roughly 700 taxpayers with over$1billioninassetsor$100 million in annual income for three consecutive years, according to a statement. Aides said it would impose the 23.8% tax rate for longterm capital gains on tradable assets such as stocks that increase in value over the year, whether or not they have been sold.Itwouldalsoallowtaxpayerstotakedeductionsforlosses on assets. Ahmedabad
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