NATIONWIDE JUNE 14 JUNE 15 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 70,421 1,19,501 3,921 60,471 1,17,525 2,726 June 14 22,15,947 doses June 15 25,68,858 doses TOTAL DOSES: 26,17,40,273 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT TELANGANA JUNE 14 JUNE 15 Fresh cases WARANGAL WEDNESDAY JUNE 16, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION RETAIL SALES DECLINE 79% IN MAY OVER PRE-COVID LEVELS NORTH, WEST INDIA REGIONS SUFFER THE MOST Pandemic-induced restrictions have brought retail businesses to their knees, according to the Retailers Association of India (RAI) BEAUTY PRODUCTS AMONG WORST HIT The impact on sales was the steepest in western and northern parts of the country, which witnessed a whopping 83% dip in May 2021 compared to May 2019. The eastern region, according to the retailers’ body, witnessed a 75% fall, while South India suffered a 73% drop in sales. The government should step in to ameliorate the financial woes of the sector, RAI said ■ ■ ■ The retailers’ body said the sector is struggling to pay salaries, rentals, electricity charges and various taxes Beauty, personal care products saw the steepest decline at 87% Food and grocery business, however, was relatively better off with a decline of just 34% in May 2021 compared to May 2019 1,511 1,556 Recoveries Deaths 2,175 12 2,070 14 70% FALL IN QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANTS SALES IN MAY 2021 OVER MAY 2019 CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI BEWARE THE EQUITY MARKET BUBBLE, WARN EXPERTS, RAISE RED FLAG D I PA K M O N DA L & A RS H A D K H A N @ New Delhi THE Indian equity markets seem to be going through a purple patch. Even as the Covid-19 pandemic wrecked the backbone of the economy in 2020 and 2021, the markets don’t seem to mind a bit. In the past year, the BSE 30 Index Sensex has sprung from 33,228 to 52,773 points, gaining 59% on the way. Since 23 March 2020, when the lockdown was first announced, the equity markets have returned almost 100%. The Sensex during the period rose from 27,600 points to 52,773, gaining 91%. The ‘bull run’ continues even if regulators and a few market experts have already raised the red flag. The RBI in its recent annual report warned of a possible equity market bubble, subtly cautioning investors against irrational exuberance. RBI’s concerns are not without reasons. Valuations have gone through the roof, and yet the MARKET CAP TO GDP RATIO (%) AVERAGE SENSEX P/E RATIO 146 35 97 97 54 55 69 61 76 72 68 88 99 77 76 30 markets have climbed new peaks driven by easy liquidity provided across the globe by governments to support growth to pandemic-hit economies. India’s current market cap to GDP ratio is 112%, against the historic average market cap to 26.44 25 20 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 DECEMBER DATA 32.31 15 18.05 18.73 17.09 17.38 28.1 23.78 23.71 20.62 20.18 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22* Source: BSE GDP ratio 76%. The Sensex is currently trading at a price-toearnings ratio of 32 against the five-year average of 21. Experts are not impressed by such high valuations. According to Geojit Financial Services’ chief investment strategist V K Vijaya- kumar, robust foreign institutional buying, select high-quality buying by domestic institutions and enthusiastic retail activity are positives for the market, but the froth building up in the broader market is a big worry CONTINUED ON P10 . Fuel price hike a boon for TS govt V V BA L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad TOWER OF STRENGTH MAUD Minister KT Rama Rao unveils a nine-foot-tall bronze statue of late Colonel Santosh Babu, who was killed in a violent clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh a year ago, at Suryapet on Tuesday | P2 THE hike in prices of petrol and diesel has come as a blessing in disguise for the cashstrapped Telangana government as it is helping the State shore up its revenue at the rate of an additional `150 crore to `200 crore per month, without increasing the Value Added Tax (VAT) on hydrocarbon fuels. With the price of petrol at `100 per litre and that of diesel a close second, the State is making nearly `1,000 crore per month. The VAT on petrol is STATE’S REVENUE FROM PETROL AND DIESEL May, 2017 `716.04 cr May, 2018 `817.58 cr May, 2019 `611 cr May, 2020 `110.97 cr April, 2021 `1,058.85 cr May, 2021 `975.56 cr 35.2 per cent; for diesel, it is 27 per cent on the sale price. The sudden windfall is caused by an increase in accrual of VAT on petrol. If the price goes up by `1, it will fetch an additional income of around `14 crore per month. In the last six months, the price of petrol has gone up by `13 per litre. This, in turn, means that the State gets an additional revenue anywhere between `150 crore and `200 every month. The price of petrol in Hyderabad in the first week of April this year was around `94 per litre. There has been a `6 hike in price in the last two months and a `13 hike in the last six months. Delhi HC upholds right to protest, activists get bail Rules invoking stringent UAPA against them in connection with the Delhi riots was illegal Peaceful protest without use of arms Stressing that the right to peacefully protest without arms is a fundamental right, the court said, “Considering, however, that the right to protest is a fundamental right that flows from the Constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble peaceably and without arms enshrined in Article 19(1)(b) of our Constitution, surely the right to protest is not outlawed and cannot be termed as a ‘terrorist act’ within the meaning of the UAPA, unless of course the ingredients of the offences under sections 15, 17 and/or 18 of the UAPA are clearly discernible from the factual allegations contained in chargesheet and the material filed therewith.” K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi FAULTING the state for blurring the line between the right to protest and a terrorist activity in order to suppress dissent, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to a couple of activists and a student, who were arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with the northeast Delhi riots in February last year. A bench of justices Siddhartha Mridul and Anup J Bhambhani granted bail to Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal and Jamia Milia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha in three separate verdicts. Over a year after they were arrested, all three can expect to be free on bail.While Kalita was booked in four cases, Narwal had three FIRs registered against her. They already have bail in all the other CONTINUED ON P7 cases.
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