KOCHI l wednesday l june 16, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION Retail sales decline 79% in May over pre-Covid levels North, West India regions suffer the most 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 Pandemic-induced restrictions have brought retail businesses to their knees, according to the Retailers Association of India (RAI) Beauty products among worst hit ■ ■ ■ 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 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 the 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 . po l i t i ca l p l ay Chirag removes rebel MPs, gets sacked by Paras The Lok Janshakti Party faction headed by Chirag Paswan on Tuesday expelled the five party MPs who had rebelled against him, while the group led by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras removed him from the post of the party president. Both factions moved swiftly to take control of the party a day after Paras, the youngest brother of Chirag’s father and party founder Ram Vilas Paswan, was recognised by the Lok Sabha secretariat as leader of the Lok Janshakti Party in the House | P8 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. Market Cap to GDP Ratio (%) 35 97 97 55 54 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 70,421 1,19,501 3,921 60,471 1,17,525 2,726 June 14 Take 22,15,947 doses your June 15 shot 25,68,858 doses Total doses: 26,17,40,273 Jab-o-meter Track YOUR STATUS 1 TPR UP TO 8% (LOW SPREAD) New Delhi: Twitter on Tuesday said it has appointed an interim Chief Compliance Officer and the details of the official will be shared with the IT Ministry directly soon. The Centre had issued a notice to Twitter giving it one last chance to “immediately” comply with the new IT rules and warned that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act. 26.44 25 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 *Estimate @ T’Puram No of local bodies: 147 Status: No lockdown WHAT’S ALLOWED All shops with 50% staff (7am-7pm) Pvt institutions with 50% staff 2 TPR 8%-20% (MODERATE SPREAD) Weekend lockdown to stay; industrial & agri activities, public transport to be allowed E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e KSRTC employees cleaning a bus at Pavangad depot in Kozhikode on Tuesday. The corporation hopes to operate more services soon | EXPRESS No of local bodies 716 TPR 20%-30% (HIGH SPREAD) Status: Partial lockdown No of local bodies 146 Status Total lockdown 3 4 WHAT’S ALLOWED Shops selling essential goods (7am-7pm) Other shops only on Fridays with 50% staff (7am-7pm) TPR ABOVE 30% (critical SPREAD) No of local bodies 25 Pvt institutions with 50% staff on Mon, Wed & Fri WHAT’S ALLOWED Status: Triple lockdown Shops selling essential goods (7am- 7pm) five-year average of 21. However, experts are not impressed by such high valuations. According to Geojit Financial Services’ chief investment strategist V K Vijayakumar, robust foreign institutional buying, select highquality 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 . Total lockdown across the state on weekends to continue Shops selling essential goods to remain open AFTER imposing a lockdown for 40 days to bring down the Covid surge, the state government has decided to ease the restrictions from Thursday at the local body level, based on the intensity of virus spread. However, the total lockdown across the state on weekends will continue. Announcing the relaxations after assessing the state’s Covid situation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said shops selling essential goods will remain open across the state from 7am to 7pm from Monday to Friday . Industrial and agricultural activities will be permitted in all local bodies and transportation facility will be allowed for workers in these sectors. Public transport will be allowed in a limited manner from Thursday Banks will continue . to function across the state on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. While gatherings and public functions will not be allowed, a maximum of 20 people can continue to attend weddings and funerals as earlier. Central and state government offices, PSUs, commissions, corporations and autonomous institutions can function on all working days with 25% staff on rotation basis. In the government secretariat, 50% of the statewide Fresh cases Recoveries june 14 june 15 7,719 16,743 12,246 13,536 161 166 Deaths staff will work on rotation basis. All national and state-level examinations, including sports selection trials, will be allowed. Restaurants will remain open, but only takeaway and home delivery will be allowed. Bevco outlets and bars will reopen from Wednesday and slots can be booked through mobile app. Malls will continue to remain shut while tourism, entertainment and indoor activities that involve crowds will not be allowed. However, outdoor sports without physical contact will ● More on P2 be allowed. activists get bail 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 s i g n i f i ca n t E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the closure of criminal proceedings in India against the two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast — Valentine Jalastine of Neendakara in Kollam district and Ajeesh Pink of Colachel in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu — after more than nine years. A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M R Shah quashed the FIR and proceedings in the case against the two Italian marines.The top court termed the `10-crore compensation paid by Italy over and above the payment already made as reasonable and adequate. It said that of the `10-crore CoWIN regn not must to receive vaccination New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has said prior booking and pre-online registration were not mandatory for Covid vaccination. As per the government, anyone aged 18 years or more can directly go to the nearest vaccination centre, where vaccinator performs the on-site registration and provides vaccination in the same visit, for Covid vaccine. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express Massimiliano Latorre (left) and Salvatore Girone compensation, `4 crore each shall be deposited in the name of the heirs of two deceased fishermen and `2 two crore shall be given to the owner of the boat, St Antony. Now, Italy must immediately start criminal proceedings against the two marines — Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone — under its jurisdiction, it said. The case details along with evidence will be provided by the Central and the Kerala governments to Italy, it said.The order follows the Centre’s decision to accept the award of an arbitration tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which said Italy had the jurisdiction to prosecute the marines. In February 2012, India had accused the two marines on board the MV Enrica Lexie — an Italy-flagged oil tanker — of killing two Indian fishermen who were on a fishing vessel in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone. In 2015, all proceedings before the courts in India were halted in view of an ITLOS (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea) order calling upon India and Italy to suspend all criminal proceedings against P5 the duo. Ambit of the ‘terrorist act’ phrase The court said the phrase ‘terrorist act’ under UAPA could not be permitted to be applied in a cavalier manner to criminal acts that fall squarely within the definition of conventional offences as defined under the IPC. “Even if we assume that in this case, inflammatory speeches, chakka jams, instigation of woman protesters and other actions, to which the appellant is alleged to have been party, crossed the line of peaceful protests, it would yet not amount to commission of a ‘terrorist act’ or a ‘conspiracy’ or ‘act preparatory’ to the commission of a terrorist act as understood under the UAPA,” the bench said. P7 Anti-terror team begins probe into explosives found in forest E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kollam BATTLE IN GROUP OF DEATH France’s Paul Pogba, right, is fouled by Germany’s Serge Gnabry during their Euro Group F match at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Tuesday | AFP TUESDAY’S RESULTS Spain drew with Sweden 0-0 Portugal bt Hungary 3-0 WEDNESDAY’S MATCHES Finland vs Russia 6.30pm 9.30pm Turkey vs Wales THURSDAY Italy vs Switzerland 12.30am COPA KICK-OFF THURSDAY Colombia vs Venezuela 2.30am Brazil vs Peru 5.30am RESULTS Argentina drew with Chile 1-1 BJP leader issues open threat; Pinarayi unfazed E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram BJP state vice-president A N Radhakrishnan created a flutter on Tuesday by issuing an open threat to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while referring to the ongoing investigation into the cases involving the party and its president K Surendran. Pinarayi retorted that the threat is indicative of the retaliation the BJP is planning if the probe into the cases continue in proper manner. A N Radhakrishnan Pinarayi Vijayan While addressing a BJP ‘satyagraha’ in the capital earlier in the day Radhakrishnan said Pi, narayi may not be able to sleep peacefully at home if he continues to frame Surendran in false cases. “Pinarayi is trying to frame 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 cases. The UAPA case against them pertains to the larger conspiracy angle behind the riots, being probed by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell. Reacting to the high court order, Delhi Police said it will file a Special Leave Petition against it in the Supreme Court. o b ser v a t i o n SC closes Italian marines’ case, says `10-cr damages for fishers reasonable EXPRESS READ Twitter appoints compliance officer 76 72 68 30 77 76 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 d e c em b e r d a t a Other shops on Mon, Wed & Fri with 50% staff (7am-7pm) NATIONWIDE june 14 june 15 61 99 32.31 RBI’s concerns are not without reasons. Valuations have gone through the roof, and yet the 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 GDP ratio 76%. The Sensex is currently trading at a price-toearnings ratio of 32 against the State to unlock from tomorrow, Delhi HC upholds right to protest, curbs depend on local spread Shops selling essential goods (7am-7pm) Lucknow: The going may be tough for BSP supremo Mayawati as at least five rebel MLAs, who were suspended from the party last year, are likely to contest the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh on Samajwadi Party ticket. After meeting SP leader Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday at his party office in Lucknow, Sushma Patel,an MLA from Mungra Badshahpur constituency in Jaunpur district, said, “I have decided to contest 2022 polls on Samajwadi Party ticket.” | P8 69 88 20 WHAT’S ALLOWED Rebel BSP MLAs meet Akhilesh, may join SP AVERAGE SENSEX P/E RATIO 146 our state president in a false case. He has done this before during the Sabarimala agitation. If he goes ahead with this kind of arrogance, he may not be able to sleep peacefully at home for long,” Radhakrishnan said. He went on to say that a situation would soon come when Pinararyi will have to visit his children in prison. Responding to Radhakrishnan’s statement, Pinarayi said the BJP leader’s intention was to convey that if the probe into the case continues, those who lead the government will be implicated. Pinarayi added it was a different matter altogether if such threats would have any impact on him. “This is a threat against the chief minister of Kerala. The intention is clear. I should intervene illegally in the case and end the ongoing investigation,” said Pinarayi. He said even bigger threats were issued by people belonging to Radhakrishnan’s party in the past. THE Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Kerala Police has launched a probe isnto the recovery of explosive materials from a plantation in Pathanapuram taluk in Kollam. Forest officials spotted gelatin sticks, detonators and electric wires while inspecting a cashew plantation owned by the forest department on Monday. Meanwhile, 96 gelatin sticks were found at Vayakkara, 20km away from Pathanapuram, in the Naduvathumoozhy range of Konni forest division in Pathanamthitta on Tuesday morning. The forest officials handed them over to the Konni police. Range DIG Sanjay Kumar Gurudin inspected the spot in Pathanapuram while a bomb squad and a dog squad were brought in. Forensic experts are examining the explosives. “The explosives were found during a search conducted by the forest and the police based on the revelations made by the Keralites belonging to a militant outfit after the UP police arrested them,” the police said. The Tamil Nadu Q Branch had reported to the Kerala Police on the presence of a militant group in the area. Thiruvananthapuram Range DIG Gurudin said all aspects would ● More on P4 be examined.
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