Sunday, 29 May 2022

‘Third wave undoes last year’s resumption gains’

DoT amends telecom licences to enable machine-to-machine communications

The DoT has also added a clause for provisioning of audiotex or interactive voice response service (IVRS) as part of telecom licence

The Department of Telecom on January 17 amended telecom licences to enable service providers to roll out machine-to-machine communication — a service which is considered as a key driver of 5G adoption — in the country.

While the DoT had issued M2M guidelines in May 2018, the clause related to their provisioning was not part of the telecom licences.

The DoT in the licence amendment has incorporated M2M with pan-India permit, limited to circle level and district level, according to a circular.

Telecom operators interested in providing M2M services across India will have an entry fee of Rs 30 lakh, performance bank guarantee (PBG) of ₹40 lakh and financial bank guarantee (FBG) of ₹2 lakh.

The entry fee for the circle level category has been fixed at ₹2 lakh, PBG ₹2 lakh and FBG at ₹20,000. The entry fee, PBG and FBG for district level will be ₹20,000, ₹10,000 and ₹2,000, respectively.

The DoT has also added a clause for provisioning of audiotex or interactive voice response service (IVRS) as part of telecom licence.

The amendment has been made across all categories of telecom service licences.

Exports target of $650 billion within this fiscal achievable: Goyal

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal informed that during the current month till January 15, exports have touched $16 billion.

Assuring all support to the exporting community, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said the exports target of $650 billion for both goods and services within the current financial year is possible to achieve.

He informed that during the current month till January 15, exports have touched $16 billion.

He said this while chairing a review meeting of all major export promotion councils (EPCs) here.

"It is possible to achieve exports of USD 650 billion within the current financial year… The USD 400 billion target of merchandise exports is within sight and the services sector should strive for USD 250 billion exports," he said.

He assured the EPCs that his ministry will do "whatever" it takes in hand holding them and resolving their issues to attain even higher export targets in the next fiscal (2022-23).

The minister also assured the industry representatives to pursue their demands during the various free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.

"The government is willing to listen to new ideas, engage with industry at every level and work as an enabler, facilitator and partner," he added.

India’s overall exports (merchandise and services) during April-December 2021 are estimated to be $479.07 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 36.31% over the same period last year.

Pfizer’s Omicron-Specific Vaccine To Be Ready In March

Pfizer (PFE) CEO Albert Bourla on Monday said that Covid vaccine for omicron variant will be ready in March.

“This vaccine will be ready in March,” Bourla told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “We [are] already starting manufacturing some of these quantities at risk.”

Bourla also said the vaccine will also target the other variants that are circulating.

“The hope is that we will achieve something that will have way, way better protection particularly against infections, because the protection against the hospitalizations and the severe disease — it is reasonable right now, with the current vaccines as long as you are having let’s say the third dose,” Bourla said.

Meanwhile, Business Insider reported that Pfizer plans to start human testing for its Omicron-specific coronavirus vaccine before the end of January.

“We’re going to test that starting now in late January, when we’re rolling out clinical trials comparing Omicron towards the current vaccine,” said Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer.

The Omicron variant is creating havoc across the globe, with several countries reporting a surge in infections and hospitalizations. However, according to Dolsten, it is still not clear that whether a shot specific for Omicron is required or not.

Specifics for this new research are still being finalized with regulators, including how many volunteers will be enrolled and in which countries it’ll be conducted, a Pfizer spokesperson said.

Telenor Agrees To Divest Its Stake In Digital Money Myanmar – Quick Facts

Telenor Group (TELNY.PK,TELN) has agreed to sell its 51 percent share of Digital Money Myanmar Limited for $53 million to Yoma MFS Holdings Pte. Ltd, a subsidiary of Yoma Strategic. Yoma Strategic will become the largest and controlling shareholder of Digital Money Myanmar, or Wave Money.

Wave Money is a provider of money transfer and digital payment solutions in Myanmar. The company was launched in November 2016 as a joint venture between Yoma Bank and Telenor Group.

The agreement completes the divestment process announced in June 2020.

‘Third wave undoes last year’s resumption gains’

Nomura cites fresh curbs as index falls

The fast-spreading third wave of COVID-19 has undone the gains achieved due to resumption of business since the end of the lethal second wave last year, Japanese brokerage Nomura said on Monday.

The Nomura India Business Resumption Index, which compares activity against the pre-pandemic levels of March 2020, fell to 102.9 for the week ended January 16, from 107.9 in the preceding 7-day period.

The index has slumped by 17.4 percentage points since the third wave struck at the cusp of the new year.

The third wave — which has seen daily infections climb to more than 2.5 lakh from 1.7 lakh in the week earlier — has “undone business resumption gains since the second wave”, it said.

Already, economists are estimating a dent of up to 0.4% to the GDP because of the third wave, with an increasing number of States having resorted to curbs to check the spread of infections. The Omicron variant is said to be less potent than the earlier Delta variant.

The labour participation rate fell to a nine-week low of 39.7%.

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