Top headlines: Serum, Bharat Biotech patch up; Johnson cancels India visit

Covaxin is based on highly purified and inactivated two-dose Sars-Cov-2 vaccine manufactured in a vero cell manufacturing platform
Govt ready to roll out vaccine within 10 days of emergency nod: Health secy

The health ministry is prepared to roll out the Covid vaccine within 10 days of the emergency use authorisation, which was granted to two companies on January 3. While giving this information on Tuesday, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told reporters that the final date would be decided by the government. The roll-out is being planned, including the logistics and technology network, based on the feedback from the recent dry run of the vaccination process, according to Bhushan. Aadhar verification too will be a part of the online vaccine delivery platform Co-Win. Read More

Budget 2021: Centre set to launch e-platform to sell non-core assets

The government is set to launch an online platform to sell surplus land and properties of public sector undertakings (PSUs), as part of its asset monetisation drive. It is estimating that this would help monetise assets worth Rs 10,000 crore The government has asked state-run MSTC to set up an e-bidding platform for auctioning non-core assets of PSUs, according to a senior government official. Read More

 Prepack insolvency resolution: Swiss Challenge options, IBC tweaks on cards

The M S Sahoo committee has suggested two options on prepacks — with and without a ‘Swiss Challenge’ — and a quick amendment to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), preferably by an Ordinance. It is, however, categorical that there shall be no dilution of the provisions of Section 29A of the IBC. In cases with a Swiss Challenge, the rights of operational creditors (OCs) and dissenting financial creditors (FCs) are to be protected subject to the minimum comfort provided under Section 30(2)(b) of the IBC. Read More

It's raining billionaires in India's pharma and health care space

The pharma and health care space is the latest breeding ground of India’s billionaire promoters. The sector created seven billionaire promoters in CY2020, thanks to pandemic-induced growth. This is more than half the new billionaire promoters last year. For comparison, 13 promoters across sectors entered the super-rich club last year while five exited the list due to a fall in their companies’ market capitalisation. Now there are 17 super-rich promoters in the pharma and health care space, up from 10 last year. Read More

Vaccine firms Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute patch up after war of words

After engaging in a war of words, the chiefs of two of India’s leading vaccine makers — Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII) — called a truce on Tuesday and pledged to work together for a “smooth roll-out” of Covid-19 vaccines. In a joint statement, Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella and SII Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla said the more important task in front of them was to save the lives and livelihoods of populations in India and the world. “Vaccines are a global public health good and they have the power to save lives and accelerate the return to economic normalcy at the earliest,” the statement read. Read More

UK PM Johnson cancels India visit, citing need to oversee virus response

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday cancelled a planned trip to India later this month, citing the need to oversee the pandemic response at home. “The prime minister spoke to Prime Minister Modi this morning, to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said. Read More

Sale of 21 MTNL land assets hits roadblock as DoT refuses to give up funds

Sale of 21 land assets of the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) has hit a roadblock as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is unwilling to part with the funds garnered, as mandated by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). “We have to give 50 per cent of the amount from the sale to DDA, it is a mandate. Then there would be a capital gains tax, spectrum usage charges, and licence fee. Read More

Future-RIL deal: Next phase of Bezos-Biyani battle to begin in Singapore

The next phase of arbitration proceedings between Jeff Bezos-led Amazon and Kishore Biyani-headed Future Group is expected to begin soon in Singapore. Singaporean barrister Michael Hwang has joined the three-member arbitration tribunal at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) that is looking into the Amazon and Future Group dispute over the latter's $3.4 billion deal with Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries. Read More

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