Punjab clears farm Bills to negate Centre’s laws: Here’s what experts say

The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a bunch of legislation seeking to penalise anyone who compels a farmer to sell wheat and paddy below the minimum support price (MSP) in the state and also entrust itself with powers to levy taxes on all out-of-mandi transactions. The move is aimed at nullifying a portion of the three recently enacted central farm Acts, besides safeguarding the state’s financial interests.

The Assembly passed the amendments to each of the three central laws to bring them in line with the provisions of the state‚Äôs own APMC Act of 1961, thereby establishing its supremacy over the central laws. The House also adopted a resolution rejecting the Centre’s new farm laws.

Regarding the changes mooted to the trade facilitation Act and also the contract farming Act, the penal provision of a jail term up to three years for compelling farmers to sell their produce below the MSP is primarily meant for wheat and paddy; the central government declared MSP for almost 22 crops and many of them, such as cotton and maize, have been sold below the MSP in the state.

In Punjab, contract

Read More

HUL’s Q2 revenue, net profit rise as business back to normal level

(HUL), the country’s largest consumer goods company, appears to have put the challenges emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown firmly behind it.

On Tuesday, the company reported an 8.7 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to Rs 2,009 crore for the July-September period (Q2), beating Street estimates by a wide margin.

A poll of analysts done by Bloomberg had pegged the firm’s net profit at Rs 1,915 crore. Its revenue for the quarter rose 16.1 per cent from a year ago to Rs 11,442 crore.

Consensus estimates by Bloomberg had pegged the revenue at Rs 11,138 crore for the quarter. HUL said the numbers were not strictly comparable since it took into account the nutrition business acquired from GSK Consumer last year.

Excluding the nutrition portfolio, HUL’s top line growth was 3 per cent for the quarter, with volume growth at 1 per cent and price-led growth at 2 per cent. Despite this, analysts tracking the company said HUL had delivered a good set of numbers, given that urban markets continued to experience weakness compared with rural areas. About 60 per cent of

Read More

US Slaps Google With Antitrust Suit, Eyes Possible Breakup

The US government filed a blockbuster lawsuit Tuesday accusing Google of maintaining an “illegal monopoly” in online search and advertising in the country’s biggest antitrust case in decades — opening the door to a potential breakup of the Silicon Valley titan.

The politically charged case, which could take years to play out, draws new battle lines between the US government and Big Tech with potentially major implications for the sector.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the case filed with Republican state attorneys general from 11 states takes aim at Google’s dominance of the online ecosystem.

“Google is the gateway to the internet,” Rosen told reporters.

“But it has maintained its monopoly through exclusionary practices that are harmful to competition.”

The suit said these agreements include long-term agreements requiring that Google search be pre-loaded on devices and making it impossible to delete some of its apps.

The government claims Google pays billions to maintain that position, thus reinforcing its monopoly position.

The lawsuit filed in Washington contends that Google’s actions shut out competitors, and proposes that the court consider a range of remedies.

The filing calls for the court to “enjoin Google” from anticompetitive practices and consider “structural” changes to

Read More