Mark my words podcast


In this week’s podcast, Mark Beyer and Matt Mckenzie discuss another big gas project for WA, some positive economic data, the debate over homelessness, Metronet, The Agency, and the future of interest rates.…

Birla Corporation’s December quarter net profit jumps 82 per cent


recorded an 82.1 per cent (year-on-year) jump in net profit in the December quarter to Rs 148.42 crore on the back of a 3.2 per cent growth in sales by volume, cost rationalization and higher sales of premium products.

The company’s revenue for the December quarter at Rs 1,822.82 crore represented a five per cent growth, while EBITDA at Rs 375.94 crore was up 19.4 per cent over the same period last year. Cash profit for the December quarter at Rs 302.99 crore was up 39.5 per cent year-on-year.

Limited’s sales by volume for the December quarter rose 3.2 per cent to 3.55 million tonnes (mt), boosting capacity utilization to 92 per cent from 88 per cent in the same period last year.

The company said, capacity utilization for the December quarter was one of the highest in the industry and despite severe disruptions in the first quarter owing to the Covid 19 pandemic, it managed to boost its profitability.

Net profit for the nine months till December has grown 22.7 per cent over last year to Rs 380.81 crore. This was achieved

New Warning On Vaccine Supplies Sparks EU Concern


A warning from AstraZeneca that initial supplies of its Covid vaccinations to Europe will be lower than expected has sparked fresh concern over the rollout of inoculations, forcing some countries to plan for a sharp drop in deliveries.

Friday’s announcement by the British pharmaceutical firm followed another last week by Pfizer, which said it would delay shipments of its vaccine for up to a month due to works at its key plant in Belgium.

The companies’ warnings come amid deepening concern over new Covid-19 variants, particularly one that emerged in Britain and which is believed to be more infectious than the original strain.

Overall, Europe has now recorded more than 692,000 deaths and nearly 32 million infections.

A jogger runs across a road in Greenwich Park in south east London on January 23, 2021. England has been in a third nationwide lockdown since early this month

The European Union has so far approved vaccines from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech as well as from US company Moderna. It has not yet approved the vaccine from AstraZeneca and its partner the University of Oxford, but is expected to make a decision by January 29.

AstraZeneca said

Budget Byte: Public health & wellness centres saw huge turnout in 2020


& wellness centres saw huge turnout in 2020 compared to a year ago

In 2020, health and wellness centres (HWCs) saw an unprecedented turnout — over three times that in 2018-2019. In some states such as Rajasthan and Maharashtra, footfall went up four to six times. The HWC Budget for FY21 is merely Rs 1,600 crore. The government may need to allocate more this year towards the primary health service.

Government-funded health insurance penetration uneven

After the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), health insurance coverage has improved in many states. But gaps remain and these may cut into the public’s out-of-pocket spending on health. Only a few states — Goa, Maharashtra and Assam are some examples — have been able to bridge the gap. Others that fall behind in coverage need to complement AB-PMJAY, which makes coordination between central and state schemes vital.

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Serum fire: No angle ruled out, says CM as Poonawalla pegs loss at Rs 1K cr


The (SII) on Friday said it has suffered losses of over Rs 1,000 crore due to the devastating fire that erupted a day before at its premises here, even as Maharashtra Chief Minister said that whether the blaze was an accident or sabotage will be known once the probe gets over.

Five contractual labourers died in the fire that broke out in a five-storey building in the SII’s Manjari premises in Pune on Thursday.

The chief minister visited the SII on Friday to take stock of the damages. He later addressed a press conference, where Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SII was also present.

Talking to reporters, Poonawalla said, “The extent of the damage is more than Rs 1,000 crore because of the equipment and products over there that were to be launched.”

He, however, reiterated that the Covishield vaccine production has not been impacted due to the blaze.

“Fortunately, we have got multiple facilities and as CM sir has explained, the COVID-19 vaccine’s supply will not be affected due to the incident,” Poonawalla added.

“We were very lucky

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