Below the line – The Hindu BusinessLine

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Difficult slog overs

There are multiple interest groups ranging from foreign multinationals and large domestic retailers to local traders and mom-n-pop store owners trying to pull strings at various levels.

The proposals made by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, which drew flak from within the government last year for proposing stringent rules for e-commerce players, especially in areas such as sales and discounts, will this time round be “dovetailed” with the proposal made by the DPIIT.

How the DPIIT, which has been struggling to come up with an e-commerce policy for years now, fares in the last yet crucial lap of the latest round of policy-making will be keenly watched.

Caught in uncertainty

The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has made most companies once again push back plans for employees to return to office premises. While some are happy that the work from home situation continues, many employees who have returned to their home-towns find the uncertainty troubling as they had already paid deposits for fresh rental accommodation.

For many, this is the second time they have had to forego the deposits and rush back home.

Warring over ‘true’ range

An interesting Twitter war has broken out between two EV scooter makers, Ather Energy and Ola Electric, as both try to grab a higher share of the market. Tarun Mehta, the co-founder of Ather Energy, reacting to Ola Electric’s claim about what exactly constitutes a “true” range of the mileage of an electric scooter, tweeted that his start-up actually owns the trademark to the term True Range. He claimed that Ather Energy’s True Range published on its website is what its EV scooter’s performance is.

However, Ola Electric’s chief marketing officer believes that there is actually a difference between the ARAI-certified range and the actual range. He pointed out that the actual or “true” range is a lot lower than what the ARAI certificate says. He even said that Ola Electric is perhaps the only company that publishes the true range on its website.

“Just heard an Ola rep say that they are the first OEM to talk about True Range (the range that you will actually get in city conditions)…When Ather LITERALLY has the trademark on that word. Not even kidding,” Mehta tweeted.

Unmasked — pay ₹200

Chennaities, mask up, else be ready to pay a fine of ₹200. As the number of Covid cases has been steadily going up, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) officials and policemen have tightened vigil across the city to pull up those roaming the streets without wearing a mask, and fine them. And, it has been a good catch too. Between December 31 and January 7, the GCC officials collected ₹22.48 lakh as fine from 10,743 persons for not wearing masks.

Marriage of convenience

Though elections are two-and-a-half years away in Andhra Pradesh, political analysts are busy discussing which parties will join forces to try and defeat the ruling YSRCP. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu, in a lighter vein, said, “It’s not just enough if you love someone. The other side too should reciprocate.” This he said when a party activist asked him: “Why not we align with the Jana Sena Party (for the next elections)?”

Even as analysts began to read between the lines, Naidu hastened to explain: “We won and lost elections when we aligned with others. It is too early (to talk on forging alliances).”

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