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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Mint Lite | Covid-19, Puri heritage corridor, US energy crisis and more

Stories, opinions, news and views that matter, from around the world

The Institute of Management Accountants released a study that highlights the global impact of covid-19 on the finance function of organizations worldwide—with specific focus on staffing, salaries and skills. Key highlights by respondents of the global survey include across-the-board revenue decline—with large companies suffering more than their smaller counterparts. From a demographic perspective, while the compensation of all age groups was impacted, those in middle management positions saw the least change in compensation while lower management was most likely to see pay cuts or no bonuses.

The coup’s fallout on Asian firms

The coup’s fallout on Asian firms
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The coup’s fallout on Asian firms

Asian businesses are coming under intense pressure to cut ties with the Myanmar military after this month’s coup, with activists questioning whether such ventures benefit the wider population or fuel human rights abuses. Myanmar’s military toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, ending a decade-long democratic transition when businesses entered the South-East Asian nation after international sanctions were lifted. Many of these firms formed partnerships with the military, largely through the military-owned conglomerates Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holdings, according to advocacy group Justice for Myanmar, reports Reuters. The military controls much of Myanmar’s economy through the holding firms and their subsidiaries, with interests ranging from beer and cigarettes to telecom, mining and real estate, according to research by Justice for Myanmar.

Singapore aims to aid recovery

Singapore aims to aid recovery
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Singapore aims to aid recovery

Singapore said it plans to spend S$11 billion to help households and businesses rebound from the covid-19 pandemic after the economy suffered its worst year since independence. “Even as our economy recovers gradually and some sectors grow well, some other sectors remain stressed," said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, delivering the measures Tuesday in his annual budget speech to Parliament. Heng, who is also finance minister, noted how the government had pivoted rapidly from focusing on pandemic relief to using the crisis as an opportunity to restructure the economy. The address comes after Singapore’s economy endured its biggest-ever contraction in 2020, with gross domestic product shrinking 5.4%. Growth is expected to rebound to 4%-6% this year, but the outlook remains challenging for some important sectors including aviation, transport and hospitality.

Puri heritage corridor in focus

Puri heritage corridor in focus
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Puri heritage corridor in focus

The Shree Jagannath Temple Management Committee has approved an 800-crore heritage corridor project to redevelop the shrine’s surrounding areas. The committee, during a meeting chaired by Gajapati Maharaja of Puri Divyasingha Deb, approved the proposal for the Shree Jagannath Heritage Corridor project by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Monday. The SJTA will seek approval of the National Monuments Authority, ASI and the Puri-Konark Development Authority before starting work from 1 June. The project includes plans to beautify and develop the corridor around the temple’s boundary walls, set up the Shree Jagannath Reception Centre and conserve temples in various mutts linked with rituals, officials told PTI.

Israel-US on Iran nuclear strategy

Israel-US on Iran nuclear strategy
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Israel-US on Iran nuclear strategy

Israel held out the possibility on Tuesday it would not engage with US President Joe Biden on strategy regarding the Iranian nuclear programme if he returns to a 2015 deal with Tehran, reports Reuters. The remarks by Israel’s envoy to Washington came at a touchy juncture for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Up for re-election next month, he has revived tough rhetoric on Iran while not yet having any direct communication with Biden. The new administration has said it wants a US return to the 2015 nuclear deal—which former President Donald Trump quit, restoring sanctions on Tehran—if the Iranians recommit to their own obligations. Washington has said it wants to confer with allies in West Asia about such moves. Netanyahu aides have privately questioned whether engaging with US counterparts might backfire by falsely signalling its consent for any new deal that it opposes.

US energy crisis deepens

US energy crisis deepens
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US energy crisis deepens

The energy crisis crippling Texas’s power system continued to spread, with nearly 5 million people across the US plunged into darkness as authorities fought to avoid a total collapse of the grid. Homes and businesses from North Dakota to Texas are losing power in the middle of an unprecedented deep freeze that has broken daily temperature records in hundreds of places. The blackouts are likely to continue throughout Tuesday with no firm end in sight as the cold weather is forecast to remain through Wednesday. Officials have reported two people dead, likely from cold, according to the AP. Medical centres are rushing to administer vaccines before they go bad. Flights are grounded. More than a million barrels a day of oil and 10 billion cu. ft of gas production are shut while pipelines have declared force majeure and massive refineries have halted gasoline and diesel output.

Curated by Sohini Sen. Have something to share with us? Write to us at feedback@livemint or tweet to @shohinisen


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