16 December 2023 : Important Financial News in India


Source: Economic Times, “Today’s ePaper”
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Table of Contents

TECH-TONIC: IT Stocks Push Mkt to New Highs

On a recent Friday, Indian stock markets witnessed a significant surge, reaching new record levels. This boost in the markets was largely driven by the United States Federal Reserve’s recent shift towards a more cautious and accommodating approach in its monetary policy. The Sensex, a key stock market index in India, closed above the 71,000 mark, indicating a strong positive momentum. This rally was further supported by increased buying activity from foreign investors.

However, despite this upbeat trend, there were signs of concern among some traders. This apprehension was reflected in the rise of the Volatility Index (VIX), often referred to as the “fear index.” The VIX measures market volatility and its increase suggests that some market participants are worried about the rapid pace at which stock prices are climbing. This mixed sentiment underscores the dynamic nature of financial markets, where optimism about economic policies and investor actions coexists with caution about potential market overextensions.

Vi Close to Selling Fiber Assets, Eyes up to ₹12k cr

In the telecommunications sector, Vodafone Idea (Vi), currently facing financial challenges, is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to sell its fiber assets. These discussions are primarily with private equity firms. The aim of this strategic move is to generate significant funds, estimated to be in the range of ₹10,000 to ₹12,000 crore. The sale of these assets, which include fiber networks and In-Building Solution (IBS) services, is part of Vi’s broader efforts to stabilize its financial position.

Hotels Wrap A-Z Activities in Xmas Packages

As the holiday season approaches, hotels and restaurant chains across India are gearing up to offer a more enriched experience to their guests. Moving beyond traditional holiday activities such as lounging by the pool or enjoying lavish buffets, these establishments are introducing a range of experiential activities. These activities, planned for the Christmas and New Year period, are designed to provide guests with more engaging and memorable experiences during their stays.

Over-invoicing Case: DRI Moves Tribunal Against Relief to Essar

In a significant legal development, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has taken legal action against a decision that favored the Essar Group, a large conglomerate owned by the Ruia family. The DRI has approached the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) to contest the relief granted to several entities associated with Essar. This case revolves around allegations of over-invoicing, and the DRI’s move indicates ongoing legal complexities and the agency’s commitment to pursue its claims.

HC Refuses to Restrain Grover from Selling BharatPe Shares

The Delhi High Court recently made a significant ruling concerning BharatPe, a prominent fintech company in India. The court denied a request to prevent Ashneer Grover, the former managing director of BharatPe, from selling his shares in the company. This request was made by Shashvat Nakrani, a co-founder of BharatPe, who had previously transferred some of his shares to Grover. The court’s decision allows Grover to proceed with the sale of these shares, despite Nakrani’s objections. This ruling is a critical development in the ongoing corporate saga surrounding BharatPe, highlighting the complexities of shareholding and management disputes in high-profile companies.

Infy Kicks Off Holiday Season with Long-Awaited Pay Hike

In a move that has boosted employee morale, Infosys, one of India’s largest IT companies, has initiated salary hikes for a substantial number of its employees. This decision comes at a time when the global IT sector is experiencing slow demand for technology services. The pay hike, coinciding with the holiday season, is seen as a strategic step by Infosys to maintain employee satisfaction and competitiveness in the market. This development is particularly significant given the current economic climate and the challenges faced by the tech industry worldwide.

Ola’s Bhavish Aggarwal Unveils India’s Own LLM ‘Krutrim’

Bhavish Aggarwal, the founder and CEO of Ola Electric, has ventured into the realm of artificial intelligence with the introduction of ‘Krutrim’, a large language model (LLM). This development is a major stride in India’s AI landscape, showcasing the country’s growing capabilities in technology and innovation. Krutrim is expected to be a significant contributor to the AI industry, potentially rivaling other major global players. Aggarwal’s foray into AI with Krutrim underscores the expanding scope of Indian entrepreneurship and technological advancement.

SC Refuses to Grant Stay on Tax Notices to E-gaming Cos

The Supreme Court of India has declined to provide interim relief to e-gaming companies by refusing to stay the tax notices issued by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence. This decision means that e-gaming companies will continue to face the ongoing tax scrutiny until the matter is heard in detail on January 8. The Supreme Court’s stance reflects the increasing regulatory attention on the e-gaming sector, particularly concerning tax compliance and legal responsibilities. This is a significant development for the e-gaming industry, which has been rapidly growing but also facing regulatory challenges.

NCLAT Refuses to Stay Merger of Sony and Zee

In a crucial ruling, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) denied requests for an interim stay on the merger between Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) and Culver Max Entertainment, part of the Sony Group. The requests were made by Axis Finance and IDBI Bank in separate appeals. This decision facilitates the continuation of the merger process, which is a significant event in the media and entertainment industry. The merger of Zee and Sony’s entity is expected to create a major player in the industry, altering the competitive landscape.

Lodha Concludes Sale of London Projects, Exits UK Market

Lodha, a major real estate company also known as Macrotech Developers, has completed the sale of its London-based projects, marking its complete exit from the UK market. This move signifies a strategic shift for Lodha, as it redirects its focus and investments. The sale of these projects concludes Lodha’s involvement in the UK real estate market, and it could signal a new direction for the company’s future investments and international strategy. This development is noteworthy in the context of global real estate markets and the investment strategies of major developers.

Potential Introduction of New Pharmaceutical Regulations

The Indian government is considering introducing new legislation to regulate drugs, medical devices and cosmetics. The proposed Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics Bill aims to replace the existing 80-year old legislation and could be tabled during the current Parliamentary session. The bill’s introduction signals the government’s intent to overhaul the outdated regulatory framework governing this critical industry.

The new law is expected to improve quality control, enhance safety standards and ensure greater accountability in the production and sale of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. This could build confidence among consumers while also encouraging growth in the domestic healthcare manufacturing sector. However, complex compliance requirements may increase costs for companies. Overall, the bill reflects the government’s focus on healthcare reforms to benefit Indian citizens. Its passage would depend on support from different political parties.

Bill Seeking to Regulate Drugs and Medical Gear May Be Introduced in Parliament


The proposed Drugs, Medical Devices, and Cosmetics Bill signifies a significant step forward in India’s healthcare regulatory framework. This bill is poised to replace the antiquated Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which has been in effect for more than eight decades. The primary objective behind introducing this new legislation is to address the changing landscape of the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries.

If this bill is enacted, it will usher in a host of benefits for both consumers and the healthcare sector. For consumers, it will mean greater assurance of the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs and medical devices available in the market. Stringent regulations will help prevent substandard or counterfeit products from entering the market, ultimately safeguarding public health.The healthcare sector will also benefit from the clarity and modernization that the bill brings. It will streamline regulatory processes, making it easier for pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers to navigate compliance requirements. This could potentially lead to more innovation in these industries, as companies may feel more confident in investing in research and development when operating in a well-regulated environment.

In essence, this bill is a vital step towards ensuring the continued growth and advancement of India’s pharmaceutical and medical device sectors, ultimately contributing to the overall health and well-being of its citizens.

Government Receives Over 50% of Investments in Telecom Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme

The Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for telecom gear manufacturing has attracted significant investor interest, with ₹2,725 crore already committed by 42 applicant companies by the end of October 2023. This scheme has been introduced by the government to promote domestic manufacturing of telecom equipment and boost the telecommunications infrastructure in the country.

The substantial investments made under the PLI scheme are expected to have several positive outcomes. Firstly, it will reduce India’s dependence on imported telecom equipment, promoting self-reliance and strengthening national security. Additionally, domestic manufacturing will create job opportunities and stimulate economic growth.Moreover, this investment will contribute to enhancing the quality and availability of telecom equipment in the market. Improved infrastructure will lead to better connectivity and communication services for consumers, businesses, and government agencies. This, in turn, can facilitate the implementation of advanced technologies such as 5G, IoT, and more, positioning India as a technologically advanced nation.

Overall, the success of the PLI scheme in attracting investments is a promising sign for India’s telecom sector, as it not only encourages local manufacturing but also sets the stage for a more robust and efficient telecommunications ecosystem in the country.

Largest Shareholder in ITC Contemplates Diluting Stake

British American Tobacco (BAT), holding a significant 29.02% stake in the Indian conglomerate ITC, is considering reducing its stake to around 25%. However, this potential stake dilution faces complexities due to India’s stringent foreign direct investment (FDI) rules in the tobacco industry.

BAT’s decision to reduce its stake could have several implications. Firstly, it may open up opportunities for other investors and stakeholders to play a more active role in ITC’s operations. A reduced BAT stake might lead to changes in the company’s ownership structure and governance.

Secondly, it could reflect evolving trends in the tobacco industry, where regulatory pressures and changing consumer preferences have led major tobacco companies to diversify into other sectors, such as healthcare and wellness. BAT’s move to reduce its stake in ITC may align with a broader corporate strategy aimed at reducing exposure to tobacco-related businesses.

However, navigating India’s strict FDI rules for the tobacco sector presents a challenge. These regulations are designed to protect public health and limit foreign influence in the tobacco industry. BAT’s move will need to comply with these regulations, and negotiations with Indian authorities will likely play a crucial role in any stake dilution process.

In summary, BAT’s contemplation of reducing its stake in ITC reflects broader trends in the tobacco industry and may signal potential changes in the ownership and direction of one of India’s prominent conglomerates.

CG Power Collaborates with K Raheja to Redevelop Its Headquarters in Mumbai

Crompton Greaves, also known as CG Power, has embarked on an exciting collaboration with real estate developer K Raheja Corp to jointly redevelop its headquarters located in the upscale Worli area of Mumbai.

This partnership is significant for several reasons. First and foremost, it underscores the importance of creating modern, efficient, and sustainable workspaces that align with the evolving needs of businesses and employees. The redevelopment of CG Power’s headquarters aims to transform it into a state-of-the-art facility that fosters innovation and productivity.

Furthermore, such collaborations between industrial companies and real estate developers can lead to the revitalization of urban spaces. Redevelopment projects like this contribute to the modernization and aesthetic enhancement of urban areas, ultimately improving the quality of life for residents and visitors.

Additionally, this collaboration may set a precedent for other organizations looking to optimize their real estate assets while ensuring they have access to contemporary office facilities. It’s a testament to the adaptability and resilience of businesses in the ever-changing landscape of work environments.

In conclusion, the partnership between CG Power and K Raheja Corp exemplifies the importance of modernization in both the corporate and urban contexts, promoting innovation and revitalization in Mumbai’s business landscape.

Himachal Pradesh High Court Grants EIH Time in Wildflower Hall Dispute

The Himachal Pradesh High Court’s decision to grant EIH Ltd, the flagship company of the Oberoi Group, additional time to respond in the Wildflower Hall dispute carries significant legal and hospitality industry implications.

In legal terms, this extension provides EIH Ltd with the opportunity to thoroughly prepare its legal arguments and present a robust rejoinder to the state government’s position. This ensures a fair and comprehensive examination of the dispute over the historic Wildflower Hall luxury hotel in Shimla.

From the perspective of the hospitality industry, this dispute can have repercussions on how heritage and luxury properties are managed and operated in India. The outcome of this case may set precedents for the treatment of historic landmarks and the responsibilities of hotel operators when managing such properties.

Moreover, this legal process underscores the importance of legal safeguards and due process in resolving disputes. It exemplifies the court’s commitment to ensuring a fair and just resolution, which is essential for maintaining investor confidence and upholding the rule of law in the business environment.

In summary, the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s decision grants EIH Ltd valuable time to present its case, setting the stage for a thorough examination of the Wildflower Hall dispute, with potential implications for the broader hospitality and legal landscape.

India’s Office Space Market Expected to Lead Asia Pacific Demand

India’s projected role as the leading driver of demand for office space in the Asia Pacific region by 2024 is indicative of the country’s economic growth and evolving work landscape.

The top eight cities in India, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi, are forecasted to contribute significantly to this surge in demand. This is primarily due to the increasing number of businesses, startups, and multinational companies establishing their presence in these urban centers.

India’s burgeoning technology and business sectors have been key contributors to the growth of the office space market. Cities like Bengaluru, often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India, have witnessed a continuous influx of IT and tech companies, driving up the demand for commercial office spaces.

This trend is further amplified by flexible working arrangements, which have become more commonplace, and the growth of co-working spaces that cater to startups and small businesses. The demand for diverse office solutions is reshaping the commercial real estate landscape.

India’s anticipated dominance in office space demand also reflects the country’s potential to attract global investments and position itself as a vital hub for business operations. As businesses expand and adapt to evolving market dynamics, the office space market is poised to play a crucial role in facilitating growth and innovation.

In conclusion, India’s ascendancy as a leading office space market in the Asia Pacific region reflects its dynamic business ecosystem, growing urbanization, and the evolving nature of work in the 21st century.

Restaurants Experience Increased Customer Dwell Time After COVID-19

The post-COVID-19 era has brought both relief and unique challenges to India’s fine-dine restaurants. While the return of customers is a positive sign for the hospitality sector, the increased time diners are spending at tables is a new challenge that restaurant owners and operators must address.

Before the pandemic, restaurants typically aimed to achieve a high table turnover rate to maximize revenue. However, the pandemic has changed customer behavior. Many diners are now more inclined to savor their dining experience, engage in extended conversations, and simply enjoy the ambiance. As a result, the average time spent at a restaurant table has increased by approximately an hour.

This change poses several considerations for restaurant owners. First, it may impact the restaurant’s ability to serve a high volume of diners in a given time frame. Reduced table turnover can lead to a decrease in overall revenue and potential wait times for customers.

To adapt to this shift, some restaurants have implemented reservation systems with time slots, allowing them to manage customer flow more efficiently. Others have introduced revised menu offerings or entertainment options to keep guests engaged during their extended stay.

Despite these challenges, the increased dwell time can also be seen as an opportunity. Restaurants can focus on enhancing the overall dining experience, offering unique culinary experiences, and building stronger customer relationships. This shift in approach may lead to more loyal patrons who return for memorable dining experiences rather than quick meals.

In summary, while the longer customer dwell time poses operational challenges for restaurants, it also presents an opportunity for them to innovate and create more immersive and memorable dining experiences.

Airports Enhance Infrastructure to Manage Winter Travel Rush

In anticipation of the winter travel rush, major Indian airports have undertaken substantial infrastructure improvements to ensure a smooth and efficient travel experience for passengers.

The enhancements encompass various aspects of airport operations. First, additional entry gates will facilitate quicker passenger check-ins, reducing congestion during peak travel periods. This helps streamline the flow of travelers and minimizes wait times.

Moreover, the installation of extra X-ray machines will enhance security screening processes, ensuring that passenger safety remains a top priority. With increased security capabilities, airports can maintain rigorous safety protocols without causing delays.

Immigration counters have also been augmented to expedite the arrival and departure processes for international travelers. This is particularly crucial during the winter season when many passengers arrive from or depart to international destinations for holidays and vacations.

The proactive approach to infrastructure upgrades reflects the airport authorities’ commitment to providing passengers with a hassle-free travel experience, even during the busiest times of the year. It not only enhances passenger convenience but also boosts the overall image and reputation of Indian airports on the global stage.

Additionally, these improvements align with India’s ambitions to expand its aviation sector and transform its airports into world-class facilities that cater to the growing demands of domestic and international travelers.

In conclusion, the investments made in airport infrastructure improvements signify a concerted effort to enhance the efficiency and passenger experience, particularly during the winter travel season, when airports typically experience higher passenger volumes.

Exports Slip in November, Trade Gap Narrows

While India’s exports dipped 2.83% year-on-year to $33.9 billion in November, a significant 4.35% decline in imports brought the trade deficit down to $20.58 billion, its lowest in three months. This positive trend is attributed to moderating gold, petroleum, and electronics imports. While the export dip raises concerns about global economic slowdown, the narrowing trade gap offers some relief.

Green H2 Production: RIL Unit, BPCL & 12 Others Submit Bids

In a boost to India’s clean energy ambitions, Reliance Green Hydrogen, BPCL, Torrent Power, JSW Neo Energy, and several other companies (14 in total) have submitted proposals for the government’s first green hydrogen manufacturing tender. This intense competition signifies growing interest in this renewable fuel, which promises to decarbonize various industries and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The government aims to award contracts for 500 MW of green hydrogen production capacity through this tender.

India Plans Warehouse in UAE, Akin to China

Inspired by China’s successful Dragon Mart, India is planning to establish a massive warehouse facility in the United Arab Emirates by 2025. This initiative aims to provide a dedicated platform for Indian exporters to showcase their products to the Middle Eastern and African markets, potentially unlocking new export opportunities and boosting trade. The facility will also serve as a distribution hub for Indian goods, streamlining logistics and enhancing competitiveness.

Allaying Concerns: No Double Check on Diamond Exports to G7

The government addressed concerns from the diamond industry about the G7’s planned ban on Russian diamond imports starting in 2024. India is a major diamond processing and export hub, and the government assured the industry that existing exports to G7 countries will not be subject to additional scrutiny. This move aims to provide clarity and stability for the Indian diamond industry.

India and UK Trying to Resolve Visa, EV Issues in Trade Pact

Negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and the UK are facing hurdles due to disagreements on visa quotas for professionals and electric vehicle standards. The UK is hesitant to ease visa restrictions for Indian professionals, while India wants better access to the UK market for its electric vehicles. Both sides are working to find a solution that benefits both economies.

General & Sleeper Comprise 2/3rd of Total Train Coaches

Indian Railways revealed that two-thirds of its passenger train coaches are non-AC general and sleeper class. This highlights the dominance of affordable travel options in India’s rail network, catering to the needs of a large segment of the population. The government is taking steps to modernize the railway infrastructure and introduce more AC coaches, but affordability remains a key priority.

ESIC Raises Benefits under Disability and Dependent Schemes

The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation increased disability and dependent benefits by 6.14% to compensate for inflation. This move aims to support workers and their families in case of illness or death, particularly in light of rising living costs. The revised benefits will provide much-needed financial assistance to vulnerable sections of society.

Formal Job Creation Shrinks in October

The number of formal jobs created under the ESIC scheme slightly declined in October compared to September. This could indicate a slowdown in hiring activity in certain sectors, potentially impacted by global economic uncertainties. However, it’s important to monitor the trend over a longer period to draw definitive conclusions about the job market.

Re Gains Most Against US Dollar Since March

The Indian rupee registered its biggest single-day jump against the US dollar in the current financial year on Friday. This sharp appreciation of over 1% comes on the back of India’s trade deficit narrowing substantially and the central bank likely holding back dollar purchases.

The rising rupee signals improving macroeconomic fundamentals and export competitiveness. It can help contain imported inflation but may dim near-term prospects for sectors like IT, pharma who earn major foreign revenues. Overall, it brings currency stability and lifts market confidence.

Real Estate Stocks to be Driven by Rate Moves & Launches, says HSBC

As per a recent HSBC report, real estate stock performance will be determined by factors like housing launches, property rates movement and company debt positions amid changing interest rate cycles.

Accordingly, it maintains a positive outlook for developers like Prestige Estates and Sobha who have strong balance sheets, sales momentum along with room for expansion. However, expensive valuations and high leverage has led it to downgrade certain players like Oberoi Realty.

SBI Hikes its Benchmark Lending Rates by 5-15 bps

The State Bank of India has increased its External Benchmark Lending Rates across tenors in the range of 5 to 15 basis points starting December 15th. This move from India’s largest bank indicates further transmission of RBI’s past policy rate hikes to borrowers.

The marginal hike in SBI’s benchmark rates which are linked to repo rate changes implies that interest rates have almost peaked and future increases may be limited as inflation outlook seems to moderate giving relief to loan takers.

Sterling and Wilson Renewable Raises Rs1,500 crore via QIP

Sterling & Wilson Renewable Energy has raised Rs 1,500 crore through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) route. The company plans to utilize a major portion of the proceeds for debt repayment which will allow it to bid more aggressively for upcoming solar power contracts.

The successful QIP shows that renewable energy sector remains attractive for investors given India’s ambitious capacity expansion plans. It enables firms like Sterling Wilson to fund growth by tapping equity markets.

DOMS Inds Public Offer Subscribed 93.52 Times

The IPO of DOMS Industries, a specialty chemicals and toy maker, got massively oversubscribed by 93 times indicating huge investor appetite for the public issue. Such an exceptional response to IPOs highlights continuing positive sentiment for equities amid high inflation and interest rate environment.

DOMS business fundamentals including consistent revenue growth, high margins along with monopoly in certain products resonated well with institutional and retail investors alike.

Crude Oil Swings Negative as Feds peak Stifles Relief Rally

After initial gains, global crude oil prices erased all gains and declined on Friday as concerns over elevated inflation and possibility of aggressive rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve dampened investor risk appetite.

Hawkish statements from a top Fed official signaling further policy tightening to control inflation has stifled oil’s relief rally as it enhanced fears of an impending global economic slowdown which could severely hit fuel demand growth.

Forex Reserves Rise by $2.8 b to $606 b

India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $2.8 billion to $606 billion as on December 9th reveals RBI data. The increase was likely driven by foreign portfolio investments as US bond yields softened last week enhancing flows into Indian equity and debt markets.

The forex reserves provide the central bank ammunition to intervene in currency markets for curbing volatility. The rise after depletion in past months indicates improving macro stability and sentiment which supports domestic currency.

SoftBank Sells 2.54% in Policybazaar Parent

Japanese technology investment giant Softbank divested 2.54% ownership in Policybazaar’s parent entity PB Fintech for approximately Rs 914 crore through open market sale.

The stake sale allows Softbank to cash out part of its profits from early investments as PB Fintech valuations multiply after hugely successful IPO last year. It also shows investor focus shifting towards profit booking in new age tech listings after stellar debut performance.

Sovereign Gold Bond Issue Opens on Monday

The Government of India is issuing the next tranche of sovereign gold bonds from December 19 to 23 at an issue price of Rs 6,199 per gram which will track market rates subsequently. These bonds offer an alternative to physical gold allowing exposure to gold price movements in paperless form.

The sovereign gold bond scheme enables citizens to invest in non-physical gold free from storage risks while also benefitting from sovereign backing. It supports government efforts to monetize privately held gold for productive purposes.

Govt Plans to go Hi-tech to Reduce Wastage of Fresh Fruit and Veggies

The government is looking at utilizing a high-tech solution by Amazon retail company to reduce food wastage of fresh fruits and vegetables. This technology platform called Johari provides real-time tracking of the quality and shelf life of perishables like fruits and veggies in supply chain and warehouses.

It uses predictive analytics and sensors to monitor fresh produce as it moves from farms to consumers. By getting insights into factors causing spoilage, the system allows taking targeted corrective actions like faster movement of inventory, temperature controls etc. This prevents wastage especially due to oversupply and improper storage which causes huge losses for farmers.

The government is studying how this technology can be integrated across its own infrastructure like retail outlets, cold storages and also enable sharing of insights with producers. Wider adoption is expected to significantly trim losses as small course corrections at right stage based on data can improve shelf life leading to availability of quality produce for consumers. It will also raise incomes for farming community by reducing post-harvest losses.

Curbs may be Eased on Sugar Use for Ethanol Production

In a move to utilize excess sugar stocks, government is likely to permit around 1.7 million tonnes of sugar to be diverted towards ethanol production by distilleries in 2023-24 marketing year starting October. Recently restrictions were announced on using cane juice and syrup for ethanol amid lower sugar output concerns.

However permission for surplus sugar-based ethanol will prevent piling up of unsold sugar while meeting robust ethanol blending requirements. This dual benefit is possible due to sufficient sugar availability on back of higher output this year based on initial crop estimates. The distillation capacity is also set to be augmented so production will keep pace.

Smooth functioning of ambitious ethanol blended petrol program while liquidating sugar glut augurs well for industry stakeholders like sugar mills and cane farmers. The assurances on timely cane payments and minimum price also provides support to farming community.

EV Makers Bat for Continuation of Demand Incentive Scheme

Electric vehicle manufacturers have appealed for continuation of FAME II demand incentives beyond 2024 to make EV adoption more affordable until volumes pick up substantially. Industry players concur that despite rapid growth in recent years, EV market share remains under 5% of all automobiles and discontinuing fiscal support prematurely can negatively impact consumer shift to sustainable mobility.

Stakeholders contend that EV technology transition requires policy stability on incentives for few more years along with charging infrastructure ramp up to achieve an inflection point. While liking incentives to vehicle cost savings have limitations, the fiscal support is providing the necessary fillip. The industry suggests a concerted roadmap to taper subsidies only when EV penetration crosses 10-15% levels based on robust sales data across vehicle categories.

The constructive feedback highlights that EV ecosystem in India remains prone to government support until use cases like total cost of ownership parity with conventional vehicles is realized.

Consumption of Arhar Dal Down 15-20%

A notable drop in consumption of almost 15-20% is seen in pigeon peas (arhar dal) in 2023 as rising inflation has pushed retail prices up from Rs. 130-140 per kg last year to around Rs. 200 per kg now. The sudden spike in prices of this protein rich lentil has compelled households to cut down intake and shift food preferences resulting in demand contraction.

Industry voices say unseasonal weather vagaries, limited storage and dependence on few states for crop output has exposed arhar supplies to extreme price volatility. The high inflationary pressures have exacerbated affordability issues further dampening consumption especially in lower middle class segments.

Bringing price relief for dals and pulses remains a policy priority area to maintain nutritional security. The government recently allowed duty free import of moong and urad to augment domestic availability. Similar measures for arhar along with MSP hikes can help stabilize its prices to boost consumption again.


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