Category: Business

With Focus on Rooftop Solar & Energy Security, Budget 2024 Sets India on Path to A Sustainable Economy

No Comments

With its focus on expanding rooftop solar, energy security, and climate-resilient agriculture, Budget 2024 has set India on the path to a sustainable economy, said experts, highlighting that it demonstrates the country’s commitment to climate action and clean energy.

“Energy transition is critical in the fight against climate change,” said finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Budget in Parliament on Tuesday.

The minister said the government’s renewable energy scheme, PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana, has already received more than 1.28 crore registrations and 14 lakh applications. The scheme launched early this year aims to install rooftop solar plants over 1 crore households across the country. This also allows them to obtain free electricity for up to 300 units every month.

“The Budget reflects India’s commitment to sustainable development with significant allocations like ₹1.52 lakh crore for climate-resilient agriculture and initiatives for rooftop solar. The focus on critical minerals, a policy for pumped storage projects, and the decision to develop a policy document on energy transition pathways is laudable too. However, what remains to be seen is how the role of nuclear power in India’s energy mix takes shape,” said Aarti Khosla, Director, Climate Trends.

CLIMATE FINANCE & ENERGY TRANSITION

Experts also welcomed the government’s announcement for developing a taxonomy for climate finance, which had been a long-pending demand from investors and industry. This will enhance the availability of capital for climate adaptation, as well as mitigation. However, the statement lacks timelines not only for developing taxonomy but also for carbon pricing mechanisms and strategies for mobilizing climate finance for adaptation and mitigation efforts in vulnerable communities, pointed out experts.

Sitharaman announced that the government will bring out a policy document on the appropriate energy transition pathways, and formulate a roadmap for moving the “hard to abate” industries from “energy efficiency targets” to “emission targets”. A Pumped Storage Policy is also on the anvil to promote pumped storage projects for electricity storage and smooth integration of the growing share of renewable energy in the power mix.

CLIMATE-RESILIENT AGRICULTURE, GREEN ECONOMY

The Budget also announced a comprehensive review of the agriculture research setup to bring focus on raising productivity and developing climate-resilient varieties. Sitharaman said funding will be provided in challenge mode and domain experts both from the government and outside will oversee the conduct of the research. As many as 109 new high-yielding and climate-resilient varieties of 32 field and horticulture crops will be released for cultivation by farmers, she added.

Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), said the Budget addresses India’s clean energy ambitions and also outlines actions on water treatment, air quality, and recovery from riverine floods. The emphasis on flood mitigation in vulnerable states like Sikkim, Assam, Bihar, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh is a welcome step, he said. “Each of these provisions—from clean energy markets, to green industry, to quality of life—can benefit from a focus on loss prevention from climate events, promoting new business models for households and small industry, a circular economy of resources, and innovative financing beyond budgetary support,” added Ghosh.

CRITICAL MINERAL MISSION

Experts also welcomed the announcement of a Critical Mineral Mission and proposed to fully exempt customs duties on 25 critical minerals and reduce Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on two of them to provide a fillip to the processing and refining of such minerals and help secure their availability for these strategic and important sectors.

“Critical minerals are building blocks for energy transition and for other strategic sectors such as electronics, defence, and telecommunications. Through this Budget announcement, India has also started to take action on its commitments for G20 last year to build reliable, diversified, sustainable, and responsible supply chains of critical minerals,” said Rishabh Jain, Senior Programme Lead, CEEW.

THUMBS-UP FROM WIND SECTOR

The Budget received a thumbs-up from the wind sector as well, whose representatives said the announcements align well with the priorities of the industry for the current fiscal year – including the creation of jobs and the growth of the manufacturing sector, in particular, MSMEs.

“The recent Budget demonstrates India’s global leadership in combating climate change by prioritizing the development of clean technologies and fostering a conducive environment for renewable energy investments. This will not only enhance India’s energy security but also expedite the energy transition with its forward-thinking approach,” said Girish Tanti, Chairman, Global Wind Energy Council, India.

Budget 2024-25: Centre to Spend Rs 11.11 Lakh Crore Towards Capex

No Comments

Capex under Budget 2024-25.

The government will provide Rs 11.11 lakh crore towards capex for 202425, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

The government will provide Rs 11.11 lakh crore towards capex for 2024-25, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday. Presenting Union Budget for FY25, she stated that the government is aiming to maintain strong fiscal support for infrastructure projects for the next five years.

Sitharaman also noted that the government will facilitate investment grade energy audit of micro and small industries in 60 clusters.

Besides, the government will take up setting up of power projects, including a 2,400 MW power plant at Pirpainti in Bihar at a cost of Rs 21,400 crore.

Stay informed with our comprehensive coverage of Union Budget 2024. Get the latest on new income tax slab rates for AY 2024-25 in Income Tax Slabs Budget 2024 LIVE Updates . Track the impact of Budget 2024 on the stock market in Stock Market Budget Day 2024 LIVE Updates. Watch Union Budget LIVE Streaming here

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

Capex Sees Three-Fold Rise Compared To 2020, Roads, Railways Major Beneficiaries: Economic Survey

No Comments

To overcome the pandemic-driven economic slowdown, the Union government focused on increasing capital expenditure aimed particularly at creation of high quality physical and social infrastructure facilities, said the Economic Survey 2023-24 tabled by Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Monday.

Keeping the momentum going over the past five years, the survey stated that capital expenditure of the government has seen an almost three-fold increase in FY24, compared to FY20 levels. It added that the major beneficiaries of this step-up are key foundational assets such as roads and railways.

ALSO READ | ‘India Inc Profit Rising, But Salary, Hiring Not Keeping Pace’: Govt’s Message To Companies In Economic Survey

“With increased public investment over the past five years, India has witnessed significant expansion in physical and digital connectivity and social infrastructure, including sanitation and water supply, helping improve quality of life of the people,” it states.

About the road and highways, the Economic Survey observes that strategic planning and step-up in public investment have resulted in the upgradation of the road network system into a resilient and efficient infrastructure.

“The capital investment by the Government and private sector rose from 0.4 per cent in FY15 to about 1.0 per cent of GDP (around Rs 3.01 lakh crore) in FY24. The sector has attracted its highest-ever private investment in FY24 as the private sector capitalises on a conducive policy environment,” mentioned the survey.

Referring to the significant progress in the national highways sector, the survey stated that the development of national highways, over the last ten years, has increased by 1.6 times between 2014 and 2024.

It also stated that the Bharatmala Pariyojana has significantly expanded the national highway network, increasing the length of high-speed corridors by 12 times and four-lane roads by 2.6 times between 2014 and 2024.

Further, the efficiency of highway construction has improved due to the systematic push through the corridor-based National Highway development approach.

“The average pace of NH construction increased by three times from 11.7 km per day in FY14 to 34 km per day by FY24,” it states.

The survey observed that the remarkable improvement of the NH network has brought about substantial advancements in logistics efficiency which is evidenced by the consistently rising India’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Logistics Performance Index, from 54 in 2014 and 44 in 2018, to 38 in 2023.

To further enhance logistic efficiency, the Economic Survey mentioned that the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has dedicated Multi-Modal Logistics Parks (MMLP).

It stated that a total of six multimodal logistics parks (MMLPs) have been awarded until FY24, and Rs 2,505 crore have been awarded for dedicated multimodal logistics parks (MMLPs) in FY24. Further, it stated, seven MMLPs are planned to be awarded in FY25.

RAILWAY CAPEX UP BY 77% IN FIVE YEARS

According to Economic Survey 2023-24, Indian Railways, with over 68,584 route km, as of March 31, 2024, and 12.54 lakh employees (as of 1st April 2024), is the fourth largest network in the world under single management.

The survey stated that the capital expenditure on Railways has increased by 77 per cent over the past 5 years, Rs 2.62 lakh crore in FY24, with significant investments in the construction of new lines, gauge conversion, and doubling.

It also noted that the Railways has achieved its highest-ever production for both locomotives and wagons in FY24.

“A total of 51 pairs of Vande Bharat have been introduced until March 2024. The fast pace of infrastructure augmentation has been the result of a substantial increase in financial allocation along with close project monitoring and regular follow-up with stakeholders for expeditious land acquisition and clearances,” the Survey observed.

It also mentioned the initiatives undertaken by Railways for providing clean environment in and around railway stations and trains, such as replacement of conventional toilets with bio-toilets on coaches leading to clean tracks, segregation of biodegradable/non-biodegradable waste, solid waste management and discouraging use of single use plastic.

The key focus areas for Railways, according to Economic Survey 2023-24, include fast capacity augmentation, modernisation of rolling stock and maintenance, improving quality of services and energy efficiency.

ALSO READ | Jobs Creation, Agri Push, Skill Development, MSME Support: Govt Unveils Key Policy Focus Areas

In line with this, the survey stated that the investments are prioritised in areas such as dedicated freight corridors, high-speed rail, modern passenger services like Vande Bharat, Amrit Bharat Express, Aastha Special Trains, high-capacity rolling stock and last-mile rail linkages.

Projects for three major corridors – high-traffic density corridors, energy, mineral and cement corridors and rail sagar (port connectivity) corridors — are also planned to reduce logistics cost and carbon footprint, the survey said.

As per the Survey, Railways has also planned to reduce its carbon footprint primarily through sourcing of its energy requirements through renewable energy sources and the expected requirement of installation of renewable capacity by 2029-30 is around 30 GigaWatts. Other strategies mentioned by survey include shifting from diesel to electric traction, promotion of energy efficiency and afforestation.

How Will Budget 2024-25 Impact You? Key Things to Watch in FM Sitharaman’s Speech

No Comments

The Union Budget 2024-25, which will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday at 11 am, is a crucial document that will outline the government’s revenue and expenditure for the full financial year 2024-25. It impacts every citizen, from individuals to businesses, and sets the tone for economic growth and stability. Understanding how the budget affects you can help you make informed financial decisions and prepare for any changes in the economic landscape.

The Parliament’s Budget Session has started today, July 22, and will continue till August 12. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is slated to present the Union Budget on July 23 at 11 am. Leading up to this, the Economic Survey has been tabled in Parliament today by the finance minister, offering a detailed assessment of the country’s economic landscape.

Here’s a breakdown of the key aspects of the upcoming Budget and their potential impact on different sections of society.

Income Tax Announcements

One of the most closely watched sections of any budget is the income tax proposals. In past Budgets, the government has introduced several changes aimed at providing relief to the middle class and boosting disposable income.

Tax Slabs Adjustment: The basic exemption limit is currently at Rs 3 lakh, means that those earning up to this level do not have to pay any tax. Additionally, the tax rates for various slabs have been adjusted in the past few Budgets, potentially lowering the overall tax burden for many individuals.

Standard Deduction Increase: There have been talks going on regarding the government likely to raise the standard deduction to Rs 1 lakh, from the current Rs 50,000. This move may simplify tax calculations and provide more disposable income to salaried employees.

Business and Industry

The budget will likely have several provisions aimed at supporting businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are the backbone of the Indian economy.

Corporate Tax: Corporate tax, which is a major source of revenue for the central government, is a vital component of India’s fiscal framework. It plays a significant role in the nation’s annual Budget. Any changes in that may impact businesses. Apart from that, it is also expected to provide incentives for startups and SMEs.

Manufacturing Boost: The production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme has been extended to more sectors in the past few years, encouraging domestic manufacturing and reducing dependency on imports. The Budget 2024 is expected to further expand its scope to boost the Make in India initiative.

Ease of Doing Business: The Budget 2024-25 is expected to announce simplified regulations and digitisation of processes aimed at making it easier to start and run a business in India. The government’s announcements on infrastructure will further enhance the business environment.

Social Welfare and Infrastructure

The Budget is also expected to focus on social welfare schemes and infrastructure development, which will have long-term benefits for the population.

Healthcare and Education: Significant allocations could be made for the healthcare and education sectors. The government is likely to set up more medical colleges and improve the quality of education through digital initiatives. This will ensure better access to healthcare and education for the masses.

Infrastructure Development: Massive investments in infrastructure, including roads, railways, and urban development, are expected to create jobs and spur economic growth. The focus on renewable energy and green projects will also contribute to sustainable development.

Social Security: The Budget 2024-25 is likely to have enhanced provisions for social security, including pensions and insurance for the underprivileged, aimed at providing a safety net for the most vulnerable sections of society.

Agriculture and Rural Development

Agriculture remains a priority, with several measures aimed at improving the income and livelihood of farmers.

Direct benefit transfers (DBT): Increased allocations for DBT schemes ensure that subsidies and benefits reach farmers directly, reducing leakages and improving efficiency.

Rural Infrastructure: Investments in rural infrastructure, such as roads, irrigation, and storage facilities, aim to boost agricultural productivity and connectivity.

Agri-Tech Initiatives: Encouragement for agri-tech startups and adoption of modern farming techniques will help farmers increase their yields and income.

The Budget 2024-25 is a comprehensive document that aims to address the needs of various sections of society. While the immediate impact may vary, the long-term benefits of increased disposable income, better business conditions, improved social welfare, and enhanced infrastructure will contribute to overall economic growth and stability. Staying informed and adapting to these changes will help individuals and businesses navigate the evolving economic landscape effectively.

Sameer Nigam Offers ‘Unconditional Apology’ Amid ‘Uninstall PhonePe’ Drive Over Karnataka Job Quota Bill Stance

No Comments

PhonePe CEO and co-founder Sameer Nigam apologised for his remarks on the now-suspended Karnataka reservation bill. (Image: X)

Sameer Nigam released a full-length statement apologizing for his views on the Karnataka reservation bill on Sunday on X.

The Chief Executive Officer of digital payment operator PhonePe, Sameer Nigam, offered an “unconditional apology” on Sunday following calls to uninstall PhonePe over his views on the new Karnataka job quota bill.

“I would first and foremost like to clarify that it was NEVER my intention to insult Karnataka and its people. If my comments hurt anyone’s sentiments in such a way, I am truly sorry and would like to offer you an unconditional apology,” Sameer Nigam said in a statement.

The move assumes significance as PhonePe drew criticism and boycott calls on social media after Nigam had slammed the now-suspended Karnataka government’s quota-for-jobs bill, which had originally proposed reservation for locals in the private sector.

Nigam had criticised the Karnataka State Employment of Local Candidates in the Industries, Factories and Other Establishments Bill, 2024 and appeared to oppose it.

He had questioned if his children deserve jobs in their ‘home city’ while criticising the bill.

“I am 46 years old. Never lived in a state for 15+ yrs. My father worked in the Indian Navy. Got posted all over the country. His kids don’t deserve jobs in Karnataka? I build companies. Have created 25000+ jobs across India! My kids dont deserve jobs in their home city? Shame,” Nigam had posted on X recently.

His post had unleashed massive trolling, as social media users in Karnataka lashed out at Nigam and called for a boycott of PhonePe.

On Sunday, Nigam said that he formed his opinion from a corporate perspective where the focus lies on hiring the best available talent in India based on their skills to compete on a global stage. He also thanked the people of Karnataka for their contribution in building the startup ecosystem that Bengaluru currently has.

“Bengaluru’s reputation as the “Silicon valley of India” is truly well-deserved. The city thrives on an incredible culture of innovation, and attracts the most brilliant young minds from Karnataka and the rest of India. As a company, we are deeply grateful for the supportive business environment that Karnataka’s governments and its local Kannadiga populace have offered us. Without such an inclusive ecosystem and progressive policies, Bengaluru would not have become a global technology superpower,” he said.

He also said that he did not want to insult the people of Karnataka.

“I read some recent media articles, relating to a few personal comments that I made last week regarding the draft job reservation bill. I would first and foremost like to clarify that it was NEVER my intention to insult Karnataka and its people,” Nigam said.

“Companies must be able to employ the very best talent available in India purely based on their technology skills and proficiency in fields,” he said. “As a nation, that is the only way we can build world-class companies that can compete in the global village that we live in today,” said Nigam.

The Karnataka State Employment of Local Candidates in the Industries, Factories and Other Establishments Bill, 2024 had highlighted that 50 per cent of the candidates working in any factory or industry in a management category and 70 per cent in the non-management category should come from the State of Karnataka.

“Any industry, factory or other establishments shall appoint fifty per cent of local candidates in management categories and seventy per cent in non-management categories,” according to the bill.

The bill also requires candidates who did not study Kannada in secondary school to pass a Kannada language proficiency test. The nodal agency, empowered by the State of Karnataka, can request any records or documents about the candidate.

Budget 2024 Expectations: Investment In Oil Exploration, Tax Rebate On Solar, Energy Sector Wish-list

No Comments

As the Union Budget 2024 approaches, industry leaders from the energy sector are voicing their expectations and hopes for supportive policies and reforms. Kapil Garg, Chairman & Managing Director of Oilmax Energy, emphasises the need for regulatory changes and GST incorporation to stabilise gas prices and boost oil exploration investments. Amit Uplenchwar of Kalpataru Projects International Limited (KPIL) calls for swift government actions to support advanced energy solutions and infrastructure development.

Experts like Neerav Nanavaty, CEO of BluPine Energy, highlight the importance of boosting renewable sector support to drive innovation and ensure project execution. Sharad Pungalia of Amplus Solar urges the alleviation of tax burdens on solar projects and better credit access for MSMEs.

N.P Ramesh, COO of Orb Energy, anticipates measures to enhance residential solar adoption and incentivize commercial investments.

These industry voices collectively underscore the necessity for strategic government interventions to propel the energy sector towards a sustainable and prosperous future.

Oil and Gas Sector

Kapil Garg, Chairman & Managing Director, Oilmax Energy, is optimistic that the needs of the oil and gas sector will be recognised and addressed.

This sector has the potential to grow rapidly, but it requires supportive regulatory reforms to be implemented promptly.

“Incorporating GST into gas pricing is crucial at this juncture. Stabilising gas prices across the nation, which have been inconsistent and created significant disparities within the industry, is equally important,” Garg says.

Investment In Oil Exploration

Garg adds that with a potential decline in oil production by 2030, increasing investment in oil exploration is essential. This will not only build confidence among domestic players to venture beyond shallow waters and into deep-sea exploration but also ensure sustained growth in capacity, he says.

Continued capital expenditure (CAPEX) investment is necessary, particularly in energy, logistics, and infrastructure, including gas pipelines and railway corridors.

‘Swift Government Actions On Energy Project Approvals’

Amit Uplenchwar, Director, Kalpataru Projects International Limited (KPIL), highlights that the government has set ambitious targets for deploying advanced energy solutions, including clean hydrogen, energy storage, and carbon capture, with a planned investment of $35 billion annually until 2030.

“The industry requires swift government actions on project approvals and supportive policies for sustainable energy transmission and dissemination, such as production-linked incentives, tax credits, and subsidies. GAIL’s proposal for a 1500 KTPA ethane cracker unit in Madhya Pradesh could be a game-changer, fostering numerous public-private partnerships and generating thousands of jobs,” Uplenchwar says.

Uplenchwar also adds that significant government intervention is needed in the oil & gas, energy, and transmission & distribution (T&D) sectors in the form of financial aid and support for technology development, and to keep up the infrastructure momentum which are crucial for domestic business growth.

Skilled Workforce In the Renewable Sector

Neerav Nanavaty, CEO at BluPine Energy urges the government to significantly boost support for the renewable sector, pivotal for driving innovation and ensuring efficient project execution.

Nanavaty underlines that a skilled workforce is crucial to meet escalating demands and push technological boundaries forward.

Grid Infrastructure

Nanavaty notes that the seamless integration of renewable sources into a resilient grid infrastructure will enhance national reliability and resilience. Robust regulations for the C & I sector will not only attract investments but also streamline operations, fostering sustainable growth.

“We expect increased support in the solar sector through adequate funding and favourable policies, essential for driving innovation and expanding clean energy deployment. Despite challenges such as high initial costs and regulatory complexities, robust incentives and streamlined processes are imperative to make solar power more accessible and affordable. This strategic focus will propel India towards a brighter, greener future, reinforcing our global leadership in clean energy innovation and sustainability,” Nanavaty adds.

Support Solar Projects

Sharad Pungalia, MD & CEO of Amplus Solar urges the government to support solar projects by alleviating the existing tax burden on project costs, especially now that the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) has been fully implemented.

Pungalia says that there must be rationalisation of GST across all components of the solar sector, and the government should consider eliminating the Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on solar modules.

Battery Energy Storage Systems

Pungalia points out that implementing concessional duties on Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) is crucial to advancing our storage capabilities and ensuring a stable and reliable energy supply.

Credit Access for MSMEs

MSMEs represent a significant demand sector, particularly for rooftop and residential solar projects. By integrating them more comprehensively into the financial system, we can significantly boost capacity additions and drive growth within the solar sector, Pungalia says.

Pungalia expects the budget to facilitate increased credit access for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through targeted lending by financial institutions.

Enhancing Residential Solar Adoption

N.P Ramesh, Co-founder and COO, Orb Energy, says the solar industry eagerly anticipates pivotal measures to accelerate India’s renewable energy goals.

According to Ramesh, key priorities include enhancing residential solar adoption with proposed personal income tax benefits up to 3 lakhs.

“This can be considered instead of the current subsidy of Rs.78,000. For commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors, increasing depreciation benefits to 60-80% from the current 40% will incentivize substantial investments in solar installations, bolstering sustainability efforts across businesses,” Ramesh adds.

Anti-dumping Duties

Ramesh also urges the removal of anti-dumping duties on raw materials for solar modules is crucial to enhancing manufacturing competitiveness and reducing dependency on imports.

Additionally, a proposed 7-year tax holiday for investments in PV module or solar cell production will stimulate domestic manufacturing capabilities, fostering job creation and economic growth, Ramesh says.

Cutting Fiscal Burden: Measures To Reduce Debt With Minimum Budgetary Support

No Comments

India’s fiscal debt situation.

India’s combined debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to be 83.2 per cent and is expected to peak at 83.8 per cent by FY 2027. It is necessary to stabilise the country’s debt.

Written by R P Gupta:

India’s combined debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to be 83.2 per cent and is expected to peak at 83.8 per cent by FY 2027. It is necessary to stabilise the country’s debt. Subsidies are there to support the poor. Infrastructure spending in the commercial and social sectors is also crucial. In such circumstances, it is indeed a great challenge for both governments to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio. This must be resolved by using all policy tools combined with financial innovations.

To bring down the debt levels, raising taxes is challenging as it will further add to the burden of the common man. The investment rate can’t be reduced as that will slow down economic growth. Hence, there are steps that can be taken:

Lower Interest Rates

There is a need for lower interest rates, that will boost capital in companies, thus raising investment. Lower interest rates will will also reduce the debt-servicing cost. Currently, the inflation in India is not due to “demand-push” but rather it is “cost-push” inflation. Inflation can be decreased by reducing the cost of basic inputs such as capital, energy, logistics, and minerals. Eventually, this shall boost private investment and exports.

Disinvestments

Secondly, there are more than 400 public sector enterprises (PSEs) owned by both governments in various fields such as railways, NHAI, power generation and transmission, ports, airports, mining, insurance, finance, and many others. These may be corporatised and listed on the stock exchange, as was recently done with LIC. By doing this, the governments can raise funds by selling shares among the public in tranches while retaining ownership. This will be the right choice compared to total disinvestment and/or leasing out. By this, part of the government debt can be swapped with equity.

The booming capital market shall facilitate such partial disinvestment. All these PSEs have huge surplus land and other intangibles; their value shall be unlocked. These PSUs should be pursued for sharing the investment burden in their core competence areas and allied fields, besides infrastructure. Particularly, the railways has huge potential to invest in increasing goods traffic and earning huge profits. Its investment needs shall be met through a mix of debt and equity. By this, the logistics cost shall be reduced, benefiting the economy.

Forming JVs

Likewise, there are many avenues for unlocking growth potential without budgetary support. Eventually, this will also give a kick-start to the private investment cycle. New listed companies may also be incorporated in joint ventures with states and/or reputed corporates for infrastructure spending by infusing equity and raising debt from banks and the bond market with sovereign guarantees.

Regulatory Easing

For creating jobs, the manufacturing and construction sectors need regulatory easing. The MSME sector, particularly small and micro units, need tax incentives as they can provide a large number of jobs. Likewise, some schemes may be formulated for farmers to convert farming into a profitable business. By this, financial distress shall be reduced. Thereafter, the subsidy burden can be moderated in subsequent budgets.

Structural Reforms

It’s been more than 30 years of the 1991 reforms. Now, India needs another series of structural reforms exceeding those of 1991. Business and taxation laws must be simplified to motivate entrepreneurs for new businesses and business expansions. Facilitation must co-exist with regulation. The growth model must be based on investment and export-led growth. It must deliver inclusive and higher GDP growth in a consistent manner. That will provide solutions to all problems. The existing financial savings rate is not adequate for financing investment needs. Ways and means may be designed to keep the Rupee stable; this will attract global capital to meet investment needs.

Credit Regulation

Banks must reduce personal loans, except for housing and education, and increase commercial credits to finance business expansion needs. The capital market should facilitate the listing of small and mid-sized corporates. However, composite planning should be done for five years after evaluating investment needs in various areas.

For such radical changes, unity and team spirit within the country at the Centre and state levels are most crucial. Thereafter, resolving all problems shall be a trivial issue.

(The author is an industrialist and author of ‘Turn Around India’)

Gold Rate Falls In India: Check 22 Carat Price In Your City On July 20

No Comments

Gold price in India on July 20.

Gold Rate Today: Check Gold Prices in Different Cities on July 20, 2024 (In Rs per 10 grams).

Gold Rate Today In India: On July 20, gold prices in India hovered near Rs 74,000 per 10 grams. This rate represents a premium for purer gold. The price of 24-carat, the highest purity, on Saturday fell to Rs 73,970 per 10 grams amid weak spot demand. For those interested in jewellery, 22-carat gold, known for its added durability due to a slight alloy mix, was priced at Rs 68,800 per 10 grams.

Meanwhile, silver’s price stood at Rs 93,150 per kilogram.

Gold rate today in India: Retail gold price on July 20

Check gold rates today in different cities on July 20, 2024; (In Rs/10 grams)

City 22 Carat Gold Rate Today 24 Carat Gold Rate Today
Delhi 68,950 74,120
Mumbai 68,800 73,970
Ahmedabad 67,850 74,020
Chennai 68,400 74,620
Kolkata 67,800 73,970
Gurugram 67,950 74,120
Lucknow 67,950 74,120
Bengaluru 67,800 73,970
Jaipur 67,950 74,120
Patna 67,850 74,020
Bhubaneshwar 67,800 73,970
Hyderabad 67,800 75,970

India’s reliance on imported gold largely influences domestic prices, which closely mirror global trends. Additionally, the cultural importance of gold in India, particularly during festivals and weddings, can impact demand levels.

Retail Cost of Gold in India

The retail price of gold in India, reflecting the final cost per unit weight for consumers, is influenced by various factors beyond the metal’s intrinsic value.

Gold holds immense cultural importance in India, serving as a major investment and playing a crucial role in traditional weddings and festivals.

Amid ongoing market fluctuations, investors and traders closely monitor these dynamics. Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving story.

Reliance Industries Q1 Earnings: Revenue Climbs 11.5%, Boosted by Telecom, Retail, and Oil & Gas Businesses

No Comments

RIL Q1 Results. (Representational Image)

RIL Q1 Results: Profitability in RIL’s oil & gas division surged 30%, driven by a 44% rise in gas production from the KG D6 field.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) reported an 11.5 percent increase in revenue to Rs 2.58 lakh crore in the fiscal first quarter from a year ago, bolstered by contributions across segments.

Consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) rose 2 percent from a year earlier to Rs 42,748 crore. The company’s net profit (pre minority) for the quarter ended June 30 dropped 4.5 percent to Rs 17,445 crore, primarily due to increased depreciation expenses.

RIL’s oil and gas business’s EBITDA surged by 30% due to higher production volume. Operating profits for Jio Platforms Ltd and Reliance Retail Ltd rose 11.6% and 10.5%, respectively.

The oil-to-chemicals (O2C) segment’s EBITDA declined 14.3 percent from a year earlier to Rs 13,093 crore due to lower transportation fuel cracks and downstream chemical margins. This downturn was partially mitigated by low feedstock costs and robust domestic demand. Sequentially, O2C EBITDA fell 22 percent due to a fall in fuel cracks amid subdued demand and increased supply, although it was cushioned by improved downstream chemical margins.

While energy market volatility continued to affect short-term earnings, the underlying business dynamics remained favourable. Factors such as geopolitics, weather conditions, operational outages, and new refining capacities also drove volatility.

Jio Platforms Ltd’s EBITDA increased to Rs 14,638 crore. Jio’s subscriber base rose to 489.7 million, with a net addition of 8 million users during the June quarter. The company also reported 130 million 5G users.

EBITDA of the oil and gas business rose to Rs 5,210 crore. The segment’s EBITDA margin stood at 84.3%. A 44 percent boost in gas production from the KG D6 field partly offset the impact of lower price realizations. The average production at KGD6 was reported at 28.7 MMSCMD of gas and approximately 21,640 barrels per day of condensate.

EBITDA for RIL’s retail business rose to ₹5,664 crore, with store area surpassing 80 million sq ft.

RIL’s capital expenditure for the quarter stood at Rs 28,785 crore, comfortably covered by a cash profit of Rs 33,757 crore. Net debt as of June 30 decreased to Rs 1.12 lakh crore, down from Rs 1.16 lakh crore as of March 31, 2024.

Disclaimer:Network18 and TV18 – the companies that operate news18.com – are controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.

Kataria Industries IPO Closes Today: Check Subscription Status, GMP Today

No Comments

Kataria Industries IPO: The initial public offering (IPO) of Kataria Industries Limited, which is going to be closed today, July 19, has received a decent response from investors. Till 10:40 am on the final day of bidding on Friday, July 19, the 52.56-crore IPO received a whopping 51.51 times subscription, garnering bids for 20,95,28,400 shares as against 40,67,400 shares on offer.

The price band of the IPO has been fixed at Rs 91-Rs 96 apiece. The issue was opened for public subscription on July 16.

The retail quota received a 81.80 times subscription, while the non-institutional investors category got 49.64 times subscription. The qualified institutional buyers (QIB) category got a 49 per cent subscription.

Investors need to apply for a minimum of 1,200 equity shares and in multiples thereof. Hence, the minimum investment by retail investors would be Rs 1,15,200 [1,200 (lot size) x Rs 96 (upper price band)].

The Kataria Industries IPO allotment will likely be finalised on July 22, Monday; while its listing will take place on the NSE SME on July 24.

Kataria Industries IPO GMP Today

According to market observers, unlisted shares of Kataria Industries Ltd are trading Rs 68 higher in the grey market as compared with its issue price. The Rs 68 grey market premium or GMP means the grey market is expecting a 70.83 per cent listing gain from the public issue. The GMP is based on market sentiments and keeps changing.

‘Grey market premium’ indicates investors’ readiness to pay more than the issue price.

Kataria Industries IPO: More Details

The Kataria Industries IPO is entirely a fresh issue of 56.85 lakh shares. The price band is set at Rs 91 to Rs 96 per share.

Kataria Industries Ltd, established in 2004, manufactures and supplies low relaxation pre-stressed concrete (LRPC) strands and steel wires, post-tensioning (PT) anchorage system (anchor cone, anchor head, and wedges), HDPE single-wall corrugated (SWC) sheathing ducts, couplers, and aluminum conductors.

Kataria Industries Ltd’s revenue rose 2.26 per cent and its net profit incfreased 28.83 per cent during the financial year 2023-24.

Interactive Financial Services Ltd is the book running lead manager of the Kataria Industries IPO, while Bigshare Services Pvt Ltd is the registrar for the issue.