FMCG companies fear consumption slowdown due to cash crunch

Source: ETRetail.com, Apr 20, 2018

NEW DELHI: India’s consumer-facing companies are getting jittery as the cash crunch this year across four states heading for assembly elections, and several surrounding ones, could derail the just recovering buoyancy after the twin blows of demonetisation and GST implementation.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Bihar, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh have been witnessing currency shortage over the past few weeks. Elections are underway in Karnataka, and scheduled later in the year in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram by January 2019.

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Govt panel starts work on proposed 5G blueprint

download (4).jpgSource: LiveMint.com, Apr 20, 2018

New Delhi: A high-level panel constituted by the government to work out a roadmap for 5G rollout held its third meeting on Thursday, and is now working on drafting interim reports on the proposed 5G blueprint, a person familiar with the matter said.

The forum, chaired by the telecom secretary, will hold its next meeting in mid-June, a government official familiar with the development said. “The third meeting of the 5G forum was held on Thursday and the interim reports can be expected shortly. The next meeting is likely to be held on 14 June,” the person said.

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Scandals, bad debts at Indian banks threaten economic outlook

Source: LiveMint.com, Apr 23, 2018

Mumbai: Scandals, bad debts, ATM cash shortages—India’s banking system has experienced them all in recent months and the bad run is starting to have repercussions for both the broader economy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s nearly $1.7 trillion formal banking sector is coping with $210 billion of soured or problem loans, and some regional banks have been ensnared in fraud scandals. With a national election slated for April or May, Goldman Sachs Group economists have trimmed their growth projections for the year ending March to 7.6% t from 8% amid concerns that the banking system’s woes are more widespread than previously thought.

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Amazon’s next big plan for India: To deliver ‘all you need’ in 2 hours

download (3)Source: Business Standard, Apr 23, 2018

Bengaluru: Amazon.com Inc expects groceries and household products to account for over half of its business in India in the next five years, as it moves to broaden offerings in the segment and foray into areas such as fresh produce.

Amit Agarwal, the India head of Amazon, said in an interview on Friday that groceries and goods such as creams, soaps and cleaning products, were already the largest product category on Amazon in terms of number of units sold in India.

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Idea’s proposal seeking 100 pc FDI under consideration of DIPP

download (2).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Apr 22, 2018

NEW DELHI: Idea Cellular Ltd’s proposal to allow up to 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the company is under consideration of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), an official said.

The proposal assumes significance against the backdrop of pending merger of Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone India to form the country’s largest telecom operator.

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Steel production in India seen increasing to a record in FY18

download (6).jpgSource: LiveMint.com, Apr 20, 2018

Mumbai: Indian firms are estimated to have churned out a record amount of steel in the year that ended in March as the government took steps to protect steel makers, construction activity rebounded and China shut down illegal factories.

India produced 86.7 million tonnes (mt) in the nine months to December from 73.96 mt in the previous year, according to provisional figures from the steel ministry. Exports rose to 7.6 mt from 4.98 mt in the previous year.download (7)

India, in fact, has been a net exporter of steel for the past 13 months and has surpassed Japan to be the world’s second largest exporter.

Last year’s National Steel Policy that projected crude steel production capacity will increase to 300 mt per year for 2030-31 from 100-120 mt now came on heels of the government introducing a minimum import duty (MIP) on certain steel products, and an anti-dumping duty on products from China and European countries. The duty on Chinese products was later extended to five years.

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$8.63-billion advanced fighter aircraft project with Russia put on ice

Source: Business Standard, Apr 20, 2018

New Delhi: The proposal for India and Russia to jointly develop an advanced fighter — the eponymous Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) — has been formally buried. Business Standard has learnt that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval conveyed the decision to a Russian ministerial delegation at a “Defence Acquisition Meeting” in end-February.

Doval and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, who attended the meeting, asked the Russians to proceed alone with developing their fifth-generation fighter. They said India might possibly join the project later, or buy the fully developed fighter outright, after it entered service with the Russian Air Force.

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