Government hikes authorised capital of FCI to Rs 10,000 cr

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 27, 2019

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved to increase the authorized capital of Food Corporation of India (FCI) from existing Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 10,000 crore.

With the increase of authorized capital, additional equity capital can be infused in FCI through union budget, to fund the foodgrains stock, perpetually held by FCI. This will reduce the borrowings of FCI, save interest cost of FCI and reduce food subsidy in consequence.

The operations of Food Corporation of India require maintaining perpetual stock of foodgrains which needs to be funded by the government through equity or long term loan. The government is providing equity to FCI for maintaining stocks. The present authorized equity capital of FCI is Rs 3,500 crore and paid up equity capital as on 31.03.2019 is Rs 3,447.58 crore.
FCI was constituted under the Food Corporations Act, 1964, to implement the food policy of Government of India. Its primary objective is to ensure minimum support price to farmers, maintain buffer stock of foodgrains and distribution of foodgrains under National Food Security Act and other welfare schemes of the centre.

Government may restrict import of all types of refined edible oils

Source: ETRetail.com, Nov 27, 2019

NEW DELHI: The government is considering putting restrictions on the import of all kinds of refined edible oils while continuing to keep crude oils under the free category.

This will help India encourage import of more crude oils, facilitating better utilisation of the refining capacity of the domestic industry. Currently, both refined and crude edible oils are under the free category of foreign trade, resulting in an unrestricted inflow into the country.

If the proposal gets through, refined oils can be imported only after obtaining an import licence while crude oils can continue to be shipped in on the basis of the import export code, without the requirement of any kind of licences.

“The need to amend the existing trade policy has arisen as the duty on both crude and refined palm oil is going to be lowered from January 1, 2020. The duties are set to go down to 37.5% from 40% on crude palm oil and to 45% from 50% on refined palm oil, effecting a low differential of 7.5 percentage points between the import duty of crude and refined palm oil.

This will encourage import of refined oil, affecting the domestic oil-refining business,” said a senior consumer affairs ministry official.

According to the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA), a trade body, the existing refining capacity in the country is around 30 million tonnes, but only 45% this is being utilised.

“If refined edible oils are put in the restricted category, the import of crude oil will increase and domestic refiners will get business and in turn jobs will also be created. Currently, due to lower tariffs, refined oils are directly imported and packaged for selling in market,” SEA executive director BV Mehta said.

The country imports around 15 million tonnes of edible oil a year, forking out Rs 70,000 crore.

Read the rest of this entry »

Burger King’s India sales up 66% in FY19

Source: ETRetail.com, Oct 07, 2019

MUMBAI: Fast food chain Burger King posted a 66% growth in sales in India in the year to March 2019 and significantly narrowed losses on the back of aggressive expansion, entry level pricing and largest vegetarian menu within global quick service restaurant chains.

The US chain that entered the Indian market in 2014 posted sales of Rs 644 crore in FY18-19 while its losses reduced to Rs 16 crore. A year ago, it had sales of Rs 389 crore with net loss of Rs 63 crore, data sourced from Veratech Intelligence showed. For Burger King, India has been the fastest growing market in terms of store expansion.

Last fiscal, it added about 58 stores, taking the store count to 187. Read the rest of this entry »

Food ministry pushes for increase in allocation of subsidised food grains

Source: The Economic Times, Sept. 17, 2019

NEW DELHI: The food ministry has revived the proposal to increase by 2 kg each the allocation of subsidised food grains to 810 million poor people covered under the National Food Security Act.

Food minister Ram Vilas Paswan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his approval for this proposal, which has been lying before the Cabinet for some time.

If the proposal gets clearance, it will help the government offload massive stocks piled up in granaries ahead of the fresh procurement season, which starts in October. Read the rest of this entry »

FSSAI frames law to promote food donation

Source: ETRetail.com, Aug 27, 2019

New Delhi: Food regulator FSSAI has framed a regulation to promote food donation by businesses and reduce wastage. “Food Authority has come up with the Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of surplus food) Regulations, 2019, so as to provide a legitimate backup to the food donation in India,” the regulator said in a statement.

The purpose of these regulations is to establish a uniform national regulation to protect organizations and individuals when they donate food in good faith.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) seeks to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. Read the rest of this entry »

India becomes Bacardi’s second- largest rum market by volume

Source: ETRetail.com, Aug 19, 2019

MUMBAI: India has outpaced Mexico to become Bacardi’s second largest market for rum by volume, as consumers gradually shift to pricier products across the spirits segments in a largely whiskey-dominated market.

Bacardi sold about 1.7 million cases of its eponymous brand in India, compared with 1.4 million in Mexico in 2018. A year earlier, both countries had similar volume sales at 1.4 million cases, according to the International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR). The US remained the largest market for the Bermuda-based company with rum sales of 6.4 million cases.

“We see lot of consumers upgrade to higher-priced rum and other spirits which helped us grow about 19% last year since most of our brands are into premium segments. India is also a top priority market for us globally, and we have been investing in bringing newer brands and supporting infrastructure last year,” said Sanjit Randhawa, the managing director at Bacardi India. “The market also bounced back after highway ban and regulatory issues a year ago.” Read the rest of this entry »

Vegetable oil import up 26% in July, palm oil shipment highest in 6 yrs

Source: Business Standard, Aug 14, 2019

Vegetable oils import rose 26 per cent to 14.12 lakh tonne last month on sharp jump in shipments of refined palm oil — highest since May 2013, according to industry body SEA.

Imports of vegetable oils (edible and non-edible) stood at 11.19 lakh tonne in July last year.

Edible oil import increased to 13.47 lakh tonne from 10.53 lakh tonne, while non-edible oil import fell to 64,119 tonne from 65,825 tonne, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said in a statement.

During November 2018 to July 2019 period, the overall import of vegetable oils went up 5 per cent to 112.8 lakh tonne against 107.6 lakh tonne in the corresponding period of the previous year. Oil year runs from November to October. Read the rest of this entry »