Now, India’s forging industry reports 25%-30% decline in output

Source: LiveMint.com, Aug 24, 2019

While it will be some time before the impact of the steps to boost the economy announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday becomes evident, the association of Indian forging industry (AIFI) has reported an average decline of 25% – 30% in production largely due to its high exposure to the automotive sector.

AIFI said the annual output of the domestic forging industry, comprising about 400 units across India, was 30 Lakh metric tons in FY2019, with a total output valuation of up to ₹50,000 crore.

In an interaction with Mint, S Muralishankar, president, AIFI said, “Earlier, the capacity utilization was about 70%. This is now reduced to 50% as the average production has declined 25% – 30% year-on-year on the total output of the forging industry from November 2018 to July 2019.” Read the rest of this entry »

Animation comes to life in India with box office, streaming success

Source: LiveMint.com, Aug 23, 2019

New Delhi: As Sony Pictures India readies its animation comedy Angry Birds 2 for release in India this Friday, it is banking on more than just a successful franchise.

The Hindi version of the film is being voiced by popular comedian Kapil Sharma and two other talents from his TV show, Kiku Sharda and Archana Puran Singh. The aggressive localization and marketing campaign that Sony is carrying out rides on the back of the massive box office success of Disney’s animation film The Lion King that crossed the ₹155 crore mark this July and is currently the fourth-highest grossing Hollywood film of all time in India. The Jon Favreau-directed movie easily topped Disney’s other offering, Incredibles 2, that had set the ball rolling for animation with collections of ₹36.90 crore last year. Read the rest of this entry »

India’s consumer confidence drops in August: Report

Source: LiveMint.com, Aug 22, 2019

NEW DELHI: Consumer confidence in India has declined by 3.1 percentage points in August compared to last month, according to the latest India Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI).

The index prepared by Thomson Reuters in partnership with Ipsos said that the downward movement in PCSI has been continuous since May 2019, barring a marginal (0.6 percentage point) improvement in July 2019.

“Notably, the mood is downbeat across all parameters of PCSI which is driven by the aggregation of the four, weighted, sub-indices,” the report said on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

Centre to amend MMDR Act for speedy clearance for mines

Source: Financial Express, Aug 21, 2019

The Centre will make amendments to the Mines and Minerals Development Regulation (MMDR) Act, 2015 in order to enable leaseholders get speedy environment clearance, while allocating new coal blocks to both public and private sectors. The part of the blocks allocated to the public sector would be meant for coal sale, which means the entire coal mined from those blocks can be sold in the open market, coal secretary Sumanta Chaudhuri said.

At present, the centre has offered to auction 27 coal blocks for private operators who would be allowed to sell 25% of their production in the open market. In case they cannot consume the rest 75% of their rated production, they will be allowed to sell it to Coal India at notified prices. In addition, it has offered nine blocks to public sector companies that can sell its entire produce in the open market, Chaudhuri said. Read the rest of this entry »

India’s widening debt market cracks threaten to swallow realty tycoons

Source: Business Standard, Aug 22, 2019

Indian tycoons including Ajay Piramal and Pallonji Mistry are grappling with a prolonged realty slump that’s adding to the shadow banking crisis, showing that even the nation’s richest can’t escape widening cracks in the debt market.

Ratings of some companies in the conglomerates run by billionaires Piramal and Mistry have been cut as the business environment worsened and funding costs rose. Rating companies also raised doubts about the debt repayment capabilities of a developer controlled by the nation’s richest property tycoon, and president of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mumbai unit, Mangal Prabhat Lodha.

“The deteriorating credit profiles of tycoons will have far-reaching implications in terms of ratings and lending,” said Sandeep Upadhyay, managing director of Centrum Infrastructure Advisory Ltd., which focuses on real estate and infrastructure. Read the rest of this entry »

Karnataka to come up with new innovation policy

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 21, 2019

Karnataka is working on a new policy on innovation and technology with a view to address the new age challenges in regulation for innovation, Additional Chief Secretary EV Ramana Reddy, said on Wednesday delivering the keynote address at the India Innovation Summit 2019 organised by CII in Bengaluru.

“We are considering innovative concepts such as regulatory sandboxes to ensure adequate legal framework for innovation is available. Our aim is to make the state a leading promoter for all emerging technologies by strengthening existing technology Centers of Excellence in areas such as Cyber Security, Data Analytics, IoT, Artificial Intelligence,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital, regional content drive Indian media, entertainment growth in FY19: KPMG

Source: LiveMint.com, Aug 20, 2019

New Delhi: Growth in the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry was driven by the digital segment riding on regional language consumption in FY19. At a rate of 43.4%, the digital segment continued to be the torchbearer of growth, contributing ₹173 billion out of the total ₹1,631 billion that the sector touched over the period.

According to India’s Digital Future, a report brought out by global auditing firm KPMG, the digital sector is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.1% between FY19 and FY24 to reach ₹621 billion by 2024. The emergence of regional content as a major driver across television, print, cinema, music and over-the-top (OTT) video-streaming segment is also inevitable.

About 70% of total TV channels launched during the year were regional channels while growth in the print industry is also on account of the increasing readership in regional languages, with English seeing a decline. Cinema has bet big on regional content and there has also been an increase in the investment by streaming services in non-Hindi video content. Read the rest of this entry »