Listen to the latest news related to business, finance, and the economy in which we talk about Cabinet’s decision to extend the free ration scheme- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana- despite Finance Ministry’s objection. Know which start up was named this year’s top startup. Also listen to the legal drama between Sebi and Reliance Industries. And don’t forget to get your daily dose of stock market opening.

Today’s Latest Business News at 9:30 am on 29th September 2022.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

Let’s begin. The government on Wednesday extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana by another three months to December 2022, a move which will cost the exchequer Rs 44,762 crore more. The extension of the free ration scheme for the seventh time will make it even more difficult for the Centre to stick to the FY23 fiscal deficit target of 6.4% of the gross domestic product. The decision was taken by the Cabinet despite concerns over a likely dip in India’s grain stocks, particularly of wheat, the export of which has already been banned. The global grains stocks are also becoming tight due to the persisting geopolitical tensions. Under PMGKAY, which was launched in April 2020 in the midst of first Covid wave and a stringent nationwide lockdown, 800 million people get 5 kg of food grains free of cost every month. Speaking of the free ration scheme, the Cabinet’s decision to extend the scheme was despite the finance ministry’s objection. In an office memorandum dated September 26, it conveyed to the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, which had pitched for continuance of the scheme till the end of 2022, that since “the pandemic has abated considerably and the distress for which this relief – PMGKAY – was given does not appear to be prevalent”, the latter’s proposal “is not supported”. The finance ministry also stated that there may not be adequate grain stocks to continue with distribution under PMGKAY indefinitely, as the global food stocks have considerably tightened in the wake of the war in Ukraine. In some good news, after four months of decline, the funds flow into startups increased slightly in September to $1.54 billion from the previous month’s $1.25 billion, according data sourced from Tracxn. Investors, however, said the marginal improvement should not be seen as a sustainable trend. Most of the funds flow in September was to the late-stage companies, which were the most affected in the previous month. These firms raised about $871 million during the month against $621 million in August. The early and seed-stage firms, however, showed little improvement. Early-stage firms received about $552 million in September, while seed-stage startups got just $77 million. While funding in early-stage was higher from last month’s $478 million, the same for seed-stage was lower from previous month’s $97 million. Speaking of start-ups, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, the professional networking site, on Wednesday, announced fintech giant CRED as this year’s top startup. Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech unicorn, upGrad was second on the list, followed by Satya Nadella-backed online stock trading platform Groww. Interestingly, while CRED has moved up two spots from last year, both, Unacademy and Udaan — the top two startups in 2021 as per LinkedIn — did not feature in the latest list. As reported earlier, Unacademy and Udaan had both laid off at least 750 and 180 employees, respectively, a few months ago. However, the companies had not officially confirmed the development and provided details on the layoff. LinkedIn says startups that have laid off 20% or more of their workforce within the methodology time frame are ineligible for its calculations. In some more industry news, A consortium of the UK-based Foresight Group and Mumbai-based Padmanabhan Mafatlal Group will develop the world’s first CNG Terminal at an estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore near Bhavnagar port in Gujarat. The foundation stone for the ambitious CNG Terminal project with a cargo capacity to handle 1.5 million metric tonne per annum will be laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. The project would be developed on a public-private-partnership model along with Gujarat Maritime Board which is managing the Bhavnagar Port currently. In some legal drama, The Supreme Court today will hear Sebi’s petition seeking review of its earlier judgment that had directed the market regulator to share certain documents which Reliance Industries claims will exonerate it and its promoters from criminal prosecution initiated in a case related to the alleged irregularities in the acquisition of its shares between 1994 and 2000. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has been opposing RIL’s plea and had rejected its request for the “privileged” documents on the grounds that under the Sebi (Settlement Proceedings) Regulations, the accused company had no right to seek information from it. And lastly, the stock market. The market is expected to open in the green as trends in SGX Nifty indicate a gap-up opening for the broader index in India with a gain of 186 points. The BSE Sensex plunged 509 points to 56,598 yesterday while the Nifty50 fell 149 points to 16,859 and formed a Doji kind of pattern on the daily charts, indicating indecisiveness among bulls and bears about future market trend.

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Business News at 09:30 am on 29th September 2022