Episode 354

Weekly Business Roundup at 10:00 am on 22nd January 2023

In the weekly round-up of news related to business, finance, and the economy, we talk about Government’s tax remission scheme, fertiliser subsidy, Manasi Tata’s takeover, and auto sales numbers. We also talk about Maruti Suzuki India transporting over 3.2 lakh vehicles using Indian railways.

Weekly Business Roundup at 10:00 am on 22nd January 2023.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

Let’s first begin with The government has this week decided to initiate a raft of steps, including higher outlay for its flagship tax remission scheme for Financial Year 24 and assistance to develop various districts as export hubs, to help reverse the recent deceleration in outbound merchandise shipments. Given the elevated interest rates, it is also weighing a proposal to increase the interest subsidy from up to 3% to 5% for pre-and-post shipment credit for MSME exporters manufacturing stipulated products. Some of the proposals could feature in the Financial Year24 Budget announcements. Exporters are set to gain, as the government has acknowledged “anomalies” in case of 432 products under the so-called Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products scheme. Consequently, the effective refunds will rise for most of these exported products under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products programme. The government will likely raise allocation for its flagship tax remission scheme for exporters by 10% in the Budget for Financial Year 24 from the revised estimate for the current fiscal, official sources told FE.

Meanwhile, the Union fertiliser ministry may seek subsidy on soil nutrients of around Rs 2.25 trillion for the next fiscal year, which would be roughly the same level as the expenses to be incurred to subsidise the retail prices of these farming inputs in 2022-23. an official said, quote, “The finance ministry has assured us of making adequate provisioning under the fertiliser subsidy budget,” unquote. He added that pre-budget consultations with the finance ministry and other stakeholders were still going on. Against the budget estimate of Rs 1.05 trillion for 2022-23, the fertiliser subsidy is expected to be revised upward by more than 114% to Rs 2.25 trillion this fiscal as elevated global prices of fertilisers and natural gas, the key feedstock, have inflated costs. It would the fourth year in a row that the annual Budget spending on fertiliser would be above Rs 1 trillion mark, against a lower range of Rs 70,000 – 80,000 crore in the past few years.

In other news, Toyota Kirloskar Motor announced that Manasi Tata will take over as the new Vice Chairperson with immediate effect. Furthermore, she also took over as the Vice Chairperson of Toyota Kirloskar Auto parts. The resolution passed in its board meeting, came after the untimely demise of Late Vikram S. Kirloskar, former Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor. Already serving as a member of the Board of Directors at Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Manasi Tata is an integral part of Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s corporate decisions and strategic operations. Congratulating and welcoming her on the new position, Masakazu Yoshimura Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, quote, “As a young business leader, Manasi Tata brings with her inclusive thinking and a people centric outlook that are critical in our pursuit of excellence across all areas. This, along with her sharp understanding of the Indian auto industry will further strengthen TKM’s commitment towards delivering ‘Mass Happiness to All’.” unquote.

On to the automobile industry. The auto sales numbers over the nine months of Fiscal Year 2023 does indicate some improving trend but the divergence between the segments continue. While two-wheelers sales are in the red, with the shift to phase-II of BS VI norms slated for April 1, PV and CV manufacturers have started clearing their inventory, leading to comparatively higher retail sales than wholesales. As a result of this some PV dispatches were hit and supply side headwinds also affected the production schedule of some. That said, the CV demand continues to remain strong and performed better than the general seasonal trend, led by robust end-market demand and a sharp increase in freight rates. The EV market is another key monitorable for most industry observers. The BNP Paribas report highlights that the Phase 1 of battery standards is likely hurt some key players.

Lastly, Maruti Suzuki India transported over 3.2 lakh vehicles using Indian railways in the calendar year 2022. Notably, this is the highest-ever dispatch using rail mode by the Company in a calendar year. This has resulted in offsetting around 1,800 MT of CO2 emissions. In addition, the company has been able to save over 50 million liters of fuel during the year which contributes to enhancing the energy security of India. Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India said, quote, “Aligned with the Government of India’s aim to reach net zero emissions by 2070, we have enhanced our efforts to reduce carbon footprint in our business operations. Our strategy to increase the use of rail mode in outbound logistics has resulted in dispatching a record 3.2 lakh vehicles using railways in CY 2022.” unquote.

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Weekly Business Roundup at 10:00 am on 22nd January 2023