Market HIGHLIGHTS: FM Nirmala Sitharaman says govt plans Rs 102 lakh crore infra projects

The government has firmed up plans of Rs 102 lakh crore worth of infrastructure projects, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. This is in line with the government’s plan to get Rs 100 lakh worth of infrastructure projects on ground.

Market HIGHLIGHTS: FM Nirmala Sitharaman says govt plans Rs 102 lakh crore infra projects
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

FM Press Conference HIGHLIGHTS: In the press conference addressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today, she said that the government has firmed up plans of Rs 102 lakh crore worth of infrastructure projects. This was her second press conference in three days, and FM added that today’s announcements are further to the government’s plan to get infrastructure projects worth Rs 100 lakh crore going in the next five years. Of the total Rs 102 lakh crore of National Infrastructure Pipeline projects, approximately 63% of the projects are firmed up, she said. “It is estimated that India would need to spend $4.5 trillion on infrastructure by 2030 to sustain its growth rate, hence this endeavour of the National Infrastructure Pipeline will make things happen in an efficient manner. This also looks towards creating jobs, improvise ease of living, and provide equal access of infrastructure for all, thereby making growth more inclusive,” Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson Nahar Group and Vice President NAREDCO (Maharashtra) said. The government will also organise an annual global investor summit and the first summit is expected to be held in the second half of 2020. In her previous press meet, FM had made major announcements including waiving of MDR (merchant discount rate) on payment via RuPay and UPI platforms to boost India’s cashless economy. Nirmala Sitharaman had also launched an online portal called EBkray for auction of assets attached by banks. The stock market was trading under pressure today with BSE Sensex closing down 304 points and Nifty 50 ending down 193 points. “We continue to maintain our cautious stance on the Indian markets in the near term, given the recent run up. The market participants would keep a close watch on Auto sales data to be announced tomorrow. Apart from this, movement in crude oil prices and currency would be actively tracked by the traders,” Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking said.

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18:05 (IST)31 Dec 2019
FM Sitharaman’s announcement will boost realty sector

“The announcement by the FM on unveiling investment of Rs 102 lakh crore in the national infrastructural plan will boost the sector as sentiment will see an uptick. Given the economy’s situation, this is promising and will add impetus to the sector’s growth. The investment of Rs 20 lakh crore on road projects promises both quality infrastructure and better connectivity which will benefit both buyers and developers by providing good value to the housing assets. On the other hand with the central and state governments expectations on private shares of national infrastructure rising to 30 % from 22% will get the sector organised and act as a game changing regulatory. We are hopeful that the annual investors meeting will turn the tables for the sector at large and increase much needed liquidity in the sector. The New Year will certainly start on a great note as the SBI repo rate cut from 7.80% per annum to 8.05% per annum will come into effect from January 1st 2020 which will further reduce interest rates for existing home loans that will attract potential home buyers,” Ashok Mohanani, Chairman EKTA World and Vice President NAREDCO Maharashtra said.

18:02 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Fiscal deficit continues to widen; April-November figure much more than annual target

India’s fiscal deficit in the first eight months of the current fiscal year further exceeded from the annual target of Rs 7.04 lakh crore. The fiscal deficit rose to Rs 8.07 lakh crore till November, on the back of higher spending and lower revenue collection, according to the Ministry of Finance. With the current figure, the fiscal deficit has now reached 114.8 per cent of the government’s budget estimate for this financial year. The government has received nearly Rs 10 lakh crore, which is 48.6 per cent of the annual target, while it incurred an expenditure of Rs 18 lakh crore, which is 65.3 per cent of the annual target.

Read more: Fiscal deficit continues to widen

17:59 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Govt’s commitment towards infra growth provides requisite clarity

“Today’s announcement has re-enforced the government’s commitment towards infrastructure growth providing the requisite clarity. Apart from the fact that a robust infrastructure is one of the key conditions to overall growth of the economy, this will create a stable base for India’s economic recovery soon. The infusion into the Infrastructural development will help in creating jobs and financial security in the mid-term helping in income generation and consumer spending in the economy. We welcome the qualifiers from the government and expect to see these fructify soon”, Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India said.

17:31 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Will you get cheaper onions in new year? Wait for 30 more days; here’s how much prices may fall

While onion prices have been disturbing household budgets so far, in another 30 days or before, the prices are likely to fall with late kharif onion produce starting to hit the market. The same is likely to bring relief, while onion prices have breached Rs 200 kg mark at some places. “Onion prices will likely be in the range of Rs 50-60 per kg, down by 50% of their current prices,” Chaudhary Pushpendra Singh, President, Kisan Shakti Sangh, told Financial Express Online. Going forward, as rabi produce starts to come to the market, the prices will fall even more, he added.

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17:23 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Government cuts expenditure limit for March quarter on revenue concerns

Faced with a shortfall in revenue collection, the government has initiated austerity measures by revising downwards the expenditure limit for January-March period of the ongoing financial year. The government has asked all departments to restrict the expenses to 25 per cent of the Budget Estimate (BE) in January-March. “Considering the fiscal position of the government in the current financial year, it has been decided to cap the expenditure in the last quarter and last month of the current financial year,” an office memorandum issued recently by Budget division of the finance ministry said.

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16:45 (IST)31 Dec 2019
$5 tn economy by 2025! Nirmala Sitharaman unveils Rs 102 lakh crore infrastructure bonanza ahead of Budget

India to get massive infrastructure, economy boost! The Narendra Modi government is planning a staggering amount of Rs 102 lakh crore in infrastructure projects to propel India to the elite league of $5 trillion economy by 2025, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Ahead of Budget 2020, the central government has also unveiled a first-of-its-kind National Infrastructure Pipeline for better understanding of nitty-gritty of the infrastructure projects in India. FM Sitharaman said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech 2019 highlighted that Rs 100 lakh crore would be invested on infrastructure over the next 5 years.

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15:55 (IST)31 Dec 2019
63% of Rs 102 lakh crore infra project pipeline firmed up

Of the total Rs 102 lakh crore of National Infrastructure Pipeline projects, approximately 63% of the projects are firmed up, says FM.

15:54 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Not PSU banks but these financiers are behind real estate growth amid slowdown

The PSU banks’ share in the growth of realty sector has halved in the last four years while a new form of financiers has rapidly started to take their place, almost doubling its share. By June 2016, the exposure of PSU banks in the realty sector was 48.57 per cent, which has steeply fallen to a mere 24.34 per cent by June 2019, said a recent RBI report. On the other hand, Housing Finance Companies (HFCs), have increased their share from 12.17 per cent to 23.81 per cent in the same duration.

15:42 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Annual global investor summit by 2020

Finance Minister on Infra Project Pipeline: States and centre will get to interact with investors in annual global investor summit. First edition by second half of 2020.

15:41 (IST)31 Dec 2019
FM says NIP to help India achieve $5 trillion economy by 2025

Rs 102 lakh crore National Infrastructure Projects to help make India a $5 trillion economy by 2025, says Union Finance Minister.

15:40 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Private sector share to rise by 2025

Private sector share in national infra pipeline at 22%, to rise to 30% by 2025, says Finance Minister on the infrastructure project pipeline.

15:39 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Nearly Rs 25 lakh crore energy projects lined up under NIP

Nearly Rs 25 lakh crore energy projects lined up under NIP. Nearly Rs 20 lakh crore road and nearly Rs 14 lakh crore railway projects lined up under NIP. Private sector to share a 22-25% of NIP investments, Centre and states the rest.

15:36 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Both states & Centre have spent Rs 51 lakh crore on infra projects in last 6 years

Finance Minister says both states & Centre have spent Rs 51 lakh crore on infra projects in the last 6 years. She added that they will be adding Rs 3 lakh crore to the Rs 102 lakh crore worth of projects (recommended by Task Force) in 2-3 days, taking total infra investment to Rs 105 lakh crore.

15:35 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Mobility, water, heath, digital form bulk of Rs 105 lakh crore projects

FM says power, rail, renewables, urban, irrigation form bulk of the Rs 105 lakh crore infra projects. Mobility, water, heath, digital form bulk of Rs 105 lakh crore projects.

15:34 (IST)31 Dec 2019
National Infrastructure Pipeline Coordination Mechanism to be launched soon

National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) Coordination Mechanism to be launched, comprising the Centre, states and private sector, for detailed planning, information dissemination and monitoring implementation of the NIP framework:

15:33 (IST)31 Dec 2019
FM says annual global investors meet soon

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that annual global investors meet will be organised in the second half of 2020

15:32 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Infra projects will be spread across 18 states

FM said that the projects will span 18 states. In line with announcement made by PM in his Independence Day 2019 speech, to make infrastructure investment worth Rs. 100 lakh crore for the next five years, a task force was formed to identify projects.

15:27 (IST)31 Dec 2019
FM Nirmala Sitharaman says govt approves Rs 102 lakh crore infra projects

The government has approved Rs 102 lakh crore worth of infrastructure projects. Today’s announcements are further to the government’s plan to get infrastructure projects worth Rs 100 lakh crore going in the next five years, Nirmala Sitharaman said.

15:05 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Cars, bikes, trucks still driving in the slow lane; here’s how year 2019 may end for auto industry

A rather tough year for Indian automobile industry, witnessing the steepest decline in the last two decades is unlikely to end on a positive note, with car, bike and truck sales remaining subdued in December as well. Brokerage firm Nomura said in a research note that passenger vehicle sales may have grown only slightly in December, while two-wheeler sales might have actually slightly fallen. “Our industry interactions indicate that retail sales have declined in December, post some growth in Oct/Nov, which is a negative,” Nomura said in the note. Further, the automobile companies would not build up dealer inventories due to the upcoming new year and impending BS-6 shift in April 2020, Nomura said.

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14:46 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Maharashtra low on cane: Barely a month into the season, sugar mills stop crushing

Barely a month after the commencement of crushing operations in the state, a couple of cooperative sugar factories in Maharashtra, located in Ahmednagar and Aurangabad regions, have stopped their exercises. Maharashtra sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said of the 135 mills that began crushing in the state a month ago, two have already stopped work citing lack of availability of raw materials (cane) and workers needed in harvesting. The Kedareshwar Cooperative Sugar Factory in Ahmednagar region and Sharad Paithan Cooperative Sugar Factory in Aurangabad region have completed operations for the season, crushing around 1,500 tonne to 2,000 tonne of cane.

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14:39 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Economic slowdown: What will impact demand and exports, find out here

Continuing with the premise that liquidity issues have afflicted Indian economy and therefore the regular production trend of the commodity sector, a few more data by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have come to light. Total credit growth by scheduled commercial banks (public and private) has gone up 8.7% in September, slower than 13.2% growth observed in gross loans and advances in March. It is important to note that the credit growth by public sector banks (PSBs) has, in fact, gone down by 4.8% (y-o-y) in September, and the growth in credit by the entire banking sector has been made possible by 16.5% credit growth by other private sector banks.

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14:37 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Taking a cue from China and South Korea, govt plans this step to curb sub-standard imports

Concerned over massive inflows of ‘sub-standard’ products into India — ranging from chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electrical machinery, furniture and toys to steel — the government is planning the biggest overhaul of its regulatory ecosystem that stipulates technical standards, including safety and quality, in a bid to curb imports of such products. The move marks a policy shift in New Delhi from an avowedly pro-liberalisation approach to external trade to a more discretionary one, where barriers could be erected to ‘non-essential’ imports that may harm the economy, rather than benefit it.

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14:35 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Stock market outlook 2020: Fiscal stimulus on offing; here’s what more is expected

Dalal Street is in for exciting times in 2020, if the government, which is reported to be considering rolling back or rationalising a host of taxation on securities transactions, are finally realised. While challenges from the year gone are likely to spill over to 2020, a good boost of fiscal stimulus is just what the doctor ordered for fast market recovery.

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14:34 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Driven by ‘Make in India’ initiative, steel industry hopes for ‘break out year’ in 2020

Driven by ‘Make in India’ initiative, slashing imports, keeping a tab on domestic prices and exploring alternate overseas sources for coking coal are set to top the government’s agenda for the steel sector in 2020 while players expect a “break out year” for the industry. After 2019 saw the domestic market grapple with surge in imports, increased dependence on imported coking coal from select countries, the steel ministry will be focusing on managing availability of iron ore as leases of a clutch of mines are scheduled to expire in March next year. A few rating agencies and merchant miners have expressed concern that the country may face a short-term disruption in supply of iron ore used in making steel due to the transition phase.

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14:21 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Rural demand revival after 6 months; but, FMCG players have tricks up their sleeves to spur growth

With most of 2019 spent in battling for growth, the FMCG industry expects a revival in consumer demand and houshold purchase by the second half of 2020, particularly from the rural sales that have been severely impacted in the year gone by. In 2019, the FMCG industry witnessed slowdown in the rural sales, which was traditionally ahead of urban sales, and in the last two quarters it was half of the urban sales growth due to factors as liquidity crunch in those far flung markets and drop in gross domestic product (GDP) which had weakened household spending.

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14:20 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Budget 2020: Small businesses ask Nirmala Sitharaman for more funds to export more

Among key measures required to boost MSME exports, the sector has sought a minimum 50 per cent of market development funds to be earmarked for MSMEs, in the upcoming budget, given that they contribute close to 50 per cent to India’s exports. The contribution stood at 48.10 per cent for FY19 as per the information from Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari had said earlier this year in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

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14:02 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Bank holidays January 2020: Is bank open tomorrow or will you get your salary day later?

Expecting bank account to be credited with salary on January 1? The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a holiday on the first day of 2020 to celebrate the new year in some cities. Other than Chennai, Aizawl, Gangtok, Imphal and Shillong, the banks will remain open across all cities on Wednesday. January 2020 is also seeing a long list of holidays barring January 1, 2020. Several bank branches across the country banks will remain closed for 16 days in the first month of the new year starting tomorrow. The 16 days for which banks are shut constitute ten public holidays and four Sundays along with the second and fourth Saturdays. Some of the holidays are state-specific.

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13:17 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Good news for borrowers: SBI cuts external benchmark lending rate, details here

State Bank of India on Monday reduced its external benchmark based rate (EBR) by 25 basis points to 7.8% p.a. from 8.05% p.a. with effect from January 1. “With this reduction, interest rate for existing home loan customers as well as MSME borrowers who have availed loans linked to external benchmark based rate would come down by 25 bps,” the bank said. New home buyers will get loans at interest rates starting from 7.9% p.a., it added.

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13:16 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Miles to go! BSNL clears Rs 1,700-crore dues to vendors; pays November salaries

State-run BSNL on Monday said that of the total Rs. 10,000 crore it owes to its various vendors and contractors, the company has been able to clear dues of around Rs. 1,700 crore. The company has also been able to pay its employees’ salaries for the month of November. “We have released Rs. 1,700 crore to our vendors and contractors for various dues through loans and internal accruals. Our overall outstanding is around Rs. 10,000 crore,” BSNL chairman & managing director PK Purwar said.

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13:16 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Mukesh Ambani’s e-commerce plan takes shape: RIL opens My Jio Mart to take on Amazon, Flipkart

Mukesh Ambani’s RIL has taken first flight towards fulfilling its e-commerce plan and opened My Jio Mart to take on e-tailers such as Amazon and Flipkart. The soft launch of the e-commerce platform was confirmed by a Reliance official, Livemint reported. The platform will cater to select locations, for now, such as Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan, the report added. “My Jio Mart aims to bring happy and prosperous life to millions of people by forming meaningful, long-lasting and mutually rewarding business association,” the website says. Meanwhile, Financial Express Online has reached out to RIL for further comments.

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13:15 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Your business must accept digital payment or pay this much penalty per day

In the latest move to push India towards digital economy, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has said that shops, businesses and companies with at least Rs 50 crore annual turnover will be penalised Rs 5,000 per day if they do not provide digital payment facilities to customers. Businesses which do not start to accept digital payment by 1 February, 2020 will be penalised, CBDT said in a circular on Monday, IANS reported. Relaxation till 31 January 2020 has been given to provide time for installation and operationalising digital modes. “If the specified person fails to do so, he shall be liable to pay a penalty of five thousand rupees per day from 1st February, 2020 under section 271DB of the Act for such failure,” the CBDT circular said.

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13:13 (IST)31 Dec 2019
PM-Kisan: Centre to disburse Rs 12,000 crore to 6 crore farmers on January 2

The Centre will transfer over Rs. 12,000 crore to the bank accounts of more than 6 crore farmers under the flagship PM-Kisan Scheme on January 2 at Tumkur in Karnataka. Prime minister Narendra Modi will release the funds as a new year gift to the farmers, sources said. No farmer has received the installment of Rs. 2,000 since December 1 as the plan was to transfer the amount at one-go in new year, the sources said. This is the last tranche of installment this financial year and at least 6.5 crore farmers will get the benefit as their data have already been verified with Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. Disbursal to above 6.5 crore farmers will depend on new enrollment under the scheme and data verification through Aadhaar, which is compulsory from December 1.

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13:10 (IST)31 Dec 2019
Vision document review: PM Modi to hold two-day meet from January 3

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a critical two-day meeting during January 3-4 to review the five-year vision documents of various ministries and departments, a senior government official told FE. The meeting comes at a time when growth plunged to an over six-year low of 4.5% in the September quarter, with analysts warning that the economy is in the midst of a prolonged phase of slowdown.

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First published on: 31-12-2019 at 13:05 IST