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The Expresso Business Update

Your Business Expresso is served! The Indian Express brings to you the latest updates from the world of Indian and international business. Your one stop shop for all finance and business stories.

Episode 808 January 25, 2023

Today’s Latest Business News, Finance and Share Market News at 9:30 am on 25th January 2023

Listen to the latest news on business and finance where we talk about government aims to renew its Atmanirbhar Bharat pledge, Indus Towers, Tata Trusts appointing Siddharth Sharma as its chief executive officer, upcoming budget. We also talk about the economy.

Today’s Latest Business News, Finance and Share Market News at 9:30 am on 25th January 2023Listen to the latest news on business and finance where we talk about government aims to renew its Atmanirbhar Bharat pledge, Indus Towers, Tata Trusts appointing Siddharth Sharma as its chief executive officer, upcoming budget. We also talk about the economy.
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"You are listening to the Expresso Business Update. Here is the latest news from the world of Indian and International business brought to you by The Indian Express and The Financial Express.
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As the government aims to set a template for the next 25 years through the Budget for Financial Year 24, it will likely renew its Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) pledge by focussing on five pillars – economy, infrastructure, technology, demography and supply chain. According to sources, a raft of measures are being worked out to spur domestic manufacturing and trim import reliance, especially in fertilisers, cooking oil and crude petroleum. Steps are likely to lure businesses seeking to relocate from China, reduce compliance burden for India Inc and bolster supply-chain. Easier rules to woo patient capital, innovative ways to boost financing in infrastructure and the intent to firm up a viable and innovative public-private partnership model may be announced too. Fresh announcements to deepen the market for green financing and promote eco-friendly manufacturing practices may also feature in the Budget. Infrastructure creation will of course remain a priority, with focus on enhanced public capex to stimulate growth and spur employment.As part of the efforts to boost manufacturing, the government will likely roll out production-linked incentive schemes in select sectors, including electronic components, toys, furniture, textiles, leather and footwear.
Moving to industry, Indus Towers on Tuesday said it was making a provision of doubtful debts for an amount of Rs 2,298.1 crore even as it reported a loss of Rs 708 crore in Q3 Financial Year 23. While not naming the customer, Indus said the provisions were being made as it faced collection challenges. Vodafone Idea is among Indus Towers’ key customer and owes the tower company about Rs 7,000 crore. Indus Towers said, quote, “During the current quarter, the funding plan of the said customer has not materialised and although the committed part payment till December has been received, the customer has indicated challenges in complying with the higher payment plan in the future,” unquote. The company had made a one-time provision for doubtful debts worth Rs 1,771 crore in the preceding quarter, and Rs 1,230 crore in the April-June quarter. The total provision of doubtful debts made against its key client is now over Rs 5,000 crore. Vodafone Idea had also asked Indus Towers for softer payment terms and proposed to pay part of the amount to be billed till December 31, 2022, and 100% of the said amounts billed from January 2023.
Meanwhile, Tata Trusts, the philanthropic arm of Tata Sons, has appointed Siddharth Sharma as its chief executive officer and Aparna Uppaluri as chief operating officer from April 1, 2023. Sharma will replace former CEO N Srinath, who retired in December, while Uppaluri’s appointment is for a newly-created post. Sharma, who was a civil servant for over two decades, had handled important assignments in key ministries of the government, and was the financial advisor to two former Presidents of India. Later, he joined Tata group where he has been heading the newly-formed sustainability portfolio, a statement by the trusts said. Tata Trusts holds a 66% stake in Tata Sons, the holding company of all firms of the salt-to-software conglomerate, Tata Group.
Let us talk on upcoming budget, The Budget 2023-24 may take PM Gati Shakti – the National Master Plan for Multi-Modal Connectivity – to a higher level. Besides announcing specific measures including giving access to private sector to the integrated digital platform, the Budget will likely unveil additional incentives to the states to undertake Gati Shakti-related projects under the capex support programme for the next financial year, sources told Financial Eexpress. The Gati Shakti platform, which surveys all major infrastructure projects, will now map “social infrastructure” like schools, police stations etc. and connectivity projects with friendly countries. An official said quote, “Gati Shakti will be a key driver for infrastructure development and economic growth for the next five years. So the Budget will have several measures to fortify it,” unquote. The PM Gati Shakti digital platform, launched in October 2021, aims to provide multimodal connectivity infrastructure to various economic zones by bringing together 16 ministries including railways and road transport & highways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of projects, in cooperation with the state governments.
Lastly, India’s services exports may rise 20% in Financial Year 23 from a year before to exceed the $300-billion target despite growing external headwinds, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday. Services exports had hit a record $254 billion last fiscal. Even merchandise exports recorded a 9% rise in the first three quarters of this fiscal, beating the impact of recession in key markets and spike in input costs, the minister told reporters in Ahmedabad. While services exports continue to perform well, merchandise exports, of late, have started faltering. Having witnessed robust growth earlier this fiscal, goods exports contracted in two of the past three months.

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