Car sales to rise in 2020 on stiumulus measures, discounts, says Moody’s


Car sales in India are expected to be relatively flat this year after plunging 11.8 per cent in 2019 amid slowing economic growth, as per Moody’s Investors Service.

The rating agency also lowered its global sales forecast as the coronavirus outbreak reduces demand and disrupts automotive supply chains.

“We expect Indian to rise 0.5 per cent in 2020, supported by stimulus measures, discounts on new cars that do not comply with Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) emission norms, which will take effect in April,” the ratings agency said in a statement.

But weak consumer demand and tight liquidity will likely limit any improvement in car sales this year, it added.

“In 2021, we expect Indian car sales to rise 2 per cent,” Moody’s Investors Service said.

Commenting on global auto sales, it said, “We expect global auto unit sales to decline 2.5 per cent in 2020, narrowing from a 4.6 per cent drop in 2019, but worsening from the 0.9 per cent decline that we had previously projected for this year.”

The ratings agency expects sales to rebound only modestly in 2021 with growth of 1.5

High-level committee submits report on Clause 6 of Assam Accord to Sonowal


A high-level committee (HLC) on implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord formally submitted its report to Chief Minister here on Tuesday.

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord pledges to provide constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

Justice (retd) B K Sharma, the chairman of the MHA- constituted panel, handed over the report to the chief minister, in the presence of the state cabinet.

Sharma, during the hand-over of the sealed document, said the committee has met people across Assam before preparing the report.

Sonowal is scheduled to submit the report later in the day or on Wednesday to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, state finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters.

All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) Chief Advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya, president Dipankar Nath and general secretary Luringjyoti Gogoi — all part of the HLC — however, were not present on the occasion.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest

RBI MPC may consider coronavirus impact on Indian economy: Report


The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India is likely to consider the developments around COVID-19, which has resulted in supply chain disruptions from China, Singapore’s DBS Bank said in a report on Tuesday.

The report titled “India: Growth and inflation targeting review”, Radhika Rao, Economist at DBS Bank noted that the impact on India is felt through supply chain disruptions from China as well as regional players, who in turn are net importers from China.

“Temporary price increases are likely to be accompanied by production delays if the pain spills over into 2Q20 (April-June),” the report said adding that “the MPC is also likely to consider developments around COVID-19”.

The outbreak has brought a large part of the world’s second-largest economy China to a standstill and its impact has been felt across industries.

On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the (COVID-19) outbreak a global health emergency.

On economic growth, the report said, the Indian economy is in the midst of “bottoming out” — to reach a lowest or worst point before beginning to rise or improve.

CII to set up center for innovation and entrepreneurship in Hyderabad


The Confederation of India Industry (CII) will be setting up a Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start-ups in Hyderabad.

The Center would cater to the entire country, though it will have a special emphasis on Telangana for fostering the overall growth of start-up ecosystem in the state.

The Center will be supported by Telangana government, Pratiksha Trust, a charitable trust founded by Infosys Limited co-founder and national start-up council chairman S Gopalakrishnan, according to Industries and IT principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan.

The primary objective of the Center would be to support start-ups with mentoring and other resources, attract most innovative start-ups to collaborate with the corporates among other initiatives in this space. The operations of the center is expected to start by April 2020.

As coronavirus scare spreads, gem and jewellery exports may lose sheen


The outbreak is expected to hit consumer demand and affect India’s gem & jewellery exports, says industry experts. Globally, over 80,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported. South Korea health authorities said the number of cases in the country rose to 893 on Tuesday and 60 fresh cases have been reported.

The Indian gems & jewellery industry has estimated an additional loss of 5 per cent in its exports on account of Coronavirus, besides a generally low demand due to economic slowdown. The sudden outbreak in countries like Japan, China and South Korea have also contributed to a sharp fall in demand and impacted some export orders to these nations.

A jewellery trade fair to be hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council has already been rescheduled to May from March 2020, as Coronavirus scare hangs over the country. Often, such major events help Indian gems & jewellery exporters bag a big chunk of orders.

An industry veteran said: “Most of the countries where we export have registered virus cases. This will have a 5 per cent drop in exports in the immediate term.”

In the first 10

India’s sugar production estimate revised upwards to 26.5 million tonnes


Indian Mills Association, the apex body of producing companies, on Tuesday upgraded marginally its production estimate for the October 2019-September 2020 sugar season.

Based on a study of satellite images of cane area in the last week of January 2020, said at its meeting held on Tuesday that would be 26.5 million tonnes.

These are satellite images of harvested and balance area, trend of yields and sugar recoveries achieved till now, as also expected yield/sugar recovery in the balance period of the sugar season. “There was an agreement that during 2019-20 would be slightly more at 26.5 million tonnes than the 26 million tonnes estimated by in November 2019,” it said in a release.

The estimate is made after considering a reduction in sugar output due to more production of ethanol by way of diversion of heavy molasses and sugarcane juice.

Mills in UP are expected to produce a total of about 11.8 million tonnes, similar to the previous year. The bigger fall will be in Maharashtra, where production is estimated at about 6.2 million tonnes, against 10.72

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