• Nuvoco Vistas, the Nirma Group’s cement division, has emerged as the frontrunner to acquire the Emami Group’s nine million tonne per annum cement business for Rs 5,500-6,000 crore enterprise value to consolidate its position in the east. It is said that the Nuvoco bid is likely to trump competing offers from top cement makers such as UltraTech, Star Cement and Ambuja.
  • The Centre is taking several measures to boost consumption in a bid to put the country’s economy on the growth path, said Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs.
  • India is said to be facing the dual problem of a growth slowdown and high inflation , driven primarily by higher food prices.
  • Industry is hoping Budget 2020 to announce measures to revive consumption and spur growth, particularly in manufacturing.
  • The Indian Railways is set to further downsize the Railway Board and move out 50 more senior officers, reducing the board strength to about 100, as it looks to fast-track the decision making process in the mammoth organisation and make it leaner.
  • In a bid to arrest the rise in steel imports in the ‘others’ category, the government is in the process of creating 1,200 new HSN (Harmonised System of Nomenclature) codes to be placed under Chapter 72, which lists base metals.
  • These new codes will accurately define and classify the imported product.
  • Nestle plans to spend as much as 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.1 billion) in a plan to push the plastics industry to address the dearth of recycled packaging that’s safe to use for food.
  • The KitKat maker will earmark more than 1.5 billion francs to pay a premium for such plastic to encourage production, the company said. Recyclers have tended to neglect that market because of the difficulties in making non-toxic food-grade packaging.

Former finance secretary Subhash Garg has said India’s real fiscal deficit in FY20 is likely to be higher at 4.5-5% of GDP due to an expected shortfall in revenue, and higher spending.