• The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Aditya Birla group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla pitched for an expansionary fiscal policy to pull the economy out of slowdown.
  • In a pre-Budget interaction with Revenue Secretary A B Pandey, a CII delegation recommended widening the fiscal deficit by 0.5-0.75 percentage points from the target, which will give the government additional fiscal space of about Rs 1.1 trillion to Rs 1.6 trillion.
  • According to Birla, the best way to get out of slowdown is only through a fiscal stimulus. If the GST (goods and services tax) rate is brought down to 15%, that would be a huge stimulus.
  • The utilisation level at coal-based power plants remained muted in November amid the slowdown in electricity usage. The average plant load factor (PLF) of these power plants was 51.4%, against 60.5% in the corresponding month last year. The falling electricity usage had pushed PLFs to an all-time low of 48.9% in October.
  • Almost a year after it was first approved, JSW Steel inched closer to acquiring Vardhman Industries (VIL) in the insolvency driven process as the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal ruled in favour of the company.
  • Brick and cement industry in the district has been adversely affected due to poor sand supply by the government. Sale of bricks and cement has declined in the past three months owing to restrictions on sand transportation and the decrease in the business is roughly estimated at Rs 200 crore in the district.
  • Bari Brahmana Industries Association (BBIA) held a meeting to discuss the issue of ban imposed on the extraction of sand & bajri due to which the Micro, Small and Medium Units (MSMEs) units engaged in the manufacturing of cement tiles and other related products facing acute problem and are on the verge of closure.
  • Sales of construction equipment seem to have bottomed out after a 25% drop in the first half of the fiscal, with a revival in government projects, especially in the southern states. Construction equipment include machines used for earth moving, road building, handling concrete, material handling, and material processing, among other special equipment.
  • Apart from a revival in government infrastructure projects, an improvement in financing from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) is pushing sales, said Ravi Chawla, managing director at Gulf Oil Lubricants