• Considering that Bengaluru’s water woes are increasing with each passing day, speculation is rife that the city authorities might ban construction activity for five years.
  • Clearly, housing being a key demand driver for cement producers, such a move, if implemented, won’t bode well, more so, as it comes at a time when the overall demand is subdued
  • “Considering that Karnataka consumes 20 million tonnes of cement annually and Bengaluru accounts for nearly 4 million tonnes of that, some impact on demand will be there if this move is implemented,” said Binod Modi, an analyst with Reliance Securities Ltd. So, for now, analysts are hoping that the authorities in Karnataka would work some other way out to deal with the water crisis.
  •  The Union Budget’s proposal on additional deduction for interest paid on affordable housing loans is set to expedite new launches in the category. With the Budget continuing focus on affordable housing, the share of launches is expected to improve 75% in the second half of the year. The market has also been supporting launches in this category,” Ashutosh Limaye, head of ANAROCK Consulting Services, told.
  • According to Ramesh Nair, country head at JLL India, the Budget will encourage more launches in affordable housing.
  • Private companies supplying rolling stock to the Indian Railways must look at manufacturing locally and the government will provide a long-term road map for multinationals to plan investment in the country, people with direct knowledge of the development told.
  • The railway ministry is planning to standardise tender norms for rolling stock to create a level-playing field for local and global players, but multinationals must contribute to the Make in India plan to be able to participate in tenders, they said.
  • In the budget speech on Friday, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will encourage public-private partnerships to “unleash” the development in railways.
  • According to Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the country’s finished steel imports rose 4.7% to 7.83 million tonne in 2018-19 against 7.48 million tonne in 2017-18.
  • The government has increased excise duties on auto fuels by Rs 2/litre, which have been passed on to end-consumers by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). The subsidy provision in the budget remains unchanged amid steady crude price environment.
  • Harsh Pati Singhania, Director, JK Organisation, spoke about the various aspects of the Budget emphasizing that the Budget should mainly be seen as giving a direction to attaining the long-term goal of high growth in large economy.