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Adani Energy Solutions to raise up to Rs 12,500 crore

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Mumbai, May 27 (IANS) Adani Energy Solutions Ltd (AESL) on Monday said that its board has approved to raise funds not exceeding Rs 12,500 crore through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) or other permissible mode in accordance with the applicable laws, in one or more tranches.

In a regulatory filing, the company said that the fundraising is “subject to the receipt of the necessary approvals including the approval of the members of the company at the ensuing Annual General Meeting of the company scheduled to be held on Tuesday, 25th June 2024, and such other regulatory/statutory approvals, as may be required”.

The board approved the raising of funds by way of issuance of such number of equity shares having a face value of Rs 10 each of the company or other eligible securities or any combination thereof (Securities).

The stock of Adani Energy Solutions closed nearly flat at Rs 1,104.70 apiece on Monday.

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Last week, Adani Energy Solutions announced it acquired 100 per cent stake in Essar Transco Ltd for Rs 1,900 crore. The acquisition covers a fully operational 400 kV, 673 ckt km (circuit kilometres) inter-state transmission line, linking Mahan in Madhya Pradesh to Sipat pooling substation in Chhattisgarh.

The acquisition takes the cumulative network of AESL to more than 21,000 ckt km.

AESL is the country’s largest private transmission company, with a presence across 17 states and 57,011 MVA transformation capacity. The company clocked operational revenue at Rs 14,217 crore for the year ended March 31, up 17 per cent (year-on-year) — registering comparable profit after tax (PAT) at Rs 1,197 crore, up by 12 per cent.

–IANS

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Budget 2024: Good at macro level but fails to address concerns of middle-class

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Budget 2024: Good at macro level but fails to address concerns of middle-class

Budget 2024: Good at macro level but fails to address concerns of middle-class

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first budget of Modi 3.0 and middle-class taxpayers were expecting some tax cuts.

Their expectations were genuine because the government got bumper non-tax revenue in the form of dividends from RBI and GST collections are also rising.

The central government is no longer under any obligation to meet the GST revenue shortfall even if it goes down and the government is in a better fiscal situation.

If we decipher the budget proposals, it appears to be good for macro-economic stability and there is stress on infrastructure development push, skill development, employment generation, climate change, ease of doing business, promoting Research & Development (R&D) etc. which are very much needed and FM deserves the applause.

The economic survey highlighted that though there has been improvement over a decade but still only 51.25 per cent of college pass-out is deemed employable.

Similarly, artificial intelligence is the next big opportunity as well as a threat for India and therefore creating a pool to promote R&D in collaboration with the private sector was desired.

If we compare our R&D spend then we lag far behind the US, China etc. and if India were to grow then we must spend more on innovation. From a perspective, our exports have a very low value-add component and though on the face of it, the numbers may look nice but corresponding economic indicators will not move.

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Major initiatives taken in the past are yielding consistent returns. For example, IBC has helped in the recovery of ~Rs. 3.3 lakh crore to lenders and cases involving ~Rs. 10.2 lakh crores were settled at the pre-admission stage itself.

Similarly, more than Rs. 38 lakh crores have been transferred since 2013 under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme. Free rationing and other social schemes have helped ensure food security and reduce multidimensional poverty. There is a continued focus on social welfare in the budget.

DBT scope is now expanded to accelerate employment generation which has always been a point of debate. Economic survey shows that there is job loss in the MSME sector and budget proposals widening the scope of MSME credit. Only time will tell how efficiently these schemes are implemented and what outcome they generate.

Earlier RBI and now economic surveys have highlighted that massive tax cut given to the corporate sector in 2019 is yet to show any impact on the economic activity. Corporate profit has quadrupled from FY20 to FY23 and corporate profit to GDP ratio is at 15 years high in FY24.

Tax rate reduction is a major contributor to healthier corporate balance sheets but there is no commensurate increase in employment or investment. Capex push for the last few years is shouldered alone by the government and private sector spending is muted.

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Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) for the private sector has picked up pace but we do not know how much of it is maintenance capex and how much is related to an increase in capacity which will help job creation.

Of course, capex is dependent on the demand scenario and the government should understand that tax cuts are just one of the many factors which influence the investment. This was a time to look back and link the incentive with economic contribution.

Even in this budget, many tax concessions are given to the corporate sector. Abolition of angel tax which was often criticized by start-ups and was initially introduced to curb the round-tripping, withdrawal of equalization levy (often called as Google tax), reduction in the tax rate of foreign companies from 40 per cent to 35 per cent, rationalising income escaping assessment etc. are good steps and government must do everything to lure the investors.

However, there is a genuine concern that what constrains the government from giving out any benefit to the middle class when doles are given to corporations?

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There has been no revision in the tax rate in the old tax regime, section 80C benefits have remained at the same level for the last 10 years and people know that the new tax regime is like an eyewash.

The short-term capital gain tax rate has been raised and the indexation benefit has been withdrawn on LTCG which will further hurt the middle class (later FM issued a clarification on grandfathering the indexation for the period up to March 2001 and we will have to wait for the final bill passed by the parliament).

Even a sports body like the BCCI which makes thousands of crores every year does not pay any tax (BCCI is still contesting the tax demand and the matter is sub-judice), while similar organisations (like European football clubs) pay taxes. When the government can offer concessions and benefits to all and sundry then why is the middle class the only one who is left high and dry?

In a nutshell, the budget proposals are good for macroeconomic stability and will push growth but it fails to address the concerns of the struggling middle class.

(Shashank Saurav is a Chartered Accountant, Author and Public Policy Analyst)

–IANS

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Budget: Leading tea body welcomes scheme for welfare of tea workers

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Budget: Leading tea body welcomes scheme for welfare of tea workers

Budget: Leading tea body welcomes scheme for welfare of tea workers

Guwahati, July 23 (IANS) The Tea Association of India (TAI), the largest tea industry body in India, on Tuesday welcomed the scheme “Pradhan Mantri Cha Shramik Protsahan Yojana” (PMCSPY)”, announced in the Central budget 2024-25 devised for the welfare of tea workers especially women and their children in tea growing areas including Assam and West Bengal.

TAI Secretary General P.K. Bhattacharjee said that as proposed earlier in the Budget Speech of 2021-22, Rs 1,000 crores would be provided for the PMCSPY and is aimed at making need-based interventions in tea garden areas for interalia strengthening provisions of education and health services to the tea workers.

The scheme would be implemented in 2024-25 and 2025-26 fiscal.

Bhattacharjee said that under “Productivity and Resilience Agriculture” proposals for agriculture resilience, release of new climate resilience verities and digital public infrastructure are proposed, which will surely boost the rural economy of the country.

The government has particularly emphasised on the “Employment and Skilling”.

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Bhattacharjee said that different skilling programmes along with schemes for skilling loans with guarantees from government-promoted funds and educational loans would help create an efficient workforce in the future.

The tea industry will also benefit from the same, he pointed out.

The TAI Secretary General said that the development of digital and banking infrastructure in the tea-growing regions has been a constant demand of the Tea industry for several years and that the announcement of “bank branches in the northeastern region” is a positive step towards this direction.

Saying that the announcement of the continuation of PMAY and PMGSY would surely benefit the rural population including the tea garden population, he on behalf of the TAI welcomed the proactive step of the government in addressing the “Economic Policy Framework” by proposing to initiate and incentivize reforms for (1) improving productivity of factors of production, and (2) facilitating markets and sectors to become more efficient.

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These reforms would cover all factors of production, namely land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship, and technology as an enabler of improving total factor productivity and bridging inequality.

–IANS

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Budget neglects women, poor & farmers: Punjab Finance Minister

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Budget neglects women, poor & farmers: Punjab Finance Minister

Budget neglects women, poor & farmers: Punjab Finance Minister

Chandigarh, July 23 (IANS) Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Tuesday criticised the Union Budget for 2024-25, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, for neglecting the concerns of the women, poor, and farmers.

He said that Punjab’s interests have been completely disregarded in the Budget.

He highlighted the alarming consequences of slashing fertiliser subsidies in FY 2024-25. “This drastic reduction will not only burden farmers of the nation but also adversely affect the Punjab economy, where agriculture is a vital sector,” he said.

He said that this move is particularly concerning given the Union government’s proclaimed commitment to prioritising farmers’ welfare and doubling their income.

“Moreover, the Budget fails to provide a crucial Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantee for farmers, further exacerbating their uncertainty,” he added.

Finance Minister Cheema expressed disappointment that the Budget fails to provide any additional, targeted support for Punjab’s farmers, who grapple with distinct challenges such as water management, crop diversification, and sustainability.

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He noted that despite Punjab’s susceptibility to flooding, the Budget neglects to allocate substantial, specific funds for flood management and irrigation projects that cater to the state’s unique requirements.

He held the Union government accountable for perpetuating financial disparities and regional imbalances. He said Punjab, already vulnerable to regional disparities due to the preferential treatment of neighbouring hill states, has once again been subjected to discriminatory treatment by the Union government.

“Unlike states like Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, which received additional financial packages, Punjab was denied any special financial assistance,” said Cheema and cautioned that this inequality could worsen regional imbalances and impede Punjab’s development trajectory.

Cheema condemned the Union government for deliberately ignoring Punjab’s development needs, particularly in the tourism sector, where no projects have been allocated.

He also noted the Budget favours the Eastern region, neglecting the Northwestern border states, including Punjab.

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“Moreover, the Union government has failed to provide Punjab with any targeted support or extra funding for its SMEs, which are essential drivers of local employment and economic growth,” he added.

Cheema also exposed the anti-poor character of the Budget, highlighting the lack of relief from direct taxes for the common man.

He criticised the meagre relief offered to middle-class taxpayers through a modest increase in Standard Deduction from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000.

He said even the health of the common man is ignored in this Budget and there is only a minor increase in the national health budget.

The Finance Minister emphasised that the lack of dedicated funds would severely impede the state’s progress in critical areas, including agricultural development, industrial growth (particularly for MSMEs), and infrastructure expansion, while also compromising the rapid growth of health and education sectors in the state.

Drawing parallels with Delhi, Finance Minister Cheema said that Punjab’s urban local bodies are also vulnerable to challenges arising from inadequate central support for urban development initiatives.

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–IANS

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Budget aims to translate vision of empowering J&K's society: L-G

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Budget aims to translate vision of empowering J&K's society: L-G

Budget aims to translate vision of empowering J&K's society: L-G

Srinagar, July 23 (IANS) J&K Lt Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday that the Union Budget has focused on productivity and resilience in agriculture which will greatly benefit the UT.

“Natural farming, mission for oilseeds, vegetable production, supply chains and national cooperation will ensure inclusive growth for farmers, villages and labourers,” he said in a series of posts on X.

He said that J&K has seized the opportunities of the 21st century and our youth are building a proud and prosperous J&K.

“#Budget2024 with focus on ‘Employment & Skilling’ & new schemes will give fresh impetus to youth empowerment and it’ll pave the way for higher participation of women in the workforce,” he wrote on X.

He said the budget provides unlimited opportunities to youth, women, farmers and entrepreneurs and lays down plans for a prosperous rural India which will also speed up the development of a robust agriculture infrastructure and urban development.

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“This budget with a focus on employment, skilling, MSMEs and the middle class, seeks to translate the vision of empowering all sections of the population,” he said.

He said that the nine priorities are for generating ample opportunities for all as envisaged in the Budget which will ensure faster progress and social equity.

The L-G also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for a “visionary” budget, saying it will intensify “economic growth, facilitate far-reaching reforms for ‘Viksit Bharat’ and increase ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and ‘Ease of Living’.”

He added that the Pradhan Mantri Janjatiya Unnat Gram Abhiyan for saturation coverage in tribal-majority villages and aspirational districts will be a “game-changer”.

He said that the budget is aimed at translating into reality the vision of empowering the common man in J&K by empowering all sections of society.

–IANS

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Realty sector hails Union Budget, calls it vibrant & visionary

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Realty sector hails Union Budget, calls it vibrant & visionary

Realty sector hails Union Budget, calls it vibrant & visionary

Mumbai, July 23 (IANS) The Indian realty sector has largely given a thumbs up to the Union Budget 2024-2025 presented in the Parliament on Tuesday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, terming it visionary and vibrant which will sustain India’s growth story over the next five years.

The President of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, Boman Irani, said that with the PM Awas Yojana-Urban, the housing needs of one crore poor and middle-class families will be addressed with an outlay of Rs 10 lakh crore, including central assistance of Rs 2.2 lakh crore in five years.

The Chairman of the National Association of Realtors-India (NAR), Sumanth Reddy, lauded the move to slash capital gains tax from 20 to 12.5 per cent which will attract greater investment into the realty sector, but said that reducing GST on real estate brokerage services to 5 per cent remains pending.

Giving a score of 8/10 to FM Sitharaman, Niranjan Hiranandani, Chairman, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), said that a monumental allocation of Rs 10 lakh crore for PMAY-Urban for three crore houses, 12 new industrial parks, and focus on rental housing through dormitories in industrial parks would boost affordable rental homes for industrial workers, and underscore a robust vision for urban development.

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Maharashtra NAREDCO President Prashant Sharma said the comprehensive approach to job creation and boosting consumption are positive signs for the realty sector, while the other initiatives will create a ripple effect enhancing the economic landscape and boosting demands for residential and commercial properties.

“Significant infrastructure investments continuing over the next five years, including a provision of Rs 11,11,111 crore for capex, will have a multiplier effect that will drive private investment in infrastructure. The introduction of a market-based financing framework and simplified rules for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) will further facilitate economic growth and stability,” Sharma said.

The President of CREDAI-Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry, Domnic Romell, said the proposal to reduce stamp duty for women house buyers is a progressive step, especially in places like Mumbai where realty prices are among the highest, besides “promoting gender equity through lower duties for women purchasers is a socially responsible move, which we have been advocating for long”.

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CREDAI-MCHI Vice President Pritam Chivukula said that keeping in mind the Viksit Bharat initiative, the Budget will give a significant boost to housing both in rural and urban areas, and help the people get a roof over their heads, particularly the one crore poor and middle-class sections.

Similarly, the Rs 2.66 lakh crore for rural infra development will help the people in Mofussil India become self-reliant and uplift their living standards while discouraging the rural migration to urban centres, thus ensuring overall development, Chivukula said.

Other top realtors and industry experts like Tribhuwan Adhikari, MD & CEO, LIC Housing Finance; Amit Sinha, MD & CEO, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd; Sandeep Runwal, MD, Runwal Group; Kamal Singal, MD & CEO, Arvind SmartSpaces Ltd; Dhaval Ajmera, Director, Ajmera Realty & Infra India Ltd; Atul Bohra, Group CEO, Kolte-Patil Developers Limited; Shashank Paranjape, MD, Paranjape Schemes Construction Ltd; Ramesh Nair, CEO, Mindspace Business Parks REIT; and Nagaraju Routhu, CEO, Experion Developers, also hailed various other facets of the Budget.

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These include the proposed industrial corridor that will spur employment, industrial growth and economic progress, the digitalisation of urban land records with GIS mapping and an IT-based system that will enhance transparency and efficiency while reducing risks linked with unclear titles or property disputes, the capital gains tax adjustments proposals, the tax incentives under Section 80EEA, GST reliefs, etc., which herald a progressive future for the industry and the country.

–IANS

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