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Centre hikes financial package for rubber sector by 23% to Rs 708 crore

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The financial assistance for the Rubber sector under the ‘Sustainable & Inclusive Development of Natural Rubber Sector’ scheme has been increased by 23 per cent from Rs 576.41 crore to Rs 708.69 crore for the next two financial years (2024-25 and 2025-26), the Commerce and Industry Ministry said on Monday.

It said that to support the rubber industry, planting of rubber will be undertaken in 12,000 hectares (ha) in traditional areas during 2024-25 and 2025-26 with an outlay of Rs 43.50 crore.

“For this, the rate of assistance has been increased to Rs 40,000 per ha from the earlier Rs 25,000 per ha. This will help to cover the increased cost of production as well as provide additional incentive to growers for planting rubber,” the ministry said.

The ministry said that another 3.752 ha will be brought under rubber cultivation in non-traditional regions with an outlay of Rs 18.76 crore during the same period.

“Planting materials worth Rs 50,000 per ha will be supplied by the Rubber Board. This will be over and above the plantation being carried out under the INROAD project in the North East. Planting assistance at Rs 2,00,000 per ha will be provided for SC growers in non-traditional regions,” the ministry said.

It added that sponsored nurseries will be promoted by the Board in non- traditional areas for generating good quality planting material (new component). Assistance will be provided at Rs 2,50,000 to 20 such nurseries.

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“The government is planning a slew of measures aimed at productivity enhancement of rubber produced. Towards this, support shall be provided for rain guarding in 67,000 Ha (60,000 in Traditional, 5000 in NT and 2000 in NE) area and plant protection (spraying) in 22,000 ha (20,000 in Traditional and 2000 in NT). An amount of Rs 35.60 crore is envisaged to be provided for this in the next two years,” the ministry said.

The ministry said that the scheme promotes forums of smallholders of rubber viz., Rubber Producers Societies (RPS) for empowerment of rubber growers.

“In the next two years assistance will be provided for the formation of around 250 new RPSs. The scale of assistance has been increased from Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 and the same will help support farmer education, seminars, group meetings, capacity building activities, exposure visits, model farms and other activities for the overall benefit of stakeholders,” the ministry said.

It added that the formation of another 1450 farmer clusters will be supported in non-traditional and NE regions.

“The mobilisation of rubber growers into Rubber Producers Societies will help in improving price realisation for the rubber produced by the growers,” the ministry said.

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It said that an assistance of up to Rs 40,000 per RPS will be provided for latex collection and DRC testing equipment to 55 RPSs.

“For farm mechanisation, RPSs will be supported for purchasing sprayer/ dusters. Support up to Rs 30,000 per RPS will be provided to 180 RPSs. To ensure quality and standardization of rubber sheets, setting up of Group Processing Centres (GPC) is being promoted. Construction of 18 GPCs will be supported in the North East and Non-Traditional regions,” the ministry said.

The ministry said that the construction of 10 GPCs will be supported in the traditional region.

“The existing GPCs are proposed to be modernised through setting up Tunnel Smoke house, renovation of furnace, replacing of sheeting battery, overhauling of bio gas plant, Purchase of trolley racks, Pressure washer, Tetra pan and Solar Dripping Facility,” the ministry said.

It said that to fund rubber research, an outlay of Rs 29.00 crore has been provided for the next two years.

“This will aim at developing rubber clones suitable for different agro-climatic regions of the country to expand rubber cultivation to new areas to meet the rising demand in the country,” the ministry said.

The ministry said that with a view to improving service delivery to rubber growers, the Rubber Board will intensify its digitisation efforts and provide fast and instant services through its mobile based apps as well use drones for geo-tagging etc.

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“An amount of Rs 8.91 crore has been provided for overall digitization of Rubber Board,” the ministry said.

It said that the establishment of three nodal centres of National Institute of Rubber training (NIRT) in NE region Agartala, Guwahati and Nagaland have been proposed with an outlay of Rs 5.25 crore in next two years, primarily to promote MSMEs in this region by imparting training in product manufacture and quality control.

“During 2024-25 and 2025-26, a total of 712 training programmes are planned across the country which will benefit 10,700 individuals including 3800 persons in NE region,” the ministry said.

It said that the welfare measures are also being implemented to improve the quality of life of workers, to retain the existing tappers/workers and for attracting more tappers, particularly women tappers.

“Various measures like Educational Stipend, Women empowerment schemes, Assistance for House construction, Group Life Insurance cum Terminal Benefit, Personal Accident Insurance Scheme and pension scheme have been provided for with an outlay of Rs 7.02 crore for the next two years,” the ministry said.

–IANS

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Docking of largest container ship shows Mundra Port's unmatched capabilities: Karan Adani

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) The docking of the largest container ship ever at an Indian port highlights Mundra’s unmatched capabilities and a testimony to the company’s nation-building efforts, Karan Adani, Managing Director, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), said on Sunday.

The company earlier announced that the docked vessel, MSC Anna, has a length of 399.98 metres and is among the largest container ships.

“Our crown jewel Mundra Port welcomed MSC Anna, the largest container ship ever to dock at an Indian port,” Karan Adani posted on X.

“At 399.98m and a capacity of 19,200 TEUs, it highlights Mundra’s unmatched capabilities and a testimony to our nation-building efforts,” he added.

MSC Anna’s arrival draft is 16.3 metres, which can be accommodated only at Adani Ports, Mundra, as no other port in India is capable of berthing a deep-draft vessel.

In July 2023, Adani Ports, Mundra created a record by berthing MV MSC Hamburg, one of the longest container ships in the world, with an overall length of 399 metres and a capacity of 16,652 TEUs.

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–IANS

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Hyundai Mobis to expand investment in EV parts, automotive chips

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Seoul, May 26 (IANS) Hyundai Mobis, South Korea’s leading auto parts maker, has said it plans to boost its investment in electric vehicle (EV) parts and automotive chips this year.

The auto parts arm of Hyundai Motor Group unveiled its plan during the Mobis Mobility Day in Silicon Valley, where it shared its technological advancements and visions with business partners.

Mitchell Yun, an official from Mobis Ventures Silicon Valley, the company’s hub established in the region to foster startups with cutting-edge technologies, said the firm plans to expand its investment in EV parts in 2024, reports Yonhap news agency.

Such projects will make up around 70 per cent of its total investment, rising sharply from the current 50 per cent, he added.

Yun also noted that while the demand for EVs in the global market has slowed temporarily, the industry will eventually move toward eco-friendly cars.

The official, however, did not elaborate on the detailed amount of investment.

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Yun added that the company will also expand investment in automotive chips, emphasising the importance of securing a stable supply chain of semiconductors in the wake of recent supply shortages.

Hyundai Mobis is considering investing not only in startups but also in listed companies, he added.

Meanwhile, the company noted that it will significantly reduce the amount of investment in self-driving technologies due to the limits and costs of realising a full autopilot system.

–IANS

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Largest container ship ever to arrive in India docks at Adani's Mundra Port

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Ahmedabad, May 26 (IANS) Mundra Port, the flagship of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), has created yet another record by welcoming the largest container ship ever to call at an Indian port, the company announced on Sunday.

The docked vessel, MSC Anna, has a length of 399.98 metres — roughly the length of four football fields — and is among the largest container ships, with the capacity to carry 19,200 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

“The arrival of MSC Anna at Mundra not only highlights the port’s capacity to handle mega ships but also reflects its pivotal role in enhancing India’s maritime trade capabilities,” the company said in a statement.

Its arrival draft is 16.3 metres, which can be accommodated only at Adani Ports, Mundra, as no other port in India is capable of berthing a deep-draft vessel.

During its stay, the expected exchange is 12,500 TEUs, underscoring Mundra Port’s capability to manage large-scale cargo efficiently, the company said.

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In July 2023, Adani Ports, Mundra created a record by berthing MV MSC Hamburg, one of the longest container ships in the world, with an overall length of 399 metres and a capacity of 16,652TEUs.

Adani Ports, Mundra’s record-breaking feats continued into the latter half of 2023. In October, it became the first in India to handle 16 MMT cargo in a single month.

“As APSEZ continues to expand and upgrade its facilities, the port is set to play an increasingly significant role in the global shipping and logistics landscape,” the company said.

–IANS

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BharatPe, PhonePe settle trademark dispute on using 'Pe' suffix

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Bengaluru, May 26 (IANS) The BharatPe Group and PhonePe Group on Sunday announced that they have amicably settled all long-standing legal disputes pertaining to the use of the trademark with the suffix “Pe”.

This comes after a long-drawn legal dispute across multiple courts, since the last 5 years.

“The settlement will put an end to all open judicial proceedings,” the announcement said, adding that the companies have withdrawn all oppositions against each other in the trademark registry.

Rajnish Kumar, Chairman of the Board, BharatPe called the move “a positive development for the industry”, while appreciating “the maturity and professionalism shown by the Management of both sides”.

He added that this will help the companies to move “ahead to focus their energy and resources in building robust digital payment ecosystems”.

Both organisations will also undertake to carry out other necessary steps to comply with the obligations under the settlement agreement in respect of all cases before the Delhi and Bombay High Courts.

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Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO, PhonePe, expressed happiness over the “amicable resolution”.

He noted that the outcome will help both companies “focus collective energy on growing the Indian fintech industry as a whole”.

–IANS

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With last phase of voting left, market volatility would increase

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Markets were on a roll, and they had plenty of action and drama as well in the week gone by. The previously announced holiday on Thursday, on account of Buddha Purnima, was cancelled by the exchanges on Monday, considering the fact that two holidays in a week would break the momentum.

As events turned out, Thursday was the key pivot for the markets as they gained a massive 1,197 points on BSESENSEX and 370 points on NIFTY on Thursday. In the process, they made new lifetime highs as well. The RBI declaring a dividend of Rs 2.1 lakh crore for the financial year ended March 2024 was a great help as well, as it ensured that the fiscal deficit the government is targeting is well under control.

At the end of the four-day week, BSESENSEX gained two and lost two sessions, while NIFTY gained three and lost one. BSESENSEX gained 1,404.45 points or 1.90 per cent to close at 75,410.39 points, while NIFTY gained 455.10 points or 2.02 per cent to close at 22,957.10 points.

The broader markets saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 1.87 per cent, 1.87 per cent and 1.65 per cent respectively. BSEMIDCAP gained 1.10 per cent, while BSESMALLCAP was up 0.08 per cent. The new intraday highs made on Friday were 75,499.91 points and 23,026.40 points.

The Indian Rupee had a strong showing during the week and gained 24 paise or 0.29 per cent to close at Rs 83.10 to the US Dollar. Dow Jones saw selling pressure and lost in three of the five trading sessions. It was down 934 points or 2.33 per cent to close at 39,069.59 points.

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The week gone by saw one new mainboard listing-shares of Go Digit General Insurance Limited, which were issued at Rs 272 listed on Thursday, May 23. The opening price was Rs 281.10 on BSE. Shares closed day one at Rs 305.75, a gain of Rs 33.75 or 12.40 per cent. On Friday, the share lost some ground and closed at Rs 300.15, a reduced gain since the listing of Rs 28.15 or 10.35 per cent.

The issue from Awfis Space Solutions Limited is currently on. The issue consists of a fresh issue of Rs 128 crore and an offer for sale of 1,22,95,699 equity shares in a price band of Rs 364-383. The company, as the name suggests, is in the business of providing common workspaces on a daily or longer-term contracted basis.

Currently, the company is on a net loss, based on its restated accounts, which are showing a declining trend. Looking at the leverage opportunity that the company has and the fact that 75 per cent of the space is rented out, it could be expected that the company should report positive numbers for the year ended March 25.

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The issue opened on Wednesday, May 22, and would close on Monday, May 27. At the end of the second day of the issue opening, it received decent support, with the issue being subscribed an overall 11.4 times.

The QIB portion was subscribed 3.39 times, the HNI portion 20.98 times and the Retail portion 21.08 times. Investors looking for listing pop and having a medium-term holding period would be rewarded if their application for the share is successful.

The week ahead sees May futures expire on Thursday, May 30. The current value of NIFTY at 22,957.10 points is higher by 386.75 points or 1.71 per cent compared to the May series opening of 22,570.35 points. It would be interesting to note that all the gains have been made in the previous week, as prior to this, the series was negative. While currently the momentum is with the bulls, one needs to be cautious as to the way markets may move on election results eve.

The sixth phase of voting has concluded, and now just the seventh and final phase of voting on Saturday, June 1, remains. With the sharp rally over the last two weeks since markets made a bottom on Monday, May 13, they have rallied quite sharply. They have also made new lifetime highs. Very clearly, the markets are convinced that the ruling BJP-led NDA would form the next government. Exit poll assessment would begin Saturday evening and carry on till results are announced on Tuesday morning.

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With expiry happening during the coming week, volatility on expiry day could get substantially elevated as people decide to lighten positions and adopt a wait-and-watch attitude. FPIs have been big sellers in the month of May and, barring a couple of days, sold every day. This excess of liquidity, while it was absorbed by domestic institutions, could see a mismatch on expiry day.

Coming to the week ahead, expect sharp volatility as expiry day approaches. The election results getting closer could cause volatility to rise post-futures expiry as positions would, in all probability, get liquidated to a large extent. With limited positions open in the market from Monday to Wednesday in the week, June 3 to June 6 could see really sharp volatility. The strategy for the week ahead would be to reduce positions as the week progresses.

Refrain from any overweight positions in either direction, as sharp volatility is expected. Analyse exit polls for all they are worth, look at the results and then take a call.

Trade cautiously.

(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal)

–IANS

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