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Full Budget 2024 Countdown: Top 15 Business Developments Of The Day

As the Modi-led BJP-NDA government prepares to present its first Union Budget in its third consecutive term, significant developments in business, economy, and policy are shaping expectations. Read Top 15 Business & Economy News Of The Day

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India's Economic Landscape: Key Updates as Modi Government Prepares for Union Budget 2024

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As the Modi-led BJP-NDA government gears up to present its first Union Budget in its third consecutive term, significant developments in business, economy, and policy are already shaping expectations. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present her 7th Full Budget 2024 in a row, addressing several critical issues impacting India's economic landscape. Here are the top 15 business and economy updates compiled from various media reports and press releases - Team TICE

1. Sharp Decline in FDI Inflows

India witnessed a significant 43% decline in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2023, dropping to $28 billion from $49 billion in 2022, according to a UNCTAD report. This decline pushed India to the 15th spot in global FDI inflows, down from 8th position. Despite this drop, India remains a top destination for greenfield projects and international project finance deals.

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2. EPFO Enrolment Surge

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) enrolled 1.9 million net members in April 2024, a 31% increase from March 2024. This surge reflects growing employment and compliance among employers, indicating a positive trend in the formal job market.

3. India: A Global Consumer Market Hotspot

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According to a report by Fibonacci X, India has emerged as the most attractive consumer market globally, with consumption trends in smaller markets converging with those in larger cities. The report predicts India's economic growth to range between 6-10% in the coming years, positioning the country as a significant player in global economic growth.

4. Sovereign Funds and RBI's AIF Rules

The Indian government has requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to exempt sovereign funds from recent tightened rules on investments in alternate investment funds (AIFs). This move aims to facilitate smoother investment processes for sovereign funds involved in Indian projects.

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5. Renewable Sector's Expected Capex Boost

Ahead of the Union Budget 2024, reports suggest that the renewable energy sector may receive a substantial increase in capital expenditure allocation. A study by CRISIL anticipates capacity to reach 180 gigawatts by FY26, driven primarily by solar energy.

6. Revival of White Goods PLI Scheme

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The government is considering reopening the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for white goods, particularly focusing on components like compressors and copper tubes. This move aims to boost domestic manufacturing and reduce dependence on imports.

7. India Becomes Net Steel Importer

For the first time since fiscal 2017, India became a net importer of steel in FY24, with a trade deficit of 1.1 million tonnes. Increased domestic demand and higher imports from countries like China, South Korea, and Japan contributed to this shift.

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8. Tech Startup Funding Rebounds

After two years of decline, tech startup funding in India saw an uptick in the first half of 2024. Indian tech startups raised $4.1 billion, a 4% increase from the previous half-year period, according to the India Tech Semi-Annual Funding Report H1 2024 by Tracxn.

9. Real Estate Sector's Debt Sanctions

The real estate sector in India secured debt sanctions amounting to Rs 9.63 trillion between 2018 and 2023. A report by JLL India and Propstack estimates an opportunity for an additional Rs 14 trillion in debt financing over the next three years.

10. Housing Sales Decline

Housing sales across nine major cities in India are projected to decline by 2% in the April-June quarter of 2024, mainly due to lower demand in Hyderabad and Pune. PropEquity's data estimates sales at 119,901 units compared to 121,856 units in the same period last year.

11. OMCs' Green Hydrogen Road Map

State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) are set to submit a joint roadmap for adopting green hydrogen. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas aims for PSUs to produce over 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030, although no production units have been established yet.

12. Increased Compensation for Landowners in Power Projects

The central government has issued new guidelines doubling the compensation for landowners affected by power transmission projects. The compensation for the tower base area has been increased to 200% of the land value, and for the transmission corridor to 30%.

13. Healthy Thermal Power Plant Load Factor

Thermal power plants in India are expected to maintain a healthy load factor of 70% in FY25 due to a 6% growth in power demand, according to ICRA. This positive outlook is supported by improved capacity utilization and new power purchase agreements.

14. Trai's Recommendations for Broadcasting Sector

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended granting infrastructure status to the broadcasting sector to attract significant investments. Trai also suggested digitizing the approval process through single-window clearance to streamline operations.

15. Trade Marketing Scheme for MSEs

The government is set to launch the Trade Enablement & Marketing (TEAM) scheme to assist micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in onboarding the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). The scheme, with an outlay of Rs 277 crore, aims to enhance MSEs' participation in digital commerce without incurring high commissions charged by other e-marketplaces.

As the countdown to the Union Budget 2024 continues, these developments highlight the dynamic and evolving nature of India's economic landscape. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's budget will be closely watched for measures addressing these key issues and driving the country's growth forward.

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