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India Business Briefs for June 21: India considers tax relief in upcoming budget, says report

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Friday, June 21, 2024:

The Narendra Modi government is considering consumption-boosting measures worth more than Rs 500 billion in the country’s upcoming budget, including tax cuts for lower-income individuals for the first time in seven years, Bloomberg reported citing informed sources. Officials in the Indian finance ministry have taken up proposals to decrease taxes for consumers with the highest propensity to spend, the sources said on the condition of anonymity since the discussions are private. Individuals who have annual earnings between Rs 500,000 (£4,723) and Rs 1.5 million (£14,198) – currently taxed anywhere from 5%-20% – could benefit from the decision, the sources said. A new tax slab may also be under consideration, they said, the report added.

India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries on Friday said it has inked a licensing pact with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to commercialise a novel gastrointestinal drug in the country. The company has entered into a non-exclusive patent licensing agreement with Takeda to commercialise Vonoprazan tablets in strengths of 10 and 20 mg in India, the Mumbai-based drug major said in a statement. Vonoprazan is a novel, orally active potassium competitive acid blocker, used to treat reflux esophagitis and other acid peptic disorders. “Sun Pharma is a leader in gastroenterology and we are excited to introduce Vonoprazan in India under non-exclusive patent license from Takeda,” Sun Pharma CEO – India Business Kirti Ganorkar said.

Indian grocery delivery startup Zepto on Friday said it has raised $665 million (£526 million) in an investment round that valued the firm at $3.6 billion (£2.84 billion), almost triple of what it was worth a year back, and is preparing to list soon. The fund raise will help Zepto compete with e-commerce giant Amazon, Zomato-owned Blinkit, and homegrown firms such as Swiggy’s Instamart and Tata Group’s BigBasket in the hyper-competitive grocery delivery space that is marred by high investments and low margins. The three-year-old startup raised $665 million from new investors, including New York-based private equity firm Avenir Growth Capital, venture firm Lightspeed, and Avra Capital, a new fund started by former Y Combinator Continuity head Anu Hariharan and Andreessen Horowitz.

Entrepreneurs from the northern Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have told prime minister Narendra Modi that they also give guarantees such as ‘Modi ki guarantee’ (Modi’s guarantee) for their products, as the youth doing “pioneering work” in StartUps interacted with him during his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir which concluded here on Friday. Modi posted the video of the interaction on his X handle. “Yesterday in Srinagar, I had the opportunity to meet talented youngsters of Jammu and Kashmir who are doing pioneering work in StartUps. Here are the highlights from the interaction,” Modi said in the post on Friday. The interaction took place at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre in Srinagar on Thursday before the prime minister addressed the ‘Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K’ programme.

ArcelorMittal’s India joint venture has cautioned trade officials in New Delhi privately that a plan to curb imports of a key raw material for steelmaking overlooks the implications of the Red Sea crisis, Reuters reported, citing a letter. The curbs planned by the company, which is the world’s second-biggest producer of crude steel, could hit output, as they cap imports of a steelmaking fuel, low ash metallurgical coke, also known as met coke, at 2.85 million metric tons for a year, the report added. The April proposal, which came after growing shipments caused “serious injury” to domestic producers, also recommended setting quotas on met coke for exporting nations.

(With agency inputs)

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