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India Business Briefs for March 22: India’s outlook for next fiscal positive, says its finance ministry

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other officials in front of the country’s finance ministry in New Delhi on the day of the national budget on February 1, 2024. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief related to Indian business and economy for Friday, March 22, 2024:

The Indian finance ministry on Friday said with an uptick in private investment and inflation trending down, the country’s outlook for the next fiscal looks positive. The ministry’s Monthly Economic Review also said that inclusion of Indian bonds in Bloomberg bond index from January 2025 should bolster inflows. It said robust investment activity is driving growth amid a steady rise in consumption. “The continued focus on public investment seems to have crowded in private investment,” said the February edition of the review by the department of economic affairs under the ministry. The National Statistical Office has revised upwards the GDP growth estimate for current fiscal to 7.6 per cent from 7.3 per cent.

Indian steel pipes manufacturer Welspun Corp on Friday announced that its associate firm, East Pipes Integrated Company for Industry, and Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco have mutually terminated a contract valued at Rs 3.39 billion (£32.2 million). Welspun’s unit had secured the eight-month contract in January for manufacturing and supplying steel pipes. The deal represented three per cent of the total value of contracts announced by Aramco for Welspun in 2023-24 financial year, amounting to about Rs 98 billion (£931.3 million). While the reason for the contract termination wasn’t disclosed, Welspun assured that it wouldn’t impact its operational plans. Last month, the company reported a more than 12-fold increase in third-quarter consolidated profit, driven by robust demand for its pipes across various sectors.

The Indian mines ministry has rejected a proposal by Vedanta Group’s firm Hindustan Zinc Ltd to split the company into different entities, a top official on Friday said. The government is the largest minority shareholder in Hindustan Zinc, owning a 29.54 per cent stake in the company. “We have not agreed to the proposal,” mines secretary V L Kantha Rao told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi. Hindustan Zinc had earlier announced its plans of spinning off business into separate entities, including zinc and silver, to increase its market capitalisation. When asked about the reason for the rejection of the proposal, the secretary said, “Whatever report we have in front of us, we are not convinced as a shareholder.”

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India will provide support of Rs 10,000 crore (£950.3 million) to Bhutan over the next five years, as the two sides signed several agreements in a range of fields including energy, trade and space to bolster cooperation. He made the announcement in his address to a gathering here after receiving Bhutan’s highest civilian award, the ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo’, the first foreign head of the government to receive the honour. Modi said the relationship between India and Bhutan are as much old as they are modern and timely, adding, the depth of their relationship is both ‘B2B’ and ‘P2P’. “And, ‘B2B’ means’ Bharat to Bhutan’, and ‘P2P’ means people to people connect,” he said.

Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest automaker, on Friday said it is recalling over 16,000 units of Baleno and WagonR vehicles to fix a possible defect in a part of the fuel pump motor. The company is recalling 11,851 units of Baleno and 4,190 units of WagonR manufactured between July 30, 2019 and November 1, 2019, it said in a regulatory filing. It is suspected that there is a possible defect in a part of the fuel pump motor, which in a rare case may lead to engine stalling or engine starting issue, it added. Affected vehicle owners will be contacted by Maruti Suzuki authorised dealer workshops for replacement of the part, free of cost, in due course of time, the automaker stated.

(With agencies)

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