Winning Bizness Economic Desk
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue in December has registered a 10 per cent increase on a Year-on-Year (YoY) basis at Rs 1.65-lakh-crore as compared to the year-ago period.
While there has been a double-digit growth, a significant point to be noted here is that it is still below the average of Rs 1.66-trillion per month so far this year.
The Centre and states had collected around Rs 1.5-trillion in December 2022. In the first nine-month period (April-to-December 2023) so far of this fiscal (FY 24), the gross GST mop-up expanded 12 per cent as against the year-ago period’s collection of Rs 14.97-trillion.
The December 2023 mop-up was the lowest since October. April last year registered a record collection of Rs 1.87-trillion while the second-highest collection was clocked in October at Rs 1.72-trillion.
Here, it must be pointed out that barring two-months (May and August), the GST revenue receipts have remained north of the Rs 1.6-trillion mark this fiscal.
After settlement of taxes for inter-state sales, the central government collected Rs 70,501-crore with the states receiving Rs 71,587-crore, India’s Finance Ministry stated.
A point to be highlighted here is that in December of last year, large state economies such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh (UP) clocked a 12-to-19 per cent revenue growth.
As a tax on consumption, the GST revenue is seen as reflecting consumption trends in the economy, in addition to administrative efforts to step up collection.
In the six-month period (April-to-October 2023), consumer durables output which indicates consumer sentiment and purchasing power had witnessed a modest rise of 1.4 per cent from the year-ago period, while the output of consumer non-durables which are more frequently purchased, registered a 7.1 per cent growth.
Capital goods production and construction goods have shown a very creditable double-digit increase in the first seven-months of this fiscal.
Investors Give Big Thumbs Up to Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet (2024) has attracted record investments of Rs 6.64-lakh-crore. A point of great significance here is that this is much higher than the estimated Rs 5-lakh-crore.
This year’s figure is also double the investment attracted in the last Global Investors Meet (GIM) in 2019.
The previous two GIMs in the state took place in 2015 and 2019 when Ms Jayalalithaa and Mr Edappadi K Palaniswamy, respectively, were the Chief Ministers of the state. The present Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is Mr M K Stalin.
The 2015 meet attracted Rs 2.42-lakh-crore worth of investments while the second one roped-in Rs 3-lakh-crore worth of investments.
India’s leading corporate house, the Tata Group, has announced a massive investment in the state. Around 600 companies have signed MoUs with the Tamil Nadu government at the meet.
Tata Power’s total investment in the state is Rs 70,800-crore and these will be in several places in the state. Another leading corporate group, the Adani Group, is not far behind with its investments—it is the second-highest investor (Rs 42,768-crore) in the state after Tata Power.
The group’s investment break-up is Adani Green Energy—Rs 24,500-crore, Ambuja Cements—Rs 3,500-crore, Adani Connex—Rs 13,200-crore and Adani Total Gas and CNG—Rs 1,568-crore.
Singapore Sembcorp announced plans to invest Rs 36,238-crore, the third highest investor. A Rs 22,000-crore investment in two locations—Thoothukudi and Tiruvannamalai—was announced by LeapGreen.
Other companies to announce investments at the meet include VinFast (Rs 16,000-crore) which plans to establish an integrated electric vehicle factory in Thoothukudi, while Tata Electronics will invest Rs 12,082-crore to expand its facility at Krishnagiri.
Another company, Pegatron, has announced an investment of Rs 1,000-crore while leading south India-based blue-chip, TVS, will invest Rs 5,000-crore as a part of its expansion plans.
According to government data, amongst other major investors are CPCL Ltd (Rs 17,000-crore) which plans to invest in Nagapattinam, L&T Innovation (Rs 3,500-crore) in Chennai, Saint Gobain (Rs 3,400-crore) and Royal Enfield (Rs 3,000-crore) in Kanchipuram.
Tata Power to Invest Rs 55,000-crore in Wind, Solar Power Generation in Tamil Nadu
Blue-chip company Tata Power has chalked-out plans to invest Rs 55,000-crore in wind and solar power generation in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Tata power is a part of India’s premier corporate group, the Tata Group.
This investment will be spread over the next five-to-seven years as the company expands its operations in the green energy segment.
The company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Praveer Sinha told a leading business publication that “we are looking at investing Rs 70,000-crore for 10 GW of power across wind and solar over a period of five-to-seven years.”
The amount includes the Rs 15,000-crore which has already been committed to operational as well as under-construction projects in south and central Tamil Nadu. The net new investments are, therefore, around Rs 55,000-crore.
The Tata Group blue-chip plans to have a 70 per cent clean and green energy production by the end of this decade and a 100 per cent by 2040.
Mr Sinha said that Tamil Nadu will be one of the states with the maximum power generation capacity for the company.
The wind-solar energy split will be 50-50, Mr Sinha said, adding that the company would recruit people from areas within a 50-100-kilometre radius for its new manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu.
A point to be highlighted here is that women would be employed in a big way by the company. Out of the 2,000 operators, 80 per cent will be women operators. “We have on-boarded nearly 1,000 women,” Mr Sinha said, referring to the company’s upcoming greenfield 4.3 GW solar cell and module manufacturing plant in Tirunelvelli.
Tata Power is presently the country’s biggest EV charging provider with about 70,000 home chargers and 5,000 public chargers at different locations pan-India.
The company has chalked-out plans to add 25,000 EV chargers over the next five-years which would be mainly home chargers, Mr Sinha stated.
India’s Foreign Reserves Hits A 22-Month High at USD 623-billion
India’s foreign exchange reserves swelled by USD 2.759-billion to touch USD 623.20-billion for the week ending December 29, 2023.
It may be recalled that earlier there was a steep northward movement of USD 4.47-billion to reach USD 620.44-billion for the week ending December 22 of last year.
According to the Weekly Statistical Supplement published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), foreign currency assets (FCAs) clocked an increase of USD 1.87-billion, reaching the figure of USD 551.62-billion.
When denominated in dollars, the FCAs encompass the impact of the appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the Euro, Pound and Yen which are a part of the foreign exchange reserves.
Gold reserves also moved northward by USD 853-million, reaching a total of USD 48.33-billion while special drawing rights (SDRs) experienced a surge of USD 38-million totalling USD 18.37-million.
The reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) saw a small slide, as it moved southward by USD 2-million to USD 4.89-billion.
In October 2021, it may be recalled that India’s foreign exchange reserves had touched an all-time high of USD 645-billion. Since then, however, it has been sliding as the Reserve Bank has been utilising it to prop-up the Rupee due to global pressure.
Indian Trade Body Against Promoting Maldives
An Indian trade body has appealed to all relevant authorities to stop promoting Maldives as a tourist destination amongst Indians.
The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has appealed to Indian carriers operating in Maldives to suspend their operations and instead think of operating in Lakshadweep.
The trade body urged all trade and tourism associations in India to cease promoting Maldives amid a row over anti-India remarks made by some Maldivian ministers.
A statement to this effect was issued by the ICC’s Chairman Mr Subhash Goyal to all the tourism associations as a “patriotic Indian in the larger national interest.”
He appealed to all Indian carriers operating in Maldives to shift their focus and operations away from Maldives to Lakshadweep under the Udaan scheme.
Here a point to be noted is that on-line travel company EaseMyTrip has suspended all flight bookings to the Maldives. Another reputed company MakeMyTrip has claimed that a stupendous 3,400 per cent steep surge was registered in on-platform searches for Lakshadweep following the country’s Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the island off India’s west coast.