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Tuesday,13-April-2021

Business

Champion industry, aluminium, looks for 5% RoDTEP rate to boost exports

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Steel Industry

Steel Industry.

The Ministry of Finance announced implementation of RoDTEP Scheme and extending benefit to all export goods with effect from April 1, 2021. This announcement is a huge relief for exporters post withdrawal of the MEIS and will provide much needed impetus to boost Indian exports.

However, the pendency of notifying the sector-wise remission rates under RoDTEP Scheme is creating a precarious situation and uncertainty for Indian exporters due to ambiguity w.r.t. pricing of goods and thereby impacting Indian exports.

The recently announced Union Budget 2021-22 has kept provision of Rs 13,000 crore for RoDTEP, which has been significantly curtailed from Rs 50,000 crore allocation for RoDTEP Scheme when first announced by the Finance Minister in September 2019.

The situation for exporters further aggravates with withdrawal of MEIS, and till date the exporters are unable to avail the MEIS benefit for exports already made during FY-20 and FY-21 (April-December) due to blocking of online MEIS module for applying claims.

This has resulted in blockage of significant funds for already stressed non-ferrous metal sector exporters.

In absence of any export incentives/ remission mechanism, the aluminium exports are struggling to remain globally competitive as compared to the major exporting countries, especially China, which extends various support measures for export competitiveness.

In India, the high incidence of numerous unrebated Central and State taxes/duties impedes the growth potential of aluminium sector in India. The various taxes constitute 15 per cent of aluminium production cost which is amongst highest in the world. This adversely impacts the sustainability and competitiveness of aluminium industry and further renders Indian exporters vulnerable and uncompetitive vis-à-vis global players in international markets.

These duties and taxes should not be exported as such and should be remitted back to encourage domestic value addition and export of finished products. Under MEIS, the aluminium exports were eligible for a 2 per cent reward rate which itself does not provide ample cushion to remain competitive against current bearish market condition. The government support is extremely crucial at this juncture to reduce burden of taxes/ levies with least 5 per cent remission rate under RoDTEP to boost exports and survive this challenging phase.

While the Production Linked Scheme (PLI) has been extended to 13 sectors to boost domestic manufacturing, there is currently no support available for aluminium sector, despite being identified amongst the 12 Champion Sectors by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, where India can be a global leader and major supplier. Aluminium is a sector of strategic importance for the country and an essential commodity for various other industries/SMEs due to its critical role in diversified applications for in energy security, national defence, infrastructure, electrification, aerospace, automobile, consumer durables, packaging, etc.

The Indian exports are struggling to retain competitiveness in international markets. Being a strategic metal, the government support to enhance competitiveness for Aluminum industry by way of various incentives/subsidies for raw materials, tax benefits and export tax incentives, low interest rate loans is prevalent globally, but heavily supported in China and GCC countries.

On the other hand, the Indian Aluminium industry is struggling with incidence of huge burden of unrebated Central and State taxes and duties, constituting ~15 per cent of Aluminium production cost which is amongst the highest in the world and adversely impacting its sustainability and cost-competitiveness. NITI Aayog in its report on “Need for an Aluminium Policy in India” also highlighted the strategic importance of Aluminium for the country and the huge burden of various taxes and duties on Aluminium production costs.

The Aluminium industry seeks immediate support for notifying at least 5 per cent remission rate for Aluminum Sector under RoDTEP Scheme to ensure its global competitiveness and realise its immense potential to double exports worth $ 10 billion Forex earnings for the country.

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Business

Intel-owned Mobileye, Udelv to build 35K autonomous vehicles

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Mobileye-and-Udelv

Intel-owned Mobileye and Udelv, a Silicon Valley venture-backed company, have announced to produce more than 35,000 autonomous vehicles by 2028, with commercial operations beginning in 2023.

Mobileye’s self-driving system — Mobileye Drive — will “drive” the next-generation Udelv autonomous delivery vehicles (ADV), called “Transporters.”

“Our deal with Udelv is significant for its size, scope and rapid deployment timeline, demonstrating our ability to deliver Mobileye Drive for commercial use now and in volume,” said Professor Amnon Shashua, Mobileye president and CEO.

“COVID-19 has accelerated demand for autonomous goods delivery, and we are delighted to partner with Udelv to address this demand in the near term,” he said in statement on Monday.

Donlen, one of America’s largest commercial fleet management companies at the forefront of fleet management innovation and technology, has placed the first pre-order for 1,000 ‘Transporters’ — believed to be the largest to date for an autonomous delivery vehicle.

“The readiness of Mobileye Drive, along with its vast map coverage of North America, Europe and Asia, will allow us to ramp up the production and deployment of Udelv Transporters and rapidly offer the service at scale to our expanding list of customers,” said Daniel Laury, CEO and co-founder of Udelv.

Mobileye-driven Transporters will be capable of L4 self-driving, point-to-point operation.

Udelv’s proprietary tele-operations system will allow for the maneuvering of the vehicles at the edges of the mission, in parking lots, loading zones, apartment complexes and private roads.

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Business

Equity indices in green, auto, banking stocks rise

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Bombay-Stock-Exchange

A day after recording the biggest single-day fall of 2021, the key Indian equity indices traded in the green on Tuesday.

Healthy buying activity was witnessed in banking and auto stocks.

The indices have, however, declined from the intra-day highs.

At around 11.25 a.m, Sensex was trading at 48,030.96, higher by 147.58 points or 0.31 per cent from its previous close of 47,883.38.

It opened at 47,991.53 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 48,315.09 and a low of 47,775.32 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 14,349.85, higher by 39.05 points or 0.27 per cent from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv and ONGC, while the major losers were TCS, Tech Mahindra and Infosys.

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Business

OMCs to explore fuel price revision post elections

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Petrol

Fuel prices in the country remained unchanged on Tuesday with oil marketing companies continuing on the pause mode and keeping petrol and diesel prices static for a fortnight now.

Accordingly, pump prices of petrol and diesel remained at previous day’s level of Rs 90.56 and Rs 80.87 a litre respectively in the national capital.

However, the two petroleum products may see revision again post conclusion of ongoing state elections. With crude remaining below $65 a barrel, any softening on global oil in wake of fresh wave of the pandemic and rising oil stocks in US could actually mean lower petrol and diesel prices for consumers in India.

Before the long drawn pause, petrol and diesel fell by 22 paisa and 23 paisa per litre respectively on March 30. The OMCs have decided to pause price revision since then as they want to watch the crude price movement that has now fallen to around $63.5 a barrel.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel prices remain static on Tuesday but its retail levels varied depending on the level of local levies on respective states.

In Mumbai, petrol continues to be priced at Rs 96.98 a litre and diesel at Rs 87.96 a litre. Premium petrol, however, continues to remain over Rs 100 a litre in the city as is the case with several cities across the country.

The OMCs went on price cut for the first time this year on two consecutive days – March 24 and 25 after keeping oil prices steady for past 24 days. It again reduced the price on March 30. Thereafter, fuel prices have remained unchanged.

Earlier, petrol and diesel prices increased 26 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre respectively so far this year.

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