India’s rural economy and budget 2023
Rising cost of diesel, electricity, fodder and animal feed has caused increase in input costs. Agri input inflation came down from 38.5% in June 2022 to 20.3% in December 2022. Unpredictable weather also impacted crops in 2022. Covid era relief measures may also end in FY 23, including the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. Upcoming budget 23-24 can help boost rural growth through incomes, jobs, and livelihoods. This can be done through increasing budget outlys in existing rural schemes, promoting technology in agriculture and investment in agri infrastructure. AI-based tools like ChatGPT also helping rural farmers who know only local dialect to find information on government programs on the internet.
World’s largest Coworking space inaugurated in Bengaluru
With 8,000 seats, BHIVE workspace is now the largest coworking space in the world. It is a flexible and managed office company dedicated to startups. India’s data center market has also seen increased transactions in 2022. More than 500 acres of land has been acquired. 45% of the total land was in Mumbai, while Hyderabad and Pune saw 26% and 14% share respectively. According to a report by Savills India, the cumulative operational colocation capacity of data centers in India exceeded 900 MW spread over 9 million sq ft of built up area. These are mainly concentrated in Mumbai and Chennai due to landing stations for submarine cables, which carry internet traffic between countries.
EV-based car travel to grow in India
Statiq, a homegrown electric vehicle charging network startup, has announced a partnership with Zoomcar to promote EV-based travel in India. Zoomcar is an online car-sharing marketplace. As part of this agreement, Statiq and Zoomcar will enable EV owners to host on Zoomcar and earn additional income by sharing the cars with guests who book. This would also increase the popularity of EVs among travellers and promote a culture of clean mobility among the public. Statiq provides an accessible, affordable and reliable network of charging stations. The pilot would start from Delhi-NCR and then expand to Bangalore and other cities.
FASTag toll collections grows by 46%
Total toll collection in 2022 through FASTag has grown 46% to 50,855 Crores. Average daily collection through FASTag on NH fee plazas in December alone was Rs. 134.44 Crores. Single day highest collection was on December 24. This includes fees from state-highway toll plazas, as shared by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Number of FASTag transactions also witnessed a growth in 2022. It has also reduced waiting time at NH Fee plazas. FASTag has been mandatory since February 2021 for all private and commercial vehicles.
41,000 Crores Mega-port in the Andamans invites bids
Central government has invited bids for 41,000 crores International Container Transhipment Port (ICTP) being planned for the Galathea Bay. Galathea Bay is located in Great Nicobar Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Bids for developing the port were invited, which would be completed by 2028. The port will have a handling capacity of 4 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs). Minister of ports, shipping and waterways also recently inaugurated National Logistics Portal-Marine (NLP-M). This would reduce the logistics cost for exporters. In another development, Adani group completed the acquisition of Haifa port in Israel for USD $1.2 billion.
Lines 2A and 7 of Mumbai Metro Inaugurated by PM
New metro lines 2A and 7 in Mumbai were inaugurated by PM. This constitutes a 35-km long elevated corridor from Andheri to Dahisar. Metro line was built at a cost of Rs. 12,600 Crores. Foundation lines for the metro were laid in 2015. Metro line 2A (Yellow Line) connects Dahisar East to DN Nagar. Metro Line 7 or red line runs between Andheri East and Dahisar. National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) would be used for metro, local trains as well as buses.