Dec 2021 – January 2022


PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Dear Industry Members,

As factories inch back towards full capacity, cars zoom past  on city roads, and footfalls return to malls, there is a distinctive air of optimism and self confidence in India’s economy.

Most budgets are about taxes, but this budget makes only marginal tax changes. The budget emphasis is on raising capex by a whopping 35%, boosting growth and stimulating private investment, wages and production.

Despite a phenomenal revenue boom this current year, the fiscal deficit will end at 6.9%, above the budgeted 6.8%. Clearly the government views the economy as still Covid stricken and in need of stimulus. At a time when global inflation is rising fast, India’s wholesale price inflation is in double digit, and will soon pull up consumer inflation. Rather than aim for fiscal consolidation to tame inflation, finance minister has opted for high capex to fuel fast growth, hoping this will cure a myriad of problems.

The budget is unlikely to immediately trigger a consumption revival in the country though it is designed to put more money in the hands of consumers in the long term in both the rural and urban areas.

The Union Budget 2022-23 is focused on bolstering India’s economy. With economic growth pegged at 9.2% in Financial Year 2022, the budget announcements, if implemented well, can sustain the growth rate and increase employment in the long term. India’s economic recovery is continuing to benefit from the multiplier effects emanating from the sharp increase in public investments from last year’s budget.

The targeted capital expenditure increase of 35% to 7.5 lakh crores in Financial Year 2023 will induce demand for services and manufactured inputs from large industries and micro, small and medium enterprises, and help farmers through better infrastructure.

Plans to expand highways and establish new cargo terminal under the PM Gati Shakthi master plan will enhance competitiveness of Indian Industry by lowering the cost of transportation and bettering connectivity between production centres and consumption markets, both domestic and global.

The budget will enhance rural income and revive demand for rural consumption by putting more money in the hands of farmers. The continuation of Rs 2.37 lakh crore provision towards minimum support price to farmers will support rural buoyancy. Moreover, the government’s commitment to enhance broadband and mobile services in rural and remote areas of the country will aid the farming communities harness the power of digital infrastructure. The increased access to digital and high-tech services, use of kisan drones for crop assessment, and increasing input use efficiency under the drone-shakthi programme will increase overall production and cost efficiency for farmers across the country.

The finance minister announced that India will launch the next phase of Ease of Doing Business- EODB 2.0. This is a welcome move as India’s domestic business regulations ecosystem has significantly changed in the last decade and there is a need to focus challenges unique to India from a prism of sustainable economic development.

The government should be lauded for its vision to unlock potential in sunrise areas such as artificial intelligence, geospatial systems and drones, semiconductors and its eco-system, space economy, genomics and pharmaceuticals, green energy and clean mobility systems, given their immense potential to assist sustainable development at scale and modernize the country.

Allowing one year moratorium extension for loans availed under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) with increase in the limit to Rs 5 lakh crore will ease current liquidity issues faced by the MSME sector, a critical contributor to the country’s employment and GDP. While the corporate tax rate was kept at the same level, the concessional rate of 15% extended by one year for newly incorporated manufacturing units is welcome and will strengthen the economy.

Passenger vehicle sales continued to remain subdued last month, despite strong demand in the local market, due to limitations in production caused by the global shortage of semiconductors. Industry estimates 294,872 units were sold in the passenger vehicle segment last month, a decline of 3% over 303,398 units sold in the year-ago period. Automakers in India mostly report wholesale dispatches from factories to dealers and not retail sales to customers.

The unprecedented focus on use of technology in every facet of governance, underlined by the Union Budget 2022-23, will provide a significant leg up to the business opportunities for domestic as well as multinational technology firms. Startups working in the area of new age technology platforms such as drones, space imagery and artificial intelligence, will specifically standout to gain the most from this massive push towards digitization.

Coming to our home state, The Kerala Government issued a revised Covid 19 restriction guidelines on 20th January. District in the state have been categorized into three zones – A,B and C, mainly factoring the caseload at hospitals in each district for imposing restrictions. There would be lockdown like restrictions on Sundays.

The State Government has amended the Kerala Investment Facilitation Act 2018 which would help non-resident Keralites to invest up to Rs. 50 crores in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It would also help them begin an enterprise without coming to Kerala. Earlier, the investment cap was Rs. 10 crores. The State amended the Act after the Central government raised the investment ceiling to Rs. 50 crores. Those interested could apply through K-SWIFT, the single-window interface launched by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).

NRKs could launch their business initiative with acknowledgment certificates received through K-SWIFT. The remaining certificates of approval need to be submitted only within three years. The norms, however, are applicable only to projects that do not fall under the red category of the Pollution Control Board.

We whole heartedly support this initiative taken by the State Government to support the NRKs.

The Department of Industries, Govt of Kerala has prepared guidelines for a project aimed at one lakh commercial enterprises in a year in the state. It is learned that the detailed project report will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval. Additionally, ‘One Local Body One Project (OLOP),’ a sub project will also be part of this initiative. The project intends to create 350 small, micro and medium enterprises. For this, the Department of Industries has conducted a survey and identified the initiatives that are suitable for each local body. In addition, entrepreneurs and investors can also propose their own projects. Most of the proposed projects fall into the category of food, clothing and agriculture sector.

The certified products will be quality checked and approved and marketed as ‘Kerala brand’. To ease the procedures, the permits and licenses will be granted generously.

Moving on as part of the chamber’s India Forward Talk Series, I am happy to inform you that for the December edition of the India Forward Series, we hosted Shri. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Economist and former Vice Chairman, Planning Commission of India as the Guest Speaker on 16 December 2021 through video conference, his talk was based on the lines of his recent book ‘Back Stage” The story behind India’s High Growth Years”.

The sixth edition of the Annual Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Lecture was held on Saturday, 08 January 2022 on a hybrid platform at Hotel Crowne Plaza, Kochi. Dr. Madhav Gadgil, Ecologist and founder for the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Pune was the Speaker. During his speech, he mentioned that Dr. Kalam was above all an upright scientist and a great believer in the spirit of science and in technological progress.  A detailed report on this event and pictures from the session is added in this newsletter.

The seventh meeting of the CEO Forum was held on 11 December 2021. Mr. S. Adikesavan, Chief General Manager, Agri & Financial Inclusion, State Bank of India was the Speaker, he spoke on the topic : Privatization of Government Banks & allowing higher promoter stake. In his speech he mentioned that during the mid-1980’s, its not possible for a public sector bank to give away the housing loan, since RBI felt that the credit should flow to the productive sectors of the economy. The video recording of this session was uploaded on the Chamber’s YouTube Channel and this can be viewed there.

The eight meeting of the CEO Forum was held on Saturday 29 January 2022, wherein Mr. Rajesh Jha, Managing Director & CEO of Adani Vizhijam Port Pvt Ltd was the Guest Speaker. He spoke on the topic : Vizhijam Port – Transforming the Economy of India. The video recording of this session was uploaded on the Chamber’s YouTube Channel and this can be viewed there.

I would like to mention that the Cochin Chamber did an online Workshop on Personal Branding on 12 January 2022, and the Speaker was Ms. Jessica Mundroina, Life Coach, International Cognitive Skill Trainer & Image Consultant, Gateways Global LLP, there were more than 35 plus participants attended the programme.

I am glad to inform you that the Chamber did an online Session on Recent Changes in GST Law & How to ensure compliance on Saturday, 15 January 2022. Mr. K. Vaitheeswaran, Advocate & Tax Consultant, K. Vaitheeswaran & Co. was the speaker. We had more than 100 plus participants attended this webinar.

Thank you, and Stay Safe.


Recent Union Cabinet Decisions

December 2021

 

January 2022


Forthcoming Events

  • Session on Budget 2022 – Decoding Direct Tax Provisions in Fine Print | 10 February 2022

  • India Forward – Talk Series Session with Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Economist & Executive Director for India at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) | 17 February 2022

  • Session on Decoding the New Labour Codes | 19th & 26th February 2022

  • CEO Forum Virtual Meeting with Mr. Prasad. K. Panicker, Director & Head (Refinery), Nayara Energy Ltd


 Recent Events

  • CEO Forum Virtual Meeting 2022 : Privatisation of Government Banks and allowing higher promoter stake

The Virtual Meeting of the CEO Forum – December 2021 was held on Saturday, 11 December 2021 from 08:00 am to 09:30 am.

Mr. S. Adikesavan, Chief General Manager, Agri & Financial Inclusion, State Bank of India was the speaker. He spoke on the topic : Privatisation of Government Banks & allowing higher promoter stake.

Mr. K. Harikumar, President of the Chamber welcomed the participants and gave a quick introduction of the Guest Speaker.

In his speech, Mr. Adikesavan mentioned that the banking sector has undergone so many changes and during the mid-80’s a housing loan is not possible to be given by a public sector bank because the RBI felt that credit should flow to the productive sectors of the economy.

He said that for an inclusive growth of an economy, a mediation is required and that mediation can be achieved only through a PSU’s. He mentioned about the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, out of the total 46 crores accounts opened, 44 crores has been done by the public sector banks.

  • CEO Forum Virtual Meeting 2022 : Vizhinjam Port : Transforming the Economy of India

The Virtual Meeting of the CEO Forum – January 2022 was held on Saturday, 29 January 2022 from 08:00 am to 09:30 am.

Mr. Rajesh Jha, Managing Director & CEO of Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt Ltd was the speaker. He spoke on the topic : Vizhinjam Port – Transforming the Economy of India.

He mentioned in his speech that Vizhinjam Project is his first coastal project and unlike the other projects Coastal Projects has it own unique challenges. He said that 75% of the Vizhinjam projects is completed and by 2023 the remaining 25% project will be completed and becomes operational.

  • India Forward Talk Series Session with Shri. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Economist and former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India

The December edition of the India Forward Talk Series held on 16 December 2021 featuring Shri. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Indian Economist and former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India through video conference.

Mr K. Hari Kumar, Chamber President in his welcome remarks said that the India Forward series was launched in September as a monthly platform for noted thought leaders to present their vision for India.

The noted economist Shri. Montek Singh Ahluwalia started his speech thanking the Chamber for the invitation. He said that the current economic situation in India on a short-term perspective compared to other developing nations is going slow.  The economy is recovering, though not in L shape, and is expected to reach pre pandemic levels by the beginning of 2022.

On to the long-term perspective, Shri. Ahluwalia supported the government of India’s approach in projecting a 7% growth rate, sidelining the Chinese approach where the government has set low economic growth targets. He said that it is imperative to have more than 7.5% growth rate for generating employment.

He then explained his roadmaps of reforms for India’s future; Growth in India is going to be led by the private sector. Public sector has an important role in infrastructure. Private sector participation can be boosted by increasing infrastructure investments and improvements in the logistics making interactions with  global players seamless and easy. Private sector has a huge role to play in tackling climate change. Shift to renewable sources requires institutional setups and soft policies wherein the Centre and state governments should coordinate. Private participation in power distribution is also crucial. Public sector should facilitate the upgradation of grid infrastructure.

To summarise, Shri Ahluwalia prioritised support to private sector support, infrastructure improvement, formalisation of economy through macroeconomic balance, banking sector reforms and facilitation of an open economy.

Mr P. M. Veeramani, Chamber Vice President, expressed the Chamber’s heartfelt gratitude to Shri Montek Singh Alhuwalia. He also informed that eminent ecologist Madhav Gadgil has agreed to be speaker for the Cochin Chamber’s Annual Abdul Kalam Lecture that is scheduled in January 2022.

  • Annual Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Memorial Lecture Series Session with Shri. Madhav Gadgil, Ecologist and Founder of The Centre for Ecological Sciences

The 6th Edition of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Memorial Lecture series featuring  eminent environmentalist and recipient of  Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan Shri Madhava Gadgil as the Speaker.  The session was held at Crown Plaza adhering to Covid protocol norms on 8th January 2022 from 06:00 pm to 07:30 pm.

Mr. Anand Venkitraman, Chamber Executive Committee (EC) Member in his introductory remarks briefed the audience about the background of this lecture series. The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry instituted the annual Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Memorial Lecture series in 2015, following the demise of Former President of India ,Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam to commemorate the life and values of one of India’s greatest sons.

Mr K Hari Kumar, Chamber President, highlighted the contribution of the Chamber in Kerala. Recognising the responsibility towards the society and public at large, the Chamber has started various initiatives for social causes including supporting government hospitals with CSR funds. He informed that the Chamber had got IT clearance to pool CSR resources for larger societal purposes which would be used to support the members in effectively pooling and funding impactful projects. Mr K Hari Kumar introduced and welcomed  Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan Shri Madhava Gadgil to the event giving a brief overview of the immense contribution made by Mr. Gadgil in India’s environment related debates, discussions and policies.

Madhav Gadgil started his speech recollecting his brief association with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He emphasised on the need to move from a predatory economy to a symbiotic economic society which benefits the common people of India. Supporting Dr. Kalam’s vision for technological and scientific progress, Mr. Gadgil clarified that his belief in the environment does not make him against technological or scientific progress. A globalised world with significant achievements is a result of technological and scientific progress, he said.

He then shifted his attention to the recent incidents of landslides in Kerala citing Puthumala, Pettimudi and Koottickal landslides that resulted in major casualties. He lamented that these incidents would not have occurred had the government agreed upon the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) report, also known as the Gadgil Commission report.

He believes that India should follow environmentally sensitive developed countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland etc.,. instead of focussing on the US China model.

He summarised his talk with a note on the vibrant nature of Indian democracy that has been strengthened by the 73rd and 74th amendment that resulted in decentralisation of powers. He said that it is people who can have a rightful role in a democracy. He concluded with a quote from Dalai Lama and wished that we extend our kindness to nature.

Mr P M Veeramani, Chamber Vice President,  expressed the Chamber’s heartfelt gratitude to Shri Madhav Gadgil quoting words of Mahatma Gandhi reminding the need to keep a check on man’s greed.  He also thanked sponsors Adani and Federal Bank for their generous support.

  • Session on Recent Changes in GST Law and How to ensure compliance


Chamber’s Research Wing

  • The Chamber submitted representation to Prime Minister of India requesting the government to address serious errors/glitches faced by taxpayers in the new income tax e-filing portal

Policy developments corner

  1. The Budget Session of Parliament will commence on January 31. The Union Budget 2022 will be presented on February 1, Tuesday by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at 11 am.
  2. The Kerala government has amended the Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Act, 2018 which would help non-resident Keralites to invest up to Rs 50 crore in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The cap for investment was 10 crores prior to this amendment. Click here for more details.
  3. Kerala Government issued a revised Covid 19 restriction guidelines on 20th January. Districts in the state have been categorised into three zones – A, B and C – mainly factoring the caseload at hospitals in each district for imposing restrictions. There would be lockdown-like restrictions on the next two Sundays(23rd and 30th).  Click here to know more.

Important bills listed for introduction, consideration and passing in the Budget Session of Parliament.

S. No Bill Purpose
1 The Warehousing (Development and

Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2022

The Bill proposes :

(i) to strengthen WDRA.

(ii) To help farmers to store their produce in scientific warehouse godowns.

(iii) To encourage the scientific warehousing ecosystem in the country.

2 The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022 The Bill proposes to carry out certain essential structural changes in the governing structure of the

CCI, changes to substantive provisions to address the needs for new age markets and to expand the activities of the Commission across India by opening Regional Offices.

3 The Emigration Bill, 2022 The Bill seeks to replace the Emigration Act, 1983. The proposed legislation seeks to establish a robust, transparent and comprehensive emigration management framework that facilities safe and orderly migration.
4 The Pension Fund

Regulatory and Development Authority

(Amendment) Bill, 2022

The Bill is for amending PFRDA Act, 2013 to fulfil the Budget Announcement 2019 regarding the separation of National Pension System (NPS) Trust from PFRDA and Budget announcement 2020 for ensuring universal pension coverage. The amendments have also been proposed to address gaps perceived in the course of implementation of PFRDA Act, 2013 and the NPS. The proposed amendments are for strengthening PFRDA to enforce discipline in timely deduction, remittance and investment of contributions; bring clarity in provisions for uniform regulation; for increasing pension coverage through establishment of other trusts for old age income security and auto enrollment; and enabling choice of more pension

payout options to subscribers at the time of exit from NPS

5 The Metro Rail

(Construction, Operation

and Maintenance) Bill,

2022

The Bill proposes to provide a legal framework for construction, operation and maintenance of metro rail projects including those under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. After enactment of the Bill, the new Act will replace the Metro Railways (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002 and the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978 and Calcutta Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Temporary Provisions Act, 1985
6 The Energy Conservation

(Amendment) Bill, 2022

The Bill seeks to provide regulatory framework for:-

(i) Carbon Trading in India,

(ii) To encourage penetration of Renewable in energy mix, Effective implementation and enforcement of the “Energy Conservation Act”


EXIM STATISTICS

COCHIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

CONTAINER MOVEMENT-EXPORT-

01-DECEMBER-2021 TO 31-DECEMBER-2021
CIN U91110KL1938NPL001413
Sector
20′
40′
TEUS
QTY.(KGS)
AFRICA 63 71 205 2349762
AFRICA EAST 19 36 91 896754
AFRICA SOUTH 16 91 198 1751447
AFRICA WEST 16 70 156 1864608
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND 100 61 222 2171484
C.I.S 8 140 288 2961183
CANADA/GREAT LAKE 13 54 121 1123173
FAR EAST/JAPAN 640 673 1986 25406662
MEDITERRANEAN 206 343 892 10362385
NORTH CONTINENT/SCANDINAVIAN 235 641 1517 12504321
PERSIAN GULF 1039 498 2035 25306307
U.K. & IRELAND 79 182 443 4548148
U.S.A ATLANTIC 31 120 271 2475902
U.S.A. SOUTH 38 49 136 1416407
U.S.A. CENTRAL 2 10 22 227166
U.S.A. EAST COAST 117 619 1355 12146267
U.S.A. INLAND PORTS 5 92 189 1891536
U.S.A. WEST COAST 32 132 296 2499479
GRAND TOTAL
2659
3882
10423
111902991

COCHIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

CONTAINER MOVEMENT-IMPORT-

01-DECEMBER-2021 TO 31-DECEMBER-2021
CIN U91110KL1938NPL001413
Sector
20′
40′
TEUS
QTY.(KGS)
AFRICA 75 118 311 49565159
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND 6 21 48 663860
C.I.S. 40 181 402 10635556
CANADA/GREAT LAKE 7 12 31 469780
FAR EAST/JAPAN 975 728 2431 32416828
MEDITERRANEAN 46 117 280 3362258
NORTH CONTINENT/SCAN 97 241 579 6896257
PERSIAN GULF 1036 340 1716 60112494
U.K. & IRELAND 116 8 132 3226677
U.S.A ATLANTIC 43 102 247 3175544
GRAND TOTAL
2441
1868
6177
170524413
  • Summary Report
COMMODITY
CONT20
CONT40
TEUS
QUANTITY
CASHEW 90 17 124 1694810
COFFEE 353 20 393 7064887
COIR PRODUCT OTHERS 0 236 472 5241567
COIR PRODUCTS 150 632 1414 12758929
COIR YARN 0 10 20 129356
COTTON GOODS 156 288 732 3225871
COTTON YARN 13 104 221 2209185
JUTE PRODUCTS 8 45 98 734851
MISCELLANEOUS 1545 1415 4375 51071827
OLEORESINS 38 15 68 535638
SEA FOOD 8 571 1150 13430287
SPICES 252 306 864 9258277
TEA 46 223 492 4546997
TOTAL:
2659
3882
10423
111902482

COCHIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

CONTAINER MOVEMENT-EXPORT

01-DECEMBER-2021 TO 31-DECEMBER-2021(TOP TEN PERFORMERS)
CIN U91110KL1938NPL001413
Exporter
20′
40′
TEUS
QTY.(KGS)
APOLLO TYRES LTD. 0 203 406 1994434
LAKSHMI MACHINE WORKS LTD. 4 95 194 746714
KERAFIBERTEX INTERNATIONAL P.LTD. 10 85 180 1702414
AVT MCCORMICK INGREDIENTS LTD. 27 72 171 1850597
OLAM AGRO INDIA LTD. 25 70 165 1870327
COCHIN MINERALS AND RUTILE LTD. 162 0 162 3548150
MRF LTD. 2 76 154 1385287
HARISH COCONUT PRODUCTS 0 74 148 1688537
EMIL TRADERS P.LTD. 141 0 141 2705339
REMMY SUSTRATES INDIA P.LTD. 0 68 136 1599650