Cairn's Big Move
UK's Cairn Energy has reportedly sued Air India in New York court to collect $1.72 billion due from the government.
The government has denied receiving any formal notice in this regard. Yet, the reports suggest that several other PSU assets on foreign shores could be on Cairn India's list in its attempt to recover the due amount.
It includes several strategic assets, including ships, oil and gas cargoes, and properties owned by state-owned banks that could be on Cairn's list. And in the coming months, Cairn Energy could file cases against the Indian government in several other countries.
India for sure is going to defend its PSUs against Cairn India's onslaught. Yet, the entire process could take a heavy toll on the government's disinvestment process. And the government could ill-afford it at a time when it needs to raise funds from all possible quarters to fight the pandemic and increase its fiscal spending to speed up the entire recovery process.
A Summer of Disaster
The consumer durable industry is going through a prolonged dull season as sales have taken a massive hit amid the pandemic. Cooling products like refrigerators and air conditioners are having it extra tough as this is the second consecutive peak season that has been affected by the pandemic.
Bluestar, the leading AC manufacturer, has suggested the impact in this season has been lower as compared to the last year. Yet, it is still a worrying sign for the AC industry.
Summer is the peak season for the AC industry which accounts for nearly 70% of the annual sales. Hence, this is the most crucial part of the year for them. The season had, in fact, started on a very positive note for them.
There was a strong pre-buying from dealers in March as they show a strong possibility of a price hike in April. But as the pandemic peaked up, the sales also started to decline. End consumers are also delaying the purchasing decisions, which are not helping the industry.
India Allows Import of Pulses
India has opened up the import of pulses like tur, moong, and udal dal after three years as the commerce ministry has put these three pulses from restricted to open category. With this move, the supply of pulses is likely to increase, which will keep the rising prices in check.
This step is likely seen as a proactive step citing the lower buffer stock of pulses available in the country. An Economic Times report suggests that India is expected to import ~2,50,000 tons of tur, ~1,50,000 tons of urad, and around ~50,000 - 75,000 tons of moong beans in the coming months.
The decision to import pulses will help in keeping the prices down, which is necessary to keep inflation in check. However, it could agitate those farmers and traders who are holding stock of these pulses. As it could mean a potential loss for them.