Key indices were hovering near the flat line in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:21 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, lost 3.17 points or 0.01% at 40,506.32. The Nifty 50 index slipped 3.05 points or 0.03% at 11,911.15.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index and the S&P BSE Small-Cap index lost 0.65% and 0.55%, respectively. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.
The market breadth was negative. On the BSE, 892 shares rose and 1701 shares fell. A total of 173 shares were unchanged.
FM’s Media Address:
In a bid to stimulate demand in the economy, the government announced giving out cash vouchers to central government employees this year in lieu of leave travel concession (LTC) fare which could be spent only on buying non-food GST-rated items.
Nirmala Sitharaman said the employees could buy items that attract 12% or more goods and services tax (GST). These purchases will have to be made in digital mode from GST-registered outlets.
Every four years, central government employees get LTC to any destination to their choice plus one to their hometown. Since travel is difficult to undertake during the pandemic, the government will pay the entitled fare as cash vouchers which have to be spent by March 31, 2021, she said.
Sitharman also announced a Rs 12,000 crore interest-free 50-year loan to states for spending on capital projects in a bid to bring economic activities back on track.
Out of the Rs 12,000 crore, Rs 1,600 crore will be given to north-eastern states and Rs 900 crore will be for Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh while Rs 7,500 crore will be for the remaining states. The remaining Rs 2,000 crore will be given to states that fulfill pre-stated reforms, Sitharaman said.
The loan will have to be spent entirely on new or ongoing capital projects. States can settle bills of contractors and suppliers but all the amount has to be paid before March 31, 2021, the minister said.
An additional capital expenditure of Rs 25,000 crore would be spent by the Centre on developing roads, defence infrastructure, water supply and urban development, Sitharaman said. This will be in addition to Rs 4.13 lakh crore already budgeted.
“We estimate that the measures announced today, for boosting consumer spending and capital expenditure, will boost demand by Rs 73,000 crores, to be spent by March 31, 2021,” FM said.
Mumbai Power Outage:
Mumbai faced a power outage on Monday morning. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Electricity, twitted that the electric supply in Mumbai was interrupted due to TATA’s incoming electric supply failure. Power has now been restored to many areas of the city.
The Nifty Auto index slipped 0.75% to 8,102.40. The index has lost 1% in two sessions.
Tata Motors (down 3%), Ashok Leyland (down 2.70%), Bharat Forge (down 2.48%), Eicher Motors (down 1.37%), Hero MotoCorp (down 1.15%), TVS Motor Company (down 0.80%) and Bajaj Auto (down 0.65%) declined.