• Chana Dal, Onions At Affordable Prices In Delhi NCR Through NCCF-ONDC Collaboration

    Chana Dal, Onions At Affordable Prices In Delhi NCR Through NCCF-ONDC Collaboration

    The National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) has joined forces with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to make chana dal and onions more affordable for consumers in the Delhi NCR region, as per a media release.

    Chana Dal, a crucial dietary component for many households, is being offered in 2 KG lots at Rs 60 per KG, a significant reduction from the usual market price ranging from Rs 90 to Rs 100 per KG for similar quality chana dal.

    In addition, NCCF is facilitating the availability of onions at Rs 25 per KG in 2 KG lots, which is approximately 25% cheaper than the prevailing market rates of Rs 30 to Rs 35 per KG in the NCR region.

    NCCF has been registered as a seller on the ONDC Network through Shiprocket, a prominent seller app and logistics service provider.

    T Koshy, Managing Director and CEO at ONDC said, “We are proud to collaborate with NCCF in making essential commodities more affordable for consumers in Delhi NCR. This initiative exemplifies the transformative power of cooperation in addressing economic challenges and ensuring that essential products remain within reach for all.”

    Currently, this initiative is operational in over 100 pin codes, allowing consumers to purchase chana dal and onions through buyer applications on the ONDC Network, including Magicpin, Paytm, MyStore, Pincode, and others.

    While the initiative is currently focused on the National Capital Region, NCCF and ONDC have plans to expand it through collaborations with various buyer and seller apps, as well as logistics partners. Over the coming months, the initiative is anticipated to extend to ten more cities, providing economic benefits to a broader audience.

  • Licious Reduces Losses By 38% In FY23, Revenue Grows 9.5%

    Licious Reduces Losses By 38% In FY23, Revenue Grows 9.5%

    The omnichannel meat retailer, Licious, witnessed a notable reduction in its losses for the financial year concluding on 31 March 2023, marking a decrease of approximately 38 per cent to Rs 528.6 crore compared to Rs 855.7 crore the previous year. Concurrently, the company experienced a growth in revenues by 9.5 per cent, reaching Rs 747.8 crore from Rs 682.6 crore on a consolidated basis, according to recent financial statements.

    In September of the preceding year, Licious had reportedly forecasted that its FY23 revenues would reach Rs 1,500 crore, nearly double the figures reported a year earlier. This projection came around six months after securing USD 150 million in a funding round led by Singapore-based Amansa Capital, with participation from existing investors such as Temasek and 3One4 Capital. The fundraising round had valued the company at well over USD 1 billion, according to data from Tracxn.

    Total expenses for Licious in FY23 amounted to Rs 1,309.3 crore, reflecting an increase from the Rs 1,191.5 crore spent in the preceding year. Noteworthy expenses included the cost of materials consumed, mainly comprising the purchase of meat and fish products, which totaled Rs 644.7 crore, compared to Rs 554.3 crore in FY22. Employee benefit expenses constituted another significant expenditure, totaling Rs 239 crore.

    In response to the seasonal nature of the meat business and the cultural tendency for reduced meat consumption during festivals, Licious has been actively diversifying its product range, including the introduction of a line of ready-to-eat products. Additionally, the company ventured into the plant-based meat market with its own brand, UnCrave, introduced late last year.

    Despite challenges in the online meat market, exemplified by food delivery giant Swiggy closing its meat marketplace in January, Licious continues to thrive by adapting to market dynamics. Licious is hosted on Swiggy’s Instamart platform. Moreover, in February, one of Licious’s competitors, FreshToHome, secured USD 104 million in funding in a round led by Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund.

  • Retail Inflation For Industrial Workers Eases To 6.91% In August

    Retail Inflation For Industrial Workers Eases To 6.91% In August

    Retail inflation for industrial workers saw a decrease to 6.91 per cent in August from 7.54 per cent in July this year, primarily driven by lower prices of certain food items.

    According to a statement from the Labour Bureau, “Year-on-year inflation for August was at 6.91 per cent, compared to 7.54 per cent the previous month and 5.85 per cent during the same month a year ago.”

    Food inflation stood at 10.06 per cent in August, down from 11.87 per cent in July 2023 and 6.46 per cent in August 2022.

    The Labour Bureau, a unit of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, compiles the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) monthly, based on retail prices collected from 317 markets in 88 industrially significant centers across India.

    The All-India CPI-IW for August 2023 declined by 0.5 points, reaching 139.2 points compared to 139.7 points in July 2023. The primary downward pressure on the index came from the Food & Beverages group, contributing 0.71 percentage points to the total change.

    Specific items like wheat, poultry/chicken, eggs-hen, cotton seed oil, apple, brinjal, cauliflower, chillies green, ginger, lady’s finger, tomato, electricity domestic, and kerosene oil played a role in the index’s decline. However, this decrease was offset by items like rice, arhar dal, onion, cumin seed/jira, cooked meal, tailoring charges, school/ITI books, private tutor/coaching center fees, college and school/ITI tuition and other fees, and stationery, which exerted upward pressure on the index.

    At the center level, Jaipur saw the most significant decrease of 4.8 points, with three other centers experiencing a decrease of 3 to 3.9 points, 11 centers seeing a decrease of 2 to 2.9 points, 13 centers with a decrease of 1 to 1.9 points, and 22 centers with a decrease of 0.1 to 0.9 points. On the other hand, Cuttack recorded the highest increase of 4.4 points, followed by Jalandhar with 4.0 points, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Kollam with 3.7 points each. Additionally, three centers recorded an increase of 2 to 2.9 points, nine centers had an increase of 1 to 1.9 points, and 18 centers saw an increase of 0.1 to 0.9 points, while the indices for four centers remained unchanged.

  • Online Sellers Gear Up For Promising Festive Season, Expect 15% Sales Growth

    Online Sellers Gear Up For Promising Festive Season, Expect 15% Sales Growth

    Online sellers are gearing up for a promising festive season in 2023, expecting a significant uptick in sales after a rocky first three quarters of the year. A report by Redseer Strategy Consultants highlighted the optimism among sellers, with at least a 15 per cent year-on-year (YoY) jump in festive sales anticipated.

    The report, based on surveys of several hundred sellers, particularly smaller ones, indicated a strong readiness and bullish sentiment as the festive season approaches. Despite experiencing modest sales growth on ecommerce platforms in recent times, online sellers are expressing high hopes for a festive sales boost. Their expectations are set on achieving a minimum 15 per cent growth in online sales compared to the previous year’s festive season, with a median growth figure of 26 per cent in sales.

    Ecommerce platforms are tailoring solutions to match the sellers’ optimism, resulting in an increased perception of support from these platforms. Sellers have noted the robust support received, including data analytics, trend predictions, and improved consumer visibility.

    “The festive period is expected to enable sellers especially the smaller ones to come out of the challenging sales environment seen through this and sellers are optimistic of strong sales growth,” said Mrigank Gutgutia, Partner at Redseer Strategy Consultants.

    The report highlighted that sellers, buoyed by their confidence, are gearing up to significantly increase their advertising expenditures on online platforms. This strategic move is not only anticipated to bolster the individual sellers’ fortunes but also play a pivotal role in elevating the overall performance of ecommerce platforms throughout the festive season.

  • Illicit Trade Casts Shadow On India’s Progress Towards Achieving $5 Tn Economy: Anurag Thakur

    Illicit Trade Casts Shadow On India’s Progress Towards Achieving $5 Tn Economy: Anurag Thakur

    Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday said that the surge in illicit trade is a troubling consequence of globalisation which casts a shadow on the country’s progress toward achieving a 5 trillion-dollar economy.

    Addressing the 9th edition of FICCI CASCADE’s ‘MASCRADE 2023’, Anurag Thakur said, “Illicit trade, whether conducted through activities like smuggling, counterfeiting, or tax evasion, exacts a considerable socio-economic toll. It not only hinders our advancement but also drives up expenses, pushing these crucial goals even further from our reach.”

    “We not only protect our economy but also contribute to a safer and more peaceful world. The fight against illicit trade is not just an economic battle; it is a battle for peace, stability, and the future of our world,” he added.

    Speaking on the various initiatives by the government, Anurag Thakur said, “We have been enacting laws that not only align with our international commitments but also exhibit a progressive outlook. However, given the intricate and alarming expansion of illicit trade, it underscores the need for enhanced intergovernmental collaborations and public-private partnerships to formulate a comprehensive strategy.”

    The Minister also said that illicit trade is a multi-billion-dollar business with severe economic, social, and environmental impacts, which are especially accentuated during periods of economic downturn.

    “It is our duty to safeguard our citizens and the world from these threats. To do so, we must strengthen our law enforcement agencies, enhance international cooperation, and enact stringent measures to combat illicit trade at its roots,” he said.

    Thakur further stated that with India’s ascent as a formidable global economic force, the imperative of safeguarding the rights of businesses through robust regulations and vigilant enforcement becomes increasingly intertwined with our nation’s burgeoning global influence.

    “The intertwined relationship between illicit trade, organized crime and terrorism poses a clear and present danger to global security, making it imperative that we confront this issue head-on. Combating the pervasive social and economic detriments inflicted by illicit trade now stands as an imperative, reflecting India’s steadfast commitment to preserving its hard-earned economic strength and securing a prosperous future,” he said.

    Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE, said, “Illicit trade has been seen mostly from the prism of loss to the exchequer. However, it has many more facets that impact our society. This unscrupulous global business has its tentacles reaching far and wide and compromises the safety and security of nations due to their sinister linkages with organized crime networks and terror financing.”


  • FIEO Requests Extension of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme Till March 2024

    FIEO Requests Extension of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme Till March 2024

    The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) on Friday requested Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to extend benefits till March 2024 that were provided under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).

    According to reports, the scheme ended in March 2023.

    The Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) was launched in May 2020 as part of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ to support eligible Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and business enterprises in meeting their operational liabilities and restarting their businesses in context of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    FIEO President A Sakthivel in a letter to Sitharaman said the scheme was “extremely helpful” and provided support to the industry.

    “The support extended through ECLGS will help them to sail through this difficult time and bounce back when the situation improves,” the letter read.

    The scheme covered all sectors of the economy. It was introduced to provide 100 per cent guarantee coverage to banks and NBFCs to enable them to extend emerging credits to meet their working capital requirements.


  • India’s Core Sector Industries Grow By 12.1% In August 2023

    India’s Core Sector Industries Grow By 12.1% In August 2023

    The output of India’s eight core sector industries increased by 12.1 per cent (provisional) on a yearly basis in August 2023.

    The production of all eight core industries — cement, coal, crude oil, electricity, fertilizers, natural gas, refinery products and steel — recorded positive growth in August over the corresponding month of last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

    Cement production, which has a weightage of 5.37 per cent, increased by 18.9 per cent in August, and coal having 10.33 per cent, increased by 17.9 per cent in August.

    Crude Oil production (weightage: 8.98 per cent) increased by 2.1 per cent in August 2023 over August 2022.

    Electricity generation (weightage: 19.85 per cent) increased by 14.9 per cent in August 2023 over August 2022.
    Fertilizer, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, and steel increased by 1.8 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.5 per cent, and 10.9 per cent, respectively.

    The cumulative growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries from April to August 2023-24 is 7.7 per cent (provisional) as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

    The index data for September will be released on 31 October.


  • JioMart, Meta’s Chat-based Shopping Partnership Turns One In India

    JioMart, Meta’s Chat-based Shopping Partnership Turns One In India

    JioMart and Meta completed their one-year partnership through which they have enabled consumers to simply browse and shop for their household needs through WhatsApp chats and making shopping easier for Indian consumers.

    “Celebrating one year of enabling Indians to shop with ease, JioMart and WhatsApp’s collaboration has proven to be one of the most successful partnerships in the domestic retail space. Reliance Retail’s JioMart, one of India’s leading e-marketplaces, has successfully implemented and fulfilled orders through WhatsApp,” a Reliance Retail release issued on Friday said.

    Through partnership with Meta, JioMart has witnessed 7x growth in monthly orders via WhatsApp compared to the same period last year.

    “With an end-to-end shopping experience within WhatsApp, JioMart is able to tap consumers, who are hesitant to shop online. The user-friendly functionality of the platform has also enabled a 6x month-on-month growth in new customer conversion on JioMarton-WhatsApp. Moreover, this partnership has boosted India’s digital transformation and helped consumers and businesses of all sizes to connect in new ways,” the release said.

    Last year, in a global-first product experience initiative, Jio Platforms partnered with Meta to offer JioMart-on-WhatsApp.

    Sandhya Devanathan, Vice President, Meta India, said, “JioMart’s end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp was a global-first innovative integration for Meta, and we are pleased with this strategic partnership. The growth JioMart has seen since both sales and customer acquisition on WhatsApp is a testament to the fact that businesses and people are finding messaging to be the faster, more convenient way to get things done. Business messaging is an area with real momentum, and these chat-based experiences will be a game-changer around the world.”

    According to Sandeep Varaganti, CEO, JioMart, “The launch of JioMart on WhatsApp last year has been a phenomenal success, we are able to truly democratize digital commerce for everyone and bring in new customers.

    In fact, we have witnessed a 6X month-on-month growth in new customers coming from this platform. We have been expanding our offerings on the platform and now have multi-categories available on the catalogue, from groceries and fashion to electronics. We will also be able to offer collections from the Reliance Jewels range soon. Together, we are determined to make this new channel of digital shopping a success and fill the need gap of the digitally shy customers and reach a larger audience across the country.”

    As part of the anniversary celebrations, JioMart announced it will offer unmatched prices and discounts up to 70 per cent on products across categories on WhatsApp shopping.

    Adding some glitz and excitement to the JioMart-on-WhatsApp Anniversary Dhamaka, JioMart is hosting a live session on their social media platforms for consumers on 29 September 2023 at 6:00 p.m. Consumers can register on JioMart Facebook Event and join celebrities, Gauahar Khan and RJ Kisna live and stand a chance to win iPhones and more than 200 prizes.

    By sending ‘Hi’ to the JioMart number (+917977079770) on WhatsApp, one will instantly receive the shopping catalogue, notifications on current offers and deals. You can browse the catalogand explore aisles of unlimited products on offer at JioMart, add products to your cart and complete your purchases, all within WhatsApp.

    “With this hassle-free service, customers can order as per their convenience, no time or quantity restrictions,” the release said. (


  • Haryana Bans Hookah In Hotels, Restaurants, Bars

    Haryana Bans Hookah In Hotels, Restaurants, Bars

    Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has imposed a total ban on serving hookah in hotels, restaurants, bars and commercial establishments in Haryana.

    Teams will be formed to stop the serving of Hookah in bars, pubs and restaurants.

    Amit Bhatia, Deputy Excise Commissioner in the State said, “The Chief Minister has taken this decision regarding public health, it will be implemented fully. We have eight excise inspectors and three ATOs, their team will be formed, and it will be ensured that in any pub, bar or restaurant hookah should not be served. We have almost 81 bars, which have the license of the Excise department. So at least 6 teams will be formed and action will be taken so that it can be implemented completely.”

    “If any illegal activity happens, then we will take action under the excise law. Food and Drug Administration will also make a law under which action will be taken,” he said.

    Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Gurugram, Nishant Kumar Yadav, issued an order on the ban of manufacture, sale, and use of all types of firecrackers except green firecrackers from 1 November 2023, to 31 January 2024.

    The order issued by DC Yadav has also directed the Regional Officer of Haryana State Pollution Control Board, Gurugram to regularly monitor the air quality and upload the data on the respective websites as per the directions of the Supreme Court and the Central Pollution Control Board.

    In case of non-compliance and violation of this order, punitive action will be taken as per relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Explosives Act 1884 and Explosives Rules, said the order by DC Yadav.


  • Govt Approves 18 R&D Projects Worth Rs 46.74 Cr For Technical Textiles

    Govt Approves 18 R&D Projects Worth Rs 46.74 Cr For Technical Textiles

    Ministry of Textiles approved a total of 18 Research and Development projects worth Rs 46.74 crore across different areas of technical textiles, an official statement said on Thursday.

    Addressing the 7th Meeting of the Mission Steering Group (MSG) of the National Technical Textiles Mission in New Delhi, Union Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Industry and Institute’s pro-active and robust engagement is essential for the indigenous development of technical textiles in India.”

    Among these 18 R&D projects, 14 are high-value Projects, 3 are Prototype Grant projects and 1 is Ideation Grant project. The projects cover different application areas of technical textiles including 1 Project from Geotech, 2 of Protech, 2 Indutech, 2 Sportech, 5 Sustainable Textiles, 3 Meditech, 3 Smart & E Textiles and 1 Geotextiles were approved during the meeting.

    The approved projects were led by institutes and research bodies including BTRA, ATIRA, IIT Delhi, IIT Jammu, NIT Jalandhar, IIT Kharagpur, CSIR New Delhi, IIT Madras, among others.

    “Emphasis should be on R&D for globally highly imported technical textiles items, apart from import-dependent technical textiles items and specialty fibres in India,” Goyal said.

    Textiles ministry said that progress on the Education, Training and Skill Development front was also reviewed by the Union Minister wherein 26 applications from 15 Public and 11 Private institutes valuing INR 151.02 Crores were approved for introducing papers, procuring laboratory infrastructure and training of trainers across different application areas of technical textiles.

    Senior officials from NITI Aayog, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Expenditure, Department of Higher Education, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and members from other Ministries, and eminent members from the industry attended the meeting.