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India Business Briefs for July 4: ADB, ENGIE group partner to build 400 MW solar plant in Gujarat

A solar power plant in India. (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Thursday, July 4, 2024:

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday said it has arranged a Rs 1,460 crore (£137 million) loan for ENGIE group for constructing a 400-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in Surendranagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The ADB was the mandated lead arranger for the entire loan totalling Rs 14.6 billion with ADB and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank both providing Rs 7.3 billion (£68.4 million), the Manila-based multilateral funding agency said in a statement. The project will support the Indian government’s target of achieving at least 500 gigawatts of non-fossil fuel energy capacity by 2030.

The stock market has risen four times in the last 10 years during the Narendra Modi-led government’s tenure with India making rapid progress in a virtuous growth cycle, the country’s commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. “Stock market during our 10-year tenure has risen four times. The Nifty was at around 5,700 when the Modi government came to power. Now perhaps it has crossed 23,000-24,000,” Goyal said. “Let me tell you, this is a very merciless market. It only looks at numbers and the future… India is making rapid progress in the virtuous cycle of growth and due to this progress the stock market is moving ahead,” he added.

In the wake of the Red Sea crisis, air freight from India has more than doubled in recent months, positioning the country to meet its ambitious target of handling 10 million tonnes (MT) of air cargo by 2030-31. India’s air freight peaked at over 3.5 MT in 2017-18 and, after a dip due to COVID-19, has climbed back to the same level. Yashpal Sharma, president of the Air Cargo Forum of India (ACFI), emphasized the importance of resolving two key issues: reducing trans-shipment carriage times and allowing foreign freighter aircraft to serve multiple Indian cities. “India has a vast opportunity but needs to address the challenges, especially speeding up trans-shipment, which currently takes 2-2.5 days,” Sharma said at the ACFI Annual Conclave 2024 in New Delhi on Thursday.

The coal sector has emerged as a top performer among India’s eight core industries, achieving a growth rate of 10.2 per cent in May 2024. The growth, as per provisional figures from the Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) released by the commerce and industry ministry, underscores the sector’s pivotal role in driving India’s industrial expansion and energy security. According to a press release by the coal ministry, the ICI, which monitors the production performance of eight core industries–cement, coal, crude oil, electricity, fertilizers, natural gas, refinery products, and steel–reported a combined index increase of 6.3 per cent for May 2024.

The plastic industry is one of the leading contributors to the economy and provides a lot of employment opportunities, India’s chemicals & petrochemicals secretary Nivedita Shukla Verma said on Thursday. She inaugurated a four-day Global Conclave on Plastic Recycling and Sustainability organised by industry bodies All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) and the Chemicals and Petrochemicals Manufacturers’ Association at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The event focuses on the rising use of plastic, its impact on the environment and also on the steps needed for solutions.

(With agencies)

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