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India Business Briefs for June 26: Growing water woes can hurt India’s sovereign credit health, warns Moody’s

People protest against water crisis in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru. (Photo by IDREES MOHAMMED/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Wednesday, June 26, 2024:

Moody’s Ratings warned on Tuesday that India’s escalating water scarcity, exacerbated by heightened consumption amid rapid economic expansion and frequent natural disasters, could adversely affect the country’s sovereign credit strength, ThePrint reported. Millions grapple with water shortages each summer as demand surges in agriculture, industries, and households against limited supply. This year’s prolonged heatwave has exacerbated deficits, notably impacting cities such as Delhi and Bengaluru, the southern tech hub. “This is detrimental to the credit health of the sovereign, as well as sectors that heavily consume water, such as coal power generators and steel-makers,” Moody’s Ratings said in a note, according to the report.

Telecom czar Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Airtel on Wednesday emerged as the biggest bidder for radio waves used to transmit mobile phone voice and data signals, cornering about 60 per cent of the Rs 11,341 crore (£1.07 billion) worth of spectrum sold in an auction that ended within two days. While Bharti Airtel bid and won airwaves worth Rs 6,856.76 crore (£649.6 million), rival Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio – the market leader – got Rs 973.62 crore (£92.2 million) worth of spectrum – the least in the three-corner contest. Vodafone Idea, the struggling telecom operator that recently got a fresh lease of life through India’s biggest follow on share sale, bagged spectrum valued Rs 3,510.4 crore (£332.6 million).

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has approved grant funding for technical assistance to help set up an integrated aviation hub at the Hisar airport in the northern Indian state of Haryana, aiming to develop airport cargo and logistics infrastructure to strengthen India’s supply chain network, a top official has said. USTDA director Enoh T Ebong announced this on Tuesday at the three-day US-India Aviation Summit in Washington. “I am delighted to announce that USTDA has approved grant funding for technical assistance to help create an integrated aviation hub at the Hisar Airport in the State of Haryana,” she said.

Tata Steel aims at having a minimum of 25 per cent of its workforce made up of diverse groups, including gender minorities, marginalised communities, persons with disabilities and LGBTQIA+ individuals, within the next few years, a company official said. It is one of the first companies in the country to roll out a special recruitment drive for transgender talent, having recruited over 100 members from the community for various roles across different locations, the official claimed. “Continuing this drive, we aim to have 25 per cent of our workforce from diverse groups in the next couple of years,” the official said.

India’s Aditya Birla Group has announced an investment of $50 million (£39.6 million) in a manufacturing and research and development (R&D) center in Texas. Aditya Birla Group’s vice president of sales and marketing Scott Bastion said the company will be making a $50-million investment outside of Houston in the city of Beaumont, Texas, where it will produce epoxy resins — that are used in a variety of consumer and industrial products. “In that site, we will have an application development center and will house an R&D team. We look forward to commissioning that site in the next 15 to 20 months.

Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland has inaugurated a new dealership for its light commercial vehicles division in the central state of Madhya Pradesh under its expansion drive, the city-headquartered company said on Wednesday. The new light commercial vehicle dealership — Sunil MotoCorp — is the 8th 3S (sales, service and spares) facility in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, and offers a range of LCV (light commercial vehicle) products including BADA DOST, DOST, PARTNER AND MiTR. “One of the key reasons for the runaway success of our DOST range and now the BADA DOST has been the robustness of the product and our network, ” said company president – IO,LCV, Defence and PSB, Amandeep Singh in a statement.

(With PTI inputs)

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