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India Business Briefs for March 27: Finance minister says she doesn’t have money to contest general elections

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news related to Indian economy and business for Wednesday, March 27, 2024:

Indian finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said she declined her party Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) offer to contest the upcoming national elections pleading that she did not have the ‘kind of fund’ required to contest the polls. JP Nadda, president of the BJP, gave her the option to contest either from the southern states of Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu, she said. “After thinking for a week or ten days, I went back to say, ‘Maybe not’. I do not have that kind of money to contest. I also have a problem whether it is Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. It’s also going to be a question of various other winnability criteria that they use… Are you from this community or are you from that religion? Are you from this? I said no, I do not think I am going to be able to do it,” she said at a media summit in New Delhi.

India can realistically push its economic growth close to nine per cent from the current seven per cent or so, by implementing a few more reforms in the next five years, the chairman of the 16th Finance Commission, Arvind Panagariya, said on Wednesday. He said prime minister Narendra Modi worked hard over the past 10 years to make India a friendly place for businesses, so investment is coming in. “Today, the economy is open. In the next 2-3 decades, we can sustain a very rapid growth,” he said, while speaking at the Times Now Summit. “India is currently growing in real rupees at about seven per cent or so per year. Certainly with a few more reforms in the next five years, we can realistically push it to close to 9 per cent,” the economist said.

India’s state-owned engineering firm Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has received an order worth Rs 4,000 crore (£380 million) from Adani Power Limited for setting up the 1,600 MW Raigarh Phase-II Thermal Power Plant at Raigarh in the central state of Chhattisgarh. BHEL in a filing said that it received a Letter of Award on March 27, 2024, for the supply of equipment and supervision of erection & commissioning for 2×800 MW power project based on supercritical technology at Raigarh Phase II, Chhattisgarh. The boiler and Turbine Generator are to be manufactured at BHEL’s Trichy and Haridwar plants respectively. The supply of Unit-1 will take 31 months and Unit-2 (35 months).

India can easily surpass the 500 GW renewable energy target before 2030, a senior official said on Wednesday. Additional secretary of the ministry of new and renewable energy, Sudeep Jain, said that India has the fourth largest installed capacity for renewable energy. “500 GW we will easily surpass ahead of time. We have been surpassing a lot of NDCs (Nationally Determined Contribution) before time,” the official said. As India strives towards its net-zero goals, the official emphasised that a major role is to be played to create awareness for new technologies concerning green hydrogen.

India’s data centre industry has entered the growth stage, and the capacity is expected to double up in the next three years, from approximately 0.9 Gigawatts in 2023 to 2 GW in 2026, according to CareEdge Ratings. A data centre is typically a large group of networked servers used by organizations for the remote storage or distribution of large amounts of data. This additional capacity built up has created substantial investment prospects due to the estimated capex requirement of Rs 50,000 crore (£4.7 billion) in the next three years. CareEdge Ratings report highlights significant under penetration of data center capacity in India.

(With agencies)

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