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India economy & business news in brief for April 28: Political discourse in country has deteriorated, says finance minister

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo by MADE NAGI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Here are news in brief related to Indian economy and business for Friday, April 28, 2023:

Political discourse has deteriorated in the country, and there is a dearth of cordiality, Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday, PTI reported. Simple acts like offering a coffee to a political opponent can be “grossly misunderstood”, the senior minister said. Sitharaman, who also handles the corporate affairs portfolio, said this was not the case in the past and recalled the bonhomie between Chakravarti Rajagopalachari of the Congress and P Ramamurti of the Communist Party of India in Madras Presidency and Tamil Nadu despite being staunch political rivals.

The Indian government has opened a fresh window to import gold worth 140 tonnes from the UAE at a concessional rate agreed under the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) for 2023-24. The gold tariff rate quota (TRQ) will be allocated to old and new applicants under the revised simpler eligibility norms and lesser compliance burden for Indian importers, director general of foreign trade Santosh Sarangi said on Thursday, Business Today reported.

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) on Friday said it believes the resilience of Indian agriculture towards adverse weather shocks has undoubtedly increased over the years, owing to increased irrigation intensity, ANI reported. However, the ability of the sector to absorb the shock varies across states is linked to the overall area under irrigation. According to India Ratings, at the all-India level, the area under irrigation was 54.32 per cent in 2018-19 (FY19) compared with 41.7 per cent in 1996-97. As a result, the correlation between the kharif foodgrain output and monsoon rains from June till September was 0.4 over FY13-FY21 compared with 0.6 and 0.8 during FY97-FY04 and FY05-FY12, respectively.

Transport Corporation of India Ltd (TCI Group) on Friday announced the launch of a new supply chain sustainability lab in collaboration with IIM-Bangalore, PTI reported. The lab is in the premises of the IIM. The one-of-its-kind centre of excellence in sustainable supply chain practices, dissemination, and advocacy, the lab will focus on supply chain management, TCI said.

The Indian government has appointed Siddhartha Mohanty as chairman of Life Insurance Corporation of India till June next year, ANI reported. He will be the managing director and chief executive officer of the insurance behemoth from June 2024 till June 2025. Mohanty had been serving as interim chairman of the corporation since March 14. Mohanty is a postgraduate in political science and also holds a degree in law. He also holds a postgraduate degree in business management and is a licentiate from the Insurance Institute of India. In a career spanning over three decades in the corporation, Mohanty has made his mark in the areas of Marketing, HR, Investments and Legal.

Indian refiner Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd looks to nearly double the processing of Russian oil in the current fiscal year, drawn to the discounts offered, Rohit Kumar Agrawala, its head of finance on Friday said, Reuters reported. Moscow emerged as the biggest oil supplier to New Delhi last fiscal year as refiners gorged on the discounted crude that the West avoided due to Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022. In 2023-24, the company aims to meet 20-25 per cent of its oil needs via Russian supplies, Agrawala said at an analyst conference, the report added. He also said that the company buys Russian oil through spot deals.

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