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India economy & business news in brief for March 19: Adani Green aware of US probe but denies link

Gautam Adani (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Tuesday, March 19, 2024:

India’s Adani Green Energy on Tuesday acknowledged a US probe into potential anti-corruption law violations by a “third party” but denied any association with it, Reuters reported. Adani’s reaction comes days after Bloomberg News said in a report that the American investigators were probing whether an Adani entity or individuals linked to the company, including founder chairman Gautam Adani, were involved in paying officials in India for favourable treatment regarding an energy project. Adani stated in a statement filed with exchanges that it lacks ties with the third party and is thus unable to comment on the investigation’s scope. It also said that it received no notice from the US justice department regarding the allegations.

According to two banking sources and an informed individual, one of the two bidders for bankrupt Indian carrier Go First has upped its offer following encouragement from lenders. The consortium, led by SpiceJet’s managing director Ajay Singh and Busy Bee Airways, raised the bid by Rs 1 billion (£9.4 million) to 1.5 billion (£14.1 million), as disclosed by one of the sources. The initial bid was set at Rs 16 billion (£151.4 million). Reuters reported that Go First, which declared bankruptcy in May 2023, received two financial bids as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, with the second being Sky One Airways based in Sharjah, UAE.

India’s autonomous driving technology startup Minus Zero on Tuesday announced its partnership with the country’s automaker Ashok Leyland to develop self-driving trucks. According to a statement from the Bengaluru-based company, the self-driving trucks will initially target ports, factories, and corporate campuses. However, the company did not disclose the timeline for the partnership’s execution or the deal’s value. Founded in 2021, Minus Zero is supported by technology venture capital fund Chiratae Ventures, among other investors. Last year, Ashok Leyland inked a deal with London-based Aidrivers for producing autonomous electric terminal trucks to address the net zero emissions requirements of the port industry.

After facing a backlash online from a section of people over the launch of the “Pure Veg Mode” service, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal on Tuesday said the Indian food-delivery platform will “roll it back in a heartbeat” in case there is a negative social repercussions. In a long late night post on X, Goyal also sought to allay concerns that Zomato’s regular fleet may be barred by some societies and RWAs (resident welfare associations). “There’s an opinion that some societies and RWAs will now not let our regular fleet in. We will stay alert for any such cases and work with these RWAs to not let this happen, he said. “Please note that this Pure Veg Mode, or the Pure Veg Fleet doesn’t serve or alienate any religious, or political preference,” he clarified.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will address entrepreneurs and all stakeholders at the ‘Startup Mahakumbh’ in New Delhi on Wednesday (20). He said that India’s strides in the world of startups have been phenomenal in the last few years.
In a post on X, Modi said, “At 10:30 AM tomorrow, I will be speaking at the Startup Mahakumbh, a forum which brings together stakeholders from the world of Startups, innovators, and upcoming entrepreneurs. India’s strides in the world of Startups have been phenomenal in the last few years.” Startup Mahakhumbh 2024 commenced at Bharat Mandapam in the national capital on March 18. According to the Indian electronics and IT ministry, with the resounding theme of ‘Bharat Innovates,’ the event aims to serve as a catalyst for innovation, networking, and growth opportunities across various sectors.

(With agencies)

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