Adani advisor’s role in environment ministry panel triggers row
Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani (ANI Photo)
HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Tuesday, November 14, 2023:
The inclusion of an advisor from Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) in a panel of the Indian environment ministry created a political uproar on Tuesday, with opposition parties slamming the government for a perceived ‘conflict of interest’. Janardan Choudhary, a key advisor to AGEL, was named as one of the seven non-institutional members by the environment ministry when it reconstituted the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for hydroelectricity and river valley projects in September. Political parties criticized the Narendra Modi government, questioning who appointed Choudhury to the EAC and why.
Indian trade and commerce minister Piyush Goyal, who is currently on a four-day visit to the US, on Tuesday participated in the Investors Round Table organised in collaboration with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum and Indiaspora. The event was attended by venture capitalists and entrepreneurs from a wide spectrum of industries in the US, including from the domains of energy, manufacturing, logistics, technology, among others. In an interactive session held in San Francisco as part of the first leg of the tour in the US, Goyal held wide-ranging discussions with the participants and highlighted the various steps taken by the government of India to improve the ease of doing business.
Eyeing enhanced urban services and fortified tourism infrastructure, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has given the nod to a $100 million loan dedicated to the northeastern Indian state of Tripura. Expressing commitment to supporting Tripura’s governmental priorities, ADB principal urban development specialist Tomoo Ueda stated, “ADB is committed to supporting the Tripura government’s priorities of improving urban services and tourism infrastructure to help boost economic development.” Ueda added, “This project will support the state as a gateway to the northeast region by developing tourist destinations along the national highways and by improving urban governance and financial sustainability.”
In a stride towards promoting sustainable and responsible growth in India’s power sector, the country’s minister for power and new and renewable energy, RK Singh, inaugurated the Power Pavilion at the India International Trade Fair 2023. According to a press release by the power ministry, the pavilion serves as a comprehensive showcase of the government’s key initiatives, aiming to foster public awareness and participation. The pavilion, organized by the ministry, features an array of policy initiatives and themes designed to propel the nation towards a more sustainable and resilient future.
The Narendra Modi government will invite bids for 20 critical mineral blocks, including for lithium and graphite, in the next two weeks, the country’s mines secretary V L Kantha Rao said on Tuesday to news agency PTI. The government had in October approved royalty rates of three per cent each for lithium and niobium and one per cent for Rare Earth Elements (REEs). Critical minerals have become important for the nation’s economic development and national security. Lithium and REEs have gained significance keeping in mind the country’s commitment towards energy transition and achieving net-zero emission by 2070. India, which has been exploring ways to secure supplies of lithium, a critical raw material used to make electric vehicle batteries, in February found its first lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir with estimated reserves of 5.9 million tonnes.
(With agencies inputs)