India economy & business news in brief for Sept 1: India antitrust body okays Air India-Vistara merger
(Top) An Air India aircraft and (above) a Vistara plane (iStock)
HERE are news related to Indian economy and business for Friday, September 1, 2023:
India’s antitrust body Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday granted approval for the merger of Tata group’s Air India and sister airline Vistara, contingent on their adherence to voluntary commitments, Reuters reported. The approval comes amid concerns within the industry over a potential duopoly, with the merged Air India-Vistara and IndiGo controlling over 75 per cent of the domestic market. Tata aims to create a formidable airline to compete with IndiGo and Middle Eastern carriers. The CCI had expressed concerns about possible monopolies on certain routes and in business class travel, sources told Reuters. The regulator on Friday approved the proposed deal, “subject to compliance of voluntary commitments offered by the parties,” but did not elaborate on the voluntary commitments that the airlines made.
Shaktikanta Das, governor of India’s Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been rated “A+” in the Global Finance Central Banker Report Cards 2023, the central bank said on Friday. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), RBI said, “We are happy to announce that Governor Shaktikanta Das has been rated “A+” in the Global Finance Central Banker Report Cards 2023. Das has been placed at the top of the list of three central bank governors who have been rated A+.” “The Bank Governors who earned an “A+” grade in the Global Finance Central Banker Report Cards 2023 are Shaktikanta Das from India, Thomas J. Jordan (Switzerland), Nguyen Thi Hong (Vietnam),” an official statement issued by Global Finance magazine said.
The Indian commerce ministry on Friday said it has decided to organise monthly workshops to raise awareness about ways to promote exports through e-commerce mediums. The Foreign Trade Policy 2023 has mandated to handhold and conduct outreach programmes to promote e-commerce exports. In addition to increasing awareness about e-commerce-related rules and processes, actions for capacity building and skill development for the promotion of exports through online mediums are also mandated. “In this regard, monthly workshops on e-commerce exports are proposed by this directorate,” according to a trade notice of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
NHPC Ltd, India’s largest state-owned hydropower company, has said the commissioning of the Parbati-II hydropower project in Kullu district of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, has been delayed till FY25 because of recent rains and floods. The 800-megawatt (MW) project had already been delayed by 13 years due to tunnelling issues. According to a Moneycontrol report, NHPC Ltd. had planned to commission the project in March next year but its supporting infrastructure was hit by natural disasters that engulfed the state recently, resulting in several deaths and damages to property. The plant consists of four units, each with a capacity of 200 MW.
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it has attached three land parcels worth more than Rs 161 crore (£15.4 million) in Ranchi, capital of the eastern state of Jharkhand, as part of an ongoing money-laundering probe linked to a case of “land grabbing and fraud” in the state. The ED also filed a fresh charge sheet in the case before a special court in Ranchi. The first prosecution complaint was filed in this case on June 12. The federal agency has summoned Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren for questioning in this case twice, but he has not appeared before it and is understood to have filed a petition before the Supreme Court against the ED action.
India’s manufacturing sector growth gained momentum in August with the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) posting 58.6 as compared to 57.7 in July. The indices vary between 0 and 100, with a reading above 50 indicating an overall increase compared to the previous month, and below 50 an overall decrease. According to S&P Global’s India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index report, new orders in and manufacturing output increased at the quickest rates in nearly three years during the month of August. “Firms geared up to handle rising demand by scaling up buying levels and rebuilding their input stocks at the second-strongest pace in 18-and-a-half years of data collection,” it said in its report.
Indian information technology services major HCLTech on Thursday (31) carried out the acquisition of ASAP Group, a German automotive engineering services provider. The company had intimated the acquisition in July and confirmed the completion through a BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) filing. “The company (on July 12) had intimated the acquisition of 100% stake in ASAP Group, an automotive engineering services provider headquartered in Germany along with a disclosure under Regulation 30(4) of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosures Requirements) Regulations, 2015. We would like to inform you that the aforesaid acquisition has been completed effective August 31, 2023,” the company said, according to Moneycontrol.
(With agencies inputs)