Data recap: India’s 6G dream, EU carbon tax

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Summary

Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights, complete with easy-to-read charts, to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint in the week gone by

Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights, complete with easy-to-read charts, to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint in the week gone by. The EU and India are deliberating over how the former’s carbon tax will affect trade. The startup ecosystem saw a decline in funding and deals in February. The Reserve Bank of India said it didn’t have records about a meeting it held to discuss its failure to rein in inflation.

Up to Speed

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The Indian aviation industry continued its strong recovery from the pandemic in February, showed the monthly traffic data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The number of domestic flyers has crossed pre-covid levels, with over 12 million passengers carried by domestic airlines in each of the last three months. In February, the average daily figure stood at around 431,000, up 6.5% from January. The recovery is likely to get stronger this month.

Funding Chill

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The Indian startup deal volume plunged to a near 9-year low in February, indicating a worsening funding winter. From 2014 to 2021, 100-150 startups got angel and venture capital funding each month. Last year averaged over 100 deals per month, but 2023 has started slowly. In February, 66 startups raised $471.6 million, the lowest since July 2020. Deal volume was also the lowest since June 2014. Startups have been struggling financially as investors have got wary over the past year.

Temporary Halt?

34,900 crore: That’s the worth of an Adani Group-operated petrochemical project in Mundra, Gujarat, for which the conglomerate is in talks with financial institutions for a closure. Earlier this week, PTI reported that the Group had suspended work on the project following allegations around corporate misgovernance by a US-based short-seller. The Group said it hopes to get the financial closure in six months after which construction activities at the site will resume.

Crude Reality

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Russia’s share in India’s crude oil imports has surged from 25% in the last six years (FY17-FY22) to 73% this fiscal until January. Russia is now India’s third-largest petroleum and crude oil supplier, up from ninth earlier. During April-January, these imports rose 817% year-on-year to $27.2 billion, surpassing the combined crude imports from Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman, showed a Mint analysis.Experts say the Russian tilt is part of India’s efforts to reduce oil dependence from West Asia.

Trade Talks

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The European Union is willing to work with India to ease administrative burdens for businesses while enforcing its proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), or carbon tax, that would impose tariffs on high-carbon footprint imports into the 27-member bloc, Mint reported. The EU offered to resolve the issue after India reportedly considered retaliatory tariffs. The CBAM plans to scrutinize iron, steel, and aluminium exports to the EU starting 1 October.

One Step Ahead

2030: That’s the year by when India plans to deploy the 6G network. On Wednesday, the Centre released a 6G technology design and planning vision document aiming to position India as a global leader in 6G innovation. India plans to build a 6G ecosystem over five years from 2025 to 2030, after developing 6G technology standards in the coming two years. The goal is to provide high-speed internet that is about 1,000 times faster than the 1 Gbps top speed of 5G.

Missing Records

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The Reserve Bank has no record of what transpired at a crucial monetary policy committee meeting on 3 November 2022 that discussed its failure to meet the inflation target for 3 straight quarters, the central bank said in response to a Right to Information query by Mint. Inflation overshot RBI’s 2-6% target for most months in 2022. The government and the central bank have maintained secrecy around the contents of the latter’s explanation about the failure to keep inflation in check.

Chart of the Week: Rich List

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The latest Hurun Global Rich List revealed that in 2022, at a time when wealth was eroding all over the world, the total number of billionaires in India fell for only the second time in the last decade. Apart from Cyrus Poonawalla, all of India’s top 10 richest people saw a decline in their net worth.

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