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Meaning: ‘Curated’ capitalism

Gautam Adani, the richest industrialist in the country, and his Adani group, also known as Ervi, came under scrutiny on Sunday not one but two due to two big financial deals. Adani has acquired a 49 per cent stake in digital news platform Quint. The second case related to it is the largest in the cement industry in India. Adani Group to buy Swiss-based Holcim Cement business in India for Rs. 80,000 crore (US 10 10.5 billion) worth of contracts signed. Holcim owns Ambuja Cement and ACC Cement in India. The deal with Holcim will make Ambuja the second largest cement producer in the country by establishing a majority stake in ACC. Analysts say Gautam Adani’s bet on defeating JSW and other competitors is a ‘master stroke’. But Holcim’s withdrawal from India, another multinational company supporting the country, is equally concerned. Already foreign investors are selling shares and fleeing the stock market. At the same time, how much of another Rs 80,000 crore export at once will increase the already weakened rupee? Not only Holcim, but also Ford, General Motors, Harley Davidson, Fiat, Telenor, Etisalat, Hutchison have all disappeared from the Indian industrial horizons in the last 8-10 years. The energy sector is covered by AES, Sun Edison & Kern, the finance sector by RBS, Fidelity, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Citibank. The reasons given by many for the high taxes, policy delays and volatile control environment are not unknown to the rulers who aspire to make India a ‘factory of the world’. Adani’s latest bet in the cement sector is now even more significant. Gautam Adani has been involved in many key areas of the country’s economy, especially direct cooperation and dialogue with the government. Ports, roads, airports, power generation, mining and now cement everywhere are strong foundations for it. Cement has been identified as an important infrastructure industry in India as it requires large scale shelter in India. Naturally, builders’ associations have long complained that companies operating in the cement sector are forcibly selecting cement prices convincingly (not with market competition, supply-demand cycles!). However, in today’s age of apps and OTT, one can experience ‘curated’ news, information and entertainment. The new generation ‘Curated News’ has a special charm with its sleek and attractive, tidy and tiled interface. It is natural to have this quality in our socio-political system. The economy is marketable but given the turn of the ‘curated’ mold. When the interests of the 1.5 billion consumers of the country are combined with the interests of a few such curated business entities, things seem to be going very fast. It is policy, law or rules, practice, etc. Therefore, the question of whether the monopoly on cement prices will decrease or increase will in fact not remain a question with the entry of incumbent industrial firms like Adani.

2022-05-16 22:41:12

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