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Crisil to give ESG impact on credit profiles

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Crisil Ratings on Saturday said it will start disclosing the impact of environmental, social and governance (ESG) parameters separately when assigning credit ratings.

The move comes on the back of increasing ESG impact in investment decisions.

Notably, the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors determine a company’s impact on society and environment.It gives a non-financial glimpse on the prospects of future opportunities and risks to the business.

“The past couple of years have seen ESG-led investments gain traction. ESG assets stood at $37.8 trillion as of March 2021, and accounted for around a third of global assets under management (AUM),” the agency said.

“India has also caught on to the trend, with the AUM of ESG-focused funds totting up to more than Rs 12,000 crore as of December 2021.”

Accordingly, the assessment will be based on a proprietary framework that weighs sectoral impact on environment and social factors, and the relative performance of a company on ESG aspects.

“Additionally, with investors beginning to screen opportunities through the ESG lens, sustainability parameters can have a bearing on the cost and availability of funds for corporates. Such corporates generally access the capital markets, both equity and debt, and or rely on foreign investors to meet their funding needs.

“Crisil Ratings will, therefore, assess and disclose the impact of the ESG aspects on the credit risk profiles of companies, which will underscore their ability to raise funds and, in turn, financial flexibility. This, however, is predicated on the availability of ESG information,” it added.

In addition, the move comes as the top 1,000 listed companies will now have to mandatorily disclose non-financial information from next fiscal under SEBI’s Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) norms.

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Tirupur dairy farmers affected as hiked cotton price raises price of cattle feed

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The dairy farmers of Tirupur are affected after the increased price of cotton seeds led to an increase in the price of cattle feed. Cotton seeds are a vital part of the cattle feed and are rich in protein and fibre.

Farmers told that the price of cotton seeds has gone up from Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 in a span of four months. Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Association leader Kolanthaisamy, told that “The rising prices of cotton seeds will also affect ordinary farmers who have a few cows, not just big dairy farmers. The scarcity of cotton seeds is having an impact on farmers.”

P.M. Mukundan, who owns Sree Krishna dairy farms in Tirupur, told, “The lack of availability of cotton seeds has affected the cattle feed; we used to get cotton from Dindigul, Palani, Kumbakonam, and other areas. However, high prices of cotton seeds following the hike in prices of cotton have led to an increase in prices of cattle feed. This is affecting us badly and I don’t know how to run the farm.”

The dairy farmers of Tirupur area are worried that the unprecedented hike will directly affect the production of milk. Farmers who have five to ten cows are affected the most as most have three or four labourers who charge Rs 600 per day and with the increase in the price of cattle feed, the venture goes into a loss.

The Tirupur garment industry, too, is facing difficulties due to the rise in prices of cotton yarn. Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the import of cotton yarn. DMK leader and Member of Parliament Kanizmozhi led a delegation of MPs to meet Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Textile Minister Piyush Goyal to discuss the matter.

The small and medium industries in the textile sector went on a four-day strike in Western Tamil Nadu against the hike in prices of cotton.

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Modi participates in event to launch Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity

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Visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday participated in an event in Tokyo to launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

The event was also attended by US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as well as the virtually by leaders of Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership amongst participating countries with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

At the occasion, a joint statement was issued which highlights the key elements envisaged within the IPEF.

In his comments during the launch ceremony, Modi said thatthe IPEF is a declaration of a collective desire to make the Indo-Pacific region an engine of global economic growth.

“India has historically been at the centre of trade flows in the Indo-Pacific region, having the world’s oldest commercial port at Lohtal in Gujarat,” the Prime Minister said.

He further called for finding common and creative solutions to tackle economic challenges of the Indo-Pacific region.

Expressing India’s commitment towards working with all Indo-Pacific countries for an IPEF which is both inclusive and flexible, he further said that the foundation of resilient supply chains must be 3T’s: Trust, Transparency and Timeliness.

Noting that India is committed to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region and believes that deepening economic engagement among partners is crucial for continued growth, peace, and prosperity, Modi also said that India is keen to collaborate with partner countries under the IPEF and work towards advancing regional economic connectivity, integration and boosting trade and investment within the region.

With Monday’s launch, partner countries will begin discussions focusing on strengthening economic cooperation and achieving shared goals, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Modi arrived in Tokyo on Monday morning on a two-day visit at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart.

He will participate in the third Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo on Tuesday along with President Biden, Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Modi and Kishida will also hold a bilateral meeting on Tuesday.

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Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air reveals aircraft picture, says ‘coming soon’

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Stock market maverick Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed airline Akasa Air on Monday revealed a picture of its first aircraft.

Through a Twitter post, it attached a picture of the aircraft with the caption: “Can’t keep calm! Say hi to our QP-pie!.”

In another tweet, it said: “Coming soon to Your Sky.”

The low-cost carrier plans to offer commercial flights starting in the summer of 2022 and use its new fleet of 737s to meet the growing demand across India.

Akasa Air got the no-objection certificate from the civil aviation ministry in October to start commercial flights, as per reports.

In 2021, the company ordered 72 Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft and CFM LEAP-1B engines. CFM delivered its first CFM56 engines in the early 1990s, and by far nearly 600 engines are operated by airlines from the Indian subcontinent.

The purchase agreement, which included spare engines and long-term services agreement, was valued at nearly $4.5 billion.

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