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FM informs opposition about govt decision to keep FDI move on hold

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday informed opposition leaders that the decision on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail was being put on hold and a final decision will be taken only after consulting all opposition parties

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday informed opposition leaders, including Sushma Swaraj and Sitaram Yechury, that the decision on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail was being put on hold and a final decision will be taken only after consulting all opposition parties, reports PTI.

“The government is willing to keep the decision in suspension. It will take a final decision only after consultations with all opposition parties and the stakeholders,” sources said after Mr Mukherjee spoke to Ms Swaraj, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha and Communist Party of India (M) MP Mr Yechury Monday morning.

Ms Swaraj is believed to have told Mr Mukherjee that the government should come out with a statement on the issue, which has created a logjam in Parliament for several days now.

Mr Yechury is understood to have told the finance minister that an all-party meeting be convened before the next sitting of Parliament on Wednesday during which the parties could be informed about the decision.

An announcement could then be made in Parliament, the sources said, adding that the all-party meeting could be held on Wednesday morning before the proceedings begin.

Mr Mukherjee had last week told an all-party meeting, which had asked the government to reverse the FDI decision that he would get back to them after he consulted the prime minister and the Union Cabinet which had taken the decision.

Mr Yechury is understood to have told Mr Mukherjee Monday that it would be in fitness of things that all political parties are informed about keeping the decision to allow 51% FDI in retail in abeyance.

The opposition, however, is still firm on having a discussion in Parliament on major issues like price rise and black money under rules which entail voting, the sources said.

While Kishore Biyani-led Future group’s Pantaloon Retail (India) plunged by 11.92% to a low of Rs188.40 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), shares of the Tata Group’s retail venture Trent fell by 3.18% to Rs964 in post-non trade.

Similarly, Koutons Retail lost 7.21%, Provogue (India) tumbled by 4.98%, Shopper’s Stop tanked by 3.97% and Vishal Retail shed 6.45%.

These stocks had recorded smart gains on 25th November a day after Cabinet decided to allow 51% FDI in the multi-brand or supermarket retail business and do away with the present 51% cap on FDI in the single-brand retail business.

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Unfazed by slump; two-wheeler majors aim for decent sales

Auto analysts said increasing fuel prices and high interest rates prompt many buyers to go for two-wheelers rather than cars. However there could be an impact in the high-performance bikes in the above 150cc category, they said

Chennai: Undeterred by the slump in the automobile market, two-wheeler manufacturers in India aim to post decent sales this financial year, buoyed by good sales in November, reports PTI.

While Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer India Yamaha aims to sell over four lakh units this year, rival Bajaj Auto plans to post sales of four million units this fiscal.

India Yamaha Motor director-sales and marketing Jun Nakata said they plan to sell over four lakh units, aiming to garner a 10% market share in the next few years.

“We are looking to sell 4.80 lakh motorcycles this fiscal and are looking to achieve overall 10% market share over the next few years,” Mr Nakata told PTI.

In November alone, India Yamaha reported a 29.20% increase on total sales at 39,162 units. The company had sold 30,310 units in the same month last year.

Sales in the domestic market grew by 24.08% as the company sold 28,178 units against 22,710 units in the same month last year.

There was good news on the export front too for India Yamaha, with a whopping 44.53% jump in sales to 10,984 units during the month from 7,600 units a year ago.

Asked about the sluggish automobile market conditions, Mr Nakata said the company was much affected by it. “We have none or very less impact so far. We expect growth be around 15% in the industry,” he said.

Auto analysts said increasing fuel prices and high interest rates prompt many buyers to go for two-wheelers rather than cars. However there could be an impact in the high-performance bikes in the above 150cc category, they said.

Mr Nakata however struck a positive note, saying sales for India Yamaha will be at the present level and sales of premium segment growth would remain the same.

Chandrashekar, general manager, marketing and sales, Bajaj Auto told PTI that the company expects to sell over four million units this fiscal.

“The impact in the passenger car business is because of various reasons including interest rates and fuel prices. If a car owner feels the pinch, then two-wheelers always come as an option,” he said.

He reiterated that two-wheeler industry was growing at 13%-15% year-on-year.

In November Bajaj Auto registered a 25% jump on motorcycle sales at 3,31,967 units. The company sold 2,65,036 units in the corresponding month last year.

Total sales in November stood at 3,74,477 units up by 25% as against 2,99,231 units sold in the same period the previous year.

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