Companies & Sectors
India to look into Nokia's Chennai plant suspension issue

Nokia was forced to keep its Chennai unit out of a $7.5 billion deal for sale of its handset business to Microsoft due to a tax dispute with Indian authorities


The Indian government on Wednesday said it will look into the issue of Nokia announcing suspension of its Chennai mobile plant operations and make efforts to ensure that such incidents do not occur again.


“We will certainly see how best (such) matter doesn’t occur again and we will encourage ‘Make In India’ campaign,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.


Sitharaman, who is also Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, was responding to queries on Nokia announcing suspension of its plant and whether it will affect the government’s recently launched ‘Make In India’ campaign.


“This is an issue specifically related to a particular company and there is an issue on that. We are seized of the matter. We will look at it,” she said.


On Tuesday, telecom handset maker Nokia Corp announced suspension of operations at its Chennai mobile handset plant from 1st November after Microsoft terminated an agreement to buy mobiles from the unit.


The company had said that the asset freeze imposed by the tax department prevents Nokia from exploring potential opportunities for the transfer of the factory to a successor to support the long-term viability of the established, fully functional electronics manufacturing ecosystem.


The Finnish handset maker was forced to keep the factory out of a $7.5 billion deal for sale of its handset business to Microsoft Corp, due to tax dispute with Indian authorities.


Tax authorities allege that Nokia avoided paying taxes by wrongfully claiming an exemption on software exports. Nokia has challenged the claims of the tax department in courts.


Nokia started manufacturing at Chennai plant in January 2006 and exported products to overseas markets, including the Middle East and Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.


According to Nokia India Employees Union, there are about 900 employees still working at the factory. Following the Nokia-Microsoft deal, the voluntary retirement scheme was offered for employees and 5,700 of them opted for it, from the total of 6,600.


Flipkart's Big Billion Day: Govt to look in to complaints

Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has received many complaints about massive discount from Flipkart and is looking into the matter


After receiving "many complaints" from traders on Flipkart's massive discount sale, the Indian government on Wednesday said it will look into the concerns and take a call on whether more clarity is required on e-commerce retail business.


Flipkart's 'Big Billion Day' sale on Monday, that offered steep discounts on various products, has raised concerns among small and big traders that such campaigns would badly affect players in the traditional retail market.


"We have received many inputs. Lot of concerns have been expressed. We will look into it," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters.


When asked whether the government is considering any particular policy for e-commerce retailing, she said the matter would be looked into.


"Now there are many complaints. We will study the matter... Whether there is a need for a separate policy or some kind of clarification is needed, we will make it clear soon," Sitharaman, who is also the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, said.


In recent times, many e-commerce portals have been coming out with steep discount sales.


Flipkart has said that its 'Big Billion Day' sale saw 1.5 million people shopping at its portal. It also claimed that products worth over Rs600 crore were sold in just 10 hours under the scheme.


Earlier this week, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had demanded the Commerce and Industry Ministry take steps to monitor and regulate online businesses.


The CAIT has also sought a probe into the business model and trade practices of e-commerce companies to find out how they are offering huge discounts during the ongoing festive season.


To a query related to Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) announcement, Sitharaman said that it will come "soon". "The new policy would be different from the previous ones. It will focus on lot many things," she said.


FTP deals with matters related to exports and imports.



Divya Jayachandran

2 years ago

Retailing is no rocket science. There are manufacurers and there are end consumers, and a set of intermediaries who link them. The more intermediaries you have between manufacturer and end consumer, the more the price end consumer has to pay for the same product, obviously capped by MRP. Competition is good, as there is a great opportunity to make your processes lean and clean. Government should be looking at helping brick & mortar stores to bring down expenses so that the prices can be less and a fair ground for competition is set.

Abhijit Gosavi

2 years ago

One of the players in the game is developing an innovative pricing strategy, and the other players are seeing reduced profit margins. Game theory and tons of empirical evidence together suggest that competition forces all players to revisit their business models, becoming more efficient in the process (the equilibrium reached may not be perfect but is far superior to that produced by govt. regulations). In the long run, this only helps the consumer and the economy at large.

Is that so hard to understand? It's hard to believe that the government is even *considering* interference. Moneylife deserves kudos for highlighting this immediately.

RBI promotes three as ED, also re-shuffles responsibilities

RBI has promoted three seniors as EDs and reshuffled existing ones to take over newly assigned responsibilities. Dr Deepali Pant Joshi has also been re-assigned to head the Department of Currency Management among other duties


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has promoted three of its senior officers as new executive directors (ED). It has also reshuffled some EDs' responsibilities. The three newly promoted EDs are Dr MD Patra, KK Vohra and G Mahalingam. “One promotion is in lieu of an existing vacancy and the other two are against additional vacancies,” RBI said in a release.


Dr Deepali Pant Joshi, who was previously heading the Consumer Education and Protection Department and spoke on the issue of consumer issues at the recently concluded MR Pai Awards, has now been shifted to handle the Department of Currency Management, Legal department, Premises Department and as the First Appellate Authority for Right to Information (RTI) Act matters.


The duties assigned to EDs according to the latest re-shuffle are as follows:


DK Mohanty

1. Financial Stability Unit

2. Inspection Department

3. Risk Monitoring Department


P Vijaya Bhaskar

1. Internal Debt Management Department

2. Department of External Investments and Operations

3. Department of Government and Bank Accounts


G Padmanabhan

1. Department of Information Technology

2. Department of Payment and Settlement Systems

3. Foreign Exchange Department

4. Financial Markets Regulation Department (including Market Intelligence)


Jasbir Singh

1. Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation


Dr (Smt) Deepali Pant Joshi

1. Department of Currency Management

2. Legal Department

3. Premises Department

4. Right to Information Act (First Appellate Authority)


NS Vishwanathan

1. Department of Banking Regulation

2. Department of Co-operative Banking Regulation

3. Department of Non-Banking Regulation


US Paliwal

1. Consumer Education and Protection Department

2. Financial Inclusion and Development Department

3. Secretary’s Department


Chandan Sinha

1. Department of Banking Supervision

2. Department of Co-operative Banking Supervision

3. Department of Non-Banking Supervision


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