Economy
India’s manufacturing growth held steady in September: HSBC PMI

The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—a measure of factory production— stood at 52.8 in September, same as in August

New Delhi: India’s manufacturing sector “held steady” in the month of September supported by faster output growth and rising export orders, an HSBC survey said, reports PTI.

 

The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—a measure of factory production—stood at 52.8 in September, same as in August.

 

The September reading of HSBC PMI points to a significant improvement in health of the manufacturing space as the sector witnessed the weakest growth rate in nine months in August.

 

The index has remained above the 50-mark, below which it indicates contraction, for more than three years now.

 

“Economic activity in the manufacturing sector held steady supported by faster output growth and rising export orders. However, a rise in inventories may dampen output growth in coming months,” HSBC chief economist for India and ASEAN Leif Eskesen said.

 

Going forward, output growth is likely to ‘dampen’ as post-production inventories or stocks of finished goods have increased significantly, marking an 11-month sequence of accumulation as manufacturing firms are expecting a boost in demand in the future.

 

“Looking ahead, growth in the manufacturing sector is likely to remain subdued, although implementation of recently announced reforms will help facilitate a gradual recovery during the second half of the fiscal year,” Eskesen said.

 

The government has taken a number of reform initiatives like opening the multi-brand retail sector to FDI, hiking diesel prices by over Rs5 a litre, capping the number of subsidised LPG cylinders to six per family a year, allowing foreign carriers to pick up stake in domestic airlines and liberalising FDI rules for broadcasting sector.

 

Inflation picture was a bit ‘mixed’, HSBC said as output prices rose somewhat less, but input prices rose at a faster clip on the back of higher raw material and diesel prices.

 

Retail inflation in August stood at 10.03%, according to official data.

 

On the employment front, job creation was recorded in September, the seventh successive month of growth. Payroll numbers were increased to meet stronger demand, with some signalling expansions in marketing departments, however, the pace of hiring eased a bit.

 

Meanwhile, power shortages continued to affect backlogs of work, which rose at a solid pace during the month, HSBC said.

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Maruti Suzuki sales up 10% in September

Sales of Maruti Suzuki's mini-segment cars, including M800, A-Star, Alto and WagonR, increased by 4.89% to 39,150 units last month from 37,324 units in September last year


New Delhi: The country’s largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) reported 9.84% increase in total sales at 93,988 units for September, reports PTI.

 

The company had sold 85,565 units in the same month last year.

 

In September, MSI recorded a domestic sales of 88,801 units compared to 78,816 units in the year-ago period, registering a rise of 12.67%, the company said in a statement.

 

However, MSI’s exports went down 23.14% to 5,187 units last month from 6,749 units in the year-ago period, it said.

 

Total passenger car sales in the domestic market rose by 3.43% to 68,957 units from 66,667 units in the same month of 2011, it added.

 

Sales of the company’s mini-segment cars, including M800, A-Star, Alto and WagonR, increased by 4.89% to 39,150 units during the month from 37,324 units in September last year.

 

However, in the compact segment (comprising the Estilo, Swift and Ritz models); MSI witnessed a 9.68% fall in sales to 17,813 units from 19,722 units in the same month a year ago.

 

Sales of MSI’s DZiRE model increased by 24.26% to 11,694 units in September from 9,411 units in the same month last year.

 

MSI’s mid-sized sedan SX4 sales were up 46.94% to 288 units last month from 196 units in September 2011.

 

Luxury sedan Kizashi witnessed 14.29% fall in sales at 12 units as against 14 units in the year-ago month.

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Black money: India to expand customs overseas snoop network

The main area of focus would be expanding the snoop network would be the South East region after authorities found that a majority of illegal goods were originating from there and being smuggled to India using different gateways

New Delhi: India is considering a proposal to expand its Customs Overseas Intelligence Network across Asia for checking cross-border illegal trade and blackmoney besides gathering information on commercial frauds, reports PTI.

 

A proposal in this regard is under consideration of the ministry of external affairs, sources said.

 

The network, which functions under the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence under the finance ministry, plays a pivotal role in exchange of information related to cross-border illegal trade.

 

At present, there are nine Customs Overseas Intelligence Network (COIN) offices in various cities including London and Brussels. The finance ministry has recently approved two COIN offices in China, the proposal which has been agreed upon by the MEA.

 

“Two COIN offices are yet to be established in China. There has been an in-principle approval on it by the finance ministry and the MEA. The MEA is also looking into the possibility of opening few more such offices in Asian nations. However, no final decision has been taken so far,” a source said.

 

He said the main area of focus would be South East region which includes Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand among others.

 

The need for expanding the network was felt after authorities found that a majority of illegal goods were originating from these countries and being smuggled to India using different gateways, sources said.

 

Customs officials have noticed spurt in activity related to Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML) through illegal export to India from South East nations.

 

“The government is in talks with all the stakeholders.

 

An appropriate decision will be taken soon,” an official, in the know of the status on the proposal, said.

 

The sources said the MEA is also considering a proposal to set up 14 new Income Tax Overseas Units (ITOUs) to deal with the menace of black money and keep a tab on illegal routing of funds from abroad and parking of money in foreign countries.

 

A similar proposal to position liaison officers in some of the countries by CBI is also under consideration of the MEA.

 

India has already established 10 ITOUs in its missions at Cyprus, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, the UAE, the UK, the US, Mauritius and Singapore.

 

The ITOUs are manned by tax officers who are designated as first secretaries to maintain effective coordination and liaison between Indian tax authorities and the tax authorities of countries concerned.

 

These units are mandated to obtain information on tax and financial data of investments made by individuals and institutions in these countries and facilitate exchange of data on legal investment or routing of money in the country and vice-versa.

 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has decided to open its offices in the UK, the US and the UAE to liaise with their law enforcement agencies which would help in execution of its judicial requests on real time basis.

 

Sources said the MEA is looking into all the proposals by the Customs and the I-T departments and the CBI.

 

A recent finance ministry report on black money has recommended to expand and strengthened the scope and reach of COIN offices to check suspicious trade transactions.

 

DRI maintains constant interaction with its Customs Overseas Intelligence Network offices to share intelligence and information through diplomatic channels on the suspected import/export transactions to establish cases of mis-declaration, which are intricately linked with tax evasion and money laundering.

 

“The scope and reach of COIN offices should be further expanded and strengthened. Customs officers should be stationed in major trading partner countries to liaise with customs authorities of those countries and cause verifications of suspicious trade transactions,” the report has said.

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