Citizens' Issues
Karnataka testing Maggi noodles for safety
The Karnataka government on Tuesday sent random samples of Nestle's Maggi noodles to a state-run lab in Mysuru for testing its contents in the wake of the product allegedly failing to conform to food safety norms.
 
"I have directed my officials to randomly lift packets of Maggi noodles from retail shops, supermarkets, malls and its manufacturing units across the state for testing at CFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute) to verify if food safety norms are violated," state Health Minister U.T. Khader told reporters in Mangaluru, about 350 km from here.
 
Nestle has four manufacturing units in the state.
 
The health department has also sent a few samples of Maggi to a private lab in Bengaluru to test if lead content in the noodles was in excess or within the safety limits.
 
"We are expecting test results from the labs in a day or two. Till then, we advise people to avoid buying or consuming them (Maggi noodles) though we have not imposed any ban on its sale in the state," Khader said.
 
Nestle came under scanner after the Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration directed it to withdraw a batch of noodles, manufactured in February 2014 and found to have taste enhancer (monosodium glutamate) in excess and high levels of lead.
 
"The central government has also asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSI) to test samples of Maggi noodles from all states," Khader added.

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ED notice to Goa iron ore export firm for FEMA violation
The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the Rs.35,000 crore illegal iron ore mining scam in Goa, has issued show cause notice to Goa-based iron ore export firm Magnum Minerals for under-invoicing exports and parking abroad the proceeds of iron ore sale to the tune of Rs.136.93 crore.
 
An agency spokesperson said the notice was issued by the ED's special director under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and was the first show cause notice issued in the course of its investigation into the mining scam first exposed by the Justice M.B. Shah Commission in 2012.
 
"On the basis of the Justice Shah Commission report on illegal mining in Goa, Panaji zonal office has started investigating the under-invoicing done by exporters of iron ore from Goa during the period 2006 to 2012," the spokesperson said.
 
"Investigation conducted by this office (ED) revealed that the company had transferred total of Rs.136.93 crore by way of under-invoicing of exports and in the guise of investment in the overseas subsidiaries," the spokesperson said.
 
The Shah commission report on the mammoth Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam exposed an alleged nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and Goa's mining companies.
 
The ED was subsequently tasked with investigating the financial irregularities related to the mining scam.
 
The agency has already questioned Radha Timblo, proprietor of one of the biggest mining companies in Goa indicted in the scam, after her name featured in the list of Swiss bank account holders released by the union finance ministry last year.
 
Timblo has denied parking black money abroad.

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Mukherjee announces e-tourist visas for Swedish nationals
President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday announced e-tourist visas for all Swedish nationals during an interaction with business leaders from India and Sweden in Stockholm.
 
Mukherjee, who is on a state visit to Sweden, assured the Swedish CEOs that the Indian government is "responsive to industry and investors". 
 
"It is creating an appropriate atmosphere in the country to promote investment and manufacturing. A constant dialogue between investors and officials will help at the arrival of solutions to specific problems," he said.
 
Addressing a Business Seminar later, the President said India-Sweden business relations date back to the early 20th century when Ericsson brought manual switches and telephone systems to India. 
 
Swedish Match established its facility (WIMCO) in India in 1926. Since then, many other Swedish companies have established operations in India. There are 170 Swedish joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries in India. 
 
Investments have also begun to flow from India to Sweden with around 50 Indian companies present in Sweden, said a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement.
 
The president urged businessmen of both sides to reinvent India-Sweden relations and give it new dimensions. 
 
Welcoming the enthusiasm shown by Swedish firms in investing in India, he said the three Ds of India - Democracy, Demography and Demand will ensure that their investments are a huge success. 
 
Pointing out that India is going to become a $8-trillion economy in PPP terms by the end of this year and its international trade will soon cross $1 billion, the president called upon Swedish investors to lend their expertise. 
 
He said India will give them the capacity required, adding that India and Sweden should share their collective wisdom to move forward together, the statement said.
 
The Swedish CEOs said they are planning to increase their investments and employ more people in India. They warmly welcomed the government's 'Make in India' initiative as well as other reform measures underway while they also drew attention to the challenges in doing business in India.
 
The Swedish CEOs who attended included Jacob Wallenberg, Chairman Investor AB; Hans Vestberg, President and CEO Ericsson; Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO SAAB; Olof Faxander, President and CEO Sandvik; Anders Grundstramer, Senior VP Scania/MD of Scania India; Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman Volvo Group and Goran Westerberg, CEO Rusta, the statement said. 

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