Companies & Sectors
Maruti resumes car dispatches; production facilities closed for the second day

The arson on Wednesday resulted in the office facilities, the main gate, security office and the fire safety section burnt beyond repair. The company will soon announce its decision regarding resuming operations at these facilities


Manesar: Amid heavy police deployment, dispatch of cars from Maruti Suzuki’s plant resumed even as production facilities remained closed after the violent incident on Wednesday that killed a senior company official, reports PTI.


Gurgaon Police Commissioner KK Sindhu visited the plant and reviewed the security situation. He, however, did not brief the media.


Awanish Kumar Dev, general manager HR who was burnt to death on Wednesday was cremated last evening in Delhi. As per post-mortem report, his legs were broken and he was unable to save himself from the fire at the plant during the violence.


Some of the injured, including Japanese nationals, in the incident are still admitted at Artemis, Medanta and Paras hospitals. In all, about 100 people were injured in the incident.


While company officials could not be reached for comments, trailer trucks loaded with cars, which were produced before the violence broke out, are seen leaving the factory premises.


The company usually has about 4,000-5,000 units parked at the factory premises as stocks meant for deliveries to different dealerships across the country.


Before the incident, the company used to roll out 1,500 units on a daily basis.


The company had stated yesterday that it was “still assessing the total damage to property and facilities from the acts of arson. What is clear is that the office facilities have been burnt beyond repair, as have the main gate, security office and the fire safety section.”


“We will shortly announce our decision on the next steps with regard to resuming operations in these facilities,” the company had said.


The Haryana Police had secured the plant and about 1,300 policemen have been deployed.


Govt approves SAIL divestment through auction; may fetch Rs4,000 crore

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which met on Thursday, approved the disinvestment of 10.82% equity of SAIL out of the government shareholding of 85.82% 

New Delhi: The government has approved disinvestment of 10.82% stake in Steel Authority of India (SAIL) through auction route, reports PTI.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the disinvestment of 10.82% equity of SAIL out of Government of India shareholding of 85.82% through an Offer of Sale of shares through stock exchanges...” an official release said.
The stake dilution is likely to fetch the exchequer in excess of Rs4,000 crore, as per the current share price of the company on the domestic bourses.
Following divestment, government’s stake in the country’s largest steel maker would come down to 75%, the release added.
The CCEA approved the proposal, mooted by the Department of Disinvestment, at a meeting held last evening.
SAIL’s paid-up equity capital, as on March-end, stood at Rs4,130.53 crore.
The share sale proposal of the government in SAIL is part of its Rs30,000 crore mop up target for the current fiscal through disinvestment in state-run firms.
However, due to the poor market conditions, it has not been able to launch the disinvestment programme for the current fiscal so far.
It recently decided to put on hold the initial public offer (IPO) of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) on volatility in the markets and lukewarm response of prospective investors in the roadshows held last week. The RINL IPO was supposed to kick start this year’s share sale programme of the government.
Hindustan Aeronautics, BHEL, National Aluminium Company (Nalco), Hindustan Copper and Oil India are some of the other PSUs which are on government’s disinvestment radar this year, besides SAIL and RINL.


Pawar irked at being sidelined; meets Sonia amid reports of resignation

Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with Sharad Pawar comes ahead of the Congress Core Group meeting this evening which is expected to take stock of the situation

New Delhi: Sulking Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar, who is believed to have resigned from the Union Cabinet aggrieved over a variety of issues, on Friday, met India’s ruling coalition United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, reports PTI.
Mr Pawar drove down to 10 Janpath apparently to discuss various issues including Congress’ treatment of its allies.
Mr Pawar and NCP leader Praful Patel were, on Thursday, believed to have resigned from the Union Cabinet, upset over a variety of issues including the number two slot for Mr Pawar.
Ms Gandhi’s meeting with Mr Pawar comes ahead of the Congress Core Group meeting this evening which is expected to take stock of the situation.
Mr Pawar, a former chief minister and one of the senior members of the Cabinet, is also believed to be hurt over the lack of consultations by Congress with its allies, including NCP, and its reluctance to include the party in crucial Cabinet panels like Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) or even being considered for the post of the Leader of the House in Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament), following the resignation of Pranab Mukherjee.
After presenting a picture of unity till the end of polling in presidential election on Thursday, Mr Pawar, the agriculture minister and Mr Patel, the heavy industries minister, had kept away from the cabinet meeting chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh and instead, met in the house of Mr Pawar at the same time with some other party leaders.
The trigger for NCP’s sulk appears to be denial of the number two slot in the Cabinet to Mr Pawar which has apparently been given to defence minister AK Antony.
Mr Pawar, a senior leader, had been chief minister of western India state of Maharashtra thrice, was defence minister in former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao’s Cabinet and was once even considered in the race for prime ministership.
NCP is also said to be miffed over Congress’ attitude of not consulting them on issues in UPA.
The party is also apparently unhappy that Mr Pawar has not been made a member of the high-powered CCS which includes only Congress representatives and was worried that it may be passed over on the choice of the leader of the house that will arise when Lok Sabha meets for its monsoon session next month.
There was no confirmation from either the government or from NCP whether Mr Pawar and Mr Patel offered to resign or actually resigned.
There are reports that Mr Pawar and MR Patel would not attend their offices on Friday in further pressure on Congress to take note of their concerns and to concede their demands.
Mr Pawar had declined to comment on reports that he and Praful Patel had sent in their resignation to the prime minister to convey their unhappiness over the way the party was being treated by the Congress.
When asked about reports that the prime minister had called him in a bid to mollify him, Pawar told PTI “no comments”.
Similar was his response to questions on whether the two leaders had sent their resignation letters to the prime minister.
NCP spokesman DP Tripathi had strongly denied reports of resignation by Mr Pawar and Mr Patel.
The agriculture minister sat in the number two seat in the first Cabinet meeting after Mr Mukherjee’s resignation, but in the next meeting the seat was taken by defence minister and senior Congress leader AK Antony.
This was interpreted as Congress’ way of sending a message that Mr Antony was the virtual number two in the government.


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