Companies & Sectors
Maruti's 2014-15 sales up 11.9 percent
Automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki Wednesday reported an increase of 11.9 percent in its total sales for 2014-15, which stood at 1,292,415 units from 1,155,041 units sold in the previous fiscal.
 
According to the company, domestic sales during the year ended March 31, 2015, grew at 11.1 percent at 1,170,702 units from 1,053,689 units in 2013-14.
 
Exports during the period under review zoomed by 20.1 percent at 121,713 units from 101,352 units shipped out in 2013-14.
 
However, for the month of March, the company's total sales decreased by 1.6 percent at 111,555 units from 113,350 units sold in the corresponding month of 2014.
 
Domestic sales in the month under review marginally increased by 1.4 percent at 103,719 units from an off-take of 102,269 units reported in March 2014.
 
Exports during last month plunged by 29.3 percent at 7,836 units from 11,081 units shipped out during corresponding month of last year.
 
Sales in passenger cars segment, which comprises of brands like Alto, WagonR, Swift, Ritz, Dzire, Celerio, Dzire Tour and Ciaz, were lower by 0.3 percent at 85,733 units from an off-take of 86,018 in the corresponding month of 2014.
 
The off-take of utility vehicles like Gypsy, Grand Vitara and Ertiga lower by 4.3 percent at 6,218 units from sales of 6,499 units in March 2014.
 
However, sales in van segment that includes brands like Omni and Eeco, gained 20.7 percent at 11,768 units from an off-take of 9,752 units in the corresponding month of 2014.
 
The company's scrip at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was down 1.39 percent around 1.30 p.m. at Rs.3,648 per equity share from Rs.3,699.25 per equity share.

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Paris bistros crack down on loud-mouthed tourists
Cafes and bistros across the French capital have launched a crack-down on loud-mouthed foreign tourists, claiming they're ruining "the sophistication of the Paris dining experience", a media report said on Wednesday.
 
Cafés and brasseries across the city are signing up to the MEP! campaign, which stands for Manger en Paix (Eat in Peace), The Local news portal reported.
 
The crusade was launched in March by the Union of Paris Restaurants, Cafés, Brasseries and Small and Medium-sized Bistros -- a mouthful of UPRCBSMB -- and was the brainchild of one restaurant owner in the 1st Arrondissement who said the city's famed refined dining culture was under threat from "foreign foghorns".
 
"It's about respect for the city of Paris, for its history, its gastronomy, and its waiters," owner of the renowned La Bibliotheque restaurant, Alain Gueulard said.
 
"These people -- and yes I am mainly talking about Americans, British, Irish, Australians, New Zealanders and Spanish -- show no respect for other diners, particularly French ones," he said.
 
"They talk like they're at a heavy metal festival whereas any Parisian who has been brought up how to eat with etiquette knows that dining out is more like listening to a classical music concert. You just can't shout."
 
Restaurants that signed the campaign are given posters to display in windows and placemats for tables that warn diners they are in an "Eat in Peace" environment.
 
The logos show what appears to be camera-wearing tourists speaking loudly with a red cross through them. Beneath the images are warnings, in English, encouraging patrons to keep their voice down. 
 
"Tourists must understand we are in Paris, not London, New York or Glasgow. If they want to scream in each other's ears, then they should go to a swingers' club, not a bistro," said Femi Labouche, owner of the famed Michelin star diner "Quoi Quoi" on Rue des Rêves, in the 3rd Arrondissement.
 
The dining cultures on either side of the English Channel are marked by sharp contrast: The usually tacitern Britons open up at the dining table. Their luncheon and dinner lectures are famous. The normally garrulous French falls silent as if at prayer at his dining table. 

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Coal case: Apex court suspends summons to Manmohan
In a relief to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, the Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold the summons issued by a special court in connection with the allocation of 15 percent share in the Talabira II coal block to Kumar Mangalam Birla owned Hindalco.
 
The apex court bench of Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice C. Nagappan suspended the summons by the special court holding trial of coal scam cases as senior counsel Kapil Sibal, questioning the March 11 order summoning Manmohan Singh, asked where was the act of illegallity.
 
Posing a number of questions, Sibal said: "Is it illegal to allocate mines? Is it illegal to choose private parties to allocate the mines?" Sibal asked where was the illegality.
 
Can the prime minister not review the decisions of the steering committee and balance the competitive public interest by allocating a part of Talabira II to Hindalco?
 
Sibal said that the guidelines for the allocation of the coal blocks were not statutory in nature and the prime minister can any time take decisions bypassing the guidelines.
 
While suspending the summons issued by the special court, the court issued notice to the CBI on a batch of petitions challenging the March 11 order.
 
The court also issued a notice to the central government on a writ petition by Kumar Mangalam Birla who challenged the constitutional validity of a section in the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
Besides the summons to Manmohan Singh, the court also put on hold the summons against industrialist Kumar Manglam Birla, former coal secretary P.C. Parakh, D. Bhattacharya and Hindalco.
 
Manmohan Singh on March 25 moved the apex court to contest the special court's March 11, 2015, order directing him to appear before it for granting a share in the combined Talabira II and Talabira III coal block in Orissa to Kumar Mangalam Birla-owned Hindalco in 2005.
 
The special court trying coal block allocation scam cases on March 11 summoned Manmohan Singh, Birla, Parakh and Bhattacharya for offences of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 
 
The court summoned Manmohan Singh, Birla and Parakh after it rejected the closure report by the CBI.

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