Suzuki board to decide on Maruti’s Gujarat plant in October

“We will of course need an additional plant, but the timing, when it would be required—in 2014, 2015, 2016—is yet to be worked out. “It would all be depending on how the market behaves,” Maruti chairman RC Bhargava said

Gandhinagar: Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation on Thursday said its board will take the decision regarding setting up a manufacturing plant in Gujarat for its Indian arm Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) in October, reports PTI.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the state chief minister Narendra Modi here, SMC chairman Osamu Suzuki said: “Considering all the discussion held with the chief minister, we are planning to take a decision in Maruti Suzuki board and then get it approved in SMC board meeting.”

“... Then we will think (whether) to apply for land or not, this decision will be taken in October end.”

MSI’s manufacturing plants in Gurgaon and Manesar, put together, have production capacity of 1.7 million vehicles.

“The current production and sales volumes is 1.2 million vehicles,” Mr Suzuki said.

“There are 18 auto manufacturers who have come to the Indian market and most of them are bigger than the Suzuki motor company,” he said.

“The key point would be that what is the growth here (in India) thereafter and future growth of the market,” Mr Suzuki said.

During the hour-long meeting with the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, the CM appraised the Maruti delegation of how the state was emerging as a global auto manufacturing hub.

Earlier in May, MSI had said it, along with vendors, could invest up to Rs18,000 crore in Gujarat.

The company is seeking about 500 acres of land from the Gujarat government for its plant, and another 500 acres for its vendors.

The company has already invested in infrastructure at Mundra port in Gujarat from where it exports.

Mr Suzuki was accompanied by MSI chairman RC Bhargava, managing director Shinzo Nakanishi and production head MM Singh in the meeting with Mr Modi.

Mr Bhargava said Suzuki wanted more information about the land and the likely risk factors involved with it.

“All this and whatever further investigations we need to make for the plant will be collected in next few days,” he said, adding that Mr Modi assured full cooperation to the company.

“This was the first meeting between the chief minister and Mr Suzuki and the meeting was very cordial and positive.

The CM has assured full co-operation,” Mr Bhargava said.

He said, “We will of course need an additional plant, but the timing, when it would be required—in 2014, 2015, 2016—is yet to be worked out.”

“It would all be depending on how the market behaves.

Nobody can predict how market would be in next five years from now,” Mr Bhargava said.

“So keeping these uncertainties in mind a view shall be taken,” Mr Bhargava said.

“A decision can only be taken by the board, so it is not possible to tell what site, which place the plant would come up at, till the board takes a decision,” Mr Bhargava said.

“We are looking around, I shall not talk about other states,” he said, replying to a query whether other states were also on company's radar for setting up a new plant.

A delegation from MSI had first met the Gujarat chief minister three months ago and had held preliminary discussions on possibility of setting up a manufacturing plant in the state.

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Bharti gets 2G, 3G licences in Rwanda, to invest $100mn

The company reported to have 46.3 million mobile customers on its network by in Africa in the first quarter which ended on 30 June 2011. The company reported to have earned average revenue per user of $7.3 per month during the quarter

New Delhi: Expanding its footprint in Africa, Bharti Airtel will operate second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) mobile services in Rwanda for which it has announced an investment of $100 million in the next three years, reports PTI.

The company said it has been awarded licences to operate mobile services by the Rwanda government.

“We are pleased to be part of the vision of the government of Rwanda to take telecommunications forward as a priority.

“We will work with the government to bring affordable and best in class mobile services that add value to the lives of people of Rwanda and contribute towards bridging the digital divide in the country,” Sunil Mittal, chairman and managing director, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

Rwanda is amongst the fastest growing telecom markets in Africa. According to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, the mobile penetration in the country was 38.4% as of July 2011, the statement said.

“Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel’s footprint in East Africa,” Mr Mittal added.

Airtel already had its presence in 16 countries of Africa which include Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

“We are entering an exciting era in telecommunications in Rwanda, which entails bringing advanced broadband wireless services at more competitive prices and allowing more people in rural areas to access mobile technology,” minister in the president’s office in charge of ICT, Ignace Gatare said.

He welcomed Bharti Airtel to Rwanda and expressed confidence that its experience in operating in emerging markets will add immense value to telecommunications sector in Rwanda.

“This also marks the largest investment out of India into Rwanda and will be invaluable in enhancing the economic co-operation between the two nations,” Mr Gatare said.

Bharti made its entry in to African by acquiring Kuwait based Zain Telecom for about $10.7 billion (Rs48,000 crore approximately).

The company reported to have 46.3 million mobile customers on its network by in Africa in the first quarter which ended on 30 June 2011. During the quarter, the company added 2.1 million customers. The company reported to have earned average revenue per user of $7.3 per month during the quarter.

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July-Sept growth to be lower than 7.7% recorded in Q1: Montek

“(Growth in) the second quarter will not be better than the first quarter,” Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said. “In the first half (April-June), the economic growth would be below 8%,” he added

New Delhi: India’s economy will grow at a lesser pace in July-September period this fiscal less than 7.7% achieved in April-June quarter, reports PTI quoting the Planning Commission.

“(Growth in) the second quarter will not be better than the first quarter,” Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said addressing a panel discussion at ICC event here.

“In the first half (April-June), the economic growth would be below 8%,” he added.

“In the Planning Commission we have done our calculation. It could be around 8% (for the entire 2011-12 fiscal). There is more downside risk than upside,” he added.

The Plan panel is eyeing 9% annual average growth rate in the 12th Plan (2012-17).

It had already scaled down annual average growth rate during the current Plan (2007-12) to 8.2% from the originally targeted 9%.

In a recent full Plan Panel meeting chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh, the panel has estimated the economic growth in the current fiscal at 8%-8.3%.

Commenting on price rise, Mr Ahluwalia said, “Growth is not bad but inflation is worse.”

“Monetary policy operates with fairly substantial lag.

The lag effect is between six to nine months… going by that logic last two interest rate hikes have had no impact on the ground.”

Inflation was 9.22% in July, much above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) comfort level of 5%-6%.

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