Companies & Sectors
Volvo to export 'Made in India' buses to Europe
Swedish transport major Volvo will export buses made in India to Europe initially and global markets subsequently, a top company official said on Tuesday.
 
"We will be the first bus company to export to the European market from India, taking advantage of lower manpower costs and neutral duty," Volvo Buses Corporation president Hakan Agnevall told reporters
 
Volvo entered India 15 years ago, ostensibly to foray into high-end truck segment, but got into the luxury buses with first move advantage as domestic rivals Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland have been contended rolling out ordinary buses for cities and semi-luxury coaches for inter-city and inter-state routes.
 
"Besides lower manpower cost and minimal overheads, we will avail customs duty exemptions on import of engines, components and accessories used in making buses for exports at our factory near here," said Volvo Buses vice president Akash Passey.
 
Volvo's Indian subsidiary has invested an additional Rs.400 crore in doubling its installed capacity at its Hoskete plant, 40 km from Bengaluru, to 1,500 units per annum. It employs about 1,000 people.
 
"As the country's passenger transport market has been down over the last couple of years due to various factors, including recession, we could not fully utilise the production capacity as the demand or order was for 600-800 buses per annum," said Passey.
 
Volvo India has been exporting luxury air-conditioned buses to South Asian countries like Bangaldesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka since 2003 and to South Africa since 2011, for multiple services, including inter-city, inter-state, long distance and within cities.
 
Besides here, the company has a manufacturing base in Shanghai, Bangkok and Taiwan.
 
"It's a milestone for us to export buses from India to developed markets in Europe though we are a European company and has a major presence there with a couple of manufacturing plants in the continent," said Agnevall.
 
The type of luxury buses to be exported will be Euro-6 complaint for mass rapid transportation in European cities, where demand is about 5,000 units per annum.
 
"We will use India as export hub overtime for developed markets like Europe, leveraging our manufacturing presence, with a strong vendor base," Agnevall added.
 
By focusing on exports, the Indian subsidiary will also be able to face the cyclical domestic market demands, which have been linear over the years due to economic slowdown and lower orders from state-run corporations and private operators.

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N-deal reached with Iran
Iran and the six world powers on Tuesday thrashed out an agreement that limits Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for lifting over a decade-long economic sanctions.
 
The comprehensive agreement was clinched between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US after over two weeks of difficult negotiations in the Austrian capital.
 
The text of the deal, which runs into around 100 pages, specifies key areas of the Iranian nuclear issue, including sanction relief and action plan, nuclear technology cooperation, the committee of the monitoring of the implementation, and capping of Iran's nuclear capacity and draft of UN Security Council resolution, Xinhua reported.
 
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the deal as "a historic moment", but acknowledged it was "not perfect".
 
"I believe this is a historic moment. We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody but it is what we could accomplish and it is an important achievement for all of us," Zarif said at the final ministerial meeting between Iran and six world powers here.
 
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani confirmed the deal on Twitter, saying it "shows constructive engagement works".
 
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said he has signed a roadmap with Iran to clarify past and present outstanding issues, according to media reports.
 
"I have just signed the roadmap between Iran and the IAEA for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear programme," he was quoted as saying.
 
Future access to Iran's Parchin military site, which was repeatedly sought, was part of a separate "arrangement", Amano added.
 
After Rouhani took office in 2013, Tehran and the six countries intensified the nuclear talks and signed a deal in Geneva in November 2013, under which Tehran would suspend some disputed nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanction relief from Western states, buying time for diplomatic efforts.
 
In the past 18 months, marathon negotiations between Iran and P5+1 have resolved many tough issues which were once seen as impossible.
 
Iran for long has said that its nuclear programme was for peaceful purposes. The West feared it could be used to build an atomic bomb.
 
The movement toward a deal has been marked with years of tough negotiations. The deal is meant to impose long-term, verifiable limits on nuclear programmes that Tehran could modify to produce weapons. Iran, in return, would get tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

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Coal case: Madhu Koda to be charged with criminal conspiracy
A court here on Tuesday ordered that former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and others be charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating in a coal block allocation case.
 
The court found prima facie evidence against Koda and others in the case allegedly involving Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).
 
Special Judge Bharat Parashar ordered the framing of charges dealing with criminal conspiracy, cheating and various provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against former coal secretary H.C. Gupta, Koda, Jharkhand's then chief secretary A.K. Basu and others.
 
The charges will be formally framed on July 30, the court said.
 
The court was hearing the case related to Jharkhand's Rajhara North coal block allocation to VISUL.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged Gupta, Koda and others conspired to favour VISUL in allocating the coal block.
 
The others accused in the case include VISUL director Vaibhav Tulsyan, chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan, government officials Basant Kumar Bhatacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh and alleged middleman Vijay Joshi.
 
They have been charge-sheeted for cheating and criminal conspiracy and under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

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