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Foreign cars to flood Indian Market

Friday, December 3, 2010




Spotting an Audi, a BMW or a Volkswagen is no longer limited to the silver screen. The Indian roads are now flooded with these exquisite high-end cars and India is slowly becoming the favoured destination for foreign sedans and SUVs.
It is the seventh largest vehicle producing country and the fourth largest exporter of automobiles in the world. The indian automobile sector is also one of the fastest growing sectors globally and it has achieved these milestones six years before its set target. Auto sector analysts say that with the growing economy and increased purchasing power, India’s appetite for luxury cars has grown tremendously. By the ear 2050, India will have a whooping 611 million cars.

Dr John Chacko, Volkswagen Group Chief Representative (India), President and Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Limited, said, “India is a goldmine for selling cars as the Indian middle class has become more affluent and is able to purchase these cars. The IT boom, growing MNCs and increased income are the reasons.”

The automobile sector in India expanded post liberalization as the restrictions on exports and imports were drastically reduced. Moreover, increased competition from other manufactures brought out the best models and technology to Indian roads.
If we go back a little, in the 1940s, the automobile sector was just beginning to take shape and it was only in 1953, with the opening of a manufacturing unit for automotive components that this sector began to grow. The real turning point was in the 70s when Japan-manufactured vehicles made their first appearance in India. This paved the way for German, Dutch and other makers to explore the Indian market.
"India is one of the markets of the future," said Paul Blokland, Managing Director of Segment Y Automotive Intelligence, an automotive-consulting firm based in Goa. "Manufacturers are looking for new growth markets. They're not going to find that in Europe, the U.S. or Japan," He added.
Foreign manufactures are keen on exploring the Indian market as it is just entering the phase of motorization and only one percent of the billion plus population owns a car. Thus, with effective marketing, attractive pricing and technology carefully designed for Indian roads, these cars can create an effective impact.
In order to be successful in India, foreign-car manufacturers have had to tailor their product to Indian tastes and conditions. When General Motors launched a new small car called the Chevy Beat, the company "Indianized it," said Karl Slym, President and Managing Director of General Motors India. Even though General Motors (GM) is undergoing a crisis in the western countries and shutting down its plants, it has been able to increase its sales in India.
According to Nigel E Wark, Executive Director, marketing, sales and service (India), Ford, “Western roads are already overflowing with cars, moreover, it’s difficult to launch cars and expect sales in recession-hit western counties. Thus, India offers a safe market.”
“Though high-end business in India is still only 0.5% of the overall car market, brands like BMW and AUDI are already selling more cars here than in smaller countries like Malaysia and Thailand, where BMW and Mercedes have been active for 50 years,” said Peter Kronschnabl, President, BMW (India).




Vaishnavi Iyer

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Parliment Stalling: Impasse enters its 14th day

Wednesday, December 1, 2010




Chennai: The UPA government has suffered a further blow with the current impasse over the functioning of parliament entering its 14th day. The opposition is hell bent on a Joint Parliamentary Commission (JPC) probe on the 2G spectrum scam and the stalling may continue as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Pawan Bansal, has ruled out a sine die adjournment. Congress Mps feel that adjourning proceedings sine die is better than the daily a blockade of parliament.
They are also concerned about the impasse’s negative fallout in terms of the perception that government is stonewalling the probe. An all-party meet by Speaker, Meira Kumar to tackle this issue, failed to reach any conclusion.
Summing up the failure of talks at the meet, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the government offered a Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe into the scam, which the Opposition turned down.
“Some parties like BJD who had been less enthusiastic about a JPC have also jumped [on to] the bandwagon now,” she added.
“Marxist party has joined the BJP in stalling parliament for the last ten days and is playing an opportunist game,” said Oonmen Chandy, opposition leader in kerala assembly. “These parties are crying corruption when they themselves are corrupt,” he added.
Reacting to corruption charges, Karnataka Padesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President, Ramesh Chennithala said, “Congress party has always taken stern steps against corruption, the resignation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Union Telecom Minister, A Raja, are examples of the steps taken by us.”
“Kerala has seen the largest scam in the SNC Lavalin dealings, in which CPM State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had been allegedly named and in Karnataka, Chief Minister and BJP leader, B S Yeddyurappa was involved in land issues,” Chenithala pointed out.
Continuous stalling of parliament will only lead to weakening of the country’s democratic system. Moreover, continuous stalling shows the lack of political will of those involved. “Parliament is convened by spending crores of money for having discussions on issues related to the country and the people,” Chennithala added.
Questioning the rationale behind the Opposition's demand for constituting a JPC to probe the 2G spectrum allotment controversy, the government said that no purpose would be served by it.
“We have had JPCs before, but nothing has come out of them. It will be just another instrument to create controversy on a daily basis. It is pure politics to ensure that democracy becomes defunct,” said the Union Telecom Minister, Kabil Sibal. “The government is willing to have a Supreme Court-monitored investigation.” He pointed out.
The National Democratic Alliance itself had decided in 2003 that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) should dictate the allocation policy. “The Opposition has a right to throw the government out, but if it cannot do that then it has no right to disallow the government from functioning,” Sibal said.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s discussions with the Opposition has not helped him in ending the daily stalemate on the nature of the probe in the 2G scam.




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http://www.newkerala.com/news/world/fullnews-92563.html
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article915530.ece
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Parliment Stalling: Taxpayers lose Rs 20,000 per minute



Chennai: Each time a parliament session is stalled, taxpayers lose a whopping Rs 20,000 per minute, according to a report on rediff.com. Parliament stalling is the favoured weapon of opposition parties when their demands are not met or to put forth their views aggressively.
"Politicians have lost the sensibility to understand that every minute they disrupt Parliament, the common man's precious money is going down the drain," said Justice V R Krishna Iyer, retired Supreme Court judge.
 BJP’s parliament stalling and the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate the 2G spectrum scam, post the resignation of A. Raja has been called meaningless and futile by political pundits, a way for the BJP to save itself from similar charges in Karnataka.
Raja resigned as the cabinet minister in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology because of the 2G spectrum scam. This political scam resulted in a $40 billion loss from underpricing to the exchequer of India. Telecom bandwidth was undervalued and offered to those with vested interests on a “first-come-first-served” basis in a non-transparent manner.
This act of stalling has been slammed by Veerappa Moily, Union Law Minister, and their conduct has been likened to that of “urchins” and termed “undemocratic.”  “It just looks like urchins throwing stones and running away. This cannot be done according to parliamentary practices," Moily said.
In response to BJP’s allegations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured that he will punish anybody found guilty in this case, while speaking at the Hindustan Times’ leadership Summit in New Delhi.
“There should be no doubt in anybody's mind that if any wrong thing has been done by anybody, he or she will be brought to book," he said 
The stalling and the ruckus created by both the parties notwithstanding, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has been quietly scrutinizing the scam and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on this subject. The first meeting of the PAC, chaired by Murali Manohar Joshi, BJP leader, was held on Monday and each committee member was asked to think of questions to be sent to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology for answers. The next meeting will be held as soon as the members’ questions are forwarded to the Ministry.
Although the government offered to expand the PAC by involving officials from several investigation agencies, BJP stuck to its demand for a JPC. Describing it as the "mother of all scams" and "a monumental fraud of 1.76 lakh crore", BJP chief spokesperson, Ravi Shankar Prasad said Raja must be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act
DMK chief, M. Karunanidhi, while speaking on this topic said, “Some opposition parties are stalling the Parliament in a "pre-planned" manner and have demanded Raja's resignation though he had only followed the procedure adopted by the Department of Telecommunication since 1999 in allocation of spectrum.”







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