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India Business Briefs for March 21: France’s Schneider Electric to invest £304m to make India manufacturing hub

A picture taken on June 15, 2021 shows a light board displayed at the plant of Schneider Electric, a group specialised in energy management and automation, in Grenoble. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Thursday, March 21, 2024:

French energy management and automation major Schneider Electric said it will invest Rs 3,200 crore (£ 304 million) by 2026 to make India its manufacturing hub for domestic sales as well as exports. Under the plan, Schneider Electric on Thursday inaugurated a facility with Rs 100 crore (£9.49 million) investment to produce cooling solutions for data centres in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru. The company will invest Rs 3,200 crore for making India a manufacturing hub for the group, Schneider Electric India president-Greater India Zone and MD & CEO Deepak Sharma told news agency PTI on the sidelines of plant inauguration.

Global agriculture firm Syngenta has started a new seed-testing lab in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad with an investment of around Rs 20 crore (£ 1.89 million). This will further strengthen the company’s continued investment in quality control capabilities. In a statement, Syngenta said this lab is one of the most advanced seed testing facilities in the world and serves growers in India, across the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The lab is located in Nuthankal village near Hyderabad. “High-quality, healthy seed is the foundation of success in the field for our customers,” Nishchint Bhatia, head of Asia Pacific for Syngenta Vegetable Seeds, said.

India’s Narendra Modi government has invited feedback and suggestions on its draft accessibility guidelines for the banking sector with the aim to ensure that banking services are accessible to all, including persons with disabilities. The draft rules by the department of disabilities affairs under the ministry of social justice and empowerment covered various aspects of physical infrastructure, automated machines, digital platforms, and training initiatives within the banking sector. By providing detailed specifications and requirements, the guidelines said it aims to create an environment that is welcoming and accommodating to individuals with diverse abilities.

A group of aggrieved investors have opposed an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on March 29, called by Think and Learn, owner of Byju’s brand, before company tribunal NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal), Bengaluru, but failed to get any immediate relief, according to sources. Byju’s has called the EGM to increase authorised share capital of the company following the recent $200 million (£158 million) rights issue. “Investors who are miffed by Byju’s approached NCLT, Bangalore to stay the EGM called by the company, but the court denied any immediate relief,” a source said. Four investors of Byju’s has filed a suit against the management of the company before the NCLT, seeking to oust the founders, including CEO Byju Raveendran, and appoint a new board.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) on Thursday said Indian shrimp exporters are complying with food safety and quality norms to meet requirements of importing nations, including the US. The statement comes in the backdrop of some reports alleging food safety and bad labour conditions in the Indian shrimp industry. “We must counter this vehemently as our marine sector has been complying and constantly upgrading to US shrimp requirements,” FIEO director general Ajay Sahai said. “A few exporters may be resorting to such practices but cannot be generalised,” he added. Sahai noted that the Association of Shrimp Producers of America is putting pressure to increase anti-dumping and countervailing duty on Indian goods to restrict our growth in the market.

The opposition Indian National Congress on Thursday alleged that seven of the 35 Indian pharmaceutical companies which have contributed Rs 1,000 crore (£95 million) to the country’s political parties through electoral bonds were being investigated for manufacturing poor quality drugs such as cough syrups and Remdesivir. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh alleged “underhand deals” between the government and the pharmaceutical companies so that they can carry out their businesses after giving donations to the ruling party — “Chanda Do, Dhanda Lo” (Give Donation, Run Business). “Thirty-five pharmaceutical companies in India have contributed nearly Rs 1,000 crore to political parties through electoral bonds, data released by the Election Commission on March 14 has revealed.

(With agencies)

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