India economy & business news in brief for Sept 14: India minister takes U-turn on higher tax on diesel vehicles plan
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HERE are news on India’s economy and business for Thursday, September 14, 2023:
India has no plans to levy a new tax on diesel vehicles, the country’s road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday told news channel CNBC-TV18. His words come just two days after he cautioned automakers to slash diesel production or face higher taxation. “I am not against diesel and neither are we going to levy any new tax on diesel vehicles,” Gadkari was quoted as saying by the channel. On Tuesday, the minister warned the carmakers at an auto industry conference to reduce production of diesel vehicles or face steeper taxation, leading to drop in shares of major automakers such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, which is a commercial maker.
Vedanta Resources on Thursday said it has appointed Chris Griffith, former chief executive officer (CEO) of Gold Fields and Anglo American Plc executive as the CEO of its Base Metals unit in Africa and the president of its international operations. Griffith’s appointment will be effective from October 2, the Anil Agarwal-led conglomerate informed. He quit Gold Fields in December last year after the company failed to take over Canadian company Yamana Gold Inc. Agarwal said, ”We welcome Chris Griffith to Vedanta as the CEO for Base Metals & President International. His extensive experience in the mining industry and leadership track record at Gold Fields, Amplats and Kumba make him an invaluable addition to our team.”
Indian hospitality company Mahindra Holidays & Resorts (MHRIL) on Thursday inked a memorandum of understanding with the government of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand to set up resorts there. The company, under the flagship brand Club Mahindra, will make four to five resorts for which it will invest Rs 1,000 crore (£96.9 million), it said in a release. The company also said that it is the biggest investment made by MHRIL in any state of India. It will also see the company more than doubling its footprint in Uttarakhand, with Club Mahindra already running resorts in places such as Jim Corbett, Mussoorie, Kanatal, and Binsar.
Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, on Thursday posted on X, formerly Twitter, that Spain’s Tempe Grupo Inditex (Zara) is partnering with private players to shift manufacturing to the Indian state, with production set to kick off before Christmas this year. “An exciting development is on the horizon! Tempe Grupo Inditex (Zara), a major player in the textile industry, is expanding its operations. They are partnering with private entities to shift manufacturing to West Bengal, with production set to begin before Christmas 2023,” Banerjee posted, adding that talks were on to grant Tempe and its partners nearly 100 acres of concessional land in a suitable location with all government support.
India wants the World Bank to take into account several measures taken by the government on the logistics front such as the PM GatiShakti initiative while determining the logistics ranking of countries, a senior official said on Thursday. Sumita Dawra, special secretary in the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT), said that the present way of ranking by the World Bank is “very narrow”. India improved its ranking by six places to 38 out of 139 countries in the Logistics Performance Index (LPI 2023) of the World Bank. The last ranking was released in April. She said the department is continuously engaging with the officials of the World Bank and apprising them about the several initiatives and reforms of India to draw their attention to the need for greater emphasis on objective based methodology for LPI scoring.
Indian oil companies are contemplating using nearly $600 million (£483.6 million) of their trapped dividend income in Russia to procure oil from the country. The four major Indian oil firms, including Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s unit, Oil India Ltd, and ONGC Videsh Ltd, have been unable to repatriate their dividend earnings from Russian oil and gas investments, as Western sanctions stemming from Moscow’s Ukraine invasion prevent the funds from being transferred to India. Russia, a major crude oil supplier to India, accounts for over a third of its foreign oil purchases. One option under consideration is to lend the frozen funds in Russian accounts to oil purchasers, who could then repay the loan in India.
(With agencies inputs)