42 UKRAINE AND VIETNAM ................................... 10 Partnerships with India getting stronger, thicker
LAW AND DIPLOMACY ...................................... 30 Insiderâ€™s take by Mr K K Anand
DIPLOMATS TALKING ....................................... 06 A host of Mission Heads talk to India Empire
MONGOLIA DIARY ............................................ Picture essay of the National Festival
ZAMBIA ............................................................... 23 A land of beauty and opportunity
PM IN AFRICA .................................................... 42 An odyssey to remember
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Bollywood and Politics Pictures ÂŠ siPra Das
Cine celebs such as Ranbir Kapoor (2nd from left) and Abhishek Bachchan (red jacket) were prominent among those that took part in a soccer match between Bollywood and Parliament in July at New Delhiâ€™s Nehru Stadium
BJP leaders including Union Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley (centre), Union Home Minister Mr Rajnath Singh (right) and Union Minister of State in PMO Mr Jitendra Singh confabulate during an all party meet on Jammu in Kashmir in August
india empire | august 2016
cover: diPlomatic interview
IntervIew wIth Dr Igor PolIkha ambassaDor of UkraIne In InDIa
“Our priority today is Make in India” In recent times Ukraine-India relations have been officially raised to a comprehensive partnership level. In 2014-2015, due to various reasons, there was a pause in bilateral contacts at the highest levels. Today, both countries are geared up to reinvigorate bilateral activities. Jointly there’ve been visible achievements. H.E. Dr Igor Polikha, Ambassador of Ukraine to India, takes us through the recent developments as he responds to questions from Sayantan Chakravarty, Editor and Publisher, India Empire Publications
Ukraine and India enjoy warm and cordial relations over a long period of time. Please talk us through this… It’s really so. Moreover the their history started much before 1992 when two states established diplomatic relations. For example, boys and girls from India came to Ukraine for the first time to get higher education as far back as in 1957. As a first year student I remember a visit to Kyiv in 1982 by Mrs. Indira Gandhi and the pompous official and cultural programme arranged in her honour. We’ve got a lot of achievements in our relations since 1992: partnership and active interaction in various fields, warm and cordial contacts at people-to-people level. That’s why Ukrainian-Indian relations have been officially raised to comprehensive partnership relations. Please let us know of the high-level bilateral visits that have taken place in the last two years… Unfortunately during 2014-2015, due to various reasons we faced a long unprecedented pause in our bilateral contacts at the high level. Together with Indian officials we are trying to reinvigorate our bilateral activities. I am happy that jointly we’ve already got some visible achievements in this field. 10 india empire | august 2016
Going forward, do you see a possibility of greater Indian investment in Ukraine? Yes. We’ve already got some success stories. For example, one of major Ukrainian (and even European) metallurgical giants is today owned by Laxmi Narayan Mittal. Joint ventures and factories have been set up in our country by Indian pharmacists. I hope that other areas may also be soon added to this success list. Also, is Ukraine viewing India’s many Mission Mode programmes such as Make in India, Clean Ganga, Clean India, Smart Cities, Digital India with some degree of interest? All these programmes are very ambitious, based on advanced ideas and concepts. We are viewing them attentively and hopeful that far-reaching goals envisaged in them will be successfully reached by our Indian friends. As to practical participation our first priority at this stage is Make in India. This is your second stint as Ambassador to India. What are the changes you have witnessed in India since the last time? There are many visible changes only within 5 years. Just
Pictures ÂŠ siPra Das
NEW ENERGY: H.E. Dr Igor Polikha, Ambassador of Ukraine to India, is trying to reenergize ties between the two nations
august 2016 | india empire
cover: diPlomatic interview
a few of them: ❖ Massive infrastructural construction in the capital. I am really impressed with the unbelievable speed of Delhi metro extension. It seems that in the very near future after successful completion of the ongoing projects on new lines, the Delhi metro will join the top list of the most developed metro systems of the world. ❖
Striking progress in road network expansion (qualitatively and quantitatively) throughout the whole country. For example, the expressway to Agra and making the trip from Delhi is absolutely comfortable, shortening the journey to just 2 hours instead of 5 - 6 hours previously. New roads or well repaired old ones in all neighboring states, in both urban and rural areas which are not even considered as tourist destinations. The Indians are getting more and more confident and setting newer and newer ambitious goals. During my first stint, in 2009 if I am not mistaken, the volume of Indian GDP reached 1 trillion USD. Those days it was a really historic event celebrated at par with national holidays. In 2015 the 2 trillion USD mark of GDP went mostly unnoticed by the wider public. Basing on the above trend the goal of 3 trillion USD after several years may become an event only for some specialists on macro economy and statistics.
What are the major export commodities from Ukraine to India, and what are the major import commodities of Ukraine from India? Major export commodities from Ukraine to India are: fats and oils of vegetable origin; ferrous metallurgy; nuclear reactors, boilers and machinery; fertilizers; inorganic chemistry and from India to my country: pharmaceutical products; organic chemicals; plastics and polymers; ferrous metals and articles thereof; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes. Of course, I cannot call this structure optimal. It needs both diversification and considerable increase of highly technological goods. It’s our common task for the nearest perspective.
VAST KNOWLEDGE: This is Dr Polikha’s second stint as Ambassador to New Delhi, and he has a deep understanding of the way things are shaping up
should not be neglected also. We are working on some future cultural events, like exhibitions, concert programmes, performance of dancing groups to celebrate properly three landmark events: 25th anniversary of Independent Ukraine, 70 years of Independent India, 25thanniversary of Ukrainian-Indian diplomatic relations.
Ukraine and India are working on bilateral issues through various Joint Working Groups. Can you please elaborate on these? Ukraine and India held meetings of three Joint working groups just this year—on cooperation in pharmaceuticals, trade and economic relations and space interaction. You can see that these Groups encompass a rather wide spectrum of issues. We are also working on feasibility of setting new standing bilateral groups in several areas.
Similarly, please throw some light on the scientific and technical cooperation between the two countries… It’s a promising area. We’ve got proper intergovernmental legal base for scientific and technical cooperation, the working coordination mechanism –bilateral Committee on Science and Technology. It already held 6 joint sessions and approved dozens of joint projects in a wide variety of areas, including biology, medicine, space, nano and agrarian technologies, energy, machine building etc. Our immediate tasks are: to activate the work of the above committee as well as the existing contacts between scientific institutions of two countries with the aim of their further expansion.
Please let us know about cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and India… The major element of bilateral cultural and humanitarian cooperation is education. According to our statistics, now 6,145 Indian youth are studying in Ukrainian universities and institutes (basically medical). I hope that this figure will be increasing further on. At the same time other areas
Are we expecting any high level visits in the near future? We are most hopeful of arranging in the nearest future of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister’s visit and the session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical, Industrial and Cultural Cooperation in ❐ Kyiv.
12 india empire | august 2016
h.e. mr ton sInh thanh ambassaDor of vIetnam to InDIa
“We have identified five pillars in our strategic partnership” Five key sectors have been identified as five pillars of the strategic partnership between India and Vietnam. They include cooperation in politics and diplomacy, trade, investments and tourism, security and defence, science and technology, culture and education. H.E. Mr Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador of Vietnam to India, responds to questions for Sayantan Chakravarty, Editor and Publisher, India Empire Publications
We understand there are 5 key sectors which have been identified as thrust areas for economic and commercial engagement between Vietnam and India. Kindly elaborate on these sectors…? Vietnam and India established strategic partnership in 2007. Five 5 key sectors have been identified as 5 pillars of the strategic partnership. The first and most important pillar is political and diplomatic cooperation, based on mutual trust and convergence of interests, with regular Political Consultations and Strategic Dialogues between the two Foreign Offices besides frequent exchange of visits of highranking leaders of both countries. The second pillar is economic cooperation with focus of mutual efforts to have more trade, investments and tourism between the two countries. The third pillar is a security-defence cooperation. The fourth is a scientific-technological cooperation. The fifth is cultural-educational dimension. Bilateral trade between India and Vietnam continues to grow year by year. India is now among the top 10 trading partners of Vietnam. What are the factors that have led to this energetic business momentum between the two nations? In my opinion, the first factor is the rapid growth at 18 india empire | august 2016
more than 7% in India and more than 6% in Vietnam over the past 10 years, which have led to the demand in both countries. India can now export many products to Vietnam such as machineries, textiles, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, chemicals… Vietnam can export to India a lot of mobile phones, fish, peppers, rubber. The second factor is the efforts by both sides in promoting their products by participating in trade fairs in both countries and exchange of trade delegations between them. The third factor is the facilitating efforts by the governments of the two countries by implementing the ASEAN-India Free trade agreement, that reduce import tariff of more than 6,000 product lines between the ASEAN and India. This also includes the recent effort by Indian Government in offering $300 million Line of Credit to help Vietnam diversify sources of textile and garment materials from India. From an investment point of view, what are the main areas of investments that businesses in India can look forward to in Vietnam, and why? The first investment project in Vietnam was the ONGC gas exploitation in 1988. At present, India had 111 projects in Vietnam with total investment of about $530 million or $1 billion if investments by Indian companies from third
Pictures ÂŠ siPra Das
SHARP STRATEGIST: H.E. Mr Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador of Vietnam to India, has identified several thrust areas for economic and commercial engagement
august 2016 | india empire 19
FUTURISTIC THINKER: Ambassador Thanh believes that India’s Act East Policy will go a long way towards creating greater peace and stability in the region
countries are included. India ranks 27 out of 105 foreign investors in Vietnam. Many big groups in India such as Adani, Shapoorjee, Eicher, Escorts…are looking for investment opportunities in Vietnam. Vietnamese governement welcomes Indian companies to invest in areas such energy (especially in petroleum exploration and exploitation, electricity production), infrastructure, textiles, chemicals, machinery, agro-processing and information technology. Agreements have also been signed on education and culture between Vietnam and the state of Bihar. Kindly let us know about these? Vietnam and India have had educational and cultural cooperation for many years. Many Vietnamese students are studying in India either under Indian Government scholarships or under their self-finance. They are good human resources for Vietnam development, especially in agriculture, IT, Commerce sectors. The two countries have also intensified the exchange of cultural delegations in diversified areas such archaeology, paintings, cinematography, religions. There have been regular high level visits on both sides. This must be another indication of how relations are being taken to the next level? Exchange of high-level visits plays a very important role 20 india empire | august 2016
in giving impetus to the relationship and in sharing a common vision, interests, mutual trust and friendship. President Pranab Mukerjee visited Vietnam in September 2014 and our Prime Minister visited India in October 2014. We are expecting the visit by Prime Minister Modi would take place soon. The visit will definitely bring our Strategic Partnership to a new level—a special strategic partnership. India has decided to open a cultural centre in Hanoi. What is the progress on this front? Vietnamese government and people welcome the establishment of the Indian Cultural Centre in Hanoi which will be helpful in strengthening the friendship and cooperation of culture, and education between the two countries. We hope it will be inaugurated during the visit of Prime Minister and would greatly facilitate our cultural ties and promote people-to-people contacts. India has a small but influential diaspora present in Vietnam. How can this diaspora be leveraged for strengthening ties between the two nations? The number of Indians living in Vietnam is estimated at 2,500, mostly located in the South of Vietnam. The Indian Business Chamber (INCHAM) is an organisation of Indians living in Vietnam, primarily to promote trade and business interactions. The Indian community in Vietnam is vibrant, law-abiding, well-educated and prosperous. This
diaspora has made significant contributions in strengthening bilateral economic and cultural ties between the two countries. Is the number of tourists from India to Vietnam on the rise? Foreign visitors to Vietnam increased year by year and reached 8 million in 2015. Vietnam became one of the favourite tourist destinations for international travellers from the US, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Germany, France and Australia. However, tourist exchanges between our two countries remain limited. Indian tourists account for only 0.07% of foreign tourists who visited Vietnam and only 0.03% of India outbound market in 2014 and it has not increased significantly upto now. This percentage shows that the pace of growth remains slow and not compatible with the potential of Vietnam and India in tourism. Lack of information about Vietnamâ€™s beautiful sights and connectivity are supposed to be main reasons of this inconsiderable number. Consequently, the Embassy of Vietnam in India, so far, has been coordinating with Vietnamese and Indian concerned organizations to organize many tourism conferences and road shows in many states of India. This is one of active efforts to provide Indian people with basic information about Vietnamâ€™s beautiful destinations.
We understand that Vietnam is one of the strongest supporters of Indiaâ€™s Look East policy. Kindly commentâ€Ś? Vietnam always welcomes and supports Indiaâ€™s Look East and Act East Policy. We believe that with Act East policy, India will play a more active role in South East Asia, making more contribution to peace, stability, security, development and cooperation in the region. Who are the major investors from India in Vietnam, and likewise from Vietnam in India? As far as we know, the first and biggest investment project of India in Vietnam is OVL â€“ ONGC. Other major investors from India include Essar Exploration and Production Ltd, Nagarjuna Ltd, KCP Industries Limited, Ngon Coffee Manufacturing, Venkateswara Hatcheries, Philips Carbon and McLeod Russell, CGL. Other Indian companies are investing in many smaller projects in energy, mineral exploration, agro-processing, sugar manufacturing, agro-chemicals, IT, and agricultural processing. NIIT, APTECH and Tata Infotech have so far opened more than 80 franchised IT training centers across Vietnam. If investment license is granted to a US$ 1.8 billion thermal power project by Tata Power in Soc Trang Province this year, the total value of Indian investments in Vietnam will cross 2.5 billion USD. â??
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sPecial column on law and diPlomacy
Cross-border mergers & acquisitions in India An incisive analysis on Mergers and Acquisitions by one of India’s leading legal mind By K K Anand
“We get talent and scale from mergers” —Angela Braly, top American CEO
he term ‘merger’ is not defined under the Companies Act, 1956 (“CA 1956”), and under Income Tax Act, 1961 (“ITA”). However, the Companies Act 2013 (“CA 2013”) without strictly defining the terms explains the concept. A ‘merger’ is a combination of two or more entities into one; the desired effect being not just the accumulation of assets and organization of such entity into one business. An ‘acquisition’ or ‘takeover’ is the purchase by one person, of controlling interest in the share capital, or all or substantially all of the assets and / or liabilities of the target. Acquisitions may be by way of acquisition of shares of the target, or acquisition of assets and liabilities of the target. In the latter case the business of the target is usually acquired on a going concern basis. 2016—PROMISES MORE ROBUSTNESS ● The year 2016 promises to be a more robust year for M&A, supported by an active domestic market. The government’s push to develop India as a global manufacturing hub, the impending introduction of a new bankruptcy regime and a more liberal foreign direct investment (FDI) policy are expected to boost M&A deal making in current financial year onwards. ●
In 2015, the Indian M&A market registered a slower performance compared to 2014. This was due to vari-
30 india empire | august 2016
ous factors, including a volatile rupee. Deal-making in the information technology, energy, mining and utilities sectors was comparatively higher. M&A activity was primarily driven by cross-border inbound transactions, with investors from Japan and the US taking the lead. A number of deals displayed so-called earn-out structures. The competition regulator showed an unprecedented level of activity as if received notifications in respect of a number of transactions. The securities market regulator introduced significant regulatory changes aimed at making going- private transactions easier. The government also worked hard to dissipate concerns around retrospective taxation. Overall the M&A market was consistent with the slow and steady growth of India in 2015. ●
Generally, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) regulates all companies through the Companies Act 2013. However, significant corporate actions related to M&A are still governed by Companies Act, 1956; The Reserve Bank of India (RBA) regulates cross-border M&A through the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA), the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP); The antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), depending on the nature, size and effect of M&A transactions, has the authority to regulate public M&A transaction in India;
The Income Tax Department regulates any transaction involving public M&A through the Income Tax Act, 1961 (ITA) or the operation of Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) with foreign countries. SEBI enforces compliance with the takeover regulations through tender offer and disclosure requirements prescribed under the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations 2011 (Takeover Regulations). ●
Normally it is apparent that cross-border merger and acquisitions are a reformation of industrial assets and production structures on a world-wide basis. It empowers the global transfer of technology, capital, goods and services and integrates for universal networking. Cross border M&A’s leads to economies of scale and scope which helps in gaining efficiency. Apart from this, it also benefits the economy such as increased productivity of the host country, increase in economic growth and development particularly if the policies used by the government are favourable. Capital build-up: Cross border merger and acquisitions support in capital accumulation on a long term basis. In order to expand their businesses it not only undertakes investment in plants, buildings and equipment but also in the incorporeal assets such as the technical know-how, skills rather than just the physical part of the capital. Employment creation: It is observed that the M&A’s that are undertaken to drive restructuring may lead to downscaling but would lead to employment gains in the long term. The downsizing is sometimes essential for the continued existence of the operations. When in a long run the businesses expands and becomes successful, it would create new employment opportunities. Technology handover: When firms across countries join together, it sustains positive effects of transfer of technology, sharing of best management skills and practices and investment in intangible assets of the host country. This results in innovations and has an influence on the operations of the company. It is analyzed that cross border merger and acquisitions are quite similar to domestic M&A’s. But because the former are huge and international in nature they pose certain unique challenges in terms of different economic, legal and cultural structures. There could be huge differences in terms of customer’s choices, business practices, and the culture which could pose as a huge threat of companies to fulfill their strategic objectives. There are many issues and challenges related to cross border merger and acquisitions which may be stated hereunder:Political concerns: Political situation has major role in cross border merger and acquisitions, particularly for industries which are politically sensitive such as de-
Mr K K Anand fense, security etc. ii) Cultural changes: Cultural factors exert more threat to the success of cross border merger and acquisitions. From past records, it can be established that huge mergers that have failed because of the cultural issues they have had. iii) Legal considerations: Firms interested to mergers cannot ignore the challenge of various legal and regulatory issues. Various laws in relation to security, corporate and competition law are bound to diverge from each other. iv) Tax and accounting consideration: Tax issues are critical particularly when it comes to structuring the transactions. The proportion of debt and equity in the transaction involved would influence the outlay of tax hence a clear understanding of the same becomes important. v) Due diligence: Due diligence is significant element of the M&A process. Apart from the legal, political and regulatory issues, there are also infrastructure, currency and other local risks which need thorough appraisal. To summarize, a cross-border M&A is elaborated as an activity in which an enterprise from one country buys the whole asset or controlling percentage of an enterprise in another country. Cross border merger and acquisitions is highly advantageous to companies and also increase its share price but as we saw there are a lot of factors which need to be taken into consideration to avoid any anomalies. It is documented that Cross-border M&A has become one of the leading approaches for firms to gain access to global markets. It is sincerely hoped that this trend will gain further momentum with the ushering of more and more liberalized policies by the incumbent Modi Government, at the Centre. ❐ —The author is Founding and Managing Partner of Anand Law Practice. He can be reached at Kamalkanand@anandlawpractice.com august 2016 | india empire 31
interview: leading medical doctor
“We want to ensure that no one is denied quality healthcare due to lack of financial resources” You are considered to be caying. In the next few years I will amongst the few high-impact, inlook forward to : novative social entrepreneurs in the ● Invigorate my vision, reignite my country. How have your actions passion and connect to inspired leadand accomplishments demoners and institutions changing lives. strated a commitment to economic ● Catalyse solutions healthcare, justice and poverty alleviation? amplify my message and fueling hope Today as the world stresses on for humanity. economic growth, globalisation and ● Gain a 360 degree view of comprivatisation; a silent section of the plex landscape of change. society seems to slip through all safety ● Learn about engagement with our nets. In India, one is talking about at community in ways that matter most. least 26% of the population who fit ● To share platform with global into this category. The percentage network of leaders dedicated to buildvaries from state to state. In most of ing sustainable solutions for poverty. the northern states poverty seems to ● Convene with thought leaders in Dr. Shuchin Bajaj be increasing and if you further dissocial change from around the world. aggregate from urban to rural, you will find that 40% of ● Sharing best practices and technologies to meet challenges. the rural population in 10 states in India are below the ● Connect with like-minded people and organizations poverty line. If one further disaggregates the figures into who can contribute to my efforts. schedule caste, schedule tribes, the marginalised etc., the ● To learn new and better processes and better healthpercentages just keep on rising. So we have to accept the care delivery models. fact that there is a segment in our society, and we are talk- ● Forge alliances and partnerships to multiply our impact. ing about 260 million Indians, who are surviving with the burden of disease, estimated of around $ 30 billion conHow do you de stress and disengage from this constituting 5% of GDP. tinuous stream of work? I love to read. I can read anything, even the print on groWhat is your organizational mission? What are your cery paper bags! I aim to read atleast a book a month and current challenges? utilize my travel time to our hospitals in the small towns to Our organization mission: catch up on my reading. I also am very lucky to have a beau● To ensure that no one is denied quality healthcare due tiful family and try to get a small vacation with my wife and to lack of financial resources two children every three to four months. ● To build capacities and run centers for specialized surgeries in the areas which lack speciality care What is your message to young doctors? ● To deliver world-class healthcare, with a focus on servI would request all the young doctors coming out of ice, by creating an institution committed to highest medical schools to spend time with the underserved comstandards of medical excellence, patient care, scientific munities. Please get out of your comfort zone and go to the knowledge and medical education for the masses at the small towns because that’s where the real need of healthmost affordable prices. care is. You will get a better pay, better experience, more ● To provide world-class integrated healthcare facilities name and fame and a much cleaner and pollution free ento all sections of the society. vironment. ❐ ● Creating unparalleled standards of medical and service —Dr. Shuchin Bajaj is the Founder Director of The Cygnus outcomes. Group of Hospitals and is passionate about changing the health● To be a care provider of choice, be the principal choice of care scenario in the small towns of India. Cygnus is currently operphysicians and be committed to follow ethical practices. ating eleven hospitals and is providing life saving care to the most underserved communities. Dr. Bajaj is also a passionate writer, What are you looking forward to in the next few Angel Investor and Healthcare Advisor. He is on the board of years of your life? many prominent NGOs working in the healthcare field. He was I look forward to continuously refreshing and upskilling recently awarded the Chevening Gurukul Fellowship by the British myself as I feel that if we don’t progress, we will start deForeign & Commonwealth Office at the King’s College, London. 32 india empire | august 2016
In THE LAnD OF BLUE SkIES By Sayantan Chakravarty in mongolia
India Empire travelled to Mongolia in July, the visit of the magazine’s Editor coinciding with the Naadam Festival attended by the world’s media and visitors from across continents, as well as the 11th Asia Europe Meet (ASEM), attended by leaders and heads of 51 nations. The Naadam Festival was held at the National Stadium at Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital situated on the banks of the Tuul river. The name Ulaanbaatar, also known in yesteryears as Ulan Bator, translates into Red Hero. The Mongolians take pride in their traditional national sports—archery, horse riding / racing and wrestling—and showcase them with much pomp and fanfare at the Naadam Festival with the world’s media in attendance. A pictorial account follows: 1
1-7 Scenes from the Naadam Festival at the National Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia 8 Editor Chakravarty with His Eminence Khamba Lama Gabju Demberel Choijamts, the Supreme Head of Mongolian Buddhists. The meeting took place inside a Ger, a traditional Mongolian portable tent used by nomads, on the occasion of Naadam Festival horse racing at Khui Doloon Khudag on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar 9 With Lamas on the eve of the Naadam Festival at the Dashchoilin Monastery. The Lama who is second from left attended a Monastery near Dehradun, continuing the tradition of Buddhist Monks from Mongolia regularly coming to India for studies
38 india empire | august 2016
Pictures ÂŠ sayantan chakravarty
august 2016 | india empire 39
Editor Chakravarty with Indian Ambassador to Mongolia, H.E. Dr T. Suresh Babu at the Indian Embassy in Ulaanbaatar
With a group of nomadic herders at the Chinggis Khaan Khuree—about an hour away from Ulaanbaatar. This was the venue of the Mini Naadam during the 11th ASEM Summit in July 2016
With the “Red Heroes”, wrestlers in traditional attire at the Chinggis Khaan Khuree camp
With Mongolian railway officials at the Indian restaurant Namaste in Ulaanbaatar. (L-R) Mr Enkhbayar.J, Manager, Infrastructure Unit, Editor Chakravarty, Ms Narachimeg N also from Railways, and Mr Badarch.S, Project Officer. The officials are also associated with the Trans-Siberian Railway—at over 9,200 km, the longest railway line in the world
With Mr Galaarid Badam-Ochir, President of the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists (right), and Ms Naranchimeg N who officially interpreted during several meetings with a great deal of efficiency
With Mr Burenbayar Chanrav, Founder and Chief Editor of The Mongolian Observer
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diasPora in africa
PM’s AfricAn Sojourn Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique—his first official visit to mainland Africa—and stirred the bonds of friendship and emotional connect. He met the Indian diaspora wherever he went, and said his trip to the Phoenix Settlement was life-altering. A report During his visit in July, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Kenya as a valued partner of India while calling for expansion of Indian investments in this east African country. “Kenya is a valued friend and trusted partner of India,” Modi said in a joint press statement with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta following delegation-level talks between the two sides. “The bonds between the two countries are long-standing and rich,” he said. In Tanzania, he described the Indian community as an important link between India and this east African nation. Most early Indian migrants to your great country happened to be from my home state (of Gujarat),” Modi said in a speech at a banquet hosted in his honour by Tanzanian President John Magufuli. On the second and concluding day of his visit to South Africa, Mr Modi lauded the diversity of the city of Durban and praised the achievements of its people of Indian origin. “One of the hallmarks of this beautiful nation is its vibrant diversity,” Mr Modi said at a civic reception hosted in his honour by the Mayor of Durban and the Indian High Commissioner at the Durban City Hall. “And, no city celebrates this diversity better than the city of Durban and the province of Kwazulu Natal,” he said. “This celebration of plurality of dialects and languages, of belief in multiplicity of faiths and of cultural traditions, is an integral part of this city’s heritage.” KENYA The Prime Minister said the historical people-topeople ties between the two countries have provided a strong basis for a wide-ranging partnership which extended “from agriculture and health to developmental assistance, from trade and commerce to investment, from closer contact between our people to capacity building, from regular political consultations to defence and security cooperation”. “India is Kenya’s largest trading partner and second largest investor here,” he said. “But there is potential to achieve much more.” Mr Modi said the economies of both countries would benefit by “further expansion of investment ties, a more diversified trade basket and nurturing greater intensity of commercial links”. On his part, Kenyatta said that both sides broached a whole number of critical issues in Monday’s talks. He said that India has promised to help in the area of health and would develop a cancer hospital in Kenya. India would also help set up a pharmaceutical company in Kenya to manufacture life-saving drugs. “We are keen in exploiting ties in 42 india empire | august 2016
Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi presenting a guide for Indian Businesses: “Doing Business in Kenya” to the President of Kenya Mr Uhuru Kenyatta at the India-Kenya Business Forum, Nairobi on July 11, 2016
Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi being seen-off by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr John Magufuli on his departure from Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania on July 10, 2016
sports also—India in terms of cricket, Kenya in terms of athletics,” Kenyatta said. Mr Modi laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta. He had arrived in Kenya from Tanzania to complete the final leg of his four-nation Africa tour. Soon after his arrival here, he addressed an Indian diaspora
rally that was attended by over 20,000 people. Kenya is home to around 80,000 people of Indian origin. This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to Kenya in 35 years after the visit of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981. TANZANIA Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the Indian community in Tanzania as an important link for India with the east African nation. “Most early Indian migrants to your great country happened to be from my home state (of Gujarat),” Modi said in a speech at a banquet hosted in his honour by Tanzanian President John Magufuli. “Today, the Indian-origin community in Tanzania is an important link between our peoples in the fields of business, healthcare, and education,” he said. Prior to the banquet, Modi interacted with members of the Indian community, which numbers around 50,000 in Tanzania. The Prime Minister said that while India has emerged as the fastest growing economy in the world, Tanzania was one of the most important economies in Africa. “Our comprehensive agenda of cooperation is driven by our key development priorities and our common security needs,” he said. “These discussions would lay the foundation on which we will construct a 21st century partnership.” Mr Modi said India would always be a trusted partner in the developmental journey of Tanzania. India and Tanzania signed five agreements following delegation-level talks headed by Mr Modi and Mr Magufuli. SOUTH AFRICA Prime Minister on the second and concluding day of his visit to South Africa, lauded the diversity of the city of Durban and praised the achievements of its people of Indian origin. “One of the hallmarks of this beautiful nation is its vibrant diversity,” Mr Modi said at a civic reception hosted in his honour by the Mayor of Durban and the Indian High Commissioner at the Durban City Hall. “And, no city celebrates this diversity better than the city of Durban and the province of Kwazulu Natal,” he said. “This celebration of plurality of dialects and languages, of belief in multiplicity of faiths and of cultural traditions, is an integral part of this city’s heritage.” He said that the first batch of 342 Indians arrived in Durban on November 16, 1860. “Today, over a century and a half later, Durban is the largest Indian city outside India,” the Prime Minister said. “It is home to the largest population of people of Indian origin in South Africa.” Of the 1.2 million people of Indian origin in South Africa, most of whose ancestors were brought as indentured labour, 800,000 live in Durban. Mr Modi said that despite the sufferings of early generations of Indians under apartheid and colonial rule, they preserved their culture and values. “And, today, they are proud, successful and loyal citizens of this country,” the Prime Minister said. “They are contributing to their country in education and scientific research, as entrepreneurs and leaders of businesses, as lawyers and judges, and as bankers, doctors and engineers.” Stating that these people of Indian origin were not living only for themselves, he said they were leading efforts to uplift the poor and the under privileged, and for the care
Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi at a special reception hosted in his honour by the Mayor of Durban, in South Africa on July 09, 2016
PM Modi meeting with Diaspora at the reception
of the sick and the elderly. “They are running old age home, centres for the terminally ill, AIDS and cancer patients, and orphanages,” he said. According to Mr Modi, the history of the people-to-people ties provides a strong foundation to build the modern day partnership between India and South Africa. “Today, India is undergoing an economic transformation. And, South Africa is one of the leading economies of Africa. Our trade and investment partnership is already substantial,” he said. He said that he and South African President Jacob Zuma have agreed to advance the India-South Africa strategic ties across the whole range of social and economic sectors, including trade and investments, development of small and medium businesses, information and communication technologies, and capacity and institution building. “Today, in our inter-dependent world, India’s growth story is one of the brightest spots,” Modi said. “But, India’s economic advance is not for the benefit of our society alone. The embrace of our partnership is open to the larger good of ❐ Africa and our friends like South Africa,” he stated. august 2016 | india empire 43
indian diasPora in west coast
US WEST COAST DIASPORA MEETS MINISTER GADKARI AT L.A. HARBOUR
The Indian Diaspora with Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of India for Road Transport and Highways (front row, 4th from right), Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, CGI, San Francisco (2nd from right), Mr Inder Singh of GOPIO International is seated on left
ndian American Community of Southern California hosted lunch at the La Espada Vessel “Harbor Breeze” Los Angeles Harbor for Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister of Transportation and Shipping and Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India, San Francisco, on July 22, 2016. There were approximately 40 people on the boat including GOPIO Foundation Executive Trustee Inder Singh, GOPIO Treasurer Kewal Kanda, NFIA president Ashok Madan, GOPIO LA president Navin Gupta, several members of GOPIO – Rajinder Dhunna, Abdulgani Shaikh, Yash Singh, Sunny Chauhan, Ajmer Singh and many prominent members of the community, Harbhajan Samra, Sudip Gorakshakar, Satish Kanda, Nadadur Vardhan, Avadhesh and Uma Agrawal, to name a few. Some members of the local OFBJP, Roshan Khandpur, Malik Banda, Bala Palanisamy, Subbu Shanmugham, and Raj Walia, also attended the lunch. The boat left the Harbor a little after 10:30 am for a tour of the Harbor. Prior to the boat tour, Mr. Gadkari met the representatives of the LA Harbor Port Authority and discussed matters relating to shipping and transportation. Mr. Gadkari also chatted with the local community business leaders who presented him some plans to do business with India. Besides sight-seeing at the LA Harbor, Mr. Gadkari and community leaders enjoyed the interaction with each other. Mr. Gadkari was thankful for arranging this short boat tour where he was able to meet the community leaders. 44 india empire | august 2016
Mr Inder Singh presents copy of Gadar Heroics authored by him, along with books on Indian Americans and Global Indian Diaspora to Minister Gadkari. Also seen is Mr Kewal Kanda
Ashoka the Great Restaurant served the lunch on the boat. After the lunch, Inder Singh, Kewal Kanda, and Ashok Madan presented Mr. Gadkari a book on Global Indian Diaspora, a book on Gadar Heroics, and compilation of articles, Indians in America by Inder Singh. From the Harbor, the minister went to Los Angeles airport for his flight back to India. ❐
BUSINESS AND GOVERNANCE
Business and governance
GoAir books Airbus
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers (left) with Go Air CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer Budget passenger carrier GoAir said in July that it has signed an MoU with Airbus for 72 A320neo aircrafts as part of its expansion plans. The budget airline said the MoU was signed at the Farnborough International Airshow and with the induction, it will expand its network, offer fliers better connectivity and continue its growth as one of India’s preferred low-cost airline. Earlier in 2011, the airline had announced a similar agreement for 72 A320neo aircrafts, bringing the total booked order to 144 aircraft. The first two aircraft from this order were delivered in June 2016. “The new A320neo will provide us the competitive edge to achieve our growth targets and help us in strengthening our presence in the wider region,” the airline’s Chief Executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said in a statement. “The new aircraft will help us in unlocking new domestic routes while providing a springboard for continued international network expansion in the years to come.”
PoWEr For GuruGrAM To ensure uninterrupted power supply to Gurgaon city, adjoining the national capital, a Rs 7,000-crore Smart Grid Project is being implemented by the Haryana Government, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said. Mr Khattar who met Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that Mr Manohar Lal Khattar the project has been introduced in view of the present and future needs of power supply in Gurgaon city. “This project would put an end to the trend of consumption of diesel through generator sets. This would not only prove beneficial for the conservation of environment, but would also put an end to the role of builders and colonizers for power supply,” Mr Khattar said. Mr Goyal has said that the project would prove to be a milestone in the field of power supply in the country.
MustANG iN iNDiA
NMDC GroWth Iron ore producer NMDC Ltd. has said its production has grown by about 28 percent and sales have increased nearly 17 per cent in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal. According to provisional data, the mining behemoth produced 7.63 million tonnes (mt) of iron ore during the April-June quarter of the current fiscal, up 28 percent from 5.93 mt Mr Piyush Goyal produced in the same period last year. Its sales stood at 7.77 mt in the period under review as compared to 6.65 mt sold in the corresponding period last year, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Its production stood at 2.64 mt during June 2016 while its sales during the month were at 2.79 mt, it said. On a month-on-month basis, its June production, however, fell by 5.37 per cent while its sales increased by close to 15 per cent. In May, production and sales of the largest iron ore producers were at 2.79 mt and 2.43 mt respectively. The scrip was currently trading at Rs. 96.25, up by 1.60 points or 1.48 per cent from its previous closing on the BSE.
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American automobile major Ford Motor Company (FMC) would launch its famous Mustang model in India at Rs 65 lakh, said the company’s Indian subsidiary Ford India. “For the first time in its 52-year history, Ford’s iconic Mustang is ready for Indian roads,” Ford India said in a statement. It said the company is giving an opportunity to Indian customers to own a Ford Mustang at Rs 65 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). In the first phase, the model will go on sale in Delhi and Mumbai. Ford will bring Mustang for customers in India as a completely built unit (CBU) from the US. The new Mustang will be equipped with a 5.0 lite V8 petrol engine, churning out a massive 401 PS of peak power, to appeal to the enthusiasts. “In our commitment to building a drive for everyone, there’s never been a better time at Ford to introduce this iconic car and offer the youngest ever product line-up to customers in India,” Anurag Mehrotra, executive director, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford India was quoted as saying in the statement. According to the company since the Mustang first went on sale in 1964, Ford has sold more than nine million vehicles.
Business and governance
InDIA’S OFFEr TO kEnyA India in July offered to increase its investments in Kenya and for this purpose issued a guide book for Indian investors on doing business in Kenya. Presenting a guide book in Nairobi during his first visit to Kenya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted that India is the largest trading partner of Kenya. “India is also the second largest investor here. We will be happy to further remove the imbalance in trade between us. We will also be happy to enhance the level of investment in Kenya,” he said addressing the IndiaKenya Business Forum. “As a demonstration of our commitment for ‘Make it Kenya’, we have printed a guide book on Doing Business in Kenya. This is for guiding the Indian investors to invest here,” he said. Noting many Indian companies have made Kenya their base to operate in the whole of East Africa, Mr Modi added: “Whether it is mines, minerals or machines; all are rewarding areas. We should jointly explore the opportunities.” An 80-member delegation of business leaders under the aegis of industry chamber FICCI that is accompanying Mr Modi on his official visit to four African nations organised the India-Tanzania Business Forum and India-Kenya Business Forum on July 10 and 11 at Dar-e-Salaam and Nairobi respectively. Among the agreements signed be-
Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi with Kenyan President Mr Uhuru Kenyatta at the State House in Nairobi on July 11 tween both countries, two pertained to lines of credit from India to Kenya -- one on development of various small and medium enterprises and the other on upgrading a textile factory. Bilateral trade in 2014-15 was worth a little over $4.2 billion, of which India’s exports to Kenya were valued around $4.1 billion.
Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has announced a series of decisions for development of civic facilities and transport infrastructure in Delhi including rates of premium for lands for institutional purposes and sanctioning of Rs 658 crore for de-congesting traffic. “The Government has approved the rates of preMr M. Venkaiah Naidu mium for lands allotted for institutional purposes and health services by Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Compared to existing rates, the rates has been reduced to nominal charge,” Urban Development Ministry said in a statement. The Union government has reduced to a nominal charge of Rs 1 per annum for the land required for health services such as medical institutions, hospitals, dispensaries required by central Government and Delhi Government. It has also reduced the rates for land to Delhi Government for un-remunerative uses such as maternity centres, night shelters and orphanages, rates for land for DTC depots and offices, rate for land for staff quarters for schools and hospitals of local bodies and Delhi Government and rate for land for offices of Delhi Government. Rate for land for roads, graveyards and crematoria, playgrounds and parks, water supply and drainage for DDA colonies will continue to be allotted free of cost or at nominal charge of Rs 1 per annum, the ministry said. Mr Naidu also sanctioned Rs 658 crore for five projects for decongesting traffic in Delhi.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms Vasundhara Raje has said that Russia can be a progressive partner of Rajasthan in development, and sought its expertise in sectors like infrastructure and mineral extraction, an official statement said here. Addressing a business seminar organized by Russia-India Business Ms Vasundhara Raje Forum at Yekaterinburg, she said: “Russia can help Rajasthan in development of infrastructure, mineral extraction, urban planning, pollution control, defence manufacturing, heavy machinery and engineering sectors”. Yekaterinburg is administrative capital of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Earlier Ms Raje met with the head of Government of Sverdlovsk Oblast region D.V. Pasler and the local business delegates. “We (Rajasthan) and Sverdlovsk could complement each other for engineering and mining sectors,” she said while addressing the seminar. Rajasthan is seeing a substantial growth in engineering and automotive sectors and it can be gauged from the fact that about 150 companies were already making automotive components in the state. “I feel that mutual cooperation could further reinforce these sectors,” Ms Raje added. She pointed out Rajasthan’s economy, which was larger than that of many global economies, is growing faster than many of the leading states.
august 2016 | india empire 47
column: yogi asHwini
mind and Body
WHAT ArE THE cOnTAMInATIOnS? By Yogi Ashwini yogi ashwini
... Continued from previous issue
et’s take this a little forward. The people who do martial arts with me will tell you that as I talk to them during training and if someone is standing in the driveway behind me, I often ask them to check who it is and what he is up to. When they check, they usually find that the person was up to something he is not authorised to do…they will also tell you that I scarcely look at them when I strike, and yet I do not miss it even by a millimetre from where the strike has to be made. How is this possible? At a stage you cannot look at more than one person but at another stage you can even look at 20 people and know exactly who is doing what. And at a stage you can look at thousand people. Divine / shiv knows about thousands and crores of people. He knows everything about everyone. That is a state/shreni. My state is not as high, I am trying to achieve it but right now my body does not have that much capacity. It became evident to me after the recent incident where I was not able to attain that state of dhyan. All of us think ourselves to be very great. But when the time comes the divine shows us our reality. This is your level, whatever that might be, first achieve this level and then we’ll talk. You cannot even look at two people at one time and I am able to take a training session and also keep a watch all through the ashram. This is the difference between a guru and a shishya. Till the shishya becomes a guru, he/ she should not try to become a guru. If he/ she tries to become a guru, he/ she will definitely fall into a ditch. Whether a shishya is physically interacting with or in sight of guru or not, the guru knows exactly what he or she is doing, that is why he is a guru. And in order to access him you have to first become like that, access him completely. The guru might make an error because of an attachment as he is in the body still and as long as you are in the body you cannot claim 100 percent purity but he also has the ability to rectify that error if the time is given. These con-
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taminations are very dangerous contaminations and they spoil your entire journey. Whoever is your guru figure, wherever he might be, whoever he might be, if you don’t have confidence in him, then it is pointless. It will result is always chaos and you will prove him/ her to be a failure. So be careful of these contaminations. They are very dangerous and always come in between the guru and shishya. And there is no ‘deep’ question, yog is nature. Whatever level you are at, that is reality for you. Do not think of suddenly developing wings and flying high. Wait for your guru to give you that experience. Your guru has the capacity to make you experience anything and that is why he is your guru. If he cannot make you experience, then he is not worth being a guru. Whoever you make a guru, make him a guru so that you can carry forward his name. Don’t make him your guru to prove him a failure. The day you are connected with your guru, you make a guru, that day all these contaminations will dissolve. Take my word for that. Your problems will start when you set out to make shishyas because you will find such novelties. Before that it is bliss. I keep roaming from morning to night at the ashram. I do not interact with anyone. The day I interact, I immediately lose my temper over something. So I am in bliss in myself. But because I have a hobby of making a shishya, someone to carry forward what I have, it does not let me stay in a state of bliss. You can call this attachment, karma or guru vakya because what I have there should be at least someone to hold that in the future. There is no one like that. So whoever I have an interaction with, the energy difference is so much that there is an immediate clash, and I get angry. The day you have atma sakshatkar with your Guru, the day you hold your gurus hand, that day all your problems will dissolve, I can guarantee you, whatever might keep happening provided you ❐ are holding, and not thinking you are holding. —The writer Yogi Ashwini Ji is the head of Dhyan Foundation, Delhi. For details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
mind and Body
The Long View of Life and Mental Health By Paul Summergrad, M.D.
t is always hard in the midst of events to maintain perspective and take a longer view. Given all our daily activities, an accurate perspective on our field—how people think about mental health or mental illness—can be hard to achieve. At a time of substantive developments in neuroscience, genetics, and changes in health care, doing so is important for our field if we are to stay focused on the activities that will most benefit patients and families over the long term. Rapid developments in science or society are particularly hard to assess in the moment. I recently read a column by NYU Professor Clay Shirky on the current transformation of print journalism in an environment of intense pressure from digital media (http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/03/March 2009). He noted how much the world had changed with Gutenberg’s invention in the 15th century of the printing press and movable type and how hard it was at the time to understand their significance. Noting that the transition was chaotic, he cited the historian Elizabeth Eisenstein and her book The Printing Press as an Agent of Change. As Shirky wrote: She was able to find many descriptions of life in the early 1400s, the era before movable type. Literacy was limited, the Catholic Church was the pan-European political force, Mass was in Latin, and the average book was the Bible. She was also able to find endless descriptions of life in the late 1500s, after Gutenberg’s invention had started to spread. Literacy was on the rise, as were books written in contemporary languages, Copernicus had published his epochal work on astronomy, and Martin Luther’s use of the press to reform the Church was upending both religious and political stability. So immersed are we in both an era of great and at times overwhelming technological and scientific change that we can be easily forgiven if we can’t see clearly what these changes mean for our views of human nature, our understanding of the brain and mental functioning, and our definition of mental illness. If the discovery of the neuron by Ramón y Cajal in 1888 was a major contributor to the rise of neuroscience in the early 20th century and influenced Freud’s pre-psychoanalytic neurobiologic theorizing, how much more will our perspective be upended by the flood of work currently under way? At the same time, much doesn’t appear to change. Mental illness affects, as ever, the most human and intimate of our capacities. It impacts our ability to understand the world around and in us and to define our sense of self and can
Paul summergraD, m.D.
place us in emotional and cognitive confusion. Likewise, the discrimination that patients with mental disorders encounter seems to lessen slowly, if at all, especially when we monitor these circumstances day to day. At times our patients and even we are subject to disparagement and harsh criticism. And while these experiences aren’t pleasant, maintaining perspective here as well, is important. We may disagree strongly with those who are skeptical of, or hostile, to the reality of psychiatric illness. Spend even a few days in any emergency room or care for a patient with severe catatonia who, bedridden and requiring feeding support, gets dramatically better with electroconvulsive therapy and the reality and impact of mental illness is quite clear. Spend time in any prison and it is clear that our system has failed to care for those who are ill and instead incarcerates them. While it is, in general, wise to avoid applying psychological interpretations to credible intellectual disputes, one is nevertheless left with the nagging sense that the intensity of the critical response to psychiatry may in part be due to the importance of behavior and psychological life to human beings, especially in modern culture. Just as we shouldn’t medicalize the sufferings of everyday life, we also can’t and must not ignore the reality of psychiatric illness. In the heat of engagement or battle, we can be rightly discouraged with the slow pace of change or progress in any of these areas. Stepping back, one can see not just the growing improvement in the care we are providing, but a much more open and honest public discussion of the impact of these illnesses and how far we have to go to achieve true equity. The bravery of those who have confronted the stigma associated with mental illness, regardless of personal risk, and have spoken openly about their lives and experiences is remarkable to witness. The work to achieve parity or advance science, remains essential. If there is anything I have learned, it is that mental illness does not respect person, class, religion, or political persuasion, and people throughout the world—patients and families—are passionately committed to better care and cures. So while the effort is challenging and progress may seem painfully slow when looked at close up, we need to take the long view and remain sharply focused on our on solving the scientific and policy issues which will truly re❐ lieve the burden of mental illness. —By Paul Summergrad, M.D.is the Past President of the American Psychiatric Association& Member Nominations Committee, WPA august 2016 | india empire 49
Business and governance
voice RBI MONETARY POLICY yielding results. There is an unfinished Commenting on the monetary policy, agenda of the reforms which the present FICCI said that Reserve Bank has mainGovernment is trying to address. tained status quo on the policyrates. While The manufacturing sector growth is dethis is on expected lines, we do hope that pendent on many other factors too like the continuous focus of the central bank on overall demand scenario in the economy improving the transmission of the previwhich needs to be further encouraged. ous rate cuts into lower lending rates would yield effective results and that we FICCI’S INDIA RISK SURVEY 2016 will see a greater pass through going ahead. FICCI has released its annual India The recently announced GDP numRisk Survey 2016 (IRS 2016). This is an atbers indicate that the economy has moved tempt to showcase the views and percepto a steady growth trajectory. Further, we tions of business leaders, policymakers, expect the capacity utilization rates to imexperts, as well as professionals across varprove as both rural and urban demand will ious sectors and geographies, regarding Dr A. Didar Singh note an uptick on back of good monsoons strategic, operational and safety risks to and the pay commission announcement respectively. As ca- business establishments. The survey covers the entire induspacity utilization rates improve and fresh investment plans try spectrum covering different geographical zones of the come on to the drawing board, it will be important to have a country. The results of the survey provide industry experts supportive monetary policy to sustain the momentum. and government decision-makers with an important tool to holistically analyse the impact of various risks, so as to plan WPI INFLATION NUMBERS and execute strategies to prevent, mitigate or control the imCommenting on the inflation numbers, FICCI said that pact of these risks to business establishments. the latest numbers report prices edging up on the back of elevated food prices. Upward pressure in prices is noted in the OVERALL BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX INcase of fruits and vegetables and protein rich items. This CREASES BY 7 POINTS...HOWEVER CAUTION clearly calls for a more proactive management from the sup- STILL UNDERLINES THE MOOD OF INDIA INC. ply side. Several steps have been taken by the government to The results of FICCI’s latest Business Confidence Survey augment supplies and improve distribution of such items. We indicate an improvement in the confidence levels of members hope that the situation would be managed well and that infla- of India Inc. The Overall Business Confidence Index was tion will remain within RBI’s indicative trajectory. seven notches higher at 64.3 in the present round, vis-à-vis Industrial growth, particularly the manufacturing sector, the value of 56.7 in the last round. This comes on the back of continues to remain under pressure with limited signs of im- an improvement noted in both Current Conditions Index and provement in a few sectors. We need to broad base the Expectations Index. The proportion of respondents citing a growth impulses and this calls for support by way of an ac- ‘moderately to substantially better’ performance vis-à-vis last commodative monetary policy. FICCI’S latest Business Con- six months noted an increase at all the three levels – economy, fidence Survey indicates some improvement in capacity industry and firm level. Also in the current round, participants utilisation rates and for this to translate into higher invest- seemed more positive about the near term prospects. ments there is a need to strengthen demand further. Investments in the industrial economy will be the key driver for CABINET APPROVAL ON THE MODEL SHOP & sustaining a higher growth path & creating jobs and the cur- ESTABLISHMENT ACT rent situation calls for all measures to be deployed towards FICCI welcomes the Cabinet approval on the Model Shop this end. & Establishment Act. This has been one of the key asks of the FICCI Retail & Internal Trade Committee for the overall IIP DATA benefit and growth of the Indian retail sector. It is a very proCommenting on the release of IIP numbers, FICCI said gressive move, as it would enable states to choose to keep that the manufacturing sector performance is on the expected shops and other such establishments open 24x7 all through lines as predicted by FICCI survey too last month. The growth the year. This would give substantial boost to employment in manufacturing may take some more time to pick up as the generation and will also benefit the consumers in terms of ❐ measures taken by the Government in the last few months start more convenience and accessibility said FICCI. 50 india empire | august 2016