India to become third largest aviation market in the world

Mar 10, 2016 0

New Delhi–India’s proposed new civil aviation policy must support a potential for 350 million passengers annually and $170 billion in revenues even as plans for a levy towards regional linkages and auction of traffic rights remained concerns, says a top global expert.

Tony Tyler

Tony Tyler

“We forecast that India is going to be the third largest aviation market in the world within 10 years,” said Tony Tyler, director general of International Air Transport Association (IATA). “So Certainly having an aviation plan like this is a step in the right direction,” he said.

But he also listed three ideas in the proposed policy as areas of concern:

– The 2 percent levy to fund regional connectivity.

– Auctioning of traffic rights

– Norm for user development fee based on both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenue.

Tyler said the Indian aviation space was already an expensive place to operate. “By putting this regional connectivity fund levy on it is going to add something like $350 million a year further to additional costs for airlines in India,” he said in a statement.

On auctioning traffic rights, he said no country was resorting to this practice and what it will eventually yield was hard to predict. “One of them, I feel, would be the concentrating of the market in a few powerful hands,” he said.

“After all the only people who will be able to afford to buy traffic rights will be the ones who are making lots of money already. So I think it could be a very anti-competitive move and it’s something that is really unprecedented in world aviation.”

As regards arriving at the user development fee based on what is called a hybrid-till approach, Tyler said airport regulation was a complicated issue, involving different factors like rates of return and investments. Cross-subsidy, he said, was not a good idea.

“The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India is who should determine what sort of ’till’ should be used. Putting it into law and regulation through the civil aviation policy is the wrong approach,” he said, referring to a mix of aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues for levies.

Overall, Tyler said, he was excited about the prospects for Indian aviation.

“India should develop its aviation policy to realize the huge potential of this market. Indian aviation will support 19 million jobs and $170 billion in GDP,” he said.

“We see the potential for 350 million passengers by 2034. We see an enormous potential for the airlines and, of course, for aviation to play a vital role that it can do in connecting the Indian economy within India and also to the world,” he added.

“But to do that the government needs to move forward with the right policy approaches and those policy approaches are the ones that embrace the idea of partnership with the industry and deep consultation with industry because we all want the same in the end.” (IANS)

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Indian Policy and Business Briefs

Mar 10, 2016 0

Food ProcessingGovt. OKs 100% FDI in Marketing Food Products Made in India

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that 100 percent foreign direct investment is to be allowed in the marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India. This will benefit farmers, give impetus to food processing industry and create significant employment opportunities.

Threshold Limits Raised to Ease M&A

In a move aimed at improving the ease of doing business, the Government has raised the financial threshold limit for companies seeking approval from the Competition Commission for proposed mergers and acquisitions. The latest steps by the Corporate Affairs Ministry would benefit businesses, especially startups, where deal valuations are not too high.

Budget Allots $1 Billion for ‘Smart Cities,’ Urban Projects

The Government has allocated a little more than $1 billion for two key programs — the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation and ‘Smart Cities’ Mission. The names of the first 20 Smart Cities, including Bhubaneswar, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bhopal, were announced late last month.

India, U.S. to Promote Traditional Treatments to Fight Cancer

India has partnered with the U.S. to collaborate on research and development of traditional medicines for preventive and palliative cancer care, a move aimed at bringing in more global acceptability and credibility for traditional treatments. The collaboration is also expected to open the market for traditional treatments.

Foreign Military Sales Procedure with U.S. Streamlined

The Ministry of Defense has streamlined the foreign military sales procedure with the U.S. to make it more efficient. Rather than raising bills on a case-by-case basis every quarter, all the funds against various cases have been pooled together in one body.

Global Tech Firms Eye Indian Expansion

Global technology companies such as Oracle and Cisco are lining up investments to capture opportunities under the Digital India and Make in India initiatives. Safra Catz, global CEO of Oracle said, “Digital India and Make in India are truly inclusive. We will release further resources to grow much larger in India.”

Private Equity Investments in India Hit New High in 2015

India was the top destination for private equity and venture capital investors in 2015. The country received a record $22 billion in investments last year, 32 percent more than the previous highest of $17 billion in 2007, according to a report by Bain & Co. India. Consumer technology, real estate, banking, financial services and insurance top the sectors that attracted investors, accounting for 65 percent of deal value.

Report: Luxury Car Sales in India to Double by 2020 

Analysts believe luxury vehicle sales in the country will more than double in the next five years. Luxury vehicle sales in 2015 grew 6.4 percent year compared to the previous year. The market was led by Mercedes-Benz, which won back the leadership position from Audi by selling nearly 12,900 units.

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India dares Monsanto with 70 percent cut in technology fees

Mar 10, 2016 0

By Vivian Fernandes

The union agriculture ministry headed by Radha Mohan Singh has notified a sharp, 70 percent reduction in fees payable to Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (MMBL) for its patented cottonseed technology, disregarding the company’s threat that it would have “no choice but to re-evaluate every aspect of our position in India”, if this were to happen.

The issue has acquired nationalist vs multinational overtones and might deter investors from coming to ‘make in India’.

Radha Mohan Singh

Radha Mohan Singh

The ministry has set the maximum selling price for a 450-gram pack of the genetically-modified seeds known by the trade name Bollgard II or BG-II at Rs.800 for the whole of India. This includes a technology fee of Rs.9 and seed value of Rs.751.

The maximum selling price of the previous version called BG-I has been fixed at Rs.635. The ministry has said no technology fee is payable for it, as it is off patent. BG-I was the first genetically-modified cottonseed which India approved for cultivation in 2002.

MMBL was charging Rs.163 per pack as technology (trait) fees for BG-II, which has two insecticidal genes obtained from agro-bacteria for greater resistance to a deadly pest called bollworm. It has been asserting that trait fees are governed by private agreements and cannot be decided by the government. Trait fees are different from royalty for which MMBL charges a lumpsum when licensing the technology.

The agriculture ministry brought Bt cottonseeds under price control last December. MMBL has moved the Delhi High Court against the order, and specifically against government regulation of trait fees. But it failed to obtain relief at a hearing on March 9. The next hearing has been fixed for March 23.

Currently, various states have price control orders. Maharashtra had fixed the price of BG-II at Rs.830 for the 2015 sowing season, ahead of the monsoon. The rate in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is Rs.930. In Punjab and Haryana it is Rs.1,000. The central government order supersedes them all. It introduces a single price for the whole country.

Earlier attempts by states to fix trait fees were quashed by courts, though they have upheld their authority to fix prices.

The nine-member price committee set up by the agriculture ministry did not have a representative of MMBL though BG-II covers nearly all of India’s cotton acreage.

“We are in the process of examining the notification in detail and will be able to comment only after we study the document in its entirety,” MMBL’s spokesman said.

Kalyan Goswami, the rxecutive director of the National Seeds Association of India (NSAI), said it was “pleased to note that the farmers’ voice had been heard by the Ministry of Agriculture”. NSAI had asked the ministry to lower the trait fee because BG-II technology was facing “redundancy”. NSAI is a party to the dispute in the high court.

There have been reports of pink bollworm developing resistance to the technology in parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana. The state-owned Central Institute of Cotton Research said that about ten percent of the crop had been affected. But the resistance can be managed. The technology is still effective against other varieties like the American bollworm and the spotted bollworm.

“We strongly oppose the decision… as it violates the principles of free market economics,” Shivendra Bajaj, executive director of the Association of Biotech-led Enterprises-Agriculture Focus Group (ABLE-AG) said in a statement. ABLE-AG is a grouping of 13 agri-biotech companies.

“By slashing trait fees, the government has clearly shown that it is going for short-term populist measures rather than supporting innovation… The decision will be detrimental in the long run as companies may have to reconsider their investments in seed-based R&D… due to the current uncertain environment,” Bajaj added.

In this battle of between nationalists and a multinational who will come on top?

The president of NSAI is Prabhakar Rao, the founder and managing director of Hyderabad-based Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL). MMBL has terminated the licenses of NSL and its two subsidiaries, which were its largest franchisees. MMBL says the three companies have not paid it about Rs.165 crore in trait fee dues collected from farmers. Rao is said to be close to the agriculture minister.

The ministry has also made a reference to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to investigate MMBL for abuse of dominance. The CCI will look into the issue.

There has been a virtual, though not formal, split in the NSAI, with multinational members of the association opposing the NSAI’s official stance in favour of price control and reduction of trait fees.

Some commentators have warned the agriculture ministry against sending a message that would unnerve investors. The government has been urged to try competition, not price controls as means to reduce prices. Encouraging technologies rival to BG-II should be the route to take, it was suggested.

Several business newspapers have said the government should not be disincentivising innovation and firms like Monsanto.

But while the government is talking about “Make in India”, its ministers seem to be unmaking the effort.

(Vivian Fernandes is editor of www.smartindianagriculture.in.)

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Second Haryana investor summit in 2018

Mar 8, 2016 0

Gurgaon–Buoyed by success of the first-ever ‘Happening Haryana Global Investors’ Summit’, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Tuesday that its second edition would be held some time in 2018.

Manohar Lal Khattar

Manohar Lal Khattar

The success of the summit is measured by the fact that against the target of Rs.1 lakh crore, the state government has signed 357 MoUs for a total potential investment of Rs.5.84 lakh crore which is 500 times more than expectations, he said in his address at the valedictory session of the summit.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that 39 of the total MoUs involving investment of Rs. 1.28 lakh crore are for the districts not falling in the national capital region, he said, adding 10 percent of the MoUs are with MNCs and 26 percent are in the MSME sector.

“The Summit has been a great success. It has given the most tangible proof of the faith and confidence industry and investors have in Haryana’s Enterprises Promotion Policy. The steps taken by the government to usher in a new era of balanced regional growth have met recognition from investors,” said Khattar.

He assured that all necessary clearances would be granted within 30 days from the date of application.

Referring to the target fixed for attracting investment, the chief minister said that the positive response Haryana attracted from investors during his visits to US and Canada encouraged him to organise the Summit and that he was surprised to learn from officers that Haryana never held such an event.

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Despite violence, Haryana goes ahead with global investors’ summit

Mar 5, 2016 0

By Jaideep Sarin

Chandigarh– Putting behind the mindless violence unleashed during the Jat protests for job quotas, Haryana is going ahead with the ‘Happening Haryana Global Investors’ summit to attract investment for the state.

Well-placed sources in the BJP government told IANS that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and others involved in the March 7-8 investment exercise,, however, had their fingers crossed as the widespread violence happened just over a fortnight before the summit dates.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

“With shops, businesses and other institutions targeted by mobs and the police and administration failing to control the situation, Haryana’s image as an ideal investment destination has taken a big hit,” a senior Haryana bureaucrat told IANS here.

“Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed about the summit and its eventual outcome in terms of actual investment on the ground. The violence will definitely put off a lot of investors,” the officer said, requesting anonymity.

Despite the nine days of unrest and violence, Japan has proposed to become a partner country in the summit. This was telephonically conveyed to chief minister, Finance and Industries Minister Abhimanyu said.

He claimed that people of the state wanted to ensure the safety of the industries even during the violence.

“When the law and order situation in the state was disturbed, people protected the industries and drove away miscreants,” the minister said, trying to build confidence among future investors.

A number of Japanese and South Korean companies have invested in Haryana, especially in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt. The first big name to establish base in Haryana, Maruti-Suzuki, piloted by Japanese car maker Suzuki, was a runaway success in automobile sector.

The big names that have invested in Haryana include Honda, Canon, Yakult, Denso, Mitsubishi, Toyo, Daikin, Yokohama, Showa, Nippon, Kansai Paints, Asahi and Stanley.

Khattar has announced that 12 countries would participate in the first ‘Happening Haryana Global Investors’ Summit 2016′ being organised in Gurgaon on March 7 and 8. The summit is being organised by the Haryana government in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

China, Czech Republic, Japan, Malawi, Mauritius, New Zealand, South Korea, Peru, Poland, Spain, Britain and Tunisia are taking part as partner countries.

Khattar, who is hoping that the summit will be a “historic event”, is keen that more investment comes to the state.

Besides Japan and China, which he visited in January, Khattar travelled to the US and Canada last year. He did investment road shows in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai too in the past two months.

More than 800 entrepreneurs from India and other countries are expected to participate in the summit. Representatives of 140 foreign companies and diplomats will also attend.

“We are confident that the investment target set in the summit would be achieved,” Abhimanyu said.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will inaugurate the two-day event on March 7. A number of union ministers are expected to attend.

China’s Wanda Group has decided to invest $10 billion in Haryana, the government claimed after Khattar’s Beijing visit.

But not everyone is hopeful.

“Many investors will develop cold feet after the recent violence. The Khattar government literally abdicated its responsibility. There was no administration. It was utter lawlessness,” Rajinder Saini, a businessman who suffered losses in the violence in Rohtak town, told IANS.

Trade and industry body Assocham projected the loss in the violence at around Rs 20,000-crore.

Following the violent incidents and its aftermath, the Haryana government cancelled the ‘Parvasi Haryana Divas’ that was to be held with the summit on March 9.

Rohtak town, 70 km from Delhi, suffered the brunt of the violence blamed on Jats with scores of buildings, shops, malls, hospitals, educational institutions and vehicles set on fire and extensively damaged.

Rohtak, Sonipat, Panipat and Jhajjar districts were the worst hit by the violence. Other affected districts included Bhiwani, Hisar and Kaithal.

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Primary Education Spending in India Declines, So Does Quality

Mar 5, 2016 0

By Chaitanya Mallapur

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) — a national programme for universal elementary education — has seen Rs.115,625 crore ($17.7 billion) spent on it over the last five years — but the quality of learning has declined.

For instance, only a fourth of all children in standard III could read a standard II text fluently — a drop of more than 5 percent over five years, according to the 2014 Annual Status Report on Education (ASER).

Chaitanya Mallapur

Chaitanya Mallapur

The SSA received more than half the money (52 percent) in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s school-education allocation in the latest budget, but over the last five years, the SSA budget declined 6 percent — from Rs.23,873 crore ($4.4 billion) in 2012-13 to Rs.22,500 crore ($3.3 billion) for 2016-17.

Education is primarily the responsibility of states, but the central government directly finances 60 percent of education, through programmes such as the SSA. As many as 66 percent of India’s primary school students attend government schools or government-aided schools — the rest going to costlier private schools.

Of the money set aside for the SSA during 2015-16, only 57 percent was released till September 2015, according to an Accountability Initiative report.

While presenting his third budget earlier this week, Jaitley said nothing about the quality of education. The quality declines may be correlated with reduced funding, but they may not be caused only by a lack of money.

Less than one in five primary school teachers is adequately trained, IndiaSpend reported last year. The consequence is a marked decline in learning ability, in government and private schools.

The learning levels in government schools plummeted to a low of 41.1% in 2013 but recovered slightly to 42.2 percent in 2014, as IndiaSpend reported.

Similarly, with math, a quarter of children in standard III could not recognise numbers between 10 and 99, a drop of 13 percent over five years.

As much as 99 percent new elementary schools have been constructed of the 400,000 sanctioned since the launch of the programme in 2000-01 till September 30, 2015, according to this reply in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament) on December 7, 2015.

About 23 percent of schools surveyed by Accountability Initiative in 2015-16 needed to build at least one classroom in order to meet Right-to-Education norms. However, only 1 percent of schools received money from SSA during the financial year to construct new classrooms.

There are other gaps in the programme. The enrolment of girls has gone up from 48.12 percent in 2009-10 to 48.19 percent in 2014-15 at the elementary level. Many more girls clearly need to be enrolled. As many as 52 percent of boys are enrolled in primary schools.

The good news: Dropouts are down, highest in six to 14 age group

A 55 percent decline in dropouts was reported in the age group 6-14 years, from 13.46 million in 2005 to 6.1 million in 2013. The annual average primary school dropout rate declined from 6.8 percent in 2009-10 to 4.3 percent in 2013-14.

Mid-day meals in schools received Rs 9,700 crore ($1.4 billion), next only to SSA. About 102 million children across India in 2014-15 used the mid-day meal programme, the world’s largest school-feeding scheme.

As part of its rural initiatives, over the next two years, the government is also planning to open 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas (New-age schools) in the districts without them.

The Navodaya Vidayalaya scheme was launched under the National Policy on Education 1986 to educate the best rural talent. There are 591 Navodaya Vidyalayas across India, according to data tabled in the Lok Sabha on December 7, 2015.

Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, which runs these schools, was allocated Rs.2,471 crore ($400 million) — an increase of 8 percent over last year.

Focus on higher education to strengthen infrastructure, but enrolments are low. The finance minister proposed setting up a Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) with an initial capital of Rs.1,000 crore ($146 million) to strengthen infrastructure in higher education.

The HEFA will be a not-for-profit organisation, which will use funds from the market and supplement them with donations and corporate social responsibility funds.

Higher education-including central and deemed universities-received the most money, Rs.7,997 crore ($1.2 billion), followed by the Indian Institutes of Technology (Rs.4,984 crore) and University Grants Commission (Rs.4,492 crore).

About 80 percent students were enrolled in undergraduate programmes, but only 0.3 percent (84,058 students) were enrolled for PhDs in 2012-13, a sign that research is weak and faltering, as IndiaSpend has reported.

Only 21 percent of young men and women aged 18 to 23 are enrolled for higher education. India’s enrolment rate in higher education is 18 percent below the global average of 27 percent and low compared to 26 percent in China and 36 percent in Brazil, a 2014 British Council report pointed out.

(In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform, where Chaitanya Mallapur is a policy analyst. The views expressed are those of India Spend.

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India key to Jeep’s bid for new sales record in 2016

Mar 1, 2016 0

Detroit–Jeep expects to shatter its global sales record again in 2016, its 75th anniversary, thanks to the production this year of up to three models in China and the brand’s sales launch in India.

Last year, Jeep sold a record total of more than 1.2 million vehicles worldwide.

CherokeeThe automaker, a division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that specialises in off-road and sport utility vehicles, will this year assemble two additional models at the company’s plant in Changsha, China, which in late 2015 began producing the Cherokee, Jeep CEO Mike Manley told EFE.

Localised production in China is crucial to Jeep’s ambitious global expansion strategy.

Manley acknowledged that Jeep had been at a competitive disadvantage in China until now as purely a vehicle importer but he said the situation would change this year with expanded output at Changsha.

“The good news is that now we have a very intense programme. The first vehicle has been localised (in China). The second will be localised by the middle of the second quarter. And the third vehicle by the end of this year or the beginning of the next,” Manley said.

In another move that contributes to Jeep’s expansion strategy, the brand began selling its Grand Cherokee and Wrangler models in India in February.

“For me, India is a fascinating market. Its growth potential is almost limitless, but it’s never really materialised,” he said.

Jeep will be marketed as a high-end brand in the world’s second-most populous country and sold initially on a limited basis through Fiat’s existing dealership network in India.

Although the global economy is poised for a slowdown in 2016, Manley said Jeep would eclipse its record of 1.2 million vehicles sold in 2015, thanks in large part to the Chinese market.

The US market, where automakers set a annual record last year with 17.5 million new cars and light trucks sold, will grow slightly in 2016, as will Europe, Manley said, though cautioning that Brazil would have a “very difficult” year.

“It will help that we began local production of the Cherokee in China,” he said, adding that will help Jeep surpass last year’s results.

“In our 75th anniversary year, we need to break the world record set in 2015, which was a great year for the brand and one I was very pleased with,” Manley added, recalling that the new C-segment Jeep, a replacement for the Compass and Patriot models, also will be launched in 2016.

A big part of the brand’s success in 2015 was the start-up of production at the new Jeep plant in Goiana, a city in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, where the Renegade model is being produced.

Manley said Jeep’s experience in Brazil had been so positive that he was looking to replicate the Goiana model in China.

The situation in the Chinese market was one of the areas of perceived weakness, Manley said, adding that as an exclusive importer Jeep suffered from “pressures” in the Asian giant though that market grew by between 6 and 8 percent last year.

The CEO acknowledged that the volume of Jeep vehicles imported into China fell in 2015 but he said the situation had begun to improve with the start of production of the first vehicle in China.

“I’m pleased that we’re in the transition phase from being exclusively an importer to a more local brand. That helps us because I think this year is still going to be one of significant ups and downs in the Chinese market,” he added.

Mark Allen, the head of Jeep design, and Jim Morrison, Jeep’s product marketing manager, say the company’s enduring success in its 75th anniversary year is due to its product range and historical legacy.

“The key to Jeep’s success boils down to its products. A portfolio of solid products that has continued to expand and become increasingly relevant for a growing number of customers, just as we’ve done here in the United States,” Morrison said.

Allen, for his part, said Jeep’s new products were rooted in the automaker’s past.

“We’re the only brand that does this. All the Jeeps we design have an element of our first Jeep. From the seven-slot grille to the trapezoidal wheel openings,” he said.

“In terms of style, going back to your first vehicle of a brand that never intended to be a brand and using those ideas … very few people, in fact no one else does that,” he said.

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Foreign capital will build Indian food processing infrastructure

Mar 1, 2016 0

New Delhi–Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday said the 100 percent FDI in domestic food processing announced in the Budget 2016-17 will lead to creation of infrastructure funded by foreign capital.

“This step will lead to creation of ‘swadeshi’ infrastructure with ‘videshi’ money, and will help farmers get remunerative prices for their produce, transfer of technology and modern agricultural practices,” she told reporters here.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Harsimrat Kaur Badal

She also said a unified agriculture marketing e-platform will be set up to bring markets to the farmers’ doorsteps.

This coupled with 100 percent FDI in marketing of food products produced domestically would result in big buyers reaching out to farmers for their produce, she added.

Last month, Harsimrat Badal had called for fully opening up FDI in multi-brand retail of food products produced and processed in India so as to benefit farmers and reduce inflation.

“I have requested the prime minister that 100 percent FDI in multi-brand retail of those food products which are produced and processed in India should be allowed. So that those big companies can create infrastructure especially for the agriculture sector and bring the latest technology for the farm sector,” she said at the eighth Global Food Processing Summit organised by industry chamber Assocham.

She noted that FDI in multi-brand retail has come in the food sector in India, for example, in her home state Punjab.

“It has benefitted everybody, there is no trader in the middle who has lost out, there is no farmer who has lost, no industry has lost out, so it has been a win-win situation and it has been a tried and tested formula,” she said.

The minister also said the government plans to open four more mega food parks by the end of the current fiscal.

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India has 84 billionaires, Mukesh Ambani 34th in world in Forbes list

Mar 1, 2016 0

WASHINGTON (Wire Services)—India has 84 billionaires. Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani again topped 84 Indian billionaires in Forbes 2016 list of the world’s richest people once again headed by Bill Gates with a net worth of $75 billion.

Ambani with a net worth of $19.3 billion was ranked 36th among world’s 1,810 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $6.48 trillion, down from $7.05 trillion last year.

Mukesh Ambani (Photo: Wikipedia)

Mukesh Ambani (Photo: Wikipedia)

Technology guru Gates, who has topped the list for 17 of the last 22 years was followed by Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega, best known for the Zara fashion chain, with Warren Buffett remaining in the third spot.

The US led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 540, followed by China with 251, Germany with 120, India with 84 and Russia with 77.

China had the most of 198 newcomer billionaires, adding 70 to the list. Thirty-three newcomers were from the US, 8 from India and 28 from Germany.

Notable newcomers included Flipkart cofounders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (No. 1476) of India.

India’s top ten: 1 (world ranking 36) Mukesh Ambani $19.3 bn; 2 (44) Dilip Shanghvi $16.7 bn; 3 (55) Azim Premji $15 bn; 4 (88) Shiv Nadar $11.1 bn; 5 (133) Cyrus Poonawalla $8.5 bn; 6 (135) Lakshmi Mittal $8.4 bn; 7 (184) Uday Kotak $6.3 bn; 8 (196) Kumar Birla $6.1 bn; 9 (219) Sunil Mittal $5.7 bn; 10 (233)Desh Bandhu Gupta $5.5 bn.

Telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu (No. 4) dropped two spots, and his net worth decreased to $50 billion from $77.1 billion last year.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (No. 5) moved up to the fifth from the fifteenth spot last year; his net worth increased to $45.2 billion.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (No. 6) moved into the top 10 for the first time. He was the biggest gainer with his fortune going up by $11.2 billion for a total net worth of $44.6 billion. He is the sixth richest in the world. The biggest loser was Helu. (IANS)

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Mumbai Airport ranks best in world in 25-40 million passenger category

Feb 29, 2016 0

Mumbai– Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) has been ranked the Best Airport in the World for 2015 in the 25-40 million passengers per annum category, an airport official said here on Monday.

Mumbai AirportThe rating by Airports Council International in the Airport Service Quality Awards, reflects the world’s best-in-class airports appraised by the passengers while they are travelling, the official said.

This is also the fifth consecutive time that the CSIA figures among the top five airports globally in the same category, besides several other awards bagged in the past two years.

Additionally, the 2015 survey has put CSIA in the second place in the Best Airport category for airports in the Asia-Pacific Region that notch traffic of more than two million passengers per year.

Mumbai International Airport Ltd managing director Sanjay Reddy said the CSIA had started off with a vision to be among the best airports in the world.

“The award is validation of the fact that our efforts towards establishing world-leading service quality are headed in the right direction. We have continuously upgraded our services to delight guests and offer best-in-class comforts and convenience,” he said.

CSIA’s famed Terminal 2 has been the proving ground and the pedestal of success to the MIAL’s initiatives on excellence, efficiency, safety, sustainability and environment care, he said. (IANS)

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