Archive for ‘India alert’

26/03/2015

India Takes Top Spot In Producing Wealthy Households – India Real Time – WSJ

India’s affluent-household club is growing quickly.

Over the next five years, the number of such households–meaning those with financial assets of $100,000 to $2 million –is expected to jump 10-fold, to 4.9 million, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit study. In percentage terms, India ranked first among the 32 nations covered in the report.

By that same year,  the total financial assets in these households should reach $879 billion, driven by significant “economic reforms, attention to infrastructure, a stable political outlook and positive investor sentiment,” according to the report.

via Report: India Takes Top Spot In Producing Wealthy Households – India Real Time – WSJ.

26/03/2015

Ford aims to triple exports from India with $1 bln plant | Reuters

Ford Motor Co(F.N) has invested $1 billion in a new plant in western India which will help the automaker triple exports from the country, chief executive Mark Fields told reporters on Thursday.

A Ford logo is seen during preparations for the 2014 LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California November 18, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

Ford plans to make India an export hub for compact cars such as the EcoSport, a sub-four meter sports utility vehicle, and the newly launched compact sedan, Ford Figo Aspire, the first car to be produced at the new facility.

The new manufacturing facility in Gujarat will nearly double the company’s installed production capacity in the country to 610,000 engines and 440,000 vehicles a year, Fields said at the launch of the new facility.

via Ford aims to triple exports from India with $1 bln plant | Reuters.

24/03/2015

China says it agrees with India to maintain border peace | Reuters

China and India have agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity along their Himalayan border while they work on resolving a long-festering boundary dispute, China’s foreign ministry said after talks in New Delhi.

China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi (L) and India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval shake hands during a photo opportunity before their meeting in New Delhi March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

The talks are aimed at fixing a dispute over the border that divides Asia’s largest nations, part of a push to make progress on the festering row before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits China.

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement released on Monday both countries would build on the results of previous negotiations and push forward in “the correct direction”.

“Both sides reiterated the appropriate management and control of the dispute and joint maintenance of the peace and tranquillity of the border region before the border issue is resolved,” the ministry said.

As major neighbours and developing countries, the development of relations is good for both peoples as well as for regional and global peace and development, it said.

“Both sides ought to work together to push for practical cooperation in all areas, and further increase coordination on global and international issues.”

The talks are the first since Modi took office. The nationalist Indian prime minister is keen to resolve a dispute that has clouded rapidly expanding commercial links. Any progress would throw a positive light on his expected visit to Beijing in May.

However, there is no simple solution to a conflict that largely dates back to British colonial decisions about Tibet.

The disagreement over the 3,500-km (2,175-mile) border led to a brief war in 1962 and involves large swaths of remote territory.

China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) disputed by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet.

India says China occupies 38,000 square km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.

In September, the two armies faced off in the Ladakh sector in the western Himalayas just as Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting India for the first summit talks with Modi.

via China says it agrees with India to maintain border peace | Reuters.

23/03/2015

India and China Talk About Their Disputed Border – India Real Time – WSJ

Indian and Chinese officials are meeting in New Delhi this week for talks on a border dispute that has for decades strained relations between the neighbors — the first such negotiations since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office last year.

The two Asian countries are separated by a nearly 2,200-mile border whose exact location is a subject of bitter dispute. China claims India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls southern Tibet. India claims a Chinese-controlled region it calls Aksai Chin as part of its northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir.

India periodically accuses Chinese troops of “transgressions” across the two countries’ ill-defined boundary, known as the Line of Actual Control. Officials on both sides say such incidents are likely to continue – and perhaps escalate as India further develops its border lands – until the boundary is properly marked and settled.

The dispute cast a shadow over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last year – and on Mr. Modi’s efforts to improve relations with China. As Mr. Xi held his first official talks with Mr. Modi in September last year, their countries’ armies were locked in a tense face-off in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. Roughly 1,000 troops were called in on both sides, making it the biggest border confrontation between the two nations in decades.

Such episodes have interfered with the two countries’ efforts to deepen commercial relations as India seeks foreign investment to modernize its infrastructure. Mr. Modi is scheduled to visit China in May as part of those efforts.

Talks this week between China’s representative on the boundary question, Yang Jiechi, and India’s national security advisor, Ajit Doval, are aimed at giving momentum to the border talks.

Indian analysts say China may be more willing to negotiate given Mr. Modi’s steps to strengthen India’s ties with the United States. Mr. Modi visited the White House last year and U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to India to review a symbolically important military parade in January, signaling a willingness on India’s part to move closer to Washington.

But, Indian officials said, it won’t be easy. “It is an incredibly difficult problem if you look at the amount of real estate at stake and the length of the border,” said a senior official at the foreign ministry, who declined to be named.  The Indian government’s approach, the official said, is “let’s not let it drift.”

via India and China Talk About Their Disputed Border – India Real Time – WSJ.

21/03/2015

BBC News – India arrests hundreds over Bihar school cheating

About 300 people have been arrested in the Indian state of Bihar, authorities say, after reports emerged of blatant cheating in school exams.

Indians climb the wall of a building to help students appearing in an examination in Hajipur, in the eastern Indian state of Bihar

Parents and friends of students were photographed climbing school walls to pass on answers.

Many of those arrested were parents. At least 750 students have been expelled.

An estimated 1.4m students are taking their school leaving exams in Bihar alone – tests seen as crucial for their chances of a successful career.

The authorities have clearly been embarrassed by the cheating, the BBC’s Jill McGivering says, with the episode prompting ridicule on social media.

Students were seen copying answers from smuggled-in note sheets, and police posted outside test centres were even seen being bribed to look the other way.

via BBC News – India arrests hundreds over Bihar school cheating.

14/03/2015

Mahatma Gandhi gets London statue near nemesis Churchill | Reuters

Britain will unveil a statue of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi on Saturday in London’s prestigious Parliament Square, a space packed with monuments to men who defended the British Empire which Gandhi helped destroy.

In an ironic twist, Gandhi’s likeness will sit close to that of Britain’s former wartime leader Winston Churchill, a man who strained to thwart Indian independence and who despised Gandhi and everything he stood for.

Churchill famously called Gandhi “a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace.”

But almost seven decades after India won independence from Britain in 1947, in large part thanks to Gandhi’s peaceful civil disobedience campaign, relations between the two countries are strong with both nations keen to boost economic ties.

via Mahatma Gandhi gets London statue near nemesis Churchill | Reuters.

13/03/2015

India seeks edge over China as Modi visits Sri Lanka | Reuters

When Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena received India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an ocean-front colonial building on Friday, the two looked out over a $1.4 billion Chinese real estate project halted days ago after criticism from New Delhi.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) talks to Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The vista will have pleased Modi, whose government strongly opposed the land reclamation project inaugurated by China’s President Xi Jinping last year under a deal that gives China ownership of a patch of land overlooking a strategic port.

Modi’s was the first bilateral visit by an Indian premier in 28 years, a sign of a friendship that has warmed rapidly since a January election ousted a leader whose close ties with China had left Sri Lanka’s larger neighbour feeling unloved.

India and China are increasingly jostling for influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean and former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa‘s decision to let Chinese submarines dock in Colombo port and the real estate deal were very worrying for New Delhi.

via India seeks edge over China as Modi visits Sri Lanka | Reuters.

13/03/2015

India in pacts to develop infrastructure in Mauritius, Seychelles | Reuters

Curious: India not known for its own infrastructure is offering to help its neighbours!

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has secured agreements to develop islands in Mauritius and Seychelles in an early success for his drive to wrest back influence in the Indian Ocean from China.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the inaugural session of Re-Invest 2015, the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo, in New Delhi, February 15, 2015.  REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

China has invested millions of dollars in recent years building seaports and highways in countries stretching from the Maldives to Sri Lanka that lie on vital shipping lanes through which much of its energy supplies and trade passes.

India, alarmed at the prospect of China building a network of friendly ports in a “String of Pearls” across the Indian Ocean, has stepped up its diplomacy, offering a range of civil and military assistance.

On Wednesday, as Modi toured Mauritius, officials signed an agreement to upgrade sea and air links on the remote Agalega islands, offering India a foothold in an area hundreds of miles from its coast.”

via India in pacts to develop infrastructure in Mauritius, Seychelles | Reuters.

11/03/2015

India’s Millionaires Have Been Leaving the Country in Droves – India Real Time – WSJ

India may have been minting millionaires at an unprecedented rate over the past decade, but it has also seen many of its seven-figured-citizens escape to other countries.

The latest Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report–which looks at the spending habits of the rich, the superrich and the “I have my own Boeing but forgot where I parked it,” rich—estimates that more than 43,000 Indian millionaires left the country to settle elsewhere in the past 10 years. That is second only to China, which saw a private-plane drain of more than 76,000 people, according to estimates from property company Knight Frank and immigration consultancy Fragomen.

While Indians tended to take their railway cars full of rupees to other English-speaking countries, government restrictions have slowed the flow of Indian millionaire money in recent years, said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank

“High net-worth Indians are a big part of the prime market in places like London and that has been slightly undermined in the last two years by the tightening of capital controls (in India) making it much more difficult to export capital,” he said.

China lost the most rich migrants as 76,200 of its millionaires left to settle in places like Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.S. and Australia. After the two billion-person emerging markets, the biggest losers in terms of millionaire migrants were France, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Indonesia. You wouldn’t think the rich and famous would be so anxious to leave Europe but apparently high taxes on the high earners encouraged many to leave.

In terms of the countries that attracted the most millionaire migrants, the United Kingdom was the leader by a huge margin. Around 114,000 rich folks from elsewhere settled in the quaint island nation during the 10 years through 2014. It was followed by Singapore, which attracted more than 45,000 new, rich citizens, the U.S., which welcomed 42,000 elite expats and Australia, which became home to 22,000 rich newcomers. Finishing up the list of the seven most-popular countries for millionaires to escape to, were Hong Kong, Canada and United Arab Emirates.

Despite the exodus, many of the people Knight Frank has dubbed “ultra-high-net-worth individuals” remained in India.

Last year, Mumbai was home to the most, with 619 UHNWIs, who Knight Frank describes as people worth at least $30 million. Delhi was a distant second with only 157 as wealthy, followed by Bangalore with 75, Chennai with 49, Hyderabad with 39 and Ahmedabad with 20. Kolkata was not mentioned in the report.

via India’s Millionaires Have Been Leaving the Country in Droves – India Real Time – WSJ.

09/03/2015

Kashmir fight adds to hurdles for Modi’s reform push | Reuters

A ruckus over the release from prison of Masarat Alam Bhat, the man who led the most serious revolt in decades against the Indian military in Kashmir, is adding to mounting problems for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he tries to push economic reform through parliament.

Masarat Alam Bhat (2nd R), a Kashmiri separatist leader, speaks on his mobile phone at his residence in Srinagar March 9, 2015. REUTERS-Danish Ismail

The Lok Sabha was temporarily adjourned on Monday after opposition parties demanded to know why the separatist leader was released at the weekend by Kashmir’s state government, which Modi’s nationalist party supports.

“I am angered and condemn the release, just like other lawmakers,” Modi said in parliament. “I can assure you that my government was not informed about the decision by the state government and neither were we consulted.”

Modi swept to office ten months ago promising rapid economic transformation but disparate opposition parties have united to block his agenda, forcing the government to rely on executive orders called ordinances to pass unpopular policies.

With two weeks remaining of the current session of parliament before a recess, the government needs to win support for ordinances, including those raising the foreign direct investment limit in the insurance sector, or they will expire.

via Kashmir fight adds to hurdles for Modi’s reform push | Reuters.

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