Posts tagged ‘Goa’

31/10/2016

The Economist explains: Why some Indians want to boycott Chinese goods | The Economist

ON OCTOBER 30th India celebrates Diwali, the most important festival in the Hindu calendar. Over five days, millions of lamps and candles will be placed on doorsteps and rooftops; prayers will be offered to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity; and fireworks will go off in the skies over the streets of nearly every town and village. A festival that celebrates the victory of light over darkness, Diwali has in recent years brightened the mood of Chinese exporters as well: many Indian households favour cheaper, electric decorations made in China over the traditional earthen diyas (pictured).

But this year’s edition could take a dark turn. The country’s noisy social media are cluttered with posts calling for Indians to shun Chinese goods. A fake letter championing the boycott, ostensibly signed Narendra Modi, the prime minister, has gone viral. Politicians from India’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have endorsed the cause. What is going on?

The economic roots of the boycott are not new. China is India’s largest trading partner, with $71bn worth of goods exchanged between them in the past financial year. But China is also the nation with which India has its largest trade deficit, an imbalance that rose 9% to $53bn in 2015-2016. In contrast, China’s trade surplus with America reached $367bn in 2015. What the deficit is made of matters most. China’s light-industry goods compete directly and with overwhelming success against India’s small industries, the lifeline of its manufacturing sector and a reservoir of jobs. So India exports mostly raw materials to its neighbour. That has the government worried: of the 572 anti-dumping measures India took between 1995 and 2015, 146 were aimed at Chinese-made goods. The “Make in India” campaign, which has been championed by Mr Modi and sees foreign investment as crucial to boosting his country’s manufacturing power, has been careful not to advocate protectionism. Yet in a country where economic boycotts were first popularised as a non-violent strategy to combat British rule, such appeals carry emotional and historical heft. Geopolitics provided the spark for the current call. India has long been trying to get Masood Azhar, the boss of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a Pakistan-based jihadist group, listed as a terrorist by the United Nations. India suspects JeM of carrying out the January attack on an air-force base in Punjab, which killed eight Indians, including one civilian. JeM is also the alleged perpetrator of last month’s massacre at the Kashmiri garrison of Uri, in which 19 soldiers were killed (though another group claimed responsiblity). Yet twice this year, China used its Security Council veto to block Mr Azhar’s addition to the UN sanctions list. The move underscored Beijing’s all-weather support for the Pakistani establishment, elements of which India suspects of harbouring Mr Azhar. Some Indians don’t understand why they should have to trade with a nation working against their interests. This perception of China was compounded by its decision in June to oppose India’s accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a 48-nation body that governs the global nuclear trade.

Yet calls for a boycott of Chinese-made goods are unlikely to have much effect. Both India and China are members of the World Trade Organisation, which forbids arbitrary bans on foreign goods. India’s commerce minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, recognised as much earlier this month when she said blocking imports was not a feasible option. A BJP leader deleted his tweets, blaming staff for the text; the opposition is silent on the issue. Nor is the wider business community likely to embrace the cause. Traders and industrialists, who have come to rely heavily on Chinese-made merchandise and machinery, form powerful lobbies. Yet with Mr Modi’s government promoting an increasingly assertive brand of nationalism, anger over China’s snubs will not easily go away. Expect further diplomatic fireworks.

Source: The Economist explains: Why some Indians want to boycott Chinese goods | The Economist

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13/06/2014

Can Asia’s Biggest Low-Fare Airline, AirAsia, Make Money in India? – Businessweek

After successfully building the largest low-cost airline in Southeast Asia, AirAsia’s (AIRA:MK) chief executive, Tony Fernandes, is taking on one of his biggest challenges yet: Making money in a country with some of the highest operating costs in Asia. Today, AirAsia India, a joint venture with Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace, began flying in India, where a crowded market and high costs have pushed several major carriers into the red. Because of high jet fuel taxes and airport charges, operating an airline in India can cost as much as 60 percent more than in nearby countries, KPMG India partner Amber Dubey said on Bloomberg Television today.

An AirAsia India Airbus A320 takes off as it embarks on the carrier's inaugural domestic flight to Goa from the Kempe Gowda International Airport in Bangalore on June 12

But with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspiring confidence that things will finally change for the better in India, Fernandes “is very optimistic,” he told Bloomberg Television today. “State governments are very aviation friendly at the moment; there is a strong national government that has put tourism at the top of its agenda,” he said. “It’s all about the timing.” AirAsia is starting small in India, with only two planes, although Fernandes says the plan is scale up to six. At that level, “we are very confident of breaking even,” he said.

That won’t be easy. While India has several weak incumbents, such as Jet Airways (JETIN:IN) and SpiceJet (SJET:IN), the country is also home to IndiGo, the biggest domestic carrier by market share. IndiGo has plans to more than double its fleet to 150 planes by 2023, its president, Aditya Ghosh, told Bloomberg News in September. It has greeted AirAsia’s arrival by introducing group discounts of up to 25 percent and offering flights between Bangalore and Goa for one single rupee. With a fare war already under way, “no way can anyone make profits,” KPMG’s Dubey told Bloomberg Television today.

via Can Asia’s Biggest Low-Fare Airline, AirAsia, Make Money in India? – Businessweek.

06/03/2014

Coal India plans to set up power plant in 2015/16 | Reuters

The company has often said its output would be 300 million tonnes more than the current figure of about 475 million given enough rail tracks to carry the fuel from new and remote mines.

Insufficient connectivity is one of the reasons the company has lagged output targets for more than six straight years – leading to shortages at power producers and crippling outages.

“The country either needs coal or power,” said CB Sood, an executive director at the company. “If we are not able to evacuate coal, we should set up pit-head power plants.”

Speaking on the sidelines of a coal conference in the resort state of Goa, Sood said the company was seeking a joint venture partner to set up the plant.

via Coal India plans to set up power plant in 2015/16 | Reuters.

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