CBI India Update August 2018
Read all about Prime Minister Modi’s Independence Day message and BT’s new cyber security centre in India in this month’s India Update.
As India was poised to celebrate its 71st Independence Day on 15 August 2018, the mood was sombre with reports of massive devastation and human misery following unprecedented rainfall and flooding in various parts of the southern Indian state of Kerala. The state government’s preliminary findings cite total losses worth £ 2.15 billion (Rs 19,512 crore). Automobile, IT and rubber sectors are believed to be worst hit. Our members in India may wish to contribute to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.
Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day message announced a manned India space mission in 2022, a new agricultural export policy, more details of the Ayushman Bharat Healthcare Scheme (popularly known as Modicare) and the permanent commissioning of women in the armed forces. Read the full text of his hour-long speech.
In the UK this month, the CBI has come out strongly in support of the UK government’s new export strategy which sets out an ambitious target of making exports 35% of the UK GDP. Read the message from the CBI International Director Benjamin Digby.
In a significant update, the Manchester -India Partnership resulted in Indian airline Jet Airways starting a direct flight to Manchester. Jet Airways has announced it will start the service in November this year. Dr Liam Fox, SoS, International trade stated that “more than a hundred Indian companies are based in the North West alone and this route will enhance trade worth £18bn between India and UK.”
Meanwhile in the South Asian neighbourhood, renowned ex- cricketer Mr Imran Khan took over as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan leading a coalition government. His win spelt an end to years of dynastic party rule. He has a daunting task ahead to rebuild a fractured economy. Read more.
Some more highlights of the month
- Drug firms ask govt to ease price control - Against a backdrop of 20%-90% hike in prices of raw materials, pharmaceutical companies have approached the government to raise the ceiling prices of drugs under price control, at least temporarily. If the government yields to the drug makers’ demands, it would be a rare move under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) of 2013. Read more.
- Indian government imposes standard environment clearing conditions for 25 sectors - The government has imposed standard conditions for 25 sectors seeking environment clearance (EC) for expansion of existing projects or new projects to bring uniformity on stipulated terms and conditions across the projects and sectors. The sectors include iron, steel, cement, coal, petroleum refineries industry, paper and pulp industries, hydro-electric projects, industrial estates, among others.
- BT opens its new global cyber security centre - BT’s new Cyber Security Operations Centre (Cyber SOC) in Gurugram was inaugurated by Sir Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India. Using a range of advanced cyber security tools, and through partnerships with key suppliers, the Cyber SOC will monitor threats against BT’s own assets and its customers’ networks on a 24/7 basis. BT’s cyber security specialists will be able to detect, analyze and mitigate cyber threats in real-time, working closely with incident response teams to ensure that issues are addressed as soon as they are discovered. Read more.
- Tata Sons to inject £ 138 million to Tata Capital - Tata Sons plan to infuse as much as £138 million to Tata Capital so that its subsidiaries could increase their lending capacities, which is a key priority area for the group. Read more.
- Apple to hire 5,000 people in India - Apple plans to scale up its hiring to 5000 people in its Hyderabad development centre. Read more.
- Amazon to pick up stake in Indian retail major - Amazon is believed to be in advanced negotiations to pick up between 12%-15% stake in Indian retail major Future Group with an investment of around £ 545 million. Read more.
On the radar
- Changing times in India - India is changing and how! A recent survey by the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India shines a torch on several positive trends in the market. TV viewership has grown 7.2% between 2016 and 2017, number of toilets in Indian homes have grown by 13% during the same period. Read more about jump in numbers of homes with clean cooking gas, rise in educated people and working women in India.