Kochi: Consumer goods firm Marico Ltd, maker of Parachute coconut oil, has decided to help raise productivity of coconut palm in Kerala with a so-called cluster programme for farmers, as it faces a serious shortage of raw material in the state.
Company chairman and managing director Harsh C. Mariwala last week launched a cluster programme for coconut farmers in Malappuram in Kerala in association with the coconut development board, a government agency.
Under the cluster programme, all the coconut growers will form a group and receive aid from the coconut board as well as Marico.
Mariwala’s coconut oil manufacturing unit at Kanjikode in Kerala’s Palakkad district is forced to source dried coconuts, or copra, from Tamil Nadu to meet its raw material requirements, he said.
Israeli firms buy stake in Ludhiana mall project
Jerusalem: A joint venture of three Israeli property companies controlled by businessman Eliezer Fishman agreed to buy 50% stake in a shopping mall being developed in Ludhiana.
Mondon Investments Ltd, a joint venture of Jerusalem Economic Corp. (JEC), Industrial Buildings Corp. and Darban Investments Ltd, will pay the equivalent of 204 million shekels ($57 million) to buy the stake and invest in the mall’s construction, JEC said in a statement to the Tel Aviv stock exchange on Sunday.
The mall will contain 156,000 sq. m (1.7 million sq. ft) of floor space over six storeys, JEC said. The mall is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2009, it said.
Superbikes trip over registration delays
Mumbai: The Yamaha and Honda superbikes that had expected to roar into Mumbai are trawling the city’s transport offices for local clearances.
Mumbai’s regional transport offices, or RTOs, are yet to clear the European Commission Emission, or ECE, certificates these superbikes have. The offices are saying these bikes would need local roadworthiness certificates despite a Union government waiver last December for motorcycles with engines more powerful than 800cc.
Most motorcycles in India fall in the 100-150cc category.
Encouraged by the response in the country to the more powerful bikes, Indian subsidiaries of Yamaha Motor Co., Suzuki Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. Ltd and Italy’s Ducati Motor Holding SpA announced plans to launch 800cc plus motorcycles in India. The demand for such bikes is estimated at 500 a year.
Earlier this year, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd, the Indian arm of the Japanese two-wheeler maker, said it would introduce its CBR 1000 bike in India by the end of the fiscal 2009.
But the company is still awaiting clearances from the Mumbai RTOs for registration of its 1,000cc bike.
“We had applied for registrations at Haryana, Delhi and Mumbai.
While the bike has been registered in Delhi and Haryana, the Mumbai RTO has yet to clear the decks,” said Naresh Rattan, the company’s divisional manager of sales and marketing.
“There were some minor issues initially with the registration but it got sorted soon,” said Pankaj Dubey, divisional manager of sales and marketing in India for Yamaha Motors, which had imported the 1,000cc YZF-R1 bike to India last year.
A senior RTO official in Mumbai denied there were issues related to the registration of these bikes.
Ashish Chordia, chairman of Precision Motor India Pvt. Ltd, dealers for Ducati’s high-end sports bikes in the country, also denied any issues with registration at the Mumbai RTOs.
Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd, which plans to launch the Hayabusa superbikes in the country by the end of this year, is, however, prepared for possible delays.
“The Hayabusa has already been registered at several RTOs across the country and we have recently applied for it in Mumbai,” said Atul Gupta, vice-president of sales and marketing at Suzuki Motorcycle India.
The commerce ministry had in December issued a circular saying new motorcycles imported into the country would be exempt from local roadworthiness certificates if they comply with ECE regulations.
— Shally Seth