Jet Airways was grounded on Tuesday. More than 400 of the airline’s pilots went on sick leave, to protest the sacking of two of their colleagues. The strike left some 200 flights grounded and along with 13,000 passengers. The strike continued on Wednesday and Thursday forcing thousands of passengers to make other arrangements. Ticket prices skyrocketed up to three times the normal, as other airlines profited from Jet’s misfortune. Later on Thursday and Friday, the airline’s management met the labour commissioner and started talks with the pilots.
The auto industry posted impressive sales figures for the month of August. Sales of light vehicles shot up 9.1% to 20,534 units, while sales of trucks were up 4% to 17,345 units. The increased truck sales are particularly good news for the industry because analysts see it as a sign of economic recovery.
India’s auto exports are also up and they’re racing past China’s. The country’s total auto sales overseas between January and July went up to nearly 230,000 units while in China they fell to about 165,000 units. India’s car market is less than one-fifth that of China’s.
Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh says both Arcelor Mittal and Posco could start building steel factories worth a total of $32 billion in India next year. Both foreign and domestic steel companies are rushing to build factories to meet the growing demand from the country’s auto and infrastructure companies.
Anil Ambani’s RNRL has told the Supreme Court the government had no role in determining the price of gas when the Ambani brothers came to an agreement on gas supplies in 2005. The move was part of RNRL’s reply to a petition that Mukesh Ambani’s RIL filed in the apex court. RNRL is locked in a dispute with RIL over the price and supply of natural gas.
A report from McKinsey says that if India wants to control its greenhouse gas emissions, it will have to shell out between 1.8 and 2.3% of its GDP for the next twenty years. The study says that India’s emissions will rise from about 1.6 billion tons CO2 equivalent in 2005 to between 5 and 6.5 billion tons by 2030.
An empowered group of ministers has approved a decision by the Telecom Commission to increase spectrum charges. That means telecom companies with only 3G spectrum will now have to pay 3% of their adjusted gross revenue to the government.
Kuwait’s Zain Telecom has approached BSNL and MTNL with an offer to buy a controlling stake in the company worth $14 billion. Zain is Kuwait’s biggest telecom operator.
Bharti wants $5 billion to buy a stake in MTN, but borrowing the money could be expensive for the company, because the interest rates it is being offered are up to 3.2 percentage points more than the Libor rate.
Finance secretary Ashok Chawla says that the government could reduce the number of bonds it sells this year to match a 10% cut in the government’s non-plan expenditure totaling some Rs690,000 crore.
Standard and Poor’s economist Subir Gokarn says central banks must maintain low interest rates until spending reach levels that can sustain economic growth.
Inflation fell in the week ending the 29 August, with the wholesale price index dropping 0.12%, the smallest fall in 13 weeks.
Men’s fashion has come of age. The Men’s Fashion Week kicked off on Friday with India’s lead designers showing off their ensembles. Menswear accounts for about 80% of brand name sales in India, but Men’s Fashion Week is the first Indian fashion show dedicated exclusively to men.