Monday, May 3, 2010

Renault & Bajaj to roll out car cheaper than Nano

New Delhi, May 3: In a bid to destroy Tata Nano's stronghold in the Indian markets as the cheapest car, French auto major Renault and Bajaj Auto are set to roll out a car with a price tag of around Rs 1.10 lakh (USD 2,500).“In India, Renaultand Nissan are developing an ultra low cost vehicle with the Bajaj group, benefiting from its expertise in the light vehicles and the knowledge of the Indian market. We are aiming for a price of USD 2,500,” Renault President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said at the Annual General Meeting of the company on Friday, Apr 30.Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj affirmed that this was the price agreed on by both the companies.With this, the speculations on the pricing of the Ultra Low Cost (ULC) car comes to an end.It was reported earlier that the pricing factor is the what was leading to the delay in the project.The project was announced in 2008 and the car was, initially, scheduled to enter the markets in 2010. The launch of the car has been postponed to 2012.

Manipur not to allow Naga leader Muivah's visit

The Manipur government has decided not to allow Naga leader Thuingaleng Muivah's visit to the state fearing ethnic trouble in the northeastern state, police said in Imphal on Sunday."In view of the state government's decision, we would not allow him (Muivah) to visit the state," Manipur Director General of Police Y. Joykumar Singh said. Muivah, the general secretary of the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), proposed to visit his home place at Somdal village in northern Manipur's Ukhrul district May 3-10. He was scheduled to attend a public reception May 8 at Ukhrul district headquarters. The 75-year-old Muivah, a Tangkhul Naga from Manipur, was born in interior Somdal village, 100 km north of capital Imphal in Ukhrul district and had last visited his birth place in 1960. "His (Muivah) visit might escalate further ethnic troubles in the mixed populated areas adjacent to Nagaland," the state police chief said. The DGP admitted that the union home ministry earlier asked him to arrange security for the NSCN (IM) general secretary's Manipur visit. The Manipur cabinet chaired by Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh, however, decided not to allow the NSCN (IM) leader to visit the state's northern areas. "We have also communicated the government's decision to the prime minister and the union home Minister," Manipur Sports and Youth Affairs Minister and government spokesman N. Biren told reporters Saturday night. Manipur's seven Naga legislators have in a statement welcomed Muivah's visit to the state. It was not known so far if in view of the Manipur government's decision Muivah would call off the visit. The NSCN-IM, one of the oldest and most powerful of the about 30 rebel groups in India's northeast, earlier fought for an independent homeland for the Nagas. The demand was scaled down to a Greater Nagaland, which the NSCN(-M) proposed to be formed by merging Naga populated areas of adjoining states with Nagaland. The governments of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have rejected the demand for unification of Naga areas. The central government too has rejected the demand. The NSCN (IM), which is now holding fresh talks with the central government since March, entered into a ceasefire in August 1997.

Manipur to block Muivah visit

The Manipur government decided on Saturday to block the visit of the NSCN (IM) general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah, to his birthplace in Ukhrul district, as it “may disturb the peace and tranquility” in the state.Government spokesperson and sports minister N. Biren told newspersons here that Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had already been told about the cabinet decision.The Union home ministry had reportedly directed Manipur Police chief Yumnam Joykumar to arrange security for militant leader Muivah’s visit to the Naga-dominated Ukhrul district from May 3 to 10.NSCN (IM)’s has been demanding that the Naga-inhabited areas in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur be integrated into a greater Nagaland despite the respective state governments’ opposition.Asserting that the ceasefire pact signed between the Centre and the NSCN-IM in August 1997 was limited only to Nagaland and should not be extended to Manipur, Biren said the state government did not want a repeat of the uprising of 2001.On June 18, 2001, security forces opened fire on people protesting against the extension of ceasefire to Manipur, killing 18 people.Muivah wants to visit his native Somdal village, about 100 km north of Imphal, besides attending a public reception on May 8 at Ukhrul district headquarters, 84 km from here.Although seven Naga independent MLAs welcomed the visit, the United Committee Manipur (UCM), an umbrella organisation for protecting Manipur’s territorial integrity, said they would oppose any move to break up the state.“We are examining whether there is any hidden agenda,” Yumnamcha Dilipkumar, president of UCM said.