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Apple begins iPhone XR production in India




New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) In a big impetus for its India manufacturing dream, Apple has started production of its highly successful iPhone XR in the country.

Multiple sources confirmed to IANS on Monday that the production of iPhone XR, that was launched last year but is still flying off the shelves, is up and running at Apple supplier Foxconn’s facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai.

Riding on heavy promotional offers on iPhone XR, Apple regained top position in the premium smartphone segment in India in the second quarter (Q2) this year.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), in the premium ($500 or Rs 35,000 and above) segment, Apple bettered Samsung for the leadership position with an overall share of 41.2 per cent in 2Q19.

The iPhone XR demand further saw an uplift after the price drop and aided by heavy promotional activities in the ongoing festive season.

In a clear signal that India is Apple’s next growth market, Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer Foxconn’s Chairman Terry Gou recently said the company would begin mass production of iPhones in India this year.

Gou said the move “will get Foxconn more deeply involved in the development of the country’s smartphone industry” which currently has over 450 million smartphone users.

Foxconn is already expanding its manufacturing operations in India.

“To start with, it makes sense for Apple to localise assembling of models that have the potential to scale up and then slowly expand it to entire portfolio,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, told IANS recently.

The iPhone XR is available for Rs 44,900 online, with some great buy back and cash back offers.

Apple iPhone shipments grew 19 percent (YoY) in India in its last reported quarter.

Apple in August said it looks forward to welcoming customers at its first branded retail store in India soon.

“We love our customers in India and we’re eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy,” Apple said.


Mega disinvestment: BPCL, SCI, CONCOR to be privatised




Centre proposes Disinvestment

New Delhi, Nov 20 : Brining an end to months of anticipation over the government lowering its stake in major public sector undertakings (PSU), the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved strategic disinvestment in five PSUs.

Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Centre would strategically disinvest Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), THDC India Ltd and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO).

The government will also give up the management control in these companies, Sitharaman said.

The strategic sale of BPCL, however, would exclude the oil refiner’s 61 per cent stake in Numaligarh Refinery Ltd in Assam, Sitharaman told reports.

“Numaligarh will be carved out from BPCL before its disinvestment and would retain its PSU character. The company can be taken over by other CPSE in the oil and gas sector under consolidation,” she said.

At current share price, government’s 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL is worth around Rs 60,000 crore. This is likely to help the government meet its higher disinvestment target of Rs 1,05,000 crore for the financial year 2019-2020.

Two of the PSUs under the strategic disinvestment plan, THDC and NEEPCO, will be taken over by another state-run power major, NTPC.

In another decision, the Finance Minister said the government would lower its stake below 51 per cent in select PSUs while retaining their management control. The decision to bring down Centre’s stake will be taken on a case-to-case basis, she said.

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Cabinet approves strategic disinvestment of BPCL




Nirmala Sitharaman

Delhi: Cabinet has approved strategic disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, of Govt of India share holding of 53.29% along with transfer of certain management control.This is excluding BPCL’s equity share holding of 61% stake in Numaligarh Refinery says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.


  • Cabinet approves strategic disinvestment along with management control in Concor, THDCIL.
  • Numaligarh Refinery Ltd to be carved out of BPCL disinvestment.
  • Government to give up management control in the 5 PSUs.
  • Cabinet clears strategic disinvestment of 5 CPSEs.
  • NTPC to also buy govt stake in North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO).
  • Govt to lower stake below 51% in select PSUs, retaining mgmt control.
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Telcos have to pay Rs 1.47 lakh cr as AGR dues; no waiver: Govt




Mobile tower

New Delhi, Nov 20 : Indian telecom operators owe the government nearly Rs 1.47 lakh crore in licence fee (LF) and spectrum usage charges (SUC) and there is no consideration for a waiver, the Communications Ministry told Parliament on Wednesday.

Of the total amount, the licence fee comes to Rs 92,642 crore as of July this year, while SUC comes to Rs 55,054 crore as of October-end this year.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea hold the majority of the dues. For Bharti Airtel, dues are around Rs 35,586 crore — Rs 21,682 crore as LF and Rs 13,904 crore as SUC excluding Tata Teleservices and Telenor — while for Vodafone Idea they amount to Rs 53,038 crore, of which Rs 28,309 crore is LF and Rs 24,730 in SUC.

“The Supreme Court upheld the definition of ‘gross revenue’ and ‘adjusted gross revenue’ as enumerated in the Licence Agreement. The court has directed to make the payments of due amounts within three months and report the compliance,” the ministry said in response to two questions in Lok Sabha, related to payment of dues and penalties.

“These amounts (licence fee) are provisional and subject to revision in light of the Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment dated 24.10.2019,” the ministry added, indicating that the total dues could be higher than the Rs 1.47 lakh crore figure.

On the question of whether the government has proposed to provide a waiver for penalties and interest on the non-payment of license fee on AGRs by carriers and whether the government is considering to extend the time limit for the payment of licence fee, penalty, interest and other dues, the ministry said: “No such proposal is under consideration of the government as on date.”

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