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India In-Focus — Shares firm; India considers curbing fridge imports; Amul urges PM to delay plastic straw ban
MUMBAI: A rally in energy and technology stocks propelled Indian shares to a firmer finish on Thursday, ending a four-session losing streak driven by worries around aggressive policy tightening by global central banks.
Notching their best session since the turn of the month, the NSE Nifty 50 index settled 0.74 percent higher at 16,478.10 and the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.78 percent to 55,320.28.
India considers curbing fridge imports
India is considering restricting imports of refrigerators to promote local manufacturing, two industry sources told Reuters on Thursday, potentially freezing out shipments from Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. in the $5 billion market.
The sources, who declined to be named as the talks were private, said the government was considering mandating that importers seek a license from the authorities, replacing the existing free-import regime.
That could be followed by a ban on imports of refrigerators with refrigerant already added, to create opportunities for value-added operations in India, said one of the sources, who has direct knowledge of the government’s discussions.
The source said a decision could come within a month, adding: “The thrust is to support all those who are manufacturing in India rather than those bringing them into India.”
The Indian trade ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople for Samsung and LG also did not respond immediately.
Amul urges government to delay plastic straw ban
India’s biggest dairy group Amul has written to the government urging it to delay a planned ban on tiny plastic straws, saying the move will have a “negative impact” on farmers and milk consumption in the world’s biggest producer of the commodity.
Amul made its appeal in a letter reviewed by Reuters, dated May 28, that was sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office ahead of a July 1 ban on straws packaged with small packs of juices and dairy products, a market estimated by an industry body to be worth $790 million. Amul sells billions of small dairy cartons with plastic straws attached every year.
The decision has spooked Amul and global drinks majors including PepsiCo. Inc. and Coca-Cola, especially after the government declined to change its stance and asked companies to switch to alternative straws, Reuters previously reported.
(With input from Reuters)
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