McDonald’s plan for India

NEW DELHI: US-based global fast food giant McDonald’s will expand its operations in India ‘very aggressively’ in response to a growing fast food culture in its cities and towns. The world’s largest food chain has also decided to explore new markets for exporting its spicy India-specific recipes, said Amit Jatia, managing director of McDonald’s India. — HNS

Urge to expedite reforms

NEW DELHI: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has urged the government to expedite reforms in the country’s vast agriculture sector to boost production. In an economic action plan submitted to prime minister Manmohan Singh by FICCI president Yogendra Modi, they focused on the need for rejuvenating the rural sector, said a FICCI statement issued on Sunday. — HNS

SAIL posts record profit

Raipur: Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)’s Bhilai plant has posted a net profit of $425.64 million for 2003-04, a record 163 per cent jump over its achievements in the previous fiscal. The plant posted cash profits of $481.16 million before interest, according to results announced on Saturday. It registered a turnover of $1.94 billion with 36 per cent growth in the financial year ended on March 31. — HNS

Italy bid farewell to Agnelli

TURIN: Italian political and business leaders paid their last respects to Umberto Agnelli, the charismatic Fiat chairman, on Saturday in the industrial conglomerate’s northern home city of Turin. Agnelli, whose grandfather founded the firm in 1899, died on Thursday at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer at home here. — AFP

AI, IA to be strengthened

MUMBAI: Indian civil aviation minister Praful Patel said on Sunday that his first priority will be to strengthen Air-India and Indian Airlines. Addressing the media on his first visit to Mumbai after taking over as minister, he said, “The new government shall look at ways to expand the civil aviation sector.” — HNS