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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
Indian business 'needs level playing field'
Bajaj Auto advertisement
Bajaj faces tough competition from foreign rivals
The chairman of Indian auto giant Bajaj has called for a "level playing field" with foreign rivals through mandatory quarterly financial reporting.

Honda gets all my information through my quarterly reporting, but I get no information about this company

Rahul Bajaj
"What I'm telling my government is that at least if they have 100% subsidiaries here, they should comply with the disclosure requirements, which are the listing requirements, so that they are on a level playing field with me," Rahul Bajaj, of the Bajaj Group, told the BBC's World Business Report.

Mr Bajaj proposed that companies with an operating turnover of 1bn rupees (14m) and an asset base of 500m rupees should be listed.

A listing would require companies to issue shares to retail investors and publish quarterly reports.

Growing consumer demand in India for motorcycles over scooters has hurt Bajaj Auto, India's largest scooter maker, but benefited rival Hero Honda.

Foreign competition

"Honda Motorcycle and Scooter, which is 100% owned by Honda Japan, is my competitor and gets all my information through my quarterly reporting, but I get no information about this company," said Mr Bajaj.

"I'm wanting only the Indian information of a company."

Tougher competition is expected after the Indian government in March allowed the Japanese car giants Toyota and Suzuki to take a greater stake in Kirloskar Motor India and Maruti.

A parliamentary committee has already asked the government to ensure that foreign firms' subsidiaries do not de-list in India.

Bajaj results

On Wednesday, Bajaj Auto reported vehicle sales volumes had risen 15% in April from the previous year, led by motorcycles sales which jumped 65%.

The Pune-based firm makes scooters, motorcycles and three-wheelers such as motorised rickshaws and goods carriers.

Mr Bajaj has been chairman and managing director of Bajaj Auto since 1968 during which he has improved annual turnover of 72m rupees to 39bn in 1999.

Rahul Bajaj. Bajaj Group
"I'm wanting only the Indian information of a company."
See also:

15 Apr 02 | Business
Hero Honda's results in high gear
22 Mar 02 | Business
Japan to up Indian auto investment
24 Oct 01 | Business
Indian motorbike sales soar
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