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Malaysian airline tycoon Tony Fernandes applies for Special Indian Citizenship

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Malaysia: Malaysian airline tycoon Tony Fernandes said he applied for a special form of Indian citizenship that would allow him to evade aviation rules restricting foreign ownership in India.

By becoming an “Overseas Citizen of India” (OCI), the AirAsia chief executive may be able to wholly acquire and fully control the airline’s Indian subsidiary, Bloomberg reported.

AirAsia India is a three-way joint venture between AirAsia, the Tata Group and a private investor, with the Malaysian group currently owning a 49 per cent stake.

Indian aviation rules that foreigners or foreign companies can only have up to a 49 per cent stake in local airlines, prompting a number of domestic Indian carriers to raise concerns that AirAsia India is foreign-controlled.

Mr Fernandes, whose parents are from India, told reporters in Hyderabad that he had submitted his application last week.

Mr Fernandes’ announcement comes days after news emerged that as many as 54,000 Malaysians have renounced their citizenship since 2010.

But according to the Indian publication The Economic Times, the Overseas Citizen of India status, which is open to people who have Indian origin roots, does not amount to dual nationality or dual citizenship.

Mr Fernandes is credited with turning around AirAsia, which was heavily in debt when he bought it for RM1 (S$0.34) in 2001.

Today, it has more than 200 planes operated by eight carriers in five countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and India, The Straits Times reported recently.

Mr Fernandes also founded a Formula One team and is majority owner of English football club Queens Park Rangers.

With a net worth of US$230 million (S$312 million), he was ranked 45 in Forbes’ list of the 50 richest Malaysians in 2016. In 2015, he was also included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

(The article was first published in malaysia-chronicle.com)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)