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June 14, 2002
1915 IST

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Britain to knight NRI Gulam Noon

Gulam Noon, one of the United Kingdom's leading non-resident Indian businessmen, will be knighted during the Queen's birthday honours on Saturday, official sources said on Friday.

Noon, whose Indian "ready meals" empire is worth an estimated 50 million, will be knighted for "services to industry".

Labour MP Alan Simpson has criticised the decision to knight the NRI, who has given 200,000 to the party since Tony Blair came to power. He said it will lead to the perception that Labour donors are being given a "fast track" to honours.

Noon is the chairman and managing director of Noon Products Limited, a family business specialising in frozen and chilled Indian meals and managing director of Bombay Halwa Limited, which specialises in Indian sweets and aviation catering.

Only two days ago he joined the board of Care International UK, a leading humanitarian organisation.

Noon began his career in Mumbai at the age of 17 and later moved to the UK where his businesses have grown into some of the most successful companies in the sector.

Noon is on the board of Cancer Research UK, the British Food Trust, Maimonides Foundation, the Memorial Gates Trust and Arpana Charitable Trust.

Noon founded the Noon Foundation, with a major donation of 4 million from his personal assets in 1955.

The foundation has given grants to a range of multi-faith and multi-cultural projects in the UK and India.

PTI

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