Friday, January 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

Target 200 pc IT growth, NRIs tell PM
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 — The government will take all measures to replicate the highly developed information technology industry of Silicon Valley, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee assured visiting NRI entrepreneurs from the USA who suggested India should target over 200 per cent growth in the IT sector.

General Motors Corp. and Honda Motor Co., Ltd., executives pose at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, on Wednesday,to celebrate their announcement regarding a powertrain cross-supply arrangement as the first step in a new relationship. — AP/PTI



EARLIER STORIES
 

New models ignite middle class passions
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 — Automobile majors competing with one another have unveiled more than two dozen new versions at the Auto Expo 2000 here to catch the imagination, sensitivity and pocket of the Indian consumers.

HUDCO to develop railway property
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 — An MoU to develop Railway land in major cities was signed here today by Mr V. Suresh, Chairman and Managing Director, HUDCO, and Mr H.K. Jaggi, Railways Executive Director, Land Management.

Packards launches millennium watch
CHANDIGARH, Jan 13 — Packards, a leading retail watch outlet of Titan, Timex and other brands, launched a special millennium 2000 watch here today.

Bill to privatise SEBs
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 — The government proposes to bring in a Bill in the Budget session of Parliament to facilitate unbundling of State Electricity Boards and step up their corporatisation and privatisation, a top official said here today.

Hero Honda net swells by 44 pc
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 — Hero Honda has earned a net profit of 48.51 crore during the third quarter of this fiscal, up by around 44 per cent compared to Rs 33.76 crore during the previous Q3.

‘Amitabh, bare assets’
MUMBAI, Jan 13 — The debt recovery tribunal today rejected a petition filed by Amitabh Bachchan corporation Ltd and three others seeking a review of its earlier order allowing Canara Bank to proceed against mega star Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya who had guaranteed repayment of Rs 10 crore credit facilities availed by ABCL in 1996.Top


Target 200 pc IT growth, NRIs tell PM

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (PTI) — The government will take all measures to replicate the highly developed information technology industry of Silicon Valley, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee assured visiting NRI entrepreneurs from the USA who suggested India should target over 200 per cent growth in the IT sector.

‘‘The entire government — indeed, the entire country — has now adopted promotion of IT as its strategic goal,’’ Vajpayee told the visiting IT experts and said: ‘‘we heartily welcome your participation in this endeavour.’’

Over 15 successful entrepreneurs for who have made a fortune in the IT sector met the Prime Minister at his residence to pledge their complete support to India’s endeavour to become an ‘‘IT superpower’’.

The delegation, led by Kanwal Rekhi, President, the Indus Entrepreneurs, also urged Vajpayee to increase the growth target of IT industry to over 200 per cent annually from 10 to 20 per cent now and liberalise norms for venture capital funds to finance IT start-ups for achieving this.

The delegation, which also included Dr Suhas Patil, Sabeer Bhatia, and Chandrasekhar, made various suggestions for improving the telecom infrastructure in India, easing norms to attract venture capital, and using expertise of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to replicate the model in the country.

Describing the visiting IT entrepreneurs as ‘‘angel investors’’ Vajpayee said: ‘‘Your suggestions and ideas on the growth of venture capital in India as a tool to promote high-tech and high-value investment are welcome.’’

Vajpayee said that the Ministry of Information Technology has signed an agreement with Stanford University to foster institutional cooperation between the two.

‘‘This cooperation will be a key enabler in forging interaction between industry, academicia, financial professionals and the Government of India and the USA,’’ he said.

On the rapid growth of the IT industry in the country, Vajpayee said: ‘‘Infotech is all about new ideas, it is also about the speed with which these ideas are converted into new products and services’’.

India must aim at accelerating both the creation of intellectual capital and transforming itself into a world-class enterprise.Top



 

New models ignite middle class passions
From Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 — Automobile majors competing with one another have unveiled more than two dozen new versions at the Auto Expo 2000 here to catch the imagination, sensitivity and pocket of the Indian consumers.

From snazzy sports car C2 of Suzuki to family sedan Qualis of Toyota to luxurious Passat of Volkswagen to eco-friendly CNG driven Cielo of Daewoo are all there to tap the auto market in the country.

While Telco has lifted the veil on its 1900 cc luxury sedan Magna, German car Volkswagen today announced its intention to launch Passat in India.The Passat would be positioned in the luxury segment in the same category as Mercedes E-Class.Czech car major Skoda’s Octavia would be priced in the Rs 9 lakh category.

In the two-wheeler segment, TVS-Suzuki today unveiled Suzuki Fiero its premier 4-stroke motorcycle in India.The motorcycle, which is expected to be rolled out in April 2000, would be priced at less than Rs 50,000.

Going by the models on display at the “Auto Expo 2000”, it appears that the Indian consumer would soon have the option of “make your own car” in the near future.

Leading international manufacturers including General Motors, Toyota, Fiat, Daewoo, Hyundai and the country’s own Maruti have showcased a slew of new models to suit the requirements and budgets of different categories of consumers in the country.

From the luxury car segment to the economy car model,the auto giants have used the opportunity to test the waters of the Indian market before actually rolling out different vehicles from their stables.

The rise in the disposable incomes of Indian middle-class has given enough indications to auto-manufacturers about the potential of the market here,if the 27 big names in the sector participating in the fair are any indication.

Apart from at least 23 new vehicle launches from companies like Bajaj,Maruti, Kinetic Engineering, Mercedes, Tata, Toyota and Volvo, more than 25 new models are on display from various manufacturers.

With “mid-size” segment showing signs of saturation, manufacturers seems to be placing their bet on the low end of the “ mid-size” segment.

For the country’s leading automobile manufacturer, Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) the Auto Expo will be a test case where it will seek to establish its dominance in the market.

The company is leaving no stone unturned and its display profile includes several contemporary models developed by its partner Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) of Japan.

MUL, which had lost considerable time in introducing new models due to its Japanese partner’s difference with the erstwhile UF Government has shifted into top gear to make up for the lost time.

The auto show has generated considerable excitement in the automobile market, as apart from MUL,Korean giant Daewoo and Hyundai,Japan’s Toyota, and General Motors would make a pitch for a share of the Indian market.

MUL is understood to use the opportunity to test the waters for its various forthcoming models planned for launch during this calendar year including the station wagon and market diesel version of its latest offering Baleno.The company is also expecting to have a fair measure about the market potential for CNG driven Wagon-R and is also displaying Suzuki C2, a two seater sports car developed by SMC.

The other models on display by MUL include the Grand Vitara, the Suzuki Every Electric Vehicle,the Omni XL among others.

South Korean automobile giant, Daewoo Motors has showcased a limited edition of Matiz as a millennium car.The company unveiled CNG driven version of the mid-sized Cielo.In addition, the Daewoo Motors also displayed Nubira and Leganza models in the mid- size segment in the expo.Top



 

HUDCO to develop railway property
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 — An MoU to develop Railway land in major cities was signed here today by Mr V. Suresh, Chairman and Managing Director, HUDCO, and Mr H.K. Jaggi, Railways Executive Director, Land Management.

The Railways own about 4.2 lakh hectares of land.

The MoU provides for property development at Andheri, Borivli, Kalyan, Thane, Secunderabad Hyderabad, Sealdah, Howrah, Chennai Central and Calcutta, besides New Delhi railway station.

The Union Minister for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, suggested that the partnership could be extended to take up large scale housing programme for Railway employees.Top


 

Packards launches millennium watch
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 13 — Packards, a leading retail watch outlet of Titan, Timex and other brands, launched a special millennium 2000 watch here today.

Managing partner Vinod Arora told media persons that the wrist watch has features like a specially inscribed 2000 millennium logo. The gold-plated, water-protected watch will be sold on a no-profit basis. The watch will also be presented to the Governor of Punjab and other distinguished personalities.

About the watch market, Mr Arora said that the penetration level is very low — 21 watches per 1000 — compared to China’s 60 per 1,000 and the USA’s 200 watches per 1,000. Titan with a 48 per cent market share is the undisputed market leader in the organised watch market. HMT comes second.Top


 

Bill to privatise SEBs

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (PTI) — The government proposes to bring in a Bill in the Budget session of Parliament to facilitate unbundling of State Electricity Boards and step up their corporatisation and privatisation, a top official said here today.

‘‘We propose to introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament to facilitate State Governments to corporatise and privatise the state electricity boards and enable them to take major decisions on their own,’’ power secretary V.K. Pandit said addressing a seminar organised by FICCI.

The Bill is in an advanced stage of preparation, Pandit said adding the legislation would establish a wholesale market for power.

Pandit said electricity distribution reforms were at the top of the agenda of the Ministry. The specific objective of power sector reforms was to ensure that energy requirements were met and consumers provided with a reliable, high quality and cost effective electricity supply.

He said that should be done by ‘‘credit-worthy and commercially operated power utilities, functioning in a competitive and appropriately regulated power market with significant private ownership and participation.’’Top


 

Hero Honda net swells by 44 pc

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (UNI) — Hero Honda has earned a net profit of 48.51 crore during the third quarter of this fiscal, up by around 44 per cent compared to Rs 33.76 crore during the previous Q3.

The company registered a turnover of Rs 633 crore during the period by selling 1,98,541 motorcycles.

This represents 43 per cent and 55 per cent growth in turnover and sales respectively over the corresponding period of the last financial year.

For the nine month period, the company has sold 5,36,867 motorcycles, which is more than the whole of last year’s sale at 5,30,545 units. Turnover during the period stood at Rs 1665 crore, up by 50 per cent over the last year’s nine-month period.

Vashisti Detergents: Vashisti Detergents Ltd (VDL) has reported a Rs 1.40 crore net profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 1999, compared to Rs 1.16 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Net profit for the first nine months is Rs 4.07 crore as against Rs 3.67 crore during April-December 1998.

The gross sales for the third quarter amounted to Rs 57 crore, 7 per cent higher than in the same quarter last year. — PTITop


 

‘Amitabh, bare assets’

MUMBAI, Jan 13 (PTI) — The debt recovery tribunal today rejected a petition filed by Amitabh Bachchan corporation Ltd (ABCL) and three others seeking a review of its earlier order allowing Canara Bank to proceed against mega star Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya who had guaranteed repayment of Rs 10 crore credit facilities availed by ABCL in 1996.

After hearing both sides, Presiding officer, VS Deshmukh upheld his order of November 11 last in which he had allowed proceedings against all the guarantors —Amitabh, Jaya and Tamsy investment Ltd (ABCL’s group company) — who had been asked to file affidavits declaring their assets.

Refusing to grant a stay on its November 11 order, the tribunal once again directed the guarantors today to file by February 14 next written statements declaring their assets as well as defence.

“if the defendent one (ABCL) was a sick company and had gone before the board for industrial and financial reconstruction (BIFR) there was no bar or restriction before other defendants (guarantors) from filing written statements”, the presiding officer noted in a speaking order.

“In my opinion, the petition filed by ABCL is nothing but to prolong the matter for one or the other reason”, he remarked. Top


 
BIZ BRIEFS

Bullion
Gold Std. Rs 4410
Gold 22-Ct Rs 4260
Silver Ready Rs 7815
Silver delivery Rs 7840

Forex
US $ Rs 43.52/53
Stg Rs 71.69/71
Euro Rs 44.84/86
Yen (100) Rs 41.72/14

Gamma Infoway
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (TNS) — Gamma Infoway Exalt Ltd has introduced IT packages for business organisations. The products include e-Xalt 2000 trading and e-Xalt 2000 Enterprise; e-Books Millennium; and e-SCM Supply Chain Management.

E-com course
New Delhi, Jan 13 (TNS) — IEC Software Ltd has launched a specialised training programme in e-commerce based on the Linux operating system.

Jaldi.com
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (UNI) — Jaldi.com, an online shopping and finance portal promoted by KLG System and Satin Credit Care Network was launched here today.

SBI branch
KURUKSHETRA, Jan 13 (FOC) — The Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University Dr M.L. Ranga today inaugurated the computerisation of the university branch of the SBI.

Global card
CHANDIGARH, Jan 13 (TNS) — ANZ Grindlays Bank, today announced the launch of its Visa Global Credit Card as a special edition Olympic Games Commemorative Card.

ISO-9001
CHANDIGARH, Jan 13 (TNS) — EMCO Switchgears Pvt Ltd has been awarded ISO - 9001 certification by Indian Register Quality System accredited to the Dutch Council of Accredition.Top



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