Saturday, January 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S
Miss India Lara Dutta displays gold jewellery at a showroom in Mumbai on Friday as Mumbai celebrates the gold festival where 25 kg gold is to be won. — PTI
Miss India Lara Dutta displays jewellery at a showroom in Mumbai as the city celebrates gold festival . — PTI
He sells water to Americans
CHANDIGARH : Thirty years ago he started as an LIC officer at Nagpur with Rs 600 a month salary. Today Dr Dadi Balsara runs a business empire in 63 countries with US $ 7 billion turnover. His personal assets valued at $ 1.8 billion make him one of the richest Indians.

Shanta hints at higher PDS rations
CHANDIGARH, January 28 — The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Mr Shanta Kumar, has said that the Central Government is considering a policy to involve private parties for construction of godowns for storing grains. The policy, which is being envisaged, will also enable the private parties to handle grains, including its movement inside the country, he said.

 DAVOS : Mike Moore, right,  director general of the World Trade Organisation,  participates in a debate on globalization and free trade with Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Friday Jan. 28 , 2000. The assembled participants have gathered in this Swiss ski resort to debate economics in the 21st century. AP/PTI
Mike Moore, right, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, participates in a debate on globalisation and free trade with Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday. The assembled participants have gathered in this Swiss ski resort to debate economics in the 21st century. AP/PTI



EARLIER STORIES
 

Japanese offer to invest in IT
CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — An 11-member delegation representing top companies of Japan, accompanied by PHDCCI members, met the Governor of Punjab, Lt Gen (retd) J.F.R. Jacob and expressed the desire to invest in areas of food products and information technology in Punjab and Chandigarh.

Relief for hardware sector ?
NEW DELHI, Jan 28 — The Union Budget 2000-01 is likely to provide incentives for the hardware sector to push up its growth rates, senior officials of the Ministry of Information Technology said.

21st Century Group holds lucky draw
CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — The 21st Century Group has organised a lucky draw for the participants of a research project.

Appeal against RPL rejected
NEW DELHI, Jan 28 — The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal against the Gujarat High Court order allowing Reliance Petroleum Limited (RPL) to lay pipelines for its Motikhavdi project through Marine National Park and Marine Sanctuary in the State.

SBI installs ATM
CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — SBI today celebrated “Technology Day” all over India after computerising its 2000 branch in Chennai.Top



He sells water to Americans
By Nirmal Sandhu
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH : Thirty years ago he started as an LIC officer at Nagpur with Rs 600 a month salary. Today Dr Dadi Balsara (57) runs a business empire in 63 countries with US $ 7 billion turnover. His personal assets valued at $ 1.8 billion make him one of the richest Indians.

How does he run the empire? “I delegate powers to my Presidents who manage the show,” said Dr Balsara, who was in Chandigarh on Friday to launch Himalayan natural mineral water. His company, Mt Everest Mineral Water Ltd, obtains and bottles water ( “natural mineral water”, he corrects) at Dhaula Kuan near Paonta Sahib.

What can stop an Indian from being successful if he can sell water to health and hygiene-conscious Americans? His is the only natural mineral water company to get FDA ( Food and Drug Administration of the USA) approval. The man who could not sell LIC policies, now sells water, among other things.

Settled in Singapore with his Chinese wife (who has two books on Indian birds to her credit), Dr Dadi Balsara is called the “perfumes king of Asia”. He sells perfumes in Singapore, jewellery in America, watches in Switzerland and jeans in Taiwan.

Equally diverse are his hobbies. “I have several hobbies — spiritualism, astrology, palmistry, psychiatry, karate and yoga, he said in an interview with Business Tribune. There is a guru in Gujarat to whom he beholds all his success. His success story is amazing.

Having failed as an LIC officer, he got a scholarship to study psychiatry in the USA. After obtaining his doctorate, he started practice. Nobody came for advice. He turned to TV channels. The first two rejected him and the third, a Japanese channel in the USA, gave him the break. His TV programmes — “You and Your Destiny” and “Power of the Mind”— became hits. Dollars flowed in. There was, as they say, no looking back thereafter.

How do you manage time for such diverse interests? “I don’t run after time. I make time run after me,” he gives a quotable quote which in the light of his success sounds plausible.

His interests in astrology, face-reading, palmistry etc brought him face to face with global leaders like John F. Kennedy, Nixon, Chou en-Lai and Clinton.

Whatever field Dr Balsara has chosen , he has excelled in that. Ask about karate. And he says he is a black belt holder. To add to my surprise, he says he flies his own jet.

He says all this matter-of- factly, not to boast, but to inform, rather casually. How does this human dynamo keep fit? He avoids tea, coffee, liquor and cigarettes, takes salt-less food, boiled vegetables and drinks his own natural mineral water.Top



 

Shanta hints at higher PDS rations
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, January 28 — The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Mr Shanta Kumar, has said that the Central Government is considering a policy to involve private parties for construction of godowns for storing grains. The policy, which is being envisaged, will also enable the private parties to handle grains, including its movement inside the country, he said.

Mr Shanta Kumar indicated that the Centre was contemplating increasing PDS rations for the people living below the poverty line as the present allotment of 10 kg was not sufficient for a family.

The union minister was talking to newsmen after inaugurating the first meeting of Advisory Council on Foodgrains Management and Public Distribution of North Zone here today.

Earlier while giving his address in the meeting, Mr Shanta Kumar said that there was need to ponder over the question that whether the supplies from the Public Distribution System be given only to the targeted group or to well-off groups also. The Central government was at present bearing the burden of Rs 10,000 crore as subsidy on these items. He, however, said over 32 crore people in India was still living below the poverty line and "it is our endeavour to provide them food items at the minimum rates."

Mr Shanta Kumar urged the state governments to take stern action against those agencies that were indulging in producing duplicate material, thus cheating the consumer. He also stressed the need for strengthening consumer forums so that they could give decisions on various consumer cases within a stipulated period of 90 days.

Mr Sampat Singh, Finance Minister of Haryana, while welcoming the chief guest on behalf of the Chief Minister said Haryana was one of the most progressive states and its contribution of wheat to the Central pool was 25 per cent as against 11 per cent share in the country’s production. While in case of rice its contribution to the Central pool was 11 per cent as against 3 per cent share in the country’s production. This had been possible due to good infrastructure facilities and advanced technology in agriculture.

Mr Jaswant Singh, Food and Supplies Minister of Haryana, revealed on the occasion that in the current year, Haryana had contributed 38.70 lakh tonnes of wheat to the Central pool, which is so far the highest. Similarly, Haryana’s contribution of rice in the current year so far was seven lakh tonnes. It was likely that Haryana was all set to contribute over nine lakh tonnes of rice to the Central pool this year. Thus, the state’s contribution of foodgrains to the Central pool would be about 48 lakh tonnes. He said for making the PDS a meaningful programme, the scale should be increased to 8 kg of wheat per person per month subject to maximum of 40 kg per family per month for below the poverty line category.

Mr Jaswant Singh urged the union government to give priority to movement of foodgrains from Haryana as 33.50 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains stocks were lying with the state procuring agencies. The total storage capacity available in the state was nearly 39.32 lakh metric tonnes. At least 12 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains might be moved out of Haryana by the end of the current financial year. He told the union minister that the allocation of kerosene and sugar in the state was much below the national norms as compared to the neighbouring states. He made a forceful plea for ensuing a minimum support price for wheat.

The Food Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mr Radhey Shyam Gupta, Himachal Pradesh, Mr Mansa Ram, Punjab, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Ajay Sadhodra and Adviser to the Administrator UT, Mrs Vineeta Rai, and senior officers of the Central Government, Rajasthan and Delhi also spoke.Top


 

Japanese offer to invest in IT
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — An 11-member delegation representing top companies of Japan, accompanied by PHDCCI members, met the Governor of Punjab, Lt Gen (retd) J.F.R. Jacob and expressed the desire to invest in areas of food products and information technology in Punjab and Chandigarh.

The delegation was led by Koji Nojima, Vice-Chairman of Itochu Corporation and included Isamu Nitta, Adviser, Toshiba Corporation, Chieko Matsui, President , Cox & Kings and Keiji Nakajima, Chairman & M.D., Sumitomo Corporation.

The Governor assured the delegation of all possible tax incentives in the area of information technology.

The delegation earlier visited the units of Agro Dutch Foods and Cepham.Top


 

Relief for hardware sector ?
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Jan 28 — The Union Budget 2000-01 is likely to provide incentives for the hardware sector to push up its growth rates, senior officials of the Ministry of Information Technology (MIT) said.

“The Finance Ministry is seriously considering the recommendations of the MIT and the Budget is likely to boost the growth of hardware sector which is not performing as well as the software sector,” Ministry officials said.

The MIT Secretary, Mr P.V. Jayakrishnan, said the Budget would boost the IT industry in the country and create conditions for the growth of e-commerce in the country.

“We had discussions with the Finance Minister and our point of view has been appreciated. I hope something concrete will emerge,” Mr Jayakrishnan said.

The second report of the IT Task Force, which is under active consideration of the government, had suggested many tax concessions and duty reliefs for the hardware sector. The Task Force and the Nasscom-McKinsey report had set a $ 50 billion target for software exports by 2008.

The hardware sector today is growing at a rate of 14 per cent, while the software sector is experiencing a growth rate of 50 to 60 per cent.

The hardware sector is growing despite the disturbing trend of grey market eating into the share of the regular brands.

According to a mid-year review of 1999-2000, the unorganised sector accounted for 57 per cent of the total PC sales during the first half of the year, up from 48 per cent in the same period last year.

The market of regular Indian brands fell from 23 per cent to 21 per cent and the market share of MNC brands dropped from 29 per cent to 23 per cent during this period.Top


 

21st Century Group holds lucky draw
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — The 21st Century Group has organised a lucky draw for the participants of a research project. The first prize, a holiday in a five-star hotel at Mussoorie, was won by Mr Hari Krishan Joshi of Sector 47-D, Chandigarh. The second prize, a three-day, two-night holiday at a hotel in Dehra Dun was won by Ms Aneeta Malhotra of Sector 45-A. Mr Anil Sharma of Sector 30-B won a pager as the third prize.

Ten consolation prizes were won by Mr Praveen Kumar, Ms Gayatri Jindal, Mr J.S. Ahuja, Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma, Miss Rajni Nagpal, Ravinder Nath, Mr Harmit Singh, Miss Mani Goel, Mr Rajiv Abrol and Mr Chetan Pal Singh Bhullar. Top



 

Appeal against RPL rejected

NEW DELHI, Jan 28 (PTI) — The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal against the Gujarat High Court order allowing Reliance Petroleum Limited (RPL) to lay pipelines for its Motikhavdi project through Marine National Park and Marine Sanctuary in the State.

A Division Bench comprising Justice S.P.Baharucha and Justice S.S.M.Quadri while dismissing a special leave petition (SLP), upheld the May 12, 1999 judgement of the High Court which had ruled that the company had spent about Rs 19,000 crore on the mega project and it was not advisable to interfere when it was nearing completion.Top


 

SBI installs ATM
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 — SBI today celebrated “Technology Day” all over India after computerising its 2000 branch in Chennai.

Mr Prabhakar Sharma, CGM, inaugurated an ATM at the Sarabhanagar branch in Ludhiana. SBI plans to install 1000 ATMs all over the country by March, 2002. The bank has also installed Reuters screens at its overseas branches in Ludhiana and Chandigarh.Top


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RESULTS

Dabur net profit surges 57.8 pc

THE Board of Directors of Dabur India today approved a 50 per cent interim dividend for the 1999-2000 fiscal having recorded a 57.8 per cent growth in the net profit during the first nine months of the year.The net profit for the third quarter grew by 15.86 per cent to touch Rs 15.41 crore as against Rs 13.30 crore a year ago. The net profit in the first nine months stood at Rs 59.69 crore, up from Rs 37.83 crore a year ago.

Siemens India recorded a turnaround moving out of the red in the first quarter of its 1999-2000 fiscal (October-September) to register a net profit of Rs 5.69 crore as against a loss of Rs 22.29 crore a year ago.

Colgate-Palmolive India recorded a 2 per cent growth in the net profit during the third quarter of 1999-2000 to touch Rs 10 crore as against Rs 9.8 crore a year ago.

Tata Telecom’s net loss for the first nine months of 1999-2000 stood at Rs 7.89 crore, down from a loss of Rs 12.16 crore a year ago.

The net profit of Digital Equipment (India) Limited has gone up by 38.6 per cent to Rs 6.12 crore during the quarter ended December 31 as against a net profit of Rs 4.38 crore in the same quarter previous year.

While the total revenue earned during the quarter fell to Rs 22.96 crore from Rs 60.26 crore, total expenditure also declined to Rs 15.32 crore during the quarter as against Rs 52.74 crore in the same quarter of 1998. The software and services exports revenues increased by 16.5 per cent.

Century Textiles and Industries Ltd reported a token profit of Rs 1.93 crore for the third quarter of 1999-2000 but the nine-month period ended December 31, 1999 accounted for a loss of Rs 41.52 crore.

The nine months loss was, however, lower than Rs 85.84 crore during April-December 1998.

Net sales during April-December, 1999, were Rs 1,543.81 crore, up from Rs 1,437.58 crore in the same period last year.

Madras Cements has recorded a 44 per cent drop in the net profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 1999, to touch Rs 86 lakh as against Rs 1.53 crore a year ago.

However, the net profit for the first nine months of the fiscal stood at Rs 43.26 crore, up 5 per cent from Rs 41.34 crore a year ago.

Videocon International has recorded a 14 per cent growth in the net profit for the first nine months of 1999-2000 at Rs 122 crore from Rs 107 crore a year ago.

The net profit for the third quarter amounted to Rs 38.68 crore, marginally higher from Rs 38.33 crore a year earlier.

Hikal Chemical Industries Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 4.65 crore on a turnover of Rs 24.92 crore for the third quarter ending December 31, 1999.

The Board of Directors declared an interim dividend of 100 per cent following consistent results for the last three quarters.

Colour-Chem Ltd today reported a 164 per cent jump in the net profit to Rs 3.76 crore during the third quarter ended December 31, 1999, thus taking the profit figure for the first nine months of 1999-2000 to Rs 18.82 crore.

The company’s net sales for the third quarter increased by 8 per cent to Rs 65.76 crore.

The Novartis India’s net profit for the first nine months of the current fiscal stood at Rs 81.3 crore, up 52 per cent from Rs 53.5 crore a year ago. Its sales for the period were at Rs 658.5 crore, up 12 per cent from Rs 588.6 crore a year ago.

Dunlop India Limited has reported a net loss of Rs 12.54 crore during the third quarter of the current financial year.

The net loss was Rs 12.28 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.

EIH Limited has recorded a 26.4 per cent decline in the net profit in the third quarter of 1999-2000 to touch Rs 16.39 crore as against Rs 22.29 crore a year earlier.

Its net profit for the first nine months was at Rs 37.55 crore, down 45 per cent from Rs 68.57 crore in the same period last year.

Texmaco Limited has reported a lower net profit of Rs 0.84 crore during the third quater of 1999-2000 against Rs 1.11 crore in the corresponding quarter of 1998-99. Net sales came down to Rs 33.37 crore from Rs 34.82 crore last year while other income increased to Rs 1.15 crore this year from Rs 0.39 crore.

Ramco Industries today said its net profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 1999, was up 24 per cent at Rs 3.25 crore from Rs 2.63 crore in the year-ago period. Sales during the quarter stood at Rs 30.81 crore, up 14.5 per cent from Rs 26.9 crore in the previous comparable period.

Gujarat State Fertiliser Company today said its net profit for the first nine months of its financial year 1999-2000 declined sharply by 65 per cent to Rs 26 crore from Rs 74.4 crore a year ago.

For the three months ended December 31, 1999, the net profit was Rs 11.1 crore from Rs 34.5 crore for the period last year.

Denim Enterprises has achieved a turnover of Rs 4.35 crore with profit after tax of 1 crore for the quarter ending December, 1999. The Board of Directors of Denim Enterprises has decided to pay 10 per cent interim dividend for the fiscal 1999-2000.

LML Limited slipped into the red in the third quarter of the current fiscal to record a net loss of Rs 2.23 crore as against a net profit of Rs 4.11 crore a year earlier. Its sales turnover for the third quarter stood at Rs 189.25 crore against Rs 200.48 crore.

DLF Cement Limited has reported a net loss of Rs 18.14 crore during the third quarter of current financial year. Net loss was Rs 19.50 crore during the third quarter of 1998-99.

Smithkline Beecham has reported a 20 per cent rise in the net profit and 13.2 per cent increase in the turnover for 1999. Profit before tax moved up by 18.7 per cent to Rs 138.3 crore, while profit after tax stood at 97.6 crore.

ICICI Ltd reported a 12.6 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 811 crore for the nine months ended December 31, 1999, as the third quarter witnessed a 27 per cent jump in profit after tax to Rs 271 crore.

The profit growth for the nine months was despite a 44.3 per cent increase in provisions and write-offs at Rs 435 crore. — AgenciesTop



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BIZ BRIEFS

Bullion
Gold Std. Rs 4510
Gold 22-Ct Rs 4360
Silver Ready Rs 8045
Silver delivery Rs 8075

Forex
US $ Rs 43.61/62
Stg Rs 70.96/9
Euro Rs 43.02/05
Yen (100) Rs 41.58/60

CCIT
CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 (TNS) — CCIT a Ludhiana-based computer training centre has achieved the ISO-9002 certified by ABS Inc, Houston, Texas, the USA. CCIT is the first private computer training centre in Punjab to achieve it.

Maxie
CHANDIGARH, Jan 28 (TNS) — Inalsa Appliances has launched its latest food processor called “Maxie”. It is priced at Rs 3600. Top




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