Saturday, February 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






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   A special edition of a teddy bear called "Zotty" from the German Steiff company is shown by Verena Brozat, at the "51st International Toy Fair Nuremberg" in Germany on Thursday. The handmade bear costs 1600 marks ($ 800). — AP/PTI
A special edition of a teddy bear called "Zotty" from the German Steiff company is shown by Verena Brozat, at the "51st International Toy Fair Nuremberg" , the world biggest exhibition, in Germany on Thursday. The handmade bear costs 1600 marks ($ 800). — AP/PTI

A global mobile phone giant is born
BERLIN, Feb 4 — German telecom giant Mannessman and Britain’s Vodafone have agreed to merge in a $ 190 billion deal to create the world’s biggest mobile phone company with interests in more than 30 countries, including India.

Defaulters given more time to settle plot dues
LUDHIANA, Feb 4 — At a meeting held on January 27, the Board of Directors of PSIEC have decided to extend various concessions to the defaulter allottees.

Garment industry needs foreign tie-ups: Rana
NEW DELHI, Feb 4 — Union Textiles Minister, Kashiram Rana today called on the Indian garment industry to become multi-locational and a world class player in all respects by forging strategic alliances for accessing new markets and technology.



EARLIER STORIES
 

Draft Umbrella Insurance Act on anvil
MUMBAI, Feb 4 — The Government is working on a draft Umbrella Insurance Act without any schedules to replace the existing Insurance Act of 1938 and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act of 1972 to encompass life, non-life and reinsurance business in the country.

Kuber ordered to repay deposits
NEW DELHI, Feb 4 — The Company Law Board has directed defaulting Nidhi company Kuber Mutual Benefits Ltd to repay the money to its depositors in the next two years.Top




A global mobile phone giant is born

BERLIN, Feb 4 (PTI) — German telecom giant Mannessman and Britain’s Vodafone have agreed to merge in a $ 190 billion deal to create the world’s biggest mobile phone company with interests in more than 30 countries, including India.The record deal is expected to be approved by Mannessman’s supervisory board (board of directors) later according to Mannessman officials in Dusseldorf.

The agreement about the merger through the proposed all stock transaction, announced last night, brought to an end a bitter duel for the last three months between vodafone chief executive Chris Gent and Mannessmann’s chief Klaus Esser for control of the German conglomerate that had transformed itself into the biggest provider of wireless communication in Europe.

While Vodafone is Britain’s leading wireless company, Mannessman is Germany’s largest cellular phone operator. Mannessman also has interests in automotive and engineering businesses.

The combined company, which eclipsed the America Online (AOL)’s $ 130 billion acquisition of media group Time Warner last month, will control mobile phone networks in three of Europe’s biggest phonemarkets — Britain, Germany and Italy — along with a 45 per cent stake in the biggest American network and holdings in more than 30 other countries from Sweden and Poland to India and Japan.

The pact, which came just four days before the expiry of Vodafone’s hostile offer to Mannessman’s share-holders, is seen as a bitter defeat for Esser who had passionately fought to preserve his company’s independence.

Although the transaction is described as a ‘‘friendly merger,’’ Esser was reported to have capitulated when it became obvious that a majority of his share-holders were about to sellout.

Mannessman’s shareholders will end up with about 49.5 per cent of the combined company stock and Esser will resign from the company in favour of Gent. Vodafone’s share-holders will hold a majority 50.5 per cent.

Analysts said the new wireless giant would dominate the European market and have a major foothold in the USA, Asia and Africa. It has access to an estimated 43 million subscribers.

They said the eventual impact would be lower phone rates in Europe, increasing Europe’s wireless lead over the USA and forcing rival phone providers to consider similar mergers.Top





 

Defaulters given more time to settle plot dues
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 4 — Considering difficulties faced by the allottees of industrial plots at different focal points developed by Corporation and the demand raised by various industrial associations, the Board of Directors of PSIEC, at a meeting held on January 27, decided to extend various concessions to the defaulter allottees.

Mrs Surjit Kaur Sandhu, Managing Director, PSIEC, said in a press note that defaulter allottees who had failed to settle their accounts by paying the additional cost of the plots accruing from enhancement in land compensation along with interest and penal interest, have now been allowed one-time opportunity to clear their dues. Defaulter allottees of different focal points to whom notices for the recovery of additional cost of plots were given by the corporation during the year 1993 and post ’93 period, can now make payment of the additional cost (principal) along with interest as applicable under respective terms of allotment (without compounding and penal) in lumpsum within three months.

The restoration fee applicable to the cancelled allotment of the plots/sheds have now been reduced in case of Focal Points of Ludhiana, Mohali, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Khanna at the rate of Rs 40 per sq yard while Rs 20 per sq yd has been fixed for other areas.

The allottees of plots in those cases where maximum permissible period for commencement of construction/production stood expired after March 31, 1999, have now been allowed additional time period of six months along with the payment of extension fee.Top




 

Garment industry needs foreign tie-ups: Rana
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Feb 4 — Union Textiles Minister, Kashiram Rana today called on the Indian garment industry to become multi-locational and a world class player in all respects by forging strategic alliances for accessing new markets and technology.

Inaugurating the 24th Indian International Garment Fair here, Mr Rana asked the Government manufacturers to explore the possibilities of offshore investments to access locational and other advantages of third countries.

It was imperative that the garment industry recognised the need to move up the value chain through product diversification and development of high-value products.

Expressing satisfaction over the performance of the apparel industry in the past few years, Rana said exports of readymade garments for 1999 reached $ 5323.5 million, which was over 14 per cent of the country’s total export earnings. India’s share in the world market in garments has gone up to 2.75 per cent in 1999 from 1.5 per cent in 1980.

The industry needs to adopt vigorous marketing strategies to maintain and increase its growth particularly in view of the imminent opening up of the textile sector by the end of 2004.

He reaffirmed the Government’s resolve to assist the garment export industry to revitalise itself and develop new business opportunities. “We are committed to speeding up the reform process and developing stronger infrastructure” he said.

The Minister of State for Textiles, Mr G.N.Ramachandran said after the phasing out of quotas by 2005, demand for products would depend entirely on competitiveness & quality.Top



 

Draft Umbrella Insurance Act on anvil

MUMBAI, Feb 4 (PTI) — The Government is working on a draft Umbrella Insurance Act without any schedules to replace the existing Insurance Act of 1938 and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act of 1972 to encompass life, non-life and reinsurance business in the country.

“On a long-term basis we are working on a Comprehensive Insurance Act so that there is no requirement for separate acts to govern the life and general insurance industry,” B.K. Chaturvedi, Special Secretary (Insurance) in the Union Finance Ministry, said at a convention on financial services organised by the Bombay Management Association here today.

He said there was no possibility of any change in the 26 per cent equity cap on foreign investments in insurance sector in the coming few years and advised financial services to plan their business strategy accordingly.

Under the liberalised insurance regime, there would be no limitations on the number of players who could take part in the business, Chaturvedi said.

The Insurance Regulator would have an autonomous role and the Government’s role would be restricted to taking up policy issues like inadequate coverage of geographic areas and social commitments, he added.

Member of the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), H. Ansari, said moves are afoot to come out with advertisement guidelines to protect “guillible investors” against “false” claims that may be made by insurers to garner business.

Ansari said regulations governing insurance business, which is being formulated by professional bodies like Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the Actuarial Society of India, would be unveiled in April.Top



 

Kuber ordered to repay deposits

NEW DELHI, Feb 4 (PTI) — The Company Law Board has directed defaulting Nidhi company Kuber Mutual Benefits Ltd to repay the money to its depositors in the next two years.

CLB member C.R. Mehta in a suo motu order directed Kuber to repay the deposits, collected under different schemes, which have already matured and the deposits which will mature in future.

According to the repayment scheme, the deposits up to Rs 5,000 has to be re-paid within the next three months. The deposits between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 have to be returned in two equal six-monthly instalments.

While the deposits between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 have to be paid in three six-monthly equal instalments and for the deposits over Rs 15,000, repayment is to be made in four equal six-monthly instalments.

As per the CLB directions, entire amount of Rs 100 crore in the form of various deposits has to be re-paid by Kuber by the end of 2002.

However, the repayment scheme would be subject to any modification being ordered by the Delhi High Court, which has received various PIL petitions against Kuber. Top



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BIZ BRIEFS

Bullion
Gold Std. Rs 4525
Gold 22-Ct Rs 4375
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Silver delivery Rs 7990

Forex
US $ Rs 43.60/61
Stg Rs 69.47/49
Euro Rs 43.00/02
Yen (100) Rs 40.45/47

Car helpline
NEW DELHI, Feb 4 (PTI) — AirTel provider here today launched “car helpline”, a 24-hour online service, providing help to its subscribers in Delhi and adjoining areas regarding emergencies like car breakdown, provision for petrol and traffic guidance. The subscribers in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida can now avail the help by dialing 930, for car related problems or emergencies, within thirty minutes.

ISO-9002
AMBALA CANTT, Feb 4 (FOC) — OSAW Industrial Products Pvt Ltd has received the ISO-9002 certification from ABS quality Evaluations Inc USA, according to Mr Lakshmi Sagar, Chairman of Indosaw.

AI Director
CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 (TNS) — Mr V.K. Verma, has taken over as the Commercial Director of Air India, a press note said here today. Verma is also the President of the Badminton Association of India and the Vice-President of the Asian Badminton Confedration. He is also a keen golfer, swimmer and athlete.Top




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