|Thursday, March 16, 2000,
IT education centre opens
Banks celebrate consumer
Asian growth forecasts tweaked up
Sinha rules out rollback of
NEW DELHI, March 15 Hitting hard at captains of industry, finance minister Yashwant Sinha today ruled out rollback of fresh taxation proposals and cut in subsidies in the Budget.
Addressing the post budget seminar organised by Assocham, Mr Sinha said Do not ask for rollback. Let the budget proposals remain. If your demand for rollback of dividend tax and phased cut in tax concession on exports is justified, then why not the demand of political parties to rollback cut in subsidies.
He called for a clear headed mindset to appreciate that the Budget had been framed for a year that was special in several ways.
The Finance Minister said the burden of expenditure in fighting the Kargil will fall in 2000-01 for which I had necessarily to provide Rs 13000 crore as also protect our LoC in an effective manner.
In addition, Rs 11000 crore (0.5 per cent of GDP) has to be transferred to the states following interim award of the 11th Finance Commission and Rs 11,100 crore was added to the gross budgetary support to the annual plan to finance social and rural development projects.
Mr Sinha said along with the interest burden of Rs 10,000 crore, the total burden came to Rs 45,000 crore or 2 per cent of the GDP.
Given such a massive outgo expected in the coming year, how can I be criticised for not reducing the fiscal deficit below the 5.1 per cent mark, he asked.
It would have been easy for me to peg the fiscal deficit much lower than the proposed figure if I had gone in for `big ticket disinvestment of PSUs of Rs 50,000 crore or so, but I chose to stay close to reality by proposing disinvestment of Rs 10,000 crore, he said.
Responding to the concerns of Assocham president, Mr Shekhar Bajaj, over absence of downsizing of Government, Mr Sinha said there is no way one can throw out staff from government employment and in view of the increase in the retirement age from 58 to 60 years every intake becomes an additional induction in the rolls of the Government.
Expressing unhappiness over the tendency to pick and project only the negatives in the budget proposals, the Finance Minister said by March 31, 2000, the total number of tax payers would reach the 25 million mark a 100 per cent increase compared to the number of tax payees three years ago.
The Chairman of CBEC and
CBDT, Mr S.R. Mohile and Mr Ravi Kant said the Budget had
provided industry with a hassle free and less paper
oriented environment and encourages voluntary compliance
through rationalisation of taxes and provision of
reasonable rates of duty.
education centre opens
CHANDIGARH, March 15 Microuniv, a high-end IT training division of ISO certified Microland, today announced the opening of its centre here to provide Microsoft, CISCO, Lotus, Java certifications to its students.
The students will work for at least a quarter of the course duration on live projects with Rana Informatics Limited with is the flagship IT company promoted by Rana Gurjeet Singh.
Microuniv will also provide placement services to its students both in domestic and foreign IT companies.
The other Microuniv centres are also located at Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.
The Chandigarh centre has been designed to operate at SEI-CMM level 5 and 6, the highest possible quality certification in the IT industry.
The centre will also provide free Internet services to its students and 24 hours online helpdesk with textual updates.
celebrate consumer day
CHANDIGARH, March 15 State Bank of Patiala today celebrated the Consumer Rights Day in all its branches Mr R.S. Nanda, General Manager of the bank, said the bank has implemented 81 out of 97 recommendations of the Goiporia committee. To offer new products and meet competition, the bank is expected to fully computerise 125 branches by March, 2000, and plans to computerise 100 more branches during the financial year 2000-01.
Canara Bank also
celebrated Consumer Rights Day. A function was organised
at the Circle Office of the bank in Sector 34 which was
chaired by Mr R.K. Arora, Deputy General Manager. He
addressed customers highlighting the rights of consumers
and avenues open for redressal through consumer courts.
Later, an interaction session was held with the executive
of the bank.
told to push power reforms
NEW DELHI, March 15 Expressing concern over the increasing Haryana Government debt of nearly Rs 10,000 crore, the PHDCCI today stated that user charges to recover cost be imposed in order to minimise state subsidy, loss making corporations be closed or converted into joint ventures.
Reacting to the Haryana Budget, the chamber President, Mr K.S. Mehta said a commission to restructure the administration should have been set up with independent professionals and administrators as members to suggest modernisation of the Government, reorient its working and deliver public services in a most efficient and economical manner because of elasticity of revenue is limited.
He said the State Government deserves appreciation for its tax efforts compared to other States in Northern India except Delhi. Forty seven per cent of development expenditure in Haryana is financed by taxes.
Commenting on the halting approach to reform power sector, Mr Mehta said in order to attract new investment and meet the demand for power of existing industrial and other consumer categories, power sector reforms should continue to be supported by the Haryana Government.
set up 6 rice mills
CHANDIGARH, March 15 Markfed has decided to set up modern rice mills, one each at Naushehra Pannuan, Patti, Gidderbaha, Goniana, Jaitu and Batala. It has arranged to purchase latest technology from Korea for these mills.
Speaking to reporters, Mr D.S. Bains, Managing Director, Markfed, said here today that global tender had been floated and tender of the Korean company was the lowest. A team of Markfed officials went to Korea in the technology suitable to Indian conditions.
He said 99 per cent rice mills, out of total 2600 installed in Punjab were based on obsolete technology. There was a very high rate of broken rice and less recovery of rice. However, with the setting up of new mills, there would be less broken percentage and high rate of rice recovery.
Cost of each project would be near Rs 4 crore out of which cost of equipment would be near Rs 2.43 crore. As Markfed is in the business of exporting Basmati rice, mills based on latest technology would provide Markfed an edge for further increasing the export of rice. It has also planned to market quality parmal rice in a big way in Indias market to a section of consumers excluded from PDS by the Union Government recently.
Each new mill, which will start functioning by September this year, has shelling capacity of four tonnes per hour. Markfed which procured paddy to the extent of 15 lakh tonnes every year, by and large depends on private millers for paddy shelling. Markfed is expecting at least 40 per cent increase in the export of rice by it this year.
Mr Jong Kyu Han,
Vice-President of the Hansung Industrial Company, Korea,
who signed an agreement with the Markfed authorities
today told reporters his company was in the business of
manufacturing of farm machinery for the past 35 years and
it had installed 80 plants in Korea besides exporting
machinery to China, Philippines, Indonesia and other rice
urged to cut farm subsidies
NEW DELHI, March 15 As the Punjab Government prepares to present the Budget, industry has urged the State Government to set up disinvestment commission, close down unviable public sector units and reduce agricultural subsidy.
The state Finance Minister, Captain Kanwaljit Singh, will present the Budget tomorrow.
Punjabs deficit has increased from Rs 736 crore in 1992-93 to Rs 2,177 crore in 1998-99 (revised Budget estimates). During the same period expenditure on serving debt had increased from Rs 411 crore to Rs 2315 crore per annum.
The fiscal health of the
State has been adversely affected during the last decade
because growth in expenditure has out-paced revenue
receipts. The fiscal crisis is on account of pay revision
of employees, burden of pensions and interest payment on
SINGAPORE, March 15 (Reuters) Growth forecasts for many Asian economies have been tweaked up yet again, Reuters quarterly regionwide survey of 130 independent economists showed.
Fiscal stimulus, a rise in domestic consumption, rising exports and, not least, an upturn in private investment were the main engines behind the upward revisions.
But it is not all good news, and government foot dragging on the restructuring front, particularly in the banking sector, and the distressed asset problem were acting as drags on growth.
Also for many countries the 2000 numbers do not look as spectacular as 1999s because the base effect from the 1998 lows has pretty much dropped out of the equation, in Korea for example.
There is no denying that GDP growth in 1999 benefited much from the low-base of 1998, said Jang Yong, chief economist at Daewoo Economic Research Institute.
The other factor that benefited the economy in 1999 was inventory rebuilding, something we are not likely to see this year, he added.
Hong Kong hot: Hong Kong stood out with the biggest upward revision to this years growth forecast to 5.8 per cent compared with the 4.5 per cent forecast in the last poll in December.
Most economists raised their forecasts after the budget speech, expecting exports to continue to drive growth and domestic demand to pick up steadily.
There was substantial inventory rebuilding in the fourth quarter...An important factor is the inventories building is for the domestic market and that should be a leading indicator for the strengthening of domestic demand, said Eddie Wong, Regional Economist at ABN Amro Bank in Hong Kong.
Thailand, Malaysia look good: This years growth forecast for Malaysia was boosted strongly to 6.3 per cent from 5.7 per cent with a liquidity boom, resurgent domestic demand and strong demand for electronic goods forming the bullish outlook.
Domestic demand, driven by strong consumer confidence, abundant liquidity and stable interest rates, makes macroeconomic conditions look very favourable, said Eddie Lee, Regional Economist at Vickers Ballas in Singapore.
Likewise in Thailand rising domestic demand has pushed growth expectations ahead with economists upping this years forecast to 5.3 per cent from 4.8 per cent, but some problems do remain.
It is obvious that two more engines of growth, private investment and domestic consumption, are working better in the Thai economy this year, said Anusorn Tamajai, Salomon Smith Barney Thailand economist.
by Ashok Kumar
Time to pick up DSQ, HCL Tech
AND finally, the inevitable is happening! Just when complacency had set in and everyone was quite sure that this was a never ending party at the bourses, the bubble seems to have burst sending bull operators, especially those at the seemingly infallible infotech counters running for cover.
Of course, the buzz that two of the biggest operators at the Indian bourses are gunning for each other by short-selling the others counters has only aggravated the panic. However, if that were the prime reason for the fall, there inevitably will also have to be some short-covering which should result into a rebound of sorts sooner rather than later.
While the ongoing mayhem at the bourses has led to a lot of blood-letting among the bulls and day-traders, the time is ripe for a delivery backed trader who can use this opportunity to cash in. Long positions could thus be considered at the counters of DSQ Software at 2188 (square up at Rs 2304), Castrol at Rs 307 (square up at Rs 332) and HCL Technologies at Rs 1498 (square up at Rs 1609).
Short positions could be considered at the counters of Rolta at Rs 623 (cover up at Rs 549), IDBI at Rs 57 (cover up at Rs 43) and Bajaj Auto at Rs 331 (cover up at Rs 297).
The dark horse bet of this week is Reliance Industries which is believed to have been short-sold heavily through the week in the supposed tussle, making it a candidate for a price spurt on short-covering.
investors can zero in on Britannia at the current price
level where it offers great value for money for those
with a medium to long term perspective. Remember, we have
been repeatedly recommended partial profit booking and
those who paid heed must not be unduly perturbed about
the ongoing mayhem unlike the others.
ST on tyres
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