Monday, April 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Kamila Tokareva, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, sheds away some tears after being declared the winner of Elite Model Look Ukraine 2000 contest on Saturday in Kiev.
CII, NIIT to set up IT centre in Chandigarh
CHANDIGARH, April 2 — The CII (Northern Region) and NIIT will sign an MoU in New Delhi tomorrow to set up an “IT Centre for Excellence” in Chandigarh. The CII will make available 5,000 sq. ft of air-conditioned space at its Sector 31 office complex for the IT centre.

Delhi hosts beer festival for elites
HE advent of hot and sultry summer is already being felt by the residents of Delhi. However, the Indo-German Export Promotion chose a novel way to sound a reminder by organising a “Beer Festival” in Delhi on Sunday.

Inflation rises to 3.74 pc
NEW DELHI, April 2 —A sharp rise in the prices of naptha bitumin and furnace oil pushed up the inflation rate to a 43-week high of 3.74 per cent for the week ended March 18.

Stock prices to move up
NEW DELHI, April 2 — Stock markets are expected to move up in the wake of cut in bank rate and good corporate results during 1999-2000, analysts said today.

Maruti carnival at Shimla ends
SHIMLA, April 2 — Maruti Udyog Limited plans to sell over five lakh cars during the year 2000-2001. Stating this at the conclusion of the two-day Maruti carnival, Mr Shashi Kapoor, Regional Manager North, said that the company was poised to retain its leadership in the car sector with the commissioning of its third plant with a capacity of 1.25 lakh cars a year at Gurgaon



CII, NIIT to set up IT centre in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 2 — The CII (Northern Region) and NIIT will sign an MoU in New Delhi tomorrow to set up an “IT Centre for Excellence” in Chandigarh.

The CII will make available 5,000 sq. ft of air-conditioned space at its Sector 31 office complex for the IT centre. NIIT will provide technical know-how and skilled human resources.

The CII (Northern Region) will also hold its 26th annual session in Delhi tomorrow. A conference will be held on “Attracting Investment in North India — Agenda for Competitiveness” where Dr Rakesh Mohan, Director General, NCAER, will make a presentation.

Mrs Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, of Himachal Pradesh and Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Chief Minister of Haryana will be present.

The centre will assist the state governments in developing pragmatic IT policies and support social infrastructure that would bring fresh investments, besides enabling e-Governance.

IT awareness will also be bought about through extensive and intensive training of GEOs senior Directors, middle management and young executives of small, medium and large enterprises.

E-Governance workshops will be organised for Secretaries in the government and and for members of the Legislative Assemblies.

IT solutions affordable to small and medium enterprises will be provided for accounting, production, inventory, sales, marketing, supply chain etc.

The IT centre will have a design studio to offer consulting services, application of software development for small, medium and large enterprises, web-designing services and web-management services. The design studio will also cater to speciality areas such as CAD, Electronic CAD and GIS areas. Top


Delhi hosts beer festival for elites

THE advent of hot and sultry summer is already being felt by the residents of Delhi. However, the Indo-German Export Promotion (IGEP) chose a novel way to sound a reminder by organising a “Beer Festival” in Delhi on Sunday.

The festival, on the lines of a similar event held in Germany annually in October, attracted hordes of the Capital’s elites and families of foreign diplomats.

The invitees were treated with beer and sausages specially flown in from Germany for the occasion.

Also on the menu were several international dishes, including mashed potatoes, pies and breads along with Indian delicacies such as “golgappas”, “dokhla” and “aloo puri”. According to IGEP Director D Kebschull, beer forms the theme of the festival since it is immensely popular in Germany.

“The festival, which is being held for the last 15 years, provides an opportunity for a get-together and to highlight the quality of German beer here just before the summer,” he said. — PTI

HMT officer wins Maruti 800 car

Mr Ashok Huria, a resident of Sector 16-A, Chandigarh and holding a senior position with HMT, has won a Maruti 800 car in the SBI Cards Mega Value Festival contest.

His entry, a slogan, has been chosen for the first prize in the contest sponsored by Maruti Udyog Limited.

The slogan was chosen by a panel of judges who went through more than 20,000 entries to select the winner.

The prize will be given at a felicitation ceremony at Hotel Taj Palace in Delhi on April 4. — TNS

Management course for business wives

The first management course for wives of businessmen which aims at developing the considerable latent talent within business families will be launched by the ACME Centre of Management Excellence in July this year.

“It’s a mission for women’s empowerment. We are not looking at it from any other angle’’, the ACME Centre’s President Dr G N Gandhi, a Professor for 23 years at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, said.

Many of the women, with school going children, economically stable backgrounds and sufficient time on their hands, will find the business management programme enriching, fulfilling and empowering.

The Centre, which will open admissions for the course later this month, will be providing a one year full time post-graduate diploma programme in business management with a special focus on international business.

Acme will initially be targeting womenfolk in the age group of 30 to 40 years among the more than 10,000 business families that reside in Noida and Ghaziabad areas, Dr Gandhi told UNI.Top


Inflation rises to 3.74 pc

NEW DELHI, April 2 (PTI) —A sharp rise in the prices of naptha bitumin and furnace oil pushed up the inflation rate to a 43-week high of 3.74 per cent for the week ended March 18. The 0.24 percentage points increase in the annual rate of inflation to 3.74 per cent (provisional) as against 3.50 per cent (P) in the previous week was triggered off mainly by a 1.2 per cent jump in the index for fuel, power, light & lubricants.

The highest rate of inflation recorded previously was 3.86 per cent for the week ended May 1999. The inflation rate, however, was much higher at 4.87 per cent during the corresponding week last year.Top


Stock prices to move up

NEW DELHI, April 2 (PTI) — Stock markets are expected to move up in the wake of cut in bank rate and good corporate results during 1999-2000, analysts said today.

“Stock prices are expected to open firmly on Monday in the wake of the RBI announcement of cut in bank rate and cash reserve ratio and move up further in the next couple of weeks,” Vivek Financial Managing Director Ashok Kakar told PTI.

He said information technology and media stocks have fallen drastically in the last month, this announcement should boost the market sentiment.

In addition to it, he said the announcement of financial results by companies from next week will also help in improving investors’ interest.

Stock prices remained depressed last week with BSE Sensex falling by 140 points to close at 5,001.28 and compared to peak level of 6,150.69 touched on February 14, the index has fallen by 1,150 points (19 per cent).

In the market, fancy infotech and media sectors stocks fell by 25-50 per cent.

“I feel the market has almost bottomed out and the cut in CRR by one per cent should infuse liquidity in the market which would add to the sentiments in the stock markets,” N.B. Mutual Fund Chief Executive R.K.Gupta said.

Prime lending rates (PLR) will come down after the reduction in the bank rate and result in saving in interest expenditure for corporates, Gupta said.

“Savings in the interest rate would add to the bottomlines of companies and would improve sentiment in the stock markets,” he added.

However, Kothari Pioneer Managing Director Vivek Reddy, said the reaction to the forthcoming financial results could be mixed.

But he said the undertone is strong and a 25 per cent growth over the next year should be possible.Top


Maruti carnival at Shimla ends
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, April 2 — Maruti Udyog Limited plans to sell over five lakh cars during the year 2000-2001.

Stating this at the conclusion of the two-day Maruti carnival, Mr Shashi Kapoor, Regional Manager North, said that the company was poised to retain its leadership in the car sector with the commissioning of its third plant with a capacity of 1.25 lakh cars a year at Gurgaon. The total manufacturing capacity has reached four lakh cars and it rolled out 4.75 cars during 1999-2000 — a growth of 20 per cent over the previous year.

He said the Indian market was growing by 30,000 cars intake per annum with four-time growth in the Rs 3-4 lakh segment alone in 1998-99. MUL sold 3,10,000 cars with 27 per cent more than the previous year. Maruti had nearly 65 per cent market share with 35 per cent being shared by Santro, Matiz, Uno, Indica and other cars in that range.

The modified models of Maruti 800 and others have multi point fuel injection system and four-stroke engine built on Suzuki technology with 12 per cent more horse power.

Suzuki Grand Vitara, Carry Freez, Suzuki YMO and Baleno station wagon, the cars of future, were displayed during the carnival. Top


Hind Const

HINDUSTAN Construction Company (HCC) has established itself as one of the biggest player in the construction industry in India. This construction major boasts of a healthy order book position and presently it has many major projects under execution and has been successful in securing new orders. On the financial front, the company has fared satisfactorily over the years and it recorded an OPM growth of 12.6 per cent against the industry average of 11.6 per cent during the year that ended in March 1999. However, the interest costs continue to pressurise its bottomline, thus eating away almost 2/3rd of the company’s operating profit. Barring the delay in developing its properties in Mumbai because of the sluggish real estate conditions, the company could be credited for timely execution of all other projects in hand. Considering its sound financials and renewed buoyancy in the industry, the prospects of this company appear fairly satisfactory.

Hotel Leela

Hotel Leela Venture (HLV) runs two properties — Leela Kempinski, near Mumbai’s international airport and Leela Beach Goa. The Leela Kempinski, Mumbai was conferred the highest honour in the hospitality industry — the National Tourism Award, for outstanding performance in the hotel industry for the year 1995-96 in the 5-star Deluxe category. That was the second time that the Leela, Mumbai, had received recognition for its contribution to the Indian tourism and hospitality industry, from the Government of India’s Department of Tourism. In 1994, the hotel had the distinction of receiving the award for the Western region from the Prime Minister of India. It is the only leading luxury hotel in North Mumbai contributing around 85 per cent of the group’s income. Being close to the Sahar airport, it caters mainly to foreign business guests. HLV has planned a sting of corporate hotels in the metros, starting with Mumbai. Its tie-ups with the Canada-based Four Seasons group (FS) of hotel will provide the expertise of the Internatila chain.

In affiliation with FS, HLV is building seven-star corporate hotels, which will project the image of a palace. The company plans to set up a 250-suite hotel near its Mumbai property, and 100 villas at Leela Beach, Goa besides setting up properties in Bangalore and Chennai. This will involve an investment of around Rs 650 crore over the next couple of years and financing the same will require substantial equity dilution. However, considering the track record and sound fundamentals of the company, existing investors could stay invested.

Himatsingka Ltd

India’s largest manufacturer of natural silk fabric, Himatsingka Siede Ltd has been scaling new heights in its financials. Most of its sales come from exports and it has acquired a good reputation on the overseas markets. The margins (particularly operating margins) have been good. Now it has expanded into spinning and blended fabrics which should further add to its volumes and bottomline.

It has a composite weaving unit an installed capacity of 16.80 lakh sq metres of 100 per cent natural silk/blended fabrics used for furnishing silk fabric production and also expanded pure silk production. Troubles on the raw material front also eased with the setting up of a 100 per cent EoU spinning unit for the manufacture of spun silk and silk blended yarn in April ’98. Key strengths of this division lies in its technical collaboration with Filati Buratt s.p.a. of Italy, probably the world’s largest producer of blended silk yarn. On the financial front, the company’s performance has been satisfactory and in view of the improving scenario in the industry, its prospects should improve.Top


by R.N. Lakhotia

Q: I have purchased NSC VIIIth issue worth Rs 40,000/- in 1999-2000 assessment year. Please suggest if maturity amount in 2005 of Rs 78,240/- is taxable or only 38240/- (the earned interest in six years) or none of amount is taxable as the interest of same is shown as income every year.

— Rupesh Khera, Sirsa

Ans: As the yearly accural interest of NSC is shown by you year after year in your Income-tax return, hence, when the maturity amount is received in respect of NSC you would not be required to pay any Income-tax either on the principal amount of the interest thereon because you have already suffered tax in each year on accural basis.

Q: I request you to clarify the following for the information of senior citizens: At present there is no tax liability for senior citizens on total income of Rs 1,00,450 per year. In case the Government give tax exemption to Senior Citizen upto total amount of income upto Rs 1,50,000 year then what will the method of calculation of income-tax.

Is there any provision for full exemption of tax for Defence Forces retd. Personnel of all ranks or only for senior citizen. In case tax liability is worth 20,000, can I deposit this amount in the post office and obtain National Saving Certificate. Is there any provision in the Income Tax Law to force the tax payers to deposit 5 times more amount of his tax liability, if so particular section of tax law may be quoted.

— D.C. Katoch (Retd), Una (H.P.)

Ans: In respect of the Financial Year 2000-2001 as per the Union Budget there is no tax liability on the senior citizen if the tax payable is upto Rs 15,000. There is no provision of the law to exempt Income-Tax in full for defence personnel. The provision is existing in the Income-tax law whereby if you invest in post office, NSC of PPF A/c, you are entitled to tax rebate @ 20 per cent in respect of tax paid by you. The maximum amount that can be deposited in post office NSC or PPF for this rebate is Rs 60,000. However, the overall limit of tax rebate u/s 88 is Rs 70,000.

Q: One of my relatives is working in SBI. In addition to salary, she is getting family pension after the death of her husband. During the financial year 1998-1999 her income was:-

Salary Rs 90,000/-

Family Pension Rs 28,000

(as declared by the employees & shown in form 16)

The family pension is income from other sources under Section 57 of Income Tax Act. Moreover, it has no link with employer & employee. Accordingly, she was entitled to standard deduction of Rs 25,000/- whereas the employer clubbed her Salary and Family Pension Income and allowed her deduction to the extent of Rs 20,000/- only.

— Shamsher Singh, Mohali

Ans: On the facts stated by you, you are entitled to standard deduction on your salary income to the extent of Rs 25,000 for the financial year 1998-99 relevant to the Assessment Year 1999-2000.

The family pension is not to be included in the salary income and it is to be taxed as income from other sources. This, family pension is not to be added to the salary income to restrict your standard deduction. If the mistake has been committed by the employer, then you should file your income Tax return for claiming the correct standard deduction on the salary income.Top


by J.C. Anand

The market likely to revive

DURING the last fortnight too, the market continued to decline. The US President’s visit to India and his good words for the Indian industry, with particular reference to the IT sector, had little impact on the behaviour of the stock market. In fact, the infotech sector suffered more than the other sectors.

There is, however, considerable optimism regarding the revival of the market during the new financial year. As I see it, the market should revive even during the current fortnight. A senior official of the UTI has said the Sensitive Index would touch 5900 points during the next three months. Many of the factors which led to sharp decline in the market are now on their way out.

There is considerable truth in the view that the decline in the share prices was due to technical correction. Many scrips, particularly in the IT sector, were quoting much above their intrinsic value and long-term prospects and any sober evaluation of these scrips was bound to bring about technical correction. Naturally, the traders suffered more than the long-term investors. Those who had built up large speculative positions on the stock exchange with bank loans suffered heavy losses when the banks scaled down the limits and sold out a part of the securities and scrips held by them from the clients for their advances.

Another consideration was the “end of the financial year” syndrome. The main brokers and traders did not want to enlarge their commitments in the second half of March, 2000.

The stock market is expected to recover now in April when both these factors have ceased to operate. The timely rains also provide some assurance that the Rabi crop would be satisfactory. Almost all projections about the economy indicate that the industrial revival is on its way. The Centre now enjoys a high degree of political stability, and this too is a plus point for the economy. The Budge proposals, in spite of some harsh measures, have been addressed to the rehabilitation of our ailing economy which is in danger of falling into a domestic debt trap.

This optimistic outlook for the market revival must be, however, be tempered with some caution. Only the large and well-established companies are expected to participate in the market revival. More intense competition, reduced margins and larger import of consumer goods will leave little scope for the small companies to survive. “Survival of the fittest” rule is likely to be more clear during the current financial year than ever before. The new Exim policy announced last week also points in this direction.

The IT sector is expected to do well, but the leaders alone are expected to maintain their profitability. Even then, the market prices of this sector are unlikely to reach heights scaled by them in the previous financial year. The astronomical range of the market prices of some of the leading IT sectors were due to market euphoria about their prospects which no sober analysis would sustain.

For the same reason, mutual funds schemes tailored to fit in with the IT sector scrips are unlikely to sustain their existing growth rate. The investors have to exercise greater caution for investments in mutual funds as well as in the stock market scrips.

Some of the interim dividends by the leading companies are as follows: Novarties (150 per cent), Electro-casting (150 per cent), Tata Tea (Rs 10-10 per share), Larsen and Toubro (65 per cent), Reliance (40 per cent), Vardhman group of companies (35 per cent), ABB (50 per cent), BASF (40 per cent), Mahindra and Mahindra (55 per cent), Hindustan Inks (50 per cent), Coates of India (40 per cent), Essel Packaging (54 per cent), Glaxi (60 per cent), Trent (60 per cent), TVS Electronics (10 per cent), Usha Beltron (25 per cent), Tata Chemicals (50 per cent).

In the next publication of this column, some good scrips will be considered for investment. For the present, I have no hesitation in recommending investment on a long-term basis the following scrips: Hindalco, Electro Steel Vikas WSP, Colour-Chem around the rates prevailing on the last working day.Top


by Ashok Kumar

ABCL plans to enter market

IS it merely a coincidence? I certainly hopes so. The last big stockmarket crash occurred when the erstwhile Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, led on by his merchant bankers had illusions of mopping up public funds for his now infamous ABCL through a high premium IPO. It’s another story that the company then went on to be referred to the BIFR. The grapevine is now abuzz with rumours that ABCL and several “wannabes” from the film ‘industry’ (?) are planning to enter the IPO fray. God bless the Indian investors!

We conduct weekend training programmes once a month on “The art of making money through investment in new issues.” One part of the programme is devoted to studying the industry scenario, the gestation period of the proposed project and the possibility of a time and cost overrun. Prima facie, the film industry would fall into, what we call the ‘Z’ category, with the industry, if at all it must be so called, being highly disorganised with a track record for indefinite gestation periods, and as for time and cost overruns, that is the name of the game of this particular segment. So what we have here is a recipe for disaster under the guise of the media and entertainment segment.

It would be a big disservice to the media segment which has efficient television channels, production houses and publication groups to be bracketed with the so called film industry. The former are characterised by organised business revenue models, a high level of efficiency and what’s more the captains of these businesses are very business savvy. A meeting with Raghav Bahl of Television 18 or Subash Chandra of Zee or even Harish Thawani of Nimbus Communications whose IPO is slated to open soon would be enough for most to figure out that they know their beans, while unfortunately the same cannot necessarily be said of our song and dance entertainments.

Of course, the only plus of their garnering funds could be that they reduce their dependence on the, shall we say, ‘unofficial’ funding agencies. But then, these ‘unofficial’ agencies have their own ways and means of recovering their invested funds they would be a lot better placed that the ‘small investor’ who may watch on helplessly as his hard-earned funds are flushed down the drain through unprofessionalism, indefinite gestation periods and inordinate time overruns resulting in cost overruns. Perhaps there may be players from this segment who can buck the trend, but the proof of the pudding lies in eating and till these film production companies prove themselves otherwise, the safer assumption would be that they are not really ready for the big-time at the bourses.

In the meanwhile, the markets seem to be reeling under a selling onslaught by FIIs and DFIs and perhaps the only silver lining amongst the dark clouds is that the Q4 results should start pouring in soon. The results that could set the trend could be those of tomorrow’s ‘Big Three’ — Infosys Technologies, Hughes Software and HCL Technologies. Till then keep your fingers crossed that the doyens of the film industry stick to historians on the silver screen and at channel launch promos rather than on the corporate scene! Top


Kinetic sets up hardware unit

NEW DELHI, April 2 (PTI) — The Kinetic group has set up a hardware facility for assembling a range of IT peripheral products, including monitors, CD-ROMs and modems in Pune. The company has entered into technical tie-ups with Daewoo and Aopen for assembling their products in the country under a joint brandname, executive vice-president of Kinetic’s hardware unit Sunil Kumar said here.

Bajaj to launch 4-stroke three-wheeler

PUNE, April 2 (UNI) — Bajaj Auto Limited will launch at least 14 to 16 new products, including their variants, and introduce the four-stroke version of their three-wheeler during the next 12 months, Vice-President (Products and Business Development) R.Lavichandran said today.

FII investments come down

MUMBAI, April 2 (PTI) — FIIs remained net buyers in the capital markets for the week ended March 30, but the net investments have come down drastically to Rs 201.5 crore ($ 46.3 million) from Rs 635.5 crore ($ 145.8 million) the previous week. The benchmark BSE sensitive index shed 73.94 points, during the week ended March 30. During the week, FIIs made net investments of Rs 195 crore in equities and Rs 6.5 crore in debt, according to the latest figures available with SEBI.Top


India Security

I have been forwarded the dividend warrant No 001058998941 dated 1.10.94 valid up to 30.04.95 for Rs 250 for the year ‘93-94 against Folio No A01492 for India Security Ltd on 10.09.98 for the revalidation. But in spite of my several reminders to the company I have not received the dividend duly revalidated for the year 1993-94.

G.K. Sachdeva


I was allotted 10 debentures of Rs 1000 each Srl A 19.5 per cent, secured redeemable non convertible by DCM, Kanchanchanga building 18 Barakhamba Road, New Delhi, vide allotment letter No 9297, Dated 20.2.97, Folio No 202087. The amount of Rs 10,000 was deposited on 3.1.97 and became due on 3.7.98. In spite of repeated reminders for payment of the sum due, there is no response.

D.R Sethi

Indiana Diaries

I sent 5000 shares of Indiana Diaries to their Regd office 98 Kalena Agarhara, Begur Holli National Park Road, Bangalore for transfer with reference to 98/07/11059 dated 14.7.98 & 98/08/11697 dated 13.8.98. Till to date I have not received the scrips after transfer.

K.C. Khosla


I sent Master Growth Scheme 93 Certificate No 183663 & 183664 favouring in joint name Mrs Sangita Goyal and Mr Vikas Goyal unit one hundred each sent by regd cover letter No 2794 dated 19.5.99 to UTI office Ludhiana. We have written so many letters to UTI, Ludhiana, but till that time I could not received any response.

Vikas Goyal

GNG Invest

I invested Rs 26000 as fixed deposit for one year in GNG Investments, 110, Ansal Chamber-II, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi (110066) on 21/11/1996 vide A/c No 2/0 at the branch Ambala City (Branch code no 05). I was handed over a post-dated cheque of Rs 26000 depicting their A/c No C/A414 to be valid after one year i.e 21/11/1997. The cheque was returned by the bank with the report of ‘Insufficient Funds’ in the account. I have not received the money back despite reminder.

Rajesh Kumar
Raipur Rani


Vijaya Bank

NEW DELHI, April 2 (PTI) — Vijay Bank has launched a new loan scheme “V-Rent” with the view to providing liquidity to owners of commercial properties. Under the scheme, owners of commercial properties who have let out their properties to reputed companies, including multinationals and software giants, can avail loan from the bank by assigning the future rent receivable.


YAMUNANAGAR, April 2 (FOC) — The following have been elected office-bearers of the Jagadhri Metal Manufacture and Suppliers Association. President — Jai Bhagwan Garg; Vice-President — R.K. Saluja; General Secretary — Sunder Lal Batra; Joint Secretary — Satyendra Kumar Jain and Cashier — Arun Kumar Garg.

Dumping duty

NEW DELHI, April 2 (PTI) — The Government has imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty on Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPDM) imports from Korea. EPDM imports from Korea will command an anti-dumping duty of $ 124 per metric tonne provisionally, the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping said.

GAIL bonds

NEW DELHI, April 2 (PTI) — GAIL is planning to mobilise up to Rs 300 crore from the domestic market during the current year to fund its various projects in 2000-01.

Josh Fest

CHANDIGARH, April 2 (TNS) — Ford India Ltd. organised a “Josh Fest” at Chandigarh Club here today. Games and fun-filled contests were held. The Ford Ikon was also displayed.Top

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