|Sunday, April 23, 2000,
rings bell for village public telephones
Telecom to invest Rs 750 cr
offers affordable courses
launches new home appliances
DoT rings bell for village public telephones
NEW DELHI, April 22 (UNI) The basic operators can be given a time-period of 180 days to spell out a firm roll out plan to provide village public telephones, which according to the Department of Telecommunications, is part of their contractual obligations.
The 180 days reprieve comes in the wake of operators agreeing to the DoT demand to submit a detailed plan to provide village public telephones ((VPT) by April 30 failing which their licences can be withdrawn, Telecom Secretary Shaymal Ghosh indicated on the sidelines of a FICCI conference here today.
Yesterday at a meeting with basic operators here, Minister of State for Communications Tapan Sikdar said the Centre would not compromise with regard to the fulfilment of targets of the VPT scheme by the basic telephone service licences.
The FICCI conference on Connecting villages with communication facilities comes in the wake of a negligible performance by the private operators in meeting the committed targets of VPTs which has adversely affected the objective of the entire rural coverage by 2002.
The DoT reportedly stated that they would begin issuing notices for cancellation of licences for failure to meet VPT obligations. However, the main contention of the operators is the financial viability of such ventures into rural areas. The rural areas require high investment for low returns, while DoT must remove roadblocks, Mahendra Nahata, Director, Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd, said at the conference.
Providing telephones is only the beginning of a phase which has to end up by providing multimedia in the rural areas of the country, the Secretary, Department of Telecom Services, P.S. Saran, said. Over 6,000 blocks will be covered in the first phase.
The Centre is also contemplating a switchover to the new telecom policy, subject to fulfilment of social obligations by private basic operators. However, DoT has reportedly contended that the switchover from the licence fee to the revenue-sharing regime does not necessary lead to an automatic shift to the new telecom policy.
Connectivity to villages cannot be done either by the government of or the private sector, a basic operator said at the conference. On the condition of anonymity, he said a balanced participation from both sides is required. The Governments view that the private sector should implement 10 per cent of the connectivity to villages under the PVT agreement seems to be harsh.
In other words the
Government wants the private sector to implement their
connectivity in rural areas in 36 months what they could
not in 50 years. He said last few years the average of
governments connecting to villages as compared to
cities is about one per cent. Towards resolving these
issues both the Government and the private sector will
have to participate on a level playing field.
BPL Telecom to invest Rs 750 cr
MUMBAI, April 22 (PTI) BPLs Telecom Business group will invest over Rs 750 crore in the next three years as part of its efforts to build a strong internet backbone in the country and also incubate vortals.
Our aim is to straddle the entire Internet space by offering wireless, internet and broadband services, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Chairman and CEO of the company, told reporters here today at the commercial launch of its Internet service bplnet.Com.
Towards this end, the company would set up international satellite gateways at Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Calcutta and Delhi in two months time, he said adding, over 6,000 km of 155 MBP bandwidth optical fibre network would be laid in Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Pondicherry in the next two years.
BPL Telecom Business Group has already invested $ 6 million of the $ 16 million earmarked for incubating 11 vortals to build an internet E-Co system, Chandrasekhar explained.
All investments initially will be funded through the equity route, he averred and added that bplnet.com was being operated by BPL Innovision pvt ltd, a subsidiary of BPL Cellular.
Varma pointed out that
the company had a personal portal
www.bplnet.com which brings news,
entertainment and personal utilities including a
scheduler and portfolio manager and a youth portal,
Australia offers affordable
CHANDIGARH, April 22 An acute global shortage of Information Technology professionals has become evident as demand in worlds fastest growing industry struggles to meet supply. Global job opportunities beckon those to possess the right training in this field. In countries like Australia, this shortage is particularly serious said Elizabeth Dwyer, area representative of Sydney International College here yesterday, which in association with Canam Consultants is opening admission centres all over India.
Last year, the college doubled its Indian enrolments, as over 4700 students, eager to benefit from the countrys high quality education, undertook studies in Australia.
Ms Dwyer said that Sydney Internationals emphasis is not only on teaching theory, but giving the practical, job-oriented education. The college has started a Careers Club and will be organising a host of skill development programmes for the benefit of the students.
Indian students are
aware of the opportunities created by studies abroad and
the college, which specialises in courses like Business
and Information Technology, has already processed
hundreds of successful applications.
Electrolux launches new home
CHANDIGARH April 22 AB Electrolux, a home appliance company launched its complete portfolio of home appliances here today. The portfolio includes renowned brands namely Electrolux, Kelvinator and Allwyn. The group has launched a comprehensive range of technologically advanced 12 new refrigerators which includes frostfree, conventional and cyclic models to the discerning consumer.
Addressing the press conference, Mr Ram Ramsunder, CEO Electrolux said the home appliance company Electrolux is truly global having withstood more than eight decades of experience and expertise in diverse cultural, social and geographical consumer needs.
Besides the refrigerators, the Electrolux brand is also launching state of the art models of dishwashers, microwave ovens, cooking ranges and deep freezers. By June 2000, the brand will also introduce the world renowned White Westinghouse rooms air conditioners.
Mr Ramsunder said the Kelvinator has also entered the lower end of the frostfree market with its 195 litres and 225 litres frostfree range refrigerators.
He said the Electrolux as a group targets a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore by the end of 2000. It has the market share of 30 to 31 per cent in refrigerators. Its market share in Punjab is 37 per cent. The company sold 65,000 units of refrigerators worth Rs 70 crore in Punjab last year and plans to sell one lakh units this year.
Earlier, Mr Ramsunder handed over Matiz car to Mrs Vandana sood who won that in the Kelvinator scheme khul-ja-sim-sim.
Record sale of Baisakhi Bumper
CHANDIGARH, April 22 Punjab State Lotteries Baisakhi Bumper-2000 created an all time record for highest sale of tickets as compared to its previous Baisakhi bumpers. It also recorded the highest ever profit. The profit of this years Baisakhi bumper is estimated to be Rs. 56 lakh. The profit of last years Baisakhi bumper was Rs.27.55 lakh. Thus, it is an increase of over 100 per cent.
The claimant of the
first prize of Rs. 1 crore of Baisakhi bumper-2000 is Mr
Jagtar Singh a class four employee in P&T Department,
residing in a village of district Ludhiana. The
Department of Punjab State Lotteries is planning to bring
out a Rakhi Bumper on the occasion of Rakhi.
Excel plans expansion
CHANDIGARH, April 22 Excel Infotech Ltd., a software solution company promoted by Delhi based Amtek Group has chalked out a massive expansion plan involving an outlay of Rs. 150 crore.
Excel intends setting up various key businesses such as software consulting, portal development, software and Internet-based as well as IT-enabled services, development of next generation software, education and training software, 3-D animation and e-governance solutions and is scouting partners with foreign or national players for possible tie-ups, Jvs in these areas.
Excel has also planned
to launch a horizontal portal. The company is currently
working on the content for the portal. An investment of
Rs.50 crore has been planned for launching and promoting
the horizontal portal. The company shall also be
launching two vertical portals one for B2B, and other for
Himachal to float loan
SHIMLA, April 22
The cash-stripped Himachal Pradesh Government with the
approval of the Centre has decided to float a loan of Rs
90 crore which will bear interest at the rate of 10.52
per cent per annum from April 25, 2000. Interest will be
payable on October 25, and April 25 each year.According
to an official spokesman, the proceeds of the loan will
be utilised for financing the capital expenditure in
connection with the development of the State.
Subscription in the form of cash and cheque will be
received on April 25 up to the close of banking hours. In
the event of April 25 being declared a holiday by any
State Government under the Negotiable Instrument Act,
1881. The subscriptions will be received at the offices
concerned in the State on the next working day.
by Praful R. Desai
Bona fide need
Q: If the landlord secures possession of another premises during the course of ejectment proceedings, is the eviction maintainable?
Ans: This question was gone into by the SC in Prakash Chand Gupta v K.S. Gupta (2000 (1) R.C.J. 139).
Inasmuch as the respondent had obtained possession of another portion of the premises from his tenant, the claim the respondent that he needs the premises is not bona fide. This aspect does not seem to have been taken note of in the course of order made by the Rent Controller and the application to defend having been rejected, the court proceeded to grant the relief claimed by the respondent.
In the view of the SC, during the pendency of the proceedings inasmuch as the appellant having secured possession of the premises pursuant to the proceedings arising out under the Rent Control Act or otherwise, would be a relevant factor to find out as to the need of the respondent and sufficiency of accommodation.
In the circumstances, the SC granted leave to appellant to contest the proceedings and set aside order made by the Rent Controller and remit the matter to the Rent Controller for a fresh consideration on this aspect of the matter by allowing the parties to raise appropriate pleadings in this regard and holding an enquiry thereto by giving an opportunity to parties to adduce evidence, if any.
Considering the nature of the circumstances of the case, it would be appropriate if the matter is disposed of within a period of six months from the date of the receipt of this order.
by K. R. Wadhwaney
More flights for Hong Kong likely
HONG KONG is a fertile market as many Indians, settled there, visit India at regular intervals. There is a scope for operating more than nine flights a week that two carriers, Air India, and Cathay Pacific operate.
Hong Kong has a new airport which is much bigger than the old one. It may now be possible for Air India to get another slot, which was once refused to it some time ago. If suitable slot is provided to Air India it will certainly operate an additional flight to Hong Kong which can carry on to other centres like the USA with halt at Tai Pei, Beijing and Shanghai.
There is a possibility of bilateral talks taking place between the two Governments soon as Cathay Pacific is urging for operating an additional flight from Mumbai. According to Cathay Pacific officials, the Indian market is being under-served at present. The Indian analysts, however, feel that the market is being adequately served.
Cathay Pacific has another viewpoint. It says there is growing economic ties between the two countries and hence there is a lot of scope in increasing services between Hong Kong and India.
There are several other airlines which are trying to start their services ex-India. The foreign tourism and aviation experts feel that there are several tourist spots which have not been effectively tapped.
Rapiscan has manufactured a new airport scanner which provides naked truth in search for guns, drugs and explosives. It is a kind of body scanner that electronically strips people naked.
Some persons have objected to the use of this scanner. One lady felt so upset that she picked up a quarrel with a female officer who undertook the search at Heathrow Airport some months ago.
The debate is going on
whether this scanner can be used. In view of increasing
incidences of hijacking, there are quite a few airline
officials who feel that it may be put to use. If it is
agreed upon for use, the female guards will use the
scanner for female and male for male. The efforts are
being made to modify the scanner which will provide
blurred features so that they cannot be identified.
by A.K. Sachdeva
Q: We are engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of, inter alia, furniture, Almirahs and other related products at Hisar being a dealer registered under the provisions of the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973 and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. Our unit is aided and financed by the Khadi and Village Industries Board. A Genuineness certificate was issued to our unit recommending tax exemption under Section 13 of the Act ibid for a period of one year. However this certificate was issued at a belated stage and accordingly we immediately filed an application to the assessing authority for the grant of exemption certificate.
On receipt of exemption certificate we discovered that the benefit of tax exemption was granted from the date of submission of our application to the assessing authority while the recommendations of the Khadi & Village Industries Board for the grant of benefit of exemption for one year were ignored. Therefore we made another application to the assessing authority for rectification of the mistake which was submitted beyond ninety days of the grant of exemption. Under these circumstances kindly advise over this issue as to how can we get the exemption certificate rectified from the assessing authority in accordance with the genuineness certificate?
J.K. Jain, Hisar
Ans: It is by now a well settled law that while granting the exemption certificate under Section 13 of HGST Act, 1973 read with notification No SO 120/HA 20/73/S. 13/92 dated September 14, 1992, the assessing authority has strictly to go by the contents of the genuineness certificate. If the exemption to the unit was indisputably granted by the appropriate authority for a period of one year, the assessing authority was bound to give full effect to the certificate of genuineness as far as period of one year was concerned.
To put it differently the assessing authority could not go beyond the certificate of genuineness on the footing that since the application was submitted late by nine months, the exemption was to be made operative from the date of filing of application.
It would be appropriate to have a look at the decision on somewhat identical facts that came to be delivered in the case of state of Haryana v. Baroda Gur and Khandsari Co-Operative Industries Society, (1997) 107 STC 84. In para (4) of this Judgement, their lordships of the Punjab & Haryana High Court held the exemption certificate issued under Section 13 of the Act would become retrospective from the date a genuineness certificate was issued by the Board of the period November 1, 1973 to March 31, 1976 and the assesses-firm would not be liable to pay scales tax and penalty imposed under Section 29 of the Act. If the assessing still refuses to rectify the mistake, you have a right to appeal against his order on receipt of a copy of the order in this context.
Q: Last month we purchased a consignment of Hardware goods from Delhi and handed over the same to the transport Co for brining the same to our place of business situated in Haryana. Bill of purchase as well as goods receipt indicating all relevant details regarding consignment were furnished. While the goods were en route these were intercepted and detailed on ground that CST number of our concern was found wrong. Kindly advise.
because CST number of the buyer has been found incorrect
it does not really lead to evasion of tax if all other
particulars contained in the documents such as name of
the buyer & seller, address, description of goods,
goods receipt number and name of the transport co are
admittedly specified properly. Mere technical error in
the registration certificate of the buyer does not mean
that the documents have been prepared with a view to
evade the payment of tax. Unless some attempt to evade
the payment of sales tax is proved on record, the
checking officer cannot take recourse to sub-Section (6)
of Section 37 of HGST Act, 1973.
by Pushpa Girimaji
Keep going to court as the last resort
THIS week I would like to write about an interesting query that I received from a reader, pertaining to the complications that arose following the purchase of a pair of cotton trousers.
According to the consumer, she wanted to buy a pair of white trousers and after selecting a pair, she said she would like to try it on. The retailer, however, said as a matter of policy, he discouraged customers from trying on white or light coloured clothes as they got soiled fast and so instead, she should try on a pair of brown pants of the same size, same brand and the same design. She thought that was fair enough and wore the brown pair. It fitted, but was a little tight. She asked for a bigger size, but the retailer insisted that she should not buy a larger size as the material of the trousers stretched. She decided to go by his advise and buy the size suggested by him. Having made that decision, she said she would, however, like to try on the white trousers because her experience with buying trousers had shown that standardisation in sizes was far from perfect. Besides, the material of the white pants was a little different from that of the brown pair. The retailer, however, assured her that there would be absolutely no difference in size between the two pairs. Since the pair was a little long, he offered to alter it. That was done and she took it home.
However, when she tried it on at home, she found to her horror that this particular pair was far too tight for comfort and certainly smaller than the brown one that she had tried. So she took it back to the retailer, but he refused to exchange it on the ground that the length had been shortened. After a prolonged argument, he told her that she should wash it and then try it on because it was sure to stretch after a wash. He also assured her that the fabric of the white pair expanded far more than the brown and so she should not worry about the size. So this time the pair of trousers was washed, ironed, but the size did not change. However, before approaching the retailer, the consumer thought it best to know more about her rights.
Now there are several factors that support her claim for an exchange. First of all, despite her insistence, the retailer refused to allow her to try on the white pair that she wanted to buy. His argument was that the sizes were so standardised that she would find no difference in size between the brown and the white pair. He even told her that she might have had such problems with lesser known brands, but not with this one. On this assurance, she bought the pair, but this turned out to be untrue. Secondly, the shopkeeper insisted that she should not buy a larger size because the fabric would stretch considerably, particularly after a wash. This also did not happen. Thus, what she had was a pair of defective trousers.
Let me explain why the pair is defective. Section 2(1) (f) of the Consumer Protection Act, for example, defines defect as any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard, which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or under any contract, express or implied or as in claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods. Now in this case, the retailer has made several claims about the size and the fabric, which turned out to be untrue. So this pair becomes a defective product as per the definition and the consumer can seek a replacement or a refund. And if she goes to the consumer court, she can also claim compensation for the time and money spent on visiting the shop to get a replacement, besides the cost of litigation. However, going to the court should be the last resort, and she should file a complaint only if the retailer and the manufacturer failed to see reason.
Post Script: The
consumer called to say that this time, the retailer gave
her a new pair and also allowed her to try it on. He also
altered the length and won a permanent customer. Of
course, at first he said he could not exchange the pair,
and then after hearing her arguments, said she should
leave the pair at the shop and he would take a decision
after consulting the manufacturer. She pointed out that
she did not live close by and she had already come once
and this was her second trip. She was also a regular
customer. Eventually, he agreed to replace the pair. So
it helps to know your rights!
Ashok Leyland net vaults 285 pc
EMERGING out of a prolonged recession in the industry, Ashok Leyland, has registered a highest ever turnover of Rs.2602.68 crore in 1999-2000, registering a 27 per cent increase over the 1998-99 turnover of Rs.2051.49 crore.
The net profit of the company rose to Rs.78.48 crore in 1999-2000, as against Rs.20.36 crore achieved in the previous year, a jump of 285 per cent, R. Seshasayee, Managing Director of the company, said at a news conference, here today.
The company sold 37,859 vehicles during 1999-2000, as against 29,741 vehicles sold in the previous year, registering an increase of 27 per cent.
Seshasayee estimated that there was a growth of 10 to 15 per cent in market demand for trucks. At presently, Ashok Leyland enjoyed a market share of 34 per cent in medium duty vehicles as against 28 per cent in 1996-97.
The Board of Directors of the Hinduja Finance Corporation Ltd has approved the swap ratio of 1:5 for the merger of Richman Investrade Pvt Ltd with it.
With this merger, Hinduja Finance would acquire 51 per cent control in IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd, a large broadband cable multi-system operator which offers services under the brand name InCablenet, a company statement said here today.
Bank of India
Bank of India (BOI) has declared 10 per cent interim dividend for the financial year 1999-2000.
By A.N. Shanbhag
Q: I want to give my wife a gift of Rs 5 lakh. My wife is not employed and she has no income of her own except very small savings from household expenses.
I refer the Table-I Gift to Spouse on page no. 36 of 18th revised edition of your book. You have stated that the interest on the interest is a donees income and Rs 70,000 shall be clubbed with donors income for taxation. The instrument illustrated is a cumulative ICICI Bond which offer a taxable return.
If the gift amount is invested in any of the MFs (of Debt, Balance or Equity base) giving tax free dividend, in that case, shall the tax-free income earned by such instruments in donees name will attract tax when clubbed with donors income?
If the gift amount is invested in Growth options of MFs, how this proposal would attract clubbing for CG tax on partial withdrawals (after I year) after taking advantage of indexation, and what if the gains are invested u/s 54EA or 54EB?
Mr Vijay Vimawala Prinivv@giasbma, vsnl.net.in
A: In the same chapter, I have said that it is advisable to avoid gifts altogether.
Anyway, the income is always clubbed. If it is tax-free, it remains tax-free in your hands too. In the case of the growth option, capital gains would be clubbed in your hands but can be made tax-free by taking advantage of Sec. 54EC (FA00 has replaced 54EA/EB with 54EC). Whether the first stage income is tax-free or not, the second stage income is not to be clubbed. This is the theoretical answer to your question.
In practice, when you can earn tax-free income in your own hands by using the same methodology and the same instruments without any sacrifice of interest or safety, why give any gift at all?
Q: My wife is a government servant.We both are income tax payers. Can my wife pay premium of Jeevan Suraksha policy of LIC taken in my name and get the tax rebate herself?
Mr Sandeep Singhal, Muzaffarnagar.
A: Payments made in the avenues covered by Sec. 80CCC, including Jeevan Suraksha, are not eligible in respect of contributions in the name of spouses or children. Moreover, I am of the opinion that Sec. 80CCC has quite a blunt edge in saving taxes and you may do well by avoiding it.
Mr S.S. Kohli, who has taken over as Chairman & Managing Director of Punjab National Bank.
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