SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


ADVERTISEMENT

 
THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

BSNL cuts OneIndia tariff
Monthly rental reduced from Rs 299 to Rs 225

New Delhi, June 13  
SNL today slashed its tariff under OneIndia plan for fixed line phones, which could trigger off another round of price war, even as the GSM technology celebrated two billion global subscribers and the government indicated release of additional spectrum by October-November. BSNL slashed its monthly rental for fixed line services from Rs 299 to Rs 225 with 25 free calls.

RIL creating ‘mischief’, gas deal was
binding: NTPC

Mumbai, June 13 
NTPC Ltd has charged Reliance Industries with creating “mischief” by substituting words to give an impression as if the $6.6-billion deal to supply gas from RIL’s KG Basin fields was not concluded.

ONGC gets DGCA nod for ATF
New Delhi, June 13  
The ONGC has received approval from the Director- General of Civil Aviation for manufacturing jet fuel (aviation turbine fuel).

Arcelor’s rejection could land it in legal wrangle
London, June 13
The rejection of Mittal Steel's increased £15 billion offer by Arcelor's Board of Directors could lead the European steel giant into a legal minefield, media reports said here today.

Punjab, Haryana slip on power reforms
New Delhi, June 13
 Punjab and Haryana are fast slipping on the front of reforms in the power sector. The states are even lagging behind Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

Sensex loses 413 points
Mumbai, June 13
The bear hammering on Sensex continued today with the index falling below 9,000 in intra-day trade today before closing marginally higher. The markets shed 413 points today to close at 9062, a six-month low. 

WB goes all out to woo Boeing
Kolkata, June 13 
The West Bengal Government is in a race against Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to persuade US aircraft maker Boeing to set up a maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) hub near here.



Actress Yanna Gupta walks the ramp at the Della design show in Mumbai
Actress Yanna Gupta walks the ramp at the Della design show in Mumbai late on Monday. The show featured top models showcasing a series of ensembles created out of construction material, laminate, ply, timberhouse cables, light switches and sound system speakers. — PTI




 
 


A model showcases a new range of Samsung LCD televisions in New Delhi
A model showcases a new range of Samsung LCD televisions in New Delhi on Tuesday.— PTI

Godrej Foods to buy Nutrine
for Rs 270 cr

Mumbai, June 13 
In a major deal in the FMCG sector, Godrej Beverages and Foods Ltd is all set to acquire Chittoor-based Nutrine Confectionery Company Ltd for around Rs 270 crore.

Tata Motors gets Rs 55-cr order
Mumbai, June 13 
Tata Motors has entered the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it has received a large order valued at about Rs 55 crore, to revamp the urban transport system of Kinshasa, the capital city. 

Pantaloon, Lee Cooper to form jv
Mumbai, June 13 
Pantaloon Industries Ltd said today its subsidiary, Indus-League Clothing, will form a 50:50 joint venture company with Lee Cooper International Ltd to distribute and retail its brands in India. 

Defends Severstal deal 
Brussels: Arcelor SA defended a merger deal with Russia's Severstal today valuing it at euro13 billion ($16.34 billion) and saying a takeover from rival Mittal Steel Co. could lead to "highly volatile" revenues.

CORPORATE RESULTS
IndusInd Bank net loss at Rs 62.40 cr 
Mumbai, June 13
IndusInd Bank Ltd today posted a net loss of Rs 62.40 crore for the quarter ended March 31 as compared to net profit of Rs 62.91 crore for the same quarter in 2004-05.

Top









 

BSNL cuts OneIndia tariff
Monthly rental reduced from Rs 299 to Rs 225

Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi, June 13
BSNL today slashed its tariff under OneIndia plan for fixed line phones, which could trigger off another round of price war, even as the GSM technology celebrated two billion global subscribers and the government indicated release of additional spectrum by October-November.

BSNL slashed its monthly rental for fixed line services from Rs 299 to Rs 225 with 25 free calls. The new tariff would be applicable by the end of this month, Union Communication Minister Dayanidhi Maran said.

Company said all other existing tariff plans would continue to be in operation, including the lower rentals scheme in rural areas and OneIndia tariff plan would be optional.

Under the new tariff package for BSNL's landline users, the local call charges will be Re 1 for three minutes within BSNL network (earlier Rs 1.20 for three minutes), while calls to other networks, both landline and mobile, will be Re 1 per minute within a state (intra-circle). 

They said the company, which had witnessed migration of three to four lakh subscribers to the OneIndia plan, is optimistic of increased numbers in the coming months. The telecom major is also mulling at the option of coming out with a low-cost scheme in the future.

Earlier, Mr Maran said the government would release additional 45 MHz of spectrum from the defence services by October-November.

''We should be able to release 45MHz of spectrum from the defence this year. The faster we do this, the quicker we will be able to reach our target of providing better services to our people,'' he told reporters while addressing the GSM Association's conference.
He added that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was consulting on processing of 3G services in India. 

Mr Maran said the government would favour pricing a rare commodity like spectrum, but it evoked strong reaction from Bharti Enterprises head Sunil Bharti Mittal, who argued that heavy entry fee would make the services costly for the customers.
The GSM and CDMA players have divergent views on subscriber-based spectrum allocation criteria. Also, Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata triggered a controversy by stating that Rs 1,500 crore should be charged to any operator as spectrum fee. Others in the industry opposed that view. 

TRAI, which issued a consultation paper on spectrum-related issue for 3G services yesterday, posed a set of questions like identification of proper band for 3G services in India, quantum of spectrum to be allocated and should there be an additional one-time charge for 3G spectrum. 

Now, TRAI has asked for industry inputs on spectrum issues by June 30, after which the regulator will proceed to frame recommendations on the issue.

Meanwhile, concerned over the high international roaming rates at a time when domestic rates have reached rock bottom, Mr Maran asked worldwide GSM operators to bring down the roaming rates.

He came down heavily on those mobile operators not following the mandated subscriber verification process, but at the same time defended that there is no fudging on the subscriber numbers.

Top

 

RIL creating ‘mischief’, gas deal was binding: NTPC

Mumbai, June 13 
NTPC Ltd has charged Reliance Industries with creating “mischief” by substituting words to give an impression as if the $6.6-billion deal to supply gas from RIL’s KG Basin fields was not concluded.

RIL “has sought to create mischief by substituting words... There exists a valid, concluded and binding contract between the parties for supply of natural gas of 132 trillion British thermal unit annually for 17 years,” NTPC said in an affidavit submitted in the Bombay High Court last week.

NTPC, which was to submit its affidavit in its rejoinder on or before March 24, filed the papers on June 7 in connection with the case filed by the corporation last financial year for getting gas from RIL.

The two companies have been engaged in a legal battle over the gas deal for NTPC’s 1,300- MW each Kawas and Gandhar projects in Gujarat. RIL had emerged as the lowest bidder and a letter of intent was signed in June, 2004.

The state-run company argued that the contract came into existence when the Mukesh Ambani’s group company forwarded the duplicate of the duly stamped and signed LoI to NTPC and added that the execution of a gas sale purchase agreement (GSPA) was a “formality”.

NTPC rubbished RIL’s contention that the two parties were negotiating and in discussion for about 18 months to conclude a GSPA but did not succeed.

“Once an agreement was reached, there were no ‘real’ issues on the GSPA, since the draft of the GSPA was, in fact, appended to the RFP (request for proposal) itself,” NTPC said. — PTI

Top

 

ONGC gets DGCA nod for ATF

New Delhi, June 13 
The ONGC has received approval from the Director- General of Civil Aviation for manufacturing jet fuel (aviation turbine fuel).

“The DGCA has granted approval to the ONGC’s Hazira plant for the manufacturing of ATF and chemical analysis and physical testing of ATF,” a company official said.
ATF produced at the Hazira plant is Jet A1 type.

The DGCA conducted the final inspection of facilities and samples of ATF at Hazira plant on March 28. Later, these samples were sent to various laboratories like IOC, BPCL, HPCL, Mumbai and R&D, DGCA, Delhi for further testing. “Hazira ATF has successfully passed all testing parameters in all laboratories,” he said. — PTI

Top

 

Arcelor’s rejection could land it in legal wrangle

London, June 13
The rejection of Mittal Steel's increased £15 billion offer by Arcelor's Board of Directors could lead the European steel giant into a legal minefield, media reports said here today.

The possibility that Arcelor's Board could obtain approval at the first EGM, but have it refused at the second could expose it and its Directors to extensive litigation, according to sources quoted in the Times.

Yesterday, Arcelor set the tender price of its proposed share buyback at 44 euros, the price at which it intends to issue shares to Severstal's Aleksei Mordashov. However, in the background of protests from shareholders, who complained they were not being fairly consulted over the Russian deal, the company agreed to table a resolution at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on June 30 to reconsider the Severstal merger.

This second EGM, if approved, will set the threshold for the approval of the Russian transaction at three quarters of the shares voted, as opposed to the requirement under the Arcelor Board's surprise resolution, that over 50 per cent of the company's issued shares must oppose the deal for it to fail.

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who is in Brussels said, ''It is not an India-specific issue.'' On being asked about the French governments pungent comments about Mittal's bid, he said, ''The French government may have its opinion, but it is the shareholders opinions that count.'' He said this issue has only concerned India because Lakshmi Mittal is an Indian-born entrepreneur. — UNI

Top

 

Punjab, Haryana slip on power reforms  
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13 
Punjab and Haryana are fast slipping on the front of reforms in the power sector. The states are even lagging behind Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

In the annual report, “State power sector — performance rating” released here today, Punjab has again been ranked at 13th level and Haryana has slipped from 14th rank to 19th level with a score of 27.69 and 23.75, respectively, out of 100. Last year, both states had achieved a score of 36.82 and 35.16, respectively. 

Andhra Pradesh (55.81), Gujarat (54.46) and Delhi (50.87) have been ranked first, second and third, respectively, among 29 states.

Awarding the trophies to the winners, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said from the next year the ministry would announce cash prizes as incentives to the state utilities that institute power reforms. 

The report found that power subsidy was contributing 31 per cent of Punjab’s revenue deficit. Expecting political dividends in the state Assembly elections to be held next year, the Congress government in the state has reverted to free power to agriculture sector besides up to 200 units to the scheduled castes families leading to grim scenario.

It is expected to have an annual additional burden of Rs 450-500 crore on the state exchequer. Though the state is facing severe shortage of power during peak period, it has not added any major power capacity over the past few years. 

Only 54 per cent of the state power supply is metered and the aggregate technical and commercial losses, euphuism for power theft is as high as one fourth of total supply.
Delay in unbundling of state electricity board, high failure rate of distribution transformers and lack of master trust to meet the pension and gratuity liabilities of its employees were cited other reasons for low ranking. 

Strangely, Haryana which had initiated the power reforms much earlier than other states, has slipped from 14th rank to 19th due to increasing burden of subsidy and high AT&C losses (43 per cent) in 2004-05.

The report noted “only 44 per cent of the total power supplied in the state is metered, and the power utilities are getting only 63 per cent of costs through collection in 2004-05 as against 73 per cent in previous year.”

The cash loss levels for discoms and transcos have increased from Rs 1,323 crore in 2001-02 to Rs 2,852 crore in 2004-05. 

In North India, Himachal has been ranked 7th, but J&K was ranked at the bottom with a score of minus 6.69, even worse than Bihar and Manipur. 

Top

 

Sensex loses 413 points

Mumbai, June 13
The bear hammering on Sensex continued today with the index falling below 9,000 in intra-day trade today before closing marginally higher.

The markets shed 413 points today to close at 9062, a six-month low. In the broader markets, Nifty tanked 4.1 per cent or 113 points to close at 2663.

Among the major losers today was HDFC which fell 9.5 per cent or Rs 107. Tata Steel, BHEL, Hero Honda and Maruti Udyog were the other big losers.

Only two stocks – SBI and ONGC — closed marginally higher by 0.7 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively. — TNS

Top

 

WB goes all out to woo Boeing

Kolkata, June 13 
The West Bengal Government is in a race against Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to persuade US aircraft maker Boeing to set up a maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) hub near here.

his is our target project. We are very serious about it,” Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen said on his return here yesterday after a week-long tour of the USA with Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb to woo investors.

He indicated the state government was hopeful about bagging the project despite Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel’s earlier announcement that it would come up at Nagpur. “Boeing has not formally announced its decision of having the MRO hub in Nagpur. Besides, Hyderabad and Bangalore are also in the race,” Mr Sen said.

Mr Sen said Boeing had not given its reaction yet to the West Bengal Government’s proposal. “Boeing has its headquarters in Seattle. We could not go there. We met its representative Jean Pritchard in Washington. Her brief was only to listen.” 

Meantime, the state is losing no time in presenting its case more forcefully to Boeing. “We will lose no time in ascertaining what Boeing wants. It can have full or partial MRO activities here. If they want it near the existing NSC Bose International Airport, we can talk to the Airports Authority of India and make arrangements.” 
— PTI 

Top

 

Godrej Foods to buy Nutrine for Rs 270 cr

Mumbai, June 13 
In a major deal in the FMCG sector, Godrej Beverages and Foods Ltd is all set to acquire Chittoor-based Nutrine Confectionery Company Ltd for around Rs 270 crore.

Godrej Beverages and Foods Ltd would acquire 100 per cent stake in Nutrine jointly with IL&FS investment managers and other associates, sources said.

Shares of Godrej Foods Limited rose 5 per cent to Rs 10.94 and hit the upper circuit limit on the stock markets today despite a weak market.

Nutrine exports confectionery, gums and fruit bars to Canada, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nepal, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. — PTI 

Top

 

Tata Motors gets Rs 55-cr order

Mumbai, June 13 
Tata Motors has entered the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it has received a large order valued at about Rs 55 crore, to revamp the urban transport system of Kinshasa, the capital city. 

Tata Motors said 228 buses had so far been delivered under the Indian Government’s Line of Credit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, through the EXIM Bank of India. The company exports buses to several countries in Africa, West Asia, Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, besides the SAARC countries. — UNI

Top

 

Pantaloon, Lee Cooper to form jv

Mumbai, June 13 
Pantaloon Industries Ltd said today its subsidiary, Indus-League Clothing, will form a 50:50 joint venture company with Lee Cooper International Ltd to distribute and retail its brands in India. 

The Board of Indus-League Clothing approved the formation of jv with Lee Cooper International to market and promote the ‘Famous Basics’ brand of eyewear and footwear, Pantaloon said. 

The jv would distribute and retail products under the Lee Cooper brands in India from January 1, 2007. — PTI

Top

 

Defends Severstal deal 

Brussels: Arcelor SA defended a merger deal with Russia's Severstal today valuing it at euro13 billion ($16.34 billion) and saying a takeover from rival Mittal Steel Co. could lead to "highly volatile" revenues.

Mittal separately published a business plan predicting strong growth even if it doesn't manage to win the battle for Arcelor, which yesterday said Mittal's revised euro 25.8 billion ($33 billion) cash-and-stock offer was inadequate and undervalued the company.

After resisting Mittal's bid since January, Arcelor agreed a tie-up with Severstal last month that sees it swap newly issued shares for Severstal's steel assets.

Luxembourg-based Arcelor gave a value for the Severstal deal at the first time, saying in a document published on its website that its 295 million new shares were worth euro13 billion for a 32 per cent stake.

The deal will be called off if Mittal acquires more than 50 per cent of Arcelor, the document said. — AP

Top

 

CORPORATE RESULTS
IndusInd Bank net loss at Rs 62.40 cr 

Mumbai, June 13
IndusInd Bank Ltd today posted a net loss of Rs 62.40 crore for the quarter ended March 31 as compared to net profit of Rs 62.91 crore for the same quarter in 2004-05.

The total income decreased 3.40 per cent to Rs 360.32 crore for the fourth quarter in 2005-06 from Rs 373.03 crore in 2004-05, the bank said. For the year ended March 31, the bank reported a net profit of Rs 36.82 crore as compared to Rs 210.15 crore a year ago and the total income increased to Rs 1414.39 crore for 2005-06 from Rs 1385.15 crore in 2004-05.

India Cements

India Cements Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 27.03 crore for the quarter ended March 31 as compared to Rs 73.72 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2005, a decline of 63.33 per cent. The company said its total income (net of excise) has increased from Rs 336.15 crore in Q4 FY 04-05 to Rs 424.56 crore for Q4 FY 05-06.

It has posted a net profit of Rs 45.31 crore for the year ended March 31as compared to Rs 4.58 crore for the year ended March 31, 2005 (FY 04-05). Total Income (net of excise) has increased from Rs 1179.05 crore in FY 04-05 to Rs 1549.0 crore for FY 05-06. As per the consolidated results, the group has posted a net profit of Rs 42.73 crore for the year ended March 31, 2006 (FY 05-06) as compared to a net loss of Rs 42 lakh for the year ended March 31, 2005 (FY 04-05). Total Income (net of excise) has increased from Rs 1183.57 crore in FY 04-05 to Rs 1552.69 crore for FY 05-06.

Tulip net up

Tulip IT Services Ltd today reported a 265 per cent increase in net profit for 2005-06 with the net profit at Rs 48.98 crore and 49 per cent increase in turnover at Rs 508.17 crore. The company announced its expansion plans for 800 cities with an investment of Rs 1600 crore, which would be generated from the debt market and internal accruals. — PTI, TNS

Top

  bb
BRIEFLY

Vedanta bags Canadian firm
Mumbai, June 13
Mining and metal company Vedanta Resources today announced it has acquired 100 per cent stake in Canadian gold mining firm Sterlite Gold Ltd for an all-cash deal of Rs 285 crore. As part of the deal, Vedanta would buy the 55 per cent stake owned by Canada-based Twin Star Ltd in Sterlite for Rs 157 crore. The company would pay another Rs 128 crore for the remaining 45 per cent outstanding common shares of Sterlite Gold. — PTI
GS450h, the first hybrid sedan under Toyota's high-end Lexus marque, on display at a Toyota showroom in Tokyo
GS450h, the first hybrid sedan under Toyota's high-end Lexus marque, on display at a Toyota showroom in Tokyo on March 16, 2006. Toyota said on Tuesday it would double the number of hybrid cars in its vehicle line-up soon after 2010, renewing its endorsement of the technology as critical to reducing pollution and oil dependence. — Reuters

Maruti jv 
New Delhi, June 13 
Maruti Udyog Ltd has decided to form a joint venture for manufacturing sheet metal components for its own requirements as well as for Suzuki’s motor cycles in India. “Maruti will be forming the joint venture for the manufacture of sheet metal components,” a company source said. The source said the car major would hold 30 per cent in the jv which is modelled on similar joint ventures the company had. Japan’s Suzuki has a 54.2 per cent stake in Maruti Udyog, which is India’s largest car maker. — PTI

Gujarat NRE
Mumbai, June 13 
Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd has picked up a stake in New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd’s subsidiary, Pike River Coal Company Ltd, for Rs 57 crore. Gujarat NRE, the country’s leading independent manufacturer of low ash metallurgical coke, said it had also contracted to take four lakh tonnes per annum of Pike River’s premium hard- coking coal. Vice- Chairman and Managing Director Arun Kumar Jagatramka would be appointed on the Board of Pike River after the completion of the planned IPO, the company said. — PTI

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |