SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

Tatas keep $3 billion Dhaka investment plan in abeyance
Dhaka, July 10
Disappointed over the delay by the Bangladesh Government in approving its $3 billion investment in the steel, power and coal sectors, the Tata group today announced the suspension of the plan until the general election next year in the country.

Tata Power to set up 2,744-MW plants in 3 states 
Mumbai, July 10
Tata Power plans to set up three power plants with a total capacity of 2,744 MW in Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand with an investment of around Rs 11,000 crore to meet the energy needs of Tata Steel’s expansion plans.

Flag Telecom bags mega deal in China
New Delhi, July 10
Flag Telecom has won a multi-million dollar deal for providing international bandwidth to China Netcom, a leading integrated telecom service provider.

  • GSM application

Mukesh Ambani — India’s ‘most influential’ tycoon
Mukesh Ambani Washington, July 10
Newsweek magazine's international edition has devoted a full length cover story on Mr Mukesh Ambani, describing him as India's most influential businessman and the one who thinks bigger than the rest.

Algerian LNG to fire Dabhol plant
New Delhi, July 10
The beleagured $3 billion Dabhol power plant, which is currently generating expensive electricity using naphtha, is likely to get liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Algeria from mid-2009.

CII constitutes skill development trust
Lt-Gen S.S. Mehta (retd) Chandigarh, July 10
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has formed a skill development trust, which will help in assessing the skills that were required in the workforce, to impart these skills to workers, and setting a benchmark for these skills, in accordance with international standards.
Lt-Gen S.S. Mehta (retd)

Assocham for ban on iron ore export
New Delhi, July 10
With the Hoda Committee recommending the export of iron ore by the steel magnets, the government is likely to incur huge revenue losses in the form of excise duty, besides affecting the supply and prices for the domestic industry.


 

Shoppers look at the cellular phone display at a Nokia store in Chicago, Illinois
Shoppers look at the cellular phone display at a Nokia store in Chicago, Illinois, on June 24. Qualcomm Inc. on Monday said the US International Trade Commission had launched a probe into whether handset-maker Nokia engaged in unfair trade practices by importing and selling phones that infringed on Qualcomm’s mobile communications patents. — Reuters




 
Mr Rajesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Solan, cuts the ribbon to inaugurate a branch of Allahabad Bank at Solan on Monday.
Mr Rajesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Solan, cuts the ribbon to inaugurate a branch of Allahabad Bank at Solan on Monday. Mr V.K. Chawla, DGM, Allahabad Bank, Chandigarh Zone is also seen in the picture. This is the fourth branch of the bank in Himachal Pradesh after Shimla, Dharamsala and Hamirpur.

LIC’s Himachal division bags first position
Shimla, July 10
The Himachal Pradesh division of the Life Insurance Corporation of India has achieved the first position in the country in achieving target of first premium income (FPI) and growth during 2005-06.

OIL to look for oil abroad
Jaisalmer, July 10
Oil India Limited (OIL) would now look for oil and gas wells abroad and would bring oil to India, thus increasing its total productivity here, stated Oil India’s Chairman-cum-Managing Director M.R. Pasricha, who is here on a tour of Jaisalmer district.

Samtel inks jv with HAL
New Delhi, July 10
Electronics display systems manufacturer Samtel today entered into a joint venture agreement with aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for developing and manufacturing avionics display systems.

Eicher to float arm for Royal Enfield unit
Mumbai, July 10
Commercial vehicle manufacturer Eicher Motors Ltd said today it would transfer its Royal Enfield business unit to a new subsidiary company proposed to be setup in the National Capital Region.

BHEL wins Tata Power contract
New Delhi, July 10
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has bagged an order from the Tata Power Company to set up a 250- MW thermal power plant in Maharashtra.

IAFL forays into Sri Lanka
New Delhi, July 10
After foraying into Europe and West Asia, electrical equipment maker Indo-Asian Fusegear Ltd (IAFL) has now launched its entire range of products in Sri Lanka as part of its overseas expansion drive.

UTI dividend
Mumbai, July 10
The UTI-Infrastructure Fund today declared a dividend of 30 per cent (Rs 3 per unit on face value of Rs 10). This is the third and highest dividend declared by the fund since its launch in March, 2004. Earlier, the fund had declared a dividend of 12 per cent in February, 2005, and 20 per cent in August, 2005. The record date for the dividend is July 3. — PTI

CBoP profit at Rs 28.7 cr
Chandigarh, July 10
The Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBoP) today announced a net profit of Rs 28.7 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2006. Net profit for the quarter grew by 160 — per cent as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Operating profit for the quarter at Rs 596 million demonstrates a growth of 220 per cent over the corresponding quarter previous year. The total advances of the bank have grown by 202 per cent over last year. The bank's deposits grew by 191 per cent over last year and 10 per cent over the quarter ended March 31, 2006.

 

Top









 

Tatas keep $3 billion Dhaka investment plan in abeyance

Dhaka, July 10
Disappointed over the delay by the Bangladesh Government in approving its $3 billion investment in the steel, power and coal sectors, the Tata group today announced the suspension of the plan until the general election next year in the country.

“We are extremely disappointed and frustrated (over the delay in clearing the plan)....We thought the projects were good for the country’s economy, for the people and the balance of payment,” Mr Alan Rosling, Executive Director of Tata Sons, told reporters here.

Mr Rosling, who held talks over the weekend with Bangladeshi ministers and officials on the implementation of the plan, said “we are suspending the proposed $3 billion investment plan”. He hinted at going to another destination. The planned investment might be spent on projects elsewhere, he said.

Mr Rosling, who met Finance and Planning Minister M. Saifur Rehman, Industries Minister Matiur Rehman Nizami and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister yesterday, told reporters that “if the government does not make a decision we can’t wait. We have been waiting for 10 weeks to the government response.

Under the investment plan, the group had offered to set up a 2.4 million tonne steel plant, two power plants, a coalmine and a fertiliser plant.

Mr Manzer Husain, Tata Resident Director in Dhaka, said after the meeting with Mr Mahmmudur Rahman, Chief of Bangladesh’s Board of Investment, that “we are suspending and will be no further work on the plan ... we have put in resources here though and so we will wait for the new government to come” after the poll in 2007.

“After the new government comes after eight to nine months we will then assess our position and decide,” Mr Husain said. Asked if the Tatas would move to a new location following uncertainty here, Mr Husain said “we are constantly looking for possible new opportunities.” Tata had earlier set a May 31 deadline for a decision by the Dhaka Government. If the plan finally goes through it will be the single largest direct foreign investment for Bangladesh since its birth in 1971. — PTI 

Top

 

Tata Power to set up 2,744-MW plants in 3 states 

Mumbai, July 10
Tata Power plans to set up three power plants with a total capacity of 2,744 MW in Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand with an investment of around Rs 11,000 crore to meet the energy needs of Tata Steel’s expansion plans.

“The company is in talks with Tata Steel and will enter into a power purchase agreement with the latter for the sale of power from these units once Tata Steel firms up its plans,” Tata Power said in its 87th annual report.

Tata Power proposes to set up a 744 MW project in Chhattisgarh while two projects of 1,000 MW each in Jharkhand and Orissa, it said.

In Orissa, Tata Steel plans to set up a six- million tonne plant with an investment of Rs 15,400 crore, a five million tonne plant in Chhattisgarh by investing Rs 12,000 crore and a 12 million tonne plant in Jharkhand by investing Rs 40,000 crore.

Tata Power is already setting up a 120- MW captive plant for Tata Steel in Jamshedpur, utlising the waste gases released during the steel making process.

The project is likely to earn an investment of around Rs 490 crore, the report added.

Tata Power has applied for allocation of 12 captive coal blocks in the Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

The company is also exploring the possibility of setting up a generation facility near Delhi. While bulk of the power from the project would be sold to the consumers in Delhi, part of it could be sold to consumers in neighbouring states like Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, Tata Power said. — PTI

Top

 

Flag Telecom bags mega deal in China
Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi, July 10
Flag Telecom has won a multi-million dollar deal for providing international bandwidth to China Netcom, a leading integrated telecom service provider.

Under this contract, the global arm of the Anil Ambani- promoted Reliance Communications would provide close to 50 GB of high quality international bandwidth for the retail broadband operations of the Chinese telecom major, and will also act as a link between China and the West coast of the USA, sources said.

The deal, among the largest across the Pacific, is estimated to be close to $35 million.

GSM application

Reliance Communications has applied for GSM spectrum in four more circles - Chennai, UP (east and west) and Jammu and Kashmir.

The applications have been sent to the wireless planning and coordination wing of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Reliance has already asked for GSM spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai circles. DoT has said that the latest application for newer circles had been made under RCL’s unified access service licence.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s incumbent telecom operator is in the process of moving all its international circuits for Voice telephony to Reliance Communications global telecom arm — Flag Telecom.

Reliance Communications officials said Batelco had been a customer of Flag Telecom since 1997 and both companies had undertaken prestigious projects like providing international connectivity for Bahrain’s first Formula One.

The deal is estimated to be close to $ 40 million and the revenues would be booked over the duration of the contract.

Top

 

Mukesh Ambani — India’s ‘most influential’ tycoon

Washington, July 10
Newsweek magazine's international edition has devoted a full length cover story on Mr Mukesh Ambani, describing him as India's most influential businessman and the one who thinks bigger than the rest.

The latest edition of the news magazine, which will hit the stands on July 17, says ''India's top tycoon hopes to kick the country's nascent boom into hyperdrive by remaking its stores, farms and even its biggest cities''.

It said Mr Ambani was all that even before a bitter internal feud led to a split in his family conglomerate. The breakup left him in control of the larger share, Reliance Industries Ltd, and that behemoth has seen its fortunes soar ever since.

Calling him ''India's M. Big Idea'', the cover story written by the magazine's Southeast Asia Correspondent Ron Moreau and Special Correspondent Sudip Mazumdar, says Mukesh, 49, has finalised plans to invest more than $11 billion over the next decade to build two new satellite cities outside Mumbai and Delhi.

Ambani plans, according to the story, to invest $5 billion by 2011 to put both farms and stores on the road to modernity, connect them through a distribution system guided by the latest logistics technology and create enough of a surplus to generate $20 billion in agricultural exports annually.

If his plan succeeds, it says, consumers will get fresher food at lower prices, rural incomes will soar, farmers will become active consumers and Reliance will become ''a Wal Mart in India''.

What distinguishes Ambani is the sweep of his plans and a track record for making big projects happen, the story said.

Mr Ambani wants to build a chain of both small and supersize stores across India, creating one million jobs and reaching $25 billion in annual sales, all by 2011.

To transform Indian farmers into quality suppliers for his new retail chain, Mr Ambani plans to create 1,600 farm-supply hubs across India, providing technical know-how and credit, selling seeds, fertiliser and fuel, and buying produce. He also plans to build some 85 logistics centres to move food to retail outlets and to ports and airports for export. — UNI

Top

 

Algerian LNG to fire Dabhol plant

New Delhi, July 10
The beleagured $3 billion Dabhol power plant, which is currently generating expensive electricity using naphtha, is likely to get liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Algeria from mid-2009.

GAIL, the 50 per cent owner of the Dabhol power plant, is in talks with an Algerian firm for sourcing long-term LNG to fire the 2,184- MW power plant, an industry source said.

“The Algerian company has indicated the possibility of supplying of 1.2 million tonnes per annum LNG for 25 years starting from mid-2009,” he said.

An additional 1.2 million tonnes LNG could also be made available, the source said.

GAIL, which was mandated by the government to meet the LNG requirement of the Dabhol plant, is currently negotiating supply terms and pricing and a term sheet was expected to be signed soon.

Ratnagiri Gas and Power, a GAIL and NTPC joint venture - restarted Block-II on May 1, 2006 using stored naphtha. Block-II can generate 740 MW (17 million units of electricity per day) but was only generating about 5 million units per day using naphtha as feedstock.

It is yet to begun full commercial sale due to feedstock constraints and supplies power to the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) at Rs 4.25 per unit.

The source said GAIL had in May bought 60,000 tonnes of spot LNG from Sonatrach of Algeria at an ex-ship price of $9.28 per million British thermal unit (mBtu).

Petronet LNG Ltd, a company promoted by GAIL, IOC, BPCL and the ONGC, has arranged 1.2 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Qatar, which will be available from the beginning of 2007. This quantity can be supplied to the Ratnagiri power plant.

The power plant requires 2.1 million tonnes per annum of LNG. — PTI

Top

 

CII constitutes skill development trust
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has formed a skill development trust, which will help in assessing the skills that were required in the workforce, to impart these skills to workers, and setting a benchmark for these skills, in accordance with international standards.

This was stated by the recently appointed Director-General (DG) of the CII, Lt-Gen S.S. Mehta (retd), in an interview, during his first visit as DG here today. He said the CII had already started mapping certain areas to see what are the skills needed by industrial cluster in Tamil Nadu, and how these can be imparted and certified according to international standards.

As part of its initiative in skill development, the CII will further aid in the public-private partnerships with Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), which will be set up as Centres of Excellence (COE). "We have already set a target for developing 100 ITIs as COE during this year. Another 100 ITIs will be set up as COE next year and 400 ITIs will be developed as COE in 2008," he said.

He said the CII would set up help desks at all its regional headquarters to aid the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Besides, centres of competitiveness will be strengthened to help further development of the SMEs. 

Top

 

Assocham for ban on iron ore export
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 10
With the Hoda Committee recommending the export of iron ore by the steel magnets, the government is likely to incur huge revenue losses in the form of excise duty, besides affecting the supply and prices for the domestic industry.

In a memorandum to the government, Assocham has urged a blanket ban on exports of iron ore to help the government earn annual revenue of between Rs 1,800 and Rs 2,200 crore with an excise at the rate of 16 per cent.

Currently, as per India’s national policy on iron ore exports, 54 per cent of the ore produced in India is exported and if it is banned, the government will conveniently add to its exchequer an amount of Rs. 1800-2200 crore per annum through excise duty.

Over $4 billion of gross sale is generated by the export of iron ore and the need of hour is to ban exports with immediate effect so that the country earns much higher volume through value addition, said the Assocham chief.

While the overall iron ore imports have registered an increase of 15 per cent in 2004 over 2003, Chinese imports rose by 40 per cent. This led to an increase in the Indian iron ore exports. Exports of Indian iron ore increased by 15 per cent to 90 million tonnes in FY’06 from 78 million tonnes in FY’05 while production rose by 14 per cent to 165 million tonnes from 145 million tonnes. 

Top

 

LIC’s Himachal division bags first position
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 10
The Himachal Pradesh division of the Life Insurance Corporation of India has achieved the first position in the country in achieving target of first premium income (FPI) and growth during 2005-06.

Stating this here today, Mr K.M. Kemmu, Senior Divisional Manager of the corporation, said the division recorded a growth of 117.84 per cent over the previous year with FPI of Rs 265.91 crore. In all 2,31,422 policies were sold during the year. The Future Plus Plan under which 39,445 policies were sold brought a record premium of Rs 186 crore. The FPI target was achieved on October 26 last year itself.

The performance had been even better this year and as many as 47,373 policies with an FPI of Rs 154.37 crore had been sold. Compared to the achievement over the same period last year, the growth in policies was 67.50 per cent and FPI 461 per cent. 

Top

 

OIL to look for oil abroad

Jaisalmer, July 10
Oil India Limited (OIL) would now look for oil and gas wells abroad and would bring oil to India, thus increasing its total productivity here, stated Oil India’s Chairman-cum-Managing Director M.R. Pasricha, who is here on a tour of Jaisalmer district.

Oil India produces 3.2 million tonnes of oil every year. It has been decided to increase the productivity to 3.5 million tonnes every year.

Mr Pasricha said in view of the increasing demands, Oil India had decided to expand by going abroad. The company was considering deals with countries for production of oil and gas in those blocks where work was already on.

Oil India was working in two blocks in Libya from 2005 while it was hoping for a deal in Nigeria.

Mr Pasricha said Oil India had 14 blocks in the country out of which Oil India was working in six blocks whereas the ONGC was handling the other eight. — UNI

Top

 

Samtel inks jv with HAL

New Delhi, July 10
Electronics display systems manufacturer Samtel today entered into a joint venture agreement with aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for developing and manufacturing avionics display systems.

Samtel would be the majority shareholder in the joint venture, Samtel-HAL Display Systems, with a 60 per cent stake and the rest with HAL.

Samtel Chairman and Managing Director Satish Kaura said the company would make investments in the jv in two phases and the avionics products would be marketed initially for the domestic requirements and then in the global markets.

“There will be two levels of investments, with a minimal initial investment on infrastructure and bigger investments on research and development for develpoing the products,” Mr Kaura said without specifying the details.

The company, however, is expected to invest about Rs 17 crore initially on infrastructure for the manufacture of the avionics display system at its Ghaziabad facility and garner a revenue of about Rs 300 crore in the next five years.

It will manufacture multi-functional displays and head-up displays required for HAL’s star programmes like intermediate jet trainers (IJT), light combat aircraft (LCA) and SU-30 MKI.

HAL Chairman Ashok K. Baweja said the joint venture would synergise the capabilities of the two companies to become a globally-competitive business entity. — PTI

Top

 

Eicher to float arm for Royal Enfield unit

Mumbai, July 10
Commercial vehicle manufacturer Eicher Motors Ltd said today it would transfer its Royal Enfield business unit to a new subsidiary company proposed to be setup in the National Capital Region.

At the meeting held today, the Board approved transferring the motor cycle division by way of a slump sale and on a going concern basis to the new company proposed to be incorporated as a subsidiary of Eicher Motors, subject to the shareholders approval.

Eicher Motors would look for strategic and financial investors in the subsidiary company to exploit the growth potential of the Royal Enfield business, it informed the BSE.

This would be the third round of restructuring for the Eicher Group after it first merged group companies, Eicher Ltd and Eicher Motor Ltd, and then hived off the tractor division to Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd. — PTI 

Top

 

BHEL wins Tata Power contract
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 10
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has bagged an order from the Tata Power Company to set up a 250- MW thermal power plant in Maharashtra.

BHEL would design, manufacture, supply, test and commission a 250- MW thermal power plant at Tata Power’s Unit-8 in Trombay, a BHEL press note said.

The public sector firm won the contract under a competitive bidding procedure, where it had to face stiff competition from Chinese and Korean equipment providers, BHEL said.

Top

 

IAFL forays into Sri Lanka

New Delhi, July 10
After foraying into Europe and West Asia, electrical equipment maker Indo-Asian Fusegear Ltd (IAFL) has now launched its entire range of products in Sri Lanka as part of its overseas expansion drive.

IAFL has tied up with the Nawaloka group and opened an exclusive showroom in the island nation to sell the entire range of Indo-Asian products, the Delhi-based company said. Nawaloka has formed a new company called Meyra Trading Co Ltd to promote Indo- Asian products, it said. — PTI

Top

 

UTI dividend

Mumbai, July 10
The UTI-Infrastructure Fund today declared a dividend of 30 per cent (Rs 3 per unit on face value of Rs 10). This is the third and highest dividend declared by the fund since its launch in March, 2004. Earlier, the fund had declared a dividend of 12 per cent in February, 2005, and 20 per cent in August, 2005. The record date for the dividend is July 3. — PTI

Top

 

CBoP profit at Rs 28.7 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBoP) today announced a net profit of Rs 28.7 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2006. Net profit for the quarter grew by 160 — per cent as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Operating profit for the quarter at Rs 596 million demonstrates a growth of 220 per cent over the corresponding quarter previous year. The total advances of the bank have grown by 202 per cent over last year. The bank's deposits grew by 191 per cent over last year and 10 per cent over the quarter ended March 31, 2006.

During the quarter, the bank opened eight new branches, taking the total number of branches to 249 across 123 towns.

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 |