SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

Montek hopeful of 7 pc growth
Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia addresses mediapersons in New Delhi on Monday. New Delhi, June 8
The stable government, good growth potential of the economy, and a strong farm economy is likely to push India’s growth rate at around 6-7 per cent.

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia addresses mediapersons in New Delhi on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Anand Sharma India to resume Doha dialogue: Anand Sharma
New Delhi, June 8
India has stated that it is committed to the successful conclusion of the Doha process through a constructive engagement.

Car exports up 42% in May
New Delhi, June 8
Exports of passenger cars from the country soared 41.64 per cent in May, mainly on the back of robust performance by Maruti Suzuki, although domestic sales increased by a meager 2.48 per cent.

SC allows TVS to make Flame,
with restrictions

New Delhi, June 8
The Supreme Court today allowed Chennai-based
two-wheeler company, TVS Motor Company, to
manufacture TVS Flame, a 125-cc bike sporting
twin-spark plugs, the technology for which Bajaj
Auto allegedly holds the patent rights.



EARLIER STORIES




An employee works at a steel and iron factory in Changzhi, Shanxi province.
An employee works at a steel and iron factory in Changzhi, Shanxi province. China is offering a 9 per cent value-added tax rebate on exports of several high-end steel products, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Analysts see this as the latest move to support domestic steel mills. — Reuters photo

OECD projects
further slowdown

London, June 8
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) today projected further slowing down of the Indian economy, even while indicating that China has hit the bottom and is likely to show improvement in the next six months.

Sensex logs third
biggest fall of year

Mumbai, June 8
Profit booking and weak global cues today resulted in the Sensex falling 437 points to end at 14,665 towards the close of trade.

ED to grill Raju
Hyderabad, June 8
After CBI, SEBI and other central agencies, it is the turn of Enforcement Directorate (ED) to question the disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers, B Ramalinga Raju and others accused in the Rs 7,800-crore fraud in the software giant.

Economic turnaround likely in second half: CII
Chandigarh, June 8
The economic turnaround and recovery from the current recession is expected to happen in the second half of this fiscal.

 





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Montek hopeful of 7 pc growth
Bhagyashree Pande
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 8
The stable government, good growth potential of the economy, and a strong farm economy is likely to push India’s growth rate at around 6-7 per cent.

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said today there was a need to increase plan outlays in certain sectors. “We are in dialogue with the Finance Ministry to increase the outlays,” he indicated.

“The idea behind increasing the outlays for various sectors is to increase economic activity. The Interim Budget already had significant allocation, including stimulus packages, but we will look at what more could be done for some sectors while ensuring a tolerable fiscal deficit,” he said.

On the economic growth prospect, the deputy chairman said, “the economy will grow at the same rate as last year. Many people say 7 per cent growth is not impossible this fiscal and some believe it could be better,” he said.

“We should at least be aiming at the same growth as achieved last year and I think we could do a little better,” he said.

On the issue of raising resources through disinvestment, Ahluwalia said there was a scope to raise significant resources through selling government stakes in the state- run companies.

“We have started some discussion with the Finance Ministry on what should be the appropriate size of the plan expenditure in the current fiscal year,” he stated.

On the issue of subsidy downsizing, which has been a drain on the government income, he said subsidies needed to be recast so that the benefits reach the needy.

“Lots of it depends on how global economy behaves in the second half of this fiscal. Everybody expects that sharp downturn is coming to an end, but people are not sure how good a rebound we are going to see in the world economy,” he said.

“So, I think there are some real uncertainties. But compared to three months back, the economic situation is much more favourable. Investors are certainly seeing it as such,” Ahluwalia said.

The fact that we have strong mandate for stable government holds for the prospects of stable policies and we have seen some of that reflected in investment growth already, he added.

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India to resume Doha dialogue: Anand Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 8
India has stated that it is committed to the successful conclusion of the Doha process through a constructive engagement.

In his special address to the Cairn group, in Bali today, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma has stated that the Doha round must be central to all discussions and the aspirations of all developing countries for a fair trading regime must be recognised.

The trade minister while emphasising on the need for resumption of negotiations, stated the development dimension of the Doha Round.

Cairn group is a unique coalition of 19 agricultural exporting countries, promoting free trade in agriculture. These include US, Canada, Brazil, Japan, EU, South Africa, Indonesia, among other countries.

During the meeting, Sharma also had discussions with Ron Kirk, the US Trade representative. This is the first time that the Indian Commerce Minister has had a substantive ministerial engagement with the US in the Obama administration.

The two ministers agreed to take forward the multilateral negotiations and to
review the US-India bilateral engagement during the visit of Sharma to Washington
later this month.

The minister also held talks with his counterparts from Australia, New Zealand,
Malaysia and Indonesia. He is scheduled to hold discussions with Pascal Lamy, DG
of WTO tomorrow.

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Car exports up 42% in May

New Delhi, June 8
Exports of passenger cars from the country soared 41.64 per cent in May, mainly on the back of robust performance by Maruti Suzuki, although domestic sales increased by a meager 2.48 per cent.

According to the data by the Society of India Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger car exports from the country stood at 29,619 units in May this year as against 20,911 units during the corresponding month of 2008.

The export growth was largely driven by the country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India as its sales grew 90.69 per cent to 9,012 units in the month compared with 4,726 units during the year-ago period, SIAM said.

The country's largest-exporter Hyundai Motor India reported a jump of 27.77 per cent in exports during May at 20,125 units compared with 15,751 units in the same month last year.

Homegrown auto major Mata Motors, however, witnessed a dip of 25.35 per cent in its overseas sales of passenger cars at 324 units as against 434 units in the year- ago period.

SIAM said exports of total passenger vehicles, including utility cars, grew by 39.22 per cent in May at 29,763 as against 21,378 units in the same month last year.

Domestic passenger car sales increased by 2.48 per cent to 1,13,490 units in May from 1,10,745 units in the same month last year, it added.

In the two-wheeler segment, total motorcycle exports grew by 5.20 per cent in May at 78,354 as against 74,484 in the year-ago period.

Market leader Hero Honda's sales in the overseas markets grew by 53.81 per cent to 8,472 units from 5,508 units during May last year.

Rival Bajaj Auto's exports rose by 3.71 per cent at 51,419 units compared with 49,581 units during the same month last year.

Total scooter exports, however, dipped 24.17 per cent at 1,584 units as against 2,089 units in the year-ago period.

The downward trend of commercial vehicles continued in the export markets as well with sales slipping by 51.06 per cent to 2,272 units from 4,642 units in May, 2008, SIAM said. — PTI

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SC allows TVS to make Flame, with restrictions

New Delhi, June 8
The Supreme Court today allowed Chennai-based two-wheeler company, TVS Motor Company, to manufacture TVS Flame, a 125-cc bike sporting twin-spark plugs, the technology for which Bajaj Auto allegedly holds the patent rights.

However, it did not permit TVS to move its "finished product (motorcycle) from its warehouse" after the company gave an undertaking in this regard.

A Bench headed by Justice B Sudershan Reddy, while issuing notice to the Chennai company and allowing it to manufacture TVS Flame, said that "no finished product would leave the respondent's (TVS) warehouse".

"Both parties are restrained from using this order for any other purposes, including publicity," the Bench said while posting the matter for the next hearing in the first week in August.

The order came on a petition filed by Bajaj Auto Ltd challenging the Madras High Court's ruling that permitted the Chennai-based two-wheeler company to use twin-spark plugs in its motorcycles.

The single Bench of the High Court had earlier restrained TVS from manufacturing,
marketing and selling its 125-cc motorcycle TVS Flame after Bajaj Auto alleged that
the bike used twin-spark plugs for combustion, which was its patented technology.
— PTI

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OECD projects further slowdown

London, June 8
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) today projected further slowing down of the Indian economy, even while indicating that China has hit the bottom and is likely to show improvement in the next six months.

With regard to other BRIC nations, the Composite Leading Indicators (CLI) prepared by the OECD suggests that the economies of Brazil and Russia would continue to perform poorly.

The CLI designed to provide early signals of turning points in business cycles, rose by 0.4 per cent for India in April 2009.

According to the OECD, a grouping of rich nations, business cycles refer to fluctuations of economic activity around its long-term potential level.

"The CLI for China increased 0.9 point in April 2009 but was 8.3 points lower than a year ago. The CLI for India increased by 0.4 point in April 2009 but was 7.9 points lower than in April 2008," OECD said in a statement today.

In addition to India, the OECD has forecast "slowdown" of the economy for the US, Japan and Germany, among others.

Having recorded a growth rate of 9 per cent for consecutive three years ending 2007-08, the Indian economy slipped to 6.7 per cent during 2008-09, mainly on account of the impact of the global financial meltdown.

Going by the RBI’s recent projections, the growth rate could slip to 6 per cent in the current fiscal.

Meanwhile, the OECD has noted that some major economies are witnessing an "easing pace of deterioration".

"While it is still too early to assess whether it is a temporary or a more durable
turning point, OECD composite leading indicators (CLIs) for April 2009 point to a
reduced pace of deterioration in most OECD economies with stronger signals of a
possible trough in Canada, France, Italy and the United Kingdom," the statement
noted. — PTI

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Sensex logs third biggest fall of year
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 8
Profit booking and weak global cues today resulted in the Sensex falling 437 points to end at 14,665 towards the close of trade.

After hitting a high of 15,184, the benchmark index swung wildly to 14,604 in the early hours of trade itself.

In the broader markets, the Nifty ended down 157 points at 4,429. Among the Sensex stocks, IT scrips like Infosys, Wipro and TCS gained between 2 and 3 per cent while DLF, Tata Steel and JP Associates plunged more than 10 per cent each.

Among sectoral indices, the BSE realty index was down more than 10 per cent while metal and banking indices lost between 4 and 6 per cent.

Compared to the frontline scrips, the small and midcaps indexes plunged 5.8 per cent and 4.75 per cent, respectively.

PTI adds: Metals and realty bore the brunt of a dramatic sell-off by foreign funds, sending the benchmark Sensex spiralling down, the third-biggest fall of the year.

Extremely weak trends in the European markets and the US futures weighed on
local bourses.

Investors resorted to across-the-board selling as foreign institutional investors (FIIs) began pulling out from equity in later afternoon trade.

Bonanza Portfolio assistant vice-president Avinash Gupta said: "Falling metal prices and China giving incentives for export of steel products induced profit-taking and it seems a correction is setting in. The market is expected to be range-bound with rises/falls between 4,250 and 4,500."

The equity markets witnessed a massive capital inflow of Rs 22,133 crore between
May 1 and June 4 on optimism about speedy economic reforms in post-election
political stability.

DIIs, which have been net sellers in the current month, stepped up their sales
during the day.

European markets were down by about 1.2 per cent to 1.61 per cent in early trade while the Hang Seng fell by 2.28 per cent, Taiwan weighted by 3.34 per cent and Straits Times by 2.97 per cent.

The BSE realty index slumped 424.82 points or 10.54 per cent, metals 761.92 points or 6.51 per cent and the Bankex 362.52 points or 4.42 per cent.

The total market breadth turned negative with 2,246 counters losing against 582
gainers. — PTI

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ED to grill Raju
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, June 8
After CBI, SEBI and other central agencies, it is the turn of Enforcement Directorate (ED) to question the disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers, B Ramalinga Raju and others accused in the Rs 7,800-crore fraud in the software giant.

A local court here today granted permission to ED to record the statements of Raju and four others accused, who are currently lodged in Chanchalguda central jail here.

The 14th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, in his orders, permitted the ED to question Ramalinga Raju, his younger brother and Satyam’s former managing director Rama Raju, ex-CFO V Srinivas and former auditors of Price Waterhouse, S Gopalakrishnan and T Srinivas, for eight days, beginning tomorrow.

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Economic turnaround likely in second half: CII
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The economic turnaround and recovery from the current recession is expected to happen in the second half of this fiscal.

These are findings of a business outlook survey conducted by CII Northern Region.

The Survey is based on 132 responses received from industry across Chandigarh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

While 64 per cent of respondents were from manufacturing sector, 36 per cent were from the services sector.

According to CII, 72 per cent of the respondents expected the GDP growth to be in the range of five to seven per cent.

This indicates a growing convergence towards the view that the Indian economy would witness some moderation in growth rates in the wake of global slowdown.

On inflation, 87 per cent of the respondents expect inflation to be above two per cent in 2009-10, thereby ruling out possibility of sustained deflation.

The survey also looked into the expectations on various elements that build up
business confidence viz investments, capacity utilization, sales, availability and
cost of credit.

The results are encouraging with positive expectations across the spectrum.

Thirty-three per cent of the respondents expect an increase in investments during the current six months.

Capacity utilisation is expected to improve with 55 per cent of the respondents
expecting a capacity utilisation of more than 75 per cent as against 40 per cent
of the respondents reporting a capacity utilisation of more than 75 per cent in
the past six months.

Sixty-two per cent of the respondents expect an increase in sales as against only 39 per cent of the respondents reported an increase in the past six months.

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BRIEFLY

Rupee down by 44 paise
Mumbai:
After a brief weekend recovery, the Indian rupee on Monday depreciated by 44 paise to close at more than a one-week low of 47.55/56 against the dollar, moving in line with the sluggish local equity markets amid a firm dollar overseas. Forex dealers said a sharp surge in the dollar against the basket of currencies on Friday largely weighed on rupee sentiment. Initially, the rupee touched a high of 47.25 but fell to a low of 47.75 before ending at 47.55/56 a dollar, a fall of 0.93 per cent over its last close. — PTI

Moody's downgrades Tata Steel rating
New Delhi:
Global rating agency Moody's on Monday downgraded its credit rating on Tata Steel, primarily due to deteriorating operating performance of its European operations, including Corus. The corporate family rating for Tata Steel has been revised a notch lower to a low investment grade rating 'Ba3', Moody's said. The agency also downgraded the corporate family rating of Tata Steel UK to 'B2'. — PTI

Idea launches Blackberry services in Punjab
Chandigarh:
Idea Cellular, in association with Research in Motion (RIM), has launched a broad range of Blackberry services in Punjab. Subscribers can now avail Blackberry service, which provides wireless access to email, web malls like Yahoo and Gmail, web and multi-media applications, said Anish Roy, COO, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, Idea Cellular. — TNS

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