|B U S I N E S S||
Friday, December 4, 1998
slashes Internet rates
Mini-Himachal in city
Info launches Internet
forecast centre set up
on dairy tie-up with Punjab
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 Israel has done it. India, particularly Punjab, can do it. We are there to provide the desired knowhow and technology.
This assurance was held out by Dr Yehoyada Hai, Ambassador of Israel, in an interview to TNS during a coffee-break at the international conference on emerging technologies in dairy industry here today.
More than anything else, what Israel and India have in common is the religious tolerance. India is the only place where there has been no persecution of the Jews.
The country has great love for Punjab and its people. Having interacted with Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the ambassador is all praise for the action-oriented, practical man, who is ever quick to cut across bureaucratic wranglings. It is for this reason that besides dairy Israel is keen to cooperate with Punjab on cotton crop.
On India-Israel trade, Dr Haim said it was for the first time that Indian exports to Israel had outstripped imports from Israel by 21 per cent in just nine months, between January and September last. Israel still depends mainly on India for rice imports. Though this is getting costly now.
Conscious of perishable nature of several farm produces Israel, he said, is willing to help with its technology anyone, anywhere to increase the shelf-life. He was enthusiastic on exchange programme of scientists and farmers between Punjab and Israel. Nearly 120 Indians visited Israel recently and Israel held 14 different courses in India.
What a small country like Israel can do a big country like India, which has more land, more sun and five times more water can do much more and much better, he emphasised.
Meanwhile, the two-day dairy conference which got under way talked of milk production, availability, preparing products, improving quality of milk and hygienic handling of milk and its products as well as their packaging. The conference started off with a welcome by Mr Krishan Goyal (CII) and Managing Director of Modern Dairies. He was followed by Punjabs Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, who gave an overview of Punjabs dairy and livestock scene.
While interacting with several delegates one was shocked to learn that despite all tall talk of 74 million tonnes milk production, annually, and other achievements, the fact remained that India is far behind in achieving its own target of per capita, per day, milk requirement.
Punjab may boast of
highest milk consumption in the country with a population
of 47 lakh buffaloes and cows, yet, a survey of primary
schools in the state has revealed that children suffered
from stark malnutrition. As a consequence, 32 per cent
pupils of primary schools are anaemic, 8 per cent have
weak eyesight and 10 per cent have bad teeth.
birds and diseases
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 Should poultry livestock for breeding purpose be imported or not? This was the moot question debated at length in the concluding session of the international conference on recent development in poultry industry held at Agro-Tech 98 here today.
Raising the question, Mr B.M. Chadha, President of the poultry Federation of India, said when he had ventured into poultry farming there were only three diseases which used to affect hens and broilers etc.
But now the number gone up to the extent that it was difficult to remember the names of the diseases.
Mr K.A. Reddy, Director, Central Poultry Breeding Farm, said that a few years ago the import of birds was banned but due to certain pressures it was again allowed.
Mr Shashi Kapoor, Managing Director of INDOVAX, who presided over the concluding session, said all participants in the conference, including eminent speakers, were unanimous that there should be a system for importing the birds and these should be examined by doctors and also quarantined for some months to eiminate the chances of any disease entering the country.
Should ostrich farming be started in India? This was the other question. It fetches high price in the market. However, there was a mixed opinion on it. It would have to be imported and several diseases would be brought to India.
Mr Shyam Kuldeep Singh, General Manager of the Venkateshwara Hatcheries Limited, in a paper said that India was the fifth largest producer of eggs in the world and 17th largest broiler producer. The annual growth rate of egg production was 10 per cent.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 Agro Tech 98 has more to offer to the agro-industrialist or the big farmer and little to a simple farmer.
All that is there for a keen visitor from a village with a limited farm budget is the Agro Mela and not tech, for most of the big names at the exhibition have put up technology demonstration stalls with products that have either not been introduced in the country or are way beyond the means of an Indian farmer who follows the Land Ceiling Act in spirit.
A concept introduction is of a rural transport vehicle by Hindustan Motors. Whether it sells or not at the show, it was a crowd-puller, what with a company executive going round and round a circuit that has a flight of steps for the vehicle to go across. It has a minimalistic design aimed apparently at keeping the cost down (Rs 3.5 lakh). At 50 HP and with a versatile body can double as a passenger as well as a load carrier it just might be a decent replacement for the Marutas and Peter rehras doing the rounds on dirt tracks in the countyside.
Several stalls, including those of J&K, had plants on display, but could give no information on where to get them if anyone wanted to.
The exhibitions put up by States like Rajasthan, UP, Andhra Pradesh, J&K and Punjab were more of propaganda affairs, just as expected. What were Spice Telecom and Max Page stalls doing at the exhibition could be anybodys guess.
Tractors did attract farmers. New Holland had a range of Ford tractors, but most of them have not been introduced in the domestic market as yet. It did have one 50 HP tractor that has been launched, but it will face a rather stiff competition on the price front for it is far above other tractors in the category, its high technology notwithstanding.
Among the horde of tractors, there were two really practical exhibits an Orchard Special by HMT and a power tiller from Greaves. The Orchard Special is a low, small, 25 HP machine that can be put to good use in vineyards or between fruit trees; there is no other such tractor available, so it just might capture a niche market.
The power tiller may not have many takers but it is just what the Indian farmer needs. A 14 HP engine mounted on frame with arrangement to hook on farm implements. Essentially, it works like an animal-driven plough, only it has a machine instead. It would be wise for loan-burdened farmers with small land holdings to go for such a thing instead of the ego-boosting 40-HP-and-above tractors.
MOST of the visitors to the Agro Tech '98 had to resort to search-for-yourself efforts in the absence of any handouts that could precisely inform them about the hangar-wise location of stalls. Such things were simply not available. However, the information centre had a compiled data of whos-where arranged in alphabetical order but then that was their copy and not a handout as the person behind the counter put it.
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Confusion over timings left many visitors from villages crossed. Most of them arrived busloads in the morning to have a glance at the exhibits and the exhibitors, only to find that the price of the ticket during business hours (10am to 2pm) was a bit heavy on their pocket at Rs 50. They preferred to wait till 2 pm when the gates were thrown open to general public. And they did not regret it once they got in. Quite a few rural brethren, attracted by bevy of beauties (wo)manning the stalls, were bowled over by the demeanour of the exhibitors rather than the demonstration itself. Some of them were left wondering about the briefcase-like object in the hands of laptop holding mannequin at Punjab pavilion.
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Officials manning the NABARD counter were visibly irritated and at their wits end after they encountered a bunch of rowdies. While one of the visitors challenged the authenticity of the cutouts and display material at the stall, another bagged a huge pile of brochures and walked off coolly.
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A number of visitors were disappointed since some of the government departments with established names in the field of agriculture were conspicuous by their absence. Persons managing the stalls of a few of the government-run agencies grew visibly restless after 5pm, the usual office closing time. Old habits . Further, there were just two stalls which dealt with tubewell irrigation peripherals
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Hindustan Motors Rural Transport Vehicle (RTV), due to be launched this month, attracted huge crowds with grinning Jats hopping in for a geri in the gaddi with popcorn in one hand and brochures tucked in the other.
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Credit for illuminating
the whole venue goes to the electricity department, who
with their two transformers of 500 kva each, lighted up
the venue. The transformers have the capacity of
producing power in excess than would be required at the
venue, an official stated.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 The State Bank of India, NRI branch, today organised an NRIs meet to apprise them of facilities being offered by the banks. Mr R .L. Wig, Deputy General Manager of the bank, presided.
NRIs from Canada, the USA, Britain, Belgium, Kuwait, and Australia participated in the meeting and pointed out their difficulties. They demanded privacy of their accounts as is in other countries and sought interest on FDRs not renewed in time.
Mr Ramesh Khurana, AGM (Corp and International), assured them that time period in their money transfer will be curtailed and they will get interest from the day of the presentation of the cheque. Mr Wig said that most of the computerised bank branches in Chandigarh would be inter-linked by January next year and the certificates for the Resurgent Bonds will be despatched within a fortnight.
JALANDHAR, Dec 3 A meeting of importers and exporters, sponsored by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) and Conware, was held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Kishore G. Apte, Deputy Chairman of Trust.
Addressing a press conference, Mr Apte explained the various port-operations related to exports and imports. Grievances of importers and exporters were redressed on the spot by officials of The Trust, PSWC and Conware and suggestions to upgrade the port operations were also entertained.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 France plans to play a major role in the Indian agriculture and food processing sector, according to Mr Jean Charles Rouher, Head of the Economics, Trade and Finance Commission of France, who is leading a French business delegation to Agro Tech. An innovative Indo-French financing scheme is at the disposal of the Indian private sector.
Seven major French equipment suppliers for the agriculture and food industry are participating in the exhibition.
France-India 2000 towards a new millennium, a year-round exposition will be held in New Delhi and Mumbai where 200 French companies from different sectors, including agriculture and food processing will participate.
sells farm plans
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3
Allahabad Bank, the co-sponsorer of Poultry Expo at Agro
Tech, has displayed its various agricultural schemes and
banking services in Hall No. 6. The banks recently
launched a Green Card scheme for farmers was a special
attraction. Farmers made enquiries about modalities of
the scheme. The bank is also mobilising various poultry
projects during the course of the fair.
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 (PTI) State-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limted (VSNL) today cut down the Internet tariff by 30 per cent, in the face of stiff competition from private service providers following the opening up of the Internet market.
VSNL has revised tariff for TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/Internet protocol) that allows users to surf the Internet with own software and without the help of local telephone carriers and offered in a new package named flexihour.
As per the flexihour tariff, a VSNL TCP/IP access for the first 100 hours would cost Rs 3000. The user can renew the account at a tariff of Rs 3,500 for 250 hours or at Rs 7,000 for 500 hours at the rate of Rs 14 per hour, according to VSNL.
Along with the new tariff, VSNL also offers a simple e-mail address to its users in the format of firstname.lastname@example.org in place of the exisiting lengthy address.
The existing TCP/IP tariff strucutre has three plans in which a one year usage of 100 hours costs Rs 3,000 at the rate of Rs 30 per hour, while plan II costs Rs 6,500 for usage of 250 hours at the rate of Rs 26 per hour.
The third plan, meant for heavy users who surf 500 hours in a year, costs Rs 10,000 for 500 hours at the rate of Rs 20 per hour.
VSNL also offers dial-up access which requires the users to dial some specified number to get connected to a host computer which can provide Internet services at a rate of Rs 5,000 for 500 hours, Rs 10 per hour.
A special subsidised service offered for students would cost only Re 1 per hour of use when taken at an annual rental for 500 hours.
The new tariff is part of the gearing up exercise by VSNL which currently has about 1.5 lakh subscribers spread across the country.
VSNL is also in the
process of increasing its points of presence (PoP) from
the existing 40 centres to 70 by year-end, besides
improving the quality of service by increasing the speed
to 56 kilobits per second (KBPS) from the present 33.4
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 There is a veritable mini-Himachal Pradesh at Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, here. Himachal Pradesh State Handicrafts and Handloom Corporation Ltd. has brought an exhibition to the city. To be on till December 15, the fair brings the choicest of HP artisans magical creations all available for a discount of up to 25 per cent.
There is a range of 12 types of shawl Kinnauri, Kulu, Pashmina, Angoora in pure and mixed forms and both plain or with designs and borders. Besides, woollen material for coats and jackets (patti) and readymade sweaters, achkans, reversible waistcoats and gowns in tweed with their every warp and weft woven into the typical ancient skill handed down through generations, promise to give the much needed warmth in the winter. Woollen blankets and carpets too vie for attention.
Typical HP Jewellery crafted in precious and semi-precious stones by the village folk assisted by the corporation comprises necklaces, bracelets and ear-rings in traditional styles.
Among gift items and knick knacks, cutlery in white metal stands out. Spoons, forks and knives carved in exquisite designs are a collectors item. Ditto for the Thanka Buddhist paintings with Krishna Lila as the main motif.
There is also a stall selling cushion and pillow covers, crochet laced mats and bed covers.
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 Satyam Infoway, Indias first private Internet Service Provider (ISP) today launched its Internet service in the capital.
The service will cover Ludhiana and other cities of the region over the next two weeks.
During the first phase the network will cover 12 cities spread across the country which includes,Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahemdabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Coimbatore, Kochi, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pondicherry, Pune, Secunderabad and Ludhiana.
By March next year cities covered by the service will go up to 40, which also includes Chandigarh.
The subscription rates for the service are Rs 3,900 for 100 hours and Rs 9,900 for 500 hours.
Member Production and Ex-officio Secretary, Telecom Commission Mr R.R.N. Prasad who was present on the occasion said that steps were being taken to set up six more 2MB international gateways to reduce congestion.Currently there are six such international gateways.
We are looking at two million Internet customers in the next two years the present number of which is 1.5 lakh, he said.
Mr Prasad said the government has allowed private operators to set up international gateways and there was no restriction on the number of players .The government would also shortly import STM16 technology enabling to provide lease lines on demand and lead to reduced dearth of bandwidth.
SatyamOnline will offer its Internet services using 2MBPs backbone network and comes along with CD which contains value added software. Some of the variants of the SatyamOnline Internet Access are: Discover 100 a 100 hour browsing Internet account along with one e-mail account valid for 10 months, Discover 500 - a 500 hour browsing Internet account with one e-mail account valid for three months,Venture 500 - a 500 hour browsing time along with 5 user IDs and 5 e-mail accounts and valid for 12 months, net mail - additional one e-mail account, net world - one international roaming account with 25 hour access and Netname - one domain name of the users choice.
forecast centre set up
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 A National Crop Forecasting Centre (NCFC), that will prepare crop forecasts on scientific lines and enable the government to take strategic decisions on the price front, has been set up in the Agriculture Ministry.
The decision to set up the NCFC was taken at a meeting of the Chief Ministers convened by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on November 27 here.
The Centre will adopt state-of-art techniques and methodologies in preparing the crop forecasts and would generate periodic advance estimates for all important crops including cereals, pulses, oilseeds, cotton, sugarcane, potato and onion.
The Centre will provide an
effective unified institutional framework for the crop
forecasting system in the country involving data flow,
assimilation, analysis and dissemination of statistics.
It will act as a Central level monitoring agency for the
latest situation about crops, weather, supply of inputs,
pests and diseases and market intelligence.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 3 A four-day exhibition, Best of World Product Expo 98, opened today at Hotel James Plaza in Sector 17. The exhibition is being organised by Blue Chip Expositions of Delhi.
According to Mr Sanjeev Pubra, the Chief Promoter, Blue Chip plans to organise mega exhibitions in April to coincide with the 300th birth anniversary of the Khalsa at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Chandigarh simultaneously.
Twenty more such shows
will be organised after the present exhibition, sponsored
by Hyundai Mink Blankets and Clearline. Those who have
put up stalls include Pravar Magic Eyes, Duke, Portraits
and Shubham, Kay and Kay, Madhur Supari, Navtex Tissues
|ICICI issue from Dec 9
CHANDIGARH, Dec. 3 (TNS) Under the series ICICI Safety Bonds - December 98, ICICI is offering for public subscription unsecured redeemable bonds aggregating Rs 300 crore with a right to retain oversubscription of up to Rs 300 crore. The issue will open on December 9 and close on December 21. In the fifth tranche four types of bonds are on offer: Encash Bond, Tax Saving Bond, Money Multiplier Bond in the nature of deep discount bond and Regular Income Bond. The investor can opt for the monthly income option or lock in for 24 years 5 months with no intermediate coupon payments. Encash Bond offers liquidity with returns whereas Tax Savings Bond can help the investor plan his taxes optimally.
US $ 42.53/54
The reference rate was Rs 42.55.
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