|B U S I N E S S||
Sunday, November 1, 1998
Web site on travel, tours
Daewoo reduces losses by 11
on high-capacity telephone lines
|FIPB clears 225 crore proposals
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 Foreign Investment Promotion Board today cleared proposals worth over Rs 225 crore including one by French multinational Dupont to bring in Rs 100 crore in their Indian subsidiary.
disinvestment from November 2
Web site on travel, tours
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 New Delhi based Inter Continental Computer Services (ICCS) has launched India Travel Organiser at their web site http://www.infoindia.net the first-ever website which gives comprehensive information about airlines, railways and hotels, apart from a thorough description of all Indian states and an extensive focus on 145 cities.
The site outlines topography of the land, its historical background, socio-cultural relations, apart from major tourist attractions like historical sites, religious centres, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
Mr Uday N. Mehta, President, ICCS, said the Travel Organiser was a one-stop solution for tourists, business travellers to the country as well as every Indian. The new website includes a powerful search engine, which enables the users to specify their requirements and receive data organised according to their needs.
It provides extensive information on over 1,000 hotels all over the country. It presents a complete list of airlines, their arrival and departure time, the various classes available and the fare along with train timings and schedules, or taxi fares from airports to city centres in a tabular form.
An most important feature of the Travel Organiser is that it solves problems of currency exchange while buying tickets or booking hotel rooms. The new website lists major world currencies and their conversion rates to the Indian rupee. Further, the website helps to budget the tours and provides information on different accommodation facilities to suite different budgets, explained in terms of major world currencies. The traveller-friendly website also helps to connect the traveller to the destination of his choice.
The site helps in avoiding the time consuming visits to tourists information centres, tour operators, airport or railway enquiries. The site also prevents travellers from falling prey to touts and being duped by unscrupulous travel agents.
According to Mr Mehta,
ICCS also plans to provide the same information on CDs
for travel agents, hotels, airlines to give out free to
their clients. Once the travellers realise how convenient
and economically viable it is to access any information
anytime, anywhere, they can subscribe for later volumes
and with increasing volumes of product in demand it can
be produced for as little as Rs 500 each. ICCS also plans
to market the software through the Net in order to remove
middlemen and control the price.
Daewoo reduces losses by 11 per cent
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (UNI) Riding on a major price correction early this year on the Cielo and the growing expectations on Matiz, Daewoo Motor India Limited (DMIL) has reduced its losses during the first half of the current fiscal by over 11 per cent.
The company closed the six-month period ended September 30, 1998 with a net loss of Rs 8.05 crore as against the previous years Rs 9.06 crore, DMIL Managing Director S.G. Awasthi said in a statement issued here today.
Gross profit during the period was down 42.8 per cent from Rs 3.66 crore in H1 of 1997-98 to Rs 2.09 crore this year. However, depreciation was higher this year.
Gross sales in the April to September period stood at Rs 72.80 crore, down 36.5 per cent from the previous years Rs 114.71 crore. Net sales were Rs 54.75 crore as against the previous years Rs 89.86 crore.
The company has already
invested about Rs 3,600 crore upto September 30, 1998 as
against the total project cost of Rs 3474.52 crore as
given in the letter of offer dated January 6, 1997. The
company now plans to introduce its second offering in the
Indian market the small car Matiz
FIPB clears 225 crore proposals
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (PTI) Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) today cleared proposals worth over Rs 225 crore including one by French multinational Dupont to bring in Rs 100 crore in their Indian subsidiary. A proposal by EI Dupont to bring in Rs 100 crore for its wholly-owned subsidiary manufacturing nylon industrial yarn and tyre cord was given the go ahead by the board, FIPB sources said here.
The infusion of Rs 100 crore would increase the Indian subsidiarys existing equity capital of $ 35 million.
The board also permitted takeover of Indal Electronics by Austria Technologie Systemtechnik AG which would acquire 100 per cent equity at a total investment of Rs 54 crore in the Nandangur (Karnataka) based company.
Indal Electronics, which has interests in development of software for telecom, instrumentation, computers and automation, will have a software export which $ 9 million annually as per the proposal.
Other proposals cleared in electronics include those of Benley Nevada for manufacturing and assembly of electronic software and hardware, optimum networks, Fischer System and Geo Logic under software technology park scheme and Minicom for manufacture of personal computers and peripherals.
Pact on high-capacity telephone lines
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (PTI) The International Telecommunication Union today reached an agreement on a high-capacity information highway that can provide multiple facilities over the existing telephone subscriber lines around the world.
The high-capacity information highway will enable subscribers of conventional telephone lines to have access to high-speed Internet, video and other online communications, such as electronic commerce, home office and distant learning.
With the reaching of the agreement, a formal approval process will begin now on a set of technical specifications for the high bandwidth access specifying several techniques.
CONCOR disinvestment from
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 The government has decided to launch the disinvestment programme for 1998-99 with the Concor issue from November 2.
Up to nine million shares of government equity will be divested in the domestic market. Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said that the shares will be divested at market determined prices.
Domestic institutional investors and FIIs registered in India will be allowed to participate in the issue. The process will be through the method of book-building.
The allotment of shares
would depend on demand price. The Government would also
offer one million shares to the retail investors at a
discount to the market price for institutional investors.
This retail offering would follow the institutional
LUDHIANA, Oct 31 (FOC) The overall national share of export of Apparel from Ludhiana has gone up with a 31 per cent increase in the number of pieces exported as compared to 1997.
The exports during the
current year have gone up by 29 per cent. This was
disclosed by Mr R.N. Sharma, Director of Apparel Export
Promotion Council (AEPC), while addressing a seminar on
apparel export documents and procedures.
CHANDIGARH, Oct 31 (PTI) Kwality, a leading local restaurant chain, today announced the opening of its Kwality Regency in Sector 22. The hotel has 14 rooms each designed in different styles in a class of its own.
It is perhaps the
first hotel in the city that will provide Internet
besides other business facilities of computers
photocopiers, fax and telephones, says Vinod Lamba
of the Kwality chain of restaurants. Kwality plans to
build similar hotels in many towns of Punjab.
MUMBAI, Oct 31 (PTI) Castrol India Limited today announced payment of a second interim dividend of Rs 7 per share to shareholders at the meeting of Board of Directors held here.
The cumulative dividend, thus, worked out to Rs 13 per share for the year 1998, Managing Director of the company, R.A. Savoor said in a release.
The company was able to increase its market share despite the slowdown in the company, Savoor said.
Announcing the nine months results, he said the sales had increased by 6 per cent to Rs 764.54 crore from Rs 721.60 crore and the net profit had improved by 7.7 per cent to Rs 126.72 crore from Rs 117.63 crore in the corresponding nine months period last year.
The volume increase of 4 per cent in the quarter led to increased volumes of 7 per cent during the first nine months of 1998, he said and added, to meet the increased demand, the company has commenced second shift operations at its new Silvassa plant.
CHENNAI, Oct 31 (PTI) Sluggish domestic demand pulled down TVS group company Sundaram Fasteners turnover as well as net profit, despite sizeable growth in export turnover during April-Sept 1998.
Net sales slipped to Rs 162.95 crore during the first half from Rs 165.60 crore in the corresponding period last year, while profit after tax was lower at Rs 13.78 crore compared to Rs 14.63 crore in the previous first half, according to a company release here today.
Total expenditure was Rs 135.33 crore compared to Rs 135.99 crore, while charge on interest was lower at Rs 8.04 crore against Rs 9.51 crore previously.
VADODARA, Oct 31 (PTI) Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC) has recorded an increased turnover of Rs 555 crore during the second quarter ended September 30, 1998.
This is a 28 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year when the company recorded a turnover of Rs 434 crore.
GSFCs fertilizer production has gone up by 33,000 tonnes to 3,10,000 tonnes during the period.
BANGALORE, Oct 31 (PTI) Vikrant Tyres, a subsidiary of JK Industries Limited (JKI), has registered a turnover of Rs 96 crore for the second quarter of 1998-99 with operating profit of Rs 10.59 crore and net profit after tax at Rs 5.41 crore.
Companys sales in the first half of 1998-99 had grown by 20 per cent to Rs 198 crore, compared to the Rs 164 crore registered during the corresponding period last year.
The net profit has risen to Rs 11.28 crore from Rs 3.44 crore a remarkable jump of 228 per cent, a company statement said here today.
NEW DELHI, Oct 31(TNS) KRIBHCO, a premier fertiliser producing cooperative society, has presented a cheque of Rs 17.46 crore towards dividend to IFFCO for the year 1997-98.
The dividend is addition to Rs 59.04 crore dividend paid by KRIBHCO to the Government of India recently. KRIBHCO achieved an all-time profit before tax of Rs 447.96 crore during the year and declared enhanced dividend at the rate of 18 per cent on the paid-up share capital to its shareholders.
NEW DELHI, Oct 31 (TNS) JK Dairy and Foods Limited has recorded a growth of 51 per cent in its operating profits during the first half of the current financial year.
The company has recorded an operating profit of Rs 1.17 crore during the six months ended September 1998 as against Rs 0.78 lakh during the corresponding period last year. The net loss is lower at Rs 2.17 crore as against Rs 2.38 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year.
HYDERABAD, Oct 31 (PTI) The city-based Global Trust Bank (GTB) has achieved impressive performance for the half year ending September 1998 by mobilising deposit levels of Rs 3889 crore, up from Rs 3285 crore in March 1998, representing an annualised growth of 36 per cent.
Speaking to reporters here, Chairman and Managing Director, GTB, Ramesh Gelli said the advances of the bank had grown by cautious 8 per cent (annualised) from Rs 1755 crore in March 1998 to Rs 1857 crore in September 1998.
The total income of the bank for the first six months of the current financial year was Rs 298 crore as against Rs 238 crore in the corresponding period last year, representing a growth of 25 per cent.
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) proposes to put a blanket ban on post-tender negotiations by PSUs to curb corruption and has called a meeting of top executives of telecom, the Railways and major PSUs in mid-November to finalise proposals to prohibit this practice.
This will end a very big source of corruption in one stroke, says Mr N. Vittal, CVC.
When projects aided by the World Bank can have such a way of functioning, why cant he adopt this method for our PSUs, adds Vittal, describing corruption as a low risk. high profit business.
In a major decision, the CVC has directed that junior officers handling vigilance cases can straightway write to the commission if they face any hindrance in their work, even from their seniors.
This, Vittal says, is to break the culture of the corrupt protecting the corrupt, and encourage the young officers to remain honest. PTI
Mr Amrik Mohan Singh, Director, National Productivity Council of India, has been requested by the Executive Committee of the 3rd International Conference on Eco-balance being held from November 25 to 27, 1998, at Tsukuba in Japan to chair a session.
He will chair the session on Household and electrical products and products recycling on November 26. He will also present his paper on Priorities of life cycle assessment in India on November 27 which was jointly prepared by Mr Amrik Mohan Singh and Mr Arun Kumar Singh, Assistant Director of National Productivity Council.
The conference is been organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Government of Japan, and the United Nations Environment Programme. About 300 professionals from various parts of the globe will participate and 50 papers will be presented. India will be represented by three participants from Chandigarh, Mumbai and Hyderabad. TNS
Known for their watches and chocolates the Swiss are now ready to knife through the Indian market.
The knife that comes handy during expeditions and forms part of an astronauts kitty. It is widely used as a gift item too. Several US Presidents have presented these knives to White House visitors with their names embossed on it.
The latest version of the knife Swiss Champ manufactured by a family-held company, Victorinox, has as many as 33 features, comprising various knives, scissors, magnifying glasses, cork-screw, screwdriver and bottleopeners. Along with hundred other models, the Swiss Champ was launched in Mumbai earlier this week in the presence of Army and Navy officers. Filmstar Sunil Shetty also attended the function.
While the lowest range, being introduced by the House of Goels with a marketing arrangement with Victorinox is Rs 450, on the higher side, knives with unique features will cost around Rs 2,500. UNI
Iraq has shown interest in buying cattle from India to build up its dairy industry crippled by the after-effects of war and UN sanctions.
The Iraqis are particularly interested in purchasing buffaloes, the best breeds of which are available in India, the acknowledged world leader in milk production.
A team of Iraqi experts will come to India shortly to study the Indian breeds and assess their suitability to agro-climatic conditions in that country.
Q: We are registered as a dealer under the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973 as also under the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, and carry on business of medicines and pharmaceutical preparations in Haryana. Some days back a consignment of medicines was being carried from Delhi to Ambala as a result of a purchase in the course of inter-State trade or commerce which was fully covered by the prescribed documents such as bill of sale and the goods receipt. All relevant details as are usually required under the provisions of the sales tax law existed in the supporting documents. An Excise and Taxation Officer intercepted and subsequently seized this consignment for what was described in the notice issued to the driver incharge of the vehicle Transaction needs verification. We have been called upon to bring the account books of the Delhi party to prove the genuineness of the documents issued by the seller.
In the event of failure, the Checking Officers opines, that a penalty under the provisions of sub-section (6) of section 37 of the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973 will be imposed. Kindly advise if the Checking Officer is authorised in law to seize the goods on the aforesaid ground and that whether account books of the Delhi party can be called for by an Officer conducting checking in Haryana?
Anil Kaushal, Ambala
Ans: According to sub-section (5) of section 37 of the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973, which lays down the procedure for the detention of the consignments, a Checking Officer is authorised to seize the goods under transport only on two grounds (i) where the goods being carried are not found supported by proper and genuine documents; or (ii) that the person transporting the goods is attempting to evade the tax due under the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973. All that is required by sub-section (2) of section 37 of the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973 in relation to the goods under transport is the mere production of a bill of sale or a cash memorandum or a challan, as the case may be and a trip sheet or a log book or a goods receipt, as the case may be. If these two sets of documents are produced at the time of checking, the requirement as laid down in sub-section (2) of section 37 gets satisfied and no further direction can be issued by the Checking Officer for the production of the account books.
Q: In relation to the assessment proceedings arising out of the assessment year 1996-97, the assessing authority has issued a notice proposing best judgement assessment on the ground that the gross profit as declared in the account books is not adequate. The assessing authority opines that since the gross profit as shown in the trading account produced during the course of hearing is disproportionate to the expenses incurred during the assessment year, the books of account are liable to be rejected. Kindly advise if the assessing authority can proceed to make the assessment on best judgement basis?
Surinder Sharma, Gurgaon
is a well established principle of law that the account
books maintained by a registered dealer cannot be
rejected on mere presumptions. But it is obligatory for
the assessing authority to bring some evidence adverse to
the assessee on record before he proposes to make the
assessment on best judgement basis. Simply because the
gross profit as declared in the account books is on the
lower side, this by itself is no ground in law to
disbelieve the account books produced in support of the
sales tax returns furnished before the assessing
authority. If the assessing authority has brought no
evidence on record except by alleging that the gross
profit is on the lower side, no case for best judgement
assessment is made out. The queriest is therefore advised
to file an objection before the assessing authority so
far as the proposal of best judgement assessment and
rejection of the account books.
Q: I am authorised agent of M/s Oriental Insurance Co. and my total income on account of commission, received during the financial year 1997-98 would be Rs 1,10,000. To calculate my income tax kindly let me know the following:-
Board have specified conditions for giving ad hoc deductions from commission earned by insurance agents, UTI agents, Post Office/Govt. Securities agents and agents of Mutual Fund vide Circular Nos. 594 dated 15.5.91, 648 dated 30.3.93 and 677 dated 28.1.94. Kindly clarify as to whether I am entitled for above deductions or
Can I claim actual expenditure incurred by me on account of maintenance of my own vehicle (Moped) and stationery charges to run my business.
Neelam Wadhawan, Panipat
Ans: The provision relating to granting of ad hoc deduction as per executive instructions will not be permissible to you as your gross commission amount exceeds Rs 60,000. You are advised to maintain your regular books of accounts and claim all the expenses incurred by you in earning this commission income. You will also get deduction in respect of maintenance of the vehicle, stationery charges, as also depreciation on the vehicle.
Q: My father had agriculture land ancestral as well as self acquired. After his death (1978), we the heirs sold that land in 1992 and I deposited my share in a separate bank account (HUF A/c).
The A.O. is adding income from that amount to my individual income. Please clarify.
Dr. K.L. Bansal, Suratgarh (Rajasthan)
Ans: The sale proceeds of agriculture land inherited by you from your father cannot be treated as the HUF property of yours. It would have been HUF property had your father prepared a Will and in the Will he would have allocated these lands not in your individual name but in the name of your HUF. Similarly, if there is no Will you are not going to get the benefit of creation of HUF for your family. Please study in greater detail the aspects connected with taxation of capital gains on agricultural land because under certain circumstances and after fulfilling certain conditions the capital gains from agricultural land can be exempted from Income tax depending on the distance and population of the place where the agricultural land is situated.
Q: I am a U.T. Government employee. My gross salary for 97-98 is Rs 1,29,000. I have an additional income of Rs 25,200 as rent received by me for my flat. The flat is on hire purchase basis and Im paying monthly instalments to Chandigarh Housing Board for the same. I have not borrowed from any other institution for my flat. Please advise if I am entitled to rebate for the principal/interest component of my instalment?
Also, I have won a 3rd prize of Rs 1 lakh of Punjab State Lotteries this year for which the department has deposited a cheque of Rs 49,800 only in my account. As per their rules, they had deducted an amount of 20 per cent of 3rd prize i.e. Rs 20,000 from the total prize amount of Rs 1 lakh. On the remaining amount of Rs 80,000, they charged no tax on Rs 5,000 and deducted the Income tax at source of Rs 30,000 @ 40 per cent of balance prize amount of Rs. 75,000. Please advise whether I need to deposit any further income tax on my prize money of Rs 49,800 or I am entitled to a refund of some income tax already deducted. If yes, under what rules?
Vimal Kumar Sharma
Ans: In respect of the monthly instalment paid by you to Chandigarh Housing Board you are entitled to a tax rebate u/s 88 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 on a maximum sum of Rs 10,000. The rebate will be permissible @ 20 per cent. In respect of interest paid by you, you will be entitled to a deduction of such interest while calculating your rental income. The tax deduction on your prize money has been done within the framework of the law. It is absolutely in order.
Q: My income for financial year 1998-99 will be as under:
1. Pension 40,320
Please guide and clarify:
(i) Whether Post Office
Monthly Income is exempt from Income-tax.
Gajinder Kaur, Panchkula
Ans: The income from post office monthly income is not exempted from Income-tax. This income is exempted to the maximum extent of Rs 12,000 together with your other exempted income u/s 80L. From the monthly income from post office no deduction is permissible. From your pension income you will be eligible to claim a standard deduction of 331/3rd of the pension income subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000.
The income from UTI would
find additional exemption u/s 80L to the extent of Rs.
3,000. Thus from the total income derived by you from
post office monthly scheme and the interest income from
FDRs & units, etc. total deduction u/s 80L would be
Rs 15,000. If you make approximately investment to the
tune of only Rs 5,000 in LIC, PPF, etc. there will be no
liability to Income tax to you for the Financial Year
98-99 relevant to the Assessment Year 1999-2000.
Investors may prefer bonds to UTI
AS the UTIs US-64 fiasco turns from bad to worse and the stockmarkets take a beating, the return of Royal Dutch Shell Corporation, the estranged partner of Nocil, has not received the attention it deserves. In fact, the Shell-Montell combine will directly invest about Rs 1,000 crore in the equity of Nocil Petrochemicals Ltd (NPL) over the next five years to enable NPL to implement its massive expansion programme. Additionally, the Shell group will be arranging for the debt of about Rs 2,000 crore NPL for funding its $ 1 billion (Rs 4,2000 crore) project. A large portion of the debt is expected to be raised at cheaper rates from international markets, piggybacking on the high rating of the Shell group. NPL has been created out of the demerger of the petrochemicals business of Nocil. It has embarked upon expansion of capacities from 75,000 tonnes of ethylene to 4.50 lakh tonnes.
UTIs cup of woes seems to be overflowing, notwithstanding its alls well with us pretense. Notwithstanding the fact that the Finance Minister meant well when announcing that the Government would back UTIs US-64 scheme, marketmen interpreted his statement as a clear cut indicator that their worst fears that UTIs US-64 was a sinking ship, were true. Similarly the rumours that the Government is considering providing total exemption to dividend income received under this scheme appear illogical, as unlike in the case of companies there is no incidence of double taxation here. Now, for a while, UTI tried to stem the Sensex downswing triggered by FII selling in conjunction with bear cartels, by buying. However, this only ended up further increasing its exposure to equity. In short, this is a Catch-22 situation if ever there was one. For those investors who are still debating whether to redeem their Units invested under US-64, it would be worthwhile to remember the old investment adage viz. Get out whenever in doubt and never get in when in doubt.
Now, one question doing
the rounds is After redeeming the Units under
US-64, where does one reinvest it. Chances are, in bonds.
With investors losing confidence in the US-64 scheme,
bonds are rapidly emerging as favoured investment
instruments. However, given the uncertainty prevalent in
the minds of investors, they are more likely to be
interested in short-term bonds or bonds where
put or exit options are available every year.
Perhaps this is also because the rising non-performing
assets of banks and financial institutional have also
prompted apprehensions among investors about the
long-term viability of their debt instruments.
Q: For the failure of the landlord to inform the tenant of appointing GPA, whether the tenant can be held wilful defaulter?
Ans: In Omer Bin Salam Askari v Dr. Yosouf 1998 (1) R.C.J. 610) the A.P., High Court opined thus:
In the present case, the undisputed fact that the rent tendered by money order was not accepted by the landlord and further admission by the landlord that the tenant deposited a sum of Rs 960/- on the first date of hearing and thereafter continued to pay rent in the Court, absolves the tenant from the mischief of the term wilful default.
If the alleged inaction on the part of the tenant was wilful, he would not have tendered the rent on the first date of hearing and would not have paid the subsequent rent in the court. The ground taken by the landlord that the money order was not accepted because it did not cover the entire arrears of rent does not stand substantiated from the evidence.
The landlord significantly made two admissions which go to the root of the case. Firstly, that he was spending more time abroad and secondly, that he had not informed the tenant about the appointment of GPA who was empowered to receive the rents. No fault could therefore, be found with the tenant if he is not informed by the landlord as to whom the rent should be paid in his absence. Not issuing the receipts for rent paid by the tenant is a serious lacuna on the part of the landlord.
The appellate court has held that the tenant was a wilful defaulter and that the tenant failed to explain the arrears and failed to pay the same. In the opinion of the H.C. this is erroneous. According to the H.C., it was the duty of the landlord to satisfy the Court unflinchingly regarding the period for which the rent was in arrears. But the landlord has failed to discharge this burden.
The H.C. held that in the absence of such evidence and in the absence of any notice to the tenant prior to the initiation of Court proceedings regarding the period for which the rent was in arrears, it cannot be held that the tenant committed wilful default in payment of rent. This lacuna destroys the landlords case and disentitles the landlord to call upon the court for a decree of eviction on the same.
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