|B U S I N E S S||
Wednesday, October 21, 1998
PAN to be mandatory for deals
from Nov 1
against Microsoft begins
Understanding Sen-measure of
90 Galbraith is still capitalisms friendly critic
Surya Roshni plans cost cut
delays loan talks with Pak
wax museum of London sold
plans toy cities
PAN to be mandatory for deals from Nov 1
NEW DELHI, Oct 20 (PTI) The Income Tax Department has made it mandatory for persons entering into various deals or transactions to quote their permanent account number (PAN) from November 1, 1998.
Every person has to quote his or her PAN if they fall into the following categories:
1. Sale and purchase of any immovable property valued at Rs 5 lakh or above.
2. Sale or purchase of a vehicle which requires registration under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
3. A time deposit exceeding Rs 50,000 with a bank.
4. A deposit exceeding Rs 50,000 in any account with post office savings bank.
5. A contract of a value exceeding Rs 10 lakh for sale or purchase of securities.
6. Opening an account with a bank.
7. Making an application for installation of a telephone connection (including a cellular telephone connection).
8. Payment to a hotel or a restaurant of an amount exceeding Rs 25,000 at any one time.
The department will open special counters between October 28 and 31 (the last date for filing income tax returns) from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Capital for the convenience of tax payers.
It may be recalled that government had made it mandatory for people to file income tax returns if they satisfied any one of the following six conditions:
A. In occupation of an immovable property exceeding floor area of 600 square feet in case of residential property and 100 square feet in case of commercial property whether by way of ownership, tenancy or otherwise;
B. Owner or a lessee of vehicle;
C. Subscriber to a telephone;
D. Incurring expenditure for himself or for any other person on travel to any foreign country;
E. Holder of a credit card, not being an "add-on" card issued by any bank or institution;
F. Member of a club where entrance fee charged is Rs 25,000 or more.
Taxpayers wanting to avail
of the Kar Vivad Samadhan Scheme-98 may write to the
Commissioner of Income Tax concerned for quick disposal
of pending appeal effects and rectifications so as to
ascertain the correct demand in arrears.
Understanding Sen-measure of poverty
By Badal Mukherji
AS the news of the Nobel Prize for Economics to Amartya Sen came, a tidal wave of phone calls and television cameras inundated us at the Delhi School of Economics.
Portable instruments converted most of our offices into instant studios. We suffered gladly; there are so few things to be genuinely happy about in this country today that we appreciate the popular joy.
Plus, we are particularly pleased as Prof. Sen taught at the DSE from 1963 to 1981, continues to be an Honorary Professor in the Department of Economics of the DSE, and wrote some great papers on the theory of development and social choice and his two-volume classic "Choice and Welfare" while in DSE.
But the Golden Jubilee of the DSE begins on November 14 this year, to be inaugurated by President K.R. Narayanan who was himself a Visiting Fellow at the DSE in 1953-54 and the closing lecture in a very distinguished series will be given a year later by you guessed it right Prof. Sen.
But what I write now was somewhat unexpectedly triggered by a question asked by a TV correspondent who was taking pictures of some books of Prof. Sen in our library. When a book fell open accidentally, he saw the page and got alarmed at what he saw: page after page of mathematical deduction, logical notation, graphs and equations!
Of course, those are what all his students, including myself have to sweat out through, all researchers in these areas must mandatorily know and, what is most important to realise, it is this bedrock of hard logical structure on which his subsequent historical/institutional work on poverty, hunger, famines and inequality rests.
That is what gives them their robustness. It is becoming so very important to remind ourselves that there is no contradiction between ethics and morality on the one hand and hard cold logic on the other. If you thought otherwise, see A.K. Sen.
"... I was introducing a new mathematical technique by which regions formerly abandoned to the vagueness of philosophers were conquered for the precisions of exact formulae," wrote Bertrand Russell in his autobiography about his own work.
I kept thinking of this line of Russells when I heard of the award to Prof. Sen, and more so, when I read the citation. For good reason; I suggest a very close similarity with the way Amartya Sen attacked the analysis of poverty and deprivation all his intellectual life, even although there is some anxiety of annoying Amartya Sen the philosopher.
I think we will do great disservice to him if we ignore the hard bedrock of analytical work that supports the structures that he built.
Biographical details are now well-known, so I can be brief. Born in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, christened by Rabindranath Thakur (popularised to the world as Tagore by the British), educated in the Presidency College, Calcutta, Ph.D. at Cambridge, a short stint at Jadavpur University, Calcutta, eight years at the DSE, Cambridge, Harvard (joint appointment in the Departments of Economics and Philosophy), Master of Trinity, Cambridge, Amartya Kumar Sen, Nobel Laureate.
In 1943 there was a terrible famine in what was then undivided Bengal. By his own account, this had an enormous impact on Prof. Sen, and the question the nine-year-old child asked is what the 64-year-old scholar has tried to answer all his life: "Why did not any of our relatives or friends die while hundreds were dying on the streets?" It is essential to understand the progress of the intellectual pilgrim in finding an answer to this question and that is what makes the quote from Russell so strikingly appropriate.
Sen started at the logical, mathematical deep end of the problem; sorted them out in the pages of Econometrica, The Review of Economic Studies and other frontline journals, in the jackets of OUP, Blackwell and the like, and then took on Third World reality.
The most significant departure that he makes can be highlighted by the so-called Sen-measure of poverty. As opposed to a head count of people below an accepted poverty line, what it does is roughly keep giving weight to the deprivation of a person; the further below the line she is, the heavier is the weightage given to her in the measure.
It is not only the distribution (or, maldistribution) of income; it is the distribution of welfare in a society that this measure is trying to capture.
The path of thought-evolution runs from microeconomics to the Theory of Choice to welfare economics to the Sen-measure. Now Sen is ready to take on the levity of the West as well as the apathy of the East.
Certainly, quite a bit of his writing on poverty, hunger and famines can be read (with great joy by anyone for, he is, both in writing and in words, a great expositor) avoiding the formal foundation. But that will completely miss the intellectual power of his work which is what makes him so compelling for the Western world.
"You want proof? Can you handle my theorem 337.2" asks Sen. There must be some way to bring rationality around to ethics?
This is where Prof. Sens position on democracy is to be judged. Yes, a totalitarian regime might be more efficient in the production of goods but, through a free press, a democratic form will be more efficient in the distribution of welfare; certainly, to avoid the extreme misery of death due to starvation in a famine which is what he wants. Who does not?
At the same time, a democracy might tolerate for an unacceptably long time a lot of poverty, a lot of deprivation and misery. Sen will call for state intervention at this point more aggressively than only a system of universal adult suffrage would imply.
"The best lack all conviction," wrote W.B. Yeats at the beginning of the twentieth century. Nearly one hundred years later, we have a counter example.
It was also Yeats ominous forecast that some rough beast was "slouching towards Bethlehem to be born". Let us hope that the twenty-first will see the birth, not of a "rough beast" yet again but of humanism at last. (IANS)
Lawsuit against Microsoft begins
WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) The US Government opened its landmark anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp with a direct attack on the credibility of the companys billionaire founder Bill Gates.
Lawyers for the government used their opening arguments to contrast sworn statements Gates made on a videotape in August with e-mail and memos written by Gates several years earlier, noting what they described as inconsistencies and contradictions.
The dramatic Gates video testimony, played on monitors around the court room yesterday, was juxtaposed with the earlier memos to form the centrepiece of government efforts to show that the software-running personal computers to muscle out competitors and grab control of the Internet browser market.
Microsoft, which offered its opening statement today, has consistently denied abusing its strong market position. The companys operating-system software, such as Windows98 and Windows NT, runs over 90 per cent of personal computers.
The lawsuit, brought by
the USA and 20 states in May, is rated by anti-trust
experts as one of the most important in recent times
comparable to the US Government suit against
telephone titan AT&T Corp in 1974.
NEW DELHI (PTI): Luxury car segment in the country suffered a drop of over 9 per cent in the first half of the current financial year, a severe blow to almost all players in the category.
Total luxury car sales in the first half stood at 24,664 units as against 27,134 units in the corresponding period, recording a negative growth of 9.8 per cent, industry sources said here.
However, Maruti Udyog Ltds performance belied the industry situation as the countrys largest carmaker notched up a 9 per cent growth in the first half as against the same period last year.
As many as 10,097 Maruti Esteem cars were sold in the first half as against 9,259 cars sold last year, providing the market leader a solacing track record at a time when it is in for a cut-throat competition in the small car segment.
CHICAGO (IANS): A Canadian company has entered into an agreement with an Indian firm to sell, and later manufacture, systems which convert gasoline burning vehicles into natural gas vehicles (NGV).
Alternative Fuel Systems Inc (AFS), based in Calgary, Canada, has signed the agreement with Motor Medics (India) Private Limited (MIP) for the sale of Sparrow systems which will be installed in Maruti vehicles.
NEW DELHI (UNI): Maruti Udyog Limited has improved its service set-up under which vehicles will be picked up for service and delivered back at the doorstep.
MUL Managing Director RSSLN Bhaskarudu told UNI here: "We are working towards bringing down the complaints per 10,000 vehicles from 13 at present to 10."
The dealers have been asked to work out an individual promotional activity to push forward sales. The company has also increased the warranty on its vehicles from one-year 20,000 km to one-year unlimited km.
Maruti has doubled the interest payment on booking to 20 per cent per annum. Besides, cash sops are being offered to dealers to prop up sales.
No new models
NEW DELHI (PTI): Maruti Udyog Limited has no plans to introduce new models in the near future and will bank on its marketing strength to fight the fierce competition in the small car segment.
"There is no need for the company to launch new vehicles just because new cars are coming. Our stable is full with contemporary vehicles that can take on the new launches," Managing Director RSSLN Bhaskarudu told PTI in an interview here.
For ladies only
NEW DELHI (UNI): Hyundai Motor India Limited is targeting the large and ever-expanding female car-driving population in India by launching the "Tulip Club".
Under the arrangement, the company will pick up the cars for servicing right from the doorstep and get them delivered as well, says HMIL General Manager Customer Care V.D. Bhasin.
FII sales down sensex by 89 pts
MUMBAI, Oct 20 (PTI) With investors cautious approach in "Moorat" session, equities displayed a strongly bearish picture pushing sensex down by 89 points on the stock market today as bears continuously hammered down the market taking advantage of fresh sales by foreign funds.
The BSE sensitive index opened lower at 2845.86 and moved downwards to the intra-day low of 2753.34, before closing at 2764.16 as against yesterdays close of 2853.27, netting a sharp fall of 89.11 points. The BSE-100 index also dropped by 37.70 points to 1234.61 from previous close of 1272.31.
Bears had a free time with a strong grip on the market with foreign institutional investors (FIIs) pressing fresh sales, said to be considerably heavy, in index heavyweights like Tisco, Telco, Hind Lever, Reliance Ind and SBI.
The negative factor was the continued nervousness over "UTI-crisis", even after repeated assurances by the government of its support and fresh reports about the Finance Ministrys efforts to help the UTI to get enough liquidity to take care of redemptions.
Dealers expressed resentment over the governments helplessness on the issue saying "only supporting the crisis-ridden institution will not help the market but the government must do something for the capital market".
Dealers said the market did not react to the firm trend in South-East Asian markets, which usually reflects the sentiment.
Meanwhile, a section of brokers felt the market is almost bottomed out with a strong possibility of a turnaround on Friday as it is closed for two days due to holidays.
The government is expected to consider some measures at its meeting this evening to infuse confidence in investors, a leading dealer commented.
The BSE-200 and the dollex were quoted substantially down at 288.53 and 113.56 compared with yesterdays close of 297.19 and 117.00 respectively.
Satyam Computers remained the most active scrip with a turnover of Rs 276.74 crore of the total volume of business of Rs 1131.83 crore. Other top traded scrips were Zee Telefilms (Rs 147.83 crore), ITC (Rs 142.10 crore), Pentafour Software (Rs 93.46 crore) and RIL (Rs 63.29 crore).
Satyam Computer lost by 15.25 to 535.75. ITC softened by 14 to 675, RIL by 3.90 to 101.90, SBI by 4.90 to 152.50, Pentafour Software by 36.25 to 608 and Hind Lever by 55.75 to 1651.50. Zee Telefilms, however, rose by 20.75 to 624.75.
At 90 Galbraith is still capitalisms friendly critic
From Roy Hattersley in Cambridge
THE academic stoop has increased with the years. And, these days, he walks with a stick - tailor-made to accommodate the 6ft 7in (2.0m) from which he takes his lofty view of the world. But age has only added to authority. At 90 John Kenneth Galbraith has become a sage as well as a seer.
No one has ever accused him of lacking confidence. Indeed, one of the delights of his company is the obvious pleasure he takes in being John Kenneth Galbraith. He was reminiscing with the booming bravura of a man whose next book has the working title From FDR To The Present: Fifty Years Of Name Dropping. In the fashionable Harvard restaurant, nearby tables fell silent as they realised that his conversation was far more interesting than their own.
The neat precision of Galbraiths mind is Gods counterpoint to his gangling shape and size. Lunch, he said, was for gossip. The afternoon would be devoted to serious discussion. Most of the anecdotes had an ironically self-congratulatory tone, though the irony was not intended to obscure the fact that Galbraith has much to congratulate himself about.
"FDR made me the prices czar of the Second World War. I naturally have great admiration for any leader who showed such discernment ... At home, I have a shelf on which I keep all the books I have written. Adlai Stevensons collected speeches is among them ... Getting the better of Von Hayek in debate was the great thrill of my life. Kitty Galbraith - who had joined us for lunch because it was their 61st wedding anniversary - leant across the table. "Surely not, she said. The lunch was over.
It was his book The Affluent Society which, by combining original thought with popular exposition, extended Galbraiths fame outside the boundaries of academic economics. Thanks to him, "private affluence and public squalor became the equation against which Western liberals and radicals fought throughout the 1960s. Then came The New Industrial State, an analysis of corporate power which again both captured the publics imagination and won critical acclaim.
But his first success was The Great Crash Of 1929. It recorded that, on "the most devastating day in the history of the markets, Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation, (which) had closed at 60 the night before ... dropped to 35. When we met, Goldman Sachs investment bank had just decided to postpone its proposed flotation, because of a sudden fall in value. The news had not surprised Galbraith.
"A slump will surely happen again, sooner or later. We get an accumulation of optimism which borders on insanity. Speculation builds up and when the mood suddenly changes, the downward spiral is accelerated by incompetence in the banks and corporations. These occasions are never completely identical. But they are normal features of the market system. You will notice how careful I am to use that description. I realise that the term capitalism is now out of fashion.
Galbraith has always been capitalisms friendly critic regarding it as the best economic system but in desperate need of better people to run it. His formula for mitigating the effects of depression includes rejection, "contrary to the mood of recent years, of the absurd notion that the system would run perfectly well if only government would keep its hands off. Governments must do more to damp down speculation and to protect the most vulnerable.
I asked was this President Clintons Third Way? The reply was magisterially dismissive. "The Third Way is a purely political concept. The increase in numbers and power of the middle-income groups means that governments choose to meet their needs first. The Third Way is a justification of that necessity. He had warned me, before the serious conversation began, that everything he said had to be set against the fact that the poor are politically emasculated.
In The Culture Of Contentment, he had predicted that unless the poors needs were met - either by the exercise of their neglected electoral power or the wisdom of the already well-to-do - the ghettos would explode. I expressed my doubts.
"There have been great outbreaks of resentment here and in Great Britain. And they will come again. Perhaps there are no signs now but they come suddenly. The British poor are infuriatingly supine. So I wondered if, in the absence of revolution, an appeal to altruism could persuade the contented majority to help the least well-off. "Selfishness, said Galbraith, "will always win over idealism. It is a strange view for an optimistic man to take. But he repeated it and added: "That is my experience.
"No great problem should be dismissed as the result of personal disorder. A public response is necessary to anything that impairs the happiness of the people. It might not succeed in alleviating their misery. But it is our conscientious duty to try. Despite his historic denials, it was tempting to say that it all sounded very much like socialism. But reluctant to risk his heroic wrath I moved on to the other abiding theme of his work - the malign influence of the military establishment in American politics.
"They have a special appeal, the traditional identification with patriotic causes even when there is no perceptible enemy. Then the problem is the terrible temptation to show they are needed. Until recently the great restraining force has been overseas casualties. Body bags are a great influence for peace. Now we have the possibility of aerial bombardment - nice, clean, hygienic. It is a temptation to retaliatory action which has an uneasy resemblance to the actions which precipitated it. In short, it kills people who just happened to be there.
We were talking in his rambling, book-lined home, a mile from Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its a house which, it has been said, should some day be bodily transported to the Smithsonian Institute and exhibited as the habitat of the American Academic circa any time between 1945 and the millennium. I do not know if the house has changed with the years. But J.K. Galbraiths principles are much the same as they were when he left America for Cambridge, England, in 1937 to work with John Maynard Keynes.
His years in Cambridge,
have been spent applying those principles to the
realities of a changing world. But at 90, the belief
burns just as bright as it did at 29. It is one of the
ingredients of his greatness. The Guardian
Roshni plans cost cut
NEW DELHI, Oct 20 Surya Roshni Limited has decided to concentrate on cost reduction to consolidate its position in the domestic lighting industry.
Chairman and Managing Director BD Agarwal told The Tribune.
" The main component of the increased cost is the interest rate which currently is hovering around 11 per cent in the case of domestic industries", he said. MNCs like GE have a distinct advantage over their Indian counterparts as their interest rates are 5 to 6 per cent.
In recent times seven Indian companies have downed their shutters due to escalating costs vis-a-vis multinational corporations." They were not investing much in technology upgradation," Mr Agarwal observed.
The company has invested Rs 120 crore in a ribbon glass plant at Malanpur, Gwalior.
The plant will enable the company to supply 100 million pieces to the domestic market and another 100 to the export market.
Surya Roshni accounts for 19 per cent of the general light source (GLS) and is second to Philips in the fluorescent tube light (FTL) segment - accounting for 23 per cent as against 30 per cent.
The company, which has a turnover of Rs 625 crore is expecting Rs 850 crore by the year 2000."
The general downslide has not affected the lighting industry as much as other sectors ." However, it is growing at a slower pace," Mr Agarwal said.
IMF delays loan talks with Pak
WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) The International Monetary Fund had postponed loan talks with nuclear Pakistan. A spokesman said new talks would depend on the government resolving a row with independent power producers.
The spokesman said no new date had been set for the resumption of discussions, originally due to start later this week.
Pakistan, hit by international sanctions imposed after it tested nuclear devices, is looking for IMF loans to help it close a $ 5 billion balance of payments deficit.
"The resumption of
discussions depends to a great degree on the satisfactory
resolution of the governments conflict with
independent power producers and the issue of WAPDA the
state Water and Power Development Authority," the
spokesman said yesterday.
Fabled wax museum of London sold
LONDON, Oct 20 (AP) The fabled Madame Tussauds wax museum, Londons top tourist attraction, has been sold, its parent company announced yesterday.
Pearson PLC said it had sold the Tussauds group, a British leisure business made up of a number of theme parks and the popular museum, to charterhouse development capital of London for £ 352 million.
Pearson, which also owns the London-based business newspaper, The Financial Times, and the French business daily, Les Echos, said proceeds from the sale of the Tussauds group would be used to cut debt.
India plans toy cities
NEW DELHI, Oct 20 (IANS) India will soon set up two "toy cities" to enable the industry to make a dent on the $105 billion global toy market.
The two "cities", or new manufacturing zones, being established in Navi Mumbai (New Bombay) in western India and Greater Noida near Delhi, will target buyers in the USA and western Europe who are looking for a cost-effective production base as an alternative to China, which now dominates the world toy market.
"Our toy industry is
poised for a major breakthrough in the export market
since we have the potential, capability and
entrepreneurship," said RH Naqvi, Executive Director
of the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion
MUMBAI, Oct 20 (PTI) The following are interbank forex and RBI rates (in rupees per unit):
US $ Rs. 42.2850/2950.
NEW DELHI, Oct 20 (UNI) The new Samvat 2055 began on a subdued note at the local bullion market yesterday with prices of gold sliding slightly and silver remaining out of trading. The rates were Gold (per 10 gms): standard 4,385 and ornaments 4,235 bittur (per 10 gms) 4,380, sovereign (per eight gms) 3,750-3800. Silver .999 ready (per kg) no trading, silver weekly delivery (per kg) no trading and coins (per 100 pieces) buyers 11,200 and sellers 11,300.
CHANDIGARH, Oct 20
Mr Narinder Singh, Executive Director, Northern Region,
Indian Oil Corporation, met dealers and distributors at
Ludhiana and Jalandhar today. He also inspected The
Indian Oil Terminal and LPG bottling plant at Jalandhar.
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