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Rural poverty despite growth: study
WASHINGTON, Dec 1 — India’s post-reform economic trends present stagnation and poverty in the rural areas despite an overall remarkable growth in the economy, says a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
 
They all owe ITDC 43.46 cr
NEW DELHI, Dec 1 — Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has admitted in the Delhi High Court that a sum of Rs 43.46 crore is pending from the Union Government, politicians, political parties and others on account of bills raised by its hotels for entertaining them.
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Textech’99 opens in city today
CHANDIGARH, Dec 1 — Over 300 chief executive officers and senior Directors representing the entire gamut of Indian textile industry will participate in Texcon’ 99, an international conference on textiles and clothing, to be inaugurated by Union Textile Minister Kashiram Rana here tomorrow.

‘Taken for a ride’ by MNC
CHANDIGARH, Dec 1 — Mr V.M.Trehan, Chairman, Mekaster Telematics Limited, has advised small and medium entrepreneurs “to be careful in dealing with MNCs.”

Car sales go up in November
NEW DELHI, Dec 1 — Maruti Udyog has achieved an impressive sales growth of 76 per cent during November by selling 31,115 cars against 18,241 units sold in the same month last year.

MoU with Renault
LUDHIANA, Dec 1 — International Tractors Limited (ITL), manufacturers of Sonalika tractors, has signed an MoU with Renault Agriculture, a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Renault group of France, to manufacture and market tractors of Renault Agriculture design in India and neighbouring countries.

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Rural poverty despite growth: study

WASHINGTON, Dec 1 (PTI) — India’s post-reform economic trends present stagnation and poverty in the rural areas despite an overall remarkable growth in the economy, says a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

India today, says the study, is facing a critical point in its history, enjoying at once a remarkable period of economic growth in many sectors, yet at the same time trying to cope with more than 300 million people living below the poverty line — the highest concentration of poverty in any country in the world and fully one-fourth of the world’s poor.

The study, prepared by G.S. Bhalla, retired Professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Peter Hazell, Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division of IFPRI, and John Kerr, Assistant Professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University.

In June 1991, faced with severe fiscal and trade imbalances and double-digit inflation, the Indian Government officially ended four decades of government-led growth and embarked on a new approach that emphasised stabilising the economy, reforming the investment, trade and tax regimes, the financial sector and public enterprises; and giving the private sector a much greater role in the country’s development.

In the aggregate, the study notes, the strategy is paying off handsomely.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew to better than 7 per cent annually during the 1994-96 period. During the 1999-2003 period, the World Bank is forecasting average annual GDP growth of 6 per cent and per capita gross national product growth of 4.7 per cent.

To date, however, India’s economic progress has been concentrated in the industrial and service sectors. During the 1988-98 period, industry grew at 6.6 per cent and services at 7.2 per cent, while agriculture lagged behind at 3.7 per cent.

Rural India, which includes about three-fourths of the country’s population, remains a critical part of India’s development future. The rural sector and its employment opportunities are critical to sustained poverty reduction, food security at the national and household level, and the size of the market for industry and services.

Agriculture, the main source of employment for 75 per cent of the rural working population and accountable for 65 per cent to 70 per cent of rural income, is central to any hopes for sustained rural poverty reduction.

In the 1990s, while other sectors were growing rapidly, says the study, rural growth lost momentum and became much less effective in alleviating poverty. By 1997, the incidence of rural poverty was as high as it was prior to structural reforms.

India is increasingly constrained in its spending for rural and social infrastructure, subsidies and technology dissemination, raising serious concerns about the future of India’s rural economy and prospects for the further alleviation of rural poverty.

About the next 20 years, the study says India can cope with its rising population with appropriate policies to meet its food needs.

There are, it says, plausible conditions under which India could have cereal deficits of 36 to 64 million tonnes per year by 2020. If deficits of this magnitude were to materialise, India’s cereal needs would have significant impacts on the world cereal markets as well as on the country’s trade balances. But such deficits can be avoided through appropriate agricultural policies.

Completion of the reform process with full liberalisation of domestic markets, foreign trade and agro-industry would improve the terms of trade for many farmers and encourage greater cereal and livestock production. Such growth could include many of the poorer rain-fed areas.

The Indian government, says the study, already spends more on agriculture than almost any other Asian country. But the lion’s share of this expenditure goes to subsidies for farm inputs, particularly fertilisers, credit, water and electricity.

These subsidies contribute very little to agricultural growth today. A combination of greater productive investments plus more favourable terms of trade for agriculture could bring about an additional 20 to 30 million tonnes of cereals by 2020.
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They all owe ITDC 43.46 cr

NEW DELHI, Dec 1 (PTI) — Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has admitted in the Delhi High Court that a sum of Rs 43.46 crore is pending from the Union Government, politicians, political parties and others on account of bills raised by its hotels for entertaining them.

In reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging that crores of rupees were due from various politicians, political parties and others on account of hotel bills, ITDC in an affidavit said that Rs 7.88 lakh had to be recovered from the AICC, Rs 8.98 lakh from the Youth Congress, Rs 40,000 from Chandra Shekhar and Rs 60,540 from Sahib Singh Verma.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice Arun Kumar and Justice D.K. Jain, on Monday sought reply from the government by January 24 as to what action was being taken to recover the money.

The Centre also owed Rs 7.09 crore to ITDC of which Rs 1.24 crore was pending from the Ministry of External Affairs and Rs 18 lakh against the Prime Minister’s Office.

ITDC said Ghulam Nabi Azad had paid of Rs 30,000 on account of an entertainment bill during pendency of the petition and action against others was being contemplated. A recovery suit against Chandra Shekhar was already pending in a Tis Hazari court.

The petition filed by NGO, Krishak Bharat, about a year ago, also alleged that politicians —George Fernandes, Madhav Rao Scindia, Rajesh Pilot, Gani Khan Chaudhary, Suresh Kalmadi, Vijayaraje Scindia, Sanjay Singh and Raj Babbar — were among the “defaulters” for non-payment of water and telephone bills.
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Textech’99 opens in city today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 1 — Over 300 chief executive officers and senior Directors representing the entire gamut of Indian textile industry will participate in Texcon’ 99, an international conference on textiles and clothing, to be inaugurated by Union Textile Minister Kashiram Rana here tomorrow.

Coinciding with the conference, the CII is organising Textech’99, an international exhibition on textile technology, from December 2 to 6 at the Parade Ground.

Textech’99 is being held for the first time in Chandigarh after a successful run at Coimbatore and Ahmedabad in 1994 and 1997. Offering interesting exhibits for the business visitor, the fair which covers the entire gamut of textile industry i.e. spinning, weaving, processing, dyeing and garmenting, becomes especially pertinent to the region in the wake of large investments in textiles at Ludhiana, Amritsar, Baddi and Barotiwala.

The region is likely to see further investments in the wake of the setting up of the Technology Upgradation Fund worth Rs 25,000 crore for modernisation of industries.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Piyush Bahl, CII Senior Director, said Woolex’99, an exclusive exhibition on wool and winter wear, is also being held keeping in view the public interest. While the entry fee for Textech, which is meant largely for corporate visitors is Rs 25, Woolex entry is for Rs 5.

Prominent speakers from the USA, Israel, Germany and Japan will address Texcon. The domestic front will be led by Mr Shyamal Ghosh Union Secretary Textiles, and a host of speakers from top companies like Colorplus, Bombay Dying, Arvind Mills, Reliance, Aditya Birla group, Raymond, Bhilwara group, Vardhman, Pearl Global, Himatsingka Seide and Loiyal Textile Mills.

The IT industry will be represented by IBM, SAP India and BAAN Infosystems Mr Ranjan Vir Singh of Ranbaxy Laboratories and Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, CII (Northern Region) are the other speakers who will address Texcon’99.
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‘Taken for a ride’ by MNC
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 1 — Mr V.M.Trehan, Chairman, Mekaster Telematics Limited, has advised small and medium entrepreneurs “to be careful in dealing with MNCs.”

In a statement here today, he narrated how his company, was “taken for a ride” by Swedish MNC Ericsson. The two companies had entered into an agreement on August 31, 1993, to work together for assembling medium-type switching exchanges for villages and small urban towns.

At that time India did possess C-DoT technology. However, C-DoT exchanges did not have the capability of CCITT No. 7, ISDN and several other features, which were supposed to be the latest and were superior to the technology available in India at that time, he said.

After some time Ericsson started delaying tactics because it realised that the range covered by this exchange could damage the scope of its normal AXE technology for large exchanges, which it had already planned to manufacture in India at its Jaipur factory.
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Car sales go up in November

NEW DELHI, Dec 1 (PTI) — Maruti Udyog has achieved an impressive sales growth of 76 per cent during November by selling 31,115 cars against 18,241 units sold in the same month last year.

Sales of Maruti Omni almost doubled during the review month as the company sold 7,518 units compared to 3,585 units in November 1998, a company release said here today.

Maruti-800 registered a sales growth of 86.7 per cent to 16,178 units during the month from 8,662 cars in the same month of 1998.

Indica

Fresh orders for Tata’s Indica cars are being accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis for the year 2000 by all its dealers for a delivery period not exceeding eight weeks.

Sales of Indica scaled a new high in November with Tata Engineering registering its highest-ever monthly sale of 5,214 cars, a 9.9 per cent growth over the previous month’s sales of 4,744 cars, according to a release here today.

With this, Indica has achieved a cumulative sale of 33,409 cars since the launch and a sale of 31,243 cars in the first eight months.

Matiz

Daewoo Motors India Ltd sold 3,139 units of its small car Matiz during November 1999 against 2,940 units sold in the previous month, registering a growth of about 7 per cent. During the review month, the company sold a total 3,370 vehicles as compared to 3,259 cars sold in the October 1999.

Santro

Hyundai Motors India has recorded a marginal growth of 1.5 per cent in sales of its small car Santro in November by selling 6,301 units against 6207 units in the previous month. With the November sales, Hyundai surpassed its annual sales target of 52,000 units in the calendar year 1999. During January-November 1999, it sold 53,357 units of Santro.
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CAT test on web
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Dec 1 — The students appearing for the Common Admission Test (CAT) for IIMs and other leading management institutes can now practice the test on the web. The students can log on to indiainfoline.com/bisc and take the test. The questions have been prepared by experts. “The software provides an immediate score and shows correct answers as soon as the practice test paper is submitted,” the company said. Another company, Globsyn Technologies has announced the launch of Technocampus - the software finishing school.
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Two Bills adopted

NEW DELHI, Dec 1 (PTI) — Parliament today approved two Securities Amendment Bills with the Rajya Sabha passing the measures by a voice vote and Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha assuring the House that utmost transparency and caution would be maintained while undertaking derivatives trading to protect small investors.

The Bills, passed by the Lok Sabha yesterday, seek to amend the definition of securities to permit trading in derivatives and transfer the appellate functions of the government to the Securities Appellate Tribunal.
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Website launched
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Dec 1 — A website, indiaengineering.com, providing a comprehensive classified data bank to help the engineering industry, has been developed by two management graduates — Mr Nitin Pangam and Mr Vidhadhar Sarfare. The site will provide a forum for buyers and sellers of engineering goods, updated information on tenders, business and technical news and issues related to infrastructure and working capital finance, Mr Sarfare said.
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MoU with Renault
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 1 — International Tractors Limited (ITL), manufacturers of Sonalika tractors, has signed an MoU with Renault Agriculture, a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Renault group of France, to manufacture and market tractors of Renault Agriculture design in India and neighbouring countries.

The Renault, a $ 50 billion company, manufactures cars, tractors of high horse power and helicopters. The MoU was unique in many ways, said Mr L.D. Mittal, Chairman of the ITL, today. It was a three-pronged collaboration — technical, financial and commercial.
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Drug prices cut
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, Dec 1 — On the eve of World AIDS Day today, Cipla has announced a 20 to 27 per cent reduction in the prices of two anti-AIDS drugs, Zidovir and Stavir. These two, along with Cipla’s Lamivir, are important components of the combination therapy, which is the mainstay of anti-AIDS treatment all over the world today. This is the third time that Cipla has voluntarily reduced the price of an anti-AIDS drug.

Coscoril
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 1 — Biological E. Ltd has launched the Coscoril tablets here. According to a press note issued by company, these tablets will cure Asthmatic bronchitis; acute and chronic bronchitis, broncho pneumonia etc.

New CMD
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Dec 1 — Mr R.V. Shastri today assumed charge as Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Overseas Bank.
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