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India last on World Bank’s infrastructure list
WASHINGTON, June 18 — India stands last on the list of 53 countries surveyed for the quality of overall infrastructure in 1998, World Bank officials have said.

Himachal’s website issue gets polluted
SHIMLA, June 18 — The controversy regarding the “new”website of the Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board has taken an interesting turn with the former Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Chander Kumar, claiming that the inauguration of the website by the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, was “mere eyewash” as one such connection already existed since Congress rule in the state.
Mr. C M Vasudev (Second from left), Special Secretary (Banking)
Mr. C M Vasudev (Second from left), Special Secretary (Banking)
Ministry of finance addressing the Managing Committee of PHDCCI. Also seen (L-R) Mr. K S Mehta, Vice President, PHDCCI; Mr. Ashok Khanna, President, PHDCCI and Mr. Sailendra Narain, Chairman, SIDBI.


Develop waste land, says Israeli expert
CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Israel’s extension services are chiefly responsible for its agricultural advancements. In India extension services exist on paper. Extension officials don’t visit fields. They operate from offices.

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Samsonite to set up unit in Haryana
NEW DELHI, June 18 — Samsonite Corporation is setting up another manufacturing facility in India to produce quality luggage. The new facility will be set up in Haryana at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore.

Gestetner launches copy printers in city
CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Gestetner India Ltd, a subsidiary of UK-based Gestetner Holdings, today announced the launch of its new computer-connected, high speed copy printers capable of turning out copies at the speed of 120 per minute in Chandigarh.

Govt to improve legal system of banks
NEW DELHI, June 18 — The Union Finance Ministry is working to improve the legal system under which banks operate.

New machinery for Malout sugar mill
CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Markfed has undertaken construction work of its sugar mill at Malout and it will be commissioned next year.

BoB net declines
MUMBAI, June 18 — The net profit of the Bank of Baroda (BoB) dropped modestly to Rs 421.44 crore in 1998-99 from Rs 458.73 crore in 1997-98. The bank proposed to maintain the dividend at 30 per cent on its equity of Rs 294.14 crore.

Protest against globalisation

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India last on World Bank’s infrastructure list

WASHINGTON, June 18 (PTI) — India stands last on the list of 53 countries surveyed for the quality of overall infrastructure in 1998, World Bank officials have said.

“Although there have been impressive gains in India, much remains to be done,” said the World Bank’s South Asia infrastructure unit’s Sector Manager Frannie Humplick in an article in the Washington-based “Business Times”.

The survey was conducted for the global competitiveness report of the World Economic Forum.

Endorsing her view, World Bank President James D. Wolfenson says that the recent data on the incidence of poverty in India indicates that more than 52 per cent of the population lives on less than one dollar a day. More than 180 million people are denied access to safe water and less than 50 per cent of the villages have access to electricity.

Moreover 45 per cent of the people do not have the use of a pucca road.

“Little wonder that the over-reaching goal of the World Bank’s involvement in the development of infrastructure in India is the reduction of poverty in both rural and urban areas of the country,” says Wolfensohn.

Poverty reduction depends the on rapid economic growth and basic economic development.

The World Bank has also undertaken a review of policy and regulatory framework governing private investment in infrastructure on the request of the Indian government and it will be published shortly, Humplinck says.

Rapid growth and poverty reduction in India depend on macro economic stability, an incentive framework that supports rapid, efficient and internationally competitive growth and, finally, investment in infrastructure, Wolfenson says.

Roads, water supply, well-designed irrigation systems, flood control and electrification all make inroads against poverty.

Recent thinking with the World Bank, says Wolfensohn, is leading to the development of a comprehensive development framework which highlights an inclusive picture of development.

The paradigm calls for the integration of the macro economic and financial systems, the traditional tools of development planners, with an analytical framework which includes structural, social and human aspects.

“This holistic view of development,” he says, “calls attention to the structure of society, including a good and clean government, effective legal and justice systems, a well-organised and supervised financial system, and a social safety net and social programmes. The human aspects include education and knowledge institutions and health and population issues.”
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Himachal’s website issue gets polluted
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, June 18 — The controversy regarding the “new”website of the Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board (HPCB) has taken an interesting turn with the former Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Chander Kumar, claiming that the inauguration of the website by the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, was “mere eyewash” as one such connection already existed since Congress rule in the state.

A former Chairman of the HPCB, Mr Ajay Bahadur Singh, has also said that a website of the Board existed for the past about two years. Mr Harsh Mahajan, who was Parliamentary Secretary for Science and Technology during the Congress regime,has described the last week’s inauguration of the website by Mr Dhumal as a “gimmick”.

Controversy regarding launching of the new website had started even while Mr Dhumal was inaugurating it at his official residence when the existence of a HPCB website was pointed out by certain newsmen.

However, the HPCB authorities were trying to cool the controversy by claiming that the earlier website might have been got created by some officer in his personal capacity, but the new one launched by the Chief Minister was the official website of the Board.

Mr Dhumal ordered an inquiry into the entire episode on the spot,but there were apprehensions among a section of the HPCB employees that the correct picture might not be presented to the Chief Minister. Printouts of the earlier website with its code:htt:/www.bhartinet.com/hpcb were in circulation in the town to show that the connection already existed. However, the “new” connection is through some other website.

Mr Chander Kumar said that although the earlier website was available since 1997 when the Congress was in power, but the previous government did not believe in petty things of inaugurating such computer connections.
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Develop waste land, says Israeli expert
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Israel’s extension services are chiefly responsible for its agricultural advancements. In India extension services exist on paper. Extension officials don’t visit fields. They operate from offices.

These views were expressed by Mr Uzi Wellish, counsellor for agricultural affairs in the Embassy of Israel, after a presentation on “Agritech 99” at the CII here today. The exhibition will be held at Haifa in Israel from September 5 to 9.

“India still has a lot of waste land which can be put to use”, Mr Wellish said. Fiftyone years ago an average farm size is Israel was of one hectare. Today the average farm size is 10 hectares. With improved technology a single farmer can now handle much more production than before.

Only 3 per cent of the Israeli population is engaged in agriculture. Women have no hesitation in participating in agricultural operations which have been made easier and sophisticated by latest technology.

Clarifying that farmers in Israel do not pay for normal extension services, Mr Wellish said if a farmer is made to pay, he would, instead of going to extension agents, keep quite about problems he faces and won’t share his experiences with others.
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Samsonite to set up unit in Haryana
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, June 18 — Samsonite Corporation is setting up another manufacturing facility in India to produce quality luggage.

The new facility will be set up in Haryana at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore. The company already has a factory at Nasik, Maharashtra which started commercial production in April 1997.

Speaking to newsmen, the Managing Director of Samsonite India Limited, Mr Ramesh Tainwala said the company eventually plans to have three mother units for making products worldwide — one each in the USA, Belgium and India.

The company has set an ambitious target of achieving a turnover of Rs 300 crore by 2003, with a market share in excess of 30 per cent.

The company which started commercial operation in India in January 1998, currently enjoys a market share of 12 per cent in the organised branded luggage market of North India.The total Indian market for suitcases and briefcases is estimated to be worth Rs 800 crore, half of which is in the organised sector.

In North India itself, the size of the market is estimated to be Rs 12 crore per month.
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Gestetner launches copy printers in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Gestetner India Ltd, a subsidiary of UK-based Gestetner Holdings, today announced the launch of its new computer-connected, high speed copy printers capable of turning out copies at the speed of 120 per minute in Chandigarh.

The new 5450 and 5306 copy printers have features such as tapeless job separator, stamp mode and combine mode and cost between Rs 3.25 lakh and Rs 6.15 lakh, said Mr S.P. Rawal, Vice-President, Sales.

Targeting mainly at government and educational institutions, Gestetner offers duplicators and digital copiers, apart from copy printers. In collaboration with Kotak Mahindra, the company offers a finance facility also.

How do copy printers compare with photocopiers? Mr Rawal said: “The cost per copy works out at 7 paise (excluding the paper cost) which is 10 times cheaper than photocopiers”.

The Chandigarh regional office has recorded the second highest sales of company products (54 per cent) after Delhi which tops with 73 per cent of the total sales.

Gestetner hopes to achieve a turnover of Rs 74 crore during the current financial year. Despite recersion, the company has registered a steady growth. The turnaround started in 1994 when Gestetner launched digital copiers.
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Govt to improve legal system of banks
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, June 18 — The Union Finance Ministry is working to improve the legal system under which banks operate.

“A group in the Ministry of Finance is working to improve the legal environment under which banks operate with the objective of improving the legal environment”, the Special Secretary (Banking), Ministry of Finance, Mr C.M. Vasudev, said while speaking at the Managing Committee meeting of PHDCCI on Wednesday evening.

He said that the first challenge before the public sector banks now will be to adjust to an environment that will require skills for management of new types of risks credit risks, market risks, interest rate risks and foreign exchange risks.

The President of PHDCCI, Mr Ashok Khanna, called for review of NPA norms.
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New machinery for Malout sugar mill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 18 — Markfed has undertaken construction work of its sugar mill at Malout and it will be commissioned next year.

Announcing this here today, Mr G.S. Sandhu, Managing Director, said that action had already been initiated to purchase new machinery for the mill. He clarified that no old machinery would be installed at the mill.

Sufficient funds have been kept reserved for the mill. An OSD has been posted to look after the construction work and ensure sowing of enough sugarcane to meet the requirements of the mill.
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BoB net declines

MUMBAI, June 18 (UNI) — The net profit of the Bank of Baroda (BoB) dropped modestly to Rs 421.44 crore in 1998-99 from Rs 458.73 crore in 1997-98. The bank proposed to maintain the dividend at 30 per cent on its equity of Rs 294.14 crore.

Explaining the performance of the bank, CMD, K. Kanan said that the net profit would have gone up by around 40 per cent if the element of write-back of excess provision on investment made last year was not taken out from the profit of The operating profit of the bank has increased by 17.27 per cent to Rs 945.30 crore from Rs 806.06 crore in the previous year.
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Protest against globalisation

NEW DELHI, June 18 (PTI) — Coinciding with the G-8 countries summit in Cologne (Germany), activists of various social and environmental organisations staged a protest here today against globalisation. The protest in support of an “International Day of action against globalisation” was organised at “Raj Ghat”, who symbolised self-reliance and encouraged small scale village-based cottage industries, said Pradeep of “Butterflies”, an organisation for children.
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Indian Viagra
Tribune News Service
NEW DELHI, June 18 — Viagra now has an Indian competitor. Duko India (P) Ltd has started marketing Vigorous — a herbal non-hormonal rejuvenator — manufactured by Tampcol, a government of Tamil Nadu undertaking.
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