|B U S I N E S S||
Monday, May 10, 1999
Maruti seekers demand
A computer generated image of the winning design for the Millennium Bridge by architect Sir Norman Foster and partners, linking St. Paul's Cathedral with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and the new Tate Gallery of Modern Art on the South Bank in London. The bridge will be London's first new river crossing since the opening of Tower Bridge in 1894. AP/PTI.
Panel for new power metering
Inflation falls to 3.92 pc
Himachal asked to set up IT task
What lures North Indians to Canada
NEW DELHI, May 9 (PTI) Maruti Udyog Ltd has got a setback with most of the 6,500 people demanding refund of their booking amount totalling Rs 134 crore paid to the company in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on emission norms, say MUL dealers here.
Anticipating a substantial delay and a spurt in prices on the range of Maruti vehicles, people are preferring to wait for the new vehicles that conform to the emission norms as directed by the apex court.
MUL dealers told on condition of anonymity that over 6,500 vehicles were booked with the entire price paid in advance in the National Capital Region (NCR) and were expected to be delivered in the next few weeks.
However, the company policy is to charge customers the price of the day at the time of delivery and accordingly Maruti aspirants feared a cost escalation of about Rs 30,000, which MUL is expected to incur for the import of the multi point fuel injection (MPFI) system to make vehicles Euro-II compliant.
Though MUL pays an interest of 9 per cent for the period of delivery, it stopped supply of cars from May 1 pending a decision on conversion of its vehicles in conformity with new emission norms.
Maruti dealers pointed out that the Centre and States would also lose an estimated Rs 55 crore a month through taxes (both excise and sales tax) on sales of Maruti vehicles in the NCR.
MUL which has an all India car market share of about 80 per cent, supplied an average of 7,000 vehicles per month in the Delhi region alone.
The Supreme Court directive would limit registration of new private non-commercial vehicles to just 1500 a month from next month subject to conformity of Euro-I emission norms.
Dealers claim that about 10,000 people in the Capital region, engaged in sales and services of MUL vehicles, have become unemployed following the courts directive on emission standards as Maruti has stopped supplies in the absence of the registration process for vehicles not complying to the Euro norms.
Most of the dealers are finding it difficult to pay salaries of their staff at a time when there is no business and every dealer is sitting idle. There is no indication when the situation would normalise and sales would start again.
Maruti dealers also pointed out that after-sales services of Maruti vehicles will also be affected as over 40 per cent business comes from the servicing of new vehicles.
In the absence of sales of new cars, running a workshop for after-sales services would become unviable, they add.
confidence is on the rise
NEW DELHI, May 9 The shock waves suffered by industrial circles after the premature fall of the Vajpayee Government are fading and business confidence are on the rise once again.
A host of factors in the recent weeks have been responsible for the change in trend. To begin with, the Government brought cheer to the business community when it asserted that there was no provision for a caretaker Government in the Constitution and it would continue to take all important decisions in the national interest.
Ministers holding economic portfolios too have reiterated time and again that they would push through all the major decisions cleared in the budget for 1999-2000.
Sentiments were also buoyed when the National Council of Applied Economic Research projected that the economy could grow at 5.7 per cent in the current financial year and could even go up to 6 if the Government implemented the various sops given to the housing sector in the current budget.
A normal monsoon could see another bumper crop and increased rural demand while the monetary policy changes are expected to improve the investment climate and industrial output.
The resurgence of confidence is also indicated in a recent survey conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which reveals that the overall business sentiment for the next six months has improved.
The survey, which covered 165 members from all spheres of industry, found that more than 38 per cent of those covered felt that business would improve in the next six months. This figure is nearly double of those who were optimistic in the last survey of the CII.
The mood is reflected in the stock markets where the bulls are having a free run in the last few days.
On the Bombay Stock Exchange, the sensitive index shot up by over 380 points over the last weekend as foreign institutional investors, who were predicted to be the first to withdraw from the Indian market, continuing to make frenzied purchases.
Foreign direct investments too have picked up in the recent months as foreign investors appear to have become reconciled to the unstable political environment in the country.
Strengthening the sentiments were indications from leading auto-makers like Toyota and Volkswagen who said they were going ahead with their plans to enter the car market.
With sentiments high, industrialists are hoping that at least as far as the economy is concerned the politicians should sink their narrow differences and evolve a consensus on key economic issues.
The President of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Ashok Khanna, summed up the feelings of industry captains when he said that it is imperative not to lose sight of the economic agenda before the country even as fresh elections are held.
In the bright scenario, there are pessimists too who feel the bubble may burst sooner than expected. According to J P Morgans market outlook, the present caretaker Government would find it difficult to take any significant policy decisions and it might even resort to some populist measures with an eye on the elections.
can tide over poverty
LUDHIANA, May 9 Competition is an important pre-requisite for quality improvement, cost effectiveness and improved productivity and is a blessing in disguise for those who are ready to march on the challenging journey in pursuit of excellence.
This was stated by the Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen (retd) B.K.N. Chhibber, while addressing the 21st annual day function of the Ludhiana Management Association held here today.
A former Chairman of Proctor and Gamble, Mr Gurcharan Das, while delivering the keynote address on New emerging India, said that in spite of the various problems India would emerge as a major power at the international level. He said the country would manage to tide over the problems of poverty and unemployment in the next 50 years.
The Governor released
the LMA journal Effective Management and also
presented the LMA awards. Bhai Analjit Singh of Max India
Limited was awarded the LMA-Vardhman Award for
Entrepreneur of the year 1998. Mr Prem Nath Gupta as
awarded the LMA-Dayanand Munjal Award for Manager of the
Year, 1998, and, Mr Rajeev Kaushal, partner of New Era
Industries, as presented the LMA-Trident Award for Young
Innovative Entrepreneur of this Year.
new power metering system
NEW DELHI, May 8 The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has indicated the need for new and upgraded metering system in the State while expressing concern about the huge technical and non-technical losses of power.
The most pressing need for reform in the electricity industry in Haryana comes in the areas of reduction of technical and non-technical losses and metering of customer consumption, the HERC said in a discussion paper titled Issues of tariff philosophy on electricity tariffs in Haryana.
The level of power losses in the state transmission and distribution system is estimated at around 33 per cent. A considerable part of this level is of non-technical character, mainly due to power theft, improper estimation of non-metered consumption, tampered meters and billing and collection problems, the paper observed.
Rest of the losses were technical, caused by poor condition and inadequate maintenance of transmission and distribution facilities.A comparison of Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) with other power sector licensee in India, Latin America, Britain and the USA, reveals that power losses in Haryana are very high.
Stating that reduction of power losses is a function of proper management and adequate investment, the paper says that non-technical losses can be reduced with application of proper control of employees and consumers to eliminate power theft, discourage meter tampering, and improve estimation, billing and collection procedures.
NEW DELHI, May 9 (PTI) The annual rate of inflation fell below the 4 per cent mark for the first time in one-and-a-half years to 3.92 per cent for the week-ended April 24 as prices of non-food articles continued their southward slide.
Inflation, based on wholesale price index, declined by 0.16 percentage points to a 76-week low of 3.92 per cent (Provisional) from 4.08 per cent (P) a week ago. Inflation had stood at 5.92 per cent during the corresponding week of the last year.
This is the lowest inflation rate since November 15, 1997, when it touched a level of 3.92 per cent.
asked to set up IT task force
CHANDIGARH, May 9 A major thrust to tap the hydro power potential and focus on information technology are on the priority agenda of the Himachal Government. Interacting with the PHDCCI in Shimla yesterday Mr A.K. Goswami, Himachal Chief Secretary, said the tariff of new projects should be competitive. An action plan to attract investment in the IT sector would be announced shortly so that the State is not left behind in the race.
Mr Ashok Khanna, President, PHDCCI, urged the Chief Secretary to constitute a task force on IT and ask it to submit its report in two months.
At a meeting with the Governor, Mrs V.S. Rama Devi, followed by an interaction with Mr Kishori Lal, Minister of Industries, the PHDCCI opposed the policy of the State to restrict employment to locals since. this was not in tune with the policy of economic liberalisation and restricted the movement of employment seekers.
The PHDCCI pleaded for downsizing the government reducing decision-making layers and modernising it by introducing information technology at all levels. This would lead to reduction in non-plan expenditure which was mounting year after year, thereby considerably affecting the ability of the government to finance priority projects relating to infrastructure, primary education, health-care and agriculture.
CHANDIGARH, May 9 A Lucknow-based NBFC,Incan Mutual Benefit Ltd, which has collected crores of rupees in the Ludhiana area, has defaulted on its payment schedule, leaving depositors high and dry. There were about 20 branches of Incan in Ludhiana district which had reportedly collected about Rs 18 crore.
Due to recession, the companys business has suffered and it has closed down many of its branches, including those at Samrala and Dehlon, in the district. This has caused anxiety among depositors, despite the companys advertisements in newspapers assuring them repayment of their dues.
North Indians to Canada
CHANDIGARH, May 9 With increasing immigration of North Indians to Canada, one more company, Canwest Alliance is all set to open its office in Chandigarh on May 11.
Canada is open to qualified skilled, well-educated and experienced immigrants who are proficient in English or French, said Mr Anoo Lal, its promotor and President, Alliance Canada Inc, in an interview here today.
The selection of immigrants in the skilled category is based on a point system and one requires a minimum of 70 units of assessment to qualify for immigration. If an applicant has a blood relative in Canada, only 65 units of assessment are required for qualification as 5 bonus points are awarded for having a blood relative residing in Canada, explained Mr Lal, who is based in Canada.
The immigration selection is based on occupations in demand in Canada. The Canadian Government releases a General Occupations List (GOL) with points allocated as per demand. The other assessment factors are an applicants age, education, experience, the level of training needed to work in an occupation in Canada, language ability, demographic factor, arranged employment (if any) and personal suitability to Canada.
Each applicant should carefully review his or her qualifications in order to comply with the new educational and training component of Canadas selection formula, said Mr Lal, who was here to attend the Career and Education Fair 99.
The first application an applicant submits is the most important part of the immigration process. This is because the applicant establishes his/her immigration qualifications and intentions, which are ultimately used to assess their application for permanent residence in Canada, he said.
What are the occupations in demand in Canada? According to the current General Occupations List, these include computer professionals, degree-holder engineers, accountants & CAs, marketing professionals & consultants, agricultural consultants, economists & economic development officers, social workers, financial analysts, forestry professionals, geographers, geologists, industrial instrument technicians and mechanics, industrial pharmacists, journalists, librarians, bank managers, accountants, machining & tooling inspectors, telecommunications line & cable workers & technicians, tool & die makers, translators and veterinarians.
Students who intend to study in Canada have to obtain a visa. To acquire a visa one must produce a valid passport, a letter from the school confirming acceptance and a list of courses to be studied. Besides he/she should have sufficient money for tuition fees and living expenses.
There are about 500,000 Indians in Canada most of whom arrived in the 1960s. About 12,000 immigrants have been landing in Canada from India each year for the past three years. The highest number of immigrants are from Hong Kong followed by the Philippines and India.
I invested Rs 5,000 in 20 per cent secured non-convertible debentures of Rockland Leasing Ltd vide Regd Folio 13172 series C, certificate No 13165 and Distinctive Nos 47992 to 47996. The NCB was matured on December 28, 1998 and was submitted at their Chandigarh office on December 29, 1998. A period of 4 months has elapsed and there is no reply to various reminders
Amounts under FDRs Nos FD002492 and FD002493 were invested through Security Investment Ltd, Chandigarh. These amounts were due for payment on December 4,1998 along with interest since September 98. Neither the principal nor interest has been received despite reminders .
I sent 200 shares of Videocon Narmada Electronics for conversion into shares of Videocon International Ltd on May 12, 1998 under registered cover. In spite of repeated reminders the same has not been received so far. The Folio No is 50064213.
The Companies (Amendment) Act, 1999, has now been gazetted and the Ordinance on the same subject which had been issued earlier has been repealed. Apart from making many additions to and amendments in the Companies Act, 1956, such as enabling a company to buy-back its own securities (subject to certain conditions) and the establishment of Investor Education and Protection Fund, the Act confers on the shareholders and debentureholders of a company to nominate, at any time, in the prescribed manner, a person to whom his shares in, or debentures of the company shall best in the event of his death. This has been done by the insertion of new Sections 109 A and 109 B.
As the Act states, the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1999, shall be deemed to have come into force on October 31, 1998. The legal right to nominate a successor is now fully operative. The right to nominate successor in case of death is available to all shareholders and debentureholders, whether these securities are held in a single name or in two names jointly. Even a minor can be a nominee.
Any person who becomes a nominee by virtue of the provisions of Section 109 A can call on the company to register himself (or herself) as holder of the shares/debentures in the event of the death of the person who had nominated him (her) on the production of such evidence as many be required by the company such as death certificate etc. The nominee shall have all the rights and entitlement of the original shareholder (s).
Under the Companies (Centre Governments) General Rules and Forms, 1956, the Companies Affair Department has issued the Nomination Form which will have to be filled in by the shareholders/debentureholders at the time of making nominations. Some companies have already posted such nomination forms to their shareholders along with the annual reports for accounts for 1998-99. Philips India is one such company. But so far a majority of companies have not taken any such step.
In case a shareholder does not receive any nomination form from the companies, he can ask the company to send him the form. No company can refuse it.
Moving back from the amendments and additions to the Companies Act, 1956, to the stock market, the recent improvement in the share prices is not much of a surprise to me. At least for four months, from May to August, there is no political uncertainty, no baffling changes in the declared policies affected during debates in Parliament, no fear of political defections. There is, on the contrary, an expectation that the caretaker government will pursue its policies for economic growth vigorously and in a result-oriented manner.
I expected the market to maintain its buoyancy during this period, subject the normal behaviour of the monsoons. But the meteorological department has already indicated that the monsoons are expected to be in all probability normal this year too. But the market may start wobbling in September-October in the uncertain mood of guessing as to what kind of Parliament will be constituted as a result of elections to the Lok Sabha.
The CIIs 51st
Business Outlook Survey, conducted among 165 members
drawn from across various sectors of industry recently,
indicates that there is some cautious optimism regarding
some turnabout in industrial growth. The annual results
so far are better than expected. The three segments of
industry which are expected to perform well both in
profits and on the stock market are: software,
multinational pharma and FMCG. Larsen and Toubro needs to
be watched for further appreciation. If any single share
has to be recommended this time in the column, I would
choose Sterlite Industries. I expect this share to move
up by at least 30 to 50 per cent during the year
Airlines the world over set aside the Budget for public relations as also how to win passengers. Two national carriers, Air India and Indian Airlines, do all that is possible to please them but shockingly the airlines are often criticised because Indian passengers expect too much from two national carriers.
Recently, an Indian delegation, including tourism and aviation writers, was maltreatment by Air Nippon Airways (Japan) and only then high-flown Indian members of delegations realised that foreign airline managers had more to learn in public relations than Indian officials.
A number of Indian delegates travelling to Nagoya for the Pacific Asia Travel Association conference were intensely disappointed at the rude behaviour of the officials of Nippon Airways.
The ANA officials had told the delegates that all seats on the Tokyo-Nagoya-Tokyo were sold out. But the reservation unit had told them that the seats were available in plenty. The fact of the matter is that foreign airline officials do not care for Indian passengers and Indian officials representing aviation or tourism.
On arriving Nagoya somehow, the Indian delegates complained to the airlines Managing Director during the conference. Regardless of what may have been the reaction of the Managing Director of the airline, ANA has lost goodwill of a sizeable number of travel agents and others,who have been selling Japan in India.
A timely gesture
In a timely bid to wish good luck to the Indian team, now in England for the VII World Cup, Air India will launch cricket food fiesta on flights between Delhi/Mumbai to London and back from May 11 to June 20.
Air Indias Director for Inflight and Public Relations Jitendra Bhargava said the dishes, christened on the popular cricket terminology would be served in the form of cricket gear with an emphasis on bat, ball and bails. The dishes, Maiden Over, Brilliantly Caught, Straight Drive, Mighty Strokes and Slippery Outfield will certainly be popular with even those who may not be fond of cricket.
Mr Bhargava optimistic that good wishes will help India win the Cup after 16 years.
The inflight entertainment programme has been customised by Sanjay Manjrekar. The lilting gazals will be intercepted with commentary by Narendra Hirwani.
There is no truth in
rumour, that a sizable commanders and pilots are
resigning to join private or foreign airlines. When
asked, an official of the Indian Airlines said one or two
on the verge retirement or with unworthy flying
record may have chosen to desert the airline.
A FOREIGN fund manager has a favourite theory whenever the markets are depressed by the antics of our political class Are they dabbling in the market too, and more interestingly, do they benefit on trades as a fallout of their political antics Food for thought, especially for SEBI.
Riding the IT boom, SRG Infotech, which was hitherto engaged predominantly in Registrar work has decided to move into the lucrative field of computer education and tied up with BITS to set up training centres, not only in Northern India but also in Pakistan. Will its share price again start moving northwards? Watch this counter.
A veteran BSE broker has predicted three scenarios and their likely impact on the BSE sensex. According to him, the sensex range will be 3400-3900 points in the event of the reinstallation of a BJP-led government, 3050-3600 points in the event of a Congress-led Government and 2750-3150 points in the event of a Third Front-led Government. Draw your own conclusions!
With the change of guard at the Centre, one certain casualty, opine insurance sector experts is the Insurance Reform Bill. Considering that the Leftists are allergic to the passage of this Bill, the Congress party, even if it heads the government will have little choice but to look the other way.
Notwithstanding the fact that it is the traditional favourite of the FIIs and that its market is growing exponentially, its announcement of a royalty charge in favour of its international parent, has resulted into a waning of interest among operators at its counter. However, it is only a matter of time before, this setback is discounted and this stock again regains its numero uno spot.
There used to be a time
when even a marginal improvement in the results declared
by Reliance Industries would trigger off a rally at the
bourses. However, of late, even though its results have
been satisfactory, its impact on the sensex has been
negligible. A sign of the changing times?
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