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Tuesday, November 9, 1999
Consumer durables drive
Euro II Indica by January
Dalmia Industries penalised by
More funds for PSUs likely
Tube Invest may buy Steel Strips
Tyre production logs 10 per cent
durables drive up growth
NEW DELHI, Nov 8 Consumer durables, capital and intermediate goods sector have been the main growth drivers in the manufacturing sector which has seen a consistent six per cent growth since the beginning of the current fiscal, says a study done by the Assocham.The study released by the Chamber President, Mr K. P. Singh here today, said that while basic goods have not shown any significant improvement, consumer non-durables are registering negative growth rates.
The recovery in output growth in all segments of the automobile sector accounts for part of the increase in output in both capital goods and durable consumer goods. However, if one were to go by the two-digit classification, it would appear that while much of the increase in capital goods during 1998-99 was on account of the expansion in the auto sector and metal products and parts, in 1999-2000 the increase has been on account of machinery and equipment.
In the automobile sector, upto August this year the output of cars is up by 39 per cent and sales have risen 46 per cent.
For both trucks and passenger cars, the ease of selling new vehicles is partly determined by the activity level in the second hand market. Ready financing and smooth demand in the latter makes the economics of the new car market better - especially for trucks and other commercial vehicles.
The study notes that the scooter business appears to have entered downward trend with negative growth in the current year, while motorcycles seems to have become the two-wheeler choice for buyers.
In the cement sector, there has been a strong growth of domestic demand that has resulted in a jump in capacity utilisation. Cement output and dispatches have both increased by 21 per cent in the first five months of the present fiscal.
Can a bank freeze account of a mentally unfit client?
NEW DELHI, Nov 8 (PTI) Can a customer be restrained by a bank from operating his account on the ground that he appears to be mentally unfit? This question has come up before the Delhi High Court by way of a civil writ petition in which a widow has sought direction for release of her pension money, which has been blocked by bank officials on the ground that she seemed to be mentally unfit.
Justice N.G. Nandi after hearing counsel for the Central Bank of India and the petitioner on this issue recently as an interim measure allowed widow Krishna Devi to withdraw Rs 1,400 per month for her survival and fixed February 3 for further hearing.
The basic question to be decided by the court in this case is whether the pension money lying to the Krishna Devis credit was public money and could be parted by the bank authorities when the petitioner is not a sane person.
Krishna Devi, who used to receive pension form the bank at its Mitrau branch in North Delhi, was refused by the Manager of the bank to withdraw her money since August last year on the ground that she was not mentally fit though no formal caution letter was issued to her in this regard, the petition filed through her representative B.S. Gahlaut said.
The petition alleged that due to non-payment of money, her two minor children left home in search of food and clothing and she was admitted to the All-India institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in January this year.
The petition has sought
withdrawal of family pension by the petitioner from her
savings account and direction to the bank to pay interest
at 12 per cent on blocked amount treating it as a long
term deposit and rehabilitate her children who have left
village for want of food and clothing.
VIENNA, Nov 8 (UNI) India and Austria today signed an agreement for the promotion and protection of investments, and a convention and protocol for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on Income Tax. The agreement, and convention and protocol were signed by the Mr Parmod Mahajan, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources on behalf of India and by Ms Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Secretary of State in Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Austria. President, K.R. Narayanan and Mr Thomas Klesteil, Federal President of Austria were present at the signing ceremony.
The agreement, which aims at promoting investments both in India and Austria and provides for the protection of investments in the two countries, would remain in force for 10 years and can be indefinitely extended with mutual agreement.
The convention and protocol will cover, in the case of India, Income Tax including any surcharge thereon and in case of Austria, the Income Tax and Corporation Tax.
The convention provides for lower tax rates.
With coming into force of the convention, rates of taxes on interest, royalties, fees for technical services will go down from 20 per cent to 10 per cent. On income from dividend the rates will be 10 per cent.
To avoid double taxation India will give credit for taxes paid by its residents in Austria on doubly taxed income and Austria will exempt the income which is taxable in India.
It is expected that protocol and convention would give impetus to the mutual flow of investment, technology, trade and services between the two countries.
The convention largely provides for lower rates of taxation vis-a-vis the prevalent rates in the two countries. Under it, the taxation rate in India in the case of dividend, interest, royalties and fees for technical services has been fixed at 10 per cent in each category as against 20 per cent applicable under domestic law.
The official said under the Income Tax law, dividend is not taxed at the hands of the shareholder. Consequently, non-residents of India and foreign companies will not be taxable in respect of dividend income as the more beneficiary domestic law would override the treaty provisions.
To avoid the incidence of double taxation, India will give credit for taxes paid by its residents in Austria on the doubly taxed income.
On its part, Austria will exempt the income which is taxable in India under the provisions of the Convention. In respect of dividends, interest, royalties and fees for technical services, Austria will give credit to its residents for taxes paid in India on these items of income.
NEW DELHI, Nov 8 (UNI) In its bid to secure investors money collected by the Skipper Construction Ltd for construction of flats in the capital, the Supreme Court has attached the bank accounts of Prabhjot Singh, son of the companys Managing Director Tejwant Singh, and his wife. A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice M.J. Rao and Mr Justice U.C. Banerjee restrained the banks concerned from allowing the son Prabhjot Singh and his wife to withdraw money from their accounts.The Bench last week passed a series of orders concerning the bank accounts and properties of Prabhjot Singh and his wife while dealing with various applications tagged in the pending special leave petition filed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) dealing with the claims of depositors.
The Bench restrained both of them from entering into any transactions in regard to the properties which were under attachment as per an earlier order of the court. No fresh transactions will be entered into by them without prior permission of the court, the Bench added.
point to be set up at Moga
MOGA, Nov 8 Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said here today that the Government will soon set up an industrial focal point at Moga where bodies of trucks and buses would be prepared.
Addressing a State-level function on Vishvakarma Day organised by the Ramgaria Welfare Society, he urged the people to involve themselves in small-scale industries instead of running after Government jobs.
Referring to a question that carpenters in Punjab be included in the list of backward classes, Mr Badal said the Backward Class Commission was seized of the issue.
Badal ordered an inquiry into charges against corrupt officials in various departments and asked people to expose those to whom they had given bribes. A large number of people complained against police, Excise and Taxation Department and revenue officials.
Punjab Meats seeks 675 crore
CHANDIGARH, Nov 8 Dr A.S. Bindra and Associates of Punjab Meats Limited, Behera (now PML Industries Ltd) have preferred a suit in the court of Mr A.K. Bishnoi, Civil Judge (Junior Division) claiming damages to the tune of Rs 675 crore from the Punjab Government for ordering its closure and asking the Punjab Agro to withdraw its presence from the Board.
Mr Bishnoi issued notice to the respondents for January 21, 2,000.
The plaintiff claimed that the project had been on the planning Board of the Punjab Government since 1972. However, no one was bold and imaginative enough to set up the facility in the State. He claimed that he had obtained equities from Asian Development Bank and the Union Ministry of Food Processing.
The order for closing the unit by the Punjab Government changed the decision of various banks and financial institutions about financial support. The uncertainty created by the Punjab Government also led to undermining the export obligations. It also damaged the PML brand established overseas.
NEW DELHI, Nov 8 (PTI) Telco has said that its vehicles including small car Indica would become Euro-II compliant much before Supreme Courts April 1, 2000 deadline.
Telco is now geared for commercial production of Euro-II compliant vehicles well before the deadline of April 1, 2000, in fact, possibly by January 1, 2000, the affidavit filed by the company in the Apex Court said.
The affidavit was in response to the recent suggestion of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to SC that registration of all diesel cars in National Capital Region (NCR) should be banned holding that diesel car emissions were responsible for multi-fold rise in the carcinogenic respiratory suspended particulate matters (RSPM).
It requested the court to reject EPCA recommendation as car manufacturers have spent huge amounts to upgrade their technology pursuant to fixation of emission norm deadlines.
NEW DELHI, Nov 8 (PTI) A Delhi consumer court has penalised Dalmia Industries Ltd for its failure in returning the maturity amount to a depositor. Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-VI has directed Dalmia Industries to return the depositors money at the agreed rates of interest and also to pay penal interest of 18 per cent from the date of maturity till the final settlement.The complainant, Trilok Singh, had deposited Rs 20,000 with the company in the two secured redeemable non-convertible debentures on 28.11.96 and 27.8.98. The company also issued post-dated cheques towards the principle amount as well as the interest.
The company did return part of the maturity amount Rs 6056 and Rs 8,000 on 4.4.99 after a long delay. However, Dalmia Industries did not pay the full amount to the depositor thus prompting the complainant to approach the consumer court.
NEW DELHI, Nov 8 (PTI) The Cabinet is likely to clear tomorrow the securitisation of Rs 12,000 crore dues of Central Coal and Power Utilities from the state electricity boards (SEBs) through issuance of bonds.
The securitisation package, jointly proposed by Power and Coal Ministries, would give immediate relief to Central PSUs by providing them more funds to meet their Ninth and Tenth Plan investment requirements, sources said.
Against the total outstanding of about Rs 29,000 crore as of now, the power companies could get as much as Rs 8,000 crore through issuance of power bonds by the government carrying an interest rate of 10.5 per cent.
The remaining Rs 4,000 crore would be given to coal PSUs against their dues from the SEBs, sources said.
The securitisation proposal was held back due to announcement of elections and it was part of the 100 days agenda prepared by the Power Ministry after installation of Atal Behari Vajpayee led National Democratic Alliance Government last month.
In case the proposal comes through, the Power Ministry would issue the bonds, backed by RBI and these would be tradeable after the initial lock in period.
The Power Ministry has
already held talks with the financial institutions about
these bonds, which would also reduce the burden of the
SEBs in terms of lower interest rates as against the
commercial rate of 18 per cent levied on them by PSUs on
the outstanding, sources said. The bonds were likely to
be for a period of upto eight years.
may buy Steel Strips assets
CHANDIGARH, Nov 8 Chennai-based Tube Investments of India Ltd (TII) plans to acquire Steel Strips and Tubes Ltd of Chandigarh for a consideration of Rs 30-40 crore. A formal announcement of the acquisition is expected soon.
The Rs 3,100 crore Murugappa group company is buying the assets and manufacturing facilities of Steel Strips, which has a manufacturing facility of 20,000 tonnes.
TII may use the manufacturing facility of Steel Strips to convert strips supplied by TII into tubes, according to a report in Business Line.
A United Nations expert has said that electronic commerce requires a uniform commercial law in which the initiator enters a familiar legal environment that has been established by a universal body of experts representing all legal and economic systems of the world.
This involves first of all the removal of obstacles such as paper-based requirements that discriminate against electronic data messages, signatures and records, said Mr Gerold Herrmann, Secretary at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.
The necessary provision of e-quality based on media neutrality and functional equivalence needs to be prompt and certain to ensure reliability and predictability in the use of new medium, he said while addressing 43rd Congress of the International Association of Lawyers in Delhi which concluded on Sunday.
But who should elaborate and set those rules? While views naturally differ on that point and must vary from topic to topic, cooperation between business and the government is widely favoured. So is a preference for global solutions over national or regional ones.
Ford-Oracle pact: Ford Motor Company and Oracle Corporation have joined hands to form the worlds first automotive online supply chain network.
Ford Chief Executive Officer Jac Nasser and Oracle President and Chief Operating Officer Ray Lane said the new joint venture, initially facilitating Fords $ 80 billion annual purchasing transactions with about 30,000 suppliers, would be the largest business-to-business electronic network.
The new automotive electronic business integrated supply chain AutoXchange would be run by a newly formed joint venture between the two companies, Ford and Oracle said in a joint release today.
The new online automotive marketplace was expected to dramatically reduce Fords purchasing costs and increase its operating efficiency through an integrated Internet supply chain system.
Further, it would extend Fords core business into a virtual e-business enterprise allowing direct connections of the supply chain to the consumer to reduce Fords marketing time.
Under the terms of the business agreement, Ford will own a majority of the new joint venture which is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2000.
Medical solution: A unique software, which compliments endoscopy units and serves as a complete patient information management system, has been developed by a Bangalore-based infotech company, Shonkh Technologies Ltd (STL).
STL, which achieved the breakthrough and is scheduled to launch the medical report generator named Endonit-MRG in a weeks time, has already applied for patent, STL Director (Projects) B.R. Badrinath told PTI.
The system can scan and store images generated by optical fibre during endoscopy on a computer hard disc or floppy, and the doctors can retrieve them in an instance. It can be zoomed into a specific portion for further study and generate print-outs for record, he said.
The package enables doctors to record details like patient name, addresses, sex, age, blood group and prescription among others to create a case history for future reference and can be used for taking number of frames, he added.
Guj Lyka, Sun Pharma to merge
BIFR has given a go-ahead to a proposal to merge sick Gujarat Lyka Organics Ltd with Sun Pharma.
It asked Gujarat Lyka to submit a revised rehabilitation proposal based on the merger proposal with means of finance fully tied up to ICICI.
A draft rehabilitation scheme based on the merger proposal might be circulated without further hearing after getting the report from ICICI, the bench observed.
Sun Pharma, which acquired controlling stake in Gujarat Lyka, has also made an open offer to acquire up to 20 per cent stake held by the public in the sick company.
Sun Pharma had inducted Rs 7.5 crore in Gujarat Lyka after acquiring the majority stake. However, even after the induction of fresh funds, the networth of Gujarat Lyka remained negative.
The merger proposal is based on a techno-economic feasibility study of the company by GITCO.
The board also made it clear the income tax benefits to the tune of Rs 8.51 crore accruing to Sun Pharma should be utilised for revival of Gujarat Lyka and repayment of dues of institutions and banks.
ICICI has been asked by BIFR to appoint a reputed consultant to work out the share exchange ratio for the merger in consultation with Gujarat Lyka.
BIFR had declared Gujarat Lyka a sick company in March, 1999 and appointed ICICI as the operating agency to examine the viability of the company.
Gujarat Lykas creditors, including SBI, have favoured the merger of the sick company with Sun Pharma.
ICICI said the sickness of the company was mainly due to a steep decline in domestic prices of Gujarat Lyka products in the last two years.
Though Sun Pharma has already given a revival proposal, ICICI refused to examine it without a directive from the board in this regard.
Consortium Fin: ICRA has downgraded the fixed deposit programme rating of Consortium Finance Limited (CFL) from MA to MA-.
The revised rating also indicates adequate safety with relatively lower standing within the category.
Shaw Wallace: Shaw Wallace and Company has drawn up a programme for creative investment in brand building.
Repackaging of existing best-sellers, new events and contests are lined up to promote the whiskies and other spirits. First the series is re-lunch of White Mischief vodka and a campaign for its premium whisky Royal Challenge.
The re-launch of White Mischief is a step towards investing the brand with an international personality with a new bottle shape and premium packaging.
To promote Royal Challenge, the company has announced a contest titled Be your own model. The campaign embodies the qualities of an RC drinker who has arrived in life and yet retains the youthful exuberance and zest for life, said Mr A K M A Shamsuddin, Executive Vice-President, Shaw Wallace, in a statement.
Madura Garments: Madura Garments, achieved a record sale of Rs 58 crore in the last two months.
In September, sales jumped by Rs 28 crore, and by Rs 30 crore in October, a 20 per cent growth compared to the same period last year, President of Madura Garments George Zacharias told PTI on Monday.
The revenue was expected to cross the Rs 250 crore mark for the year 1999, compared to Rs 215 crore for last year, he said.
Zacharias indicated that the division, whose crore area was the high quality readymade menswear products, with brands like Louis Philippe, Van Heusen Allen Solly and Peter England would embark on major diversification plans, in about two to three years time.
Tata Steel: Tata Steel may review setting up of its Gopalpur plant in coastal Orissa if the region is repeatedly hit by cyclone and other natural calamities.
The company Managing Director, Dr J J Irani, told reporters at Jamshedpur on Sunday that if natural calamities like cyclone and flood occur regularly in the coastal parts of the State, Tata Steel may rethink about setting up of its plant in the region.
Shyam Ahuja: After decorating the homes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Bush, the late Princess Diana and more recently, Cindy Crawford and Lee Radziwill, the Shyam Ahuja Home Collection now adorns the homes of the rich and famous in Delhi, Ludhiana and Chandigarh.
With the four Shyam Ahuja boutiques in Delhi and Chandigarh in existence for less than a year, the northern fashion market of India has been quick to appreciate and acquire the great variety offered at Shyam Ahuja.
21st Century Card: The days of bargaining and shopping blues at Chandigarh seem to be over with the launch of the 21st Century Card here. The card is especially useful for honeymooners and holidayers as it covers important tourist interest towns like Manali, Shimla, Mussoorie, Agra, and Dehra Dun, besides Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Amritsar.
Industries: Supreme Industries Ltd has launched
a lifestyle product called Alfa Deluxe. It is a
compact-sized moulded centre table, with a gleaming
vapocure lacquer finish that is unique in India.
Incidentally, Supreme is the only company in India to
offer a range of furniture with this unique vapocure
Tyre production logs 10 per cent growth
NEW DELHI, Nov 8 (PTI) Aided by the turn-around in the domestic automobile industry, the tyre production has registered a 10 per cent increase in September at 31.49 lakh units compared to 28.66 lakh units during the corresponding period last year.
Truck and bus tyres, which constitute bulk of the Indian tyre industrys revenue, recorded a sharp increase of 17 per cent in September to 7,81,075 units compared to 6,69,090 units last year, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) said today.
Riding on the over 40 per cent growth witnessed in the passenger car segment in recent months, passenger car tyre output grew by 9 per cent during the sixth month of the current fiscal to 3,94,839 as against 3,63,499 tyres last year.
While the production of jeep wheels rose by 12 per cent to 1,22,912 from 1,09,830 units, light truck tyre output rose 17 per cent to 1,76,340 compared to 1,50,141 in September 1998.
Exports of tyre registered a 22 per cent growth in September to 2,16,810 units as against 1,77,782 shipped during the corresponding period last year.
OBC profit up
CHANDIGARH, Nov 8 Oriental Bank of Commerce has shown a net profit of Rs 153.97 crore during the first half of the current year registering an increase of 23.10 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year. Operating profit went up by 28.60 per cent to touch Rs 262.56 crore. The gross income amounted to Rs 1288.66 crore as against Rs 959.07 crore registering an increase of 34.47 per cent.The deposits of the bank has crossed Rs 20,000 crore and stood at Rs 20,620 crore as on September 30, 1999 as against the deposit of Rs 14,534 crore last year registering growth of 41.87 per cent on yearly basis.
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