Sunday, February 6, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S
Stalls at the 14th New Delhi World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on Saturday. — PTI
Stalls at the 14th New Delhi World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on Saturday. — PTI
Books will survive cyber age: PM

Punjab to boost fruit juice sector
NEW DELHI, Feb 5 — Buoyed by renewed interest of international investors in the agro-industry in Punjab, the State Government has decided to throw open its fruit juice sector for foreign investments in a big way.

Infotech majors tie-up
NEW DELHI, Feb 5 — Infotech majors Computer Associates, Bharti BT and IT&T have entered into an alliance to offer integrated solutions on enterprise management, security and disaster recovery and help-desk solutions.

Gold zooms
NEW DELHI, Feb 5 — The gold prices skyrocketed on the bullion market today on brisk buying by stockists on reports of an unprecedented rise in its prices and recorded a handsome rise of Rs 300 per 10 gram.



EARLIER STORIES
 

Cooperative Societies Act may be amended
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — The Madhya Pradesh Minister for Commercial Tax and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr S.N. Sharma, who is also the Chairman of the National Cooperative Housing Federation of India, said today that the national housing habitat policy had assigned a key role to housing coops in solving the shelter problems of the needy.

LIC House Finance income up 14.91 pc
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — The LIC Housing finance Ltd is catering to various housing needs of the public by offering financial assistance under its different individual schemes including schemes for purchase of house, flat, or plot allotted by development authorities, Government agencies and scheme for home improvement said Mr Kranti Sinha, Director and Chief Executive of LIC Housing Finance, Mumbai at a press conference here today.

26 MoUs signed at Stonemart
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — Twenty six MoUs worth $ 15 million between Rajasthan and foreign companies in the stone sector are signed and exhibitors firmed up orders worth Rs 15 crore in the first four days of the India Stonemart 2000, held in Jaipur. More than 25,000 visitors from 35 countries visited the fair.

Water table falls in Haryana
CHANDIGARH: The virtual failure of the 1999 monsoon in large parts of Haryana has affected the State’s ground water resources, which have been depleting in fresh water areas and rising in the saline areas.

Fall in Doordarshan earnings
A statutory warning ‘injurious to health’ is printed on every packet or tin of various popular brands of ‘zarda’. However, this is not affecting their sale. On the contrary, more and more companies are coming in the market producing ‘zardas’, under different names.

Internet access through cable TV
NEW DELHI Feb 5 — Infotech firm Apcom today launched Dax cable modems which allow faster as well as cheaper Internet access — through cable TV — than the present Net access mode where a telephone line is used.


Top



Punjab to boost fruit juice sector
From R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Feb 5 — Buoyed by renewed interest of international investors in the agro-industry in Punjab, the State Government has decided to throw open its fruit juice sector for foreign investments in a big way.

The State had tasted success with the Pepsi tie-up, where the multinational soft drink major invested heavily in potato and tomato products and was responsible for the prosperity of thousands of farmers.

The State renewed interest in the agro-processing industry was highlighted at the recently concluded Krishi Expo, where the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation had participated in full strength.

‘‘After the success of potato/tomato experiment with Pepsi, the fruit juice sector is attracting lot of attention,’’ an official at the fair told The Tribune.

As a first step, the PAIC is now seriously considering the proposal from a Canadian fruit juice major for setting up a plant in the State.

The Canadian proposal, which is for setting up a project worth Rs 20 crore, is only on an experimental basis to test the waters before big investment in this sector flows in, the official added.

He said the State had great potential to tap foreign investments in the fruits sector as it was rich in production of several fruits.

The main fruits grown in the State were kinnow (275,000 mts), orange (66,000 mts), mango (97,000 mts), grapes (66,000 mts) pear (125 mts), peach (72,000 mts), lichi (13,000 mts) and lemon (6,600 mts).

Most of these fruits are available only during winter season, when the demand for them are low. These fruits could be processed and their juices would be made available throughout the year, the official said.

According to PAIC’s estimate, the state has the potential of generating over Rs 250 million in the fruit juice concentrates, over Rs 500 million in processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables and about Rs 100 million in the export of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The fruit juice units would primarily cater to the export market and the state would earn substantial foreign exchange by this venture, the official added.

The PAIC has so far implemented 27 projects worth Rs 3816 million which have resulted in the development of the state’s economy.Top




 

Infotech majors tie-up

NEW DELHI, Feb 5 (PTI) — Infotech majors Computer Associates, Bharti BT and IT&T have entered into an alliance to offer integrated solutions on enterprise management, security and disaster recovery and help-desk solutions. “Under the agreement the three companies would jointly undertake projects and would leverage the joint resources for delivering technology, integrated service, support skills, products and solutions to the clients,” Karan Puri, MD of IT&T, said at a seminar on IT solutions here.

IT&T would offer its integration services on CA’s disaster recovery and security products portfolio, and Bharti BT’s connectivity solution, he said.

IT&T services would address the different business needs at every stage of an organisation’s technology life cycle during the implementation and execution of projects, he said.

“The company would examine the changing business needs and how it effects technology requirement and assist organisations in planning their IT strategy, designing their network and assessing the systems and applications,” he said.

Puri said the company would then implement the IT strategy by provisioning for the products and solutions, acquiring them and integrating them into the existing environments. Top




 

Gold zooms

NEW DELHI, Feb 5 (PTI) — The gold prices skyrocketed on the bullion market today on brisk buying by stockists on reports of an unprecedented rise in its prices and recorded a handsome rise of Rs 300 per 10 gram. Silver also made a significant rise on stockists’ buying in the face of restricted supply and closed with notable gain.

Precious metal market had been bearish since October last and a sudden sharp rise in the gold prices caught many traders in short position, the traders said.

Standard gold and ornaments in the domestic markets zoomed up by Rs 300 each at Rs 4825 and Rs 4675 per 10 gram respectively. Sovereign was higher by Rs 100 at Rs 3950 per piece of eight gram.

Silver .999 (ready) spurted by Rs 220 at Rs 8200 per kilo while weekly delivery gained Rs 125 at Rs 8115 per kilo. Silver coins were higher by Rs 200 at Rs 11,200/11,400 per 100 pieces.Top




 

Cooperative Societies Act may be amended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — The Madhya Pradesh Minister for Commercial Tax and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr S.N. Sharma, who is also the Chairman of the National Cooperative Housing Federation of India, said today that the national housing habitat policy had assigned a key role to housing coops in solving the shelter problems of the needy.

Inaugurating a national seminar on housing cooperatives organised by the National Coooperative Housing Federation of India in tandem with the National Housing Bank, Mr Sharma said housing coops had been asked to construct one lakh units every year under the two million housing programme against which they had raised nearly 1.5 lakh dwellings last year. In view of a huge fund absorption capacity, the support from financial institutions had not been adequate to the housing coops.

He advocated adequate flow of funds from the Life Insurance Corporation, the National Housing Bank aid HUDCO besides allotment of 30 per cent land by state governments, exemption from stamp duty and registration fee and more share capital from state governments to apex federations.

The Union Secretary for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Mr S.S. Chattopadhyay, who presided over the seminar, said the Centre had adopted a three fold approach of enabling the flow of low cost funds to housing, enactment of housing friendly laws and transfer of cost effective technology. Through these initiatives the Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation ministry was planning to construct seven lakh houses every year in urban areas, as part of two million housing programme.

Mr K.S. Bhoria, Central Registrar, Cooperative Societies, said the union government was considering bringing an amendment in Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act. He advised the coops to improve their work efficiency, recovery and adopt low-cost technology and proper human resource development in order to face competition in the era of globalisation.

Dr M.L. Khurana, Managing Director of the National Cooperative Housing Federation of India, in his welcoming address said the cooperative housing movement consisted of 90,000 primary housing coops with a membership of nearly 62 lakhs 25 apex housing cooperative housing federations at the state-level. The housing coops not only provided shelter to members' families but also promoted neighbourhood by bringing families together.Top




 

LIC House Finance income up 14.91 pc
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — The LIC Housing finance Ltd is catering to various housing needs of the public by offering financial assistance under its different individual schemes including schemes for purchase of house, flat, or plot allotted by development authorities, Government agencies and scheme for home improvement said Mr Kranti Sinha, Director and Chief Executive of LIC Housing Finance, Mumbai at a press conference here today.

Mr Sinha said the company has announced three schemes recently to enlarge its product range to cater to the growing needs of the valued clientele. ‘Apna Chikitsalaya’ is a scheme to provide loan with minimum limit of Rs 5 lakh and maximum Rs 50 lakh for financing medical practitioners for purchase, construction of nursing homes to be used by them. The others are for fresh borrowers and existing borrowers for purchase of items like computer, television, music system, air conditioner, etc.

Mr Kranti Sinha said the LIC Housing Finance is the second largest company after HDFC. The company has shown a growth of 14.91 per cent in income during the nine months which has grown up from Rs 401.13 crore to Rs 460.93 crore.

He said the total number of dwelling units financed since the inception of the company to 31.12.1999 is 3,94,929 units of the Rs 1000 crore loan disbursed, 98 per cent was disbursed to individuals. The company is negotiating with the Delhi and Chandigarh administration for loans to the first allottee having plots/flats on leasehold basis in Delhi or Chandigarh.

Mr S.C. Sharma, Regional Manager, said the Chandigarh region has disbursed loans to 7800 persons just in span of four years. Ms Manjeet K. Sawhney, Area Manager gave details of the Chandigarh area.Top




 

26 MoUs signed at Stonemart
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — Twenty six MoUs worth $ 15 million between Rajasthan and foreign companies in the stone sector are signed and exhibitors firmed up orders worth Rs 15 crore in the first four days of the India Stonemart 2000, held in Jaipur. More than 25,000 visitors from 35 countries visited the fair.

Addressing a press meeting, Mr Arvind Mayaram, Secretary, Industries, Rajasthan, said the changing global trade scenario demanded facilities to link up to the world, where even small players from Makrana in Rajasthan could be in direct touch with international players.

Comparing India and Tanzania, he said that the South-South country cooperation was required to foster relationships as these countries have similar natural resources.

Mr, Alexandros Roussopoulos, Head, Investment Promotion Service Athens, UNIDO, thanked the organisers. He said the Greek stone companies participating for the first time at an exhibition have received a good response from the stone industry of Rajasthan.

The tie ups have been made in the marble sector, and the Greek buyers are on the lookout for further business opportunities in the stone industry.Top




 

Water table falls in Haryana
From B.K. Chum

CHANDIGARH: The virtual failure of the 1999 monsoon in large parts of Haryana has affected the State’s ground water resources, which have been depleting in fresh water areas and rising in the saline areas.

The latest pre-monsoon and post-monsoon survey of ground water conditions in the State conducted by the Ground Water Cell of the Haryana Agriculture Department reveals that the water table during pre-monsoon period of June 1974 to June 1999 declined in 48 of the State’s 108 blocks from 0.08 metres (Barara block) to 15.52 metres (Nangal Chaudhry block) whereas 60 blocks showed average rise in water level from 0.05 metres (Nagina block) to 24.83 metres (Barwala block).

During the post-monsoon period, October 1974 to October 1999, however, as many as 56 blocks indicated a decline in water level from 0.04 metres (Hodel block) to 17.25 metres (Nangal Chaudhry block) while only 52 blocks showed average rise from 0.15 metres (Khakhoda block) to 24.19 metres (Barwala block).

According to Mr J.K. Batish, Research officer of the Ground Water Cell, upto June 1998, 54 blocks saw decline and an equal number increase in the water table. The post-monsoon period of upto October 1999 witnessed a decline in the water table in only 41 Blocks and rise in 67 Blocks.

The declining trend of water table in fresh water areas was due to large-scale pumping of ground water while the rise was due to poor drainage and less withdrawal of water in saline water areas.

The districts of Hisar, Bhiwani, Rohtak, Jind, Sirsa, Fatehabad and Jhajjar have been indicating rising water level trend while declining water level has been witnessed in the districts of Gurgaon, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Faridabad, Panipat, Kaithal, Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar, Sonepat, Mohindergarh and Rewari. The number of shallow tubewells which stood at 27,957 at the time of creation of Haryana in 1966 has swelled to 5,75,513. Of the 108 blocks, 47 are over exploited and fall under dark category.

Mr Naseem Ahmed, Commissioner, Agriculture, Haryana said that as the decline in water level was due to consistent increase in area under paddy and decrease in area under cotton (desi) due to the impact of rising water level trend, strategies to keep up the pace of agricultural production level in the State would be adopted. The estimated demand of water for irrigation, domestic uses including drinking and industrial use for the State, he said, is 33.65 MAF. The current water use both from surface and sub-surface is 13.81 MAF. In order to narrow down the gap between demand and availability, water conservation and management practices were reckoned as the major thrust areas besides endeavour to identify additional potential aquifers by carrying out intensive ground water exploitation to greater depth.

Mr Ahmed said one of the proposed steps to achieve the above objectives was to change the cropping pattern by switching over from more water intensive crops to less water intensive crops, specially in the North-Eastern part of the State where water level has shown a consistent decline.

He also stressed the need for introduction of groundwater legislation which would regulate the exploitation of groundwater to arrest the recession of water table in over-exported areas of the State. He laid stress on investigating the feasibility of artificial recharge of the groundwater reservoir in the districts of Ambala, Karnal, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Rewari and Mohindergarh. — IPATop



 

Fall in Doordarshan earnings
By V.P. Prabhakar

A statutory warning ‘injurious to health’ is printed on every packet or tin of various popular brands of ‘zarda’. However, this is not affecting their sale. On the contrary, more and more companies are coming in the market producing ‘zardas’, under different names. Even the Central Government has waived off certain taxes on such companies of North-Eastern states.

Similarly, even a packet or tin of cigarettes or ‘biri’ or any tobacco product also carries this warning. Perhaps a bottle of liquor is also supposed to carry such warning.

Still producers of such intoxicants sponsor programmes not only on private TV channels but also sponsor programmes organised by various clubs all over India. These private TV channels in the advertisements of such products show that the consumption of these intoxicants provide extra muscular power to the consumers and they perform certain heroic work also.

If these intoxicants can be so useful, then the Central Government need not make statutory for the companies to print the warning on the labels etc. However, the result is that their consumption is on the increase and private TV channels are getting fat revenue by showing advertisements of these products.

However, these are adversely affecting the earnings of Doordarshan. Commercial advertisements were introduced on Doordarshan from January 1, 1976, from all the then existing kendras. Commercial services has since been extended besides the national channel to metro channel, DD-International and other regional kendras.

Besides work relating to advertisements, Doordarshan Commercial Service is also involved in billing of commercial time, collection of payments, finalisation of rates, etc for sponsorship, telecast fee, spot rate and minimum guarantee programmes. There was a steady increase in the earning of Doordarshan till 1996-97. However, in 1997-98 there was a fall mainly because of the tight market situation and ever increasing competition.

Doordarshan telecasts advertisements for goods and service but the acceptance of advetisements is governed by a comprehensive code for commercial advertising. Hence, advetisements of cigarettes, tobacco products, liquor, wine and other intoxicants are not accepted like private TV channels. This has also resulted in decline in the earning of Doordarshan. The earning of Doordarshan in 1997-98 was Rs 490.57 crore as against Rs 572.72 crore in 1996-97 which shows a decline of Rs 82.57 crore.

Audience research units have been established in 19 kendras. The research work is coordinated at the Directorate as well as at the kendra level. The audience research unit serves as a data bank at the Directorate as also at the kendra level. It also brings out periodically compilations of all available information about the media in the country.

All India Radio introduced commercials on November 1, 1967, and it now extends to 99 primary channel stations, 30 Vividh Bharti Centres, 74 local radio stations and four FM metro channels. Commercials are also allowed over national channel, New Delhi, and the North Eastern Service, Shillong.

At present, though a major part of the earning is from the commercials, a part is also received from the FM licence fee. The popular Vividh Bharti Service provides entertainment for more than 14 hours a day from 30 centres, including short-wave transmitter at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Guwahati.

The total revenue earned by AIR during 1997-98 was Rs 93.44 crore. The revenue earned in the first six months of 1998-99 was Rs 44.76 crore. The earnings in 1996-97 were of the order of Rs 79.63 crore.Top



 

Books will survive cyber age: PM

NEW DELHI, Feb 5 (PTI) — Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said that books would survive the cyber age and asked publishers to invest more in publishing books in all Indian languages.“Similar apprehensions were experienced with the advent of television, when newspapers wondered whether they would soon cease to exist. But we have seen the power of the printed word which has survived the onslaught of the audio-visual image,” he said inaugurating the millennium’s first World Book Fair here.

Despite the fact that the country was witnessing a fast shift towards electronic journals which could be accessed by millions of people courtesy the information technology and a book no longer needed to exist in physical form, Vajpayee said “I have no doubt that printed books will survive the cyber age”.

“Books serve to enlighten society and, throughout human history, have proved to be more powerful than weapons of death and destruction,” he told a large gathering of book lovers and publishers from India and abroad.

It was, therefore, not surprising that history was replete with instances of burning of books and attacks on libraries to subjugate people and establish political, racial or religious supremacy, the Prime Minister said adding the power of knowledge, of ideas, of imagination, has always “scared those whose strength derives from bigotry and fundamentalism”.

“We have seen books being banned and authors persecuted. But neither burning nor banning has been able to suppress the human mind — ideas have survived, new ideas are being born and the quest for knowledge continues,” Vajpayee said.

Exhorting publishers to play an important role in bringing out more number of books, he said that books have to be made affordable so that individual buyers were not constrained by the price line.

One way of overcoming the problem of high prices was to strengthen the system of public libraries, the Prime Minister said suggesting that residential colonies and communities should have their own libraries instead of looking forward to official patronage for establishing huge libraries.

Such a move would not only provide more accessibility to the common people especially children but also foster a sense of community participation in making books available to all, he said citing the West Bengal experiment where numerous community-run libraries existed.Top



 

Internet access through cable TV

NEW DELHI Feb 5 (PTI) — Infotech firm Apcom today launched Dax cable modems which allow faster as well as cheaper Internet access — through cable TV — than the present Net access mode where a telephone line is used.

“Burgeoning Internet users coupled with traffic congestion due to limited bandwidths have made Net access both more expensive and slower. To make Internet access faster and cheaper for home users, Dax has extended its productline by launching the cable modem,” Director of Apcom Computers Deepak Mirza told newspersons here.

Priced at Rs 15,000, the cable modem would find a booming market once the big cable providers like Citicable, Hathaway and Hindujas begin offering Internet services on their cables.

Claiming that the Dax cable modem allows up to 30 times faster connectivity than a telephone line modem, he said this device would save the consumer the telephone call charges levied now.Top


 

Venus Remedies net up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 — Chandigarh based pharmaceutical company Venus Remedies Limited has recorded a turnover of Rs 377.26 lakh for the quarter ended 31.12.99, a jump of 53 per cent against Rs 245.67 lakh for the quarter ended 31.12.98. The profit after tax (PAT) has shot up by 277 per cent. Compared to PAT of Rs 3.98 lakh during quarter ended December 1998, the company finished the quarter ended December 1999 at Rs 13.02 lakh. Mr Pawan Chaudhary, MD of the company said that this is primarily due to increased focus of the company in the branded products segment. He said that the company has prepared a plan to increase the turnover to Rs 100 crore.Top


  rc
RENT CASES

by Praful R. Desai

Wilful default

Q: Whether full liberty is given to the tenant to deposit the amount at any time before or after or in anticipation and all payments were treated as if paid on first of each month when the agreement provides that rent shall be paid within 15 days from the date of agreement?

Ans: In Nalivela Komaraiah v Gannu Nagamani (1999 (2) R.C.J. 508) the Andhra Pradesh H.C. took the view thus:

It may be stated as a general rule, said the H.C. that if the statute is solely for the benefit of a person, he may waive his right or the benefit, if he thinks fit, or give up the rights of a personal or private nature created under an agreement but he cannot waive a benefit conferred by a statute which has public policy for its object.

There is a difference between a statute solely meant for the benefit of an individual and a statute which has public policy for its benefit, clarified the H.C. In other words an advantage or benefit intended for an individual and one in which the public have an interest. And therefore, observed the H.C., an individual who has been conferred with the benefit by a statute may waive it, if he thinks fit, but he cannot waive it where the public have an interest.

The H.C. therefore observed in this case that the landlord is entitled to waive the statutory protections contained in S. 10 of the A.O. Rent Act which are solely meant for his benefit. S. 10(2) has been grafted in the Act in the individual interest of the landlord and it cannot be said that the public policy or public interest is involved.

Therefore, the H.C. held that the stipulation made in the agreement to the effect that the rent paid before or after or in anticipation shall be treated as if it is paid on Ist of every month cannot be said to be contrary to the provisions of S. 10(2) as the landlord shall be deemed to have consciously waived his statutory right by executing an agreement and exhibiting the same by his own conduct.

Under these circumstances, the H.C. held that it is not open for the landlord to contend there was wilful default during the pendency of the proceedings before the Rent Controller and the appellate court. Consequently, the H.C. set aside the order of the appellate court and confirmed the order of the Rent Controller. In that way, the present CRP was allowed. Top



  nia
NEW ISSUE ANALYSIS

by K. Garima

Shree Rama Multi-tech

Issue opens/offer closes: on 4.2.2000/10.2.2000

Promoter: Vikram Patel & Sharad Patel

Instrument: Equity Shares

Offer Price: Rs 120 (FV Rs 5)

Analysis: Having tasted success with its recent book building exercise, shree Rama Multi-tech Ltd. (SRML) is now entering the capital marked with an offer of equity shares. Ranked second in the plastic laminated tubes industry, the company now proposes to undertake a major expansion of its existing facilities and also set up new plants at Pondicherry and Gujarat. Its total fund requirement has been estimated at around Rs 306 crore and is to be funded through term loans from IDBI, SBI, Exim banks and private placement of debentures apart from the issue proceeds, the promoters contribution and internal accruals.

SRML is an intergrated packaging solutions provider and hence its clientele is predominantly from the FMCG sector with HLL, Dabur, Reckitt & Coleman and Balsara to name a few. Its technical collaboration with the likes of AISA (Switzerland), Taiyo (Japan), Fujimori Kogyo (Japan) and Barrier Films Corporation for tube manufacturing, printing technology, laminate web making technology and multi-layer film technology respectively augur well for the company.

The company is projecting an EPS of Rs 7.3 for the current accounting year that will end in March 2000 thereby discounting the EPS 16.4 times. The promoters, who appear to have a reasonably strong background in the industry will hold a stake of 40 per cent in the post issue equity and the same is satisfactory.

Unlike in the case of an IT sector company, the returns from an investment in a scrip from the manufacturing sector is bound to be slower in coming. Yet, from security viewpoint, parking ones funds in a fundamentally sound company like SRML should prove more remunerative in the long term.

Pentagon Global

Issue opens/Issue closes: 4.2.2000/ 9.2.2000

Promoters: T. Mahadevan, Suresh Krishnan.

Instrument: Equity shares

Issue size: Rs 4.8 crore

Issue price: Rs 12

Analysis: Incorporated in March 1995, Pentagon Global Solutions Limited (PGSL) has been engaged in computer software training activities. The company has been predominantly south based thus far, and the current visit into the capital market is being made to raise funds for setting up of a software development park so as to expand its software development activities. Besides, it also proposes to venture into e-com and other web based projects and also set up its centres in other places in India and abroad. The self estimated project cost has been pegged at around Rs 14 crore and apart from the current issue proceeds is to be financed through promoters contribution, term loans, unsecured loans, working capital loans and internal accruals.

The factors, which augur unfavourably for PGSL are as follows. Firstly, the source of the term loan component amounting to almost 1 crore, has not been specified. On the financial front, its track record has been unexceptional and that despite the sudden jump in net profit for year ended in March 1999 and the six month period that ended in September 1999.

The projected EPS for 1999-2000 which discounts the price around 6 times cannot be taken entirely at face value. Likewise, the financials of its associate firm too borders on the mediocre and fails to elicit a great deal of confidence in the promoters, as does their limited exposure to the industry. Another factor to be considered herein is the fact that IT segment is an immensely competitive one and PGSL has yet to actually establish a firm foothold therein and the same should take a while.

While PGSL could emerge as a dark horse in the future, its immediate prospects appear only a little above average. Yet, given the market sentiment, investment in this issue is likely to fetch fair returns upon listing.Top



  an
AVIATION NOTES

by K.R. Wadhwaney

Visa move to ease illegal emigration

THE controversial visa-for-money proposal for illegal emigrants does not show British diplomacy and wisdom. The proposal, which seems premature and reckless, says that a bond of 10,000 will have to be signed by “borderline passengers” seeking visa for the U.K.Currently there is a difference of opinion in the UK government as British Minister of State for External and Commonwealth Affairs Keith Vaz has said it has been prematurely leaked out in Britain. But, if and when the half-cooked bond proposal becomes a reality, it would merely succeed in facilitating illegal emigration instead of detering it.

As of now, prospective passengers seeking illegal emigration shell out about Rs 3 lakh to travel agents to obtain a UK visa. Quite a few succeed, while some of them are denied visas. When these passengers are not given visas, they lose their money.

Now by paying additional Rs 4 lakh, they will secure visas without playing into the hands of the unscrupulous travel agents.

Many genuine persons now cannot get visas because they do not have spare Rs 7.5 lakh to pay bond money. If a person is travelling with his family, he may have to sell his house to deposit the bond money of Rs 15 or 30 lakh.

Obtaining UK or US visa has always been a nightmare. But those who have mastered tricks of this trade succeed, while innocent passengers suffer. There are instances when people manage visas through sports teams.

A three-fold strategy: The new Air India Commercial Director, Mr V.K. Verma, has spelt out his priorities to help improve performance of the airline. His priorities are: Effective use of information technology to further improve transparency in business processes; Widening umbrella of routes and market in potential areas to generate revenue and cultivate corporate houses, public sectors and government units for obtaining business.

The priorities are easily understandable. But it will require a lot of efforts at several stations to achieve the fruitful results.

Verma should cultivate sports bodies for securing a sizeable business. With ready availability of sponsors, sports bodies are now financially sound.

In recent months, Air India is doing good service on board the flights and has shown marked improvement. Snack and meal service has also improved and the cabin crew has been for more courteous and energetic than had been the case earlier.

MCD proposal: The Municipal Corporations (Delhi) proposal to levy tax on arriving passengers has been resented by passengers. The Air fares are steep and there are many taxes that the passenger has to pay. Why this tax? What facility does MCD provide to passengers?

It is not known how will the Airports Authority of India (AAI) react to this proposal?Top




  co
CHECK OUT

by Pushpa Girimaji

When a doctor fails to anticipate problems

ANTICIPATING problems and preparing for them is important part of health care management.A recent order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission drives homes this point when it holds a gynaecologist guilty of negligence for having failed to make adequate preparations for handling possible complications while delivering a child.While awarding a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh to the complainant for the death of his wife, the National Commission listed what it described as certain obvious lapses in the management of the case leading to the death of the patient. First of all, despite knowing the fact that the patient was 37 years old, had become pregnant after a gap of 12 years after the birth of her second child, had toxemia and the foetus was dead, the gynaecologist was totally unprepared for any kind of complications that may arise during delivery. She did not anticipate possible loss of blood and did not arrange for any blood supply. There was a scramble for blood and the relatives were sent out in the middle of the night to get blood, while the patient lay bleeding profusely and her blood pressure was falling drastically.

The National Commission also observed that the doctor was literally handling the case singly and did not requisition the services of an additional gynaecologist, or an anesthetist or any other expert at the outset. They were called in only later, after the delivery, perhaps because of the emergency that arose at that time. By then it was too late. The need for additional experts was also borne out by the fact that administration of pitocin drip to induce labour required constant monitoring, the Commission said. Also, the manner in which the patient, who was in a state of shock due to severe loss of blood, was rushed to the government hospital for revival spoke of the atmosphere of panic in the nursing home at that time. In short, there was carelessness and negligence on the part of the doctor in the management of the case, the Commission concluded. (Vijay H. Mankar vs Dr Mangla Bansod).

As per the details of the case, the patient, Mrs Mankad, was consulting the gynaecologist regularly during the period of pregnancy and on May 31, 1990, almost near the expected time of delivery, she visited her with a complaint of diarrhoea and backache. The doctor examined her and prescribed propoxyphene for intestinal colic. However, the next day, the patient returned with complaint of bleeding. Ultrasonography showed that the foetus was dead. She was then admitted to the nursing home at 3 pm. Till about 9 pm, the patient was kept under observation as the doctor insisted that Caesarean was contraindicated in cases of intrauterine foetal death and would therefore wait for normal delivery.

At 9 pm, the patient was put on Pitocin drip to induce labour and by 12.30 a.m. she was taken to the labour room and the relatives were informed at 2 a.m. that she had delivered normally. But soon after, she started bleeding profusely and the doctor asked the relatives to immediately arrange for blood. She also got another gynaecologist and anesthetist to see the patient and before the relatives returned with blood, the patient was moved to a government hospital, where she was declared dead. The cause of death was determined as postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).

The Commission, through expert witnesses, examined various factors including the advisability of prescribing propoxyphene, along with a sedative, to a pregnant woman. Another issue that was discussed at length was the decision to wait for a normal delivery in a case such as this. The opinion of the expert presented by the complainant was that since the patient was a high-risk pregnant woman, she should have been taken up immediately for caesarean section to save her from the possibility of traumatic PPH.

In the end, the National Commission said it would not sit in judgement over the procedure chosen by the gynaecologist for delivering the baby. However, the failure on the part of the doctor in not requisitioning the services of additional expert gynaecologist and anesthetist immediately after admission of the patient and not arranging for prior availability of blood supply could not be brushed aside as not having contributed to the maternal death. Commented the Commission: one would expect a doctor with normal skill and ability to be prepared for likely emergencies that could arise. But the doctor here was totally unprepared. Even though the patient was admitted at 3 pm there does not seem to have been the requisite sense of urgency and alacrity on the part of the doctor in organising the management of the case, given the complications of intrauterine death and toxemia of pregnancy.

Hopefully, judgements such as this would force doctors and nursing homes to pay more attention to proper planning and management of health care delivery.Top



  g
GRAPEVINE

DSQ Software

THE grapevine has it that none but the New Bull himself has taken interest at this counter. The projected price — well hold your breath — Rs 5,000 within a year. It happens only in India, that is the Indian bourses. Actually, at the Nasdaq too.

Bharat Immuno

Less than a month ago, the grapevine had it that this company might post a turnaround performance. Well, it did. The grapevine now predicts, a possible takeover of this company by a pharma major. Watch this counter.

Bajaj Auto

Seems its days of glory may well be over with every FII report saying not so flattering things about its future prospects. Whatever happened? And to think, LML too is not out of the woods as yet.

Wildest one yet

Have you heard the wildest one yet? Sources close to the New Bull swear that he’s willing to bet that the Sensex will top, believe it or not, 20,000 within eighteen months. Unbelievable? Well, remember the erstwhile Big Bull too had predicted that the Sensex will top 15,000 when he was ‘scamming’ his way to the top.Top



  bb
BIZ BRIEFS

Driving tips
NEW DELHI, Feb 5 (TNS) — The tips which will be useful in driving your vehicle an extra kilometre are now available on the click of a mouse. The Petroleum Conservation Research Association, which is giving publicity to these measures in the traditional media, has launched a website to convey the message to a larger audience.

ETA General
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 (TNS) — ETA General Private Limited, a part of the ETA Ascon group of companies will launch ‘General’ brand of airconditioners in India in collaboration with Fujitsu General Limited, Japan.

Hind Petro
MUMBAI, Feb 5 (PTI) — Hindustan Petroleum Corporation will host the XI refinery technology meet at Hyderabad from February 9. Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas S.K. Gangwar will inaugurate the conference.Top




Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
|
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
|
119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |