Friday, March 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

Engg exports up 13 pc in dollar terms
CALCUTTA, March 16 — Exports of engineering goods and services during the period April to December 1999 had risen by 13 per cent in dollar terms, according to estimates by Engineering Export Promotion Council.

Industry status for construction firms
NEW DELHI, March 16 — The Union Minister for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, today said that the Centre has agreed to confer industry status on large construction firms in terms of the IDBI Act to facilitate steps towards grading the construction sector and making its access easier to institutional finance.

New Mercedes car to cost Rs 32 lakh
NEW DELHI, March 16 — Mercedes-Benz today launched E-class car with 1800 changes from the previous model and is priced at Rs 32 lakh.

How to minimise chaos in metros
CHANDIGARH, March 16 — Globally, chaotic metropolitan environs need restructuring to enable them to attract fresh industrial investments and professionals, Mr Elmer W Johnson, President and CEO of the Apsen Institute, said here today while addressing a session on New competition among economic regions: the need for regional strategies” organised by CII.

Novel IOC way to put out fire
NEW DELHI, March 16 — Fire disasters, an ever-present fear in the oil industry, has prompted IOC to devise a novel way to keep its fire fighting operations in the alert mode.

PNFC to close
NEW DELHI, March 16 — BIFR has ordered winding up of sick industrial company Punjab National Fertilisers and Chemicals. Confirming its prima facie opinion that Punjab National Fertiliser and Chemicals was not likely to make its networth exceed its accumulated losses.

Titan centre in city
CHANDIGARH, March 16 — Titan Industries Limited, which has set up 50 watch care centres in the country, including six in the North and one in Punjab, opened a centre in Chandigarh’s Sector 17 yesterday.


 

 

EARLIER STORIES


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CORPORATE NEWS

Engg exports up 13 pc in dollar terms

CALCUTTA, March 16 (PTI) — Exports of engineering goods and services during the period April to December 1999 had risen by 13 per cent in dollar terms, according to estimates by Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC).

During the period, engineering exports had been estimated at US$ 2.94 billion as compared to US$ 2.6 billion in the corresponding period previous year. In rupee terms, exports had grown by 16.21 per cent in the period. EEPC estimated that engineering exports were likely to increase by 15 per cent for the whole financial year 1999-2000.

In case of specific sectors, aluminium products exports showed a growth rate of 192 per cent in dollar terms, 150 per cent for transmission line towers, 182 per cent for electrodes, 149 per cent for office equipment, 67 per cent in case of cement mill machinery and 32 per cent for prime iron and steel.

Out of 61 product sub-sectors within the engineering group 35 items accounting for 73.9 per cent of total exports showed positive growth.

EEPC projected that the target value for exports for the current financial year would be in the vicinity of US$ 4.6 billion.

Commenting upon the imposition of tax on export income, EEPC said that the proposed phased withdrawal of exemption under section 80HHC of IT Act would hamper the tempo of growth. It said that Indian exporters were subjected to high transaction costs and impediments relating to infrastructure. According to EEPC, facilities given to exporters in India were in no way comparable to what were given in countries like China or other ASEAN nations.

FIEO’s demand

NEW DELHI (TNS): The Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) today asked the Government to defer the Budget proposal to phase out income tax exemption on exports saying this would make them incompetitive and result in export slump.

“Poor infrastructure, uncertainty in transportation and escalation in transaction cost have made Indian exports unviable and if the tax exemption were phased out, India’s share of global trade would slump from the present levels of 0.6 per cent,” an FIEO delegation, that called on the Commerce Minister Murasoli Maran, said.

The delegation, led by FIEO President Navratan Samdria, said the phasing out of incentives would adversely affect the small and tiny sector industries which constitute about 45 per cent of country’s export, the chamber said in a statement.

Stating that boom in export business witnessed last year should not lull the Government into complacency, Samdria said “there was no country in the world which did not offer incentives to their exporters.”

Income tax incentives, he said were actionable subsidies according to WTO norms and India along with 19 others have been permitted by WTO to continue with these subsidies.


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Industry status for construction firms
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, March 16 — The Union Minister for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, today said that the Centre has agreed to confer industry status on large construction firms in terms of the IDBI Act to facilitate steps towards grading the construction sector and making its access easier to institutional finance.

He said the Government will encourage homeownership and support it as a national priority, NAREDCO had to create a self-regulatory climate at the national and State level to encourage housing construction.

Mr Dhindsa also asked NAREDCO to work closely with the Government and support the national housing policy.

Inaugurating the NAREDCO’s convention and Expo 2000 in the Capital, he called for the development of a housing data base. He said “such a database should provide current statistics in all aspects of real estate for all parts of the country.”

“The development of such data would be long term project. Hence, you should take it up first at NCR level and then replicate it in all parts of the country,” he said.

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New Mercedes car to cost Rs 32 lakh
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, March 16 — Mercedes-Benz today launched E-class car with 1800 changes from the previous model and is priced at Rs 32 lakh.

“The introduction of these models (E240 petrol and E-220 CDI diesel) in the Indian market within six months of its launch in Europe demonstrates the commitment of Mercedes Benz to the Indian customers,” said Mr Jurgen Ziegler, CEO and Managing Director of Mercedes Benz India Limited.

The 1800 changes have been carried out under five head — technology, safety, aesthetics, comfort and environment compatability.

Ziegler said the company was planning to launch its S-class convertibles and the Cherokee grand jeeps from the Chrysler stables in India in 2001.

In addition, the company will also study the feasibility of introducing the Mitsubishi range of vehicles in India once the proposed deal between the two firms are formalised.

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How to minimise chaos in metros
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 16 — Globally, chaotic metropolitan environs need restructuring to enable them to attract fresh industrial investments and professionals, Mr Elmer W Johnson, President and CEO of the Apsen Institute, said here today while addressing a session on New competition among economic regions: the need for regional strategies” organised by CII.

Today, global cities compete with each other on the quality of life they offer to residents and the quality of business environment they hold out for employers. Business corporations and advanced innovative companies, while deciding on new locations for their working bases are increasingly being attracted to those areas that offer them a large and diverse supply of highly skilled talent, good urban infrastructure and strong Government services, he added.

Mr I.S. Paul, Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council, emphasised the need for an efficient public transport system linking Chandigarh with outlying areas thus reducing congestion.

He suggested the setting up of sub-committees comprising residents of 5-6 sectors on the lines of Chicago’s 270 autonomous suburbs which could regulate the influx of people into these sectors. This would prevent the development of slums in the city. The session was attended by over 50 representatives from industry and the government.

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Novel IOC way to put out fire
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, March 16 — Fire disasters, an ever-present fear in the oil industry, has prompted IOC to devise a novel way to keep its fire fighting operations in the alert mode.

The company recently organised a drill called "Operation Kill Fire 2000" in which simulated targets were set aflame and fire-fighters were asked to put them out within a specified time. Nearly 100 fire-fighters, grouped into nine teams, fought the fire valiantly. According to Narendra Singh, Executive Director of IOC (Northern region), the aim of the drill was to tell the staff that if handled carefully fire can be conquered like any other natural phenomenon.


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PNFC to close

NEW DELHI, March 16 (PTI) — BIFR has ordered winding up of sick industrial company Punjab National Fertilisers and Chemicals. Confirming its prima facie opinion that Punjab National Fertiliser and Chemicals was not likely to make its networth exceed its accumulated losses.

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Titan centre in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 16 — Titan Industries Limited, which has set up 50 watch care centres in the country, including six in the North and one in Punjab, opened a centre in Chandigarh’s Sector 17 yesterday.

The centre will have company trained technicians to repair all ranges of Titan watches. Interestingly, the Watch Care Centre will keep some watches as standby to issue them to customers whose watches will take time to repair.


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CORPORATE NEWS

HCL Infosys floats subsidiary

NEW DELHI, March 16 (PTI) — HCL Infosystems today launched a wholly owned subsidiary HCL Infinet to provide business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) Internet services. “The new subsidiary will seen an investment of Rs 125 crore and offer various services, including access, virtual private network (VPN), application services provider (ASP), web hoisting, networking and e-commerce,” Ajay Bhowdhry, Chairman and CEO of HCL Infosystems, said here.

Wipro enters home Net services

NEW DELHI, March 16 (PTI) — wipro Corporation on Thursday announced its foray into residential Internet services market from the next financial year via its joint venture with Royal Dutch Telecom (KPN), aiming to be among the top three Net services companies. “Wipro net is scheduled to start the residential market business from the next financial year,” the Wipro Net spokesperson told PTI.

ABB bags order for Rs 20 cr

NEW DELHI, March 16 (PTI) — Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) has bagged two orders worth Rs 20 crore from the Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh for the supply, erection and commissioning of 132 KV sub-stations and associated transmission lines in the State. Abb had also bagged an order worth Rs 44 crore for an integrated district power system improvement project in Pune from the Maharashtra State Electricity Board.

Govt clears SSI, Nestle proposals

NEW DELHI, March 16 (UNI) — The Government today cleared the Rs 435 crore GDS issue of SSI Limited besides allowing Citicorp Finance to acquire 74 per cent stake in a downstream venture among the 46 proposals approved involving foreign direct investment worth Rs 802.90 crore. Citicorp Finance (India) will infuse Rs 14 crore for picking up 74 per cent stake in the venture, a statement issued here today said. Nestle has been allowed to hike stake in its Indian venture Nestle India Limited from 51 per cent to 56 per cent by investing Rs 19.28 crore. In addition, US-based chaitime. com Inc, which is creating and designing a website for the Indian ethnic population worldwide, has been allowed to invest Rs 22 crore in India for setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Kothari Infotech to pay 6 pc

NEW DELHI, March 16 (PTI) — Kothari Pioneer Infotech Fund has declared 60 per cent tax free dividend for all investors registered in the dividend plan as on March 24.

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BIZ BRIEFS

Bullion

Gold Std Rs 4540

Gold 22-Ct Rs 4390

Silver Ready Rs 7840

Silver delivery Rs 7870

Forex

US $ Rs 43.57/58

Stg Rs 68.47/49

Euro Rs 42.21/23

Yen (100) Rs 41.36/38

IFFDC
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, March 16 — The Ministry of Environment and Forests has awarded Indira Priyadarshani Vrikshamitra award to IFFCO promoted Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative Limited’s societies. The two societies were Karraiya Primary Farm Forestry Cooperative Society, in Sagar district, MP and Katari Primary Farm Forestry Cooperative Society in Sultanpur district, UP.

Award
NEW DELHI, March 16 (PTI) — Power Minister P.R. Kumaraman-galam was today conferred the Man of the Millennium award for his outstanding contribution in the power sector by the Independent Private Power Producers Association of India.

Escosoft
NEW DELHI, March 16 (PTI) — Escosoft, the software arm of Escorts, said on Thursday it would set up a development centre here at an initial investment of Rs 20 crore. Escosoft had tied up with Swedish Industrial and Financial Systems (IFS) and its Indian distributor IIS Infotech for the purpose.

Pertech Comp

MUMBAI, March 16 (PTI) — BSE has decided to suspend trading in the equity shares of Pertech Computers from March 21. The company did not respond to complaints of investors regarding non-receipt of shares after transfer.


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