|Monday, March 20, 2000,
IFFCO to enter insurance sector
Committee pulls up Labour Ministry
Government shelves two fertiliser
Iridium declared bankrupt
Mutual Funds have become
The un-holy colours of
NEW DELHI, March 19 (PTI) The Government has overlooked the hardware report of the IT Action Plan II in the 2000-01 Budget despite regular assurance given by Information Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan, Electronics Component Industries Association (ELCINA) said today.
Though the report of the IT Action Plan II by National Task Force had been approved by the Prime Minister the Budget proposals lack the stimulus of manufacturing hardware, ELCINA President Raj Kapur said.
A positive signal from the Government in terms of a comprehensive policy package was essential to meet the challenge of the Information Technology Agreement.
The slash to zero customs duties on ICs, hybrid circuits and chip capacitors in this years Budget would affect domestic manufacturer adversely since the customs duty on their inputs range from 5 to 25 per cent making manufacturing unviable, Kapur said.
enter insurance sector
ABOHAR, March 19 Asias fertiliser giant IFFCO plans to enter the insurance sector through village level cooperative societies. This was announced by Mr Surender Kumar Jakhar, Chairman of the organisation here today.
Addressing a gathering at the Technology and Cultural Fair jointly organised by IFFCO and Kribhco at village Maujgarh here today. Mr Jakhar said there would be provision for insurance cover to crop, storage, agricultural implements, jewellery, accident besides life insurance for the farmer himself. This scheme was aimed at providing such security to the farming community at the door step.
The Chairman offered economically viable societies facility to store fertilisers in their godowns, take up transportation and rake handling at the same rates now given to the warehousing corporations by the organisation. This would save much money on lifting the fertilisers from the towns and the fertiliser would be available to the farmer all the times at door step. IFFCO had also offered the societies to store DAP in advance, the storage charges and bank interest would be given by the organisation.
Mr Balwinder Singh Nakai, Director Kribhco announced that the organisation had resolved to gift an ambulance to the cooperative society, village Maujgarh.
Mr Sajjan Kumar Jakhar former Minister, Punjab gave a call to the farmers to stop misuse of cooperative loans to bring purity in the cooperative movement.
Scientists like Dr R.N.
Goswami, Dr Mukand Singh Brar, Dr Jaiveer Singh, Dr R.P.
Bhardwaj, Dr Nachhatar Singh Buttar, Dr B.D. Yadav and Dr
P.L. Chopra had really imparted very useful education to
the farmers on cotton, guara, sugarcane and other crops.
The scientists from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan
cautioned the cotton growers against growing Pakistani
and Sikanderpur varieties of cotton seed.
NEW DELHI, March 19 (PTI) a standing Committee of Parliament has pulled up the Labour Ministry for its casual reply on piling up of cases in various labour courts for years together, and said it was not satisfied with its stand that proposal for appointment of presiding officers for such courts had been sent to the competent authority for approval.
The committee fails to understand as to why the Ministry has not been able to make two Central Government Industrial Tribunals (CGITS) functional till date despite the fact that the sanction for the same had been obtained much earlier on September 15, 1998, the first report of the committee on labour and welfare has said.
The report, tabled in Parliament, expressed its desire that two CGITS in Lucknow and Nagpur should be made functional without further delay and those in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bhubaneswar should be set up soon.
NEW DELHI, March 19 (PTI) The government has decided to shelve two mega fertiliser projects in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh despite an in-principle approval by the Cabinet last year.
The decision to shelve the projects came after the Public Investment Board (PIB) raised questions about the viability of the two grassroot projects in Nellore and Gorakhpur by IFFCO and Kribhco respectively, Government sources said.
At the same time, the Fertiliser Ministry has decided to move the Cabinet for approval of two other expansion projects of Rastriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) at Thal (Rs 1263 crore) and Kribhco at Hazira (Rs 1268 crore) with a view to increasing the availability of urea in the country.
The Ministry will not consider any fresh urea project for at least three years after the clearance of these two projects, the sources said.
The Ministry observed that the cost of production of urea would be very high in case of the Rs 1,670 crore Nellore and Rs 1,479 crore Gorakhpur proposals as they were conceived as grassroot projects based on the feedstock naphtha.
According to the estimates, annual subsidy outgo in case of Nellore and Gorakhpur projects was worked out to be Rs 596 crore and Rs 472 crore, respectively, whereas it was Rs 402 crore and Rs 413 crore for Hazira and Thal expansion projects. All these projects have envisaged an annual installed capacity of 7.68 lakh tonnes.
The cost of production in case of Hazira and Thal projects will be low as they have been envisaged to be based on natural gas as feedstock.
HYDERABAD, March 19 (PTI) There has been an unprecedented mobilisation of funds by mutual funds which had crossed Rs. 100,000 crore and it demonstrates the fact that mutual funds have become trustworthy, Unit Trust of India (UTI) Chairman P.S. subramanyam said here today.
Inaugurating a seminar on Emerging trends in the mutual funds industry, organised by the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI), Subramanyam said the equity market, though volatile, has become a mature market as the risk of market failure has been ably contained through meaningful regulatory measures by SEBI.
He said mutual funds have won the confidence of investors on two factors firstly, the performance, as most of the schemes are outperforming their respective benchmarks and secondly, by offering the products that were tailormade to suit the requirements of the investors.
Speaking on the
comparative figures of funds raised previously, the UTI
Chairman said mutual funds have launched the schemes
keeping in view the investors liquidity requirements and
expectations of returns in mind.
WASHINGTON, March 19 (PTI) Global satellite telephone company Iridium has terminated services to 55,000 customers after filing bankruptcy papers, media report said.
The telephone company cut off services to 55,000 customers on Friday night after 80 potential investors, who had expressed interest in Iridium, failed to procure $ 10 million needed to save the company.
NEW DELHI, March 19 (PTI) If you are planning to get drenched in Holi colours red and blue gulal or black and green pasters or varied water colours, then think twice for you might just be exposing yourself to some hazardous chemicals.
If recent investigations and research undertaken by doctors and NGOs are to be believed then most of the seemingly harmless pleasing to eye colours available in the market are toxic and could cause serious disorders.
This is because of the presence of cheap inorganic chemical constituents like mica, acids, alkalis, pieces of glass, which not only induce skin disorders like abrasion, irritation or itching but can impair vision, cause respiratory problems and also cancer, warns Deepika Pawar works for a Delhi-based NGO Toxic Link.
The alkaline base of these colours can cause injuries, the severity of which depends upon the area of contact and the degree of penetration says Dr S.K.Gupta of the Poison Centre at All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
The medicos suggest using organics colours or those that are made of vegetable dyes as they do not cause any such problems.
Broadly there are three categories of colours available in the market pastes, dry powders and water colours most of which are hazardous, derived as they are from chemicals. The hazard increases when these are mixed with oil and applied to the skin. From whatever information is available on this subject, implications.
For example most of the inorganic dry colours or gulals have two components a colourant which is toxic and a base which could either be asbestos or silica both of which are capable of causing health hazards.
While silica dries as well as chaps the skin, asbestos which is a known human carcinogen can result in cancer. The risk being directly proportional to both the level and duration of exposure.
The major constituent of the colourants in gulal are mostly heavy metals that are known systemic toxins. These heavy metals not only get deposited in kidneys, liver and bones but are also capable of disrupting the metabolic functions.
Toxic link documents that chemical analyses of some samples of gulal at the IIT Kanpur revealed that the red sample contained mercury, which is a very toxic.
It can enter the body, through the skin and even by inhalation. It has the potential to pass through brain barrier and the placental barrier and is also known to affect the sensitive organs like kidney, liver and the central nervous system, says Deepika.
The test results of the blue sample confirmed the presence of copper. The organs that are targeted by this metal are eyes, skin, respiratory system, liver and the kidneys.
Gulals are the most harmful of the three form of colours used during Holi, agrees Dr Gupta.
Water colours too are not less harmful particularly Gentian violet, the most widely used colour concentrate which can cause skin discoloration, dermatitis, develop skin allergy or irritation of mucous membrane, says Dr Gupta.
As for the precautions, Dr Gupta suggests that while playing with colours extra precaution should be taken to avoid sensitive area like eyes. However if still colour comes in contact with the eye, one should immediately wash it with large amounts of water and in case irritation persists, medical aid should be sought immediately he cautions.
The other option
available to Holi lovers is to use organic colours which
can be made easily at home. Toxic Link suggests reverting
back to the traditional way of using tesu flowers. These
flowers can be boiled and soaked overnight to get a rich
by Ashok Kumar
Greed and fear that drive the market
WHATEVER happened to all those predictions of the Sensex becoming 20,000 within two years ? As I have never tired of repeating over and over again there are two factors that drive a market greed and fear. As the Sensex surged towards 6000 raw greed was the order of the day and fear went out of the window. But the fear factor has returned and how ? Today, investors who had blindly walked into the much touted tech funds and other high-flying mutual funds have no clue as to what hit them, which brings us back to the good old Greater Fools Theory.
For those who came in late The Greater Fools Theory when fine-tuned to the Indian context suggests that at the Sensex level of 3,500 points the small investor stayed away swearing that he remembered the beating he had taken while investing in equities in the past, at 4,000 he was sceptical saying that he had seen it all happen before, at 4,500 he said hey, wait a minute, at 5,000 he said maybe, just maybe, I should invest, at 5,500 he decided he will invest, at 6,000 he jumps into the fray and hey presto ! No prizes for guessing what happened thereafter ! The small investor is now left wondering why at all he forayed into the market. Sad but true is the fact that it is the retail investor who is the inevitable greater fool who walks in at the end of the rally and is left holding dead-stock. There is also an extension of this theory The New Fools Theory which suggests that a new set of fools are always around at the end of every rally to pick up the stocks that are being unloaded by the very same people who precipitated the rally in the first place.
Many legends were being spun around the so called New Bull whose prowess in the stockmarket was being bandied about in a manner reminiscent of the euphoria that surrounded the so called erstwhile Big Bull in the early nineties. The stockmarket, it must be understood is a zero-sum game for operators and traders alike and the fact remains that no matter how smart you are there is always somebody smarter than you. The New Bull has found this out the hard way and if the market buzz is to be believed, at least half the obscenely large sum of money he had earned through market manipulations over the past six months has been lost in just six post-Budget trading sessions. The buzz is that he walked into a bear trap set by a veteran BSE broker and the market is now tottering because of the ongoing bloodbath between the two. However, having said that, I would not be too surprised if the Sensex was to rebound sharply as the short-sold positions used to batter the opposition will inevitably have to be covered up. My bet would be on some of the melted ICE firming up again. But this time around, it is certain that at least for now, investors would combine caution with aggression.
When I had appeared on
CNBCs Bazar show in January, I had spoken of the
gap that had been formed by the Sensex jumping straight
from a level of 5006 points to around 5,251 points. This
breakaway gap would have to inevitably filled I had
predicted and that is exactly what has happened now.
Which direction the market takes after breaking out of
this gap may well determine the immediate future of the
market. Perhaps, the big boy from Arkansas might
unknowingly help out. If he does, God bless him, and hey,
were Indian, hospitalitys our culture
so may God bless him even if he doesnt! After
all, hes our guest, isnt he?
by R.N. Lakhotia
Q: I am getting Hill Compensatory Allowance for Rs 300 per month. Please let me know, is H.C.A. fully exempted from Income Tax or Rs 1800 only? As our Deptt. says HCA only 1800 is exempted from Income Tax. Please tell me HCA is fully exempt or not.
K.V. Subathu, Solan
Ans: The Hill Compensatory Allowance would be exempted u/s 10 (14) to the extent of Rs 150 per month if the place is located at the height of 1000 metres or more above the sea level. In case the place is located in Mangal Panchayat area of Solan District the amount that will be exempted would be Rs 650 per month.
Q: I am a Punjab government pensioner. I get pension from Punjab National Bank, Civil Lines, Jalandhar. PNB has included L.T.C. amount in my income for the year 1998-99 and has received Income Tax from me.
Sat Dev Sahai Sharma, Jalandhar City
Ans: Pension is treated and taxed as salary income. The leave travel concession received by pensioner should also be exempt from Income-Tax twice in a block of 4 years. There is specific mention about this in the Income-Tax Act but in view of the fact that pension is treated as a salary income. Hence, the benefit of exemption of leave travel concession which is available to a salaried employee will also be available to pensioner.
Q: The query raised by Mrs Rani Sethi, Amritsar, refer to sub-question No. 3, in which she asked about Standard Deduction of Family Pension and you have given the answer of Standard Deduction u/s 16 (i) of the I.T. Act, 1961. But Sir, she has clearly stated that she has been receiving Family Pension of her deceased husband. So, Family Pension in this case is taxable under the head Income from Other Sources u/s 57 (iia) and not under the head Salaries therefore, the correct Standard Deduction in respect of Family Pension; is Rs. 15000 or 331/3 per cent of income, whichever is less for the Assessment Year 1999-2000. The copies of this proof is enclosed herewith for your kind perusal.
Rakesh Kumar, Chandigarh
Ans: In respect of family pension it will be treated as income from other sources. No standard deduction will be permissible on this amount. Please remember that the employer-employee relationship does not exist. Hence, the standard deduction will not be permissible.
Q: I am Punjab Government employee. My husband is also I. Tax payee. Please suggest. Can I claim rebate u/s 88 of LIC premiums which are against the policies of my husband. All the premiums are deposited through my bank A/c.
Meenu Aggarwal, Moga
Ans: You can claim the benefit of tax rebate u/s 88 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 in respect of insurance premium to be paid by you against the life of your husband.
Q: I am a Punjab Government employee and paying the Income Tax regularly. My wife is a house-wife but earning the amount well below the taxable limit by doing tuition work at home.
We have jointly taken a house-building loan from a nationalised bank. The house is registered against the name of my wife.
Please advise whether I can avail the deductions available under rules on the interest and principal paid.
Manjeet Singh Gill, Bathinda
by Garima Kumar
Issue Opens/Issue Closes
Listing: Mumbai, NSE
Ajanta Pharma Limited commenced its business on December 31, 1979 when its first manufacturing plant was set up at Aurangabad. In a short span of five years due to growth of its business it set up its second manufacturing facility in 1984 at Paithan near Aurangabad which is a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and is USFDA approved. The company is engaged in manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products both in India and abroad. During 1979-1984 the company became one of the major OTC players in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat. During the past few years it has also entered into the export market by exporting its products to countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, Afghanistan, CIS countries, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, South Africa, Iraq etc. The market strength of Ajanta comes from its varied product range.
The companys concentration is mainly on the following therapeutic segments like the anti-bacterial, anti-tubercular, cardiovascular, psychiatry and nutritional range. The company also is a major supplier in the institutional market. Some of the major OTC brands owned by the Company are: Pinkoo Gripe Water, Apcose D, Thirty Plus, Figurin, Stamina, Trimol, Livoplus, APL has applied for a patent in NDDS for established allopathic molecules. A number of patentable products in the pipeline are in the therapeutic segment like cardiology, diabetes, dermatology, arthiritis, cancer & Aids.
They have not only shown exceptional growth rates but have enabled APL to enter the international market in 1992 and today the Company is in the process of registering more than 60 products in 40 countries in different parts of the world. APL has established six manufacturing bases in CIS and African regions which are & WHO GMP approved and ISO 9002 certified respectively. On the other hand, there are some negatives to this issue too. The companys investments in joint ventures are in the initial stages of implementation. The total accumulated loss reported from its subsidiaries in Mauritius and USA together stand at Rs 52 mln till September 30, 99 and the debtors turnover ratio for the company is on the higher side.
At a P/E ratio of around
14, the offer price of APL compares favourably with some
of its contemporaries who visited the market with
IPOs recently and with the market again re-rating
the Indian pharmaceutical companies, listing gains of the
normal variety can be expected from an investment in the
by J.C. Anand
Interim dividends windfall
A large number of companies have already declared interim dividends. Many more will hold their board meetings before March 31 to declare interim dividends. Sundram Fastners has declared 110 per cent interim dividend (as against 70 per cent declared last year as final dividend). The interim dividends declared by some other companies are: TVS Suzuki (80 per cent as against 70 per cent final dividend last year), Britannia (45 per cent), Warren Tea (75 per cent), DCM Consolidated 25 per cent (making the total interim dividend as 40 per cent, including the first interim dividend declared earlier).
Some of the companies scheduled to declare interim dividends during this fortnight are A.P. Paper, Eveready Industries, BASF India, Hoechst Marion, Chicago Pneumatic, India Glycol, TISCO, Thirumalai Chemicals, Vardhman Spinning and Vardhman Poly. The list is not meant to be exhaustive.
The object in declaring good and early interim dividends is simple. It is meant to bypass proposed increase in the Budget on the amount paid out of the profits as dividend to the share-holders by a company from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. Any interim dividend declared before the close of the financial year 1999-2000 on March 31, will be taxed at 10 per cent. The share-holders may not be gainers in this respect for in most cases, there may not be any final dividend, or at any rate not significant increase in the total dividend paid by a company last year.
Even if the interim dividend is paid out to the shareholder after April 1, 2000, the quantum of interim dividend will be taxed at 10 per cent in case the board of directors have declared it before March 31, 2000. It may, however, be noted that in the case of Sundram Fastners and TVS Suzuki, the quantum of interim dividends is higher than the total dividend paid by these companies last year. Does it imply that these companies are doing very well (and the quarterly results announced so far confirm it) and may reward the share-holders with bonus issues? In any case, both these shares appear to be underpriced at the market rates indicated in the last weeks transactions.
Between March 7 and March 16, the Sensitive Index lost about 470 points (about 8 per cent) and this decline in share values touched both new economy and the old economy scrips. A major explanation lies in the high margins imposed by SEBI on the brokers for market transactions. The FIIs were also keeping away from the market. On some of the trading days, they were sellers rather than buyers. Another possible explanation is that March 31 closes the financial year 1999-2000, and the brokers were anxious to keep low in the market. Some income tax raids on a number of top brokers also dampened the market sentiment.
Now the margins have been lowered by SEBI and market is expected to revive after March 31, many of the blue-chip scrips of the old economy companies are now available at very low and attractive market rates. A wise investor may pick them up and hold them for at least a year and a half. Craze for the new economy shares has put the old economy shares into shade. I believe that the view that the old economy scrips have no future is highly misleading. The new economy only provides services and fast information storage and communication channels, but the fundamental basis of the economy is still constituted by the food FMCG, engineering, petro-chemical, electrical and cables, pharma, textile, construction, automobile speciality chemicals sectors of industry.
During the next
financial year 2000-2001, the old economy
scrips are likely to reward the investors better than the
new economy shares. This is not to say that
the infotech scrips have exhausted their capacity for
growth and profitability. For the next three years or so,
this sector is expected to do well. But the scrips are
quoting so high that the margin of gains for the new
investors who invest in these shares now is likely to be
rather low compared to that of the old
economy blue-chips. In the infotech sector, the
leaders have attained so firm a place that there is
little scope for the new infotech scrips to compete with
them and win new clients.
92 to pay 15 pc
CHANDIGARH, March 19 Unit Trust of India announces income distribution for Mastergain 92. The tax-free dividend at the rate of 15% per cent will be payable to all unit-holders whose names appear in the books as on March 31, 2000. The book closure will be for 16 days from March 16, 2000 to March 31, 2000 (both days inclusive) for the purpose of updation of records. The dividend warrant will be dated March 31, 2000.
The NAV as on March 1, 2000 was Rs 16.70.
Morepen Labs mulls ESOPs
NEW DELHI, March 19 (UNI) Morepen Laboratories Limited (MLL) is Contemplating issuing Employee Stock Options (ESOPS) to some key employees in the company, a senior company official said. MLL, which is planning to formally seek listing at the Nasdaq in April this year, will issue ESOPS as part of a larger programme to reward its employees, Company Managing Director K.B. Suri told UNI here.
Plan to restructure Shaw Wallace
CALCUTTA, March 19 (UNI) Shaw Wallace and Company Limited has chalked out an ambitious strategy to restructure the business of the company along three distinctive lines of brand ownership and marketing, liquor distilling and beer brewing. As part of this strategy, company has decided to divest its agrichem, gelatings and trading business. Highly placed sources said this would enable the company to strengthen the production and marketing activities of its core businesses and would further consolidate its position vis-a-vis the competitors.
Separate Namrup unit of HFCL
NEW DELHI, March 19 (PTI) The employees of the Namrup unit of the Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation Ltd., (HFCL) in Assam have urged Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to speed up the process of proposed separation of the unit from the other three closed-down company plants in West Bengal and Bihar.
Tata Cummins targets 400% growth
NEW DELHI, March 19 (PTI) Tata Engineering (Telco) today said it would register a 400 per cent sales growth in its cummins engine-powered medium and heavy commercial vehicles during this fiscal. The company expects to sell 25,000 units of Tata-Cummins during the year ending March 31, as compared to 5,248 units in 1998-99, a Tata release said here.
KCC Software to enter market
NEW DELHI, March 19 (PTI) Delhi-based KCC Software is entering the primary market to raise Rs 4 crore at par to fund its expansion including setting up of an offshore development centre and a computer education facility at Gurgaon. The companys issue which opens for public subscription on April 4 and closes on April 7 comprises 40 lakh equity shares of Rs 10 each for cash at par aggregating Rs 4 crore including reservation for mutual funds, FIs, NRIs, OCBs, FIIs on competitive basis, Deepak Gupta, Managing Director and promoter of the company told reporters.
Century Plyboards to pay 30 pc
CALCUTTA, March 19 (UNI)
The Board of Century Plyboards (I) Ltd has
declared an interim dividend of 30 per cent on its equity
shares of Rs 10 each, on pro-rata basis. This will absorb
Rs 1.47 crore from the profits for the financial year
ended March 31, 2000. The record date for the
determination of shareholders eligible for interim
dividend has been fixed as 28th April 2000, a company
I deposited Rs 12,000 vide FDR No. 63564 dated 31.1.97 for one year at interest rate of 18.75 per cent with DCM Financial Services Ltd New Delhi. An amount of Rs 14257 (maturity amount) was payable on 31.1.98. I have already submitted duly discharged FDR to company on 3.2.1998, but no response was received from the company till to date.
Essar Oil Limited has not sent interest warrant of non-convertible debentures against the Folio No. 0364052 for the half year ended June 99 and December 99 despite of my several reminders to the company and M/s MCS Ltd., Sri Padmarathi Bhawan, Plot No. 92, Andheri (East), Mumbai.
All Season Food
I sent 2050 equity shares to All Season Food Ltd, Plot No. E-75 Additional Nasik Area Ambad Nasik Maharashtra on 12.4.92/25.8.92 for transfer under registered cover. Having failed to get response from All Seasons Food, I approached SEBI with similar fate. My reference number is 94/1/6463 dated 22.1.94.
We sent 200 shares of VNEL with Folio No M0055122 for exchange with Videocon International Ltd, Folio No M0508748. We regret to inform you that till to date shares of Videocon International Ltd have not been received by us, despite many reminders.
Non receipt of 400 shares of Woolworth (India) Ltd sent for transfer on 23.10.1999 bearing details:
Folio No. Cert No.
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