|Monday, March 27, 2000,
Six Indians among 39 tech
Punjab Government adopts new
policy to establish horticulture estates
Globalisation needs checks:
Textile exports blocked
Need to follow Amartya Sen model
Reduce bank rate, CRR: PHDCCI
Sales of used
Mercedes-Benz pick up
NFL suffers 60 lakh loss daily
Software exports grow 60 per cent
in past 5 years
NEW YORK, March 26 (PTI) Six Indians led by Azim Hasam Premji of Wipro are among 39 tech billionaires outside the USA, more than half of them having achieved the status since July last, according the authoritative financial magazine Forbes Global. Japan with 15 billionaires has the maximum number in the category followed by India and Germany at six each. Taiwan and Britain have two each. Hong Kong, France, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Spain and Sweden account for one each.
The list is topped by Masayoshi Son of Softban, Japan whose net worth increased from $ 6.4 billion in July to $ 33.3 billion this month.
He is followed by Premji, whose net worth shot up from $ 2.8 billion in July last to $ 21.4 billion.
Subhash Chandra of Zee Telefilms is worth $ 9 billion and stands eight in the overall list.
Other Indians include B. Ramalinga Raju of Satyam Group with net worth of $ 2.8 billion at the 19th position, Shiv Nadar of HCL with $ 1.8 billion stands at 26th, NR Naryana Murthy of Infosys with $ 1.5 billion stands at 13th, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys $ 1 billion clubbed with four others at the 35th position.
Chandra, Raju, Murthy and Nilekani have acquired the status since July last. However, Nadar was worth $ 1.2 billion then.
The magazine says the new technology-based wealth that began to boom a decade ago in America is rapidly spreading to Europe, Asia and the rest of the world, proving that venture financing is a global phenomenon.
The extend of wealth, the magazine says, is staggering. Even after losing $ 31 billion on paper after mid-March tech stock plunge, 42-year-old Son is still worth $ 33 billion, more than five times eight months ago.
A year ago, Premji was worth $ 2.8 billion. Before the mid March collapse, he was worth $ 30 billion and even now his stock is valued at $ 21.4 billion.
The Impact of mostly young tech billionaires has derived not only from their success but from their contribution as role models for the new generation.
Indias case, it says, underscored an important point about tech fortunes. To create them, entrepreneurs require access to venture capital and ultimately to liquid public equity markets. For Indian entrepreneurs as also from many other countries, Americas Nasdaq is providing the funding and liquidity.
The Indian tech sector, the magazine writes, is closely tied to booming US sector and some 70 per cent of most Indian software companies sales come of the USA.
Unless the tech sector collapses and stays collapsed, some eight to 12 Indian tech firms are likely to go public this year either on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq; additional Indian fortunes ready to be monetised, it adds.
Global says it is difficult to predict the future
of tech stocks. Even after the mid-March sell of,
valuations are absurd on the fundamentals. Premjis
Wipro trades 459 times next years expected
earnings, Sons Softbank at 818 (compare Microsoft
at a P/E level of 60).
Government adopts new policy to establish horticulture
SHAMBHU (Patiala), March 26 The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today called upon the farmers and farm scientists and experts to concentrate on growing more vegetables if the agro-economy was to prosper.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating a unit of Himalayan Frozen Foods Ltd, near here today, Mr Badal said Punjab had become the wheat and rice bowl of the country but the time had come to shift from agriculture to horticulture.
He said the shift towards growing more vegetables would stop the loss the state and farmers were suffering in the cultivation of rice and wheat in recent years. He said earlier all states in the country were dependent on Punjab for these products but now every one was becoming self-sufficient in the field.
He said a food processing unit like Himalayan Frozen Foods Ltd, first such industry in the state, could help a long way in the growth of the state economy.
We have already notified a special incentive policy for the agro- industries under which various concessions have been made available and it will ensure a minimum price for vegetable and fruit producers on their produce, he said.
Mr Badal announced that the Punjab Government had adopted a new approach for the setting up of horticulture estates. A cluster of villages would be selected for extension work for specific vegetable crops, he said.
Mr Badal assured delegates that he would soon hold discussions with the Centre for reducing excise duty of 16 per cent on such industries.
Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Agriculture Minister, said the government, to encourage farmers to grow more vegetables, had decided to put up three lakh crates at many places so that farmers could easily transport their produce to such food processing units. This, he said, would not only boost the economy of the farmers but would ensure the generation of employment opportunities as well.
WASHINGTON, March 26 (PTI) International commerce is a potent mechanism used by the developed world to dump hazardous technologies in developing countries and Bhopal gas tragedy was a terrible example of such a process lacking checks and safeguards, the WorldWatch Institute has warned.
International commerce is a potent mechanism through which hazardous products and technologies move around the world. Over the last few decades, the developing world has become home to a growing share of the hazard-laden petrochemical industry, says Institute researcher Hillary French in a new WorldWatch publication Globalisation Straining Planets Health.
Approximately 41 per cent of US foreign direct investment in the Philippines in 1998 was in chemicals as was 22 per cent of such investment in Colombia, French says adding that the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal was a result of unchecked globalisation process.
Forests are shrinking as the value of global trade in forest produce climbed from $ 29 billion in 1961 to $ 139 billion in 1998, she notes.
Fisheries too have collapsed as fish exports rise, growing nearly fivefold in value since 1970 to reach $ 52 billion in 1997, French says adding that human health is also endangered, with pesticide exports increasing nearly ninefold since 1961 to $ 11.4 billion in 1998.
High-tech industries such as computers and electronics despite their early reputation as relatively clean can exact heavy environmental costs, adds San Jose, a California-based Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.
Despite environmental risks, the forces of globalisation, French stresses, can also produce environmental gains too.
India has become, French notes, a major manufacturer of advanced wind turbines with the help of technology obtained through joint ventures and licensing agreements with Danish, Dutch and German firms.
Redirecting the global economy away from environmentally harmful activities and into more sustainable ones, she says, will require a multi-pronged strategy, starting with requiring economic institutions to pay more heed to the environmental impact of their programmes.
China has become the worlds largest manufacturer of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs in recent years, in part through joint ventures with lighting firms based in Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands and Taiwan.
The World Banks record is slipping in that regard. Whereas a 1993 bank report found that some 60 per cent of loans, included environmental goals, a recent study concluded that this share has now plummeted to less than 20 per cent, she discloses.
BRUSSELS, March 26 Constant opposition led by France has been preventing the European Union (E.U.) from letting Indian textile exporters use the exceptional flexibilities mechanism to boost shipments to its 15-member nations.
Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between India and the E.U. in 1994, the European Union was supposed to grant exceptional flexibilities of 8,000 tonnes per year to Indian textile exporters.
This flexibility enables
Indian exporters to switch quotas, so that exporters can
use unutilised quota in certain segments for segments
where the quota has been fully used. Thus, though the
flexibility does not increase the overall quantity of
Indian textile exports to the E.U., it allows exporters
to focus on their core strengths.
follow Amartya Sen model stressed
HISAR, March 26 Speakers at a conference on the Indian economy emphasised the need for adopting the economic model set by the noble laureate, Dr Amartya Sen. They pointed out since Dr Sen has based his model on the conditions prevailing in India, it would be best suited to the country.
Mr R.S. Chaudhary, Deputy Chairman, Haryana Planning Board, said, Dr Sen had emphasised the need for human empowerment by virtue of providing opportunity and accessibility to everyone, particularly the downtrodden. This can be done by providing elementary necessities to the downtrodden and weaker sections of society.
The conference organised by the Department of Business Economics in collaboration with the Haryana Economic Association focussed on the theory of Dr Sen, implication of the World Trade Organisation on the Indian economy and the Emerging scenario in rural marketing in Haryana.
Dr K.C. Banger, Vice-Chancellor, GJU, underlined the need for providing better guidance to people about various aspects of the economy in the changed economic order. He pointed out GJU had embarked on an innovative strategy setting the syllabus of various courses in accordance with the modern day needs. He disclosed that the university was running 22 modern professional courses ranging from computers to applied psychology.
The VC emphasised the need for moulding the new generation in accordance with the current needs and asked that the university was set to cater to these needs.
Dr J.P. Mishra, Additional Director General, Indian Council for Agriculture Research, delved on the finer points of the Intellectual Property Rights and its implication on India. He highlighted the steps taken by the ICAR to preserve and enhance Indias intellectual property rights.
The conference Director, Prof M.S. Turan, Dr R.K. Mittal and Ms Deepti Umashankar, Registrar of the university also spoke.
NEW DELHI, March 26 (PTI) The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry today suggested the reduction in the bank rate and cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 1 to 2 per cent to enable lowering of lending rates by 2 per cent by commercial banks in the coming slack season from April onwards.
In a memorandum to Reserve Bank of India Governor Bimal Jalan for the slack season credit policy, PHDCCI President K.S. Mehta said with a substantial lowering of inflation rate to 3 per cent and reduction in interest rates of small savings and provident funds, the thrust of monetary policy to lower lending rates was possible.
Mehta also called for reducing the pre and post-shipment interest rates to 6.5 per cent as against nine to 11 per cent at present, a chamber release said.
Further, the chamber recommended allowing exporters to borrow funds from global markets, a move towards convertibility and making credits cost-effective for the countrys importers and exporters.
In order to take advantage of e-commerce, exporters should be allowed to accept credit card payments via the Internet, it said requesting RBI to give permission for such payment on websites.
This new system would give a boost to exports, it said.
An innovative financing
system to fund sunrise services including software,
information technology and intellectual greenfield
projects for boosting exports and growth in the domestic
sector was also needed, the PHDCCI said suggesting
adoption of flexible lending norms.
used Mercedes-Benz pick up
CHANDIGARH, March 26 E-Class, the latest beauty from Mercedes-Benz, was launched here today.
The Pune-based CEO & MD of Mercedes-Benz India Ltd, Mr Jurgan Ziegler, flew in here from Bangalore this afternoon for the launch ceremony.
Addressing a press conference this evening, Mr Zeglar said 3,000 Mercedes-Benz cars produced in India have been exported to countries like Singapore, Malaysia, apart from 150 cars to Germany.
The company has established 10 dealers all over India. By the first of this year the dealers will be able to provide 24-hour service to customers. Well-equipped vans would be able to reach out to customers in crisis.
For the first time in India the company has started trading business for the previously owned Mercedes-Benz cars. Six-month warranty is provided on such cars.
The diesel model, E220 CDI, costs about Rs 29.9 lakh and the petrol version, E240, Rs 31 lakh at Tai-Pan Traders, the companys sole dealer in Chandigarh for this region.
The new car boasts of a superior engine globally introduced late last year and better body styling.
The four-cylinder 2151 cc diesel engine gives 105kw/142 hp and has a top speed of 213 km.
The V6 2398 C C petrol engine of E240 with a displacement of 2.4 litres. It generates 115kw/156 hp having a top speed of 224 km.
The E-class manual transmission has acquired an extra gear and will now offer six speeds instead of the previous five.
Mr Manjit Singh Bala, MD, Tai-Pan Traders, said the company expects to sell about 100 E-class cars this year in this region. During its three-year association with Mercedes-Benz, Tai-Pan has sold 250 vehicles.
In October last year it parted company with the Tatas after 47 years of association and shook hands with Ashok Leyland.
The replacement market
for Mercedes-Benz is fast picking up, Mr Bala said. The
used cars from the Mercedes-Benz stable account for 25 to
30 per cent of Tai-Pan sales and are available in the Rs
11-24 lakh price range.
Q: I took Rs 1,46,500 as house building advance from any office in 1989 and was claiming tax rebate on instalments and accrued interest for the self occupied house. Now the instalments are over and actual interest is being deducted @ Rs 1400 p.m. Clarify whether I am eligible for tax rebate u/s 24 and my employer can give this relief or I should claim refund from Income Tax Deptt.
Sateesh Kumar, Chandigarh
Ans: You will now get the deduction of interest payment by you @ Rs 1,400 per month. To claims this deduction you need not claim refund while filing your income tax return. This deduction can be given to you by your employer. For this purpose please submit the necessary Form No 12-C to your employer who will not grant this tax deduction on account of payment of interest by you.
Q: I would like to be advised whether the payment drawn in the seventh year of the opening also free of tax for both the interest part and the principal for the relevant year of such receipt?
(b) I am told that after the seventh year one can draw such payments each successive year. Is it true?
(c) Can the PPF be opened in the name of grandchild (minor)? Will such an account give the benefit of 20 per cent deduction from tax as in the case of PPF account for self?
P.M. Sachdev, New Delhi
Ans: The payment drawn from PPF A/c at any time is completely exempt from Income-Tax. This exemption is in respect of principal amount as also the interest amount. With regard to actual re-payment procedure please contact your post office or bank. PPF A/c can be opened in the name of your grandchild. However, this account will be operated upon by the father of the child and not by the grandfather of the child. As grandfather, if you make any contribution to this PPF A/c you are not entitled to tax rebate. However, if the father of the child were to contribute to the PPF A/c of the child he would be enjoying tax rebate.
Q: I am a Government servant. My total income is expected upto Rs 97000 during the current year. My GPF deduction is Rs 7400. I have given a sum of Rs 20,000 in cash to my daughter on her marriage anniversary-cum-birth day. Clarify: (i) Whether the gift amount Rs 20,000 is totally exempted from income tax or not. If exempted under what section. (ii) Whether any receipt for the same from my daughter should be obtained.
Bahader Singh, Ludhiana
Ans: The gift amount is totally exempted from income-tax. There is no gift tax in respect of any gift made or or after 1.10.1998. However, please do remember that the amount gifted is not to be deducted from your gross total income. The gift is complete when the same is accepted by the donee. Hence, you should obtain acceptance of the gift from your dear daughter.
Q: I and my husband are employees and are assessee, now we are contributing funds in new PPF A/c in the name of our newly born daughter now when she will claim the amount after 20 years as maturity period as she will turn major from minor, what will be income-tax calculation? This is in reference your reply, in The Tribune, as you have stated clubbing.
Mukta Mittal, Ludhiana
Ans: The amount received from PPF A/c by the newly born daughter on the maturity of the PPF A/c would be exempt from income-tax. However, this money actually would be belonging to father/mother who had contributed the money in that account. However, the best option would be to open PPF A/c of your minor child and thereafter make the gift of the amount to the minor child whereby at the time of maturity of the funds your minor child who becomes major at that time would be treated as the owner of the funds lying in PPF A/c in view of the fact that you have gifted this money to the child.
Q: I have Rs 1,20,000 annual income for the year 1999-2000. Moreover, I invested Rs 2,04,000 in MIS in Post Office. So I earn interest more than Rs 12000 exempted under Section 80L. Can it be possible not to draw interest of MIS for two months of January and February 2000 in March 2000 and get it in April 2000 to be counted in the next year.
Amar Nath Garg, Nabha
Generally speaking for the MIS of post office the amount
would be taxed on accrual basis whether you withdraw the
same or not. Only if a person follows cash system of
accounting then the income can be taxed when it is
suffers 60 lakh loss daily
BATHINDA, March 26 Mr Ramesh Bhardwaj, General Secretary, NFL Employees Union, and Mr Kamal Dev, General Secretary, NFL Officers Association, in a joint press note issued here yesterday alleged that the local management was deliberately causing a loss of Rs 60 lakh daily to the NFL plant on account of reduction in the fertiliser load to 60 per cent.
They alleged that the reduction of load to 60 per cent even when the plant condition was normal showed that the management had been doing so under a conspiracy to bring the plant in the loss.
Focus on Indias IT
NEW DELHI: President Clinton has put it aptly: if the industrial revolution charted the progress of nations in the twentieth century, the information technology industry an advanced knowledge based venture is the engine of growth in the 21st century.The information technology industry is a critical infrastructure for competing in the knowledge intensive global economy. It is the fastest growing strategic industry transforming the way the people do business. India, one notes with hope and pride is among the front-runners in this infotech industry.
The Indian IT industry with the size of $ 8 billion (1999-2000) and expected to be about $ 15 billion by the year 2002 has emerged as the fastest growing segment of Indian industry. Annual growth rate of Indian IT companies has been consistent at more than 50 per cent per annum since 1991.
The principal strength of the industry is its skilled and technically qualified manpower, cost-effectiveness, world-class quality, high reliability, and rapid delivery, all of it powered by state-of-the-art technologies. More MNCs are outsourcing their software requirements to retain competitive advantage.
As per a recent analysis by Nasscom, India is best positioned to offer competitive cross-border IT services and enterprise IT solutions scoring high on multiple parameters of vendor sophistication as well as people sophistication.
The software industry has been the engine of growth of this booming Indian IT industry. It is estimated at $ 4.6 billion in 1998-99 whereas 10 years back the software industry in India was not more than $ 150 million.
Software exports have been growing at 61 per cent for the past five years. In 1998-99, software exports were estimated at $ 2.65 billion and accounted for about 10 per cent of Indian exports. The software industry in India expects to reach an export level of $ 6.3 billion by the year 2000-01 and $ 9.5 billion by the year 2001-02.
In 1998-99, the domestic software industry has been estimated at $ 1.25 billion with a 41 per cent growth rate. The domestic software market is expected to gross Rs 73 billion in 1999-2000. By the year 2008, revenues of Indian domestic software market would touch $ 35 billion. Maximum growth in domestic software market is expected from banking, e-governance, defence, SOHO, etc.
About 2,80,000 professionals are employed in the software and services sector and the demand in the year 2008 is projected at 2.2 million. India trains 70,000 professionals every year.
The government envisions
making India a global information technology superpower.
With the global IT industry reaching a potential two
trillion dollar industry, it has set the target of 40 per
cent cumulative annual growth rate for IT sector with 87
billion dollars software revenues by 2008, of which IT
software and services exports are expected to garner $ 50
billion dollars. IPA
to 40-week high of 3.50 pc
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