Friday, April 14, 2000,
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Demonstrators march from the US Capital in Washington, during a protest in favour of forgiving debt owed by developing nations on Tuesday
Demonstrators march from the US Capital in Washington, during a protest in favour of forgiving debt owed by developing nations on Tuesday. — AP/PTI
India has made uneven progress: IMF
WASHINGTON, April 13 — The International Monetary Fund has drawn the Indian Government’s attention to the country’s “uneven progress,” marked by a high growth path of over 6 per cent along with a high rate of poverty, and has questioned the relevance of its economic and structural reforms. The IMF’s “World Economic Outlook” says that “even higher growth is needed over the longer run for meaningful progress to be made in addressing India’s poverty problem”.

Samsung launches home appliances
CHANDIGARH, April 13— Samsung India Electronics Ltd, today announced the launch of its new, advanced, 2000 home appliances range here.

Protectionist measures in trade with EU
FRANKFURT, April 13 — Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has asserted that India would be forced to resort to protectionist measures in its trade with the European Union if the latter does not desist from imposing non-tariff barriers.

Business delegates to visit Canada for jvs
CHANDIGARH, April 13 — WWICS, an immigration consultancy services, will hold a series of seminars from April 24 to May 14 at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Noida, Ahmedabad, Pune, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore.

Gains tax exemption for investments
NEW DELHI, April 13 — Finance Ministry today clarified that the investments in specified securities would continue to enjoy capital gains tax exemption beyond March 31, 2000 provided such transfers were made within six months from the date of transfer.



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India has made uneven progress: IMF

WASHINGTON, April 13 — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has drawn the Indian Government’s attention to the country’s “uneven progress,” marked by a high growth path of over 6 per cent along with a high rate of poverty, and has questioned the relevance of its economic and structural reforms.

The IMF’s “World Economic Outlook” released here today says that “even higher growth is needed over the longer run for meaningful progress to be made in addressing India’s poverty problem and sustaining current growth rates may be difficult without significant policy action”.

The document, which will come up for discussion at the annual spring meetings of the IMF-World Bank beginning here later this week, says the foremost challenge is to make prompt and credible progress in reducing the fiscal deficit.

With budgetary slippage having occurred at both Central and State Government levels, the consolidated public sector deficit is now expected to have risen to around 11 per cent of gross domestic products (GDP) in the 1999-2000 fiscal year, over two percentage points higher than initially budgeted, it says.

The IMF notes that India’s large fiscal imbalances have pushed public debt up to 80 per cent of GDP, are crowding out private investment and are constraining for the monetary authorities to ease interest rate — which are high in real terms — without jeopardising recent gains on the inflation front.

Although the Central Government budget for 2000-01 contains some commendable structural measures, the document points out, it envisages disappointingly modest fiscal adjustment in the coming year and fiscal sustainability remains a serious concern.

“Moreover, while the new Government has signalled its intention to re-establish the momentum of structural reforms, important challenges still need to be addressed, including further deregulation and privatisation, measures to increase labour market flexibility and reform of the agriculture sector,” it says.

The document notes that growth in India accelerated to an estimated 6.75 per cent as a pickup in industrial production that began during 1999 helped offset the slowdown of agricultural output in mid-year and growth is projected to continue at over six per cent in 2000.

Wholesale price inflation has fallen sharply with easier agricultural supply condition but is projected to rebound to around 5.5 per cent in 2000. Exports also have strengthened and continued robust growth over the medium term is expected to help contain the current account deficit to under two per cent of GDP.

India has been among the fastest growing economies in the world over the last two decades and has achieved trend improvement in growth, literacy, mortality and poverty rates. Yet, despite these gains, poverty rates remain high, with more than a third of the population still living below the poverty line.

The IMF says the poverty rate remains very high and the impressive rate of decline from the mid-1970s through the 1908s may have slowed. This outcome reflects the relatively poor performance of the agricultural sector during the 1990s, since some 70 per cent of labour the force still relies on the land for livelihood.

It recommends faster growth for poverty alleviation. The IMF’s prescription to achieve the objective envisages durable fiscal consolidation to raise national saving and crowd-in private investment spending, further liberalisation of foreign trade and investment flows , additional reforms to labour markets and in the agricultural, industrial and financial sector to promote greater efficient and export competitiveness. — IANS Top


 

Samsung launches home appliances
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 13— Samsung India Electronics Ltd, today announced the launch of its new, advanced, 2000 home appliances range here. The new range comprises the ‘Bio-Ceramic’ 32 litre microwave oven; bio-fresh’ frost-free, CFC-free refrigerator range including a 250 litre frost-free refrigerator model; ‘Karisma’ single tub semi-automatic washing machine and new ‘Insta-Chill’ air-conditoner line-up with tropical rotary compressor.

Speaking at the CII — Coolex 2000 exhibition, sponsored by Samsung India , Mr R. Zutshi, Vice-President (Sales), Samsung India, stated “This year, the company expects its home appliances range to contribute Rs 600 crore, that is, 40 per cent of the targeted Rs 1500 crore sales turnover.

Samsung India, achieved profits of Rs 32 crore in 1999 on total sales of Rs 850 crore (Rs 540 crore in 1998). Samsung India has thus achieved a 57.4 per cent growth over the previous year. The audio-video segment contributed 70 per cent of the turnover with the balance coming from white goods. In the year 2000, the company is targeting total sales turnover of Rs 1500 crore and colour television sales of 6,00,000 units, having achieved CTV sales of 4,10,000 units in 1999. The company which achieved a market share of 9 per cent in CTVs in 1999 is aiming to increase its market share to 11 per cent this year.

Mr Zutshi said the company eyes for the market share in refrigerators 5 per cent, microwave ovens 25 per cent and ACs 11 per cent against 2 per cent , 18 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively. Coolex 2000 will continue upto April 16.

LG records 100 per cent growth

LG has recorded a turnover of Rs 403.46 crore in the period January-March 2000 as compared to Rs 199.86 crore in the same period in 1999, thereby registering a growth of over 100 per cent in Q1 2000 vis-a-vis 1999 and has shown almost 100 per cent growth in all product categories. The company has devised a very aggressive marketing strategy for the summer season by recently introducing 3 models in the world’s only door cooling range of frost free refrigerators.

Mr Pradeep Tognatta, GM-Sales (AC) also announced the launch of Plasma filter health air system high wall splits airconditioners during the season.Top


 

Protectionist measures in trade with EU

FRANKFURT, April 13 (PTI) — Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has asserted that India would be forced to resort to protectionist measures in its trade with the European Union (EU) if the latter does not desist from imposing non-tariff barriers.

“The government cannot resist a demand in India to turn to protectionism if EU continues to follow restrictive trade practices,’’ said Sinha in hard-hitting comments during the second “India investment promotion road show’’ at the Commerzbank headquarters here yesterday.

Sinha made these comments while countering a question by a German businessman as to whether India was taking necessary steps to reduce import tariffs to honour WTO commitments.

President of CII Rahul Bajaj joined Sinha in a forceful assertion that India will be an “open economy” once quantitative restrictions (QR) on imports of remaining items are removed from April 1, 2001 while Europe will be a “closed economy” by resorting to quota system and anti-dumping duties on European imports.

Sinha said that India was “far ahead” of its commitments to the WTO to bring down import tariffs. “On the contrary, if India had stuck to its WTO commitments it would have had a tougher duty regime.”

Sinha along with Bajaj, Finance Secretary Piyush Mankand, India’s Ambassador to Germany Rohen Sen, NIIT Chairman Rajendra Parmar and IDDI Chairman G.P. Gupta were asked a range of questions by over 300 German businessmen at the road show at Germany’s business capital here.

The issue raised by the Germans included status of venture capital; funds in the information technology industry, import duty structure, measures to increase FDI inflows and the huge gap between investments in India and China.

Sinha told the German investors that peak import tariffs have been gradually reduced in phases to 35 per cent and that modalities would be worked out to have three slabs for import

“In the medium terms, we will bring our import duty structure to levels prevailing in India’s neighbouring countries,’’ he said.

Elaborating on India’s concern over non-tariff barriers impending trade, Sinha said 13 per cent of EU’s trade actions related to Indian exports while India accounted only for 1.3 per cent of EU imports.

“We are small exporters to the EU if we are suppressed it will be difficult to achieve the potential that existed in increasing Indo-EU trade,’’ Sinha said and asked “what are they (EU) afraid of?”

Reacting to the oft repeated points as to how China was able to attract ten times FDI ($ 35 billion each year) than India, Sinha and Bajaj said the point that is “sorely missed’’ is that foreign investments including from Germany were profitable in India compared to China. Top


 

Business delegates to visit Canada for jvs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 13 — WWICS, an immigration consultancy services, with it’s offices in 30 cities all over the India, in association with Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Government of Ontario and in co-ordination with organisations like HSBC (Hong-Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation), The Sutton Group-Third largest real estate corporation of Canada and Canaccord, LBG & RCI, all three capital investing firms of Canada will hold a series of seminars from April 24 to May 14 at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Noida, Ahmedabad, Pune, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore.

According to Mr B.S. Sandhu, Chairman WWICS, “This is an endeavour to open new vistas of investments/joint ventures for the Indians in Canada and to attract Canadian investments here in India.”

He said, a contingent of Indian business delegates led by WWICS will go to Canada for working out the modalities for starting joint ventures, making investments in Canada, attracting investments from Canada and franchising their business.

Mr Devinder Sandhu M.D., WWICS is of the view, “Indo-Canadian relationship has reached its peak. The Indians self employed and working class have proved their worth.Top



 

Gains tax exemption for investments

NEW DELHI, April 13 (PTI) — Finance Ministry today clarified that the investments in specified securities would continue to enjoy capital gains tax exemption beyond March 31, 2000 provided such transfers were made within six months from the date of transfer.

The clarification came in the wake of the Government decision in the Budget to restrict the operation of exemptions under section 54EA and 54 ED of the Income Tax Act.

“The Finance Bill, 2000 has not proposed any change in this regard’’, says an official release.Top



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CORPORATE NEWS

Usha ties up with Honda Siel

Usha International Ltd today announced a marketing tie-up with Honda Siel Power Products Ltd to sell lightweight portable pump sets in the country. Under the agreement Usha International will install Honda engines in its pumpsets and market them under the Usha brand name.

Unichem enters critical care business

Unichem Laboratories Ltd, today announced its entry into the critical care business through a strategic alliance with Korea Green Cross Corporation. As a part of the alliance.

Max India announces 37.5 pc interim

Max India Limited (MIL) today announced a 37.5 per cent interim dividend for first nine months of its 1999-2000 fiscal (June-May), company Managing Director Vivek Jetley said. This is in addition to the 250 per cent special dividend announced in January, Mr Jetley said here today. “On an annualised basis, the dividend announced today amounts to 50 per cent,” he said.Top



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Amul
NEW DELHI, April 13 (PTI) — The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd today announced launch of its packaged curd in Delhi markets and set a target of 2 per cent of the total market share for curd estimated at 9.6 lakh litres per day.

Emami
CALCUTTA, April 13 (PTI) — Cosmetics major Emami Group will be entering the Rs 500 crore domestic household insecticide market and has set up a plant at Pondicherry to roll out mosquito coils and mats.

Le Meridien
CHENNAI, April 13 (PTI) — Twenty more Le Meridien hotels, including eight to 12 in India, will be opened in different countries in the next two to three years, according to a top executive of the hotel group.

Honda bike
NEW DELHI, April 13 (PTI) — Hero Honda Motors Ltd today launched an upgraded version of its ‘Street’ motorcycle named ‘Street Smart’ with additional features. The ‘Street Smart’ motorcycle would have new exteriors including a front shield and storage box.

Sony MD
NEW DELHI, April 13 (UNI) — Mr Teruo Ishit today took charge as Managing Director of Sony India. He replaced Mr Hiromi Matsumoto.Top


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