Thursday, April 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

Satyam Online adds Internet bandwidth
CHANDIGARH, April 26 — SatyamOnline, a national Internet service provider has enhanced the Internet bandwidth by 8mb and now have a total of 16mb at its Delhi node.

Working at cross-purpose
CHANDIGARH, April 26 — This is the story of two official delegations which visited South Korea at different point of time, within a span of a little over one month, but with the same purpose.

Canada wants Consulate office in Chandigarh
VANCOUVER, April 26 — Canada has urged India to allow the setting up of a consulate in Chandigarh, replacing the present liaison office.

France's Renault SA chairman and chief executive officer Louis Schweitzer, left, and Sweden's AB Volvo chairman Leif Johansson, smile upon their arrival for a press conference in Paris o Tuesday.
France's Renault SA chairman and chief executive officer Louis Schweitzer, left, and Sweden's AB Volvo chairman Leif Johansson, smile upon their arrival for a press conference in Paris o Tuesday. Volvo and French carmaker Renault announced a deal that will create the world's second largest manufacturer of heavy trucks, with Volvo buying Renault's truck division Renault VI/Mack for 14 billion Swedish crowns ($ 1.59 billion) and the French firm taking a 20 per cent stake in the Swedish company. — AP/PTI



EARLIER STORIES
 

Kirloskar group suffers split
PUNE, April 26 — The over Rs 2,500 crore Kirloskar group of companies, suffered a major split with Bangalore-based Vijay Kirloskar separating himself with eight companies to pursue their scion and business goals.

Career Launcher centre in city
CHANDIGARH April 26 — Career Launcher centre was inaugurated here today by Mr Gopi Chand Gahlot, Deputy Speaker, Haryana, and Dr BB Tandon, former Chairman, UBS, Chandigarh.

PM to address industry on AIDS
NEW DELHI, April 26 — The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee will address the corporate sector on Saturday to sensitise the industry on the issue of HIV AIDS.

Computer virus hits S. Korea
SEOUL, April 26 — Computer viruses called cih hit South Korea for the second consecutive year today crippling thousands of computers in houses, companies and government offices.

Bata India net profit falls 10 per cent
B
ATA INDIA on Wednesday reported a net profit of Rs 3.96 crore for the first quarter of 2000 depicting a decline of about 10 per cent against 4.29 crore in the same quarter previous year.Top



Satyam Online adds Internet bandwidth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 26 — SatyamOnline, a national Internet service provider has enhanced the Internet bandwidth by 8mb and now have a total of 16mb at its Delhi node.

SatyamOnline has also increased the Internet bandwidth, available to current and future subscribers in Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana. This will enable subscribers to download at a faster rate and enjoy a better Internet experience.

Mr Pradeep Lakshmanan, Vice President, Satyam Infoway Ltd said, “Our endeavour has always been to provide value for money and total satisfaction to our customers. This additional capacity Internet bandwidth in one more step in that direction.”

SatyamOnline was launched in November 1998 in Hyderabad since then the company has been continuously expanding and is presently in 41 locations across the country with over 1,50,000 subscribers.

SatyamOnline is India’s largest ISP and also an Indian portal providing India specific content on the Internet. www.satyamonline.com acts as a gateway to interactive information and content on the Internet.

Satyam Infoway’s portal. www.satyamonline.com, is India’s leading portal with services in areas such as travel, finance, health and shopping in addition to e-mail, chat and search.Top



 

Working at cross-purpose
By P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 26 — This is the story of two official delegations which visited South Korea at different point of time, within a span of a little over one month, but with the same purpose.

One delegation comprised of Markfed officials and the other was led by the Punjab Minister of Food and Supplies. The purpose of the two visits was to “explore” the rice milling machinery and equipment of Hansung Industrial Company. The former (Markfed) called it a “business” trip, the latter a “study” tour.

On return home, the former — Markfed — quickly processed the whole case and with the approval of its Board of Directors on March 14, ordered supply, erection and commissioning of six rice mills. Each unit is to cost Rs 2,43,61,860. For Basmati variety of rice milling the additional financial liability is extra Rs one crore. The commissioning of these six units, Nawanshahr, Patti, Jaitu, Goniana,Gidderbaha and Batala, is slated for September next.

But the second delegation, led by the Minister, was not convinced by the claim and stipulated output of rice after paddy is milled. The argument, which the Korean firm sold to Markfed, which has gone ahead with the import of six mill units, did not find favour with the second delegation. Thus the two delegations have diametrically opposite views on the real outcome of the visit.

The matter is now likely to be taken up by the Chief Minister, since two different departments are involved and so is the state money .

In a nut shell, the Korean firm, Hansung, had assured 73 per cent rice recovery. Which means 73 kg rice per quintal of paddy. This output was accepted by Markfed. Persistent questioning and comparisons made by the delegation led by the Minister failed to elicit a firm commitment on 73 per cent rice recovery under Punjab conditions. Hence its reluctance to accept the firm’s claim on its face value.

A three-member official delegation of Markfed had visited South Korea from February 18 to 25 on “business” trip. On return in the Board of Directors meeting a presentation by the Vice-President of Hansung was organised.Thereafter six mills were approved.

The Markfed delegation comprised of the Chairman, Mr Jagdish Singh Walia, the Managing Director, Mr D.S. Bains and Chief Manager, Projects and Equipment, Mr S.S. Shergill. Interestingly, the other member of the delegation, a director, Mr Harmohinder Singh from Payal (Ludhiana), upset over the higher daily allowance (US $ 500) and entertainment allowance (US $ 1,500) permitted to Mr Walia, returned home from the airport in New Delhi.

This is one part of the story.

The Minister of Food and Supplies, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, accompanied by the Director, Food and Supplies, Mr G. Vajralingam, and the Managing Director of Punsup, Ms Ravneet Kaur, went to South Korea on April 5 and returned on April 13. It made a “study” of the rice industry technology available with Hansung to decide if the same could be made applicable in Punjab to update the existing rice milling industry. Punjab has nearly 2,600 units engaged in handling paddy and producing rice.Their milling performance is not very high. It is around 67 per cent against the Korean claim of 73 per cent. A claim which Mr Mittal could not get as a confirm commitment, while, Markfed was convinced.

The TNS spoke to Mr Mittal. On the decision already taken by Markfed he did not comment. He elaborated on the “study” trip.

Mr Mittal said besides visiting the Hansung manufacturing plant, the team visited villages and studied the paddy harvesting, storage (including temperature controlled silos, which Punjab does not have) and milling process. It was evident that the geo-climatic and paddy agronomic practices differed vastly in Korea and Punjab. Close questioning and having seen actual performance, the team could not get a firm commitment from Hansung that the output of rice will be as high as 73 per cent as was being stated under Punjab conditions.

“Our only interest was to eventually leave it to the rice millers to decide if they wanted to adopt the Korean technology and technique for rice shelling by upgrading their own system. In fact we should opt for selective introduction of machinery to improve milling efficiency. To adopt or not to adopt was upto the millers whose delegation could be arranged to visit Korea had we been convinced”, added Mr Mittal. He said presentations by Hansung did not give a true picture.

The Minister-led delegation has, thus, concluded that temperature differences and other agronomic and post-harvest practices did not warrant either a joint venture or thrusting Korean equipment on Punjab rice-shellers, though, technology available with millers in the State definitely needed updating to improve quality of rice.

The latest Markfed audit report (updated till March 31, 1999) shows it faces a loss of Rs 150 crore only on account of “mishandling” of its operations, “official apathy and connivance”. The salient features show that a carryover against wheat alone is Rs 83.93 crore, which has not been received by Markfed. A loss of Rs 50.09 crore is on account of “shortage” of paddy stock for the period, 1994-95 till 1998-99. This is attributed to “connivance” of millers and officials.

Shifting of stock from one district to another cost Markfed Rs 2.86 crore. Likewise sale of paddy in Moga and Ferozepore caused a loss of Rs 1.70 crore. A loss of Rs 11.84 crore was due to shifting of stock from mandis to godowns. Even in respect of “bardana” bags’ ( 215,617 ) bungling or loss due to fertiliser stock shortage etc were just a tip of the ice-berg. Now comes the Korean rice milling machinery. Where lies accountability, if any ?Top


 

Canada wants Consulate office in Chandigarh

VANCOUVER, April 26 — Canada has urged India to allow the setting up of a consulate in Chandigarh, replacing the present liaison office.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy has written to his Indian counterpart Jaswant Singh requesting India allow Canada to establish a consulate office in Chandigarh which would offer Punjabis from the region more convenience and accessibility to its services.

Revealing this, Herb Dhaliwal, the Indo-Canadian Federal Minister for&127 Fisheries and Oceans, welcomed the initiative taken by the Government. He said the proposed office would make it convenient for Punjabis coming under the family reunification status to get visitors’ visas and give interviews, facilities which are currently available only through Canada’s High Commission in New Delhi.

“Canada and India will both benefit from such expanded consulate services, especially since a large part of Canadian Immigration comes from the Punjab,” he said.

Dhaliwal quoted Axworthy’s letter dated December 20, 1999, as stating: “Given the success of Canada’s office in Chandigarh and the high expectations this has generated among Canadians and Indians, I believe that the time is opportune to expand its operations to those of full consulate, with a Canada-based diplomatic staff.”

Dhaliwal said, “This is historic — Canada was the first Government to put a liaison office in Chandigarh and we are once again showing our leadership role and the value we place on our Punjabi community.”

The Chandigarh office was established in 1997 and, according to Dhaliwal, has been extremely successful in promoting Canadian trade and investment in Punjab as well as in facilitating the issuance of visitor and immigrant visas by the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi.

Dhaliwal said the Indian Government has not yet responded to Axworthy’s request but he had decided to release the letter anyway to show that Canada is committed to the cause of the Indo-Canadian community. — IANSTop



 

Kirloskar group suffers split

PUNE, April 26 (UNI) — The over Rs 2,500 crore Kirloskar group of companies, suffered a major split with Bangalore-based Vijay Kirloskar separating himself with eight companies to pursue their scion and business goals.

In a signed statement issued here yesterday Mr Atul Kirloskar, who is leading the restructuring exercise, termed the split as a recast designed to make the group more focussed and stronger in dealing with the changing demands of the global business environment and the emerging economic trends.

The group’s aim, is to unlock the strength and value in the Kirloskar brand and distribution to enhance returns for shareholders. The restructuring plan in the manufacturing area involves reorganising the group around well-defined business areas.

The group has identified and is implementing processes that will bring greater customer focus and competitiveness.

The eight companies with which Vijay Kirloskar has walked out with include Kirloskar Electric Company, Kirloskar Developers and Builders, Kirloskar Software Services Company, Kirloskar Power Equipments Limited, Kirloskar Computer Services Limited, Kirloskar Asnaldo Industrial Limited, Kirloskar Batteries Limited and Kirloskar Malaysia Sdn Bhd. the statement said adding that the past several years these companies have been under the management control of Mr Vijay Kirloskar.Top



 

Career Launcher centre in city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH April 26 — Career Launcher centre was inaugurated here today by Mr Gopi Chand Gahlot, Deputy Speaker, Haryana, and Dr BB Tandon, former Chairman, UBS, Chandigarh.

Career Launcher will start the classes for both Pegasus and Seagull programmes in here shortly. It offers training for students preparing of MBA exams, both in India and overseas.

‘Pegasus’ programme includes classes for written part of exam, test series and a Personality Development Programme for group discussions and personal interviews Seagull is a programme for students. preparing to go overseas for their MBA. It includes computer adaptive test series, Internet access, counselling package which gives various information on universities abroad. Top


 

PM to address industry on AIDS
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, April 26 — The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee will address the corporate sector on Saturday to sensitise the industry on the issue of HIV AIDS.

The meeting said to be the first of its kind is expected to get the industry commitment on creating awareness on the issue and examine corporate policies on employees with HIV positive status.

Sources in the Health Ministry said that the meeting was originally scheduled in March end.

The meeting being coordinated by the National AIDS Control Organisation would be attended by the Health Minister, Mr N T Shanmugam, Secreatry, Health, Mr Javed Chaudhary and NACO Director, Mr J V R Prasada Rao.

Sources said that the President and Deputy Director General of CII heads of about 60 public sector and private sector companies including Tisco, Telco, Ashok Leyland, SAIL, NTPC, BHEL, MTNL, Shipping Corporation of India, Indian Oil, Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj, Godrej and even the Railways have been invited to attend the meeting.Top



 

Computer virus hits S. Korea

SEOUL, April 26 (OANA-YONHAP) — Computer viruses called cih hit South Korea for the second consecutive year today crippling thousands of computers in houses, companies and government offices.

The Korea Information Security Agency (KISA), an affiliate of the Information and Communication Ministry has received 450 cases of cih infections from midnight and the numbers are increasing by the hour.

KISA and other computer research centres received complaints from private users during the early morning hours and from companies and government offices after 9 a.m.

Some computers in private academic institutes, game rooms and corporate houses suffered damage to hard disc drives (HDD) and bios, which controls input and output information. Top



 

Bata India net profit falls 10 per cent

BATA INDIA on Wednesday reported a net profit of Rs 3.96 crore for the first quarter of 2000 depicting a decline of about 10 per cent against 4.29 crore in the same quarter previous year.

Net sales during the quarter increased marginally by 0.7 per cent from Rs 170.71 crore to Rs 171.89 crore while gross profit decreased by 1.6 per cent from Rs 9.92 crore to Rs 9.76 crore with interest cost increasing marginally from Rs 1.54 crore to Rs 1.61 crore.

Philips India: Philips India on Wednesday reported a net loss of Rs 11.86 crore during the first quarter ended March 31, 2000, against a net profit of Rs 4.46 crore in the corresponding period of previous year.

Total expenditure also remained low at Rs 319.63 crore against Rs 369.62 crore last year and so declined interest charges to Rs 5.92 crore from 7.79 crore.

Birla Ericsson: Birla Ericsson Optical Limited has reported a net profit of Rs 10.44 crore for the financial year 1999-2000, slightly lower than Rs 10.83 crore in 1998-99.

Company sources said in Calcutta on Wednesday that higher excise duty and an increase in cost of inputs affected the performance during the year even as net sales increased to Rs 157.51 crore from Rs 126.06 crore last year.

Jayshree Tea: Jayshree Tea and Industries has reported a net loss of Rs 7.86 crore during the last quarter of 1999-2000 against a net profit of Rs 1.37 crore in the same quarter of previous year.

However, during the total financial year company had managed to record a net profit of Rs 13.38 crore against Rs 27.65 crore in the previous fiscal.

Hind Construction: Hindustan Construction Company has reported an about 26 per cent jump in the net profit during the first nine months of its current financial year at Rs 8.96 crore compared to Rs 5.15 crore in the corresponding period of previous fiscal.

Vindhya Telelinks: Vindhya Telelinks has reported a slight increase in the net profit at Rs 29.13 crore during the financial year 1999-2000 against Rs 29.06 crore last year.

Income from operation during the year jumped steeply to Rs 286.40 crore from a low of Rs 217.41 crore last year, but total expenditure also registered a sharp upward trend and stood at Rs 229.14 crore against Rs 168 crore in 1998-99. — agencies

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Plastic fair
MADURAI, April 26 (PTI) — A ‘Plasto Rubber 2000 Fair’, that would introduce new plastic products, machineries, and technology to the plastic industries in South India would be organised here from May 3-7.

Canara Bank
CHANDIGARH, April 26 (TNS) — Hauz Khas market branch of Canara Bank has been awarded ISO 9002 certification and a function was held and the certificate was handed over by Mr P.C. Das, Director General Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi and the same was received by Mr Ranjana Kumar, CMD of Canara Bank.

Sports channel
CHANDIGARH, April 26 (TNS) — The week old ‘Killer Portal’, indya.com gets a sporty look with its addition after launch, the new old interactive Sports Channel. The latest addition caters to the 24x7 sporty needs of people interested in India and aims to be the “Cyber handout for fans of sport.”

Microsoft
NEW DELHI, April 26 (TNS) — Microsoft Corporation has set up a technology lab for SQL Server 2000 in Chennai, first of its kind in the country. Through this lab, Microsoft aims to provide a showcase for its upcoming database and analysis.

Bimal Jalan
NEW DELHI, April 26 (PTI) — The Government today extended the tenure of RBI Governor Bimal Jalan by two years, an official announcement said today. Bimal Jalan, whose three-year tenure ends on November 22 this year, will be RBI Governor for two more years beyond that date, an official notification here said.Top



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