|Friday, June 30, 2000,
pedal a challenge to Ludhiana bicycle units
New Bill for auto-cut on
New US, EU barriers to
a challenge to Ludhiana
LUDHIANA: The entry of the Chinese bicycle for children poses a serious challenge to the kids bicycle industry in India. The Chinese kids bicycle is cheaper and is attractive and easy to handle compared with the Indian kids bicycle.
Enquiries reveal that from April 1, 2000, there is no need for having a licence to import complete bicycles. The import of bicycle has been allowed under the OGL. This has been done after almost 50 years protection to the bicycle industry. Earlier, bicycle parts were put under the OGL and their free import was allowed.
The Chinese kids bicycle is made of nylone and plastic while the Indian kids bicycle is made of steel and is very heavy. The Chinese bicycle in Indian will cost between Rs 500 to Rs 600 while the Indian kid bicycle costs Rs 1,100 (branded) and Rs 900 (non-branded). Since the Chinese kid bicycle is cheaper and attractive in design and light too will be more in demand compared to the Indian kid bicycle, feels Mr Satish Dhanda,Vice-Chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC).
Mr Dhanda says the Chinese kid bicycle pose a challenge, but no threat to the Indian manufacturers will have to adopt new technology to complete with the Chinese.
According to Mr Dhanda, there is no challenge to the traditional bicycle Roadstar model from imported bicycles as we are competing with full the countries in the world.
Between January and April, 2000, 27 lakh bicycles were produced in India while10,000 were imported. So there is no danger from imported bicycles in India. In India we are using the same raw material and technology for children bicycle which we are using for adult bicycles.
The export of bicycles and parts has been rising steadily during the past few years. During 1998-99 the export of bicycles and parts was worth R 600 crore.
During 1999-2000, the export of bicycles worth Rs 240 crore and bicycle parts Rs 360 crore respectively. The target for export of bicycles and parts for the current year is fixed at Rs 750 crore.
Mr Dhandsa points out that the Indian bicycle industry will have to change to technology to compete in the world market. Otherwise, the present import policy of bicycles is in the interest of the consumer. The Chinese children bicycles are being sold in metropolitan cities of Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai and Madras. He emphasises that the Indian manufacturers must switchover to the latest designs in the bicycle components too without any delay as if there is delay in the same, someone else will start making the same.
Mr Harmohinder Singh, Director Sales, Avon Cycles maintain that the Chinese kid bicycles have not posed any problem to them. We are just assessing the situation and accordingly new programme will be chalked out to meet the challenge.
Mr Singh points out that there is a price war among the Indian bicycle manufacturers as this was witnessed at Klon fair in Germany where the Indians competed among themselves. The Government must check the unhealthy competition, he says.
New Bill for auto-cut on expenditure
NEW DELHI, June 29 (PTI) The much-hyped Fiscal Responsibility Bill to be brought in the Monsoon session of the Parliament, will put in place an institutional mechanism for auto-cut on expenditure, whenever it exceeds budgetary limits.
The mechanism will also provide for regulating and disciplining the government on borrowing besides putting a fetter on expenditure.
The main thrust of the mechanism is to ensure that the targetted annual economy growth is not nullified by inflation and financial mismanagement arising from indiscipline in borrowing and expenditure, official sources told PTI.
The draft of the Bill, which has been formulated by a group headed by Economic Affairs Secretary E.A.S. Sarma, is now being vetted by the Law Ministry.
The government could no longer delay bringing in the Bill as the integrity of Budget has been questioned on account of large slippages in terms of deviations from the original estimate, they said.
The slippage which has been persistent and growing is besides ever increasing fiscal imbalances which have raised the issue of fiscal sustainability and micro-economic stability.
Warning that the economic future would be a matter of serious concern if the present fiscal scenario continued, the sources said persistence of revenue deficit emanating from growing interest burden has resulted in a vicious circle of deficit and debt.
Assuming that with the nominal GDP growth of 12 per cent (7per cent real growth and 5 per cent inflation), domestic debt grows at 15 per cent, revenue receipts, revenue and capital expenditure grow at 13.5 per cent, 11.1 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively, the revenue deficit and gross fiscal deficit would be around 2.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent of GDP respectively by 2005-06.
The interest payments would be 5.9 per cent of GDP and domestic debt to GDP ratio would be 50 per cent, the sources said adding a tentative calculation showed that zeroing of revenue deficit would be possible only in fiscal 2012-13 if revenue receipts and expenditure increase at the current level.
The sources said this scenario implied severe fiscal stress and called for bold measures either in terms of large mobilisation of resources or through expenditure management.
Yahoo unveils Internet guide
MUMBAI, June 29 (UNI) Yahoo chief, Jerry Yang views a balanced growth market in the Internet sector in the country and asserted that his company will invest money in the next few years to exploit the market potential in India.
We will build local teams with strong theme, Mr Yang told newsmen here while launching Yahoo Incs Internet guide specifically designed for web users in India, Yahoo India which will serve the interest of this region. www.yahoo.com.In, which was launched today for the Indian eyeballs is Yahoos 23rd world property in its vast global network. The site has news, finance, cricket and cinema with relevant local and global content.
We are interested in serious business here. We will like to have discipline and provide good service to the Internet users in India, he said, but declined to provide the extent of investment or the projection of revenue generation. Senior Vice President-International of Yahoo Inc, Heather Killen, who was accompanying Mr Yang, Yahoos co-founder, said, we consolidate all non-US markets and giving a figure of investment will not be possible.
Quoting Indian research firm IDC, senior Yahoo executives said that the country will have more than 1.6 million Internet users by the end of 2000. The number is projected to grow nearly 1100 per cent, to around 11 million users by the year 2003. Taking into consideration the potential, Yang said his company entered India like it had in other market places.
Yahoo India offers people an easy way to find useful Internet content and communicate with others anywhere in the world, says Ross Veitch, producer of Yahoo. With Yahoo India people across the country can get latest information that means the most to them whether it is by checking latest cricket scores, sending e-mail or instant messages to friends and family, managing their personal contacts or schedules, or even checking stock holdings in local and global stock markets.
Yahoo India features a
directory of websites organised by a team of web surfers
into 14 easy-to-use categories. To further meet the needs
of local customers it will offer local and global
programming including news, finance, cricket, movies,
greetings and weather. Yahoo is also looking for sponsors
Punjab Agro to set up three
CHANDIGARH, June 29 The State Project Approval Board at a meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, approved the setting up of three fruits and vegetable processing projects in the joint sector by Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Limited.
These projects will be implemented by joint venture companies Green Bagh Foods Limited, Glossy Foods Limited and located at Rajgarh village, Madhopura village both in Patiala district and Sirhind in Fathehgarh Sahib district. They will have facilities of producing juice concentrates, dehydration, bottling and canning, frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables with extended shelf life.
The projects will
process around 35,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables per
annum and will mainly process kinnow, litchi, mango,
onion, capsicum, carrots, peas, cauliflower, tamato etc.
These project will have an investment of Rs 2130 lakh and
provide employment to 300 persons.
New US, EU barriers to farm imports
GENEVA, June 29 A group of 11 developing countries have accused the USA and the European Union of throwing up new barriers to agricultural imports from poor nations despite pledges in 1994 to open markets to their products.
The charge came in a paper by the 11 including Pakistan, Cuba, Kenya and Zimbabwe submitted for two days of talks in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) later this week, part of a process aimed at shaping an accord on further liberalisation of agricultural trade.
Import barriers in developed countries have risen, rather than decreased, especially on sensitive products, the paper declared.
The current WTO agreement on agriculture, part of the overall package setting up the now 137-member organisation signed in Morocco in 1994, should have given a new impetus to developing countries capacity for expanding output and export of farm produce, the document said.
However, the agreement had in effect worked to give richer countries the special and differential treatment that it should have guaranteed to the poorer WTO members.
The paper was submitted to the WTO secretariat almost simultaneously with other proposals for the farm talks which will only move into the full negotiating phase early next year by the EU and the USA.
In its paper, the EU argued that the so-called precautionary principle should be firmly enshrined in WTO rules. This would allow countries to bar imports that they had reasonable grounds to fear might present a danger to the environment, to plant, animal or human life.
Many western-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) firmly espouse this principle, but poorer countries, and the USA, have argued that it is used by Brussels as a way to protect its farmers against competition from cheaper foreign produce.
In another paper submitted last week for the talks, the 18-nation Cairns group of farm produce-exporting countries in the WTO called for the negotiators to agree on a set timetable for the total elimination of all export subsidies a key element of EU support for agriculture.
The group, whose main spokesman is Australia, includes a wide range of developed and developing countries, mainly in Asia and Latin America but also including Canada.
Disagreements on how to tackle the farm issue were a key element in the failure of a WTO ministerial conference in Seattle last December to agree on the launch of a full new round of trade liberalisation talks.
The EU backed by Japan, Norway, South Korea and Switzerland argues that farming has cultural and environmental as well as economic significance and that its fate in individual countries cannot be left to the unrestricted play of market forces.
In their paper, the 11 developing countries said that the overall subsidy levels in all 29 member countries of the Paris-based Rich Mans Club the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or OECD had climbed over the past decade.
In contrast, developing countries which have traditionally not provided subsidies have not been allowed to do so, they declared. For major farm products, richer countries tariffs were about twice as high as those in developing economies, the paper added.
The EU and the USA, the
11 asserted, had for this year set the potential level of
tariffs the ceiling to which they could raise them
without breaking WTO rules between two thirds and
three quarters higher than the tariffs they had actually
applied at the start of the 1990s. Reuters
Ban on petro products lifted
NEW DELHI, June 29 (PTI) The government today lifted the ban on the inter-state movement of petroleum products by road for industrial customers and extended the deadline for implementing the uniform licensing procedure till August 15.
We have permitted the oil companies to make supplies to the industrial customers including supplies to export-oriented units and customers in Union Territories where oil companies have no storage facilities so that the customers are supplied from the adjoining states, Petroleum Minister Ram Naik told PTI.
Naik said that the Petroleum Ministry had recently issued a control order to check the adulteration in petrol and diesel with other solvents and as per the order, the persons dealing in the trade of petrol and diesel have to obtain licences from their respective state governments.
The competent authorities have been advised to dispose of the applications by August 15 and the state governments have been requested to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to genuine customers, he said.
The categories for which the ban has been lifted include supply of petroleum products to government parties like the railways, steel, defence, coal and power plants, Naik said.
Sona Koyo profit up
NEW DELHI, June 29 (PTI) Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd has announced a net profit of Rs 9.07 crore during 1999-2000 as against Rs 5.63 crore during the same period last year, an increase of 58.29 per cent.
Tata to retire at 65
NEW DELHI: Ratan Tata has said that he will retire after two years at the age of 65 from the executive position and indicated that he may not nominate a successor.
From executive position I will retire at the age of 65, Tata said in an interview to Karan Thapar for BBC Worlds Face to Face programme telecast on Wednesday night.
On selecting a successor he said although the retiring CEO does have a responsibility to express his views, choice of the successor lies with the Board (of Directors).
Referring to his step-brother who is working in the group Tata said there were chances that another Tata might succeed, but it was up to my colleagues (in the Board of Directors) to decide on that.
The 63-year old bachelor CEO of the Tata group said he was very surprised when J.R.D. Tata told him that he had decided to nominate him as the successor. However, he asked me not to talk about it as he wanted to disclose it at an appropriate board meeting.
He said he became close to JRD while he was in Jamshedpur after returning from America, and the piloting interest of both of them cemented the ties.
Tata said JRD was a father to him to the extent that he could confide many things to him which he could not share with his own father.
He said while in Jamshedpur a couple of times he came close to going back to the USA. One of the things that kept me back was the control of NELCO.
Tata said he returned to India from the USA on the insistence of his grandmother who was instrumental in giving him the name Ratan (gem).
Although she was indulging, she never spoilt me, Tata added. PTI
Supercomputer from IBM
WASHINGTON: The IBM has announced it has built the most powerful supercomputer in the world, able to perform 12.3 trillion operations per second, three times faster than the next-fastest computer.
An earlier version proved capable of defeating the worlds greatest chess player in a 1997 tournament. The latest machine is intended to continue the advance toward matching and eventually surpassing the computing capacity of the human brain.
The computer, called Advanced Strategic Computing Initiative White, or ASCI White, covers 9,920 square feet of floor space and weighs 106 tones.
IBM, said it will deliver ASCI White to the US Energy Departments Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory this summer.
Under the ASCI contracts, the department pays a company in this case $ 110 million to build a computer that can simulate the testing of nuclear weapons. In time, said IBM and Livermore officials, this computer could lead to the end of nuclear testing. AP
Oracle did its civic duty
REDWOOD SHORES (California): Oracle Corp Chairman Larry Ellison has defiantly owned up to hiring a private investigator to look into the covert activities of Microsoft Corp, saying his company was only doing its civic duty.
I feel very good about what we did, Ellison said on Wednesday, confirming that Oracle had hired Investigative Group International Inc to spy on allies of rival Microsoft.
Ellison said the work showed Microsoft paid the Independent Institute of Oakland, California, and the National Taxpayers Union of Arlington, Virginia, to influence public opinion in Microsofts favour during its federal antitrust trial.
The work by IGI allegedly included a $ 1,200 offer to janitors to get a peek at the trash of the Association for Competitive Technology, a trade group.
Some of the things our investigator did may have been unsavoury. Certainly from a personal hygiene point they were. I mean garbage ... Yuck, Ellison told reporters at Oracles headquarters.
One analyst called it dirty campaigning. But another called it standard procedure in Silicon Valley, where many companies engage in corporate espionage.
LML skips dividend
NEW DELHI, June 29 (UNI) The Singhania family, promoters of LML Limited, has decided to infuse Rs 8.8 crore into the scooter major for hiking their stake in the venture to 51 per cent from 47 per cent now. The Board of Directors of LML Limited today decided to skip dividend for the 1999-2000 fiscal, having registered a 14 per cent decline in sales volume, a significant drop in net profit, coupled with huge investments for new products. Its net profit for the fiscal stood at Rs 6.19 crore as against Rs 39.47 crore in the 18-month period of the previous fiscal. The company recorded a turnover of Rs 729 crore during the year as against Rs 1,246 crore in the previous fiscal.
Archies net profit up 52 pc.
NEW DELHI, June 29 (UNI) Archies Greetings and Gifts Limited has witnessed a 52 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 13.40 crore last fiscal. The companys turnover stood at Rs 71.21 crore, up 18 per cent the Archies declared two interim dividends of 25 per cent and 20 per cent.
Hindustan Inks declares 25 pc
MUMBAI, June 29 (PTI) Hindustan Inks and Resins Ltd (HIRL), a flagship company of the Balakhia group, has recorded a 3.67 per cent rise in its net profit to Rs 24.33 crore for the year ended March 31, 2000, on total sales of Rs 219.20 crore, up 25 per cent compared to previous year. The company has declared a final dividend of 25 per cent on pro-rata basis, taking the total dividend for the fiscal 1999-2000 to 75 per cent.
Infosys to provide e-commerce
BANGALORE, June 29 (PTI)
Nasdaq-listed Infosys Technologies Ltd., yesterday
announced a strategic e-commerce partnership with the
National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) to provide e-commerce
and Internet banking services to the banks
customers in the UAE. The bank would deploy bankaway, the
powerful e-commerce platform from Infosys.
SEOUL, June 29 (AFP) Ford Motor Company was today selected as the sole bidder to acquire South Koreas insolvent Daewoo Motor Company. Ford was named as the priority negotiator, an official told AFP, adding that Ford offered the highest price. Ford was favoured because of its capabilities to improve Daewoo Motors corporate value, willingness to transfer technology, provide job security, and contribute to the growth and development of the component industry.
CHANDIGARH, June 29 (TNS) State Bank of Indias three branches i.e. Sector-34 branch, Sector-37 branch and Attawa branch jointly organised a traders meet at the Food Craft Institute, here today as a part of its ongoing process initiated by Mr Prabhakar Sharma, CGM of the bank.
AMRITSAR, June 29 (FOC) Mr P.N. Khurana, Zonal Manager, Punjab National Bank, during a customer relation programme at Rayya today said that the bank is entering into insurance sector, gold business and credit cards.
CHANDIGARH, June 29 (TNS) The National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mumbai, has given the first prize to the Haryana State Cooperative Apex Bank for its overall best performance at the national level for the year 1998-99.
KOCHI, June 29 (PTI)
George Securities Limited and Centurion Bank has
signed a memorandum of understanding for payment gateway
of Internet trading clients here on Monday. V.S.
Sreenivasan, MD of Centurion Bank and C.J. George, MD of
Geojit Securities Ltd signed the agreement, bank sources
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