|Sunday, July 2, 2000,
IMF asks India to carry out
Fly ash increases farm
Corporation Bank posts 31 pc
Exports continue to grow by over
Bank of Punjab opens branch
State Bank Day celebrated
IMF asks India to carry out economic reforms
WASHINGTON, July 1 (PTI) International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked India to carry out drastic economic reforms including rapid deregulation of industrial and agriculture sectors and cut in non-plan expenditure saying the fiscal deficit of centre and states at 11 per cent of the GDP was deplorable.
In a report issued after consultations between its executive board and India, the fund listed out reforms that New Delhi should pursue in the face of combined deficit skyrocketing to an estimated 11 per cent from 8.5 of GDP in a matter of five years.
IMF said there was need to deserve small scale industries, increase labour market flexibility, bankruptcy reform and improved effectiveness of debt recovery tribunals besides considerable improvement in tax administration including at the state level.
Apart from widening the tax base, the IMF said that services sector had to be fully brought into the tax net besides reducing innumerable exemptions.
The periodic consultation with India under Article IV of IMF was held on June 19 and release of its recommendations and comments within a couple of weeks of the executive board meeting was unprecedented.
This reflects the new policy of openness and transparency of the IMF after the new Managing Director Horst Kohler took over.
The fund also called for considerable improvement in tax administration both at Central and state levels, broadening of the tax base in particular by reducing exemptions and bringing more sectors like services into the tax net.
There was need to improve the effectiveness of debt recovery tribunals and reforms to boost agricultural efficiency and incomes.
India should continue the process of tariff reduction alongwith improvements in customs administration and withdrawal of exemptions to avoid any adverse effects on the fiscal position, it said.
The fund called for steps to link the transfers by the centre to states to the latters fiscal performance and said expenditure reforms should be taken to up support deficit reduction.
Budegtary allocations for infrastructure and priority social expenditure should be facilitated.
Though calling for faster progress in liberalisation of foreign investment flows, the fund said a cautious approach should be adopted in the case of Capital Account Convertibility.
Noting that the fiscal position had deteriorated significantly in recent years, IMF said much of the consolidation that had been achieved following the 1991 balance of payment crisis was erased.
While the Centres deficit during 1999-2000 had reached 7 per cent as against the budgeted 5.75 per cent, the states deficit was also high at 4.5 per cent, the fund noted adding this was mainly on account of pressures of Fifth Pay Commission and growing debt service payments.
In addition delays in raising energy prices also eroded the surplus on oil pool account, it said.
The Central Governments 2000-01 Budget suggested that deficit reduction in the coming year would be marginal at best, leaving the Central deficit close to 7 per cent of GDP in 2000-01. However, important reforms of the tax system were introduced.
Executive Directors agreed that the new governments strong commitment to delivering a higher rate of economic growth so as to reduce poverty more rapidly was achievable provided that determined efforts were undertaken to strengthen the fiscal position and to accelerate the implementation of structural reforms.
IMF considered that the presently favourable economic environment presented the authorities with a unique opportunity to press ahead with reforms in key areas.
Though important structural initiatives have been included in the governments budget for 2000-01, the Centres deficit will be broadly unchanged as a share of GDP and the prospects of consolidation by the states remain unclear. As a result, the consolidated public sector deficit is likely to remain over 10 per cent of GDP.
The IMF directors supported the authorities goal to introduce fiscal responsibility legislation, but stressed that this should include strict requirements for fiscal transparency and credible enforcement mechanisms, and be extended to the states.
The authorities were encouraged to treat privatisation receipts as below-the-line financing in their fiscal accounts. Directors emphasised the importance of strengthening fiscal discipline among the states.
It welcomed the RBI focus on inflation risks in its recent monetary and credit policy statement.
They agreed that the scope for further easing appeared to have been exhausted, and they suggested that the authorities should be prepared to act to avoid an intensification of price pressures. Directors generally acknowledged that the conditions for establishing a formal inflation target were not yet in place.
Against this background,
most directors considered that the current RBI multiple
indicator approach to monetary policy was appropriate,
although some directors cautioned that this approach left
monetary policy without a well-defined nominal anchor.
They also underscored that clearer statements by the RBI
of its inflation objective would help buttress the
credibility of its commitment to price stability.
Fly ash increases farm
ANGUL, (Orissa), July 1 Fly ash increases the agricultural productivity by about 20 per cent if used in an appropriate composition. This has been the finding of experiments conducted by the National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco), which generated 14 lakh tonnes of fly ash from its 720 mw captive power plant in Angul, Orissa.
"The result of the experiments have revealed that coal ash could be used as a micro fertiliser and soil modifier and fulfil the demand of the nutrients in the wasteland soil, which may have the deficiency of nutrients," said Dr C R Mishra, a senior Nalco official, in R&D department.
"Crops such as wheat, sunflower, paddy and vegetables like tomato, potato, cabbage, Ladys finger and fruits like mango witnessed 20 per cent increase in its productivity," a Nalco official said.
The official said "20 per cent ash treatment is the most appropriate composition to release the essential plant nutrients together with increasing the water holding capacity. Around 120 tonnes of fly ash was used per acre of land."
Studies were conducted to assess the improvement of soil quality, by mixing with different ratios of coal ash. Results show that admixing 20 per cent of coal ash on wasteland modifies the texture of the soil and improves its porosity, thereby increasing the water retention and capacity.
Fly ash, being an amorphous ferro alumino-silicate mineral type material, contains all the naturally occurring elements, except humus and nitrogen, when compared to soils.
Contents of the trace elements in fly ash varies depending on the quality of coal and method of its combustion. However, the concentration of the trace metals in it is usually higher than that in most of the soils.
Fly ash is generally abrasive, acidic, its particles being light, airborne very fast and pollute the atmosphere, long inhalation of fly ash caused tuberculosis, bronchitis, it corrodes structural surfaces and its depositing affects vegetation.
Its disposal in sea, rivers causes harm to acquatic life, slurry disposal lagoons becomes breeding grounds for mosquitoes and bacteria. Fly ash hold the potential to contaminate the underground water resources.
India has an approximately 393 million hectares of land out of which only 143 million hactares is cultivable. A large area is unproductive because of many impending factors like soil erosion, salinity, alkalinity, waterlogging, shifting cultivation and barrenness.
This stretch of degraded and unutilised land comprises about 93.6 million hectares, out of which 20 million hectares can be made cultivable subject to effective land management.
In the country, the fly
ash generation is expected to exceed 100 million tonnes
by this year end. The existing thermal power plants alone
need about 50,000 acres of land for disposal of fly ash
during their life span of 30 years. The requirement of
land, for disposal of fly ash slurry, would increased
with the addition of more thermal power plants. That
apart, the annual expenditure on road transportation just
for dumping the fly ash is about Rs 50 crore.
Corporation Bank posts 31 pc growth
CHANDIGARH, July 1 The business of Corporation Banks Chandigarh zone moved up sharply from Rs 489 crore to Rs 641 crore during the year 1999-2000, registering a growth of 31 per cent. The deposits showed a growth of 20 per cent, the advances 70 per cent. With this the CD ratio of the zone stood at around 40 per cent said Mr N.S.Gujral, CMD (concurrent charge) of the Corporation Bank at a news conference here.
Mr Gujral said the business per employee also moved up from Rs 1.70 crore to Rs 1.98 crore during the year 1999-2000 and made a profit of Rs 16.87 crore. The zone caters to the needs of branches located at Punjab, Haryana, H.P. J&K and Chandigarh (U.T.). The bank will open more branches at Banga, Moga, Ludhiana (SSI) and Chandigarh, shortly.
The bank has recently published its restated financial statements under US GAAP. Mr Gujral said that despite following more stringent norms envisaged under US GAAP, the consolidated working results of the bank and its subsidiaries have shown much improved position. As the US GAAP restates the financial statements using internationally acceptable accounting standards, the financial position of the bank is now available for comparison per se with reputed international banks.
The bank has entered
into a strategic alliance with the Chennai based Netsavvy
Solutions, to provide Internet banking facility to its
customers and also tied up with M/s Laser Soft
Infosystems Ltd, for setting up Cluster Banking Centres
at certain locations. The bank plans to enter into
insurance sector shortly.
Exports continue to grow by over
NEW DELHI, July 1 Indias exports during April-May 2000-2001 are estimated at $ 6868.63 million which is 29.57 per cent higher than the level of $ 5301.25 million in the corresponding period in the previous year.
In rupee terms the exports were Rs 30092.47 crore, which is 32.79 per cent higher than the value of exports during April-May of the previous financial year.
According to the latest trade data figures released by the government, exports during May 2000 are valued at $ 3446.01 million which is 30.23 per cent higher than the level of $ 2646.12 million in May 1999. In rupee terms, the exports were Rs 15156.55 crore, which is 33.92 per cent higher than the value of exports during May last year.
Indias imports during April-May this financial year are estimated at $ 9007.87 million which is 36.66 per cent higher than the level of $ 6591.27 million during the same period last year. Oil imports during April-May this year are valued at $ 2628.59 million which is 109.84 per cent higher than oil imports valued at $ 1252.66 million in the corresponding period last year which is one of the main reasons for the increase in imports. Non-oil imports during April-May are estimated at $ 6379.28 million which is 19.49 per cent higher than the level of such imports valued at $ 5338.61 million in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Imports during May this
year are valued at $ 4472.97 million representing a
growth of 31.45 per cent over the level of imports valued
at $ 3402.20 million in May 1999. In rupee terms, the
imports increased by 35.17 per cent.
Bank of Punjab opens branch
CHANDIGARH, July 1 The Bank of Punjab opened its 57th banking office at Vivek High School, here today. This office will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will help parents of over 1000 students of the school for depositing, fees of their wards. This branch is directly connected with the online ATM network of the bank. By joining the Master Card Global ATM network the bank is now a part of "Cirrus" network which is one of the worlds largest ATM network with approximately 5,25,000 online ATMs operating worldwide, including about 370 ATMs operational in 46 cities in India.
The bank has already
started its online Depository Services as a depository
participant with NSDL. This service is available at all
its branches and extension counters where the requisite
infrastructure has been put in place. The bank has plans
to make the client holdings/transaction statements
accessible on banks web site and also through call
State Bank Day celebrated
CHANDIGARH, July 1 The State Bank of India today celebrated its foundation day as "State Bank Day" and honoured its staff members who excelled in sports, music, literature, essay/quiz competitions, fine arts and social work etc. Mr Prabhakar Sharma, chief General Manager of the Bank gave away cash rewards and mementos to the 27 employees.
He said that the SBI,
since its formation this day in 1955 has grown not merely
in size as the Premier Financial Services
Group but also in the variety of activities it has
undertaken keeping in view the changes taking place all
over the world, never forsaking its fundamental
commitment to social banking.
by Praful R. Desai
Q: Whether the fact that previous land-lord clearly waived so called breaches on the part of the tenant, would debar to reopen for present new landlord to complain about it?
Ans: Bombay H.C. Was considering this point in Rajesaheb Shahmidsahen Nadej Pinjari v Dattatraya Appa Rawal 2000 (1) R.C.J. 291.
In the case of Kumari Parvati Kevalram Moorjani v Madanlal Anraj Pouval AIR 1988 Bom. 354 the landlord did not take any action for the period from 61 to 74 and on that basis, this court held that the ground of nuisance was waived.
On the other hand, in this case, though no action was taken by the erstwhile owner against the tenant on the ground of nuisance, but the present landlord who purchased the said premises in the year 1979, has filed the suit for eviction in the year 1981, seeking eviction of the tenant from the said premises inter-alia on the ground of nuisance.
The actionable nuisance or annoyance is a recurring cause of action and after the purchase of the property by the landlord when he found that the act of the tenant in tethering the goats and lambs in the open space in front of the tenanted premises was causing nuisance and annoyance to him and the neighbours, he filed the suit for eviction.
The said ground being available to the landlord could not be negative on the ground that the erstwhile owner did not take any action against the tenant on the said ground.
The HC held that the two courts below did not commit any error in granting decree for eviction on the ground of nuisance.
Consequently, the HC allowed the writ petition partly. The decree for eviction on the ground of change of user was set aside but it did maintain it on the ground of nuisance and annoyance.
by A.K. Sachdeva
Q: We are registered as a dealer both under the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973 and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. We buy material from within the state of Haryana on payment of 10 per cent sales tax which is subsequently sold in the course of inter-state trade or commerce on which 4 per cent Central Sales Tax is realised against form C. Kindly advise if we can claim refund of the excess amount of tax which is paid to the state?
Rajan Sharma, Karnal
Ans: Rule 24-A of the Haryana General Sales Tax Rules, 1975 says, a registered dealer may reduce the amount of tax paid under the Act at the first stage of sale of goods purchased by him, from the amount of tax payable by him on such goods or goods manufactured or processed therefrom, when sold within the state or in course of inter-state trade or commerce, or in the course of export outside the territory of India.
Clause (ii) of sub-rule (1) of this rule further lays down "when the tax paid at the first stage exceeds the tax payable, the amount of excess tax shall be refundable to the dealer on appending with return, in form ST-9 and, wherever applicable, in form I under the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, an application in form ST 33 on furnishing certificate in form ST 14 in proof of payment of tax by the selling registered dealer at the first stage. Having regard to these facts, refund of the excess amount of tax paid to the state at the point of first stage can be claimed.
Q: We are engaged in the business of medicines and pharmaceutical preparations in Haryana. The sales turnover during the last consecutives years has failed to exceed the taxable quantum. Kindly let us know the procedure for cancellation of registration certificate.
Bimal Chauhan, Ambala
Ans. According to clause (b) of sub-section (8) of section 19 of the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973 when the gross turnover of any business in respect of which registration was granted during each of the three consecutive years fails to exceed the taxable quantum, the registration certificates becomes liable to be cancelled. Procedure in this context is laid down in rule 14 of the Haryana General Sales Tax Rules, 1975.
For the purpose of getting the registration certificate cancelled, an application alongwith affidavit is required to be submitted to the appropriate assessing authority giving out the details of the gross turnover to the effect that during three consecutive years the turnover has failed to exceed the taxable quantum. Unused forms as well as registration certificate are required to be surrendered at the time of making the application.
Q: What is the last date in Haryana for getting the assessment finalised in respect of 1999-2000 under self-assessment scheme? Kindly advise.
by Pushpa Girimaji
Credit card frauds can spoil e-shopping
HOW, things have changed! Five years ago when VSNL started giving Internet connections, there was virtually no Indian company offering e-shopping. Today, you can shop online for anything from vegetables, books, music, and clothes to electronic goods and automobiles from companies in India. With a click of the mouse, you can pay your telephone bills, book your air tickets or hotel accommodation, look at your bank account, visit auction sites, well, the options are innumerable. And you also have international credit cards that facilitate e-shopping anywhere in the world. Cyber shopping certainly offers lot of advantages. Without stirring from your chair you can look at a variety of goods, compare brands, quality, price, and opt for the best bargain. And you do get very good discounts on the Net.
However, you need to take certain precautions to ensure that your e-shopping is safe. The biggest threat to shopping online is the possibility of a credit card fraud or theft of credit card numbers. Thats because unlike shopping at brick and mortar stores where you are required to put your signature on the authorisation slip for payment through a credit card, here your credit card number and its date of expiration are sufficient to complete the transaction. And when you give all the required information to a site or a retailer for the purpose of online purchase, it could easily be misused or used without your authorisation. There is also the possibility of a hacker gaining access to this information and selling or using it for online purchases.
So first and foremost, you must check the authenticity and reliability of the merchant that you are planning to buy goods or services from. In the USA, trade and industry associations certify the trustworthiness of a merchant, particularly the standards of security practices in place.
Consumer groups too rate them on the basis of various parameters drawn up by them. In India we are yet to put such measures in place and so it is best to go in for a known or a reputed merchant or site.
Secondly, you must find out whether the site provides adequate security and guarantee against card fraud. Is it a secured transaction site? What are the measures taken by the company to ensure this? How safe are the databases in which they store credit card information given by consumers till the validation of the transaction? Is the company using the latest technology to encrypt or scramble the information that you send to them? What is the software that they are using?
Many US companies/sites on the Net offer additional security such as a guarantee that if your credit card number is stolen while ordering and fraudulent charges are made, the company will reimburse you for the full amount. Find out whether the site that you are dealing with offers such guarantees.
Similarly, check whether your credit card company provides you protection against any fraudulent online transactions carried out without your knowledge or consent. Has your credit card company taken any additional security measures to protect you against any online misuse of your card? It is equally important for you to use a secure browser that encrypts information that you send over the Internet. You can also use the option given by your browser to disable cookies or warn you of an oncoming cookie and give you an option to reject it while transacting business online. Cookies are small data structures that allow web sites to maintain user information.
An alert e-shopper also needs to make enquiries about the time taken for delivering the goods, the refund and replacement policies of the retailer besides the complaint redress mechanism available. A US consumer group, National Consumers League some time ago surveyed consumers on their e-commerce experiences.
The results help you identify possible problem areas while shopping online. While one in five reported problems with online purchases, the most common problems concerned misrepresentation of goods and services (8 per cent), failure to receive goods paid for (6 per cent), billing for goods not authorised by the consumer(3 per cent) and charging more than what was agreed upon (one per cent).
Whenever you buy
anything on the Internet, make sure that you have a
record of the transaction. Take a print out of your
purchase order, confirmation number and the amount that
you approved. Also be sure to check your bank and credit
card statements for any billing errors or unauthorised
purchases. Shop wisely and shop safely.
Bharat Earth to
pay 20 pc
Oil India net up
solutions by Tata Honeywell
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