Saturday, September 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sensex crashes by 225 points

MUMBAI, Sept 22 (PTI) — Stocks nosedived bringing the sensex down by a whopping 225 points today to close at a 4-month low on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on fresh bout of selling triggered by the government’s hints on domestic oil price hike.

Reflecting the widespread falls, the BSE sensitive index opened weak at 4188.47 and gradually moved downwards to close at 4032.37 as against yesterday’s close of 4257.20, showing a net fall of 224.83 points or 5.28 per cent. The BSE-100 Index tumbled by 110.54 points to 2037.32 from previous close of 2147.86.

Starting on a weak footing, continuous unloading by operators sent the share prices reeling down to their day’s low, particularly at the fag end of the session, when the strong support from local institutions failed to surface.

Extremely cautious and negative about the market, bulls were busy winding up long positions with no positive factor in sight, dealers said.

The investors’ spirit was further dampened following reports that rolling settlement was being introduced from October 24.

The sentiment was also affected by a sharp fall of about 69 points in the Nasdaq Composite Index yesterday and a fresh downslide on South-East Asian stock markets, particularly Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

The Nikkie closed down by 493 points, the Hang Seng crashed by another 552 points and the Singapore ST index dipped by over 55 points.

The market was strongly optimistic of intervention by financial institutions, mainly the Unit Trust of India which reportedly picked up shares of Zee Telefilms but their absence led to heavy pounding at the close.

The bourses are likely to remain under pressure if the petro price hike is more than 10 per cent, the dealers opined.

In the specified group, 131 shares, including 29 index based counters recorded sharp losses.


Panel to probe telecom crisis
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Sept 22—The Communication Ministry has set up a special committee to look into the various causes that led to disruption in the telecom services in the country.

The committee, to be headed by Senior Deputy Director-General, Mr Dilip Sahay, would submit its report by September 29.

This decision was taken by the Minister for Communications, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan ,at the meeting of the Heads of Telecom Circles, here today. The Minister said that the Government had viewed the recent dislocation of telecom services seriously.

Reviewing the matter with the Chief General Managers (CGMs) at the meeting, he said that the reports received by them would be examined thoroughly and stern action taken against those responsible for the situation. The conference has been called to take a mid-term review of the progress made in development in telecom services, including rural development programmes, operations, customer care, new services and information technology.

He said that the decision to corporatise the departments was a stated policy of the Government, and as such no one could question it. However, the Government was fully sensitive to the legitimate concerns of the employees, who would be part of the new corporatised entity, and the issues had been discussed with all federations and staff unions.

He stated that all these federations had been involved at various levels of discussion, including the Group of Ministers ,and their major issues relating to pension, job security and financial viability had been resolved. Some of the minor aspects related to these issues on which the federations had given fresh proposals were receiving the highest consideration and ,therefore, they need not have any apprehensions about their future status.

The Minister appreciated the efforts of providing Internet facility and telephone connectivity in all district and block headquarters, respectively. The Minister also announced that the marketing agents of Virtual Calling Cards (VCC) would be given 5 per cent commission on their sales. These were prepaid cards to make local and STD calls.

Earlier, addressing the conference, the Minister of State for Communications, Mr Tapan Sikdar, expressed concern over repeated strikes by the employees on non-issues which was hampering the smooth functioning of the Department.

He said that the installation of VPTs should be expedited to meet the rural targets. He told the officials that appropriate technology should be chosen so that rural connectivity was not delayed .

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