|Monday, September 25, 2000,
Sinha calls for North-South group
Maruti to launch Alto on Sept 27
IIMM celebrates 15th annual day
Oil to cast long shadow on share
Sharekhan franchisee inaugurated
Sinha calls for North-South group on oil
PRAGUE, Sept 24 (UNI, Reuters) Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha today proposed at an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Committee meeting here setting up of a permanent North-South Joint Consultative group (JCG) to constantly review the petroleum demand-price situation and ensure an environment for more stable oil prices.
Addressing the IMFs International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting here, he said the stable oil prices were crucial for sustained economic growth. He wanted the IMFC and development committee to play a constructive role through regular exchange of views on oil prices and global situation.
Mr Sinha said the impact of the international oil price fluctuation was much more pinching on the life of the common people in developing countries.
The Finance Minister pointed out that the recent surge in the oil prices to levels not seen in the last decade has posed serious problems for the durability of world economic growth in general, and the prospects of oil importing developing countries in particular.
The tripling of oil import bill within two years imposed serious burdens on the balance of payment (BoP) positions of many countries. The rise in energy costs could also retard the growth momentum of many oil importing countries, he added.
Sunday meeting of the IMFs policy-setting International Monetary and Financial Committee followed hard on the heels of a tough statement from the Group of Seven industrialised countries worrying about the weak euro and the impact of expensive oil.
We have strayed from a rational (oil) market equilibrium and it is our duty to reset this markets reference points, French Finance Minister Laurent Fabius said in remarks prepared for the committee.
If the current pressures were to be perpetuated, they could threaten the pursuit of global growth, as we have learned in a different context it is true from past market oil shocks.
Participants said they expected the committee, where 24 ministers represent countries or constituencies of countries, to reinforce the G7s message that the high oil prices could threaten global growth, and that the weak euro was worrying.
The currency fell to record lows almost 30 per cent below its January, 1999, launch level last week before G7 central banks intervened to support it in the first concerted central bank action for five years.
There was a shared concern that if the euro continued to fall the way it did, it really had serious implications, Bank of Canada Governor Gordon Thiessen said Saturday.
We are going to continue to monitor this and we are not ruling out further action if it seems to be required.
Drop the debt
Canadas Finance Minister responded Sunday to the complaints that rich countries were short-changing the indebted poor with a proposal for a creditor country freeze on poor country debt repayments.
heavily-indebted countries have still not benefited from
the faster, deeper and broader debt relief promised under
the enhanced HIPC initiative, Paul Martin told the
IMFC. Why should we not consider an immediate
moratorium on debt payments from the eligible HIPC
Maruti to launch Alto on Sept 27
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (PTI) Maruti Udyog will launch two variants of its new model, Alto, in its small car range with price tags of Rs 2.0 to 3.5 lakh on Wednesday in a bid to phase out its existing Zen and Maruti-800 in a gradual manner, company dealers said.
The two Alto models will be fitted with 800 CC and 1000 CC Euro-II norms compliant petrol engines and will be ready for delivery soon after the launch.
Maruti Managing Director Jagdish Khattar declined to give any detail about the models. Other senior company officials were also tightlipped.
The dealers said the 800 CC Alto would be in the price range of the companys entry level model of Maruti-800 which is available in the market between Rs 2.12-2.16 lakh (Ex-showroom price in Delhi).
The company will replace the existing model in a phased manner as two models in the same price range will compete with each other.
On the other hand, the 1000 CC new model will be positioned in the Zen segment, currently priced between Rs 3.40-4.97 lakh, the dealers said.
The company has already produced over 3,500 units of Alto car at its Gurgaon factory, company sources said adding the MUL would be ready for national delivery at the time of launch.
Maruti will introduce only one variant of each model for the time being but come out with more versions keeping in view their demand, sources said.
The new model will be different than the Alto variant being exported by the company to several countries.
In fact, the domestic model Zen which is produced only in India and at none of the worldwide plants of Suzuki Motor (equal partner in MUL), is being sold as Alto in the global market by Maruti Udyog.
Suzuki Motor markets its small car as Alto in the Japanese market. MUL is launching the same model in India after making several changes according to the local road and safety conditions.
The localisation level
of both the new models are likely to be over 70 per cent,
the sources said adding that the company would increase
the indigenisation level soon to bring down their
IIMM celebrates 15th annual
CHANDIGARH, Sept 24 The IIMMs Chandigarh branch celebrated its 15th annual day and held the Northern Regional Conference-2000 at the TTTI auditorium here today. Over 250 materials professionals from UP, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal, Punjab, J&K and Chandigarh participated.
Mr Surinder Talwar, MD, Punjab Anand Lamp, and Mr Deepak Nanda, JMD, Trident Infotech, spoke on E-commerce and changing face of materials management.
Mr Satish Bagrodia, Chairman, Winsome group, who was the chief guest, highlighted problems and constraints of trading by the Internet. Focus on what you can do best, he advised.
Mr V.K. Jain, GM, Indian Airlines and National President of the IIMM, presented the Outstanding Chief Executive of the Year Award to Mr P.K. Verma, Executive Director, Swaraj Mazda group. The Outstanding Materials Manager Award was given to Mr S. Talwar, MD & CEO, PALI, and the Outstanding Student Award was presented to Mr Bhuvnesh Nauhria, Asstt Director, BBMB, who is the 1st student in north India to qualify as a Certified Purchase Manager, a programme conducted by the IIMM in India on behalf of the National Association of Purchasing Management, USA.
Mr M.K. Bhardwaj, National Vice-President (North) of the IIMM, highlighted the contribution of the profession in North Indian industry for improving supply chain management, reduction of working capital & inventories.
Mr Vikram Patil, branch Chairman, announced that the Chandigarh Administration had allotted a 500 sq. yard plot to the Institute for constructing a building which will be equipped with audio-video-Internet educational aids, a library and an e-commerce training centre within the next 18 months.
Oil to cast long shadow on
THE impending raise in the petrogood prices so depressed the market that the Sensex fell by 377.15 points (8.55 per cent) and NIFTY plummeted by 7.55 per cent during the last week. It was indeed a black week. Hardly any sector of industry escaped it; though the forward list shares bore the brunt. Even on Saturday, the Union Government has not taken any decision. But it is quite on the cards that some price rise in petrogood goods will be announced during the next month and a half. The Union Government is trying its best to soften the blow, for any substantial raise in petrogood prices would hurt the economy.
As the Union Government announcement indicates, Custom duties on import of petroleum products is likely to be lowered. The second step would be to float petro bounds. Only after these two steps have been taken, the government would consider raising petrogood prices. For the present at least, no price raise has been imposed, and this week the stock market would welcome it mildly by imparting some bullish flavour to it. There is also an indication that the price rise is likely to be mild rather than harsh.
Pakistan has already announced 11 per cent raise in petroleum prices; but Pakistan has the advantage of having vast gas reserves. It is also possible that pressure on OPEC by the Europeon Union and the USA would force the OPEC countries to raise the quantum of oil production with a view to bringing about some reduction in the international prices of the oil products. The USA has also threatened to release some of its oil reserves to bring relief to the consumers in the USA, and force OPEC to raise production of oil.
It is also quite obvious that similar oil crisis would occur periodically, for the total oil reserves, so far the present position stands, are not likely to last beyond the next thirty to fifty years. With depleting oil reserves and resources, the international rices of petro-good products would go up by stages.
Some sectors of industry are likely to be hurt more than the others. The fertilisers industry, the automobile sector, the speciality chemicals industry, the petro-based textiles and units would be the worst sufferers. On the other hand, software industry, banking, FMCG companies, paper industry, power generating companies based on hydro and coal sources, and pharmaceutical industry would be affected to a lesser degree. The automobile industry will have to make efforts to discover and use alternative fuel sources two provide driving power to the to wheelers and the four wheelers etc.
In a general way, every industry would suffer in one way or the other; some directly, others indirectly. The inflationary rates would gallop and price rise in all consumer goods would so squeeze the pockets of the consumers that the demand for goods would surely go down. Agriculture and coal reserves in India may stand our country in good stead for meeting recurring oil crisis.
For long-term investors, the best bet is the knowledge-based industries, particularly those engaged in software, e-trading and allied sectors. But, while choosing your companies even in this sector, it is very important to keep the PE ratios and growth prospects. Even the demand for software is likely to be hit by general recession in industry internationally.
Those who have not built
or acquired a residential house to live so far should
attach the highest priority to acquiring one. This will
be found more rewarding than investing in the stock
market. Stock market is only a second, or rather a
secondary, priority. If stock market suffers a big shock,
no mutual fund will be able to survive it.
Sharekhan franchisee inaugurated
CHANDIGARH, Sept 24 Mumbai-based SSKI Investor Services Ltd, which has about 50 branches all over the country and owns the Sharekhan brand of products, inaugurated a franchisee in the city yesterday.
The Sector 8 Stockmart Com, run by Mr Lalit Batra and partners, will act as the Sharekhan franchisee in the city. Sharekhan brokerage charges are among the lowest. Under one scheme, brokers can do unlimited trading by paying just Rs 1,000 a month.
Asked to comment on the 225-point sensex crash on Friday, the Sharekhan team of Kenneth Andrade and Nihar Oza said the market is still bullish. In three to six months, said Kenneth, the sensex could cross the 5,000-mark. On the lower end, the sensex could slide to 3,800.
Explaining the trading strategy, he said the company picks up about 35 Scripps after research and divides them into six heads Evergreen (risk free), Apple Green (steady compounders), Emerging Star (companies likely to rule chosen niches), Ugly Duckling (trading below fair value), Vultures Pick (companies with high risks, high returns) and Cannonball (seasons favourites).
Kenneth and Nihar, who
also addressed a seminar on trading strategy in the city
last night, recommended six shares at the current prices:
Infosys, Zee Telefilms, Dr Reddys Lab, Pfizer,
Peerless Shipping and ETC Networks.
by R. N. Lakhotia
Q: I have come to know that Individual Person can save tax by filing a income tax return in the capacity of individual as well as in the capacity of HUF because both the assessees are entitled for separate exemption of up to Rs 50000. To avail such tax benefits I want to know the reply for the following queries:
1. Documentation/formalities with the Income Tax Department.
2. Procedure for fund transfer to HUF.
3. Whether a Sikh gentleman can create HUF.
4. Utilisation of HUF Funds.
5. Any book/detailed reference on HUF.
Hardish Gill, Ludhiana
Ans: For starting new Hindu undivided family file the first most important condition is that the karta or any of the family member should not transfer their fund to the HUF. Hence, if you or your family members transfer your individual funds to your HUF the benefit of HUF as a separate tax entity cannot be achieved. The gentleman can create HUF. The utilisation of HUF funds can be done in the same manner as the utilisation of individual funds are done.
Q: I have availed a house building loan of Rs 3 lakh from my department at the rate of 12 per cent simple interest and recovery of the same is being made from my salary Rs 5000 per month. As per system of accounting in vogue, firstly principal amount is said to be recovered and recovery of interest takes place thereafter. I requested my employer to allow me simultaneous recovery of principal and interest as this will entitle me to avail deduction under section 24 as well as rebate upto permissible limits under section 88. Can he accept my request?
Ans: There should be no problem in your DDO to simultaneously recover the principal amount as well as the interest amount. However, in case the system of accounting of your government department insists that firstly the principal has to be recovered and then later on the interest is to be recovered, even then you can claim deduction u/s 24 of the Income-tax Act on account of interest by taking a certificate from your department in respect of the accused interest which is due for a particular financial year. In Income-tax it is not necessary that interest should be paid to claim deduction on account of interest payment. The deduction for interest will be allowed even on accrued basis without actually making physical payment of the interest among.
Q: I installed my diesel generating set in a bank on rent basis. The monthly rent rate was settled at Rs 4,500. Now my question is:
1) Whether this monthly rent is covered under TDS?
2) If yes, then how and under which section?
3) If not, then why not?
B.D. Sharma, M. Gobindgarh
How long will PC files last?
WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (DPA) Most computer users know the importance of backing up data. If you dont have a separate copy of your files and your hard drive crashes, countless hours of work can be lost in a second.
But once you start backing up data, its logical to wonder just how long your backed-up data will last. Will that tape that youve carefully stored all of your financial information on disintegrate in two years?
Or how about those floppy disks that contain a snapshot of your life and times five years ago you dont want to lose that data. How long will those floppies last?
The durability of removable storage media is actually a hotly debated topic among historians and others interested in preserving todays data for future generations. But one thing is clear: if you have data that youd like to preserve for the ages, back it up onto a writeable CD disk. CDs are todays most durable media.
How long will a CD last? the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the official organisation that represents the USA in international standardisation efforts, has been working with the US Library of Congress to answer that very question.
No definitive answer regarding the life-expectancy of cds has been arrived at. But estimates are all over the map which is one reason why ANSI and other organisations are trying to step in to solve this riddle once and for all.
Some CD-ROM manufacturers have claimed that CDs can last up to 200 years, while others claim the realistic life expectancy is closer to 50 years. Of course, since CD-ROMs disks have not been around even 50 years, most such estimates are based on estimates, given what is known about the materials that CD-ROMs are composed of.
Backup tapes used by many to store a safe copy of data that resides on our relatively fragile hard drives are inexpensive, but theyre far less durable as well. Its generally considered that tapes will last about 15 years.
Thats a lot longer than most hard drives will last, however. The average life expectancy of a hard drive is about five years. And dont even think about backing up to floppy diskettes, if you want your data to be stored permanently.
The average diskette is designed to last only about one year.
Remember, though, that technological obsolescence is far more likely to pose a threat to your data than media deterioration. In other words, will the CD-ROM format even exist 75 or 100 years from today?
First wireless virus found
BEAVERTON, Oregon, Sept 24 (AP) A company that produces antivirus software for computers says it has discovered the worlds first virus that targets the increasingly popular wireless hand-held computers.
Although computer viruses have become common, including last springs virulent Love Bug virus, reports of viruses infecting the smaller personal digital assistants, or PDAs, had previously proved unfounded.
This time, however, this is not a false alarm, said Vincent Gullotto, Director of McAfee.coms Anti Virus Emergency Response Team in Beaverton, which found the virus Thursday night.
The so-called Palm OS/Phange virus did not appear widespread, Gullotto said. Right now, I dont think its a big threat, he said.
Palm OS is the operating system used by roughly 79 per cent of the worlds hand-held computers. It has wireless technology that can connect to the Internet or to networks.
The virus fills the PDAs screen with a dark gray box. The PDA can be repaired simply by shutting it off and turning it on again, and the virus is easily wiped out by deleting any file called Phange.prc.
PDAs, no bigger than a paperback book and no thicker than a chequebook, are growing in popularity with business people for carrying lists of customers and contacts, and also are gaining in popularity for wireless connections to the Internet.
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 Grasim Industries has embarked on a major revamp programme to double its textile turnover to Rs 600 crore by the year 2005 for which it intends to introduce 7,000 new designs in the next six months.
According to Mr Vikram Rao, Group Executive President (Fabrics, Apparel Business), the company has dropped the brand name Gwalior Suitings, established over the years by Pataudi and his wife Sharmila Tagore. Grasim will now rely heavily on foreign inputs be it models, commercials or designers.
The company, which hopes
to come out with a new product every month, is also
laying infrastructure to introduce 7,000 new designs by
March 2001. For this, we are setting up a
state-of-the-art design studio in New Delhi to forecast
colour and fashion trends. We have hired a European
expert to develop more than 10,000 new designs every
year, Mr Rao said.
Owning a Rolls Royce
BANGALORE: It was sheer chance that led Mr Luke Rebello to a car lovers ultimate fantasy, owning a Rolls Royce used by none other than the Maharaja of Mysore.
The 1925 model Rolls Royce Phantom is the cynosure of all eyes at the Autofair 2000 here.
Mr Rebello, a planter from Chikmagalur, told UNI that he had been a car freak since childhood. One day in 1989, he was roaming around in the streets of Mysore when he looked into a garage. He saw a long hood of a car inside.
His curiosity aroused, he inquired about it with the garage owner. The owner told him that the car, which belonged to Maharaja Jayasamaraja Wodayar, was brought from the palace for some minor repairs some 17 years ago. Following the sudden death of the Maharaja, no one bothered to claim it.
Mr Rebello lost no time in fixing a deal. He immediately agreed to the garage owners stipulation that the rent for parking the vehicle for 17 years should be paid as also money for restoration work.
Then he approached the heir Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wodyar and after negotiations secured the relevant papers.
He said the car was custom made for the Maharaja as his highness was one of the shareholders of the company at that time. It is probably one of the two Limousines in the Rolls phantom category in the world. The other one is with the Queen of England. UNI
Indians among Forbes richest
NEW YORK: At least three Indians who immigrated to the USA are among the Forbes 400 richest Americans. But the list does not appear to be exhaustive as several well-known Indian Americans are in the longer list but not in the foreign-born: category.
Of the list of the nine foreign-born richest that Forbes identifies Gururaj Deshpande of fibre optics firms Sycamore Networks, Pradeep Sindhu of Junior Networks also in fibre optics, and Romesh Wadhwani of Aspect Development which merged with i2, are among the richest foreign-born Americans on the Forbes list just released.
Several other Indian Americans have made it to the list. They include Sanjiv Sidhu of i2 Technologies, who was earlier valued at more than $ 6 billion in Forbes Billionaires list, and Naveen Jain of InfoSpace. IANS
It's not that KISS, stupid
CHANDIGARH: To liven up the otherwise serious annual day celebrations of the IIMM (Indian Institute of materials Management), Mr Satish Bagrodia of the winsome group came out with an interesting anecdote. Being the chief guest, he was naturally the last to speak when everyone was eagerly waiting for lunch.
Once a chief guest at a
seminar received a chit from his wife on which was
written "KISS". The gentleman sitting next to
him on the dais happened to see it and complimented the
chief guest for such wifely support, especially since the
audience was getting impatient. The chief guest explained
that this "KISS" was different. It stood for
"Keep It short, Stupid". TNS
Crown Air Flights from Nov
UK-based NRI Nira Radia has reportedly submitted all relevant documents, including financial viability and a sizeable number of aircraft to fly on several domestic sectors. Airline officials have also assured the government for fulfilling all conditions that are laid from time to time.
While the Boeing 737-400s will be pressed into service on revenue earning sectors, the smaller version will be operated on feeder routes.
Mr Ming, a former Malaysian Airline official, has been inducted in the proposed airline as the Chief Operating Officer. A highly experienced official, he will team up with Mr U.K. Bose to organise operations of the new airline. Some other officials, particularly in the area of marketing, are being recruited. Some other private carriers, including Modiluft, are likely to resurface. If Crown Air starts operations from November, as projected, it would throw a challenge to Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.
Upgradation of airports will also be in phases. All international airports will get priority. The gadgets at several airports will be in accordance to the standards laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (IACO).
Global aeronautical telecommunication provider SITA recently had detailed discussions with the DGCA, AAI, and ministry officials on essentiality of latest information technology, which will help operate flights with greater efficiency than has been the case at present.
Both manufacturers are now going ahead with their plans to throw bigger aircraft than 747s. Airbus Industrie is concentrating on A3XX, while Boeing will produce larger version than 747-400 on long routes.
Sept 24 (PTI) The annual inflation rate inched up
0.08 percentage points to 5.72 per cent for the week
ended September 9 from the previous weeks level due
to slight increase in the prices of manufactured
products. The point-to-point inflation rate based on wpi
for all commodities (Base: 1993-94 - 100) was 5.64 per
cent (provisional) in the previous week and 3.12 per cent
during same period a year ago.
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