Sunday, October 1, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Plan slippages on all fronts
NEW DELHI, Sept 30 — A mid-term appraisal of the Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002) shows that there have been slippages on all fronts and the country would have to register a growth of 7.1 per cent in the next two years to achieve the targeted 6.5 per cent growth in the plan period.

Wintech branches raided
MUMBAI, Sept 30 — The police last night simultaneously raided three branches of Wintech Computers, seized allegedly pirated versions of Oracle software worth Rs 1 crore and charged its Chief Executive Officer Murtuza Mathani with a breach of the Copyright Act.

32 cr worth exports by Samsonite
CHANDIGARH, Sept 30 — Samsonite, US-based global leader in luggage, will open 30 “Samsonite Travel World” showrooms in the country by December, 2000.

Ind-swift eyes Rs 500 cr turnover
LUDHIANA, Sept 30 — Ind-Swift Limited, a Rs 150 crore pharmaceutical major, is targeting a turnover of Rs 500 crore by 2004.

BIS certification for Talwar Jewellers 
CHANDIGARH, Sept 30 —Talwar Jewellers today became the first jewellery store in the region to receive the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification to sell hallmarked gold jewellery.

First stage sales tax to hit industry
THREE things deserve the Punjab industry’s attention. Imbroglio with the PSEB resolved but not without any assurance of its recurrence. The Sales Tax Department is continuing with its wrong policy.



Need to frame new laws, says Jaitley
New Delhi, Sept 30 — Law Minister Arun Jaitley said today that new legislation must be framed that are in tune with the fast-changing realities being brought by technological advances.


Plan slippages on all fronts
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Sept 30 — A mid-term appraisal of the Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002) shows that there have been slippages on all fronts and the country would have to register a growth of 7.1 per cent in the next two years to achieve the targeted 6.5 per cent growth in the plan period.

In a frank and candid assessment on the state of the economy, the appraisal, approved by the full Planning Commission headed by the Prime Minister, pointed out that significant shortages in growth performance have been recorded in agriculture, mining and quarrying and manufacturing sectors. Construction, communications, public administration and community services have exceeded the targets.

Both domestic savings and investment have fallen short of targets by over 5 per cent. The entire shortfalls are in the public sector, where public savings has recorded a shortfall of 70 per cent and public investment of 23 per cent.

Chairing the meeting of the Commission, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee said the mid-term review provided a balanced assessment on the state of the economy and the Plan at the start of the millennium.

He observed that India’s growth has been sustained despite several shocks in recent years, and it was a matter of satisfaction that poverty declined during this period though not as much as desired. The growth achieved was commendable but not enough.

He directed the Commission to examine the feasibility of raising the growth target from 6.5 per cent in the Ninth Plan to 9 per cent in the Tenth Plan.

The Deputy Chairman of the Commission, Mr K.C. Pant, observed that the mid-term appraisal would serve as the basis for the exercise to formulate the 10th Five Year Plan.

Since resources were scarce, plan assistance and performance and accountability both at the Centre and states should be linked.

The appraisal showed that investment in agriculture and allied services, mining and financial services have fallen short of the targets by over 20 per cent and it was unlikely that investment targets in these areas would be met in last two years of the Plan.

The balance of payments position is likely to remain comfortable in last two years of the Plan despite a rise in the international price of petroleum goods. The current account deficit is not expected to exceed 1.4 per cent of GDP for this period.

External financing is expected to remain comfortable, with a mild acceleration in foreign direct investment and significantly higher inflow of foreign portfolio investment.

The deterioration of the fiscal position is primarily due to serious slippages in the tax revenues, particularly at the Centre. The tax GDP ratio of the Centre was expected to be 10.4 per cent of GDP in 1999-2000, but the realised ratio is only about 8.7 per cent.

Despite an expected revival in the tax/GDP ratio, it was unlikely that the Central budget support to the Plan can be maintained at the target level. It is estimated that only about 87 per cent of the Plan target may actually be attained by the end of the Plan period. This compares unfavourably with the 93 per cent realisation during the eighth Plan.

Total public investment as a result would be 81 per cent of the Plan targets. During the Eighth Plan, the realisation in public investment was 85.4 per cent of the target.

Due to serious slippages in public investment in physical and social infrastructure, the pipeline investment for the Tenth Plan would be low. This may weaken the possibility of significant acceleration in the growth rate during the Tenth Plan period.

The Commission also pointed out that only 44.4 per cent of the projected resources have been mobilised by the states during the first three years of the Plan. The rates have also heavily dependent on increased borrowings to finance their plan.

Giving directions for further reforms, the Commission said the second generation reforms would have to embrace all sectors of the economy and cover the Central and state governments.

Other suggestions include the need to introduce regulatory mechanism to oversee pricing of services and other issues; coverage of PDS should be restricted to rice and wheat only; the education system should focus on universal primary education especially the girl child and full literacy; environmental accounting should be an integral part of the plan process and administrative and legal reforms should be an integral part of the reform agenda.



Wintech branches raided

MUMBAI, Sept 30 (PTI) — The police last night simultaneously raided three branches of Wintech Computers, seized allegedly pirated versions of Oracle software worth Rs 1 crore and charged its Chief Executive Officer Murtuza Mathani with a breach of the Copyright Act.

Mathani, along with the other company Directors aware of illegal downloading of the software, will be arrested in a day or two.

The police raided the institute’s branches at Nariman Point, Worli and Andheri and seized 44 computers and eight CDs containing the alleged pirated software.

The police acted on a complaint filed by the Enforcer of Intellectual Property Right, a private investigative firm, on behalf of its client Oracle Corporation.



32 cr worth exports by Samsonite
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 30 — Samsonite, US-based global leader in luggage, will open 30 “Samsonite Travel World” showrooms in the country by December, 2000.

This was announced by Mr P.P. Verma, Deputy General Manager (North) of Samsonite, at a press conference here last night.

Mr Verma was here in connection with the inauguration of Rajroop, an exclusive showroom of Samsonite products in Sector 17. “It is the first such showroom in North India outside Delhi”, said Mr Ashok Kapoor, its managing partner.

The company exported products made in India worth Rs 32 crore to Australia and West Asian countries, Mr Verma said.

Samsonite will launch many travel accessories — travel pillow, body bags, travel case, vanity case, jewellery organiser, leather wallets etc — before Divali, Mr Verma added.


Ind-swift eyes Rs 500 cr turnover
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 30 — Ind-Swift Limited, a Rs 150 crore pharmaceutical major, is targeting a turnover of Rs 500 crore by 2004.

This was announced by the Chairman of the company, Mr A.K. Jain, in a press release issued here today. The company is planning to target the foreign market in a big way while in the domestic market it is strengthening its marketing workforce. It is increasing its resources to tap foreign markets to achieve the target.

The company on this occasion declared an interim dividend of 10 per cent that makes the total dividend declared during the year to 20 per cent.

Mr S.R. Mehta, Managing Director of the company, said the overall performance of the company had improved significantly . During 1999-2000, the turnover of the company had increased by 28 per cent at Rs 77.52 crore as compared to the turnover of Rs 60.46 crore during the previous financial year ended on March 31, 2000. The profit net at Rs 5.25 crore had shown an increase of 62 per cent over the previous year.



BIS certification for Talwar Jewellers 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 30 —Talwar Jewellers today became the first jewellery store in the region to receive the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification to sell hallmarked gold jewellery.

‘‘It is a proud moment for Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir. My heartiest congratulations to Talwar Jewellers’’, said Mr V.K. Kapoor, Deputy Director-General, BIS, while presenting the certificate to Mr Rakesh Talwar and Mr Sunil Talwar at a function in Chandigarh last night.

BIS launched the gold jewellery certification scheme on a voluntary basis in April this year. Gold jewellery hallmarked by the BIS-recognised Assaying and Hallmarking Centre is available only at retail outlets of BIS-certified jewellers/jewellery manufacturers. The scheme follows closely the British Hallmarking System for high standards.

‘‘We are excited to be the first jewellery store selling hallmark jewellery in the region’’, said Mr Rakesh Talwar.



First stage sales tax to hit industry
By P.D Sharma

THREE things deserve the Punjab industry’s attention. Imbroglio with the PSEB resolved but not without any assurance of its recurrence. The Sales Tax Department is continuing with its wrong policy. The Chief Secretaries conference brought some inconvenient factors to the fore.

In its frantic effort to garner revenue somehow or other the PSEB had raised minimum charges for industrial consumers to level not justified by normal consumption. The board and industry exchanged data. Fortunately right thing came to the surface. After two rounds of meetings with the apex chamber and Laghu Udyog Bharti, the Chairman conceded to reduce the minimum charges. For S.P. consumers it has been brought down from Rs 125/kw to Rs 100 for medium category from Rs 200 to Rs 135 and also for large consumers from Rs 200 to Rs 135/kw. For steel furnaces it has been fixed at Rs 370/kw. This decision could not be announced due to byelection. It was also agreed that those consumers who had to pay at higher rates in the meantime will be duly compensated.

Some more disturbing factors have come to light. Power theft is galore. Due to consumer’s awareness two big cases of power theft of induction furnaces in Ludhiana have been detected. This is only a tip of the iceberg. Many cases of theft in this sector have been caught in past. The steel furnace industry feels that many more firms in Ludhiana and elsewhere are taking advantage of the lax control of the PSEB. Political interference is also discernible in some big cases of the theft. The industry has two kinds of concern in this prevailing environment.

These steel units who indulge in this crime are distorting the norms of the trade. Secondly the burden of revenue loss has to be born by the honest consumers. The PSEB is, not doubt serious about the theft but its hands seems to be tied up through outside influence. The board and steel industry should join hands in checking this menace at the earliest.

The Sales Tax Department is levying tax at first stage on various items to the detriment of the tax-payers. There are many items which are used as basic inputs and as intermediaries which should not be taxed at first stage. Final product attracts sales tax. So it is a clear-cut case of multiple taxation. The industry is crying hoarse to remove first stage tax on packing materials and basic fuels but of no avail.

It is a rumour that the department is proposing first stage sales tax on iron and steel. It certainly will be the last straw on camel’s back. Surely it is a recipe to kill the industry.

In the Chief Secretaries’ conference levy of first state sales tax also came under focus. The uniform sales tax regime get distorted if some states resort to first stage tax which others do not do so. All states shall have consensus on this issue as well. Basic inputs and intermediaries should not attract any floor rate.



Need to frame new laws, says Jaitley
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, Sept 30 — Law Minister Arun Jaitley said today that new legislation must be framed that are in tune with the fast-changing realities being brought by technological advances.

“A large number of long-overdue changes are being propelled by liberalisation and disinvestment of public sector units since 1991. But the laws have not so far kept pace with the domestic and global changes,” Mr Jaitley said addressing a function organised by the Bar Association of India to mark its 40th anniversary.

A new era of converging technologies is bringing alternate mechanisms for bringing information and entertainment to each home.

Mr Jaitley said investigators will need to re-orient themselves to stop cyber-crime, money laundering and terrorism.

He also emphasised the need for introducing new corporate laws as recent economic reforms allow corporates to mop up savings worth thousands of crore rupees for investment purposes.

The Minister also called for electoral reforms and laws dealing with land acquisition and labour policies.

BAI President Fali Nariman said there is an urgent need to develop legal expertise in world.



By A.N. Shanbhag

Q: When there is gain of long term, the tax is 10 per cent on equities. Does any surcharge applies to it if the income is above 1.5 lakh for long term capital gain?


A: Tax, inclusive of surcharge on long-term capital gains arising out of sale or transfer of shares and securities is to be paid at the flat rate of 11 per cent without indexation or @ 22 per cent will indexation. This is irrespective of the size of the gains.

Q: I have purchased a resale flat for Rs 6,25,000 I am told that the seller needs to take same prior permission from the IT Department if the sale price is above Rs 5,00,000. I have availed a loan. The seller has not informed so will it create any problem for me.

— Rajesh Sawant, Pune,

A: Section 17(1) clauses ‘a to e’ of the Indian Registration ACt, 1908, stipulates that any property valued at more than Rs 5 lakh shall not be registered unless the ITO certifies that the transferor has paid or made satisfactory provision for income tax. The transferor is required to apply in Form-34A and the ITO is required to either give the certificate within 60 days or pass an order in writing refusing to grant the certificate, recording his reasons thereof. Normally, the sale goes through and the key is handed over to the purchaser as soon as the stamp duty is paid. The Registrar does not effect the transfer until the seller obtains the needed 230-A certificate from the Income Tax Department.

Q: At the naming ceremony of my new born son, many of our relatives and friends gave him small cash gifts. Most of these are less than Rs 10,000 but the total is quite sizeable around Rs 5 lakh. We intend to invest this amount in an open-ended, debt-based, pure-growth MF scheme as per your oft-repeated advise through these columns.

Will we have any problem with the tax authorities? Since we, both my parents, my wife and myself have been quite careful and not given him any gift, can we apply for a PAN in the name of the child and start filing tax in his name?

— Mr Taxsaver

A: The entire income that arises or accrues to a minor is to be included in the income of that parent whose total income (excluding the income includible) is higher. Where the marriage of the parents does not subsist, the income of the minor will be included in the income of that parent who maintains the minor child. There is a basic exemption of maximum amount of Rs 1,00 per minor child. Good! So good that you may forget family planning. The clubbing provision will not apply in the case of a minor earning income by way of manual work done by him or an activity involving application of his skill, talent or specialised knowledge and experience. I am afraid your new born has no such talent or skill.

You must have realised that there was no good for you and your parent to take care in not giving him a gift. Nonetheless, I hope you have taken the care to prepare a list of names along with addresses of all the donors.

Q: Is it not advisable to keep funds in PPF rather than opting for premature withdrawal because of the compounding effect of PPF.


A: I had stoped liking PPF ever since the large-scale amendments effected by FA92 on tax structure of long-term capital gains. I like them less now that the interest has been slashed from 12 per cent to 11 per cent. Coming to your query regarding compounding effect, I am afraid you have to learn mathematics of finance. The very first lesson a student learns is—

In order to understand the concept of compound interest thoroughly, the primary requirement is to realise that from the financial angle the following three situations are absolutely identical:

1. Interest is compounded annually and paid at maturity.

2. Interest is paid annually and the investor reinvests it in the same or similar accounts.

3. Interest is paid annually and the investor spends it on his day to day needs.

It is very easy to realise that the first two situations are identical. The third is rather tricky. The first has a built-in aspect of ‘Compulsory Savings’ whereas the second offers you flexibility in deciding how to reinvest this interest.

I do not like any artificial compulsions of whatever nature. Do you? As a matter of fact, in certain situations this loss of flexibility can give rise to a lot of handicaps. I repeat, I hate compulsory savings. It is better to marshal the will to live by strict rules of responsible financial behaviour.

Now let us take up the third situation that, as I rather tricky. Whenever you buy any utility article, say a refrigerator, you forgo the stream of income you would have received in future by way of interest on your investment of that amount. You take this action only because the marginal utility of the refrigerator is equal to, if not higher than, the interest. Therefore, unless you are extravagant, the returns from the refrigerator are the same as, if not higher than the returns from your investment.

If you are still not convinced, let us look at the situation from the point of view of the borrowing company. The rate of interest it pays does not depend upon whether the interest is being paid regularly or cumulatively nor upon what the lender does with the amount received by him.

The author may be contacted at



by Pushpa Girimaji

When you give it for repairs, get a receipt

A reader from Delhi recently related an interesting experience. One day he noticed that his camera was malfunctioning and went to a photo studio to get it repaired. The shopkeeper looked at the camera, identified the problem, estimated the cost of repair and said it would be ready in four days. Having agreed to the terms, the consumer handed over the camera and waited patiently for an acknowledgement or a note from the shopkeeper of his having received the camera for repairs. when none came, he asked for one.

The shopkeeper, says the consumer, was aghast at such a request. he seemed to take it as an insult and a blot on his honesty and reputation and said that no customer had ever asked him for a receipt or doubted his integrity. Well, that may be so, but the camera was expensive and it was foolish to part with it without an acknowledgement. Points out the consumer: I should have been the one to be offended because the shopkeeper did not voluntarily give the receipt. Instead, I ended up being on the defensive for asking for it. Eventually it took me half an hour to get the shopkeeper to write on a piece of paper that he had taken the camera for repairs. During this time I had to repeatedly tell him that it was not that I did not trust him, but I needed the receipt in case I had to send someone else to collect it. And by the end of it, I started fearing that the shopkeeper may have ulterior motives in persistently refusing to give a receipt!

And what surprised the consumer was that during the time he was in the shop, he noticed at least two customers walking in one came for repair of a camera and another for framing of an expensive painting. And both left them there without a receipt. Giving anything in writing was apparently not part of the transaction at all. Says the reader: No wonder the shopkeeper was so suspicious of me!

Whether you are giving a camera or a television set or a music system for repairs or clothes for stitching, good business practice demands that you get from the person to whom you are handing over the goods, a receipt giving a description of the goods collected, the work expected to be done, estimated cost and the date of delivery. Again when you collect it, in case of electrical and electronic goods for example, you have to be given a receipt indicating the work done and the parts changed, besides the cost. Such a receipt should also specify the guarantee for the changed parts or the repair work undertaken. In the absence of such practices, a consumer has no protection.

The shopkeeper may be trustworthy. You may have known him or her for many years. Yet, you should never overlook the possibility of your needing proof of having given some goods for repair. I recall the case of a consumer who gave an expensive clock for repair to a reputed shop. Here again, no receipt was given and unfortunately, the consumer could not collect it on the promised date of delivery. Subsequently some urgent work took him out of the country and when he returned after three months, he found that the shop assistant to whom he had given the clock was no longer working there. And when he gave a description of the clock given by him for repair, he was told that no such clock was with the shop. In the absence of a receipt, there was very little he could do.

In another case, a consumer had given an expensive silk saree for stitching a “fall”. And the very next day, there was a fire in the shop and the shopkeeper told her that her saree had got destroyed along with other goods. She was not even sure whether he was telling her the truth. And the compensation he offered was 25 per cent of the price that she paid for the saree. She had no option but to accept it because she had no receipt detailing the kind of saree that was given or that she had given a new saree for stitching.

Similarly, when you get a product repaired, there is every possibility that the repair work done is not to your satisfaction. Or you may find that the parts replaced are not genuine. And you may need to write to the service centre or the manufacturer, bringing this fact to their notice. Or eventually, you may even have to go to the consumer court for settling a dispute. In all such cases, you need proper documents to support your claim. So remember: the next time you give some goods for repair or even clothes for stitching, collect a proper receipt. And do not be apologetic about it.


Playing cricket in nude

London: After all those cricket scandals about match-fixing and girls following players to their rooms, here comes another — they’ve started playing cricket in the nude.

Last week the police came to break up a match being played by naked cricketers at the Ben Rhydding Cricket Club likely, Yorkshire, the county that produced Geoff Boycott. A neighbour who watched the game being played at night on a wicket lit up by car headlamps called in the police.

“We got a call that a game of naked cricket was in progress,” the police spokeswoman for the West Yorkshire police told IANS. “The cricketers were packing up to leave when the police arrived. They were suitably advised but no further action was taken,” she added.

Nude cricket has come to be something of a tradition in Yorkshire. Two months ago, nother match brought the police in. This time the cricketers were caught out by the moonlight, not by headlights. The police ordered the cricketers to put their clothes on. — IANS

Morality law thrown at her

San Francisco: A young Virginia woman of Indian origin, who tossed a tofu pie at a federal Cabinet member in May to protest the inhuman treatment of animals, has had law officials throw the book at her for “living in sin.”

Federal law officials in her hometown of Norfolk, citing an old Virginia law, have told 24-year-old Arathi Jayaram that she must either get married to the man she’s living with right away, move out of his house, or face a jail term.

Under the state law, it is illegal for an unmarried couple to cohabitate. “This is outrageous, this is ridiculous,” Jayaram told the California newspaper India-West in a telephone interview. “I don’t know why they would want to break up two people who are in love.” — IANS

Digital tech for film-making

CHANDIGARH: For the first time, digital technology has been launched in India. It has been introduced by Digital Talkies, the brainchild of Shekhar Kapur, film-maker, Hari Shankar Bhartia, industrialist, Suhel Seth, an advertising professional, and Pia Singh of the DLF family.

Explaining the impact of digital film-making and his first-ever involvement in a company of this kind, Shekhar Kapur said: “Worldwide digital film-making technology has enabled cine talent to move away from the rigidity of both an arctic process of film-making as well as its system of distribution to facilitate unbridled expression of talent anywhere, any time and in any manner across the world”. — TNS



Bharti Telenet

SHIMLA, Sept 30 (TNS)— Bharti Telenet will provide domestic long distance telephone service between Amritsar and Delhi and also connect Madhya Pradesh, West Bombay and southern part of the country with a 25,000 km long optical fibre cable. Announcing this here today, Mr Rajan Bharti Mittal, Joint Managing Director of the Bharti Enterprises, told newsmen that the project will cost about Rs 2,000 crore and work on it has already started. He said that the mobile phone service of Air Tel will be extended to Dharamsala, Bilaspur, Palampur and Kangra by the end of this year. The Paonta Sahib area was being surveyed for connectivity.


CHANDIGARH, Sept 30 (TNS)— NABARD has sanctioned two projects to the Punjab government for creation of rural infrastructure from the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund. The first project is for the construction of 19 km long drain and 178 bridges, cross-drainage works and water courses crossings for which NABARD has sanctioned the assistance of Rs 3,493.24 lakh. The second project is a bridge on the Beas on the Mukerian-Gurdaspur-Dera Baba Nanak road. It will link Hoshiarpur with Gurdaspur. The assistance of Rs 2,214 lakh has been sanctioned to Punjab.

CHANDIGARH, Sept 30 (TNS)— To cater to the needs of buyers and sellers of petrochemicals, bulk drugs, dyes and other chemicals, has come out with a portal providing details about the domestic as well as the international trade and also dealers. Mr Ramesh Patodia, CEO of the company says that the site will provide comprehensive logistics, order tracking and payment solutions. Chemb has two trading modules — a virtual chemical mall with online browsing and ordering facility called the “chemical bazaar” and other module for bulk purchases called “reverse chem auction” where buyers set up an auction for their requirements.

Dairy expo

NEW DELHI, Sept 30 (TNS)— The second International Dairy and Food Technology Expo 2000 is being organised by Tafcon Projects here from October 3. The expo will focus on the processed food industry, especially technology, machinery and equipment.


NEW DELHI, Sept 30 (TNS)— Travel jini, the ICICI incubated travel portal, has won the Golden Mouse Award, as the best travel site of the year, a release said here today.

Maruti price

NEW DELHI, Sept 30 (PTI) — Maruti Udyog today postponed its much-awaited announcement regarding the price hike of various models, including Maruti-800 and Omni vans, for a few days due to consecutive holidays. The company is likely to announce the new prices on October 3 or 4 company sources said.


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