Sunday, October 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Kisan cards fail to get banks’ support
CHANDIGARH, Oct 21 — Kisan Credit Cards, which were introduced to help the farmers, do not seem to have really picked up in Punjab and Haryana, the two biggest agrarian states in the country.

Revise floor rates on commodities
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 — The Northern States should revise the minimum floor rates on commodities to 2, 4, and 6 per cent in place of 4, 8 and 12 per cent to encourage demand growth and to enhance the competitiveness of industry.

10 courts to deal with bounced cheques
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 — The Delhi High Court has set up 10 special courts to exclusively deal with cases relating to dishonoured cheques for insufficient amount of money.

Nip counterfeiting of consumer products
NDIA has a market for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) of over Rs 6,000 crore. Loss due to counterfeit products is estimated at Rs 1,700 crore. Revenue loss to government is estimated at Rs 1,200 crore.

SBI launches new deposit scheme
CHANDIGARH, Oct 21 — The State Bank of India, today launched its India Millennium Deposit Programme (IMD). It is a 5-year foreign currency denominated deposit programme for mobilising funds from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). 

Zydus Cadila net up 60 pc
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 — Zydus Cadila has registered a 60 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 37.65 crore during the first half of this fiscal against Rs 23.61 crore in the previous H1.

In the wonderland of investment
uestions on investment answerd





Kisan cards fail to get banks’ support
By Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct21 — Kisan Credit Cards, which were introduced to help the farmers, do not seem to have really picked up in Punjab and Haryana, the two biggest agrarian states in the country. Even as more than two years have passed when these were introduced in the country the banks in the region have not been able to sanction even 50 per cent of the target which has to be attained by March next year.

Reportedly, Central Co-operative Banks in Punjab had not issued a single card as on October 10, 2000 whereas the target for to be achieved by CCBs is 1,75,000.The number of cards issued by the Regional Rural Banks on the same date was 6,655 against the target of 12,300. Performance of the commercial banks, however, is encouraging which have issued 30,404 cards by the end of June this year .

Achievement being far below the targets, say officials, is not an encouraging sign ,when the state is agriculture-oriented state. The reason has been attributed to lack of required efforts by the banks in the region to popularise the Kisan Credit Cards. The matter which was taken up in the State Level Banker's Committee, Haryana, mainly emphasized that banks having performance far below the targets, need to make the farmers aware about the facilities which they can avail under the same ."Awareness campaigns need to be carried and the banks need to take individual responsibility upon them ", said an official.

Though in Haryana also the picture is not very rosy, but performance of banks in this region is better as compared to Punjab and the targets, it seems, will be attained by the end of the year total. A number of cards issued by CCBs till August 2000 was 76,814(less than 40 per cent of the target) , whereas the target they have to achieve by the end of the year is 2,00,000 cards. Unlike Punjab where commercial banks have dominated the scenario, here it is the RRBs which have exceeded the targets much in advance. The target figure to be attained by RRBs by March next year is 10,200 whereas the RRBs have already issued 11,445 cards. Till June 2000, the commercial banks in Haryana have issued more than one thousand cards.

Reportedly, cards were started in Punjab last year with the objective to help the farmers readily purchase agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilizers, and also draw cash for production needs. These cards are given to the farmers on the basis of land holdings .

Absence of proper follow- up after the disbursement by the banks and lack of initiative to make the farmers aware about the same have been responsible for the poor performance on this front. Reportedly a study was also conducted soon after the cards were launched to find out the loopholes in the implementation. It was found that most of the farmers ended up in drawing money in lumpsum, which increases the chances of misutilisation of funds.



Revise floor rates on commodities
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Oct 21 — The Northern States should revise the minimum floor rates on commodities to 2, 4, and 6 per cent in place of 4, 8 and 12 per cent to encourage demand growth and to enhance the competitiveness of industry.

“The decision for uniform floor rates has no doubt the merit of ending the unhealth competition amongst states and promoting a common market, but on account of the high rates its impact on growth of industry is detrimental,” the PHDCCI observed.

This is more so for the Northern states who suffer from the inherent locational disadvantage of being land locked. The region has a very large number of small and medium enterprises. The high rates are neither conducive for demand growth nor desirable from the compliance angle. Other measure for rationalisation and simplification of procedures to facilitate free movement of goods are over due, the chambers observed.

The states also impose other taxes and levies which adversely affect the competitiveness of industry by adding to cost like sales tax. For instance, foodgrains in Punjab are subjected to a purchase tax of four per cent, rural development fee of two per cent and market fee of two per cent.

Other states also impose different forms of taxes and cess such as local area development tax in Haryana, infrastructure cess in Punjab and entry tax in Delhi.

Reforms of the sales tax structure will not achieve the desired purpose unless the rate structure and the other anomalies are corrected, the chamber observed.

Although for most of the commodities uniform floor rates of sales tax have been fixed, some states continue to give preferential treatment to a few commodities, thereby to an extend diluting the objective of harmonization in tax structure.

The classification of various commodities in various rate categories has not been objectively determined on healthy principles of public finance in order to raise incremental revenue through expansion of industry and trade.

A two rate VAT is desirable on the pattern of the recommendations of a two rate sales tax suggest by the Chelliah Committee because this shall enable revenue neutrality as the state switches over to a new system, the PHDCCI said.



10 courts to deal with bounced cheques

NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (UNI) — The Delhi High Court has set up 10 special courts to exclusively deal with cases relating to dishonoured cheques for insufficient amount of money.

Justice Dalveer Bhandari said six of these courts should be set up within a month at Patiala House where 36,525 such cases are pending and four at Tis Hazari where 15,030 cases are pending. No special court will be set up at Karkardooma where 2,169 cases are pending.

A total of 53,724 complaints under Sections 138 to 142 of the Negotiable Instrumental Act where pending in Delhi courts on September 30. Looking at the manner in which these complaints are at present adjudicated by trial courts, it will take at least eight to 10 years before most of these complaints are settled, the Judge said.

The entire purpose of incorporating these provisions by amendment stands totally defeated. The courts must adopt pragmatic approach in dealing with such cases, the Judge said.

It must be clearly understood that these complaints emanate from commercial transactions. “In most cases, the complaints are interested in the money due from the accused and they have little interest in securing their conviction”.

The Judge said the accused also file multiple proceedings primarily to gain time even when they fully understand inherent weakness of their cases. The courts should not become victims of this design of the accused. In most of these cases, the accused hardly has any defence.

Justice Bhandari said in case the Judicial Officer concerned is not able to dispose of the complaint within six months, then he must submit a report to the District and Sessions Judge indicating the reasons for it.



Nip counterfeiting of consumer products
By P.D. Sharma

INDIA has a market for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) of over Rs 6,000 crore. Loss due to counterfeit products is estimated at Rs 1,700 crore. Revenue loss to government is estimated at Rs 1,200 crore. Foreign invested companies are suffering the most. Procter and Gamble estimates sale loss of $ 150 million Nike ($70m); Unilever ($24m), Gillette ($20m) and Johnson & Johnson ($15m).

AC Nielsen in its pilot research study has found that of the 30 FMCG Companies counterfeiting is rampant for 20. Drugs and pharmaceuticals, electric bulbs, paints, pens, cosmetics, shaving blades, petroleum products automotive parts, bicycle parts and confectionary items etc. have a wide spread counterfeiting.

Punjab’s reputed manufacturers are also facing this menace. Reputed manufacturers of bicycle parts with well-known brand names like Hero, Avon, Neelam and Bhogals are always on tender hooks against this danger. Bhogals have fought many battles on this front. Neelam has unearthed many counterfeiters. Surprisingly enough a known bicycle brand was found in some African country exported by counterfeiter.

There may be many manufacturers of spurious paints copying popular brands. Spurious drug manufacturers have some pockets. Spurious automotive parts have a good market for the counterfeiters to expand their businesses. Number of garment manufacturers using popular brands is also growing.

Consumer awareness is essential to detect counterfeit goods. Counterfeiters not only copy the trade mark but mention the name of the manufacturing company; sometimes with full address. For instance Asian Paints is also selling as Asian Paints with look alike tins. Neelam brand of bicycle parts is being marketed as Nilam; may be Hero becomes Hiro and Avon sold as Avun.

A report of National Council of Applied Economic Research on spurious automotive components says that full fledged manufacturing of spurious components is generally taken up when technology involved is not complicated and process can be carried out with moderate investment.

Legal protection for brands is relatively thin. Under the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act 1958 counterfeiting of goods is recongnised as a non-cognisable offence. This means that bail can be granted by the police and court order is required to arrest a person guilty of conterfeiting. New Trade Mark Act is going to be notified soon. Under the new Law counterfeiting is cognisable offence and bail can be granted only by the court. Police can immediately arrest a person found guitly of counterfeiting. Term of imprisonment has been prolonged from six months to three years.

Apart from all these efforts government should launch a strong propaganda against counterfeiting through electronics media. 



SBI launches new deposit scheme
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 21 — The State Bank of India, today launched its India Millennium Deposit Programme (IMD). It is a 5-year foreign currency denominated deposit programme for mobilising funds from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). The programme will remain open for a period of 30 days but could be closed on any date prior to the aforesaid period at the discretion of SBI. However, the closure shall not be earlier than October 31.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr T.S. Bhattacharya, General Manager (Commercial) of the Chandigarh Circle of the SBI advised that five branches in the circle namely NRI Jalandhar, NRI Chandigarh, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, Banga and Hoshiarpur had been designated as collecting branches to accept/handle application under IMD programme.

The product offers an annual return of 8.5 percent on dollar deposits and 7.85 per cent on pound sterling deposits. On Euro deposit, the return will be at 6.85 per cent. The depositor will have two options for receiving payment of interest — either at half-yearly intervals or cumulatively on maturity. Interest and Principal will be fully repatriable for non-resident holders.

He further advised that the SBI will launch its (MD) programme in all countries where local regulatory matters allow the SBI to implement IMD within the time frame of this deposit programme. He further advised that due to applicable regulatory matters in the United States, it is not possible to implement the IMD programme within the timeframe of this deposit programme. Accordingly, IMD programme is not extended to the United States or to United States Persons. Mr D.P. Singhal, AGM, of the bank highlighted the features of IMD programme.

In this connection, CBI has also organised yesterday a press conference at Jalandhar which was addressed by Mr D.L. Manwani, General Manager (D&PB).



Zydus Cadila net up 60 pc

NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (UNI) — Zydus Cadila has registered a 60 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 37.65 crore during the first half of this fiscal against Rs 23.61 crore in the previous H1.

The company’s turnover stood at Rs 277.84 crore, up 13 per cent over Rs 245.63 crore. Zydus claimed in a statement here that it is growing at the rate of 15.34 per cent, outpacing the industry growth rate of 10.66 per cent due to its focus on therapy management.

The company’s two joint ventures, Sarabhai Zydus Animal Health Limited (SZAHL) and Recon Healthcare Limited, which became operational during the first half of this calendar year posted a growth of 29 per cent and 15 per cent in their net profit respectively during the April-September period. 



In the wonderland of investment
A.N. Shanbhag

Q: I got about Rs 90,000 as pension during the last FY 99-00 as I am retired employee. My income from other sources was Rs 80,000. Am I entitled to standard deduction of Rs 25,000 because my pension is below Rs 1 lakh or is it Rs 20,000 since my income is over Rs 1 lakh?

How much one is entitled for the care and treatment of a handicapped child and what supporting documents are necessary because it is difficult to preserve the bills of medical care and other such items for the whole year.

— N.D. Garg, 30 F.F, Saraswati Vihar, Jalandhar

A: You are entitled to Rs 25,000. Standard deduction has nothing to do with your other income.

The deduction for handicapped depended is Rs 40,000 and you can claim the full amount without needing any proof of having spent the amount on treatment. The fact that your child is handicapped has to be certified by a recognised authority.

Q: On 1.8.1991 I retired voluntarily as a senior officer from Coal India Ltd, under CIL’s voluntary retirement scheme. The gross VRS amounts (ex-gratia) payable to me as per scheme is Rs 5,82,920 and is being paid on monthly basis through post dated cheques of equal amounts till I attain the age of 60 years i.e., 31.9.02. In addition to that I had also received the gross salary of Rs 88.875 from 1.4.99 to 31.7.99.

What should be the tax liability for the current year?

— S.S. Sehgal, House No-HIG 191, Sector 71, Mohali

A: It is impossible to comment without having a look at the terms and conditions of VRS. However, in case your scheme is designed as per the requirements of Sec 10 (10C), you will be entitled to an exemption of Rs 5 lakh. The fact that this amount is spread over a number of years is immaterial. Your total income under the head ‘salary’ would be Rs 1,71,795. You can claim standard deduction of Rs 20,000.

Q: I received some money in June this year after disposing of the ancentral property purchases about 4 decades back. I have no plans to construct/purchase a new house. Advise the options available to me to meet the capital gains tax liabilty.

Can I deposit the money received by me in a nationalised Bank for 3 years or invest it in Mutual Funds under Sec 54EA? And which is better?

Alternatively, can I clear the tax liability in one go by paying 10 per cent of sale proceeds as tax without indexation, a cumbersone procedure? Please throw light on the provisions of Sec 54EC in this connection. It is presumed that above options are available to NRIs as well?

— Dr Santokh Singh Sooch, 48 Waryam Nagar, Jalandhar-3

A: There are several misconceptions in your query. Sec 54EA is no more available. The facility of investing in specially designated bank deposits called CGAS is available if you intend to buy or construct a residential property. Then again, the concessional rate of 10% without indexation is available only in the case of shares and MFs.

You will have to get the fair market value of your ancestral property as on 1.4.1981 from a licensed chartered valuer. Multiply this value with a factor of 4.06. (The current cost inflation index is 406 and that for 1981-82 was 100). This will be the indexed cost of the property. Subtract this figure from your net sales consideration to arrive at the capital gains. Now, either pay tax on this amount @ 20% or invest this amount in any scheme u/s 54EC. So simple!

Q: Whether on long term capital gain on sale of shares (after transfer on my name where holding period is more than 12 month) exemption u/s 54F can be claimed for:

i) Construction of first floor of already constructed house where plot is on my name and on it ground floor is already constructed by me.

ii) If already constructed house is in my father’s name, but I want to construct 1st floor on that house and can I claim exemption u/s 54F for the amount spent by me on construction of that house. Where 1st floor is for my own use and is considered as separate completion certificate required from local development agency that is HUDA in this case.

iii) Whether I can claim exemption u/s 88 for principal repayment of loan and interest on borrowed capital u/s 24 where annual value is taken NIL for construction of 1st floor of house where plot is in my name and on it ground floor is already constructed by me but now I want to take loan for construction of 1st floor and loan taken is in my name and I want to use 1st floor for my own use also 1st floor is considered as separate unit and separate completion certificate is required from local development agency that is HUDA in this case.

— Ajay Aggarwal, H.No-1420, Sector-4, Panchkula, pin-134112

A: Deduction u/s 54F is not available for extension of a house, whether standing in your name or otherwise. Similarly, Sec 88 benefit is available on repayment of loans taken for purchase or construction. If you can arrange to treat it as a separate block and the municipal records would recognise it as such you will be able to get the best benefits. However, deduction of interest on loan is eligible even for repairs, renewals or reconstructions of a housing property.



by Praful R. Desai

Separate puja room

Q: Is the requirement of the landlord to have a separate room for puja bonafide?

Ans: In Ram Pratap Sharma v Smt Rukman Devi (2000 (2) RCJ 71) Delhi HC was dealing with this point.

It was contended before the HC that a room which was vacated by Roshan Lal has not taken into account by the Rent Controller and if that room would have been taken into consideration as accommodation available with the landlord then there was no bona fide requirement on the part of landlord as his requirement was satisfied.

The HC observed, after period of the record, with regard to the room vacated by Roshan Lal on the ground floor in the year 1986, in view of the fact that it has been brought on record that, that room was being used by third son for sleeping purpose.

The HC further observed that in the impugned order the lower Court did not agree with the requirement of the landlord for Puja room, on the ground that she was not keeping a room for Puja purpose separately and, therefore, requirement of Puja room was not necessary for the landlord herein.

In the society in which we live, religious and social ethos make it necessary to have a Puja room separately. A landlord cannot be compelled to have a Puja room in a dining room or bed room. Therefore, it was not necessary that a landlord must have to show that he was having a separate puja room at the time of filing a petition in order to establish the requirement of puja room.

With these observations the HC dismissed the present Civil Revision Petition. Even otherwise, the HC added that it did not find any infirmity with the order passed by Rent Controller.



Food-fight!!! The Godrej group is planning to either fully withdraw itself, or dilute its equity stake in the Godrej-Pillsbury JV. The company feels that Pillsbury has not made enough investments to expand the distribution network for the group’s products, on account of which the reach of Godrej brands has stagnated. The JV markets and distributes popular brands such as Pillsbury chakki fresh atta, green giant canned corn, ‘Jumpin’ fruit juices and Cooklite oil.

Finally the old warhorse is waking up. This organisation is planning to transform its investor services company, UTI Investor Services Ltd., into the country’s largest infotech enterprise, convert it into a three-way joint venture with a foreign and a domestic partner and is also exploring the possibility of listing it overseas. Among those who UTI is talking to for the purpose are Wipro, Global Telesystems, Tata Consultancy Services and GE Caps. Well, better late than never!!!

Dr Reddy’s Lab
This is just what the doctor ordered!!! Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has registered a 26 per cent growth in turnover to Rs 303.96 crore in the first half ended September 30, 2000 as against Rs 241.93 crore in the corresponding period last year. The growth was boosted by an excellent second quarter which registered a 46 per cent increase in sales over the corresponding quarter. A shot in the arm, wot?!!!

Tobacco Ind
Philip Morris admitted for the first time that cigarettes are addictive and harmful, during public hearings in Geneva in the run-up to a global treaty on tobacco control. Until lately, despite scientific evidence and internal documents that have been revealed in litigation in the United States, tobacco companies have refused to acknowledge that vast numbers of people are hooked on nicotine. The companies always claimed that people smoke out of choice. So, will the tobacco majors plans go up in smoke?!!



by Pushpa Girimaji

Renew vehicle insurance policies in time

IF an insurance company wants to impress upon its clients the importance of timely renewal of policies, it can very effectively quote the case of Mr Pradeep Kumar Jain.

On August 15, 1990, Mr Jain met with an accident while driving his car. Five occupants of the car succumbed to the injuries suffered and his car was also extensively damaged. Even as the legal heirs of the deceased filed a case for compensation to the tune of Rs 18 lakh before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Mr Jain realised to his dismay that he did not have an insurance policy at all either to take care of the third party claim or the loss suffered by him on account of the damage to his car.

Citibank, which financed part of the cost of his Maruti 800 had undertaken to renew the policy for the next two years and had even collected from him, two undated cheques addressed to Oriental Insurance which had issued the policy the first year. It was only when the insurance company repudiated the claim saying that the policy had expired did Mr Jain realise the predicament he was in.

Undaunted, he filed a complaint before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission against the bank as well as the insurance company. On the concession made by Citibank that the renewal premium cheque was not delivered by it to the insurance company and thus there was negligence and deficiency in service on its part, the National Commission directed the bank to pay the consumer compensation calculated by Rs 76,990 towards the loss of the car with interest at 18 pe cent calculated from February 1991 till the date of payment. It also said the grant of compensation was without prejudice to the rights of the opposite parties in other proceedings. In so far as the bank’s liability towards third party claim was concerned, the Commission said it had no jurisdiction to decide on that issue as it came under the ambit of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal.

Mr Jain then filed an appeal before the Supreme Court his argument was that having failed to renew the policy, it was the bank’s responsibility to pay the damages awarded by the Motor Accidents Tribunal also. The Supreme Court, in its judgement dated August 12, 1999 (Civil appeal no 6618 of 1995, Pradeep Kumar Jain vs Citibank and another), however, rejected this claim. While doing so, it pointed out that Section 146 of the Motor Vehicles Act made it obligatory on the part of the owner of a vehicle to take an insurance policy covering third party risk.

Driving a vehicle without obtaining such an insurance policy was punishable under Section 196 of the Act. Thus the consumer also had certain duties to discharge in the matter of obtaining an insurance policy. In view of this, the consumer or the owner of the vehicle should have shown some anxiety in ensuring that such a policy as required under the law existed or the insurance policy was duly renewed by the bank, as promised. In the absence of any evidence to that effect, he could not claim that merely because he had passed on the cheques to the bank, the entire liability to pay all damages would be on the bank. In other words, there was not enough material to grant relief sought by the appellant, the Supreme Court said.

It also said that in so far as the made and settled before the National Commission towards the loss on account of the damage to the car was concerned, it was proceeded on the basis of the concession made by the bank and therefore that cannot be made the foundation for grant of relief sought by the consumer in case of third party claim.

So the next time a bank or a finance company insists on keeping your insurance papers and renewing it, do not repose complete faith in its efficiency. Ask them to give an undertaking that they would be liable for all the consequences of their failure to renew the policy. However, do check whether it has actually been renewed because under Section 146 of the Motor Vehicles Act, you cannot drive a vehicle in a public place without third party insurance. And under Section 158 you are also expected to show the certificate of insurance, vehicle registration and your driving licence when asked by a police officer. So ask for a copy of the policy and keep it with you. Also maintain a record of all your correspondence in this regard. Give the insurance company your accurate address so that the reminder letter reaches you in time... It would be much better if you yourself took the responsibility of renewing the vehicle insurance policy. Remember, vehicle insurance policies also specify the time of renewal. 



NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (TNS) — Samsung Electronics India has launched two new GSM phones - SGH 2400 and SGH A100 - in the country. Both phones support dual band coverage including GSM 900 and DCS 1800 frequencies.

NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (TNS) — Canon and Mahatta Camera Corporation have launched PowerShot ditigal IXUS, world’s smallest and lightest zoom lens digital camera in the country, whose length is almost equivalent to that of a credit card.

NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (TNS) — The noted jewellery designer Ashim Sablok has launched his new “eternal love” collection, which are imagery concepts of Ellora caves through fascimile figures in jewellery. The concept is basically is revival a those trends, which were prevalent in the 19th century.

CHANDIGARH, Oct 21 (TNS) — Samsonite has opened its first exclusive showroom in Sector 17 here after New Delhi in the Northern region. Samsonite plans to launch shoes and golf kit soon. Samsonite is giving Rs 500 opening discount on all-types of ladies purses. Its other operating showrooms are in Mumbai, Secunderabad, Delhi and Calcutta.

XO Infotech
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (TNS) — Hewlett Packard, Lucent Technologies and Intel have entered into a strategic alliance with the Gurgaon based XO Infotech for the manufacture of memory cards, telecom cards and computerised motherboard design and development, respectively.

NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (TNS) — Quantum Corporation has launched Atlas 10K III disk drive for high performance workstations, enterprise servers and storage subsystems.

Hindustan Inks
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (TNS) — Hindustan Inks and Resins Limited has registered a growth of 36 per cent to Rs 144.6 crore for the first six months ending September 30, compared to first half of the previous period.
NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (TNS) — One of the largest portals on festival of lights,, has online arti, diwali e-cards, screensavers and wallpapers. The site differs from others by providing stories and significant days associated with the occasion and it has a section on traditions and customs followed on the festival.

NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (TNS) — More than a century old Drexel University, Philadelphia, has tied up with Delhi-based Atari Institute of Technology to offer Master of Science in Information Systems programme and IT/E-Com Diploma. These programmes are being offered by this university for the first time outside the USA.

SBP camp
CHANDIGARH, Oct 21 (TNS) — Mr S.D.S. Sodhi, Deputy General Manager, State Bank of Patiala, Patiala said the bank as part of its efforts to reduce its Non Performing Assets organised a camp of half a dozen branches at Sunam today where 110 cases of farmers and small-scale industries were settled involving amount of Rs 15 lakh. 


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