Tuesday, November 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

B U S I N E S S

Infosys slashes revenue growth rate

Kolkata, November 19
Due to global economic depression, Infosys Technologies has scaled down the revenue growth rate for the current fiscal to 30 per cent at $ 530-545 million against a 100 per cent jump the previous year.

Infosys Managing Director Nandan Nilekani
Infosys Managing Director Nandan Nilekani speaks at a business conference in Kolkata on Monday. — Reuters photo

Infosys, BSES, Kurien, Oberoi get ICSI awards
New Delhi, November 19
Dr V. Kurien, Chairman Emeritus, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), and Mr Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi, Chairman of the Oberoi Group, today received the “ICSI life time achievement award for translating excellence in corporate governance into reality.”



EARLIER STORIES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
 

G-20 differs on how to fight poverty

Ottawa, November 19
Although the World Bank and the IMF vowed to have to step up the fight against poverty, none of the 20 nations at an Ottawa economic summit over the weekend pledged immediate new aid, and divisions remained on how to tackle the problem.

World Bank President James Wolfensohn, right, and Clare Short, Britain's International Development Secretary, centre, talk with Mr Yashwant Sinha, Chairman of the meeting and India's Finance Minister, prior to the start of the meeting of the Development Committee of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Ottawa, Canada, on Sunday.
 — AP/PTI photo

World Bank President James Wolfensohn and Clare Short, Britain's International Development Secretary, talk with Indian Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha.

Govt plans FDI in housing
New Delhi, November 19
The government would shortly finalise the modalities of allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the housing sector while planning to unlock idle land resources under Railways, Defence, Communication and PSUs and use it commercially.

Power centres for Karnal, Sonepat
Panchkula, November 19
The Ministry of Power has sanctioned Rs 300 crore to the Haryana Government for opening four centres for power supply distribution. It is learnt that Karnal, Sonepat, Hisar and Faridabad districts in the state have been chosen “model power centres”, among 60 other districts all over the country.

Idma group signs MoU with HSIDC
New Delhi, November 19
The Idma group of UK has signed a memorandum of understanding with Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC) for attracting investment from its associate firms based at UK and Hong Kong in the areas of bio-technology, infrastructure, food storage and bulk handling and electronics etc in Haryana.

‘Impose no local tax under VAT regime’
Chandigarh, November 19
A comparative study on draft VAT Acts of different states undertaken by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown considerable variance in respect of tax structure classification of commodities, status of Central Sales Tax and other local levies , entry tax, exports etc.

BoP ties up with co-op bank
Chandigarh, November 19
Bank of Punjab Ltd, has entered into a tie-up with the Punjab State Cooperative Bank (PSCB) for issuance of Co-Branded Debit Cards to the customers of Punjab State Cooperative Bank and installation of ATMs of the bank at select branches at Chandigarh and other locations.

ROUND-UP

Compaq market share up 129 pc
Bangalore, November 19
Compaq Computer Asia Pacific today announced substantial growth in its share of Asia Pacific direct Internet PC shipments among computer manufacturers for the second quarter 2001.

  • RRBs record 18 pc growth

  • Gold demand falls by 17 pc

  • Palm oil import demand rises



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Infosys slashes revenue growth rate

Kolkata, November 19
Due to global economic depression, Infosys Technologies has scaled down the revenue growth rate for the current fiscal to 30 per cent at $ 530-545 million against a 100 per cent jump the previous year.

Infosys Managing Director, President and Chief Operating Officer of the company Nandan M. Nilekani said the revenue was expected to grow by a mere 30 per cent compared to 100 per cent achieved in the previous year. “The company is targeting a revenue of around $ 137 million in the fourth quarter resulting in a total revenue of $ 530 million to $ 545 million by the end of March 2002,” he said.

Mr Nilekani was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the seminar on information, communication and entertainment orgainsed by the CII.

Mr Nilekani attributed the drop in the revenues to the depression in the international market.

The international market constitutes about 98 per cent of the total revenue of the company, of which around 68 to 70 per cent represents the revenue earned from the USA. UNI

Wipro wins Dubai e-government deal

Dubai
Wipro has won a Dubai e-government contract to maintain the emirate's portal in a deal costing 3.67 million dirhams.

The deal, which covers software maintenance, is likely to be a recurring annual revenue source, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, in Dubai for a short visit, was quoted as saying.

Wipro, which opened its offices at the Dubai Internet City in June, has 30 qualified staff members as it seeks to hunt newer opportunities in the region.

Apart from the UAE, Wipro has a presence in Saudi Arabia, and plans to set up an office in Kuwait "within the next two quarters."

During his visit to Dubai, Premji held a meeting with Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

His talks with the crown Prince covered Wipro's plans as well as cooperation in the field of IT.

"We already have a strong presence in the USA, Europe and Japan, and are now seeking to aggressively build our presence in the Middle East and Asia Pacific markets," he reportedly said.

The Gulf countries were on the threshold of adopting new technology, with Dubai being in the forefront.

"Dubai has all the elements in place to become a strong IT centre, and here I see local companies leveraging Indian corporates' software strengths to develop local capabilities," he told a local paper. IANS

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Infosys, BSES, Kurien, Oberoi get ICSI awards

New Delhi, November 19
Dr V. Kurien, Chairman Emeritus, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), and Mr Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi, Chairman of the Oberoi Group, today received the “ICSI life time achievement award for translating excellence in corporate governance into reality.”

Presenting the awards, Vice President Krishan Kant asked companies to take the initiative to improve corporate governance practices voluntarily.

The ICSI National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance was presented to the “Best Governed Company” Infosys Technologies Limited, Bangalore and the award for the second best governed company has gone to BSES Limited, Mumbai.

Awards were also presented to the Company Secretaries of the awardee companies — Mr V. Balakrishnan of Infosys and Mr Ramesh Shenoy of BSES.

Mr Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, who was the Chairman of the awards jury, lauded the Institute’s efforts in coming up with the awards. UNI

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G-20 differs on how to fight poverty

Ottawa, November 19
Although the World Bank and the IMF vowed to have to step up the fight against poverty, none of the 20 nations at an Ottawa economic summit over the weekend pledged immediate new aid, and divisions remained on how to tackle the problem.

The summit’s final day yesterday came with news that heightened the importance of the problem: The World Bank warned that global poverty worsened by the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA threatened the future security of every nation.

While the UK has called for a $ 50-billion-a-year aid boost, the USA questioned the impact Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) has had over the past 50 years.

However, in the light of the terrorist attacks, said World Bank President James Wolfensohn, more ministers talked about increasing ODA than at any other time.

The notion of two worlds — a rich and poor or a developed and developing world — was collapsed at the time when the World Trade Center came down, he said.

Although no new aid was pledged at the meeting of the Group of 20 rich and poor nations and the IMF and World Bank, the issue is to be taken up at a United Nations conference early next year in Mexico.

“We didn’t expect people to bring their chequebooks to this meeting,’’ Wolfensohn said. “I wish they had, but they didn’t.’’

The World Bank committee’s outgoing Chairman, Indian Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, said clear anti-poverty targets have yet to be set.

The World Bank estimated that because of the terrorist attacks, 10 million more people could now fall below the extreme poverty line, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Such a drop was expected to cause up to 40,000 additional child deaths, it said.

Many low and middle-income economies have stagnated as tourism to regions like the Caribbean has slumped, capital flows to emerging markets have dried up, trade growth has slowed from 13 per cent in 2000 to 2 per cent this year, and commodity prices have fallen.

The bank said it was likely to face demands for an additional $ 1.5 billion to 2 billion in loans next year under its poverty reduction and growth facility, which grants low-income loans to the poorest nations.

The policy-making Development Committee said the bank should respond effectively and promptly to current circumstances and emerging needs.

Six highly indebted poor countries were expected to have their debt forgiven within half a year, and two or three more would join the 24 nations that now benefit from the initiative, Wolfensohn said. DPA

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Govt plans FDI in housing

New Delhi, November 19
The government would shortly finalise the modalities of allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the housing sector while planning to unlock idle land resources under Railways, Defence, Communication and PSUs and use it commercially.

Speaking at a FICCI seminar on housing, Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar, said the government was in the process of finalising the guidelines for allowing foreign direct investments in the housing sector. He did not divulge details, but indications a portion of FDI would either be through the automatic route and the remaining through the Foreign Investment Promotion board’s approval.

The centre is in the process of gathering suggestions from the industry about the various aspects of the FDI including the locking period of the investments, tax incentives and requisite changes in legislations. PTI

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Power centres for Karnal, Sonepat
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
The Ministry of Power has sanctioned Rs 300 crore to the Haryana Government for opening four centres for power supply distribution.

It is learnt that Karnal, Sonepat, Hisar and Faridabad districts in the state have been chosen “model power centres”, among 60 other districts all over the country. Each of these districts has been allocated a sum of Rs 75 crore under the accelerated power development programme (APDP) of the ministry.

The four districts will now upgrade their power generation, transmission and distribution facilities to ensure an uninterrupted with optimum voltage power supply. Hi- tech equipment will be installed at these power stations. Thus the model power stations in the state will be operational within two years, said Mr Satnam Singh, General Manager of the Power Finance Corporation, New Delhi. He was here to deliver a seminar on Power For All — Vision 2012.

He said money sanctioned for these model power stations will be utilised for upgrading the transmission mechanism and thus reducing the losses incurred in transmission and distribution, which account for 20 to 30 per cent. This will also go a long way in solving the problem of erratic power supply in these industrial belts in the state and will subsequently be opened in other districts.

The General Manager of the corporation said all electricity consumers should ware meters which would alone go a long way in helping solve the power crisis. According to the figures made available by the Power Finance Corporation Limited, of the total power generated in the country, a meagre 55 percent is billed and the collections received by the government are for only 45 percent of this power.

While talking to TNS, Mr Satnam Singh criticised the vote bank politics that allowed for cross subsidies on power by way of free power to farmers, as in case of Punjab.

“All states have been asked to pay the subsidies to state electricity boards in advance. No aid will be given to these states by the PFC in case of crisis,” he said.

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Idma group signs MoU with HSIDC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19
The Idma group of UK has signed a memorandum of understanding with Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC) for attracting investment from its associate firms based at UK and Hong Kong in the areas of bio-technology, infrastructure, food storage and bulk handling and electronics etc in Haryana.

The MoU was signed by the Chairman of Idma group, Sir William Dowling and the Managing Director of HSIDC, Dr Harbakhsh Singh in the presence of Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala, here last evening. The MoU entails both the parties to negotiate for setting up projects in the areas and to set the terms and conditions of a formal agreement to be entered into within a period of six months.

The MoU with Idma is a culmination of the efforts made by the State government to firm up foreign investment to Haryana during the proposed visit of the delegation headed by the Chief Minister of London last month. The visit had to be called off due to unavoidable circumstances effecting international scenario after the terrorist activities in US. Various event were lined up during the delegation’s visit to London which included signing of MoU’s involving an investment of about Rs 800 crore in Haryana.

Two MoU’s were lined up to be signed between Haryana Government with MHM group of companies and Idma group of companies based at UK. Despite the last minutes cancellation of the proposed visit, Idma group was very keen to join hands with the Haryana Government for scouting investment from its group companies. The above MoU marks the beginning of a new chapter between the Haryana government and Idma group which already has a presence in Haryana in the shape of a state-of-the-art testing laboratory at Panchkula.

The Idma group shall help HSIDC in setting up a genome and Bio-engineering research facilities through its associate company M/s Allcare Health Products. In the field of infrastructure and industrial parks, the group proposed to mobilise investment as a member of a consortium, which is handling similar projects in Saudi Arabia. Idma group through its Chinese operations has vast contacts with Hong Kong based industrial gorups which are scouting for setting up manufacturing bases outside China. One of the associate companies of the group also plans to set up 40 million Pounds projects for modular housing using agro waste as a raw material.

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‘Impose no local tax under VAT regime’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
A comparative study on draft VAT Acts of different states undertaken by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown considerable variance in respect of tax structure classification of commodities, status of Central Sales Tax and other local levies , entry tax, exports etc.

While the Delhi VAT Act proposes multiple rate structure ranging from 1 per cent to 40 per cent, Madhya Pradesh has proposed five rates with ceiling of 25 per cent and Maharashtra has not specified any rates. Haryana has proposed two rates — 4 per cent and 10 per cent whereas Uttar Pradesh has fixed 20 per cent maximum rate.

The Chamber, in regard to the classification of commodities, has pointed out that the drafts Acts have not specified schedule of items and has stated that the schedule should be uniform across all states based on the Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN).

A firm commitment to reduce CST is essential and simplification of the provision of refunds in case of exports is required, the Chamber has stated. The Chamber has also stated that there should be no other local tax under the VAT regime.

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BoP ties up with co-op bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Bank of Punjab Ltd, has entered into a tie-up with the Punjab State Cooperative Bank (PSCB) for issuance of Co-Branded Debit Cards to the customers of Punjab State Cooperative Bank and installation of ATMs of the bank at select branches at Chandigarh and other locations.

First such ATM is being installed at PSCB branch office at Sector 35-C, here. This ATM was inaugurated today by the Co-operation Minister, Punjab, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura. Second such ATM will be installed at PSCB in Sector 17. BoP already has similar tie-up with Himachal State Cooperative Bank.

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Bharti Televentures IPO

Kolkata, November 19
Bharti Televentures Ltd would float its initial public offering (IPO) in the first quarter of the next calendar year. The size of the issue is expected to be around Rs 675 core, representing 10 per cent of the paid-up capital. The Vice-Chairman of JM Morgan Stanley Ltd, Naina Lal Kidwai, told PTI on the sidelines of the CII-organised ICE Summit here today that the prospectus of the IPO has already been filed with the SEBI.

JM Morgan Stanley is the lead manager to the issue, with DSP Merrill Lynch being the co-book runner. The money would be raised through the book building route, she said. PTI

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Milk Day function postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Milkfed’s Milk Day celebrations which were to be held at Stadium Rampura Phul, in Bathinda on Tuesday, have been postponed, says a Press note issued by the Managing Director of Milkfed.

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ROUND-UP

Compaq market share up 129 pc

Bangalore, November 19
Compaq Computer Asia Pacific today announced substantial growth in its share of Asia Pacific direct Internet PC shipments among computer manufacturers for the second quarter 2001.

According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Asia Pacific PC Tracker quarterly report, Compaq’s market share grew 129 per cent from the second quarter of the previous year, a Compaq statement said.

Worldwide IDC PC Tracker figures showed that Compaq’s market share grew 70 per cent year over year, moving Compaq into second place in global internet direct sales, it said.

In India, the statement said, “this trend is strongly reflected in the sales from Compaq India’s online PC store, CoolDukaan.”

CoolDukaan completed one year in October 2001 and has till date recorded pure B2C sales of over 1600 PCs amounting to Rs 6 crore in revenues making it one of the leading e-commerce sites in India.

“This figure is in addition to Compaq’s B2B revenues. CoolDukaan is backed by a domestic centralised call centre, which is the first of its kind in India for PC sales,” the statement said. PTI

RRBs record 18 pc growth

Bangalore
Ten Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) sponsored by Syndicate Bank have registered operating profit of Rs 66 crore during the first half of 2001-2002.

“The RRBs are all set to surpass their annual profit target of Rs 159 crore for the year”, a Syndicate Bank press release said here today. The RRBs have achieved a total business of Rs 6167 crore at the end of the first half of 2001-02 posting year to year growth of 18 per cent. UNI

Gold demand falls by 17 pc

New Delhi
Gold demand in the country has sharply declined by 17 per cent during July-September this year from last year’s level, particularly due to the inauspicious period for gold buying in hindu calendar and volatility of prices after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, World Gold Council (WGC) has said.

While global gold demand for the third quarter (Jan-Sept) was 7 per cent below at 755 tonnes than previous year’s level, in India a six-week inauspicious period for gold purchases since August end and volatile prices after September 11 deterred gold buying, WGC latest data revealed. PTI

Palm oil import demand rises

Kuala lumpur
Tight global soyoil supplies and falling domestic edible oil stocks will encourage Indian buyers to increase palm oil imports for the rest of 2001 despite higher taxes, traders said.

Benchmark prices have fallen 6 per cent from a recent three-month peak, offering another incentive for Indian buyers to lock in imports at relatively cheaper prices, traders said. Reuters

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BIZ BRIEFS

Journeymart.com
Chandigarh, November 19
Journeymart.com has tied up with Intel Online Services for hosting solutions. According to a company press release, the technical and strategic integration of the travel platform is now complete on infrastructure provided by Intel. Director South Asia, Intel Corporation said, “Intel Online Services hosts mission critical sites like the US Army, American Stock Exchange, BBC, Sony, Kodak and several others and will provide Journeymart.com with robust, scalable and secure solution”. TNS

Bacardi Martini
Chandigarh, November 19
Bacardi Martini will offer an exclusive Parker pen free with the festive pack of its white rum brand Bacardi Carta Blanca. The offer will be valid for the customers in Punjab, Rajasthan, Bangalore and Mumbai, stated Mr Jeff Macdonald, Director Marketing, BMIL in a press release today. TNS

PFC mops up 354 cr
New Delhi, November 19
Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has mopped up Rs 354 crore from the bond market last week taking its total borrowing to over Rs 1,970 crore during the current financial year. “We have raised Rs 354 crore with an oversubscription of Rs 104 crore from the bond market at a coupon rate of 9.70,” A. Krishnamoorthy, Director (Finance), PFC, said, adding that the Corporation has decided to retain the oversubscription. PTI

Tata group
New Delhi, November 19
Tata group companies Tisco and Tata Projects have bagged the prestigious Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) awards. Tisco has bagged the all India trophy for top exporters in the large scale manufacturing sector while Tata Projects bagged the All India Trophy for highest exporters in turnkey project export, an EEPC release said. PTI

Kanbay centre
Chandigarh, November 19
Kanbay, the global e-Enterprise Integrator has opened technology centre in Pune. Mr David Good, Consul General of the USA inaugurated it. The company will provide technological solutions primarily to the financial services sector. TNS

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