Friday, December 14, 2001, Chandigarh, India




National Capital Region--Delhi

B U S I N E S S

Attack not to hit industry: CII
New Delhi, December 13
The corporate world today reacted with shock at the terrorist attack on Parliament today. President of the CII, Sanjiv Goenka said the deplorable attack on the largest democratic institution in the world should be taken seriously.

ROUND-UP

Wipro joins hands with Apollo
Bangalore, December 13
Wipro Infotech today entered into a strategic tie-up with Apollo Health Street Ltd, a technology company of the Apollo group, to jointly cater to IT services market in the healthcare segment.

  • Mirant Corp to exit India
  • ‘Soccer ball’ TV to hit market

Zee Tele, Turner sign agreement
Mumbai, December 13
Zee Telefilms and Turner International (India) Private Ltd, an AOL Time Warner Company, today announced an agreement to form a joint venture company, Zee Turner Private Ltd, to manage distribution and trade marketing for a bouquet of channels of the two companies and third party channels in India and South Asia.



EARLIER STORIES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS



Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi waves from Honda Motor's prototype fuel cell car FCX-V3 during a test drive at Parliament on Thursday. He drove prototypes of Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda as part of a bid to promote environment- friendly fuel cell cars.  
— Reuters

A Chinese saleswoman drinks warm water during a break at her promotional stall before a shopping mall in downtown Shanghai on Thursday. Many shops use various kinds of promotion measures to attract customers as the New Year shopping season approaches. — AFP

Indian Inc. eyes Afghanistan
New Delhi, December 13
Indian Inc. is eyeing opportunities in Afghanistan as the international community maps the colossal reconstruction effort that would go into restoring a nation ravaged by war and internecine conflict.

Kawasaki, Suzuki may merge units
Tokyo, December 13

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd and Suzuki Motor Corp may merge their motorcycle units to cut excess capacity and development costs as bike sales sag at home.

Nathpa Jhakri: delay causes cost overrun
Shimla, December 13
With the Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation extending the deadline for the completion of 1500-MW Nathpa Jhakri Project for the third time, the cost of the mega project has more than doubled during the execution period.

2.2 lakh tonnes of urea imported
New Delhi, December 13
India has imported 2.2 lakh tonnes of urea for ensuring a reasonable level of pipeline requirement to prevent any situation of possible shortage during the peak consumption months of Rabi, Mr S. S. Dhindsa said here today.



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Attack not to hit industry: CII
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
The corporate world today reacted with shock at the terrorist attack on Parliament today.

President of the CII, Sanjiv Goenka said the deplorable attack on the largest democratic institution in the world should be taken seriously.

“We should strengthen our resolve to tackle terrorism and prevent such situations in the future. To face the challenge that the nation is confronted with”, Mr Goenka said while pledging full support of the industry to the government.

Praising the efforts of the law enforcement agencies, especially the Delhi Police, in swiftly handling the situation and in containing its fallout, Mr Goenka said there is a need for an appropriate legislation. Quick and decisive moves would be critical to sustaining confidence in the strength of our democratic institutions as well as the country’s security agencies, he said.

Mr Goenka believed that such terrorist acts would not affecting business and industry.

Condemning the terrorists’ attack on Parliament, President of PHDCCI, Arun Kapur said the general public and the industry and trade, in particular, should maintain composure and calm at this hour and assist the government in maintaining law and order.

Mr Kapur said the industry and trade would be the first casualty in the event the law and order get vitiated. This would affect volume of business transacted since the fear psychosis that may envelope would prevent the businessmen and consumers from travelling to different places as a part of the usual business activity. Also the foreign investors may adopt a wait and watch approach if the law and order situation is not conducive for investment, Mr Kapur said.
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Attack jolts sensex too

Mumbai, December 13
After a promising start, stocks suddenly plunged from their early highs and the sensex came crashing down with an intra-day fall of about 132 points at around noon on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) today on panic selling, triggered by the terrorists’ attack on Parliament.

However, the market recovered in the latter part of the session once it was made clear that the killings were restricted to a few security personnel and all ministers and MPs inside Parliament were safe.

The BSE Benchmark 30-share index, that had risen to the day’s high of 3440.52 during the first one hour, crashed in a quick reaction to the news. PTI
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ROUND-UP

Wipro joins hands with Apollo

Bangalore, December 13
Wipro Infotech today entered into a strategic tie-up with Apollo Health Street Ltd, a technology company of the Apollo group, to jointly cater to IT services market in the healthcare segment.

The alliance would help address the healthcare segment in India, Australia, Middle East and the Asia Pacific by providing IT solutions and services to hospitals, drug companies, insurance companies and government, top executives of the two companies told reporters.

The solutions would include implementation skills for hospitals and clinics, decision support systems and data analytics for pharmaceutical companies, claims settlement solutions for insurance companies and e-CRM solutions for doctors, Wipro Infotech President Suresh Vaswani said. PTI

Mirant Corp to exit India

Singapore
India’s power sector was dealt another blow today when US energy marketing firm Mirant Corp said it would abandon its power projects and exit the country due to a lack of market reforms.

Mirant said it would walk away from a joint venture to build the $ 5-billion Hirma power project in Orissa, which would be India’s largest plant. Reuters

‘Soccer ball’ TV to hit market

Chennai
A world cup special model, a 60-inch model of the latest plasma display TV, both to be imported and six fresh models in the regular CTV category, are the new offerings from LG electronics for the year 2002, a top executive of the company said today.

“The world cup special CTV designed on the lines of a soccer ball is scheduled to hit the market by May next while the six fresh models two each in the regular 14-inch, 20-inch and 21 inch categories will be launched during January-February next’, C.N. Singh, national head, CTV, LG Electronics India, told reporters here today. PTI

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Zee Tele, Turner sign agreement

Mumbai, December 13
Zee Telefilms and Turner International (India) Private Ltd, an AOL Time Warner Company, today announced an agreement to form a joint venture company, Zee Turner Private Ltd, to manage distribution and trade marketing for a bouquet of channels of the two companies and third party channels in India and South Asia.

Zee Tele will hold 74 per cent equity and Turner 26 per cent in the joint venture. The company will be based in New Delhi. The Board of Directors will comprise three Directors nominated by Zee and one by Turner.

Mr. D.P. Naganand, Director of Zee Telefilms and Group Head, Access Business for Zee, will be the Chairman. The joint venture will be managed by a team of Turner and Zee executives. Anshuman Misra will be the Managing Director in the joint venture with Sunil Khanna as the CEO, Paresh Karia as the CFO and Siddharth Jain as the Senior Vice President, Distribution.

Mr Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Zee Telefilms, expressed his happiness about the formation of the joint venture with Turner and said “The new joint venture is in keeping with Zee`s philosophy of associating with world class organisations to deliver better value to its customers and all other stakeholders. The joint venture leverages both partners respective brands and will enhance each party‘s distribution strength. UNI
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Indian Inc. eyes Afghanistan

New Delhi, December 13
Indian Inc. is eyeing opportunities in Afghanistan as the international community maps the colossal reconstruction effort that would go into restoring a nation ravaged by war and internecine conflict.

The Indian Government has started sounding out Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on undertaking projects for reconstruction of houses, schools, hospitals, roads and power plants in Afghanistan.

India has announced a Rs. 5 billion package for the war-torn nation. Visiting Afghanistan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah's statement that India could help his country in the reconstruction process has been seen as the right signal to the Indian companies that was maintaining a wait and watch stance so far, according to industry leaders.

Chandigarh-based PCP International, a leading engineering consultancy company, has already bagged the first order. As an approved supplier to the United Nations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the company has a head start. It represents several leading Indian companies like Tata Group, Kirloskar, L&T and Eicher.

"As approved representatives for a large number of companies to the United Nations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will begin with supply of 10 Tata Sumo multi-utility vehicles for the first survey group which will be visiting there," H. S. Mejie, Chairman PCP International Ltd, told IANS.

The company expects to supply around 100 vehicles to Afghanistan in due course. These could include Tata Safari, which it has already supplied to U.N. officials in Pakistan, Tata pick-up and mini buses.

"We are in talks now to supply Kirloskar irrigation pumps for agriculture and power generators, as there will be need to jack up power supply," said Mejie.

From merely supplying basic necessities and importing dry fruits from there, the Indian companies can now hope for a bigger role, industry representatives said.

The officials are awaiting the establishment of an interim government in Afghanistan on December 22 as they study the possibility of larger Indian exports extending beyond traditional and essential commodities to include machinery and equipment.

With the reopening of the Friendship Bridge on the Afghan-Uzbekistan border, a crucial supply route into Afghanistan which India had also helped to build, Indian traders are looking forward to resuming supply of essential commodities and bringing back mainly dry fruits from there. IANS

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Kawasaki, Suzuki may merge units

Tokyo, December 13
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd and Suzuki Motor Corp may merge their motorcycle units to cut excess capacity and development costs as bike sales sag at home.

It is likely that we will set up a joint venture, the Kawasaki Heavy President, Mr Masamoto Tazaki, said in an interview. The companies are trying to separate their motorcycle divisions from other units to form a Kawasaki-Suzuki group to step up competition with Honda Motor Co and Yamaha Motor Co, he said.

A merger of the two motorcycle units would extend a plan under way since August to combine the output and development of several models. The reduction of surplus capacity in Japan’s motorcycle industry is long overdue, with domestic sales now less than a third of their peak two decades ago, investors said.

Behind Honda & Yamaha: Kawasaki Heavy, the maker of the Ninja sport bike, and Suzuki, Japan’s no. 3 motorcycle maker, lag behind Honda and Yamaha, which together control 82 per cent of the domestic market, even if the companies unite their motorcycle units.

The combined domestic bike output at Kawasaki and Suzuki from January to October was 541,557 units, 4.6 per cent less than the same time a year ago. Yamaha production in the first 10 months of this year was 654,935 units, while Honda’s was 781,223 units, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said.

Kawasaki plans to unveil a new motorcycle with Suzuki under a new brand in three years. Bloomberg
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Nathpa Jhakri: delay causes cost overrun
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 13
With the Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation extending the deadline for the completion of 1500-MW Nathpa Jhakri Project for the third time, the cost of the mega project has more than doubled during the execution period.

The latest revised cost estimates (RC-3) submitted by the corporation to the Energy Ministry for approval indicate that the project will now be completed at a cost of Rs 9,169 crore, about Rs 1,600 crore more than the revised cost (RC-2) of 1998. The project, which, as per the revised schedule was to be completed by December, 2001, will now be commissioned in the first half of 2003.

The corporation is making efforts commission at least two of the six generating units by December, 2002, but the deadline for completion of the project has been extended to August, 2003.

With the latest revision, the cost of project will be more than Rs 6 crore per Megawatt, the highest in the state for any hydel project so far, and almost double the cost of Rs 3.5 crore per megawatt for the 86-MW Malana project, the first hydel project to be executed in the state in the private sector.

While the Malana Power Company is earning a handsome profit by selling electricity to the Delhi Vidyut Board at the rate of Rs 2.45 per unit, the cost of generation in the Nathpa Jhakri Project will be Rs 3.02 paise unit.

The cost of project, when it was first taken up by the state electricity board in the mid eighties, was just Rs 1,600 crore. Finally, the Centre and the state came together to jointly execute the project and set up the NJPC for the purpose. The project was handed over to the corporation in 1991 and by that time its cost had increased to Rs 4338 crore and the generation cost worked out to Rs 1.37 per unit.

Meanwhile, the efforts of the Himachal Government to have its representative in the management of the Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation have yielded results in the appointment of Mr Tarun Kapoor as Director of personnel in the corporation.

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2.2 lakh tonnes of urea imported
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
India has imported 2.2 lakh tonnes of urea for ensuring a reasonable level of pipeline requirement to prevent any situation of possible shortage during the peak consumption months of Rabi, Mr S. S. Dhindsa said here today.

Addressing the Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry, the Minister said the imports were made despite the country almost becoming self-sufficient in the case of urea with a production capacity of 209 lakh tonnes.

Mr Dhindsa said there was sufficient availability of all major fertilisers throughout the country in the current Rabi season and reportedly there is no shortage from any part.

To ensure adequate and timely availability of decontrolled fertilisers like phosphatic and potassic fertilisers, the government is operating Concession Scheme, Buffer Stock Scheme, Special Freight Reimbursement Scheme for difficult areas of North-East and Jammu and Kashmir.
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BIZ BRIEFS

IOC outlets
New Delhi, December 13
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is talking to Indonesia’s national oil company Pertamina to begin the retail selling of petrol and diesel in Indonesia. “We have approached the Indonesian Government for permission to begin retail sale of petrol and diesel in their country,” IOC Director (Business Development) M.S. Ramachandran said here. PTI

Sericulture
Mandi, December 13
A plan has been drawn up to boost and modernise the production of silk in Mandi, Kangra, Bilaspur and Hamirpur districts of Himachal Pradesh with the help of the Central Silk Board, Dehra Dun. Stating this at a two-day seminar here on sericulture, Mr Prakash Chaudhary, Minister for Rural Development said sericulture would be developed as a national agriculture technological project in four districts of the state. OC

Seminar
Muktsar, December 13
Mr Amarjit Singh Oberai, Director of the ILO (South Asian region) today said that there were about 16 lakh unemployed youths in Punjab and job-oriented education was the only way to tackle it. Mr Oberai said this while delivering keynote address on the concluding day of two-day seminar held on “Unemployment Problem and its Solution”. TNS

Postal mela
Kurukshetra, December 13
A post office rural postal life insurance mela was organised under the presidentship of Mr Harbans Pal Sharma, Superintendent Post Offices, Kurukshetra at Shiv Mandir ground near Post Office, Shahabad (Markanda), 30 km from here, yesterday. Mr Sharma said the Rural Postal Life Insurance scheme was extended to rural areas with effect from April, 1995 for providing social security to the people between 19 to 45 years of age, having permanent residence in rural areas. OC

Haryana loans
Chandigarh, December 13
The Haryana Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank has decided to raise the limit of advancing non-agriculture loans from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. ‘A spokesman of the bank said it has also decided to advance loans under rural housing scheme. TNS

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