Monday, October 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Y O U R  M O N E Y


Buy house in the colony developed by a coloniser
t is a misconception that the group-housing concept to provide affordable housing accommodation to the public at no-profit no-loss basis has failed in this region. Marginal success to the scheme is mainly attributed to the faulty policies of the government.
  • Tips for buyers
  • A word of caution

Low response to good results
uring this fortnight corporate results announced so far for the quarter ended September 2002 were good and encouraging but the market response was low and unencouraging.

Local residents look at an Italian-made "Pagani Zonda C12S"

Local residents look at an Italian-made "Pagani Zonda C12S" car in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Saturday. The car will be displayed at an auto show which starts on October 22 in Guangzhou. The car has an approximate value of 4 million Hong Kong Dollars ($500,000). — Reuters


Get expensive items insured before mailing
ending an expensive Divali gift to someone special through speed post? Well, here is a note of warning: if the gift gets lost or damaged during transit, all you are entitled to as compensation is twice the amount of money that you have paid towards speed post charges.


Sun Life provides umbrella
isks are an integral part of human life. Events that occur in our daily lives indicate time and again that we must prepare ourselves to deal with these risks in a well-planned manner. One of the important precautionary measures stems from an insurance cover.
  • Aims at building wealth
  • Value for money
  • Retirement benefits
  • Flexi Save Endowment Plan



Buy house in the colony developed by a coloniser
R. P. Malhotra

It is a misconception that the group-housing concept to provide affordable housing accommodation to the public at no-profit no-loss basis has failed in this region. Marginal success to the scheme is mainly attributed to the faulty policies of the government. For want of a foolproof process to register only the genuinely deserving members (end consumers) in the housing societies, the most of the members of these societies happen to be the speculators who have invested in the schemes for resale. Even the planners have not taken pains to study the demand factor while planning these housing projects as majority of these flats are of HIG category which are out of reach of the low budget buyers falling in the Rs 5-10 lakh slab.

In Chandigarh, too, in the series of amendments to the existing building byelaws recently notified by the administration nothing has been done to the stringent conditions applicable to the transfer of property falling under the low budget category keeping the housing board flats/houses, nor transferable properties allotted on concessional rates and group-housing societies’ flats still forbidden for resale.

Tips for buyers

For the buyers intending to have a plot/house in these colonies, it is suggested to opt for only approved colonies. As per provisions of the Punjab Apartment Act any land owner, who wish to sell his property in parts as a residential colony, shall have to get the scheme approved from the local authority i.e., Local town planning Office by giving sample provisions for roads, parks, sewerage and water supply. A set percentage of land up to 35 per cent shall have to be left for these public utility services under this act.

A word of caution

Apart from this certain unscrupulous developers also illegally sell the land on GFA basis without leaving the prescribed area of land for common utility services thus creating unhealthy and inhabitable conditions for the habitats later on. Whereas plots are available @ Rs 2200 to Rs 2500 per square yard on inner roads and Rs 2500/- to Rs 3000/- per square yard on wider roads in approved colonies as compared to corresponding rate of 500/- and 1800/- per square yard in unapproved colonies. In addition to the deteriorated quality of life in the unapproved /unauthorised colonies there is permanent risk of demolition in case of departmental action.

For a better community life the intending purchasers are suggested to constitute small group housing societies having members (as small as a group of ten people even less) from their own working circle. By pooling funds they can bargain with the coloniser for a fixed number of plots in one go and by entrusting the project to a single contractor they can save themselves from the construction hassles besides saving money on wholesale purchases. Sanctioning of loan cases will also be an easy process and the things can be processed on a single table. The buyers interested in going for built up flats/houses are also suggested to form small groups. Besides having a competitive bargain they can ask the developer/builder for their particular requirement for a block of houses/flats.

Besides all this the intending buyers are advised to enquire from the promoter of the colony about the arrangements made for the supply of drinking water, provision for sewerage outlet, electric supply, width of roads and size of parks before going for a bargain. While selecting for the location of colony, care should be taken not to go for a location just on the main road, near the railway line and near the sewerage drain to avoid noise and pollution. Preference should be given to a colony having close proximity to the main road a school and a dispensary.

Before going for a builder’s house/flat one must thoroughly study the technical blue prints and brochures of the builder. It is most important to ascertain what the builder is going to offer you in turn of your money. Various fittings, fixtures, facilities and services listed in the brochure may not turn out to be value-added services/items later while taking over the possession of the unit. One must also get conversant about the deceptive terminologies, such as of carpet area, covered area, plinth area and super area, being normally used by the builders. For example carpet area i.e. exact usable area is about 35-40% less than the supper area.

Major details such as quality of material to be used type of flooring, type of joinery and quality of timber to be used and kind and variety of paint polish etc must also be ascertained and taken into writing before going for to bargain. Proper and effective arrangements of future maintenance of the area such as is roads sewerage water supply electricity and other civic services of the colony after the same is handed over to the occupiers should also be ensured before striking a deaf.

Usually such bargains are struck on self-financing basis i.e., the buyers pay the builder in installments as the construction of the project progress through various stages. It becomes the foremost duty of the buyer to visit and supervise the construction activity of the entire project at different stages so as to ensure proper quality and workmanship. Notwithstanding anything contained in the one-sided agreement to purchase, executed between the buyer and the builder, the buyer is protected under the consumer protection act. Still the purchasers are advised to have an expert opinion before signing any of such agreements.




Low response to good results
J.C. Anand

During this fortnight corporate results announced so far for the quarter ended September 2002 were good and encouraging but the market response was low and unencouraging. According to an analysis made by Business Standard, so far 116 companies have announced their results which indicate a growth of 15.06 per cent in sales and 34.42 per cent rise in net profits. The growth profit margin of these 116 companies has increased from 17.03 per cent to 19.86 per cent during the quarter, yet the Sensex has moved only by 2.41 per cent (71 points) during this quarter.

Infosys Technology’s second quarter results were higher than the market’s expectations. It reported 16.1 per cent rise in software revenue with a net profit higher by 12.01 per cent. EPS is estimated at Rs 141 — Rs 144, almost the same as in the first quarter. The company expects to have good growth rate in revenues for the third quarter. HDFC announced a bonus issue of one equity share for every share held and reported 21 per cent rise in net profit for the send quarter. FIIs also increased their holdings in software stock comprising Infosys, Mestak, Digital, Global Profit. Ranbaxy’s third quarter net profit was higher by 79 per cent. A large part of its sales and profitability came from exports. Hero Honda also reported excellent results for this quarter. Jai Bharat Maruti’s second quarter results indicate that its net profit has gone up to Rs 65.60 lakhs as against Rs 18.42 lakh for the corresponding period last year.

Another good news was the AV Birla Group’s announcement to buy Larson & Tubro’s share at Rs 190 per share from the open market, even though the open offer price was much lower than the market expectation. It is unlikely that the Birla Group will be able to collect the share at this price to push up their stake in the company from 14.9 per cent to about 35 per cent as it had announced its intention at the time of the “open up”. The UTI and financial institutions are unlikely to accept this offer as it is far lower than the price at which Birla Group had purchased Larson and Tubro shares from Reliance. I am of the view that those investors who hold Larson and Tubro shares should not sell it in the market at the “open offer” rate for the very fact that Birla Group is interested in acquiring management control of this company pushes up the market rating of this share. Even otherwise, Larson & Tubro is India’s top engineering and cement company in the private sector and its construction business is doing extremely well with a lot of fresh orders from India as well as from foreign countries.

Another good news is that the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) indicates a growth rate of 5.7 per cent in the general index, though the growth rate in manufacturing is at 5.9 per cent and in capital goods at 10 per cent. India has also recorded a surplus in its current account for the first time in 24 years.

The market response to the good corporate results and other welcome news has only been tepid. This is partially due to the fact that the date traders are anxious to book profit at the earliest. It is also possible that the market does not expect equally good results from those companies which have yet to report their second quarter results.

Perhaps the more basic reason is that the market is worried about the state of our economy. Apart from S&P’s rating about the national currency, the drought caused by erratic and deficient monsoon rains this year are bound to depress our GDP growth rate this year. According to CMIE’s analysis drought conditions are expected to lower overall agriculture production by 7 per cent. As a result, the real GDP is expected to grow only by 3.1 per cent. According to CMIE the real GDP growth rate has never reached 5 per cent in a year of agriculture decline in the past 30 years.

Any long term investment should be made with a time scale of at least 2 to 3 years and this investment should be made only in a weak market.



by Pushpa Girimaji

Get expensive items insured before mailing

Sending an expensive Divali gift to someone special through speed post? Well, here is a note of warning: if the gift gets lost or damaged during transit, all you are entitled to as compensation is twice the amount of money that you have paid towards speed post charges. Even here, the maximum that you can get is Rs 1000! And if you think that you can approach the consumer court for relief , forget it. You will get no help there too.

Recently, the apex consumer court examined in detail the liability of the post office in case of delay or non-delivery of postal articles sent by speed post. It’s verdict was that the consumer courts cannot go beyond the statutory provisions and grant compensation in excess of what is statutorily fixed. And in case of speed post, since Rule 66B of the Indian Post Office Rules says that in case of loss or damage , the compensation shall be double the amount of the composite speed post charges or Rs 1000, whichever is less, the consumer courts cannot grant compensation beyond this amount, the court said. (In case of delay in delivery, whatever may be the consequence of such delay, you are entitled to only a refund of the Speed Post charge).

In its order of September 18, 2002, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal commission examined three different petitions — all pertaining to Speed Post service.. In the first petition — Head Post Master, Post Office Railway Road, Kurukshetra, Haryana vs Vijay Rattan Aggarwal, the complaint pertained to two bank drafts for the sum of Rs 5 lakh sent by Speed Post on January 18, 1995. The post office, which undertook to deliver it within 24 hours, did not do so, forcing the complainant to obtain duplicate bank drafts on March 7, 1995. Claiming loss of interest and loss in business plus harassment, the complainant sought damages from the post office. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum awarded Rs 20,000 as compensation, besides interest of 18 per cent on the amount of Rs 5 lakh for one and a half months. When this was upheld by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the post office filed a revision petition before the National Commission.

In the second case, Union India vs Brahm Dev Upadhyay, the complainant, having passed the preliminary examination for Uttar Pradesh administrative service, sent by Speed Post the necessary papers required for the final examination. They were not delivered on time, as a result of which the complainant could not appear for the final examination. The District Forum awarded Rs 10,000 as damages . When the State Commission affirmed this order, the post office filed a revision petition.

In the third case, Varun Garg vs Assistant Post Master, Post Office, the complainant sent an application form for admission to LLB course in Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak by speed post on May 19, 2000. The last date for submission of the application was May 22, but the application was received by the university after this date and was therefore not entertained. The District Forum before which Varun Garg filed a complaint said he was only entitled to a refund of Rs 20 paid towards speed post charges. This was upheld by the State Commission, upon which the complainant filed a revision petition before the apex consumer court.

After examining the Indian Post Office Act and the Rules framed therein pertaining to Speed Post, the National Commission said there was no justification for grant of any compensation to the complainants. Said the Commission: “Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, we cannot go beyond the statutory provisions and grant compensation more than what is statutorily fixed. A Consumer Forum is even bound by the terms of the contract howsoever oppressive these may be unless those terms are against public policy, illegal or void”. In other words, consumers cannot get compensation commensurate with the loss suffered on account of delay in delivery or loss or damage to the article entrusted for delivery through Speed Post.

So if you are sending expensive goods by Speed Post or through a private courier, get it insured. If you are sending important documents for which you cannot take an insurance policy, just keep your fingers crossed and hope that it reaches the addressee on time and in good condition.



Sun Life provides umbrella
Naveen S. Garewal

Risks are an integral part of human life. Events that occur in our daily lives indicate time and again that we must prepare ourselves to deal with these risks in a well-planned manner. One of the important precautionary measures stems from an insurance cover. A life cover cannot prevent any unfortunate happening, but at least it mitigates the financial loss arising out of an unfortunate happening. It provides strength to face the financial loss that may arise from the loss of a bread earner. Life Insurance addresses multiple needs such as protection against disabilities, preparing one to face the unexpected mishaps, besides providing a plan for a retired life.

Aims at building wealth

Birla Sun Life insurance, a recent entrant into the insurance sector aims at targeting the youth, providing them with a financial plan. The company says that it provides to the youth “a right step to build wealth through a systematic process that offers economic security and provides what each of us craves for - peace of mind”.

Value for money

The Birla Sun Life Insurance that offers five products boasts that its products offer investment options, market driven returns, guaranteed values, high surrender values — no exit loads beyond five years, free look period, mix and match options, large protection cover, favourable premiums for female clients, tax benefits and automatic premium payment. Birla Sun Life also offers what it calls “Riders”. Riders are additional benefits that you may buy and add to your policy in a way that it customises the policy according to an individuals needs. These include the accidental death and dismemberment rider, term rider and critical illness rider.

Retirement benefits

What you get at retirement is directly proportional to what you save. The age when you start saving in an endowment plan can drastically alter the wealth you acquire at retirement. Take a simple case study where Mr. A, aged 30 years with an annual income of Rs 2 lakh (growing 15 per cent annually) started saving 15 per cent annually till retirement age of 60 years. Given a return of 12 per cent and an expected inflation of 6 per cent, he should have a retirement income of Rs 95,000 per month taking the inflation into count. But if he were to wait till age 40 before he started saving (from an income of Rs 3 lakh annual), he would get a pension of only Rs 24,000 per month.

Flexi Save Endowment Plan

The Flexi Save Plus Endowment Plan has been designed to offer insurance protection; while at the same time provide an opportunity for investment. Birla Sun Life aims at stressing the point that the premium paid over the years helps the savings to grow and thus helps meet expenses like children’s higher studies, their marriages, retirement funding etc

“The flexi save plus endowment plan is designed to accumulate the savings through regular premium payment for a fixed duration of time or in a single lump sum to realise the long-term goals and protect the family with insurance cover unique features of the Flexi Save Plus Endowment Plan include choice of duration plan, flexibility of premium payment, choice of investment options, automatic premium payment and access to your funds during the plan duration”.

The Flexi Save Plus Endowment Plan is available to all between age 1 to 65 years wherein the minimum face amount (Sum Assured) is Rs 50,000 for minors and Rs 75,000 for adults. The duration of the plan can be 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years as per the policy plan or as per maturity age of 60, 65,70 and 80 years. The premium-paying period varies from a single pay to 5,10, 15, 20 years with a paying option of premium payment frequency ranging from annually, semi-annually, quarterly or one-time payment.

The policy offers a transparency in surrender values and lets you know the exact amount due in case of pre-mature plan termination. Also the policy tells you before hand the amount due on survival up to maturity, surrender value in the maturity year + the balance in additional holding account. Besides the amount due to nominee in event of death of the life insured is disclosed before hand. Riders on the policy that can be bought at an additional cost include accidental death and dismemberment, term and critical illness. The policy also offers a tax benefits under section 88 Sec 10 (10 D) of the Income Tax Act

(To be concluded)



FIIs net buyers in equities

Mumbai, October 20
The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in equities at Rs 56.1 crore ($ 11.5 million) during the trading week ended October 18.

The FIIs, however, for the third straight trading week of the month stayed away from the debt market and did not transact a single deal, according to data available with the SEBI here.

As per SEBI information, mutual funds netted sales of Rs 165.63 crore in equities and were net buyers to the tune of Rs 394.07 crore in debt instruments. PTI



Inflation falls

New Delhi, October 20
Notwithstanding the domestic oil price hike, inflation declined by another 0.32 per cent to 3.02 per cent for the week ended October 5 even as vegetables became costlier.

The hike in vegetable prices was to a great extent contained by fall in the price of foodgrains and fruits, leading to point-to-point Wholesale Price Index (WPI) dip for the third consecutive week from 3.34 per cent in the previous week and the index was 3.18 per cent a year ago. PTI


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