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Crude oil imports up by 23.3 pc in July
New Delhi, August 26
With a sharp increase in the international crude oil prices along with increased demand for oil products, India’s crude oil import bill has jumped by 23.3 per cent in July this year, said a senior official of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry today.

Uttaranchal short of power for industry: Assocham
New Delhi, August 26
Attractive incentives and tax exemptions offered by the Centre may have encouraged the major industrial houses to set up units in Uttaranchal, but the industry is facing an acute power shortage, claims a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce released here today.

BoP plans six new branches
Chandigarh, August 26
As part of its expansion, Bank of Punjab plans to add six new branches in the next one month. This includes offices at Baghapurana, Fazilka, Mansa, Barnala and Ropar and another one in Mumbai.

Markfed plans pack house for fruits, vegetables
Chandigarh, August 26
Markfed plans to set up an integrated pack house for fresh fruits and vegetables at a cost of Rs. 5.16 crore in the state shortly. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has provided a grant of Rs. 2.81 crore to Markfed.

Pakistani film actress Meera walks on the ramp with Miss India Tanushree Dutta

Pakistani film actress Meera (right) walks on the ramp with Miss India Tanushree Dutta, during a fashion show titled ‘Bride and Groom’, in New Delhi on Wednesday night. — Reuters


Models Yana Gupta and Indrani Das Gupta pose for photographers at the launch of Lakme’s beauty products titled ‘Fireworks’ for the winter collection 2004 in Mumbai on Thursday
Models Yana Gupta (right) and Indrani Das Gupta pose for photographers at the launch of Lakme’s beauty products titled ‘Fireworks’ for the winter collection 2004 in Mumbai on Thursday. — PTI

EARLIER STORIES

 

Sanjeev Bikhchandani A portal that has given naukri to 10 lakh people
Chandigarh, August 26
The Chandigarh region is emerging as a big job creator though South India continues to maintain its lead in creating more jobs faster than any other part of the country, says Mr Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of country’s leading careers portal, naukri.com.

Sonepat, Shahabad sugar mills awarded
Chandigarh, August 26
The cooperative-sector sugar mills of Shahabad and Sonepat in Haryana have won five national awards announced by the Technical Committee of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories for 2003-04.

Indian whisky in Scotland
London, August 26
Indian Scotch whisky brewed by a Bangalore-based distillery has been launched in Scotland, the home of whisky connoisseurs and the much-celebrated Scotch.

LIC picks 2.5 pc stake in TCS
New Delhi, August 26
Country’s leading financial institution LIC has picked up 2.5 per cent stake in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for about Rs 127.50 crore, as part of its strategy to pump in over Rs 6,000 crore in the equity market this fiscal.

New Fortis logo
Chandigarh, August 26
Fortis Healthcare Ltd. announced that Fortis Hospital, Mohali, will undergo a change in its corporate identity symbol, in keeping with its endeavour to achieve excellence in healthcare delivery, equivalent to world standards.

Auto Scene

Now, a tractor for just Rs 99,000
New Delhi, August 26
A tractor that can be repaired by a cycle mechanic and assembled at the tehsil level garage will be available for just Rs 99,000, which is half the price of the cheapest tractor currently available in the domestic market.
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Crude oil imports up by 23.3 pc in July
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 26
With a sharp increase in the international crude oil prices along with increased demand for oil products, India’s crude oil import bill has jumped by 23.3 per cent in July this year, said a senior official of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry today.

Crude oil imports in July were 8.452 million tonnes as opposed to 6.852 million tonnes in the same month last year.

India’s oil product demand increased by 3.8 per cent in July to 9.339 million tonnes on back of a 13 per cent rise in diesel consumption to 3.411 million tonnes. Diesel accounts for about 40 per cent of the total oil product demand.

Export of petroleum products declined marginally to 1.014 million tonnes as against 1.145 million tonnes in July 2003. “This was mainly due to the fall in diesel exports to 286,700 tonnes as compared to 412,100 tonnes last year,” he said.

However, the export of petroleum products at 4.648 million tonnes in the first four months of current fiscal was higher than 4.36 million tonnes exported a year ago.

During April-July, crude oil imports surged 11.2 per cent to 33 million tonnes as against 29.969 million tonnes in the corresponding period the previous fiscal while exports of oil products rose by 6 per cent to 4.648 million tonnes when compared with 4.36 million tonnes in first four months of 2003-04.

Import of petroleum products increased by 4 per cent to 693,100 in July and 1 per cent in April-July to 2.028 million tonnes.

“This fiscal witnessed surge in diesel imports, mainly by a private sector firm (Essar Oil) for bulk and retail sales,” the official said adding that diesel imports stood at 12,300 tonnes in July and 61,000 tonnes in April-July. Top

 

Uttaranchal short of power for industry: Assocham
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 26
Attractive incentives and tax exemptions offered by the Centre may have encouraged the major industrial houses to set up units in Uttaranchal, but the industry is facing an acute power shortage, claims a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce released here today.

It has claimed that the state does not have an adequate power supply for feeding its industrial and domestic consumers though the state government has been claiming that it has surplus power.

The study, based on the records provided to it by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) between 1999-2000 and 2002-03, said the state had been able to narrow the differential between demand and supply by just 16 million units during the period.

The problem was aggravated in the state’s rural areas because of faulty transformers and poor transmission lines that were not repaired for months at a stretch.

“The major reasons for the continued power shortage include poor generation of power in the region as also the huge transmission and distribution losses because of inadequate infrastructure and no efforts to improve upon the existing transmission and distribution lines by the agencies concerned in the state,” the study said.

The T&D losses estimated for the state as on date exceed 35 per cent. Assocham president M. K. Sanghi said the state had a tremendous hydropower potential that should be exploited commercially with all necessary precautions, as landslides were common in the region.

The study pointed out that the state had a shortage of 9,080 million units in 1999-2000 against its respective requirement and availability ratio of 139,823 million units to 130,743 million units.

The power shortage reported in the government record for the region in 2002-03 stood at 12,392 million units against its requirement vis-a-vis the availability factor of 156,610 million units to 144,218 million units.

This happened because not many power projects produced the desired level of electricity in the region during the period. Also transmission and distribution losses went beyond the control, according to the study.

In the southern region, the power required during 1999-2000 was 125,759 million units, while only 116,388 million units were available.

In 2002-03 the power requirement of the region rose to 140,625 million units against its availability of 130,530 million units and recorded a shortage of 10,095 million units, the analysis said.Top

 

BoP plans six new branches
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
As part of its expansion, Bank of Punjab plans to add six new branches in the next one month. This includes offices at Baghapurana, Fazilka, Mansa, Barnala and Ropar and another one in Mumbai.

The bank, which has at present has 126 banking offices, would also be expanding its national presence in the coming year and strengthen its hold in the niche market of Punjab, Delhi and Haryana along with opening branches in the states of Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The bank also plans to add more ATMs and the number is expected to cross 200. At present, it has 180 such centres.

The bank has also entered into a bank assurance tie-up with IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Co. Ltd, a joint venture between IFFCO and the Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance Co Ltd, Japan. Under the tie-up, the bank offers one-stop solution to the customers for all their financial needs.

The Bank of Punjab also happens to be one of the first banks to be registered for the Electronic Fund Transfer and Electronic Clearing Service set up by RBI.Top

 

Markfed plans pack house for fruits, vegetables
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Markfed plans to set up an integrated pack house for fresh fruits and vegetables at a cost of Rs. 5.16 crore in the state shortly. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has provided a grant of Rs. 2.81 crore to Markfed.

This facility would be operated by Markfed and can be utilised by farmers, APEDA, exporters of fresh fruits and vegetables. The pack house will provide different facilities like sorting, grading, washing, pre-cooling and cold storage for fruits and vegetables. The house will have the storage capacity of 2500 MT for these commodities. This was announced here by Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Cooperation & Horticulture Minister, Punjab.

The minister said Markfed was the nodal agency for the implementation of Agri Export Zone for potatoes . In this context, efforts were made to encourage the farmers to undertake the cultivation of non-traditional crops and vegetables but due to lack of adequate infrastructure in form of storage, pre-cooling facilities, transportation and handling, a majority of farm produce especially fruits and vegetables gets damaged.

Mr S.S.Channy, Managing Director, Markfed said as APEDA had the responsibility of export promotion and development of agricultural and processed food products, Markfed would ensure orderly development of agricultural marketing in the state by coordinating development, operational and logistic infrastructure activities in the same way.

The rates for using the pack house would be fixed on a scientific basis after examining the relevant factors including cost of services, maintenance/repairs and cost of hiring labour. Top

 

A portal that has given naukri to 10 lakh people
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The Chandigarh region is emerging as a big job creator though South India continues to maintain its lead in creating more jobs faster than any other part of the country, says Mr Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of country’s leading careers portal, naukri.com.

“By the Chandigarh region I mean Chandigarh city, Mohali, Panchkula, Baddi, Parwanoo, Lalru and even Ludhiana and other industrial towns in the region,” he said in an interview here today. “However, East India continues to lag behind due to the slow pace of industrialisation and low key business activities. The Indian economy is on the move again and there is a demand for experienced professionals. Companies are ready to offer hefty pay packets if they get the right type of people. Pay packets too are becoming bigger.”

Launched in 1997, Mr Bikhchandani prefers to call his portal as an “online market place for Indian talent.” During the past about seven years, it claims to have provided jobs to 8-10 lakh people. “Between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of the people have been hired by the IT industry, 15-20 per cent in the sales and marketing industry while another 10 per cent have been employed by manufacturing units.”

The company has been growing fast. From a turnover of just Rs 40 lakh in 1999-2000, its projected revenue for 2004-05 is Rs 45 crore. It is present in 20 cities across India at present. “We plan to add another 10 cities during the current financial year,” he said.

Mr Bikhchandani was also the guest speaker at a meeting of the local chapter of the Indus Entrepreneurs (IiE) where he spoke on “How to scale up your business”.

Mr Bikhchandani started his career as a journalist in a Delhi newspaper and was the consulting editor of its career supplement. Later he worked with Lintas Advertising and Glaxo SmithKleen.

According to Mr Chandra Mohan, president TiE Chandigarh, the objective of initiating the entrepreneurship lecture series is to encourage our entrepreneurs in this region to be inspired by the success stories of these global giants. TiE is a global network of entrepreneurs and professionals which was founded in 1992 in the Silicon Valley, California, USA, and has 43 chapters in 9 countries with a membership base exceeding 10,000.Top

 

Sonepat, Shahabad sugar mills awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The cooperative-sector sugar mills of Shahabad and Sonepat in Haryana have won five national awards announced by the Technical Committee of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories for 2003-04.

An official spokesman said here today that the Shahabad mill had won the national award for the best cooperative sugar mill as well as the first prize for financial management and second prize for cane development. The Sonepat mill had won the first prize both in the fields of cane development and technical efficiency.

He said the cost of production of sugar of the Shahabad mill was the lowest amongst all the cooperative sugar mills of the state. The government had decided to install a distillery of 45 KLPD at the Shahabad mill, which had also installed a diesel pump and was establishing a bio-control laboratory for the convenience of farmers.

He said the Sonepat mill had implemented improved technologies of sugarcane cultivation, including control of various pests by releasing parasites. The mill had established a Central Biological Control Laboratory and the parasites for combating various pests like pyrilla and sugarcane borers like stalk borer, Gurdaspur borer, early shoot borer and top borer. The mill would implement a project of "incidental co-generation" of power. The surplus power produced in the mill would be supplied to the grid of HVPN in the coming crushing season. Top

 

Indian whisky in Scotland

London, August 26
Indian Scotch whisky brewed by a Bangalore-based distillery has been launched in Scotland, the home of whisky connoisseurs and the much-celebrated Scotch.

The Amrut single-malt export whisky, made from barley grown in the Himalayan foothills and distilled and matured in the tropical climate of Bangalore, was unveiled on Tuesday at Glasgow.

Targeted at the UK’s thriving Indian restaurant market, the premium whisky has met the tough European Union regulations, Amrut Distilleries Executive Director Rakshit Jagdale said.

“Amrut is the first Indian malt to meet the requirements of the European Union. We are competing against an industry that is 400 years old, but Indian malt has its own character and is different. If India can buy and consume a lot of Scotch, then we too can sell Indian spirits worldwide,” he said.

This is only the second time ever that an Indian brewer has tried to challenge the Scots on their home ground. A few years ago, an Indian blended whisky, Kuch Nahin, did make an appearance in some British retail outlets, but soon faded away.

Claiming that his product was as good as Scotland’s own Scotch, Mr Neelakanta Rao Jagdale, Managing Director of Amrut Distilleries, said, “I believe it to be a fine whisky worthy of an international stage.” — PTITop

 

LIC picks 2.5 pc stake in TCS

New Delhi, August 26
Country’s leading financial institution LIC has picked up 2.5 per cent stake in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for about Rs 127.50 crore, as part of its strategy to pump in over Rs 6,000 crore in the equity market this fiscal.

“We have invested in TCS IPO. After allotment of the shares, our holding was about 2.5 per cent,” LIC chairman S.B. Mathur said today.

LIC has obtained 14-15 lakh shares of TCS for Rs 850 a share.

TCS share appreciated to over Rs 1,050 when it was listed at major bourses yesterday, which resulted in a profit of over Rs 30 crore to LIC within a few days.

Mr Mathur said the corporation was looking at initial public offers of major companies like NTPC, Hutch and others that are planning to hit the market this fiscal. — PTITop

 

New Fortis logo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Fortis Healthcare Ltd. announced that Fortis Hospital, Mohali, will undergo a change in its corporate identity symbol, in keeping with its endeavour to achieve excellence in healthcare delivery, equivalent to world standards.

The new logo has two hands that fuse seamlessly with a human form, expressing Fortis’ reassuring approach to healthcare. Green is the colour of healing and in the new logo, it is symbolic of the steadfast focus of Fortis to ensure the health and well-being of patients. The red colour in the logo is expressive of the dynamic zeal with which Fortis strives to make it a reality. Top

 


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Auto Scene

Now, a tractor for just Rs 99,000

New Delhi, August 26
A tractor that can be repaired by a cycle mechanic and assembled at the tehsil level garage will be available for just Rs 99,000, which is half the price of the cheapest tractor currently available in the domestic market.

The cheapest ever tractor, manufactured by SAH Motors Ltd, under its project ‘Angad’, will hit the the market next month, Managing Director Ravindra Kumar said during the demonstration of the novel vehicle before Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute here today.

Besides the price, the 22-hp tractor will bring fuel and maintenance cost down by 25 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively, against the tractors available in the market now.

The company, which invested Rs 70 lakh in the project Angad, expects to sell 15-20,000 units in the first year itself.

With a low-cost financing, that is being sought from the government, a farmer will need to pay an instalment of Rs 1,500 per month to replace the age old bullock driven ploughs with an Angad tractor.

Mahindra & Mahindra

Riding on the spiralling demand for its utility vehicles Scorpio and Bolero in the country, automotive major Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd will start its commercial operations in South Africa next month and is planning to use the new market as a spring-board for the entire African continent.

“We have tied up with auto dealers in South Africa and will launch Scorpio and Bolero by the end of September. The company is confident of covering 90 per cent of the potential market through four cities - Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town,” Mahindra Automotive Division COO Pawan Goenka said.

Mahindra has formed a joint venture with 51 per cent stake in South Africa for marketing its vehicles while the balance rests with a consortium of South African companies.

He said the company expects to sell 3,000-4,000 vehicles in South Africa annually from the third year of its operations. — UNITop

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BRIEFLY

Hutch tariff
Bangalore, August 26
Hutch today launched new tariff rates for its prepaid subscribers, under which they could call any mobile phone at 99 paise per minute and make STD calls to any phone in the country for Rs 2.25 per minute. — PTI

Stacy Adams
New Delhi, August 26
American footwear brand Stacy Adams has tied up with Gratings India, a venture of Shoe Technik International Corporation Ltd, to foray into the Rs 750-crore shoe market in the country. Priced between Rs 1,495 and 3,495, Stacy Adams will be available in two variants, Signature and Super series, throughout the country with a large colour option. — UNI

NFL
Chandigarh, August 26
National Fertilisers Limited (NFL), the first company in nation’s fertiliser industry to have its total business covered under ISO 9001:2000 certification has recently received ‘Excellent’ rating under MoU system by Government of India, Department of Fertilisers for 2002-03 for the eighth time. — TNS

Fine Switchgears
Phagwara, August 26
Union Ministry of Small Scale Industries has selected Fine Switchgears, Phagwara, for the National Award for excellent quality products. The award will be presented by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on August 30. — OC

Reliance
Kolkata, August 26
Reliance group has emerged as India’s most admired business house for the fourth consecutive year in the ‘Business Barons - TNS Mode Opinion Poll’ for 2004. The group topped the list with an overall indexed score of 40. It was rated first on financial performance, returns to shareholders and ethics, a Reliance spokesperson said. — PTI

Car loans
Chandigarh, August 26
Magma Leasing Limited, the Kolkata-based retail finance giant has launched “Magma ChamatCar” with the lowest ever interest rate. Car loans will be available at an interest rate as low as 2.87 per cent which is substantially lower than rates offered by banks and financial institutions. The repayment period will also be for a maximum of seven years. — TNS
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