SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

TRAI directive to BSNL
Submit ADC figures for each service, circle

New Delhi, August 22
TRAI has written to BSNL to re-submit its access deficit charge (ADC) figures based on separate services and circles, rejecting the single account format as the PSU has been doing so far. In a letter to the PSU on August 11, the regulator has told the operator that its current ADC figures were not correct as they were not on the right format.

West Bengal seeks ban on iron ore export 
New Delhi, August 22
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to impose a ban on export of iron ore within five years while slamming the Hoda Committee’s report recommending the removal of restrictions on the precious mineral’s export.

ASEAN to take steps for single market by 2015 
Kuala Lumpur, August 22
With growing competition from India and China looming ahead, ASEAN Economic Ministers today decided to take urgent measures to accelerate the deadline to turn their region into a single seamless market by 2015 to enable it to remain attractive to investment.

CII pips FICCI to organise Pravasi Bhartiya Divas
New Delhi, August 22
The CII has pipped rival FICCI for organising next year’s Pravasi Bhartiya Divas - the annual conclave of NRIs and people of Indian origin (PIO). A top CII official, who did not wish to be named, said the chamber had received approval from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to organise the event, which had been hosted by FICCI for the past four years.

OVL to buy entire gas from Sakhalin-I
New Delhi, August 22
ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of the ONGC, has proposed to buy the entire gas production from Sakhalin-I field in Russia and import the same in the form of LNG to India.

Naza Motor to set up assembly unit in TN
Kuala Lumpur, August 22
Malaysia’s Naza Automative Manufacturing Sdn Bhd is all set to construct its Rs 12,010.37 million(RM950 million) assembly plant in India to produce Naza and Kia vehicles, Malaysia’s Works Minister S. Samy Vellu said.

ONGC restores 30 pc gas supply from Hazira
New Delhi, August 22
ONGC has restored about 30 per cent of gas supply of normal daily capacity of 40 million cubic metres from the Hazira gas processing complex, which was closed down after heavy flooding three weeks ago.


 

 


Japan's Nissan Motor Managing Director Yo Usuba introduces a cutaway model of the newly developed six-cylinder V-type engine "VQ35HR" at the company's headquarters in Tokyo
Japan's Nissan Motor Managing Director Yo Usuba introduces a cutaway model of the newly developed six-cylinder V-type engine "VQ35HR" at the company's headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday. The new 3.5-litre VQ35HR and 2.5-litre VQ25HR engines, which feature powerful performance and improved environmental friendliness, will equip the all-new Skyline model to be launched this autumn. — AFP 

 
Mr Antonio Capellini, Managing Director, Goodyear India Ltd., poses at a conference in New Delhi
Mr Antonio Capellini, Managing Director, Goodyear India Ltd., poses at a conference in New Delhi on Tuesday, where he announced starting shop-in-shop exclusive retail outlets in India. He said the company would invest Rs 50 crore to set up 300 such stores.The company also announced to double its capacity at the Aurangabad plant by investing Rs 80 crore.— PTI 

PNB insurance cover to home loan borrowers
New Delhi, August 22
With a view to attracting more home loan seekers, Punjab National Bank has entered into an arrangement with Tata AIG Life Insurance for providing insurance cover to borrowers, which takes care of the debt in case the customer dies.

WB plant to roll out Tata small car
Kolkata, August 22
Tata Motors said today it was not looking for any alternative site for its Rs 1 lakh car, which would roll out on schedule from the proposed plant at Singur in West Bengal’s Hooghly district by 2008.

Nortel R&D centre in Bangalore
Bangalore, August 22
Telecom giant Nortel today announced that it would establish an R & D centre here which will focus on new product design, testing and development.

Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee along with models at a special preview of an exhibition to showcase lifestyle products of various designers in Kolkata
Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee along with models at a special preview of an exhibition to showcase lifestyle products of various designers in Kolkata on Tuesday. — PTI

Air Deccan offer
New Delhi, August 22
Air Deccan will release 3 lakh seats at Rs 3 (plus taxes and surcharge) for travel in November, December, and January, 2007, on its third aniversary tomorrow. Bookings will open tomorrow. Capt Gopinath, MD, Air Deccan, said :”From one aircraft and four flights a day three years ago, we have grown to 270 flights a day connecting 55 destinations across India.” —TNS  

Gold, silver firm
New Delhi, August 22
Silver and gold firmed up on the bullion market today on a steady inflow of stockists’ buying influenced by higher overseas advices and closed with further gains. Marketmen said increased stockists’ buying in the face of higher overseas advices attributed the rise in both metals.

 

Top


 

 

 

 

 

TRAI directive to BSNL
Submit ADC figures for each service, circle

New Delhi, August 22
TRAI has written to BSNL to re-submit its access deficit charge (ADC) figures based on separate services and circles, rejecting the single account format as the PSU has been doing so far.

In a letter to the PSU on August 11, the regulator has told the operator that its current ADC figures were not correct as they were not on the right format. The submission has to be based on a format of ADC figures against each service and each circle like fixed line, and long- distance, both NLD and ILD among all 21 circles, it said. BSNL has got about Rs 3,200 crore ADC last fiscal.

ADC is a levy on private mobile operators to fund the social (rural) obligations of BSNL and is opposed by private players who say they are funding competition.

BSNL has been upset ever since TRAI switched the ADC regime from the fixed rate of 30 paise per minute to 1.5 per cent of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR). BSNL had demanded a revenue share of 7-8 per cent. For ISD calls, it has been reduced from Rs 3.25 per minute to Rs 1.60 per minute for incoming calls and from Rs 2.50 per minute to Rs 0.80 per minute on outgoing calls.

BSNL officials said it has started giving ADC figures based on separate services and circles. BSNL operates all over the country except Mumbai and Delhi.

In fact, TRAI has been asking BSNL to implement accounting separation of services where accounts for each service would be maintained separately, but BSNL has been seeking extension of this as it says the very nature of re-working a legacy network account submission is cumbersome and time-consuming.

While all integrated telecom players like Bharti, Reliance, Tatas have one for accounting separation, only BSNL as an integrated player is still to do this.

BSNL has already moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against the TRAI order reducing its share of ADC by 33 per cent this fiscal. The appeal urges that the ADC amount payable to BSNL should not be reduced.

TRAI has committed reduction and abolition of ADC by 2008-09. BSNL is against reduction and seeks higher revenue share.

As a result, for 2006-07, the total projected ADC collections have been reduced by TRAI from Rs 5,300 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 3,335 crore, of which Rs 3,200 crore will be paid to BSNL as against Rs 4,800 crore paid in the previous year.

It is expected that ADC amount for 2007-08 would be further lowered to Rs 1,600 crore in 2007-08. — PTI 

Top

 

West Bengal seeks ban on iron ore export 

New Delhi, August 22
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to impose a ban on export of iron ore within five years while slamming the Hoda Committee’s report recommending the removal of restrictions on the precious mineral’s export.

“Removing all quantitative and qualitative restrictions will surely result in the export of our best- quality ores, deplete our finite and meagre reserves at a much faster rate and starve the domestic industry of a raw material on which its very survival depends. This is most certainly not in our national interest,” he argued in a letter to Mr Manmohan Singh.

“Some of the recommendations made by the Hoda Committee with regard to the National Mineral Policy are quite disturbing. Before taking any decision, I hope you will take into account our deep concerns on these recommendations,” West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Earlier, mineral-rich states like Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh voiced their opposition to the Hoda Committee’s recommendations, which are likely to shape the National Mineral Policy.

The Hoda Committee has recommended that all quantitative and qualitative restrictions of iron ore be removed and it favoured regulating ore export through fiscal measures.

He argued that iron ore reserves, which stood at 18 billion tonnes in the country be reserved for the domestic industry to cater to existing capacities and future expansions.

“This is also in line with the policy followed by China and some other countries,” he pointed out.

The Chief Minister said at a time when the domestic steel industry was poised to expand its capacity and had committed to doing so from a little over 40 million tonnes to more than 100 MT by 2012, “this step would be highly detrimental to the growth of the domestic industry.”

Demanding that a policy be put in place to reduce export of iron ore progressively and banning it fully within five years, he said the expanding capacity in the steel industry within the next five to six years should more than compensate for the loss of employment in the sub-optimal mining sector. — PTI 

Top

 

ASEAN to take steps for single market by 2015 

Kuala Lumpur, August 22
With growing competition from India and China looming ahead, ASEAN Economic Ministers today decided to take urgent measures to accelerate the deadline to turn their region into a single seamless market by 2015 to enable it to remain attractive to investment.

The earlier deadline to achieve the ambitious 'ASEAN Economic Community' was 2020, when the entire region comprising 10 member countries, would spread out into a single market allowing free flow of goods and services across the nations in EU style, but not under a single currency.

However, with bulk foreign direct investments heading towards China and India, two of the most attractive economies, countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia decided the need to advance the deadline for the ASEAN Economic Community by 5 years.

The ministers will present a new timetable to ASEAN leaders in Cebu, Philippines, later this year at the annual summit of the grouping.

Earlier, inaugurating the 38th ASEAN Economic Ministers' meeting today, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi noted that the grouping must make all efforts to create the single market of an Asean Economic Community by 2015.

"If we do not hasten the creation of that regional single market, ASEAN may run the risk of losing its position as an important investment destination." "We must take the necessary steps to protect our position as a competitive production base and as an important economic entity in the global trading enviroment," he said. ASEAN's external trade was almost $1 trillion in 2004.

The ASEAN Secretary-General and the high-level task force on the acceleration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will come up with proposals towards achieving the new 2015 deadline, Indonesia's Trade Minister Dr Mari Elka Pangestu said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz said Kuala Lumpur would prepare a paper on the five-year acceleration of the AEC's deadline. The paper will be submitted to the ASEAN secretariat ahead of the ASEAN Summit.

"In essence, there is an agreement to do that (meet the 2015 target), but you must remember we must crystalise how we go about it," she said.

Ms Aziz said that a lot has been done to realise the AEC by 2015, but some areas needed to be fine-tuned, such as liberalising the services sector for business.

ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong said Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam would be given some leeway.— PTI

Top

 

CII pips FICCI to organise Pravasi Bhartiya Divas

New Delhi, August 22
The CII has pipped rival FICCI for organising next year’s Pravasi Bhartiya Divas - the annual conclave of NRIs and people of Indian origin (PIO).

A top CII official, who did not wish to be named, said the chamber had received approval from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to organise the event, which had been hosted by FICCI for the past four years.

Both CII and FICCI had made presentations to the ministry to organise the event, which has been used as a platform to urge NRIs and PIOs to invest in India.

“The event will be held from January 7-9 in Delhi next year and we have already started working on it,” the CII official said, but added that the final memorandum of understanding was yet to be signed as the CII Director- General was away.

Since its inception in 2003, the event has been attracting participation of NRIs and PIOs across the globe.

This year’s event was held in Hyderabad while Delhi hosted the inaugural conclave in 2003.— PTI 

Top

 

OVL to buy entire gas from Sakhalin-I

New Delhi, August 22
ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of the ONGC, has proposed to buy the entire gas production from Sakhalin-I field in Russia and import the same in the form of LNG to India.

“The gas production potential of Sakhalin-I is 8 billion cubic meters per annum,” Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dinsha Patel said in the Rajya Sabha here.

Exploitation of gas reserves from Sakhalin-I field, where OVL has a 20 per cent stake, is planned in Phase-2 development, which is likely to commence in 2013. The operator has initiated negotiations with the prospective buyers.

“OVL has expressed its desire to buy the entire Sakhalin-I gas production and import the same in form of LNG to India,” he said.

With the installation of an interim production facility in Sakhalin-I project, the development of which is in progress, the production of crude oil and natural gas has started on a limited scale from October, 2005, for sale to domestic buyers. Full production is expected to commence in early 2007.— PTI

Top

 

Naza Motor to set up assembly unit in TN

Kuala Lumpur, August 22
Malaysia’s Naza Automative Manufacturing Sdn Bhd is all set to construct its Rs 12,010.37 million(RM950 million) assembly plant in India to produce Naza and Kia vehicles, Malaysia’s Works Minister S. Samy Vellu said.

The plant will be set up in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and a memorandum of understanding between Naza Kia and the state government is expected to be signed on September 11, he said during the launch of Rangkaian Segar Sdn Bhd’s Touch ‘n Go hub here.

The state government had already set aside 15 acres of land for the setting up of the plant in Sriperumbudur, he said.

“Naza’s assembly plant will join other large motor vehicle companies such as Ford, Hyundai and Mitsubishi which have already set up their manufacturing plants in Chennai.

“We will sell our product in India as well as export it to neighbouring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka,” he said.

The minister said that the decision to set up the plant was made during the discussions between the Chairman of Naza Group of Companies, Mr Tan Sri S M Nasimuddin Amin, and Tamil Nadu government officials in Chennai last week.

He said a request had been made for a reduction in the taxes and electricity tariff for the assembly plant but the state government was yet to decide on this issue, adding that the company also planned to set up agency offices in India to distribute its product.— Bernama 

Top

 

ONGC restores 30 pc gas supply from Hazira 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 22
ONGC has restored about 30 per cent of gas supply of normal daily capacity of 40 million cubic metres from the Hazira gas processing complex, which was closed down after heavy flooding three weeks ago.

A senior official of the company said today gas supply had been restored to over 12 million metric standard cubic metres per day to the HVJ Pipeline.

ONGC raised daily supply to 12 million cubic metres on Monday from 6 million cubic metres when it resumed gas supply on Friday, after a near two-week shutdown due to flooding.

Three days ago, on August 19, he said, the plant started back operations with an output of 6 MMSCMD of gas to HVJ pipeline, thus reviving the operations 48 hours ahead of schedule. With the schedules drawn, it is expected that the normal gas supply of 40 MMSCMD to HVJ pipeline (the pre-shutdown level) would be restored by third week of September.

The Hazira complex was shut down on August 7 after flood water entered a key gas plant, halting two-thirds of India’s domestic natural gas output.

Top

 

PNB insurance cover to home loan borrowers

New Delhi, August 22
With a view to attracting more home loan seekers, Punjab National Bank has entered into an arrangement with Tata AIG Life Insurance for providing insurance cover to borrowers, which takes care of the debt in case the customer dies.

PNB launched "Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance" for its existing as well as new housing loan borrowers, with the objective to make housing loan more customer-friendly, the bank said.

Under the scheme, PNB is offering insurance cover of loan outstanding by paying a single one-time premium to protect the house and save the bereaved family from housing loan debt, in case of death of the borrower.

Approximately 2.5 per cent of the loan amount is to be paid as one- time premium at the age of 40 for repayment tenure of 15 years.

Maximum sum insured is Rs 1 crore and policy will continue till the agreed period, even in case of pre-payment of housing loan.

Further, 10 per cent discount in premium will be available to the younger spouse, if she is a co-borrower.

Cover is available for the period up to 20 years or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.— PTI

Top

 

WB plant to roll out Tata small car

Kolkata, August 22
Tata Motors said today it was not looking for any alternative site for its Rs 1 lakh car, which would roll out on schedule from the proposed plant at Singur in West Bengal’s Hooghly district by 2008.

“The small car is expected to roll out from the plant at Singur by 2008,” Tata Motors Deputy Chief (strategic sourcing department) B.B.Parekh said.

To a question whether Tata Motors was looking for an alternative site in view of the protests by farmers and the opposition parties over the acquisition of farm land for industry, he said the company was satisfied with the response of the West Bengal Government.

Mr Parekh said Tata Motors would outsource 80 per cent of the auto components from tier-I vendors who would be accommodated on 300 acres land adjoining the proposed plant.

Over two lakh small cars would be produced annually at the Singur plant.

Mr Parekh, however, declined to speak on the technology to be used for manufacturing the small car.— PTI

Top

 

Nortel R&D centre in Bangalore
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, August 22
Telecom giant Nortel today announced that it would establish an R & D centre here which will focus on new product design, testing and development.

The centre, which will employ around 100 engineers by the end of this year, is expected to conduct advanced research on ethernet switching, security and routers.

Nortel India Managing Director Ravi Chauhan said the decision to establish the centre in India had been taken due to the country’s emergence as a technology hub for Nortel. The centre will be headed by Mr K.C. Venugopal, founding member of Tasman Networks, a leading router company, which was acquired by Nortel in February last.

Nortel already has a strong presence in India and has invested $10 million in Sasken to support its focus on Nortel’s GSM digital wireless and enterprise communication solutions. 

Top

 

Air Deccan offer

New Delhi, August 22
Air Deccan will release 3 lakh seats at Rs 3 (plus taxes and surcharge) for travel in November, December, and January, 2007, on its third aniversary tomorrow. Bookings will open tomorrow. Capt Gopinath, MD, Air Deccan, said :”From one aircraft and four flights a day three years ago, we have grown to 270 flights a day connecting 55 destinations across India.”—TNS 

Top

 

Gold, silver firm

New Delhi, August 22
Silver and gold firmed up on the bullion market today on a steady inflow of stockists’ buying influenced by higher overseas advices and closed with further gains. Marketmen said increased stockists’ buying in the face of higher overseas advices attributed the rise in both metals.

Standard gold and ornaments gained Rs 100 each at Rs 9620 and Rs 9470 per 10 gm, respectively. Sovereign held unchanged at Rs 7550 per piece of 8gm.

Silver ready rose by Rs 150 at Rs19,000 per kilo weekly-based deliver quoted lower by Rs 210 at Rs 18,700 per kilo on fresh demand. — PTI 

Top

 
BRIEFLY

Bilt to invest  Rs 1,200 cr
New Delhi, August 22
Ballarpur Industries (Bilt) will pump in about Rs 1,200 crore on capacity expansion of both its domestic and overseas units. "For the domestic units, a total of Rs 900 crore will be invested in the next two years, which will see our capacity increase by 2.5 lakh tonnes by June 2008," Bilt Group Finance Director B Hariharan said here while announcing the company's annual results. On the overseas front, he said the company would invest about Rs 276 crore in the next three years on the pulp capacity expansion of Sabah Forest Industries in Malaysia, which it had acquired recently. Meanwhile, the company reported 67.72 per cent jump in net profit after tax at Rs 67.88 crore for the quarter ended June 30, as compared to Rs 40.47 crore for the same quarter last year and announced a dividend of 27.5 per cent. — PTI

Real estate index
Mumbai, August 22
With a view to make the job of real estate developers easy, Liases Foras launched India's first real estate sensitivity index, 'Ressex', in association with Orbit Group of companies, here. Launching the index yesterday, Hiranandani Constructions Managing Director Niranjan Hiranandani showed how demand-supply gap was widening in the housing sector of the country. The methodology adopted by 'Ressex' is simple. It factors price, availability and supply of real estate juxtaposed with demand, to figure out the efficiency quotient of pricing. This unique system will reduce complex decision making into an easy task — as simple as input data, process and get the analysis : a sensitivity index for real estate. — UNI

Sterlite Ind
Mumbai, August 22
Sterlite Industries India Ltd said today it would sell its power transmission line (PTL) division on a going concern basis to Sterlite Optical Technologies Ltd (SOTL) for Rs 148.51 crore. The Board of Directors, at its meeting held yesterday, approved the sale of the PTL division, after which SOTL would assume all assets and associated liabilities of the PTL division, the company informed the BSE. — PTI

MH Mills & Ind
New Delhi, August 22
MH Mills & Industries Ltd said today it received recognition for being the oldest running family business by the Limca Book of Records under the 'National Record' category. The recognition has been given to the company for being the oldest continuously running family business, managed by the same family, in the country. The small spinning unit-turned-composite textile mills is in existence since 1888. The mill under the fifth generation is being managed by Managing Director Biren Deepakbhai. — UNI

A-I initiative
Aizawl, August 22
The royal abode of Tripura, ''Ujjayanta Rajprasad'' (palace), is all set to soar across the globe soon. Air-India (A-I) has decided to add the portrait of the palace in the tail space of it's flights with Hawa Mahal of Jaipur as part of tourism promotion programme. It has decided to portray India's tourism potential abroad by showcasing the culture of the country with the decision to purchase 18 new aircraft recently.Chairman-cum-Managing Director V Thulsidas said, ''A team of Air-India officials will visit NE soon to gather scenic pictures and in-depth information of tourism potential in northeast''.— UNI

Air Sahara
Port Blair, August 22
Air Sahara is all set to start its operation in remote Andaman and Nicobar islands from September 4. This would be the third private airline to operate its flights to Port Blair, the capital city of Andamans. Air Sahara will be introducing its flights in Kolkata-Port Blair-Kolkata sector and Delhi-Port Blair-Delhi via Kolkata from September 4, an official release said today.— UNI

Top

 


Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |