SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

Equal opportunities, not quota: Ratan Tata
Ratan TataChennai, June 14
Providing equal opportunities to all in accessing jobs is a better solution to correct social imbalance than simply reserving jobs for the underprivileged, business tycoon Ratan Tata said today. "We want to create India as a land of equal opportunities for all. We should create a land of equality.

Sonalika group to pump in Rs 1,150 crore
New Delhi, June 14
Charting out expansion plans in its utility vehicle and farm equipment businesses, Sonalika Group today said it will invest about Rs 1,150 crore in the next three years. The investments would be through its two subsidiaries - International Cars and Motors Ltd (ICML) and International Tractors Ltd (ITL).
Models pose with Sonalika's new Rhino Rx motorcar at its launch in New Delhi on Thursday.
Models pose with Sonalika's new Rhino Rx motorcar at its launch in New Delhi on Thursday. —Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

Vat panel meeting today
Ficci seeks ‘declared goods’ status for gas
New Delhi, June 14
The high-powered committee of state finance ministers on value-added tax (VAT) at its meeting tomorrow is likely to consider giving 'declared goods' status to natural gas that will restrict sales tax on the fuel at 4 per cent in all states.



EARLIER STORIES

 
Bollywood actress Dia Mirza and Samsung Telecommunications managing director H.C.Ryu hold a newly launched mobile phone in New Delhi on Thursday. Samsung has launched three new metal series mobile phones — SGH E840, SGH D900i and SGH D840.
Bollywood actress Dia Mirza and Samsung Telecommunications managing director H.C.Ryu hold a newly launched mobile phone in New Delhi on Thursday. Samsung has launched three new metal series mobile phones — SGH E840, SGH D900i and SGH D840.—Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

DLF public offer oversubscribed
Mumbai, June 14
The mega initial public offer (IPO) of DLF Ltd, through which the developer is expecting to garner Rs 9,625 crore, today got subscribed 2.36 times in the first hour of its last day of the offer. The issue received 41.31 crore bids for its 17.5 crore equity shares.

HDFC to raise $700m from overseas
New Delhi, June 14
Country’s second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is understood to have appointed Merrill Lynch and UBS as merchant bankers to help raise about $700 million through issue of fresh equity in overseas markets.

Wipro introduces eco-friendly computers
Bangalore, June 14
Wipro Infotech, an arm of Wipro Ltd, today launched its eco-friendly range of desktops, claiming it was the first Indian company to do so.

High attrition rate hits services sector
New Delhi, June 14
Increasing opportunities and employee aspirations induced by robust economic growth have led to an unhealthy attrition rate, exceeding 20 per cent for India Inc, with services sector facing the maximum brunt, a study shows.

CBDT extends date for FBT payment
New Delhi, June 14
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided that the first instalment of fringe benefit tax (FBT), which is payable by tomorrow in respect of transfer or allotment of specified security or sweat equity shares to its employees, may now be paid by September 15, the date of second instalment.

Tata Indicom unveils ‘Freedom Call Voucher’
New Delhi, June 14
Unlimited free local calls within a telecom operator’s own network has become a standard norm with Tata Indicom joining the bandwagon and charging 49 paise to other mobile phones. The Tata group telecom company today launched a Rs 325 pre-paid card, ‘Freedom Call Voucher.’

Miss India 2007 Pooja Gupta poses with a mobile at the launch of Tata Indicom's scheme and entry-level colour handsets in New Delhi on Thursday.—Tribune photo by Manas Ranjan


Miss India 2007 Pooja Gupta poses with a mobile at the launch of Tata Indicom's scheme and entry-level colour handsets in New Delhi on Thursday.

Industrial package eludes Musaffir’s constituency
Nahan, June 14
The Pachhad assembly constituency, represented by Himachal Vidhan Sabha speaker Gangu Ram Musaffir, has become vulnerable on account of non-inclusion in the industrial package by the union government.

ICICI issue opens on June 19
Mumbai, June 14
ICICI Bank today said it would announce the price band for its mega follow-on public issue on June 18, a day before it opens for subscription.

LIC Housing to launch reverse mortgage scheme
Mumbai, June 14
LIC Housing Finance (LICHFL) today said it would launch reverse mortgage schemes for senior citizens in a couple of months, under which the elderly will be able to take loan of up to 45 per cent of value of their homes.

Video
Cynosure enterprises launches electric bike.
(56k)

 

 

Top



 

 

 

Equal opportunities, not quota: Ratan Tata

Chennai, June 14
Providing equal opportunities to all in accessing jobs is a better solution to correct social imbalance than simply reserving jobs for the underprivileged, business tycoon Ratan Tata said today.

"We want to create India as a land of equal opportunities for all. We should create a land of equality. We have been co-operating with the CII on this, much before the talks on reservation began," the chairman of Tata Sons said in an informal chat with reporters here today.

His response came on the sidelines of the CII's national summit on corporate social responsibility when his reaction was sought on political parties' demand for reservation for OBCs, SCs and STs in the private sector.

CII's affirmative action plan comprises of measures to enable SCs, STs and OBCs to increase their employability and sharpen their entrepreneurial skills.

Only last week, steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan had demanded immediate reservation of jobs for these backward classes in private sector.

A Group of Ministers constituted to look into the matter has submitted its recommendations, which are being discussed by the government.

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent appeal to corporate sector to put a cap on the salaries of top executives, Ratan Tata said: "In Tata Sons, we never offer extravagant salaries and so I do not know about it".

Tata denied that his group has made an exit from the oil exploration business.

"In a group, which had 80 to 90 companies, some might be big and some small, but that did not mean it had left the exploration sector," he said.

He said the group was looking at more acquisitions in the beverages sector.

Commenting on the group's telecom business, Ratan Tata said the group has to grow in the sector so that it could provide "end-to-end solutions." The group had made a beginning in the sector by entering the CDMA technology. "But when third generation technology comes to the country, we are interested in that too," he said.— PTI

Top

 

Sonalika group to pump in Rs 1,150 crore

New Delhi, June 14
Charting out expansion plans in its utility vehicle and farm equipment businesses, Sonalika Group today said it will invest about Rs 1,150 crore in the next three years.

The investments would be through its two subsidiaries - International Cars and Motors Ltd (ICML) and International Tractors Ltd (ITL).

While ICML would invest about Rs 700 crore on capacity expansion, enhancing its design facility and development of a new sports utility vehicle, ITL would invest about Rs 450 crore on setting up a new tractor manufacturing unit in south India and ramping up existing capacity.

“We are looking at setting up a greenfield tractor manufacturing plant in south India. We have written to the governments of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for the purpose,” Sonalika Group chairman L D Mittal told reporters here.

He said the new plant will entail an investment of about Rs 250-300 crore, with an annual capacity of about 40,000 units.

ITL would also invest Rs 150 crore on doubling capacity of its current facility at Hoshiarpur in Punjab to 80,000 units per annum, he said.

ICML managing director Deepak Mittal said the company would invest Rs 700 crore by 2009 on new product development and increasing utility vehicle manufacturing capacity at Una in Himachal Pradesh.

Of the Rs 700 crore investment planned by ICML, about Rs 200-250 crore will go into the development of a sports utility vehicle, which is expected to be launched after two years.

Besides, the company is expanding the utility vehicle manufacturing capacity at Una to 60,000 units per annum. It could require an investment of about Rs 250 crore, he added.

Meanwhile, the company today launched an upgraded version of its MUV Rhino Rx, which has been priced between Rs 5.85 lakh and Rs 6.95 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). — PTI

Top

 

Vat panel meeting today
Ficci seeks ‘declared goods’ status for gas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 14
The high-powered committee of state finance ministers on value-added tax (VAT) at its meeting tomorrow is likely to consider giving 'declared goods' status to natural gas that will restrict sales tax on the fuel at 4 per cent in all states.

The committee, headed by West Bengal finance minister Asim Dasgupta, will meet in Srinagar, official sources here said.

At present, natural gas or regassified LNG attracts different rates of sales tax and is as high as 20 per cent in some states. On the other hand, other fuels such as coal and crude oil already enjoy the 'declared goods' status and attract only up to 4 per cent sales tax in all states.

On the eve of the meeting, industry chamber Ficci has also urged the Empowered Committee to grant “declared goods status” for natural gas, in the absence of which the high and multi-point sales tax on natural gas is grievously hurting user industries, particularly the fertiliser and power sectors.

The discriminatory treatment meted out to natural gas, Ficci feels, is anomalous in the current situation when natural gas is fast moving towards becoming the fuel of the future.

Rather than giving a fiscal stimulus for the development of natural gas, it has to compete with coal, which enjoys “declared goods” status under Section 14 of the Central Sales Tax Act 1956 and thereby subjected to sales tax only at 4 per cent.

Similarly, crude oil also enjoys “declared goods” status. Why should then there be a discriminatory tax treatment between natural gas and crude oil when both belong to the same category ‘petroleum,’ Ficci said.

Top

 

DLF public offer oversubscribed

Mumbai, June 14
The mega initial public offer (IPO) of DLF Ltd, through which the developer is expecting to garner Rs 9,625 crore, today got subscribed 2.36 times in the first hour of its last day of the offer. The issue received 41.31 crore bids for its 17.5 crore equity shares.

The issue, which opened on June 11, would close at the end of working hours today. The company received decent response yesterday from the Qualified Institutional Buyers, with the portion reserved for them getting subscribed over three times. — PTI

Top

 

HDFC to raise $700m from overseas

New Delhi, June 14
Country’s second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is understood to have appointed Merrill Lynch and UBS as merchant bankers to help raise about $700 million through issue of fresh equity in overseas markets.

The issue is likely to hit the market in July and the pre-offer formalities are currently going on, market sources said.

The bank had earlier said it plans to raise about $1 billion (Rs 4,200 crore) of additional share capital in 2007, of which over a quarter would be raised through a preferential issuance to its parent company HDFC.

Currently, HDFC Bank’s shares are listed on the BSE and the NSE, while its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The ADRs rose by 0.8 per cent to $81.85 at NYSE yesterday, taking the company’s market capitalisation to $8.6 billion.

HDFC Bank is raising fresh money for its future growth and to meet capital adequacy requirement for Basel-II norms. — PTI

Top

 

Wipro introduces eco-friendly computers

Bangalore, June 14
Wipro Infotech, an arm of Wipro Ltd, today launched its eco-friendly range of desktops, claiming it was the first Indian company to do so.

The new range of products called Wipro GreenWare, which include desktops and laptops, is compliant with RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive, thereby reducing substantial e-waste.

“At present, eight products - five desktops and three notebooks - are 100 per cent RoHS-compliant. By year- end, we want to ensure that the entire product range of laptops and desktops is RoHS-compliant,” Ashutosh Vaidya, vice-president, Wipro Personal Computing, told reporters here.

Wipro has set up its e-waste management process called Wipro Green Computing, which spans across its product’s life cycle i.e. from designing and manufacturing to the final disposal. — PTI

Top

 

High attrition rate hits services sector

New Delhi, June 14
Increasing opportunities and employee aspirations induced by robust economic growth have led to an unhealthy attrition rate, exceeding 20 per cent for India Inc, with services sector facing the maximum brunt, a study shows.

An Assocham Business Barometer Survey on 'Attrition problem in a growing economy' has revealed that attrition rate at 40 per cent is alarming in the services sector, while the same in manufacturing was 20 per cent.

Maximum attrition is taking place among employees in the age group of 26-30 years, while those with an experience of 2-4 years are most vulnerable to job-hopping, the survey covering 160 HR heads noted.

Interestingly, women employees were less prone to job changing compared to men.

"For every 10 males jumping the fence there were only two females crossing over. Even if women face the pressure of balancing the management of their families and workplace, they tend to be more stable than their male colleagues," 52 per cent of HR managers surveyed said.

With India joining the globalised world of business, the movement of workforce across national boundaries has also added to the rising level of employee turnover, according to 72 per cent of the ABB respondents.

The immediate gains in salary package was found to be responsible for job change in 61 per cent of the cases, growth potential was also rated quite high as an important reason.

Almost 90 per cent of the respondents said recruitment is an ongoing process throughout the year. The average increase in salaries offered with new placement ranges between 25-30 per cent depending on the salary structure and individual strengths.

Companies that are in the process of expanding face higher attrition rates compared to established firms, going by 65 per cent of the respondents.

Emergence of online job portals such as Timesjobs.com, naukri.com, monster.com and clickjobs.com have contributed to higher employee turnover, as agreed by 68 per cent of those surveyed. — PTI 

Top

 

CBDT extends date for FBT payment
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 14
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided that the first instalment of fringe benefit tax (FBT), which is payable by tomorrow in respect of transfer or allotment of specified security or sweat equity shares to its employees, may now be paid by September 15, the date of second instalment.

CBDT is currently in the process of notifying the method for determination of the fair market value. In the meantime, the first instalment of advance tax in respect of FBT falls due on June 15.

In the absence of a method for determination of the fair market value, it will not be possible for an employer to determine the value of the first instalment of advance tax related to FBT in respect of allotment or transfer of specified security or sweat equity shares to its employees, an official statement said here today.

By virtue of the provision of clause (d) of sub-section (1) section 115 WB, an employer is liable to pay FBT on any consideration for employment provided by way of any specified security or sweat equity shares allotted or transferred, directly or indirectly, by such employer free of cost or at concessional rate to his employees.

Top

 

Tata Indicom unveils ‘Freedom Call Voucher’

New Delhi, June 14
Unlimited free local calls within a telecom operator’s own network has become a standard norm with Tata Indicom joining the bandwagon and charging 49 paise to other mobile phones.

The Tata group telecom company today launched a Rs 325 pre-paid card, ‘Freedom Call Voucher’, with a talk time of Rs 150 along with unlimited free local calls in the Tata Indicom network of both fixed line and mobile, while to other local mobile phones it would cost 49 paise and to other fixed lines the customers would have to pay 99 paise.

The validity of the card is 30 days and STD rates for own as well as other networks would be Rs 2.49 paise.

Tata Teleservices consumer business president Naresh Malhan claimed that offers from Tata Indicom were better in terms of value than other similar offers available and expected that it would help in increasing the firm’s average revenue per user.

The ‘Go Active Regular’ starter pack at Rs 299 entitles a customer free incoming facility for a year and 1,000 minutes of free Tata-to-Tata calls valid for six months on three handsets of Huawei at Rs 1,499, Haier at Rs 1,200 and a Kyocera at Rs 1,999.

Meanwhile, Tata Teleservices Ltd circle operating officer (Punjab) Subhash

Arya said in Chandigarh today that the company plans to spend Rs 100 crore in the current fiscal for expanding network base in Punjab. — PTI

Top

 

Industrial package eludes Musaffir’s constituency
Vidya Rattan Sharma
Tribune News Service

Nahan, June 14
The Pachhad assembly constituency, represented by Himachal Vidhan Sabha speaker Gangu Ram Musaffir, has become vulnerable on account of non-inclusion in the industrial package by the union government.

In Kotla Barog, a village bordering Solan district, a bio-technology park was scheduled to come up. But the prospect of setting up the unit has diminished due to the non-availability of facilities. Like wise, chances of other industrial units like floriculture in Naina Tikker village and a pharmaceutical unit at Ghandoori village, too, have been decreased.

“The prospects of fast industrialisation are set to decrease as concessional avenues, like tax rebate and cheap land, would not be available at hand for the potential entrepreneurs,” residents of Saindhar village said.

A number of khasras, under the Patwar circle of Saindhar and Sarahan, have not been incorporated in the list of approved central industrial package, Jai Gopal Sharma, general manager, District Industries Centre stated.

About six small-scale industries were buoyant to invest their capital in the Pachhad constituency but due to unavailable package, potential entrepreneurs now have decided to switch over to Uttarakhand and other areas.

The general manager, local District Industries Centre, however, said a proposal for the central package is being prepared and would be forwarded to the union ministry.

Top

 

ICICI issue opens on June 19

Mumbai, June 14
ICICI Bank today said it would announce the price band for its mega follow-on public issue on June 18, a day before it opens for subscription.

The bank, whose issue would close on June 22, said it would offer a discount of up to 5 per cent and part payment option for retail investors.

The Rs 10,062-crore issue includes a greenshoe option to allocate additional equity shares of up to Rs 1,312.50 crore, ICICI Group CFO Vishakha Mulye told reporters here.

The bank also proposes to raise an equal amount Rs 10,062.50 crore, through an issue of American Depository Shares (ADS) to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), she added.

The ICICI issue is the biggest ever share sale by an Indian company, ahead of DLF's IPO that proposes to mop up as much as Rs 9,625 crore. — PTI

Top

 

LIC Housing to launch reverse mortgage scheme

Mumbai, June 14
LIC Housing Finance (LICHFL) today said it would launch reverse mortgage schemes for senior citizens in a couple of months, under which the elderly will be able to take loan of up to 45 per cent of value of their homes.

"We are interested in reverse mortgage. We are working on it and the product will be launched in a couple of months as the National Housing Bank (NHB) has already come out with guidelines," LICHFL chief executive officer and director S K Mitter said in an interview.

Under the reverse mortgage scheme, senior citizens and their spouses will get loan of up to 45 per cent of the value of their property with repayment stretching to up to 15 years, he said.

The person seeking reverse mortgage would have the option of getting the property revalued every five years and at the end of the term of the mortgage, he has to repay the loan amount with interest, he said.

The scheme would be available for senior citizens aged up to 75. One of the spouses could, however, be 55-60 years if the property is jointly owned.

Giving details of the scheme that is being worked out with the housing companies, he said the interest on reverse mortgage would be a floating rate on par with the prevailing rates on housing loans.— PTI

Top

 
BRIEFLY

Alstom bags Rs 950-cr order
New Delhi, June 14
French power equipment supplier Alstom today said it has won a contract valued at Euro175 million (Rs 950 crore) for building a power plant in Gujarat. Alstom bagged the contract from Gujarat State Electricity Corporation for a 370 MW combined cycle power plant. This plant will be an extension of the existing power plant at Utran in Surat, a company statement said. — PTI

Ministry merger
New Delhi, June 14
The government has merged the erstwhile ministry of small scale industries (SSI) and the ministry of agro and rural industries and formed a new one, namely, ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises. A notification of the cabinet secretariat has been issued to this effect. In keeping with the new name of the ministry, name of the office of development commissioner (small scale industries) has also been changed to office of the development commissioner (micro, small and medium enterprises), an official release said here today. — TNS

IDBI arm
Mumbai, June 14
IDBI Ltd today announced the launch of IDBI Gilts Ltd as its wholly-owned primary dealer (PD) subsidiary. “We see IDBI spanning to all segments of the financial services space, be it banking, insurance, PD, asset management or private equity. I’m sure the new company will reach the pre-eminent position in the government securities market,” IDBI chairman and managing director V P Shetty said after inaugurating the IDBI Gilts office here. — PTI

ING Vysya
Bangalore, June 14
ING Vysya Bank today announced the launch of a zero balance account, called ‘Freedom Savings Account’. The new product is targeted at middle income group customers, who are cost sensitive and demand total transparency in pricing, ING Vysya chief executive officer and managing director Vaughan Rictor told reporters here. — PTI

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 |