SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

3 PSUs get navratna status
New Delhi, June 22
Finance minister P Chidambaram today urged the public sector undertakings (PSUs) to adopt global benchmark for their services and products and asked unlisted public sector companies to list on stock exchanges to unlock their true value.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram with union minister for heavy industries & public enterprises Santosh Mohan Dev at the release of guidelines on corporate governance for central public sector enterprises, in New Delhi on Friday.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram with union minister for heavy industries & public enterprises Santosh Mohan Dev at the release of guidelines on corporate governance for central public sector enterprises, in New Delhi on Friday. —Tribune photo by Manas Ranjan

Inflation slips to 13-month low at 4.28 per cent
New Delhi, June 22
Decline in the prices of fruits, lentils and cereals saw the inflation dipping to a 13-month low at 4.28 per cent for the week ended June 9 as compared to 4.8 per cent in the previous week. Despite the inflation rate remaining below the 5 per cent mark for the third consecutive week and within the RBI’s target level of 4 to 4.5 per cent, finance minister P Chidambaram cautioned policy makers against premature exuberance.



EARLIER STORIES

 

End of road for G-4: Nath
New Delhi, June 22
India today said that there is no future for the grouping of four key WTO members (India, Brazil, the USA and the EU), popularly called ‘G-4’, as a platform for breaking the deadlock of Doha Rounds of multilateral trade negotiation.

36 SEZs okayed, 5 in Haryana
New Delhi, June 22
The Board of Approval (BoA) of the special economic zones (SEZs) today cleared 36 proposals, including three SEZs promoted by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his aide Anand Jain.

Patel favours private airports
Washington, June 22
As India prepares to allow merchant airports, civil aviation minister Praful Patel made a case for engaging private players to tackle infrastructural challenges in the sector.

BoI buys 76 pc in Indonesian bank
Mumbai, June 22
Public sector lender Bank of India (BoI) today said it has acquired 76 per cent stake in Indonesia-based PT Bank Swadesi for an undisclosed amount.

India tops retail investment chart
New Delhi, June 22
India has retained its position as the most attractive emerging market in the retail sector for the third year in a row, while China has jumped to the third spot, consultancy firm AT Kearney said in its new study.

Govt hikes coal royalty rates
Power tariff set to move up
New Delhi, June 22
Power tariff is set to go up with the government yesterday increasing the coal royalty paid to the states for coal by 14 per cent. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) took the decision to increase the royalty on persistant demand from coal producing states.

Govt to boost textile, garment industry
New Delhi, June 22
The government has decided to accord textile and garment industry high priority as it is expected to create high employment.

ICICI issue oversubscribed more than 10 times
Mumbai, June 22
The follow on public issue of ICICI Bank was oversubscribed more than 10 times.

Civil supplies corp achieves record turnover
Shimla, June 22
The HP State Civil Supplies Corporation has achieved a record turnover of Rs 692 crore, registering an increase of Rs 138 crore over the corresponding period last year.

 

 

Top



 

 

 

3 PSUs get navratna status
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
Finance minister P Chidambaram today urged the public sector undertakings (PSUs) to adopt global benchmark for their services and products and asked unlisted public sector companies to list on stock exchanges to unlock their true value.

“How long you can hide behind the wall of tariff barriers or non-tariff barriers…It will fall one day. So, infuse competitiveness and measure to the efficiency level set by global competitiveness,” Chidambaram said after conferring ‘navratna status’ on three PSUs — Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Power Finance Corporation (PFC), giving them more financial and administrative powers.

Asserting that the UPA government was committed to strengthen public sector enterprises, the finance minister said from 2003-04 to 2007-08, the Centre has given an equity support of Rs 31,402 crore and loan support (both planned and non-planned) of Rs 18,667 crore to the PSUs.

With the conferment of the coveted status on the three companies, now 12 public sector enterprises are navratna, the title originally meant for nine companies in 1997.

These three PSUs will now be able to forge joint ventures, both in India and abroad, which can be up to 15 per cent of their net worth or Rs 1,000 crore, whichever is lower, without taking prior permission of the administrative ministry.

Moreover, the board will also have the power to decide on merger and acquisitions.

Heavy industries minister Santosh Mohan Deb said four more PSUs — National Aluminium Company (Nalco), National Mineral Development Corporation, Power Grid Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation — would also be given navratna status as soon as they fill all vacancies for independent directors. 

Top

 

Inflation slips to 13-month low at 4.28 per cent
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
Decline in the prices of fruits, lentils and cereals saw the inflation dipping to a 13-month low at 4.28 per cent for the week ended June 9 as compared to 4.8 per cent in the previous week.

Despite the inflation rate remaining below the 5 per cent mark for the third consecutive week and within the RBI’s target level of 4 to 4.5 per cent, finance minister P Chidambaram cautioned policy makers against premature exuberance. The annual rate of inflation stood at 5.29 per cent in the corresponding week last year.

The decline in the inflation rate and its stabilisation at 4 to 4.5 per cent level would make things easier for the RBI to end its two-and-a-half year run of interest-rate increases.

While acknowledging that the monetary measures had its desired impact, Chidambaram cautioned “it was too early to reach any conclusion.”

Decline in inflation is mainly due to 0.3 per cent decrease in the food articles group because of lower prices of moong, fish-marine (2 per cent each) and gram, wheat, maize and fruits and vegetables (1 per cent each).

The index for manufactured products, touching 63.75 per cent in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), remained unchanged.

The index for non-food articles group rose by 0.3 per cent to 205.5 for the previous week due to higher prices of sunflower, cotton seed, raw cotton, groundnut seed and soyabean (1 per cent each).

Top

 

End of road for G-4: Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
India today said that there is no future for the grouping of four key WTO members (India, Brazil, the USA and the EU), popularly called ‘G-4’, as a platform for breaking the deadlock of Doha Rounds of multilateral trade negotiation.

However, New Delhi asserted that it would continue to engage in dialogue bilaterally and multilaterally with other like-minded member countries to carry forward the negotiations.

“It’s the end of the road for G-4... Now, its for the full membership (of the WTO) to take the Doha Round forward,” commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said today.

The talks broke down because of the failure of the developed countries to accept effective reductions in their agricultural subsidies and at the same time seeking additional market access in the developing countries for their agricultural products, including for their highly subsidised ones.

“Agreeing to this would have not only been against the mandate of the Doha Development Round, it would have seriously jeopardised the livelihoods of the farmers of the developing and least developed countries and threatened the food security of many poorer nations,” Nath said.

He said the other major issue was the unwillingness of the developed countries to accept the discipline of the international convention on bio-diversity in the arena of patents and trade marks so as to allow untrammeled exploitation of traditional knowledge and natural genetic resources, without prior consent or benefit sharing with the community.

Top

 

36 SEZs okayed, 5 in Haryana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
The Board of Approval (BoA) of the special economic zones (SEZs) today cleared 36 proposals, including three SEZs promoted by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his aide Anand Jain.

The BoA, which considered 52 proposals, also cleared Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications’ IT SEZ at Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City in Maharashtra. The Board has also given ‘in principle’ clearance to 9 SEZ proposals.

With this set of approvals, the total number of SEZs granted formal approval is 339 (having land in possession). Of these, 126 have so far been notified.

Investment of Rs 35,145 crore has taken place so far and current employment in new SEZs is about 33,000 persons, it said, adding it was expected that by end of the year additional employment in the new SEZs would cross 100,000.

Mukesh Ambani and Anand Jain-promoted Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd proposes to set up three zones covering an area of 345.99 hectares.

The consortium also plans a 1,250-hectare multi-product SEZ in the area which is awaiting clearance from the BoA.

The BoA has also approved five SEZ proposals in Haryana, which included Raheja Haryana SEZ Developers Pvt Ltd’s engineering SEZ at Gurgaon (102 hectares), Mohan Investments and Properties Pvt Ltd-promoted IT/ITES SEZ at Gurgaon (28.04 hectares), Mayar India Ltd’s biotechnology SEZ at Gurgaon , G P Realtors-promoted electronic hardware and IT/ITES SEZ at Gurgaon (11.03 hectares) and DLF’s electronic hardware and IT/ITES SEZ at Sonepat.

The BoA also approved an electronic hardware SEZ promoted by Foxconn. The company already has an SEZ in the country and plans to invest $400 million in the new facility. In all, Foxconn wants to invest $1.5 billion in India.

The Board also approved a 235-hectare SEZ in the textiles sector. Promoted by Sri Lanka-based MNC MAS Fabric Park, the zone in Andhra Pradesh involves a total investment of Rs 880 crore.

The BoA also approved two SEZs in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. A proposal by Ramky Infrastructure to set up a 1,012-hectare multi-product SEZ in West Bengal was given an in-principle clearance.

Top

 

Patel favours private airports

Washington, June 22
As India prepares to allow merchant airports, civil aviation minister Praful Patel made a case for engaging private players to tackle infrastructural challenges in the sector.

“We need more pilot training facilities, we need more engineering facilities and we need more technical people. The real challenge is to build infrastructure in the shortest possible time. Otherwise we cannot sustain this kind of growth,” he said here yesterday.

India must allow private players to build new merchant airports and should promote regional airlines in tier two and tier three cities with one major hub in the region, if it aims to widen the sector, Patel said.

Merchant airports are private airports, which will be built on private land within the civil aviation parameters. — PTI

Indo-US pact in aviation sector

With the country’s aviation industry facing challenges of rising passenger level and cargo volume, India today entered into an agreement with the USA to establish an aviation cooperation programme to modernise the sector’s infrastructure.

A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed between the visiting Indian civil aviation minister Praful Patel and the secretary, US Department of Transportation (USTDA), Mary Peters here.

Under the programme, the USTDA, the civil aviation ministry, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the public sector entities of both nations will partner with the USA industry to identify and support modernisation of India’s civil aviation sector. — PTI 

 

Top

 

BoI buys 76 pc in Indonesian bank

Mumbai, June 22
Public sector lender Bank of India (BoI) today said it has acquired 76 per cent stake in Indonesia-based PT Bank Swadesi for an undisclosed amount.

This is the first overseas acquisition by BoI, which has a representative office in Jakarta, and is expected to enhance its international operations in Indonesia.

Bank Swadesi has a licence for forex business and is listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange.

The acquisition would be completed after obtaining necessary approval or confirmations from Bank Indonesia and capital market regulators in Indonesia, BoI had said.

This would be the second acquisition of a bank in Indonesia by an Indian lender after the State Bank of India bought 76 per cent stake in Bank Indomonex. — PTI

Top

 

India tops retail investment chart

New Delhi, June 22
India has retained its position as the most attractive emerging market in the retail sector for the third year in a row, while China has jumped to the third spot, consultancy firm AT Kearney said in its new study.

According to the study on attractiveness of retail investment in 30 emerging markets conducted by AT Kearney, India, Russia and China have grabbed the top three slots.

India and Russia retained their top two positions for the third straight year, while China moved up two positions on AT Kearney’s sixth annual Global Retail Development Index (GRDI).

Growth in modern retail formats was between 25 to 30 per cent in India, while it remained at about 13 per cent in China and Russia last year.

“As larger cities in India, China and Russia reach retail saturation, some retailers are entering countries through second and third-tier cities where consumers are ready to embrace western-style concepts and products due to influence of television, movies and the Internet,” the study noted. — PTI 

Top

 

Govt hikes coal royalty rates
Power tariff set to move up
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
Power tariff is set to go up with the government yesterday increasing the coal royalty paid to the states for coal by 14 per cent. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) took the decision to increase the royalty on persistant demand from coal producing states.

Of the total 1,32,110.21 MW electricity produced in the country, thermal power contributes 64.7 per cent of it with coal contributing 70,682.38 MW, which is 53.5 of the thermal power and rest being pitched in by gas and oil.

Finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the CCEA meeting that “any revision in cost will reflect in prices (at the consumer level).

Asked whether he was not concerned over the impact of royalty on inflation, he said it was “the right of the states” to seek revision in the rates and an assurance was also given to them in Parliament.

Chidambaram said the increase in revenue for the states, barring West Bengal, will be 24 per cent for coal and 27 per cent for lignite. The revenues of the coal-producing states would increase to Rs 3,718 crore from the current Rs 3,000 crore, he said.

The government also decided to enhance the sugar buffer stock to 50 lakh tonnes which would cushion the impact of falling prices on sugar mills and cane growers. Also, to mitigate any difficulties that the sugar mills may face in paying cane arrears, the government has decided to reschedule bank loans to the industry and has set up a group of ministers to look into the problem.

A committee chaired by Nabard executive director S.K. Mitra will consider rescheduling the loans, Chidambaram said, adding that the GoM will meet soon.

The government also gave a green signal to contract farming in the shape of clusters and detailed mapping of the food cluster in the country.

In addition, the integrated strategy for promotion of agri-business-vision, strategy and action plan for the food processing sector was also approved at the meeting.

The approved integrated strategy and action points will help realise the vision 2015 in trebling the size of the processed food sector and enhance farmer income, parliamentary affairs minister P R Dasmunsi said. 

Top

 

Govt to boost textile, garment industry
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
The government has decided to accord textile and garment industry high priority as it is expected to create high employment.

The decision to promote the textile sector in a big way was taken yesterday at the meeting of the high-level committee on manufacturing chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who directed that specific policies to encourage the sector should be put in place with high priority in plan allocation to this sector, a press release said here today.

The committee highlighted that adequate supply of fibre was essential for the long term growth of the textile and garment industry and for this purpose an expert committee would be constituted to prepare a comprehensive long term fibre policy covering both cotton and man made fibre, the release said.

The industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 16 per cent and there are signs of shortage of skilled manpower. It was decided that a major skill training programme be taken up to meet the short fall.

Since the growth of this sector would require textile machinery on a large scale, it was decided to set up a working group to look into the issues relating to the development of textile machinery and make necessary recommendations.

As the country was lagging behind in technical textiles, the committee had decided that the recommendations of an expert committee report would be implemented on a priority basis within six months.

Top

 

ICICI issue oversubscribed more than 10 times
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 22
The follow on public issue of ICICI Bank was oversubscribed more than 10 times.

In all, more than 100 crore bids were received for the 9.88 crore shares issue. Of these, 1.05 crore bids were at the cut off price.

Qualified institutional investors' portion was oversubscribed 10 times, according to information available on the NSE website.

Response from non-institutional investors like corporates and high net worth individuals was more tepid with the subscription coming in 1.5 times. Response from retail investors was poor despite the discount of Rs 50 offered on share prices. Only 33,76,428 shares were applied for as against the 3,28,74,294 shares reserved for this category.

Similarly existing shareholders were also cold to the offer. They applied for just 14,448 shares as against the 49,43,502 shares reserved for them despite a discount offer.

The FPO issue of ICICI Bank aims to raise around Rs 8,750 crore through the book-building route. In addition, there is a green shoe option of Rs 1,312.5 crore.

ICICI aims to garner another $2.1 billion from the US investors in American Depository Receipts.

Meanwhile, reports said Singaporean state investment agencies Temasek and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) are aiming to take their joint holdings in ICICI Bank to nearly 40 percent. 

Top

 

Civil supplies corp achieves record turnover
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 22
The HP State Civil Supplies Corporation has achieved a record turnover of Rs 692 crore, registering an increase of Rs 138 crore over the corresponding period last year.

This was disclosed by the civil supplies and consumer affairs minister Singhi Ram while addressing a meeting of the Board of Directors of the corporation yesterday. “The government has made a provision of Rs 100 crore for purchase of subsidised items like pulses, including malka, dal chana, urd, edible oil and iodised salt,” he stated.

He informed that between April to June, the corporation had purchased these subsidised items worth Rs 56 crore. He added that items worth Rs 21 crore had been distributed to the ration card holders. The board also reviewed the sale performance and other activities.

Top

 
BRIEFLY

Rolta India
Mumbai, June 22
Rolta India today said it has raised $150 million (over Rs 600 crore) through the issue of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) in international markets. The company would issue 1,500 FCCBs of $1,00,000 each aggregating to $150 million. The FCCBs are expected to be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, the company informed the BSE. — PTI

Sarovar Hotels
New Delhi, June 22
Sarovar Hotels has chalked out an ambitious Rs 500 crore plan to expand its operations in the country by building about two dozen hotels and is eyeing the lucrative market in the Gulf. The group has tied up with investors to build about 23 hotels and upgrade some of them. It is also building three hotels, two in Chennai and one in Chandigarh, out of its own funds, Sarovar Hotels executive director Ajay K Bakaya said. — PTI

Reliance Money
Chennai, June 22
Reliance Money has signed an agreement with Tata group’s IT arm CMC Ltd for setting up financial retail kiosks, besides training students of the software solutions provider in finance. As part of the agreement, Reliance Money would install its web-enabled retail kiosk at about 250 CMC franchisee outlets across the country, its CEO Sudip Bandyopadhyay said. — PTI

Sonalika foray
Hoshiarpur, June 22
City-based Sonalika group has forayed into auto finance sector. Deepak Mittal, managing director of Sonalika group, while announcing the launch of new company, namely International Autotrac Finance (IAFL) here yesterday, said it would finance the vehicles produced by International Tractors Ltd and International Cars and Motors. — OC

Idea awarded
New Delhi, June 22
Idea Cellular has said it has bagged the ‘India Operator of the Year’ award of the Asian Mobile News Journal in Singapore. Idea Cellular chief corporate affairs officer Rajat Mukarji received the award at a function held in Singapore, said a company release. — PTI

Trinity Capital
New Delhi, June 22
UK-based Trinity Capital Plc today said it will pick up about 1.66 per cent stake in Phoenix Mills for Rs 59.2 crore. Trinity would acquire 3.7 lakh shares for an aggregate of Rs 59.2 crore at a price of Rs 1,600 per share, the company said. — 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 |