SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor
Nath wants to alter plan for sake of MP

New Delhi, July 2
Even as the $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor was at an advanced stage of finalisation, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today wanted changes in the alignment of the ambitious project to include his home state Madhya Pradesh in it.
Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari has a word with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath at the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor meeting in New Delhi Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari has a word with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath at the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor meeting in New Delhi on Monday.
— AFP photo

Employee cost crosses trillion-rupee mark
New Delhi, July 2
Driven by ever-expanding workforce and salary levels, the employee expense bill of Indian corporates has grown beyond Rs 1,00,000 crore level with public sector companies and private sector IT giants retaining their position as the top spenders.



EARLIER STORIES

 

Demat accounts sans PAN frozen
New Delhi, July 2
NSDL and CDSL, the country's two top depositories for securities, have frozen more than 27.5 lakh demat accounts after regulator SEBI made it mandatory for investors to submit permanent account number for trading in stock markets. "Following SEBI's order on making PAN mandatory for operating demat accounts, we have frozen around 23 lakh demat accounts by June 23.

Exports growth slows down
New Delhi, July 2
India’s exports growth slowed down to 18.07 per cent in May this year at $11.86 billion as against April figure of 23.06 per cent. Imports rose by 26.36 per cent to $18.07 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $6.21 billion, according to official data released here today. Significantly, oil imports dropped by 2.99 per cent to $4.74 billion in May this fiscal from $4.88 billion in the same month of the previous year.



A man walks out of a foreign exchange booth in New Delhi on Monday. Amid concerns over rising rupee value, India's exports growth slowed down to 18.07 per cent in May this year at $11.86 billion in May. — AFP photo

A man walks out of a foreign exchange booth in New Delhi

Infosys chief against trade unions in IT sector
Thiruvananthapuram, July 2
Asserting that perception and image of the IT sector was a vital factor for its growth, Infosys Technologies CEO and MD Kris Gopalakrishnan today said trade unions were not desirable in the IT sector at this point of time. “It may not affect the industry, but there would be a change in the perception and image of the industry if trade unions are introduced,” Gopalakrishnan told a meet-the-press programme here.
A security guard stands at an entrance gate of Infosys Technologies in Bangalore
A security guard stands at an entrance gate of Infosys Technologies in Bangalore. India is likely to see software services revenue rise between 24 and 27 per cent to $49-$50 billion in the year to March 2008 as demand for outsourcing by Western clients remains strong. The sector saw a 33 per cent rise in exports to $31.4 billion for the year to March 2007, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) said. — AFP photo


Touch and go

Dealers engage in hectic trade in Mumbai
Dealers engage in hectic trade in Mumbai on Monday. The bourses returned to breaking records after a gap of about five months, but failed to keep most of the day’s gains. Riding high on strong buying, the Sensex scaled a new intra-day peak of 14,745.97 points and closed at a record high of 14,664.26 points. — AFP

Corporate Results
ABN Amro boss foresees CRR hike
Mumbai, July 2
Though interest rates have peaked, a hike in Cash Reserve Ratio by the RBI cannot be ruled out in the first quarterly review of monetary policy later this month, a top official of a foreign bank said today.

Hindalco inks mining pact
Mumbai, July 2
Aditya Birla flagship Hindalco Industries today said it has entered into a joint venture with Mahanadi Coal Ltd and Neyveli Lignite Corporation for carrying out mining activities.


A bank teller prepares stacks of 500 Philippine peso denomination for the banks automated cash dispenser on Monday with the local currency closing stronger at 45.905 to the US dollar
A bank teller prepares stacks of 500 Philippine peso denomination for the banks automated cash dispenser on Monday with the local currency closing stronger at 45.905 to the US dollar. Asia may need to establish its own monetary fund if it is to cope with future financial shocks similar to that which rocked the region 10 years ago officials conveyed at the Asian Development Bank, regional forum in Manila. — AFP

Vietnam to enhance trade
New Delhi, July 2
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung comes here on July 4 with a heavy economic agenda, coupled with the objective of doubling Indo-Vietnam bilateral trade to $2 billion.

ATF prices up
New Delhi, July 2
Air travel could become dearer with the leading downstream firm, Indian Oil Corporation today increasing the Aviation Turbine Fuel prices 2.86 per cent in tune with the international oil prices.

CBoP to raise capital
New Delhi, July 2
The board of directors of Centurion Bank of Punjab today passed an enabling resolution to raise tier-I capital up to Rs 5 billion. This will be done through an issue of equity shares via a qualified institutional placement offering.

Videos
Bajaj Auto sales slides 12 pc in June.
(56k)
Outward investment opening doors wider.
(56k)





Top








 

Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor
Nath wants to alter plan for sake of MP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
Even as the $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) was at an advanced stage of finalisation, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today wanted changes in the alignment of the ambitious project to include his home state Madhya Pradesh in it.

"The route alignment is incorrect because it does not include Madhya Pradesh. It has to be rectified and refined. The project can succeed only if the route alignment is changed," he said in a joint press conference with his visiting Japanese counterpart Akira Amari here.

As per the present proposal, the 1,483 km long DMIC would run through Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra and barely touch Madhya Pradesh.

Japan is one of the major funding countries of the corridor, the estimated cost of which has been doubled to $90 billion. In April, the Government had estimated the cost to remain between $40 billion and $50 billion.

Nath said a similar corridor would also come in the eastern states. "Other states like West Bengal have already expressed their willingness to replicate this model and I expect initial studies on the proposed Eastern India corridor to begin early next year," he said.

Emphasising that the DMIC should be implemented speedily, Amari said the project would not only attract investment from Japanese business community, but also facilitate to trigger a new industrial revolution in India.

Funds for the project would come from Indian government, Japanese loans, investment by Japanese firms and through Japan Depository Receipts issued by Indian companies, the Japanese Minister said.

Nath clarified that the $90 billion would be need to develop the infrastructure in the industrial belt that will come along the high-speed freight corridor being assisted by the Japanese Government.

The belt will extend to 150 km on either side of the freight corridor, he said.

The concept paper for the project would be finalised before the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India in August this year and work on the first phase would begin by January next year and would be completed by 2012, Nath said adding, “in the first phase, investment of $5 billion will go into the project.”

Earlier, making a presentation on the proposed DMIC, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Ajay Dua said in the first phase, focus would be in developing areas where industrial activities are already taking place to ensure cost effectiveness.

Replying to a question on the rising controversies over acquisition of land for industrial purposes, Nath said “a policy is being framed for land acquisition and land which people do not want to give up will not be acquired.”

“It (land acquisition) should all be on voluntary basis,” he added.

The project would be implemented by a corporate body - Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Corporation - in which government would keep its stake to a maximum of 50 per cent while the rest would be with infrastructure companies and financial institutions, Dua said.

The task force that is working out the details of the project has proposed an Apex Steering Authority headed by the Prime Minister, state chief ministers and six cabinet ministers dealing with infrastructure for the corridor.

To start work on project development, a $250 million project development fund is proposed to be set up with assistance of Japanese and Indian governments, he said.

The corporation would be entrusted with the job of planning of the project, development of its components, coordinating with stakeholders, raising finances, particularly overseas, and monitoring implementation.

The five investment regions short-listed are Dadri-Noida-Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, Manesar-Bawal in Haryana, Khushkhera-Bhiwandi-Neemrana in Rajasthan, Ahmedabad-Dholera in Gujarat and Igatpuri-Nasik-Sinnar in Maharashtra.

The industrial areas that have been identified are Meerut-Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Faridabad-Palwal in Haryana, Jaipur-Dausa in Rajasthan, Vadodara-Ankleshwar in Gujarat and Alewadi/ Dighi port in Maharashtra.

Top

 

Employee cost crosses trillion-rupee mark

New Delhi, July 2
Driven by ever-expanding workforce and salary levels, the employee expense bill of Indian corporates has grown beyond Rs 1,00,000 crore level with public sector companies and private sector IT giants retaining their position as the top spenders.

The collective employee expenses of companies, whose fiscal year end on March 31 and have announced their full-year results, has grown to Rs 1,14,900 crore, representing a 35 per cent gain over Rs 85,000 crore in the previous fiscal.

However, the combined turnover of these 505 companies, whose annual results are available with stock exchanges, has increased to Rs 14,31,209 crore. This represents a 13 per cent increase from the cumulative turnover of 644 companies last year, which stood at Rs 12,67,348 crore, based on the available data.

The companies spent close to 8 per cent of their collective turnover on employee expenses in the last fiscal, up from about 6 per cent a year ago.

The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) remained the biggest spender with annual employee cost of about Rs 10,600 crore for the year ended March 31.

SBI is followed by Tata group's IT arm TCS, the country's largest software exporter, which booked a bill of over Rs 7,700 crore for employee costs in the year.

Infosys and Wipro, the other two domestic IT giants, incurred employee expenses of Rs 6,314 crore and Rs 5,768 crore respectively.

PSU steel giant SAIL came at the fifth place with total employee expense bill of Rs 5,133 crore in the year.

While Satyam Computer's employee expenses stood at Rs 3,858 crore in FY07, PSU oil giants like ONGC and IndianOil Corp (IOC) also spent close to Rs 3,000 crore each on their workforce.

Besides other IT firms, banks and metal firms also emerged as major spenders on employees.

Fourteen banks, from both public and private sectors, featured in the top fifty companies' list in terms of employee expenses.

Largest private sector lender ICICI Bank was at ninth position with a total bill of about Rs 2,636 crore, while Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, Indian Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and UTI Bank booked employee expenses between Rs 400-2,400 crore.

Besides, companies like Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Steel, L&T, Aditya Birla Nuvo, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Tech Mahindra recorded employee expenses of between Rs 1,000-2,500 crore each.

In the previous year ended March 31, 2006, SBI was on the top with annual employee expenses of Rs 10,764 crore, a tad higher than its latest year bill. However, most of the major spenders have seen an increase in their employee expenses in FY07.

TCS' bill increased from Rs 4,720 crore in FY06, while Infosys, Wipro and Satyam also recorded higher employee expenses in their latest fiscal. — PTI

Top

 

Demat accounts sans PAN frozen

New Delhi, July 2
NSDL and CDSL, the country's two top depositories for securities, have frozen more than 27.5 lakh demat accounts after regulator SEBI made it mandatory for investors to submit permanent account number (PAN) for trading in stock markets.

"Following SEBI's order on making PAN mandatory for operating demat accounts, we have frozen around 23 lakh demat accounts by June 23. These could be activated by investors only by providing necessary details about their PAN cards," a senior NSDL official said.

In fact, almost every fourth demat account with National Securities Depository Ltd and Central Depositories Services (India) Ltd is now frozen. Investors were required to provide PAN card details for opening demat accounts from April 2006.

Even existing investors were asked to submit PAN details.

The official, however, declined to disclose how many investors had opened multiple demat accounts by provide false information about PAN.

Sources said Finance Ministry had asked SEBI to take stringent steps in view of some recent frauds in stock market.

As on June 15, 2007, a total of 4.54 demat accounts were suspended, out of a total 25.49 accounts by the CDSL also.

These included 1.67 lakh with balance amount and 2.87 lakh without any balance, official sources said.

Although the number of demat accounts with CDSL increased from 21.62 lakh as on December 31, 2006 to 25.49 lakh now, many of these were opened by account holders as benami accounts by providing false information.

The total number of demat accounts with NSDL has come down from 79.03 lakh as on March 31 this fiscal, to 77.77 lakh by June 23, while 54.66 lakh demat accounts were operational.

Sources said the SEBI decision has adversely affected trading in certain stocks, as the demat accounts of a large number of retail accounts have been frozen. In fact, over 25 per cent of the total demat accounts are currently frozen by these two depositories.

The sources said due to stringent norms imposed by the SEBI, the growth of demat accounts have slowed down and a number of investors have closed down accounts.

Ever since PAN was made compulsory, and know your client (KYC) norms made stringent following unearthing of the IPO demat scam, a number of duplicate accounts have been closed as they did not have PAN cards. — PTI

Top

 

Exports growth slows down
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
India’s exports growth slowed down to 18.07 per cent in May this year at $11.86 billion as against April figure of 23.06 per cent.

Imports rose by 26.36 per cent to $18.07 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $6.21 billion, according to official data released here today.

Significantly, oil imports dropped by 2.99 per cent to $4.74 billion in May this fiscal from $4.88 billion in the same month of the previous year.

Non-oil imports went up by 41.58 per cent to $13.33 billion against $9.42 billion in May 2006-07.

Exporters have been making a strong case before the government for relief given over 8 per cent increase in the value of rupee against dollar in the past few months.

According to commerce ministry officials, the Prime Minister’s Office is working on a package which may be announced in the next 10 days.

Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said though hardening of rupee against dollar is a matter of concern for the exporting community, the real impact could be gauged only in the next couple of months.

Top

 

Infosys chief against trade unions in IT sector

Thiruvananthapuram, July 2
Asserting that perception and image of the IT sector was a vital factor for its growth, Infosys Technologies CEO and MD Kris Gopalakrishnan today said trade unions were not desirable in the IT sector at this point of time.

“It may not affect the industry, but there would be a change in the perception and image of the industry if trade unions are introduced,” Gopalakrishnan told a meet-the-press programme here.

Justifying his stand, Gopalakrishnan said the IT sector was a well-paid industry and employees were happy. “What is the reason for trade unions now in the IT sector?” he asked.

“We must seriously consider whether it is the right time to have trade unions in the IT sector. It might hurt the industry,” he added.

However, he said problems in the IT sector, if any, should be addressed through discussions and IT bodies should take the initiative in this regard.

Stating that the IT sector employs 10 lakh people now and was growing fast, generating two to three lakh jobs every year, he said IT jobs were well-paid and very attractive.

On merger and take over of foreign IT companies by Indian companies, he said, it would integrate the industry with global economy.

Welcoming the centre’s move to abolish tax holidays in the IT sector, he said all companies would have to pay tax. However, he added that as long as such a scheme existed, “we will also take advantage of it.”

On Infosys plans for the state, Gopalakrishnan said the Infosys centre here presently employs 1,100 people and with the expansion of the centre, the company would increase its staff strength by another 5,000. — PTI

Top

 

Corporate Results
ABN Amro boss foresees CRR hike

Mumbai, July 2
Though interest rates have peaked, a hike in Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by the RBI cannot be ruled out in the first quarterly review of monetary policy later this month, a top official of a foreign bank said today.

“Inflation concerns have been mitigated and we are at peak with interest rates. However, the desire to mop up liquidity remains and a CRR hike cannot be ruled out,” ABN Amro country executive (India) Romesh Sobti said.

ABN Amro also announced its results for 2006-07. The net profit of the bank for the fiscal was up by 59.44 per cent to Rs 385.35 crore with robust growth in deposits. It’s net non-performing assets to net advances stood at 0.12 per cent. The capital adequacy ratio enhanced to 11.34 per cent as on March 31 from 10.44 per cent as on March 31, 2006.

The total capital and retained earnings now stand at Rs 1973.93 crore. The net profit growth was fuelled by a balanced interest and fee-based income growth.

Radico Khaitan

Liquor company Radico Khaitan Ltd today said its total income rose by 20 per cent at Rs 1,365.79 crore in financial year 2007 and the net profit was at Rs 45.25 crore, up by 0.48 per cent from Rs 45.03 crore in the previous year. The profit before depreciation, interest and tax was also higher by 15 per cent during the year at Rs 99.96 crore, the company said in a statement.

GMR Infrastructure

GMR Infrastructure has posted net profit of Rs 12.37 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, where as the total income was Rs 22.75 crore, the company informed the BSE. During the year ended March 31, GMR Infrastructure acquired 99.99 per cent equity share capital of GVL Investments.

The board of directors have approved the sub-division of existing equity shares in 1:5 ratio, wherein an equity share of Rs 10 each would be split into 5 equity shares of Rs 2 each, subject to approval of shareholders.

Aurobindo Pharma

Aurobindo Pharma has posted a net profit of Rs 78.11 crore for the quarter ended March 31 and the total income was Rs 547.99 crore, the company informed the BSE. The board of directors have declared a dividend of Rs 2.5 on shares of Rs 5 each on its equity share capital of the company for the year 2006-07 subject to approval of members in the general meeting. — Agencies

Top

 

Hindalco inks mining pact

Mumbai, July 2
Aditya Birla flagship Hindalco Industries today said it has entered into a joint venture with Mahanadi Coal Ltd (MCL) and Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) for carrying out mining activities.

Hindalco Industries has entered into a joint venture agreement with MCL, a subsidiary of Coal India, and NLC for Talabira II and III coal blocks, the company said in a communique to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The joint venture company is expected to be formed in the next three to six months. Hindalco Industries and NCL would have 15 per cent shareholding each, while MCL would hold 70 per cent in the proposed venture.

The proposed company is likely to commence coal mining of 20 million tonnes per year by 2009-2010. — PTI

Top

 

Vietnam to enhance trade
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung comes here on July 4 with a heavy economic agenda, coupled with the objective of doubling Indo-Vietnam bilateral trade to $2 billion.

Several bilateral agreements in such fields as agriculture, fisheries, culture and marine products will be signed by the two countries when Dung holds talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Dung is coming here with a high-powered delegation comprising 15 ministers and vice ministers, six leaders of various Vietnamese provinces, 40 officials and an 80-member business delegation, Vietnamese Ambassador Vu Quang Diem told reporters today.

The Vietnamese business delegation will visit Kolkata, Mumbai and Jamshedpur.

Top

 

ATF prices up
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
Air travel could become dearer with the leading downstream firm, Indian Oil Corporation today increasing the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices 2.86 per cent in tune with the international oil prices.

Indian refiners revise the ATF, which is the largest component of costs of passenger aircrafts, once a month.

ATF prices in Delhi for the domestic sector were increased to Rs 37,799.54 per kilo litre from July 1, from Rs 36,746.53 per kilo litre, according to IOC. In Mumbai, the prices went up to 39,062.46 from Rs 37,973.30. In Kolkata, it has been increased from Rs 42,263.34 to Rs 43.508.15 per kilo litre and in Chennai from 40,068.70 to Rs 41,204.30 per kilo litre.

Top

 

CBoP to raise capital

New Delhi, July 2
The board of directors of Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBoP) today passed an enabling resolution to raise tier-I capital up to Rs 5 billion.

This will be done through an issue of equity shares via a qualified institutional placement offering. This approval is subject to shareholder, regulatory and statutory approvals as applicable, the bank said. — TNS

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 |