SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

Rs 1,400-crore relief package for exporters
New Delhi, July 12
In a move aimed to give relief to exporters hit hard by rupee appreciation against dollar, the centre today announced a Rs 1400-crore package, including increased rates of duty drawback with effect from April 1.

Nod to 27 SEZ proposals
Ambani’s Navi Mumbai zone also cleared
New Delhi, July 12
Despite a Parliamentary Committee seeking a freeze on fresh notifications, the Board of Approval (BoA) today went ahead and gave formal approval to 21 SEZ proposals and in-principle approval to six SEZs, including conditional nod to the Navi Mumbai SEZ promoted by Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani.

Bajaj Auto to enter four-wheeler market
Mumbai, July 12
Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto would enter the four-wheeler market with an investment of Rs 650 crore spread over the next five years, its executive director Sanjiv Bajaj said here today.

Genome Valley gets US patent
Hyderabad, July 12
The Genome Valley, billed as India’s first biotech cluster, has been granted intellectual property rights by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.



EARLIER STORIES

  Premji among ‘greatest entrepreneurs of all time’
New Delhi, July 12
Azim Premji Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd, has been named among the ‘greatest entrepreneurs of all time’ by BusinessWeek, sharing credit with the likes of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Dell. Premji, the only Indian to make it to the list, has been recognised for his vision and leadership that has been responsible for Wipro emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing companies, a Wipro statement said.

Jet flight to US from Aug 5
Mumbai, July 12
Jet Airways will launch its first flight to the USA with a service between Mumbai and Newark starting August 5, four days after Air-India begins its non-stop flights to North America, the airline said in a statement released here today.


Vice-president and general manager, industry standard servers of Hewlett-Packard (HP), Tony Parkinson (right ) poses with vice-president marketing Paul H. Miller (left) and sales director of Intel South Asia R.Ravichandran (centre) in Bangalore on Thursday. HP introduced a new server 'HP ProLiant DL180' designed and available solely for the growing business market of Asia.
Vice-president and general manager, industry standard servers of Hewlett-Packard (HP), Tony Parkinson (right ) poses with vice-president marketing Paul H. Miller (left) and sales director of Intel South Asia R.Ravichandran (centre) in Bangalore on Thursday. HP introduced a new server 'HP ProLiant DL180' designed and available solely for the growing business market of Asia. — AFP
A view taken on Thursday in Colomiers, southern France, shows the 821st Airbus A300. It was the last unit of this jetliner built by the European plane maker, and bought by the US delivery group FedEx.
A view taken on Thursday in Colomiers, southern France, shows the 821st Airbus A300. It was the last unit of this jetliner built by the European plane maker, and bought by the US delivery group FedEx. — AFP

Tata Steel to raise $2.5 b for Corus
Kolkata, July 12
Tata Steel, which acquired Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus in January, will raise over Rs 10,000 crore ($2.5 billion) through issue of securities in domestic and overseas market to part finance the acquisition.

PNB to start ‘bank adalats’
Chandigarh, July 12
Punjab National Bank (PNB) would be starting bank adalats across the country from next month in its bid to reduce non-performing assets (NPA) burden. Cases related to loan amount less than Rs 25,000 will be addressed.

TVS to roll out bikes from Indonesia
Bangalore, July 12
TVS Motor Company would roll out its TVS NEO, a 110 cc Bebek, from Indonesian plant this month, eyeing a first year sales of up to 90,000 units in that market. It has plans to spread its wings in the entire south-east Asian region.

Refund banker scheme to be extended
New Delhi, July 12
The IT department, which had launched the ‘refund banker scheme’, has decided to extend it to Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore from September 30.

DLF market cap crosses Rs 1 trillion
Mumbai, July 12
After swinging in and out of the Rs one-trillion club for days after its listing, realty major DLF finally achieved the feat today, becoming the ninth firm and the first listed realtor to do so.

Airtel unveils navigation service
Chandigarh, July 12
Airtel has announced the launch of GPS-based navigation application on mobile handsets in collaboration with Wayfinder Systems AB of Sweden.

RPG to spend Rs 1,000 cr on retail stores
Mumbai, July 12
RPG Group, which owns the Spencer’s brand of retail stores, will invest Rs 1,000 crore for opening about 365 supermarkets in next one year.

Industrial output slips to 11.1 pc
New Delhi, July 12
Slowdown in the manufacturing sector pulled down the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) marginally to 11.1 per cent in May from 11.7 per cent in the corresponding month last year.

Local taxes to make imported liquor dearer
New Delhi, July 12
With the Centre allowing the states to impose a host of local taxes on imported wines and spirits, the euphoria over the prospects of buying foreign liquor at cheaper rates may fizzle out.

 

 

Top



 

 

 

Rs 1,400-crore relief package for exporters
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 12
In a move aimed to give relief to exporters hit hard by rupee appreciation against dollar, the centre today announced a Rs 1400-crore package, including increased rates of duty drawback with effect from April 1.

The centre has also asked the banks to extend cheaper credit to exporters at an interest rate not exceeding BPLR minus 4.5 per cent on pre-shipment credit up to 180 days and post-shipment credit up to 90 days on the outstanding amount for period between April 1 to December 31 this year.

Besides, the ministry of finance has accorded relaxation from monthly and quarterly ceilings of expenditure for deemed export benefits to enable the commerce ministry to meet the pending reimbursement claims, which are estimated to be in the order of Rs 600 crore.

The increased rate of duty drawback on nearly all products would cost the exchequer Rs 800 crore while, the government would bear another Rs 600 crore to provide two percentage point subvention to banks for providing concessional credit to exporters in certain sectors.

“The drawback rates have undergone significant changes in line with changes in prices of inputs and duties. The rates have been revised upward on nearly all products,” finance secretary D Subbarao said here.

The finance ministry also announced measures for exporters in textile, ready made garment, leather exports, handicraft, engineering products, processed agriculture products, marine products, sports goods, toys and all SME sectors.

Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said the new DEPB rates are expected to help sustain export growth built upon the strength of a booming economy.

He expressed hope that the package would neutralise the adverse impact of rising rupee on exports, which have been built upon the success of Indian economy achieved through export earnings in recent years.

Meanwhile, the industry chambers and the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) have welcomed the government’s announcement, though the latter said it was “much short of expectations”.

Welcoming the announcement, FIEO president Ganesh Kumar Gupta said the increased drawback rates will provide some cushion to exporters whose profitability has been eroded continuously due to appreciation of rupee.

“However, the drawback rates should have been increased by additional 5 per cent to address the losses to the exporters on account of appreciation of rupee as suggested by the commerce minister,” he said.

Assocham president Venugopal N Dhoot said the package announcement was timely and that the RBI should intervene to reduce the interest rate further.

Ficci president Habil Khorakiwala hoped that the export target of $160 billion, set for the current financial year, will be achieved. Chairman of CII Trade Committee Sanjay Budhia said; “This package will provide some relief to small and medium industry, which has been hit the most.”

Top

 

Nod to 27 SEZ proposals
Ambani’s Navi Mumbai zone also cleared
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 12
Despite a Parliamentary Committee seeking a freeze on fresh notifications, the Board of Approval (BoA) today went ahead and gave formal approval to 21 SEZ proposals and in-principle approval to six SEZs, including conditional nod to the Navi Mumbai SEZ promoted by Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani.

The multi-product Navi Mumbai SEZ has been cleared with the condition that promoters should build, within a year, the infrastructure that would ensure contiguity on the 1,250 hectare land at Dronagiri, where it is coming up in Maharashtra, commerce secretary and chairman of the BoA G.K. Pillai said after the meeting.

The special purpose vehicle (SPV) that is building the SEZ has also been prevented from allowing any unit to come up in the zone before underpasses and overbridges are constructed for meeting contiguity requirements, he said.

The Navi Mumbai SEZ proposal had been deferred twice by the BoA on issues of contiguity and rights of villages in the vicinity of the zone. Today's clearance came after all issues were addressed, Pillai said.

Among the 21 SEZs which got formal approvals included 10.89 hectare Lark Projects Pvt Ltd’s electronic hardware and software (including ITeS) SEZ at Landran village, Mohali, and Sukhmani Towers Private Limited’s IT/IteS SEZ (10.6 hectare) at Nenetpur and Jawaharpur in Punjab.

The BoA has also given formal approval to Unitech Realty Projects Limited’s 10.52 hectare IT/IteS SEZ at Tikri, Gurgaon in Haryana.

Other prominent cases which got formal approval include one from Hindalco for aluminium SEZ in Orissa. The BoA also approved the first SEZ in North-East.

The multi-product zone proposed in Nagaland will come up over 400 hectares and land is in possession of the developers, Pillai said.

The BoA also gave in-principle nod to the 2,000 hectare multi-product SEZ in Chhindwara.

Other prominent in-principle approvals granted are biotech SEZ by Videocon Realty and Infrastructure Limited in West Bengal, automobiles and auto ancillary SEZ by SIPCOT in Tamil Nadu and multi-product SEZ by Skil Infrastructure in Karnataka.

Pillai said in the next two years 250 SEZs would be up and running.

So far formal approvals have been granted for setting up of 341 SEZs, out of which 130 have been notified. Pillai informed that over Rs 43,123 crore have been invested in these notified SEZs and these SEZs are providing direct employment to 35,053 persons.

He also mentioned that investment of over Rs 100,000 crore is expected and 100,000 jobs are also likely to get created in these SEZs by the year-end.

Top

 

Bajaj Auto to enter four-wheeler market
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 12
Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto would enter the four-wheeler market with an investment of Rs 650 crore spread over the next five years, its executive director Sanjiv Bajaj said here today.

The first offering of the company in the four-wheeler segment would be a cargo carrier on the lines of the Ace mini-truck produced by Tata Motors, company officials said in Pune.

The cargo carrier would be out in the market before March 2009, Bajaj said. The company is also mulling entry into the small passenger car market.

The announcement of Bajaj's expansion plans came when the company reported a sharper-than-expected fall in its quarterly net profits by 18 percent to Rs 226 crore. The company has blamed the poor performance on slowdown in demand and higher commodity prices.

Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto, said the company was hit by falling demand for its mass 100cc bike even though its more expensive offerings grew between 10 and 20 per cent.

The company is also planning to offer a new bike by September to rev up demand, Rajiv Bajaj told shareholders at the AGM. It would be in the sub-150cc segment with fuel efficiency and price of a 100 cc motor cycle, he added.

The company is also planning to shut down its plant at Akurdi in Pune after shifting production to Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Top

 

Genome Valley gets US patent
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 12
The Genome Valley, billed as India’s first biotech cluster, has been granted intellectual property rights by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

“There was a huge need for registration of the Genome Valley symbol in the USA and Europe so as to draw more foreign investments and to promote the cluster,” an official statement said here.

Spread over 600 sq km on the city outskirts, the Genome Valley is home to over 100 biotech companies engaged in manufacturing, research, training and collaboration activities with world-class infrastructure facilities.

The state government, with the support of A P chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Technology Development and Promotion Centre, has been working on the registration for the project since 2003.

The valley was earlier granted a community trademark (intellectual property rights) by the European Union in 2005. The state industries and commerce department is the authorised user of the certification mark.

“This is a major milestone for the state government to promote the brand name of Genome Valley in the USA and Europe,” the statement said.

Among the leading companies and institutions, covered by the Genome Valley, are ICICI Knowledge Park, Bharat Biotech, Shanta Biotechnics, Godrej Plant Biotech, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, National Institute for Nutrition and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Meanwhile, chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy congratulated the industries department for securing the patent rights for the prestigious project.

Top

 

Premji among ‘greatest entrepreneurs of all time’

New Delhi, July 12
Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd, has been named among the ‘greatest entrepreneurs of all time’ by BusinessWeek, sharing credit with the likes of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Dell.

Premji, the only Indian to make it to the list, has been recognised for his vision and leadership that has been responsible for Wipro emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing companies, a Wipro statement said.

The list honours the ideas and innovation of 30 most influential people and includes 15th century explorer Admiral Zheng H to present day leaders like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs and Michael Dell, to name a few.

Azim Premji was highlighted for his success in turning a $3 million vegetable oil company to a global leader in IT services, based on a foundation of values and consistently delivering premium quality to customers, it said.

Premji has been the chairman of Wipro Ltd since 1966, when he took over the company after his return from Stanford. He founded the Azim Premji foundation in 2001, with the aim of making tangible impact on identified social issues through education.

The foundation is working with 15 state governments and is engaged with 20,000 government-run schools reaching about 2.5 million children.

The US magazine BusinessWeek’s ‘Top 30 all time entrepreneurs’ list is compiled based on opinions from professors and authors, besides its staffers.

The criteria looks at people, who had the vision to create new markets or tap into underserved markets, changing the way people lived in the process. — PTI

Top

 

Jet flight to US from Aug 5
Tribune News Service & PTI

Mumbai, July 12
Jet Airways will launch its first flight to the USA with a service between Mumbai and Newark starting August 5, four days after Air-India begins its non-stop flights to North America, the airline said in a statement released here today.

The airline will operate a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft on the route, which includes a stopover at Brussels. The airline officials expect passengers to prefer the stopover over the non-stop service, which is already available on Continental, an American airline. Besides, it would be useful to business people and tourists, who want to go to both Europe and the USA or Canada.

In September, Jet will introduce daily service from Delhi to Toronto also via Brussels.

Jet has already signed an MoU with Brussels Airlines to enable its passengers obtain convenient connections to other destinations in Europe like Stockholm, Oslo, Birmingham, Geneva and Madrid.

On the cards are services to Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and JFK New York and jet plans flight not only from New Delhi and Mumbai but also from Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chennai.

Top

 

Tata Steel to raise $2.5 b for Corus

Kolkata, July 12
Tata Steel, which acquired Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus in January, will raise over Rs 10,000 crore ($2.5 billion) through issue of securities in domestic and overseas market to part finance the acquisition.

The company, in a notice to shareholders, said it would come out with a rights issue of ordinary shares and cumulative convertible preference (CCP) shares, besides issue of securities in the domestic or international markets.

While the company plans to raise Rs 3,655 crore through the rights issue, another Rs 4,350 crore would be raised through issue of CCP shares. Existing shareholders would get one share at a price of Rs 300 for every five ordinary shares held.

It would also raise additional funds up to $500 million (Rs 2,042 crore) from the domestic and international markets.

Tata Steel said to facilitate issue of CCP shares, the authorised share capital would have to be raised from Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 8,000 crore.

Tata Steel had paid $4.1 billion for the acquisition of Corus that was valued at $12.9 billion. — PTI

Top

 

PNB to start ‘bank adalats’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Punjab National Bank (PNB) would be starting bank adalats across the country from next month in its bid to reduce non-performing assets (NPA) burden. Cases related to loan amount less than Rs 25,000 will be addressed.

“Like lok adalats, we will be starting bank adalats wherever there will be NPA accounts,” PNB chairman and managing director K.C. Chakrabarty informed yesterday. He said the gross non-performing assets of the bank stood at Rs 4,300 crore and added that cases below Rs 25,000 would be considered at the ‘adalats’.

The bank would be holding awareness camps before starting the process. The clearing process is expected to be complete in a year. Stressing that there was a need to take technology to the rural areas as only 37,000 branches of all the banks in the country operate in such areas despite the total number of villages being six lakh, he said: “We are experimenting on some models at present.”

Top

 

TVS to roll out bikes from Indonesia

Bangalore, July 12
TVS Motor Company would roll out its TVS NEO, a 110 cc Bebek, from Indonesian plant this month, eyeing a first year sales of up to 90,000 units in that market. It has plans to spread its wings in the entire south-east Asian region.

“We are launching to customers in Indonesia this month. This year, we are looking at 75,000 to 90,000 units,” the company’s president K N Radhakrishnan said here.

Indonesia is the world’s third largest two-wheeler market, after China and India. Bebek constitutes more than 80 per cent of the Indonesian two-wheeler market.

TVS has infused an initial investment of $43 million into the Indonesian plant at Karawang, which would eventually act as a manufacturing hub of TVS Motor for the Asean region.

“We will certainly look at neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines next year,” he said, adding: “export is currently doing extremely well. We are present in 44 countries and have plans to move to many more.” — PTI

Top

 

Refund banker scheme to be extended

New Delhi, July 12
The IT department, which had launched the ‘refund banker scheme’, has decided to extend it to Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore from September 30.

Presently, the scheme is operative in Delhi and Patna.

To make the scheme successful and avoid inconvenience, the department has urged the taxpayers to fill up the IT return form properly mentioning correct address at which refund vouchers may be delivered, correct bank details i.e account number, name and branch of the bank and MICR code of the bank.

Taxpayers have also been advised to intimate the change of address, if any, to the assessing officer immediately.

Out of 72,397 refunds dispatched by speed post between February and June in Delhi and Patna, 7,264 have been returned undelivered. — TNS

Top

 

DLF market cap crosses Rs 1 trillion

Mumbai, July 12
After swinging in and out of the Rs one-trillion club for days after its listing, realty major DLF finally achieved the feat today, becoming the ninth firm and the first listed realtor to do so.

Shares of DLF today jumped over 3 per cent or Rs 20 to Rs 610.35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, making the company the eighth-most valued firm with market capitalisation of Rs 1,03,094.22 crore.

"Investors have faith and confidence in DLF and they are reaping benefits," DLF chief finance officer Ramesh Sanka said.

"The story is unfolding and there is lot to come...," Sanka added.

DLF has pushed back ICICI Bank, which had crossed the Rs one-trillion mark recently, to the ninth place in terms of market cap.

Market capitalsaition of ICICI Bank stood at about Rs 1,02,000 crore today. — PTI

Top

 

Airtel unveils navigation service

Chandigarh, July 12
Airtel has announced the launch of GPS-based navigation application on mobile handsets in collaboration with Wayfinder Systems AB of Sweden. The application turns the compatible mobile phone into a complete GPS-based navigation system with detailed maps and points-of-interest of a number of cities in India. The navigation system provides all users with continuously updated, real-time content and geographical data via the wireless network using EDGE/GPRS. To start with, the application shall be available on BlackBerry 8800. — TNS

Top

 

RPG to spend Rs 1,000 cr on retail stores

Mumbai, July 12
RPG Group, which owns the Spencer’s brand of retail stores, will invest Rs 1,000 crore for opening about 365 supermarkets in next one year.

Ruling out any tie-up with global retail chains, RPG Enterprises chairman, Harsh Goenka said the group had the necessary wherewithal to conduct the business on its own.

“We have 200 stores presently and are expanding very fast. We will be opening from now on almost one store everyday in the next one year. Last week, we had opened 40 stores,” Goenka said here.

Spencer’s Retail offers a complete gamut of products and durables ranging from bread to bed. — PTI

Top

 

Industrial output slips to 11.1 pc

New Delhi, July 12
Slowdown in the manufacturing sector pulled down the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) marginally to 11.1 per cent in May from 11.7 per cent in the corresponding month last year.

Although the mining and electricity sectors did better in May, manufacturing fared poorly in the month with the growth rate decelerating to 11.9 per cent from 13.3 per cent during the corresponding month in 2006-07, reveals the quick estimates of IIP issued by the government today.

During April-May period, mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors recorded growth rates of 3 pc, 12.7 pc and 9 pc, respectively. — PTI

Top

 

Local taxes to make imported liquor dearer

New Delhi, July 12
With the Centre allowing the states to impose a host of local taxes on imported wines and spirits, the euphoria over the prospects of buying foreign liquor at cheaper rates may fizzle out.

After the Centre scrapped additional customs duties on imported wines, beer and spirits, it was expected that the prices of these beverages would come down by at least 30 per cent.

With the states being allowed to impose all taxes on the foreign liquor that are charged from domestic manufacturers, this would keep the prices of imported wines and spirits high.

The new taxes at the state-level would include levies for inter-state transfer and an impost in lieu of excise that is charged from local manufacturers. They will also have to pay other local taxes that are charged from the vendors by the local authorities. — PTI

Top

 
BRIEFLY

Alcan contract
New Delhi, July 12
Areva's transmission and distribution division today said it has got a turn key contract to build an electricity supply system for Alcan's new AP50 plant located in Quebec, Canada. The company expects to complete the delivery of the supply system to be built at a cost of about Rs 550 crore by September 2009, Areva said in a release here. — PTI

'Chirag' PCs
New Delhi, July 12
RP group today launched ‘Chirag’ brand of personal computers and laptops in north India, seeking an about 200 per cent jump in turnover from infotech segment to Rs 500 crore by the end of 2007. The group also has plans to set up an SEZ near its home city at an investment of Rs 1,000 crore, RP Infosystems Pvt Ltd vice-president (sales and marketing) Probir Mazumdar said. — PTI

Bank Asya
Mumbai, July 12
Turkish lender Bank Asya will be shortly opening its representative office in India. Bank Asya president & CEO Unal Kabaca today said the bank would be applying for licence with the Reserve Bank of India to open the office in Mumbai. "Ten-year-old Bank Asya is the 14th largest bank in Turkey in terms of asset growth amongst the 50 banks in the country," Kabaca observed. — PTI

Geojit plan
Mumbai, July 12
Brokerage firm Geojit Financial Services today said it would invest $2 million towards setting up a joint venture in the country with foreign institutional investor BNP Paribas Securities Asia. Geojit would also invest around Rs 47 crore in two separate projects in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Geojit Financial said in a filing to the BSE. — PTI

Genpact rating
New Delhi, July 12
Genpact has been rated as the biggest ITES-BPO company in the country in terms of revenue while WNS Global Services has retained the second spot in the annual rankings given by Nasscom. The rankings are based on companies’ reported revenue for 2006-07. — PTI

RCom order
New Delhi, July 12
A day after awarding a $400 million contract to French vendor Alcatel-Lucent, Reliance Communications (RCom) today gave another contract to Chinese firm Huawei Technologies for network expansion at an investment of $200 million dollar. — 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 |