Awareness cry over SEZ hue

Activists in Haryana enlighten villagers over ill-effects of land sale

It’s a hot, humid morning in northern India, but the oppressive heat does not deter a group of about 15 farmers from trudging door-to-door, offering advice and sometimes warnings.

“Do not sell your precious land. Even if you are offered millions of dollars, do not sell. It is your only source of livelihood,” Mahavir Gulia, the leader of the group, tells a villager in Mundha Khera, 100 km from New Delhi.

“Sell your land and you will lose your identity,” he warns another as the group winds its way through the cluster of austere mud, brick and cement homes.

Gulia is trying to spell out the dangers to locals whose land has been earmarked for a Chinese-style business enclave-a joint venture between the Haryana state government and Reliance Industries, India’s largest private conglomerate.

“We want to be sure our fertile land that gives us three crops a year does not end up as part of the Reliance empire,” he said. “We don’t want Reliance to colonise us. Land is what sustains us farmers with food, respect and dignity.”

In Neemana village, 10 km away, Pratap Singh, 75, understands the message - but a little too late.

Eight months ago, he was the owner of a 20-acre (eight-hectare) fertile field that yielded three harvests a year.

“My sons were lured by the promise of good and quick money. They persuaded me to sell most of my land to the big company,” says Singh, squatting on the sandy floor of the one-room house that he and his wife share with a buffalo.

He did get some cash, but it did not last him long in the world outside his usual farming routine.

“We have a saying here that our land is our mother,” Singh added sadly. “How can you get any respect when you have sold your mother?”

Singh’s land is now part of the 25,000-acre Reliance-Haryana government Special Economic Zone (SEZ) - a project encouraged by the Indian government to spur industrialisation, infrastructure development and push economic growth into double digits.

For foreign and domestic corporate giants, the SEZs are a tempting option - promising a way around the country’s notoriously slow, corrupt and spirit-crushing bureaucracy.

But opponents say the government is merely sidelining the still-crucial farm sector - stealing labour and prime land from a sector, which employs more than 60 per cent of the workforce and generates more than a fifth of India’s gross domestic product. Journalist-turned-activist Praful Bidwai says 2006 and 2007 “will be noted in history for the launch of the Great Land Grab”.

“It’s happening across India,” adds social activist Vandana Shiva, pointing to farmers’ protests in the Communist-ruled eastern West Bengal state in March.

Fourteen farmers were killed when police entered their village to evict them from land designated for a SEZ - causing a furore and polarising public opinion.

Not that land grabbing is a new concept in India - tribal peoples have long seen their forestland shrink with the march of urbanisation.

But SEZs are different, says Shiva.

“These are enclaves of privilege, insulated from the laws of the land-whether it is labour laws or environment laws.”

So far, India has approved 303 SEZs and set aside 1,400 square kilometres (540 square miles) of land on which they are to be built.

According to India’s trade ministry, the 126 enclaves already operating have generated 32,578 jobs, and this will swell to 1.5 million by December 2009. It also hopes SEZs will generate $25 billion worth of exports in 2008-2009.

While the figures look impressive, critics argue that Indian democracy is suffering.

“When there is large scale displacement of people involved, you need their consent. In a democracy, people have the right to decide their own future,” said prominent community activist Aruna Roy.

“All villagers should decide - not just the village headman.”

She also points to what she sees as the irony of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government - elected on a pro-poor platform in May 2004, but aggressively pushing through the SEZs. “It’s a case of schizophrenia,” Roy said.

Economist Paranajoy Guha Thakurta says India’s ambition to emulate the Chinese SEZ model is basically flawed - “because India is a democracy”. “The Chinese SEZs are like giant urban agglomerations, independent nation states with their own rules for labour and environment,” he said.

India following the same model will only create “huge islands of industrial affluence in a sea of deprivation and poverty.

“This will be unacceptable in a democracy.” — AFP



Growth pace slow in Punjab

Farmers happy as govt not to acquire land on company’s behalf, notes Chitleen K. Sethi

The Board of Approvals, Government of India, approved two more special economic zones (SEZ) for Punjab. With this, the total number of approved SEZ in the state has gone up to 10. Compared to Haryana, where 49 proposals have been approved in-principle by the Union Government, Punjab’s pace is sluggish.

In April this year, the Empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM) had lifted the freeze on the approval of SEZs in the country setting a ceiling on acquisition of land at 5,000 hectares and prescribing uniform processing area of 50 per cent to both sector-specific and multi-product SEZ. Following this, the Board of Approval (BoA) for SEZ had, on July 13, given a formal clearance to 21 new SEZs, including two for Punjab.

Quark is developing an IT SEZ park at Mohali for which the Government of India has already issued notification. Another SEZ for pharmaceutical industry to be developed by Ranbaxy Laboratories at Mohali has also been notified by the Government of India.

In addition to these, the Centre has granted formal approvals to Vividha Infrastructure, a company promoted by Fred Ebarhimi and Mary Patricia Ebrahimi, for an SEZ spread across 100 hectares in Rajpura for engineering.

The proposed investment is over 770 crore.

Another company, Mridul Infrastructure, promoted by the couple, has been granted a formal nod for another 100 hectares at Rajpura for textiles. The investment in this case is expected to be about 900 crore.

In principle, approvals have also been given to DLF to set up four SEZ projects in engineering, textile, food processing and free tradeware housing at Amritsar. The company, however, does not have land as the government cancelled the notification issued for the acquisition of the land. The company has been told to acquire land on its own.

“No one from the company has approached the farmers for land till date. But we are thankful that the government will not acquire land from us for SEZ,” says Rana Palinder, member of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee, which spearheaded the protest against the acquisition of land here by the government for DLF.

The company wanted about 485 hectares here promising an investment of Rs 450 crore.

DLF has also yet to acquire land for its proposed multi-product SEZ at Ludhiana, where it needs over 1,000 hectares of land and intends to invest Rs 1,800 crore. This project, too, has got in-principle nod of the GoI.

Rockman Projects, which is setting up a textile SEZ on 100 hectares at Ludhiana with an investment of Rs 250 crore, has also been granted in-principle approval.

Shipra Estate, a Delhi-based company, has also been granted an approval by the GoI to set up an IT SEZ at Mohali over 20 hectares but the company shifted the location of the project and the new location is yet to be approved.

Delhi-based Lark Projects intend to set up a sector- specific SEZ for electronic hardware and software, including ITeS on 30 acres in Landran village, SAS Nagar. The company is offering to spend Rs 540 crore here.

Chandigarh-based Sukham Infrastructures has proposed to set up an SEZ in Mohali related to IT and IT-enabled services. The company has identified an area of almost 17 hectares in Mohali. The company intends to spend Rs 745 crore on the project.

A-Tech IT City Mohali also intend to set up an IT SEZ at Mohali with an investment of Rs 200 crore. The company has arranged 60 hectares of land in Mohali. Sukhmani Towers propose to set up an IT SEZ on 14 hectares at Dera Bassi with an investment of over Rs 700 crore.

All these companies have arranged the land on their own. “The government will not be allowed to acquire land to palm off to private players. The companies, which need land in this area will have to contact the farmers directly,” says DP Singh Baidwan, convener, Kisan Hist Bachao Committee, SAS Nagar.



Avoid concreting on a cloudy day

Jagvir Goyal details on how to lay RCC slab

Among all activities involved in the construction of a house, the one that weighs heavily on the mind of the house builder is the laying of RCC slab. Guidelines on shuttering and reinforcement for the slab have already been highlighted. Here is a guideline to take complete control of this important activity and finish it in a perfect manner.

Pouring sequence

Decide concrete pouring sequence of the slab, that is the point from where to begin and the direction of proceeding. Begin from the far end. This will avoid labourers walking over the freshly laid concrete. Avoid unequal or eccentric loading on formwork. Instruct labourers not to throw down concrete from a height of more than 1 metre as this will have an impact on the formwork and will also cause segregation of concrete. Provide a helper at pouring spot to take down the steel pans from the worker’s heads and then to pour them gently. Further tell them that the full gang of labourers will not go for lunch and concreting will be continued by dividing labourers in two groups. Of course, concreting work will slow down due to less number of workers but a cold joint will be avoided this way.

Check weather

Avoid concreting on a cloudy day. Rain washes the cement first, leaving a mass of sand and aggregate behind. Avoid pouring concrete in extremely hot weather. Day’s temperature should be below 40oC. Similarly, avoid concreting on extremely cold days also. Labour’s efficiency is down due to extreme cold. Above that, concrete takes time to get set. If temperature is about 10°C, setting of concrete slows down to half its speed at normal temperature. Freezing of water may have disruptive effect on concrete.

Use cold water

If the slab has to be laid irrespective of weather conditions, tackle the temperature. During summer, choose early morning hours. Add ice to water and use cold water for concrete preparation. Keep spraying chilled water on aggregates i.e. sand and bajri. Try to store aggregates in shade. No need to cool the cement. Even if it is hot, it does not raise the temperature. A word about ice for water. Avoid ice slabs. Prefer flakes of ice or crushed ice. These melt quickly. Never allow the mason to add extra water to concrete to keep it workable. In winter, reduce water cement ratio, heat up the aggregates and keep covering the laid concrete with heavy tarpaulin if concrete is in progress. Some masons suggest adding common salt to cement to speed up the setting of concrete. Don’t allow this. It may badly affect the steel reinforcement and cause efflorescence at a later stage. Stop laying concrete if temperature falls below 5°C.

Proper bond

Always keep a full tarpaulin handy even if there are no chances of rain. If rain arrives, cover the laid portion of concrete at once and see that no water reaches it from any side. On stoppage of rain, add neat cement slurry to concrete that gets exposed to rain. Apply neat cement slurry to the edge of left over concrete to make proper bond with new concrete to be laid.

Petromax lamps

If concreting is expected to continue till late night, arrange petromax lamps for use in case of power failure as it will not be advisable to discontinue concreting due to darkness.

Use a mixer

Always use a mixer for concrete. Avoid manual mixing for slab and beams, as it never gives satisfactory results and requires extra cement. Mixers are of tilting, pan, paddle and non-tilting types. Use tilting type. Tilting mixers are noted as 100T, 140T, 200T. Use a 200T mixer. T means tilting and 200 means the capacity of mixer as 200 litres. A 200T mixer is also called 10/7 mixer which tells that 10 cft of loose material mixed in it gives 7 cft of mixed material. Don’t just ring up the mixer-lender. Choose one yourself. Look for a mixer having a baffle plate in it. Mixers without baffle plates do not mix the aggregates well. Check the brake, clutch and wire rope of the hopper as workable. Check it for rotation before toeing it to the site. Check that the gap between mixer drum and the blades is not more than 1 inch.

Right ratio

Whenever you are going to lay concrete by using a mixer, butter the concrete mixer and the platform on which concrete is to be unloaded before start of concrete. For buttering, use a rich cement mortar having same cement sand ratio as is in the concrete to be laid. So to lay 1:2:4 concrete, use 1:2 mortar for buttering. Put in a small batch of the mortar in mixer, give it a few rotations, unload on the platform and remove. Buttering helps in saving the cement of first batch of concrete from clinging to walls of the mixer or to the platform and the first concrete batch is not poor in quality.

Give mixing time

Mix concrete ingredients in the mixer for at least two minutes. See that concrete mixed is uniform in colour and fully consistent. Best is to hire a skilled mixer operator. Add 10 per cent extra cement to first batch. If mixer is with a hopper, first put coarse aggregate in it followed by sand and cement. If sand looks moist, first add sand then coarse aggregate and then cement. If there is no hopper and items are to be put directly into the drum, first put in cement, then sand and then coarse aggregate. Keep the drum revolving while it is being charged with materials. Best mixing occurs when the drum is inclined at 200 to 300 degree to horizontal. Tell mixer operator to maintain that.

Happy building!!

The writer is SE (civil), PSEB. He can be reached through



TAX tips
Tax law not very clear on the country of property purchase
By S.C. Vasudeva

Q. I left India about 10 years back and am settled in Canada presently. During my stay in India, I had built a residential house in Ludhiana, which has been let out to a company for the residence of one of its managers. I have no intention of coming back and, therefore, intend selling the said house. I understand that I will have to pay capital gains tax on the sale of the house. Is it possible for me to make the investment of the capital gains earned on the said house for buying a residential house in Canada and thereby save the payment of capital gains tax?

— A.K. Sood, Canada

A. Section 54 of the Act, which provides for the exemption of capital gain from taxability on the sale of a residential house does not expressly provide that the investment in acquisition of a residential house should be made in India. The Income-tax department all along held that the new house should be acquired or constructed in India only. The Mumbai Tribunal in the case of Mrs. Prema P. Shah vs. ITO (100 ITD 60) has however held that this section does not exclude the right of the assessee’s claim to a property purchased in a foreign country if all other conditions laid down in the section are satisfied and accordingly the benefit under the said section cannot be denied merely because the property has been acquired in a foreign country. There is no High Court or Supreme Court decision on this issue. You will therefore have to take a chance on the basis of the aforesaid Tribunal decision.

Co-owner and tax

Q. I bought MIG house in July 1984 for Rs 74,000. I sold in July 2004 for Rs 17 lakh. I had a long-term capital gain of Rs 11.5 lakh. I invested Rs 12 lakh in the purchase of flat of Rs 33 lakh at Noida in July 2004. For this, I gave Rs 10 lakh through bank transfer and Rs 2 lakh by hand.

My son and daughter-in-law took a home loan of Rs 22 lakh and the flat was in their (2) names. I submitted my return of income on June 6, 2005, on Form ITS-2E (saral, along with two affidavits as advised by the Supdt of the Income Tax office (self gave Rs 12 lakh to son and daughter-in-law and then they purchased the flat in Noida), three receipts of payments to builder, sale deed and LTCG calculation exemption U/S 54 statement since ITS -2E didn’t possess item of capital gain.

I submitted a revised return of income on June 27, 2005 giving additional information on investment in immovable property, MIS, vehicle, visit to Canada expenditure. The assessing officer wrote a letter asking me to show evidence/document of investment in my name on Sept 2, 2005. Then we ran to complete the formalities of the bank and on the builder to get my name included as co-owner. The bank included my name as a co-owner on Oct 26, 2005.The builder did it on Feb 24, 2006, and endorsed my name on all papers, i.e. agreement, receipts of payments, possessions letter and charged Rs 50,000 as the transfer fee. The builder issued no-due certificate on July 26, 2006, in the names of three co-owners (son, daughter-in-law, myself). The assessing office was kept regularly informed about the progress of the case by letters from time to time. I attended his office about six times and discussed to clear points and submitted the documents as the proof, the last being on June 28, 2007. On July 6, 2007, the assessing officer has given an order under Section 143(3 of IT Act of 1961) to deposit Rs 3.25 lakh as income tax for the FY 2004-05.

He rejected the exemption of the capital gain on the basis that the flat should have been bought in my name and right of ownership be vested with me under the Section 54F of IT Act of 1961. I could not buy the flat being a senior citizen, did not get the home loan and didn’t possess money for the purchase of flat single-handedly. I had invested Rs 12 lakh of Noida flat and got included my name within the stipulated period of two years. The assessing officer has also charged me of concealing the particulars of my income and furnished inaccurate particulars of such income under section 271 of IT act of 1961.

The queries are:

1. Please tell me the basic points of appeal against the order?

2. Can I make an appeal against this assessment order? If yes, within how much time?

3. What explanation could be given to the assessing officer to escape the penalty under Section 271 of IT Act of 1961?

— Mandeep Singh

A. According to the provisions of Section 54 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, (the Act) where a long-term capital gain arises from the sale of a residential house and the same is invested by the assessee in the acquisition or construction of a residential house within the specified period, (hereinafter referred to as new house) then the long-term capital gain so earned is not taxable if the same is equal to or less than the cost of the new house so acquired or constructed. In case, it is more than the cost of new house a proportionate exemption is provided for in the aforesaid section. An essential requirement of the said section is that the new house has to be acquired/constructed in the name of the assessee.

On the basis of the facts given in the query it is evident that the new flat was acquired in the name of your son and daughter-in-law in July 2004. The assessing officer is technically correct in not accepting your claim since your name as one of the co-owners has been inserted in September 2005. Even if you are accepted as one of the co-owners, the exemption would have been allowed proportionately and rest of the capital gains would have been taxable.

The penalty must have been imposed by the assessing officer possibly on account of the exemption claimed by you which in the opinion of the assessing officer is not allowable as per the provisions of the Act. In accordance with the requirements of Section 274 of the Act the assessing officer had to invoke the penalty proceedings under Section 271(1)© read with Section 274 of the Act.

You have all the right to appeal against the assessment order as well as against the penalty order. However, the appeal against order under section 143(3) of the Act had to be filed within 30 days of the date of receipt of the order. In case the period has lapsed, you will have to seek the condonation for delay in filing the appeal. The application for such condonation will have to be made with the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) having necessary jurisdiction in this regard. It may be difficult to get the relief in quantum appeal but in the case of penalty you may succeed as it is a technical breach of the provisions since the investment in the purchase of the new house has been made though in the name of your son and daughter-in-law.

Flat in society

Q. I had purchased a flat in a cooperative housing society in 1997 and sold the same in 2006 for an amount more than the cost of acquisition and thereby earned a long-term capital gain. The flat was being used for residential purposes. In 1998, I became member of another society in Haryana and paid the instalments from 1998 onwards. The last instalment will be paid by the end of this year. The amount towards the payment of the said flat would be more than the long-term capital gain earned in 2006. The possession would also been given by the end of this year. Will I be entitled to the exemption of the capital gain, which I earned in 2006?

— Bhagwan Das Gupta, Gurgaon

A. In my opinion the instalments paid to cooperative housing society are in the nature of advances for the construction of the house. Section 54 of the Act does not require that the construction of the house should have commenced after the transfer of the house. The word ‘construction’ used in the aforesaid section would in my opinion mean the completion of the residential house. Therefore, irrespective of the year in which the construction was started, the date relevant for Section 54 of the Act is the date when the residential house was ready for possession. As the possession would be given to you in 2007, in my opinion you should be entitled to the exemption under Section 54 of the Act since you have made the investment in the acquisition of the new house within the period of three years as specified in the section.

The writer can be contacted at



Prices jump on refinery springboard

Investors throng Bathinda with residential project, hotel and educational institution plans, notes Chander Parkash

Bathinda started witnessing development of areas after the first thermal power plant of Punjab was set up in 1974.

With the setting up of a big fertiliser plant by the National Fertiliser Limited (NFL) and Asia’s biggest cantonment in this area, the town acquired prominence on the national map as far as industrial and defence matters are concerned.

After all four units of the local Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) were commissioned, entrepreneurs of this area started setting up industries connected with the production of edible oil, spinning yarn, utensil manufacturing, cotton ginning, pressing and other items.

Though a significant number of industries came up in the district, it remained backward in the same segment. Apart from it, Bathinda district lagged behind the other districts of Punjab in the matters connected with educational facilities.

Despite odds, Bathinda started developing on its own. Over a span of three decades, Bathinda witnessed massive industrialisation. This affected the status of property.

With the elevation of status of local municipal committee to Municipal Corporation in 2002, property business witnessed a boom. The boom travelled to the entire district within a few months and the situation came to such a pass that a major section of populace entered real estate as ‘side business’.

However, boom, which ruled this district for about three years, disappeared suddenly and real estate business hit the roadblock. The situation reached at a point where a number of businessmen did not honour their agreement to purchase the property. This led to a hike in the number of civil and criminal cases.

With the clearance of oil refinery project, being set up jointly near Raman town by the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and business tycoon Lakshmi. N. Mittal, real estate business revived again.

A random survey revealed that the revival was so fast that deals worth Rs 300 crore were inked within a period of six weeks. Real estate business was much prominent within Bathinda city, Bathinda-Dabwali road, Raman Mandi refinery road and Raman Mandi-Talwandi Sabo road.

As the refinery project was initiated in 1996 by the then Congress government, real estate investors, who invested some years ago, started developing residential colonies in Bathinda area.

Apart from this, two shopping malls started coming up fast as it was being anticipated that after the oil refinery is commissioned, it would also generate shopping mall culture. One real estate developer had also been planning to set up another shopping mall in this town.

The maximum impact of clearance of refinery project was visible in Raman Mandi and surrounding areas as during the past six weeks, the rates of property had witnessed a jump from 20 per cent to 50 per cent.

A section of real estate agents whom TNS talked to, pointed out that rates of property could go much higher if Lakshmi. N. Mittal visited the oil refinery site at Phulokhari village. They added every day they had been receiving investors from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi. The investors were also coming to set up schools and hotels in that region.

However, Bathinda-based real estate agents claim that refinery is not the only factor to revive the real estate business. They added that the development agenda for Bathinda, which was being unfolded by a section of ruling politicians repeatedly, had become a major reason for bringing about a hike in the prices of landed property.

They also expressed fear that big-time real estate businessmen, along with a section of ruling politicians, could indulge in ‘manipulation and cyclic trading’ to give a significant jump to the rates of landed properties to develop a situation where the commoners would not be able to find out few yards of land to construct dwellings.

They added that the state government should come in forward to develop residential colonies in this region and make residential plots available to commoners at reasonable rates.



Watery threat

Rising shallow water table in southern parts of Chandigarh is posing threat to the very foundation of the housing structures, says Vishal Gulati

Are buildings in southern sectors of Chandigarh facing threat from underground shallow water? Studies conducted by the Central Groundwater Board (CGWB) of the Ministry of Water Resources say so.

But this is only a part of the larger problem. Overall water table is declining in the deeper aquifers of City Beautiful. Talking to The Tribune, regional director of the board, Sushil Gupta, says the city is facing a problem of a different dimension. The water table in shallow aquifers is rising in the southern sectors. The rising water table results in seepage problems in the basements of the buildings. In the long run, it might damage the soil-bearing capacity of the building foundation.

In some cases, builders even have to pump out shallow water to lay the foundation of the building.

He says under the water and buildings bylaws, no one, except the Administration, is allowed to install a tubewell within the city. Also, only the deeper aquifers (below 100m) are to be exploited, so there is none or negligible withdrawal of ground water from these shallow aquifers. This may lead to water-logging problem from Sector 39 onwards and even in Mohali.

To tackle this problem, the geologist suggests the Administration amend the water and building bylaws. For this, it should make it mandatory for the housing societies, schools, hospitals, service stations, commercial buildings and institutions to use shallow water by installing tubewells.

This water, though not fit for human consumption, can be used for irrigation and domestic purposes. This will not only help the Administration in overcoming the problem of water shortage, but also check waterlogging.

For installing tubewells, the board will demarcate the waterlogged areas.

Studies say shallow water level is increasing in the southern sectors due to the slope of hydraulic gradient. In the monsoon, the water level goes up to 2m (for shallow water) in the southern sectors against the potable water average of 30m to 70m for the entire city.



Scales tilt in favour of tiles

Punjab is an ideal testing ground, tilemaker tells Pradeep Sharma

Marbles and chips are passé now. Once a major requirement of many a dream house, it’s the vitrified tiles, which have the caught fancy of builders and owners alike.

Cashing in on the real estate boom in the country in general and Chandigarh’s periphery in particular, the tile industry is witnessing an unprecedented revolution sparking off an intense competition among major players.

In fact, with the coming of the innovation housing designs in the wake of entry of the major realtors in the region, the tile industry is set to occupy pride of place in the construction industry, says Sanjay Monga, vice-president, sales and marketing, Orient Ceramics and Industries Limited. “To tap the potential of the emerging market and provide one-stop shop for the customers looking for best-quality home solutions, the company has decided to set up an exclusive showroom in Chandigarh,” Monga, who is on a tour of the region to strengthen the marketing and sales network, said in an interaction with The Tribune. The Punjab region has an immense potential for growth of the tile industry - which is not merely seen as an add-on industry now, Monga adds. Marbles and chips, traditional substitutes for tiles, are virtually on their way out. Since marbles and chips are not supplied by renowned companies, brand assumes importance in the tile industry. That is the reason why all major players have come up with a variety of products catering to all sections of end-users. Competition would ultimately lower the prices making the customer the king, Monga says. Orient is following a ‘proactive’ strategy targeting the Class II and III towns, as these would prove to be the major markets in the years to come. With the major realtors taking a fancy for these towns, the growth of the tile industry has even surprised the real estate pundits. In fact, Orient grew by 43 per cent in financial year 2006-07, he claimed.



Buzz on Bourses
DTZ acquires Donaldsons LLP

Chandigarh: DTZ, a leading global property adviser, has acquired the business and assets of Donaldsons LLP. Donaldsons LLP, the privately owned, UK-based property consultancy, was acquired in a cash-plus stock deal for an initial consideration of £39.8 million plus deferred consideration of up to £8.8 million. According to a company press note, the merger will create a pre-eminent retail property adviser and open up Donaldsons retail and development capabilities to DTZ’s capital markets strength and mutually reinforce many other practice areas. — TNS

Ambuja Realty plans public float

Kolkata: Ambuja Realty Development Ltd (ARDL) may explore the possibility of raising resources from the capital market through an initial public offer (IPO) for funding its investment plans. Engaged in real estate, hospital and hotel businesses, ARDL plans to pump in around Rs 4,000 crore in the coming years for setting up high-end hotels, IT special economic zones, and retail projects across the country. Sources in ARDL said taking the IPO route was an option for the company. — PTI

Puravankara Projects IPO

Mumbai: Bangalore-based real estate major Puravankara Projects Ltd will enter the capital market on July 31. The company has allocated 30 per cent of the shares for retail investors. The company will sell 21.4 crore shares, having a price band between Rs 500 and Rs 525, which will be made through cent per cent book-building process. The net receipts will be utilised for land acquisition, loan repayment and to fund corporate expansion plans, Girish Puravankara, MD of Puravankara Projects Ltd, said. The issue closes on August 3. — UNI

Lodha to invest in Mumbai

Mumbai: Real estate development major Lodha Group will invest Rs 2,000 crore in commercial real estate projects in the city. The group will develop a state-of-the-art techno campus and corporate campus across the megapolis. As part of the plan, over 46-lakh sq ft of land has been earmarked for six projects in Mumbai. Lodha Group director Abhishekh Lodha said: “Corporates today are looking for commercial space with lifestyle amenities. All our projects bear a strong resemblance of luxury and lifestyle.” — UNI

SNG project in Firozabad

Chandigarh: SNG Developers Ltd have launched residential apartments in Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh. According to a press note issued by the company, SNG Crystal Castle, as the project is called, will have 325 luxury apartments. This multi-storeyed, ultra modern, state of art edifice will be built over 5 acres of land with an investment of Rs. 70 crore. The project is expected to be completed within a period of two years. Avneesh Kumar Singh, Managing Director, SNG Developers said: “Firozabad is a strategically located industrial town, globally famous for glassware industry. Its location makes it a profitable and advisable destination. — TNS

MSP group to enter cement biz

Kolkata: MSP Group, which has interests in steel and power, is mulling diversification into the mining and cement sectors over the next four years, a company official said. Managing director of MSP Steel & Power Limited, the flagship firm of the MSP Group, Suresh Agarwal, said that the company was scouting for locations for its cement venture in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and the north-east. He said that as a part of backward integration drive, the company was seeking permission for iron-ore mining. — PTI

House of Pearl’s plan

New Delhi: Diversifying into real estate sector, apparel firm House of Pearl Fashions has partnered with developer Ansal API for construction of a commercial complex in Gurgaon. House of Pearl Fashions expects revenue in the range of Rs 500 crore through the sale of developed property. The company has entered into a MoU with Ansal API, as per which Ansal would obtain necessary government approval and construct the property. Revenues from sale of developed property would be shared between Pearl Global and Ansal API in the ratio of 47.5: 52.5. — PTI

Franklin ties up with AllBank

Kolkata: Major fund management house, Franklin Templeton Investments has tied up with Allahabad Bank to sell mutual fund schemes. “This alliance will help us in reaching out to retail investors across the country with large branch network,” Franklin president Vivek Kudva said here. AllBank chairman and managing director A.C. Mahajan said the bank was aiming to double the commission income from selling third party products. Kudva, speaking about new products, said plans were being drawn up for a pure international fund and area like real estate sector. — PTI

Bisazza glass for realty projects

Chennai: Vijay Shanthi Builders Limited, a leading real estate developer in South India, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bisazza, the Italy-based world leader in luxury glass mosaic, for using glass tiles in high-end residential projects. Vijay Shanthi Builders Executive Director Naresh Jain told the press here after signing the MoU with Bisazza Export Sales Director Valerio Decao, the tie-up would help set new standards and was aimed at providing the best in the world to its customers. It was the first Indian company to tie-up with Bisazza to introduce the Italian major’s glass tiles in the country and after its maiden entry, the property development industry in the country would witness a massive change, he claimed. — UNI

DLF’s multiplex biz

New Delhi: Banking on the growing multiplex culture in metros, real estate major DLF is planning to set up 35-40 new movie screens across the country over the next two years, entailing an investment of about Rs 160 crore. “We are going to add 35-40 screens at various locations across the country over the next two years. The company invests in a range of Rs 3 to Rs 5 crore on each screen,” DLF Ltd Executive Director Ajay Khanna told PTI on the sidelines of a retail conference. DLF would open one mall each in Vasant Kunj, Delhi and Jalandhar while two new malls would come up in Mumbai by the end of this financial year. — PTI