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Intel dumps ‘slow’ India
Prefers plants in China and Vietnam to India following delay in framing the semiconductor policy
New Delhi, September 5
Intel Corporation today shelved its plans to set up a manufacturing base in the country blaming the government for its delay in framing the semiconductor policy. Alternately, the US-based company said it would set up manufacturing plants in China and Vietnam following the slow pace of policy.


Colours rule two-wheeler sales.
(56k)

L&T consortium bags 1,200-cr order from Bhushan Steel
Mumbai, September 5
Larsen & Toubro, along with Italy-based Paul Wurth, has bagged Rs 1,205 crore order from Bhushan Steel for construction-related work at the latter's Angul plant. The order was bagged for turnkey construction of a 2.5 million TPA blast furnace for Bhushan Steel's Anugul plant in Orissa, scheduled to be completed in 28 months, commencing from December.

Auto Convention
Italy’s firm now Mahindra’s target
New Delhi, September 5
Mahindra and Mahindra, which is reportedly interested in acquiring Ford Motor's top brands Land Rover and Jaguar in Europe, is also looking to buy a design firm in Italy to upgrade its skills. "The company is looking to acquire a design company in Italy," Mahindra group chairman Keshub Mahindra said on the sidelines of the SIAM annual convention here today.







EARLIER STORIES

 
A Sony employee displays the new digital camera ‘Cybershot DSC-T200’ at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo
A Sony employee displays the new digital camera ‘Cybershot DSC-T200’ at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo on Wednesday. The camera’s new function named ‘smile shutter’ is able to detect smile on faces to automatically take a picture. The T-Series will come in two versions — the DSC-T200 with a 3.5-inch liquid crystal display priced at around 48,000 yen and the DSC-T70 with a 3-inch LCD priced at around 40,000 Yen.
— AFP

Liquidity no issue for Asian firms, says Moody’s
New Delhi, September 5
Moody's Investor Service today said corporates in the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, are not experiencing systemic problems in accessing lending despite volatility in credit markets triggered by the recent US sub-prime crisis,says a new report.

UNCTAD pegs growth at 8.5 pc
New Delhi, September 5
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has forecast the Indian economy to grow at 8.5 per cent during 2007-08, which is identical to the projection made by the RBI.

More Indians in US turn inventors: Study
New Delhi, September 5
Indian immigrants in the United States are making a strong mark for themselves with an ever-increasing number turning into inventors in the country, a recent study says. According to a report prepared by a team of researchers from Harvard, Duke and New York Universities, the number of Indian nationals contributing to US international patent applications touched 5.5 per cent in 2006.

NIIT to train Chinese colleges, universities
Mumbai, September 5
NIIT Ltd today said it has entered into an agreement with ChongQing Information Industry Bureau to provide IT training programmes for universities and colleges in the city of ChongQing. In this regard, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between NIIT CEO Vijay K Thadani and secretary general of the Communist Party of ChongQing Wang Yang.

Film-maker, Postal Dept think retail
Mumbai, September 5
Revelations of retail plans of the Department of Posts and that of noted film-maker Prakash Jha were the high points on the second day of the India Retail Forum exhibition being held here. While the Department of Posts plans to develop vacant space in post offices for retail, filmmaker Jha revealed that he would develop 19 malls in Bihar and Jharkhand.

Nod to 17 proposals
New Delhi, September 5
The government today cleared 17 FDI proposals involving a total investment inflow of Rs 284.76 crore, including that of a group firm of French banking major Societe Generale for undertaking financial services. The French firm, Sogeparticipations, plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary for providing financial services and the proposal would bring Rs 205.8 crore of FDI into the country.

Raymond forays into womenswear
New Delhi, September 5
Aiming for a share in the Rs 800-crore premium women western-wear market, apparel company Raymond Ltd today announced a foray into the womenswear segment with the launch of ColorPlus women.

India to receive $20 b FDI a year till 2011: Report
New York, September 5
India is likely to receive foreign direct investment of $20.4 billion every year during 2007-11, even as executives around the world see developing countries as having “heightened political risk”. According to a report by Economist Intelligence Unit, compiled in cooperation with Columbia Programme on International Investment (CPII), there is “significantly heightened political risk perceptions among the investors”.

Volkswagen rolls out Passat
Mumbai, September 5
Germany-based Volkswagen today launched its first locally assembled Passat sedan in India and has plans to launch small cars, to be manufactured at its Pune plant. The two versions of high-end featured Passat, equipped with TDI 2.0 litre diesel engine, will be available in the Indian market at a price range of Rs 22.34 lakh and Rs 24.35 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi).





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Intel dumps ‘slow’ India
Prefers plants in China and Vietnam to India following delay in framing the semiconductor policy

New Delhi, September 5
Intel Corporation today shelved its plans to set up a manufacturing base in the country blaming the government for its delay in framing the semiconductor policy.

Alternately, the US-based company said it would set up manufacturing plants in China and Vietnam following the slow pace of policy.

“Following India’s delay in announcing a semiconductor policy, the country has lost to other Asian countries to set up a manufacturing plant,” Intel Corporation chairman Craig R Barrett said.

The $35-billion company reassured that “India is still high on the list and Intel will definitely consider it in the next round of investment. Manufacturing remains important to Intel. We were in talks with the Indian government but it was slow in coming up with a policy in time,” said Barrett.

“As of now, we don’t have any plan to set up a plant here. There is enough capacity at this point and the investment plans are drawn years in advance,” said Barrett.

Intel plans to build a $2.5-billion facility in China to make chip wafers and the plant is expected to begin initial production in the first half of 2010.

According to a study by the India Semiconductor Association, consumption of electronic equipment in the country would rise to $363 billion by 2015 from $28.2 billion in 2005 at a compound annual growth rate of 29.8 per cent pushing the total market for semiconductors to $36.3 billion by 2015.

Intel had earlier expressed its interest in setting up an advanced test manufacturing (ATM) facility in the country at an estimated investment of more than $400 million. Indications to this effect were made available after a meeting between the former Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran, and the Intel chairman Barrett.

India had been aggressively lobbying firms, including Intel, to set up manufacturing units in the country. The chipmaker was to determine which city to set up the facility in, with Chennai, Bangaluru and Noida in the running.

Although a number of multinationals have several software and chip design facilities in the country, none has set up fabs in India.

The decision, if it had favoured India, would have served as a major boost for the country.

Intel has a development centre in Bangaluru, with design and developed software to power chips that drive computers and high-end network for Internet-based applications.

However, it does not have a full-fledged manufacturing plant in Asia, its fastest growing market. At present the company manufactures chips in the USA, Ireland and Israel.

In view of the rapidly growing market in India, it is vital that the country develops a manufacturing base or it would be left holding a huge import bill for computer chips, most of which would come from China. — UNI

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L&T consortium bags 1,200-cr order from Bhushan Steel

Mumbai, September 5
Larsen & Toubro, along with Italy-based Paul Wurth, has bagged Rs 1,205 crore order from Bhushan Steel for construction-related work at the latter's Angul plant.

The order was bagged for turnkey construction of a 2.5 million TPA blast furnace for Bhushan Steel's Anugul plant in Orissa, scheduled to be completed in 28 months, commencing from December.

L&T's share in this project was pegged at Rs 760.5 crore, the company said.

The Italian firm Paul Wurth's scope of work covers basis engineering, supply of proprietary and special equipment while L&T will undertake detail engineering, supply of indigenous mechanical, electrical and instrumentation works.

Besides, the consortium bagged yet another order from Tata Steel for a 3.2 MTPA blast furnace at its Kalinganagar Project. Also, work on the 2.5 MTPA blast furnace for the public sector unit, RINL, Vishakapatnam has commenced.

Indo-Gulf Fert unit starts operation

Aditya Birla Nuvo today said production and other normal operations at its fertilisers plant at Jagdishpur has commenced from September 1.

Operations at the plant was disrupted on account of collapse of urea cooling tower, part of the Aditya Birla group said. Earlier on August 17, the company said the Indo-Gulf Fertilisers division was shutdown due to collapse of the urea cooling tower. — Agencies

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Auto Convention
Italy’s firm now Mahindra’s target

New Delhi, September 5
Mahindra and Mahindra, which is reportedly interested in acquiring Ford Motor's top brands Land Rover and Jaguar in Europe, is also looking to buy a design firm in Italy to upgrade its skills.

"The company is looking to acquire a design company in Italy," Mahindra group chairman Keshub Mahindra said on the sidelines of the SIAM annual convention here today.

"The acquisition is a part of our global strategy to source the best product. We are always in search of this and whenever an opportunity arises we will go for it," he said, but did not give details on the possible takeover.

The company, which also makes utility vehicles, has been looking for overseas buys to expand its business. It had bought tractor manufacturing assets of China's Jiangling Tractor Company a couple of years ago, and was also interested in buying a Romanian firm.

Ingenio, new Scorpio next year

Aiming to get the first mover's advantage, Mahindra & Mahindra said it would launch the hybrid version of its sports utility vehicle (SUV) Scorpio by next year.

"Currently we are working at both mild and full hybrid of Scorpio and the first prototype will be running by January and we plan to introduce the same in the market by 2008 itself," M&M president (Automotive Sector) Pawan Goenka said here.

He said the company was also on track to launch its indigenously developed SUV Ingenio by next year.

Honda Siel plans Jazz in India

Honda Siel Cars India today said it was planning to launch two models in India, including its popular hatchback Jazz, to mark the company's foray into small car segment in the country.

The company is launching 1.2 litre powered engine car in India to avail of the excise duty benefit.

Auto sector assured protection

Describing the Indian automotive industry as an infant sector which needs protection, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath today said the sector would be provided a level-playing field in global trade negotiations.

"We will ensure that infant sectors in the economy such as the automotive industry are protected. This is our position at the multilateral trade body, WTO, as well," Nath said.

High input cost challenges Tata

Tata Motors today reiterated its commitment to launch the Rs 1 lakh car by mid-2008, but said high input cost is a challenge to maintain the price.

''We are trying to keep the price of car at Rs 1 lakh but the cost pressure is a challenge before us. The input cost has risen in these three years,'' Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant said.

Expressing concern on the rising interest rates, Kant said it had toned down production and there was no likely improvement in the situation in the short term, rupee appreciation had also impacted the export. — Agencies

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Liquidity no issue for Asian firms, says Moody’s

New Delhi, September 5
Moody's Investor Service today said corporates in the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, are not experiencing systemic problems in accessing lending despite volatility in credit markets triggered by the recent US sub-prime crisis,says a new report.

According to the report by Moody's Investor Service titled "Asia Pacific Corporates Well-Positioned for Liquidity Strain; Some Challenges Evident", the capacity of Asian banks to lend has not been really affected as their sub-prime exposures are low relative to earnings and capital.

"Crucially, Asia's banks are generally showing no reluctance to lend to corporates in the current environment," Moody's managing director for corporate finance in Asia Pacific Brian Cahill said.

The report also says that high-yield issuers only recently became active again in the region and many had taken advantage of easy lending conditions to pre-fund their capital expenditure and financing needs. As such, many do not face any refinancing risk in the coming months.

In such a backdrop, Moody's senior V-P and chief credit officer Clara Lau notes that any emergent liquidity challenges will be company and not sector specific.

However, Moody's does not see any risk of a large number of rating actions for the Asian corporate sector. — PTI

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UNCTAD pegs growth at 8.5 pc
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has forecast the Indian economy to grow at 8.5 per cent during 2007-08, which is identical to the projection made by the RBI.

UNCTAD has, however, warned that India’s high investment rate of 30 per cent of GDP can only be maintained if large external shocks are avoided.

‘Trade and Development Report-2007’, the flagship annual publication of UNCTAD, which was released here today, has projected the growth figure on the base of quick official estimates of 9.2 per cent economic growth in 2006-07.

Interestingly, the report has been released couple of days after the government revealed that the economy has grown at 9.3 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

“These are just preliminary figures… I am happy that economists have been proved wrong (in their estimates of Indian economic growth),” Nagesh Kumar, director general of research and information system for developing countries, pointing to better than expected growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

“High investment ratios in both the countries -- over 40 per cent of GDP in China and close to 30 per cent in India -- can only persist if large external shocks can be avoided and if economic policy is not forced to limit expansion to a greater extent than currently envisaged,” the report said.

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More Indians in US turn inventors: Study

New Delhi, September 5
Indian immigrants in the United States are making a strong mark for themselves with an ever-increasing number turning into inventors in the country, a recent study says.

According to a report prepared by a team of researchers from Harvard, Duke and New York Universities, the number of Indian nationals contributing to US international patent applications touched 5.5 per cent in 2006. This is a sharp rise compared to just 1.6 per cent in 1998.

"During this period, there was a large influx of highly educated Indians into the US and they contributed immensely to the intellectual capital of American corporations and universities," Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Harvard Law School and executive-in-residence at Duke University, one of the authors of the report told PTI.

Analysing the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)applications from the US at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the researchers found contribution of inventors with Indian-heritage names increased to 13.7 per cent from 9.5 per cent during the 1998-2006 period.

Besides, Indian and Chinese inventors file most patents in the fields of sanitation, medical preparations, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and electronics.

Geographically, most of the Indian inventors chose to reside in places like California, New Jersey and Texas.

"Indian-born entrepreneurs in the US founded more engineering and technology firms (from 1995-2005) than the next immigrant groups - from the UK, China, Taiwan and Japan, combined." the report revels.

The researchers also examined information published by the US Homeland Security Department, the Labor Department and the State Department Immigration Survey to understand the foreign-national data.

Titled “Intellectual Property, the Immigration Backlog and a Reverse Brain-Drain, America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs”, the report also throws light on the contributions from foreign nationals and foreign residents in filing international patent applications from the US.

Meanwhile, Chinese inventors saw their contributions rising to 6.2 per cent in 2006 from 1.8 per cent in 1998.

"Chinese people were number one in filing global patents but then Chinese population is also greater than Indian," said Wadhwa.

Foreign-national inventors are individuals with foreign citizenships working in the US while foreign-resident inventors have foreign citizenship and are not based in US.

The data for 2006 shows foreign nationals residing in the US were inventors or co-inventors of one in four US PCT applications, a more than three-fold increase compared to 1998. The percentage of foreign nationals contributing to US international patent applications increased to 25.6 per cent in 2006 from just 7.6 per cent in 1998.

Delving deeper into the 2006 statistics, more than half of the international patents filed by large multinational companies were contributed by foreign nationals and foreign residents. Qualcomm Inc saw a contribution of 72 per cent followed by Merck (65 per cent) and General Electric Company (64 per cent), Siemens (63 per cent) and Cisco (60 per cent). — PTI

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NIIT to train Chinese colleges, universities

Mumbai, September 5
NIIT Ltd today said it has entered into an agreement with ChongQing Information Industry Bureau (CQIIB) to provide IT training programmes for universities and colleges in the city of ChongQing.

In this regard, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between NIIT CEO Vijay K Thadani and secretary general of the Communist Party of ChongQing Wang Yang.

CQIIB is a Chinese government department responsible for growth and development of the IT industry in ChongQing.

NIIT will offer training programmes in the areas of software engineering and application, network administration and management, game design and development. The training programmes will be offered in both English and Mandarin.

NIIT will also train and certify the faculties at the institutions apart from training the workforce in IT and non-IT companies in ChongQing, the firm said.

"NIIT's partnership with CQIIB is in line with our commitment to develop skilled IT manpower in China," Thadani and economic consultant to ChongQing said.

The company had entered China in 1998 with the launch of its first IT training centre in Shanghai in cooperation with Pudong Continuing Education Centre , education arm of Municipal Government of Shanghai. — PTI

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Film-maker, Postal Dept think retail
Peeyush Agnihotri
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, September 5
Revelations of retail plans of the Department of Posts and that of noted film-maker Prakash Jha were the high points on the second day of the India Retail Forum exhibition being held here.

While the Department of Posts plans to develop vacant space in post offices for retail, filmmaker Jha revealed that he would develop 19 malls in Bihar and Jharkhand.

“We plan to develop 1,800 plots and space running into lakhs of square feet for retailing,” S. Samant, CGM (Business Development), Department of Posts, disclosed. Tenders would soon be invited and a post office retail model would be developed purely on PPP (public private partnership) basis just as the Railways and airports have.

Striking a rather interesting note, film-maker Prakash Jha disclosed his plans to develop 19 multiplex-cum-malls in Bihar and Jharkhand.

The question of Why Bihar brought smiles to many a faces. “Bihar and Jharkhand are a picture of contradiction for all. While the place, that was once a golden state, has the best brains and has been known for mineral riches, it always brings a scowl on the faces of investors because of the lawlessness that prevails,” he said.

“With the coming in of the new government, the quantum of Bihar budget has tripled to Rs 53,000 crore. It is here where I see the opportunity,” he said.

“Remember, Bihar is now to rest of India what India was to the rest of the world not long ago. But the scenario is changing,” he said.

Jha said they had acquired 19 pieces of realty and the work was in progress in three of those. “We have already signed up with Adlabs for putting up screens,” he said.

“Talks are on with the FIPB for tax sops,” Jha said. “We will rent out the outlets for farmers as well as open quite a few e-centres,” the filmmaker said.

He advised investors to start looking at other southeastern and eastern states like Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar.

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Nod to 17 proposals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5
The government today cleared 17 FDI proposals involving a total investment inflow of Rs 284.76 crore, including that of a group firm of French banking major Societe Generale for undertaking financial services.

The French firm, Sogeparticipations, plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary for providing financial services and the proposal would bring Rs 205.8 crore of FDI into the country. The subsidiary plans to undertake portfolio management and investment advisory services.

All the 17 proposals were approved by finance minister P Chidambaram on recommendations of Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

Other proposals cleared by the government, include a joint venture by Arvind Mills and the Netherlands-based lifestyle company Diesel Fashion for selling Diesel’s garments and accessories in the country. This proposal will bring in Rs 5.1 crore of foreign investment.

Another proposal that has been cleared is of Dutch advertising firm Publicis Group to acquire Capital Advertising Private Ltd, which will bring in FDI of Rs 0.03 crore, an official statement said here.

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Raymond forays into womenswear

New Delhi, September 5
Aiming for a share in the Rs 800-crore premium women western-wear market, apparel company Raymond Ltd today announced a foray into the womenswear segment with the launch of ColorPlus women.

As the company expects Rs 150 crore revenue in the womenswear segment in the next two-three years, the company made the venture into the western womenswear.

Raymond will open 175 stores in the next three years to retail the range of ColorPlus apparel, which will include day-wear, sports-wear, business-wear as well formal-wear.

ColorPlus - women will vie for a significant part of the Rs 800-crore premium western womenswear market growing at 20 per cent annually. Raymond chairman and managing director Gautam Hari Singhania said.

By the end of the year, Raymond is looking to open five exclusive ColorPlus women-stores as well as twelve lifestyle stores. It will be launched in eight metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad.

The range, starting from Rs 900-1900 will be available at ColorPlus flagship store in multi-brand outlets and large format stores across the country. — PTI

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India to receive $20 b FDI a year till 2011: Report

New York, September 5
India is likely to receive foreign direct investment of $20.4 billion every year during 2007-11, even as executives around the world see developing countries as having “heightened political risk”. According to a report by Economist Intelligence Unit, compiled in cooperation with Columbia Programme on International Investment (CPII), there is “significantly heightened political risk perceptions among the investors”.

This, the report said, is especially in the case of emerging markets where all four forms of political risk - political violence, FDI protectionism, threats associated with geo-political tensions and government instability - are seen increasing over the next five years. For developed countries also there is a widespread concern about rising FDI protectionism, the threat of terrorism in the USA and Britain and impact of geo- political tensions ranging from effects of possible conflict with Iran and Islamic radicalism to Russian-Western frictions.

The report projected that India’s regional competitor, China, would attract average foreign investments of $86.8 billion a year till 2011. Last year, the two countries had received FDI worth $17.5 billion and $78.1 billion dollars, respectively.

In percentage terms, India received 1.36 per cent of the world’s total FDI as against China’s 5.79 per cent. The report predicts the USA to retain its top slot in the list of FDI recipients with total inflow of $250.9 billion per year. Britain could witness a fall in FDI inflow to $112.9 billion per year over the five-year period, against $137.7 billion last year. — PTI

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Volkswagen rolls out Passat

Mumbai, September 5
Germany-based Volkswagen (VW) today launched its first locally assembled Passat sedan in India and has plans to launch small cars, to be manufactured at its Pune plant.

The two versions of high-end featured Passat, equipped with TDI 2.0 litre diesel engine, will be available in the Indian market at a price range of Rs 22.34 lakh and Rs 24.35 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi).

Speaking at the launch, VW's managing director Joerg Mueller said, '' We are sure that the Passat will set the pace for our future product launches in India.'' He said the company might launch its new car by 2009. These cars were under process at its Pune plant, Mueller said.

The group, which has Skoda as its sister concern in the country, has planned to roll-off eight to 10,000 cars per annum in this segment. — UNI

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BRIEFLY

Home loan rates cut
Chandigarh, September 5
Allahabad Bank has decided to reduce interest rates on fresh housing loans under various maturity buckets by 1 per cent across the board both on floating and fixed rates sanctioned/availed from the bank with effect from September 4, 2007. The rates of interest per annum for sanctioned amount below 20 lakhs are up to five years maturity floating PLR - 2.75 per cent for maturity above five up to 10 years PLF-2.50 per cent for maturity above 10 up to 15 years PLR - 2.25 per cent and for maturity above 15 up to 25 years PLR - 1.75 per cent. — TNS

Dhanus IPO
Mumbai, September 5
Dhanus Technologies Limited will enter the capital market with a public issue of 38, 3500 equity shares to raise Rs 113 crore for financing the company’s future expansion plans. The price band of the issue has been fixed at a range between Rs 280-295 and it will hit the bourses on September 10 and close on September 12. — UNI

Shreyas Ship
Mumbai, September 5
Shreyas Shipping and Logistics today said it has acquired 51 per cent stake in Haytrans India for an undisclosed amount, making the freight forwarding company its subsidiary. — PTI

Gayatri Projects
Mumbai, September 5
Constructions company Gayatri Projects today said it has bagged Rs 311.89 crore order from the Orissa government for road construction. The project, to be executed within a period of three years, is awarded by executive engineer Keonjhar district, the company said. —  PTI

Freshtrop Fruits
Mumbai, September 5
Freshtrop Fruits today said it will issue bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1 to its existing shareholders by capitalising free reserves of the company. The board of directors, at a meeting held on Monday, recommended issuing one fully paid equity share of Rs 10 each as bonus for every one share held by the shareholders, it said. — PTI

Magnum share
Mumbai, September 5
Magnum Ventures, a company that operates in paper business, has fixed the offer price of its IPO at Rs 30 per share. The company, which has sold 1.76 crore shares through 100 per cent book-building process, had earlier fixed the price band at Rs 27 and Rs 30 per share, sources at Magnum said. — PTI

BHEL order
Tiruchirapalli, September 5
BHEL has bagged an order worth Rs 1,990 crore to supply steam generators and turbine packages for the upcoming 1,000-MW thermal power project at Vallur in Tamil Nadu. The public sector unit won the contract outbidding leading European equipment suppliers. — PTI

J&K Bank
Mumbai, September 5
Jammu & Kashmir Bank today said the bank has received approval from the RBI for making preferential allotment of shares to the Jammu & Kashmir Bank. Besides, the RBI has granted permission for increasing investment limit of FIIs in the bank from 40 per cent to 46.85 per cent of its paid up share capital, the bank said. — PTI

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