SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

MoD to vacate spectrum by Nov-end: Raja
New Delhi, October 3
Amidst the unprecedented rush to get telecom licence in the country, union communication minister A Raja today expressed the hope that the defence ministry (MoD) would vacate the spectrum by November-end.

RBI boosts rupee to a new high
Mumbai, October 3
Nearly $2 billion that flowed to the domestic equities and the resultant boom in the Sensex today gave a massive push to the rupee, taking it to a fresh nine year high at 39.58 per dollar.

Pak industry ‘wants’ MFN status for India
Attari (Amritsar), October 3
The chairman of the Pakistan-USA Business Council, Arshad Alam, said here today that the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry had been pressing the Pakistani government to accord most- favoured nation (MFN) status to India.

Lanco’s skyscraper project stayed
Hyderabad, October 3
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed infrastructure firm Lanco and real estate developer Emaar Properties to stop construction work related to two separate projects in parcels of land that were found to belong to the Wakf board.



EARLIER STORIES

 
Ranbaxy to up stake in Zenotech
New Delhi, October 3
Drug major Ranbaxy today said it will increase its stake in Hyderabad-based pharma company Zenotech Labs to 45 per cent for Rs 214 crore and make an open offer to buy an additional up to 20 per cent shares. The two companies have signed a definitive agreement, under which Ranbaxy will raise its stake by buying shares of promoters at Rs 160 a piece and through a preferential allotment by Zenotech.

Ranbaxy CEO Malvinder Mohan Singh (R) along with Zenotech MD Jayaram Chigurupati at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

Ranbaxy CEO Malvinder Mohan Singh (R) along with Zenotech MD Jayaram Chigurupati at a press conference in New Delhi

Reliance launches cheapest colour phone
Mumbai, October 3
Reliance Communication today launched 'Classic 732' at a price of Rs 999, the lowest in Indian market. Classic is India’s largest operator-driven handset brand introduced by Reliance at a very low entry level pricing, a company official said.
Reliance Communications president, personal business, S.P. Shukla launches Classic celebration-colour handsets in Mumbai on Wednesday. — PTI photo
Reliance Communications president, personal business, S.P. Shukla launches Classic celebration-colour handsets in Mumbai

Reliance Power files prospectus for IPO
Mumbai, October 3
Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power today filed draft prospectus with market regulator SEBI for its initial public offer to raise an estimated amount of up to $3billion. The company proposes to issue 130 crore equity shares of Rs 2 each.

ONGC to pump in Rs 5,713 cr
New Delhi, October 3
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) today said it would invest Rs 5,713 crore for second phase of redevelopment of Mumbai High in western offshore. Western offshore contributes around 16 million metric tonnes per year which covers 60 per cent of the total crude production of ONGC.

The Fields (wheat fields) by Vincent van Gogh is displayed at a Sotheby's preview in Hong Kong
The Fields (wheat fields) by Vincent van Gogh is displayed at a Sotheby's preview in Hong Kong on Wednesday. As one of the last landscapes by the artist, it is estimated to sell for $28-35 million.
— Reuters

GSPC finds gas in KG basin
New Delhi, October 3
Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has reported a new 6.3 trillion cubic feet gas discovery in its eastern offshore Krishna Godavari basin discovery block KG-OSN-2001/3, home to the Deen Dayal gasfield.

Promote ethanol production: Pawar
New Delhi, October 3
Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar today blamed the state advised prices (SAP) fixed by the states, which is above the price fixed by the Centre, leading to bumper sugarcane production in the country and resulting in cane price arrears.

FM launches portal for youth
New Delhi, October 3
Finance minister P Chidamabaran has launched the Jaago India Foundation and www.jaagoindia.org, a portal that aims to awaken the youth on relevant social issues — as a first step in the quest to foster change.

Som Mittal is Nasscom president
New Delhi, October 3
The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) today named Som Mittal as its new president. He will succeed incumbent Kiran Karnik from January next year.

Canara Bank cuts home loan rates
Bangalore, October 3
State-owned Canara Bank today announced a 0.5 per cent cut in floating interest rates on home loans indicating easing cost of funds that prompted segment leader HDFC to rollback rates last week.

Videos
Seafood exports costlier.
(56k)
IOC likely to spend $11 billion.
(56k)





Top








 

MoD to vacate spectrum by Nov-end: Raja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Amidst the unprecedented rush to get telecom licence in the country, union communication minister A Raja today expressed the hope that the defence ministry (MoD) would vacate the spectrum by November-end.

"The spectrum issue with the ministry of defence will be resolved by November end," Raja told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

The communications ministry has been demanding release of 45 MHz of spectrum from defence for further expansion of the sector.

A GoM headed by Pranab Mukherjee, in its first meeting in September, had decided to form a sub-committee to look into the technical aspects of releasing spectrum from defence.

It was decided in the meeting that DoT would provide a list of important locations to be vacated on priority, immediately on provision of alternate media for these links. The remaining links would be vacated in a phased manner during the next one year as soon as the alternate media is ready.

DoT had assured the defence ministry that the alternate medium on optical fibre cable (OFC) would have the same level of security that the defence services currently have. Vacation of spectrum by shifting to alternate media will not jeopardise security in any manner, the department said.

The government has received about 300 applications from 30 companies, including those from real estate firms, metals and global telcos for starting telecom services.

Raja said the business offered great potential and that was the reason for the rush of applicants. The applications for new telecom licences closed on October 1.

With over 200 million subscribers — projected to cross 600 million in the next five years — there is little doubt that India has vast untapped market. With a teledensity of only about 20 per cent and a rural density of a mere 5 per cent to 6 per cent, there exists a large scope for the telecom operators to expand.

‘Focus on rural broadband’

Communications and IT minister A Raja today asked the Department of Telecom to form a focus group to identify ways and means to bring broadband connectivity to rural areas at a faster pace.

"DoT should form a focus group and deliberate on innovative methods to bring broadband connectivity to rural areas at a faster rate than presently envisaged," Raja said while releasing a compendium on Next Generation Networks (NGN) by Telecom Engineering Centre.

He said the new technologies in NGN could be used to support the information, communications and technology sector in accelerating the present rate of rural coverage and enable taking e-services to far-flung areas.

NGN would enable seamless convergence of voice, video and data by deploying Internet Protocol-based packet switched networks, which would be capable of providing new services at affordable prices. — PTI

Top

 

RBI boosts rupee to a new high

Mumbai, October 3
Nearly $2 billion that flowed to the domestic equities and the resultant boom in the Sensex today gave a massive push to the rupee, taking it to a fresh nine year high at 39.58 per dollar.

The Sensex, which gained by a massive 518.42 points to settle at an all time high of 17,847.0,4, contributed largely in moving the home currency nearly 22 paise up and later settle at 39.58 per US dollar, said dealers.

“Total inflows has crossed $15 billion this year. Increasing levels of inflows are virtually leaving the regulator helpless in mooting a correction on the appreciating currency,” said Sudharshan Bhatt, chief forex dealer, Corporation Bank.

According to dealers, rupee may go further up and may even touch 39.50 per dollar if the inflows continue to be stronger.

Though Reserve Bank's presence was palpable in the forex market in the forenoon session, it had apparently supported rupee in later sessions, said sources.

The home currency, which started weak in morning at 39.86/88 per dollar, shot up in the followed consecutive sessions with RBI seemingly supported the unit's gains.

The move was rippled in the forward premia as well as six month premium was quoted high at 1.11(0.60) percent while annualised premium ended at 1.11(0.85) percent.

Against Euro, the rupee ended at 56.37(56.55), against Pound Sterling at 81.02(81.32) per unit each while Yen was quoted at 34.22(34.42) per 100 units each.

Reserve Bank of India today fixed the reference rate at Rs 39.79 per US dollar. — UNI

Top

 

Pak industry ‘wants’ MFN status for India
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Attari (Amritsar), October 3
The chairman of the Pakistan-USA Business Council, Arshad Alam, said here today that the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry had been pressing the Pakistani government to accord most- favoured nation (MFN) status to India.

In an interview with The Tribune, Alam, who crossed over to India along with the first lot of trucks at the Indo-Pak joint check-post, said there was a major market for Pakistan leather goods and textiles in the Indian market.

“The growing middle class in India can be a major market for Pakistani goods and the opening of truck movement between the two countries was a step in the right direction Textiles made in Pakistan is world famous and India has a big leather industry, which can get its raw material from across the border,” he said.

At the same time, India can be a major source of engineering goods for Pakistan. Traders in Pakistan are delighted and expect that the leaderships of the two countries would take the process forward to encourage more trade in near future. “Status of most-favoured nation for India is something that the business community in Pakistan has been advocating,” he said.

“For the trade to grow, the misplaced animosity in the minds of general public on both sides should be removed. Whatever happened 60 years back is a thing of the past and people on both sides want to move on and have realised the importance of economic growth as a tool to achieve prosperity,” he said.

Alam, who is a former vice-president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the industry in Pakistan was keen on relaxation of visa norms on both sides. “The day is not far when visa offices would be located at Wagah and Attari so that there is easy movement across the border. Steps like free movement of trucks would usher in a new era of Indo-Pak trade,” he said.

At present, Pakistan has allowed duty-free import of five perishable items, including fresh vegetables like potato, tomatoes, onion, garlic, livestock and meat. The Indian business community has been highlighting lack of infrastructure at the joint check post, which is needed for quicker movement of goods to Pakistan.

Top

 

Lanco’s skyscraper project stayed

Hyderabad, October 3
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed infrastructure firm Lanco and real estate developer Emaar Properties to stop construction work related to two separate projects in parcels of land that were found to belong to the Wakf board.

In an interim order, the high court has prima facie found that the construction was going on in Wakf land and the state government has erroneously alloted the land to them.

Lanco was in the process of an constructing an IT park, which when completed would be the tallest building in India at close to 100 storeys, while Emaar is developing a 'Golden City' at Rajendranagar Mandal, near here.

"Respondent 9 (Lanco) and 10 (Emmar) are directed not to make any construction in the said notified lands... situated at Rajendranagar Mandal, Ranga Reddy district," said the single-member Bench of Justice V Eswaraiah in the interim order passed last week.

The high court directions came over a petition filed by Syed Ali, a Member of Legislative Council of the state, who had requested the state to protect the Wakf land.

In his petition, Ali alleged that the state government "illegally and arbitrarily" alloted the Wakf lands to big corporates houses, including Microsoft, Infosys, Polaris and Wipro, among others.

Apart from that, the government had alloted lands to Lanco and Emmar.

In his petition, Ali had requested the court to pass a direction to at least Lanco and Emmar to stop construction activities till the disposal of the case as the others, including Microsoft, Infosys, Polaris and Wipro, have already raised structures at the respective sites alloted to them.

According to Ali, the plots alloted by the state government were actually the agricultural lands of Dargah and its ownership lies with Wakf board.

Agreeing with the petitioner, the Bench found that these agricultural land actually belonged to the Dargah Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali of Manikoda Village and was granted to it during Nizam period. — PTI

Top

 

Ranbaxy to up stake in Zenotech

New Delhi, October 3
Drug major Ranbaxy today said it will increase its stake in Hyderabad-based pharma company Zenotech Labs to 45 per cent for Rs 214 crore and make an open offer to buy an additional up to 20 per cent shares.

The two companies have signed a definitive agreement, under which Ranbaxy will raise its stake by buying shares of promoters at Rs 160 a piece and through a preferential allotment by Zenotech.

Ranbaxy, which currently has 7 per cent stake in Zenotech, will also make an open offer as per SEBI's takeover norms to buy up to 20 per cent additional stake from public shareholders.

After the open offer, existing promoters will have 25 per cent stake in the expanded equity capital of Zenotech. Jayaram Chigurupati will continue as managing director of the company.

"The increasing importance of biologics in global pharma industry and opening of generic biologics in the regulated market makes it opportune for Ranbaxy to enhance its presence in this area. Speciality injectables that include oncology products constitute an attractive segment that underpin our strategic intent," Ranbaxy CEO and managing director Malvinder Mohan Singh said here. — PTI

Top

 

Reliance launches cheapest colour phone

Mumbai, October 3
Reliance Communication today launched 'Classic 732' at a price of Rs 999, the lowest in Indian market. Classic is India’s largest operator-driven handset brand introduced by Reliance at a very low entry level pricing, a company official said.

“We have crossed the one crore sales mark in Classic handsets. Now, the Classic 732 will become the entry level handset for new mobile users in the country,” Reliance Communications President, Personal Business S.P Shukla said. Earlier in May, the company had launched the Classic monochrome phones at a price of Rs 777.

Meanwhile, Reliance Communications said it will set up 26,000 mobile towers across the country by the year-end.

With this expansion, Anil Ambani-owned RCOM subscribers can look forward to seamless connectivity in 85 per cent of the entire rail and road network of the country, company’s CEO (Delhi and Haryana) Sajive Kanwar told reporters here.

As part of this augmentation, 80 more towers are being added in the national capital alone, Kanwar added. Recently, RCOM had announced plans to spend in the range of four billion to five billion dollars on network expansion, especially in rural areas.

The RCOM network will cover 900 million people and 23,000 towns across the country. — Agencies

Top

 

Reliance Power files prospectus for IPO

Mumbai, October 3
Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power today filed draft prospectus with market regulator SEBI for its initial public offer to raise an estimated amount of up to $3billion..

The company proposes to issue 130 crore equity shares of Rs 2 each, which would constitute 11.5 per cent of its share capital, according to a BSE filing by Reliance Energy, parent company of Reliance Power.

The issue, which could raise up to 2-3 billion dollars, is expected to be the largest public offering ahead of realtor DLF, which raised over $2billion, sources said.

“The issue proceeds are proposed to be utilised for funding subsidiaries to part-finance the construction and development costs of various projects and for general corporate purposes,” the company stated. The IPO by Reliance Power is considered to be a part of revenue mobilisation exercise for its estimated Rs 1,00,000 crore investment plans. — PTI

Top

 

ONGC to pump in Rs 5,713 cr
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) today said it would invest Rs 5,713 crore for second phase of redevelopment of Mumbai High in western offshore.

Western offshore contributes around 16 million metric tonnes per year which covers 60 per cent of the total crude production of ONGC.

The Board of ONGC today approved the investment proposals, which will enhance production from the south field of Mumbai High and will improve the oil recovery to over 346 million metric tonnes with an incremental oil of 22 million metric tonnes, a company statement said.

With current crude prices, the additional produce is valued at Rs 53,000 crore. This will improve the oil recovery to about 35 per cent by 2030. Cumulatively, Mumbai High has already produced 382 MMt oil till now.

The project envisages drilling of 86 infill wells. Five new well head platforms and six clamp-on structures are planned.

The phase-II follows the first redevelopment programme launched in October 2001. The implementation of phase-I plan has reversed the declining production trend. Boosted by the success of the phase-I redevelopment exercise, ONGC has gone for phase-II redevelopment in Mumbai High south field.

Top

 

GSPC finds gas in KG basin

New Delhi, October 3
Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has reported a new 6.3 trillion cubic feet gas discovery in its eastern offshore Krishna Godavari basin discovery block KG-OSN-2001/3, home to the Deen Dayal gasfield.

GSPC on September 24 informed upstream regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) of discovering multiple hydrocarbon zones in well KG-16.

“Consequent upon the completion of the test carried out in KG-16 well, which was witnessed by DGH representative, data has been analysed and we would like to confirm that the discovery in KG-16 is of potential commercial interest and merits appraisal,” the company wrote to DGH.

KG-16, the sixth exploratory well on block KG-OSN-2001/3, was spudded on December 30, 2006 and vertically drilled down to 5,372 meters.

GSPC has 80 per cent interest in the block, while Jubilant Enpro Ltd and GeoGlobal Resources have 10 per cent each. DGH had estimated proven reserves in 2004 Deen Dayal discovery at 1.38 tcf while GSPC claims reserves in the block in excess of 20 tcf. — PTI

Top

 

Promote ethanol production: Pawar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar today blamed the state advised prices (SAP) fixed by the states, which is above the price fixed by the Centre, leading to bumper sugarcane production in the country and resulting in cane price arrears.

Addressing state finance ministers and ministers dealing with sugar and sugarcane, Pawar highlighted that against domestic consumption of about 190 lakh tonnes a year, sugar production in the coming year is likely to be about 290 lakh tonnes.

This, together with the closing stock of about 119 lakh tonnes of sugar from 2006-07, has resulted in a very large sugar stock in the country.

He said fixing state advised prices (SAP) by different states over and above the statutory minimum price (SMP) fixed by the Central Government is leading to huge cane price arrears.

As compared to last year, when there were practically no cane arrears, the arrears have risen to the tune of Rs 3,800 crore this year, affecting the entire sugar industry, including the farmers, he said.

Pawar asked the states to promote ethanol production from sugarcane with a view to tackle the glut in availability of sugar in the country.

The minister stated that the Government has taken a number of steps such as creation of a buffer stock of 50 lakh tonnes, waiver of margin requirement on the buffer stock, and export assistance.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sanction interest-free loan of Rs 1,875 crore to sugar mills to enable them clear arrears to cane growers before the next crushing season beginning this month.

Top

 

FM launches portal for youth
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
Finance minister P Chidamabaran has launched the Jaago India Foundation and www.jaagoindia.org, a portal that aims to awaken the youth on relevant social issues — as a first step in the quest to foster change.

The Jaago India Foundation will bring relevant social issues to the forefront — issues that are talked about in passing, but are in dire need of retribution. The website will be an online community that not only provides a plethora of information on the issues of the day, but also suggests steps to take appropriate action, a release said today.

The portal will alert youth on issues like water conservation, child malnutrition, education, female infanticide, drug abuse, global warming, in its quest to build a powerful community for young citizens to share information, debate on issues, support and motivate each other through forums, discussion groups, and chats, it added.

Top

 

Som Mittal is Nasscom president
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3
The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) today named Som Mittal as its new president. He will succeed incumbent Kiran Karnik from January next year.

He is presently head of services business for Hewlett-Packard for Asia Pacific and Japan. Mittal is not a new face at Nasscom - he was the chairman of the body between 2003-04.

Talking to reporters, Mittal expressed concern over the rise of the rupee and said a committee set up by the industry lobby was looking at steps to ease the burden, especially on small and medium enterprises in the sector.

Asked about his vision for the sector, he said, “My vision is to see India emerge as the knowledge capital of the world.”

“There is a very high benchmark and I look forward to continue the excellent work,” he added.

Top

 

Canara Bank cuts home loan rates

Bangalore, October 3
State-owned Canara Bank today announced a 0.5 per cent cut in floating interest rates on home loans indicating easing cost of funds that prompted segment leader HDFC to rollback rates last week.

The reduction in rates is applicable across tenors and slaps and would come into effect from tomorrow, the public sector bank said in a statement.

The rate of interest for fresh housing loans up to Rs 20 lakh for repayment periods up to five years is 10.25 per cent, five years to 10 years is 10.50 per cent and 10 years to 20 years is 10.75 per cent, the release said.

The bank also said it reduced processing charges by 50 per cent up to December 12 this year. There was no change in fixed interest rates. — PTI

Top

 

Vipul World project gets nod

Chandigarh, October 3
Vipul World, the 109 acres mega housing project on Ferozepur Road, Ludhiana, has been granted land use approval by the government of Punjab. The project is being developed by Vipul Ltd, the real estate developers of the country. The Rs 400-crore project will be only 20 minutes drive from the Central Business district of Ludhiana. — TNS

Top

 
BRIEFLY

Tata Tech IPO
London, October 3
Tata Technologies, the engineering design and technology arm of India's leading corporate house, is looking to tap the capital market through an initial public offer by the next year, a senior company official said here. David Myers, CFO of UK-based INCAT Ltd, a Tata Technologies company, said the funds would be used to repay some of the debt and for future expansion programmes. — PTI

Patel Engg
Mumbai, October 3
Mumbai-based infrastructure construction firm Patel Engineering today said it has bagged an order worth Rs 428 crore from National Power Corporation to be implemented in Uttaranchal. The company had bagged the order for Tapovan Vishnugad Hydro Electric Project for a capacity of 520 MW (4 x 130 MW). The project is expected to be completed in four years, Patel Engineering said in a filing to the BSE. — PTI

Airtel offer
Chandigarh, October 3
Airtel has announced the launch of 'number dabao, paisa pao' contest in which all post-paid and pre-paid customers in Punjab have an opportunity to win up to Rs 5 lakh. Customers can participate in the contest through an SMS or by making a voice call. The contest is now open and closes on October 7.

Air Arabia
Chandigarh, October 3
Air Arabia made its inaugural flight to Coimbatore today. The airline will initially commence services to Coimbatore twice weekly. Beginning in November, flights will increase to three times per week. Flights to Coimbatore will leave Air Arabia’s hub at Sharjah International Airport at 8.05 am local time and arrive in Coimbatore at 13:35 pm local time every Monday and Friday. — TNS

Flight to NY
Houston, October 3
Houston-based Continental Airlines has added yet another non-stop flight to India for connecting the two financial trade centres of the world, Mumbai and New York and also the booming Indian film industry, Bollywood. The maiden flight, that started Monday from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, will initially operate four times a week — departing New York Liberty on Sundays, Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays — with the frequency increasing to daily service from October 28. — PTI

Suzlon Energy
Mumbai, October 3
Wind energy major Suzlon Energy today said it has bagged an order from the country's biggest realty firm DLF to set up a wind farm in Gujarat. It would set up a wind farm of 150 MW wind turbine capacity by March 2008, the company said in a filing to the BSE. The order comprises 100 units of Suzlon's S82-1.5 MW turbines, it added. — PTI

Wipro desktops
Bangalore, October 3
Wipro Infotech today announced the launch of its performance series of desktops based on Intel's quad core processors. These desktops are positioned at the power users who seek high compute power and resources in desktop, a release said. This range of desktops is built for users who multi-task on the same PC and work on multi-media and digital content creation without compromising on resources or power. — 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 |