SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

Montek promises massive funds for North-East
Guwahati, October 8
Corners of the country, including the North-East, can become springboards for faster economic growth because of globalisation, provided the concerned far-flung states keep it in mind while chalking out their long-term economic plans.

Kamal Nath pitches for equitable growth
New Delhi, October 8
Union commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath today inaugurated a two-day ‘India Rural Business Summit’, with a strong note of caution that the high rate of growth would become unsustainable if the growth impulses are not transmitted and felt in all parts of the country.

Vodafone to invest $2 b every year
Keen on infra sharing
New Delhi, October 8
World's largest mobile operator Vodafone will spend $2 billion a year in India for expansion and share infrastructure with peers instead of creating them on its own or buying into others.

RBI: Volatile oil prices worrisome
Mumbai, October 8
Volatility in oil prices could pose a major danger to the Indian economy in the coming days, RBI Governor Y V Reddy said here today. Addressing the Foreign Exchange Dealers Association of India, Dr Reddy said the Indian economy was “vulnerable to shocks arising out of volatility in global oil prices”.



EARLIER STORIES

 
Managing director of Sony India Masaru Tamagawa poses at the launch of new Sony Bravia LCD television in New Delhi
Managing director of Sony India Masaru Tamagawa poses at the launch of new Sony Bravia LCD television in New Delhi on Monday. The Bravia range is available in India at a cost of Rs 27,990 to Rs 399,900. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

This file photo shows Jack Ma, chief executive of alibaba.com, one of China's biggest Internet companies whom Yahoo paid $1 billion for a 40 per cent stake earlier this year, speaking at a press conference in Beijing
This file photo shows Jack Ma, chief executive of alibaba.com, one of China's biggest Internet companies whom Yahoo paid $1 billion for a 40 per cent stake earlier this year, speaking at a press conference in Beijing. Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group has won the nod from the Hong Kong bourse to list its core business unit in what could become the largest Chinese Internet IPO so far, state press reported on Monday.
— AFP

Small hike in petro prices likely
New Delhi, October 8
The government is mulling a combination of a small hike in petrol and diesel prices and issue of oil bonds to bail out public sector oil companies which are losing Rs 185 crore per day on fuel sales in the absence of retail price increase in line with cost.

Tata Steel to raise Rs 9,654 cr
Mumbai, October 8
The country’s largest private sector steel producer Tata Steel today said it would raise Rs 9,654 crore by issuing securities to existing shareholders, to partly finance its acquisition of Anglo-Dutch firm Corus.

ICICI launches overseas trading
Mumbai, October 8
Indian investors can now own global blue chip stocks thanks to ICICIDirect.com launching overseas trading in tie-up with USA's fourth largest clearing and broker-dealer firm, Penson Financial Services.

Onion prices come down
Nasik, October 8
Onion prices dropped to Rs 1,400 per quintal from the earlier Rs 2,000 per quintal at the auctions held at the Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon, Baswant and other agriculture produce market committees here today.

Panipat distillery comes out of red
Panipat, October 8
Following the streamlining of available human resources and infrastructure, the state-owned distillery at Panipat has started “brewing” profit after a gap of 48 years.

Germany keen on MSME sector in India
New Delhi, October 8
Germany has evinced keen interest in Indian micro, small and medium enterprises sector, especially cluster development programme. Hartmut Schauerte, parliamentary secretary of state in the German federal ministry of economics and technology, who called on secretary, ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises Chandrapal, here today.

DishTV to invest Rs 1,100 cr
New Delhi, October 8
Betting big on its new advertising campaign with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan along with its new offerings, Essel Group promoted DishTV is expecting over three-fold increase in its subscriber base to touch 8 million by 2011.

Videos
The ‘Made in India’ challenge.
(56k)
Imports get cheaper.
(56k)





Top








 

Montek promises massive funds for North-East
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, October 8
Corners of the country, including the North-East, can become springboards for faster economic growth because of globalisation, provided the concerned far-flung states keep it in mind while chalking out their long-term economic plans.

Stating this at a seminar here, the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia said there would be more investment in development of infrastructure in the North-East region during the 11th Plan period to enable to region to benefit from the “Look-East Policy” aimed at boosting bilateral economic relations with eastern and south-east Asian countries.

He, however, underlined the urgent need for the N-E states to increase their absorption capacity to derive maximum benefit out of the massive investment in infrastructure sector on card.

Participating in a three-day conference on ‘India’s Look-East Policy — Challenges for sub-regional cooperation’, Dr Ahluwalia painted a discouraging picture about NE states’ capability of utilising huge resources made available by the central government.

He said the centre had been ensuring mobilisation and diversion of resources to NE, but the region’s performance in the utilisation of resources left much to be desired.

As per the present Government of India’s policy, all central ministries have to compulsorily earmark 10 per cent of their plan money for NE states and the funds that remain unspent are diverted to a non-lapsable fund.

“Of the Rs 10,400 crore that was diverted to the non-lapsable fund during the 10th five-year plan, only Rs 4,660 crore was spent and the rest remained unspent due want of projects proposals from the NE states” Dr Ahluwalia informed.

Moreover, the centre’s percentage share in the state GDP had gone up from 9.1 per cent in 2002 to 10.6 per cent in 2006-07, though the percentage, which was already much low for non-special category states, went down further to 1.9 per cent during the same period.

Dr Ahluwalia said Rs 80,490 crore was invested in NE in the 10th five-year plan. He assured that there wouldn’t be any dearth of fund for the North-East, but the states in the region needed to increase their absorption capacity.

He informed that the union cabinet had approved a special accelerated road development programme for the NE of Rs 12,793 crore under the 11th five-year plan.

In the railways, total gauge conversion to Broad Gauge, except in few branch routes, would be undertaken under the 11th five-year plan. The states of Meghalaya and Sikkim would be included in the country’s rail map. A total of over Rs 9,500 crore has been kept for railways in NE in the 11th five-year plan.

Air connectivity would also be given a boost and airports will be constructed in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim while a regional airline for the NE is under consideration of the Plan panel.

Dr Ahluwalia also underlined the need for exploitation of the huge water resources of the NE to generate power.

Top

 

Kamal Nath pitches for equitable growth
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
Union commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath today inaugurated a two-day ‘India Rural Business Summit’, with a strong note of caution that the high rate of growth would become unsustainable if the growth impulses are not transmitted and felt in all parts of the country.

“If we are to ensure that growth is both inclusive and equitable then we have to align and integrate our rural areas with the economic processes that are transforming our country at a rapid pace. The urban-rural divide that exists in our country must be bridged,” Nath said.

The summit is being organised jointly by Ficci and the Department of Commerce and the ministry of rural development with the support of nine other ministries.

Nath said lack of adequate and remunerative employment opportunities in the rural areas has led to large-scale migration from rural to urban areas. The elasticity of employment in the agricultural sector has almost fallen to zero, thereby creating a need to look at other sectors for employment generation within the rural sector.

Stating that while the employment options abound for the skilled professionals, the periphery of unskilled and semi-skilled was worsening.

Underlining the role of private sector in enhancing employment opportunities and promoting farm and non-farm enterprises in the rural areas, Nath said enterprises in rural areas required advice on technology- related aspects, on globally benchmarked production methods, information on the changing consumer needs and ways to diversify product portfolios.

He urged the summit participants to consider micro financing models of using credit as a cost-effective weapon to fight poverty and to promote income-generating activities amongst the poorest of the poor people in the country.

Industry, he said, “can partner with the panchayats to assess and meet local requirements of agricultural inputs, to meet the storage and post-harvest needs, to engage in contract farming, to encourage direct procurement, to market agri produce and to promote agro processing. Each of these linkages has the potential to spur rural businesses in a major way.”

Top

 

Vodafone to invest $2 b every year
Keen on infra sharing

New Delhi, October 8
World's largest mobile operator Vodafone will spend $2 billion a year in India for expansion and share infrastructure with peers instead of creating them on its own or buying into others.

"Since our entry into India, our capital expenditure has doubled. We are now spending $2 billion a year," Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin told reporters here.

The company, which entered India earlier this year through acquisition of Hutch, seeks to extend its coverage to 90 per cent of the market from 50 per cent now by bundling affordable handsets to reach out to the masses.

The company is adding 1.6 to 1.7 million customers a month. "Before we came to India, the company was adding 800,000 customers (per month)," Sarin said.

He said Vodafone had no plans to buy into infrastructure business of its erstwhile partner Bharti, but may share its facilities with peers so that companies need not put up their own towers everywhere.

"We are looking at ways to piggyback on each other's infrastructure to reach out to the masses quickly," Sarin said, adding: "It is completely unlikely that we would be buying into Bharti Infratel because we have our own infrastructure. There is no reason for us to buy." Sarin, whose company might have to pay capital gains tax of $2 billion on account of the Hutch acquisition, met finance minister P Chidambaram in the afternoon, but said the tax matter was not taken up.

"There was no discussion (during the meeting) on the notice from the Income Tax Department. The matter is in court and we will wait for the decision of the court," he said.

On the issue of spectrum auction on which the industry is divided over, he said it is theoretical issue and up to the government to take a decision. — PTI

Top

 

RBI: Volatile oil prices worrisome
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 8
Volatility in oil prices could pose a major danger to the Indian economy in the coming days, RBI Governor Y V Reddy said here today.

Addressing the Foreign Exchange Dealers Association of India, Dr Reddy said the Indian economy was “vulnerable to shocks arising out of volatility in global oil prices”. He, however, added that the apex bank was yet to decide on setting up a stabilisation fund to tackle the problem. “There is no serious consideration of setting up a stabilisation or sovereign wealth fund,” Reddy said.

There has been a demand from economists that a stabilisation fund be set up with the windfalls generated from commodity exports while a sovereign wealth fund be created from the country’s huge foreign exchange reserves.

He said the government would have to take measures to ensure governance, transparency and accountability before creating the fund.

Top

 

Small hike in petro prices likely

New Delhi, October 8
The government is mulling a combination of a small hike in petrol and diesel prices and issue of oil bonds to bail out public sector oil companies which are losing Rs 185 crore per day on fuel sales in the absence of retail price increase in line with cost.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a meeting on the issue with petroleum minister Murli Deora and finance minister P Chidambaram this morning and is believed to have discussed a combination of measures, including a partial increase in petrol and diesel prices, issue of oil bonds and duty rejig.

"Oil firms are currently losing Rs 2.81 a litre on petrol, Rs 4.68 per litre on diesel, Rs 15.50 a litre on PDS kerosene and Rs 178 per LPG cylinder. Unless the government acts, the networth of the blue chip firms will be eroded soon," said a senior official, who wished not to be identified.

Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum together are projected to lose Rs 53,200 crore in revenues this financial year (April 2007 to March 2008) on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and PDS kerosene.

The official said oil ministry wanted finance ministry to bear half of the under-realisation by way of issue of oil bonds and also suggested lowering of excise duties to absorb part of the impact of surge in international oil prices.

It projected that Re 1 per litre increase in petrol price would give Rs 520 crore in revenues during the remainder of the current fiscal while a similar increase in diesel price would shore up revenues by Rs 2,125 crore.

A Rs 2 per litre cut in excise duty on petrol which will yield Rs 14,000 crore is also mooted. — PTI

Top

 

Oil prices decline

Singapore, October 8
World oil prices fell in Asian trade today but worries over tight energy supplies limited the drop, dealers said. New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was 33 cents lower at $80.89 per barrel in morning trade. Brent North Sea crude for November delivery was at $78.64 per barrel, down 26 cents. — AFP

Top

 

Tata Steel to raise Rs 9,654 cr

Mumbai, October 8
The country’s largest private sector steel producer Tata Steel today said it would raise Rs 9,654 crore by issuing securities to existing shareholders, to partly finance its acquisition of Anglo-Dutch firm Corus.

The board of directors of the company have approved the issue of equity shares in the ratio of 1:5, wherein one equity share of Rs 300 would be allotted for every five shares held, to raise Rs 3,654 crore, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The company would also allot cumulative convertible preference shares (CCPS) of Rs 100 each to the existing shareholders, convertible into equity shares of Rs 10 each, with an indicative conversion price in the range of Rs 500 and Rs 600 per share to raise Rs 6,000 crore.

The committee of directors at its meeting on October 5, approved the allotment of CCPS of Rs 5,481 crore in the ratio of 9:10 to the existing equity shareholders on rights basis.

Six CCPS of the face value of Rs 100 each would be automatically converted into one share of Rs 600 each on September 1, 2009. — PTI

Top

 

ICICI launches overseas trading

Mumbai, October 8
Indian investors can now own global blue chip stocks thanks to ICICIDirect.com launching overseas trading in tie-up with USA's fourth largest clearing and broker-dealer firm, Penson Financial Services.

ICICIDirect.com today became the first online trading portal in India to offer buying and selling of equities listed on the US stock market following RBI's guideline allowing individuals to remit up to $200,000 annually in current and capital account transactions, including equities.

Launching the overseas trading facility, ICICI Securities' managing director & CEO Subrata Mukherji said: "The trading portal would provide access to US market which is largest in the world and getting access to this market means getting opportunity of investing in global blue chips all over the world."

ICICIdirect, a popular trading portal with close to 1.3 million customers, through Penson Financial will facilitate individual customers to buy and sell equities, exchange traded funds and transact in stock and index options on US exchanges like NYSE, Nasdaq and American Stock Exchange.

"RBI's liberalised norms along with our new initiative opens new vistas for Indian investors," ICICI Securities' chairman and ICICI Bank's MD & CEO K V Kamath said in a release by ICICI Securities.

Penson is the fourth largest clearing and broker-dealer firm handling about one million settlements daily and has over $6.8 billion in assets.

The individuals will have to pay one time fee of Rs 999 to register for overseas trading and will have to remit the money to US, through ICICI Bank's authorised branch.

The brokerage charge for the trade will be 0.75 per cent or $9 which ever is higher, besides the brokerage the remittance fee will be debited by the bank. — PTI

Top

 

Onion prices come down

Nasik, October 8
Onion prices dropped to Rs 1,400 per quintal from the earlier Rs 2,000 per quintal at the auctions held at the Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon, Baswant and other agriculture produce market committees (APMC) here today.

After a four-day rest at APMCs here, onion auctions began today from Rs 1,955 per quintal, sources said adding there were few arrivals of onions today.

As per state marketing minister Harshvardhan Patil’s decision to distribute onions in Mumbai through cooperative organisations, three truck load onions were loaded from Pimpalgaon, Baswant APMC to Matunga and Vile Parle in Mumbai yesterday, sources added.

After October 15, new lot of ‘pol’ onions would arrive in the markets, which will stabilise price rise, market sources said.

Earlier, the prices at APMCs had touched nearly Rs 2,000 per quintal. — PTI

Top

 

Panipat distillery comes out of red
Tribune News Service

Panipat, October 8
Following the streamlining of available human resources and infrastructure, the state-owned distillery at Panipat has started “brewing” profit after a gap of 48 years.

Once considered as a loss-making unit of the Panipat Co-operative Sugar Mill, the distillery has recorded a profit of about Rs 2 crore.

Managing director of the mill Bir Singh said during the financial year 2005-06, the brewery had registered a total loss of Rs 1.88 crore. Encouraged by the profits, the mill management has also started producing IMFL from September 1.

The mill has set a target to achieve profit of Rs 5-6 crore next year, he added.

Top

 

Germany keen on MSME sector in India
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
Germany has evinced keen interest in Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, especially cluster development programme.

Hartmut Schauerte, parliamentary secretary of state in the German federal ministry of economics and technology, who called on secretary, ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises Chandrapal, here today also suggested that Germany could set up information centres on small and medium businesses in the line of their centres already opened in China, Indonesia and Singapore.

Stating that his country could help India in upgrading technologies in the MSME sector, Schauerte said Germany was keen to bring advanced technology here as there was no threat to Intellectual Property Right violation.

Welcoming the proposal, Chandrapal said India had taken a number of steps to boost the MSME sector in recent months, including the enactment of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006.

Top

 

DishTV to invest Rs 1,100 cr

New Delhi, October 8
Betting big on its new advertising campaign with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan along with its new offerings, Essel Group promoted DishTV is expecting over three-fold increase in its subscriber base to touch 8 million by 2011.

The DTH player has also earmarked Rs 1,100 crore to be used in the next two years for its expansion.

“We will invest Rs 1,100 crore in the next two years for expansion. It includes introducing new services and advertising among other things,” DishTV CEO Arun Kapoor said. — PTI

Top

 
BRIEFLY

DLF on Sensex
Mumbai, October 8
The country's largest realty firm DLF will be included in the coveted BSE benchmark index, Sensex, from November 19. DLF would replace Dr Reddy's on the Sensex and the change would be effective from November 19, a BSE circular said today. — PTI

Dollex Inds
Mumbai, October 8
Dollex Industries and the Madhya Pradesh government will establish an integrated agro-energy complex at an estimated investment of Rs 105 crore. The firm has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MP government, for setting up a complex that would manufacture ethanol, power and sugar, Dollex said in a filing to the BSE. — PTI

Hindalco buyout
Mumbai, October 8
Aluminium giant Hindalco Industries today said Utkal Alumina International has become its 100 per cent subsidiary as it has completed the acquisition of Alcan Inc's entire shareholding in the Orissa-based firm. On July 18, Hindalco, which already held 55 per cent stake in Utkal Alumina International, acquired the remaining 45 per cent stake held by Canadian mining company Alcan for an undisclosed sum. — PTI

Moser Baer
New Delhi, October 8
Optical storage manufacturer Moser Baer today said it has acquired Hindi and Gujarati titles from home video labels — Ultra Video to strengthen its presence in the domestic video market. "With this acquisition, we own licences for over 2,500 Hindi titles and for over 400 Gujarati titles," Moser Baer chief executive entertainment business Harish Dayani said. — PTI

Subex awarded
Mumbai, October 8
Subex Azure today said it has been felicitated with the Successful Listing of the Year Award at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Subex Azure' company secretary Raj Kumar said the award was a testimony to the growing partnership between the UK and India and a reflection of how Indian firms have been taking advantage of the new economic landscape. — PTI

Radico JV
New Delhi, October 8
Spirits marketer Radico Khaitan has entered into a tripartite joint venture with NV Distillers and Ridhi Sidhi Pvt Ltd to set up a greenfield distillery in Aurangabad (Maharashtra) with a combined investment of Rs 160 crore. The JV Radico NV Distilleries Maharashtra Ltd, in which Radico will have 36 per cent stake, would manufacture ENA (extra neutralised alcohol), IMFL and ethanol. It will also have a bottling facility. — 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 |