SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

Booming stock market may fuel gold offtake
Mumbai, November 6
Despite record prices of the yellow metal, sales of gold are expected to peak this week during the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras and Diwali, when people traditionally buy gold.

Gold at 28-yr high

Railways ink power pact with NTPC
New Delhi, November 6
The Railways have signed a joint venture agreement with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to set up a 1,000 MW power plant in Nabinagar in Bihar. The agreement was signed here today.
Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde at the signing of agreement between Railways and NTPC in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde at the signing of agreement between Railways and NTPC in New Delhi on Tuesday. —Tribune photo by Manas Ranjan Bhui 

FM expects $4,000 per capita income by 2025
Mumbai, November 6
Finance minister P Chidambaram has said he expects the country's per capita income to touch $4,000 by 2025," shattering all forecasts by global economic pundits.



 
Nokia India director Vineet Taneja with actress Isha Sharvani at the launch of the latest edition of N series phones in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Nokia India director Vineet Taneja with actress Isha Sharvani at the launch of the latest edition of N series phones in New Delhi on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Oil prices hit new record
London, November 6
Oil prices raced to fresh record highs today as the market was stoked by concerns over tight global energy supplies ahead of the northern hemisphere winter when demand rises, traders said.

REL top bidder for metro to airport
New Delhi, November 6 
Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Energy (REL) is understood to have emerged as the highest bidder for an estimated Rs 4,000-crore project for laying a metro line connecting the national capital's international airport and the New Delhi railway station.

ICICI cuts interest rates on special deposits
Mumbai, November 6 
ICICI Bank today cut interest rates on its special deposit schemes by 0.25 to 0.5 per cent with effect from November 12.

India to tap Africa for energy security
New Delhi, November 6
Asserting that it would adopt proactive approaches for ensuring energy security, India today said besides investing in overseas energy assets, it would focus on bilateral cooperation in the downstream sectors, petrochemicals, non-conventional energy with resource-rich countries, especially Africa.
OVL eyes oil blocks in Sudan

Punjab clears projects worth Rs 1,345 cr
Chandigarh, November 6 
The Punjab government today approved new industrial projects worth Rs 1,345 crore in a meeting of empowered committee on mega projects held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Hyundai to double capacity
Panaji, November 6 
Auto maker Hyundai Motor India Limited will double manufacturing capacity at its Chennai-based plant by next year, rolling out 3 lakh additional units per annum, a top company official said today.

Fund for unorganised sector proposed
New Delhi, November 6
The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) has proposed the creation of an exclusive development financial institution, the National Fund for the Unorganised Sector (NAFUS), to take care of integrated needs of the entire non-farm sector covering its financial and promotional requirements.

e-filing of VAT return
Chandigarh, November 6 
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced that the system of e-filing of returns of VAT would be introduced in the state from January 1 to facilitate the industrialists and traders. 

Spice contest
Chandigarh, November 6
Spice Telecom has launched a new contest for its subscribers across Punjab. To participate, the subscribers need to avail any of its music-based services.

 
Videos
Big B's pay packet just Rs 2,500 pa.
(56k)
Reliance-Microsoft deal.
(56k)


Top



 

 

 

Booming stock market may fuel gold offtake
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Gold at 28-yr high

Singapore: Gold gained to the highest level since January 1980 as rising energy prices boosted the appeal of the metal as a hedge against inflation.

The gold for immediate delivery rose $8.13, or 1 per cent, to $814.63 an ounce. The precious metal reached a record $850 in January 1980.— Bloomberg

Mumbai, November 6
Despite record prices of the yellow metal, sales of gold are expected to peak this week during the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras and Diwali, when people traditionally buy gold.

Gold prices are ruling at Rs 10,230 and will see a slight increase as people rush in to buy more the precious metal in the coming days.

"Jewellers have been stocking up on gold in anticipation of a big boom," says Suresh Hundia, president, Bombay Bullion Association.

"There is a media hype about buying gold on Dhanteras, so people come to buy gold on this day even though the quantities are small," says Vishal Jain, a jeweller at Borivli in suburban Mumbai.

The more savvy buyers quietly booked gold and silver jewellery and diamonds more than a month ago when the period was considered inauspicious for buying gold. "People used to book gold paying a small token amount and take possession on Dhanteras day by paying the remaining amount. That way they get to buy gold at the old prices," says Jain.

Those looking at gold as an investment prefer to buy gold coins instead of jewellery in order to save making charges. "Though gold coins are slightly more expensive than jewellery, the guarantee of purity makes it popular among investors," says a manager of HDFC Bank in Mumbai.

A section of the gold trade in the city believes that the booming stock markets will fund the demand for the precious metals in the next couple of days. "A lot of investors are liquidating their holdings ahead of the festival season. People use the funds to celebrate during Diwali," says Milind Dave, a stock broker. Such liquidation ahead of the festive season have been common since the current bull run began in 2003.

However, Hundia, Bombay Bullion Association, warns that high prices are dampening sentiment.

The past few years have seen gold prices balloon. In the past one year alone, gold prices have risen by 34 per cent.

India is the largest consumer of gold in the world. Mumbai city alone consumes around 800 kg of the yellow metal per day during the Diwali week, estimates observers in the gold trade. Opera House in downtown Mumbai is the hub of the country's gold trade and houses all the major gold showrooms in India.

Top

 

Railways ink power pact with NTPC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 6
The Railways have signed a joint venture agreement with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to set up a 1,000 MW power plant in Nabinagar in Bihar.

The agreement was signed here today by Sudheer Kumar, executive director (electrical energy management), ministry of railways, and R.S. Sharma, director (commercial), NTPC, in the presence of railway minister Lalu Prasad and union minister for power Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Sources in the railway ministry said the power plant will be built at a cost of Rs 5,352 crore.

Ten per cent of power from the plant is earmarked to other users. The equity portions of NTPC and Indian Railways will be 74 per cent (Rs 1,188 crore) and 26 per cent (Rs 417 crore) respectively. The Railways is expected to save Rs 600 crore per annum.

Electricity from the plant will be utilised for running electric trains in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Shinde said the JV will benefit both the ministries in view of the ever rising demand for power in India. 

Top

 

FM expects $4,000 per capita income by 2025

Mumbai, November 6
Finance minister P Chidambaram has said he expects the country's per capita income to touch $4,000 by 2025," shattering all forecasts by global economic pundits.

"A BRIC report has forecast India's per capita income would touch $800 by 2010 and $1,149 by 2015. But we have exploded this assumption as our per capita income has already touched $1,000 this year and expect it to touch $4,000 by 2025," Chidambaram said.

He was speaking here last night after releasing a book titled 'We are Like That Only: Understanding the Logic of Consumer India', written by Rama Bijapurkar. — PTI

Top

 

Oil prices hit new record

London, November 6
Oil prices raced to fresh record highs today as the market was stoked by concerns over tight global energy supplies ahead of the northern hemisphere winter when demand rises, traders said.

New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, hit an all-time high of $96.44 per barrel before slipping back to $96.13 to show a gain of $2.15.

At the same time, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery jumped at a record $9.74 and was at $92.2 in late trade here, up $1.93.

With traders on edge about falls in US energy inventories ahead of the northern hemisphere winter, when demand for heating fuel peaks, the focus was on the latest weekly snapshot of US crude oil reserves due tomorrow. — AFP

Top

 

REL top bidder for metro to airport

New Delhi, November 6
Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Energy (REL) is understood to have emerged as the highest bidder for an estimated Rs 4,000-crore project for laying a metro line connecting the national capital's international airport and the New Delhi railway station.

A formal announcement is expected to be made in a day or two, sources close to the development said. Reliance Energy spokesperson could not be contacted for comments.

When contacted, a Delhi Metro official declined to confirm the development.

"We cannot confirm this and we do not comment while the bidding process is on," the spokesperson said, adding that the tendering process was going on and "we do not know when it will be completed". Other bidders in the race are believed to be Larsen & Toubro and a consortium led by GE.

The IGI-Railway station project for the 22-km metro line with 3-4 stations will be the second one if the company manages to pull it off.

Reliance Energy had won a Rs 2,354-crore project in Mumbai for a 11.4 km long elevated track from Versova (western Mumbai) to Ghatkopar (eastern Mumbai) with 12 stations. — PTI

Top

 

ICICI cuts interest rates on special deposits

Mumbai, November 6
ICICI Bank today cut interest rates on its special deposit schemes by 0.25 to 0.5 per cent with effect from November 12.

It also announced an alignment of interest rates for deposits of greater than one year to 8 per cent, a release stated.

Interest rate on 390-day deposit has been cut to 8.5 per cent, and that on 590-day deposit will be 8.75 per cent down from earlier 9 per cent, the bank said.

It has also discontinued the 890-day special deposit scheme on which it was offering a 9 per cent interest. PTI 

Top

 

India to tap Africa for energy security
Tribune News Service

OVL eyes oil blocks in Sudan

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of ONGC, is seeking stake in two oil blocks in Sudan held by France’s Total and Petronas of Malaysia.

“We are eyeing around 30 per cent stake in Block 8 from Petronas, which covers an area of 65,856 square km within the Blue Nile Basin, northeast of Sudan’s highly prolific Melut Basin,” OVL managing director R S Butola said here today. Petronas has 85 per cent stake while state-owned Sudapet has 15 per cent stake in the block.

The company is also seeking 31-32 per cent stake in Block B in Sudan, in which Total operates with a 32.5 per cent interest in the 118,000 square km Block B in south-eastern Sudan under a production sharing contract. — TNS

New Delhi, November 6
Asserting that it would adopt proactive approaches for ensuring energy security, India today said besides investing in overseas energy assets, it would focus on bilateral cooperation in the downstream sectors, petrochemicals, non-conventional energy with resource-rich countries, especially Africa.

“India is increasingly looking at taking forward its partnership with Africa which would be mutually beneficial to both sides,” external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said after inaugurating the two-day India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference, co-organised by petroleum ministry, Ficci and UNCTAD here.

Pointing that India is a natural market for Africa’s rich hydrocarbon resources, the minister said “prospects for cooperation with African nations in the hydrocarbon sector have also received a boost with a surge in investments made by Indian companies in countries like Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt and Gabon over the past few years.”

Mukherjee said the newly created Energy Security Unit in the MEA would maintain close coordination with other ministries concerned as well as public and private corporate entities to support their international engagement through appropriate diplomatic intervention.

Echoing Mukherjee’s viewpoints, petroleum minister Murli Deora called for institutionalising cooperation between India and African countries at the government-to-government level to address the macro policy issues; at the company and trade body level for joint cooperation in the development of upstream and downstream assets; and at the research institution level to facilitate the setting up of laboratories, carrying out research and technology transfer.

Deora urged Indian and African companies to interact and develop strong business ties by forging partnerships for optimum exploitation of hydrocarbons, expansion and modernisation of refining infrastructure, augmentation of regional oil and gas transport infrastructure and exchange of information.

Speaking on the occasion, Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz, energy minister of Sudan asked the Indian upstream major ONGC to make greater investment in Sudan and said India could provide good human resource who can act upon the natural resources like oil and gas and other minerals of Africa.

Petroleum secretary M S Srinivasan expressed hope that dialogue initiatives through such conferences will lead to more collaborations between Indian and African companies in this sector. 

Top

 

Punjab clears projects worth Rs 1,345 cr

Chandigarh, November 6
The Punjab government today approved new industrial projects worth Rs 1,345 crore in a meeting of empowered committee on mega projects held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The projects, which got clearance, included Aarti International Ltd - Ludhiana (Rs 242.06 crore), Avani Textiles Ltd - Sangur (Rs 134.56 crore), Oswal Spinning & Weaving Mills Ltd - Ludhiana (Rs 106.5 crore), Shiva Fibers Pvt Ltd - Doraha (Rs 145.21 crore), Grospinz Fabz Ltd - Ferozepur (Rs 66.79 crore), Vallabh Textiles Company Ltd - Ludhiana (Rs 124.71 crore), Grasim Industries Ltd - Lehra Mohabat (Rs 300 crore) and Mukesh Udyog Ltd - Ludhiana (Rs 225 crore), said an oficial release. — PTI

Top

 

Hyundai to double capacity

Panaji, November 6
Auto maker Hyundai Motor India Limited will double manufacturing capacity at its Chennai-based plant by next year, rolling out 3 lakh additional units per annum, a top company official said today.

"We will manufacture six lakh cars per annum in our Chennai unit by next year, of which 50 per cent would be exported outside India," Ashok Jha, president, Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) told reporters here while launching a new product i10.

The Rs 4,000-crore new plant at Chennai, which is taking shape adjacent to the existing plant, will also add to the company's prospects, Jha added.

"Hyundai exported one lakh cars last year and will be touching 2.65 lakh mark by 2008 and three lakh units in 2009," he added. — PTI

Top

 

Fund for unorganised sector proposed
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 6
The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) has proposed the creation of an exclusive development financial institution, the National Fund for the Unorganised Sector (NAFUS), to take care of integrated needs of the entire non-farm sector covering its financial and promotional requirements.

NAFUS is envisaged as a statutory body funded by the centre and financial institutions on the lines of Nabard for farm and Sidbi for the small-scale industrial sector.

Expected to increase employability and profitability of the unorganised sector in the country, NAFUS will be meant for investments not exceeding Rs 5 lakh and is expected to affect a large number of people, almost 94 per cent of the entire micro-enterprises sector.

The non-farm micro enterprises constitute 94 per cent of small enterprises estimated at 58 million in 2007 with a total employment of 104 million. However, the commission’s report reveals that this segment gets merely 2 per cent of the gross bank credit.

Development banks Nabard, Sidbi and existing funds are neglecting this sector and have not been able to provide either adequate credit or promotional service to non-farm micro enterprises, especially those below Rs 5 lakh.

NCEUS member K.P. Kanan told The Tribune that report on creation of NAFUS and financing of enterprises in the unorganised sector was presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday.

According to NCEUS chairman Arjun K. Sengupta, setting up NAFUS will create an additional employment for 22 million people. “ While the agriculture sector can no longer absorb any more people, the organised sector is not being able to create as many jobs as required. The 58 million small enterprises are providing employment to 104 million. The national fund will generate an additional 22 million jobs,” he said.

The primary focus of the fund will be non-farm enterprises with an investment of less than Rs 5 lakh.

As far as interest rates are concerned, NCEUS has proposed that they should be on parity with agriculture sector that pays 7 per cent on loans up to Rs 3 lakh. Currently, micro units pay an interest rate which is 2 per cent below the PLR on small loans, and 16 per cent for loans above Rs 2 lakh while large enterprises in the organised sector pay only 6 to 7 per cent interest. The cost of credit makes the unorganised sector uncompetitive. 

Top

 

e-filing of VAT return

Chandigarh, November 6 
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced that the system of e-filing of returns of VAT would be introduced in the state from January 1 to facilitate the industrialists and traders. 

He also directed financial commissioner (taxation) S.S Brar to extend the last date of the filling of C-forms from November 30 to March 31 and expedite the process of VAT refunding. — TNS

Top

 

Spice contest

Chandigarh, November 6
Spice Telecom has launched a new contest for its subscribers across Punjab. To participate, the subscribers need to avail any of its music-based services.

They can subscribe to caller song service or change the caller Song if already subscribed, or subscribe to Spice radio service or to background music service before November 10.

Two winners will be selected to ‘Meet & Greet’ Shahrukh Khan & Deepika Padukone’ at Mumbai. — TNS

Top

 
BRIEFLY

BlackBerry Pearl
Chandigarh, November 6
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, in collaboration with research in motion, today announced the new BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smart phone in India. Packed with new features, the phone comes with a two-megapixel digital camera that supports video capture, Wi-Fi connectivity support and an externally accessible memory slot. It is priced at Rs 24,990 and is available at Airtel relationship centres and retail outlets. — TNS

Uppal Group
Chandigarh November 6
Uppal Group today announced its entry into the retail sphere of Haryana through the launch of ‘Centra Mall’ in Jagadhari. The proposed mall has been deployed to be built upon an area of about three lakh square feet. It will house three- screen multiplex, plush dining spaces and an entertainment zone. — TNS

Videocon buyout
New Delhi, November 6
Videocon Industries has acquired Planet M, the music and entertainment retail chain, reportedly for Rs 200 crore with an aim to leverage the brand to tap the young generation. The company also aims to clock a turnover of Rs 2,000 crore by the next year. —PTI

MoneyGram pact
New Delhi, November 6
Those living abroad will now be able to remit money to India using services of MoneyGram International through exchange counters of UAE exchange and financial services and Corporation Bank. UAE exchange and financial services and Corporation Bank have signed an agreement to offer Moneygram’s money transfer services in the country. — PTI

Aztecsoft
Mumbai, November 6
Aztecsoft Ltd has said it has launched a new SEZ facility at Whitefield, Bangalore. The new SEZ facility would be an addition to the existing 1,200 plus strong seats in Bangalore, Aztecsoft said.The new facility is being built to operate as an additional global delivery centre for clients across verticals and geographies, the company added. — PTI

Stone India
Mumbai, November 6
Stone India Ltd has said it has entered into a technical collaboration agreement with Japan-based Sumitomo Electric Industries for manufacturing coaches. The collaboration would introduce the latest technology in this field to Indian Railways, the company said. — 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 |