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8-9 pc growth achievable: PM
New Delhi, June 9
Sharing the opposition’s urge to make the 21st century India’s century, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the nation of 8 to 9 per cent growth rate irrespective of how the world economies fared in recessionary times.

Manmohan’s projections rev up markets
Mumbai, June 9
Buoyed by positive economic growth estimates by the government, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex today surged by over 461 points on aggressive buying by funds to regain the 15,000-level which it lost in yesterday's steep fall.

Satyam down but not out
Posts Rs 160-crore profit
Mumbai, June 9
A beleaguered Satyam Computer today announced a Rs 160-crore profit for the October-December quarter 2008, demonstrating it was down but not out and held out a promise of a strong comeback under new owner Mahindras.



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Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) managing director Hiroshi Nakagawa poses with the new Toyota Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) at its launch in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) managing director Hiroshi Nakagawa poses with the new Toyota Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) at its launch in Mumbai on Tuesday. It will be available in two variants and priced at Rs 81.64 lakh onwards. — AFP

Maytas Group mired in a fresh row
Hyderabad, June 9
Controversies continue to dog the companies owned by family members of disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers, B Ramalinga Raju.

Women power rejuvenates knitting industry
Ludhiana, June 9
The women buyers, designers and merchandisers from all over the country are taking keen interest in the knitting industry of Ludhiana. Many of them have gathered here these days at "Knits and Wears-2009", a five-day buyer/seller meet organised by the Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL), placing orders of woollens/semi-woollens for their companies and stores in India. For them, Ludhiana remains on top in the woollen industry.

Dormant Accounts
RRBs asked to trace account holders
Chandigarh, June 9
With over Rs 1,000 crore lying unclaimed in inoperative accounts, the RBI has asked all regional rural banks (RRBs) to make an annual review of such accounts and try and trace the account holders.

Punjab banks lend Rs 214 cr in May
Chandigarh, June 9
Banks in Punjab have sanctioned fresh working capital loans to 1,370 units amounting to Rs 214 crore, thus taking the cumulative progress to 7,076 accounts, involving an amount of Rs 1,898 crore up to May 2009.






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8-9 pc growth achievable: PM
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
Sharing the opposition’s urge to make the 21st century India’s century, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the nation of 8 to 9 per cent growth rate irrespective of how the world economies fared in recessionary times.

He pegged the growth in the current fiscal at 7 per cent, promising enhanced resources for infrastructure projects to boost expenditure that “aided economic upsurge without fuelling inflation”. The PM’s optimism was rooted in the 35 per cent (of the GDP) savings rate which, he said, would enable the government to feed its flagship programmes.

But Singh’s utterances in the Lok Sabha, as he replied to the debate on the presidential address, were not without caution for the critics of disinvestment. Committing himself to “Gandhi’s vision of wiping out tears from the eyes of every person,” the PM firmly backed government’s case on disinvestment, linking the achievability of social goals to the availability of finance.

“For fruits of development to be equally shared, we need to invest in education, health and environment protection. That requires resources and money does not grow on trees,” said the PM, crediting ample resource for development projects to the 8.9 per cent growth in the past five years which kept revenue bases enriched.

“More recently, the international slowdown has affected our economy. Our growth rate has declined to 7 per cent. We live in an increasingly inter-dependent world economy and I can’t promise that we won’t be affected by global events, but we can, with our 35 per cent savings rate and collective will, achieve 8 to 9 per cent growth rate even if the world economy does not do well,” said a buoyed PM, admitting to the existing fiscal strain.

He, however, dismissed apprehensions of increased inflation due to the recent stimulus packages and said there was room for manoueuvrability to spend more on flagship programmes. The hint was for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to take.

For his part, Singh focussed hard on resurrection of the economy, for the first time linking terrorism and left-wing extremism to the prevailing financial climate in India. He reiterated UPA’s commitment to zero tolerance for terrorism and said, “If terror and naxalism continue to grow unchecked in the natural resource-rich states of our country, it will affect the climate for investment.". The PM"s message was loud and clear — doors for dialogue are open but there would be no acceptance of violence as a tool for problem solving.

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Manmohan’s projections rev up markets

Mumbai, June 9
Buoyed by positive economic growth estimates by the government, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex today surged by over 461 points on aggressive buying by funds to regain the 15,000-level which it lost in yesterday's steep fall.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comments on economic growth immediately triggered hefty buying interest on bourses.

Winding up a debate in Parliament, Singh said the economy can grow by 8-9 per cent rate despite global slowdown.

With funds turning aggressive buyers, the barometer, which opened remarkably lower, shot up 461.08 points to close close at 15,127.00. Wider National Stock Exchange index Nifty also spurted by 121.05 points at 4,550.95.

Realty major DLF was biggest gainer among Sensex stocks at 10.07 per cent, followed Jaiprakash Associates at 8.18 per cent, Reliance Com at 7.37 per cent, Ranbaxy at 6.37 per cent and Larsen and Toubro by 6.39 per cent. — PTI

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Satyam down but not out
Posts Rs 160-crore profit

Mumbai, June 9
A beleaguered Satyam Computer today announced a Rs 160-crore profit for the October-December quarter 2008, demonstrating it was down but not out and held out a promise of a strong comeback under new owner Mahindras.

Reeling under the about Rs 10,000-crore financial scam that necessitated restatement of accounts, Satyam was at its nadir in January with a measly profit of Rs 4 crore before showing signs of revival by recording a Rs 52-crore profit in February. This was despite losing about two dozen clients.

The numbers for the three-month period ended December 2008 were just about a third of the year-ago results, when the company had posted a net profit of Rs 433.63 crore and a total income of Rs 2,266 crore.

In October-December 2008 - a period that saw the beginning of Satyam's fall from grace - the IT 0firm posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 160.50 crore and a total income of Rs 2,327.21 crore. The announcement came within a month of Tech Mahindra, an IT arm of Mahindra & Mahindra, acquired controlling stake that valued Satyam at Rs 5,800 crore.

Shortly after the massive accounting fraud was disclosed by the company's founder Ramalinga Raju, the government superseded the board of the IT firm before bidding it out.

Satyam hit the upper circuit on the Bombay Stock Exchange, with the shares rising to Rs 66.85, while its new owner Tech Mahindra jumped 25.46 per cent to Rs 744.20. — PTI

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Maytas Group mired in a fresh row
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, June 9
Controversies continue to dog the companies owned by family members of disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers, B Ramalinga Raju.

Maytas Group, owned by Raju’s sons, is caught in a fresh row following allegations that it has cheated hundreds of customers who paid huge amounts to own bungalows, villas and apartments in its prestigious Hill County Residential Housing Complex in Hyderabad.

The project was taken up by Maytas Properties Ltd (MPL), one of the entities of Maytas Infra, which has taken up several irrigation, roads and other infrastructure projects, besides the controversial Hyderabad Metro Rail Project.

The MPL had launched the mega housing project Hill County on 300 acres of land near Bachupalli on the city outskirts, promising to construct 326 independent bungalows and villas, besides 800 apartments.

The total cost of the project, when it began in January 2006, was estimated at around Rs 1,000 crore. The company had collected nearly Rs 500 crore from customers at the time of booking.

The buyers were made to cough up much higher prices than the prevailing market rates of comparable properties.

“Some of us paid the entire cost of the house, ranging from Rs 65 lakh for a three-bed room apartment of about 2,000 sq ft carpet area to Rs 1.5 crore for a villa, after the company offered us a discount of five per cent on an outright payment. 

We were promised that the houses would be delivered with all facilities, but none of the promises were fulfilled,” said B V Ramaraju, an Air India officer who owns an apartment in Maytas Hill County.

He alleged that the promoters had spent only Rs 300 crore and diverted the rest of the money to other projects.

All units were promised to be delivered by March 2008, but the deadline was extended twice. Hardly half a dozen independent bungalows have been completed while apartments have only roofing in some towers and some do not have even the structure.

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Women power rejuvenates knitting industry
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The women buyers, designers and merchandisers from all over the country are taking keen interest in the knitting industry of Ludhiana. Many of them have gathered here these days at "Knits and Wears-2009", a five-day buyer/seller meet organised by the Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL), placing orders of woollens/semi-woollens for their companies and stores in India. For them, Ludhiana remains on top in the woollen industry.

Talking to The Tribune, Jasleen, a young designer from Globus, Mumbai, said she was in the city for the past 15 days, looking for the "best" for the chain of stores. "There is so much in Ludhiana.

You do not need to look elsewhere for woollens. Our customers, specially the youngsters take keen interest in semi-woollen stuff. The subtle shades, delicate intricacies, smart cuts being provided by the local manufacturers are excellent. And the prices are reasonable too", she said.

Muneera, a middle-aged woman running a chain of stores in Bangalore, said it was an annual feature and she enjoyed coming to Ludhiana to place orders and get the variety. She said the trendy and fashion-conscious people of Bangalore had special liking for the woollen products of Ludhiana.

Sudershan Jain of Oner Knitwear here said about 50 manufacturers had put up their stalls in the meet. He said, "Despite recession, money is flowing and people are getting good number of orders".

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Dormant Accounts
RRBs asked to trace account holders
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
With over Rs 1,000 crore lying unclaimed in inoperative accounts, the RBI has asked all regional rural banks (RRBs) to make an annual review of such accounts and try and trace the account holders.

In a directive issued to all RRBs, the apex bank has said the banks should play a more proactive role in finding the whereabouts of account holders whose accounts have remained inoperative. The directive follows complaints made by customers after their accounts had been classified as inoperative by banks, and the unwillingness of banks to again classify these as operative accounts. RBI has also raised suspicions that the banks are undeservedly enjoying the unclaimed deposits, while paying no interest on it.

It may be noted that banks term money lying in savings and current accounts that have been inactive for over two years, as unclaimed deposits or dormant accounts. RRBs have now been asked to make an annual review of accounts in which there are no operations for more than a year.

Banks have been asked to approach such customers by sending letters that there has been no operation in their accounts, and ascertain reasons for the same. In case the non-operation is because of shifting of customers to some other area/city, the banks can seek details of the new bank accounts and transfer the balance in existing account.

In case these letters are returned as undelivered, RRBs have been asked to inquire the whereabouts of the customers or legal heirs in case they are deceased.

The RBI directive further emphasises that the banks should consider contacting the person who had introduced the account holder, in case he remains untraceable. In case of NRI accounts, the customer may be contacted through email.

In case the customer responds to the banks’ inquiry, the banks will classify these accounts as operative for one more year, within which period the customer will be asked to operate the account.

The apex bank has clarified that the segregation of inoperative accounts is from the point of view of reducing risk of fraud. This should be done only to bring the attention of the dealing staff on the risk involved in any transaction in the account. 

Operation of such accounts should be allowed after due diligence as per risk category of the customer and no charge should be levied for activation of such accounts.

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Punjab banks lend Rs 214 cr in May
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
Banks in Punjab have sanctioned fresh working capital loans to 1,370 units amounting to Rs 214 crore, thus taking the cumulative progress to 7,076 accounts, involving an amount of Rs 1,898 crore up to May 2009.

This was revealed during the fifth special monthly meeting of State Level Bankers Committee, Punjab, on micro and small enterprises, held here today. It was revealed that the banks have sanctioned enhancements in the existing 654 accounts to the tune of Rs 109 crore during May 2009, thus showing cumulative position as 2,256 accounts with an amount of Rs 764 crore as against 362 accounts amounting to Rs 58 crore in the month of April 2009.

The banks have also restructured eight accounts for an amount of Rs 5 crore during May 2009, thus showing a cumulative position of 5,161 accounts for an amount of Rs 800 crore since the announcement of package.

In May, banks in Punjab have sanctioned 616 housing loans amounting to Rs 19 crore making the cumulative progress to 4,627 accounts amounting to Rs 259 crore.

It was also informed that for quick redressal of grievances of MSMEs, the public sector banks have set up “Regional MSME Care Centres”.

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BRIEFLY

SBI to hire 13,000
New Delhi:
The country's largest lender, State Bank of India, plans to recruit 13,000 persons at various levels during the current fiscal. "During 2008-09, the bank absorbed 33,703 new employees and this year we have plans to induct 13,000 into the SBI system," a top official of the bank said. — PTI

HDFC to raise Rs 4,000 cr
Mumbai:
Housing finance major HDFC on Tuesday said it plans to raise Rs 4,000 crore through issuance of non-convertible debentures and warrants to qualified institutional investors. A committee of directors of HDFC approved a proposal for a combined offering of secured redeemable non-convertible debentures of up to Rs 4,000 crore. — PTI

Elected
Chandigarh:
Following have been elected office-bearers of the All India Nationalised Bank Officers Federation, Chandigarh unit: chairman — G S Khera; president — Ashok Sharma; vice-presidents — R K Seth and J S Sahni; general secretary — M R Rana; secretaries — Kewal Singh and R K Dhameja; treasurer — Rajnish Mukhra. — TNS

Airtel awarded
New Delhi:
Bharti Airtel has been named the 'Service Provider of the Year' and 'Wireless Service Provider of the Year' by research agency Frost and Sullivan (F&S). Bharti Airtel was awarded for its performance in the South Asian region, Bharti Airtel said in a statement. — PTI

Kotak, Wal-Mart in pact
Chandigarh:
Kotak Mahindra Bank has entered into a tie-up with Bharti Wal-Mart to launch ‘Kotak Best Price Business Card’ — co-branded “business card” for members of Bharti Wal-Mart’s ‘Best Price Modern Wholesale stores’. The card will enable registered members of Best Price Modern Wholesale stores to avail an attractive credit facility.— TNS

Transcend's revenue up 15%
Chandigarh:
Transcend Information Inc. (Transcend), a leader in storage and multimedia products, has announced that its global sales revenue for the month of April totalled $84.94 million, a growth of 14.9 per cent as compared to $73.95 million in March. — TNS

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