THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
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Saturday, November 10, 2001

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News

Agriculture
WTO draft on agriculture lacks direction: FICCI
THE Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has said that the section on agriculture in the revised Draft Ministerial Declaration (DMD) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) lacks any clear direction or specific commitments on part of the developed countries to deal with the distortions in the global agriculture markets.

Airlines
Lufthansa drive
NEW DELHI: The German airlines, Lufthansa, has launched a special on-line promotion `Bonus miles bonanza' for travellers from India and the Asia Pacific region.

IA to give away concession forms
NEW DELHI: Indian Airlines (IA) has decided that concession forms for students and armed forces personnel will be made available free of cost. The forms will also be available at the IA reservation offices as well as with travel agents.

Banking and Finance
Govt open to recap of weak banks, FIs: Vasudev
THE Government does not have a closed mind on the issue of recapitalisation of weak banks or financial institutions, according to the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Mr C.M. Vasudev.

SEBI asks Tatas to furnish copy of Kale panel report
THE Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked the Tatas to furnish a copy of the report of the Kale committee on insider trading which has implicated the senior Tata Sons Director, Mr J.E. Talaulicar.

Corporate
LIC, GIC shun Tata Engg rights -- Promoters' stake may touch 30 pc with subscription
TATA Engineering's Rs 671.63-crore rights issue was fully subscribed at close today, with the promoters' stake in the automobile major slated to rise from the current 26 per cent to ``at least 30 per cent.''

SEBI okays Forbes counter bid
THE Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday decided in favour of the small shareholders of Forbes Gokak Ltd and allowed the counter bid launched by Pawankumar Sanwarmal to proceed.

Economy
Eagle's eye on `shady' Customs, Excise officers
THE tax administration is in for a major overhaul with directives being issued to the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to identify and shift officials of "doubtful integrity" from sensitive to non-sensitive portfolios.

More `new age laws' expected
A NUMBER of economic legislations are expected in the next two sessions of the Parliament. This was stated by the Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Mr Arun Jaitley, while addressing the `Editors conference on social sectors issues - 2001' he re on Friday.

`Panel bid to check PMRY funds diversion'
IN an effort to ensure that funds from the Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) reaches the intended beneficiaries, a high-powered Government committee has recommended that the funds be given directly to agencies which implement the project.

New industrial tribunals soon
THE Central Government will soon set up five new industrial tribunals aimed at finding a solution to about 11,000 industrial disputes pending in the central region, the Union Labour Minister, Mr Sharad Yadav, said on Friday.

`Sops no means for economic revival'
THE Planning Commission member, Mr N.K. Singh, has said that the problems of the economy cannot be solved through fiscal concessions.

Fertilisers
Group pricing for urea makes little progress
THE scrapping of the existing unit-wise retention price-cum-subsidy scheme (RPS) for urea plants and its replacement by a group concession scheme (GPS), as proposed in the 2001-02 Union Budget, will have to wait for the revision of feedstock and energy c onsumption norms for each plant by the Department of Fertilisers.

Foreign Trade
Govt shifts export focus to Africa
AFTER the success of the Focus-LAC (Latin American Countries) programme, as part of the plan to tap emerging new market for exports, the Government of India has now decided to launch a `Focus Africa' programme for promoting India's exports to countries i n sub-Saharan Africa.

Health
States endorse draft policy on medicinal systems
THE Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr C.P. Thakur, convened a meeting of the State Health Ministers, Health Secretaries, Secretaries and Directors of Indian System of Medicine & Homeopathy (ISM&H) to finalise the recommendations and give final sh ape to the draft National Policy on Indian Systems of Medicine, here on Thursday.

Norms for meat products soon
THE Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued draft notification amending provisions of Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Rules, 1955.

Petroleum
Marginal hike in prices of petro products
RETAIL sale price of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinder will rise marginally with the Government deciding to raise the dealers' commissions on petrol by 13.5 paise per litre and that on diesel by 8.8 paise per litre with effect from November 10. The distrib utor's commission on domestic LPG has been raised by Rs 1.02 per cylinder.

Pharmaceuticals
Pfizer mulls centre of excellence in India
Global pharma major, Pfizer, which has a significant presence in the Indian market, is now on the look out for setting up a centre of excellence in India possibly in association with the Andhra Pradesh Government.

Power
HC restrains DPC from issuing termination notice
THE Mumbai High Court on Friday passed an ad interim order restraining Enron-promoted Dabhol Power Company (DPC) from issuing a final termination notice to the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) until December 3.



Accounting norms for SEBs soon -- Ministry seeks guidance note from ICAI
THE Union Power Ministry has taken the initiative to develop accounting standards and prudential norms for State electricity boards (SEBs).

PFC disbursements may touch Rs 4,000 cr
THE Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) expects its disbursements to touch Rs 4,000 crore this year, up from Rs 3,230 crore disbursed last year.

SPV to take care of ecological concerns
The Union Power Ministry plans to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to take care of environmental concerns associated with the power sector.

Power Ministry to take reforms to street corners
IN a bid to create public awareness about reforms, the Union Power Ministry has started holding road shows in all State capitals and district towns. Mr Suresh Prabhu, Union Power Minister, has already written to the Chief Ministers seeking their support and co-operation in this regard.

States
Compensation woes at KIOCL
WITH the new Rs 300-crore pig iron plant of Kudremukh Iron and Steel Company Ltd (Kisco) -- set up by Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd (KIOCL) -- to be dedicated to the nation on Saturday, a few citizens in and around Baikampady where the plant has come up have claimed that the 45 families which sacrificed about 175 acres of land for the project have not been adequately compensated.

AP pharma city to get SEZ benefits
THE proposed Pharma city at Visakhapatnam will be extended benefits of the special economic zone (SEZ) planned between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada corridor, according to the Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Wrangle over NTC bonus formula
MANAGEMENT of the ailing National Textile Corporation (NTC) in Tamil Nadu and their workmen are entangled in a wrangle over bonus eligibility criteria to be followed by the NTC subsidiary. The workmen unions apply pressure on the management as more than 90 per cent workers become ineligible to bonus as per the Bonus Act.



Jogi eyes power generation to boost revenues
CHHATTISGARH, one of the newly-created States in the country covering 1,35,000 sq km and with a population of about 2.7 crore would like to become one of the major power generating States utilising its vast reserve of coal and water resources.

Excise raids `Chetan' furniture maker
IN simultaneous raids on the manufacturer of `Chetan' brand moulded plastic furniture, the Directorate-General of Anti-Evasion (Central Excise) has unearthed Central Excise evasion of over a couple of crore of rupees by the firm, according to a press rel ease.

TN to sign MoU to improve power sector
THE Tamil Nadu Government will sign a MoU with the Centre for improving the power sector in the State. It has also written to the Centre seeking financial assistance under the Accelerated Power Development Programme (APDP), according to the Tamil Nadu El ectricity Minister, Mr D. Jayakumar.

Taxation
Cos paying MAT are liable to pay advance tax: CBDT
THE Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has ruled that all companies paying Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) will also be liable to pay advance tax. Such companies would also have to fork out interest on defaults or deferment in payment of advance tax.

No scope to exempt E-com transactions from I-T'
THE Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Mr O.P. Srivastava, on Friday held that there is hardly any scope for exempting e-commerce transactions from the purview of income tax as ``such transactions are as good as any other normal busine ss transactions''.



Shome panel views on I-T reforms may be adopted
THE Finance Ministry today hinted that it may concur with certain recommendations of the Partho Shome Committee on `Tax Policy & Tax Administration for the Tenth Plan' on the need for ``substantial removal'' of Income Tax exemptions that are distorting t he tax structure.

Telecommunications
MTNL may have to shell out Rs 1,660 cr more as taxes
MAHANAGAR Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) may be required to shell out an additional Rs 1,660 crore as taxes, interest and penalties towards licence fees and untenable deductions in its financial accounts.


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