Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Markets (March 1)
BSE Sensex10565.47(+195.23)
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US Dollar (Buy/Sell)44.38 (-0.09)



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Pre-monsoon activity seen setting in early
Abnormal heating of the land and helpful incursion of moisture over both peninsular and central India have triggered a string of thunderstorms in what is perceived as a signal to the early setting in of pre-monsoon activity. Speaking to ... More


NRIs welcome Budget proposals
NRIs in the UAE have welcomed the Union Budget 2006-2007 as balanced and favourable, though the absence of any NRI specific references has caused some measure of disappointment here. The Indian Business and Professional Council in Dubai held a ... More


Philips develops `efficient' stove
Philips Research has developed a woodstove that uses conventional energy efficiently to reduce smoke and toxic emissions, which causes about 1.6 million deaths a year. About 300 million families in the world's poorest regions could benefit from ... More


Airlines surprised at new tax proposal
Move unlikely to have adverse impact: Air India officials More


A quick tour of the Budget for the hassled
There is little escape for accountants from Budget-related discussions, especially during the countdown and the immediate aftermath. Now that the B-Day is behind us, you can put to rest crystal-gazing skills at least till next February, and ... More

`Excise duty cut to boost growth'
Consumption demand for industries seen going up More

Kerala industrialists pleased with Budget
The trade and industry have generally welcomed the Budget, saying it will pave the way for economy growth and boost industrial development. The Confederation of Indian Industry, Southern Region, has said that the Finance Minister has ... More

India Inc lauds higher allocation for critical sectors
Expresses concern on certain issues being left out More

Concern over service tax hike plan
Construction sector `will be hit' More

Big gains for banks from 80C
The banking system had been pleading for the extension of the 80C benefit to fixed deposits placed with scheduled commercial banks. By acceding to the demand, the Finance Minister has helped banks mobilise long term resources. This, in turn, ... More

Baleno price cut by Rs 8,000
Maruti Udyog Ltd has cut the price of its premium car Baleno by Rs 8,000 after custom duties were brought down in the Union Budget. With this, the ex-showroom price (Delhi) of Baleno LXi comes down from Rs 5,83,173 to Rs 5,75,173 and that of ... More

Budget `disappoints' telecom industry
The telecom industry has expressed disappointment with the Budget proposals, as it did not address the concerns raised by the operators, manufacturers and equipment vendors. Mr Deepak Kapoor, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ... More

`Duty on software disappointing'
Niraj Kaushik, Country Manager, Trend Micro India, has expressed disappointment over the imposition of the 8 per cent excise duty on packaged software. This imposition, he said, would increase the price of the legal software. ... More

Status quo Budget, say AP industry chambers
It was a mixed bag of opinions from the chambers of industry and commerce here on the Union Budget for 2006-07 presented by Mr P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister, on Tuesday in Parliament. The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and ... More

`No concrete proposal for reducing unemployment'
Rs 50-cr grant to Calcutta University welcomed More

`Neat Budget from long-term standpoint'
We see the Union Budget 2006-07 as yet another step in the direction set over the past two years. It is heartening to see the broad economic and fiscal framework being retained. In general, the Budget reflects a greater sense of fiscal ... More

Debate on Budget
The Justice K.S. Hegde Institute of Management at Nitte in Udupi district will hold a panel discussion on `Union Budget 2006-07' on March 2 at 3 p.m. A press release by the institute said here that Dr N.K. Thingalaya, former Chairman of ... More

Leather ind disappointed
The leather industry is disappointed with the Budget since it does not address any of its major demands. Mr Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports, said important issues such as the request for doing away with countervailing duty ... More

Budget fails to excite market players
`Withdraw securities transaction tax as it is regressive, counter-productive' More

Manufacturing sector gets a leg-up: CII

Duty hike on vanaspati cheered
The Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEAI) has complimented the Finance Minister for maintaining status quo for duty structure to support the domestic edible oil prices and, thereby farmers of rapeseed-mustard, during the current ... More

Provisions will hit markets: IMC
The Union Budget has little to offer for the development of the infrastructure sector, which needs to be given priority if India is to achieve the targeted 10 per cent GDP growth in the near future, said Mr Rajesh Kapadia, President, Indian ... More

`Common man empowered'
Mr Sunil Duggal, CEO, Dabur India Ltd, said: "The Finance Minister has indicated his intent to promote the food processing sector by categorising it under the `priority sector' and I am sure he will encourage this sector with additional ... More

Walk the talk
CAPTAINS' BONHOMIE: (From left) Mr S.K. Poddar, President, FICCI; Mr Sunil Bhrati Mittal, Chairman & Group MD, Bharti Enterprises; Mr Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd; and Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General, FICCI, at the post-Budget meeting . More

`This should be the trend for future'
For me, there is a welcome feeling of `normalcy and vigorous business-as-usual' returning to the budget process. In the past, traditionally, there has been a huge amount of hoopla surrounding the budget, including a perception ... More

'Makes good economic sense'
Once again, and as expected, the Finance Minister has given us a Budget with few surprises, reacted the Ashok Leyland Managing Director and Vice-President, Confederation of Indian Industry, Mr R. Seshasayee. Predictability may not be ... More

ICSI hails Budget
The President of Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), Mr H.M. Choraria, has welcomed the Union Budget 2006. "The Budget carries forward and consolidates the process of reforms," he said. The focus on agricultural finance for the ... More


Cement sector says nothing concrete
`Budget stress on infrastructure growth will boost industry' More


Growth with or vs Equity
Look to Sweden for an example More

Investment panel moots removal of sectoral caps
Proposes higher flexibility in labour laws, independent regulator More


Engg body for service tax hike roll-back


Innovating to stay ahead
Stars and trees to beckon tourists More


India, US to focus on bilateral trade
Bush arrives in Delhi on 3-day visit More

Malaysia for early harvest of FTA — China cited as example
Malaysia has called for "early harvesting of free trade agreement (FTA)" with India well ahead of completing the formalities for such an arrangement two years later. It would help in quickly cashing in on the very idea of free trade ... More


Government to promote theme-based towns
Government would actively promote the establishment of new towns focussed on specific industry, for example IT, or a specific theme, for example, education or health. More


`Most oil sector needs unaddressed'
The Budget has not provided any significant tax incentives to the oil and gas industry. However, the decision to set up a task force for development of large petroleum, chemicals, and petrochemical regions could be seen as a welcome step, ... More

Oil cos request AAI to defer awarding AFS licence
Seek Petroleum Ministry's intervention More

IOC's revenue loss on LPG sales to come down
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd on Wednesday said that its revenue loss on sale of cooking gas (LPG) would come down by Rs 600-650 crore a year because of certain Budget proposals announced by the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, on Tuesday. ... More

Govt to nominate only two directors to oil PSU boards
Meeting demand for greater corporate autonomy More

`Marginal relief to oil industry'
Mr S.K. Joshi, Executive Director (corporate treasury) of Bharat Petroleum, said the Budget did not have enough to offer to the oil industry. Reduction in CST on LPG will offer a relief of Rs 5-10 per cylinder, ... More

AI commences jet fuel price risk hedging
Air India has become the first airline in the country to hedge its jet fuel price risk. The airline last week used a derivatives contract on the international commodity markets for the first time. An airline spokesperson said that the airline ... More

`No relief for oil PSEs'
Mr S.M. Dewan, Chairman, Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), has said: "The Budget for 2006-07 is forward-looking but not path-breaking. Though higher equity and loan support for the public sector is a ... More


Workshop on public lighting in Thiruvananthapuram
The Energy Management Centre Kerala (EMCK) is holding a one-day workshop on `sustainable public lighting systems' here on Thursday in the run-up to formulating a public lighting policy for the State. ... More


Steel sector sees some lustre
Mr V.S. Jain, Chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd: "We welcome this budget, which is development oriented. The construction of five new ultra mega-power projects will boost demand for steel. The proposed deep draft port in West Bengal ... More

Steel scrap duty a welcome step
Mr Sandeep Jajodia, Chairman, Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association (SIMA) and Vice-Chairman Monnet Ispat, says: "It's a very positive Budget addressing all sectors of economy. The 5 per cent duty increase for melting ... More

`Not much to cheer for steel sector'
The Budget is disappointing as the increase in the minimum alternate tax and service tax would leave an adverse impact on the industry in general, according to Mr Sajjan Jindal, Vice-Chairman & MD, JSW Steel. While ... More


GST may be set at 14-16 pc: Chidambaram
Service tax rate hike explained More

Motor cover premium rates to rise
The Budget 2006-07 is likely to seen an up tick in both general and life insurance premiums as a result of an increase in service tax to 12.5 per cent from 10 per cent. Mr Kartik Jain, Head Marketing and E-Channels, ICICI-Lombard ... More

Insurance premium may rise with service tax hike
Companies to bear the burden of agents' commission More


Increase in TUF, cut in excise duty welcomed
A positive step towards expansion of the textile industry More

`Hike in TUF still insufficient'
Mr Manikam Ramaswami, Chairman, Loyal Textile Mills Ltd, said that though there has been an enhancement of the Textile Upgradation Fund (TUF) by Rs 100 crore, the amount is still insufficient. The industry, which has been in an ... More

`Progressive for textiles'
This is a progressive Budget for textiles. All the benefits this year are for the man-made fibre industry, said Mr Srinivas Kodali, Executive Director of Priyadarshini Spinning Mills Ltd. He said the textile sector ... More

`Boost to synthetic spinning industry'
The reduction in excise duty on manmade fibres, from 16 per cent to 8 per cent, will give a major boost to the synthetic spinning industry. The industry will stop accumulation of the unutilised CENVAT, said Mr Riju ... More


SME credit fund corpus to be raised
To provide an impetus to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, has proposed to raise the corpus of Credit Guarantee Fund from Rs 1,132 crore to Rs 2,500 crore in five years. In 2006-2007, he proposed to ... More

Survey to assess tech adoption in small industrial units
The services of a leading market research agency have been enlisted to take on the task of conducting a survey to test and assess technology adoption in the small and medium enterprise (SME) segment. As a part of this exercise, a three-day ... More


No big picture
The recommendation of a cut in excise duty of colour televisions and monitors has not been met. More


Electrical goods makers hail duty cut
The Union Budget's focus on the power sector has brightened the prospects of domestic manufacturers of electrical and electronic products. The Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association (IEEMA) has welcomed investment ... More


`Positive for healthcare delivery'
Mr Vishal Bali, CEO, Wockhardt Hospitals Group: "While there was no direct mention of the healthcare delivery sector, the Budget sends a few positive signals that recognise its importance. The downside: the sector still ... More


Morgan Stanley enters realty sector
Invests Rs 300 cr in Bangalore's Mantri Developers More


Leather ind disappointed
The leather industry is disappointed with the Budget since it does not address any of its major demands. Mr Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports, said important issues such as the request for doing away with countervailing duty ... More


RBI to allow more banks to import gold
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to permit more banks to import gold and ease the eligibility criteria. Inviting applications from banks for permission, the RBI said that it would apply the eligibility criteria liberally while ... More


Handloom sector hails proposals
The higher fund allocation of Rs 241 crore proposed for the handloom sector in the Budget is a positive development, though this amount may still be not sufficient compared to the handloom industry's potentials, according to Mr Sivakannan, ... More


Duty cut on textile machinery hailed
The Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council (Texprocil) has said the reduction in customs duty for specified textile machinery to 10 per cent is a welcome step, though the duty reduction falls short of the industry's request for ... More


Bush agenda mum on space co-operation
The US Presidential agenda does not seem to have time or space for a couple of anticipated "handshakes" with the national space agency, ISRO. Anticipation 1 was for allowing launch from India of satellites with US licence or US components - ... More

New chief for Nuclear Fuel Complex
Mr R.N. Jayaraj has taken over as Chief Executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex, a Department of Atomic Energy Undertaking. He succeeds Mr R. Kalidas, who has retired. Mr Jayaraj was holding the post of ... More


Customs duty cut perks up paints sector
Faced with rising input costs the announcement of a reduction in peak customs duty on imports by 2.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent in the Finance Bill 2006/2007 has lent some cheer to the paint industry. "For the paint industry, the reduction of ... More


Australia hails easing of mining norms
Australia today welcomed the liberalisation in the rules on captive mining announced in the Budget. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Alexander Downer, told visiting journalists from India that his Government would definitely be keen to see ... More


No uranium supplies from Australia
Whether India is able to do a deal with the US this week during the Bush visit and get international sanctions lifted on its nuclear energy programme, Australia will not be supplying natural uranium to fuel Indian reactors. Australia's Minister ... More

Duty cut for minerals hailed
The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has welcomed the proposed duty structures for minerals in the Budget. According to the federation, "now prices are high in non-ferrous metals and so duty reduction will not have much impact ... More


`FDI in retail welcome with safeguards'
Foreign direct investment in Indian retail trade is welcome, but with sufficient safeguards to protect the interests of the smaller retailers, the farmers and the consumers. This was the opinion of the majority of the speakers at a seminar on ... More


Cochin Motor Show from today
The four-day Cochin Motor Show 2006 will begin at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Thursday. The State Fisheries and Sports Minister, Mr Dominic Presentation, will inaugurate the automobile expo. ... More


Vegoil base import price hiked
The Government today revised upwards the tariff value for various vegetable oils. The hike ranges from $11 to $23 a tonne. The base price for major oils in the palm group (crude palm oil, crude palmolein and refined palmolein) has been hiked ... More

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Union Budget 2006-2007

Economic Survey 2005-2006

Top Stories
Cement sector says nothing concrete

Australia hails easing of mining norms

Tatas move to buy Birla stake in Idea Cellular

UTI Mutual to enhance international operations

AWB wins wheat tender

India to turn major metals consumer

Pre-monsoon activity seen setting in early

Tata Motors unveils Cliffrider at Geneva show

In Focus

Infrastructure woes stare IT sector
IPO Scams
FDI in retail sector
Dynamic Tirupur
Surging Sensex
Gold scaling new highs

In Depth

Gender Justice
Simple Economics
Tax Talk

Looking back
Feb. 19-Feb. 25
Equity funds eye realty sector in a big way
To explore investments in residential, commercial projects

Bird flu: No human infection reported so far, says Health Secy

Well-cooked chicken, eggs safe, says Govt

Pharma cos buck up; busy lining up drugs

FM stations to zoom in on regional ads in small towns

Centre may not allow sale of Tamiflu in retail market — `Drug has adverse side-effects, not safe for children too'

Shortfall likely in direct tax collection this fiscal

Air India places $2-b order for GE engines

Govt yet to decide on DAP subsidy

Hectic lobbying on by vegoil refiners against cheap imports

Bankers seek lower service tax on credit cards

Pawar calls for restraint in bird flu reports — Don't create panic, media told

Govt cautious on opening up retail FDI — Exploring role model for multi-brand segment

IPO scam fall-out — CBI conducts search at Karvy, Vijaya Bank, BhOB premises

IMF cautions India on the fiscal front

`Bird flu scare results in Rs 200-cr loss to truckers'

Poultry insurance covers bird flu losses, clarify officials

Bihar provides a sweet cure for sugar sector — Offers attractive incentive; plans PSU units privatisation

Railway budget to take care of all sections — Lalu Prasad rules out increase in passenger fares

Kochi region excise revenue

Unsold stocks worry poultry farmers

Railways improves freight earnings by Rs 3,000 cr

Low-cost carriers see no impact — Travel sector hails move

Airlines not perturbed by reduced AC rail fares

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