THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Financial Daily
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Wednesday, October 04, 2000

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News

Agriculture
Erratic monsoon upsets kharif estimates
THE Government has released the preliminary estimates of 2000-01 kharif crop production and the numbers look anything but inspiring. In most cases, not only is the estimated production far below the season's target, they are even below last year's droug ht-affected output.

Automobiles
Maruti puts off move for price hike
MARUTI Udyog Ltd (MUL) has decided to postpone its decision to hike prices of the Maruti 800, the Omni van and the Wagon-R. The company, which had cut prices of these vehicles in the last week of June, had then said that the new rates would only be appli cable for a three-month period.

Banking and Finance
ICICI to sell Backbay floors
ICICI Ltd has entered into an agreement to sell seven floors of its main building at Backbay Reclamation in Mumbai for an aggregate sum of Rs 73.10 crore.

SBI millennium deposits -- Ministry okays forex risk cover plan
THE Finance Ministry has cleared the foreign exchange risk cover arrangement for the proposed India Millennium Deposit Scheme (IMD) being launched by State Bank of India, on the lines of the formula worked out for the Resurgent India Bond (RIB) in 1998.

Commodities
PDS grain prices may be slashed
THE Government is likely to slash the central issue prices (CIP) of foodgrains channelised through the public distribution system (PDS). The Union Cabinet is slated to consider a proposal tomorrow to reduce the CIP of wheat for the below poverty line (BP L) population to Rs 3.50 per kg from the existing Rs 4.15.

Corporate
Binani Ind to hive off zinc business
The board of directors of Binani Industries Ltd (BIL) on Tuesday decided to spin off the company's zinc business to a newly formed subsidiary-- Binani Zinc Ltd (BZL).

Credit Policy
Credit policy: No fireworks likely
THE credit policy expectations are fairly muted this time. Most bankers and primary dealers who spoke to Business Line were reticent when asked about what they wanted out of this policy. The Jalan tenure has seen bankers getting prepared to handle surpri ses outside the policy. The announcements and measures such as CRR/Bank rate hikes/cuts have often been made between two policies. Most analysts expected the policy to remain the non-event that Dr Jalan had promised it would be during the last few polici es.

Economy
Cabinet to consider EFC supplementary report this week
The Union Cabinet is set to consider this week the supplementary report of the Eleventh Finance Commission (EFC) which has recommended an enhanced grants-in-aid package and outlined a monitorable fiscal reforms programme to be linked to the package.

`Don't submit to WTO diktats'
THE Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) Working President, Mr R. Venugopal, has warned the Government of `serious political repercussions in the future' if the BJP continues to ignore the `widespread opposition to the policies of abject submission to the WTO' s diktats on export-import policies, PSU disinvestment, privatisation in the name of globalisation and corporatisation of the telecom sector.'

Foreign Trade
Hopes on `rice for gun' deal
WITH Indian rice being completely outpriced in world markets, the country's rice exporters are now pinning their hopes on the visiting Russian President, Mr Vladimir Putin, to help revive their sagging fortunes.



India, Russia sign 11 pacts, to further mutual cooperation
INDO-RUSSIAN relations have struck a harmonious chord, with the two countries agreeing to boost co-operation in military, nuclear and technology sectors, and signed 11 bilateral agreements, covering a wide range from trade and commerce to science, techno logy and agriculture.

Information Technology
Silverline buys HK co in $22-m `all cash' deal
SILVERLINE Technologies Ltd today announced the acquisition of the Hong Kong-based Sky Capital International (SCI) in a US $22-million `all cash' deal.

PSU
ET&T's education arm may be shifted to PSUs
HAVING announced its decision to wind up the loss-making Electronics Trade and Technology Development Corporation Ltd (ET&T), the Government is now considering transferring the computer education business of the company to some other public sector undert aking (PSU).

Petroleum


Don't know anything about it, says Naik
THE Union Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, has denied any knowledge of the Government's proposed move to roll back the recently hiked prices of LPG and kerosene.

Impact of `roll-back' on oil pool account
THE oil pool account (OPA) manages the cross-subsidy encountered in the sale of the five controlled petro products -- diesel, petrol, LPG, kerosene and aviation turbine fuel (ATF).

HPCL prices bond issue at 11.30-11.90 pc
HINDUSTAN Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has priced its Rs 200-crore NCD issue, which opened on Tuesday, in the range of 11.30 to 11.90 per cent. The issue has a maturity of three years.

Policy
Indo-Russian MoU on legal matters
INDIA and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of law and justice.

Power
PTC seeks financial security package for Ennore power -- Karnataka awaits TNEB MoU on escrow cover
THE Power Trading Corporation (PTC) has sought a financial security arrangement for the supply of 700 MW from the Dakshin Bharat Energy Ltd (DBEL) promoted by a five-company consortium led by CMS Energy Inc of the US and Grasim Industries Ltd.

States
AP to extend tax sop to Biotech Park
THE Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday decided to extend certain sales tax (ST) concessions to `high-end' biotechnology products and services developed or provided by the Biotechnology Park located at Turkapally near Hyderabad.

Dakshina Kannada petro dealers to join stir
THE Dakshina Kannada Petroleum Dealers' Association will be joining the Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders and the Akhila Karnataka Federation of Petroleum Traders in their decision `not to lift petrol or high-speed diesel from oil companies/depot s/terminals with effect from October 6.'

Floods affect jute quality upgradation scheme
FLOODS in West Bengal in the past two weeks and in Andhra Pradesh earlier have affected the joint programme of the Centre and UNDP for upgradation of quality of raw jute/mesta.

AP promises facilities for pvt insurance cos
THE Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, has expressed confidence that the headquarters of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) will be located at Hyderabad, which, according to him, is currently in the process of becoming the financial hub of the country.

Plea to withdraw tax on petro goods in Kerala
THE Ernakulam Chamber of Commerce has urged the Kerala Government to withdraw the exorbitant taxes on petroleum products so that the cumulative effect of the hike can be reduced.

Kerala co-op insurance venture hits hurdle
THE Kerala Government's proposal to float an insurance venture in the cooperative sector has run into trouble with the main players realising only late in the day that their participation would be violative of the RBI guidelines governing the deployment of funds for the purpose.

Lorry owners in TN want Govt to fix freight rates
THE lorry owners in Tamil Nadu want the State Government to follow the principle of fixing the auto and bus fare in the case of lorries too by fixing the freight rate, taking into account the operational cost.

Waste management at Asiad Village
NEW DELHI: The Union Minister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Jagmohan, has launched the first ever initiative in public-private partnership in waste management at Asiad Village in Delhi.

New facility to pay phone bills
MADURAI: Madurai Telecom has become the first SSA (Secondary Switching Area) in the country, to introduce both on-line and Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) Tele Bill Services, a new concept in the area of telephone bill payment.

Stocks
Solid gains in cement stocks
CEMENT stocks moved up smartly on the bourses today on reports of a more than expected rise in despatches during the first half of this fiscal. There were also rumours that cement manufacturers would pass on the hike in transport cost to customers, there by protecting their bottomlines.


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