Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Friday, February 09, 2001





Delay in AI, IA sell-off process `not a surprise'
THE delay in completion of the second stage of the disinvestment process of the Government's equity in Air India (AI) has not come as a surprise to some of the known bidders.

French co offers blades, systems for LCA engine
FOLLOWING Wednesday's announcement that the Ministry of Defence is not averse to looking for co-operation in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project, the French company, Snecma Moteurs, has been holding talks with the departments of the Ministry of Defen ce on working together on the Kaveri engine programme of the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE).

Those Magical Moments
A little boy watching a formation of IAF Suryakirans at Aero India 2001 in Bangalore on Thursday.

Joint aviation ventures welcome, says Fernandes
CLOSE on the heels of the Light Combat Aircraft's (LCA) successful test flight, the country is hoping to prove its prowess on the civilian front with the expected test flight of `Saras', the 14-seater transport plane.

Swiss aviation co sees good market potential
PILATUS, the Swiss aviation company making medium haul small single engine planes, hopes to strike its first success in India with Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO).

New Coal Minister
Mr Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, has been given independent charge of the Ministry of Coal.

One BCCL miner rescued
MR MOHAMMED Ansari, trapped inside the ill-fated Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) mine for the last six days, has been brought out alive. Mr Ansari, a fitter, along with other 30 miners and managers, was trapped inside the Bagdigi colliery of BCCL on Friday last.

ITC plays `good sport', exits sponsorships
ITC Ltd has decided to voluntarily withdraw from all sponsorships of sporting activities irrespective of the legal position on the subject following the Goveernment's decision to bar sponsorship of sports and cultural events by cigarette and other tobacc o product companies.

Tata Engg board okays rights issue
THE board of directors of Tata Engineering today approved the simultaneous issue of convertible debentures (CDs) and non convertible debentures (NCDs) with detachable warrants, on a rights basis in the ratio of one CD and one NCD for every five shares (1 :5) of the company held.

Subodh Shah to succeed Pendse
THE board of directors of Tata Finance Ltd (TFL), at an urgent meeting called today, agreed to accept the request of Mr Dilip Pendse, Managing Director, not to seek renewal of his present term which expires on May 31, 2001.

ICAI panel to probe new avenues for members
THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has announced the constitution of an internal committee, comprising mainly council members, which would help its members provide professional services in areas such as trade laws, anti-dumpi ng issues and intellectual property rights.

GO increasing levy on TN distilleries quashed
THE Madras High Court while holding that the Tamil Nadu Government was competent to impose an administrative levy on industrial alcohol and rectified spirit produced by distilleries in the State quashed the order of the Government enhancing the rate of l evy from 50 paise to Re 1 per bulk litre.

Alagh panel report on urea subsidy in a week
THE Fertiliser Secretary, Mr Ashok Pahwa, said that Committee under Dr Y.K. Alagh, set up to examine the excess drawal of urea subsidy by some companies through `goldplating' (i.e overstatement of capacity utilisation) would submit its report within a we ek's time.

Reconsider ban on smoking, says ITA
THE Indian Tobacco Association (ITA) has urged the Union Government to reconsider on the proposed ban on smoking in public places, as ``any such measure, which even many of the developed nations have not resorted to, would adversely affect the economy in general and the livelihood of thousands of people dependent on the industry''.

Information Technology
Missing: Killer M&A in IT services
THE Indian software industry is waiting for one key cross-border acquisition to catalyse a flurry of activity within the software services sector, according to Mr Crawford Jameison, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

AP ropes in consultants for developing IT projects
THE Andhra Pradesh Government through Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation has recently roped in the services of consultants to assist the Government in project development and project cycle management to create state of the art informati on technology projects.

BILT likely to expand board
BALLARPUR Industries Ltd (BILT) is likely to induct at least another four additional directors on its board later this year. While one of the new directors would be an executive director, the other three are expected to be independent directors.

FDI easing raises hackles of several Ministries
THE Government's move to further liberalise existing ceilings on foreign direct investment (FDI) in 17 areas is facing increasing resistance, with the Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, opposing a proposal to permit 100 per cent FDI in the plantation sector.

Dabhol power sale to third party discussed
A high-level tripartite meeting of Enron India Pvt Ltd, the Maharashtra Government and the State Electricity Board today agreed to explore the possibility of selling power from Dabhol to other parties, including the Central grid.

PPN project in TN gets gas allocation for 150 MW
PPN Power Generating Co Ltd, which is putting up a 330 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant at Pillaiperumalnallur in Tamil Nadu, has got gas allocation for about 150 MW. The plant is designed to run on both naphtha and gas. For the remaining capaci ty, the company will use naphtha as originally envisaged.

Payment security for shipowners, operators -- Petronet to set up onshore trust account
PETRONET LNG Ltd (PLL) has decided to set up an onshore trust account from which shipowners, lenders and gas suppliers will be paid their respective charges for the 7.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG purchased from Qatar's Ras Gas for a period of 25 yea rs on free-on-board (f.o.b.) basis.

Tripura annual Plan at Rs 560 cr
THE annual Plan size of Tripura for the next fiscal year has been pegged at Rs 560 crore based on the identifiable resources.

FICCI-CARE budgets $15 m for Gujarat rehabilitation
THE newly-formed FICCI-CARE Gujarat Rehabilitation Project (GCGRP) has chalked out an initial budget of $ 15 million for reconstruction work in five villages in Rapar and one in Anjar.

Proposal for grants to panchayats
MANGALORE: In an attempt to decentralise authority and empower zilla panchayats, taluk panchayats and gram panchayats, the Karnataka Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj has sent a proposal to the State Government to consider giving one-third of its Plan expenditure for panchayat raj institutions as `untied grants'.

`Railways must seek more budgetary support'
MADURAI: In a pre-Budget memorandum submitted to the Minister for Railways, Ms Mamata Banerjee, recently, the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry here has suggested that railways should seek more budgetary support instead of hiking passenger and freight rates.

Luxury tourist train to be introduced in Maharashtra this year
A LUXURY tourist train on the lines of the Palace on Wheels will be introduced in Maharashtra as a joint venture between the Railway Ministry and the Government of Maharashtra by October this year. It will cover the Mumbai- Ratnagiri- Sindhudurg- Goa- Pu ne- Aurangabad- Ajanta & Ellora- Nasik- Mumbai route.

Contributors for Gujarat earthquake relief
The list of contributors of Rs 2500 and above to the Gujarat earthquake relief.

Gujarat relief: CII enlists help of Gulf trade groups
THE Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has elicited the participation of major Indian business organisations in the Gulf to work closely on rehabilitation projects that CII plans to take up in the quake-affected zones in Gujarat.

Old economy rally takes Sensex up 68
SUSTAINED institutional support in index heavyweights like ITC and HLL saw market sentiment make a sharp turnaround during Thursday's trade.

Draft issue of new accounting norms for taxes on income
THE Accounting Standards Board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has issued the text of the exposure draft of the proposed accounting standard on `Accounting for Taxes on Income'.

E-com tax panel submits report
NEW DELHI: The Committee on Electronic Commerce and Taxation constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has submitted its recommendations and summary of conclusions to Mr A. Balasubramanian, Chairman, CBDT.

ST collections up in Coimbatore
DESPITE the general slowdown in the textile sector in the region, the Sales Tax collection in Coimbatore district has remained robust and in some of the sectors, the ST collection is higher in the first nine months of current financial compared to the co rresponding period last year.

Diesel cess for Rlys tied to tariff hike
THE Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Bannerjee, may be left with no option but to hike rail tariffs if the Finance Ministry approves the proposal to clamp a 50 paise per litre cess on diesel to be earmarked exclusively for financing railway projects.

Travel & Places
Sahara India plans Rs 900-cr tourism project for Bengal
SAHARA India Pariwar has embarked upon a Rs 900-crore tourism project in association with the Government of West Bengal. The project envisages promoting and linking Sundarbans and Teesta Valley with the national tourist circuit and setting up a five-star `club-cum-hotel' in Kolkata.

Water Management
`Beneficiaries must share water supply cost'
THAT there are no free lunches -- and that there is a price to be paid even for water in case you cannot afford lunch -- seems to be the principle guiding not only the economy in general but even rural water supply schemes in a country where, according t o some estimates, more than 250 million people do not have access to clean, potable water.

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