Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Friday, April 27, 2001





FCI's bulk storage policy -- Starving oneself to stuff others?
THE Food Corporation of India (FCI) has identified 10 locations for creation of 20 lakh tonnes (l.t) bulk storage capacity on build-own-operate (BOO) basis by the private sector. These include establishing godowns/silos of three l.t capacity each in Nabh a, Barnala and Moga in Punjab and Sirsa and Kaithal in Haryana and one l.t each in Hooghly, Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Mumbai.

Genetically-modified foods may come under PFA purview -- PFA may be amended to tackle GM foods
WITH the impending import of genetically-modified (GM) food items becoming a virtual hot potato, the Union Health Ministry expects to soon arm its Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (1954) to tackle the issue -- in terms of defining, labelling and testi ng of GM foods.

Direct Chennai-HK link from AI
AIR India will be offering a direct connection on the Chennai-Hong Kong sector on Mondays and Thursdays. This is the national carrier's sixth destination out of Chennai. At present, the airline flies to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Kuwait and Dubai from Chennai.

`Deferring of aircraft purchase by AI will affect valuation'
WHILE disapproving the Government's idea to defer the acquisition of aircraft by Air India (AI) pending disinvestment, the parliamentary standing committee on transport and tourism today expressed the view that the non-acquisition of aircraft ``would hav e certainly affected the valuation of AI''.

IA to work out packages for tourists to Nepal
INDIAN Airlines (IA) has decided to help in working out attractive packages for Indian tourists wanting to visit Nepal. The move comes in the wake of NTB's campaign launched last week in Delhi with the announcement of a three-month campaign `Festival of Life' to show case the country for its multifaceted attractions to visitors with varied interests from different countries.

Mitsubishi agrees to defer hike in Lancer kit price
MITSUBISHI Motors Corporation of Japan has agreed to Hindustan Motors (HM) request to defer the price increase of the Mitsubishi Lancer kit.

Banking and Finance
CLB allows United Western to issue bonus-cum-rights shares
THE Principal bench of the Company Law Board (CLB) has allowed United Western Bank Ltd (UWB) to implement its decision to issue bonus-cum-rights shares, while holding that the Chairman of the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) had ``erred'' in withdrawi ng the resolution on the rights issue.

Finance Bill okayed
NEW DELHI: Parliament approved the Finance Bill, 2001, with the Rajya Sabha passing the Bill by a voice vote on Thursday. The CPI(M) however, staged a walk-out before the voting. -- Our Bureau

Tax on ESOPs: MNCs put on par with domestic firms
EMPLOYEES of multinational and foreign companies who exercise their stock options have cause to cheer as shares allotted to them either at a concessional rate or free of cost will not be taxed as a perquisite from now on.

Rossell Tea to regroup estates
ROSSELL Tea Ltd has decided to regroup its five tea estates -- four controlled directly and one through a fully-owned subsidiary -- under three companies, taking into account their location and nature of business.

Property row remanded back to Madras HC
CAN a High Court interfere with the findings of facts, recorded by the first appellate court by reappraising the evidence in violation of provisions contained in section 100 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC)?.

C.M. Nayar is new chief of MRTPC
AFTER a lapse of almost three months, the Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) is to get a Chairman in Mr Justice C.M. Nayar, a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court.

More funds to modernise Patents Office urged
THE Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has recommended a ``substantial'' increase in the allocation of funds for the modernisation of Patents Office.

Financial Performance
Hindalco net up 10.7 pc at Rs 678 cr
HINDALCO Industries Ltd has ended 2000-2001 with a 10.72 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 678.1 crore compared to the previous year's Rs 612.4 crore.

Cadbury Q1 net up 18 pc
MUMBAI: Cadbury India Ltd has ended the first quarter of January-March 2001 with an 18 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 12.39 crore (Rs 10.50 crore).

Siemens net falls 24 pc in Q2
Siemens Ltd has registered a 24 per cent fall in net profit at Rs 22.72 crore for the second quarter ended March 31, 2001 as against Rs 30.02 crore in the corresponding period in the previous year.

Cipla posts 34 pc rise in net
MUMBAI: Cipla LTD, has registered a 34 per cent growth in its net profit to touch Rs 178.42 crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2001 as against Rs 133.06 crores in the previous year.

VST records higher net at Rs 27.5 cr
VST Industries has announced a net profit of Rs. 27.5 crore for 2000-01, up from Rs. 15.7 crore during the previous fiscal.

Foreign Trade
Dubai fair attracts handicrafts council
INDIA'S Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), which has set an export target of Rs 7,923 crore in 2001-2002, is planning to participate in the 26th International Spring Trade Fair to be held from May 1 to 6 at the Dubai World Trade

Hotel Leela to launch Bangalore project in July
HOTEL LeelaVenture Ltd will launch its latest hospitality project, The Leela Palace, Bangalore, in July. The complete project is estimated to cost over Rs 350 crore.

Information Technology
Wipro expects to be $5-b co by 2003-04
WIPRO Ltd has set a `vision' to become a $5-billion company by 2003-04, according to the Chairman, Mr Azim Premji.

Japan cos look to Indian herbs
JAPANESE corporates have scooped up a potential cosmetic from an Indian herb -- Vasa, whose extracts have been used as a drug by the traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Unani.

DPC board authorises MD to issue PPA termination notice
THE board of directors of Dabhol Power Company (DPC) has authorised the Managing Director, Mr Neil McGregor, to issue the notice of intent to terminate its power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) ``at an appropr iate time''.

Rly ticket raid
KOLKATA: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel of South Eastern Railway, following a surprise raid at the Rabindra Sadan booking office recently, has nabbed an unauthorised tout in possession of five computerised reservation tickets and bunch of r equisition slips. After interrogating the tout, further raids were conducted at the office of Eastern Travels, a travel agency, and as many as 75 computerised tickets and money bill worth Rs 3.4 lakh have been seized.

US keen to invest in Calcutta leather complex
MR CHRISTOPHER Sandrolini, the US Consul-General, made a quiet visit to the Calcutta Leather Complex (CLC) where the city's tanneries are to be relocated from their present sites in east Kolkata.

Kerala technopark units form forum
THE companies based in Technopark here has formed a forum, styled GTECH, which will act as an interest group to promote the cause of the community of companies in the park.

Bengal's IEM students find plum posts abroad
WEST Bengal's first private sector engineering college -- Institute of Engineering and Management (IEM) -- has been successful in getting quite a few of its students placed with overseas companies, beating other established institutes in the process.

CII meet focuses N-E's untapped potential
THE untapped potential of the north eastern part of the country was highlighted on Wednesday as part of the ongoing annual general session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Panel recommends ban of ALBM, BLESS
A SEBI panel has recommended scrapping of the carry-forward trading system from July 2.

JPC set up to go into stock scam
PARLIAMENT today approved the setting up of a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the scam in the stock markets in early March this year, almost a decade after a JPC had investigated the securities scam in 1992.

Ketan remand extended till May 3
THE Special Judge, Mr A.R. Joshi, today extended the remand of stock broker, Mr Ketan Parekh, his relative, Mr Kartik Parekh, and the branch manager of Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank (MMCB), Mr J.B. Pandya, till May 3. The CBI had asked for a 14 -day extension of remand.

Madhavpura bank CEO arrested
AHMEDABAD: Mr Devendra Pandya, Chief Executive Officer of the Madhavpura bank and co-accused in the bank scam along with Mr Ramesh Parikh, its former Chairman, was arrested today at 5.00 a.m. from his residence by the Gujarat police. Mr Pandya's arrest c omes in the wake of the criminal complaint filed by the MMCB administrator, Mr S. Ramachandran, on April 21.

Anand Rathi case adjourned
THE two-member bench of Mumbai High Court has adjourned the hearing on the case against SEBI's order on Mr Anand Rathi, former BSE President. The final hearing on this case is expected on May 2.

QRs on sugar exports go; futures trading okayed
THE Government has lifted quantitative restrictions on exports of sugar. Further, individual exporters would no longer have to register their contracts with the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Sivasankaran adds new twist to spectrum, offers Rs 2,500 cr
EVEN as the Group on Telecom and IT (GoT-IT) is grappling with its final recommendations on limited mobility, the Sterling Infotech group, one of the cellular service providers for Tamil Nadu, has offered to pay Rs 2,500 crores for 5 MHz spectrum to reso lve the current impasse.

GoT-IT submits report
THE group on telecom and IT (GoT-IT) has finally kept its deadline and submitted its recommendation on the controversial issue of limited mobility to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Compensation of Rs 3,000 cr for VSNL mooted
GLOBAL consultants Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Smith Barney have each independently recommended a compensation package of Rs 3,000 crore for Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd from the Government of India.

Water Management
AP Govt embarks on water conservation drive
A MASSIVE effort to save scarce land from degradation and conserve water resources from being rendered unfit for drinking, agricultural and industrial purposes has been taken up in Andhra Pradesh under the ``Neeru Meeru'' (water and you) programme with m issionary zeal.

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