THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

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News

Accountancy
ICAI, ASCI pact for `specialised skills'
THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) for imparting `specialised knowledge' to qualified chartered accountants on various areas of their professional interest.

Agriculture
Bengal Govt bid to boost agriculture
THE West Bengal Government has taken up a programme to convert wasteland and uncultivable land into agricultural land to boost production, Mr Kamal Guha, State Agriculture Minister, said on Tuesday.

`No imposition of decentralised procurement'
EVEN as the proposal relating to decentralised procurement is aimed at enhancing the efficiency gains for State Governments, the Centre had no intention to impose the new system on the States, according to the Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha.

Banking and Finance
US-64 aftershocks on IDBI
THE crisis over the US-64 scheme that has jolted the Unit Trust of India (UTI) is sending tremors down the rank and file of another institution, the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI).

UTI Bank to continue to grant loans against US-64 units
UTI Bank has said that it would continue to grant loans against the units of US-64.

Corporate
FICCI to host conference on rural tourism
THE Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in association with the Udaipur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is organising an international conference and exhibition on Rural Tourism in India on September 8-9 in Udaipur.

Courts
Ketan seeks pre-arrest bail
MR Ketan Parekh, the stockbroker accused in the Bank of India (BoI) and the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank (MMCB) pay-order scandal, moved the Bombay High Court for an anticipatory bail.

Financial Performance


Infosys Q1 net up 50 pc -- Annual growth estimate retained at 30 pc
IN the season of slowdowns, software major Infosys Technologies has posted a fair top and bottomline growth for the quarter ended June 30, 2001.

Food & Dairy Products
India to host dairy expo
HYDERABAD: India will host the Third International Diary & Food Technology Expo 2001 at the World Trade Centre in Mumbai from November 21 to 24.

Information Technology
Infosys admits to facing pressure on billing rates
INFOSYS Technologies today admitted that it was facing a pressure on the billing rates from both existing and new customers.

Earnings forecast cause for concern
INFOSYS Technologies has exceeded its own projections on the revenue front for the first quarter made during the earnings announcement for the year ended March 31, 2001 and the consensus analysts forecast in the run-up the results.

DD launches news portal
AFTER a delay of five months, Doordarshan has finally put in place its first portal at ddinews.com. This is the first phase of the venture and other portals would be launched later.

US web site for trade information
THE US Embassy has introduced BuyUSA.com, a Web site sponsored by the US Department of Commerce, for the benefit of Indian businesses. The site, according to Mr Samuel Kidder, Commercial Counsellor at the embassy, would enable companies to access the US markets.

Mutual Funds
Govt looking into legal sanctity of US-64 freeze
THE Government is ascertaining the legal sanctity of the decision of the board of trustees to freeze sales and repurchase of units of US-64 for six months, as it is tantamount to changing the basic structure of the scheme.

Experts' group to advise UTI on US-64 revamp
THE Unit Trust of India (UTI) has set up a consultative group comprising outside experts to revamp Unit Scheme-1964 (US-64), which is expected to submit its report to the UTI board within a couple of days.

Make US-64 dealings NAV-driven: Chamber
THE Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has urged the Government and the Unit Trust of India (UTI) authorities to facilitate net asset value (NAV)-based dealings in the US-64 scheme at the earliest.

PSU
`No official order on AI bid opening'
THE financial bid for the disinvestment of Government equity in Air India (AI) is unlikely to be opened before the end of the monsoon session of Parliament which is likely to end on August 31.

Petroleum
Oil PSUs to buy LPG cylinders via open tenders
THE Petroleum Ministry has initiated a move to procure LPG cylinders through open tender system for the oil marketing public sector undertakings. According to an official release, this measure would bring about a saving of Rs 480 crore for the oil indust ry for an estimated procurement of two crore cylinders by the industry in the current year.

Chennai Petro considering SBI's Rs 700-cr loan offer
STATE Bank of India has offered to lend Rs 700 crore to Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL).

Policy
Customs, excise depts recast plan okayed
THE Cabinet today approved a restructuring package for the Customs and Central Excise department, expected to result in an additional revenue mobilisation of five per cent.

Power
Enron hopeful of solution on DPC
THE Chairman of the Enron Corporation, Mr Kenneth Lay, has expressed optimism over finding a solution to the Dabhol power project imbroglio, saying it was in the country's interest to revive it.

States
TN chamber caution on VAT
MADURAI: The Tamilnadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed opposition to the implementation of uniform floor rates and VAT without the required modifications and changes suggested by trade and Industry.

Gujarat relief: IBRD focus on rural housing
THE Asian Development Bank (ADB), in its sectoral allocation of the $500-million emergency loan for Gujarat earthquake rehabilitation, has earmarked rural housing as the single most important area, followed by urban and rural infrastructure. While rural Kutch will see $200 million infused by the ADB into the housing sector, infrastructure areas such as water supply, sewerage and sanitation would receive $173 million in the next 30 months.

AP powerloom weavers hit by mills closure
CLOSURE of four textile mills in the Kattedan industrial area here is stated to have affected the lives of over 1000 powerloom weavers in Sircilla town of Karimnagar district in the State. These weavers, who were doing job work for the mills, are now job less on account of their closure, according to Sircilla Polyester Cloth Manufacturers Association (SPCMA).

Panchayat Raj Ministers' meet in Capital today
THE Centre has convened a meeting of the State Panchayat Raj Ministers in New Delhi on July 11, 2001. Announcing this in Dehra Dun on Sunday, the Minister for Rural Development, Mr M Venkaiah Naidu, said that the meeting is aimed at building a consensus regrading speedy implementation of the 73rd amendment of the Constitution which mandates 29 subjects to the Panchayati Raj institutions.

Stocks
NSE suspends two members
THE National Stock Exchange (NSE) has suspended two of its trading members for placing ``improper orders which resulted in influencing the market price of shares.''

Payment crisis at Lyons Range -- Why didn't CSE detect bug in CMC software for years?: JPC
THE Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) investigating the stock market scam is of the view that the bug in the margin software provided by CMC Ltd was responsible to an extent for the crisis on the Calcutta Stock Exchange (CSE) in March.

Kanpur SE joins ASE in boycott
EVEN as the boycott of trading at the Ahmedabad Stock Exchange (ASE) by the brokers' association entered the second day today, the broking community of the Kanpur Stock Exchange (KSE) came out in open support of the stir and suspended trading for the day .

Taxation
I-T officers meet
NEW DELHI: Senior income tax officials are meeting to evolve a strategy for maximising revenue collection, and achieve full computerisation in the Income Tax Department by March 31, 2002.

Tea
Time to review tea account scheme
THE existing provisions for the Tea Development Account Scheme (TDAS), which has its origin in Sec 33 AB of the Income-tax Act, warrant a fresh look as the Department of Commerce (DoC) in the Union Commerce and Industry is firm that the Tea Board should devise an effective mechanism to monitor utilisation of additional resources that will be available to tea companies the Central budget for 2001-02.

Telecommunications
VSNL recommends dividend of 500 pc
VIDESH Sanchar Nigam Ltd today announced a record dividend of 500 per cent, its highest-ever, including a one-time special dividend of 400 per cent.

Tribunal stays hike in BSNL access charges
IN a major relief to private basic operators, the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has stayed the hike in interconnect access charges, sought to be levied by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on local\STD and ISD calls.

Telecom engg centre may get autonomy
THE Government proposes to convert the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) - the backbone of the Communications Ministry in the pre-liberalisation era - into an autonomous institute vested with the authority to deal with all standards relating to informatio n, communications and entertainment electronics.

VSNL payoff for monopoly termination
THE special dividend of Rs 40 per share (or 400 per cent) announced by VSNL appears to have been on the cards for quite some time.

Cell operators' concern over draft FSP licence agreement
THE Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has expressed its concern that the draft licence agreement for fixed service providers (FSPs) provides no safeguard to ensure a difference between WLL limited mobility services and cellular mobile servic es.

Intelsat amendments ratified
THE Union Cabinet has ratified amendments to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisations (INTELSAT) agreement and the INTELSAT operating agreement.

Textiles


Share value erosion irks Century shareholders
THE issue of erosion in shareholder value caught up with Mr S.K. Birla once again at the annual general meeting of Century Textiles and Industries Ltd. Mr Birla was chairing the meeting in the absence of the company Chairman, Mr B.K. Birla.


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