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Saturday, July 21, 2001

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L&T expects MRTPC to drop cases

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, July 20

THE three cases filed against Larsen & Toubro Ltd under the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices Act (MRTPA) may most likely get dropped as there is no case on grounds of consumer exploitation, said Mr S.S. Marathe, Director, who presided over the co mpany's annual general meeting here today said.

Answering questions raised by shareholders, he said three cases have been filed against the company by the Government, builders and consumers, accusing the company of cartelisation and price fixing.

``Cost of cement manufacturing has gone up since 1991 when an ICICI study had stated that the price of cement manufacturing is not remunerative for growth. But the product prices did not move up in the same proportion,'' Mr Marathe said.

Mr Marathe also said that the company had no buyback plans for the near future.

``At this stage it is important that the company have a strong debt-equity ratio. Although the company's debt-equity ratio has eroded over the last few years, at this stage it is important that we have a strong equity backing. So there will be no plans o f a buyback,'' he said.

Mr Marathe also dismissed the possibility of an ADR issue.

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