Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Friday, August 03, 2001





No word from DoD on new norms for IA sale: Yadav
THE Ministry of Civil Aviation has still not received any official intimation from the Department of Disinvestment (DoD) on the issue of amending the guidelines for sale of Indian Airlines, the Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Sharad Yadav, has said.

Banking and Finance
SBI may make up for IDBI's shortfall in IFCI bail-out
IN a sub-plot within the IFCI bail-out plan, State Bank of India (SBI) may be roped in to fill in the shortfall that would be created on account of allowing Industrial Development Bank of India's (IDBI) to limit its capital contribution to a lower amount than its original share on the basis of a pro-rata calculation of the existing institutional shareholding.

Star acquires Indya, buys out strategic investors
MR Rupert Murdoch's Star today announced acquisition of near total stake in It previously held 37 per cent stake in the dotcom, which was founded in April 2000 by Mr Pradeep Kar of the Microland Group.

Kidnapped Khadim director returns
MR Partha Roy Burman, the 44-year-old director of the Khadim group, returned home on Thursday after nine days in captivity.

PMS acquires Agilent group
PHILIPS Medical Systems (PMS) India Ltd, a subsidiary of Philips Medical Systems International B.V., has acquired the healthcare solutions group of Agilent Technologies India Pvt Ltd.

`EPF money should not be invested in equities'
TAKING a cue from the redemption crisis faced by the US-64 scheme, the National Confederation of Officers' Associations of Central Public Sector Undertakings (NCOA) has warned against the deployment of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) monies in equity and other `speculative' avenues.

Bill to amend TUs Act okayed
THE Rajya Sabha today passed a Bill to amend the Trade Unions Act, 1926, to reduce multiplicity of labour unions and making them representative by putting restrictions on the number of `outside' office-bearers.

Food & Dairy Products
Will Amul's pizzas trigger a price war?
WILL the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd's (GCMMF) decision to introduce pizzas at Rs 20, as against entrenched names such as Pizza Hut and Domino's -- whose offerings begin at nothing less than Rs 59 -- trigger off a price war?

Foreign Trade
9.87 pc drop in exports of handicrafts
EXPORTS of handicrafts from the country decreased by 9.87 per cent in dollar terms during April-June 2001 to touch $293.08 million as against $325.19 million recorded in the same period during the previous year.

Dumping probe on thermal sensitive paper from China
THE Designated Authority in the Commerce Ministry has initiated anti-dumping investigations on alleged dumping of thermal sensitive paper (TSP) from China.

Information Technology
Satyam Infoway hopes to achieve cash break-even by year end
SATYAM Infoway Ltd, the country's largest private Internet Service Provider (ISP) with over half a million subscribers, is bullish on the business opportunities and expects to achieve cash break-even by the year-end.

PSUs, pvt cos keen to enter inland water transport
PUBLIC sector companies such as NTPC, CONCOR, Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, Oil Coordination Committee (OCC), Jute Corporation of India and private players including Hindustan Lever Ltd, Oswal Group of Companies and Indo-Gulf Fertilisers have shown interest i n entering the inland water transport (IWT) sector following a policy package formulated by the Union Government recently.

Mutual Funds
Judge's restraint on reporting UTI case
THE CBI Special Judge, Mr S.R. Mehra, who is hearing the UTI case, today restrained journalists from reporting the proceedings in the courtroom except for what is contained in the certified order of the court. Mr Mehra also banned carrying of mobile phon es and shorthand notebooks in the courtroom.

We were kept in the dark: Sinha
THE former Chairman of the Unit Trust of India, Mr P.S. Subramanyam, was told to quit by the Government because of administrative failure while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) proceeded against him on the basis of the criminality of his actions , the Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, has said.

Adjournment motion on UTI muddle defeated
THE controversial private placement of shares and debentures of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) with the Unit Trust of India in 1994 figured prominently in today's debate in Parliament, with the former Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, seeking a thoro ugh probe into the deal, which then aggregated over Rs 1,000 crore.

No rush yet for unit redemptions
THERE is no panic rush on Unit Trust of India's Unit Scheme-1964 (US-64) redemptions. On the second day after UTI reopened the repurchase window after two months, the number of redemption requests received were ``more or less in line with'' what were rec eived on August 1, senior UTI officials said.

Divestment panel to be sounding board for Govt
THE reconstituted Divestment Commission, headed by Dr R. H. Patil, will be made a sounding board for the Government to seek professional advice on all issues concerning sell-off apart from referring new PSUs to it for recommendation.

3-year lock-in period for CMC divestment
THE Government has proposed a three-year lock-in period for the strategic partner who would acquire a 51 per cent stake in IT major, CMC Ltd, through the disinvestment process.

Provide documents to Prayas, MSEB told
THE Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) today ordered the State electricity board (MSEB) to make available all documents sought by Prayas, an NGO and consumers' representative.

MSEB allowed to pass on fuel costs to consumers
THE Maharashtra State Electricity Board has been allowed to pass on its fuel and other costs to consumers, by an order of the State Electricity Commission. This could mean a 10 per cent increase in per unit tariffs, senior board officials said.

Centre `committed' to resolving Dabhol tangle
RESOLUTION of the dispute raised by the Dabhol Power Company (DPC) is the responsibility of the State Government and the Centre is fully committed to facilitating an early resolution of the issues raised by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) and DPC, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.

TN to fill up vacancies in TNSERC
THE Tamil Nadu Government has set in motion the process of filling up the vacancies in the Tamil Nadu State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNSERC). The posts of chairman and a member have to be filled up.

Kerala hikes power tariff by 25 pc
THE Kerala Government has announced a 25 per cent hike in power tariff across the board which will bring in an additional annual revenue of Rs 600 crore to the cash-strapped Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

KVCF to be launched on Aug 12
THE Kerala Venture Capital Fund (KVCF) will be officially inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Mr A.K. Antony, on August 12 here.

AP to seek Rs 850 cr from Centre to tackle drought
FOLLOWING continuous dry spell causing alarm for the State administration and the farm sector, the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided `in-principle' to declare 22 districts as drought affected and seek a Rs 850-crore assistance from the Central Govern ment to tackle the crisis.

Death of packaging company executive -- Bengal industry seeks more protection
THE death of Subir Dutta, an executive of a city-based packaging company, Antartica Ltd, three days after being beaten up by a retrenched worker, has created a furore in West Bengal industrial circles.

`Probe on MRPL dues to local bodies in Karnataka'
MANGALORE: Even as the Aditya Birla group is in the process of offloading its stake in Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), the question of the `dues' owed by the company to various local bodies is in the news once again.

SEBI to set up group on derivatives
IN its bid to encourage higher volumes and liquidity on the derivatives market, the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to set up an advisory group to consider the issues concerning the growth, development and regulation of the deriva tives markets.

Brokers seek early demutualisation
THE newly-formed association of stock brokers, Securities Industry Association of India (SIA), has begun its nationwide campaign and called for urgent demutualisation of the stock exchanges.

Fine-tune rules on perks valuation: CII
THE draft valuation rules for perquisites need to be fine-tuned before it is finalised, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has said.

Vision document on ocean potential being drawn up
THE Department of Ocean Development (DoD) has embarked on creating a `Vision' document for the optimal utilisation of the oceans surrounding India for national development.

Take decision on WLL soon, HC tells tribunal
THE controversy on limited mobility based on WLL may well be resolved soon with the Madras High Court today asking the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to come to a decision soon.

Kolkata cell-phone players hope to double user base
LEADING cell-phone service providers here are hopeful that the market would double from around 160,000 cell-phone users over the next one year.

Granting of fourth cellular licences -- DoT studying Bharti offer on guarantees for dues
THE Department of Telecommunication (DoT) is yet to take a decision on holding back the fourth cellular licences from Bharti Enterprises in view of pending dues.

Cell cos deposit 20 pc bid amount
ALL the five successful bidders for the fourth cellular licences - Bharti, Reliance, Escorts, Essar-Hutchison (Barakhamba Sales & Services Ltd.) and Batata - have deposited 20 per cent of their bid amounts totalling Rs 326.71 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

`BSNL cell service may be cheapest'
BHARAT Sanchar Nigam Ltd's (BSNL) proposed cellular service is expected to be cheaper than the market competition. An indication to this effect was given here on Wednesday by Mr S.P. Chakraborty, Chief General Manager of BSNL (West Bengal Telecom Circle) .

`Textile sector must focus on quality'
QUALITY, customer satisfaction and competitiveness are some of the key issues that textile manufacturers should address, Mr B.C.Khatua, Textile Commissioner, has said.

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