Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Wednesday, October 31, 2001





12 weekly flights from India to Switzerland
SWISSAIR will operate a new winter timetable, offering 12 weekly flights from India to Switzerland.

AAI installs new surveillance system
THE Airports Authority of India (AAI) has put into operation the new ECIL, Hyderabad, developed Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS) system at the ATC system at Kolkata and Chennai airports.

Former Hyundai dealer to sell Marutis in Chennai
MARUTI Udyog Ltd has selected a former Hyundai dealer -- Bohra Hyundai -- in Chennai to replace Union Motors, whose dealership it recently suspended. Union Motors had 13 service locations in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, of which six were in Chennai.

Auto policy must spur car sales: Seshasayee
THE automobile policy, which has been 20 months in the making, is now on the verge of being announced by the Government, Mr R. Seshasayee, President of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), said here on Tuesday.

Small cars top emission survey
THREE small cars of three different manufacturers have made it to the top of the Centre for Science and Environment's (CSE) survey on environmental rating of passenger cars and multi-utility vehicles.

IT raids on GE Shipping, Ipca Labs
INCOME-TAX authorities today raided the premises of Great Eastern Shipping Company, Ipca Laboratories and RNA Builders.

AP leather body to implement European Commission project
THE European Commission with its Asia Invest Programme has selected LIDCAP -- Leather Industries Development Corporation of A.P. Ltd -- as the nodal agency for implementing the Business Priming Fund Project.

Carborundum Universal to sell Palakkad refractory unit
THE Chennai-based Carborundum Universal Ltd (CUMI) has informed the stock exchange of a board meeting on Wednesday, to ``consider a proposal to divest the electrocast refractories unit at Palakkad, Kerala''.

Govt intervention sought to resolve MCF stalemate
THE ongoing tussle, seemingly dormant for a while, between the management and workers of the UB group Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd (MCF), has now surfaced once again with the MCF Workers' Union seeking the intervention of the Karnataka Governm ent to resolve the stalemate between the union and the management.

Govt forms panel to study Trayons revival package
THE Kerala Government has constituted a high-power committee to study the Rs 2,025-crore revival package for the ailing Travancore Rayons Ltd (Trayons).

`Govt to review progress of fast track courts'
THE Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Mr Arun Jaitley, has expressed concern over the tardy progress of session-level fast track courts in the States and Union Territories.

ILO says reforms should help fight poverty
THE President of the Karnataka unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress, Mr N.M. Adyanthaya, who was in Geneva to chair a meeting of the ILO's sectoral activities programme, said that ILO would henceforth try to play a more proactive role in the changed scenario of the global economy, especially in the context of one-third of the world's population living on less that a dollar a day.

Financial Performance
Tata Steel Q2 net falls 76 pc -- We are passing through difficult times: MD
TATA Iron and Steel Co Ltd (Tata Steel) has reported a 76 per cent decrease in net profit at Rs 27.51 crore during the second quarter of 2001-2002 as compared to Rs 115.34 crore in the year-ago period.

Reliance Petro Q2 net up 10.48 pc
RELIANCE Petroleum Ltd (RPL) has recorded a 10.48 per cent increase in net profit for the second quarter ended September 30, 2001, at Rs 411 crore. The company had shown a net profit of Rs 372 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2000.

SBI net up 10.8 pc at Rs 644 cr in Q2
STATE Bank of India (SBI) has reported a 10.8 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 643.86 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2001 as compared to Rs 580.95 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

VSNL net climbs 6 pc
VIDESH Sanchar Nigam Ltd has recorded a 6 per cent rise in net profit but a 4.5 per cent decline in total income for the quarter ended September 30, 2001, compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

MTNL income up at Rs 1,621 cr
MAHANAGAR Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has registered a 14.5 per cent decline in net profit for the quarter ended September 2001 at Rs 382.34 crore as against Rs 447.42 crore in the corresponding period last year.

IA posts Rs 159-cr loss
INDIAN Airlines today reported a loss of Rs 159.17 crore for 2000-01.

Information Technology
Germany to ease visa regulations
IN a thumbs-up sign for increased Indo-German IT interaction, the visiting German Interior Minister, Mr Otto Schilly, has said his government is willing to widen and relax its green card norms for Indian professionals and visas for their families.

UK may invite more Indian IT companies
THE British Minister of State for e-commerce and Competitiveness, Mr Douglas Alexander, is expected to invite more Indian software firms to set up base in the UK, when he visits Bangalore on November 1.

Mutual Funds
`Convert UTI into AMC'
UNIT Trust of India (UTI) should restructure itself as a mutual fund conforming to Sebi regulations and convert into an asset management company (AMC). Before attempting to restructure UTI, the Unit Scheme-1964 (US-64) needs to be linked to net asset val ue (NAV).

AP Transco likely to resume purchase from Gridco soon
THE Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board (APSEB), which had stopped buying power from Grid Corporation of Orissa (Gridco) for the last 10 days on account of a tariff dispute, is expected to resume power purchases soon, power sector sources said.

TV rating agencies get together
THE controversy surrounding television viewership data appears to be clearing up with a combine involving research companies AC Nielsen-Kantar Media Research (KMR) and Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) together collating data from ORG-Marg to provide a single service across the country.

AP seeks more share in collections from small savings
THE Andhra Pradesh Government has demanded the Centre to increase the share in small savings collections to states in the form of loans to 90 per cent from the existing level of 80 per cent and also reduce the interest rates on the loans extended to the states.

TN IT Secy to retire
THE Tamil Nadu Information Technology Secretary, Mr D. Prakash, has sought voluntary retirement.

Sugarcane support price at Rs 62.05/quintal
THE Government has fixed the statutory minimum price (SMP) for the 2001-02 crushing season (October-September) sugarcane at Rs 62.05 per quintal linked to a basic recovery of 8.5 per cent with a premium of Rs 0.73 per quintal being payable for every 0.1 per cent increase in the recovery over the basic level.

Last date for filing of I-T returns extended
THE Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the due date for filing returns of income for the assessment year 2001-2002 up to November 30.

ICICI to expedite work on Knowledge Park module II
WITH encouraging response from various companies for the ICICI Knowledge Park at Turkapally near Hyderabad, the work on the Rs 10-crore module II of the project is planned to be taken up expeditiously.

Tech sops for select textile SSIs likely
THE Government is actively considering a proposal to include certain decentralised segments of the textile industry, that are reserved for the small-scale sector, in the list of select sectors to be eligible for an upfront 12 per cent capital subsidy on their technology upgradation investments.

Travel & Places
Chambers welcome formation of new tourism council
THE apex chambers of commerce and industry on Tuesday welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement of constituting a tourism advisory council at the Chief Ministers and State Tourism Ministers conference.

Bad publicity hits Kashmir tourism
THE Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr Farooq Abdullah, has drawn flak from environmentalists and others for giving Srinagar another golf course. While the environmentalists have seen red for the forests which had to be cleared for the sprawling 250-ac re golf course, others felt that the amount spent (over Rs 25 crore) could have gone to improve the State's infrastructure.

Centre to form tourism council -- PM urges States to follow suit
THE Government has decided to constitute a tourism advisory council at the national level and is keen that similar councils are set up in the States also, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, announced on Tuesday.

Govt yet to assess Sept 11 impact on tourism
THE Government is yet to assess the exact impact of the September 11 incidents in the US on the domestic tourism sector.

Kerala bid to promote tourism in South
THE Kerala Government is proposing to hold a meeting of the Chief Ministers and Tourism Ministers of all the Southern States to formulate a plan for tourism promotion in the south, the State Minister for Tourism, Prof K.V. Thomas, said.

US Embassy move to cut visa queues
THE US Embassy has announced that non-immigrant visa applicants can now make appointments for their visa interviews beginning November 1.

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