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

Thursday, September 06, 2001

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News

Advertising & Marketing
AC Nielsen, ORG-Marg not TRP-ed -- To revamp rating panels; MR agencies to track leaks
DESPITE an impending merger between AC Nielsen and ORG-Marg, the two research agencies have decided to go ahead and revamp the household panels for the TAM and INTAM rating systems respectively.

Agriculture
GoM for lifting export curbs on agri products
IN an effort to boost sagging agricultural exports, the Group of Ministers on Wednesday recommended lifting of all export restrictions on commodities -- rice, wheat, pulses, coarse grains and dairy products including butter.

Automobiles
No second thoughts on Maruti rights issue: Joshi
THE Heavy Industries Minister, Mr Manohar Joshi, on Wednesday said his ministry favoured the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment's (CCD) recommendation of a rights issue as the method to divest part of the Government's stake in Maruti Udyog Ltd. The state ment assumes significance in the light of recent reports that the Government may allow Suzuki Motor Corp to take majority stake in Maruti by issuing fresh shares in its favour.

`Indian auto cos must tie up with Chinese'
INDIAN auto component firms should form strategic alliances with Chinese companies so as not to be disadvantaged in competition with China's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) being imminent, automobile experts said here today.

Banking and Finance


IDBI's Vora eyes new pastures to trim NPAs -- Basket includes consumer goods, housing
MR Padmanabha P. Vora has drawn up a road-map to reposition Industrial Bank of India (IDBI) with priority being to bring down NPAs to below 10 per cent from the current 14 per cent.

StanChart Grindlays union may appeal against HC order
THE Chartered Grindlays Bank Employees' Association (CGBEA) is contemplating filing an appeal against the order of the Calcutta High Court making the injunction sought by the bank absolute.

Commodities
Gujarat halves ST on bullion
THE Gujarat Government, alarmed by the drastic revenue fall from the bullion industry which has made a bee-line for Jaipur starting April this year, has reduced the sales tax on bullion by 0.5 per cent.

Corporate
Gujarat Samachar not to sell back Voltas equity -- `15 pc stake next milestone'
THE Gujarat Samachar publication group under the Lok Prakashan Ltd (LPL) umbrella has set the acquisition of 15 per cent stake in Voltas Ltd as the next milestone. With the Voltas scrip hovering around the Rs 42 mark, LPL considers it a particularly chea p buy, considering the prospects the company holds in the current fiscal and thereafter.

SAT upholds SEBI order on BP interest
THE Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Wednesday upheld the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) order dated July 23, 2001 asking BP Plc and Castrol India to pay interest at 15 per cent per annum from August 8, 2000 to the shareholders of Ca strol India.

ITC mulls merger of ITC Bhadrachalam
ITC Ltd proposes to amalgamate its subsidiary ITC Bhadrachalam Paperboards Ltd with the company.

PTI, business2media pact
PRESS Trust of India and business2media have announced a strategic tie-up for press release distribution from corporations to the media. The tie-up with bring together PTI's news distribution network with business2media's own Internet-based distribution and other tie-ups.

Study outlines complexities in corporate restructuring
LACK of promoter resources and an enabling corporate restructuring milieu stymie the Indian companies' ability to conform to ``good corporate structure'' though most of them are clear in their understanding of what constitutes corporate governance.

HFCL defaults on interest payment to GTB
HIMACHAL Futuristics Communications Ltd (HFCL) is in default of quarterly interest payment of over Rs 7 crore that fell due in June 2001 on a Rs 200-crore loan taken from Global Trust Bank (GTB). A senior HFCL source, when contacted by Business Line admi tted that the payment schedule has not been met and that they were working out ways to honour the commitment.

Economy


Call for independent statistical authority
THE National Statistical Commission under the Chairmanship of the former RBI Governor, Dr C. Rangarajan, has proposed the creation of an independent statistical authority free from political interference with power to set priorities on core statistics to ensure quality standards.

PM's review meet on reforms spots trouble areas -- Consensus, implementation the watchwords
THE need for consensus-building across the political spectrum on key reform measures and speedy implementation of economic decisions were the crucial outcome of Tuesday's meeting held by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to review the economy.

Assocham hails move to speed up reforms
THE Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has hailed the decision of the Government to establish a Cabinet Committee on Economic Strategy to give further push to the second generation reforms.

Electronics
Meet soon on duty relief for electronic parts
THE Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, will shortly convene an inter-Ministerial meeting to sort out the wrangle over the proposal to grant complete customs duty waiver on a wide range of raw materials and capital equipment used in the manufacture of e lectronic components. The move is aimed at giving a fillip to the computer hardware industry.

Information Technology


Invest.UK beckons Indian co.s
INVEST.UK, the official UK investment promotion agency, is scouting for Indian investments in the UK, mainly from the infotech and biotech sectors.

Infrastructure
Bangalore airport: Siemens consortium gets more time
THE Siemens-L&T-Zurich Airport consortium has been granted time till September 30 to come back for the final round of negotiations on the new Bangalore international airport.

Insurance
Rs 1 cr capital base for third party administrators -- Multiple arrangements in insurance allowed
WHILE pegging the minimum capital requirement for Third Party Administrators (TPAs) at Rs 1 crore, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has decided to allow the insurance companies and the TPAs to enter into multiple arrangements amo ng themselves.

Petrochemicals
FIs agree to bail out HPL
A MEETING between the two promoters of the joint venture Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), the financial institutions and the lead bank -- State Bank of India -- ended here on a positive note, with the lenders agreeing to ``help out with the restructuring proposal of HPL,'' according to Mr Nirupam Sen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Government of West Bengal.

Pharmaceuticals
Get a taste of own medicine
INDIANS can soon experience the benefits of `personalised medicine' with `signature drugs' and `guided missiles' acting on an individual's ailments.

Power
Programme to expedite reforms in power
THE Government is working on a minimum programme to be adopted by all political parties to evolve consensus for accelerating power sector reforms in the country.

States
NTC introduces VRS in six units in TN, Pondicherry
AS a fore-runner to its total revamp, the National Textile Corporation's subsidiary in Tamil Nadu has come out with a voluntary retirement scheme for workers employed in six of its 15 textile units in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

Competitive bidding for Alind units likely
THE break-up of the ailing multi-division Aluminium Industries Ltd (Alind) into separate independent units appears inevitable as no viable proposal for the rehabilitation of the company as a whole is in sight.

AP extends deadline for ST settlement scheme
THE Andhra Pradesh Government has extended the deadline for the first phase of the sales tax dispute settlement scheme by one month to September 30 following a decision to this affect by the Cabinet.



Cafe Coffee opens outlet in Delhi
THE action in the coffee-cafe segment is hotting up here, with Cafe Coffee Day adding another venue for the coffee-connoisseur to visit, besides the currently popular Barista and Qwicky's outlets.

Taxation
Draft rules for valuation of perks -- Bouquets and brickbats for Tax Dept
SPARRING between tax experts on the complex income tax laws of the country at a public forum may be a common sight. But when it comes to the proposed new rules for valuation of perquisites given to employees, which when given effect to will put extra loa d on salaried taxpayers, the discussion turns interesting.

Telecommunications
BJP MP against waiver of Bharti dues
WITH the Government yet to take a final decision on the waiver of outstanding dues of the Bharti Group, the BJP Member of Parliament, Mr Dilip Singh Dev, has written to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, against any waiver.

Textiles
US cotton team coming
A ten-member cotton delegation from the US under the Cotton Council International (CCI) is visiting India this week which is expected to have interface with members of the Indian cotton community and textile industry.

Transport
Nitish open-minded on Rakesh Mohan report
THE Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, on Tuesday said that his Ministry had an ``open mind'' on the Rakesh Mohan Committee which has recommended radical reforms to push the Indian Railways (IR) on a high growth trajectory.


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