Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Friday, April 07, 2000





Banking and Finance
S.S. Kohli is new IBA chief
The Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB), Mr. S.S. Kohli, has been elected Chairman of Indian Banks' Association (IBA) for the current year.

Reddy's Labs to hike equity base
DR. REDDY'S Laboratories Ltd (DRL) has decided to raise its authorised share capital to Rs. 50 crores from the existing Rs. 30 crores, keeping in view the proposed issue of American Depository Shares.

ESOP generation in a bind
EMPLOYEES who have been offered stock options (ESOPs) by their companies are today a hassled lot. Life is not as rosy as one believes it to be for them.

LIC Housing disbursements up 36%, sanctions 34%
LIC Housing Finance Ltd has achieved a 36 per cent growth in disbursements and a 34.38 per cent in sanction over the preceding financial year, by recording Rs. 1,390.12 crores and Rs. 1,285.06 crores respectively in individual loan.

SEBI eases margin norms further
THE Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today introduced measures to further simplify and refine the existing margin system.

Cabinet move to ease curbs on coal mining
THE Union Cabinet has decided to amend the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 to enable non-captive mining and exploration of coal and lignite by Indian companies registered under The Companies Act, 1956.

No capital gains tax here on FIIs from Mauritius -- Past cases not to be reopened, says Govt
THE Government today sought to put an end to the controversy over tax breaks to FIIs registered in Mauritius by stating that the capital gains earned by an investor from Mauritius would be taxable only in Mauritius.

Foreign Trade
QRs as safeguard if required: Govt -- Cabinet nod for law change
THE Union Cabinet today cleared the proposal to seek Parliamentary approval for amending the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act 1992 vesting the necessary powers with the Central Government to impose quantitative restrictions (QRs) as a safeg uard measure.

Information Technology
`Patent protection for IT necessary'
THE IT industry needs to be covered fully in the Patents Bill. As of now, Section 3(k) of the Draft Patents Bill excludes algorithms, computer programs and business methods from patent protection.

Indiainfo buys online music site today announced its plans to acquire online music site `' in a cash and stock deal. The company did not divulge any financial details pertaining to the acquisition.

New secretaries
NEW DELHI: The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mr. C.T. Benjamin, IAS, as Secretary, National Commission of Backward Classes, and Mr. S. Bandopadhyay, IAS, as Secretary, National Commission for Minorities. _ Our Bur eau

Where law and legislative moves differ
THE Finance Bill, before it is ensconced into the Act after being passed by both houses of Parliament, lays down the law in finality and the Notes on the various new clauses provide the much required insight.

National board for medicinal plants to be set up
IN a bid to provide a level-playing field for indigenous systems, the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, announced that his government will set up a National Board of Medicinal Plants by June 1.

Okay for NH-5 AP project
THE Union Cabinet has approved the Eluru-Vijayawada highway project on NH-5 in Andhra Pradesh at a revised cost of Rs. 335.35 crores.

Orissa `offers potential for making investments'
WITH its focus on infrastructure-building and a new Government in the State firmly in charge, Orissa's potential in attracting investment is waiting to be adequately tapped, according to Mr. Sahadev Sahoo, Chairman of Industrial Promotion & Investment Co rporation of India Ltd (IPICOL).

In Kerala, return migration gathers speed
MIGRATION in large numbers, long considered an unconventional developmental concept in Kerala parlance and the most productive `industry' engaging nearly two million people in direct employment and supporting seven to eight million of their family member s in the State, is facing a crisis.

Assam seeks extension of RBI overdraft limit
THE Assam Government has requested the Centre to extend the RBI overdraft limit from the present 10 days to 14 days and also to increase the monthly ways and means advance limit from Rs. 114 crores to Rs. 342 crores.

DuPont: Legal tangle unresolved yet
NEARLY a month after DuPont Fibers Ltd (DFL) announced the transfer of management of its Gummidipoondi facility to SRF Ltd, legal cases questioning the sale still remain unresolved.

Accessing CAD/CAM facilities -- Baluchari saree weavers to get Nabard aid
BALUCHARI sarees will not be the same again, thanks to attempts made by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in funding CAD/CAM facilities for weavers of the famous sarees.

Haldia buzzing with activity
HALDIA, which has now become the focal point of industrial activity in West Bengal and where two major projects involving Rs. 6,800 crores have recently come up, is witnessing implementation of more projects with an investment of over Rs. 1,200 crores.

Power, subsidy rice to cost more in AP
THE Andhra Pradesh Cabinet has approved the proposal of AP Transmission Corporation Ltd for a power tariff hike which the latter is expected to submit to the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission for its decision.

Steel: No extension of excise duty assessment
THE Finance Ministry has ruled out the possibility of extending the basis of excise duty assessment currently available for steel delivered by integrated steel plants to other excisable goods.

Sensex swings up
SHARE prices went on a roller-coaster ride and ended the day with substantial gains on BSE and NSE on Thursday.

Use of LPG as auto fuel cleared
THE Union Cabinet has decided to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to allow the use of LPG as a auto fuel alongwith permission for alteration in the motor vehicles to facilitate this.

Cabinet clears highways project, road fund
THE Union Cabinet has granted an in-principle approval to the four/six-laning of the 13,245-km-long National Highways Development Project (NHDP) at an estimated cost of Rs. 54,000 crores.

Travel & Places
Puri `integrated' tourism
INDUSTRIAL Development Corporation of Orissa (IDCO) is looking for a partner to jointly develop an ``integrated concept'' in a dedicated ``special tourism area'' located south of Puri. Land for the proposed project, spread across 3,200 acres, has already been acquired at a cost of nearly Rs. 100 crores, according to Mr. Asit Tripathy, Managing Director of IDCO.

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