Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Thursday, November 23, 2000





Mating time
MORNINGS are colder these days, and for early walkers like me the roads are more dangerous than ever with the canines ganging in twos and threes. But, greater peril awaited me today when I took refuge in a house fearing attack by noisy dogs that jumped f rom behind the bushes in a dark street.

ABC: too much activity, not enough costing?
ACTIVITY-based costing (ABC) hit the world of financial management with a very large bang in the late 1980s. Within a few years, 20 per cent of the UK's largest companies were using, or at least piloting, ABC systems. By the turn of the millennium, howev er, the proportion of adopters was no higher, while a third of those adopting the technique earlier actually abandoned it. Only one-third of those companies considering the use of ABC in 1994 actually adopted the system by 2000.

Short-term solutions spell disaster
Quick-fix solutions and not making provisions for unforeseen circumstances can cost a company dearly and substantially erode investor confidence, says R. Srinivasan.

Towards a win-win partnership
IT IS not necessary to load this article with statistics to make the well-known point that the US is the one country on whose economic might and inherent generosity India has drawn the most ever since its Independence. There are plenty of data on trade, business, commerce, financial flows, emergency aid, the history of technical collaborations, scientific and technological exchanges, and the number of Indian students joining the US universities to prove the natural attraction of both countries for each other.

Belated hike
AFTER SEVERAL WEEKS of vacillation and uncertainty leading to market distortion and free run for speculators, the Government has revised upward the rates of Customs duty on vegetable oil imports.

Information Technology
Engineering industry: IT has a whole lot of things
THE FINANCE Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, was rather forthright and refused the industry's plea to reduce the taxes `for the next few years'. But, interestingly, he had a piece of advice to the industrialists on how to function in the liberalised era. He urged them to use information technology to enhance productivity so as to compete not only with the West but also with China and other economies of the Far-East.

Women in media: Unglamorous story
MANY of us in the media, who are out to reform the world, often forget to look within ourselves, examine our working conditions and consider how the sword we brandish against social ills could be used to clean up some of the mess within our own professio n.

Will thou start a dotcom?
THESE days, if you really want to curse someone, you ought to say: ``Thou shalt start a dotcom''. Harsh words, coming from Mr Vijay Mukhi, India's best-known Internet guru, the man who even got married on the Net -- but at the rate at which d otcoms are dying, he has a point. Six months ago, Mr Mukhi adds, if a dotcom died, it made news in the American press; these days, it makes news if none of them die! Mr Mukhi, who was on one of CNN's newest shows, CNNindiadotcom, is fortun ately, not entirely pessimistic about the way the Net will go. ``The Net is going to be bigger and bigger. It is just that the players will change,'' he says.

Salty sessions
IN THESE days of multi-party governance at the Centre, it is rarely that the genuine problems of the people get the riveted attention of the Members of Parliament. Each party is immersed in its own agenda or politicking, leaving little time for highlight ing the health issues of the common man.

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