has always followed all laws and norms
DELHI, Aug 5: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has dismissed
allegations of any wrong doing in its 'transactions" in
the Oil-for-Food programme and stated that the Government was
informed at every stage of their trade and other transactions
with foreign countries.
a statement on Saturday, the compnay said "our attention
has been drawn to certain references made about Reliance Industries
Limited in connection with the UN Oil for Food Programme in
Iraq. RIL has always followed national and international laws
and norms in all its dealings. The Government of India and its
various departments have always been kept informed at every
stage of our trade and other transactions with foreign countries
as required under the rules and regulations."
statement comes after CPI (M) leader Prakash Karat, demanded
a separate probe into RIL's transaction with Iraq under the
programme, since the company's name featured as a non-contractual
beneficiary in the Volcker report alongside Congress Party and
Natwar Singh. The Government had earlier instituted the Pathak
Inquiry Authority under Retd. Justice RS Pathak, but the terms
of reference were only limited to Natwar Singh's and Congress
Mahindra IPO subscribed over 70 times, GMR 6.5 times
Aug 4: Initial public offerings seem to have come back in the
vogue with the huge oversubcriptions witnessed by two public
issues -- Tech Mahindra and GMR Infrastructure -- which closed
IPO of Tech Mahindra Ltd, an IT solutions joint venture between
Mahindra and Mahindra and British Telecom, was oversubscribed
by more than 70 times, while the public issue of Hyderabad-based
infrastructure major GMR was oversubcribed by nearly 6.5 times.
the issues received significant oversubcriptions from the institutional
investors, while response from retail investors were relatively
huge oversubcriptions for the two IPOs, particularly the Tech
Mahindra issue, comes on the back of a lacklustre response to
most of the IPOs that hit the capital market after a successful
IPO of Reliance Petroleum Ltd in April.
IPO was oversubcribed by more than 51.2 times and the issue
price was fixed at Rs 60 per share near the top end of its price
band of Rs 57-62 per share.
the stock market had witnessed a sharp downslide after hitting
a life-time high of 12,671.11 on May 11, the same day when RPL
was listed on the bourses.
had fixed its IPO price band at Rs 210 to Rs 250 per share,
while that of Tech Mahindra was fixed at Rs 315-365 per The
bids recieved for both the issues were evenly distributed across
the entire price bands of the two IPOs.
Mahindra IPO, which had opened on August 1, recieved total bids
for more than 89 crore shares as against its issue size of 1,27,46,000
public issue of GMR Infrastructure, recieved total bids for
nearly 25 crore shares, as against its issue size of 3,81,36,980
shares. GMR issue had opened on July 31.
IPOs have received robust response from the Qualified Institutional
Buyers (QIBs), particularly the foreign investors.
the response from retail investors had been lacklustre at the
beginning of the public offer, the interest gained some support
towards the closure of the issues while tracking the robust
trend shown by the institutional investors, the investment banking
plans raise about Rs 950 crore from the IPO of 38,136,980 equity
shares of Rs 10 each through 100 per cent book building process,
while Tech Mahindra plans to raise over Rs 465 crore through
the public issue of 1,27,46,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each.
GMR IPO was oversubscribed by nearly 1.6 times on its first
day itself. However, the company lagged behind Tech Mahindra
in terms of oversubcriptions when its issue opened for public
subcription on August 1.
pre-IPO placements, GMR Infrastructure has placed 2.89 per cent
of the post issue equity with ICICI Venture for Rs 250 crore,
1.11 per cent with Citigroup Venture Capital for Rs 99.17 crore,
0.75 per cent of its equity with George Soros promoted Quantum
Fund for Rs.67.25 crore and 0.30 per cent with Punjab National
Bank for Rs. 27 crore.
Citigroup, Quantum and PNB had picked the stake at Rs 270 per
share, ICICI Venture had bought its shares at Rs 261 per share.
Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (IDFC), which
had also invested in the Company will hold 3.55 per cent of
the post issue capital.
Infrastructure plans to use part of the IPO proceeds for investment
in various infrastructure Special Purpose Vehicles, which are
currently in the development stage. JM Morgan Stanley Private
Limited, DSP Merrill Lynch Limited, Enam Financial Consultants
Private Limited and SSKI Corporate Finance Private Limited are
the BRLMs for the issue.
Mahindra, formerly known as Mahindra-British Telecom, was set
up as a joint venture between M&M and UK-based British Telecommunication
intends to use the IPO proceeds partly for expansion of its
existing facilities at Pune and enhancing its delivery infrastructure.
The company's clients include global majors like BT, Alcatel,
AT&T, Motorola and Nortel.
RIL petrol dealers sign new pact
By Deepak Arora
DELHI, Aug 3: About 750 of the 850 fuel retail dealers of Reliance
Industries have signed a new concession agreement with the company,
ending a protest they had planned today on loss of business
due to selling petrol and diesel at a higher price than public
concession agreement to the channel partners includes waiving
off network usage charges and substantial increase in diesel
margins. Further, the company has agreed to bear the cost of
interest on loans for three months and has even negotiated with
banks to re-schedule dealers' loan repayments.
RIL, which priced petrol and diesel at Rs 2.50 per litre higher
than public sector firms, has seen diesel sales plummet about
70 per cent in June and July leading to fall in market share
to under two per cent from highs of 14 per cent.
Besides enhancing margins by 70-100 per cent, it has also agreed
to consider converting pumps into company-owned outlets on a
case-to-case basis and would in future set up only company-owned
outlets, industry sources said.
Over the past three years, RIL has set up a nationwide extensive
petrol pump network with over 1,250 retail outlets. Out of these,
RIL owns and operates more than 400 outlets.
The RIL has said that level playing field in the petroleum retailing
sector is essential for the well-being of private sector marketing
companies and their dealers.
The Government provides subsidies to public sector petroleum
retail companies. As per estimates, the Government provides
Rs. 5.77 per litre of Subsidy for Diesel sold through outlets
of PSU oil companies.
The private sector oil companies have been kept out of the ambit
of the Government sponsored survival package.
Partially, to part compensate the losses thus incurred due to
absence of a level playing field, Reliance Industries Limited
(RIL) increased the price of diesel by Rs. 2.50 per litre over
the rates offered by PSU, who enjoy subsidy benefits. This has
caused hardships to consumers and dealers.
this differential in price, RIL is incurring substantial losses
in retail marketing. Further, this in turn has affected the
operations and consequent revenues of RIL dealers.
RIL empathizes with its channel partners' and considers their
well being of utmost importance and is doing everything possible
to ensure their well being. Even as a long-term solution to
create a level playing field in the petroleum marketing sector
is awaited, RIL has taken adequate steps to ensure short term
relief for its channel partners.
Over 750 dealers, representing in excess of 90 per cent of Reliance
Industries' petroleum retail dealers have already reaffirmed
their faith and commitment in the approach taken by RIL and
have expressed their support to work with the company in a constructive
and collaborative manner.
Only a select few dealers and their representatives today chose
to adopt a confrontationist approach. RIL representatives met
these dealers and explained that the root cause of the problem
was the lack of level playing field and that RIL is doing everything
possible to find a long-term solution to the problem. These
select few dealers subsequently called-off their protest.
RIL is fully cognizant of the concerns of the dealers and will
continue to ensure their well being.
Reliance Retail inks MoU with Punjab govt for agri project
Aug 1: Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Retail has signed an
agreement with Punjab government for its agricultural and retail
projects entailing an initial investment of Rs 500 crore. The
Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of the
Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, by
G S Cheema, Financial Commissioner of Punjab, and Dr A Shanker,
President, Corporate Affairs, RIL.
signing the MoU, the company would start the process of preparing
feasibility studies for setting up infrastructure, cold storage,
logistics and signing agreements with farmers. State government
officials said that they were expecting to see tangible progress
in the project by the end of this fiscal.
on the occasion, Bhattal said Reliance will invest Rs 500 crore
initially to set up rural hubs for procurement of vegetables,
fruits, pulses and other farm produces. "These will be
supplied to marketing chains in India and abroad," she
said, adding the project would help improve the condition of
Finance Minister Surinder Singla said with Reliance coming to
set up agri-chain, farmers will gain significantly. The income
levels of farmers are estimated to go up from Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000
per acre to Rs 1 lakh per acre. "This will bring the second
green revolution in Punjab," he added.
a series of projects from Reliance in the retail venture, Dr
Shanker said the company would set up world- class supply chains
that would not only generate additional value for farmers but
would also create more employment opportunities in both rural
and urban Punjab.
Akali Dal for opposing the project, Bhattal said depsite claiming
to be the champions of farmers' cause, Akalis had themselves
failed to take any concrete steps during their tenure to imporve
their conditions. They are now opposing the project just for
the sake of opposition, while ignoring the benefits that would
accrue to the state's agriculture sector as also for its overall
development, she added.
the opposition's charge that the government had given land to
Reliance at throw-away prices, Bhattal said it was important
to invite the industry and give some concessions to improve
the condition of farmers. She said Reliance's project was a
part of the state's initiative to help diversify the agriculture
asked whether Punjab government has put any conditions for giving
concessions, she said the land given to Reliance cannot be put
to any other use other than agriculture. The state government
has also kept 10 per cent of land in all focal areas so that
when market prices go up the government has the option of selling
it at a higher price.
part of the project, RIL would undertake to complete the roll
out by 2012 in Punjab, envisaging forward linkages to encourage
demand driven farm production and setting up of captive farms,
organic farms, greenhouses along with development of infrastructure
for supply chain.
MoU with Punjab follows an agreement reached by it in June for
setting up a Rs 25,000 crore SEZ in Haryana.
converts Phulpur unit from Naphtha to Gas-based
DELHI, July 17: Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO)
has switched its Phulpur unit, in Uttar Pradesh, from Naphtha
to Gas which would help save around Rs 1,000 crore annually
in subsidy provided by the government.
in 1981 and expanded in 1997, the Phulpur unit produces 1.42
million tonnes (MT) Urea annually.
IFFCO Managing Director, Dr U S Awasthi, said by pursuing the
government policy to encourage conversion of Naphtha-based Urea
manufacturing units to Gas based-unit, IFFCO took the lead to
enter into an agreement with GAIL in August 2004 for supply
of re-gasified LNG to Phulpur unit.
has laid a dedicated 139 km long Spurline to connect Phulpur
to HBJ Pipeline.
Awasthi said ''necessary modifications were carried out by IFFCO
in the main plants as well as Service Boilers for change over
of Feed/ Fuel from Naphtha/Fuel Oil to LNG. The change over
has been successfully implemented in both the plants in the
first week of July 2006."
further said that the switch over from Naphtha to LNG would
entail substantial subsidy savings of more than Rs 1000 crore
annually to the government keeping in view the prevalent price
differential in Naphtha/FO and re-gasified LNG.
the next big thing in Reliance's future strategy
June 27: While addressing the Annual General Meeting of the
company in Mumbai, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani
has said organised retailing will be the "next big idea"
in the companies' future plans.
retail will have a profound impact and it will be a path breaking
initiative to touch the lives of rural people, who are yet to
be touched by the economic development that the country is witnessing,
the company's progress during the past year, Ambani said the
demerger of Reliance unlocked tremendous value for the shareholders
to the tune of Rs 46,000 crore. This was unmatched in the history
of corporate India, he said.
Before the demerger of Reliance Industries Ltd into four new
companies, which have now been transferred to younger brother
Anil Ambani, the share price of RIL was hovering at about Rs
650 per share.
Now, the combined value of RIL's share and those of the four
companies is at around Rs 1,300 per share, he said.
"RIL shareholders have seen a return of 100 percent during
the past one year as against 40 percent in the BSE Sensex,"
he said. Recalling his announcement two years ago that RIL had
become the first company to post one billion dollar profit,
he said the company has now doubled the net profit to USD 2.03
billion this year.
Turnover has jumped 58 percent to Rs 89,124 crore, he said,
adding this included exports of Rs 32,691 crore.
Exports now contribute 37 percent of the company's turnover,
he said, adding that this was 8.2 percent of India's total exports.
"Contrast this, with five years ago when exports were only
13 percent of the turnover," he said. On petro retail,
he said Reliance had set up 1,218 retail outlets in just two
years and would be strengthening and consolidating its position
the company's petrochemicals business, Ambani said a further
900,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene capacity would be added
at the new export-oriented refinery of Reliance Petroleum Ltd
"Reliance would then become the fourth largest producer
of polypropylene in the world," he said.
In April this year, Reliance expanded the capacity of the poly
propylene plant at Jamnagar by 280,000 tonnes. Reliance is building
the next generation polyester
business, which would provide solutions to not just textiles,
but also to packaging, paper, and construction industries.
The company will also make investments in research and development,
particularly in technical fibres.
Haryana SEZ pact signed
June 19: Reliance and Haryana on Monday signed an agreement
for the largest multi-product special economic zone (SEZ) in
the State which would attract Fortune 500 companies and investment
of over Rs 100,000 crore and create five lakh jobs.
HSIIDC Managing Director, Mr Rajiv Arora and the Reliance Ventures
Ltd (RVL) Director, Mr Anand Jain, inked the agreement on Monday
in the presence of the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda
and the RIL Chairman, Mr Mukesh Ambani.
after signing of the agreement, the Reliance Industries Ltd
Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Mukesh Ambani, committed
Rs 25,000 crore for the project, spread over 25,000 acres, in
the next five to 10 years. Overall investments may be in the
vicinity of Rs. 40,000 crore. RIL and its group companies will
hold 90 per cent equity in Reliance Haryana SEZ Ltd, while Haryana
State Industrial and Infrastructure Corporation Ltd HSIIDC will
have the remaining.
Ambani said "the project is a first step towards public-private
partnership which would help make India a top economic power."
The RIL Chairman said the project would include a 2,000 MW captive
power project and a cargo airport, subject to government approval.
his commitment to Haryana, he said, "The SEZ would create
opportunity for the whole of north India. We would leverage
our strengths in infrastructure creation to create a world class
infrastructure." This will be first major investment by
RIL outside the western India.
Ambani was confident of wooing top Fortune 500 global companies
to utilize their expertise in job creation and emerging global
technologies in life sciences and nanotechnology. "Our
objective is to create a world class infrastructure so that
the young generation could enjoy the fruits of globalization,"
said it was essential for India to have a global level infrastructure.
"The public-private partnership to build world class infrastructure
is essential to compete with established SEZs in China, Dubai,
Malaysia and Indonesia. Global capital will come only with a
world class infrastructure," he observed.
Ambani said the joint venture will have highest standards of
transparency and equity. The emergence of global infrastructure
close to Delhi would enable the joint venture partners to woo
other entrepreneurs, he added.
Haryana Chief Minister said the key parameter for entering the
SEZ joint venture was to create jobs for the youth. He was hopeful
that the establishment of SEZs would result in doubling of per
capita income in next five years. "We are confident of
creating 5 lakh jobs from this SEZ in next 10 years. Youth will
be provided vocational and industrial training," Mr Hooda
focus of the SEZ is on developing non-polluting or low polluting
medium and large industries as well as export houses. Apart
from this, software development centres, hospitality and educational
institutions would be set up.
aids of Mukesh Ambani, Dr Anand Jain and Dr Shanker Adval, negotiated
the finer details of the agreement with Haryana officials before
it was formalized today.
spirit of pioneering
DELHI, June 4: Besides being one of the most successful businessmen
of the country, Dr K K Jajodia is a philanthropic at heart.
He is renowned for his charitable deeds - be it working for
welfare of physically challenged, educating poor children, protecting
wild life or promoting HIV/ AIDS campaigns. His love for his
country India is unbound.
Jajodia's business interests include tea, oil and natural gas
and e-commerce. He is Group Chairman of London and India-based
Duncan McNeill Group and Chairman of Assam Company Ltd, the
first tea company in the world established in 1839.
Company, the flagship company of Duncan Macneill Group, was
established on February 12, 1839 by a Deed of British Parliament
and was the first tea plantation company in the world. Queen
Victoria awarded a Royal Charter to the company in 1845. Prince
Dwarkanath Tagore (uncle of Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate)
and Motilal Seal were amongst its Founder Directors. The company
now owns 15 factories and 58 tea estates including out-gardens.
Jajodia is an active member of WWF, 1001 Club; Vice Chairman,
Rhino Foundation (Assam); and Patron of the Thare-Machi - Starfish
Initiative, a HIV/ AIDS awareness campaign in underdeveloped
countries. He is also President, International Goodwill Society
of India (IGSI), New Delhi, which is founded by Justice Dr Nagendra
Singh, president of the International Courts of Justice, The
Hague; and Chairman of the KK Jajodia Foundation which manages
two schools in Delhi.
is also Director (International Affairs) of Art of Living (AOL)
Foundation, which is the biggest non-governmental organization
(NGO) in the world. It is spread over 140 countries. His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the founder of AOL Foundation.
Foundation recently celebrated its silver jubilee in Bangalore
where the largest and biggest-ever human gathering of over 15
million prayed and meditated for world peace under the guidance
of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The event also saw
the largest-ever gathering of foreign delegates ranging from
Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers, and Ambassadors
to citizens thanks to the tireless efforts of the organizers
including Dr Jajodia.
Jajodia's love for India is unbound. To promote country's interests
he has held important positions of Chairman or President of
important international business organizations like Indo-Canadian
Joint Business Council, Indo-Korea Joint Business Council, Indo-Columbian
Joint Business Council, and Commission on Biosociety - International
Chamber of Commerce with headquarter in Paris.
has been member of Indian delegations to the US, the UK, France,
Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
promote India, he has hosted and sponsored events for world
leaders and dignitaries. During this course, he has rubbed shoulders
with the UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan; till recently
US Treasury Secretary John Snow, former Italian prime minister
Giuliano Amato; the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip; Prince
Charles; the then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi; Singapore
prime minister Gob Chock Tong; the then Indian President Dr
S D Sharma; the UPA Chairperson, Mrs Sonia Gandhi; Mrs Hillary
Clinton; and Dr Henry Kissinger.
spiritual at heart, he has been lucky to receive blessings from
among others Sri Sri Ravi Shakar, Sai Baba, Shankracharyas,
and Mother Teresa.
Jajodia's foundation acquired the only bronze head of Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru, sculptured during Nehru's lifetime by Ms Fedda
Brilliant, and donated it to Trinity College, Cambridge. Dr
Jajodia has also donated the "Nehru Scholarship" in
the perpetuity to Trinity College, Cambridge.
Jajodia's Trusts have made valuable contributions for the renovation
of temples and ancient culture centers in India.
He completed his Bachelor of Commerce (B. Com.) Honours from
University of Bombay, where he ranked first in college and second
in University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy
and Senior Fellowship from Dr Nagendra Singh Institute of Vocational
Studies, Roorkee, India.
Jajodia is married to Anjali Devi and have one son Aditya and
two daughters, Nisha Kanoi and Shalini Jalan.
Power Brand Night' -- Honouring the Soaring Success
DELHI, June 4: It was a stupefying and nostalgic Thursday evening
to honour the 4Ps brands of India. The Capitol at the Ashok
Hotel rocked from the world go. The momentous event was organised
by 4Ps Business and Marketing, India's fastest growing business
and marketing magazine published by Planman Media, in collaboration
with the Indian Council of Market Research (ICMR), an arm of
the heydays of liberalization and commercialization, amidst
a horde of products and services entering into this competitive
foray, it is no mean feat to shine out in a rapidly growing
economy such as ours. And it is with this understanding that
4Ps has organized "The 4Ps Power Brands Night," to
felicitate the titans that have been featured in the rankings
and listings of our magazine.
memorable event has been a great success in the presence of
leading corporates, high profile celebrities, socialites, and
last but not the least the entire crew of Planman Media. Some
of the eminent corporate luminaries present there were Prof.
Arindam Chaudhuri (Chairman, Planman Consulting), Mr. Siddhanta
Sharma (CEO-Spice Jet), Mr. Stefano Pelle (COO - Perfetti van
Melle), Mr. R C Venkatesh (MD - ESPN India), Vab Goel (MD -
NVP), Mr. Gopal Ratnam Kannan ( Country Manager- Swatch), Mr.
S.M. Khan (Press Secretary to the President of India) and Mr.
Amit Burman (CEO - Dabur Foods).
"Gadgets" market is a sought after industry with a
greater technologically literate and driven mass in our country
today. To provide a better insight into this market, 4Ps in
association with ICMR conducted a research on the "50 sizzling
gadgets that India desires" covered in the March 17, 2006
issue. This was based on customer and retailers' feedback as
well as valuable inputs by the companies themselves. This story
incorporated some of the bigger names in the Industry such as
Samsung, Sony, LG, Apple, Cannon and Hewlett Packard.
The Indian Council of Market Research also conducted a comprehensive
study on the Banking sector in India. This research was a result
of the analysis of customer satisfaction levels with different
products and services offered by a bank. Based on this ICMR
report, 4Ps Business and Marketing featured "The 10 best
banks in India" in the April 14, 2006 issue. As a plethora
of banks crowd in the financial sector today and only a handful
of them have made it to the 4Ps Power night. Some of the prominent
ones amongst them are HSBC Bank, HDFC Bank, ABN AMRO Bank and
Sonali entertained the guests during the awards ceremony.
Mr. Abhimanyu Ghosh, Group Publisher, Planman Media said, "'4Ps
Power Night' has been organized with the aim to accolade these
companies and banks as the "4Ps Power Brands". We
appreciate the achievements of all the winners and strongly
believe that they would continue and would provide even better
products and services for the Indian mass. This inspirational
night would surely lay a platform for these deserving winners
to continue their performance with perseverance."
Ps Business And Marketing', an initiative of The Indian Institute
of Planning and Management and a Arindam Chaudhuri Dream, the
magazine is available fortnightly. An unputdownable magazine
by any international standards, the magazine had set a new pulse
in the dynamic marketing and business world and aspires to carry
it on with further zeal. The magazine is published by Planman
Media, the media publishing arm of India's largest multi-interest
consulting firm, Planman Consulting.
sales cross US $ 2 billion; makes core projects foray
DELHI, May 18: After the grandiose journey in the fertilizer
arena, the world's largest fertilizer cooperative IFFCO has
decided to make a big foray into the infrastructure sector.
has been possible due to almost 35 per cent percent growth in
sales at Rs 9,943 crore and healthy Rs 341 crore net profit
during last fiscal, said Dr U S Awasthi, company's Managing
its financial muscle with US $ 2 billion plus sales and technological
competence in fertiliser projects, Dr Awasthi said IFFCO-led
trans-national consortium has been pre-qualified, based on a
global tender, to develop a 22 km long bridge over sea between
Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. This Rs 2,600 crore Mumbai Trans Harbour
Link Project (MTHL) would be across the deep sea connecting
Sewri in Mumbai and Nhava in Nhavi Mumbai.
consortium includes Italian Thai Development Company Ltd (ITD)
of Thailand, MAEDA Corporation of Japan and ITD Cementation
India Ltd. The project to be developed on Build Operate and
Transfer (BOT) basis will be the first such venture in which
IFFCO decided to take on stiff competition from six global consortia.
The contracts are likely to be awarded to the successful bidder
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO) Chairman,
Mr S.K. Jakhar, disclosed that in its bid to ride the infrastructure
boom, IFFCO has also entered into a joint venture agreement
with Chattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) to develop a
1000 MW coal-fired power project at Prem Nagar in the State.
74: 26 Joint Venture christened as IFFCO Chattisgarh Power Ltd
(ICPL) has been incorporated to take up the project shortly.
With 74 percent stake, the IFFCO will also have the management
control through five of its nominees on the board. Two members
have been inducted from the CESB.
S.K. Jakhar is also the Chairman of the new joint venture while
CSEB Chairman is the vice-chairperson. IFFCO and its associates
will put in Rs 1155 crore towards the equity in this mega power
project while the CSEB would pitch in with Rs 405 crore. The
debt equity ratio for the Rs 5,200 crore venture has been set
70: 30. IFFCO has nominated its Executive Director Mr M.M.Raheja
as the Chief Executive of this power project.
project will source coal from the Tara coal block. The projected
levelised tariff is Rs 2.16 per unit. The financial closure
for the project would be achieved in 2006- 2007. CSEB has agreed
to buy 90 percent of power generated from this project while
the JV will have the flexibility to trade the rest 10 percent
amongst the western states.
Awasthi, informed that while diversifying into infrastructure,
IFFCO has continued its campaign to achieve backward and forward
linkages in the fertilisers sector. As part of this drive, it
has floated the Indo Egyptian Fertiliser Co, a joint venture
with Egyptian Government's El Nasr Mining Co. The 76:24 joint
venture will set up a plant to produce around 450,000 tonnes
of phosphoric acid (P2O5) annually.
will enter into a 100 percent buyback arrangement for the phosphoric
acid produced from the JV. Dr. Awasthi said that Mr S K Jakhar
is the Chairman of IEFC. Washington based International Finance
Corporation (IFC) has been retained as the financial advisor
to the joint venture. A four-member board of directors has been
constituted for the Cairo-based Joint Venture. IFFCO nominee
C.P.Srivastava has taken over as the Chief Executive of the
company in which US $ 325 million investment would be made.
Shareholders agreement has already been signed for the JV.
Awasthi informed that IFFCO has commitment to reduce the subsidy
since it has taken all important steps to switch over from Naphtha
to Gas. IFFCO's Phulpur Unit, that has a capacity to produce
14.16 lakh MT of Urea per annum, was operating on Naphtha as
a feed stock. This Unit has now switched over from Naphtha to
Gas which shall result in reduction in Govt. Subsidy Bill by
around Rs.1,000 crore per year.
Jakhar expressed pleasure at the commencement of production
at the recently acquired Paradeep Unit after revamp. The plant
is running continuously and the load shall be increased gradually.
sales turnover crosses US $ two billion, marks an around 35
per cent jump over previous financial year's Rs 7397 crore.
The surge in sales turnover is due to highest sale of fertilisers
at 81.95 lakh tonnes. Fertiliser production touched 64.35 lakh
tonnes. This is against 61.54 lakh tonnes in 2004-05. Net profit
increased to Rs 341 crore from Rs. 298 crore in the previous
year, a jump of around 15 per cent. After
takeover from Oswals, operations at Paradeep plant revamped.
The unit would produce 15.75 lakh tonnes during 2006-07, added
promoted as Chief Manager (PR), IFFCO
DELHI, June 1: Congratulations!! Mr Ghansham Dass has been promoted
as Chief Manager, Public Relations, IFFCO, at the corporate
office. A veteran in the field and winner of several awards,
Mr Ghansham Dass is seen in the photograph receiving Rajbhasha
award from Fertiliser and Chemical Minister, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan.
charts 7-point action plan for SBI
DELHI, May 30: Charting a seven-point mission for State Bank
of India, President A P J Abdul Kalam today urged the bank to
increase lending to the farm sector and create a Rs 5,000 crore
venture capital fund.
at the SBI's Bicentennial Celebrations here, Kalam said the
bank should increase the agriculture and agro processing credit
to 20 per cent (from 10 per cent) of the total loan disbursal
within the next three years.
raise agricultural growth to over 4 per cent is vital for increasing
the overall GDP growth to 10 per cent, he said pointing out
that when both manufacturing and services sectors are showing
robust growth, agriculture is lagging begind.
asked the bank to allocate Rs 5,000 crore for SBI Cap Venture
for funding to innovative scientists and technologists from
2007-08 for faster societal transformation including development
of ICT products, software development and software services.
asked the largest lender of the country to create and nurture
five rural development projects similar to bio-fuel project
and sea weed project which has employment generation potential
for at least 50 lakh rural youths.
should adopt and innovatively fund at least one lakh sick SSI
units so that latest technology can be infused to overcome problems
and make them profitable ventures.
Citing potential of medical tourism, Kalam said the bank could
provide funds at competitive interest rates for creation of
corporate hospitals which will also serve the rural community
acquires intellectual property assets from CoSine Communications
May 30: Fortinet - the pioneer and leading provider of multi-threat
security solutions - today announced it has completed an acquisition
of all pending patents and related intellectual property (IP)
assets of CoSine Communications, Inc. In connection with the
sale, CoSine retained a limited right to continue using the
transferred IP to support its existing customers.
acquisition significantly strengthens Fortinet's IP and patent
portfolio and provides the company with key innovations that
will allow it to better address the carrier/service provider
market. Terms of the transaction are confidential.
was a leading provider of a widely-adopted Internet Protocol
(IP) Service Delivery Platform that enabled telecommunication
carriers and network service providers to rapidly deliver a
an array of secure services simultaneously to thousands of subscribers
from within a service provider's network, including managed
firewall, VPN and security broadband access. Products offered
by CoSine included the IPSX switch, InVision service management
system and InGage customer network management software.
acquired IP portfolio covers a diverse set of technologies and
key applications pertaining to methods for delivering security
services through hardware than software platforms, managing
subscriber profiles, and router virtualization and management.
was an early innovator in the networking and security arena
- revolutionizing the way security was deployed, delivered and
managed on a massive scale. They were active in seeking patent
protection for their key technological achievements and their
IP portfolio reflects this diligence," said Ken Xie, Fortinet's
founder, president and CEO. "We're excited to have acquired
these assets and believe they will play an important role in
Fortinet's growth in the high-end segment - particularly the
carrier and service provider market."
Info to market iPods in India
DELHI, May 30: India's largest PC company HCL Infosystems has
entered into a non-exclusive tie-up with Apple Computers to
distribute iPods and desktops in the country. iPods will be
available in India in the price range of Rs 4,000 to Rs 23,000.
So far, Apple products in India have been sold by unorganised
retail and grey market.
consumers will be able to download songs from HCLLive.in at
Rs 5 per download against Rs 44 (99 cents) available through
itunes.com (Apple's official website).
tie-up comes just months after Nokia (HCL's largest partner)
ended its exclusive distribution arrangement with HCL. The Finnish
cell phone giant, which accounts for 72% of HCL Info's revenues,
will now distribute handsets in 50% of the territories directly.
iPod downloads will compete with mobile song downloads which
are being offered at Rs 20 per song by leading mobile operators.
Consumers will also be able to download full movies on iPods,
which until now were distributed mainly through the organised
to sell one lakh flat panel TVs this year
May 30: Electronics major Samsung India today said it hoped
to sell about one lakh flat panel television sets by end of
this December -- which would give the company 50 per cent share
in the segment. "We wish to develop the LCD market in India
and hope to sell about 1,00,000 sets this year," company's
Deputy Managing Director R Zutshi told reporters at the launch
of 'Bordeaux' LCD range.
company will commence manufacturing LCD television in its Noida
CTV facility from the third quarter of this year. "The
LCD panels will be imported from South Korea and assembled in
Noida by the end of June," he said, adding that it will
produce about 5,000 units a month initially and will gradually
ramp it up by September-October.
part of the 20 million dollars overall investment announced
for line expansion and mould development would be used for LCD
manufacturing, Zutshi said. A 20 per cent rise in revenues is
expected in 2006, he said. The company had posted revenues of
Rs 6,200 crore last year. Samsung India currently holds 28 per
cent market share in the Colour TV market, which it expects
to increase to 32 per cent.
company will capitalise on the World Cup Soccer fever to market
the new 'Bordeaux' LCD range by offering schemes and introductory
discounts on purchase of LCDs, along with their Home Theatre,
Samsung Director Sales and Marketing Pradeep Tognatta said.
price hike: Is there a cushion?
DELHI, May 9: With crude prices in the international markets
going through the roof, the government is once again grappling
with the politically sensitive issue of oil price hike.
Assembly elections in four states are over and there are indications
that the matter will be put up before the Prime Minister within
under-recoveries of oil marketing companies have increased to
Rs.9.80 per litre of petrol, Rs.10.20 per litre diesel, Rs.16.60
per litre kerosene and Rs.125 per LPG cylinder. The main challenge
before the government is: how to handle the price of diesel
-- which, like kerosene, is considered the poor man's fuel.
cost of crude -- on landed cost basis -- comes to Rs 23 per
litre. The international parity price of diesel is Rs 28.3 per
litre. The average retail price of diesel is Rs 33.4 litre.
Of this, the state governments' taxes account for over Rs 6
per litre. Central government taxes further take away over Rs
3 per litre. After accounting for freight costs and dealer commission,
the oil PSUs are left with less than Rs 20.9 per litre, which
is even less than the basic cost of crude.
prevent oil PSUs from bleeding further and allowing them margins
as recommended by the Rangarajan Committee, diesel prices need
to be raised by at least Rs 10 per litre, if the current rates
of taxes and duties remain unchanged.
kind of a hefty hike is bound create a public outcry, not acceptable
to any government -- much less to one critically dependent on
support from its Left allies. So the government is left with
no alternative but to rejig taxes.
option considered workable by the oil industry as also by the
Left is to bring diesel under the category of "declared
goods" as has been done for LPG. Once an item is brought
under the "declared goods" category, the powers of
the state governments to impose taxes on it are restricted.
diesel is brought under this category and specific basic excise
duty on it is removed, there will be a uniform 4 per cent sales
tax on it. In such a scenario, the required price hike for diesel
will be only Rs 2.50 per litre.
to say, the state and Central governments would need to sit
and balance the revenue collection as done for other declared
goods. A middle path could perhaps be a uniform sales tax at
the rate of 12 per cent and removal of specific basic excise
duty. In this second scenario, the required price hike will
be Rs 5 per litre. In either case, the government has little
alternative but to hike the prices.
Behuria takes over as CIE Chairman
DELHI, May 9: Mr. Sarthak Behuria, Chairman, IndianOil Group
Companies, and Chairman, Standing Conference of Public Enterprises
(SCOPE), has taken over as Chairman of the Council of Indian
CIE is an apex body of employers in the country, contributing
to strengthening industrial relations, labour and social policies
within the tripartite framework of the Government. SCOPE is
one of the constituents of CIE, with Employers Federation of
India (EFI) and All India Organisation of Employers (AIOE) as
the other two constituents.
Mr. Behuria, who is Chairman of IndianOil since March 2005,
is also Chairman (part-time) of subsidiary companies, IBP Co.
Ltd., Bongaigaon Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd and Chennai
Petroleum Corporation Ltd. Earlier, he was CMD of Bharat Petroleum
Mr. Behuria also heads Petroleum Federation of India representing
oil industry organisations. He has been elected to the board
of World LPGas Association as its Vice-President representing
the Asia Region.
Book exposes Walmart
book "Selling Women Short" by Liza Featherstone is
a compelling documentation of sex-discrimination and questionable
work ethics at Wal-Mart and should be an eye-opener for the
proponents of FDI in retail in India. In a country where the
implementation of labour laws leaves much to be desired, arrival
of the world's richest and biggest retail, also accused of being
the biggest exploiter, will only add fuel to the fire.
already see a culture of hiring people on contract, with the
wording therein heavily tilted in favour of the employers. If
the young adults hired at the numerous BPO firms are already
"cyber coolies" then the impending burst of so-called
employment can only mean the revival of "bonded-labour",
which has supposedly been uprooted from this country through
legislation. Of course, we know different and all we need to
add to our misery is a foreign master -- we are yet to know
if the government is even contemplating introduction of clauses
safeguarding the workforce which may be working for this "predator".
draws extensively on interviews with the plaintiffs against
Wal-Mart, and underlines how sex-discrimination in employment
contributes to keeping women poor. The work being done by Betty
Dukes and others like her, to reform and unionize Wal-Mart,
offers hope for the future, and Featherstone reveals the creative
solutions workers around the US have found. Selling Women Short
combines the personal stories of the Wal-Mart employees with
superb investigative journalism to show why women who work low-wage
jobs are getting a raw deal, and what they are doing about it.
this is an American story about American women. Can you even
imagine the plight of women in India? With poor understanding
of the fine print in their contracts and poorer legal aid, one
can only shudder at what they will have to go through in the
hands of sophisticated masters of the trade like Wal-Mart. However,
going back to the book one has to give credit to Featherstone
for sounding a warning bell for future customers and worker
of this monolith.
magazine's 'Most Admired Company' for two years running, Wal-Mart
offers its customers low prices and its shareholders big profits,
but as Featherstone (Students Against Sweatshops) argues, this
comes at great cost. Wal-Mart's success is based not only on
its inexpensive merchandise or its popularity (Featherstone
cites working-class shoppers and Paris Hilton among Wal-Mart's
fans) but on bad labour practices.
a close investigation of the class action suit Dukes v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc. and extensive interviews with female workers, Featherstone
indicts Wal-Mart for low wages, discriminatory policies and
sexist practices. Many women employed full-time at Wal-Mart
make so little that they are dependent on public assistance:
'It is curious that Wal-Mart - the icon of American free enterprise
and self-sufficiency... - turns out to be one of the biggest
'welfare queens' of our time,' Featherstone writes. She doesn't
give much time to related topics - racism, exploited overseas
labor - but this is a clearly written and compelling book.
is the biggest private employer in the world. It controls the
quality, quantity, and prices of household goods in many markets.
It fosters a wholesome image through its advertising and in
the content of the media it sells. To keep prices low, it keeps
starting wages low, but maintains that it offers training and
promotional opportunities within a corporate culture that rewards
dedication and industriousness. However, according to Dukes
v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the class-action lawsuit against it,
it does not offer those opportunities based on seniority or
performance but largely on whether the employee is male or female.
this groundbreaking expose, Featherstone looks at how Wal-Mart,
America's largest employer, systematically deprives its female
workers of promotions, pay, and job assignments. She goes on
to show how those women are about to change history.
television, Wal-Mart employees are smiling women delighted with
their jobs. But reality is another story. In 2000, Betty Dukes,
a 52-year-old black woman in Pittsburg, California, became the
lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, a class action representing
1.4 million women. Featherstone reveals how Wal-Mart, a self-styled
"family-oriented," Christian company:
Deprives women (but not men) of the training they need to advance
* Relegates women to lower-paying jobs, like selling baby clothes,
reserving the more lucrative positions for men
* Inflicts punitive demotions on employees who object to discrimination
* Exploits Asian women in its sweatshops in Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth
mentions Wal-Mart's "efficiency in logistics," which
make it possible for the company to buy in bulk directly from
producers of everything from toilet paper to refrigerators,
allowing it to dispense with wholesalers. McKinsey also makes
much of the company's innovative use of information technology,
for example its early use of computers and scanners to track
inventory, and its use of satellite communications to link corporate
headquarters in Arkansas with the nationwide network of Wal-Mart
stores. Setting up and fine-tuning these tracking and distribution
systems has been the special achievement of founder Sam Walton's
(the "Wal" of Wal-Mart) two successors as CEO, David
Glass and the incumbent Lee Scott.
her book Selling Women Short is a powerful indictment of how
Wal-Mart has treated its female employees, Featherstone acknowledges
the lure of the Wal-Mart store for female shoppers, who delight
"in spending as little as possible, all in one place."
At a Wal-Mart "supercenter" you can change a tyre,
buy groceries for dinner, and get a new pair of shoes and some
yard furniture-a set of errands that once would have required
a long afternoon of visits to far-flung merchants.
these innovations contribute to Wal-Mart's remarkable productivity
record, and this in turn has opened up another major source
of competitive advantage for the company, its policy of "Every
Day Low Prices" ("EDLP"), which makes it possible
for it to undersell its competitors by an average of as much
as 14 percent. Here the picture darkens because Wal-Mart's ability
to keep prices low depends not just on its productivity but
also on its ability to contain, or even reduce, costs, above
all labor costs.
there is no assembly line at Wal-Mart its senior management
uses blunter methods to achieve higher levels of productivity
from the workforce. These methods are governed by a simple principle:
when deciding how many workers to employ, Wal-Mart management
relies on a formula guaranteeing that the growth of the labor
budget will lag behind the growth in store sales, so that every
year there will be more work for each employee to do.
her paper "The Quality of Work at Wal-Mart," presented
at the conference in Santa Barbara, Ellen Rosen of the Women's
Studies Research Center at Brandeis, described in detail how
this squeeze on labor works. Each year Wal-Mart provides its
store managers with a "preferred budget" for employment,
which would allow managers to staff their stores at adequate
levels. But the actual budget imposed on the store managers
always falls short of the preferred budget, so that most Wal-Mart
stores are permanently understaffed. The gap between the preferred
and actual budgets gives store managers an idea of how much
extra work they must try to extract from their workforce.
pervasive understaffing at Wal-Mart gives rise to one of the
most common employee infractions at the company, "time
theft." With each employee having more work to do, managers
assume that whenever they see an employee not working, she must
be shirking her duties, or "stealing time" from the
corporation, a punishable offense. When Barbara Ehrenreich worked
at a Minneapolis Wal-Mart as part of her research for her book
on low-wage work, Nickel and Dimed, she was told by her boss
that "time theft" in the form of "associates
standing around talking to one another" was his "pet
peeve." Later a fellow worker warned Ehrenreich that they
could only talk about their work, and that anything else counted
as "time theft" and was forbidden. Ehrenreich soon
found that her boss and his fellow management spies were a constant
presence on the shop floor, looking out for time thieves.
Wal-Mart's harshness is not simply a consequence of management's
efforts to extract maximum productivity from its workforce at
minimum cost. There are also employees and groups of employees
that management particularly mistrusts, and these have often
been subjected to relentless harassment. Hundreds of employees
have testified against Wal-Mart in the many class-action lawsuits
brought against the corporation, and their sworn depositions
provide a detailed account of what it is like to work at Wal-Mart
day by day, even hour by hour.
exploitation of the working poor is now central to the business
strategy favored by America's most powerful and, by some criteria,
most successful corporation. India, it seems is a dream not
too far away. And if India does not heed history, it is doomed
to repeat it.
Reliance's mega retail vision targets entire spectrum
DELHI, May 1: From a fleet of aircraft to ferry farm fresh produce
to cities, to cold storage chains, speciality stores, mega malls
and convenience stores, Mukesh Ambani's vision for Reliance
Retail encompasses a wide variety of business models to reach
the consumers. The attempt is to be the best and the largest
in the country by ensuring a presence in all districts, and
in all major towns and cities, industry sources say.