New Delhi: The government on Wednesday tightened norms for import of high-end cars and sport-utility vehicles by hotels, travel agents and tour operators following reports of misuse of tax concessions available on import of vehicles for tourism. “In order to ensure proper and intended use of vehicles under export promotion capital goods scheme, customs authorities will endorse that such vehicles have to be registered as a vehicle ‘for tourist purpose only’ while clearing such vehicles,” a directorate general of foreign trade statement said.
Court convicts Vikas Yadav in Katara case
New Delhi: The son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav, Vikas, was on Wednesday found guilty of murdering his sister’s boyfriend because he disapproved of their relationship. A New Delhi court found Vikas Yadav guilty in the 2002 abduction and murder of Nitish Katara and of destroying evidence of the crime. His cousin, Vishal Yadav, was also convicted on the same charges. Sentencing of the two men is scheduled for Friday. They are both likely to appeal. Katara, then 24, was last seen the night before he was killed, attending a wedding with Vikas Yadav’s sister, Bharti. His badly charred body was found later.
Bartronics to regulate ‘prasadam’ distribution
New Delhi: Bartronics India Ltd has been chosen by the Hyderabad district administration to automate and thereby regulate the distribution of fish ‘prasadam’ in Hyderabad on June 7. The distribution of fish ‘prasadam’, which is an annual feature, attracts lakhs of visitors every year and elaborate security arrangements are made to prevent any untoward incidents. Bartronics will issue advance tokens which are sold through six different centres in the city through 10 counters. The process, which was tested on a pilot basis last year, was found to be effective in controlling the rush.
Bartronics has been successful in deploying such large-scale crowd management systems earlier, mainly at Tirupati, Baidyanath and Vaishnodevi.
Godrej consolidated PAT rises 185% in 2007-08
Mumbai: Diversified company Godrej Industries Ltd posted a 185% growth in consolidated profit after tax (PAT) to Rs168 crore for the year to March, the company said in a statement.
“The two major contributors were chemicals and properties, but all our businesses contributed to the high profit growth rate,” chairman Adi Godrej said.
Total income rose 25% to Rs3,000 crore, the statement said.
The company’s business interests include processed foods and beverages, animal feed, poultry and rural retailing.
The chemicals business “bounced back strongly as a result of efficient buying and improved margins with a growing focus on exports”, Godrej said.
Revenues of the chemicals division grew 21% to Rs692 crore and profit before interest and tax surged to Rs82 crore in fiscal 2008 from Rs6 crore a year earlier.
Exports now comprise 43% of the division’s turnover, the statement said.
Godrej Properties is in the process of filing its prospectus with the market regulator. Post-listing, the holding of Godrej Industries in the property firm will come down to about 72% from a little more than 80%, he said.
Britannia Industries’ Q4 profit rises 53.6%
Mumbai: Indian biscuit maker Britannia Industries Ltd said its fourth quarter profit rose 53.6%. Net income climbed to Rs61 crore ($14 million) from Rs39.8 crore a year earlier, the Bangalore-based company said in an email statement. Sales rose 15.6% to Rs693 crore. Britannia fell Rs37.80, or 2.6%, to Rs1,396.15 on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The results were posted after trading ended.
Moscow office rents almost double
Moscow: Moscow office rents almost doubled in a year to the second highest in the world because of a shortage of space, CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said. London’s West End remains the most expensive location.
Rents in the Russian capital jumped by an average of 93% in dollar terms in the 12 months ended 31 March, the second biggest gain among 173 cities tracked by CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial property broker. Moscow overtook Mumbai, where rents gained 41%.
“Office occupancy costs are continuing to defy sluggish economic conditions and the credit crunch as they rise faster than global inflation,” Raymond Torto, CB Richard Ellis’s chief economist, said in Wednesday’s report.
Russian companies are expanding abroad and hiring staff at home after the benchmark Micex Index more than quintupled in five years. Russia, the world’s largest energy supplier, is home to more than 100 billionaires, according to ‘Forbes’ and ‘Finans’ magazines.
Office space in Moscow costs an average of $232.37 (Rs9,968.67) a sq. ft per year, compared with $299.54 in the West End of London, CB Richard Ellis said in the survey. The other costliest markets are Inner Central Tokyo, Mumbai and Outer Central Tokyo.
Orissa to prepare policy for setting up 15 ports
Bhubaneswar: To meet the projected cargo handling pressure on the state, the Orissa government has decided to formulate a maritime trade and infrastructure policy besides preparing a master plan to develop internal water transportation facilities, a state official said. The government’s decision in this regard came after a team headed by R. Sundarvadi Velu from IIT, Chennai, on Wednesday presented a techno- economic apprisal report on port sector overview in the state.
“Orissa requires a policy because it will handle nearly 16% of the country’s cargo against its existing capacity,” said Orissa transport and commerce secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra.
Velu, in his report, had suggested that the state government set up at least 15 minor ports along the Orissa coast as the cargo handling pressure on the state would mount to more than 300 million tonne (mt) per year by 2017. The state currently handles 60mt a year through its two existing ports at Paradip and Gopalpur.
GE team to identify airports for projects
New Delhi: GE Infrastructure is in the process of identifying bankable projects from the 35 non-metro airports that are being upgraded through public-private partnerships.
GE Infrastructure, which has businesses in energy, transport and water process technologies, has deployed a team to identify non-metro airports that it thinks can be given a distinct GE identity.
“We are in discussion with some companies to form a consortia to bid for the projects,” GE Infrastructure president and chief executive Pratyush Kumar said.
He declined to give the names of the companies.
GE Infrastructure said it has expertise in airport management after its acquisition of airport development and consulting firm AviaSolutions. GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), a group company, bought a majority stake in UK-based AviaSolutions last year.
RIL to start gas output at offshore field on time
Mumbai:Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India’s largest company by value, said it will start producing natural gas at a field off India’s east coast as planned.
“Gas from our KG D6 basin will flow as per our stated schedule in the second half of 2008,” Reliance spokesman Paresh Chaudhry said in an emailed release on Wednesday. “There is no push back in our plans.”
The ‘International Oil Daily’ had reported RIL would delay production from the field after a court barred the signing of new supply contracts, citing a company official it didn’t name.
The Bombay high court restrained Reliance from selling 40 million cubic meters of gas a day from the D6 area to customers other than Reliance Natural Resources Ltd and NTPC Ltd, the industry newsletter said.
Minda Industries gets orders worth Rs50 crore
Mumbai: Auto parts maker Minda Industries Ltd said it won orders worth Rs50 crore from Volkswagen AG to supply headlamps and rear combination lamps for its upcoming models.
Minda Industries will supply lamps for the German car maker’s upcoming models in India as well as for a global model being manufactured in Russia.
Minda will supply the lamps from its facility in Pune.
The company said it was conducting feasibility studies for setting up a new lighting plant at Bawal in Haryana.
It expects turnover from its lighting division to contribute Rs225-250 crore to annual revenue in the next two years.
Essar Steel gets high credit rating
New Delhi: Credit rating agency Icra Ltd has assigned its highest credit quality rating to the Rs6,000 crore debt of Essar Steel Ltd.
The LA rating reflect the company’s established position in the value-added segments in the steel industry, the agency said in a release.
The rating also reflects a diversified export base, integrated nature of operations, healthy profitability and improved capital structure of the company, it added.
RBI raises interest rates on trade credits
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank (RBI) on Wednesday raised the interest rate ceiling on trade credits used for funding imports with maturity up to one year, making it easier for authorized dealer banks to fund such transactions.
The banks, as per the RBI notification, can provide short-term credit for funding import transactions up to 75 basis points over six months Libor (London interbank offered rate) as against the existing 50 basis points.
However, the ceiling rate for funding long-term imports transactions ranging between one and three years have been retained at 125 basis points over six months Libor.
The short-term credit is used for payment of arranger fee, upfront fee, management fee, handling and processing charges, out-of-pocket and legal expenses pertaining to imports.
RBI has permitted the authorized banks to approve trade credits for imports in India up to $20 million per import transaction.
Tata Motors says gas leak came from cylinder
Mumbai: Tata Motors Ltd, India’s biggest truck and bus maker, said a chlorine gas leak on Tuesday at the company’s Jamshedpur plant came from a cylinder in a water-treatment plant. “More than 100 persons were affected,” managing director Ravi Kant said. “They were hospitalized and then released.” As many as 20 people were kept for observation and would have subsequently been released, he said.
‘PTI’ reported last night that about 125-150 people were admitted to hospital with breathing problems following the leak.
Edelweiss sees 50% of revenues from new biz
Mumbai: Financial services firm Edelweiss Capital Ltd expects its new business, aimed at richer clients, to contribute half its revenues in a year, up from one-third now, a top official said.
The firm has started asset management, private equity (PE), wealth management for high-networth individuals (HNI) and financing to its traditional investment banking, institutional brokerage and treasury operations. “I think the new businesses have begun to make an impact,” chairman Rashesh Shah said.
It plans to manage Rs10,000-15,000 crore in the next three-five years under asset management, private equity and wealth management, Shah said. “It is a big market.” Earlier this month, it got regulatory approval to launch mutual funds and expects to launch its first scheme in July-August, he said.
It plans to launch nine equity, debt, structured and exchange traded funds in the next 12 months.