Though the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, sought to downplay the Revolutionary Socialist Party, or RSP, pulling out of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee on Monday by saying that the forum was already “defunct”, Forward Bloc, another constituent, said the move would weaken the Left Front.
Polls are due in six state assemblies this year in the run-up to the general elections in 2009.
“The RSP’s decision is not unjust as it was taken after an assessment of the situation in that party,” Forward Bloc general secretary Ashok Ghosh said. He, however, said it would weaken the Left Front not only in West Bengal, where it has suffered reverses in the panchayat elections, but also in the country “at a critical time”.
The CPM, for its part, dismissed as “defunct and ineffective” the UPA-Left Coordination Committee and said it made little difference whether to continue in it or not. “The committee ceased to function a year and a half ago. The last meeting was held in November 2006. I really don’t understand the purpose of announcing withdrawal from an already defunct committee. The understanding within the Left has been that this committee is not functioning any more,” CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said.
On being asked if its just a symbolic gesture, he said: “Whether or not it is a symbolic gesture is for the RSP to decide.”
RSP leader and Rajya Sabha member Abani Roy dismissed suggestions of this merely being a symbolic gesture. “The committee might be defunct but (it) is not dead. We are taking one step at a time. We are trying to convince other Left parties to withdraw support from this government but if they don’t, we might have to think of doing so unilaterally,” he said.
Listing a series of “failures” of the government, particularly on containing price rise, the RSP hoped its “first salvo” at the Congress-led coalition would force other Left parties to have a re-think about continuing support.
However, the party, which has three MPs, will continue to be on the UPA-Left committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal, saying its presence was necessary for blocking the agreement.
“We are dissociating with the functioning of the government which has become alienated from the people. We have come to a conclusion that providing support to the government is not conducive,” RSP general secretary T. Chandrachoodan said after a two-day meeting of the party’s central committee. Roy, the RSP nominee in the coordination committee, will not attend its meetings from now, he said. The coordination committee has not met for the past some time.
“People will ask us why we are continuing our support to an anti-people government. This question will be raised by people to the CPM and other parties also. We hope this will force them to withdraw support,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India refused to comment.
(‘PTI’ contributed to this story.)
PR Chandrasekhar is Hexaware’s new chief
New Delhi:Hexaware Technologies Ltd, a tech and back-office services firm, has replaced its chief executive and vice- chairman Rusi Brij with P.R. Chandrasekhar, an executive hired from Wipro Ltd. The Mumbai firm named Prateek Aggarwal its new chief financial officer. Aggarwal was hired from HCL Technologies Ltd.
The hirings, announced on Monday, had no relation with provisions made in November for losses arising out of soured currency contracts, Hexaware chairman Atul Nishar said. That “issue is behind us”, he told Mint on phone. The appointments are a step to strengthen the management team, he added.
Separately, ‘Reuters’ quoted Nishar as telling analysts that a proposal of share buy-back was not on the board’s agenda. In October, Hexaware had said its board would meet and consider and approve the buy-back of shares, but no specific dates were announced then. In February, too, an official was quoted saying that a buy-back would be considered when the timing was right. Jai Krishan R. And Reuters
Nokia completes R&D unit transfer to Sasken
Bangalore:Nokia Oyj, the world’s largest cellphone maker, has completed the transfer of its adaptation software R&D unit to Sasken Communication Technologies Ltd, the Bangalore-based mid-sized telecom R&D services firm.
Based in Bochum, Germany, the R&D unit has 35 employees and the transfer would strengthen Sasken’s presence in that country besides enhancing the Indian vendor’s competencies in areas of Series 40 software platform, local connectivity and core software for silicon and hardware access.
Nokia, currently the largest customer of Sasken, had announced the transfer deal in January as part of its decision to shut down the cellphone unit in Bochum. Shares of Sasken, which serves clients such as Motorola and Nortel, ended 5% down on the Bombay Stock Exchange at Rs134.60 on Monday. Staff Writer
BJP projects resurgence, shifts into election gear
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party, at its two-day national executive meet that ended here on Monday, tried presenting a picture of a resurgent opposition ahead of crucial state polls followed by Lok Sabha elections, even as the Gujjar agitation in the party-ruled Rajasthan cast a long shadow over the meet.
While the BJP celebrated the recent victory in Karnataka as a precursor to a victory in next general elections, and used the occasion to lash out at the Congress-led government at the Centre, L.K. Advani, the party’s prime ministerial candidate, urged members to prepare for the challenges ahead in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
“Anti-incumbency generally manifests as a vote against incumbent MLAs and MPs. This kind of constituency-level anti-incumbency hurt us in 2004,” said Advani, and asked members to beat this in the upcoming polls by selecting the right candidates, as in the Gujarat elections.
Many organizational problems can be prevented by timely action, and preventing some functionaries to put their personal interests above the interests of the party, he said.
He also said the party should reach out to Muslims and Christians, who had remained aloof from the BJP. “We should emphasize that our party seeks all-round development and participation of minorities in a non-divisive and integrative agenda without recourse to appeasement or religion-based reservations.”
Although Advani did not refer to the Gujjar agitation, Jaswant Singh, opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha, said while briefing the media, “It is all a matter of great pain and sorrow.” Ashish Sharma
Tata Motors commercial vehicle, car sales rise
Mumbai: Tata Motors said on Monday sales of its passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the domestic market in May rose 12% to 42,916 units. Passenger vehicle sales were up 9% over a year-ago period to 19,234 cars and utility vehicles, on the back of strong sales of the Indigo, Sumo and Safari models. The company also sold 14.5% more commercial vehicles at 23,682 units in May. Ammar Master
SBI kicks-off farm loan waiver programme
Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday commenced implementation of the government’s Rs71,700 crore farm debt relief programme at the bank’s Jamli rural branch in Madhya Pradesh.
A statement said farm loan borrowers need not apply for debt waiver and “the bank will do it for them”. State Bank chairman O.P. Bhatt visited the Jamli branch to oversee the programme. He also distributed letters to 21 farmers, eligible for debt relief under the scheme, committing fresh loans.
Meanwhile, Union Bank of India chairman and managing director M.V. Nair on Monday said in Ahmedabad that a major chunk of the benefit would be given to the farmers in Uttar Pradesh where his bank has a big presence.
The government has set 30 June as the deadline for implementing the biggest ever farm loan waiver scheme in the country that will benefit 43 million borrowers in this segment, including small and marginal farmers.Staff Writer
RBI proposes to raise capital adequacy ratio
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to increase the capital adequacy ratio, or the ratio of capital to risk-weighted assets of the non-deposit taking non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), to 12% from 10% with immediate effect.
At the second stage, it will go up to 15% from 1 April 2009. This essentially means that a non-deposit taking NBFC, which needs Rs10 capital for creating assets worth Rs100, will need more capital—Rs12 now and Rs15 from April next year.
“…In view of recent international developments, the risk associated with highly leveraged borrowings and the reliance on short-term funds by some NBFCs, concerns have arisen regarding the enhanced systemic risk associated with the activities of these entities,” RBI’s draft guidelines, released on Monday, said.
The guidelines are for ‘systemically important’ NBFCs with an asset size of Rs100 crore and more. RBI also proposed in its draft guidelines that these NBFCs from current fiscal year should disclose in their balance sheets their capital adequacy ratio, derivative transactions entered during the year, risk exposure to derivatives, exposure to real sector and maturity pattern of their assets and liabilities. Anup Roy
PVR net profit rises 23% to Rs2.7 crore in Q4
New Delhi: Multiplex operator PVR Ltd on Monday said net profit during the fourth quarter (Q4) ended 31 March rose 22.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs2.7 crore on strong growth in occupancy, and pricing of tickets and food and beverages (F&B).
Total income grew 33.5%. Consolidated net profit for the fiscal year grew 112% to Rs21.62 crore.
“Our average same-store growth has been 15%. There has been 8-9% growth in pricing of tickets and F&B,” said Nitin Sood, chief financial officer, PVR.
“Another area that has grown well is advertising and promotions within our properties. Big brands have signed up and revenues under this head have grown 60% y-o-y.” Staff Writer
PM’s council discusses climate change policy
New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s council on climate change held its meeting on Monday to discuss the climate change policy. The meeting was still under progress when this paper went to print.
According to the draft, eight sectors, including solar energy, green buildings and waste management, are supposed to be categorized as thrust areas.
Though not finalized, officials close to the development, who did not wish to be identified, said that clean coal and nuclear energy might also be discussed to be included in the clean energy sector.
The US is a proponent of clean coal, while the European Union remains opposed to the inclusion of nuclear energy in clean energy. Padmaparna Ghosh