Need To Know | Airlines to announce cut in tariffs from January

Need To Know | Airlines to announce cut in tariffs from January

Mumbai/New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines Ltd said on Sunday it would effect fare cut across its network from 1 January.

“Kingfisher Airlines will begin the New Year on an aggressive note by slashing fares on its network," its chairman Vijay Mallya said in a statement here on Sunday.

He, however, did not specify the quantum by which fares would come down. Jet Airways (India) Ltd, had taken a similar decision on the issue.

Earlier on Sunday, Air India announced it could cut base fares on its domestic routes from the middle of January. Persons familiar with the matter said the commercial department of Air India was already working on reducing the fares and could make an announcement in the first week for slashing the prices.

Besides Air India, Kingfisher, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Indigo has already reduced fuel surcharge on all domestic flights, resulting in the air fares dropping by up to Rs400. The reduction followed successive cuts in aviation turbine fuel prices by oil marketing companies.

In another development, the civil aviation ministry has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to crack its whip on domestic airlines continuing with the congestion surcharge of Rs150, despite substantial fall in air traffic congestion at major airports such as New Delhi and Mumbai, the sources said.



Gold glitters as equities decline during 2008

Mumbai: Gold as an investment option glittered like never before this year, which saw the global financial markets going topsy-turvy, with other investment options such as the dollar and the equities going into a tail-spin amid crude prices soaring to record high levels.

The prices of gold, the all-weather investment option, peaked to the all-time high of Rs14,105 per 10 gram during intra-day on 10 October in Mumbai bullion with investors running for cover in the precious metal amid stocks spiralling downwards and dollar losing its sheen.

A jeweller in Mumbai said both big and small time investors preferred gold and silver to park their money as the precious metals are seen as the safest heaven, particularly at times of crisis which marked 2008.

From last year’s close of Rs10,695, standard gold (99.5 purity) jumped to Rs14,105 by October—a remarkable gain of Rs3,410 per 10 gram. It was trading at Rs13,025 on 24 December, up by Rs2,330 or 21.79% from last year’s close.



RPL arm to upgrade facilities at ITI

New Delhi:Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power Ltd (RPL) said on Sunday its wholly-owned subsidiary Rosa Power will upgrade infrastructure facilities at Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Shahjehanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where the company has also been allotted 20% of seats.

As part of its pact with ITI, Rosa Power would train and educate youth in different industrial jobs in the villages affected by its at least Rs5,000 crore and 1,200MW power projects in the area. An RPL spokesperson said that Rosa Power would “upgrade the infrastructure facilities of ITI, Shahjehanpur, in phased manner" and it has been allotted 20% of the total seats in the training institute.

The company, however, did not disclose the proposed budget for the initiative.



DRDO against port near missile test range

Bhubaneswar: Worried over safety of its missile testing centre in Orissa’s Balasore district, the defence ministry has objected to the state government’s move to set up an all-weather port at Inchudi at the mouth of Subernarekha river, official sources said.

“The defence research development organisation (DRDO) had objected to construction of a port at Inchudi which was close to test range at Chandipur," chief secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy said after holding a discussion with DRDO personnel here on Saturday.

The state government which was planning at least five ports in Balasore coast, had however, received green signal from DRDO for four other ports at Bahalpur, Chudamani, Chandipur and Kirtania. Only one port at Inchudi was objected to, he said.

The DRDO objected to the port at Inchuidi because it fell within the 50-km of the test range at Chandipur.



Future Generali to get Rs300 cr extra capital

Mumbai: Future Generali Life Insurance Co. Ltd, will see a capital infusion of Rs300 crore and a portfolio of 20 products by end-March, a top company official said.

“Our present capital stands at 35 crore and a 300 crore infusion is planned by March," Future Generali India’s managing director and chief executive officer, Jayant Khosla said.

Future Generali is a 74:26 joint venture between the Kishore Biyani-spearheaded Future group and the 177-year-old Italian major, Generali.

The additional capital would be infused by the two partners in the same proportion, Khosla said.



Student mistaken as intruder shot dead

Bangalore: A 21-year-old college student, who allegedly intruded a brigadier’s residence in an apparent bid to hide from policemen chasing him, was shot dead by Army guards here early on Sunday.

DCP (East) B.K. Singh said the student, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in commerce, allegedly did not surrender when asked to do so by the sentries, who then opened fire.

The student, identified as Mohammed Mukram, was rushed to a hospital, but succumbed to his injuries, police said.

He was chased by the police and to avoid them, he jumped into the compound of the FlagStaff House, where the brigadier was staying.

A defence press release said that after a thorough search, the sentries on guard sensed the presence of somebody on top of the house.

“Before the guards could apprehend the intruder, he jumped down and fled towards the compound wall facing the main road," the release said.

“When the intruder did not heed the armed guards’ warning to surrender, the intruder was fired upon. Police are investigating the case," it added.



Carlos Slim leads Mallya in race for Honda: report

Rome: Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu has overtaken Vijay Mallya in the race for acquiring the Honda Formula One team, according to media reports here.

Italian newspaper ‘La Stampa’ said Slim, world’s second richest man, would plough his cash into the ailing outfit which would be back on the grid in 2009.

“The saviour has arrived: Carlos Slim, 67-years-old, the second richest man in the world," the newspaper said.

“The news is not official as all the details have yet to be formalized. But two things are certain—the team has been saved and the drivers will be Jenson Button and rookie Bruno Senna in place of Rubens Barrichello," it added.

Mallya, who owns the Force India formula one team, was interested in stepping but the move was seen through a prism of suspicion as his effort to access Honda’s technical know-how.



US to drag China to WTO if promises not met

Washington:The US has warned that it will drag China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel if the world’s fastest growing economy does not implement the commitments it made before joining the 153-member multilateral trade body.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) in a report to the Congress has said that despite the progress achieved in 2008, specific issues such as Chinese government’s intervention continued to cause concern to the US and its industry.

It said the US would continue its efforts to ensure that China fully implements its commitments, including removal of the remaining trade and investment barriers and improvement in the IPR regime.

The USTR said it would take China to the WTO dispute resolution body if things do not improve. China had joined the WTO in December 2001 after making commitments on opening its economy and complying with the rule-based multilateral system.



Tourism bounces back in Goa after Christmas

Panaji: Goa’s tourism industry is bouncing back to normalcy after successful Christmas festivities, feel the experts. The state, which is witnessing unprecedented security along the coast, is a favourite destination for tourists to usher in the new year.

“We may not be able to make up for the loss. But the situation is changing and we are receiving lot of inquiries. The tourism (industry) is bouncing back," travel and tourism association of Goa (TTAG) president Ralf de Souza said.

The tourism industry saw dent up to 20% this season with the global meltdown and also the situation arising post the Mumbai terror attack in November.