Karnataka chief minister Kumaraswamy resigns

Karnataka chief minister Kumaraswamy resigns

Karnataka chief minister Kumaraswamy resigns

Bangalore/New Delhi: Bringing the curtains down on the political drama of the last fortnight, Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday tendered his resignation.

Raj Bhawan sources said the governor had earlier told the chief minister that he did not have the requisite numbers to prove his majority.

With the Congress finally coming out with its stand that it would have no truck with the Janta Dal (Secular) and demanding dismissal of the government and imposition of President’s rule, the governor consulted Constitution experts and had a meeting with the chief minister.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had on Sunday formally withdrew support to Kumaraswamy after he failed to transfer power.

Two Congress delegations, which met the governor thereafter, demanded the dismissal of the Kumaraswamy government, noting that it had been reduced to a minority after the coalition partner BJP withdrew its support.

Talking polls in Karnataka, the Congress on Monday said it would come back to power with absolute majority in the state.

“Congress will come back to power with absolute majority in Karnataka on the wave of tremendous goodwill," AICC secretary, media department, Tom Vadakkan said in a statement here.

The Congress party in Karnataka on Monday submitted a letter to governor Rameshwar Thakur to dismiss the Kumaraswamy government as it has been “reduced to an awful minority of 50 out of a total strength of 244".

“There was no public policy or principles involved between JD(S) and BJP in the formation of the government 20 months back or in the split which has taken place recently. The people of Karnataka are disgusted with the performance of the government," said the statement.

It further said: “The pretext of providing a Ramaraj of Gandhiji’s dream by the BJP is an irony of the situation."

Kuala Lumpur: More than 200 Indian nationals working at a plastic-moulding factory in Johor state in Malaysia have alleged abuse by their employment agent. The workers said three of their colleagues were recently abducted and brutally beaten for putting up a notice, which said that the cost of hostel canteen food should not be deducted from their daily wages.

The Indians, part of the 1,500-strong foreign workforce at the factory, staged a picket to demand the release of the three, local media reports said.

The trio, with bruises all over their bodies, have since returned to the hostel, the report said. pti

New Delhi: The government must ensure that the proposed new spectrum policy for telecom companies is fair, said Arun Sarin, chief executive of Vodafone Group Plc., on Monday. “Spectrum is a scarce resource. India needs a good forward looking policy. Make sure you allocate it right," said Sarin after a meeting with finance minister P. Chidambaram.

The department of telecommunications will issue fresh guidelines for giving telecom licences to new applicants and additional spectrum to the existing telecom operators before 15 October, Union minister for communications and information technology A. Raja said last week.

Meanwhile, Sarin announced that Vodafone will establish a foundation in India with an investment of $10 million (Rs39.4 crore). The foundation will provide direct grants to locally registered charities and global NGOs with social investment aims and objectives. Sarin added that Vodafone’s Indian arm will spend $2 billion a year as it aims to expand quickly. sanjiv shankaran/PTI

Mumbai:Raj Television Network Ltd on Monday said it has received approval from the Union information and broadcasting ministry to launch a 24x7 Tamil news channel.

The company plans to start the channel on 14 November, Raj TV said in a communique to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

“It would be a seven-day per week news channel in Tamil language covering all types of general news, business news and other news, both national and international," the media firm said.

Raj Television aims to increase its market share with the launch of the channel, the company said.

Earlier in August, the company had launched Kalaignar TV—a general entertainment channel, and Raj Musix— a music channel consisting of mostly youth centric programmes. PTI

New Delhi: Leading international apparel and accessories brand Greg Norman Collection, a subsidiary of MacGregor Golf Co., has entered Indian retail market through a licensing and distribution agreement with Gurgaon-based franchiser Better Than Before (BTB) India.

The Greg Norman Collection, which sells from more than 21 countries, will be available at an exclusive brand store in Gurgaon.

BTB India plans to set up 10 exclusive Greg Norman Collection outlets by next July and add another 40 in the next five years.

BTB India chief executive Rahul Singh reckons the Indian sportswear market to be growing at 20-25% annually.

“With the growing popularity of golf in the country and the image associated with it, we expect a promising growth for the brand here," he said. anik basu

Colombo: The overseas arm of state-run ONGC, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), has paid $1 million (Rs3.94 crore) to Norwegian seismic survey group TGS NOPE for data on Mannar offshore basin in Sri Lanka, a step that may lead to the firm bidding for the block.

“OVL has already paid $1 million to TGS and bought the data for identifying acreages in the Mannar basin," Sri Lankan minister of petroleum and petroleum resources development A.H. M. Fawzy said.

Earlier this year, the island country offered Block 1 to ONGC on nomination basis, but the Indian company sought Block 2 on better prospects. pti

Mumbai: India’s leading mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. (HDFC) on Monday said it has acquired a further 9.9% stake in HDFC Asset Management Co.

The lender said it has bought the stake from partner Standard Life Investments Ltd for Rs180 crore.

This acquisition will take HDFC’s shareholding in the asset management subsidiary to 60%, while Standard Life Investment retains the balance 40%, a press release issued by the company said. staff writer

Mumbai: Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), Bakul Dholakia will step down on Tuesday. “I would hand over charge to the dean of the institute after office hours tomorrow," Dholakia said at a press conference on Monday.

Dholakia’s five-year term was full of controversies, including his position on issues such as autonomy and reservation.

On his last day on the job, Dholakia took the government to task and said that if the institutions such as IIM-A want to make it big on the global scene, the institution must have flexibility, both operational and administrative, and autonomy.

“I am stepping down with a sense of satisfaction but feel disappointed as we were not able to get the IIM-A paper on autonomy accepted," Dholakia said.

He said that he has been able to raise the enrolment levels at the institute by 80% and has been successful in forging foreign partnerships. SUNIL RAGHU

Hyderabad: A high-powered committee constituted by the Union ministry of shipping, road transport and highways on containerization in ports around Kolkata has recommended setting up a dedicated container terminal at the Diamond Harbour.

The panel has also proposed building a second log gate at the Haldia Port to ease vessel traffic, committee chairman P.V.K. Mohan said.

The committee was constituted in the backdrop of falling revenue from container traffic at the Haldia Dock Complex when container traffic was increasing in the rest of the world.

The committee was also asked to look into infrastructure and other bottlenecks that were impending growth at Kolkata and Haldia ports, Mohan said. “The committee has finalized its recommendations and they are being fine tuned now. We would be submitting the recommendations to the ministry in the next fortnight or so," Mohan said. C.R SUKUMAR

Mumbai: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Y.V. Reddy on Monday said the country is “vulnerable" to shocks arising out of volatility in global oil prices. But, he said, setting up of a stabilization fund is not justified under the given situation.

“There is no serious consideration of setting up a stabilization or sovereign wealth fund," Reddy said, while addressing the Foreign Exchange Dealers Association of India.

India imports 73% of oil to meet its fuel needs and faces inflationary pressure on any sharp increase in global crude prices. Crude oil touched a record $83 (Rs3,311) a barrel on 20 September. In India, inflation rose to 3.42% for the week ended 22 September, compared to 3.23% in the previous week. PTI

New Delhi: Industry body Assocham on Monday proposed a hike in fuel prices as a step to enable oil marketing companies (OMCs) to restrict their losses within the present estimated amount of Rs55,000 crore.

With the increase of $10 (Rs394) per barrel price of crude oil from $80, which is bound to further raise oil companies losses to about Rs70,000 crore by 31 March 2008, Assocham said in a statement “the time has ripened for the government to pass on the burden of crude prices on common man in phases."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday met petroleum minister Murli Deora and finance minister P. Chidambaram and is believed to have discussed measures, including a partial increase in petrol and diesel prices, issue of oil bonds and duty rejig. PTI

Mumbai: India’s rupee rose to the highest in nine-and-a-half on increased demand as overseas investors bought a record amount of the country’s stocks this year.

The rupee rose 0.1% to 39.4525 versus the dollar at the 5pm close in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest since 4 March 1998.

Overseas investors bought $14.5 billion more of Indian shares than they sold this year, surpassing the record $10.7 billion in 2005, data provided by the Securities and Exchange Board of India show. The purchases pushed BSE Sensex to a record last week. BLOOMBERG

New Delhi: India may fall short of achieving its export target in the year ending 31 March 2008 because of the gain in the rupee, commerce secretary G.K. Pillai said on Monday.

“I expect exports to reach $140 billion (Rs5.5 trillion) by the end of the year," Pillai said. “It looks difficult to achieve the $160 billion export target due to the rupee rise." The rupee traded near the highest in more than nine years on increased demand as overseas investors bought a record amount of stocks this year. BLOOMBERG