Need To Know | Karnataka offers land toTata Motors for Nano

Need To Know | Karnataka offers land toTata Motors for Nano

Bangalore: The Karnataka government on Thursday offered Tata Motors Ltd land in the northern district of Dharwad to set up a plant to manufacture its small car Nano.

“Karnataka has offered 1,000 acres of land and all incentives for setting up the Nano plant in the state," said the company’s external media relations agency, quoting Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant who met chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in Bangalore.

“First they must decide to shift from West Bengal," Yeddyurappa said. “It (the proposal) is still in discussion."

The Tata group holds some 700 acres in Dharwad through two subsidiaries —Tata Marcopolo Motors Ltd, a joint venture with Brazilian coach maker Marcopolo SA, and Telco Construction Equipment Co. Ltd, a joint venture with Japan-based Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd. Meanwhile, the Coalition for Rural Empowerment, a non-governmental organization, has filed a petition in the Calcutta high court seeking to restrain Tata Motors from pulling the plug on its Nano factory. The petition will come up for hearing on Friday.

— Ajay Sukumaran


RBS in no hurry to invest in ABN Amro’s India ops

Mumbai: Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. (RBS) is in no hurry to infuse fresh capital into ABN Amro Bank’s India operations, a top executive said.

"Financial markets are highly volatile. At this point in time we are waiting for the dust to settle down and the answer to how much capital will be invested in the India operations will be forthcoming in the coming months," John McCormick, chairman, Asia Pacific, RBS, said on Thursday. McCormick, however, was quick to add that RBS has a long-term commitment to India.

— Anita Bhoir


Cabinet nod for nano science institute

New Delhi: The cabinet on Thursday approved establishing an autonomous Institute of Nano Science and Technology Mohali to be built at a cost of Rs142.45 crore by 2012 and administered by the department of science and technology. The institute, to be registered as a society, will work on basic research, develop infrastructure and human resources, and collaborate globally through public and private partnerships.

— Staff Writer


Apollo Hospitals to train 25,000 health workers

Chennai: Apollo Hospitals Group has acquired land to set up Apollo Aragonda Health Knowledge City in Andhra Pradesh to train around 25,000 health-care workers a year by 2012, it said. The health knowledge city is being built by a non-profit arm called Apollo Knowledge Foundation.

To be built on 100 acres, the city would cost Rs1,000, according to Shobana Kamineni, executive director, Apollo Hospitals Group.

"With the setting up of this knowledge city in my hometown (Aragonda), we hope that others also replicate this model to train people in healthcare," said Prathap C. Reddy, founder-chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group. Aragonda is some 160 km from Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

To develop curricula of around 45 courses, Apollo Hospitals Education and Research Foundation, another non-profit organization of the group, has tied up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

— Vidhya Sivaramakrishnan


Novartis plans rural push in India

Mumbai: Novartis India, the Indian arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis AG, plans to roll out a rural marketing initiative in India, targeting health needs of villages and semi-urban markets.

Under this initiative, the company will sell around 24 products from its generic company Sandoz India Ltd and from its consumer health-care business unit that address treatments for tuberculosis, mother and childhood malnutrition, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. According to Novartis India vice-chairman and managing director Ranjit Shahani, the firm hopes to reach 50 million rural patients. It would initially have 26 cells in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh and expects to extend it further to 200 cells by end of the year.

— C.H. Unnikrishnan


Govt eases curbs on export of cereals

Mumbai: The government which halted exports of wheat, rice and maize to tame inflation, partly eased the ban by allowing overseas sales of the grains as seeds, the trade ministry said.

Traders holding valid permits can ship the grains of various grades after treating them chemically, the ministry said in a notification.

— Bloomberg


EPFO to adopt pay commission report

New Delhi: The staff of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation, or EPFO, can soon expect a salary hike as the board managing it has decided to implement the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission.

EPFO’s central board of trustees, which met on Thursday, also received an interim-report by a sub-committee set up to look into restructuring the organization.

As part of the restructuring, EPFO’s zonal offices are expected to be abolished. The panel is expected to submit its final report at the board’s next meeting.

W.R. Varadarajan, a board member, said the sub-committee has opposed the suggestion of Xavier Labour Relations Institute to abolish 17,000 positions in the organization after its computerization programme is completed.

“No final decision has been taken on restructuring," said another board member D.L.Sachdev. He said the work load on the organization would increase as more people are now expected to become EPFO members.

— Krishnamurthy Ramasubbu


Unitech close to name partner for telecom unit

Bangalore: Realty firm Unitech Ltd may announce a buyer for a stake in its new mobile phone unit by the end of this month.

“We are close to finalizing a partner," R. Nagaraju, a general manager in charge of investor relations, said over telephone on Thursday. The stake will be at least 26% of the division, and the terms are being negotiated, Nagarju said.

Meanwhile, Telecom Italia denied on Thursday a newspaper report from India that it was close to a deal to invest $2 billion (Rs9,340 crore) for a 49% holding in the telecommunications venture.

“The story is baseless," a Telecom Italia spokesman said.

‘The Economic Times’ reported in its 18 September issue that Telecom Italia was close to reaching a deal on the investment. Citing an unidentified executive of the Indian company, the newspaper said Unitech would transfer its telecommunications business to a new company, in which it will hold the remaining 51%.

A spokesman for Unitech declined comment on the newspaper report.

— Bloomberg / Reuters