Tata Motors hikes commercial vehicle prices

“We have hiked the prices of our commercial vehicles by 2%-5% considering the hike in excise duty on vehicles and chassis,” Tata Motors president (commercial vehicle business unit), Mr Ravi Pisharody said

Tata Motors has hiked the prices of its entire range of commercial vehicles by up to Rs60,000 following excise duty hike in the Budget.

“We have hiked the prices of our commercial vehicles by 2%-5% considering the hike in excise duty on vehicles and chassis. This has been done with effect from 17 March 2012,” Tata Motors president (commercial vehicle business unit), Mr Ravi Pisharody, told reporters at the Defence Expo.

The price hike will vary between Rs5,000 and Rs60,000 depending upon different models.

When asked if this is going to affect the demand, Mr Pisharody said: “In the near term, definitely it will impact sales. It usually takes 4-6 months to fully absorb hike by the market.”

The company is expecting a growth of 18%-19% in its commercial vehicle sales in 2011-12.

Tata Motors has recently also increased the prices of its passenger vehicles, including the Nano, by up to Rs35,000 with immediate effect due to hike in excise duty.

Tata Motor’s shares closed at Rs271.95 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0.26% up from the previous close.

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Essel Group stake close to IVRCL promoter-holding level

Essel Group had said that it had hiked its stake in IVRCL to 10.19%. It had added that it was keen to hike the holding further.

Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group has bought additional shares in infrastructure company IVRCL to bring its shareholding close to 11%, the level held by promoters led by E Sudhir Reddy.

Market analysts said there is risk of control of the company changing hands. According to brokerage firm Zen Securities, the stake held by IVRCL promoters is very less and “if they do not take this seriously there is risk of taking over control of the company”.
 
IVRCL, however, sounded confident of support from financial institutions and lenders. “I have received messages from other infrastructure companies willing to extend support and personally chairmen of some banks also said they will help, if required,” IVRCL chief financial officer Balram Reddy told PTI.

“Our chairman is having talks with other FIIs and (we are) fully backed up. We are ready to resist the move to any extent,” Reddy added.

Essel Group had said that it had hiked its stake in IVRCL to 10.19%. It had added that it was keen to hike the holding further.

Promoters of IVRCL held 11.18% stake in the company while FIIs and DIIs held 37.11% and 5.4% respectively as per the shareholding pattern recorded on 31 December 2011. The rest was with public.

According to SEBI's new guidelines, the takeover trigger limit has been increased from 15% to 25%.

Essel's stake acquisition in IVRCL through secondary market triggered the possible takeover threat fuelled by its statement.

“In line with its philosophy to grow its infrastructure business to match and benefit from the rising proportion of infrastructure investment by India, the Essel Group has acquired a 10.19% stake in IVRCL and is keen to increase it and is in the process of increasing it,” Essel had said in a statement.

IVRCL reported net profit of Rs6.79 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2011 down 84% over the same quarter last year. Its total income decreased by 15% to nearly Rs1,203 crore in the quarter.

IVRCL shares closed at Rs64.75 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 7.83% up from the previous close.

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Follow time limit to decide sanction for prosecution: CVC

“The grant of sanction is an administrative act and the purpose is to protect the public servant from harassment by frivolous or vexatious prosecution and not to shield the corrupt,” the Central Vigilance Commission said

Annoyed over inordinate delay in graft cases, the Central Vigilance Commission has directed all government departments to follow a four-month time limit to decide grant of sanction for prosecution against a corrupt public servant.

In a latest directive issued today, the anti-corruption watchdog has cited Supreme Court judgements to expedite cases pending permission to prosecute a corrupt government official and told all ministries/departments to adhere to the CVC and apex court's guidelines in "letter and spirit".

"The grant of sanction is an administrative act and the purpose is to protect the public servant from harassment by frivolous or vexatious prosecution and not to shield the corrupt," the Commission said. It clarified that the question of giving opportunity to the public servant at that stage does not arise and the sanctioning authority has only to see whether the facts would prima facie constitute the offence.

The CVC advised all concerned competent authorities that while processing requests of sanction of prosecution, the "time limits laid down by the Apex Court are adhered to in letter and spirit". Citing a verdict by the apex court, the probity watchdog said that "time limit of three months for grant of sanction for prosecution must be strictly adhered to.

However, additional time of one month may be allowed where consultation is required with the Attorney General or any other law officer in the AG's office".

According to a latest data, the CVC is awaiting sanction to prosecute 47 officials from various central government departments/ministries in 29 cases of alleged corruption.

“The delay in giving sanction for prosecution act as a hindrance in processing a case of corruption against accused official. The Commission has been concerned over serious delay in according the sanction by departments concerned. The latest directive would help in expediting the graft cases," a CVC official said.

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