GSFC Targets High-Tech Agriculture and Bio-technology projects 

Gujarat State Financial Corporation has diversified from traditional financing to extend financial assistance to activities like Hi-Tech Agricultural projects i.e. green house, Bio-Technology projects and Herbal projects. These activities can be considered as potential projects for the New Millennium.  

World wide bio-technology and Hi-Tech agriculture has been shown larger interest not only by the common people but also by the corporate giants. 

India being predominantly an agricultural country has made substantial progress in the field of horticulture in the last decade. The farmers have shifted from traditional agriculture to Hi-Tech agriculture. Technological development in any sector requires to be backed by required capital and other financial assistance. It is very important to sustain the growth of the sector by infusing in it capital, management and technology. India, particularly Gujarat, has several strategic advantages like :-  

  • Highly diversified agriculture climatic conditions offering variety of crops.
  • Abundant sunshine.
  • Abundant labour.
  • Strategically placed location to service the Western and Eastern market. 
The Corporation in the last few months has sanctioned about 5 projects which have already been implemented and another 10 projects are in pipeline and will be implemented in the next two months. The Corporation has given due importance to the sons of the soil who are really technocrats and managers for this kind of project. GSFC has already received 72 inquiries from the prospective entrepreneurs. 

The plants like stem roses, gerbera, carnations and other variegated varieties of flowers and vegetables which are grown in the green houses are in tremendous demand in major cities as well as in the foreign market. 

Bio-technology is a modern scientific technique to improve or modify plants, animals or micro organisms in such a way that can give you abundant quantity of production with extra-ordinary quality as per the requirements of the market. The Corporation has received large number of proposals from the upcoming entrepreneurs who are even Ph.Ds in Bio-technology and interested in setting up research centres backed by marketing tie ups. Bio-technology has great potential and is being explored the world over. The Corporation is welcoming young dynamic visionary entrepreneurs to come forward for financial assistance and fulfil their dreams. 

It is the recent trend world over of changing preferences for personal medicare from Allopathic drug to Ayurvedic and Herbal drugs which have no side effect and give tremendous results. GSFC has financed 5 projects which are providing good quality Ayurvedic drugs in the field. 

The field of Bio-technology, Hi-tech agriculture and Herbal agriculture has also immense potential of earning valuable foreign exchange for the country as the infrastructure available in our country has the ability to compete in the global market not only by providing product at lower price but also with excellent quality. The Corporation is already trying to tie up with institutions like CII, Forest Deptt., Ahmedabad Management Association etc. for effective results especially at the grass root level. 

Shri S.K. Nanda, IAS Managing Director, GSFC has been instrumental in setting up highest apex committee the Bio-Tech Council of Gujarat which is being headed by the Chief Minister and includes members like eminent scientists like Dr. Swaminathan. GSFC has also entered into agreement with Ahmedabad Management Association for setting up Centres in advanced fields, entrepreneurship development, buyer-seller meet etc. to bring Gujarat in the global map of horticulture and Bio-technology in the next few years.  


SICOM FD rating upgraded 

The Credit Analysis and Research Ltd. (CARE) has upgraded the rating for SICOM Ltd's fixed deposit programme to "CARE A+ (FD) from CARE A(FD)" upto a limit of Rs.75 crore indicating `High Quality'.  

According to a CARE press release the upgrade takes into account the shift in SICOM's lending policies from project to corporate finance, the demonstrated support by Government of Maharashtra (GoM) with the renewal of long term subordinated loan at concessional interest rate and the improvement in the asset quality parameter during the 2000 fiscal. However, despite improvements in the 2000 fiscal, managing asset quality remains the single biggest challenge before SICOM in the medium term. 

To improve its overall risk profile, the company concentrated on short and medium term lending to the better rated corporates. To further diversify risks, it is also lending to companies operating outside Maharashtra. 

SICOM also concentrated on improving recoveries. This resulted in reduction in NPAs from 16.8 percent to 14.1 percent. The reduction in NPAs is more significant as it has been achieved without significant increase in asset base. 

The GoM had retained the proceeds of Rs.230.10 crore received from SICOM's disinvestment in 1996, as a medium term loan. The GoM in June 2000, agreed to change the character of the loan to that of a `sub-ordinated debt' which will carry very low rate of interest and has also extended the maturity period. This has improved SICOM's resource profile and capital adequacy.  


TIDCO sheds 10% in ATMAC project in favour of IIG 

Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) has offloaded 10 per cent of its stake in the $4 billion Advance Technology Manufacturing and Assembly City (ATMAC) project in favour of Mauritius-based promoter INFAC India Group (IIG). 

This leaves TIDCO with just 1 per cent stake in the venture, while IIG's shareholding has increased to 99 per cent. ATMAC has already acquired 2,000 acres of land of the proposed 3,182 acre industrial-cum-mixed use city, developed as a special economic zone (SEZ) in Tamil Nadu and it is expected that the first phase of the project will be completed in the next 18 months. 

The company plans to raise $ 40 million as equity and $ 25 million as debt to finance the first phase of development. The company has appointed IDFC to mobilise the debt side of fund. It is understood that IDFC has approached various financial institutions and banks, including HDFC, for funding the project. 

The entire project is divided into three distinct phases of five years each. The 15 year development plan will attract an investment of $ 150 million on infrastructure. In the first phase, $ 65 million will be spent on infrastructure facilities to develop about 40-50 per cent of the land.  

Elaborating on the project, Mr. Locuks said the city will host multinational high-technology manufacturing companies seeking to establish facilities in an environment friendly industrial park with world-class infrastructure and amenities. "Information technology major Intel has envinced interest in the city to establish a $ 1 billion testing and processing facility". Besides, many international companies in the fields of bio-technology, manufacturing sector and assembly units have been approached to set up their plants in the SEZ. 


UPFC sanctions Rs.101 crore loan 

The Uttar Pradesh Financial Corporation (UPFC) has sanctioned loans amounting to Rs.101 crore in 45 days as a part of its special business promotion campaign. The campaign was organised in the industrial townships near the national capital like Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut and Saharanpur for encouraging entrepreneurs. 

We have tried to simplify the procedure and policies for encouraging entrepreneurs. The objective of the campaign was not just to simplify procedures but also identify the quality of sanctions as loan disbursement has always been a sore point with the entrepreneurs Smt. Rita Menon, MD, UPFC said.  

UPFC seeks Rs.137 crore equity flow for healthy CAR 

UPFC has asked the state government and SIDBI to invest Rs.137.46 crore towards its equity so that it could achieve a positive capital adequacy ratio and overcome its cash losses. 

UPFC has soughts Rs.137.46 crore - Rs.104 crore and Rs.33 crore from the state government and SIDBI respectively. This would give it capital adequacy ratio of two-three per cent. Ideally, the UPFC would have wanted capital influx of Rs.364 crore. which would have given it the international rating of nine percent CAR. This has become possible since the authorised capital of the Corporation has been raised to Rs.500 crore. UPFC have been strapped for fund due to the fixing of the paid-up capital at Rs.100 crore.  

Annual General Meeting of the of UPFC 

The forty fifth Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Shareholders of UPFC, was held under the Chairmanship of Shri S.K. Bhattacharya, Senior Divisional Manager, LIC. He said that the Corporation has sanctioned Rs.73.17 crores and disbursed Rs.69.40 crores in the year 1999-2000 and has recovered Rs.371.58 crores which is Rs.43.08 crores higher as compared to previous year. 

As the financial health of the Corporation depends upon the quality of its assets and generation of new quality business, various actions have been initiated to improve the overall business scenario of the Corporation. 

Discussing these actions, Sri Bhattacharya said that extensive business promotion meetings are being organised at regional levels with entrepreneurs for registration of good quality loan proposals. He added that interest rates of the Corporation have been rationalised and suitable incentives for good borrowers are being offered as Terminal Interest Rate benefit on year to year basis which would improve business of UPFC. 

Various Industrial Sectoral Task Forces (STFs) have been constituted to undertake macro and micro level studies of different sectors of economy so as to provide feed back to management to take conscious decisions. The liberalised policies and WTO have vital impact on growth of SSI sector. UPFC has formed a specific cell to study their impact with reference to SSI sector in UP. 

Shri Bhattacharya informed the AGM that various steps have been taken to reduce the time gap between sanction and disbursement to eliminate the possibility of emerging sickness. The task managers have been appointed for all the units above Rs.20 lacs to ensure timely implementation of projects with responsibility of timely recovery.  

The Corporation is also tying up with various other government agencies to solve teething problems of industries to help for creating larger number of healthy industries which will maintain a sustained growth in production, higher export and create sizeable additional employment. 


UPSIDC estates to be delinked from municipalities 

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to delink UPSIDC estates from local municipal bodies and designate them as separate entities under UP Industrial Areas Development Act.  

The constitution of UPSIDC would also be changed to make it an umbrella organisation to act as a facilitator for industrial development in the State. The new authorities would become functional within six months and take over maintenance works in these industrial parks. 

In the present system, these industrial estates are developed by UPSIDC and handed over to nagar palikas which are responsible for their day-to-day administration including maintenance of basic infrastructure and collection of taxes but now 60 per cent of taxes collected would go towards the development and maintenance of the industrial park from where the collections were made and the rest would go to the local bodies for providing facilities like lead roads and water supply. 

The move would allow streamlining of operations in the existing parks and the ones that UPSIDC proposes to set up.