FMCG majors battle fakes
1600 Allahabad Bank employees opt for VRS

New Delhi, Jan. 13: 
The FMCG industry led by P&G, Dabur and HLL, has launched a special initiative in association with the intellectual property rights section of the Crime Branch, to save the Rs 60,000 crore market.

According to an estimate by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, (Ficci) made by its Brand Protection Committee (BPC), the FMCG market loses more than Rs 1000 crore each year due to counterfeits.

On complaints filed by P and G, HLL and Dabur, all members of the BPC, the Intellectual Property Rights section recently raided and seized large quantities of fakes in the capital.

The fakes were violating the trademarks and copyrights of well-known brands such as Ariel, Head & Shoulders and Pantene of P&G, Dabur Amla Hair Oil of Dabur and Sunsilk, Clinic All Clear and Clinic Plus of HLL.

The raids were carried out simultaneously on the warehouse and manufacturing premises of Nimma International in Savitri Nagar village, Malviya Nagar, Delhi. Volumes of packaging material material were seized along with machinery. Himanshu Chadda, proprietor of Nimma International could not, however, be traced.

The company�s turnover has been estimated to be around Rs 25 crore per annum, which, a Ficci spokesperson said meant a revenue loss of about Rs 7.5 crore to the government.

The Brand Protection Committee of Ficci formed about a year back, estimates that 7-8 per cent of FMCG products are affected by the menace of spurious goods.

The committee brings together leading FMCG manufacturers like P and G, HLL, Dabur, Marico, Britannia, Coke, Pepsi, and IMI. The BPC is also keen to extend its activities beyond FMCG products, albeit this is the largest affected segment.


Calcutta, Jan. 13: 
Allahabad Bank�s voluntary retirement scheme has seen 1600 employees opt for it, out of its workforce of 22,000, and will cost the bank Rs 150 crore.

The bank has asked the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to work out ways and means how the VRS programme can be funded without having much impact on the bank�s bottomline.

Addressing reporters at the launch of a personal scheme for pensioners, B. Samal, chairman and managing director of the bank said, �Indian Banks Association is also working out a broadbase formula for VRS financing. We are eagerly waiting for that. In the meantime we are making our own internal exercise.�

Commenting on the bank�s non-performing asset (NPA) recovery drive, Samal said they had targeted to bring down the NPAs worth Rs 1,690 crore by Rs 500 crore. �Till date we have recovered Rs 110 crore. We expect to be able to recover quite a handsome amount by March 31 through a one-time settlement.�

The bank will introduce a personal loan scheme for pensioners from January 15 under which all state/central government pension holders up to the age of 65 years, drawing their monthly pension either through the bank�s branches or from post office/other banks, are eligible for a personal loan of an amount equivalent to 10 months pension inclusive of relief or Rs 75,000 whichever is lower. The rate of interest payable will be 15 per cent and the repayment will be in 36 months.

The pensioner shall be covered under the group personal accident insurance policy of Rs 1 lakh covering accidental death. The bank aims to disburse Rs 20 crore on this account by March 31.

Regarding the growth of the bank in the retail loan sector, Samal said the bank has witnessed a significant growth in this sector. �Our retail boutiques are doing extremely well and we have increased the number of such boutiques to 100,� he said.

The boutiques deal with consumer loan, housing loan, car and personal loan. The amount disbursed in these four categories as on March 31, 2000 was to the tune of Rs 238 crore, out of which Rs 96 crore alone was given in the personal loan sector.

In the first nine months of the current financial year the total disbursement in the retail sector is Rs 409 crore, the major chunk of which has gone to the personal loan segment. The bank is planning to take up a technology upgradation scheme in a phased manner which will enable it to connect 256 branches.


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