Regulations
145 companies being probed for chit fund scams

West Bengal tops the list of states with companies under investigation both in the last fiscal as well as the current one

 

In its crackdown on corporate fraud and chit fund scams, the government has, during the last three years and current year, ordered investigations of 145 companies allegedly involved in illegal deposit taking, parliament was told on Friday.
 
"'Fraud' has been defined as a substantive offence in the Companies Act, 2013 and its section 143(12) requires the auditor of a company to report any fraud to the board of directors or audit committee of that company or to the central government, depending on the amount of fraud," Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
 
West Bengal tops the list of states with companies under investigation both in the last fiscal as well as the current one.

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'Farmer suicide report a cover-up'

According to the NCRB report released earlier this month, Maharashtra recorded the highest number of farmers' suicides (2,568) followed by 898 in Telangana and 826 in Madhya Pradesh, while West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand reported zero suicides

 

With agrarian distress being a major crisis accounting for thousands of farming lives every year, the latest data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which claims the suicide rates among Indian farmers has halved, has triggered scorn, with experts calling it a "hoax" and "manipulative".
 
According to the NCRB's first collated detailed data on farmers' suicides, only 5,650 of them, including women, across the country committed suicide in 2014 as against 11,744 in 2013.
 
According to the NCRB report released earlier this month, Maharashtra recorded the highest number of farmers' suicides (2,568) followed by 898 in Telangana and 826 in Madhya Pradesh, while West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand reported zero suicides.
 
Experts, though, term the report faulty and accuse the central and state governments of resorting to manipulation to "try and cover up" the crisis.
 
Magsaysay-award winning journalist P. Sainath alleged "significant manipulation" in the report, pointing to the NCRB's changed data collection process wherein it has not considered agricultural labourers as farmers.
 
"Confronted with a growing agrarian crisis, with mounting misery, the government is trying to get around it by fiddling with numbers. There is significant manipulation," Sainath told IANS, adding that more states have declared "zero" farm suicides than ever before.
 
The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a Maharashtra based farmers rights group, said the farm suicides have actually gone up as reflected by the NCRB report itself.
 
"Contrary to the NCRB claims that farmer suicides constituted just 4.3 percent of total suicides as against nine percent in 2013, farm suicides have actually gone up," VJAS president Kishor Tiwari told IANS.
 
"The report itself says that 12,360 agricultural suicides have taken place. However, it has not considered the 6,710 agricultural labourers who committed suicide as farmers," Tiwari explained.
 
"Is it believable that not a single farmer committed suicide in West Bengal, Rajasthan or Bihar? There have been regular reports of such deaths from these states. The report has been deliberately fudged, that is why they have not even bothered to get it audited," Tiwari maintained.
 
Tiwari said the VJAS was mulling legal action over the faulty report.
 
"There is no other way but to seek legal recourse. We have moved the NCRB seeking details about the basis of the new methodology and we are awaiting that report. After due analysis of their report, we will chalk out our course of action," Tiwari added.
 
Besides the faulty methodology, some others attributed underreporting by the state governments as another major reason behind the anomaly.
 
"So far as farmers' suicides are concerned, the NCRB data is unreliable because of systematic underreporting with several of high farmers' suicide states reporting zero suicides," Maitreesh Ghatak, a professor at the London School of Economics, told IANS.
 
Ghatak said the definition of farmer that includes only those who own and work on field and excludes agricultural labourers was a major anomaly that provided ample scope to tweak the figures.
 
As per the report, "bankruptcy or indebtedness" was a major cause, accounting for 20.6 percent of farmers' suicides across the country followed by "family problems" (20.1 percent).
 
The other prominent causes were "farming related issues" (17.2 percent), "failure of crop" (16.8 percent) and "illness" (13.2 percent).
 
Incidentally, West Bengal, which has reported zero farmers' suicide, has accounted for 230 suicides by agricultural labourers.
 
The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, refused to admit agrarian distress as the reason behind the deaths.
 
"The NCRB report vindicates our stand. But as regards the suicides by agricultural labourers, according to our findings, in almost all the cases the reasons have been other than those related with agricultural indebtedness," Labour Minister Purnendu Bose told IANS.
 
"Almost all the suicides have been due to marital discords or other familial or social issues," he added.
 
Claiming the NCRB report was part of a deliberate attempt by the central and the state governments to suppress agrarian distress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist said it will raise the issue in parliament.
 
"Thanks to this fabricated data, the Narendra Modi government is making claims of bringing down farmers' suicides. This is nothing but a farce. Farmers' suicides are continuing unabated and this government cannot remain in denial. We will raise the issue in parliament," CPI-M Lok Sabha member from Bengal Mohammad Salim told IANS.

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Nifty, Sensex headed higher - Weekly closing report
Nifty has to close above 8,460 for the uptrend to continue
 
We had mentioned in previous week’s closing report that NSE’s CNX Nifty and S&P BSE Sensex may try to rally and that a dip in Nifty to 8,500 may attract buyers. The 50-scrip Nifty had closed previous week at 8,521.55. This week, we give in the table below Friday’s (31 July 2015) daily variation in major indices in the stock market. The market has ended flat, if we consider a whole week. Within the week, the major indices have fallen and regained to nearly the same level. Hence, the same forecast of an upmove in the medium term.
 
 
India Vix closed at 14.57, down 4.93%. NSE turnover was at 101.82 crore on Friday.
 
On Monday, the market was in a bear grip with the Nifty closing at 8,361.00. The news, over the weekend, that Participatory Notes (P-Notes) should be under the black money scanner unnerved the stock markets and the indices recorded a steep dive. The special investigation team (SIT) on black money has suggested the inclusion. The market is also seeking further clarity on the recommendations made by the Justice AP Shah committee on minimum alternate tax (MAT) and the new financial code.
 
Next day, proposed regulations on foreign funds coupled with worries over retrospective tax and the continuing slide in Chinese markets subdued investor sentiment in the Indian equity markets as well. In a volatile session on Tuesday, the 50-stock benchmark moved mostly in the green up to 1.29pm. However, after this, Nifty slid down. Its effort to revive failed and finally it closed in the red for the fourth consecutive session at 8,337.00.
 
Bargain hunting coupled with subsiding of US rate hike fears on Wednesday propelled Indian equity markets to close in the green. Indian markets remained in the positive zone due to the consistent buying ahead of the July futures and options (F&O) expiry on Thursday. Analysts pointed out that better-than-expected corporate results from the US and hopes that US Federal Reserve will postpone interest rate hike supported markets. Nifty closed Wednesday at 8,375.05.
 
On Thursday, the major indices in the Indian stock markets were range bound and recorded marginal gains. Nifty declined after hitting a high of 8,459. Clarity regarding P-Notes, the Indian government's push for reforms and the expiry of July derivative contracts, coupled with the US Fed's decision to keep interest rates intact, improved investor sentiments on Thursday. The 50-stock Nifty closed at 8,421.80.
 
This further built up on Friday to lead to recovery in the market to its previous week’s levels. Capital infusion in banks, clarity on retrospective tax on capital gains and expectations of a rate cut by the apex bank cheered investor sentiments and boosted Indian equity markets on Friday, in particular.  
 
The positive cues propelled the 30-scrip Sensex to close the day up by 409 points or 1.48% at 28,114.56 points. The wider 50-scrip Nifty also made gains and closed 111 points or 1.32% up at 8,532.85 points.
 
Overall, the week’s trading has been influenced by Indian government policies on overseas investors in India and international stock market cues. The Indian stock markets have hardly been able to work on their strengths for a serious rally.
 
Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:
 

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