Companies & Sectors
AstraZeneca Pharma board approves delisting offer from promoters

AstraZeneca Pharma India board approves delisting offer from its Sweden based promoters AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. However, it is yet to obtain approval of its shareholders

AstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd (AZ India) said its board approved delisting proposal received from its parent AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB (AZP). The proposal, however would require approval from shareholders.

Sweden-based AZP holds 75% stake while foreign institutional investors (FIIs) holds 15.93% share in AZ India. However, As per SEBI rules on delisting, AZP needs to buy an additional 15% to take its stake 90% to get its Indian unit delisted.

A week ago, Moneylife wrote; Insider trading in AstraZeneca Pharma? As One day before AstraZeneca Pharma announced delisting, its volumes spurted and share prices shot up by 9.13%. Earlier, on 5th March, AZ India board asked for additional information from its AZP regarding its voluntary delisting offer. On 15th March, AZ India held board meeting, in which board has approved voluntary delisting offer of AZP AB. 

Moneylife earlier wrote about, The deadly delisting itch of AstraZeneca Pharma India,  explaining how AstraZeneca is on course to achieve its decade-long plan to delist its shares from the Indian bourses by hook or by crook.

AstraZeneca closed Tuesday 2.8% higher at Rs1,192 on BSE, while the 30-share Sensex ended the day marginally up at 21,832.


Small Business, Big Troubles
Small businesses contribute 45% to India’s national income and big businesses only 15%. But it is the latter that the media fawns over

Until India embarked on economic liberalisation, government officials, especially in Delhi, took a perverse pleasure in keeping industrialists waiting in their corridors for an appointment. Dhirubhai Ambani had famously said in an interview that he would salaam anybody to get his work done—even a peon—because that is how the government treated industry during the licence-permit-raj. 
Post 1992, India Inc has done better. Politicians, especially finance ministers, craved for their approval ratings as Union Budgets turned into televised reality shows. 
Over the past decade, a nice crony club of politicians and industrialists have worked together to hatch policies to enable large-scale loot of national resources and bank funds, so much so that many industrialists found it profitable to move right into parliament as elected or nominated members. 
Then, instead of waiting in the corridors, they ordered bureaucrats and bankers about, until the massive scams finally began to be exposed by the comptroller & auditor general. 
The rapid growth of India Inc, and the fawning media coverage it receives, would lead you to believe that its contribution to national income would be in proportion to the wealth that it flaunted. 
Well, here is a shocker. Professor R Vaidyanathan, in his latest book India UnInc says that India Inc contributes only 15% of national income while India Uninc is the real growth engine which contributes 45% of national income. But the treatment meted out to the two could not be more starkly different. Just one example should suffice. The share of bank credit of India UnInc is 36%, while the huge non-performing assets (NPAs) are largely generated by India Inc.
Prof Vaidyanathan, who has taught at IIM Bangalore for over three decades and is invariably rated one of its most popular teachers, has coined the term India Uninc for the largest component of the Indian economy comprising small entrepreneurs, household enterprises, proprietorship and partnership firms, small manufacturers, kirana stores and all others.  
He has rendered invaluable service to India’s true growth engine by explaining, with facts and numbers, their contribution to the nation. This sector is otherwise mindlessly lumped under the head ‘non-corporate sector’ or unorganised, informal sector or even the household sector, when it comes to data on earning and savings. 
Prof Vaidyanathan explores flaws in various classifications, including those of agriculture and service sector, adopted by the national accounts statistics to conclude that most of these terminologies are borrowed from Western experience and are not appropriate in the Indian context. 
At a time when India is fed up of scams and exploitation, Prof Vaidyanathan’s book is a timely discussion on how the real contributors to the India’s growth are harassed by ‘taxtortion’ and a plethora of maddening regulation at the local, state and national level which do not attract the attention of planners and policymakers. 
In fact, the first four chapters of the book argue, after a clinical analysis, that we need a national debate on how the government compiles and classifies its data, if India wants to get the best out of small entrepreneurs. 
Prof Vaidyanathan then goes on to bust some myths about the contribution of the service sector and the post-1992 reforms. He says that the growth in India’s information technology (IT) is largely believed to be the biggest contributor to service sector growth.
In fact, large IT companies, he says, are separately classified under the head ICT (information & communication technology) and contribute around 5% of the national income, but a much bigger chunk of mindshare. It is also important to note that the share of foreign direct investment and foreign institutional investment has only been 8% of national income in any year over the past two decades. 
Prof Vaidyanathan establishes how wrong classification leads to policymakers ignoring the contribution of India Uninc to savings or leads to false conclusions about the contribution of retail trade and other businesses. He argues that the neighbourhood kirana shop, which remains open 16 hours a day and 365 days a year (using family labour), has turned highly efficient with the help of mobile phones and is able to service its customers far better than large, organised retail stores. 
Sadly, such contributors to growth have been shut out of the market for cheaper bank finance by ever-more onerous KYC (know your customer) requirements, documentation and compliance needs. They are forced to borrow from less regulated and more expensive chit funds and informal financiers. Also, at the lowest end of the chain, entrepreneurs, such as hawkers and street vendors, face harassment and extortion by the police and municipal officers. 
Prof Vaidyanathan says that 85% of India is self-employed and does not have any social security, or even products like reverse mortgage, which will allow them to extract value from their physical assets in times of need. Some of these are issues that Moneylife and Moneylife Foundation have tried to highlight over the past four years. The need for a workable, correctly taxed and priced reverse mortgage product is one of them.
Unfortunately, the UPA government has limited its engagement to the crony club and large industry associations. 
The many independent regulators that have been set up in the past two decades also took their cue from the government and have chosen not to engage with stakeholders. As a consequence, those who constitute India Uninc, who could have been the biggest beneficiaries of sensible insurance, or inflation-beating mutual fund products or equity, actually shun these products.  
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), while paying lip-service to ‘financial inclusion’, has no plan or strategy to engage with stakeholders, to ensure that such inclusion does not lead to more mis-selling of products or usurious interest extracted by microfinance firms. This is evident from the treatment of non-banking financial companies and the failure to recognise their role. Consequently, the biggest source of exploitation of India Uninc, which is Ponzi schemes that proliferate across India, is only beginning to receive some attention from the government after some mega-scandals such as SpeakAsia, Saradha, QNet and Sahara. 
Prof Vaidyanathan points out how many of these, including 160 entities of Saradha, posed as legal chit funds (which, when well-run, are beneficial to people) but were not registered as such. RBI has been reluctant to regulate this sector and plans to phase out ‘deposit-taking’ by non-banking finance companies. But that has not stopped borrowers from being exploited by large microfinance companies which mis-sold loans as well as insurance and caused a globally-infamous scandal under RBI’s watch. 
Whether it is enforcement of contracts, fair access to credit at reasonable terms, safe savings and retirement security, taxation or rent-seeking by government officials, the odds are stacked against India Uninc. 

The question is: Will a change in government lead to any re-think about framing policies to get the best out of India Uninc? We believe that it will require a lot of public debate and systematic advocacy, based on every chapter of this path-breaking book, before we can nudge the government to even start thinking differently. Prof Vaidyanathan has provided the intellectual framework for this discussion backed by hardcore research. It is now up to us to take the debate forward with his help. 

Sucheta Dalal is the managing editor of Moneylife. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 for her outstanding contribution to journalism. She can be reached at [email protected]



Ashit Kothi

3 years ago

What Prof Vaidyanathan has brought in focus is the real contributor to National Income and Growth. The problem has been identified by Prof.. What is required now is to identify available possible options to resolve the issue. Here the idea / input from Professor and other like minded people can be of great help and then media and other groups can take it forward.

Identification of problem is half work done.

Ramesh Jaradhara

3 years ago

The apathy of the Govt policy makers is that mostly they value foreign degrees as capable of making policy decisions and look India UnInc from out side India. Until and unless we frame policies based on hard facts and an Indian point of view there is no respite for this sector in terms of policy treatment and growth impetus required by it.There needs to remove the curtain from the eyes of policy makers and govt machinery and make them feel the importance of India UnInc as propounded by Prof. Vaidyanathan.

K G Krupal

3 years ago

In spite of this huge contribution 45% from the uninc sector to the National Income, regulators / Governments focus on 15% contributors. If our retail population is injected with the purchasing power then the National problems will be solved automatically. Inflation loses its negative impact, GDP automatically improves, morethan that public satisfaction will improve the business environment. This elite environment will attract huge foreign investments. THINK OF SMALL BUSINESS, PEOPLE INTEREST FOR THE BIG GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY should be the policy.

Yerram Raju Behara

3 years ago

Out of the 36% of NPAs of the India Uninc the contribution of Government and PSUs through non-payment of bills in time for the goods delivered and accepted by the small businesses, if one were to carefully calculate would come to no less than 20%. Unreleased subsidies or delayed release subsidies contribute another 5% and the rest are willful defaults and managerial inefficiencies. The Companies Act 2000 prescribed that the India Inc declare once in every quarter their dues to the small businesses (include MSMEs-the revised definition) of Rs.2lakhs and above. But the rule is never implemented nor audited. Credit rating agencies do not consider this aspect while giving rating to the India Inc.


Dayananda Kamath k

In Reply to Yerram Raju Behara 3 years ago

what purpose does it serve by a company declaring it in annual reports. does any agency, authority in govt scan these and initiate action. rules are made just to show that they have done something on an issue.

Suiketu Shah

3 years ago

Wonderful piece and 100% agree.For instance look at MF industry.Some rule is likely to come into effect which wl make small MF hard to do business having AUM less than a high amount like Quantum.All this wl change once Modi comes in power with Dr Swamy and Jaitly in 1-2 yrs once they correct the wrongdoings of the last few yrs.

Dayananda Kamath k

3 years ago

that is the reason congress and upa wants fdi in retail. they need not pester so many people for moolha

Mahesh S Bhatt

3 years ago

Excellent research & good article.

Keep up the show Ma'am.

Abhijit Gosavi

3 years ago

That the IT sector, which is what India is known for in the West in business circles, contributes so little to the GDP is a v. counter-intuitive and significant finding! And there is much information packed in this article too --- should contribute to a strong case study in a good business school!


Abhijit Gosavi

In Reply to Abhijit Gosavi 3 years ago

Also, that 85% are self-employed is another startling statistic! Obviously, the self-employed are on their own but are running almost half the economy!!! The good business schools need to have a vibrant discussions on this and raise awareness!


3 years ago

The biggest problems for small industry are: (1) Usurious government regulations and too many of them, applicable to enterprises starting from 5 people in size. (forcing companies to become smaller to escape from this stranglehold) (2) Their money getting locked up in delayed payments from other companies. The latter they can tolerate, but the former adds zero value and is just a conduit for the government to harass people.

ajay deshpande

3 years ago

Yes all what has been said in this article is true . We all need to wake up and voice our concern about the changes we desire to help the country to operate on real problems .

ajay deshpande

Tatkal passport: Online appointments in Pune turning into nightmare

Moneylife’s campaign in 2013 about problems at Pune passport office has relatively ironed out the process of passport applications. However, recently, the alleged interference of touts seems to have put Tatkal passport applicants in a spot

Akanksha Samyal studies in Fergusson College in Pune. Her father Col Pradeep Samyal (retd) resides in Canada and had come down in January to renew her passport through Tatkal so that she gets it between one to seven days. However, he did not get the online appointment for over two weeks. Col Samyal searched on Google for help and found my cell number. When he called me up, I asked him to take a walk-in appointment. However, since January 2014, the walk-in appointments at Pune Passport Office are restricted to senior citizens, the disabled and for children below 14 years.

When I called up the Assistant Passport Officer and asked her as to what does a citizen, other than these three categories do, she casually stated that I would have to call up the office of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in Delhi and seek their permission and if I get it, then she would give the walk-in appointment. I told her to give this piece of information in writing. Lo and behold, within an hour’s time she gave Col Samyal a walk-in appointment for the next day. The objective of the campaign is not to procure appointments through ‘influence’ but to ensure that the passport applicant gets his or her appointment immediately after paying online as has been stated in the website.

Col Samyal pointed out that, “When I approached a passport agent, he said that if I give him my login and password, then he would give me the online appointment within 24 hours. However, I have never in my life gone through illegal ways and hence was determined to keep trying.”

While the website of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) clearly states “Members of the public are advised to desist from dealing with touts / agents who may be charging exorbitantly for their service and further, may be making false promises about arranging assured urgent appointment or faster passport service delivery…Such incidents of harassment / influence by them may be reported to concerned Passport Officer”, it seems that touts are flourishing in Pune and alleged mass capturing of online appointments by these middle men is on the rise particularly for Tatkal passports.

Col Samyal, who finally got his daughter’s passport but was harassed for about two weeks over the issue of online appointments, gives a probable explanation from his experience. He states, “At the Schedule Appointment screen after choosing the PSK LOCATION and entering the CHARACTERS DISPLAYED when I pressed the NEXT button, instead of getting the ‘Book Appointment button’ the screen immediately refreshes with a new picture”. The above process kept repeating from 12pm till 12.15om on 18th January and till 12:20pm on 19th January for more than 40-50 times. Then in the end, I got the following message flashed on top:- “No Tatkaal appointments are available for the selected Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). Please try scheduling an appointment later on 19/01/2014 /// 20/01/2014 at 12:00 PM onwards” on both days respectively.

“My internet connection was perfect and fast, the Passport Server worked perfectly fine on both days. Today in addition, I spoke to the Passport Customer care and they advised me to try it on a different browser - Internet Explorer. I changed my browser, but there was still no change. It just can’t happen that the `Book Appointment button’ should repeatedly keep refreshing over the entire 15 to 20 minutes with a new picture asking to re-enter the letters displayed. As I had explained before, the Tatkal System is dominated by majority of the applicants taking appointments through touts. These "AGENTS" ask us for our user ID and password. The Passport Officer I met said that they are using the same web portal as us. If so then I would like to ask - How is it that they can get us an assured appointment over the next two days? There is a strong possibility of collusion by some passport officials or computer operators who may be manipulating the system.”

Writing to the Passport Officer, Col Samyal requested that, “you try the Tatkal Booking through a dummy account to check the validity of the system. There could also be some System Administrator who may be manipulating the system - as the system allows one to reach the payment portal and pay fees but prevents booking of actual appointment. Checking the logs and the log-in timings of the computer operators can surely give clues to the systemic manipulation, which I strongly suspect is being carried out. The ‘AGENTS’ are very obviously manipulating the system. In the end I can only say that the present system is a failure, requires an external intervention and a major re-haul.”

“If after two to three weeks of sincere efforts one fails to get Tatkal Appointment - then the very purpose of Tatkal is defeated. I am terribly disappointed with my experience and I am not too sure if the ‘AGENTS’ who thrive only because of systemic failure can ever be eliminated. I wonder how much time it takes to streamline and improve the system?’’

 “My guess is as follows:

 1. Agents get applicants to share their User ID and password

2. Agents have someone on the inside who has server administrator rights

3. Agents give a list of User ID/s and password/s to the administrator

4. When they log in with the User ID/s and password/s of the applicants (who have agreed to pay a fee to the agent), the administrator intervenes and ensures that the particular ID/s + password/s gets priority for the appointment

5. This way, anyone not using an agent, will find it near impossible to get an appointment, while those going thru the agent will get an appointment

Another applicant, Shubham Agarwal had the same traumatic experience. He wrote to me, “I have been experiencing a failure in booking Tatkaal appointment from last 10 days through the online portal. The system opens up at 12:00 noon and closes in 8-10 minutes approx. During this time after entering the PSK and unique characters it says, "unable to process. Please try later". I have tried online and challan payment both, different internet servers, browsers and everything else possible.”

“Whereas I recently found agents who are specifically working to get Tatkaal Appointments at a hefty price. Looks like they have been favoured by the system over the general public. The details of such an agent are as under:

Yet another passport applicant, Agam Gupta, who had to travel to UAE due to a new job, also did not get his online appointment under Tatkal. It was after my intervention that he finally got it. He writes: “I got selected in company at UAE and I required passport urgently, so I have collected all the document required for Tatkal passport and I am trying for appointment from last 10 days but unable to get also I have tried with agents even they are not able to do anything. I am helpless now this is very serious I may lose the opportunity if I didn’t get the passport I am also ready to spend money required for this. I kindly request you to please help me.”

Under the banner of RTI Forum for Instant Information (RFII) of which I am the convener, I organized a Passport complaint at a public garden in Pune on Sunday, 15th March. Once again, the major complaint pertained to the same issue of inability to get online appointment after applying and paying for Tatkal passport. Arti Karkhanis, one of the passport applicants, stated that, after her inability to get a Tatkal appointment she was advised by the passport officer to apply under the normal passport which takes 30 to 45 days to be issued. Karkhanis is going on a holiday shortly and hence wanted the re-issuance of her passport at the earliest.

RFII takes strong objection against the passport officers misguiding applicants instead of taking action against the alleged nexus of passport agents and staffers of the passport office. This is because passport agents have told applicants that if they give their login and password, then the agents will get applicants Tatkal appointments within a day. RFII demands that the passport office take strong action against passport agents or RFII will embark upon an agitation soon.

(For more details, contact Vinita Deshmukh 98230 36663 or email her at [email protected])



sagar borage

3 years ago

Hello,My registered birth date is wrong it is 1989 but after my 5th standard everywhere it is 1990(on every mark sheet & on voting card). Do I need to make affidavit on birth certificate as 1990 because s.s.c DOB & birth certificate DOB differs.

Akash Jain

3 years ago

I am facing the exact same issues mentioned above. I am now deliberating whether I should shell out money to agents and get the passport done (because it is urgent and important) or to stick to the course and try scheduling appointments myself through the web portal. Its been 10 days I am consistently trying to login on website at 12pm and trying to book an appoint. Its a major inconvenience to drop everything on hand and go book the appointment online. Not to mention, it defeats the 'tatkal' purpose if I cannot book the appointment for more than 10 days


3 years ago


I see these are incidents from Pune, but it is no different in Mumbai. I have over the last almost 15 days tried to get a tatkaal appointment hand have encountered similar problems:
1. When I first applied, it took me to the payment getway but never to the schedule appointment.
2. The time I booked my first appointment, at schedule appointment it showed a date of 8th April but when the final page appeared it was 20th May!
3. Since I am travelling early next month, I am trying to obtain a tatkaal appointment for my son , such that he can travel with me but PSK Thane shows 50 slots booked each day and none is mine!
4. Either the message is "unable to process your request, please try after sometime" OR " Please enter the letters in the image correctly".
4. Its a no-brainer that thee is a collusion between agents and passport officials.
5. Agents charge anything between a 15 to 30 K for a tatkaal passport that would otherwise cost 3K.
6. Is there a way I can (in Mumbai)/we can solve this problem, apart from writing it here so more and more people are aware of this?
7. Can I try some other walk-in option (yes they have none except for senior citizens, PCC and Disabled)
8. Strange even the modus operandi points to the rules being designed in a way to let the agents thrive else how would anyone other than senior citizen, disabled get a passport on urgent basis except for trying with touts!


3 years ago

In view of Mr. Tanmoy Chakroborty Passport Agents perhaps is passé, as since TCS has begun using technology to make the passport applicant’s experience smooth-sailing, it has encourage the touts agents to FLOURISH in their business.

There are reputed travel agents recognized and governed by the National and International Organization the same where also Recognized by the Ministry Of External Affair and in Number in all over India there will be 1500 to 1800 only such recognized agents and they are still in the business as according to the Laws .

In the earlier system in Pune , the Recognized Passport Agents by Ministry Of External Affair are below 100 in numbers.

And The Touts agents in Pune City are 2000 + as per various Advertisements.

I understand, as TCS are now operating, anything that don’t work for them, simply put “Agents” to bar, but to whom Reputed Travel Agents or Touts Agents.

NON AVAILABILITY to get the TATKAL APPOINTMNETS, may it be a failure of TCS or is it a Passport Scam or alleged nexus of passport agents and staffers of the passport office or of the Touts, a proper channel or investigation must be recommended and should be investigated by the State CID, Central CBI and the culprits must be punished and the problem must be solved.

However who ever be responsible, and are the culprits, the question Since the LAUNCH of Passport Seva Project getting Appointment was not and is a easy Jobs for the Citizen, and since it is managed by the TCS, it is the failure of TCS technology, on moral ground TCS must take responsibility for all.



In Reply to NajmuddinMunirShaikh 3 years ago

My above comments is in veiw of news report on :

MONEYLIFE IMPACT: TCS assures to look into online Tatkal passport appointments scam at Pune.

Link :

Ambareesh Baliga

3 years ago

For Tatkal application we need to submit Verification Certificate (VC) signed by responsible government officers as mentioned in the annexure for Tatkal Application. This procedure avoids the wait for Police Verification (though it is done in due course) the passport is issued immediately. Getting the VC is a nightmare if you are not well connected. Especially for those who can't find someone to provide them a VC - Why don't they introduce a process where police verfication is done on a Tatkal Basis on payment of "official" fee?
Secondly for general information of Tatkal applicants - Our currency note with RBI Governor's signature is a valid tender but a VC signed by Reserve Bank of India's Senior Officer is not a valid verification certificate for the purpose of passport. It is supposedly not a Government Institution per passport rules!!!


3 years ago

Unable to comprehend because Online booking of appoinments is working fine. i had opportunity to book slots twice in the past 6 months. in case the application submission date was in 14 days but passport got delivered within 25 days after submission of papers. in the second case submission date came within a week but and police verification was completed within next 14 days but it is more than a month after that no sign update about passport.

The PSK housed in Herald House run with IT Team of TCS has more than 30 counters to accept papers and take biometric identity and staff are well behaved. the problem could be at the Passport departments Govt staff

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