Old rivals Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar together checkmated BJP's march in Bihar by winning six out of the 10 assembly seats
Rebonding of old rivals Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar on Monday checkmated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s march in Bihar with winning six out of the 10 assembly seats where bye-elections were held on 21st August.
The remaining four seats were won by BJP, the Election Commission said.
In 2010 Assembly poll, BJP had won six of the 10 seats which went to polls, while RJD was victorious on three and JD(U) in one.
This time, BJP won Narkatiaganj, Hajipur, Banka and Mohania (SC) seats.
Lalu Prasad's RJD was victorious in Rajnagar (SC), Chapra and Mohiuddinagar. Ruling JD(U) won in Jale and Parbatta, while Congress wrested Bhagalpur from BJP.
In Banka, BJP candidate Ramnarayan Mandal defeated his nearest RJD rival Iqbal Hussain Ansari by a slender margin of 711 votes.
Though the outcome of the bypoll would not have much impact on health of Jitan Ram Manjhi ministry as it already enjoys support of 145 MLAs in the 243-member House.
The outcome of the bye-elections has infused new energy in JD(U), RJD and Congress in the state after they received severe drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.
BJP in company of LJP and RLSP of Union minister Upendra Kushwaha had won 31 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.
RJD which had fought with Congress and NCP had won seven, while JD(U) which went solo had managed only 2 seats in the wake of Modi wave.
In the wake of unearthing of multiple unauthorised deposit raising schemes and scams such as Saradha and PACL, the RBI feels there is a need to define deposits for entities other than banks
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor R Gandhi on Monday said the Reserve Bank is working with the government on redefining as to what constitutes a deposit.
“We are working on redefining definition of deposits. The 'deposits', as it is defined today, is inadequate,” he told reporters after a conference of Chief Secretaries and State Finance Secretaries.
He said that in case of banks, the definition of a deposit is very clear, but it does not cover money collected by other entities for which the exercise is being carried out.
“We are discussing it with states and the Centre. We need to define in such a way that who will be the regulator for different types of collection of money. Today, certain things are clear, certain things are unclear. So in the unclear area we are trying to bring more clarity,” he said.
Gandhi said amendments will have to be made in the laws once the redefinition gets done.
Meanwhile, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said at the meeting that the central bank brass discussed strengthening the state- level coordination committees so that unauthorised deposit taking can be dealt with in a better way.
The comments from Gandhi come within days of capital markets regulator SEBI asking a PACL, Delhi-based property developer, to return Rs49,100 crore to depositors, and after the busting of earlier scams like the one caused by the Saradha Group in West Bengal and two Sahara Group companies.
Certain entities, which are regulated by none of the financial sector watchdogs, have often taken advantage of the regulatory loopholes to raise large amount of deposits.
Rajan said a host of issues including state finances, their automation and liquidity issues were discussed at the meeting.
RBI Deputy Governor HR Khan said the newly revised norms on liquidity management, aimed at reducing the volatility in the overnight rates, will have a positive impact in terms of predictability and timing.
“Basically, it (new liquidity framework) has been released. So just wait. In terms of predictability and timing, it should have positive impact,” he said.
In 2011 The Economic Times had a front page report saying PACL had raised a whopping Rs20,000 crore. Who allowed it to continue raising additional funds and double the collection? It clearly requires a separate investigation
The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) last week, while asking Delhi-based PACL Ltd (formerly Pearls Agrotech Corporation), to refund Rs49,100 crore to investors within three months also barred its promoters and directors from raising any money from investors. In pure rupee terms, the amount PACL is asked to refund is more that double of what Sahara group has been asked to return to investors by the Supreme Court.
However, what is surprising in this matter is SEBI took more than 16 years to take action against PACL, which allowed the company to grow many folds. Worse, as recently as 28 June 2011, The Economic Times had reported how PACL had raised a whopping Rs20,000 crore and claimed a land banks larger than the size of Bengaluru city.
The ET report said, “While the dispute waits to be resolved by the Supreme Court, PACL has grown a 100-fold, aided by customers, who have given money to the company ostensibly to book a plot of land they can't see or choose. Deposits with PACL—the company calls them 'customer advances'-- have ballooned to Rs20,000 crore. It has used the money to buy land in various parts of the country, including barren desert land. Its land bank, PACL said in a filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), is 1.85 lakh acres, roughly the size of Bangalore (in comparison, large reality firm such as DLF or Unitech typically own 12,000-15,000 acres).”
At that time, Moneylife investigations had revealed that the promoters of PACL had rushed to a trustee company to create documentation and put its house in order. It had also approached on of the most expensive Supreme Court advocates to act on its behalf. The news of a completely unknown company raising such large sums of money from very poor people, who believed they were buying small parcels of land, ought to have been sensational enough to prompt the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to swing into action. But this was one of thousands of shady ponzi, pyramid and money collection schemes that the MCA refused to investigate, allowing people to continue to be swindled out of their savings.
In its order, the market regulator said, "The total amount mobilised (by PACL) comes to Rs49,100 crore. This figure could have been even more if PACL had provided the details of the funds mobilised during the period of 1 April 2012 to 25 February 2013."
"PACL Ltd and its directors, including Tarlochan Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Subrata Bhattacharya, Anand Gurwant Singh, Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, Uppal Devinder Kumar and Tyger Joginder shall immediately (on expiry of the three months period available for making refunds) be restrained from accessing the securities market and would further be prohibited from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in securities market till all the collective investment schemes of PACL Ltd are wound up and all the monies mobilised through such schemes are refunded to its investors with returns which are due to them," SEBI said.
SEBI also said it would make a reference to the state government and local police to register a civil/criminal case against the company and its promoters, directors as well as managers and persons-in-charge of its business and schemes.
In addition, the market regulator said it would make a reference to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to wind up PACL and also start attachment and recovery proceedings.
According to SEBI, PACL had 4.63 crore customers as of 31 March 2014, who have not been allotted land. The outstanding dues to such customers as on 31 March 2014 is Rs29,420.65 crore and the value of total lands in the form of 'stock-in trade' as on March 2014 is Rs11,706.96 crore.
PACL said it will approach the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) to challenge SEBI's order.
On 25 January 2010, the Times of India has reported about PACL's land buying. "Why is a little known agricultural land development company buying thousands of acres of desert land in a highly sensitive border district where nothing grows and no one lives? The question itself is enough to give a headache to security experts. But what complicates matters further is that the company has gradually accumulated 20,311 bighas (about 10,000 acres) of land near the India-Pakistan border in Rajasthan's Barmer district--not in a single transaction but in 681 separate purchase deals which started in 2002 and 2003," the reports says. The company was none other than PACL.
"What is intriguing is that although PACL claims that its basic operations are concerned agricultural activities, the nearly 400 sq km of land that it has bought is entirely in the Thar desert," the newspaper reported in another article.
However, there was no action either from any regulator or the government.
Earlier, on 24 June 2002, SEBI held that the schemes floated by PACL were in the nature of collective investment scheme (CIS) and directed the company to comply with the provisions of SEBI (CIS) Regulations. However, PACL challenged SEBI's order before the Rajasthan High Court, which ruled that PACL's schemes did not fall within the definition of CIS.
Even before that in March 1998, SEBI had asked PACL to stop collecting money under its schemes. Pearl Agrotech, at that time had two units, one PGF operating from Punjab and PACL from Rajasthan. While the Rajasthan High Court ruled in the company's favour, it was not so luck in Punjab and had to wind up its schemes in that state.
SEBI challenged the High Court order in the Supreme Court. The apex court asked SEBI to take a final decision in the matter. SEBI then issued an order asking PACL to refund money to its investors.