Citizens' Issues
Bihar ban will be on all kinds of liquor: Minister
Bihar would have a 'total' ban on all kinds of liquor starting April 1, 2016 and not just on country-made liquor as some reports had suggested earlier, Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan said on Friday.
"We will impose a liquor ban in Bihar. It will be for desi (country-made liquor), videsh (foreign-made liquor) or locally-made liquor," Mastan said here, responding to some reports that said the measure would be limited to country-made liquor only.
There was no truth in those reports, Mastan said.
"We are yet to finalise the modalities for a liquor ban in the state. (But) It will be a total ban".
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said last month the government would ban the sale of alcohol starting April 1, 2016. The liquor ban was a key promise Nitish Kumar had made in his campaigning for the Bihar elections 2015.
Mastan said the poorest of the poor had been consuming liquor, destroying their families and their children's education.
Increasing liquor consumption was also a major cause for domestic violence, particularly against women, and had contributed to a rise in crimes.
"Women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption," he said.
According to officials, the decision of the government to impose a ban is expected to adversely affect the government's financial health.
The excise department went into an overdrive in 2007 following a new policy and started issuing licences for marketing liquor across the state.
In the year 2014-15, the government raked in Rs 3,650 crore in revenues, a growth of more than 10 times over Rs 319 crore recorded in 2005-06.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


Anil Kumar’s strange and aggressive defence on money transfers to Manju Das

The bank account and identity of Manju Das, the domestic help of Anil Kumar, was used to re-route money by Galleon and Mr Kumar, without her knowledge. Mr Kumar, who was a witness against close friends and business partners, Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta, however, is defending his position rather strongly on the whole episode 


It was the damning testimonty of  Anil Kumar,  (Doon school, IIT, Imperial College London, Wharton School of Business & Sr Partner McKinsey & Company) against his close friends Raj Rajaratnam (CEO of the multi-billion hedge fund Galleon) and Rajat Gupta (head of McKinsey & Company) that led to their indictment and imprisonment.


Anil Kumar’s testimony allowed him to get away two years probation without prison time and forfeiture of $2.6 million of illegal gains. What made the headlines during his 2006 testimony was the name Manju Das, into whose offshore account Rajrathnam was making the big payoffs for inside information from Kumar.


Manju Das hit the headlines again in November, when American journalist Nilita Vachani tracked Manju Das to Bengal and discovered a very poor, almost illiterate woman ekeing out a bare existence. The articles in The Nation and The Caravan have been circulated around the world via social media. Ms Vachani dug into the details of Anil Kumar’s testimony and asked Manju Das about the accounts in her name and how much she was paid. 


A surprising new twist to the tale is the aggressive defense being put out by Anil Kumar, especially about his payments to Manju Das, whether or not she was illiterate and the author’s motivations. But what comes out in his answers is the complete lack of empathy for a lonely woman who spent over a decade away from her people, to look after his child in America. There is also a stunning lack of concern that Vachani and others are trying to crowd raise funds for Manju Das. What is Anil Kumar worried about?


Moneylife wrote to him, on learning from Anil Pillai on twitter that Anil Kumar’s office had sent him a letter contradicting some of the allegations in The Nation and The Caravan. Both the magazines have largely stood by their articles except for minor updates about how much Manju Das was paid. We wrote to Anil Kumar to ask him what he had to say and received a detailed reply and a call.


In an email, Mr Kumar did not deny his testimony in the US securities fraud trail about money sent to an overseas account of Manju Das. His issue is with the HSBC account opened at Bengaluru in 2008 using Kumar’s Delhi address as residence proof.


In the email, Mr Kumar argues, "The Das HSBC account was opened in late 2008, only at her request since she was concerned that her joint account with her son in Calcutta was being compromised by bad influences in her village”. Interestingly, Manju Das did not say this to Vachani.


He further says, “If she is financially poorly off now, it could well be because of the very concerns she shared with us in the US -- that her relatives would take advantage of her. It is hard to figure how someone who received well over Rs50 lakh would be in the situation indicated by (Nilita) Vachani. Das asked for a bank account with our Delhi home as the address. She badly wanted a ration card, and requested my assistance to get it, and I could only help her in Delhi where we had a home. That Delhi address is clear from the HSBC statements."  But why then a HSBC account in Bengaluru? 


HSBC is already under investigation for its role in helping American-Indians open accounts in India to evade taxes. Most of these questions are asked by the US authorities and not Indian investigation agencies or the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). But some answers on the bank’s KYC and account opening processes are surely called for. Consider this: Manju Das of West Bengal, living and working in the US, gets an account in Bengaluru with an address in Delhi – and a ration card.  Can there be a better example of how none of the rules apply to those who are powerful, connected and have fat bank accounts?


Here is what Mr Kumar said in an email to Moneylife. We have left out what his admissions relating to the overseas account in Manju Das’s name to which Rajrathnam transferred funds, since that is part of his testimoney.


1. There was no Galleon related financial fund flow entailing Das outside the Galleon offshore fund subscription documentation in 2003-2006, and subsequent dissolution documentation of the Das/Galleon offshore accounts in 2007-2008. Any other statement is a premeditated falsehood, made despite trial evidence to the contrary.


3. The Das HSBC account was opened in late 2008, only at her request since she was concerned that her joint account with her son in Calcutta was being compromised by bad influences in her village. If she is financially poorly off now, it could well be because of the very concerns she shared with us in the US -- that her relatives would take advantage of her. It is hard to figure how someone who received well over 50 lacs would be in the situation indicated by Vachani.


Das asked for a bank account with our Delhi home as the address. She badly wanted a ration card, and requested my assistance to get it, and I could only help her in Delhi where we had a home. That Delhi address is clear from the HSBC statements.  


4. The HSBC account was only held by Das. It was only used to wire in her salary and deposit into long term FDs. On maturation of her FDs in mid-2010, Das withdrew all the money in her HSBC account for her use. As you well know, a bank statement with a single name in India shows clearly that it is only in the name of the sole account holder. The only transaction was the 14 lacs wired into it as is clear from the statements. It is impossible for her to say she knew nothing of the account into which Rs14 lacs of salary were deposited. Who would ignore Rs14 lacs in salary, especially someone with Das's background? And how did she withdraw money from it without knowing of it?


5. The fact that Das's Delhi address (Bengaluru branch) HSBC account was used for proof of her address does not in any way make the account one in which monies related to Raj/Galleon were sent. Nothing of this sort happened, or else it would have been revealed at the trial. When dissolving the Das/Galleon offshore accounts in 2007/8, the Galleon custodians wanted proof that Das had an Indian address. That proof was furnished via a statement from her doctor, whom she met annually on her prolonged vacations home to India, and her sole Delhi HSBC bank statement.


6. Despite my lawyers providing court transcripts and much evidence, Vachani has continued to intentionally mislead her readers, and also not fully disclosed her connections to Raj, suggesting speculative motives. 


7. Matters related to the intentionally malicious and defamatory Nation and Caravan articles are still being resolved. Various correspondences from my lawyers to the Nation/Caravan, and additional evidence, are not yet in the public domain, since the matter is now under investigation. 


8. Das is not illiterate. She reads and writes in Bengali, reads some Hindi and a little English. We also have incontrovertible evidence of her signing in English well before we first met her. 


9. The message to Raj saying "Manju Das" was to remind him of her name, since he knew she had a nominee account with Galleon but had forgotten her name. 


Again, the ONLY money ever sent to the Das account at HSBC India was her salary, at her request, and subsequently used/withdrawn by her. 





11 months ago

Rajat Gupta has purchased the shares of Tamilnadu Mercantile Bank using the ill gotten money. Former RBI Governor, Bimal Jalan also helping him to purchase the Tamilnadu Mercantile Bank shares.

Nifty, Sensex looking weak – Thursday closing report
If the Nifty continues to decline it may head for 7,700.
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were in no man’s land and that if Nifty closes below 7,880, a downtrend may start. Thursday’s Nifty closing value has been 7,864.15 which is marginally lower than 7,880. Nifty has now become “sell on rallies” for the short term. The trends in the major indices in the course of Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
The government on Thursday said the current regulatory framework on Participatory Notes (P-Notes) mode of investment into India's capital markets is strict and robust. "As of now, the kind of reporting requirement and the kind of vigour with which we follow through on the identity of P-Notes holders is actually fairly good and strict in terms of really understanding who is it and whether they are legitimate institutions that are transacting through P-Notes," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said. "Overall, the framework is quite robust," he added, speaking at a global seminar here on sharing of tax information. He said the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has strengthened the know-your-customer (KYC) norms relating to P-Notes. In July, the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money had asked capital markets regulator SEBI to review its regulations on P-Notes and identify their end-users. P-Notes, mostly used by overseas individual investors, hedge funds and foreign institutions, allow investors to invest in Indian markets through registered foreign institutional investors (FIIs).
Going overdrive in the defence manufacturing space, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group has applied for as many as 16 more licences in areas ranging from missiles to radar, barely two weeks after it got conditional nod for 12 requests to make aircraft, choppers and more. "We have applied for these industrial licenses to manufacture defence equipment and hardware such as heavy weapons, ammunition, explosives, missiles, small arms, electronic warfare, armoured and amphibious vehicles, radars and unmanned systems," an informed source said. "The new facilities to come up in Gujarat and Maharashtra in a phased manner," the source added, requesting anonymity. "Once these 28 licenses are in place, we will create tens-of-thousands of thousands of highly skilled jobs." Late last month, the government had approved conditionally 12 licences for the Reliance Group in this this area. These were part of approvals for 32 similar applications from other stakeholders, as per the list put up by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. The projects are to be executed by companies floated by Reliance Defence that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure. These will cover the entire spectrum of land, Naval and air systems, sources said. Reliance Defence also has strategic plans to set up a maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrades of various platforms. The group is also in the process of acquiring Pipavav Defence and hopes to conclude the deal by the end of this year. Reliance Defence has 11 subsidiaries in niche segments of the sector and chairman Anil Ambani had told shareholders recently that defence manufacturing and smart cities will be the future drivers of growth for the company. All this is fine, except that the group has miserably failed to deliver value for shareholders; its execution falls way short of its declarations.
Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the central government was committed to provide electricity to all villages by 2018. "Today, the whole country has required coal and power," he told the Lok Sabha. The minister said 18,452 villages are to be provided electricity under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY). For this, new transmission lines will be set up, he added. "This is being done as promised by the central government that within 1,000 days of its taking over, all villages, which do not have electricity, will be provided the same," the minister told the house. He also said that his ministry has come up with a mobile app, which could give the latest information on the on-going work of village electrification. This policy of the government could give a boost to the companies in the power sector.
Leading car makers Hyundai, Ford and Renault-Nissan were forced to suspend operations on Wednesday, as torrential rains flooded their production plants in the Tamil Nadu capital. "Production work has been suspended for the day, as rain water gushed into the plant and our employees could not turn up due to transport disruption," a Hyundai official said. The Korean auto major was among the first to set up its Indian plant at Sriperumbudur in this coastal city, which is called 'Detroit of India', after Ford, Renault-Nissan and other car makers came calling. Hyundai will review the situation on Thursday and decide when to resume production, though the Met office has predicted more rains this week due to the formation of low pressure over the Bay of Bengal. Similarly, Ford India's subsidiary plant at Chengalpattu, 45 km from the city centre, was shut down after rain water flooded the facility and its workers could not to reach the factory, as commutation became difficult on flood-ravaged roads. "We have halted production at our plant due to heavy rains flooding the area and approach roads remaining cut off owing to water logging," a company spokesperson said. French-Japanese auto alliance Renault-Nissan also suspended operations for the day at its plant in Oragadam for the safety of its employees, as the whole area was flooded with rain water. "Resumption will depend on normalcy returning as employees' safety is paramount. We are monitoring the situation," Renault India chief executive Sumit Sawhney said in a statement. The losses to crops and property due to floods in Tamil Nadu and the production losses due to unscheduled production holidays could affect the economy adversely in the next few months.
Software major Wipro on Wednesday announced acquisition of leading German IT consulting and software services firm Cellent AG for Euro 73.5 million (Rs.518 crore). "We have signed an agreement with Landesban Baden-Wuerttemberg to acquire Cellent AG for Euro 73.5-million," the IT bellwether said in a statement. Post-acquisition, the 14-year-old Fellbach-based Cellent's 800 consultants will become part of Wipro. Cellent has been offering IT solutions and services to its customers in the Dach region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland since 2001. "As the Dach market is a strategic growth and investment region for us, acquiring Cellent will give us scale and prime customer relationships in the manufacturing and automotive domains, which are key sectors in the region," Wipro chief executive for manufacturing N.S. Bala said on the occasion. The outsourcing major hopes to complete the acquisition process by March 31, 2016 after getting regulatory approvals. Wipro shares closed at Rs572.15, down 0.97% on Thursday on the BSE.
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:


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