Vinod Rai, the first Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) to show us that the government and politicians can be made accountable, if statutory bodies simply do their job, will address a packed audience on the need for an accountable government in building a vibrant democracy
Moneylife Foundation has organised a lecture by Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Vinod Rai, to be followed by a question and answer session to be moderated by the Foundation’s trustee Sucheta Dalal, at Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak in Dadar (Mumbai) at 6:30pm this evening.
CAG Vinod Rai’s relentless audit and fearless disclosures have told the story of the massive real and potential losses in the sale of 2G telecom spectrum, the Commonwealth Games, allocation of captive coal blocks and irrigation projects. Mr Rai has managed to remain unflappable under extraordinary political pressure, making him no less a national hero than anyone else in recent memory.
His fearlessness has shaken up government and unsurprisingly attracted detractors, mostly from the government. Even the prime minister, on more than one occasion, has said that the CAG is going beyond his mandate. Mr Rai hasn’t backed down, of course. Just last week, addressing Harvard’s prestigious Kennedy School, he criticised the Manmohan Singh government for attempting to reduce the federal auditor to a mere accountant with no real role in auditing policy.
Mr Rai took over as the Comptroller & Auditor General of India on 7 January 2008. He has a Masters Degree in Economics from Delhi University and Masters in Public Administration from Harvard. A 1972 batch IAS from the Kerala cadre, he was the Additional Secretary, Banking and later, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, in his previous assignments.
About ML Foundation: For three years now, Moneylife Foundation has been spreading financial literacy all over India. Its member base now exceeds 21,000. The Foundation has conducted over 150 seminars on topics as diverse as Right to Information, Wills and Nominations and Pyramid Schemes. It was set up by Sucheta Dalal, Debashis Basu and Dr Nita Mukherjee.
The company hopes to add $20 million in revenues in FY13 and improve its focus on client retention and acquisition on its non-core client base. Nomura thinks the company is worth Rs110 per share
Nomura Equity Research, which hosted Hexaware non-deal roadshow, reports that the management of the company seemed optimistic and bullish of its future prospects. The company’s revenue is expected to grow at 10% in dollar terms, mainly driven by BFSI, healthcare and insurance verticals. However, Nomura reports that Hexaware management is concerned about its lack of focus on its non-core clients (non top-20 clients). The report said, “Among clients, the management is confident about growth from Hexaware’s top 20 clients but acknowledges that its focus on non top-20 clients has been insufficient in the past, which will need refocusing.” It also hopes to make acquisitions in order to focus on the manufacturing/retail space with SAP capabilities.
Despite the focus on top clients, the Nomura report mentions that revenues of its top clients (i.e. top 20) had declined 21% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter because of work stoppage in a particular project.
Hexaware management is not only confident of delivering on the revenue front but also on the EBITDA front. Nomura states that the management expects EBITDA margins to be in the range of 18%-20% range once it gets to steady utilization rate. The management also reiterated that not much hiring would be required. EBITDA margins have been plummeting in recent times but Nomura has forecasted that it would increase and stabilize. Check the graph below:
Most information technology companies rely on the US dollar for revenues and hence hope that Indian rupee will remain ‘weak’. Hexaware is no stranger to this. It has hedged at least 80% of its 2013 receivables at Rs53-Rs53.50 per dollar.
Despite the expected optimism amidst challenging economic circumstances and volatile currency rate movements, the company remains upbeat and is likely to maintain dividend payouts. According to Nomura, the company has indicated that 50% dividend payout will be maintained and translates to an impressive 6% dividend yield.
Based on the road show, Nomura has fixed a target price of Rs110 per share and has maintained a BUY recommendation.
For our analysis on other Nomura reports, check here.
One head clerk, Shishram from the MCD kept the CVO’s order in a cupboard for over a year. Whether keeping the file in the cupboard was a deliberate act or inadvertent, asked the CIC. This is the 41st in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, asked the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) and Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to give a report outlining reasons and persons responsible for not carrying out his orders of an investigation.
While giving this important judgement on 13 April 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, said, “It is a matter of distress that though the Chief Vigilance Officer clearly indicates that the investigation does not need more than a month, he is unable to exercise any control over the process to ensure that his order is implemented.”
Delhi resident Dr Soobrata Roy sought information from MCD about his letter submitted to the CVO and a reported scam in medicine purchases in Hindu Rao Hospital. He sought the following information...
In the above said letter CVO had ordered to “conduct fresh enquiry and report in one month time”
(a) Was the above order followed by its letter & spirit by the subordinate officers & staff?
(i) If yes, Give me the details of certified copies of all documents, letters, and files with file notings related to the above enquiry and its report.
(ii) If no, what action was taken or is being taken in this matter and give me the date on which the investigating team was formed?
(iii) Are the investigating officers working under threat of persecution from the well-wishers of those scamsters?
(iv) Are the officers being pressurized to go slow on the matter? If no, Why are they so scared enough, to risk defying the CVO’s order? Please give details.
This is a possibility because the highly corrupt people in MCD rules the roost & are highly rewarded with promotions & lucrative postings, any opposition to their activities leads to transfers & suspensions, as has been in our case.
Records have been obtained and investigation is under process.
The investigation is going on. Statements of officials are being recorded and record has been called for. No team was formed.
The complaint in question remained unattended in the almirah of the official who retired from Mpl. Services to whom the complaint was assigned to investigate.
No, the investigation in question is time consuming.
CAG in its report in 2007 had pointed out the similar irregularities in Hindu Rao Hospital and matter was highly publicized in both the visual & print media during the period from 25.04.2007 to 01.05.2007. Press or Newspaper cuttings must have been produced before the senior officers.
(a) Please give me the certified copies of all the above press/newspaper cutting related to CAG reports indicating irregularities in Hindu Rao Hospital, placed before the senior most officers of MCD during the period from 25.04.2007 to 01.05.2007.
(b) With details of their movement, and action taken on them at each level on a day to day basis till date.
As per record, there is no such information available in file
Not satisfied with the PIO’s reply, Dr Roy filed his first appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA). On 24 October 2009, the FAA ordered that “The reply given by the PIO/Vigilance is found in accordance with provisions of RTI (Right to Information) Act. However, in the interest of justice, the PIO/Vigilance is directed to issue necessary direction to ADOV-II to complete the investigation into the matter in a time bound manner preferably within one month”.
After failing to get any response on the investigation report, Dr Roy then approached the CIC with his second appeal.
During a hearing, Mr Gandhi, the CIC, noted that Dr Roy had been asking about a reported scam in medicine purchases in Hindu Rao Hospital. “The scandalous state of affairs was that though Pradeep Srivastava, the Chief Vigilance officer, in April 2007 had ordered to conduct the enquiry in one month, no action was taken until April 2008 since it is claimed that one head clerk, Shishram kept the CVO’s order in a cupboard. It is a matter of conjecture whether this file being in the cupboard was a deliberate act or inadvertent,” the Commission observed.
After Dr Roy filed an RTI application and the matter was reported to Srivastava as FAA, the order for investigation within a month was re-issued. But there was no action.
Mr Gandhi then asked Srivastava, the CVO to ensure that the investigation report is completed and to enquire why his orders are flouted repeatedly. “The CVO will give a copy of the investigation report in the Hindu Rao medicine purchases. He will also give a report outlining reasons and persons responsible for not carrying out his orders. These will be given to the appellant and the Commission before 15 May 2009,” the Commission said in its order.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC /SG/A/2009/000154/2720
Appeal No. CIC/ SG/A/2009/000154
Appellant : Dr Soobrata Roy,
Respondent : Pradeep Srivastava
Chief Vigilance Officer & PIO
Municipal Corporation of Delhi
16- Rajpur Road, Delhi-110054