Career
CB Bhave appointed non-executive chairman in Vistaar Financial Services
Vistaar Financial Services Private Limited, an  NBFC (non-banking finance company), focused on lending to small businesses in rural and semi-urban areas, announced the appointment of CB Bhave as the non-executive chairman and independent director of the company, according to a release from the company. 
 
Bhave served as the chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) from February 2008 for a period of three years, prior to which he was the chairman and MD (managing director) of National Securities Depositories Limited (NSDL). Bhave, a 1975-batch IAS officer, has worked with the government in various capacities and roles. He was responsible for revolutionising the Indian capital market by getting market players to accept the new system of dematerialised shares and debentures.
 
On his appointment, Bhave said, “A large part of the Indian economy is still outside the formal financial activity. Vistaar Finance along with others is engaged in the process of integrating the sector and including them in the formal lending activity in order to grow faster.”
 
Vistaar Finance is one of the first NBFCs with complete focus on lending to MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and has recently crossed the loan portfolio size of Rs1,000 crore and currently has 198 branches primarily in rural and semi-urban areas spread across 135 districts and 12 states.
 

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Nifty, Sensex may head higher - Thursday closing report
Indian equity markets surged on Thursday as positive global cues, rupee appreciation and value buying buoyed investors' sentiments. Besides, positive global indices, stimulus hopes from the European Central Bank (ECB) in its upcoming monetary policy review, and commercial banks reducing lending rates enhanced the risk-taking appetite. The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bulls - with 1,820 advances and 823 declines. On Wednesday, the equity markets slipped after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to keep its key lending rates unchanged in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy of 2016-17. Clearly, the market has shaken off that disappointment.
 
The trends of the major indices in the course of Wednesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
The key Indian indices closed with substantial gains -- more than 1.5% each -- as healthy buying was witnessed in all the 19 sub-indices of the BSE, led by automobile, banking and metal stocks. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) gained by 144.80 points or 1.79% to 8,246.85 points. The Sensex touched a high of 26,733.87 points and a low of 26,357.35 points during the intra-day trade.
 
In the sectoral landscape, metal stocks rallied the most, pushing S&P BSE Metal index to 10,937, up 2.93%, thanks to a rise in shares of Vedanta, Tata Steel and NMDC. Auto stocks were the second best performers. The S&P BSE Auto index rose 2.63% to 20,558. 
 
The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. However, the gap between advances and declines narrowed as the day progressed. More than 2 shares gained for every share falling against the ratio of 5:1 in early trade on the BSE.
 
Lenders also gained after the RBI reversed an order that forced banks to deposit all their extra cash with it in a bid to absorb excess liquidity.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given below:
 
 
Elsewhere, stocks slipped in China, as investors grappled with a mixed set of data showing better-than-expected trade activity in November but a sharp fall in foreign exchange reserves, Reuters reported. The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2% to 3,470 whole the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to close at 3,215. 
 
Hong Kong stocks rose for the third straight session on Thursday, drawing some support from Wall Street although demand was tempered by weakness in mainland shares after China's falling foreign exchange reserves deepened concerns over capital outflow. European shares opened to a three-month high. 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Seek information on demonetisation from RBI and Finance Ministry under RTI
While the Indian government has declared that secrecy was very essential before demonetisation was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the fact is, the decision affected every citizen, as crores of citizens have been standing in queues since 9th November, battling hardships and cash crunch in banks and automatic teller machines (ATMs). Hence, to obtain information regarding the decision falls not only under the fundamental rights of citizens under the Constitution but also under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
 
Venkatesh Nayak, research scholar and co-ordinator of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) urges citizens to procure information under RTI regarding this decision. Nayak has steered this campaign by himself filing two RTIs – one to the Department of Currency Management, Reserve Bank of India and the other to Under Secretary (Currency I & II), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance. 
 
Citizens have right to know about exact procedures followed before the government announced demonetisation. Also, they can seek information on what were the deliberations of Ministers and officers involved in the decision-making process and much more. 
 
Nayak, in his RTI applications has sought the following information:
 
Apropos of S.O. No. 3407(E) notified in the Gazette of India, dated 8 November 2016, regarding the decision to cease bank notes of denomination Rs500 and Rs1000 as legal tender, I would like to obtain the following information from your public authority, under the RTI Act:
 
To the Reserve Bank of India
 
1) A clear photocopy of the minutes of all meetings of the Central Board of Directors regarding the aforementioned subject matter, held till date, along with the papers, presentations or other documents placed before them at every meeting;
 
2) A clear photocopy of all communication along with Annexures if any sent to the Government of India regarding the decisions/ recommendations of the Central Board of Directors, subsequent to the meetings specified at para #1 above;
 
3) A clear photocopy of all submissions/ petitions/ representations or communication, by whatever name called, from any person/ organisation/ institution or entity, by whatever name called, regarding demonetisation of currency notes, since 24 May 2014 till date
 
4) A clear photocopy of all responses sent by your public authority to the senders of the submissions/ petitions/ representations or communication, by whatever name called, specified at para #3 above;
 
5) A clear photocopy of all file notings and correspondence held by your public authority in hard copy or electronic form, including emails regarding demonetisation of currency notes.
 
To the Ministry of Finance:
 
1) A clear photocopy of the entire Cabinet Note along with Annexures, if any, on the aforementioned subject, that was put up to the Union Cabinet for its decision;
 
2) A clear photocopy of all correspondence and file notings held in hard copy and electronic form containing the deliberations of Ministers and officers involved in the decision-making process on the aforementioned subject matter;
 
3) A clear photocopy of any document constituting evidence that the aforementioned subject matter was placed in the public domain for comments from the general public prior to the submission of the Cabinet Note specified at para #1 above for its consideration and action; and
 
4) A clear photocopy of all submissions/ petitions/ representations or communication, by whatever name called, from any person/ organisation/ institution or entity, by whatever name called, regarding the aforementioned subject matter, since 24 May 2014 till date.
 
Nayak says, “Readers who have the right to seek information under India's RTI Act must formally ask these and more probing questions to demand disclosure of the deliberations of all public servants involved in the latest demonetisation exercise. I request citizens to feel free to use or adapt these formats to seek transparency in the decision-making process or amend the queries as they think best. This is a matter of immense public interest affecting every citizen of India. There is no reason why any of this information should be withheld from public scrutiny.”
 
“Unfortunately, instead of paying serious heed to stories of illegal transactions, people who raise such queries are being dubbed supporters of black money and corruption not only by elements in the political establishment but also by other citizens who have not thought these issues through. Many a concerned citizen wants to live in a "Swachch Bharat" instead of becoming a cheerleader for a "dry washed" economy,’’ Nayak added.
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

Kalpesh Jani

1 month ago

I all ready did it with RBI and Office of the jt sec , Dpt of economic affairs. A week left in 30 days .What ever reply I get , share with media .[email protected]

Kuldip Singh

2 months ago

Could a RTI activist also seek answers on the following articles -
1) Before PM’s Announcement, Rumours of Demonetisation Abounded - The Quint bit.ly/2g6V8d2
2) Coming soon to your wallet: ₹2,000 notes | Business Line bit.ly/2fHwxLj
3) Are our Currency Notes being printed by Companies earlier Blacklisted for printing Counterfeit Indian & Pakistani Notes? | SabrangIndia bit.ly/2fF7cAS

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