Centre to set up National Green Tribunal

A new Bill has been introduced which will provide fast-track justice and compensation for loss of life and property due to environmental hazards

Individuals and organisations can expect fast-track justice and compensation for loss of life and property due to environmental hazards such as Delhi’s Mayapuri radiation leak incident, with Parliament today approving a Bill, reports PTI.

The Bill provides for setting up of a National Green Tribunal (NGT) to be headed by a sitting or retired Supreme Court judge or the Chief Justice of a High Court, which is expected to clear over 5,600 cases pending in different courts.

“Anybody can approach the National Green Tribunal. It can be any individual, media organisation or NGO. We are not choking the access,” environment minister Jairam Ramesh said in the Rajya Sabha which passed the Bill. The Lok Sabha had cleared it last week.

Though no limit has been fixed for the compensation, the tribunal “may provide relief and compensation to the victims as it may think fit,” according to the objects of the Bill.

For non-compliance of the order of the tribunal, the Bill provides for imprisonment up to three years and fine that may extend to Rs25 crore in case of companies and Rs10 crore for individuals.

Heads under which compensation can be claimed include death, disability, damage to property and loss of business or employment.

Victims of incidents such as the Mayapuri radiation leak, which resulted in one death and injury to several others, can get compensation once the provisions are operationalised.

To be headquartered at Bhopal, the site of one of the worst industrial mishaps, the tribunal will have five benches.

Appeals against the judgement of the tribunal can be made before the Supreme Court.

In reply to the debate, Mr Ramesh said that the government would take into confidence the leader of the Opposition while appointing the chairperson of the tribunal.

He said that the green courts will have flexibility to award compensation to the victims of environmental neglect.

“There is an increase in environment-related litigation pending in various courts and other authorities. The risk to human health and environment arising out of hazardous activities has also become a matter of concern,” the minister said in the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill.

Earlier attempts to set up similar tribunals have remained non-starters.


A short-term bounce may be at hand

The bourses started the day on a weak note on negative global cues. Debt issues in the eurozone are likely to persist, but the Sensex may turn around from 16,500

The market staged a smart recovery in the afternoon session to end the day a little lower than the previous closing after a weak start. The BSE Sensex ended at 17,087, down 49 points (0.3%) and the Nifty ended at 5,125, down 23 points (0.4%). The bourses started the day with a deep plunge taking cues from the weak global markets on concerns over the Greece debt crisis. Trading was range-bound till the afternoon session, however, it recovered major losses posted earlier by rebounding strongly.

Asian stocks were down on worries of sovereign debt issues in Europe. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Singapore were down by 0.14% and 4%. China's Shanghai Composite index rebounded positive, led by aviation stocks. The index rose 0.77%. Markets in South Korea and Japan were closed for holidays. US markets declined sharply on Tuesday (4th May), on concerns that Europe’s attempt to contain Greece's debt crisis would fail. The Dow was down 225 points, (2%), to 10,926. The S&P 500 shed 28 points, (2%), to 1,173 and the Nasdaq was down 74 points, (3%), to 2,424.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed its concern over the spreading of the Greece debt crisis to Euro nations. A massive Greek bailout package announced on Sunday failed to halt the increasing unrest about sovereign-debt problems along the
eurozone’s boundary. However, the concern over the amount of aid and the possibility of a spread of the crisis raised jitters among investors, triggering an intense sell-off. The European Central Bank (ECB) will hold a regular policy meeting on interest rates on Thursday. Interest rates in the eurozone have now been on hold at 1% for a year and there is expectation that the rates will be left unchanged till next year.

Closer home, the government is likely to ease controls on the sugar sector as the outlook for the domestic crop improves, softening sugar prices. An impetus from the Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices (CACP) has directed the government towards this. India's sugar output in 2010-11 is expected to increase to 23-24 million tonnes (MT) from an estimated 18.5 MT in the current year to September.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers on Tuesday selling stocks worth Rs29 crore. Domestic sellers also sold stocks worth Rs438 crore. The rupee was strong on dollar selling by exporters and the recovery in the equity market also helped the gain. 

Adani Enterprises (up 1.3%) plans to raise up to Rs4,000 crore through the issue of securities in global or domestic markets. The company's board of directors gave its approval to create, offer, issue and allot securities in either one or more international or domestic offerings through the issue of Global or American Depository Receipts (ADRs) and debentures or Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs). The route for raising amount may be public issue, rights issue, preferential issue, private placement or qualified institutional placement or any combination thereof. Ashok Leyland’s (up 2.9%) total vehicle sales grew 271.4% to 6,500 units in April 2010 over the year-ago period. Domestic sales increased 271% to 5,990 units, while exports grew 278% to 510 units in April 2010 over the year-ago period. Eicher Motors’ (up 3%) domestic sales grew 107.20% to 2,903 units in April 2010 over April 2009. The company's exports fell 2.74% to 142 units in the same period. ARSS Infrastructures Projects (up 4.7%) has received a new work order from Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation Ltd on 4 May 2010 for Rs99.90 crore.

BL Kashyap and Sons Limited (down 1%) has received new projects worth Rs516 crore in the segments of residential hospitality and industrial construction.


Domestic brokerages' institutional market share to be 50% by 2015

A report has revealed that domestic brokerages have become more service-oriented and have improved their technological capabilities

Domestic brokerages, such as Motilal Oswal and ICICI Securities, are likely to strengthen their hold over the institutional market to catch up with their foreign counterparts, as their market share is expected to rise to over 50% by 2015, reports PTI.

According to a report by global research firm Celent, domestic brokerages' importance is steadily increasing in the Indian institutional market, where foreign brokerages like CLSA, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan have been the leading players traditionally.

"Now the Indian brokerages such as Edelweiss, Kotak Securities, ICICI Securities, and Motilal Oswal are also becoming important players in the market. Hence, we anticipate the share of the domestic brokerages rising to more than 50% in the institutional space by 2015," the report stated.

"This will be coupled with the growth of the domestic clients of some of these brokerages and their increasing acceptance with foreign institutional investors," it added.

The report revealed that domestic brokerages have become more service-oriented and have improved their technological capabilities.

Moreover, they are also improving the breadth of their product offerings and becoming more complete financial supermarkets in the process.

"Domestic brokerages are no longer content to play second fiddle in the market and are more comfortable using the latest technology and engaging foreign vendors," Celent’s senior analyst and author of the report Anshuman Jaswal said.

Unlike its retail counterpart, the Indian institutional brokerages market is relatively concentrated, with nine to 10 foreign brokerages and seven to eight domestic players having a combined market share of 60-70%.

The Celent report also stated that electronic trading in the industry has been steadily increasing.

"We expect that electronic trading will go from only 10% in 2009 to 50% in 2015, as the domestic institutions become more adept at it," it stated.


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