Companies & Sectors
December car sales better than expected

According to Nomura, demand has slowed down quite substantially post a relatively strong festival season, however, margins for automakers would hold on due to recent price hikes

December auto sales were below expectations, especially for commercial vehicles (CVs), while the decline in car sales was somewhat arrested by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. "As per our discussion with the companies and dealers, demand has slowed down quite substantially post a relatively strong festival season. However, margins would hold on due to recent price increase," said Nomura in a research report.


According to the report, car industry volumes declined by 5% in December marginally above Nomura's expectations of a 7-8% decline led by strong performance from Maruti Suzuki. The report said, "Maruti Suzuki's domestic volumes increased by about 6% while we were expecting a 4% decline. Strong growth in low-end petrol segment and D’zire led to the positive surprise, we believe. Maruti Suzuki's market share was around 55% in December 2013 – the highest in the past four years. This is quite positive especially considering increased competitive intensity from global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)," Nomura added.


During December for other unlisted companies, Hyundai’s volumes were up 6%, while Honda’s volumes increased by about 30%, led by its Amaze variant. Other global OEMs like GM and Ford saw double-digit volume decline despite new launches.


Nomura said during the month, volumes in the medium and heavy CVs declined by about 25% as against its expectations of 20% decline. Volumes for Tata Motors declined by 22% while Ashok Leyland saw 26% decline in MHCV volumes and Eicher’s CV volumes fell by 34%, the report said.


Volumes in two wheeler increased marginally by 2%, led by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMSI). HMSI reported another strong set of numbers (up 36%) as its scooter volumes increased by 54% while bike volumes increased by 18%. During December Hero MotoCorp’s volumes declined by about 3% while Bajaj Auto had a weak month with domestic motorcycle volumes down around 30%. TVS’ volumes were flattish while Yamaha saw a strong 58% growth partly due to the lower base effect.


"Within our coverage, only Maruti Suzuki reported stronger-than-expected volumes. If the current trend continues, we see downside risks to our FY14F volume estimates for Bajaj Auto and CV OEMs – Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors. There could be some upside risks to our volumes estimates for Hero MotoCorp," Nomura said.



CAG can audit private telco’s accounts says Delhi High Court

While rejected petitions filed by AUSPI and COAI, the High Court permitted CAG to conduct audit of private telecom companies under the TRAI Act

The Delhi High Court on Monday held that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) can audit accounts of private telecom operators under the relevant provisions of the law.


A Bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and V Kameswar Rao permitted the top accounting body to conduct audit of private telecom companies under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act.


The HC rejected separate petitions filed by Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers (AUSPI) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) against the decision of Telecom tribunal TDSAT on the issue in 2010.


The high court had reserved its order in November 2013 after conducting marathon hearings on the issue where it took on record submissions of the Centre, CAG and the petitioners — COAI and AUSPI.


Both the associations had argued, in essence, that CAG can’t audit private companies.


To achieve the purpose of audit, the operators had pointed out that they have already put in place mechanism of special audit as envisaged in the licence agreement between department of telecom and the companies.


The firms had claimed they maintain accounts in line with the TRAI rules and can’t be forced to furnish financials to CAG.


The CAG had vigorously staked its claim to audit the accounts and sought revenue sharing details from the telecom companies.



Gopalakrishnan T V

4 years ago

This is a welcome move and if seriously pursued more Scams will get revealed by auditing Telecom Companies.These Companies take the masses for a ride. They have millions and millions of Customers and and by fraudulent methods, if they hike the bills even by a rupee a month or enhance the bills through some messages uncalled for and unintended by the customer (which they are indulged in) these companies can make billions of rupees. Many a drop will make an ocean is the policy pursued by these companies and if the audit is serious and not an eye wash, many scams will be revealed. Last five years there is no semblance of administration in this country is a well known fact and loot has been the order every where. This is one of the reasons for Inflation and it cannot be contained by any economic policy measures.

MG Warrier

4 years ago

Article 149 of the Constitution mentions inter alia that “ The CAG shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any other authority or body as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament…”. Perhaps those who drafted Indian Constitution might not have foreseen the kind of scrutiny now being necessitated by vanishing accountability on the part of ‘public servants’ who handle public funds. If the cardinal principle of financial management that sources and uses of funds should be subject to prudent accounting when money is collected from public is still valid, contesting the right to audit by those vested with that responsibility doesn’t stand reason. What baffles common man is the resistance to transparency in accounting, whether it is gold or money or any other assets. Government should make it clear that ‘public funds’ whether it be revenue receipts or funds mobilised by corporates or donations or offerings received by political parties or religious organisations, will have to be accounted in a transparent manner and will be subject to scrutiny by authorities mandated with such responsibility.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram

Medical scare system increasing illness in society

The heart surgery programme in the US alone is a $100 million business! They thrive on panic mongering. There is compelling evidence that more health care and more aggressive treatment across the complete spectrum of illnesses is not necessarily better

Our greatest achievement in modern medicine has been our success in making the many people mortally terrified of diseases and death. For instance, Hypochondriasis has gone up exponentially since modern hi-tech medicine learnt the “art” of advertising both the morbid side of illnesses and our capacity to “drag people even from the jaws of death”! In short, we have transformed the medicical profession—a healthy union of the sick and the saviour in mutual trust—into a big business. This has exposed us to the vagaries of consumer society of fault-finding and lawsuits for negligence. Just read this letter from a friend of mine to find out how fear mongering goes on daily!

“I'm a regular reader of Money life and a big fan of your columns on health. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us readers. I know you're not a big fan of Western drugs, and can foresee more and more "diseases" being treated with simple herbal holistic drugs of the East. However, I'm asking this question due to widespread confusion on this issue. I'm about to get married in March and, based on my limited online knowledge, recommended my fiancé to take the HPV vaccine shots. Online blogs tell me that this vaccine prevents many forms of cancer in females, like cervical, anal, vaginal & vulvar. It also prevents certain STDs for both males and females. Also, I'm told that this vaccine is supposed to be taken by girls before they turn 25.

Accordingly, she consulted two doctors. Both advised her to go ahead with the vaccination. But she later came to know of a case in her city wherein a girl got herself vaccinated but the vaccine had massive side-effects. There is a general lack of awareness about this vaccine in India and many doctors also don't guide us properly. Could you please shed some light on the vaccine? It would be of great help to us and others. Thanks for your time.”

You see the scare mongering!

Vaccine business is a gold mine while drugs have limited market! We now advertise medicines and even ourselves in the media. We, of course, take the Hippocratic oath only to become hypocrites soon after. Doctors are educated by the drug companies; they do it intentionally.

Now the cat is out of the bag. The Independent reports a damning observation undertaken by the Public Accounts Committee on drug companies. The Independent states: “Drug companies have ‘routinely and legally’ withheld the results of medical trials from doctors, researchers and patients for decades, MPs have said. In a damning report, the Public Accounts Committee said it was of ‘extreme concern’ that about half of all trial results for medicines available on the global market were not subject to public and independent scrutiny. Warning that doctors and patients are being ‘undermined’ in their ability to make informed decisions on treatment, the committee called on the Government to act to ensure that the results of all clinical trials of every medicine currently being prescribed are made available. The report will significantly increase pressure on the world’s pharmaceutical giants to commit to full transparency over clinical trials. Critics have accused ‘Big Pharma’ of systematically putting profit before patients, withholding data that might undermine confidence in their blockbuster drugs. MPs said that ‘trials which gave a favourable verdict’ were ‘about twice as likely to be published as trials giving unfavourable results.’”.

Further more, the Independent piece states that Dr Ben Goldacre, who gave evidence to the Committee, told that the public had been given “false reassurance” by the pharmaceutical industry and the medical establishment for at least 20 years. “Patients suffer and die unnecessarily because of this,” he said. “It’s very common that we are persuaded to use the less effective of the available treatments because of withheld trial results.

The report also says, “The Public Accounts Committee said it was ‘disturbed’ by claims that regulators did not have access to all the available trial data on the anti-viral drug Tamiflu. There was ‘limited evidence and widespread disagreement among regulators and other bodies internationally on whether [it] confers any benefits on complications and mortality.’”

Department of Health reviewed whether to spend a further £49m on stockpiling Tamiflu!, the report from The Independent says.

The common man goes by advertisements of the pharma companies in addition to the pharma lobby selling those ideas to doctors. Advertisements make one buy things that s/he does not need! The best example is HPV vaccine Gardasil, developed by Diane Harper who admitted that the jabs are essentially useless and more dangerous than the very conditions they are hailed as preventing and treating. Ethan Huff of Natural News writes: “This was before the vaccine industry apparently convinced her to change her story...Dr. Diane Harper, a key developer of Gardasil, is on the record as having cleared her conscience about this fraudulent vaccine, which has been shown to be both ineffective and dangerous.”

Anyone, who goes for a check-up or goes with some vague chest discomfort to a hospital having a cardiac care centre. If the person is affluent, s/he comes back home with either an angioplasty or bypass surgery. Occasionally the victim might end up in heaven also. We make them get panicky by showing them some blocks in the four epicardial vessels that are visualised in the angiogram. The usual conversation goes thus:

“Are those dangerous, doctor?” asks the hapless victim.

“You are sitting on a volcano which might burst and kill you any time sooner than later,” tells the cardiologist.

They do not let the victim go home lest s/he should change the mind. They are told that death might even occur on their way home! What we DON’T tell them is that these intraluminal blocks rarely kill. The vulnerable lesions that kill  are usually not seen in the angiogram as they are inside the blood vessel wall (intramural) and therefore do not show up as blocks inside the vessel lumen.

Dr Nortin M Hadler, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The Last Well Person, feels that bypass surgery in particular “should have been relegated to the archives 15 years ago.” Except in a minority of patients with severe disease, bypass operations don't prolong life or prevent future heart attacks, nor does angioplasty. “People often believe that having these procedures fixes the problem, as if a plumber came in and fixed the plumbing with a new piece of pipe,” explains Dr. L. David Hillis, professor of cardiology at the University of Texas South-Western Medical School. “But it fundamentally doesn't fix the problem.”

The heart surgery programme in the US alone is a $100 million business! They thrive on panic mongering. There is compelling evidence that more health care and more aggressive treatment across the complete spectrum of illnesses is not necessarily better.

How do people benefit from these interventions? Recently Harvard Medical School associate professor of medicine Dr Roger J Laham reported on follow-up results of a randomised trial looking at laser surgery to improve blood flow. “Patients who got the surgery had significantly less pain and improved heart function. But so did patients who had a sham operation—the equivalent of a placebo. After 30 months the placebo effect was still there. Scans and other tests showed physiological gains in blood flow among only those who thought they had been operated on. A similar large placebo effect might explain "most of the benefits that we've seen so far with balloon angioplasty and bypass surgery," Laham says.

Medical scare system increases illness in society to the benefit of the medical industry; good for the latter in an affluent society.

Another article on health-scare can be accessed here.

(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London.)



Sadanand Patwardhan

4 years ago

My first advise to anyone is not to accept any authority uncritically. It is true that health industry in the West, particularly USA, is no longer driven by what is best for the patient but by what is best for pharma-industry. Dr. B M Hegde is right in this regard.
Please see:

However Dr. Hegde got it wrong about evolution (Darwin/Lamark) in his The Hindu Article:

Please see an excellent critique of his views here:


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