Election Commission seeks report on remarks from Mulayam, Azam

EC is seeking detailed report on controversial remarks made by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RLD chief Ajit Singh and UP minister Azam Khan

The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday sought a detailed report from poll authorities in Uttar Pradesh on the controversial remarks made by Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ajit Singh and state minister Azam Khan during the high-voltage campaigning for Lok Sabha polls.


“The Chief Electoral Officer has been asked to provide us with CDs of the controversial statements. The district election officers have also been asked to submit detailed reports on the remarks at the earliest,” EC sources told reporters.


While Yadav, the chief of Samajwadi Party attracted the EC’s attention for his reported remarks that he will “destroy” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Amit Shah, details on Azam Khan’s ‘Kargil’ remarks have also been sought.


Union Minister Ajit Singh’s statement that to prevent communalisation, he could even throw BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi into the sea has also attracted the EC’s attention.


The poll body has also received complaints with regard to the remarks.


Addressing the media in Lucknow on Tuesday, Yadav had said that it is unfortunate that people like Amit Shah are not behind bars.


“People like him are making divisive speeches. We will fight BJP like we have and we will destroy Amit Shah,” the Samajwadi Party chief had said.


EC has taken cognisance of the “destroy Amit Shah remark”, the Commission sources said.


Shah, a close aide of Modi, has received an EC notice for a series of hate speeches in Muzaffarnagar in UP.


Pune Tree Authority appointed 7th & 10th standard pass people, reveals RTI

Almost 11 out of 13 ‘nominated’ members on Citizen Committee of Pune Tree Authority poor educational qualifications, reveals inspection carried out under Section 4 of the RTI Act. But all of them have strong political links

Tree conservation in Maharashtra has been strengthened with the Maharashtra Tree Act of 1975. In Pune, the High Court order of October 2013 has further strengthened the Tree Authority as its members need to mandatorily have required educational qualifications. The members must be a member of an apolitical non-governmental organisation (NGO), which is minimum five years old and must submit proof of work done by the member through CDs, PPTs, certificates and photographs. The NGO must also be registered with the Social Forestry department.


However, in a clear contempt of Court, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), on 12 March 2014, declared the names of the new Tree Authority. PMC’s appointment of members from the same NGO with a political affiliation in 2009 on the last Authority had led to the filing of a public interest litigation (PIL) in the High Court.


Information accessed under Right to Information (RTI) Act by Vinita Deshmukh, convener of Pune Tree Watch, includes applications of those who have been nominated as well as those whose applications have been rejected. RTI documents reveal that 11 of the 13 nominated members to Tree Authority do not even have the academic qualification as directed by the High Court. Some of them are 7th, 10th and 12th standard pass.


The information also reveals that screening committee members Dr Mahesh Shindikar, Associate Professor and head of environmental dept, COEP; Prof SK Chavan, Associate Professor, College of Agriculture and Anil Thorat, Deputy Director, Social Forestry, Pune have put remarks, which question the authenticity of the nominated members. In this case too, HC had recommended six member committee but only three were nominated. The names of the finalized members of Tree Authority was put up by corporators, include Kamal Vyavahare, Anil Tingre, Anil Rane, Hemant Rasne and Prithivaraj Sutar. The HC has directed that even corporators who have Science education background should be nominated in this Tree Authority but that too has not been followed.


Following are the remarks of the three member screening committee, which shows their un-satisfaction over the shortlisted list of candidates. In the absence of any proof of work of the shortlisted applicants, the screening committee has remarked that they have depended upon the candidates’ affidavit regarding the work he or she has done in the field of tree conservation as none of the candidates attached photographs, CDs and certificates along with their application, which proves that indeed they have done credible work in the field. The Committee also remarked that some of the selected members do not have their NGOs, which are over five year old – mandatory criteria for selection. The Committee has recommended that authenticity of their work can only be judged once they submit their work and if they do not meet the requirements, they should be sacked from the Tree Authority committee.


Following are the remarks by the three member screening committee procured by Vinita Deshmukh from the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2014 - a special meeting was held at 12 noon that day to finalise NGO representatives as Tree authority members:



Education qualification

Committee Remark

Dr Anil Sachin Punekar


The candidate states that he has 15 years’ experience but his NGO is registered as recently as 2011. HC says it should be registered for a minimum 5 years.


Babasaheb Ganpat Patil

12th pass

HC clearly states that educational qualifications should be given prominence.


Shantanu Ramdas Jagdale


He has given an affidavit of five years’ experience but his educational qualification is irrelevant. He should have had agriculture/ forestry or degree in environmental/ gardening

Ameya Nandkishore Jagtap


NGO since 2009. The NGO is not five years old

Ajay Baban Shinde

12th pass

He has given an affidavit that he has worked in the field for 15 years but he is only 12th standard pass

Govind Ramchandra Tharkude


His affidavit says that he has 15 years’ experience but his educational qualifications are irrelevant to the post

Sudhir Vasant Naik


He has given an affidavit that he has 10 years’ experience in the field but his educational qualifications are not as per prescription of HC.

Milind Kundalik Pokale


He has given an affidavit that he has 8 years’ experience but his educational qualifications are irrelevant to the post

Dattatray Sadashiv Polekar

7th pass

He has given an affidavit that he has eight years’ experience but his NGO is registered only in 2010. As per the rules his educational qualifications and his experience is inadequate

Sandip Suresh Mokate

10th pass

He has given an affidavit that he has 12 years’ experience but his NGO is registered in 2009 or 2010 and he does not have the required educational qualifications

Kaviraj Fatubhai Sangholia

7th pass

He has given an affidavit that he has 15 years’ experience but he is not adequately qualified

Jadeep Prabati Padwal

12th pass

He has given an affidavit that he has 10 years’ experience but his NGO is registered in 2012


Advertisement for inviting applications for the post of members of Tree Authority were given in newspapers between 20 December 2013 and 14 February 2014. Very obviously, all this public money has gone down the drain.


Pune Tree Watch has asked immediate dissolution of newly formed Tree Authority as not a single nominated member has registered his or her NGO with Social Forestry department, which is mandatory by the High Court rules.


A reply from the Social Forestry that no NGO has registered with it was given to Vinod Jain, member of the Pune Tree Watch. Hence, the entire nomination of members is null and void and is contempt of court.


PTW is lodging a complaint with Municipal Commissioner of PMC, as he is the chairman of the Tree Authority and demanding that the newly established Tree Authority committee be dissolved at the earliest.


The norms set by the High Court:

According to the norms and directives of the Bombay High Court, while appointing the nominated members of the Tree authority preference should be given to the candidates representing Non-Government Organisation and having expertise in the following categories:

1. Those holding a degree or diploma in agriculture, forestry or gardening.

2. Those having special expertise and actual experience for minimum five years in the fields of plantation, conservation and replantation of trees or conservation of environment.

3. Members of NGOs working independently.

4. Members of NGOs active at national level.

5. He or she has to be an active member of an NGO registered with the Social Forestry Department of State Government.


Excerpt from the High Court order:

High Court has recommended that: “The nominated members should belong to independent NGOs and PMC has stated that not more than one person shall be appointed from the same NGO. As regards the nominated members, wider representation needs to be given to diverse cross sections of NGOs with a special knowledge or expertise in plantation and preservation of trees with a minimum experience of at least five years. Care shall be taken to obviate a situation which had occurred in the past whereby all the nominated members belonged to the same NGO. While nominating the non-official members, preference shall be given to qualified persons with a degree or diploma in agriculture/ forestry/ horticulture with an expertise of five years in plantation/ preservation/ transplantation of trees and/ or in environment protection. PMC has stated that preference would be given to those NGOs who have a national presence.”



Duties of Tree Authority

  a) Protection and Preservation of all trees in all lands within jurisdiction.

     b) Carrying out a Census of existing trees on all lands every five years

     c) Prescribing standards specifying the number and type of trees each plot of land should have. In Pune, one tree is mandatory per 100 square meter area, excluding goathan area.

     d) Development and maintenance nurseries for the supply of seeds, saplings of trees to those wishing to plant new or replace felled tree.

     e) Transplantation of trees because of road construction or for safeguarding against danger to life and property.

     f) Organising vegetable and flower shows yearly to raise consciousness about trees and vegetation for human welfare. Assisting private and public institutions in organizing such shows; creation of consciousness of importance of trees and vegetation to human welfare.

     g) Giving advice and assistance to those who seek it in any matter connected with planting, protection and preservation of trees.

     h) Planting and maintenance trees as considered appropriate according to prescribed standards in public places such as along the roads, river banks, lakes, public parks and gardens.

     i) Undertaking ANY schemes considered necessary for achieving objectives of the act.


(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”.)



Parimal Shah

3 years ago

Please file a contempt of the court case against that authority.


3 years ago

What are the political contacts of these appointees.

Great work, how can I help you in such activity.

Congress gift to Reliance: RIL sole beneficiary of anti-dumping duty on PTA

Ignoring plea from domestic users, the Congress-ruled regime has quietly imposed anti-dumping duty on PTA just a week before elections. The sole beneficiary of the duty is Reliance Industries, alleges industry chambers

Just a week before the election, the Indian government has 'quietly' imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), a raw material used in producing polyester filament yarn. However, several industry association has alleged that the sole beneficiary of this move is none other than Reliance Industries Ltd. Future growth for PTA is predicted to be extremely high, with demand increasing by about 20% per year.


"Domestic user industry is struggling to survive due to wide gap in demand and availability of PTA. Domestic producer is engaging in 'profit booking' by producing naphtha and Paraxylene (PX) in one plant, and then selling PX at artificially high rates to the other plant for the manufacture of PTA. The anti-dumping investigation is also aimed at supplementing this practice of 'profit booking' by the imposition of anti-dumping duty and achieving 'double profit booking'," said Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in a note submitted to the government.


RIL alone accounted for 60% of domestic PTA production in 2012-13, while Mitsubishi’s MCC PTA India Corp (MCPL) made up for another 24%. Indian Oil Corp is the other domestic producer of PTA. With a capacity to produce 2,050 kilotons per annum (KTA), RIL is 8th largest producer of PTA in the world.


What is interesting is RIL and MCPL had asked anti-dumping duty on PTA for imports from China, European Union (EU), Korea and Thailand and not Malaysia, where the Mukesh Ambani-led company owns a plant. Earlier in September 2012, RIL through its unit Reliance Global Holdings Pte Ltd bought BP Chemicals (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (BPCM) from BP for $230 million. BPCM's PTA plant commissioned in 1996 had nameplate production capacity of 610,000 tonnes per year.


Currently, in India, PTA is being imported from China, European Union, Korea and Thailand. According to ASSOCHAM, during 2012-13, the total industry production was 3.48 million tonnes (MT), imports were 6.50 lakh tonnes as against the demand of 4.12 MT excluding captive consumption by PTA producers.


According to a report from the Financial Express, RIL is setting up another plant with a capacity to produce one million tonne of the PTA a year, expected to be completed by first half of this year and this would be followed by another plant with the same capacity within six months. "The users said RIL uses most of the PTA for its own consumption. So the duty, if imposed, will raise the costs only for others and distort competition by giving undue advantage to RIL, which also produces finished goods from the PTA," the report said quoting industry sources.


In a report, ICIS, said, India, the second largest PTA consumption hub in Asia, is likely to reverse its short supply of PTA in 2014 by boosting its domestic PTA capacity by 56% during the year. Reliance’s new 1.1MT per year Dahej No1 PTA plant would be completed in the second quarter of CY14. "It will be the first new PTA plant in the past three years in Asian region outside of China, except those debottlenecked and rebuilt plants, after the start-up of India’s Mitsubishi Chemical’s 800,000 tonne per year Haldia plant in 2010," the report said quoting an international trader.


Even PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) had requested the government not to impose anti-dumping duty on PTA, in view of the demand-supply mismatch, which according to its estimates was 40,96,952 MT against 34,20,000 MT. In a representation sent to the government, Saurabh Sanyal, executive director of PHDCCI, had said, " has been highlighted that the domestic producers of PTA are acting in an unreasonable manner to put additional burden on the user industry with the sole objective of earning super normal profits on the product, seeking to impose anti-dumping measures on it at the cost of small and medium sized enterprises which is not fair."


According to the Financial Express report, domestic PTA users like Indo Rama Synthetics, Filatex India, JBF Industries and Shubhalakshmi Polyesters opposed a plea by RIL and MCPL to impose anti-dumping duty on PTA.


"In a meeting with commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma last week (of March), these companies said imports of the PTA — used in making polyester staple fibre (PSF), filament yarn (PFY) and film — were already taxed at 5% despite a domestic shortage. Thus, an anti-dumping duty over and above the import duty would raise the import tariff to a higher level and would be “disastrous” for the industrial users, which are already struggling to pass on the rising costs to downstream consumers," the report says.


DS Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM said, “…if anti-dumping duty was imposed, it will render the imports extremely expensive for purchase by the users of PTA and the user industry in India will become uncompetitive”.


The price of paraxylene (PX) increased substantially during 2011-12 and 2012-13 while the price of naphtha (raw material for the production of PX) did not increase at the rate in which prices of PX increased during 2011-12 and 2012-13. However, the increase in prices of Naphtha was commensurate with increase in prices of PTA.


According to the industry body, the imposition of anti-dumping duty on PTA will severely curb the production of downstream products such as polyester filament yarn, polyester staple fibre and synthetic textiles. These products also contribute significantly to total exports from India. The EU market may soon be closed to Indian exports of the above products due to the anti-subsidy investigation on PSF imports currently being conducted by EU. PSF exports from India to EU were 63,241 MT in 2012, thus highlighting the significance of exports of only one of the numerous downstream products of PTA.


There is an absolute as well as a proportional decline of imports of PTA from China, EU, Korea and Thailand over 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13. In addition, the landed value of PTA from China, EU, Korea and Thailand has increased consistently and substantially over 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13, ASSOCHAM said.


The representation of the PHD Chamber also points out that Polyester filament yarn, polyester staple fibre and synthetic textiles form core of the exports from India. Further, Indian polyester staple fibre is already facing anti-subsidy investigation in European Union vide initiation notice (2013/C372/12) dated 19 December 2013.  Egypt has initiated anti-dumping investigations vide notice no. (9) published in their official Gazette no.292 supplementary (A) on 24 December 2013.


"The imports of PTA did not cause any injury as claimed by some of the players who want anti-dumping measures on PTA imports.  Even the leading company such as Indian Oil Corporation does not seek anti-dumping duty on PTA imports.  The Chamber, therefore, is of the view that in view of substantial demand supply mis-match of PTA, any anti-dumping measure on it would prove injurious to domestic industry," PHDCCI had said.


According to reports, at present landed price of imported PTA stands at about Rs61-Rs62.5 per kg, while domestic producers are selling it even at a slightly lower rate of R60 per kg.


Officials from RIL were not immediately available for comments. Our mail remained unanswered till writing the article. We would incorporate RIL views as and when we receive it.




3 years ago

This government and congress and BJP must be put in dust bin basket at the earliest. otherwise they will make the life of others miserable.
Oh! God give the people good sense during this election 2014

Vidul Nagda

3 years ago

Ignoring plea from domestic users, the Congress-ruled regime has quietly imposed anti-dumping duty on PTA just a week before elections. The sole beneficiary of the duty is Reliance Industries, alleges industry chambers"

But where is the Government notification which details this anti dumping duty levy. Please clarify.
[email protected]


3 years ago

AAP says BJP does what Khangress does best? Seems odd. The Ambanis became big like any Indian industrial house: Sharing the wealth thrown at them by the Neta-Babus with the Neta-Babus:


3 years ago

This is not a new practice. RIL was built on favourable random policy changes by Congress governments - and there are precedents about Congress governments doing such favours just before elections when they knew they will lose. So it is not in jest when Mukeshbhai says that "Congress to apni hi dukaan hai"...they are all his employees.
Read "The Polyester Prince" for more on Congress-Reliance nexus since the 70s - and how this resulted in the country and us consumers over-paying for cloth, and bankrupting Reliance's competitors because they were end-users of PTA which Reliance sold at profit-gouging prices. This is how our dear President Pranabji made his illustrious career as Finance minister!
So no surprises here. Question is - How will MoneyLife bring this to national media's attention or tap into Kejriwal to put another corrupt Congress action in front of people?


A Menon

In Reply to MR 3 years ago

Tap into Kejriwal seems to be the one hope that we have at this time - at leastt, he had the guts to file an FIR against the Teflon-coated Mukesh/Reliance! Enough reason to 'strengthen his hands'?


In Reply to MR 3 years ago

Yes nobody-nobody can stop this.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)