After a month of marginal net inflow, equity mutual funds suffer an exodus of Rs615 crore in April
The sales of equity mutual funds may have peaked in March 2012 reaching a high of Rs4,925 crore, however, in the following month sales just reached Rs2,903 crore, the lowest in the last 36 months, according to Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) data that is released every month. Moneylife had pointed out the declining trend in sales from August last year, but this trend was broken in the months of February and March mainly due to inflows from Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS). Fund flows into these schemes usually peak in the last few months of the financial year for last minute tax saving reasons. Sales of ELSSs amounted to Rs151 crore in April, one-fourth of the sales in the previous month. Therefore, without the rush of funds into these tax-saving schemes, equity sales have fallen again.
Redemptions were lower compared to the last couple of months but still, due the poor sales there was an outflow of Rs615 crore from equity funds. New Fund Offers (NFOs) seem to have dried up, as well. As a strategy, fund houses usually launch NFOs when the market is consistently rising. With in a downtrend, asset management companies are hesitant to launch NFOs. Apart from one ELSS scheme launched last month, there were no other new schemes launched in the last two months. As per AMFI data, numbers of equity folios as of March 2012 have declined by 4% over the course of one year, working out to 15.76 lakh accounts.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chief, UK Sinha, said that positive net inflows in FY2011-12 are an "encouraging development". However, in the same period there was a 25% drop in sales. According to the AMFI data, the financial year 2011-12 saw a net inflow of Rs122 crore, and FY2010-11 saw an exodus of Rs13,139 crore. But if we compare sales alone, in FY2011-12 sales declined by almost 25% to Rs50,560 crore from Rs66,592 crore in FY2010-11. Redemptions reduced by nearly 58% from Rs79,731 crore in FY2010-11 to Rs50,497 crore in FY2011-12. Therefore lower sales matched much lower redemptions leading to a positive net inflow.
Redemption is partly based on the investors' requirement. When he needs his funds he would withdraw depending on his investing horizon, his goal and the performance of the fund.
However, if sales fall, there is a serious problem despite positive net inflows. With lower sales there is a decline in new fund inflow and here is where the regulator has to step in. Entry load was banned in August 2009 and from the chart one can see there has been a steady decline since then. Except for the drop in sales in 2008, due to poor market conditions, sales failed to pick up and reach the levels of the earlier periods. In the 33 months post the ban, from Aug-09 to Apr-12, monthly sales averaged Rs4,920 crore per month, a drop of 28.54% compared to the sales in the 33 months (Nov-06 to Jul-09) prior to the ban, during which the average sales per month worked out to Rs6,885 crore per month.
With no incentive to sell mutual funds and the flat market conditions has made it even more difficult for the distributors to push mutual funds in the recent few months. SEBI is said to have set up a panel for the purpose of enhancing the reach of the mutual fund industry. With unclear incentive structure, the distributors would not find it feasible to reach investors in small towns and cities. What they need to come up with is a strategy that will benefit both the distributor and the investor.
In today's Bollywood or in Hindi movies, ‘Maa’ has become a pass(e) and (glam) Mom is the word. Mothers in a majority of Hindi films today are either filthy rich or very poor, leaving no space for family dramas and the middle-class
Gone are the days when the on-screen mothers in Bollywood would sing lullabies in their soft voices, those pain-filled eyes reflecting their sacrifices, their adoring smile and strokes that soothed away fears, their all-encompassing equation with their on-screen sons.
From "Mother India" (1957) to "Vicky Donor" (2012), the portrayal of on-screen mothers have changed over a period of time with the 'Maa" of yesteryear becoming 'Mom' today.
Then, no story was complete without them but today those roles have become mostly clichéd. Now, in most films, mothers have become marginalised, they are mere props instead of propelling the story.
"There is less importance of mothers in films today. Even if there are roles for mother, there is hardly anything for them to do on screen. Things have changed, there is hero and heroine for everything, so there is no need of mother," Zarina Wahab, who essayed the role of a mother to Shahrukh Khan in Karan Johar's "My Name is Khan" and Hrithik Roshan in the remake version of "Agneepath", told PTI.
"The kind of emotions and sentiments that is attached with the character of a mother is not there in today's films. I am happy that after a long time I got to do a film like 'Agneepath' (remake one)," she said.
Can anyone forget actor Shashi Kapoor's famous dialogue as a cop, "Mere paas maa hai", to his smuggler brother Amitabh Bachchan in "Deewar", where Nirupa Roy was the mother. She became the most epitomised on-screen mother in Bollywood history.
Nargis played a fiery single mother in Mehboob Khan's "Mother India", who brings up her two sons, Rajendra Kumar and Sunil Dutt. Nargis does not hesitate to fire a bullet at her criminal son, Sunil Dutt.
Leela Chitnis created the archetype of Hindi cinema mother, as she often played an ailing mother or one going through hardships and struggle. She played the mother of leading men, including the legendary Dilip Kumar.
Then we had Waheeda Rehman in Yash Chopra's "Trishul", Dina Pathak in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's "Khubsoorat', Raakhee in Ramesh Sippy's "Shakti'", Nirupa Roy in Manmohan Desai's "Amar Akbar Anthony".
Then came a new set of mothers-Rajshri Movies' favorite maa, Reema Lagoo in "Maine Pyaar Kiya", "Hum Aapke Hai Kaun" and "Hum Saath Saath Hai", the cutest maa-Farida Jalal in "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayege" and "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", the glamorous maa-Kirron Kher in films like "Veer Zaara", "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' and "Dostana", Zarina founded a new image of an on-screen mother by the donning the roles in "My Name is Khan", "Rakhta Charitra" and the latest "Agneepath".
"Times have changed and so have the role of mothers in Bollywood. As films reflect society, the portrayal of mothers has become more westernised like in terms of clothes. There are not much family drama movies today-either we have a filthy-rich mother or a mother from Dharavi (a slum locality in metropolitan Mumbai). Where is the middle class mother who goes through struggle, pain?" asked Reema Lagoo, who has played the on-screen mother to Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Dutt ("Vaastav") and Shahrukh Khan ("Yes Boss").
"I feel mothers have merely become a prop today... there is hardly anything for them to do on screen. I miss playing the kind of roles I did earlier," she said.
How can one forget the drinking mother, Dolly Ahluwalia, in "Vicky Donor". She played the mother to Ayushman Khurana and had the audiences in splits with her act.
In "Vicky Donor", the scene between Dolly and her mother-in-law (Kamlesh Gill) sharing a drink has become the most talked about act of the film released last month.
Dolly has admitted she had apprehensions about the audience accepting the saas-bahu's drinking sessions. "To our good fortune, our bonding, including the drinking part, has been liked," Dolly has said.
RPN Singh, minister of state, MCA in written reply in Lok Sabha said that, “There is no separate activity code to identify multi level marketing (MLM) companies.” Surprisingly, such a reply from MCA comes at a time when ministry of consumer affairs is drafting guidelines for MLMs
While many multi-level marketing (MLM) companies continue to mushroom, targeting gullible people and amassing several thousand crores, the government seems to have no solution to stop them. Recently the ministry of company affairs (MCA) said that that there is no separate activity to identify MLMs and it has no information on any action taken on such companies.
RPN Singh, minister of state, MCA in written reply in Lok Sabha said that, "There is no separate activity code to identify multi level marketing (MLM) companies. Therefore, these companies cannot be separately identified from the list of companies registered under the Companies Act, 1956. Also, there are no separate guidelines for MLM companies. Hence information on action and tax collection is not available."
Mr Singh was replying to written questions on whether the government is aware that the MLM companies are prevalent in India; details and total number of such companies, if the government has proposed any guidelines for these MLM companies along with details of any action against any MLM company and the tax collected from such companies in last three years.
Surprisingly, such a reply from MCA comes at a time when ministry of consumer affairs is drafting guidelines for MLMs. Sources confirmed to Moneylife that acting on the order from the Prime Minister's office (PMO), the ministry is consulting stakeholders to formulate detailed guidelines on MLMs and for direct selling companies.
Recently, Veerappa Moily, minister of consumer affairs, had said that it has written to the ministry of home affairs stating that it has no reservation if such regulatory body, as suggested by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), is set up within the ministry of home affairs to check the cases of frauds by MLMs as is being done of chit funds.
SFIO is a fraud investing body. Famous scams by MLMs such as SpeakAsia Online and Gold Quest International (a chit fund company) are being investigated by the SFIO. Currently, India bans MLMs and Ponzi schemes under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978, which is grossly inadequate. However, considering menace of these schemes, the state of Meghalaya implemented its own Act which completely banned Ponzi and MLM schemes from the state. Rajasthan is also planning to draft its own legislation, apart from the central Act.
The Kerala government, which in the past admitted noticing frauds amounting to over Rs1,000 crore by MLMs, framed guidelines to distinguish a genuine direct selling company from a fake one. However, experts pointed out that these guidelines were grossly inadequate and misleading.