FM informs opposition about govt decision to keep FDI move on hold

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday informed opposition leaders that the decision on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail was being put on hold and a final decision will be taken only after consulting all opposition parties

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday informed opposition leaders, including Sushma Swaraj and Sitaram Yechury, that the decision on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail was being put on hold and a final decision will be taken only after consulting all opposition parties, reports PTI.

“The government is willing to keep the decision in suspension. It will take a final decision only after consultations with all opposition parties and the stakeholders,” sources said after Mr Mukherjee spoke to Ms Swaraj, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha and Communist Party of India (M) MP Mr Yechury Monday morning.

Ms Swaraj is believed to have told Mr Mukherjee that the government should come out with a statement on the issue, which has created a logjam in Parliament for several days now.

Mr Yechury is understood to have told the finance minister that an all-party meeting be convened before the next sitting of Parliament on Wednesday during which the parties could be informed about the decision.

An announcement could then be made in Parliament, the sources said, adding that the all-party meeting could be held on Wednesday morning before the proceedings begin.

Mr Mukherjee had last week told an all-party meeting, which had asked the government to reverse the FDI decision that he would get back to them after he consulted the prime minister and the Union Cabinet which had taken the decision.

Mr Yechury is understood to have told Mr Mukherjee Monday that it would be in fitness of things that all political parties are informed about keeping the decision to allow 51% FDI in retail in abeyance.

The opposition, however, is still firm on having a discussion in Parliament on major issues like price rise and black money under rules which entail voting, the sources said.

While Kishore Biyani-led Future group’s Pantaloon Retail (India) plunged by 11.92% to a low of Rs188.40 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), shares of the Tata Group’s retail venture Trent fell by 3.18% to Rs964 in post-non trade.

Similarly, Koutons Retail lost 7.21%, Provogue (India) tumbled by 4.98%, Shopper’s Stop tanked by 3.97% and Vishal Retail shed 6.45%.

These stocks had recorded smart gains on 25th November a day after Cabinet decided to allow 51% FDI in the multi-brand or supermarket retail business and do away with the present 51% cap on FDI in the single-brand retail business.


Unfazed by slump; two-wheeler majors aim for decent sales

Auto analysts said increasing fuel prices and high interest rates prompt many buyers to go for two-wheelers rather than cars. However there could be an impact in the high-performance bikes in the above 150cc category, they said

Chennai: Undeterred by the slump in the automobile market, two-wheeler manufacturers in India aim to post decent sales this financial year, buoyed by good sales in November, reports PTI.

While Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer India Yamaha aims to sell over four lakh units this year, rival Bajaj Auto plans to post sales of four million units this fiscal.

India Yamaha Motor director-sales and marketing Jun Nakata said they plan to sell over four lakh units, aiming to garner a 10% market share in the next few years.

“We are looking to sell 4.80 lakh motorcycles this fiscal and are looking to achieve overall 10% market share over the next few years,” Mr Nakata told PTI.

In November alone, India Yamaha reported a 29.20% increase on total sales at 39,162 units. The company had sold 30,310 units in the same month last year.

Sales in the domestic market grew by 24.08% as the company sold 28,178 units against 22,710 units in the same month last year.

There was good news on the export front too for India Yamaha, with a whopping 44.53% jump in sales to 10,984 units during the month from 7,600 units a year ago.

Asked about the sluggish automobile market conditions, Mr Nakata said the company was much affected by it. “We have none or very less impact so far. We expect growth be around 15% in the industry,” he said.

Auto analysts said increasing fuel prices and high interest rates prompt many buyers to go for two-wheelers rather than cars. However there could be an impact in the high-performance bikes in the above 150cc category, they said.

Mr Nakata however struck a positive note, saying sales for India Yamaha will be at the present level and sales of premium segment growth would remain the same.

Chandrashekar, general manager, marketing and sales, Bajaj Auto told PTI that the company expects to sell over four million units this fiscal.

“The impact in the passenger car business is because of various reasons including interest rates and fuel prices. If a car owner feels the pinch, then two-wheelers always come as an option,” he said.

He reiterated that two-wheeler industry was growing at 13%-15% year-on-year.

In November Bajaj Auto registered a 25% jump on motorcycle sales at 3,31,967 units. The company sold 2,65,036 units in the corresponding month last year.

Total sales in November stood at 3,74,477 units up by 25% as against 2,99,231 units sold in the same period the previous year.


Osian’s resurfaces, but creditors remain unpaid

Neville Tuli, chief advisor of Osian Art Fund has been evading questions regarding payments to creditors and unit-holders despite notices from SEBI

Osian’s Art Fund is back with a new website. And this time it plans to hold an auction on 15th December in Delhi. It has also announced that its dream project, Osianama, will be completed next year. These announcements have irked many investors and vendors who are still unpaid. They have demanded that the forthcoming auction be blocked unless they are paid in full.

Osian’s new website is, where it has been announced that chief advisor Neville Tuli has invited all for an auction preview for ‘Creative India Series I- Bengal’, which features paintings from the colonial era. The auction will be held at The Imperial, Janpath, New Delhi.

One such vendor, to whom Osian’s owes more than Rs2 million, said, “While Neville Tuli is planning to hold an auction in Delhi on 15th December, he has not paid my full dues so far for the auction of my art books held in Delhi in July 2008. He still owes me and I came to know from my lawyer that there are a dozen or so other creditors who have filed winding up petitions against him in the Bombay High Court.”

Moneylife has consistently written about the delayed payment by the Osian’s.
When Moneylife contacted Neville Tuli, chief advisor, Osian Art Fund asking him the status of payments due the above-mentioned vendor and others investors and also whether their paintings will be sold at the Delhi auction, he replied saying, “Please pick up an auction catalogue from our Mumbai office G-2B Nariman Bhavan, Nariman Point on Monday. All your questions can be answered therein.”

Regarding the vendor who is not been paid Rs2 million, he said, “The matter has been legally resolved with planned instalments. However, there was some delay from our side…”

Osianama—a grand museum of art, culture, cinema and architecture, and Mr Tuli’s dream project, will be completed in 2012. Mr Tuli had bought the plot where Mumbai famous Minerva Theatre used to stand for Osianama, but the deal got delayed when Osian’s ran into trouble with the civic authorities.

Osian Art Fund, a three-year closed-ended fund launched in 2006, ran into trouble after it declared Net Assets Value (NAV) but when investors tried to redeem the money, it was not possible.

It raised Rs102.40 crore from 656 unit-holders across 39 cities, most of them high net-worth individuals (HNIs). The scheme used to declare NAVs showing 30% returns, but when it was time for redemption, the money wasn’t forthcoming. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had also issued it a show-cause notice in November 2007 asking why it should not be regulated as a collective investment scheme; it also issued an advisory that civil and criminal proceedings can be started against art funds that were not registered with SEBI. The scheme was wound up on 10 July 2009, at which time Mr Tuli wrote to investors that redemptions would be made over the next 120 days as per the terms of the redemption guidelines. But by October, when the money wasn’t forthcoming, Moneylife was the first to report on Osian's problems (Read Osian Art Fund delays payout).


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