BJP president Gadkari and Congress leader Birbhadra Singh are at the centre of corruption allegations that came as a severe embarrassment to both the parties
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Virbhadra Singh were on Tuesday at the centre of corruption allegations that came as a severe embarrassment to both the parties, reports PTI.
As details tumbled out of the alleged dubious funding for a company run by Gadkari, Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily promised a probe into it.
To add to the discomfiture of BJP, party MP Ram Jethmalani demanded Gadkari's resignation, asking him not to seek a second term as party President.
Media reports have raised questions over the source of funds for Purti Power and Sugar Ltd controlled by Gadkari.
Media investigations claim that major investments and large loans to Purti were made by a construction firm Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999, when Gadkari was PWD minister in Maharashtra.
Gadkari has denied the allegations and offered himself and his companies to any probe.
Moily said the Registrars of Companies will "definitely inquire into it... We have not ordered anything. It is all coming in the newspapers. Since it has come in public domain, we told our ministry to make some discreet inquiry to find out what exactly is the matter. Are there any violations of Companies Act?"
When asked by reporters whether the business dealings of Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will also be scrutinised, he said the two issues were separate and there was no link between them.
However, BJP accused the government of being prejudiced and selective in its approach on the probe into corruption allegations.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the party endorses Gadkari's stand that he was open to any investigation by any competent authority and asked why Congress was running away from probing the allegations against ministers, like Virbhadra Singh, and Vadra.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who has been attacking Gadkari, on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking an investigation into the dealings of Gadkari's company.
"Gadkari has also said that he is open to a free and fair investigation. Being the National President of BJP, it is in the fitness of things that his case is properly investigated and he gets a fair opportunity to prove his innocence and clear his name," Digvijay Singh wrote in his letter.
Congress had its own quota of problems with Virbhadra Singh, who is top contender for the Chief Minister's post in Himachal Pradesh, being accused of forgery, money-laundering, bribe taking and income tax evasion.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley alleged that Singh had altered his income tax (IT) account books from 2008 onwards to show a forged, back-dated contract and a highly inflated income of around Rs6.5 Crore.
Singh, the former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, had recently come under the scanner following allegations that he had received payments from a steel company which had come to light after raids were conducted on the firm in 2010.
Singh brushed aside the allegations as false, fabricated and incorrect and threatened action against those behind the "malicious" campaign.
BJP's attack on Tuesday relates to a contract reportedly signed by Singh with one Vishambar Das giving his orchard for an annual payment of Rs10.5 Lakh.
BJP alleged that when the diaries of the steel company seized during the raid came out in the open, Singh entered into a back-dated contract with one Anand Chauhan to replace the earlier contract. The amount in the contract with Chauhan adds upto around Rs6.5 Crore over three years.
"This is a case of bribery, conversion of bribe money through money-laundering into real income, forgery by back-dating an agreement," Jaitley alleged, maintaining that this was not just a case of tax evasion.
Attacking Sonia Gandhi who criticised BJP on the issue of corruption, Jaitley said, "Had she known this, she would not have shared the stage with Singh. And if she knew and yet shared the stage, she should not have given a sermon on corruption."
Jaitley demanded probe by a Special Investigation Team comprising three honest police officers.
"This matter cannot be investigated by CBI due to its bad track record. Secondly, in the diaries, CBI is shown as a beneficiary," the BJP leader claimed.
Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit suspected a conspiracy, saying the timing of charges is "questionable".
Pointing out that Himachal was witnessing campaign for the upcoming Assembly elections, he said, "there is far more politics than substance" in the allegations.
Lashing out at Jaitley for making the allegations, Virbhadra Singh said the "malicious" campaign against him is being carried out to divert his attention from the election campaign and create confusion in the minds of public ahead of election.
"The information carried out by a section of the media is factually incorrect and details are being put out to create confusion in the public, and even divert my attention from the election campaign," the Himachal Congress chief said.
Virbhadra Singh said, "the Assessment proceedings are still pending before the appropriate authority for scrutiny. I have not received any questionnaire in this matter from the authority concerned...if there is any query I will reply to everything."
Contending that "their (BJP's) ill-timed malicious campaign cannot replace facts and truth", he said, "I will take appropriate action against those who are involved in such malicious campaign against me after the elections are over."
Maintaining that people know him more than anybody else going by the 50 years of his public life, he said, "I want to tell those trying to defame me during these assembly elections that I leave to the public of Himachal Pradesh to decide my fate ? let the people judge me and let the IT department ask me whatever they wish to."
The company had reported an extremely disappointing quarter as it changes its production plans over the last two months. The company sales declined 11% amidst increased competition
Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, published a very poor second quarter results, with net sales plummeting by 11% year-on-year (y-o-y) owing to weak sales volumes. Net sales for 30 September 2011 was Rs5826.15 crore, and fell to Rs5187.46 crore for the quarter ended 30 September 2012. Its operating profit fell even further, by 22% y-o-y to Rs719.19 crore and net profit much further by 27% to Rs440.58 crore.
The company has been struggling in the past few quarters due to pressure from increased competition and its sales lacks momentum required to go to take the company to the next level. Its y-o-y sales growth average, over the last three quarters, is an anaemic 4%, while y-o-y operating profit average growth rate is just 1% over the last three quarters as well. This points out an industry malaise as competitive dynamics have worked against the players in form of increased costs and intensive competition vis-a-vis price cuts. Despite recent poor showing, the valuation seems stretched and tad on the higher side, with its market capitalisation quoting at 12.50 times its operating profit. Its return on equity is quite impressive though, at 53%.
The company registered extremely weak volumes for September 2012 as it sold 4,04,787 units, which was 26.4% less than what it sold in the corresponding period last year. Likewise, it sold 8.8% less than August 2012. With the festival season coming up, it hopes to reverse the trend. For this, the company has started to dispatch its stylish new model —Passion X Pro —a 110cc motorbike. Apart from this, it has already received over 2 lakh units orders during the Navratras, which is a positive sign.
Commenting on the disappointing showing, Pawan Munjal, managing director, said, “The two-wheeler market in the country has been adversely impacted due to the overall market slowdown and prevailing sentiments since the beginning of this quarter. Sensing the slowdown in the market, we led the way in adjusting our production plans in August and September, and this has been reflected in our quarterly result figures. The onset of the festive season has been encouraging, with retail sales of over two lakhs in the Navratas.”
The share price declined 1.70% to Rs1795.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
You may be dumping your expired medicines believing lost efficacy or even fearing that it may be harmful. Research find that drugs expired 40 years ago were still effective
Medicines prices in India are rising steeply and consumers rely on buying the branded drug suggested by doctor. Many times we are unable to fully consume it till the expiration date. We fear taking the expired medicine or even when it is close to expiration. It goes to the garbage bin even though there may be poor patients who can safely utilize it in most of the cases. The thought is reinforced with research done to prove that the worry of medicines loosing its strength or being unsafe is unfounded in most cases. In India, few NGOs or individuals take partially used medicines that could be recycled to those in need.
Consumer Affairs, a US-based consumer news and advocacy site, says that research by University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) proves that medicines expired between 28 and 40 years ago not only maintained their level of potency, but also maintained the ability to work in the way they were intended to. It has nothing to do with the actual shelf life.
The UCSF researchers also found the amount of active ingredient present in the drugs was at least 90% of the amount shown on the label, only diminishing by a small amount. This was the case among 12 of the 14 drug compounds tested. The only active drugs that fell below the 90% mark were amphetamines and aspirin, say researchers.
Researchers say because pharmacies have to discard prescription drugs right after the expiration date, and consumers have been told to throw medicines away after they expire, a lot of money and effective treatments are being vastly wasted. Consumers think they have to discard their medicine simply because it stretched past its recommended date, is not only wasteful but illogical.
Some believe that drug manufacturers want consumers to keep buying medicines to make more money, and these same manufacturers are also responsible for creating the idea that medicine is ineffective and even harmful after the date on the bottle passes. Others may say it’s just the manufacturer's way of letting the consumer know how long their medicine is supposed to be its most potent.
Colorado physician Dr Phil Mohler says using expired prescription drugs is far better than a person going without their medicine because it’s outdated. And for those who are more cash-strapped than others, using drugs past their expiration date may be their only choice to stay medicated and follow their doctor’s orders. As always, research studies should be taken only as general information.
Future studies may come to other conclusions and general findings may not apply in a specific instance. All of which is a way of saying, talk to your doctor before making a decision about using drugs past their expiration date.
(Courtesy: ConsumerAffairs.com/ Daryl Nelson)
Read the original article here: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2012/10/study-prescription-meds-still-potent-decades-after-expiration-date.html