Companies & Sectors
Good sales, low base push Maruti Suzuki Q3 net up by over two-fold

Maruti’s recently launched New Alto 800 has picked up well in the festive season and is expected to do well in the fourth quarter. This coupled with the order backlog for Swift, Swift Desire and Ertiga is expected to drive the demand scenario for the auto major

New Delhi: Riding on good sales of new variants like Ertiga and Swift DZire, and benefiting from low base effect, the country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India on Friday reported an over two-fold jump in net profit to Rs501.29 crore for the third quarter, reports PTI.


The company’s net profit stood at Rs 205.62 crore during the same period last fiscal.


Net sales during the third quarter to end-December, stood at Rs10,956.95 crore, up 45.57% from Rs7,527.10 crore in the year-ago period, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said in a statement.


“The growth in net profit was primarily due to higher sales and good response to new models like Ertiga and Swift DZire,” it said, adding the company's continued cost reduction efforts helped to drive profit in the quarter.


Hit by low sales and labour unrest at its Manesar plant and rupee depreciation, the car maker, a unit of Japanese Suzuki Motor Corporation, had reported a 63.6% fall in net profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2011, to Rs205.6 crore, its worst performance in previous 12 quarters.


MSI said its sales volume stood at 3.01 lakh units during the third quarter this fiscal as compared to 2.4 lakh units in the corresponding period of previous year, up 25.85%.


Cheering the smart earnings numbers, shares of MSI were trading 4.10% up at Rs1,599.50 crore apiece during afternoon on the BSE.

During the quarter under review, the company sold 2.7 lakh units in the domestic market compared to 2.1 lakh units, reflecting a growth of 26.98%.


It exported 32,496 units during the quarter, up 17.21% from 27,725 units in the year-ago period.


"The growth in net sales was on account of higher volumes, favourable model mix and enhanced export realisation," MSI said.


During the quarter, the company's total expenses went up by 39.86% to Rs10,667.40 crore from Rs7,627.32 crore in the year-ago period.


MSI spent Rs8,376.04 crore on raw materials compared to Rs5,866.26 crore in the same period last fiscal, up 42.78%, the statement said.


During October-December period last year, MSI's tax expenses also increased by over three-fold to Rs174.34 crore as against Rs55.68 crore in the corresponding three-monthly period in 2011.


The finance cost of the company also went up by over two-fold to Rs45.93 crore from Rs17.59 crore in the same period last fiscal, MSI said.


Trade Unions oppose EPFO’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory

Trade union leaders said that it would be impossible for EPFO members to provide Aadhaar numbers as the scheme is not operational in many parts of the country

New Delhi: Trade unions (TUs) have raised the red flag against the retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO) suo moto decision to make submission of Aadhaar mandatory for its over 50 million existing subscribers and new members, reports PTI.


Questioning the decision of the EPFO, the trade union leaders said that it would be impossible for the members to provide Aadhaar numbers as the scheme was not operational in many parts of the country. Also it was cumbersome to get the numbers in states where the scheme is operational.


“They should not have taken this decision suo moto. It should have been discussed in the EPFO’s apex decision making body the Central Board of Trustees (CBT)”, Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh General Secretary Baij Nath Rai told PTI.


Rai who is an EPFO trustee also, further said, “It cannot be done out rightly as there are a lot of hiccups in making the Aadhaar number in many parts of the country.”


EPFO has recently gave direction in its order to its field staff to mandatorily ask for Aadhaar numbers from new members joining the scheme from 1 March 2013 and existing members by 30th June.


Another EPFO trustee and All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) secretary DL Sachdev has outrightly opposed it saying that EPFO does not need to use Aadhaar number as unique account number of its members.


“We are opposing this move. All members do not have Aadhaar numbers. They should make it voluntary,” he said adding that EPFO can give unique account number of all members without using the Aadhaar number and platform.


Sachdev who is also an EPFO trustee said that AITUC would raise the issue with the labour minister as well as take it up in the CBT meeting on 15th February.


Admitting that having Aadhaar number of all EPFO members is a herculean task, another EPFO trustee and Hind Mazdoor Sabha Secretary AD Nagpal said, “I do not think that this could be done by 30th June. We will ask for extension of the deadline in the forthcoming meeting of CBT next month.”


Earlier, the EPFO had envisaged replacing its members’ account number with Aadhaar numbers to avoid inconvenience to those who had to apply for transfer of PF money to the new account with the new employer.


EPFO is working towards creating a central database where all members would have a unique account number and would not require to transfer PF accounts to another one in the event of changing jobs.


EPFO recently digitalised its database of regional offices and launched its e-passbook service where subscribers can access their account online. Now the body is working towards integrating this digital data base and bring them together at one place.


This will help EPFO members, particularly construction workers, who often change their jobs or contractors.


Helping those disabled by disasters

Saritsa Foundation assists people with disabilities caused by disasters

In 2012, 1,503,320 Indians were displaced due to natural disasters. Each disaster leads to thousands being displaced and lives torn apart. When a disaster strikes, the poor and underprivileged are the worst affected. Col Nagar M Verma, who used to lead the 7th battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry, noticed during the rescue operations, which the army is often called to undertake, that people were clueless about routine safety measures and that even elementary first-aid could help save lives or alleviate suffering. Most often, people simply wait for government to provide succour. Delays in administrative response often lead to loss of lives or disabilities and, consequently, loss of livelihood. Many, especially women and children, remain traumatised for years. So when Col Verma retired, he put in some of his retirement funds to set up Saritsa Foundation on 5 June 2000 with the unusual aim of providing information, knowledge and training in disaster management to save lives and return to earning a livelihood.

Col Verma says that many of his ex-colleagues help in imparting training. Although there is a national policy for disaster management, in reality, there needs to be a structured framework to guide its working and constant evaluation to study its efficacy. Also, because disaster management is a top-down approach, it takes time for help to reach the grassroots. The only solution, feels Col Verma, is for people to be trained and become self-sufficient to take care of themselves, until help arrives.

Despite the initial resistance, Saritsa has make remarkable progress in the past 12 years working through schools, colleges, political organisations, NGOs, international and religious groups as well as social institutions like Rotary Clubs. But a lot more needs to be done; knowledge about safety and disasters is still very poor. Col Verma’s team works at building understanding and trust among communities, to hone skills and to sensitise individuals on how to respond to disaster situations and to promote a culture of safety. Saritsa imparts education and training for disasters such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, tsunami, droughts, cyclones, terrorism, bomb blasts, as well as chemical and biological hazards. It conducts workshops, seminars, debates, mass contacts, family conferences and street plays on issues of rescue and trains through evacuation drills.

Saritsa Foundation has established a mobile university for disaster risk reduction. It has already reached out to thousands of volunteers, including a few people with disabilities, across rural and urban areas of 18 states. At the national level, the Foundation has empowered over 0.2 million school children, orphans, women and differently-abled people, along with vulnerable citizens. Its programmes have raised the awareness on the right to life and has helped people in cultivating skills to respond to disasters using local resources.

People who have been trained by the Foundation are inspired to raise further awareness among their families and friends, and are implementing disaster preparedness plans in schools. Next on its agenda is to equip and empower 15,000 school children, women and differently-abled citizens annually. It is working towards raising funds for this initiative which, even with the use of local resources, requires administrative expenses of around Rs300 per head or Rs45 lakh. Col Verma says that Saritsa’s accounts are audited and it makes ethical and judicious use of donations. You can help Saritsa in its mission by volunteering to train people or by financial support. Donations to Saritsa Foundation are eligible for tax deduction under Section 80G of the Income-Tax Act.

Saritsa Foundation
Contact: Col Verma / Prof Smita Kadam Flat No 3, Ground Floor, Pankaj CHS, Sitaram Keer Marg, Bhandar Lane,
Mahim (W), Mumbai - 400016
Tel: 91 22 24366370, 24370138
Mob: 9323157377
[email protected]


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