Govt cannot probe irregularities in Speak Asia: Corporate affairs secretary

“Speak Asia is not registered in India so we cannot initiate any investigation against it. MCA does not have any database of the company,” corporate affairs secretary DK Mittal informed media persons

New Delhi: The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) today said it cannot investigate alleged irregularities in multi-level marketing company Speak Asia as the company is not registered with it, reports PTI.

“Speak Asia is not registered in India so we cannot initiate any investigation against it. MCA does not have any database of the company,” corporate affairs secretary DK Mittal told reporters on the sidelines of an AIMA event here.

Singapore-based Speak Asia, promoted by Hariender Kaur, was incorporated last year. So far, it only has operations in India and claims to have 19 lakh members or panellists in the country.

Mr Mittal added that Speak Asia has not applied for registration with the ministry of corporate affairs.

The company charges a membership fee of Rs11,000 for a year. It allows its members to conduct some surveys online for the firm.

Members are paid for conducting the surveys. The company said that it pays Rs500 for every survey to its member.

After a controversy erupted last month about the company's operations, an investors’ protection group filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court. The court issued summons to five top officials of Speak Asia.

Singapore-based United Overseas Bank had closed the bank accounts of Speak Asia last month.

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COMMENTS

Mohan Lal

6 years ago

Dear Sir/Madam,

I appeal to Media and Responsible citizens of India.

These MLM schemes are spoiling our next generation. They are making habit of Easy Money. Please stop them at once. Please take some action against them

SALES people of Speak Asia are Just speaking lies and luring our youth to invest time and money in these schemes. This is serious brain drain.

govindan

6 years ago

All MLM companies registered India should soon apply for de-registration; secure registration in a foreign country and start plundering Indian people !

Food inflation up to 9.01% for week ended 28th May

The latest jump in food inflation numbers comes follows a slew of bad news for the economy. India’s GDP growth slowed to a five-quarter low of 7.8% during the January-March quarter, while the six core industries registered meagre 5.2% expansion in April

New Delhi: Notwithstanding the government’s projections of a moderation in the rate of price rise of food items, food inflation jumped to a two-month high of 9.01% for the week ended 28th May from 8.06% in the previous week, on the back of costlier fruits, onions and protein-based items, reports PTI.

Food inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was as high as 20.62% during the last week of May 2010.

The latest numbers are the highest level of food inflation since the week ended 26th March when it had stood at 9.18%. For the last two months, the rate of price rise of food items has been below the 8% mark.

As per the data released by the government today, fruits became by 30.78% more expensive year-on-year, while onions were up by over 14%.

During the week under review, milk prices were up by 8.49% and eggs, meat and fish became dearer by 6.99%. Cereals also became costlier by 5.77% on an annual basis.

However, the prices of pulses went down by 9.49% year-on-year, while vegetables and potatoes became cheaper by 0.20% and 2.87%.

Inflation in overall primary articles, which have a weight of 20% in the headline WPI, was reported at 11.52% during the week under review, up from 10.87% in the previous week.

However, inflation of non-food primary articles fell to 20.97%, as against 21.31% in the previous week. This is likely to bring some cheer to the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), who have termed inflationary pressure from the core (non-food) segment as the biggest threat to the economy in the near future.

In the non-food segment, fibres became dearer by 56.56% year-on-year, while minerals were up 12.11%.

Fuel and power became more expensive by 12.46% and petrol by 33.23% on an annual basis during the week under review.

The government and RBI had said that in the months to come, inflationary pressure would be more from core (non-food) items on account of high global prices of commodities, particularly crude.

A rise in prices of food items was the main reason for inflationary pressure during 2010. Food inflation was in double digits for most of last year, before showing signs of moderation from March this year.

Food inflation had fallen to an 18-month low of 7.47% in the first week of May. However, the prospects of a prolonged moderation now seem to have vanished.

Headline inflation stood at 8.66% in April. The RBI, in its monetary policy for 2011-12, had projected that overall inflation would average 9% during the first half of this fiscal.

The latest jump in food inflation numbers comes in the wake of a slew of bad news for the economy. GDP growth of the country slowed to a five-quarter low of 7.8% during the January-March quarter, while the six core industries registered meagre 5.2% expansion in April.

Experts had blamed inflation and the resultant rate hikes by the RBI, which resulted in slowing down of investment, for the poor economic growth numbers.

The RBI is expected to go for another round of rate hikes at its mid-quarterly review next week.

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CBI searches premises of MTNL ex-officials, HCL; shares tank

Shares of HCL Infosystems and MTNL took a hit in early trade on the BSE today after the CBI carried out searches in the premises of former top officials of both companies in connection with alleged irregularities in a Commonwealth Games project

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday carried out searches in the premises of former top officials of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) and Noida-based HCL Infosystems for allegedly inflating the cost of setting up a broadcast network for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) by nearly Rs400 crore, reports PTI.

Soon after registering a new case, sleuths of the country’s premier investigating agency swooped down on the residential premises of MTNL’s then CMD RSP Sinha, executive director SM Talwar, GM (corporate sales) NK Jain and DGM Jitendra Garg in Delhi, Noida, Jaipur and Patna, CBI sources said.

“During searches conducted so far, documents relating to immovable and movable property belonging to accused persons and other incriminating documents have been recovered,” CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said in a statement, adding searches were on at these places till late evening.

When contacted, Mr Sinha said he was in office till 9 January 2010 during which only the letter of intent was issued but there was no approval during his tenure. He said he was out of Delhi.

“Everything was approved by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the MTNL board after I left. Somebody wants to drag my name,” Mr Sinha told PTI.

The agency has registered the case for against officers of MTNL and HCL Infosystems dealing in optical fibre transmission for criminal conspiracy and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

“It is alleged that MTNL awarded the work of broadcast network based on IP/MPLS technology at an exorbitant price of approximately Rs570.12 crores by manipulating specifications in such a manner as to make them tailor-made for the said bidder to the said private company (HCL),” Ms Mishra said.

The agency alleged that initial estimate of broadcasting data transmission project for the sporting extravaganza was very limited with an initial estimate of Rs31.43 crore but MTNL officials included a Broadcast Video Network based on IP/MPLS technology which resulted in cost escalation by Rs380.04 crore.

The CBI alleged that this change in specification was done with an intention to cause huge pecuniary advantage to contract firm—HCL Infosystems causing loss to exchequer, sources said.

“The enhancements in the scope of work and engineering of conditions of contract were made by the officials concerned of MTNL in such a manner that sub-contract could be awarded only to the said private limited company,” Ms Mishra said.

The high-level Shunglu Committee constituted by the prime minister has also criticised the project.

“MTNL was tasked with providing inter-connectivity between Games venues and the broadcasting centre at ITPO. Its costs were so high that a working group had to be constituted and costs were reduced to less than half of what had been proposed,” the report had said.

HCL Infosystems and MTNL took a hit in early trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) today after the CBI carried out searches in the premises of former top officials of both companies in connection with alleged irregularities in a Commonwealth Games project.

Shares of IT firm HCL Infosystems tumbled by 11.43% to hit a month’s low of Rs92.55 on the BSE. Later, the stock managed to erase some of the losses and was trading at Rs96.45, down 7.70% from its previous close.

The MTNL stock also came down to Rs43 from the previous close of Rs44.95. Later, the scrip was quoting at Rs44.05, down 2% from the previous close.

According to marketmen, the fall in these stocks was due to the negative news. The searches were carried out after the market close yesterday.

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