Govt clears divestment in SAIL; looks to mop up Rs16,000 crore

Stake sale to take place in two tranches of 10% each; Centre’s stake to fall to 69%

The government today approved a 20% disinvestment in Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) that would fetch a total of Rs16,000 crore, reports PTI.

Following the two-tranche disinvestment, the government and the company would get Rs8,000 crore each, home minister P Chidambaram told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

Post disinvestment, the government's equity will fall to 69% from 85.82% currently.

The stake sale will take place in two tranches of 10%, Mr Chidambaram said, adding that each time 5% will be through follow-on public offers (FPOs) and another 5% through sale of government equity.

SAIL shares were trading at Rs248.25, down by 2.67% on the BSE.


RBI’s circular on cheques may clash with the Negotiable Instruments Act

RBI’s recent circular on cheque alterations—which can result in dishonoured cheques—may contravene certain sections of the Negotiable Instruments Act, say legal experts

Banking regulator Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) circular which stipulates that clearing bank branches can return a cheque if it contains any alterations (despite the issuer countersigning amendments) except the date, may end up in a legal tussle.

Yesterday, Moneylife had reported on how the RBI has issued a new circular which stipulates that banks can return cheques that alter anything other than the date. (See here).

In its circular dated 22 February 2010, RBI states, “No changes/corrections should be carried out on the cheques (other than for date validation purposes, if required). For any change in the payee’s name, courtesy amount (amount in figures) or legal amount (amount in words), etc., fresh cheque forms should be used by customers.” If there are any alterations on the cheque, except the date, customers will have to issue a fresh cheque. RBI believes that this move would help banks to identify and control fraudulent alterations.

But according to experts, the new circular possibly violates the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

Legal experts say that in order to implement the circular, the Act has to be amended.

“RBI’s directions are contrary to Section 87 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. Amendments to the Act are necessary to enforce this notification of RBI. The notification cannot override the Act,” said a corporate lawyer, preferring anonymity.

If a cheque is presented to a bank with material alteration without the consent of the person who has issued it, the cheque can be dishonoured.

“If the cheque bounces despite the consent (of the issuer, if he makes any amendment attested with his signature) then it would be a violation of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and bankers can face litigation. One cannot issue terms and conditions which contradict the law,” adds the lawyer.



sunil kumar singh

5 years ago

latest news to the rbi
please send my email id


6 years ago



6 years ago

Kannan: Have you considered that the so-called RBI Circular is just a rumour? One needs to verify the authenticity of such statements floating around on the internet.


7 years ago

Is one to understand from this that RBI is unaware of the laws of our country - even those pertaining to its own field of activity? Or is the lawyer wrong?

In either case, what a shame!

The great airport ‘imported’ food rip-off

Many ‘imported’ food items at our airports have their prices doctored, many of them make it to these high-priced stalls from the grey market, a few are even downright fakes

You can’t miss them, all over the country, in very pretty and brightly coloured boxes. Confectionary, biscuits, chocolates—all the big brand names. Cadburys, Nestle, Mars, Ferrero Rocher, Perfetti, Mentos, Chupa Chups, Oreo, Lotte, Hershey, Meiji, to just name a few. Some imported, some made in India.

The Indian brand names that used to exist till a few years ago have simply vanished. But that\'s not the real story.

The real story has to do with how we as a nation are being taken for a ride by those bringing in and selling many of these "imported" food items, usually without any adherence to local laws and requirements, and certainly at prices way above what the same product "made in India" costs. The "imported" tag, at work again, apparently. Despite decades of liberalisation.

And it is no secret out on the streets that a lot of all imported items are fake, as any buyer of wristwatches and handbags will tell you. Sellers will fool you if you fall for it. A customer has a choice, fair enough, and if you are in a market where street-legal products are being sold along with other stuff imported by the grey market route, then, well, it seems you have taken a conscious decision.

But what if you are in a no-choice no-option location like a high-security airport? Once in, no way out, and in the rush to get there, you didn\'t bother to get a bite or a drink? Familiar story, right? And all this at inflated prices which have no bearing on reality.

But look closer. Many of these "imported" items will not have any prices written on them, and if they do, then they will have maximum retail prices (MRPs) written either by hand using marker pens, or with cleverly placed stickers.

In addition, these vendors will often write "taxes extra", and charge that amount too, if you ask for a receipt. Very often, the tax information network (TIN) number and value-added tax (VAT) quoted will not be legit either.

And finally, the truth behind many of these grey-market imports is as follows; please believe my shipping background as well as strong nose here:
a) They could be outright fakes, and here, as a little bit of research will show, those Ferrer Roche walnut/coconut "chocolate balls" seem to be particularly popular favourites.

b) They could be from shipments which have been denied entry in other countries for multiple reasons—damage, expiry date, sub-standard classification, "seconds", or stolen.

c) They could be domestic products, double-wrapped in "imported" wrappers, and you wouldn\'t notice it because they\'ve been glued on so well.
Moneylife spotted a few such outlets at Chennai airport a few days ago, and promptly brought it to the notice of the AAI duty manager, who pretended to look very surprised about something happening right under his very nose. We then preferred a written complaint, and await further action.

You, too, can do so. If you are travelling through an airport in India and spot products beings sold at prices above MRP, or products which don\'t have an MRP properly printed on them, or appear to be "imported" but without the markings that certify them street-legal for sale in India, then please register a complaint at the duty manager\'s desk and also let us know at Moneylife, with a copy of the receipt, if possible.



Sameer Phatak

6 years ago

Hi Veeresh, although the fact remians that vendors across various airports make huge profits by selling such goods, we cannot neglect the fact that we Indians are obsessed with imported goods than Made in India ones. So, until we change our outlook, we stand a chance to be looted on our next trip to airport.


V Malik

In Reply to Sameer Phatak 6 years ago

Not really true. Plenty of domestic brands do well too. Matter of fact some airports still have stalls selling Amul/milk co-op products, Himachal Govt fruit products, and other domestic products. I recall a running battle that some of us had with MoCA as well as IndGovt on why we were not allowed to pay in rupees at international airports - in India.

There is simply a very strong lobby selling "imported" goods - many of which are actually made/packaged in India. And the margins are higher since much of it is cash business. So they can afford to pay higher rents.

Sameer Phatak

In Reply to V Malik 6 years ago

Agreed Veersh, but compare these to the no. of brands that sell imported goods. Also, on airports like say Mumbai or Bangalore how much priority is given to Indian stuff is something that needs to be looked into as well.

As to your second point, well, yes you're right as the people operating these chains are very much keen on making money rather than promote Brand India and the fact remains that these imported products are money making machines for these vendors [largely attributed to the fact that we are obsessed with imported stuff].

Rambabu Shastri

6 years ago

Be Indian... buy Indian. You can use products made by companies in India like HUL, etc. These are far superior to the fakes you see in the markets. For fakes, you do not even get a bill, but for genuine products, you will. Buy Indian, insist on bill and be safe. No point chasing imported stuff that is no good.

M Navarathan

6 years ago

I have to request you to check the Deodorant sprays stocked in Spencer's Super Market in Chennai (Spencer's Plaza, Mount Road)
I found almost all cans to be dented ie made new; I suspect that these Foreign Brand deo cans are refilled by puncturing them or some substandard goods are being imported into the country (a la imported foods in AAI stalls)
I never bought any of these after almost making my mind to buy one. Instead I went to Helath & Glow their own next door shop to get a Nivea (not a dented one).
To my utter dismay, during the second usage I found kind of talcum power oozing out of that. I still have the can with me.

Money Life, pls do something to stop this neo-colonization & fleecing

g madhava rao

7 years ago

We Indians are also to be blamed. We consider very great to drink a coke or pepsi instead of domestic brands or direct coconut water etc. We consider ourselves very much developed/civilised call our relatives others uncles and auntys instead of in our mother tongue like chacha, chachi etc.


7 years ago

i am living in uae for the last 1 year. have lived and traveled in india for 43 years. what a difference in uae and india. nobody can do such things here. law is applicable to everybody and not negotiable! we have this drunk woman drive ,killing few innocent persons .she is let off as police has not filed chargesheet. shit!!this is possible in india and africa.

John Mathews

7 years ago

Amazing how such things are allowed to happen. I always thought poor people being cheated blatantly, this is a different segment who are abused. Is there law to check this immediately?

Ravindra Shetye

7 years ago

I am quite happy that you take up these issues where the gulible Indians are taken for a ride, many a times in connivance of the authorities who are supposed to combat such cheating.

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