Home, auto loan rates could see moderation: Bankers

Both lending and deposit rates are expected to see a downward revision following the RBI’s decision to cut CRR and repo rate by 25 bps each


Mumbai: Borrowers could see better days ahead as banks are expected to cut lending rates following the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to cut short-term lending rate as well as unlocking Rs18,000 crore by slashing cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 0.25%, reports PTI.


Soon after the Reserve Bank unveiled its mid-quarter review of the monetary policy, several bankers hinted that they may consider rate cut in their Asset Liability Committee (ALCO) meeting.


RBI governor D Subbarao in the third quarter monetary policy review surprised the market by cutting short-term lending rate called repo by 0.25% to 7.75% and CRR by similar margin to 4%, releasing Rs18,000 crore primary liquidity into the system.


Commenting on RBI’s action, SBI managing director A Krishna Kumar said “a rate cut is likely. Rates on advances and deposits could come down simultaneously. The RBI’s action is positive”.


Indian Overseas Bank executive director AK Bansal said the RBI’s action will result in moderation of interest rates in the coming days. Both lending and deposit rates are expected to see a downward revision which will improve growth prospects, he said.


According to Canara Bank executive director AK Gupta, the bank would consider interest rate cut in the light of the RBI policy action.


Echoing similar views, Bank of India executive director N Seshadri said most of the banks are likely to transfer the rate cut. “Full transmission will happen on both lending and deposit rates. A 0.25% cut is most likely.”


Tushar Poddar, managing director and chief India economist, Goldman Sachs, said, “While the RBI’s action was ahead of market expectations, we were expecting it to ease more on repo rather than CRR. A front-loaded cut on the repo would have helped lower interest rates in the economy faster, in our view, and was justified by the downside surprises to inflation. The central bank, however, has taken the view that easing liquidity by cutting CRR will be of greater help in monetary transmission, and ease the growth process.”


Kotak Mahindra Bank chief economist Indranil Pan said RBI delivered a very balanced policy. “As expected, they chose the calibrated path of a 25 basis points cut in the repo and the reverse repo rates. They wanted to avoid a repeat of April 2012 when the RBI had cut the repo rate by 50 basis points and then had to pause with surprises creeping in from the inflation side,” he said.


BSE Sensex, Nifty bulls need fresh fuel: Tuesday Closing Report

A close below 6,020 tomorrow will mean a quick sharp decline for the Nifty

The market settled lower on caution from the RBI on inflation and the fiscal deficit front. A close below 6,020 tomorrow will mean a quick sharp decline for the Nifty. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) reported a volume of 81.81 crore shares and advance-decline volume of 686:1133.


The Indian market opened lower on nervousness ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) quarterly credit policy later in the morning. Markets in Asia were mostly higher in morning trade as investors focussed on fourth quarter earnings of corporates across the region. On the other hand, US markets closed flat overnight on profit booking after recent gains.


The Nifty opened 10 points down at 6,065 and the Sensex started off at 20,080, a cut of 23 points from its previous close. Profit booking in early trade pushed the benchmarks in mid-morning trade.


However, announcement of the 25 basis point cut in the repo rate and cash reserve ratio (CRR) by the RBI saw the market indicators emerging into the green. After a brief hesitancy the indices hit their intraday highs in late morning trade wherein the Nifty touched 6,112 and the Sensex climbed to 20,204.


The market pared a part of its gains and was range-bound in noon trade. Selling in consumer durables, realty and oil & gas led the indices in the negative terrain once again. A flat opening of the European markets added to the woes back here.


Persistent selling pushed the benchmarks further southwards in late trade with the market indices dropping to their lows towards the close of the session. The Nifty fell to 6,042 and the Sensex declined to 19,970 at their lows.


The market closed near the lows with the Nifty falling 25 points (0.41%) to 6,050 and the Sensex declining 112 points (0.56%) to settle at 19,991.


Among the broader markets, the BSE Mid-cap index declined 0.57% and the Mid-cap index dropped 0.91%.


BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.70%) was the lone gainer in the sectoral space. The losers were led by BSE Realty (down 2.07%); BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.35%); BSE Auto (down 1.12%); BSE TECk (down 0.85%) and BSE PSU (down 0.69%).


Eight of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The chief gainers were ITC (up 1.73%); Coal India (up 1.62%); ICICI Bank (up 0.87%); Hero MotoCorp (up 0.76%) and HDFC (up 0.52%). The top losers were Hindalco Industries (down 2.70%); Bajaj Auto (down 2.62%); HDFC Bank (down 2.61%); Bharti Airtel (down 2.43%) and BHEL (down 2.12%).


The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Adani Ports & SEZ (up 6.46%) and Axis Bank (up 4.30%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Unitech (down 5.91%) and Opto Circuits (down 4.81%).


The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Eurotex Industries & Exports (up 12.53%) and Dhampure Specialty Sugars (up 12.43%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Gujarat Siddhee Cement (down 16.60%) and Salora International (down 10.59%).


Out of the 50 stocks listed on the Nifty, 14 stocks settled in the positive. The major gainers were Axis Bank (up 4.27%); Jaiprakash Associates (up 1.83%); Coal India (up 1.69%); ITC (up 1.10%) and Asian Paints (up 0.90%). The key losers were Bank of Baroda (down 2.89%); Hindalco Ind (down 2.87%); HDFC Bank (down 2.65%); Bajaj Auto (down 2.43%) and Reliance Infrastructure (down 2.33%).


Markets across Asia settled mostly higher as optimism from the US and China boosted investors’ appetite for riskier assets like stocks. The China Securities Journal reported that January land sales in Beijing hit a 11-year high, while the Shanghai Daily said that average homes prices in Shanghai rose to a 30-week high.


The Shanghai Composite gained 0.53%; the Jakarta Composite advanced 0.50%; the KLSE Composite added 0.01%; the Nikkei 225 rose 0.39%; the Seoul Composite climbed 0.84% and the Taiwan Weighted surged 1.13%. Among the losers, the Hang Seng lost 0.07% and the Straits Times declined 0.43%.


At the time of writing, the CAC 40 of France was down 0.395; the DAX of Germany fell 0.13% while UK’s FTSE 100 was up 0.07%. At the same time, the US stock futures were trading marginally lower.


Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares amounting to Rs783.56 crore on Monday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities 864.23 crore.


LIC Housing today said it is planning to roll out a new housing loan scheme for self-employed people wherein monthly loan repayment schedule might be tweaked to daily or quarterly. The LIC promoted housing finance company will target wide variety of sectors including small businessmen traders, farmers, shopkeepers etc for this new housing loan facility. The stock gained 0.12% to close at Rs285.55 on the NSE.


Software services major HCL Technologies today said it has entered into a multi-year, multi-million dollar pact with technology firm Cobham to deliver cost-efficient engineering and R&D services. HCL will support multiple Cobham sites across the globe with a broad range of services, hardware, software, embedded, mechanical, testing and full turn-key projects. The stock fell 0.66% to settle at Rs692 on the NSE.


Simbhaoli Sugars (SSL) has transferred its existing power business on a slump sale basis to a special purpose vehicle—Simbhaoli Power (SPL) for Rs 159.9 crore. The transfer has taken place with effect from 26th January, SSL said in a notice to the stock exchanges on Monday. SSL declined 1.05% to close at Rs23.50 on the NSE.




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RTI Judgement Series: Defining “substantial funding” for a public authority

If a body receives a minimum of Rs5 lakh funding from the government and if this amount constitutes over 10% of its annual income, then the body can be considered to be “substantially funded” under the RTI Act. This is the 29th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

While defining "substantial financing" for a body to be considered as public authority, the Central Information Commission (CIC), said if the body receives a minimum funding of Rs5 lakh and this constitutes over 10% of its annual income then it can be considered to be "substantially funded" for the purposes of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner dismissed an appeal filed against a senior citizen's association.

"In the present case, the respondent association (Senior Citizens Welfare Association, New Delhi) has submitted its audited balance sheet for 2007-2008. From the balance sheet it appears that the income and the expenditure of the association are below Rs1 lakh. The complainant has submitted that the association has been given Rs50,000 recently by the government. This amount falls below the guidelines specified and therefore the respondent association is not substantially financed by the appropriate government and it is therefore not a public authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act," the CIC said in its order issued on 5 October 2009.

Delhi resident Ved Prakash Sharma, on 10 October 2008 and on 20 October 2008, sought information about the affairs of the Senior Citizens Welfare Association.

Information sought vide application dated 10 October 2008 was the following:
1. Copy of the agenda of the meeting held on 02/10/2008 under the signatures of the secretary dated 13/09/2008 regarding the governing body meeting of the Sr. Citizens Welfare Assn.
2. Along with a certified copy of the minutes of the meeting of the governing body held on 02/10/2009
3. Copy of the list of the newly constituted governing body of the SCWA duly certified which is without any date as sent to the governing body members of the SCWA.

Information sought vide application dated 20 October 2008 were following:
1. Copy of the complainan''s letter dated 07/10/2008 addressed to Shri Kewal Krishan Chandha
2. Regarding this complainant sought information in following manner regarding the amounts received by the Treasurers w.e.f  29/06/ 2008 to 31/08/2008 and receipts issued to the members/ non members of SCWA and others in the following:
(a) SCWA Cash Receipt No
(b) Date of issue
(c) Name of the person whom amount received.
(d) Whether member of SCWA or not on the date of receipt of money vide shown at sl. no. (b) above.
(e) On account of donation… Donation, subscription for the year/ admission fee.
(f) Whether the amount so received deposited in the SCWA A/C with the State Bank of India, Shakti Nagar, Delhi branch  or not.
(g) Photo copy of each receipted supplied

Mr Sharma said since there is no Public Information Officer (PIO) or First Appellate Authority (FAA) appointed by the association, he had to file second appeal before the Commission.

During a hearing on 25 September 2008, Mr Sharma contended that the Association had been provided an office, furniture and power free of cost by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). His contention was that substantial funding was being provided by the government, and hence the association is a public authority as defined under Section 2 (h) (ii) of the RTI Act.

Bhagwan Das Sharma, president of the association along with vice-president Bhagirath Singh, secretary ML Bansal and OP Verma, member of the governing body, were present during the hearing. They pointed out that that it was an association comprising of about 300 senior citizens and that it was being run on a voluntary basis by the members who are appointing a committee to manage its affairs. They also pointed out that they did not have a proper office or any employees who could answer RTI queries.

The Commission then reserved its order.

During the next hearing on 5 October 2009, Mr Sharma stated that the association has been given about 300 square feet place free of cost and that no rent is charged for this by the MCD. He also stated that the electricity and furniture used in the office is not charged and the monetary value of this is estimated at about Rs24,000 per year.

The officials, while admitting that it received Rs50,000 from the government for carrying out certain activities stated that the association was not in a position to discharge responsibilities required to be discharged by a public authority under the RTI Act since it has no full-time employee and the members are doing the work voluntarily.

Mr Gandhi, the CIC, said the issue before Commission was whether the association is "substantially financed" or not.

Section 2(1)(h) of the RTI Act defines "public authority"…
h) "public authority means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted,-
(a) by or under the Constitution ;
(b) by any other law made by Parliament;
(c) by any other law made by the State Legislature;
(d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate government, and includes any--
(i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
(ii) non-government organisation substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate government;"

Mr Gandhi said it is clear from the wording of Section 2(1)(h) that the Parliament did not wish to cover all organisations which may have received any amount of funding from the appropriate government under the definition of public authority. "The Right to Information Act does not provide any guidance with regard to what is meant by 'substantially financed'. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word substantial as 'of considerable importance, size or worth'. A determination therefore has to be made of what amount of finance to an organization is 'of considerable importance' for it to come within the ambit of Section 2(h)," he said.

"I am of the view that substantial funding can be decided through two methods-first to identify what percentage of the organisation's income is given by the government which is 'of considerable importance' to its revenue; and second, to identify an amount of money which in the Indian scenario would, in itself, be 'of considerable importance'," Mr Gandhi said.

"Both methods if applied on a case-to-case basis are vulnerable to a charge of arbitrariness. Therefore, I take this opportunity to lay a specific guideline to decide whether a body is substantially financed by the government or not."

"I am aware that such a guideline is also open to a charge of arbitrariness but it is better to have a pre-decided transparent standard which everyone can follow rather than a post-facto case-to-case determination. I recognize that for this particular matter the guideline that I lay down would be a post-facto determination but the precedential value of this decision could help remove the arbitrariness to a large extent," Mr Gandhi said in his order.

The Commission then deliberated on the minimum amount of funding from government and deciding on the percentage of such funding out of total income per year. After detailed deliberations, the Commission said, "...if a body receives a minimum of Rs5 lakh and this amount constitutes over 10% of its annual income, the body can be considered to be 'substantially funded' for the purposes of the RTI Act, and would be considered to be a public authority."

Mr Gandhi, then dismissed the appeal of Mr Sharma since the association was not substantially financed by the government and therefore was not a public authority.


Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2009/001193/5009
Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2009/001193

Complainant                    : Ved Prakash Sharma,

Respondent                      : Bhagwan Das Sharma
                                              Senior Citizens Welfare Association (Regd.)
                                             C/o Shri Bhagwan Dass,
                                             President, SCWA, 7365, Prem Nagar,
                                             Shakti Nagar, New Delhi-110007



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