Lalu Yadav, a convict, and 2G scam-accused A Raja are among the 22 former ministers and MPs given special concession or extended lease of “ministerial bungalows” in New Delhi
Several former ministers including Lalu Prasad Yadav, Buta Singh, Dayanidhi Maran, Pawan Kumar Bansal and even A Raja are still occupying the lavish, ministerial bungalows allotted to them when they were in the office even after losing the entitlement, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Noted RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, who received the reply, said, "What is shocking is Lalu Yadav and Buta Singh have been granted special favour to retain these bungalows that too on a special concessional lease-rent against the directions from the Supreme Court. If reasons given by Lalu Prasad Yadav and Buta Singh for retaining ministerial bungalows on special concessional lease-rent are valid then such palatial residences should be provided to common people of this nation as well!"
There are 28 names in the list provided by the Director of Estates in the union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). This includes three former railway ministers Mukul Roy, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Dinesh Trivedi as well as minister for external affairs SM Krishna, former minister for communication and information technology Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja, minister of road transport CP Joshi and minister for water resources Harish Rawat.
Here is the list of former ministers and members of Parliament (MPs), who are overstaying in the ministerial bungalows...
The otherwise aggressive Lalu Yadav, who lost his membership of Lok Sabha after the conviction in Fodder Scam on 3 October 2013, has cited diabetes and cardio problem that require treatment in AIIMS in New Delhi, for seeking extension of his ministerial bungalow No25 on Tughlak Road (Type-VII). In his undated letter, Yadav had said, "I am undergoing treatment at AIIMS, New Delhi for diabetes and cardio problems. My son and daughter stay with me in the same house. My daughter is also undergoing medical treatment. My granddaughter is also studying in Sanskriti School in New Delhi."
Perturbed by the plight of Lalu Yadav, the Director of Estates, on 20 March 2014, allowed the disqualified MP and former minister to retain his palatial bungalow for one more year (till 31 October 2014) on payment of special rate of licence fee.
The case of Buta Singh, former union home minister as well as former governor of Bihar, is more interesting as his request for extension of his bungalows is endorsed by the Prime Minister himself! Prime Minster Manmohan Singh, in a letter on 3 January 2014 to Kamal Nath, the minister of urban development and Parliamentary affairs, wrote, "Dr Buta Singh continues to enjoy Z+ security cover. He and his family members face very severe threats from various terrorist groups, especially from terrorists in Punjab due to action taken by him in the past on behalf of the Union of India. In his letter, Dr Singh has requested that the increased market rent may be revised to the earlier amount under special leave and license fee as he is a Z+ category protectee."
In his letter Buta Singh had said, "the Directorate of Estates, Ministry of Urban Development has increased market rent from January 2013 onwards to Rs1,06,603 (Rs1.06 lakh) PCM against Rs58,500 as market rent due to non-reversion of my house allotment to special leave and license arrangement. As you must be are aware that I am getting a pension of Rs60,000 per month as an Ex MP, and would therefore request you to kindly reverse my accommodation rent as per special consideration and make it to the original amount of Rs58,500 (as was done under the special leave and license for Z + category protectees)".
In its note on 14 February 2014, the MoUD, stated, "The above case is not covered under the guidelines, as revision of rental liability from market rate to special rate would be contrary to the judgement of the Supreme Court as that would amount to waiver of licence fee prescribed for such allotment for which the Government is not empowered. Since, the proposed case is not in conformity with the policy stated by the Ministry of Urban Development, this Ministry does not support the proposal."
The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA), said, "after taking into account the fact that regularisation of allotment of accommodation was proposed to be allowed on security grounds as a special dispensation and also keeping in view the past precedents, decided that the licence fee be regulated as proposed in paragraph 5 of the Note regarding partial review of the earlier decision of the CCA taken in its meeting held on 04-01-2013 (Case No.17/1/2013) for revision of rental liability of Dr Buta Singh for the period from 25-06-2010 to 24-06-2014 from market rate of licence fee to special rate of licence fee, as amended from time to time."
Here are the market rates of licence fee (damages) and the special rate of licence from 25 June 2010 to 24 June 2014, as provided by the MoUD...
1. 25 June 2010 to 21 December 201 Rs50,622 per month
2. 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2013 Rs91,103 per month
3. 1 January 2013 onwards Rs1,06,778 per month
Special Licence Fee:
1. 25 June 2010 to 30 June 2010 Rs14,604 per month
2. 1 July 2010 onwards Rs26,639 per month
The note from MoUD also mentions that name of Buta Singh was mentioned by the Supreme Court in the list of unauthorised occupants in SLP No 12065/2009 and the apex court had conveyed its serious reservations on the legality and correctness of the decision taken by the government to allot the official accommodation to Buta Singh in the name of providing security to him.
The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and Buta Singh's counsel told the Supreme Court that they would file their written assurance about vacating the bungalows by 30 June 2014. While discharging the notices, the apex court then directed the government and concerned agencies to strictly take action.
Yet, on 24 March 2014, the deputy director of Estates, MoUD, informed Buta Singh about approval of revision in his rental liability for Bungalow No11-A, Teen Murti Marg (Type-VII) for 25 June 2010 to 24 June 2014 from market rate of licence fee to special rate of licence fee, as amended from time to time.
Commenting on the issue, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner under the RTI, said, "This again shows how public resources and money are hijacked and misused by public servants. It is shameful that the Government has given concessional rents to Lalu Yadav and Buta Singh. This is an act of taking from the poorest farmer and delivering it to the chosen few. It is evident that those who partake of such largess have completely lost their sense of integrity and shame. The reasons on record are pathetic excuses and falsehooods. Lalu Yadav is not well and hence needs to be given concessional housing! This convicted scamster who is not even an elected member desires and gets a subsidy. Similarly Buta Singh pleads like a beggar for subsidized housing and the Prime Minister recommends his case! Disgusting."
"So many ministers continue to occupy their houses without any legitimacy since the rates fixed by the ministry are low. Hopefully the new government will throw out all these pretenders. It is such illegal and immoral patronage which keeps the parties together," he added.
For FY14, Syndicate Bank reported a fall in its net profit to Rs1,711 crore due to slower growth in its net interest income and increase in net non performing assets
Syndicate Bank reported a fall in its full year net profit due to slower growth in its net interest income (NII) and more than two times increase in its non performing assets (NPAs).
For the 12 month to end-March, Syndicate Bank said its net profit fell 15% to Rs1,711 crore from Rs2,004 crore, even as its total revenues, including interest income, grew 9% to Rs19,945 crore from Rs18,295 crore, a year ago period.
During FY14, the public sector lender said NII increased 2% to Rs5,540 crore from Rs5,454 crore of FY13, while its net interest margin (NIM) stood at 2.79%. Syndicate Bank's non-interest income (other income) grew 13% to Rs1,325 crore from Rs1,174 crore in FY13.
As on 31 March 2014, total advances of Syndicate Bank increased 18% to Rs1.76 lakh crore from Rs1.49 lakh crore. Syndicate Bank's total deposits during the year increased 15% to Rs2.12 lakh crore from Rs1.85 lakh crore.
Syndicate Bank's saving account deposits grew 11% to Rs38,017 crore than a year ago period, while its domestic current account saving account (CASA) deposit grew 7.67% to Rs55,911 from Rs51,926 crore a year ago period. As on 31 March 2014, its CASA deposit stood at 29.90%.
As on 31 March 2014, Syndicate Bank's capital adequacy ratio (CAR) stood at 12.01%. Its gross non performing assets ratio (GNPAs) stood at 2.62% (Rs4,611 crore) from 1.99% (Rs2,978 crore), however its net non-performing assets (NNPA) increased two times and stood at 1.56% (Rs2,720 crore) from 0.76% (Rs1,124 crore) a year ago period.
For the quarter to end-March, Syndicate Bank said its net profit fell 31% to Rs409 crore from Rs592 crore while its total revenues, including interest income, grew 12% to Rs5,357 crore from Rs4,780 crore, same period last year.
Syndicate Bank's total number of branches increased by 315 to total 3,251 branches as on 31 March 2014.
During the year government of India (promoters) increased its stake in Syndicate Bank to 67.39% from 66.17% by issuing 2.26 crore shares at a premium of Rs78.36 each worth Rs200 crore.
Syndicate Bank declared a final dividend of Rs3 per share.
Syndicate Bank closed Wednesday 7.2% down at Rs99.20 on the BSE, while the 30-share Sensex ended the day marginally down at 22,323.
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For FY14, Titan net profit remained flat at Rs741.14 crore on slower demand
Titan Co Ltd (Titan) earlier know as Titan Industries, posted a flat full year net profit on subdued demand in challenging markets.
For the 12 month to end-March, the Tata group unit said its net profit increased marginally (2.20%) to Rs741.14 crore from Rs725.18 crore even as its total revenues, including sales, grew 7.94% to Rs10,915.79 crore from Rs10,112.67 crore, a year ago period.
“This performance came in the backdrop of a challenging economic environment. The strength of company’s brands contributed to sales growth across all retail formats of watches, jewellery and eye wear,” the company said in a regulatory filing.
Bhaskar Bhat, managing director of Titan, said, “The year also witnessed other adverse factors like the regulatory changes that impacted our jewellery business. The Company will however continue to invest in strategic initiatives taking into account our long term and sustainable growth plans.”
The watches business of the Titan recorded an income of Rs1,790.80 crore, a growth of 6.9%. The income from Jewellery segment grew by 6.5% to Rs8,632.03 crore. The income from other segments comprising of Precision Engineering, a B2B Business, the Eye wear business and accessories grew by 20.7% to Rs499.79 crore.
During FY14, Titan added 125 stores of Watches, Jewellery and Eyewear businesses. As on 31st March 2014, the Titan had 1,078 stores, with over 1.5 million sq.ft of retail space delivering a retail turnover in excess of Rs10,900 crore.
During the quarter to end-March, Titan said, its net profit grew 11.61% to Rs206.44 crore from Rs184.97 crore while its total revenues, including sales, grew 7.28% to Rs2,803.38 crore from Rs2,613.24 crore, same period a year ago.
Titan declared a dividend of Rs2.10 per share.
Titan closed Wednesday marginally up at Rs272.25 on the BSE, while the S&P BSE Sensex ended the day marginally down at 22,323.
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