Karur Vysya Bank targets 80 new branches

Karur Vysya Bank’s business has grown to over Rs47,000 crore with a deposit base of over Rs27,000 crore and advances level of Rs20,000 crore

Karur Vysya Bank said that it had celebrated 95th Founders’ Day in Madurai on Saturday. The event was to pay tributes to the Bank’s founders for their vision and spirit of service, which resulted in the establishment of the Bank in 1916. This is an annual event.

K Venkataraman, MD & CEO of the Bank, said, “The Bank plans to focus on expansion to achieve a pan India presence and is targeting opening of 80 new branches, to reach a network of 425 branches by the end of March 2012. 35 branches have already been inaugurated and an equal number will be opened in the next couple of months. This is in line with our long term goal of achieving total business of Rs1,25,000 crore and 800 branches by 2016, when the bank will be celebrating its centenary year. The bank has undertaken a business re-engineering exercise and has formed business verticals to concentrate on all segments of business and this has started yielding results.”

Highlighting the bank’s financial performance, he said that the bank’s business has grown to over Rs47,000 crore with a deposit base of over Rs27,000 crore and advances level of Rs20,000 crore.

The bank is rolling out several products targeting various segments of customers. The bank recently launched KVB Shakthi, a special savings product exclusively for the women segment that enables them to manage their funds judiciously. The bank is getting into strategic alliances to achieve the growth targets in the coming fiscal. One of such alliances will be a co-branded credit card with SBI and two more retail asset products in the months to come.

In the early afternoon, KVB was trading at around Rs372.30 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange 0.47% up from the previous close.

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RTI Act: Same Governor comes under it in Maharashtra, but not in Goa

Kateekal Sankaranarayanan is the Governor of Maharashtra as well as that of Goa. While an activist in Goa has procured information under the RTI Act from the office of the Governor of Maharashtra, he has been declined information in Goa’s Raj Bhavan. Can things get any stranger?

In January 2011, Goa-based RTI (Right to Information) activist, Aries Rodrigues, demanded information under the RTI Act regarding President Pratibha Patil’s controversial four-day visit to Goa which was declared as a ‘private visit’ via a press release issued by the Governor’s office in Goa. (At that time, Dr SS Sidhu was the Governor of Goa. In September 2011, he was replaced by Kateekal Sankaranarayanan who holds the posts of Governor, both in Goa and Maharashtra).

Mr Rodrigues was denied information stating that the Goa Governor’s office does not come under the purview of the RTI Act. So, Mr Rodrigues demanded the same information from the office of the Governor of Maharashtra where Mr Sankaranarayanan was, and still is, the Governor. Lo and behold, he was given the information which confirmed that the President was indeed on an official visit to Goa and not on a private one as claimed by the Goa Governor’s office, for which the Goa government spent Rs14.81 lakh from taxpayers’ money.

Mr Rodrigues told Moneylife, “Rs3,20,250 was spent on lodging & boarding in Cidade de Goa for members of Ms Patil’s entourage; Rs1,29,915 for other such members who were put up in Goa International Centre; Rs,6,23,188 was spent on vehicles hired from GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation); Rs2,01,220 was spent on lunch for the President at Tax Exotica at Benaulim; Rs1,19,999 was spent by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat who hosted a lunch in her honour at Cidade de Goa; Rs20,000 was spent on boat rides and jet ski rides and Rs4,400 on flowers. Why was this then officially pronounced as a ‘private’ visit by the Raj Bhavan in Goa?”

Incidentally, the President of India’s office is also under the RTI Act but in Goa, Governors have sought legal intervention to claim that they do not come under the RTI Act. Last week, when stalwart RTI activist Aruna Roy visited Goa for a public lecture, she reiterated, “When the Maharashtra Governor comes under RTI, how can the Goa Governor be an exception? The situation is obviously wrong. Even the President of India is covered by the Act.”

Mr Rodrigues has been campaigning against the Governors’ stance of claiming to be out of the RTI Act. The Governor is an authority established or constituted under the Constitution and therefore is declared as a ‘Public Authority’ under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act and so he cannot hide behind Article (361) of the Indian Constitution which does not make him answerable to any court or performance of his office, say experts. However, Mr Rodrigues has been fighting a relentless battle to bring Goa’s Raj Bhavan under the purview of the RTI Act.

On 29 November 2010, Mr Rodrigues had sought information from the Goa Raj Bhavan under RTI, details of action taken on the complaints made by him to the Governor of Goa against Advocate General of Goa, Subodh Kantak. He had also sought copies of file notings and correspondence pertaining to the processing of his complaints against the Advocate General.

On 30th November, just a day later, the Goa Raj Bhavan refused to furnish the
information sought.

On 21st December, Mr Rodrigues filed a complaint against the Raj Bhavan with the State Information Commission. On 22 December 2010, the State Information Commission sent a notice directing the then Governor Dr SS Sidhu to personally appear before the state chief information commissioner on 4 January 2011.

 On 23rd December, Mr Rodrigues filed a caveat before the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court against Governor Dr SS Sidhu, anticipating that he might move the High Court against the notice issued to him by the Goa State Information Commission (GSIC) directing him to personally appear before the GSIC in connection with a complaint filed against him for not complying with the RTI Act.

On 31 March 2011, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Motilal Keny held that the Governor is a ‘Public Authority’ and should furnish information sought by Mr Rodrigues.

On 22 April 2011, Governor of Goa Dr SS Sidhu took his battle against the RTI Act to the Bombay High Court at Goa. The Bench of the Bombay High Court in August 2011 comprising Justice DG Karnik and Justice FM Reis heard the Raj Bhavan’s petition for over four days and has reserved the Judgment.

RTI activist and leading Advocate Satish Sonak said, “Their petition in the High Court also states that since Goa has only one State Chief Information Commissioner and the other post of State Information Commissioner is vacant, the CIC’s order of Governor being a Public Authority is not valid—the two-member Bench commission would be considered a full quorum. This is ridiculous, as it is not the peoples’ fault if the government has not filled up the vacancy. Also, there are several states having a single post of state information commission and their decisions are tantamount to a full-fledged Bench.”

Goa Governor Mr K Sankaranarayanan, like his predecessor Dr SS Sidhu, has refused to comply with the RTI Act (although his Raj Bhavan in Maharashtra comes under the RTI), as was evident in the information sought by Mr Rodrigues regarding details of total expenditure incurred in 2011 of the Goa Governor’s official and unofficial visits out of Goa.

States Mr Rodrigues, “It is strange how Governor Mr Sankaranarayanan who as Governor of Maharashtra is complying with the RTI Act, was strangely claiming that in Goa that he is not a Public Authority. It is inconceivable that the same person was taking a different stand as Governor in two States.”

In 2007, Pune-based school teacher Anagha Bagul had asked under RTI Act, details of the then Governor of Maharashtra SM Krishna’s visits outside the State between December 2004 and November 2006. She was denied information, so she went into first appeal to the Appellate Authority which allowed her the information. The Additional Comptroller of the Governor’s office provided her the information. It showed that Mr Krishna was out of Maharashtra for 200 days, mostly for private visits to Bengaluru and other southern states. His visits included weddings, classical dance shows, funerals and sports meetings. It included 31visits to Bengaluru where he had served as chief minister and had taken his wife along on 26 out of 67 such tours. He had also visited the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh besides VIP weddings in Delhi. Stung by this revelation, Mr Krishna had publicly declared that he would henceforth foot his own bills for personal visits.

Ms Bagul said she was curious to know how public money is utilised by people serving the highest Government offices.

Goa seems to be smitten by legal interventions when it comes to the issue of the RTI Act. During my recent visit, I was surprised to note that Public Information Officers (PIOs) and Appellate Authorities often take the help of lawyers for first and second appeal hearings under the RTI Act, which incidentally is illegal.
 
 (Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife. She is also an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She can be reached at [email protected]).

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COMMENTS

Nitin Kirtane

5 years ago

The amount of public money spent is a joke , no one cares , the men in power are busy enjoying benefits of being in power , thta is why we are going nowhere , I wish oneday this system changes and people stop misusing power and actually do something for the country and its people , A very interesting article by Mrs Deshmukh , well done

raymond

5 years ago

Thanks for the clarification. but it is a weak argument for the petition.

raymond

5 years ago

what is the meaning "since Goa has only one Chief Information Commissioner and the other post of State Information Commissioner is vacant" The CIC post is at New Delhi and there is no such post separate for Goa. There is some misreporting / understanding. Otherwise it is an interesting article.

REPLY

Vinita

In Reply to raymond 5 years ago

Oh so sorry for that - i meant State chief Information Commissioner. Tks for pointing it out

Economic growth to be around 8% this fiscal: Plan Panel

“We must remember that the current financial year is very unusual year for the world economies. And the Eurozone crisis has made virtually every country revise its growth rate downwards,” Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said

Hyderabad: Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday said the Indian economy will grow by around 8% this fiscal, reports PTI.

“This year, at the Planning Commission, we expect growth rate will be around 8%. We are not expecting 9% in the year 2011-12,” Mr Ahluwalia said while speaking at the convocation ceremony at Vijna Jyothy Institute of Management here.

He said the economic crisis in the Eurozone has led to revision of growth forecast by many countries.

“We must remember that the current financial year is very unusual year for the world economies. And the Eurozone crisis has made virtually every country revise its growth rate downwards,” Mr Ahluwalia said.

The Indian economy grew by 7.7% in the first quarter (April-June), the slowest growth in 18 months.

The country had registered a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.5% in 2010-11.

The government had in its pre-Budget survey pegged GDP growth for 2011-12 at 9%. The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) has projected 8% growth for the fiscal.

According to Mr Ahluwalia, growth will revive from the next fiscal. “I think next year onwards, we say, an average of 9%,” he said.

He said inflationary pressure in the economy will moderate by December and come down significantly by end of the current financial year.

Headline inflation has remained above the 9% mark since December 2010. The rate of price rise stood at 9.72% in September this year.

He also drew attention to the latest reports by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where the multilateral agency downgraded the growth prospects of all regions on account of high inflation.

In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF said that global growth will moderate to about 4% through 2012, from over 5% in 2010.

Commenting on the issue, Mr Ahluwalia said: “The difference is that whereas other countries are growing at one or more than half per cent, for us slowing down means 8% growth... I think the global economy will get back into more normal position,” he said.

When asked about the RBI’s likely course of action in view of the sustained inflationary pressure, Mr Ahluwalia said the last interest rate hike has not had an impact on inflation and hinted that lowering of interest rates is not expected at this juncture.

The RBI has hiked interest rates 12 times by a cumulative 350 basis points since March 2010 to curb demand side pressure and curb inflation. The latest hike of 25 basis points was announced last month.

Corporate India has said that frequent rates hikes, which have led to an increase in cost of borrowings, have hindered fresh investments and led to an industrial slowdown. Growth in industrial production fell to 4.1% in August.

The RBI is scheduled to unveil the second quarterly monetary policy on 25th October.

Mr Ahluwalia said the National Development Council (NDC), which is slated to meet on 27th October, will take up the issue of rising energy cost.

“In the 12th Plan, we have made this (rising fuel prices) very clear. Energy cost will be high. It’s not easy to absorb high energy cost. One of the major challenges has been identified as how do we adjust the high energy prices.”

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