Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, 3 others in Forbes Asia-Pacific philanthropy list

The annual list of “Heroes of Philanthropy” compiled by Forbes Asia magazine, features a total of 48 persons from the Asia-Pacific region, including countries like China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia

Four Indian business leaders—Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, PNC Menon, Vineet Nayar and Ronnie Screwvala—figure in this year's list of Asia-Pacific's most remarkable ‘givers’.

 

The annual list of “Heroes of Philanthropy” compiled by Forbes Asia magazine features a total of 48 persons from the Asia-Pacific region, including countries like China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

 

Listing Indian biotechnology major Biocon's founder and chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw as one of “the most notable givers”, Forbes said she is working to improve cancer care and has pledged to give away 75% of her wealth.

 

Other Indians on the list included realty major Sobha Developers' chairman emeritus PNC Menon, who plans to give away half his estimated $435 million fortune through his Sri Kurumba Trust—his family's charitable arm.

 

The Sri Kurumba Trust has adopted four villages in his native Kerala in 2006 and helps families with a monthly income below $90 (over Rs5,000).

 

HCL Technologies vice-chairman Vineet Nayar sold shares in the outsourcing company for $24 million last year and the proceeds went mostly to Sampark, a charity he started long with his wife Anupama. It works with local governments to improve schools, fund social ventures and expand water supply.

 

Entertainment mogul Rohinton ‘Ronnie’ Screwvala, co-founder of UTV Group and Walt Disney's India managing director, also plans to spend $180 million over five years to uplift over a million villagers in Maharashtra.

 

“The selections are subjective and we aim for a mix of notable people and causes. We also try to identify new philanthropists each year and pick only true philanthropists who are giving their own money, not their company's because donating shareholder's funds is not charity,” Forbes Asia senior editor John Koppisch said.

 

He further noted that “by calling attention to these charitable souls, we hope to encourage more giving”.

 

Forbes further said that this year four of the previous year's honourees—Australia’s Andrew Forrest (and his wife, Nicola), India’s Azim Premji, Malaysia’s Vincent Tan and Taiwan’s Samuel Yin-signed the Giving Pledge, an effort by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to get the world's richest to give at least half their wealth for philanthropy.

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Cairn India seeks right of first refusal over Rajasthan block

The company said the original intent of the draft shale gas policy to give right of first refusal to all operators, irrespective of where the blocks were awarded pre-NELP or in NELP, should be restored as it was “fair and reasonable”

Oil and gas exploration major Cairn India has asked the oil ministry for rights to explore for unconventional shale gas in its prolific Rajasthan block.

 

The oil ministry's draft policy for exploration of shale gas provides for giving operators of block awarded under New Exploration Policy (NELP) since 2000, the first right of refusal for exploiting the unconventional resource. It, however, does not confer the same rights to operators of pre-NELP blocks like Rajasthan.

 

“We believe that the draft shale gas policy which solicited public comments in August 2012 was forward looking when it stated that ‘of first refusal will be offered to the existing contractors’. However, the discrimination between NELP and pre-NELP blocks (in the draft policy now prepared) will defeat the purpose,” Cairn CEO P Elango wrote to the oil secretary on 24th May.

 

Shale gas or natural gas trapped in sedimentary rocks (shale formations) below the earth’s surface, is the new focus area in the US, Canada and China, as an alternative to conventional oil and gas for meeting growing energy needs.

 

As per the available data, six basins—Cambay (in Gujarat), Assam-Arakan (in the North-East), Gondawana (in central India), KG onshore (in Andhra Pradesh), Cauvery onshore and Indo Gangatic basins—hold shale gas potential. Rajasthan block too may hold shale gas potential.

 

The draft shale gas policy being prepared by the government has a mechanism to give the first right of refusal to existing contractors holding oil and gas blocks. However, this first right of refusal may be accorded to only NELP blocks.

 

Cairn demanded that the “first right of refusal should be available to all currently operating blocks, irrespective of pre-NELP or NELP, to ensure consistency and uniform implementation of the shale gas policy.”

 

“Existing licences/leases should have the exclusive rights to explore for and develop all hydrocarbon resources encountered in a block and/or shale, which is just another form of hydrocarbon resource,” Elango wrote.

 

The company said the original intent of the draft shale gas policy to give right of first refusal to all operators, irrespective of where the blocks were awarded pre-NELP or in NELP, should be restored as it was “fair and reasonable”.

 

“Overlapping licenses/leases with simultaneous operations will pose significant health, safety and environment (HSE) risks and operational conflicts, leading to conflicting claims to resource ownership, sub optimal utilisation of capital, hampering development of hydrocarbon molecules present in multiple forms,” he added.

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M&M Q4 standalone net up at Rs889.19 crore
For the fiscal 2012-13, the company said its standalone net profit was at Rs3,352.82 crore as compared to Rs2,878.89 crore in 2011-12
 
Leading SUV and tractor major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) today reported a marginal increase in its standalone net profit for the fourth quarter ended 31March 2013 at Rs889.19 crore
 
The company had posted a standalone net profit of Rs874.48 crore in the same period previous fiscal, M&M said in a filing to the exchanges.
 
Standalone net income from operations during the period under review stood at Rs10,486.53 crore as against Rs9,380.84 crore in the year-ago quarter, the company said.
 
During the quarter, the company posted 23% growth in sales of passenger utility vehicles at 72,076 units, while it sold a total of 3,737 units of its sedan Verito.
 
Tractor sales were, however, down to 46,107 units as against 48,517 units in the year-ago period, the company said.
 
For the fiscal 2012-13, the company said its standalone net profit was at Rs3,352.82 crore as compared to Rs2,878.89 crore in 2011-12.
 
M&M said its net income from operations during FY13 stood at Rs40,441.16 crore as against Rs31,847.19 crore in the previous fiscal.
 
The company’s board has recommended 250% dividend of Rs12.50 per share and a special 10% dividend of 50 paisa per share of face value Rs5, aggregating Rs13 per share totalling an outgo of Rs891.15 crore.
 
Commenting on the outlook, the company said the additional three percent excise duty imposed on SUVs may affect margins going forward.
 
“Also the auto industry is witnessing a general slowdown, which again calls for some caution in future,” M&M said.
 

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