A cute land shortage in Mumbai has taken prices to astronomical heights. At the end of March, a 25-acre sprawling property belonging to Tata Steel in suburban Mumbai attracted a bid of Rs1,155 crore. Mumbai has area available for construction which is just about 200sq km, which accommodates 12 million people making for a claustrophobic situation. The city requires 2.1 million houses with an annual demand for 200,000 homes. Since the government has abdicated its responsibility, private developers who control Mumbai’s real estate development, make sure that supply is restricted to 25,000 houses every year. This ensures that demand and prices for apartments and land remain high and infrastructure development remains tardy.
The Bombay High Court has scrapped the Maharashtra chief minister’s (CM) discretionary housing quota and restrained the state government from making further allotments. The Court observed that allotment of flats under such a quota was ‘illegal’ and state policies giving the CM such discretion to create a quota were ‘bad in law’.
Under these policies, 2% of the flats built by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority and 5% of flats built on private land under the Urban Ceiling Land Act were designated as part of the CM’s quota. The Court, however, allowed the state to frame a ‘fair’ fresh policy. The High Court also said allotments made under the quota prior to its decision would be determined in another criminal PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar.
SEBI has asked mutual fund (MF) houses to make monthly disclosures about assets managed by them and explain the rationale for exercising their voting rights. This is the part of a long-term policy issued by SEBI for mutual funds effective
1 April 2014.
The long-term policy for the over Rs9 lakh crore MF industry aims to make MFs an attractive investment proposition for retail investors and to bolster distribution channels. It has suggested selling of mutual funds through public sector banks and online, to increase their penetration.
In the circular, SEBI also said that fund houses have to place the consolidated data on the website of Association of Mutual Funds of India (AMFI) within seven working days of the month.
Also, MFs should disclose the rationale while exercising their voting rights in investee companies. “Asset management companies (AMCs) shall be required to record and disclose specific rationale supporting their voting decision (for, against or abstain) with respect to each vote proposal,” according to the SEBI circular.