EAS Sarma says that the government should make a sincere effort to stop Kalmadi from attending the Olympics. India would have gained global credibility by boycotting Olympics in the first instance, he feels
EAS Sarma, former secretary to the government of India, has appealed to the prime minister to protest and boycott upcoming London Olympics. In a letter, he said the organisers of the London Olympics have permitted Dow Chemicals to sponsor the games, despite the company's liability it inherited from Union Carbide and the Bhopal Gas tragedy.
The former secretary also asked the government to make sincere effort to stop Suresh Kalmadi, the prime accused in the Commonwealth Games scam, from attending the Olympics.
Here is the letter written by Mr Sarma...
Dear Dr Manmohan Singh,
Subject:- London Olympics- India should announce a total boycott
It is unfortunate that the organisers of the London Olympics should remain adamant about continuing Dow Chemicals, the infamous successor to Union Carbide, to continue as the sponsor of the Games. It is equally unfortunate that the organising committee should have the audacity to say that it was the Indians who should clean up Bhopal and Dow Chemicals had nothing to do with it. Perhaps some senior functionaries within your government should take the blame as it was they who facilitated Dow Chemicals to have its way in India in the first instance.
The Chief of the Ethics Committee of London Olympics, Meredith Alexander has quit on the Dow issue. Several British MPs have expressed their solidarity on this. It is the government that you head has so far maintained stoic silence! It is high time that the government takes the side of the Bhopal victims and their families for a change and announce a total boycott of the London Olympics. It will send the right message to the international community on the need to condemn corporate crimes as heinous as the one that was committed at Bhopal. If the government continues to maintain silence, it will indirectly subscribe to allowing corporate sins to be condoned. It will amount to a betrayal of the cause of the Bhopal victims.
Now, I understand that Suresh Kalmadi, a person who is responsible for bringing taint to Commonwealth Games, will be attending Olympics as a representative of India on International Olympic Committee (ICC). Does it not erode the credibility of India in the eyes of the rest of the world?
I request the government to make a sincere effort to stop Kalmadi from attending the Olympics.
I still feel that India would have gained global credibility by boycotting Olympics in the first instance.
I am addressing this letter to all political parties to do join the protesting British MPs and others.
Former Secretary to GOI
The bulls should keep the last week’s low as a stop loss on longs and keep on booking profits in rallies close to the recent highs or around 5,400
S&P Nifty close: 5,227
Short Term: Up Medium Term: Down Long Term: Down
After a slightly lower opening the Nifty recovered to a recent new high in the current rise before profit taking saw it give up its gains. The Nifty finally closed near the lows down 89 points (-1.69%) in the red. The volumes were however lower than last week implying that it is not a serious cause for concern as yet despite the Nifty having risen for five weeks in succession. We have to see whether the Nifty is able to take out the trendline hurdle (in black) pegged around 5,400 points in any further rise.
The sectoral indices which outperformed were CNX PSE (+0.07%), CNX FMCG (-0.20%) and CNX Pharma (-0.23%) while the gross underperformers were CNX IT (-5.20%), CNX Metal (-3.19%) and CNX Service (-2.25%). The histogram MACD has moved lower marginally but is still above the median line. One has to watch this closely especially when it drops below the median line as the bulls will then be under pressure.
Here are some key levels to watch out for this week
• As long as the S&P Nifty stays below 5,264 points (pivot) the bears can breathe a bit easily. However, the trend is still up.
• Support levels in declines are pegged at 5,180 and 5,132 points.
•Resistance levels on the upside are pegged at 5,312 and 5,396 points.
The Nifty did dip as expected but there was a lack of follow through support below the 5,263 points level. This implies that the bears have not been able to assert themselves as yet and are required to work a lot harder than they thought. As was mentioned last week that we might see a top on the 16th-17th after which another period of dullness might follow. Unless and until the 5,400 level is taken out decisively it will continue to be a bottleneck in the current recovery. After a firm start this week the Nifty is likely to become sluggish for a few days before making one more serious attempt to rally. If this too fails then one should sit up and take notice. As of now the bulls should keep the last week’s low as a stop loss on longs and keep on booking profits in rallies close to the recent highs or around 5,400.
(Vidur Pendharkar works as a consultant technical analyst & chief strategist at www.trend4casting.com.)
A staggering Rs2 lakh crore stuck in the Debt Recovery Tribunals reveals the failure of this well-intentioned legislation. The is the third part of a four-part series
Let us now examine the fate of one other well-intentioned legislation, “Recovery of Debts Due to Banks & Financial Institutions Act, 1993” (RDDB&FI Act). This Act has its origin in the recommendations made by Narasimham Committee I, 1992 but it was also influenced by the foreign exchange crisis and the Harshad Mehta securities scam.
The Act covered all debts owed to banks and FIs (financial institutions) in excess of Rs10 lakh and with it, the jurisdiction of civil courts on such debts ceased. The civil courts were asked to hand over the cases to Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs); the Act also provided for Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs).
These tribunals are under the ministry of finance of the central government which would appoint presiding officers, registrars, recovery officers, etc. Initially the presiding officers were either of the rank of district judge or qualified to be one but later legal officers from the ministries and banks were also considered fit to be appointed as presiding officers. Quite a few of the presiding officers and other staff were posted on deputation basis from their permanent jobs. As of a recent date, there were 33 DRTs and five DRATs across the country.
As per the Act, DRTs are required to endeavour to decide on the cases filed by banks within180 days and if the verdict is appealed in DRAT, within another six months.
Experience of the banks in DRTs shows that the deadline of 180 days is but rarely observed. The borrowers or their lawyers could get adjournments fairly easily, a practice they were adept at in civil courts. Perhaps at no time all the courts had presiding officers or the requisite number of recovery officers; posts remained vacant for months.
Recovery certificates to be issued after the verdict or interim orders, just got accumulated for want of signing authorities, forget about actual recovery. Those who came on deputation did not have the requisite level of commitment.
Quite a few of the presiding officers who were from the ministries having had no prior experience seemed incapable of the job or issued ambiguous orders or just agreed to adjourn hearing which was the easier option. Add to these the banks faced another problem: the banks cannot proceed with DRT cases where the borrower's case is already within the purview of BIFR/AAIFR.
Obtention of BIFR consent to proceed in DRT needed a marathon effort. Furthermore occasionally DRAT or a high court issues a stay order against DRT proceedings. The only party to suffer in this legal melee is the banks—indeed the country.
The number of cases pending in various DRTs, as per a report in Mint (dated 28 March 2012), is 63,669, i.e. an average of 1,930 cases per DRT. In a DO letter sent in October 2011 addressed to all PSU banks, the ministry of finance indicated the total claims of banks and financial institutions pending in DRT cases is a staggering amount of Rs2 lakh crore. No further comments are needed on the efficacy of this Act and its creature DRT.
The Narasimham Committee II 1998, called for special statute powers to banks to take possession of assets charged to them without the intervention of the courts and to sell them to Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) which might be set up by the lenders or by others with full powers to dispose of the assets over a period of time. Such powers are already with state financial corporations.
The matter was examined in depth by the TR Andhyarujina (former solicitor general of India) Committee in 2000 based on which an Act called “Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002” (SARFAESI Act) was passed by Parliament. Some of the provisions of this were amended to meet the objections raised by the Supreme Court in response to some cases challenging the Act even as it upheld its constitutional validity. We will examine what happened to that Act in the next part.
(A Banker is the pseudonym for a very senior banker who retired at the highest level in the profession.)