Mutual Funds
L&T Business Cycles Fund will place sectoral bets based on economic activity
The new equity scheme from L&T Mutual Fund aims to invest in companies that are strategically placed to make the most of the economy’s business cycles
 
L&T Mutual Fund has launched an open-ended equity scheme on Wednesday— L&T Business Cycles Fund. This equity diversified scheme, which will keep a minimum allocation of 65% to equity, would have no static market-cap bias or sector bias and will invest across companies and industries depending on the economy’s business cycle. The offer document of the scheme states that the investment objective will “focus on riding business cycles through dynamic allocation between various sectors and stocks at different stages of business cycles in the economy.”
 
The scheme would aim to deploy the business cycles approach to investing by identifying economic trends and investing in the sectors and stocks that are likely to outperform at any given stage of business cycle in the economy. For example, during period of expansion, L&T Business Cycles Fund would aim to predominantly invest in stocks of companies in the cyclical sectors as they tend to outperform the broader market during expansionary phase. Similarly, during period of contraction the Scheme would look to invest in defensive sectors stocks or sectors that are less sensitive to changes in overall economic activity.
 
For example, during the expansionary phase in the domestic economy from FY04 to FY08, most of the cyclical stocks such as those in capital goods and consumer durables sectors outperformed the stocks in the non-cyclical sectors. However, when the economic growth slowed down from FY09 to FY14, stocks in defensive sectors such as consumer staples and healthcare outperformed the cyclical stocks.
 
The offer document further states that “The fund managers could use various indicators such as corporate profit growth trends, inventory levels, credit growth, capacity utilisation levels and other relevant factors to determine the stage of the economic cycle. Based on the views formed on the stage of the economic cycle, the fund managers would look to own stocks that they expect to outperform over the next few years.”
 
There would be two fund managers of the scheme. Venugopal Manghat, who has over 20 years experience, will be the primary fund manager. Abhijeet Dakshikar, having 10 years experience, will manage the portfolio for foreign securities.

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Delhi Metro asked to make public, reasons for frequent ‘technical snags’
The Central Information Commissioner’s order opens up the case for transparency in the operations of public transport in India
 
The Delhi Metro has been suffering 'technical snags' regularly. The recent one was absolutely scary because the doors of a coach remained open for a few minutes in the running train. In Mumbai, a ‘technical snag’ halted Mumbai Metro on the inaugural day recently. All this raises the concern and safety of lakhs of commuters, which makes the issue to be of larger public interest.
 
Gurgaon resident Aseem Takyar, has been filing Right to Information (RTI) applications since 2013 to the Delhi Metro, and demanding the list of the number of times that the various metro trains of Delhi halted because of technical snags, or otherwise. 
 
He was compelled to file his second appeal before the Central Information Commission (CIC), when he got inadequate reply from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Delhi Metro despite an order from the First Appellate Authority (FAA) for providing the information. It is a fact that Takyar refused to pay Rs550, the amount for photostat copies for the required information. The CIC also noted that the fee of Rs550 for providinng photocopies of 275 pages was reasonable. 
 
But the CIC has also ruled that the Delhi Metro is legally bound to provide, free of cost, information on the number of trains that halted, reasons for the same and duration of the halts as asked by Takyar.
 
This is what Chief Information Commissioner of Delhi, MA Khan Yusuf has stated in his order on 22nd July, “…appellant has been asking a complete list of incidences when trains services are halted due to technical snag or due to other reasons on all routes/ lines within last one year, along with duration of halt and service. The Commission feels that respondents are under legal obligation to provide the complete list of the incidences, as asked for, free of cost to the appellant.”
 
This order would be extremely important to the 25 lakh-odd Delhites who travel by the Metro each day. In fact, this order will have a cascading effect, as it would apply to all such public transport systems like Mumbai suburban local trains, other local trains that ply on various routes as well as water ferries and air flights, all over the country. 
 
Manoj Pai, a member of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI), says, “Citizens might like to download this decision and explore further, as the same decision would also apply to unscheduled halts of local trains / rakes, inter-city trains besides bus and ferry services as well, which all fall under the public domain. Activists might like to take a step further and demand the cases where air lines cancelled, delayed, and  diverted flights, as well. 
 
The recent budget has allocated funds to develop metros in major towns and cities. This means there would be more citizens directly affected with any `failures’ of this techno savvy public transport system. We also witness the inconveniences faced by Mumbai citizens who patronise locals and are thrown off gear during rains and power short circuits. Flying too is sometimes irritating when flights are suddenly cancelled. 
 
Every affected citizen must take advantage of this CIC order (produced below) and make the authorities accountable by demanding information.
 
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.) 

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When the mighty I-T dept fears 'spam' or 'junk' labels
The I-T department has requested taxpayers to save and white-list its official email ID so that it will not go to spam or junk folders
 
All taxpayers, while filing their annual returns with the Income Tax (I-T) department, are mandated to provide and validate email IDs and mobile numbers. However, this time, it is the I-T department that is urging taxpayers to white list or help its official email ID avoid going into the spam or junk folders. 
 
The I-T department has suggested that taxpayers validate and include in the ‘white/safe list’ of their respective inboxes, its official email ID — '[email protected]', so that it does not land in the spam or junk folder of the taxpayer.
 
“What a taxpayer needs to do is to include this email ID in the safe-list of his or her email recipients. When an online tax assessee inputs his or her email ID and mobile-phone number on the department’s online portal, the system sends an auto-generated PIN to complete the secure process. If this email containing the PIN goes into the spam fodler, it will most likely be missed by the individual,” a senior I-T officer said.
 
The department has issued the advisory after it found instances of this validation email landing into the spam or junk folder of taxpayer’s inboxes thereby leading to trouble in e-filing.
 
The online tax filing season is on and as of now the last date is 31st July.
 
Once the email is received from this official handle, the taxpayers can use the PIN to go further with the online filing procedures of their I-T return (ITR).
 
Few years ago, there was a flood of spam mails claiming to give I-T refunds. It was found be sent by spamsters pretending to be from the I-T department. However, such mails contained a few obvious 'red flags' that are hard to hide. For instance, while we Indians use Rs or Rupees before the amount, the fraudsters use this after the amount, like 820.50 Rs. The most obvious was the email ID itself, which was not from the I-T department's official server. (Read:  Fraudsters want to give your I-T refund via mail!)
 
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex authority of the I-T Department, has recently notified new rules for online filing of ITRs, saying taxpayers filing their returns this year (assessment year 2014-15) will have to mandatorily share their personal email IDs and mobile numbers with the department.
 
The aim behind this latest move was to update and stay in touch with the taxpayer each and every time there is a tax related issue.
 
The CBDT also recently notified taxpayers that the I-T department does not send any communication from private email addresses such as Gmail and Yahoo to them.
 
“Taxpayers are cautioned that they should not respond to such phishing mails and avoid downloading any attachment which may contain virus or malicious software,” the CBDT had said. 
 

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