Citizens' Issues
Maharashtra files cases against just 50 after conducting raids on 5,592 hoarders
After conducting raids on 5,592 hoarders and seizing commodities worth Rs539.5 crore, the Maharashtra government had filed cased against just 50, reveals RTI reply
 
Maharashtra government, which carried out raids on 5,592 hoarders of dal and oil, have filed cased against only 50, reveals a query filed under Right to Information (RTI) Act.
 
The query filed by RTI activist Anil Galgali, reveals that during the skyrocketing days or tur daal, the state government carried out its much publicised raids on 5,592 hoarders of commodities. This resulted in seizing daal and oil worth Rs539.50 crore. However, when it came to registering cases against these hoarders, the government seems to have dithered and have registered cased against just 50, Galgali said.
 
Galgali had sought information related to stock confiscated, cost and cases registered against hoarders of daal and oil. However, the Public Information Officer (PIO) tried to evade response, forcing Galgali to approach the First Appellate Authority. 
 
During the Appellate hearing, the deputy secretary of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Protection Department informed Galgali that in a total of 5,592 raids conducted by the department after inspection of the godowns, essential commodities like daal, oil and oilseeds totalling quantity 1,36,921.833 metric tons worth Rs539.50 crore was seized and 50 cases have been registered. 
 
Maximum seizures of the essential commodities were done in Mumbai and Thane. Commodities worth Rs458.55 crore with the quantity being 67,065.810 metric tonnes in total of 35 raids that were conducted in the region, followed by Konkan, where commodities worth Rs55.73 crore, comprising of 36,146.57 metric tons were seized, the RTI query revealed. 
 
Galgali said, it is worth noting that in the Nagpur division comprising of Nagpur city, Nagpur rural, Wardha, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gondia, and Gadchiroli, a total of 477 raids were conducted, but not a single case has been registered against the offenders. Similarly no cases have been registered in Amravati division. One case each has been filed in Konkan and Aurangabad divisions. In Pune 22 cases has been registered, while 19 cases have been registered in Mumbai and Thane division and seven cases were filed in Nashik division.
 
Galgali in a letter to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has demanded that, the names against whom the cases have been registered should at least be made public. He expressed surprise on the ratio of cases registered vis-a-vis the raids conducted stating that "dhhaad mein kuch kaala hai" (something fishy in the raids). He also stated that to curb black marketing and hoarding all the transactions be computerized to bring transparency.

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SEBI tightens exposure norms for mutual funds, provides exit opportunity for dissenting investors
SEBI Board also decided to provide an exit offer to dissenting investors in a listed company, if promoters are found diverting from stated usage of funds raised through public offer
 
Market regulator Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to tighten exposure norms for mutual funds for investments in riskier debt instruments. 
 
The SEBI Board, in its meeting at Mumbai, also decided to provide an exit offer to dissenting investors in a listed company, if promoters are found diverting from stated usage of funds raised through public offer. The Board has also approved new norms for issuance and listing of green bonds.
 
"The Board deliberated the proposals relating to review of prudential limits at issuer and sector level and the need to introduce such limits for group level exposure. It considered that review of single issuer, sector level exposure limit and introduction of group level exposure limits for investment in debt instruments would mitigate risks arising on account of high levels of exposure in the wake of events pertaining to credit downgrades, put mutual funds in a better position to handle adverse credit events and provide mutual fund investors with enhanced diversification benefits," the market regulator said in a release.
 
Here are the decisions taken by SEBI to reduce exposure of MFs...
  1. Amend SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 to merge credit exposure limits for single issuer of money market instruments and non-money market instruments at the scheme-level.
  2. Amend SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 so that single issuer limit is reduced to 10% of NAV extendable to 12% of NAV after trustee approval.
  3. Reduce exposure limit to a single sector from the current 30% of NAV to 25% of NAV.
  4. Reduce additional exposure limit provided for Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) in finance sector from 10% of NAV to 5% of NAV.
  5. Introduce group level limits for debt schemes through issuance of appropriate circular and the ceiling be fixed at 20% of NAV extendable to 25% of NAV after trustee approval. A group, for this purpose, refers to group as defined under section 2 (mm) of SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 and includes an entity, its subsidiaries, fellow subsidiaries, its holding company and its associates. All Government owned PSU entities, PFI & PSU banks will be excluded from group level limits.
  6. Trustees to review exposure of a mutual fund, across all its schemes, towards individual issuers, group companies and sectors. Trustee should satisfy themselves on the levels of exposure and confirm the same to SEBI in the half-yearly trustee report.
  7. Applicability
    a. The aforesaid investment restriction shall be applicable to all fresh investments by a new scheme or an existing scheme.  
    b. Appropriate time shall be given for AMC to confirm that such mutual fund schemes confirm to the aforesaid investment restrictions.
 
The SEBI Board decided to provide an exit opportunity to dissenting shareholders under the Companies Act, 2013. The Act provides that a company, which has raised money from public through prospectus and still has any un-utilised amount out of the money so raised, shall not change its objects for which it raised the money through prospectus or vary the terms of a contract referred to in the prospectus unless a special resolution is passed by the company. 
 
The Act also provides that dissenting shareholders, shall be those shareholders who have not agreed to the proposal and they shall be given an exit opportunity by promoters and shareholders having control over the company, in such manner and conditions as may be specified by SEBI by making regulations in this behalf. 
 
Following a consultative process, the Board approved the proposal to amend the SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, 2009 for laying down the framework in this regard, the market regulator said. 
 
SEBI also approved disclosure norms for green bonds. The financing needs of renewable energy space in the country require new channels to be explored, which can provide not only the requisite financing, but may also help in reducing the cost of the capital. Further, India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) document puts forth the stated targets for India's contribution towards climate improvement and following a low carbon path to progress. The document also impresses upon the need of financing needs for achieving the stated goals.
 
The Board considered and approved the proposal for disclosure requirements for issuance and listing of Green Bonds, which have been formalised after consultation with the public, SEBI said. 
 
The SEBI Board also considered and approved a proposal for introduction of primary market debt offering through private placement on electronic book. The key benefits of such an electronic book inter-alia, are improvement in efficiency and transparency of the price discovery mechanism vis-à-vis over-the-telephone market and reduction of cost and time taken for such issuance, SEBI added.

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Shiv Sena Councillor wants reports on study tours to be published
Administrative staff and corporators going on ‘study tours’ at taxpayers’ expense should be asked to submit a report along with a follow up action plan says Prof Jadhav, a nominated councillor from Shiv Sena in a notice of motion submitted to the BMC mayor 
 
Professor Avkash Jadhav, Shiv Sena's nominated councillor in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai or Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has moved a notice of motion proposal for publishing reports on study tours by councillors and officials at public expenses and the action taken report. Study tours are a euphemism for fun junkets at government expense.
 
"after the end of such study tours by the administrative staff or by the legislative body, a Report should to be submitted, along with a follow up plan... as this will enable the appropriate utilisation of the taxpayers money and will set some guidelines and accountability to such study tours," Prof Jadhav had said in his proposal submitted to the BMC Mayor.
 
Welcoming the proposal, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, said, "This is indeed a very good proposal for accountability and probity, which should get public support."
 
Citizens have often protested about elected representatives going on pleasure tours within the country and abroad. These tours are mislabelled study tours. There is no outcome of any benefit to citizens, but these are opportunities for fun and frolic at public expense, Mr Gandhi said.
 
According to a report from DNA, out of 227 corporators, over half will be on tour this month onwards. "Roads and pavements. That is what the corporators of the BMC want to study in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, this winter. This is not the only destination where the choice and purpose is bizarre. Exotic locales in Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala too come under the 'study tour' list. While in Kashmir they will study gardens and markets, in Kochi in Kerala, they will study parks and parking system. And all this at the cost of public money," the report says.
 
According to the report, each trip costs about Rs10 lakh and the BMC, one of the richest municipal corporations, could end up spending around Rs1 crore on all the trips put together. It said, "Not just the corporators. Officials will also undertake such trips. While the BMC's improvements committee will head to Jammu, the education committee members are planning a Dehradun visit and the health committee is heading to Sikkim."

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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

All study tours by Councilors is for pleasure. Some councilors went to Andaman & Nicobar islands, to study storm water drains.
It is only at Port Blair, that Island state has Municipality, which has 3,50,000 population. We cannot take any model from that state, except for rainwater harvesting.
Rainwater harvesting is going on for centuries at all the islands, not only in India, but also in other countries. We can study it at Elephanta Islands near Mumbai and other islands near the coast of Maharashtra State.

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

High time some one asked pertinent questions about these travel junkets. Surprising though that a SS councilor has proposed this, a party not known for responsible behavior. Pretty sure the Prof will not get nominated again.

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