Right to Information
MMRDA paying salary of two peons working at the CMO, reveals RTI
The Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office (CMO) has two employees working but instead of the CMO, they are being paid salaries by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
 
According to information received by activist Anil Galgali from MMRDA, Vishwas Dadasaheb Bansode and Jagannath Tungvel Acharya are employed on contract as peons and have been deployed at the CM's office. "The salaries of the two peons are being paid by MMRDA. Bansode has been appointed from 1 November 2014 onward and Acharya has been appointed from 1 July 2015 onwards," the reply says.
 
"Pertinent to note here is that, one of the appointed peons Jagannath Acharya had retired from the CMO as Jamadar, but continues to function there and surprisingly there is no approval of the CM taken for the appointment," Galgali says.
 
As per the information received under the RTI, both the peons, Acharya and Bansode have not even worked for a single day at the MMRDA and have been working in the CMO from day one.
 
Galgali says, Acharya retired from the CMO as Jamadar and on the next day submitted his application to MMRDA for the job. On the same day, i.e. on 1 July 2015 the Deputy Metropolitan Commissioner (DMC) and the Additional Metropolitan Commissioner Sanjay Sethi approved it and issued internal order for appointment and the very same day onwards Acharya resumed work at the CMO.
 
Bansode, on the other hand, has been working in the CMO since 1 November 2014, but approval for his appointment was taken on 19 November 2014. Kiran Hadkar, under secretary in the CMO, wrote to the DMC seeking Bansode's services on loan basis. "The MMRDA paid Bansode Rs12,000 per month from 1 November 2014 to 30 December 2015 and thereafter Rs13,200. Acharya is being paid Rs17,500 per month since his appointment," the reply received under the RTI reveals.
 
When Galgali sought copy of the CM's approval order, he was handed over copy of the request letter sent by Hadkar. "...actuality it is binding to take the Government's approval for appointment of retired person's on contract basis, but the rules seems to have been ignored in both the cases," he said.
 
"In a case of Dr Jagannath Dhone versus Govt of Maharashtra, the state government has filed an affidavit stating that it would not appoint retired personal on contract basis and in case of extreme emergency, would seek due approval. The affidavit has itself been violated by the CMs office," Galgali says.
 
Expressing surprise, Galgali wondered as to whether the CM has been kept in the dark about such activities by some officers in the CMO. "This is a matter for investigation due to the reason and purpose of importance of a retire Jamadar Acharya's actual requirement in the CMO," the RTI activist added.
 

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Nifty Sensex headed higher – Monday closing report
We had mentioned in Friday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex may rally a bit. The major indices of the Indian stock markets rallied strongly after last week’s poor performance. 
 
 
Healthy buying was observed in interest rate sensitive stocks like banks, auto and capital goods. In addition, investors' risk appetite was increased after a dismal US non-farm payrolls data reduced the potential for a June rate hike there. The US data for last month showed that the economy created 160,000 jobs, against 215,000 in March. A US rate hike could potentially lead to a pull-back of foreign funds from emerging economies like India. However, there was a catch in the strong rally. NSE turnover was only at 66.39 crore and hence the rally was on thin volumes.
 
Buyers started trickling in from the morning to various jewellery shops across the country on Monday to usher in good luck in their lives on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. Jewellers expect tepid surge in sales as the gold price has shot up in the last few weeks following global cues. "I am expecting only 10%-12% sales growth in value terms and not in volume terms as prices have shot up quite a bit in the last two months, and today it is hovering over Rs30,000 per 10 grams in the national capital," PC Jeweller managing director Balram Garg told IANS in Delhi. Akshaya Tritiya is a holy day for Hindus and the Jains and it is believed to bring good luck and success. It is considered to be an auspicious day to bring home gold.
 
Home prices have touched record high levels but a faster rise in disposable income has made house purchasing the most affordable ever, housing loan major HDFC has said in a report. According to latest data compiled by HDFC, the average property value of housing units have risen to an all-time high of over Rs50 lakh this year, while the annual income of an average homebuyer has also grown to record levels of over Rs12 lakh. A sharper increase in income levels compared to housing prices has brought down the affordability ratio to 4.1, making this the lowest in India's history and below the previous all-time low score of 4.3 posted in the year 2004. The ratio stood at 4.4 in 2015. A lower ratio indicates that house purchase has become more affordable now. The report said improved affordability has largely been driven by rising disposable income and affordable interest rates on home loans. The affordability ratio stood at a high of 22 in 1995, signifying that an average home buyer needed to pay 22 times of his/her annual income to purchase a house. HDFC shares closed at Rs1,204.00, up 3.12% on the BSE.
 
India's Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is quite a positive reform for the financial sector, especially for state-run banks heavily burdened with stressed assets, as it will give creditors a legal path for recovering their dues in a time-bound way, Japanese financial services firm Nomura said in a report. "India currently ranks 136 in the World Bank's resolving insolvency ranking; it takes 4.3 years to resolve insolvency and the recovery rate (at 25.7 cents to a dollar) is very low. The Code will play a key role in improving the ease of doing business in India," said a Nomura research note. "Overall, the Code is a very positive financial sector reform, whose benefits will be visible in coming years. It should make lenders more confident in lending and borrowers more accountable," it said. In view of the multiple laws dealing with insolvency in India which lead to delays, the Code will consolidate the existing framework and create a new institutional structure, Nomura added. The report also said that if not in this session, the Code should be passed in the monsoon session of parliament that will follow a few months after the current Budget session ends on May 13. "Its full implementation is expected to take time as the entire institutional structure needs to be established," it said. The Bank Nifty surged 2.36% to close at 16,682.00.
 
Grasim Industries on Saturday reported a 37% rise in its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended March to Rs.696 crore from Rs.507 crore in the year ago period. Net sales and operating income for the company soared 13% to Rs.10,001 crore for the quarter under review from Rs.8,817 crore in the corresponding period. The Aditya Birla Group company reported EBITDA for the quarter at Rs.2,059 crore, up 24% from Rs.1,658 crore in the year ago period. "Firm's consolidated net profit rose 35 percent to Rs.2,359 crore in 2015-16, from Rs.1,744 crore," the company said in a BSE filing.  The company posted a 14% increase in its cement sales volumes, viscose staple fiber (VSF) sales volumes were up by 10% and caustic soda sales volumes went up 95% year-on-year in the quarter ended March 2016. The company plans to increase its caustic capacity to 1,048 kilo tonnes per annum (ktpa) from 804 ktpa including 144 ktpa brownfield expansions at Vilayat and 100 ktpa debottlenecking at various plants, the company said. Grasim shares closed at Rs4,144.20, up 1.07% on the BSE.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 

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Passenger car sales inch up 2% in April: SIAM
Domestic passenger car sales inched up by 1.87 percent last month, industry data showed on Monday.
 
According to the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger car sales during April stood at 162,566 units against 159,588 units in the corresponding period of last year. 
 
However, sales of total passenger vehicle, which include cars, utility vehicles and vans surged by 11.04 percent to 242,060 units from 217,989 units sold in April, 2015. 
 
The total passenger car sales rose on the back of healthy demand for utility vehicles (UVs) and vans. 
 
The utility vehicles sales rose by 42.83 percent to 62,170 units, whereas the off-take of vans increased by 16.46 percent to 17,324 units. 
 
Further, the industry data for last month showed a 17.36 percent growth in the overall commercial vehicles segment sales, which is a key indicator of economic activity. 
 
The commercial vehicles segment off-take for April stood at 53,835 units, up from 45,872 units sold during the corresponding month of 2015.
 
The three-wheelers sales rose by 36.68 percent in the month under review at 44,645 units from 32,665 units sold during April of 2015.
 
The off-take of overall two-wheelers segment which includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds grew by 21.23 percent to 1,560,339 units from 1,287,056 units sold in the like month of last year.
 
On product specific basis, scooter segments' sales during last month grew by 35.86 percent to 468,368 units, while Motorcycle segment's off-take reported a rise of 16.24 percent to 1,024,926 units.
 
The moped segments' sales were up 10.71 percent t0 67,045 units during the period under review.
 
However, overall exports across categories, declined during April. It declined by 15.87 percent to 244,280 units sold abroad from 290,368 units shipped out during April, 2015.
 
Total automobile sales last month were higher by 20.04 percent at 1,900,879 units from 1,583,582 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.
 
"Growth in all segments in April 2016, is a very positive trend for the Indian automotive industry," said Abdul Majeed, partner and auto expert with PriceWaterhouse.
 
According to Majeed, positive indicators such as expected rise in freight demand, pre-buying before the complete roll out BS IV (Bharat Stage IV) norms for commercial vehicles will support the overall growth of the Indian automotive industry.
 
Other factors such as low interest rates, expectations of better monsoon, budgetary support for rural growth and more cash flow in the hands of government employees are expected to sustain the sales growth. 
 
"New models will also continue to drive the growth in passengers car segment. Hopefully, uncertainty relating to the diesel vehicles will also get resolved soon. If incentives are offered to replace the old vehicles it will give further boost to the demand," Majeed added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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