Citizens' Issues
MMRDA splurges Rs4.29 crore on air travels mostly for 'Study Tours'

According to an RTI reply received by Anil Galgali, the MMRDA has spent Rs4.29 crore on air travels, majority for study tours of ministers and bureaucrats  


The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has spent almost Rs4.29 crore on air travel, a major chunk of which comprises 'study tours' of ministers, bureaucrats and even personal assistant (PA)'s of ministers, reveals a Right to Information (RTI) reply.
According to a reply received by RTI activist Anil Galgali, between 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2014, MMRDA spent Rs1.42 crore on domestic air travel on 626 occasions like meetings, study tours or other reasons. MMRDA, which is executing developmental projects worth thousands of crores in the MMR region comprising of Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Palghar and Raigad districts, also spent Rs2.86 crore for international travel for 39 trips.
Those who went on foreign trips through MMRDA include the Authority officials, chief ministers, ministers, chief secretary, secretary for urban development, BMC commissioner, GM of BEST and PAs of ministers.
MMRDA's highest tour expenses of Rs49.18 lakh was recorded in the 14-days study tour to Malaysia, China, Canada, US and Japan. The then ministers of State Rajesh Tope, Sunil Deshmukh, Rajendra Shingne, UD Secretary Ramanand Tiwari and Sanjay Ubale, BEST GM Swadheen Kshatriya, Dy Secretary Sudhakar Nagnure, Dr T Chandrashekhar, PRK Murthy, and PA to UD MOS CS Thorat went on this study tour.
After this a tour to Switzerland, Sweden, France and Germany was undertaken by MOS Rajesh Tope, Mumbai Mayor Shubha Raul, Secretary to CM CS Sangitrao, Dy Secretary Suresh Kakani, Shankar Deshpande and also political corporators, Ashish Shelar and Rajesh Singh, this study tour costed Rs49.08 lakh on air tickets only and was undertaken to study urban planning, traffic and transportation and Urban development, the RTI reply reveals. 
Similarly Chief Minister Ashok Chavan along with Chief Secretary JP Dange, PA Nitin Kareer and Principal Secretary UD TC Benjamin went on a 10 days trip to US, Malaysia and Singapore between 12th June and 21 June 2010. This tour cost the MMRDA a whopping Rs43.34 lakh and was undertaken to attend desalination plant, monorail plan inspection, city and urban planning tour. 
MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana and Additional Commissioner Ashwini Bhide's three day trip to London (24th to 26 November 2011 cost Rs20.35 lakh and was undertaken to attend a conference on Infrastructural Finance. 
Apart from this a trip to Washington and London was organised as study tour as well as attending the Transport Forum and Study Tour costing Rs19.90 lakh comprising of Principal Secretary UD Benjamin, Additional Commissioner (MMRDA) Ashwini Bhide, SVR Srinivasan and PRK Murthy. 
MMRDA Commissioner Ajit Warty and MUTP Project Director UPS Madan undertook an eight day trip to Washington for MUTP project coordination and understandings along with UD Principal Secretary Ramanand Tiwari in 2002 costing Rs5.74 lakh. 
Afterwards a study trip of 14 days was undertaken to Kuala Lampur, Bangkok and Singapore costing Rs7.66 lakh comprising of Dr T Chandrashekhar, PRK Murthy, UD Principal Secretary Ramanand Tiwari & Ex MMRDA Commissioner AK Mago. There were also singular trips undertaken by Ratnakar Gaikwad (London), Rahul Asthana (Italy, Greece, Osaka), SVR Srinivasan (London), Dilip Kawathkar (Frankfurt), Smt Vijayalakshmi (US), SB Pardeshi (Rotterdam), Uma Adusumili (Japan), AR Wankhede (China, Hongkong), RC Dohore (China, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia), Sharad Varaskar (Seoul, Korea). The trips by these officials from the finance, legal and technical advisers with study tour for noise barriers and better air quality raise suspicions.
Galgali said, "MMRDA Commissioners have undertaken and organised foreign jaunts for persons not connected to MMRDA as if a village feast is generally organised. Ministers and officers not connected with MMRDA along with their PA's too have enjoyed this largess". 
Galgali has sent a letter to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadanavis and MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan demanding an inquiry on the foreign trips undertaken. 
"In the era of IT, there are services like Video conferencing technology being ignored in MMRDA, which is widely utilised by corporates to save valuable time and money, why is such options not utilized by MMRDA for domestic and international meetings?" Galgali said.


57% loss making companies on BSE 500 held AGMs in September
To the short list of attributes that define poor quality companies, you can now add one more: when they held their AGMs 
Over 40% of BSE 500 companies (with their financial year ending in March) held their annual general meetings (AGMs) in September 2014, thus stretching every available moment, 30 of these held their AGMs on 30 September 2014. mOf the BSE 500 companies that reported losses in 2013-14, over 57% of these held their AGMs in September 2014, reveals a report. 
Institutional Investor Advisory Services India Ltd (IiAS), in the report says, "Given that this trend continues from last year, investors may construe that companies that hold their AGMs towards September are either avoiding investor questions till they possibly can, or are just not geared enough to handle the basic requirements of being listed."
IiAS said, of the 456 companies that follow March year ending, 453 companies held their AGM’s between 1 June 2014 and 30 September 2014. See below the distribution of AGMs across the four-month period.
"Mathematically, if 453 companies in 2014 were to evenly spread their AGMs over a four-month period, there would be, at the very least, 113 AGMs every month (25%). But, in 2014, over 40% of the companies held their AGMs in September, with 30 of them hosting them on the very last day, 30 September 2014. While investors have no choice than to grapple with these large numbers, waiting till the last minute exacerbates the logistical constraints of physically attending AGMs," the report said.
Is there a relationship between performance and AGM timing?
Similar to the analysis presented in 2013, IiAS said it again tested companies that delayed holding the AGMs to September for the quality of their performance:
At a simplistic level, whether companies reported losses or profits for 2013-14; and
At a more granular level, if there was an improvement in their performance over the previous year.
In comparison to 2012-13, performance of BSE 500 companies has not been very different: 12% of the BSE 500 companies reported losses in 2013-14 as compared to almost 13% in 2012-13. Yet, there is little to explain why over 80% of the companies reporting losses for the year choose to hold their AGMs in August and September. Wishing away the losses or avoiding shareholder questions does not change performance realities, IiAS says.
According to IiAS analysis, during 2013-14, 42% of profitable companies held their AGMs in September, which is higher than the 30% in 2012-13. But, there is nothing to suggest that deterioration from previous year’s performance is an indicators of companies delaying their AGMs, it added.
On the other hand, IiAS said, better performing companies do tend to hold their AGMs much earlier. A study of the Return on Equity (RoE) showed that companies with better RoEs tend to hold their AGMs earlier, in June and July, while those with lower RoEs tend to hold AGMs in the latter two months (August and September). Without a doubt, though, over the past two years the median RoE has been the lowest for companies holding their AGMs in the month of September.
IiAS said it feels, investors may construe that companies that delay holding their AGMs till the very last minute are either trying to avoid the inevitable (that is, having to answer investor questions on performance), or have internal processes that are not geared to handle the size and complexity of the reporting requirements, or, as the more cynical may argue, are having extended ‘interpretation’ discussions with their auditors.




2 years ago

57% loss making companies on BSE 500 held A.G.M.s in September-these r the companies make KINGS in LONG-RUN losses r REBATES to make BLACK money in to WHITE and salable commodities,shall bought by HIGHLY INTELLIGENT investors.

Pramerica Equity Diversified Fund: Just another multi-cap scheme

The new scheme from Pramerica Mutual Fund will compete with 75-odd schemes of the same kind that are in the market 


Pramerica Mutual Fund, which started operations in 2010, recently launched its first multi-cap equity diversified scheme. The new open-ended scheme—Pramerica Equity Diversified Fund—will invest over 65% of its assets in listed stocks without any restrictions towards sectors and market capitalisations. There are over 75 mutual fund schemes, with a similar investment objective. Pramerica Mutual Fund would need to find a way to attract investors who are flooded with so many choices.
Multi-cap schemes invest in stocks across all market capitalisations; hence, investors get a mix of large-cap and mid-cap stocks. The returns are more stable than small-and mid-cap schemes, but more volatile than large-cap schemes.
Over the past three years, the top ten multi-cap schemes delivered an average return of 30%, while the bottom 10 schemes delivered an average return of 17%. Thus choosing the right scheme is crucial if you want to earn higher returns. Pramerica Mutual Fund is a relatively new fund house and the fund management has yet to establish themselves among the list of top performers.
Brahmaprakash Singh, who has 19 years of experience in investment management, will manage the equity portfolio of the scheme. Ritesh Jain, who has 13 years of experience in fixed income fund management, will manage the debt portfolio of the scheme.


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